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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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9 Business Lessons You Should Follow

Every entrepreneur goes through a moment where they think, “I wish I would have done things differently.” Having this thought is normal. When you’re an entrepreneur, you can do all the research in the world to prepare you. However, there will still be lessons you learn along your way.

Corporate Business Solutions Reviews came up with a list of nine business lessons that are common, and something you should follow.

Learn to Market, It’s Essential

Marketing is something you can’t ignore, especially in today’s world. If you want your business to grow and get the word out there, you need to have a solid marketing plan. Don’t put this on the backburner. Spend some time thinking about what would grab your audience’s attention.

Stop Waiting

How often do you find yourself saying that you’ll do something when the time is right? In the business world, you won’t find the “right” time very often. Instead of waiting (and procrastinating), take on a challenge right now.

Honor Your Commitments

If you made a commitment, honor it. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t make a meeting or why your payment is late. When you honor your commitment, you become known as a person of your word, which means everything in the business world.

Be Honest

Honesty can slip through the cracks in the business world. However, we shouldn’t let that happen. If you miss something important or a payment, be honest with the person as to why. If people find out that you lie, that will haunt you while you run your business.

Customer Service is Extremely Important

Customer service means everything for a business. You could have the best product or service in the world, but if your customer service is poor, people will go to your competitors. Keep your clientele around by having the best customer service on the market.

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

With that being said, as important as customer service is, it’s important to remember that the customer isn’t always right (contrary to what people like to say). Each situation is different. Sometimes you’ll have to swallow your pride and acknowledge that the customer is right. Other times though, you will need to stand your ground and back up your company or an employee.

Be Nice to Everyone

Niceness is another characteristic that can get lost in the business world. Because of how competitive some industries are, we get into that competitive mode and lose what it means to be nice to people. When you’re nice to people, they will likely be nice back to you, which can make your life a little easier.

Work Hard

Never stop working hard. That isn’t to say don’t take breaks. You should take those breaks when you know you need them. When it’s time to work, though, work hard. Be dedicated to your business so that it will flourish.

Take Care of Yourself

As important as it is for your business to succeed, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your health. If you can’t stay healthy enough to run your business, how will it succeed then? Take care of your health, both mentally and physically.

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Need to Let an Employee Go? 5 Tips to Help You Out

It’s a process that business owners will likely face at one point or another. It’s not an enjoyable conversation to have, but sometimes it’s needed. We’re talking about letting go of an employee.

If the time comes to lay off a worker, you have many things to consider, including their emotional and mental wellbeing. Being laid off is not something that a person wants to experience, so the better you can approach the situation, the less likely you have to worry about it escalating.

To help you go through the unfortunate event of letting go of an employee, Corporate Business Solutions has five tips to help you out.

Don’t Catch Them Off Guard

Depending on the reasoning for the layoff, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to the employee. If you catch him or her off guard, it could turn into a situation that you wanted to prevent.

If you’re letting go of an employee due to poor performance, he or she should have an idea that this was coming. By doing regular performance reviews and speaking with the employee about his or her performance, it allows you to set the grounds so that no one is surprised.

However, that isn’t always the case, and sometimes it’s necessary to keep the firing quiet until that moment. Each situation will be different.

Speak Face to Face

Laying off someone is not something you should do over the phone, through email, or by text message. Even having someone else fire an employee for you, it’s better for yourself as the owner to do it, and speak face to face.

When you’re speaking to someone in front of you, you can watch their body language and get a feel of how what the energy is like in the room. That can help you approach the topic in different ways.

Keep Your Feelings in Check

It’s going to have your own emotions during a layoff, as it’s not something that people enjoy doing. However, you’ll want to keep your emotions in check. If you start to express sadness, it will only make the other person more emotional. If you’re upset with the performance of the employee, getting mad will only escalate the situation into something much worse.

Be Compassionate and Empathetic

Put yourself in the employee’s shoes. How would you want the conversation to go if you were the one being fired? Most likely you would want to see empathy from the other person, and that he or she shows compassion in how you feel.

Being compassionate and empathetic towards the employee will help the process go smoothly. When someone loses his or her job, it can affect their entire life, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Be Honest

You don’t want to be blunt and rude about it, but you also don’t want to sugar coat why you’re letting someone go. Honesty is essential in these situations.

If the reason is out of your control due to the economy or a chain shutting down, make sure you keep employees in the loop. When employees get the feeling of a layoff, rumours start to float around that will only make the situation worse.

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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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Your 2019 Business ‘To Do’ List

A new year is a way to start fresh for some people. They set their New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives in many ways. You quite often hear the saying, new year, new you, and for some, that is true.

That saying is great for your personal life, but what about your business? Can you have that same mentality with your company?

It’s not that you’re looking to revamp your business model entirely. However, a new year can be like a fresh slate for tackling tasks and making changes you’ve been thinking of for the past few months. As we continue into 2019, here is your New Year ‘to do’ list for your business from CBS-CBS.com.

Map Out Your Targets and Goals

One of the best ways to start the new year is by mapping out the future of your business. This plan should include all targets and goals you hope to achieve and by when. Set up annual, quarterly, monthly, and even weekly goals for yourself and everyone that works for and with you.

Goals are an excellent way to keep people motivated. It gives people something to focus on since there usually is a reward at the end. Sit down with everyone and decide what the most important targets are for the company, and create realistic goals for everyone to contribute to the target.

Learn the New Trends

Each year that passes means there are new trends. No matter what your business is about, there is likely a trend that you want to keep up with. Trends are what your target audience is looking at. If you don’t keep up with them as they change, your company could get left behind.

Speak With Your Staff

Your staff helps you run your business. They are essential to the success you make. That is why it’s necessary to ensure that they’re treated fairly and have everything they need. Your ‘to do’ list should include time to sit down with each employee and see what their needs are and if there are any changes that you should make.

Clean Up the Budget

Year-end is a great time to look at your budget from the previous year and see how your finances look (if you don’t keep track of your business finances, you may want to start). See where you’ve spent the most money and what part of your company brought in the least amount of money. You can then decide if you need to make cuts and clean the budget up a bit and work out a plan to bring in more cash over the next year.

Look Over Your Original Business Model

Before you opened the doors to your company, you would have made a business plan or model. That plan helps keep you on track and lead to you running a successful business.

With each new year, you should revisit your original business model and see how you’re doing today. Take note of what you hoped you would achieve by this point. Did you make it to where you wanted to be, or are you behind with your goals? That business model will help you make any adjustments so that you stay on track.

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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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6 Tips For Setting Up Your Home Office

Having a home office has become a necessity in almost every household – especially if you work from home. In fact, for many self-employed entrepreneurs, a home office is necessary for the job. A small desk tucked into the corner of the living room won’t cut it anymore. When it comes to tax season, many entrepreneurs need to have a set office to have any tax exemptions.

On top of that, a home office helps you keep your work and personal life separate, just as you would if you traveled to your workplace. It helps keep you organized, as well as look and feel more professional.

If you’re in need of setting up a home office, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has a few tips to help you get one set up.

Designate a Room

First, you need to have a room that you can call your office. Ideally, if you’re a working professional that needs somewhere to go every day, you want a place that is strictly your office. Sometimes you can get away with using a spare room as your office. However, it’s best to use an empty room that is meant to be your workplace.

Plan Out What You Need

Once you have your space, you’ll need to come up with a list of everything you need for work. Start with the obvious items like a desk, chair, computer, stationery supplies, and an internet connection. These would be all the things you have to have to do any work. Then move to other items that may not be a necessity, but they would help make your day to day tasks that much simpler.

Find Good Quality Supplies

More specifically, find a good quality desk and chair that is ergonomic. You’ll be spending a significant amount of time here, so you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable. The last thing you need is to get distracted by pains in your neck and shoulders due to improper positioning while working. Spend the extra money to find a desk and chair that works right for you.

Remove Clutter & Organize

There’s no point of having more than what you need in your office. Having too much stuff that looks like clutter will only cause distractions. Staying organized is key for having a successful home office. So, go through your supplies and see what you can get rid of and what needs to find a home. Every item in your office should have a spot to help keep your desk and room free of clutter. If it doesn’t, ask yourself if you really need it.

Add a Personal Touch

No one says your home office has to be black and white with nothing but your work supplies. Many people decorate their desks at the workplace, so you should be able to do the same. If you want, add in any artwork pieces or color to your office to make it as comfortable for you as possible.

Set Working Office Hours

Lastly, it’s essential to have office hours. When working from home, it’s easy to get in the mindset of putting things off or having visitors over. If you’re at work, then you should be at work. Have designated office hours where you disconnect from your phone and social media, and refrain from having visitors or booking appointments during those times.

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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.

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Life Changing Steps to Becoming Successful

Becoming successful – it’s what so many of us strive for. Success is one of those things that comes in all shapes and sizes. It is not something saved for only the rich and famous. It’s not a fairy-tale or a dream that will never come true.

Success is attainable for everyone, as long as you’re willing to go after it.

That is the thing with success; it’s not something you can just hand over to someone. It comes from hard work not just on what you’re doing, but on who you are as a person.

If you’re looking for the key to success, consider some of the following tips for an overall successful life. CBS-CBS.com provides many tips for small businesses that will help you get on the success path for not just work, but for life.

Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

There’s a reason why it’s called the comfort zone. It’s where you are most comfortable and likely not very vulnerable. You know what is going on and what is likely to happen. It’s easy.

One key to success is to step outside of your comfort zone every so often. Take on a new challenge that may make you nervous. Once you step outside of your comfort zone, you start to learn new things about yourself and what you’re capable of doing.

Be Determined and Committed

Because success is not something that gets handed to you, determination and commitment are vital to being successful in life. There’s a difference between being interested in something, and being determined to know more. When you have that determination and commitment, you won’t let anything stand in your way of being successful.

Learn to Appreciate Failures

We often look at failures as the enemy, which is why we tend to stay in our comfort zone. Failures can be quite discouraging. They lead you to think that you can’t do something. However, if you learn to appreciate each failure as a stepping stone, you learn from those speed bumps and continue down the road to success.

Think of a child learning to walk. They don’t start walking right after the first step. Instead, they fall over and over again until they get the hang of walking. After that, good luck stopping them because they want to walk everywhere now.

A failure is when you stumble down after learning to take a step. Instead of giving up, continue with those steps until you’re past the point of failing. After that, you won’t want to stop.

Be Realistic

Most of these keys to success are about being daring and going after things. Another key that is different from those stated above is knowing when you need to be realistic. Setting too high of standards and going after unattainable goals is a way of setting yourself up for disappointment. That disappointment can quickly pull us down from the high of success and make us want to give up.

Instead, be realistic about what you can and cannot do. You can have big dreams, but set yourself realistic goals to get there.