Workplace Tips for New Managers

Corporate Business Solutions is often called upon to help small to medium-size businesses access the path to success. We can help with all aspects of business, including staffing, cost control systems and accounting.

Many times we help overhaul internal functions, including staffing and promotions.  If you’ve recently been promoted to a new managerial role, we have tips that may help you be proactive in your new position:

  1. Respect longstanding employees. Workers who aren’t necessarily older but who have been in a job for nearly 10 years might not take too kindly to a new boss who makes unreasonable demands, particularly if the employees feel they were unfairly passed over for the promotion this manager received.
  2. Spearhead a group outing. By organizing a happy hour or bowling night, managers can halt tensions before they progress. Bonding experiences build trust.
  3. Establish credibility. Simply landing a job is only the first step in proving your managerial proficiency. Now you need establish yourself as a trustworthy person by keeping promises.
  4. Be confident in your team’s abilities. Every team needs guidance, but an overabundance of it can prove detrimental. Young managers should trust their employees’ abilities to successfully complete their assigned tasks.
  5. Respect diversity. Appreciating or even celebrating differences (whether they’re age, gender-related or racial) within your underling pool is a great way to foster a sense of togetherness in the workplace. It is great to indicate to direct reports that you value the strength of a multigenerational, multicultural team and their ideas.
  6. Network as much and as often as possible. Acquainting yourself with a platter of conferences, meet-and-greets, seminars, and workshops is a great way to gain visibility for both you and your organization. Also introduce yourself to key people in other departments.
  7. Be an open communicator. It’s pretty tough to lead a team behind closed doors. Sound interpersonal skills can be indispensable to managers, whether they are just beginning their careers or have been in their roles for years.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.

Tips for Business Lunch Etiquette

Corporate Business Solutions  was formed by a group of business professionals who have been involved in building some of the fastest growing analytical, management consulting and strategic tax planning companies in business today. We now offer the highest quality consulting services available in the marketplace. We work with small to medium – size businesses in a variety of industries, including contractors, small manufacturers, wholesale companies and job shops.

We know that many business owners find it necessary to hold business meetings over lunch.  If you have a business lunch coming up, we have simple tips that may help you achieve success:

  1. Don’t make the attendees drive across town to meet you.  Be sure to keep it close to their office.
  2. Confirm the lunch a day or two in advance to be sure there was no miscommunication regarding time, date or location.
  3. Don’t dig into business immediately. Waiting until after you’ve ordered lunch will prevent you from getting interrupted in mid-thought. Until then, make small talk.
  4. Before ordering, consider how you will look eating it.  During a business meal, it may be smart to avoid foods that are complicated to eat, like pasta with sauce, anything barbeque, oversized sandwiches or lobster in the shell.
  5. When possible, put your cell phone away.  Place it on silent so sounds and / or vibrations are not affecting the lunch hour.
  6. Avoid gesturing with your utensils. You may very well be involved in an animated discussion — that’s certainly not a bad thing. But don’t get carried away and start waving a fork or knife in the air.
  7. Paying with credit cards looks more professional than paying with cash.  You also have a record of your business expense both for your business expense accounting and for the IRS.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Technology Management in Small Business

Corporate Business Solutions is a leading business consulting firm that works with businesses which have a minimum of 10 employees and $1 million in revenue. Ultimately, we help access the information needed for a business to reach their goals.

There is a reason the U.S. Small Business Administration is suggesting it’s time for small businesses to get connected. Information technology is an essential partner in management of your business, regardless of the industry you operate in.   As a business owner, you can manage your business with greater accuracy and efficiency with the assistance of information technology and computer applications.

  • Storage: You may already use a computer for data storage for your business. Inventory, sales, receivables and payables stored in Excel, Open Office or a similar program keeps these figures at your fingertips. Accounting software stores your payroll information, tax records and specialized data for your business. Once you’re acquainted with a program, you won’t know how you functioned without it. You can eliminate much of the physical storage at the office by using information technology to scan and store old personnel and payroll files, tax files or client files.
  • Marketing: Large and small businesses are on a level playing field on the Internet. You can have a Web presence, take orders, buy merchandise, sell excess or even operate some businesses entirely online. A marketing tool that uses information technology is the Quick Response or QR Code that looks like a bar code but is square. A scan advertises your website address and includes any text you choose. You can use your business management skills to direct employees or contractors to do your Internet marketing, or you can choose to learn a new set of skills in information technology.
  • Information: Whether you learned business management by the book or by practical experience, you’ll need updates all of your life. The Internet is a wealth of information to keep you current with trends, techniques, software and human resources. You can draw on online databases and websites to locate potential employees, compare insurance proposals, tackle employee issues or check out the competition. Managing your business with information gleaned from the Internet keeps you knowledgeable and on the cutting edge.
  • Communication: Communication by email is faster and costs less than sending a paper letter in the mail. You can transform your business to the 21st century with the use of email for communication with clients or customers. Information technology allows you to organize email file folders by client or by type of communication, such as orders or billing. You can drag and drop your email files to closed folders as your company completes projects. Your communication files become closed files, placed in storage on CD or on a hard drive with a duplicate copy or backup automated by a program or service.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

External and Internal Environmental Factors in Small Business

Corporate Business Solutions  has the proven-expertise to put your business on the path to success. We often help small to medium –size businesses determine their external and internal environmental factors that are affecting business. The internal business environment includes factors within the organization that impact the approach and success of your operations. The external environment consists of a variety of factors outside your company doors that you typically don’t have much control over.

To be successful, business owners must manage the strengths of internal operations and recognize potential opportunities and threats outside of operations.

  • Organizational Direction: The role of company leadership is an important internal business factor. Your leadership style and the styles of other company management impact organizational culture. The positive or negative nature, level of family-friendliness, effectiveness of communication and value of employees are cultural implications that result from leadership approaches. Companies often provide formal structure or direction with mission and vision statements. These are forward-looking statements that provide the business for company decisions and activities.
  • Other Internal Factors: The strength of your employees is another crucial internal business factor. Motivated, hard-working and talented workers generally produce better results than unmotivated, less-talented employees. Your business processes and relationships within and between departments and employees also significantly impact business effectiveness and efficiency. In a high-performing workplace, employees not only have talent, but they work well together and collaborate on ideas and resolutions.
  • External Competition: One of the most critical external business factors is competition. Whether you operate in a concentrated industry with a few major competitors or a large industry with many competitors, you need to know the competition. Many companies do competitive analysis to compare their offerings and prices to those of competitors. When developing business philosophies and products, it is helpful to use your strength in quality production, customer service or operational efficiency to build competitive advantages that benefit your customers.
  • Other External Factors: Other common external factors fall into several categories, including socio-economic, legal or ethical, political and technological. Socio-economic factors relate to the values, attitudes and concerns of your target customers and their economic abilities to afford your products. The legal, ethical and political environments generally relate to your need to abide by business laws and to meet the ethical or social responsibility standards of your customers and communities. In some industries, technological evolution drives the need for companies to adapt and constantly research for improvements.

To learn more about what we can do for you and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the experienced business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Tips for Lead Generation

Corporate Business Solutions  helps business leaders create and implement new systems necessary for effective management, including accounting systems, productivity protocols, organization methods and information systems. We’ve also worked with small and medium- size businesses that have had to overhaul their lead generation system to better reflect modern times. Many companies, including construction, HVAC and masonry, count on lead generations to function in business. So this area can be especially critical for business longevity and growth.

You have probably noticed that the phone will not ring on its own. To be successful generating leads you need to be pro-active and put yourself out there. If you’re a business owner that needs to create more leads, we have general tips that may help you:

  • Call all former customers every 6 months.
  • Send an email newsletter to your entire customer base as well as personal contacts that haven’t yet used your services.
  • Send out a postcard or letter to the neighbors of any project you are working on.
  • Offer a referral program for anyone who sends you a customer.
  • Place signage on job sites that includes your business name, website and telephone number.
  • Create social media pages and actively use the sites.
  • Take progress pictures of your jobs and post on social media several times a week.
  • Join a networking group or a chamber of commerce. Typically these groups will link to your website and refer your services.
  • Ask your customers to write reviews about you online.
  • Ask for testimonials and be sure to have a testimonial page on your website.
  • Ask your customers and friends to like you on Facebook and subscribe to your blog.

To learn more about what we can do for you and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the experienced business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Reasons to Hire a Business Consulting Firm

Corporate Business Solutions  was formed by a group of business professionals who have been involved in building some of the fastest growing analytical, management consulting and strategic tax planning companies in business today. We have now committed ourselves to a standard of quality in the delivery of consulting services never before seen in this marketplace.

There are many reasons why small to medium – size business owners opt to hire a consulting firm.  If you’re considering partnering with us, here are details that may help with your decision:

  • Save time and money – A small business consultant can help you to develop strategies for making improvements on all fronts, including the areas where you may be lacking some expertise. In addition, if your venture is on the fast track for growth, a skilled consultant can provide insight that can enable you to seize new opportunities while avoiding common pitfalls that could derail your success.
  • Utilize expertise at the right time – Even if you would prefer to tackle all business matters personally, engaging an outside expert when especially complex or sensitive issues arise can be an extra measure to ensure problems receive proper attention and are thoroughly resolved. It also can be useful to have a third-party’s perspective on matters that require objectivity, or an “extra set of eyes” to verify that no mistakes have been made in a critical process.
  • Managing changing workloads – If you don’t have ample support to meet an increase in demand for your products or services, you could be at risk of disappointing your customers — and potentially damaging your business’s reputation. However, you also want to avoid hiring more staff until you are certain that workloads will be sustained. Bringing in a small business consultant is one staffing management approach for navigating the ebb and flow of supply and demand, as well as for meeting other unexpected changes that present both opportunity and risk for your company.
  • Grow for the future – Highly skilled senior-level professionals who work as our consultants can serve in a number of critical roles, from accounting manager to chief financial officer. There are also many ways for you to work with consultants as your small business evolves. Most important, perhaps, is that these resources can give you the valuable time needed to focus on what you do best: being an expert at whatever it is that led you to launch your own business in the first place.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Social Media Etiquette for Small Businesses

Corporate Business Solutions has the experience, education and expertise necessary to access the valuable information business owners need to access change needed to facilitate growth.

Many successful business owners have relayed that a dangerous assumption in business today is treating social media like a side project. There are more than a few who are getting it wrong in the social media world, and social media etiquette is necessary now more than ever. Behold the myths, the missteps and the mistakes. Here are three social media marketing trends to avoid:

  1. You Don’t Have to Talk to Everyone – Many business owners are embracing the concept of Customer Centricity to their social media outlook; being selective with their audience and curating data from custom made social media campaigns.  This approach restricts usage to a specific area, like customer service. It’s very effective for businesses seeking more predictability and delivering results that can be measured with established tools.
  2. Don’t Ignore LinkedIn- The social site, LinkedIn allows users to create company pages as a way to get more branding for your business. It also creates a presence for high level income earners on a social media network many are ignoring. While the trend is currently keeping a private profile, savvy business owners and executives are allowing for more exposure for themselves and their company. If you’re looking to get more exposure and target your products and services, LinkedIn Company Pages can help you do that.
  3. Don’t Keep Each Social Media Channel Separate-While some companies are attempting to figure out one or two social media networks, such as Facebook and Google, savvy business owners are combining social media channels and monitoring the activity on a constant basis. Allocating money to raise awareness on multiple social media channels is essential to winning the war of your audience mindshare.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.

Reasons Why Successful Business Pros Go Back to School

Corporate Business Solutions has had the opportunity to work with thousands of successful businessmen and women.  By doing this, we have seen that one common characteristic of effective business professionals is that they are adept at seeing opportunities and recognizing what it takes to advance their careers.

There are always points in your career when you want to move forward, whether it’s staying competitive in your field or exploring a career change. Higher education can be a major driver in getting you where you want to go.

Here are three reasons why already-successful people decide to go back to school:

  1. Growth – There are many employees who obtain an undergraduate degree that is only somewhat related to their career path. Or, as technology continues to evolve, the skills, tools or programs you learned years ago as an undergraduate may not be sufficient to maintain your position. If you like what you do and want to stay in your current position, you could go back to school to increase your skill set and your ability to do the job even better
  2. Promotion – Becoming successful in your current position may give you an opportunity to advance at work, but that’s not always the case. A degree in a new or related field that adds to your individual skill set, or helps you learn management or leadership skills, can give an employer the assurance that you are ready and able to take on new responsibilities.
  3. Career Change – Successful people may consider mid-career changes, whether for professional, personal or any other reason. Maybe you have accomplished a great deal in one career field, but another field seems more interesting or better aligned with your lifestyle. Going back to school could help you change your direction industry-wise, geography-wise, or satisfaction-wise, by re-directing the skills and experience you already have with new knowledge.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.

Tips for Effective Telecommuting

Corporate Business Solutions has the experience and education to help small to medium – size businesses grow in today’s marketplace.  We often see employers set up new telecommuting options to help reduce office costs while giving savvy employees freedom and flexibility.  Not only does the employer need to set up new protocols for telecommuting employees, but the employees must also acclimate to the newer role.

If you’re a telecommuting employee, we have general tips that may help you work more effectively:

  1. Prioritize your day – Identify what must get done that day and do it!
  2. Keep a regular routine – Shower and dress every day as if you were going to an actual office.  This will help you stay motivated.
  3. Create a comfortable space – Decide what you need to be comfortable and productive and create a home space that reflects that.  From a comfortable desk chair to a book shelf, a place to hold meetings or a window to see the sun, investing in your work space can make a huge difference in your productivity.
  4. Set working hours – Be clear on your working hours.  Let your colleagues, associates and family know your hours of operation, and stick to them.
  5. Use the cloud – You can upload important documents to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or Google Drive.  This allows you to log in from anywhere without having to worry about having your files with you.
  6. Use Google+ Hangouts – While it’s ideal if you can occasionally meet in-person with co-workers, sometimes it’s not possible because teams are separated by geography. In that case, video chatting is the next best thing, with Google+ Hangouts being an excellent medium for doing it. You can meet with up to 10 people for free, unlike Skype in which at least one person in the group has to have a paid subscription for meetings between more than two people.
  7. Enjoy your flexibility – Find your focus wavering? Take a break with a bike, ride, swim, or even by quitting work for the entire day.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.

Using Google Places for Your Small Business

Corporate Business Solutions  helps small and medium – size business owners access information needed to attain growth.  One trend that we see affecting the small business arena is the use of Google Places. If your business has an actual physical location, you can promote your location with Google Places, which enables you to get listed on Google Maps.

Here are some reasons why Google Places is important for your small business:

  1. It’s free – The service is free from Google.  You just need to set up your page.
  2. Provides an online presence – If you have a small business and you don’t have a website, your Google Places listing can provide the details customers would need, such as address, contact details, hours of operation, etc.
  3. Allows you to appear on Google search results – The focus here is on local searches and the results are therefore limited to your local area. So if a Google user is searching for a contractor in Chicago, then Google determines the user’s location and then provides all the contractors near them. The Google user can even check out your listing to learn more about you. 
  4. Your location will appear on Google Maps – For small businesses, this is a crucial advantage. Now your potential customers will know exactly where your office can be found. Google acts as a beacon for your would-would be customers to follow. In addition, even just getting your Google Map location on Google search results boosts awareness in your brand. 
  5. Receive business reviews – Reviews make your business more relevant, which boosts your ranking in search results. And when you view them objectively, these things tell you how to improve your business.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your complimentary appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us at 877-357-9366.