logo (1)

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.

logo (1)

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.

logo (1)

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.

logo (1)

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.

logo (1)

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.

logo (1)

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.

logo (1)

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.

logo (1)

7 Tips to Help You Stay Focused at Work

Do you struggle to stay focused at work? You’re not the only one. It can be difficult to stay focused while working, especially if you have a lot on your plate. The mind can easily wander to other thoughts you’ve had throughout the day. Next thing you know, 10 minutes have passed and there’s still much work to be done.

How do you stay focused at work so that you can achieve everything you planned for the day? Here at Corporate Business Solutions, we want offices to be as efficient as they can be. That is why we came up with a list of seven tips to help you stay focused throughout your workday.

Set Daily Goals

Having a physical to-do list or a sheet with goals for you to achieve will help keep you focused and determined. It’s easy to say that today is a new day and that you’ll be super efficient. However, without something to help keep you in check, you’ll soon start to notice your mind wandering again.

Put Away Distractions

We’re all guilty of it – leaving our phone on our desks or Facebook running in the background and then checking it from time to time. The thing is that when you are still connected to the outside world, those distractions will always be in the back of your mind. By getting rid of them, there’s no temptation to check in our social media accounts.

Work in Blocks

Trying to work for hours on end isn’t the answer to being focused and efficient. Your mind needs time to relax and reset. Otherwise, the tension continues to rise and it will become harder and harder to focus. Instead, work in blocks of roughly 60 to 90 minutes and then take a quick break to listen to music, take a walk, or close your eyes and take deep breathes.

Find a Reason in Everything You Do

If you cannot find a purpose or reason for doing something, it will be hard to stay motivated and focused at your task. When beginning a new task, ask yourself why you are doing this. That answer will help give you the push to stay focused to finish your job.

Get Comfortable

One distraction that is difficult to fight is discomfort. When you’re uncomfortable at work, whether it be due to the atmosphere or the chair you’re sitting at, your mind will keep wandering to that discomfort. Keep yourself comfortable at work to help release any tension and stay focused at the task at hand.

Drink More Water

We already know that water keeps us healthy. Did you also know that water can help you focus more? By drinking a glass of water throughout the day, it helps to refresh and revitalize you so that you can get back to work. So, keep a bottle of cold water at your desk as your reminder.

Stay Organized

If your desk is always disorganized, the clutter won’t help promote an atmosphere to focus well in. When there are so many things in your eyesight, it makes it difficult to keep your attention on one thing. By decluttering and staying organized, there will be fewer distractions for your mind to fight.

logo (1)

The Benefits of Making Mistakes in Business

After reading the title, you may be wondering how making a mistake in the business world has many benefits. Wouldn’t you want to avoid making mistakes in the first place?

The truth is, every business is bound to make a mistake at some point or another. No matter how much planning and work you put in, there’s like a mishap that will catch you off guard.

Making mistakes is how we learn and grow. If you never take a risk, it’s hard to tell what truly will work for your business. By putting yourself and your business out there, even if it ends up backfiring, you learn more about your company and you as a leader.

With Corporate Business Solutions Consultants, we know the importance of growing a successful business, but also how a mistake can benefit that growth.

You Learn More

When you use a mistake as a learning opportunity, you can look at it as a good mistake then. However, this is only true if you genuinely use the mistake as a learning opportunity. If you ignore it and keep doing the same thing over and over, the mistake will no longer be beneficial.

When you see something gone wrong, take some time to investigate it. What happened and how did it happen? What could you do to prevent it from happening again? Was there any good that came out of it? How do you need to take your business so that this mistake doesn’t happen again?

You Can Try New Things

When mistakes are embraced, it allows people to experience new things. If you’re scared of mistakes and don’t take a risk, you will likely miss out on many opportunities that could benefit your business.

It’s not easy to be vulnerable. However, when you are, you start to experience more than what you usually would. These experiences allow you to take your business on new paths that could benefit you greatly.

Shows You’re Willing to Try

A mistake shows that you tried something new and daring, even if it ended up backfiring. For many, they see that as a positive trait. You’re willing to take risks needed to keep expanding your business.

It’s All on How You Handle It

In the end, if you or someone in your business makes a mistake and you handle it poorly, all of the positives that can come from it will be overshadowed. If you’re the leader in the office, handling a mistake calmly and professionally, all while being encouraging, that will go a long way.

The main takeaway is that it’s okay to make mistakes in the business world. It’s how you learn and how you grow. That isn’t to say you should go out and make as many mistakes as possible. However, it’s okay to put your company out there and let it be vulnerable. In the end, you learn more and can use that experience as you continue to push your company farther ahead.

logo (1)

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.