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Looking for a Product Manager? Hire Someone With These 4 Traits

The product manager is an essential role in a business. He or she does more than simply manage products. There is also coordinating with sales and procurement, working alongside the marketing team, and taking on a leadership role beside the owner of the company.

Because of how important this role is to an organization, it is not something you want to give to just anyone. You need to be able to trust this person not only to get the job done, but to get the job done correctly and efficiently.

If you’re looking to hire a product manager, Corporate Business Solutions consultants have four traits you should look for.

Trustworthy

As mentioned, your product manager needs to be something that you can trust completely. If you have any doubt in their abilities at all, it will not only harm the relationship between the two of you, but it will be hard for anyone to get any work done.

You need to trust your product manager, but he or she also needs to trust the team. The product manager won’t have time to micromanage the team, and nor should he or she be. There should be trust between the product manager and the team so that everyone can efficiently do their job.

Communication

Another important trait to look for is communication. Your product manager talks to everyone within the company and knows basically everything happening with the business. If he or she cannot communicate tasks and information to the correct person, there will be a disconnect that can negatively affect the company.

A good product manager should have his or her own method of reliable communication. Whether it be through meetings, emails, texts, or simply checking in now and then with the team, the product manager should always be in constant communication.

Proactive, Not Reactive

There is a major difference between being proactive and being reactive. Your product manager should be proactive for the most part, but know how to react to a situation properly.

When looking for a product manager, see how he or she would react to a situation, and what he or she would do to prevent that from happening in the first place. By being proactive, he or she can see the bigger picture and know what to do and whom to speak with to ensure the company runs smoothly.

A Bit of Skepticism

Although being optimistic is still a good trait to have, your product manager should be a little skeptic. It’s not that he or she expects something to go wrong, or only looks at the negative side of things. Instead, the product manager takes previous mistakes as a learning curve and will ask the hard questions about assumptions, budgets, timelines, and the why.

A skeptical product manager likely has more than one answer to every question, because he or she is not satisfied with only one response. They go into great detail about questions, and will even challenge answers sent from managers above him or her.

A product manager plays a vital role in any business. Ensure you have one that you can trust and rely on to keep the company running smoothly.

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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.

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Want a Pay Raise? 5 Tips to Help You Ask

Do you believe you deserve more money to compensate for the work that you do? If that’s the case, you’ve likely stressed about the idea of asking your boss for more money, especially if there isn’t any being handed out.

Asking for a pay raise is not an easy conversation to have. How do you ask for more money and what would happen if your boss says no? You don’t want to have that uncomfortable conversation.

If you deserve to have a bigger paycheque for the work you do, then you want to take charge of the situation. A manager is more likely to respect the fact that you took the time and courage to come and talk with him or her, rather than sitting back and doing nothing.

To help you get past the nerves and ask your boss for a raise, CBS-CBS.com has a few tips to help you out.

Know Your Worth

If you’re going into a meeting to talk about money and your value to the company, you should know what you’re worth. If you cannot back up your request for more money, it will be hard for your manager to agree with you. Do the research beforehand to prepare yourself so that you can confidently say what you’re worth to the company.

Have a Number in Mind

Don’t leave it up to your manager to tell you how much your pay should increase. That should come from you. After your research, you should have a number in mind as to what you want to make hourly or yearly. Be fair to yourself and the organization though.

Practice Negotiating

There is a good chance you’ll have to do a bit of negotiating with your boss. If he or she doesn’t want to give you your exact number, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not worth that to the company. It could be that the company can only afford so much. However, don’t let that stop you from negotiating a fair price. So, practice ahead of time with someone who can ask the tough questions.

Express How You Feel Working There

Want to help your case out more? Explain to your boss while you genuinely enjoy the company and are happy to come to work every day. By letting your boss know that you’re satisfied with your job, it can reassure them that you’re a valuable employee that is loyal to the company.

State Your Case Confidently

Be confident when approaching the topic of money. If you’ve done your research beforehand, you should have a valid reason as to why you deserve a pay raise.

Explain to your boss the situation clearly. It could be that your workload increased as the company continues to grow. Maybe you’re struggling financially at home and the extra dollar an hour will help you pay your bills on time.

Although you should be honest with your boss, don’t guilt him or her into giving you a raise. That could make the situation worse in the end.

Asking for a pay raise is not an easy conversation to have. However, if you can gather the information, be confident in your decision, and thoroughly explain why you deserve the increase, you have a better chance of being successful.

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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.

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5 Steps to Help Handle an Angry Employee

No workplace is perfect, no matter how hard you may try to make it. There will come a time when an employee will get upset at work, and you as the manager, must handle the situation. Whether it be from a bad day at home or a conflict at work, anger can overcome even the best of people.

When an employee becomes angry, even if it’s at you, the first step is not to take it personally and emotional yourself. One party needs to be level headed to calm the situation down. Then, you can take control and work to rectify everything.

If you have had, or currently have an upset employee on your hands, use the following five steps from Corporate Business Solutions to help resolve the situation.

Acknowledge Their Feedback

One quick way to lose control of the situation, and in turn, have an even more upset employee is not to acknowledge why they’re upset. If management brushes off an employees concern and feelings, it can make them feel like they do not matter to the company, and provide no value either.

The first step is to acknowledge the employee’s feedback and concerns, no matter how upset they may be. Let them know that you hear them, appreciate the energy, time, and courage it takes to speak to their superior about these issues. Show that you value not just their opinion, but them as an employee and as a person.

Be Empathetic

When letting an employee air out frustration, it can feel like they’re attacking you. However, if you quickly go on the defensive, you can easily lose control of the situation, and it will likely blow up even more.

Instead, be empathetic towards the employee. For starters, you may not know what’s happening in the rest of their life to make them feel this way. You, as the employer, may actually be in the wrong. Alternatively, they may just want to be ensured that their voices are heard.

Get All the Information

Before you can start making suggestions on what to do, you need all of the information. Have the employee go through, in detail, the events and what caused them to feel so upset. You need to know if you’re the problem, another employee, something to do with their job title, or maybe it’s something at home affecting their work.

Do Something

It’s one thing to listen and acknowledge the feedback of a frustrated employee. However, it’s something entirely different when management acts on it. Once you have all the information, it’s time to do something about the problem.

Discuss with the employee what you can do to help rectify the situation and prevent it from happening again. Offer a sincere apology, especially if you are the problem. Even if the issue has nothing to do with you, a simple “I’m sorry this is happening to you,” or “I’m sorry you got put into this situation,” can make a difference.

Check-In

To go one step further in rectifying the problem, check in with the employee down the road. See how your solution to the issue helped (or didn’t), and what everyone’s learned from this. The check-in is a crucial step that shouldn’t get missed.

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3 Resolutions for a Healthier Relationship With Technology

It’s no secret that our world loves technology. The advancements over the last few decades have improved our lives both personally and business-wise in more ways than we can imagine. It’s never been easier to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues. You can send and receive information in an instant, check in with your dog at home while you’re sitting in your office, you can do almost anything with technology.

All of these benefits are great, except for one thing – we’ve relied on technology so much that it disconnects us from what’s in front of us. Do you find yourself spending more time in front of a computer screen or your smartphone than you do face-to-face with a human being? If so, you’re not alone.

A Nielsen Total Audience Report in 2018 found that American adults spend roughly 11 hours a day in front of a screen. That’s basically half of your day right there.

Although we need technology in our lives, there are times when we also need a break. The Corporate Business Solutions Consultants have three resolutions you should make this year to maintain a healthier relationship with technology.

Turn Off Notifications

How often do you hear your phone ding and struggle to resist the urge of dropping what you’re doing to look? When that notification goes off, we want to see what’s going on. Maybe it’s important, but it’s likely one of your games notifying you that you’re ready for the next level.

Turn off as many notifications on your phone as possible. If you need your phone for work and can’t afford to turn off the dings for emails and text messages, that’s okay. However, if you have every app sending you a message constantly, it’s time to go through them and see what can go.

Turn Off Your Phone

Throughout the day, especially when you’re at work and busy, turn off your phone entirely. Even if you have most of your notifications turned off, there’s still that temptation of wanting to check it periodically. Instead, you should stay focused on the task at hand, and reward yourself with some phone time after you’ve completed your ‘to do’ list.

Consider doing this when you’re at home too. It’s easy to get distracted by your phone while you should be spending some quality time with your family. Multitasking with a phone doesn’t usually work. Turn it off at certain points and give you full attention to who’s in front of you.

Have No-Phone Areas

Even after turning off notifications and turning your phone off periodically you still find yourself attached to your electronic device, designate no-phone areas. You can use this for both at home and work.

In the workplace, make the board room, meeting areas, and other areas that are specifically meant for work a no-phone zone. At home, you could say no phones in the dining room and the bedroom. Think of where people get the most distracted by their phones, and that is a good starting point. The purpose isn’t to ban phones altogether. Instead, it should help eliminate a distraction and keep people focused at work and with who they are around.

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7 Tips to Help You Stay Focused at Work

Do you struggle to stay focused at work? You’re not the only one. It can be difficult to stay focused while working, especially if you have a lot on your plate. The mind can easily wander to other thoughts you’ve had throughout the day. Next thing you know, 10 minutes have passed and there’s still much work to be done.

How do you stay focused at work so that you can achieve everything you planned for the day? Here at Corporate Business Solutions, we want offices to be as efficient as they can be. That is why we came up with a list of seven tips to help you stay focused throughout your workday.

Set Daily Goals

Having a physical to-do list or a sheet with goals for you to achieve will help keep you focused and determined. It’s easy to say that today is a new day and that you’ll be super efficient. However, without something to help keep you in check, you’ll soon start to notice your mind wandering again.

Put Away Distractions

We’re all guilty of it – leaving our phone on our desks or Facebook running in the background and then checking it from time to time. The thing is that when you are still connected to the outside world, those distractions will always be in the back of your mind. By getting rid of them, there’s no temptation to check in our social media accounts.

Work in Blocks

Trying to work for hours on end isn’t the answer to being focused and efficient. Your mind needs time to relax and reset. Otherwise, the tension continues to rise and it will become harder and harder to focus. Instead, work in blocks of roughly 60 to 90 minutes and then take a quick break to listen to music, take a walk, or close your eyes and take deep breathes.

Find a Reason in Everything You Do

If you cannot find a purpose or reason for doing something, it will be hard to stay motivated and focused at your task. When beginning a new task, ask yourself why you are doing this. That answer will help give you the push to stay focused to finish your job.

Get Comfortable

One distraction that is difficult to fight is discomfort. When you’re uncomfortable at work, whether it be due to the atmosphere or the chair you’re sitting at, your mind will keep wandering to that discomfort. Keep yourself comfortable at work to help release any tension and stay focused at the task at hand.

Drink More Water

We already know that water keeps us healthy. Did you also know that water can help you focus more? By drinking a glass of water throughout the day, it helps to refresh and revitalize you so that you can get back to work. So, keep a bottle of cold water at your desk as your reminder.

Stay Organized

If your desk is always disorganized, the clutter won’t help promote an atmosphere to focus well in. When there are so many things in your eyesight, it makes it difficult to keep your attention on one thing. By decluttering and staying organized, there will be fewer distractions for your mind to fight.

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The Benefits of Making Mistakes in Business

After reading the title, you may be wondering how making a mistake in the business world has many benefits. Wouldn’t you want to avoid making mistakes in the first place?

The truth is, every business is bound to make a mistake at some point or another. No matter how much planning and work you put in, there’s like a mishap that will catch you off guard.

Making mistakes is how we learn and grow. If you never take a risk, it’s hard to tell what truly will work for your business. By putting yourself and your business out there, even if it ends up backfiring, you learn more about your company and you as a leader.

With Corporate Business Solutions Consultants, we know the importance of growing a successful business, but also how a mistake can benefit that growth.

You Learn More

When you use a mistake as a learning opportunity, you can look at it as a good mistake then. However, this is only true if you genuinely use the mistake as a learning opportunity. If you ignore it and keep doing the same thing over and over, the mistake will no longer be beneficial.

When you see something gone wrong, take some time to investigate it. What happened and how did it happen? What could you do to prevent it from happening again? Was there any good that came out of it? How do you need to take your business so that this mistake doesn’t happen again?

You Can Try New Things

When mistakes are embraced, it allows people to experience new things. If you’re scared of mistakes and don’t take a risk, you will likely miss out on many opportunities that could benefit your business.

It’s not easy to be vulnerable. However, when you are, you start to experience more than what you usually would. These experiences allow you to take your business on new paths that could benefit you greatly.

Shows You’re Willing to Try

A mistake shows that you tried something new and daring, even if it ended up backfiring. For many, they see that as a positive trait. You’re willing to take risks needed to keep expanding your business.

It’s All on How You Handle It

In the end, if you or someone in your business makes a mistake and you handle it poorly, all of the positives that can come from it will be overshadowed. If you’re the leader in the office, handling a mistake calmly and professionally, all while being encouraging, that will go a long way.

The main takeaway is that it’s okay to make mistakes in the business world. It’s how you learn and how you grow. That isn’t to say you should go out and make as many mistakes as possible. However, it’s okay to put your company out there and let it be vulnerable. In the end, you learn more and can use that experience as you continue to push your company farther ahead.

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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.

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How Can You Define Success – Understanding What it Means to Be Successful

Have you ever asked yourself what the definition of success is to you? The most basic definition is when you achieve a particular objective set for yourself. Success is the opposite of failure – it’s when you accomplish something.

But to truly define success according to your life, that isn’t as simple. Success can mean something entirely different to you than someone else. It is all on how we perceive it. To be successful though, you need to have a definition of success.

Corporate Business Solutions Consultants want to encourage everyone to be successful, which is why we have a few tips to help you define success for you.

Write Out Some of Your Proudest Accomplishments

You’ve had accomplishments in your life which would be the basic definition of success. Think of those accomplishments and write them down on paper. It could be anything from starting the job that you’ve always wanted, buying your first house, or learning a skill you’ve been thinking about for years. They don’t have to be the biggest ones, but they should be the ones you are most proud of.

Once you have a few achievements written down, write out the steps you took to attain them. These steps should include characteristics about yourself as well.

If your proudest accomplishment was about your job, then you may have points like persistence, commitment, intelligence, and courage to take the next step. Think of the least obvious ones and write them down.

Doing this will help you see a common thread between all of your accomplishments. Maybe commitment and persistence were the most common characteristics that led you to feel successful. Make a note of those traits.

Look at Accomplishments That Were Less Satisfying

It’s true that you can have an accomplishment that doesn’t feel very successful or that you’re not proud of. That isn’t to say that you did something wrong or something you shouldn’t have done. Instead, it goes to show you that maybe that won’t fit into your definition of success.

An example could be that you wanted to purchase something significant for a long time, say a new outfit that’s quite expensive. You set yourself a goal that once you got your first promotion, you would buy the outfit.

You’re likely proud of yourself for hitting that promotion, but the reward of the outfit may not make you feel as impressive as the promotion itself.

Knowing that the success of attaining that goal of getting the outfit isn’t the same as the proudest accomplishments you wrote out, you can continue to form your definition of success.

Start to Form a Definition

By now, you have accomplishments that make you feel proud and pretty awesome inside, and then you have achievements that you’re just happy you achieved them.

You start to see what is truly important to you. In our example above, it was the milestone of moving up the career ladder that was more rewarding than the goal itself, buying the outfit.

Knowing this, you can define success according to what’s most important in your life, and the steps and characteristics needed to achieve your goals.