logo (1)

9 Business Lessons You Should Follow

Every entrepreneur goes through a moment where they think, “I wish I would have done things differently.” Having this thought is normal. When you’re an entrepreneur, you can do all the research in the world to prepare you. However, there will still be lessons you learn along your way.

Corporate Business Solutions Reviews came up with a list of nine business lessons that are common, and something you should follow.

Learn to Market, It’s Essential

Marketing is something you can’t ignore, especially in today’s world. If you want your business to grow and get the word out there, you need to have a solid marketing plan. Don’t put this on the backburner. Spend some time thinking about what would grab your audience’s attention.

Stop Waiting

How often do you find yourself saying that you’ll do something when the time is right? In the business world, you won’t find the “right” time very often. Instead of waiting (and procrastinating), take on a challenge right now.

Honor Your Commitments

If you made a commitment, honor it. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t make a meeting or why your payment is late. When you honor your commitment, you become known as a person of your word, which means everything in the business world.

Be Honest

Honesty can slip through the cracks in the business world. However, we shouldn’t let that happen. If you miss something important or a payment, be honest with the person as to why. If people find out that you lie, that will haunt you while you run your business.

Customer Service is Extremely Important

Customer service means everything for a business. You could have the best product or service in the world, but if your customer service is poor, people will go to your competitors. Keep your clientele around by having the best customer service on the market.

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

With that being said, as important as customer service is, it’s important to remember that the customer isn’t always right (contrary to what people like to say). Each situation is different. Sometimes you’ll have to swallow your pride and acknowledge that the customer is right. Other times though, you will need to stand your ground and back up your company or an employee.

Be Nice to Everyone

Niceness is another characteristic that can get lost in the business world. Because of how competitive some industries are, we get into that competitive mode and lose what it means to be nice to people. When you’re nice to people, they will likely be nice back to you, which can make your life a little easier.

Work Hard

Never stop working hard. That isn’t to say don’t take breaks. You should take those breaks when you know you need them. When it’s time to work, though, work hard. Be dedicated to your business so that it will flourish.

Take Care of Yourself

As important as it is for your business to succeed, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your health. If you can’t stay healthy enough to run your business, how will it succeed then? Take care of your health, both mentally and physically.

logo (1)

6 Tips for Keeping Your Work Computer Secured

At work, you have tons of important data on your computer, just like you have personal information on your computer at home. If that device or its data got into the wrong hands, it could be detrimental to the business.

Keeping your computer and everything stored on it secured is essential to the safety and privacy of everyone involved in your company. From employee’s information for payroll to client contact and banking data, you’re responsible for all of that information and to keep it safe.

Here at CBS-CBS.com, we know how essential security is for any business. So, we came up with six points to help keep your work computer secured.

Physically Lock Your Computer

Chances are, you have a laptop for your work. They’re great in the sense that they’re portable and you can take them anywhere. However, if you can move your laptop to wherever you want, so can somebody else.

You can get cable locks that will secure your computer to wherever it’s sitting. That way, if you’re not around, you don’t have to worry about someone sneaking in and stealing the device. These cable locks can also be useful for monitors as well.

Always Log Out

If you have to step away from your computer, always log out of what you’re doing. Even if it is only for a few minutes, put your computer to sleep so that if anyone tries to access it, they have to enter in your password.

Logging out will hide any personal information you may have open on your computer. It’s one of the best ways to add additional security from anyone walking by.

Have Strong Passwords

If you don’t have passwords, you should add some right now. Passwords are a way to lock out unwanted users from your device. However, passwords are only useful if you’re the only person that knows them, and you make them strong.

Make a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters for your passwords. Try to use different combinations for all the passwords you need, and get in the habit of regularly updating them.

Keep Your Computer Updated

If you’re more concerned about an online breach, then one step to take is to keep your computer updated. Each update your device has will likely have useful upgrades for protecting it against online threats. Falling behind on those updates could leave your computer vulnerable to an attack.

Install Additional Security Software

Depending on how strong your computer’s internal security is, you may want to consider installing additional protection. Use software that regularly scans your computer, warns you of suspicious online activity, and blocks you from accessing threatening websites and emails.

Use a VPN

If you’re ever on a public network and doing remote work, it’s a good idea to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This software creates a tunnel for your data to travel through once you connect to a network. It makes your information virtually impossible to look at or attack while connected. That way, you can work from any network safely and securely, without putting your main office network at risk.

Take security seriously for your work computer. You wouldn’t want to have all of that stored information taken by someone who is not authorized.

logo (1)

Need to Let an Employee Go? 5 Tips to Help You Out

It’s a process that business owners will likely face at one point or another. It’s not an enjoyable conversation to have, but sometimes it’s needed. We’re talking about letting go of an employee.

If the time comes to lay off a worker, you have many things to consider, including their emotional and mental wellbeing. Being laid off is not something that a person wants to experience, so the better you can approach the situation, the less likely you have to worry about it escalating.

To help you go through the unfortunate event of letting go of an employee, Corporate Business Solutions has five tips to help you out.

Don’t Catch Them Off Guard

Depending on the reasoning for the layoff, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to the employee. If you catch him or her off guard, it could turn into a situation that you wanted to prevent.

If you’re letting go of an employee due to poor performance, he or she should have an idea that this was coming. By doing regular performance reviews and speaking with the employee about his or her performance, it allows you to set the grounds so that no one is surprised.

However, that isn’t always the case, and sometimes it’s necessary to keep the firing quiet until that moment. Each situation will be different.

Speak Face to Face

Laying off someone is not something you should do over the phone, through email, or by text message. Even having someone else fire an employee for you, it’s better for yourself as the owner to do it, and speak face to face.

When you’re speaking to someone in front of you, you can watch their body language and get a feel of how what the energy is like in the room. That can help you approach the topic in different ways.

Keep Your Feelings in Check

It’s going to have your own emotions during a layoff, as it’s not something that people enjoy doing. However, you’ll want to keep your emotions in check. If you start to express sadness, it will only make the other person more emotional. If you’re upset with the performance of the employee, getting mad will only escalate the situation into something much worse.

Be Compassionate and Empathetic

Put yourself in the employee’s shoes. How would you want the conversation to go if you were the one being fired? Most likely you would want to see empathy from the other person, and that he or she shows compassion in how you feel.

Being compassionate and empathetic towards the employee will help the process go smoothly. When someone loses his or her job, it can affect their entire life, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Be Honest

You don’t want to be blunt and rude about it, but you also don’t want to sugar coat why you’re letting someone go. Honesty is essential in these situations.

If the reason is out of your control due to the economy or a chain shutting down, make sure you keep employees in the loop. When employees get the feeling of a layoff, rumours start to float around that will only make the situation worse.

logo (1)

5 Common Customer Complaints You’ll Hear

If your business requires you to work with customers at one point or another, you know that there will be customer complaints at one point or another. No matter how excellent of a business model you have, you cannot make every customer happy.

What you can do, though, is rectify the situation to keep the customer around. Although every case is different, there are a few customer complaints that are quite common. To help you prepare for any complains, Corporate Business Solutions consultants have five common customer complaints you’re likely to hear.

Waiting for Too Long

Everyone thinks that their time is precious, and to them, it likely is. That is why when a customer has to wait for an extended amount of time, they can become irritated, frustrated, and ultimately let it out on you.

Long wait times can be for any reason. Sometimes the wait is beyond your control, and you have to simply apologize and explain the situation. In other circumstances though, the wait time is an issue within the company. With that case, you would again apologize and figure out how you can reduce customer wait times.

What I Bought Isn’t What I Expected

Whether it be a service or a product, sometimes the expectations a customer has does not equal reality. When this happens, the customer is disappointed and will have a complaint to the business.

If you come across this complaint, spend time speaking with the customer to see what they were hoping for, if they need help with the product or service, or it needs replacing.

Haven’t Heard From Anyone

If a customer feels ignored, it will only make things worse. A common complaint is when a business doesn’t respond to a customer comment or complaint promptly.

Obviously, the best way to avoid this is to respond to everyone as soon as possible. However, that isn’t always feasible. If you have this complaint, explain to the customer what the holdup is and that you value their opinion.

Your Competitor Can Do/Sell This

The competitor complaint or statement is another common one, and one that can be frustrating. There are two ways to take this complaint. The first is to toss it to the side and tell the customer there is nothing you can do. That will likely end with the customer going to the competitor.

However, if you want to come out on top, try and match what the competitor is doing. You can use this as a learning curve to see why you’re behind your competitors.

Getting Shuffled to Different People

When a customer has a concern, they want to talk to the right person the first time. Having to explain yourself multiple times to different people gets annoying very quickly.

One way to avoid this complaint is for the person who answers customer complaints, make sure they know exactly whom to direct the complaint to. If not and this complaint occurs, the manager should take over and try to rectify the situation.

Even though these are common complaints, they will still be different depending on the business and the customer. However, you can use these examples as a way to help prepare your customer service team for any complaint thrown their way.

logo (1)

What to Do With a Late-Paying Client

If you haven’t come across this yet, prepare yourself as it’s bound to happen. You have a customer or client who just won’t pay your invoice on time.

Late payments put a strain on your business, yourself and the relationship between you and your clients. You spend quite a bit of time and effort to do the work the client needs; you expect in return that you’ll get compensated in a timely manner. Late payments are one way to burn bridges between people.

It doesn’t matter what type of work you do. You deserve to get paid and get paid on time. Although there are some circumstances beyond people’s control in which payment may get delayed (in which case, this should get communicated between all parties), for the most part though, you should get paid on time.

If you’re struggling with a late-paying client, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has a few ways to help you get paid.

Send Out Reminders

In some cases, all that’s happened is your client forgot to send out the payment. A simple reminder may do the trick. There are a few ways to do this. You can either send a quick email or text reminding them about the invoice or resend the invoice altogether.

To prevent late payments, send out a few reminders before the due date. Send out the first reminder a week before the payment due date, the day before, on the due date, and a week after the due date.

Make a Phone Call

Sometimes, emails and text messages can get lost and forgotten about. A phone call is a form of communication that is hard to ignore. Also, a phone call seems to stress the point that much more.

If you decide to make a phone call to the client, use your best customer service skills you have. You don’t want to burn any bridges with your clients. Approach the situation in a calm manner and let them know this is a simple reminder.

Implement a Late Payment Fee

Whether or not you struggle with late payments, implementing a late payment fee is a good business practice. It helps ensure that you receive payment on time and if you don’t, you’re compensated for the days you’ve waited for payment.

If you go this route, make sure it’s well-known to every client that you have a late payment fee. You wouldn’t want to catch them off guard with additional charges and hurt your relationship with the client.

Refuse Work

Do you have a client who is late with payments every time, no matter how many reminders and phone calls you send them? It may be time to cut ties with this client. Typically, a business goes this route as a last option, unless there are other factors included.

When refusing to work with a client, you still want to do so politely and professionally. You never know if the client will say something to another person about the experience. Be confident and straightforward with your decision, and explain why you’re not going to work with them anymore.

It’s important to keep track of all invoices, when they’re paid, and how many reminders you’ve sent. That way, if you need to contact them or decide to stop working with them, you have the proof to back your claims.

logo (1)

Your 2019 Business ‘To Do’ List

A new year is a way to start fresh for some people. They set their New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives in many ways. You quite often hear the saying, new year, new you, and for some, that is true.

That saying is great for your personal life, but what about your business? Can you have that same mentality with your company?

It’s not that you’re looking to revamp your business model entirely. However, a new year can be like a fresh slate for tackling tasks and making changes you’ve been thinking of for the past few months. As we continue into 2019, here is your New Year ‘to do’ list for your business from CBS-CBS.com.

Map Out Your Targets and Goals

One of the best ways to start the new year is by mapping out the future of your business. This plan should include all targets and goals you hope to achieve and by when. Set up annual, quarterly, monthly, and even weekly goals for yourself and everyone that works for and with you.

Goals are an excellent way to keep people motivated. It gives people something to focus on since there usually is a reward at the end. Sit down with everyone and decide what the most important targets are for the company, and create realistic goals for everyone to contribute to the target.

Learn the New Trends

Each year that passes means there are new trends. No matter what your business is about, there is likely a trend that you want to keep up with. Trends are what your target audience is looking at. If you don’t keep up with them as they change, your company could get left behind.

Speak With Your Staff

Your staff helps you run your business. They are essential to the success you make. That is why it’s necessary to ensure that they’re treated fairly and have everything they need. Your ‘to do’ list should include time to sit down with each employee and see what their needs are and if there are any changes that you should make.

Clean Up the Budget

Year-end is a great time to look at your budget from the previous year and see how your finances look (if you don’t keep track of your business finances, you may want to start). See where you’ve spent the most money and what part of your company brought in the least amount of money. You can then decide if you need to make cuts and clean the budget up a bit and work out a plan to bring in more cash over the next year.

Look Over Your Original Business Model

Before you opened the doors to your company, you would have made a business plan or model. That plan helps keep you on track and lead to you running a successful business.

With each new year, you should revisit your original business model and see how you’re doing today. Take note of what you hoped you would achieve by this point. Did you make it to where you wanted to be, or are you behind with your goals? That business model will help you make any adjustments so that you stay on track.

logo (1)

4 Secrets to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Going back to when you started New Year’s resolutions, how many have you made? Now, how many of those have you actually kept… for more than a few days?

New Year’s resolutions are hard for some and almost impossible for others. You tell yourself that you’re going to make a significant change in your life for the better. Fast forward a few weeks into January and the disappointment of failing your resolution sets in. Are you just not meant to make and keep a New Year’s resolution?

Before you begin to swear off resolutions every year, ask yourself if you’re making the right resolution for you. Check out some of Corporate Business Solutions Reviews favorite secrets to help you keep your New Year’s Resolution.

Make Small Changes

One of the biggest problems with New Year’s resolutions is that people tend to make them so big that it is almost impossible to keep it. If your resolution is too big, for starters, it can be difficult to determine where you begin. Even if you find a starting point, the resolution quickly becomes overwhelming which leads to giving up on the resolution.

Sticking with small and more reasonable resolutions that suit your lifestyle will give you a better chance of succeeding at them. It could be as simple as putting your papers away before leaving work or turn your phone off for an hour a day.

Write Down Your Resolution

When you write something down, it helps to stick into your mind better. With relying on mental notes, there’s a better chance that you’ll forget what you need to do. Instead, making a note of what you promised yourself and putting it in a visible spot that you’ll see every day, there is that constant reminder.

Put a Purpose Behind the Resolution

Having a reason behind what we do is an excellent motivator. If you’re making a resolution for the sake of making a resolution, where’s the motivation in that? Add a “why” to your resolution instead to keep you motivated.

If you want to organize your desk more, do it because it will help you stay focused and on task. Are you planning to eat more vegetables this year? Remind yourself that you’re doing it to improve your health. If you cannot say why you’re doing something, you may want to reconsider your resolution.

Plan Out Your Resolution

Try to break down your resolution into smaller, more attainable goals that you can plan out through the year. For example, if your resolution is to stay more organized this year to keep you productive, try breaking it down into different goals. For January, maybe you want to work at writing in your day planner what you need to do. February could be putting your pens away, so they don’t clutter your desk. March could be the month that you work at organizing your email and clearing up your mailing list.

The point is to make attainable goals to help create a habit. Once you achieve each small goal towards your resolution, it will start to become a habit that you’ll want to do every day.

logo (1)

5 Ways to keep your Employees Motivated

Do you ever watch how your employees work and think that they could use a bit of motivation? We can all handle a little bit of encouragement now and then. Motivation helps keep people focused and determined to complete their job successfully.

The hard part is finding ways to motivate your employees. Bonuses work great if your business can afford them. However, not everyone can afford to hand out bonus after bonus. Also, sometimes adding in different motivators rather than money can encourage employees differently.

So, if you’re looking for ways to keep your employees motivated, CBS-CBS.com has a few solutions that should help you out.

Empower Employees

When your staff knows that what they do contributes to the success of the business, it gives them a feeling of empowerment, and empowerment is an excellent motivator. If you felt like you weren’t contributed to what you were working on, how motivated would you be to keep working hard? Most likely, not a lot.

Letting employees know that every contribution they make is affecting the larger picture of the business. Giving some people more power and control over what they do in their day will also provide them with a feeling of empowerment.

Be a Leader

Sometimes, all staff need is a bit of encouragement and support from their leader. You can keep throwing bonuses at them, but if you’re not a leader for your team, money will only go so far.

Providing solid leadership that is encouraging and supporting is key for keeping employees motivated. Show that you have their backs and you are with them every day they come into work. Let them know that you believe in them and that they have the skills to complete the task at hand.

Build a Supportive Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the workplace can also contribute to how motivated people feel. If everyone around you at work is dragging and not contributing very much, how motivated will you feel to work your hardest? It’s likely that you’ll feel like you’re bearing the weight of everyone else, which quickly becomes exhausting.

Part of your leadership qualities means you help foster a supportive atmosphere at work. Many working professionals spend more waking hours at the office than anywhere else in the week. Provide them with an atmosphere that is positive, uplifting, and supportive.

Increase Work Satisfaction

Although this one may be more challenging, keeping the overall work satisfaction rate at work high will help keep employees motivated. Those who hate their job are less likely to stay motivated throughout the day. So, by making your workplace one that is appealing to people, you’ll help create a workplace that employees want to keep coming to.

Give Recognition and Rewards When Due

In the end, you still need to recognize and reward those who do a good job. When employees see that their leader recognizes hard work and dedication, it gives them that boost of motivation to keep working hard. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate reward. Sometimes, simply calling out their name in front of the group is good enough.

Try to incorporate some of these tips to keep your team motivated. When you encourage and support your team, you create a workplace that has dedicated members who want to work hard.

logo (1)

6 Tips For Setting Up Your Home Office

Having a home office has become a necessity in almost every household – especially if you work from home. In fact, for many self-employed entrepreneurs, a home office is necessary for the job. A small desk tucked into the corner of the living room won’t cut it anymore. When it comes to tax season, many entrepreneurs need to have a set office to have any tax exemptions.

On top of that, a home office helps you keep your work and personal life separate, just as you would if you traveled to your workplace. It helps keep you organized, as well as look and feel more professional.

If you’re in need of setting up a home office, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has a few tips to help you get one set up.

Designate a Room

First, you need to have a room that you can call your office. Ideally, if you’re a working professional that needs somewhere to go every day, you want a place that is strictly your office. Sometimes you can get away with using a spare room as your office. However, it’s best to use an empty room that is meant to be your workplace.

Plan Out What You Need

Once you have your space, you’ll need to come up with a list of everything you need for work. Start with the obvious items like a desk, chair, computer, stationery supplies, and an internet connection. These would be all the things you have to have to do any work. Then move to other items that may not be a necessity, but they would help make your day to day tasks that much simpler.

Find Good Quality Supplies

More specifically, find a good quality desk and chair that is ergonomic. You’ll be spending a significant amount of time here, so you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable. The last thing you need is to get distracted by pains in your neck and shoulders due to improper positioning while working. Spend the extra money to find a desk and chair that works right for you.

Remove Clutter & Organize

There’s no point of having more than what you need in your office. Having too much stuff that looks like clutter will only cause distractions. Staying organized is key for having a successful home office. So, go through your supplies and see what you can get rid of and what needs to find a home. Every item in your office should have a spot to help keep your desk and room free of clutter. If it doesn’t, ask yourself if you really need it.

Add a Personal Touch

No one says your home office has to be black and white with nothing but your work supplies. Many people decorate their desks at the workplace, so you should be able to do the same. If you want, add in any artwork pieces or color to your office to make it as comfortable for you as possible.

Set Working Office Hours

Lastly, it’s essential to have office hours. When working from home, it’s easy to get in the mindset of putting things off or having visitors over. If you’re at work, then you should be at work. Have designated office hours where you disconnect from your phone and social media, and refrain from having visitors or booking appointments during those times.

logo (1)

Finding Work-Life Balance as a Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday tasks of work and forget to make time for at home. For your small business, it’s quite likely that you are not just the owner, but also the employee, the maintenance staff, and the customer service. You are everything to your company.

The problem, though, is finding a healthy balance between work and life. You don’t want to spend every waking minute of the day thinking about work or being at the office. However, you also need to dedicate a lot of your time for the business to succeed. How do you find a balance between the two?

Corporate Business Solutions Consultants understand the difficulties of maintaining a balance between the office and the home. We have four tips that will help you find that balance.

Ask for Help at Work

One of the first things you can do is to ask for some help around work. Whether that means giving a trusted employer more responsibility or hiring more staff, lightening up your workload will free up some time at home.

Some of the tasks that you could hand to someone else would be running the social media accounts and website, dealing with customer support, filing, bank deposits, or cleaning up the office.

Ask for Help at Home

If you cannot afford to hire additional employees at work, then ask for more help around the house. Many working families still have other tasks they need to complete once they get home. By asking for more help around the house, it will free up more time for you when you get home to do the things that matter the most to you and your family.

Some of the tasks that you could get help from family members include general housecleaning, grocery shopping, maintaining the yard, taking care of the family pet, or starting laundry.

Set Boundaries for Yourself

Setting boundaries for yourself not only will help you free up time for at home, but it will also prevent you from overworking yourself too. You could make a rule that after a certain time in the evening, work must stop. It could be as simple as keeping your personal phone number private from work.

Brainstorm boundaries that would prevent you from being at home. Include your family in this as well to have a different perspective. Once you have your list, keep it visible as a reminder.

Be Consistent

Once you become okay with asking for help around the office and at home, as well as setting those boundaries that stop you from working too much, you then need to be consistent with them. All of these steps will only do so much if you don’t maintain it.

If you have that trusted employee taking care of some additional work, don’t micro-manage them and get involved. You’ll just be putting yourself back to square one. The same goes for at home too. You need to trust the people you asked that they will get the job done.

As for your boundaries, if you are not consistently following them, they will never become a habit. Once it’s become second nature to put the phone or computer down at a certain point, you’re less likely to forget about it. Also, if an emergency comes up that requires your time at work that breaks your boundary, you know that it is an okay exception.