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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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4 Steps You Should Take on Your Company’s Social Media Accounts

By now, the whole world knows how vital it is to have an influential social media account for businesses. Whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media platforms available, those are the new driving forces to reach your audience. Without a strong social media presence, your business could be missing out on many new customers and clients.

Most of the time, people find businesses through their social media accounts. Even if they do a simple Google search of the company name, the business’s social media sites tend to pop up near the top of the search. If you want to be more successful in drawing more people to your company, you need to have a strong social media presence.

To help you out, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has a few steps you should take to give your company’s social media accounts a boost.

Have a Strategy

One of the best ways to get your social media presence going is to have a strategy or a business plan. On the flip side, a quick way to lose the attention on your social media accounts is to have no strategy at all.

Your strategy should include who your target audience is, what the purpose is behind your accounts (are you showing off a certain aspect of your company, trying to draw in more clients, or keeping your current customers informed). Include a mission statement in your plan to help keep your strategy focused.

Be Authentic

Before social media became an essential aspect of businesses, it was easy to hide behind the computer screen and be whom you wanted to be but were too afraid to be in real life.

Nowadays, though, the authenticity of a social media account means everything. Staying true to who you are and what your business is, will be important to your current followers, and those you are trying to draw in.

Be Consistent

The lack of consistency is a sure way to lose your existing following and make it more difficult to gain new ones. The more you can be on your social media platforms, the more your customers and clients will see you.

If you have troubles making the time to post on your platforms, utilize one of the many tools available that allow you to schedule posts and link your accounts together. You can then plan ahead of time what you want to be posted and then continue with the rest of your day.

Connect With Your Audience

Now and then you may want to feature a post that is more on the selling side. However, if you do this too often, you’ll lose the attention of your customers.

Instead, inspire and empower your following. Most of the time that is why they are there. Make content that positively grabs their attention. Interact with them online to make those connections.

Having a successful social media presence doesn’t have to be difficult. The more we overthink it, the harder it becomes. Rather, spend some time researching what your audience is looking at and what they want to see. Remember, your social media is there to grab their attention, so you’ll want to make your content reflect that.

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4 Traits That Signal Bad Leadership

If your employees avoid you at all costs, don’t make eye contact with you when talking, and you can see how nervous they are when you come around the corner, chances are there’s an issue with your leadership style.

Poor leadership quickly can be the downfall of any business, no matter the size. If your team does not respect you as their leader and manager, it will be difficult to not only keep them on board with your plans but to keep them employed altogether. Poor leadership is noted as one of the top reasons employees quit their job.

If you want to avoid this scenario or fix it if this sounds like your office already, you’ll need to evaluate your leadership style and see if anything needs changing. Corporate Business Solutions (CBS-CBS.com) has some of the top traits that signal bad leadership.

Poor Listening Skills

If you never listen to your employees, how do you expect to gain their respect? A good leader will take the time to listen to all of the employees he or she has. Not only will this help improve the employer to employee relationship, but you may also find that they have ideas that could benefit the company.

No Honesty

A quick way to turn into a bad boss is by lying to your staff members. The lack of transparency from management will ultimately lead to the lack of trust and respect from the staff in your company.

Being transparent as much as possible with employees helps develop a positive and trustworthy relationship. It shows that you care enough to include them in what affects them. Transparency brings everyone onto the same page, which will help foster a strong team.

Ego Gets in the Way

Ask yourself this – how often do you take responsibility if an issue arises, or do you often find yourself asking someone else why this problem occurred? A visible sign of poor leadership is when the manager won’t take responsibility and lets his or her ego get in the way.

When there is good leadership in the office, the manager knows when to take responsibility for issues that are out of their employee’s controls. If he or she makes a mistake, they own it, learn from it, and move forward. Also, a good manager knows when it’s time to recognize his or her employees so that the spotlight isn’t always on them.

Lack of Understanding

Proper leadership knows there needs to be a balance between empathy and being understanding, and knowing when you need to be stricter. If you don’t have compassion towards what your team goes through on a daily basis, as well as any challenges they face outside of the office, you’ll likely notice a negative atmosphere in the office.

Empathy is essential in management. Quite often the word empathy correlates soft management. However, the lack of empathy actually corresponds to harsh management in the employee’s eyes. Showing a bit of understanding towards your employees will help foster a sense of trust and that you care, which will help grow your relationship with your employees.

Consider these four traits and compare them to your leadership style. Can you confidently say, and know your employees would agree, that you listen to them, are honest with them, takes responsibility when needed, and shows empathy? If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your leadership style.

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5 Ways to Market Yourself as a Freelancer

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

Start With Blogging

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

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

Use Email Marketing

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

Social Media Is a Must

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

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

Interact On Q&A Websites

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

Don’t Forget About SEO

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

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

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How Employee Perks Can Help Your Business

It’s no secret that the right employees are a business’s most valuable asset.

With attractive perks, business owners can provide their hard-working employees with the appropriate work-life balance that they so desperately need. These non-monetary benefits are a major opportunity for companies, and if you’re not taking full advantage of them, you ought to rethink your company culture.

Consider this: it is noted that roughly 50% of job-seekers put a large premium on company benefits and perks in the decision to select their next job.

According to a recent survey by Clutch, the most coveted perk amongst the workforce is flexible hours. Ultimately, this will translate to greater productivity, happiness, and engagement. With flexible work hours, employees feel trusted by their companies to get the job done.

It’s important to understand that this applies just as much to small business as it does larger corporations. Companies should do their best to make their employees feel valued. Things like complimentary coffee/snacks, company retreats, or the option the work from home show employees that their wellbeing is at the forefront.

Respondents from the survey spanned a wide range of industries and companies, including both large and small. The largest group of respondents came from small businesses. Conclusively, while just over 40% of respondents noted that they didn’t have employee perks, the [over] 50% that do have perks asserted that they are satisfied with them and that they improve their wellbeing.

As noted, flexible working hours led the group, with fitness/health perks, food/snacks, and professional development following suit.

According to Corporate Business Solutions experts, businesses can offer perks through health/wellness programs by covering gym membership costs, offering continuing education courses, and/or providing complimentary coffee and snacks throughout the work day.

Why Are Employee Perks Important?

Not only do perks increase productivity and improve the overall working environment for your employees, they also enhance wellbeing and life outside of the office. As a business owner, think of creative ways to implement employee perks that make your staff feel appreciated and valued. Ultimately, they will thank you for it in the end, and you’ll get some nice work out of them in the meantime.

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Google’s Approach to Establishing a Strong Team

 

Surprise, surprise. Google loves data.

Isn’t this something we knew? Maybe, maybe not.

What you likely didn’t know, however, is that Google often puts a great deal of effort into helping YOUR business operate at an optimal level. In doing so, Google has assembled some pertinent information on behalf of what is essentially their HR team. They sought to address the question of what makes a Google team successful.

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into this.

The Research

In seeking to understand why certain teams excelled and others did not Google examined more than 180 teams. They also conducted interviews and compared a myriad of characteristics/attributes between the high-rising teams and the ones that were falling short.

Conclusively, Google determined that the individual make-up of each team mattered much less than the person-to-person interaction and the composition of their work.

Ultimately, they determined that there are four critical components that separate the good teams from the great ones:

  • Psychological Safety
  • Dependability
  • Structure and Clarity
  • Meaning

While all of the elements are important, Google found that psychological safety played the largest role.

Psychological Safety

Essentially, this comes to down to one critical question: as a team, can you take risks that won’t lead to insecurity or embarrassment?

While risk-taking may seem routine on the surface, it actually carries with it a tremendous amount of emotional weight. When employees don’t feel secure about asking a question or contributing to an idea, they are less likely to partake in creativity and innovation. This is due to the simple, albeit IMPORTANT, fact that they do not want to be perceived in a negative light.

Employees that feel safe are much more likely to embody a sense of empowerment and subsequently will take risks and innovate. This leads to better collaboration and greater effectiveness. To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

Dependability

As we know, nobody likes to work with an unreliable employee. This can lead to a myriad of issues. Thus, it’s critical that all members of the team submit their work on time and up to standard. Take the time to address the importance of dependability with your team.

Structure and Clarity

It’s essential for employees to understand exactly what their role is within the team at-large. If this is missing, people have a hard time pinpointing responsibility within the tasks. Consult with a Corporate Business Solutions expert to learn more.

Meaning of Work

As a team, you want to do your best to foster a sense of personal connection to the business and/or work that is being done. When this is the case, employees are more likely to deliver high-quality work.

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Small Business Financial Responsibility Tips for 2018

It’s still the start of a brand new year, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about small business finances for the rest of the year. Most business owners do worry about how the market will fare as new year dawns. If the market suddenly took a turn for the worst, could your small business survive? There’s also a new federal tax plan that will surely affect small businesses when quarterly taxes are due. As new challenges await small businesses in 2018, CBS Corporate Business Solutions consultants highly recommend adopting new ways to remain financially responsible. Here are some tips owners can easily follow:

Stop Relying on Banks for Funding – Is your business heavily funded through bank loans or other types of debt? Debt issues can be the main source of cash flow problems for small businesses. It’s common to see small business owners struggle to repay loans even when the business is actually doing fine otherwise. Business loans are hefty and often carry high interest rates, so regular cash flow may not suffice to repay loans and make payroll. Therefore, be cautious when borrowing. It’s recommended for small businesses to have a savings repository to use when the creditors come knocking.  But more importantly, business owners need to develop a positive cash management system that will allow them to pay their obligations without the need for borrowing.

Formulate a Sound Tax Strategy – The tax law has changed. Do you know how it may affect your business? Small businesses should seek out professional tax advice on how the new tax law will affect them.  At the same time, CBS-CBS.com consultants can perform an in-depth review of your small business to ensure that you are well positioned to take advantage of all the opportunities available to you in 2018, including the changes in the tax law.

Analyze the Revenue – A good amount of targeted marketing and promotions that your small business undertakes in 2018 will require data for justification. This data comes from analyzing your company’s overall cash flow and revenue. Design a highly effective marketing plan and engage in cost-effective projects by doing a proper analysis of the company’s revenue streams.

Start the New Year with a (responsible) bang by putting the above pieces of advice to practice.

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Understanding Net Neutrality Rules and How Elimination May Affect Small Businesses

Net neutrality has been in the news lately. The newly appointed FCC Chairman Ajith Pai recently unveiled a proposal to repeal net neutrality rules adopted under the Obama administration. Now it may all sound like tech stuff that has nothing to do with business whatsoever. If you think that, then you are dead wrong. In fact, if net neutrality rules are repealed, it would mostly affect small to medium-sized companies in the U.S. Read below for a briefing from Corporate Business Solutions consultants on what net neutrality is and how the proposed repeal may affect your small business:

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality broadly refers to keeping internet access equal for everyone. Our access to the internet is controlled largely by broadband service providers. Your ISP can block access to certain sites (and it already does for illegal sites), control which content you see, and more importantly, throttle or control speeds for various sites.

The idea behind net neutrality is to prevent large broadband service providers from preventing free access to the internet.  Simply put, ISPs could create a “pay to play” system where some businesses can pay for better access to customers. That is to say, broadband companies can create a “fast lane” for certain businesses, where sites are speedy and then throttle the speeds of rival companies. When the net neutrality rules were initially enacted, then President Obama said: “No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee.”

Here is a useful resource to get more details about net neutrality in general: 13 things you need to know about the FCC’s Net neutrality regulation

What Repealing Net Neutrality Means for Small Businesses

Repeal of net neutrality rules will give large internet provider companies broad control over how everyone accesses the internet. For example, a broadband provider could charge a fee to make sure a website loads in under 3 seconds. This fee may not be hefty for a large company, but for a small business, especially a one-person operation, it could be life or death for the company.

Consumers, too, would be affected. ISPs would be able to provide packages that limit video streaming data availability, for example. Consumers will no longer be able to get access to all content, which would definitely affect how companies reach their target audiences.

Internet-based companies would certainly suffer if net neutrality rules are scrapped. Not just the small companies, even large ones like Code Academy, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter and Google have urged FCC to keep the rules. The American Sustainable Business Council even released an open letter to the FCC stating that rolling back net neutrality rules will be “disastrous for the country’s business community.”

What to Anticipate

Keep in mind that FCC’s decision is still a proposal and is not yet final. However, the FCC’s chairman has been insistent that the rules will be eliminated. Even if it occurs, there may not be a reason to panic just yet. It’s not likely that broadband companies would immediately create a pay-to-play system, especially when emotions are running high. In any case, ISPs may have to await legal decisions.

If you are worried about how net neutrality may affect your business, contact CBS Corporate Business Solutions to learn more about the issue with regards to your company’s unique situation.