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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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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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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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4 Secrets to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Going back to when you started New Year’s resolutions, how many have you made? Now, how many of those have you actually kept… for more than a few days?

New Year’s resolutions are hard for some and almost impossible for others. You tell yourself that you’re going to make a significant change in your life for the better. Fast forward a few weeks into January and the disappointment of failing your resolution sets in. Are you just not meant to make and keep a New Year’s resolution?

Before you begin to swear off resolutions every year, ask yourself if you’re making the right resolution for you. Check out some of Corporate Business Solutions Reviews favorite secrets to help you keep your New Year’s Resolution.

Make Small Changes

One of the biggest problems with New Year’s resolutions is that people tend to make them so big that it is almost impossible to keep it. If your resolution is too big, for starters, it can be difficult to determine where you begin. Even if you find a starting point, the resolution quickly becomes overwhelming which leads to giving up on the resolution.

Sticking with small and more reasonable resolutions that suit your lifestyle will give you a better chance of succeeding at them. It could be as simple as putting your papers away before leaving work or turn your phone off for an hour a day.

Write Down Your Resolution

When you write something down, it helps to stick into your mind better. With relying on mental notes, there’s a better chance that you’ll forget what you need to do. Instead, making a note of what you promised yourself and putting it in a visible spot that you’ll see every day, there is that constant reminder.

Put a Purpose Behind the Resolution

Having a reason behind what we do is an excellent motivator. If you’re making a resolution for the sake of making a resolution, where’s the motivation in that? Add a “why” to your resolution instead to keep you motivated.

If you want to organize your desk more, do it because it will help you stay focused and on task. Are you planning to eat more vegetables this year? Remind yourself that you’re doing it to improve your health. If you cannot say why you’re doing something, you may want to reconsider your resolution.

Plan Out Your Resolution

Try to break down your resolution into smaller, more attainable goals that you can plan out through the year. For example, if your resolution is to stay more organized this year to keep you productive, try breaking it down into different goals. For January, maybe you want to work at writing in your day planner what you need to do. February could be putting your pens away, so they don’t clutter your desk. March could be the month that you work at organizing your email and clearing up your mailing list.

The point is to make attainable goals to help create a habit. Once you achieve each small goal towards your resolution, it will start to become a habit that you’ll want to do every day.

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5 Tips to Help You Conduct an Interview

Whether you’re the one conducting the interview or on the other side and being interviewed, sitting across the table for one another can be nerve-wracking. Even if you’ve done many interviews over the years, at some point, you would have likely been nervous for your first one.

As a business grows, it will need more employees to help keep the doors open. The manager wouldn’t simply hire someone without talking to them and ensuring they are qualified for the job. That is why you interview potential candidates.

Here at Corporate Business Solutions, we know just how important an interview is. Here are five tips to help you conduct the best interview.

Be Prepared

No one likes it when people enter a meeting not prepared. The same goes for an interview. You should have a list of questions prepared for the candidate to help you stay on track.

Make sure you spend some time going through the persons resume. If you end up asking questions that are easily answered on the resume, for starters, it shows you’re not prepared. Not only that, it could give off a wrong first impression to the candidate.

Start Slow and Safe

If you go with your hardest questions right out of the gate, be prepared to intimidate your candidate and make him or her nervous. Instead, start off with simple personable questions. Ask where he or she grew up. Get to know what their schooling was like. Think of questions that are easy to answer and will help relax the candidate. You may be surprised what you learn.

Incorporate Open-Ended Questions

To get some of the best answers, rather than a simple yes, no, or one-word answer, ask open-ended questions. These are the ones that the candidate has to elaborate one. For starters, it gets the candidate talking. It also leads to valuable information that you can use later on.

You may find the answers could wander and lead the interview to get off topic a little bit. Allow the interviewee to wonder when talking, but not too much. If you find the conversation is completely irrelevant, start to steer it back to where you want it.

Ask Questions Related to the Resume

The resume is a quick snapshot of what the interviewee is like and has accomplished throughout life. Use that to your advantage when trying to form questions. You can ask them about their time at a particular job, school, or an award they’ve won. These questions help you get a better insight into what the candidate is like.

Avoid Cliché Questions

How often have you gone to an interview and been asked what you’re good at and what your weaknesses are? Those can be tough to answer, and you never know how truthful of an answer you’ll get.

Instead of asking what someone’s weaknesses are, present an issue and see how they would handle a real-life situation. Ask them for examples of previous issues in the workplace and how they resolved them. That way, you get a glimpse of their problem-solving techniques and what they are like under pressure.

These are only a few interviewing techniques you can bring with you when you start to look for employees. Keeping the interview like a conversation and personable will help keep everyone involved relaxed. Trying to talk and be on your top game while highly stressed is never a good combination.