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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.

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4 Reasons Why You Should Start Saving for Retirement Today

Are you contributing to your retirement fund? If not, ask yourself why not? There are many reasons why someone holds off on saving for retirement – they have debts to pay off first or don’t make enough money right now, or want to treat themselves while they are young.

It’s easy to come up with an excuse to not put money aside for decades down the road. The truth is, though, you should start saving for retirement as soon as possible. The earlier you start saving, the more money you will have when you need it the most.

Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has heard many reasons why people wait to save for retirement. However, we want to give you a few reasons why you should start saving today.

Live Life Financially Free

When it’s time to retire, you should be able to walk out the doors of your job and not have to worry about money ever again. You’ve worked hard for the majority of your life to get to that point. Imagine, though, that you couldn’t pay the bills, travel to see your grandkids, or have to move in with your children.

Your retirement years should be the chance for you to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, and spend time with those you love. However, if you do not have the money for it, you won’t have a very happy retirement. So, start putting aside money today so that your future self can have that financial freedom you’re likely dreaming of already.

Start Earning Interest

Depending on where you are putting your retirement money, you could earn a large amount of interest by the time you retire. Each year you have money in a retirement account you’ll have a return on your investment. Although it may be small at the start, over the years, your annual return will continue to grow along with your retirement fund.

Reach Retirement Sooner

Wouldn’t it be lovely to retire sooner rather than later? If you start saving for retirement as soon as possible, you increase your chances of being able to retire at a younger age. The more money you have in your retirement fund, it allows you the option to choose when you want to retire, and not have to continue working longer than planned.

Won’t Need to Work

How often do you hear someone say that he or she cannot afford to retire yet, even though he or she’s at the average retirement age? Chances are, if they would have started saving earlier on in life, they may have been able to retire when they wanted.

If you can start saving money now and build up a large retirement fund, you also won’t have to go back to work. Many retirees go back to work because they have to. Instead, have a well-funded retirement account in which you would get another job only because you want to.

The bottom line is that the sooner you start to save for your retirement, the better off you will be at that time. You’ll have worked hard to get to the point of retirement. Don’t let it be shadowed over with the fear of not being able to afford retirement.

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Why Your Business Needs Teamwork to Succeed

Running a business is great and all, but if you don’t have a solid team behind you, it will be hard to take that business forward. A successful company has not just good management and a concrete business plan, but it also has a handful of team members that are fully supporting the idea.

As a leader, there is only so much you can do on your own. As the company grows, there will be more tasks to accomplish in one day. If you spread yourself too thin, you may achieve everything but not to the best of your ability. However, if you bring on a team, they can take over some of the load, and everyone will excel at his or her assigned job.

Corporate Business Solutions knows just how essential a team is to their company. Here are four reasons to emphasize the importance of teamwork.

Teamwork Brings New Perspectives to the Table

How often do you find yourself staring at the computer screen with a blank mind? Maybe there is a challenging task that you cannot figure out the best way to approach it. Running out of ideas can happen to the best of leaders.

Having that team provides new perspectives to not just the challenging parts of running a business, but to the simple everyday tasks as well. One member may have done one job a different way beforehand that was very successful while another member may find what a more efficient solution to what you’re currently doing.

A solid team can brainstorm off of each other to come up with new and innovative ideas that sometimes cannot happen on your own.

Teamwork Provides a Support System

When you have a team that can work together and enjoys each other’s company, you develop a support system that everyone can rely on. These relationships allow members to lean on each other when they need it the most.

The support system from a team is also an excellent motivator. The cooperation between everyone can help drive one another to push themselves a little harder than if they were by themselves. Some teams even excel from friendly competition that only comes from having a group.

Teamwork Improves Productivity

Early we mentioned how trying to do everything on your own will spread yourself too thin. Well, by having that team, you can delegate tasks to everyone which allows you to focus on the things that matter most to you – running the company.

When you delegate tasks to members who have the best skills for the job, you’ll start to see an increase in productivity. More people can do more things than one person alone. Especially when they all work together, the team turns into a well-run machine that can continue to accomplish everything asked of them.

Teamwork Provides Learning Opportunities

When you bring together a group of people to work side-by-side, it will turn into learning opportunities in two ways. The first is by brainstorming different ideas that other people may not have thought about.

The other learning opportunity is through errors. Mistakes are inevitable. However, if dealt with properly, the team can someone’s mistake as a way to avoid them in the future.

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How You Can Turn a Passion into a Small Business

Do you have a strong passion for something? Maybe it is a hobby that allows you to build things or have a love for animals that could open up different paths for you. Either way, many people will take their passion for something and turn it into a business.

Have you ever heard people say to do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? That old saying can definitely ring true for those who follow their passions and make a career out of it.

If you truly love something and won’t lose that passion over time, here are a few ways to help you turn that passion into a small business.

Have a Vision and Stay Focused

It’s one thing to be determined to succeed. It’s another thing to stay focused on a clear vision and develop a plan. Coming up with that initial business plan may be one of the hardest parts of getting your business going. Narrow down your vision into something that is feasible for where you are in life right now.

Don’t Dive Head First

One thing you don’t want to do is dive right in before testing out the water a bit. Being a bit cautious could help save you a lot of money, and save you from losing this passion. Develop a business plan and ensure that it will honestly work. Speak with business professionals, like Corporate Business Solutions Consultants, to see if what you have in mind will succeed as a business.

Make Sure the Timing Is Right

Now, you don’t want to wait around forever to start your business. However, you do want to make sure that the timing will work with your current life situation. If starting your small business may lead you to bankruptcy, it may not be a bad idea to wait a bit. That doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your passion. It just says that you are thinking clearly about your decision and want to set yourself up for success.

Understand You Won’t Love It All

Even though you are passionate about what your business will focus on, that doesn’t mean you are going to love every part of it. When you start a small business, there will be things behind the scenes you will need to do. They won’t always be as exciting, but they are essential to the success of your business.

Find a good balance between doing the administrative duties and focusing on what got your business idea going.

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4 Challenges Many Small Business Face

Starting up and successfully running a business is not an easy task. There will be hardships and tough days, some worse than others. However, the owners that can keep their business moving forward through those challenges are the ones that are likely to succeed in the business world.

If you are a small business owner, here are four challenges many businesses like yours will face.

Exhaustion

Starting up a business is exhausting. Unless you can afford to have a large team helping you out right from the start, small business owners tend to have to put in the most amount of work with the longest hours.

It can be scary to leave your business in the hands of someone else for you to go home, especially at the start. So, quite often the owner will spend the majority of their time at work to ensure everything runs smoothly. All those hours can really run you down and lead to exhaustion.

Managing Money

The finances of starting a small business can be frightening. Will you have enough money to keep the doors open, or is your business close to bankrupting you? It may not always be easy. However, with good money managing skills, you can quickly get yourself into a position where there is enough income coming in for you to relax.

Building Up Clientele

At the start, a prominent challenge business owner’s face is building up their clientele. When you first start out, chances are it will be your close family and friends that know about your business. Expanding past them is difficult.

Although you want to grow your customer base, you want to do so at a speed your business can handle. Growing too fast and you may lose sight of the customers who helped start your business. However, expanding to slow and it could be difficult to make ends meet.

Losing the Passion

Quite often there is a burning passion behind the business owner that got them to start their company. It is really easy, though, for that passion to fade as the hours get longer and the work gets harder. That is the time, however, that you want your passion to really shine through. That is what will help keep you motivated to keep pushing through any obstacles that get in your way.

Every business owner will face a challenge at some point in their life. How you handle them, though, is what will keep your business thriving. As a small business owner, you can expect to have some difficulties come your way. By getting the help you need, you’ll be able to push through them. CBS-CBS.com is here to help.

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5 Reasons Why Your Employees May Want to Quit

Do you find yourself having to hire and train new staff members on a regular basis? If so, there is likely a reason why your employee retention rate is low. Whether it be from management, a different opportunity, lack of interest, or something entirely out of your control, employees will have their reasons for quitting.

When you can start to narrow in on those reasons, you then can make any adjustments needed to retain your current staff. Corporate Business Solutions Reviews came up with five top reasons why an employee may quit.

Bored and Unchallenged

Having a dull day at work will make time go by quite slowly. Employees want to be challenged and be passionate about coming to work. If they aren’t, it makes it quite tricky to get out of bed in the morning.

Check in to make sure your employees are happy and feel motivated to do their job.

Workplace Relationships

One of the biggest reasons an employee will quit is due to having a poor relationship with their boss. No one says everyone in the office has to be best friends. However, having a positive and civil relationship helps ease tension and create an environment that employees are happy to be in.

Lack of Independence

Your employees want to be empowered. Doing so means you must trust them and let them perform their job as they see fit, as long as it is within the parameters of their description and the company. Showing staff that you trust them to do their job will go a long way.

Acknowledgement

How would you feel if day by day you put in your best effort, and it never gets noticed? After a while, it becomes demoralizing and can lead to you wanting to go somewhere else. If employees never receive recognition for what they do, how will they know they are doing a good job?

Acknowledging your staff can be anywhere from a pat on the back to rewarding them for beating their targets.

Company Culture

It could be that the company culture is no longer in line with the employee’s values. That isn’t to say the company culture is bad. It could just mean that the employee had a shift in what they want out of life and it is time for something different. However, if it is because of the way the company is running, then it may be time to take a step back and re-evaluate your business plan.

It’s important to have meetings with employees who express frustration or are walking out the door. When you know why they quit, you can then make the changes required to keep the rest of your staff happy.

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6 Ways to Help Keep Your Best Employees Around

Business owners and managers can probably agree that trying to keep their best and brightest staff members around is highly important. You go through the process of scoping out the perfect employee and train them, all in hopes that they will stay loyal to your company.

Having to replace key staff members can be fairly pricey for the company. You can expect to pay at minimum, 20 percent of the positions wage trying to fill it. That is not a process you want to go through very often.

That is why it is crucial to the success of the company to maintain a steady team. Corporate Business Solutions recommends implementing the following tips to help keep your best employees around.

 

Trust and Respect Your Employees

One of the best things you can do for your staff is to show them that they have your complete trust and respect. Why? When team members feel respected in the workplace, and know that their manager trusts them to do their job as they see fit, it’s an empowering feeling. That is a feeling that will keep staff members happy.

Be Their Support

If your team doesn’t feel like they have your support, whether it be in workplace conflicts, client/customer issues, or even at home problems that are affecting their daily work, how likely are they to stick around? Having support from upper management is a key step in maintaining your top employees.

Talk to Them

Open communication between staff and management is critical. If your team doesn’t know what your expectations are, or they cannot talk to you, there’s a good chance you’ll be hiring new members soon. Communication, both private and in meetings, is essential to keep the work on track and to support your employees.

Listen to Them

Just as communication is important, so too is listening to your employees when they talk. Even if it is about something you prefer not hearing, it could be valuable to improving your relationship with them. They may also have excellent ideas to help the company.

Have a Competitive Wage

Loyalty to a company is only part of what will make employees stay. They also need to be able to support their family. Having a competitive wage that is fair for the work they do will help staff members be happy with where they are at.

Show Flexibility

It can be challenging for employees to remain happy and loyal to their company if there is no room for flexibility. Family emergencies will come up, stress days will need to be taken, or taking on a task in a different way that is better for the employee. You don’t want to fold over to every request, but you should show that you can be flexible and accommodating.

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11 Genius Ways to Enhance Your Curbside Appeal

You guessed right. Curb appeal IS critical to the success of your store.

Nearly 95% of customers say that the external appearance of a store is one of the primary influences on their decision about where to shop.

Having said that, how exactly do you improve the appearance of your store? Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend the following 11 tips to boost your small business’s curb appeal.

Add Some Greenery

Hanging flower baskets or planters at either side of the door adds elements of color and greenery to the entrance and makes the store look well-maintained.

Invest in a Welcome Mat

A tiny, affordable change that makes every customer feel super welcome.

Rebrand

If you’re revamping your storefront, maybe consider refreshing your branding at the same time. This is the perfect way to signal a new start for your company.

Refresh Your Signage

Peeling paint and faded colors show your customers that nobody cares about the store. As a result, why should they care about it? Invest in a new sign and change that impression.

Add a Splash of Paint

Akin to replacing your store sign, repainting walls and window frames give your store a new lease on life. It makes it look brand new, cared about and fresh, which customers will love.

Sweep the Front Sidewalk on a Daily Basis

This task should be part of every store owner’s daily routine. It takes just a moment, but instantly makes your store that much more appealing and desirable.

Inject Some Color

What better way to make your store stand out from the others from the street? Make your storefront vibrant and colorful.

Change Your Window Display(s) Regularly

Changing up your window displays can keep passers-by interested in your store and eager to see what the display will be next.

Make Your Business Clear

Any walker should be able to tell immediately what the purpose of your business is. If your signage or display doesn’t communicate this, you may need to think it through.

Remove Clutter

Clutter always looks unkempt and can be confusing for the customer. Take time to de-clutter and take out or down anything that detracts from the appeal and message of your storefront.

Clean the Windows

Every store owner should have a consistent cleaning schedule for their windows. Clean, sparkly windows make an enormous difference to the appeal of your store.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

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Enhance Your Content Marketing to Drive Sales

Content marketing can accomplish different things for different businesses. While some businesses use it as a way to increase brand awareness, others may use content marketing as a way to generate sales or sales leads.

Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend taking the following steps toward content marketing that generates sales.

Create a Content Marketing Plan

Not having a content plan in place is one of the largest mistakes marketers make when trying to drive sales. Sure, you’re aware that you need to create content and you want to boost sales. However, that’s not enough. You need to generate a strategy for finding and reaching your target audience to get them to convert to customers.

Understand Your Target Market

In order to produce effective content, you need to know who you’re creating that content for. Have a clearly identified target audience and speak directly to that audience through your engaging content.

Know Your Customers’ Common Concerns

Customers who are reading your content rather than buying your product or service are probably doing so because they’re undecided. To help them make their decision, it’s imperative for you to answer their questions and alleviate their concerns. Fortunately, you can do that with your content, if you know what your customers’ most popular questions and concerns are.

Listen to Your Customer Feedback

Coming up with those questions to base your content around can be as easy as simply listening to your current customers. If people consistently email you with the same questions or issues over and over again, those are likely things that would make for effective content.

Take a Look at Keywords

You should always consider the keywords and searches that bring potentials customers to your website. People will often enter questions into search fields if they can’t find an answer easily. Thus, if you see common themes there, that could be another source for your content.

Make a List of Questions

You should always go one step further than just simply keeping an eye out for common customer concerns. The very first thing to do is to create a list of the top 20 questions consumers have when deciding to purchase your product or service and subsequently create content to answer all of these questions in detail.

Take a Look at the Buying Process

When generating those questions and other topics for your content strategy, it can be helpful to put yourself in your customers’ shoes through each stage of the buying process. Spend the time to really familiarize yourself with the journey people take to purchase your product and then create the content to make it easy for them to purchase.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

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5 Ways to Market Yourself as a Freelancer

In today’s day and age, freelance work can earn you money in a variety of ways. Whether you’re doing it for the money or as a labor of love, Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend considering the following five ways to successfully market yourself as a freelancer,

Start With Blogging

Blogging is a tool both freelancers and any other small business owners with a digital presence can use to drive traffic and increase sales.

Your blog will give you valuable information about you, your knowledge and your work as a freelancer. By generating high-quality content on your blog, you can build credibility and awareness of your brand and also give your potential customers a valuable resource.

Use Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the best ways to increase your customer base. In fact, it can bring in nearly $40 for every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign. If you don’t happen to have the necessary funds, you can start with a free MailChimp account and grow from there. The free version of MailChimp will provide you with up to 2,000 subscribers, and 12,000 emails, which should be more than enough to begin.

Social Media Is a Must

With billions of people using social media day in and day out, it is no surprise that most experts recommend freelancers use this tool to market themselves as well.

Freelancers should identify the platform their potential customers use the most and start engaging with them on that channel.

Interact On Q&A Websites

Doing this helps to establish your authority in your field. With 200 million visitors every month, Quora alone can significantly boost traffic to your site. What could be better?

Don’t Forget About SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential tool in marketing your freelance business. While SEO can get somewhat complicated, it is an effective way to optimize your digital presence online. The more optimized your site is, the more seamless it is for search engines and users to find you online.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.