Setting Up for Success: 5 Tips to Prepare Your Business for the New Year

Welcome to December – where every business owner has experienced the overwhelming feeling that comes from year-end. There is the extra pressure to finish any lingering tasks before the year wraps up. Because of everything racing through your mind to finish in the remaining weeks of the year, many entrepreneurs miss an excellent opportunity to prepare their business for the upcoming year.

During your year-end wrap-up, you can do a few things to help prepare your business for a prosperous new year. Add the following five tips to your year-end to-do list from Corporate Business Solutions to help you prep for success.

Analyze the Past 12 Months

The best way to prepare for the upcoming year is to analyze what happened in the last 12 months. All of the data you collect from January through December provides valuable information on where your business is at and where it’s heading.

If you’re a goal setter, drag out the goals you set last January. Did you achieve them? What step did you take to reach your goal? Don’t just focus on the goals you achieved and forget about the rest. For any goals you set that you and your business didn’t hit, what happened?

Perform a KPI Analysis

Have you ever done a KPI (key performance indicator) before? If not, now is a good time to do one. KPIs help you measure your company’s success. You may want to focus on your business’s finances or choose to analyze other aspects like customer and employee retention.

Set Goals for the New Year

You want to start with data analysis first so you can set realistic goals for your business. Before the new year, write out a list of short-term and long-term goals. They could be anything from increasing your revenue by a certain percentage by quarter two or that you’ll implement a new routine for employees to help with efficiency.

When making goals, make SMART ones – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Many people end up setting themselves up for failure right at the start, which is discouraging. By following the SMART goal method, you can set a goal you’ll achieve.

Clean Up Your Mailbox

How often do you open your business email to have a mini freak out because your inbox is almost full? Don’t bring that unnecessary stress into the new year. Block off a few hours to go through and organize your email. You’ll be thankful you did when you start work again in the new year with a clean inbox.

Have a Year-End Meeting With Employees

What better way to get a pulse on how your business operates than to ask those who help keep the doors open? Schedule a year-end meeting with all of your employees. Ask them questions like how they felt the past year went, what didn’t work, any ideas they have for the new year, and what could you do differently as a boss? Just make sure to give them advance notice so they can all come prepared.

Simple tasks that have the most significant impact are the way to go when wrapping up the year. Start the new year off with a bang by preparing ahead of time.

Find Your Competitive Edge: 6 Tips to Stand Out In Your Field

As a small business owner, you soon realize how important it is to stand out against your competition. If you don’t, what’s stopping clients and customers from brushing past you and going to someone else?

Having competition is part of the business world. There are many benefits to having friendly competition in your field. It pushes you to achieve greater goals and helps you move your business in the direction of success. However, focusing solely on the competition can become overwhelming and quite stressful.

Don’t let your business fall behind and ultimately live in the shadows of your competitors. With the following six tips from CBS-CBS.com, you can find your competitive edge and get your business at the forefront.

Price Adjustments

One of the main reasons a customer will go to one place over another is due to the price of goods and services. Adjusting your price is one way to gain a little edge over your competition, as a lower price is more appealing.

There’s a fine line when it comes to pricing, however. Going too low, and ends up destroying the quality of what you’re offering. If your goods are significantly cheaper than other places, it begs whether what you offer is truly worth the price.

Exceptional Customer Service

Many individuals will stay dedicated to a company regardless of the price difference because of its customer service. How you handle customer complaints and issues can shoot your business to the top. So, spend time focusing on how you can improve your customer service experience to make it better than your competition.

Quality Matters

The quality of what you offer is another significant way to give you a competitive edge. We live in a world where quality means something. Usually, customers are willing to spend the extra few dollars if they know it’s worth the quality.

Your Environmental Impact

Going green has never been more popular than it is now. If you show your clients that you’re economically conscious about how you conduct business, it will mean something to them.

Sustainability is more expected from companies today. However, that doesn’t mean every business follows suit. If you’re one of the few companies in your field focusing on being environmentally friendly, you’ll have the edge over your competition.

Creative and Original

Your business is there to solve a problem or provide a valuable service to your customers. For your company to stand out, you need to show your customers why you’re the best choice and how you differ from the rest.

Get creative with how you run your business. Originality is important, so you don’t look like you’re simply copying what everyone else is doing.

Have a Message and a Purpose

Why did you start your business? When you have a story and a message behind what you do, it creates a powerful connection with your customers. That is an easy way to build up trust and keep customers dedicated to you. Just make sure it’s an authentic message.

The above six tips are simple ways to help you gain a competitive edge. Notice how these points tend to revolve around the quality of your business. Show the value of what you have to offer and enjoy the increase in customers strolling in.

Can Your Business Handle a Crisis? 4 Tips to Manage Difficult Times

Prior to 2020, your business may have been immune to challenges. It could be that you’re a young company just starting to grow or you’ve been lucky so far. Fast forward to today, Covid-19 hit the majority of businesses around the globe with hardships like nonother.

From rolling shutdowns to closing doors and letting employees go, businesses of every size have battled tough terrain to keep persevering through one of the most challenging years to date. Luckily for you, it’s never too late to plan for a crisis.

Using 2020 as a learning experience, your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have four tips to help your business manage difficult times.

Don’t Turn Away Help

During a crisis, now is not the time to be a hero and tackle everything on your own. Although it’s difficult to swallow your pride and admit when you need help, it’s important you take advantage of the help when provided.

The goal is for your business to not only stay afloat during a crisis, but you want it to thrive as well. Help could come in the forms of government subsidies and grants, asking your social media following to share your business profile, or having your staff take on a few additional tasks for the time being.

Remember Your Entire Business Is Affected

As the owner, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one affected by a crisis with your business. You wear most of the hats for running the company, so you feel the biggest impact. However, it’s important to remember that your business runs thanks to your staff and team, not just you.

Be prepared to offer support to your team. The more you can keep the company morale high, the more your staff will be prepared to stick it out with you during a crisis.

Use the Time to Brainstorm New Strategies

For many businesses, 2020 was a time to reinvent their business model. Take the fitness industry as a perfect example. As gyms and fitness studios worldwide shut down, they were forced to make adjustments to their business model to keep operating. Many personal trainers and group instructors turned to online classes.

Use a crisis as a way to reflect on what works and what you could implement that allows your business to persevere through difficult times. Grab your team and have an afternoon of brainstorming new strategies. You may find that what you come up with will grow your business even when the challenging times pass.

Stay Positive

As the owner, it’s essential that you remain as positive as you possibly can. If your staff and customers see how stressed you are or that you’re losing faith in your company, it’s only a matter of time before those feelings pass to them too.

Although there’s isn’t anything wrong with showing all sides of your business, even during challenging times. You must keep a strong face with a positive attitude and show your clients that you are determined to keep moving forward with the changes.

Trying to manage through challenging times isn’t easy as a business owner. However, if you take the task head-on and stay focused on a goal, you’ll be able to maneuver through any crisis thrown at you and even thrive more than ever.

Like your reflection.

4 Tips to Help You Run a Successful YouTube Channel

YouTube – the second largest search engine available (second to Google). It’s a powerful tool that many small businesses forget or think the platform isn’t for them. However, we’re here to tell you that you should utilize YouTube to reach your audience.

We’ve said it before about the benefits of starting a YouTube channel. Today, we’re here to help you be successful. It’s a tricky platform to gain traction on. With dedication and planning, though, you’ll be able to utilize YouTube to promote and grow your company.

Try the following four tips from CBS-CBS.com and running a successful YouTube channel.

Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar is what it sounds like – a calendar you create that keeps track of all your content. YouTube likely isn’t the online social media platform you’re using (nor should it be). With so many avenues to take, it can get confusing and overwhelming.

Create a content calendar that maps out what you will post on social media and videos you plan to upload throughout the month. Have a separate section that breaks down your YouTube videos so you can plan them out ahead of time.

Consistently Upload

One of the worst things you can do for your YouTube channel is to upload periodically. If you want it to be successful, you need to have a consistent upload schedule.

A good idea is to start with weekly videos, if possible. Don’t set an unrealistic schedule for uploading multiple videos each week. Start at a reasonable level and work your way up if you want to.

Add Call to Actions in Your Video

Call to actions (CTAs) are a powerful statement that tells the viewer what you want them to do. You likely add them to your video description, but have you thought about adding them to your video?

Many YouTubers begin and end their videos with an introduction and a CTA to subscribe to their channel. Throughout the video, you can add CTAs to go to your website or social media accounts. YouTube has the option to add cards that allows the viewer to click and direct them to where you want.

Spend Time on the Title and Description

When searching on YouTube, the first thing you see is the video’s title, a few lines with a brief description, and its cover graphic. These are essential elements of uploading a video and are not ones you should quickly whip up.

Your title should include keywords related to your video. Remember, YouTube is a search engine. That means people are searching for specific words like they would on Google. To get your video recognized, include those keywords in the title and description of every video.

The cover graphic of your video should somewhat resemble what it will be about. It doesn’t have to be anything flashy, and sometimes less is more. However, it does need to grab the viewer’s attention and entice them to click on your video.

Have fun as you create and upload videos. YouTube has the potential for your business to reach a wider audience across the world, and eventually increase your revenue.

Don't blend in.

An Environment for Productivity: 7 Tips for Decorating Your Home Office

Whether you started remote working in 2020 due to the global pandemic, have always worked from home, or looking to have an office space to relax in, how you decorate your home office can have a dramatic impact on your productivity levels.

Your environment plays a role in how you feel and focus. Too much clutter and things going on around you can cause distractions and lead to increased stress. Even the color choice on the walls plays can impact how productive you are.

Design the perfect home office that supports a productive and focused atmosphere. Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have seven tips to help you out.

Give Yourself Enough Space

Chances are, you’ll spend quite a bit of time in your home office. So, give yourself enough space to work comfortably. Don’t toss a desk in a closet-like room to preserve space in the house, especially if there’s a perfectly fine guest room that rarely gets used.

Let in Natural Light

Again, think about how much time you’ll spend in your office. Imagine how you’ll at the end of the day if you’re in a packed room with no natural light. Eventually, that will take its toll. Having natural light not only brightens up the room for work, but research has shown that it helps create a productive atmosphere.

Set Up Your Office in a Realistic Way

Although a setup may look aesthetically appealing, is it actually practical for when you’re working? If you have to get up frequently to grab something across the room or have a desk with no storage, is it serving its purpose? Set up an office that works for you.

Spend the Money on a High-Quality Chair

Your office needs to be as comfortable as possible, and one of the most critical aspects around that is your desk chair. Maybe you’re tempted to buy something cheap because it’s just a chair. However, you’ll quickly realize that’s a big mistake.

Since you spend hours sitting at your desk, having an ergonomic chair helps support your body and keep you from getting too sore.

Think About Your Wall Colors

Another design element that doesn’t seem like a big deal is the wall colors. Before you slap on a coat of expensive paint, think about how the color could affect your mood. Certain colors help promote a happy, energetic, and productive feeling, while others can promote sleepiness.

Decorate with Minimalistic in Mind

When decorating your office, less is often more. Having many items all over may seem cute at first, but too many of them can end up feeling cluttered. If t you’re sacrificing desk space for picture frames and other knickknacks, it’s time to eliminate a few of them. Remember, your home office is a space for work, not storage.

Keep It Clean

The most important tip to take away when designing your home office is to keep it clean. Many of our recommendations focus on the atmosphere and feeling of the room. That is because if you decorate in a way that makes you uncomfortable, why would you want to spend time in the room?

Use these seven tips to help you design and decorate the perfect home office for you.

Dare to explore.

Learning from a Pandemic – 4 Lessons Covid-19 Taught the Business World

The global pandemic has affected virtually everyone worldwide, whether it be physically, emotionally, and mentally. There is almost no aspect in our lives that hasn’t been impacted by Covid-19, and the business world is no exception.

As we continue to battle the novel virus around us, we can already look back on the last several months as a learning experience. The world grappled with an event, unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. With that comes lessons to help us in the future.

Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions understands the impact Covid-19 has had on your business. We take a look at some lessons we’ve already learned from the pandemic, and how we can adjust in the future.

Have a Risk Management Plan Ready

Although there are many instances, like what we’re currently going through, that you can’t plan for, you can have a plan for potential difficulties your business will likely face. Every business will have at least one hardship it must overcome as it grows, no matter the company’s size.

First, identify possible risks you’re likely to face as your business grows. It could be an employee quitting or getting fired, you getting sick and being off work, or hazardous challenges like a fire in the building. These are a few examples that a risk management plan should go over.

Employer-Employee Relationships Are Crucial

For many businesses worldwide, the only way they could continue to operate is if their employees took their offices home. Remote working puts your relationship with your employees to the test. You must have trust and faith in each individual to continue to perform as they would in the office.

These relationships stem past trust – they also include empathy. We’ve learned that showing compassion in difficult times is essential in any relationship, especially when mental health is involved. Moving forward, being empathetic to an employee’s situation will go a long way to maintain that positive relationship.

Personal Development and Growth Never Stops

It doesn’t matter if you run the business or have an employee who just started; you are always growing. With an ever-changing world, what we knew one day could be different tomorrow. Personal development and growth are something that should never end, just because you’ve reached the top of the ladder.

Be Resourceful and Flexible

One of the first things Covid-19 taught the business world is the importance of being flexible and resourceful. Many companies would have gone under if they didn’t change their tactics. Closing your doors doesn’t mean your business has to end.

Take the fitness industry as an example. With gyms and studios abruptly closing, personal trainers and group instructors got creative and moved everything online. Since we have the tools to do so today, the transition from in-person to online classes was relatively simple. However, this is still an excellent example of being resourceful and flexible. Many trainers would have lost their jobs if they didn’t think quickly and switch to online sessions.

 

Use these lessons above to help your business in the future. As we continue to battle with Covid-19, let these lessons remind us that change can bring about positive things.

Like your reflection.

Keep Your Health Top Focus: 7 Simple Ways to Be Healthier at Work

Just because you sit in an office for eight to nine hours a day, that doesn’t mean your life is unhealthy. In fact, with simple, small changes, you can keep your health a top priority while you work.

According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary (physically inactive), life is the leading cause of disease and disability. Lack of physical activity can lead to many issues, including obesity, mental illness, and cardiovascular disease.

Luckily, even the smallest changes in the office can help keep your health in check. Corporate Business Solutions has seven simple ways to be healthier at work.

Pack Your Lunch

It’s your lunch break, and you didn’t bring anything to work. What do you do? Chances are you race over to the nearest fast food joint. Although now and then there is nothing wrong with this, you’re better off to bring your own lunch. That way, you control what you eat, and it will save you money down the road.

Use the Stairs

If you work at a multi-story building, opt for the stairs over the elevator. This simple decision can help you reach the recommended minimum amount of physical activity each week.

Store the Lunchroom with Healthy Options

Instead of handy a candy vending machine in the breakroom, provide healthier alternatives for everyone to try. Swap out the bag of chips for a piece of fruit. Provide flavored water instead of cans of pop.

If the only option available is junk food, of course, that’s what people will go for. However, if you provide healthier options, it’s a step in the right direction to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Stretch Every Hour

Sitting for hours on end won’t do you any good. When you sit for too long, it ends up tightening your hip flexors and hamstrings. These tight muscles can cause lower back pain, make it difficult to walk or stand, and make your life very uncomfortable. When you can, take a moment to stand up, move your body for a few moments before getting back to work.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration wreaks havoc on our bodies and our minds. Lack of water can cause sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and even headaches. Avoid dehydration by having a water bottle at your desk all the time. Once it’s empty, fill it up, so your water is readily available. You can even download apps that remind you to drink water throughout the day.

Take Five Minutes to Yourself

Yes, you’re at the office, which means you’re supposed to be working. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few moments to relax your brain and focus on yourself. Taking five minutes to do a quick meditation session at your desk can help you refocus and recharge your mind. Plus, meditation is an excellent way to center yourself and appreciate your surroundings.

Start an Office Workout

Even a five-minute workout session is better than nothing. Adding in a simple workout routine is an excellent step to increase your overall health. Physical activity is known to improve not just your physical health but your mental health as well.

Implement the above seven tips to help keep you healthy while working all day. Don’t let sitting for hours on end cause you to have a sedentary life. These simple adjustments will go a long way for your health.

6 Tips to Help You Effectively Work From Home

Working from home is not as easy as many like to think. There’s the image that working from home means you can get up whenever you want, work at your leisure from your pajamas, schedule daytime appointments, and that it’s a luxurious lifestyle. While that may be true for some, it isn’t always the case.

The truth is that working from home can be just as difficult, sometimes more difficult than going to the office.

When you’re at an office for work, you’re less likely to get distracted by your surroundings as you could at home. You have your working hours that are not to be disrupted. For those who work from home, many quickly find the distractions are too much to stay focused. It’s easy to fall out of routine and ultimately fall behind in work.

Your Corporate Business Solutions Consultants understand the challenges of working from home. Since that has become the norm for many individuals, we have six tips to help you effectively work from home.

Keep Your Regular Working Hours

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to keep your regular hours. Don’t fall into the trap of sleeping in and doing work whenever you please. Instead, keep your regular schedule you would typically have if you went to an office.

Plan Out Each Day

Planning becomes more essential to stay focused when you’re at home. Start your morning off with a few minutes of planning what you need to achieve. It’s the perfect thing to do while you’re enjoying your morning coffee.

Have a Separate Workspace

If you think that you’ll be fine working at the kitchen table with everything else around you, there’s a good chance it won’t happen. Although for some, the household distractions don’t bother them, and they have no issue working anywhere in the house. For the majority, though, that separate workspace is significant. It’ll help you stay organized and keep things quiet so you can work efficiently.

Separate Your Work Life and Personal Life

A challenge many people face is the overlapping of work and personal time. When the two start to intertwine, you’ll find yourself working in the evenings and on weekends. You end up feeling like you’re always working and never have time off. So, by keeping your work life and personal life separate, it allows you to turn off your work mode so you can enjoy the other aspects of your life.

Give Yourself Breaks

It doesn’t matter where you work. You need to take breaks. Studies have found that when you take breaks in your day, it actually can boost productivity and creativity. Not only that, but for your mental health, those breaks give you a chance to destress and compose yourself before heading back to the job.

Dress for Success

As tempting as it is to stay in your pajamas while working from home if you want to be the most effective, dress for the day. When you’re wearing sweats and a baggy t-shirt, how do you usually feel? Likely like you want to relax the day away. Instead, when you put on clothes that you normally would for work, it can bring you into the productive mindset you need for the day.

As many people around the world continue to work from home this year, use the above tips to help you stay productive for a successful day of work.

Worried About the Survival of Your Company? 5 Tips to Revive a Struggling Business

How often do you hear this – over half of new businesses will fail in their first year. That’s a scary statistic. However, it isn’t entirely true.

The recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that in the first two years of operation, 20 percent of businesses will close. That number increases as the years go on, but it does show that you have a fighting chance.

Every business will go through some rough periods. Unfortunately, some companies can survive those difficult times while others end up closing their doors for good.

Is your company during those difficult moments and wondering how you’ll move forward? CBS-CBS.com has a few tips to help you revive your struggling business.

Take a Step Back to Identify the Issue

Before you can begin moving forward, you need to identify the problem. If you try to revamp your entire company without first determining where the issue truly lies, you could end up in the same position relatively quickly.

Look at when you were the most profitable compared to right now. What has changed since then? It could be the market is changing, and your company hasn’t, your management style shifted, or maybe it’s the economy, and your customers can’t afford to spend right now. Once you have that reason, then you can develop a plan.

Revamp Your Marketing Plan

When’s the last time you’ve taken a look at your marketing plan and seen those analytics behind it? Sometimes, all you need to do is freshen up your marketing strategy to engage with your current clients and reach new ones.

Adjust Your Business Model

Adjusting your business model can bring business back to life. However, it isn’t an easy task. As the world changes year after year, your business must adapt to these changes. If you’re still doing the same thing you did for the last few years and noticed a decline, it could be time to adjust your business model to keep up with modern times.

Boost Internal Moral

What happens behind the scenes of business eventually spews out into the public. That means, if your company culture is negative, your customers will soon pick up on that.

The consumer often wants to support companies that provide a happy, healthy, and encouraging work environment. If your team struggles to work together or simply don’t want to come to work, a morale boost could be what your struggling business needs to thrive once again.

Make Cuts

In some circumstances, cutting costs can help a business get back to thriving. Maybe you were once spending extra dollars on luxuries to make life a bit easier for you as the owner. If those additional costs are coming at the expense of your success, it’s time to make some cuts.

In other circumstances, though, making cuts is only a band-aid solution and not addressing the root issue. However, making cuts could give you the time to determine the actual problem that needs fixing.

Failure to control costs is one of the primary reasons a business fails. If you are aiming to have a 10 percent profit, that means you have to run your business so that your expenses equal 90 percent of every dollar you take in.  You need to create what is called a managerial accounting system that pays yourself first. You are entitled to the salary of what it would reasonably cost to run the company if you were hiring someone to run it for you as well as your predetermined profitability.  Together, your salary, plus your planned profit becomes the Total Ownership Return. By paying yourself first rather than getting paid what is left over after all the expenses are paid, it will create the internal management discipline to make the necessary decisions to cut costs so that your business can pay your what you deserve while becoming a profitable business for the long-term.

The tips above could help you get your business back to where it used to be and even more profitable than before.

Your Checklist for Running a Successful Business

Are you dreaming of running a company? Maybe you want to work your way through the corporate ladder, or you’d instead start something from scratch. If you’re looking at opening up a business, we’re here to help.

At Corporate Business Solutions Reviews, we understand the stress of starting a new venture. As exciting as it is to run a company, it does come with additional pressure on top of everything else. We created a checklist to help guide you on your journey of opening and operating a successful business.

Do You Have an Idea?

You can turn almost any idea into a business, but that doesn’t mean you should. Just because it could be a business doesn’t mean it will be a successful one.

When determining your idea, it should answer one fundamental question: does my idea solve a consumer problem?

Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Every business owner should know about a SWOT analysis and utilize this tool. A SWOT analysis covers four major sections of running a business:

  • Strength
  • Weakness
  • Opportunity
  • Threat

By conducting a SWOT analysis on your business idea and even yourself, you’ll be able to pinpoint what you need to work on, what you’re good at if the concept provides an opportunity and the competition around you.

Define Your Target Audience

So, you have your business idea and have concluded that it will be a successful business. Now, it’s time to define your target audience.

The target audience is those who are your ideal customer or client. A person’s age, gender, location, occupation, and even values are all characteristics to help definite your ideal client.

Create a Business Plan

Your next step is to create a business plan. It’s this plan that will guide you during the beginning of your company. Also, your business plan is a proposal to investors if you need capital to get you going.

All the points mentioned above are an excellent addition to your business plan. Add in other things like potential running costs, marketing plan, short-term and long-term goals, mission statement, and key operations.

Your Mission Statement

We mentioned a mission statement in the point above, and it’s important enough to talk about it on its own. The mission statement is a few sentences that describe the core values of your company. It explains why someone should go to you and how they’ll benefit from that decision.

Have a Support System

Although this may not seem like an important point to mention, it’s one that every business owner should have. Running a company, especially a start-up, is stressful. Having that support system allows you to talk out stressors and keep your mental health in check. Too much stress can cause serious harm to your mental and physical well being.

Define Your Critical Variables

Every business owner begins a new business with enthusiasm and passion for the chance to own and grow his business.  Business doesn’t fail for a lack of passion, they most often fail because the business owner fails to run the business by the numbers.  You need to develop a set of KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators, which will allow you to evaluate your business with the metrics to evaluate how you are performing before it’s too late to make needed adjustments.  Your accountant is just a scorekeeper.  You need to be the head coach who has all the needed information to make the needed adjustments to win the game of business!

Take the Plunge

Once you have your plan ready to go and a support system rooting you on, it’s time to take the plunge. If you’ve prepared yourself as much as you can, the only thing standing in your way will be yourself.

Part of starting and running a business is taking those calculated risks and being confident in your decision. Many of the points above will also help you in the years to come as you run a successful business.