Organization 101: 5 Tips for Daily Planning

How do you start your day? Do you hit the snooze button multiple times before rushing to get ready? Maybe you get upright when you’re alarm goes off and jump right in the shower before enjoying your morning coffee. Whatever it may be, it’s worth considering adding daily planning to your routine.

Daily planning can help you with many aspects of your life, not just with the organization. You’ll be more prepared for upcoming obstacles and deadlines, reduce your stress, knowing you have a plan, and will help hold you accountable for the task at hand.

If you’re ready to take a few extra minutes each morning for daily planning, the following five tips from CBS-CBS.com will help.

Physically Write Out Your Daily Plan

Daily planning doesn’t mean you take a few moments to think about everything you need to accomplish today. Chances are, you will forget lots of it halfway through. To be successful at the daily plan, you need to physically write it out. Having a calendar with space to write out each day will help.

Set a Time for Planning

Why should you plan your day at the same time, whether it be the night before or while having your morning coffee? It will help you create a habit. Once-daily planning becomes a habit, your chances of forgetting to do it will significantly decrease.

Have an Ongoing Task List

If you struggle to think of all the things you need to accomplish in a day, create an ongoing task list. Whether you make it a weekly or monthly list that you have on hand, you can refer back to it while you’re planning your day. That way, you always know what tasks are coming up.

Not only that but having that list will help you prioritize what’s most essential and what can wait for another day. Prioritizing is an excellent organizational trick that will keep you on track of everything you need to do.

Give Yourself More Time Than You Think

A trick you’ll quickly start to realize is that tasks often take longer than you expect. Distractions occur at any given moment that can throw you off schedule. If you give yourself some flexibility in your daily plan, you’re less likely to fall behind and get stressed and more likely to achieve everything on your list.

Reflect on Your Day and Carry Over Tasks

You’ll have days when you don’t accomplish everything in your plan, and that’s okay. Try not to stress over what you couldn’t get done. Instead, reflect on your day and carry over any tasks to the next day.

Taking a moment to reflect on your day can help you in a few ways. First, you can see if you overscheduled yourself or if you had too many distractions that took away your attention. Reflecting can also boost your confidence when you see everything you did achieve in the day.

Incorporate daily planning into your morning or nighttime routine. It will help you stay organized, prioritize what is most important right now, and will likely help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed with what to do.

Ready to Boost Security? 5 Cybersecurity Tips to Keep Your Business Safe

Cybersecurity is crucial for all businesses, and small companies are no exception. In fact, a 2018 report (The 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Size Businesses) found that almost 70 percent of businesses in the study had fallen victim to a cyber attack. Unfortunately, nearly half of the respondents didn’t know how to protect their organization against threats.

Don’t let your business be another statistic of cybersecurity threats against a small business. Take action today to protect yourself tomorrow. Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions has five cybersecurity tips to keep your business safe.

Always Create Backups

Backups are your best friend if you save a lot of important information on a computer. Not doing so leaves all of that critical data vulnerable. If you have all your personal belongings stored in one garage that has minimal protection and it catches fire, you’ll lose everything.

Get in the habit of doing daily backups of your main devices. Most computers, tablets and even phones connected to cloud service or external hard drive allow you to set a backup schedule, so you don’t have to remember each day.

Use Strong Passwords

A password is your first line of defense for your device and any accounts you have access to. Slacking on creating a password puts everything at risk. A strong password is something not easily guessed and includes numbers and special characters.

For devices and accounts that hold critical information (think of customer info that could expose banking information), you may want to add extra authentication steps. Multi-factor authentication is when you need to input a number code sent to you via email, text or having to scan a thumbprint or your face to gain access.

Train Your Employees

If you’re a small business with a few employees, then cybersecurity is vital to everyone, not just you as the owner. That is why you should spend time investing in training for everyone related to your business.

Ensure that all your staff know how to create strong passwords for all devices, red flags of phishing scams or websites that look suspicious, and even how to protect their devices when they take them home for the day.

Keep All Devices Updated

Regular updates are a crucial step to security. Ever wonder what happens when your device does it’s the tenth update of the month? The chances are that quick update contains valuable coding that is filling gaps in its security.

Hackers and threats are continually evolving, so that means your device’s security abilities also need to evolve. Each time your device updates, it’s likely providing a solution to a potential security exposure due to the latest threat evolution.

Download Security Software

You’re not alone when it comes to cybersecurity. Many companies provide top-notch cybersecurity software for individual and personal use. If you’re new to security or not overly interested in it, downloading one of these programs is necessary.

Browse through the available security programs to find one that best suits your needs. Look for ones that include firewall protection and password management. They’ll all come in handy.

Small businesses don’t need to take drastic steps to protect their company from cyber threats. Even small actions, like updating your device and regularly changing your passwords, can provide valuable protection to all of your important data.

6 Tips For Setting and Maintaining Your New Year’s Resolution

Do you set New Year’s resolutions? Chances are you have at some point, only to break it shortly after. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. A 2018 survey found that only four percent of those who made New Year’s resolutions actually kept them. If you’re not one for making a resolution, you’re amongst 54 percent who didn’t that year either.

Why are only a handful of people actually achieving their resolution? It often starts at the beginning – people set unrealistic resolutions that are nearly impossible to achieve.

Whether you’re making resolutions for yourself or your business, CBS-CBS.com has six tips to help you set and maintain your New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t Go Overboard With the Number

First, make only a few resolutions, or even simply one. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and ultimately abandon your resolutions when you have too many. You’re more likely to stick to your list of goals when you have only a few at a time. Remember, you can’t change everything all at once.

Set Realistic Resolutions

One of the top reasons someone will likely fall short of their resolution is that they set something unrealistic. If you set yourself an unattainable goal, how do you expect ever to achieve it? For example, if you love sweets but want to cut back, saying you won’t touch sweets for the whole year will be extremely challenging.

Setting something realistic for you provides you with a better chance to succeed right from the start. So, that sweets resolution? Instead of saying you’ll never eat them again, set a resolution that you’ll start to cut back.

Have a Plan

New Year’s resolutions are goals with a different name. What’s the best way to achieve your goal? By creating a plan to get you there.

Continuing with our sweets goal, create a more specific plan for cutting back. You could start by saying you want to reduce how much money you spend in January on candy. That can give you a better idea of how you move forward in February. The point is, create a roadmap for your success.

Set a Meaningful Resolution

A resolution that has value to you is something you’re more likely to stick with. A common goal is to become healthier in the new year. If that isn’t a top priority for you at this moment, you likely won’t make it a priority moving forward.

There isn’t a right or wrong resolution to make, as long as it has meaning for you.

Track Your Progress

It may seem like extra work, but tracking your progress is another excellent tactic to stay on task with your resolution. When you see progress, you create momentum and motivation for yourself to continue with your plan.

Be Okay With Setbacks

Resolutions aren’t an all in or fail idea. You will likely have setbacks with your journey, and you may even abandon your resolution entirely, and that’s okay. Don’t get too hard on yourself if you don’t see much progress, or if you find a few months in that the resolution just isn’t working for you.

 

New Year’s resolutions can be a fun way to create new habits in your life. However, they can also cause a lot of stress too. Avoid them turning stressful by using the tips above to set and maintain a positive resolution.

5 Goals Every Entrepreneur Should Strive For

Goals are an excellent tactic to keep you on track. They help you achieve something bigger you’ve been working on for a while. Everyone can benefit from goals, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.

Sometimes, though, it can be challenging to determine what kind of goal to make. Maybe right now, your goal is to create a good plan for the future. Try not to stress over this part. Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have five goals that every entrepreneur should strive for.

Personal Development Goals

Entrepreneurial goals shouldn’t be limited to strictly about your business. You need to have some personal development plans mixed in as well. As you progress forward personally, you’ll learn new tricks and methods to help you improve all aspects of your life.

Some reasonable personal development goals to consider include starting a journal, read a new book (self-help, business learning, finances), take a new course, or learning to manage your work and life balance. These goals are there to make life a bit easier for you.

Relationship Goals

As an entrepreneur, you likely have many relationships on the go, and we’re talking more than your significant other relationship. Maintaining healthy relationships is crucial for everyone, and an entrepreneur is no exception.

Set goals that help develop your current relationships and branch out to create new ones. It could be something as simple as phoning a friend once a week, to something bigger like attending a conference in person. Networking is a significant portion of operating a business.

Health Goals

It’s essential that entrepreneurs take care of their health, both physical and mental. If you’re running on fumes each day, it’s only a matter of time before you burn out. Setting health goals allows you to focus on essential things that improve your overall well-being. When you’re in top health, you perform at your best.

There are many health goals you can set. A few examples would be eating more fruits and vegetables each day, getting in a short walk in the morning, meditating to help ease stress, or going for regular checkup appointments.

Business Goals

Of course, every entrepreneur needs to set themselves business goals (if you haven’t done so already). Business goals are what help drive your company forward towards success. You have many options available for setting business goals. Just ensure you’re selecting realistic ones for your company.

Need a few ideas? Your business goal could include rebranding your company, setting up a social media plan, developing partnerships with other local businesses, or launching a new product or service.

Financial Goals

Lastly, it’s a good idea to set financial goals. It could be either personal or business-related or maybe both. Financial goals are an excellent way to stay on top of your money to ensure you bring in more than you spend.

Keep financial goals small, measurable and attainable. If you’re a newer company, setting a financial goal like earning a million dollars in revenue may not be realistic. However, changing the timeline to five years with small milestones each year could keep you on the path to earning a million dollars.

Ready to set goals? Use the above five goal categories to get you started. Each category serves a purpose in your life that deserves some attention.

Setting Up for Success: 5 Tips to Prepare Your Business for the New Year

Welcome to December – where every business owner has experienced the overwhelming feeling that comes from year-end. There is the extra pressure to finish any lingering tasks before the year wraps up. Because of everything racing through your mind to finish in the remaining weeks of the year, many entrepreneurs miss an excellent opportunity to prepare their business for the upcoming year.

During your year-end wrap-up, you can do a few things to help prepare your business for a prosperous new year. Add the following five tips to your year-end to-do list from Corporate Business Solutions to help you prep for success.

Analyze the Past 12 Months

The best way to prepare for the upcoming year is to analyze what happened in the last 12 months. All of the data you collect from January through December provides valuable information on where your business is at and where it’s heading.

If you’re a goal setter, drag out the goals you set last January. Did you achieve them? What step did you take to reach your goal? Don’t just focus on the goals you achieved and forget about the rest. For any goals you set that you and your business didn’t hit, what happened?

Perform a KPI Analysis

Have you ever done a KPI (key performance indicator) before? If not, now is a good time to do one. KPIs help you measure your company’s success. You may want to focus on your business’s finances or choose to analyze other aspects like customer and employee retention.

Set Goals for the New Year

You want to start with data analysis first so you can set realistic goals for your business. Before the new year, write out a list of short-term and long-term goals. They could be anything from increasing your revenue by a certain percentage by quarter two or that you’ll implement a new routine for employees to help with efficiency.

When making goals, make SMART ones – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Many people end up setting themselves up for failure right at the start, which is discouraging. By following the SMART goal method, you can set a goal you’ll achieve.

Clean Up Your Mailbox

How often do you open your business email to have a mini freak out because your inbox is almost full? Don’t bring that unnecessary stress into the new year. Block off a few hours to go through and organize your email. You’ll be thankful you did when you start work again in the new year with a clean inbox.

Have a Year-End Meeting With Employees

What better way to get a pulse on how your business operates than to ask those who help keep the doors open? Schedule a year-end meeting with all of your employees. Ask them questions like how they felt the past year went, what didn’t work, any ideas they have for the new year, and what could you do differently as a boss? Just make sure to give them advance notice so they can all come prepared.

Simple tasks that have the most significant impact are the way to go when wrapping up the year. Start the new year off with a bang by preparing ahead of time.

Find Your Competitive Edge: 6 Tips to Stand Out In Your Field

As a small business owner, you soon realize how important it is to stand out against your competition. If you don’t, what’s stopping clients and customers from brushing past you and going to someone else?

Having competition is part of the business world. There are many benefits to having friendly competition in your field. It pushes you to achieve greater goals and helps you move your business in the direction of success. However, focusing solely on the competition can become overwhelming and quite stressful.

Don’t let your business fall behind and ultimately live in the shadows of your competitors. With the following six tips from CBS-CBS.com, you can find your competitive edge and get your business at the forefront.

Price Adjustments

One of the main reasons a customer will go to one place over another is due to the price of goods and services. Adjusting your price is one way to gain a little edge over your competition, as a lower price is more appealing.

There’s a fine line when it comes to pricing, however. Going too low, and ends up destroying the quality of what you’re offering. If your goods are significantly cheaper than other places, it begs whether what you offer is truly worth the price.

Exceptional Customer Service

Many individuals will stay dedicated to a company regardless of the price difference because of its customer service. How you handle customer complaints and issues can shoot your business to the top. So, spend time focusing on how you can improve your customer service experience to make it better than your competition.

Quality Matters

The quality of what you offer is another significant way to give you a competitive edge. We live in a world where quality means something. Usually, customers are willing to spend the extra few dollars if they know it’s worth the quality.

Your Environmental Impact

Going green has never been more popular than it is now. If you show your clients that you’re economically conscious about how you conduct business, it will mean something to them.

Sustainability is more expected from companies today. However, that doesn’t mean every business follows suit. If you’re one of the few companies in your field focusing on being environmentally friendly, you’ll have the edge over your competition.

Creative and Original

Your business is there to solve a problem or provide a valuable service to your customers. For your company to stand out, you need to show your customers why you’re the best choice and how you differ from the rest.

Get creative with how you run your business. Originality is important, so you don’t look like you’re simply copying what everyone else is doing.

Have a Message and a Purpose

Why did you start your business? When you have a story and a message behind what you do, it creates a powerful connection with your customers. That is an easy way to build up trust and keep customers dedicated to you. Just make sure it’s an authentic message.

The above six tips are simple ways to help you gain a competitive edge. Notice how these points tend to revolve around the quality of your business. Show the value of what you have to offer and enjoy the increase in customers strolling in.

Can Your Business Handle a Crisis? 4 Tips to Manage Difficult Times

Prior to 2020, your business may have been immune to challenges. It could be that you’re a young company just starting to grow or you’ve been lucky so far. Fast forward to today, Covid-19 hit the majority of businesses around the globe with hardships like nonother.

From rolling shutdowns to closing doors and letting employees go, businesses of every size have battled tough terrain to keep persevering through one of the most challenging years to date. Luckily for you, it’s never too late to plan for a crisis.

Using 2020 as a learning experience, your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have four tips to help your business manage difficult times.

Don’t Turn Away Help

During a crisis, now is not the time to be a hero and tackle everything on your own. Although it’s difficult to swallow your pride and admit when you need help, it’s important you take advantage of the help when provided.

The goal is for your business to not only stay afloat during a crisis, but you want it to thrive as well. Help could come in the forms of government subsidies and grants, asking your social media following to share your business profile, or having your staff take on a few additional tasks for the time being.

Remember Your Entire Business Is Affected

As the owner, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one affected by a crisis with your business. You wear most of the hats for running the company, so you feel the biggest impact. However, it’s important to remember that your business runs thanks to your staff and team, not just you.

Be prepared to offer support to your team. The more you can keep the company morale high, the more your staff will be prepared to stick it out with you during a crisis.

Use the Time to Brainstorm New Strategies

For many businesses, 2020 was a time to reinvent their business model. Take the fitness industry as a perfect example. As gyms and fitness studios worldwide shut down, they were forced to make adjustments to their business model to keep operating. Many personal trainers and group instructors turned to online classes.

Use a crisis as a way to reflect on what works and what you could implement that allows your business to persevere through difficult times. Grab your team and have an afternoon of brainstorming new strategies. You may find that what you come up with will grow your business even when the challenging times pass.

Stay Positive

As the owner, it’s essential that you remain as positive as you possibly can. If your staff and customers see how stressed you are or that you’re losing faith in your company, it’s only a matter of time before those feelings pass to them too.

Although there’s isn’t anything wrong with showing all sides of your business, even during challenging times. You must keep a strong face with a positive attitude and show your clients that you are determined to keep moving forward with the changes.

Trying to manage through challenging times isn’t easy as a business owner. However, if you take the task head-on and stay focused on a goal, you’ll be able to maneuver through any crisis thrown at you and even thrive more than ever.

Virtual Meetings: 5 Tips to Keep Your Zoom Meeting Productive

If you asked the business world that one day we would spend more time working remotely and conducting virtual meetings more than anything in-person, many would likely shrug that off. Except, here we are today, and that is precisely the case.

We’ve talked before about how 2020 changed the business world (and the world as a whole, really). The Covid-19 pandemic forced many companies to shift virtually for the majority of their duties. To keep their team connected, Zoom meetings grew exponentially in popularity. As many found out, however, there are more challenges to maintaining a virtual meeting productive.

At Corporate Business Solutions, we know it’s essential to keep your team connected when working remotely. We have five tips to help you keep your Zoom meetings productive.

Invite Those Necessary

Have you ever attended a meeting where you left thinking that was a waste of time? Well, you likely didn’t need to be there. Keep that in mind, when inviting members to a virtual meeting. The more attendees you have, the more challenging it becomes to keep everyone engaged, and the meeting productive. So, invite-only the essentials that will benefit and contribute to the meeting.

Lay Out Ground Rules Before the Meeting

Before you even begin, lay out ground rules for the meeting. Having ground rules can help prevent the meeting from going off-topic, attendees talking over one another, and frustration for you as the leader.

Some ground rules to consider include muting those who aren’t talking, use the “hand up” feature when someone wants to speak, ensure all attendees keep their video on so you know they are paying attention, and that everyone will have an opportunity to speak when called upon. These rules help keep the meeting running smoothly.

Send the Meeting Agenda Beforehand

Those who attend a meeting want to know that it is worth their valuable time, helping keep their focus. One way of doing that is to send an agenda before the meeting begins. Not only does it ensure the attendee that it’s essential for them to attend, but it will also help everyone stay on task.

Keep the Morning Short

Long, drawn-out meetings typically aren’t the most productive. They drag on and lose the attention of the attendees. Some research suggests that the human brain becomes bored in only 10 minutes. Now, that may be a bit too short to run your meeting. However, you can use that timeframe to move onto different topics.

Keep in mind, when you’re conducting virtual meetings, attendees are usually at home. That means there are more distractions compared to being in the office. So, that 10 minutes could become shorter. Keep your meetings short and your topics concise.

Follow Up With Attendees

The best way to know how the meeting went is to hear from those who were at it. Follow-ups are an excellent step to take in the meeting process. It gives you a chance to get feedback to help improve the next meeting, and it allows you to further any discussions that got cut short during the session.

Ready to increase productivity and engagement at your next Zoom meeting? Use the five tips above to boost your meetings.

Like your reflection.

4 Tips to Help You Run a Successful YouTube Channel

YouTube – the second largest search engine available (second to Google). It’s a powerful tool that many small businesses forget or think the platform isn’t for them. However, we’re here to tell you that you should utilize YouTube to reach your audience.

We’ve said it before about the benefits of starting a YouTube channel. Today, we’re here to help you be successful. It’s a tricky platform to gain traction on. With dedication and planning, though, you’ll be able to utilize YouTube to promote and grow your company.

Try the following four tips from CBS-CBS.com and running a successful YouTube channel.

Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar is what it sounds like – a calendar you create that keeps track of all your content. YouTube likely isn’t the online social media platform you’re using (nor should it be). With so many avenues to take, it can get confusing and overwhelming.

Create a content calendar that maps out what you will post on social media and videos you plan to upload throughout the month. Have a separate section that breaks down your YouTube videos so you can plan them out ahead of time.

Consistently Upload

One of the worst things you can do for your YouTube channel is to upload periodically. If you want it to be successful, you need to have a consistent upload schedule.

A good idea is to start with weekly videos, if possible. Don’t set an unrealistic schedule for uploading multiple videos each week. Start at a reasonable level and work your way up if you want to.

Add Call to Actions in Your Video

Call to actions (CTAs) are a powerful statement that tells the viewer what you want them to do. You likely add them to your video description, but have you thought about adding them to your video?

Many YouTubers begin and end their videos with an introduction and a CTA to subscribe to their channel. Throughout the video, you can add CTAs to go to your website or social media accounts. YouTube has the option to add cards that allows the viewer to click and direct them to where you want.

Spend Time on the Title and Description

When searching on YouTube, the first thing you see is the video’s title, a few lines with a brief description, and its cover graphic. These are essential elements of uploading a video and are not ones you should quickly whip up.

Your title should include keywords related to your video. Remember, YouTube is a search engine. That means people are searching for specific words like they would on Google. To get your video recognized, include those keywords in the title and description of every video.

The cover graphic of your video should somewhat resemble what it will be about. It doesn’t have to be anything flashy, and sometimes less is more. However, it does need to grab the viewer’s attention and entice them to click on your video.

Have fun as you create and upload videos. YouTube has the potential for your business to reach a wider audience across the world, and eventually increase your revenue.

Don't blend in.

An Environment for Productivity: 7 Tips for Decorating Your Home Office

Whether you started remote working in 2020 due to the global pandemic, have always worked from home, or looking to have an office space to relax in, how you decorate your home office can have a dramatic impact on your productivity levels.

Your environment plays a role in how you feel and focus. Too much clutter and things going on around you can cause distractions and lead to increased stress. Even the color choice on the walls plays can impact how productive you are.

Design the perfect home office that supports a productive and focused atmosphere. Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have seven tips to help you out.

Give Yourself Enough Space

Chances are, you’ll spend quite a bit of time in your home office. So, give yourself enough space to work comfortably. Don’t toss a desk in a closet-like room to preserve space in the house, especially if there’s a perfectly fine guest room that rarely gets used.

Let in Natural Light

Again, think about how much time you’ll spend in your office. Imagine how you’ll at the end of the day if you’re in a packed room with no natural light. Eventually, that will take its toll. Having natural light not only brightens up the room for work, but research has shown that it helps create a productive atmosphere.

Set Up Your Office in a Realistic Way

Although a setup may look aesthetically appealing, is it actually practical for when you’re working? If you have to get up frequently to grab something across the room or have a desk with no storage, is it serving its purpose? Set up an office that works for you.

Spend the Money on a High-Quality Chair

Your office needs to be as comfortable as possible, and one of the most critical aspects around that is your desk chair. Maybe you’re tempted to buy something cheap because it’s just a chair. However, you’ll quickly realize that’s a big mistake.

Since you spend hours sitting at your desk, having an ergonomic chair helps support your body and keep you from getting too sore.

Think About Your Wall Colors

Another design element that doesn’t seem like a big deal is the wall colors. Before you slap on a coat of expensive paint, think about how the color could affect your mood. Certain colors help promote a happy, energetic, and productive feeling, while others can promote sleepiness.

Decorate with Minimalistic in Mind

When decorating your office, less is often more. Having many items all over may seem cute at first, but too many of them can end up feeling cluttered. If t you’re sacrificing desk space for picture frames and other knickknacks, it’s time to eliminate a few of them. Remember, your home office is a space for work, not storage.

Keep It Clean

The most important tip to take away when designing your home office is to keep it clean. Many of our recommendations focus on the atmosphere and feeling of the room. That is because if you decorate in a way that makes you uncomfortable, why would you want to spend time in the room?

Use these seven tips to help you design and decorate the perfect home office for you.