4 Golden Points Every Home-Based Business Should Remember

Being an entrepreneur looks different for everyone. For some, the dream of running a large corporation that employs hundreds of people with offices across the country. Other entrepreneurs, though, prefer something small-scale that they can run from their homes.

Home-based businesses aren’t anything new. They’ve actually been relatively popular over the years, especially during the global pandemic. Recent statistics saw a record number of start-ups, with a significant portion being home-based companies. Going the route of a home-based business allows you to set a flexible schedule that works for you, minimal to no commute, and brings in another income source.

Because of the appeal of home-based businesses and how popular they continue to be, reviews for Corporate Business Solutions have four points that every home-based business should remember.

Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate

For your finances, it’s a good idea to have a separate business account right from the start. Although it’s tempting to merge everything together and save on banking fees, it’ll come in handy for tax season and to track your business’ financial situation.

Have a Separate Space

There are many convenient perks when working from home, like no commute time and working wherever you want. As lovely as it can be to set up shop in the backyard on those warm days, it’s essential that you still have a separate space for your business.

Depending on what your company does, you may have confidential information about customers and clients. If you don’t have a designated space for your work, that information could be accessible to anyone around. You may not have to work strictly out of your home office, but it’s still a good idea to at least have a space you call your office.

Marketing Matters

Home-based businesses rely heavily on marketing. There is no storefront that people can drive by and see what you offer. You’re tucked away on a residential street.

You’ll rely on marketing to get the word out about your company and drum up new customers. Especially when first starting, the budget might be tight to spend money on a marketing plan. However, social media is an excellent (and free) tool for home-based businesses to help spread the word.

Set Boundaries

Many soon realize that working from home (whether employed or in your own business) is more challenging than people believe. One of the most difficult parts of working from home is setting and maintaining boundaries.

When you commute to a job, it’s much easier to leave work at the office so you can enjoy your personal life. For those whose work is only a few steps away, it’s easy to “squeeze in” a bit of extra work after supper or on weekends.

Set yourself boundaries right at the beginning. These can include having a set time to turn your business off for the day, being careful when you schedule appointments, and setting a timer for your breaks.

In today’s world, almost any idea could turn into a small, home-based business, which could lead to a large company. Home-based businesses have unique challenges. However, don’t let that shy you away from taking your idea and starting your very own company.

Have a Difficult Employee? 5 Tips to Help You Manage Them

As an employer, the dream is to have multiple employees who need minimal training, know exactly what they need to do, and help ease some stress in your life. Although those employees do exist, some end up causing more stress and issues than anything.

Do you have a problematic employee? Chances are, you either currently have one, have dealt with one, or there is one in your future. How you manage your difficult employee can make or break the relationship.

If you currently have a difficult employee working for you, check out the following five tips to help manage them from CBS-CBS.com.

Keep Listening

When you’re faced with someone who challenges your patience, it’s easy to tune them out and not listen. However, losing your patience with the person won’t solve any problems. Instead of tuning them out, try closely listening. You may find that the reason they are difficult for you in the first place comes down to lack of communication.

Document Any Issues

Whether you’re documenting behaviors to acknowledge later, or providing evidence for termination, documenting any issues you have with an employee is crucial.

When you have documentation to reference, you can sit with the said employee and break down any behaviors that need addressing and moving forward. If it does come to a termination, you have the files to back your decision.

Offer Room for Improvement

A problematic employee that never receives feedback will likely never realize the frustration they’re causing you. It’s imperative that you, as the manager, provide feedback to the employee and offer room for improvement.

In many circumstances, the employee doesn’t know that they’re doing something wrong or that there’s a more efficient way to perform their task. It’s up to you to ensure there is room for improvement before more issues develop down the road.

Set Consequences If Needed

In some situations, there need to be clear consequences set to ensure improvement. Although it’s not something anyone wants to go through, setting consequences helps show that the difficulties with the employee are serious and need addressing.

Consequences can range from a written warning, losing eligibility for a promotion, or even termination. Ensure that they are clearly communicated to the employee so they know that something will happen if there is no improvement.

Keep Tabs on Progress

To foster a positive environment for improvement, an important step you must take is monitoring the progress and offering praise when deserved. If you’re both serious about resolving any issues and seeing performance improvement, offering praise when deserved can help motivate the employee.

Monitoring progress is also important to see actual improvements are happening. If you see little to no progress or the situation is getting worse, it may be time to make some difficult decisions.

You must take the time to communicate with the problematic employee and ensure they have room and time for improvement. Termination should be your last resort to avoid any wrongful termination lawsuits.

However, it’s also important to recognize you’re in a hopeless situation, you’ve done everything in your power to help with improvements, yet there is no change, that termination is the next step.

5 Tips for Conducting an Interview

Part of running a business for many entrepreneurs involves hiring employees. As your company grows, there’s an increased demand for employee productivity that you won’t necessarily achieve. When that happens, you seek out someone to be an employee.

When hiring, you won’t go for the first person you talk to. There’s a process to finding the best candidate for the position and your company culture. The biggest step in that process is conducting the interview.

Interviewing a potential hire can be intimidating at first. Try the following five tips from CBS-CBS.com to get you prepared and confident for your upcoming interview.

Set the Date, Time, and Appropriate Location

When you’re in an interview, it’s not only polite to give the candidate your full attention. You also need to stay focused to gather all the necessary information. You should conduct the interview somewhere quiet and without interruptions. Once you have that, schedule the date and time that works for both parties.

Spend Time Reading the Resume

Have you ever entered an interview where the interviewer asks questions on the first page of your resume? It can feel like a waste of time and resources handing in the resume.

Part of planning for the interview is to read through the resume. Make a note of what stood out, relevant questions based on the information provided, and anything else that pops into your head. Plus. Reading the resume first can help weed out any candidates that aren’t suited for the position.

Set the Tone Right at the Start

As the interviewer, it’s up to you to set the tone. You’re the boss, and the interviewee must know that.

To set the stage, introduce yourself right away with your name and title. Thank the candidate for coming and explaining right away what to expect over the next bit. It may take a bit of practicing in front of the mirror or with a friend, but it’s essential to practice, so you come across as confident without being too serious.

Start With the Basic Questions

You want the interviewee to feel comfortable throughout the process. One way to do so is by starting with fundamental questions about the person. Ask questions that don’t require much thought – like a few points about themselves, their experience at a previous job, or their schooling.

Once you’ve broken the ice and everyone feels more comfortable, then start asking the more difficult questions. Why are they applying for this position? What makes them a good fit? What does the person have to offer the company that makes them stand out from others? These are the questions that require the interviewee to think a bit more.

Offer a Moment for the Interviewee to Ask Questions

Typically, near the end of the interview, it’s good practice to ask if the interviewee has any questions. This does a few things. To start, it can clarify any confusion or anything missed in the interview. It is also a chance for you to show that you know every aspect of your business and impress the potential employee, making them want to work for you.

Conducting an effective interview allows you to pick the best candidate for the position offered. Take the interview seriously, spend the time preparing and practicing for it, and you’ll breeze through every interview.

Wake Up Refreshed – 5 Sleeping Tips for the Busy Person

You’ve likely heard it over and over again or even said it yourself to someone – make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. We all know it, yet getting enough sleep isn’t always the easiest task.

How important is sleeping in our daily lives? Well, chronic fatigue due to not enough sleep can lead to many serious physical and mental complications. When you’re sleep-deprived, your mind doesn’t function like it would with a good night’s rest. On the physical side, not catching enough z’s may put you at a higher risk for medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

Ready to get more sleep to work to the best of your abilities? Corporate Business Solutions has five sleep tips that will help you wake up refreshed in the morning.

Set Yourself Boundaries

A significant contributor to poor sleep is not taking a break from work. If you’re waking up thinking about work and crawling into bed, and finishing sending an email, it makes it difficult to turn your mind off so you can sleep.

Your body needs time to relax and unwind. That means no work. So, do yourself a favor and set some boundaries. After a certain hour, disconnect from work so you can focus on yourself.

Have a Regular Sleeping Schedule

Our bodies love a rhythm. We have what’s called our circadian rhythm, which is the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that occur in a 24-hour cycle. Sleeping at night and awake during the day is an example of your circadian rhythm.

Having a regular sleeping schedule helps your circadian rhythm and gets your body (and mind) into a good sleeping routine. So, if you like going to bed at a particular hour, try to do that every evening.

Keep Distractions Away

Although we like to think otherwise, watching television or browsing through our phones while in bed won’t help put you to sleep. Having too many distractions in your bedroom will only make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.

Keep your bedroom peaceful and relaxing by getting rid of distractions. If your phone is an issue, charge it in a different room. Remember, your bedroom is usually meant for only a few activities, and sleeping is one of them.

Limit Caffeine

If there is any tip that could be the hardest to implement, it is limiting your caffeine. If you’re always busy, chances are you love your hot cup of coffee to give you a little boost.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a cup or two in the day. When it does become an issue, though, it is when you’re drinking it later on and closer to the evening. The caffeine is meant to keep you awake, which is counterproductive if you want to head to bed soon.

Speak to Your Doctor

If you still struggle to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest after trying everything out there, it may be time to speak to your doctor. Constant exhaustion and continuous restless nights could be a sign of something medically (both physically and mentally) that needs addressing.

Try implementing the tips above into your daily routine. Sometimes even the smallest of habit changes can have the biggest effect on our sleep.

Customer Satisfaction – How Convenient Is Your Business?

Customer satisfaction is crucial for the success of any business. If your company is continually disappointing the consumer, how long can you expect to keep your doors open? On the other side, if clients leave amazed by the service they received, they’re more likely to refer their friends and family to you.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic, businesses were forced to learn and innovate ways to keep operating. As we’ve moved forward, there are several business tactics that will stay long-term, and one of those is convenience.

In a world where strangers try to remain six feet apart from one another, prefer not to shake hands anymore, and limit contact with those outside their bubble, it’s more important than ever that your business is convenient in multiple ways. To help with that, reviews for Corporate Business Solutions have three tips to make your business more convenient.

From Online Booking to Online Payments           

Although this isn’t a new feature, it’s worth reiterating the importance of offering online features. From booking clients to online shopping and receiving payments, giving the customer more power to do things virtually is essential.

Ensure that your company has a website that provides a list of all the services you offer and their prices. Offer an online scheduling and booking system so that people don’t need to visit your store or call to book. Lastly, ensure that you have contactless payment, whether it’s prepaying online or a device for tapping a credit card.

Virtual Chat Options

How you communicate with your customers plays an important role. It’s not just a phone call anymore. Being able to correspond through email and virtual chat options adds to the convenience of your business.

Virtual chat options also include any meetings or assessments you do with clients. Offering the possibility to meet through a video chat rather than in person all the time helps with busy schedules, those who are isolating, not comfortable meeting in person, or for a whole list of reasons.

Be Open for Suggestions

Who better tell you ways to make your business more convenient than from the customers themselves? If you’ve never sent out a survey or asked the question on social media, it may be worth doing. When you give your customers a chance to provide feedback that could make their lives easier, you not only learn a lot, but you also please the consumer.

When you do ask for suggestions, though, ensure that you’re ready for them. Not every suggestion will be something you agree with, nor is it possible for you to accommodate every suggestion. So, keep an open mind and try not to take them too personally.

We live in a world where convenience is critical. We’re used to having access to information right at our fingertips and parcels arriving at our doorsteps the next day. Keeping up with convenience is a crucial step to take with your business.

The three suggestions above are a good starting point if you’re not already doing so.

3 Tips to Keep Your Business Afloat During Challenging Times

It’s been well over a year now that we’ve maneuvered through a global pandemic. Through this pandemic, many businesses have learned the hard way how to adapt on the fly. Unfortunately, many other companies could not make ends meet through rolling shutdowns and, ultimately, closed their doors for good.

Now, as the world rolls out the Covid-19 vaccines in hopes of gaining control over the rapid virus, many business owners look back at 2020 as a way to help prepare for other challenges they may face down the road.

Although we hope not to implement backup plans, it’s a good idea to have a plan for challenging times ahead that many businesses are likely to face. To help, your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have three tips to keep your business afloat during challenging times.

Avoid Reacting to the Situation

It’s common for people to react to a situation. When someone reacts to a challenge in front of them, they often do so with emotion, leading to an irrational reaction rather than a thoughtful process. Reacting head-on may work in some situations, but not all.

When faced with challenging times, it’s best to slow down and look at the big picture before doing anything. The issue with immediately reacting to what’s in front of you is that a quick decision now could have even more damaging effects later on. Instead, take the time to think things through, develop a thoughtful plan and then react with a calm mind.

A good example would be you have an employee that keeps messing up with inventory. Frustration may take over, and your initial reaction could be to let the employee go. However, if you take a moment to dig into what’s going on, you could find that the training process wasn’t thorough enough and the mistakes the employee is making aren’t actually their fault.

Have an Emergency Fund

When faced with difficulties, many businesses find themselves nervous about not having enough profits to pay the bills. Having a cash reserve meant for emergencies is a crucial backup plan to have. That way, if you end up having to close your doors for a bit, you’ll be able to make ends meet with your emergency funds.

Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

As the world goes in and out of challenging times, your marketing strategy needs to reflect that. If you continue to push the same marketing strategy regardless of the situation around you, your return may not be what it was a few months ago.

Have a couple of different marketing strategies to implement based on what is going on worldwide (or in your industry). For the recent year with the pandemic, businesses could benefit by changing their marketing strategy to showcase the value in what you offer, even if the budget is tight.

The point being, it’s about reflecting and being sensitive to what is going on around you and adapting your marketing strategy to reflect that.

No matter how prepared a business may be to face difficult times, our plans do not always work. However, by preparing for the “what ifs,” you could save your business and stay afloat.

5 Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Incorporate in Their Day

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? It looks different for each person. Some have different situations and circumstances than others that help boost their success. Even though success looks different for each entrepreneur, there are some everyday habits many share that can be helpful.

If you’re an entrepreneur working hard towards a goal, reviews for Corporate Business Solutions have five habits that every entrepreneur should incorporate in their day.

Getting Enough Sleep

One of the most overlooked habits to incorporate into your life that can significantly impact your day is getting enough sleep. Many entrepreneurs face having to hustle almost every hour of the day for them to be successful. That mentality doesn’t leave much room for a good night’s sleep.

If you want to be the most focused, productive, happy, and stress-free, getting seven to nine hours of sleep is essential. Continuously lacking sleep can actually make your day-to-day activities much harder, and it can lead to health issues down the road.

Incorporating Exercise

How do you approach fitness? Is it solely for looks, or does it go deeper? Many successful entrepreneurs make time to exercise daily (or at least a few times a week). They don’t necessarily exercise to look like a model. Instead, they exercise for the physical and mental benefits it provides them.

Research has proven that regular exercise can help mentally by lowering stress, boosting your focus and memory, and releasing endorphins that make you feel fantastic.

Staying Organized

Organization is a vital part of success. As your business grows, so too will your workload and responsibilities. If you’re not keeping yourself organized, everything you have to do in a day becomes overwhelming and stressful.

Staying organized helps keep you on top of the important tasks in your day. When you prioritize as part of your organizational skills, you’ll find that you can efficiently get more work done and realize when it’s time to hire help.

Be Thankful Everyday

Successful entrepreneurs know that the team behind them is what keeps driving their success further forward. That’s because you can only wear every hat in a company for so long before you have to hire employees.

Being thankful for your team, showing support and appreciation to them, and also being grateful for how far you’ve come will keep you in a positive mindset. Plus, when your team knows how much you appreciate them, they’ll be more likely to stay with you and be productive.

Learn to Slow Down

At first, it might seem like you have to be running at full speed every minute of the day to reach success. Although at the start of running a business, this is true to a point, it’s still important to slow down at times and relax.

Ensure that you’re incorporating time for friends, family, and yourself. Whether it’s first thing in the morning when having your coffee or designating the weekends for catching up with people, taking time to slow down and connect with what’s important to you is an essential part of success.

 

When you start looking at successful people’s habits, you’ll notice that not every one of them focuses on just work. Many are about incorporating time for yourself, taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing, and appreciating your surroundings.

5 Signs Your Business Might Go Under

We often talk about ways to grow your business and help it become more successful. That’s because your goal is likely just that – to grow and be successful. The last thing you probably want to read about are ways your business is failing.

Part of running a successful business, though, is understanding the warning signs that could mean your business is about to go under. When you know them and can identify those red flags, you’ll be able to respond accordingly, rather than stressfully reacting.

So, as part of your business plan and check-ups, Corporate Business Solutions encourages you to look for the following five signs that might mean your business is on the verge of closing.

Inconsistent Positive Cash Flow

Likely one of the best ways to tell how your business is performing comes from your cash flow. It’s pretty easy to determine your success level if you’re constantly in the red (although this is only a snapshot of your true success).

Make it a habit to regularly follow up with your company’s finances. Do you see a downward trend forming? Are there outside influences beyond your control contributing to the trend? Are you on the verge of not having enough cash flow to pay your bills? If so, it’s time to go to the drawing board and see how you can increase your profits to save your business.

You’re Not As Invested

How do you feel about your business? Although being passionate about your company will only get you so far, if you don’t have that passion for motivating you, chances are your business will start to suffer.

Think about why you started your company. Does that reason give you the same boost of motivation and passion as it once did? Keep in mind if you’re not as passionate about your company anymore, it could be a sign to sell rather than letting it crumble.

You’re Not Keeping Up With the Trends

Part of being successful is innovation and moving forward. Those that get left behind ultimately close their doors eventually. That’s because trends and innovation help solve customer’s problems right now and down the road.

If your company lags behind your competitors in innovation, it’s only a matter of time before you shut down. Keeping up with the trends is a way to stay ahead of the competition and keep customers coming to you rather than someone else.

Lack of Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is huge, especially on social media. When you can engage with your customers, they’re more likely to share what you’re posting and spread the word about your business. No customer engagement likely means no one is talking about you.

If you’re struggling to engage your customers, it’s time to revamp your marketing strategy. Something isn’t working anymore, and it’s time to bring in fresh ideas.

No One Wants to Work for You

Are you struggling to hire new employees or have a high turnover rate? It could be a red flag that the business isn’t functioning very well. Having to continually hire and train new employees is quite costly. Plus, it doesn’t look good from the outside.

If you’re noticing employees are frequently quitting, or you’re struggling to hire, take a look at what’s happening internally. What’s your management style like? Ask your current employees (or have an exit interview) to see what’s working or not working.

Paying attention to the warning signs of a failing business could help keep you afloat and thriving. Ignoring them will likely cost you considerably shortly.

4 Productivity Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

4 Productivity Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Productivity is a skill that we can constantly improve on. It’s a skill that can take your day from being overwhelming to one of the most efficient days you’ve had in a very long time. Simply put, productivity is one of the main pillars of your success.

How do you become more productive? Keep in mind that it’s not an overnight fix. It takes time, dedication, and practicing new habits and routines that fit your lifestyle. Once you find the perfect mix, though, you’ll see your productivity skyrocket and your life feel less stressful.

Ready to boost your productivity when trying to balance everyday life with your business? CBS-CBS.com has four tips that every entrepreneur (or anyone, really) should know.

Start Your Morning By Planning the Day

A popular trick that successful entrepreneurs often reveal is how they start their day. Waking up to what you’re doing while enjoying your morning coffee can set the mood for your day.

Include a moment to plan out the rest of your day as part of your morning routine. What are the top priority tasks that have to get done today? Organize those first within your working hours. You can then have another list handy with tasks that should get done at some point this week but aren’t a pressing matter today.

Love the List

Lists are an excellent way to stay organized. Have you tried managing your day without writing anything down? You’re relying on your memory to ensure you get everything done? Maybe this works right now. However, at some point, you’re going to forget important tasks and ultimately cause more stress in your life.

Create a few lists that you have readily available throughout the day. Start with your priority list – these are the tasks that you need to complete before anything else. You can then have a list of medium important tasks that you can schedule throughout your week. Basically, you can turn anything into a list.

Incorporate Breaks Into Your Day

Now, this may seem counterintuitive at first glance. The point of productivity is to get work done, not slack off. However, if you’re working every minute of the day without any breaks, you’re actually hurting your productivity levels.

Taking a break is like a quick recharge to your system. It allows you to relax your mind for a moment, stretch the body out, and even prevent stress from creeping in. Adding breaks does wonders for your mental health, which in return helps you become more productive through the rest of the day.

Remember Your Why

Many productivity tips out there often include technology and points above to help give you that boost. However, there are a few tricks that don’t require much from you besides taking a moment to think.

What is your why for what you’re doing? We all have it. From wanting to run a successful business to ensure you have enough family time at the end of the day, reflect on why you’re doing everything. When you remember that, it can give you that quick mental boost to get your work done.

Part of being productive focuses on your overall health. Include a balanced and healthy diet with enough sleep, and a quick workout will all contribute to your productivity levels.

Remember, it takes time to get in the groove and start noticing the benefits. Once you do, though, you’ll be more inclined to continue with those habits.

Stressed Every Day? 6 Stress Management Tips for Business Owners

Stress is part of our everyday lives. There’s good stress that can help prevent you from doing something you should. Then, there’s the bad stress that can cause harm to both your physical and mental health.

Uncontrolled stress can lead to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. On the physical side, too much stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and eating disorders. Too much stress can cause many health issues that make your everyday life difficult to go through, especially if you’re a business owner.

Keep your stress under control so you can work to the best of your abilities. Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions has six stress management tips for business owners.

Learn Your Symptoms of Being Overly Stressed

Everyone has their own symptoms that tell you when there’s too much stress in your life. However, there are several common symptoms of stress that it’s important you’re aware of.

Stress manifests itself in various ways, including headaches, acne, frequent sickness, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, and decrease sex drive. Pay attention to these types of symptoms if they’re frequently happening. It could be your body telling you to slow down and relax.

Take Breaks Throughout the Day

Breaks are essential but often overlooked. Many long and stressful days could be eased up a bit by knowing when it’s time to take a break. That is also why it’s important to know the symptoms of stress to take those breaks when symptoms appear.

Taking a break can look different per person. Some may prefer to go for a walk around the block and breath in some fresh air, while others might need to exit their email and get lost in a quick game. Whatever your break looks like, just make sure to take them when you start feeling stressed.

Stay Active

Physical activity is an effective aid against stress and even prevents it from flaring up. Staying active has a positive effect on the brain. It reduces the stress hormones while stimulating endorphins (those “feel good” hormones). When you feel good and strong, you’re more likely to have a better handle on stress when it does appear.

Learn to Delegate

Is your stress coming from being overwhelmed with work? If that’s the case, it’s time to learn how to delegate or start hiring a trusted team. If you’re constantly drowning in tasks and never feel like you can get caught up, it’ll be challenging to get your stress under control.

Take a Vacation

Many entrepreneurs are stressed because they have too much work. So, taking a vacation may seem counterintuitive. However, sometimes when you take a step away from the job and focus on relaxing, it can help clear your head so you can come back and tackle your day with a more positive perspective.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Sleep is essential for everyone. Although it may seem tempting to stay up late to catch up on work for the next day, running off too little sleep can actually do the opposite. Not having enough sleep will lead to chronic exhaustion, which can cause mind fogginess and slow you down. So, get a good night’s rest as much as you can.

Stress management seems simple. However, it does take some practice to develop the habits that will help keep your stress under control.