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How You Can Turn a Passion into a Small Business

Do you have a strong passion for something? Maybe it is a hobby that allows you to build things or have a love for animals that could open up different paths for you. Either way, many people will take their passion for something and turn it into a business.

Have you ever heard people say to do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? That old saying can definitely ring true for those who follow their passions and make a career out of it.

If you truly love something and won’t lose that passion over time, here are a few ways to help you turn that passion into a small business.

Have a Vision and Stay Focused

It’s one thing to be determined to succeed. It’s another thing to stay focused on a clear vision and develop a plan. Coming up with that initial business plan may be one of the hardest parts of getting your business going. Narrow down your vision into something that is feasible for where you are in life right now.

Don’t Dive Head First

One thing you don’t want to do is dive right in before testing out the water a bit. Being a bit cautious could help save you a lot of money, and save you from losing this passion. Develop a business plan and ensure that it will honestly work. Speak with business professionals, like Corporate Business Solutions Consultants, to see if what you have in mind will succeed as a business.

Make Sure the Timing Is Right

Now, you don’t want to wait around forever to start your business. However, you do want to make sure that the timing will work with your current life situation. If starting your small business may lead you to bankruptcy, it may not be a bad idea to wait a bit. That doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your passion. It just says that you are thinking clearly about your decision and want to set yourself up for success.

Understand You Won’t Love It All

Even though you are passionate about what your business will focus on, that doesn’t mean you are going to love every part of it. When you start a small business, there will be things behind the scenes you will need to do. They won’t always be as exciting, but they are essential to the success of your business.

Find a good balance between doing the administrative duties and focusing on what got your business idea going.

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4 Challenges Many Small Business Face

Starting up and successfully running a business is not an easy task. There will be hardships and tough days, some worse than others. However, the owners that can keep their business moving forward through those challenges are the ones that are likely to succeed in the business world.

If you are a small business owner, here are four challenges many businesses like yours will face.

Exhaustion

Starting up a business is exhausting. Unless you can afford to have a large team helping you out right from the start, small business owners tend to have to put in the most amount of work with the longest hours.

It can be scary to leave your business in the hands of someone else for you to go home, especially at the start. So, quite often the owner will spend the majority of their time at work to ensure everything runs smoothly. All those hours can really run you down and lead to exhaustion.

Managing Money

The finances of starting a small business can be frightening. Will you have enough money to keep the doors open, or is your business close to bankrupting you? It may not always be easy. However, with good money managing skills, you can quickly get yourself into a position where there is enough income coming in for you to relax.

Building Up Clientele

At the start, a prominent challenge business owner’s face is building up their clientele. When you first start out, chances are it will be your close family and friends that know about your business. Expanding past them is difficult.

Although you want to grow your customer base, you want to do so at a speed your business can handle. Growing too fast and you may lose sight of the customers who helped start your business. However, expanding to slow and it could be difficult to make ends meet.

Losing the Passion

Quite often there is a burning passion behind the business owner that got them to start their company. It is really easy, though, for that passion to fade as the hours get longer and the work gets harder. That is the time, however, that you want your passion to really shine through. That is what will help keep you motivated to keep pushing through any obstacles that get in your way.

Every business owner will face a challenge at some point in their life. How you handle them, though, is what will keep your business thriving. As a small business owner, you can expect to have some difficulties come your way. By getting the help you need, you’ll be able to push through them. CBS-CBS.com is here to help.

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6 Ways to Help Keep Your Best Employees Around

Business owners and managers can probably agree that trying to keep their best and brightest staff members around is highly important. You go through the process of scoping out the perfect employee and train them, all in hopes that they will stay loyal to your company.

Having to replace key staff members can be fairly pricey for the company. You can expect to pay at minimum, 20 percent of the positions wage trying to fill it. That is not a process you want to go through very often.

That is why it is crucial to the success of the company to maintain a steady team. Corporate Business Solutions recommends implementing the following tips to help keep your best employees around.

 

Trust and Respect Your Employees

One of the best things you can do for your staff is to show them that they have your complete trust and respect. Why? When team members feel respected in the workplace, and know that their manager trusts them to do their job as they see fit, it’s an empowering feeling. That is a feeling that will keep staff members happy.

Be Their Support

If your team doesn’t feel like they have your support, whether it be in workplace conflicts, client/customer issues, or even at home problems that are affecting their daily work, how likely are they to stick around? Having support from upper management is a key step in maintaining your top employees.

Talk to Them

Open communication between staff and management is critical. If your team doesn’t know what your expectations are, or they cannot talk to you, there’s a good chance you’ll be hiring new members soon. Communication, both private and in meetings, is essential to keep the work on track and to support your employees.

Listen to Them

Just as communication is important, so too is listening to your employees when they talk. Even if it is about something you prefer not hearing, it could be valuable to improving your relationship with them. They may also have excellent ideas to help the company.

Have a Competitive Wage

Loyalty to a company is only part of what will make employees stay. They also need to be able to support their family. Having a competitive wage that is fair for the work they do will help staff members be happy with where they are at.

Show Flexibility

It can be challenging for employees to remain happy and loyal to their company if there is no room for flexibility. Family emergencies will come up, stress days will need to be taken, or taking on a task in a different way that is better for the employee. You don’t want to fold over to every request, but you should show that you can be flexible and accommodating.

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5 Amazing Email Marketing Tips

If you’re an entrepreneur who has recently launched a startup business, chances are you don’t have as much time on your hands as you want. However, investing in email marketing is an important facet of your overall marketing strategy.

Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend the following quick and efficient ways to master email marketing, without wasting precious time.

Take Care of Your List
Many entrepreneurs get so caught up in completing the day-to-day tasks that they fail to tend to their email list. You want to make sure that you are always collecting emails and segmenting subscribers (so they get emails that mean the most to them). Without consistent campaigns, the hard work you put into building an email list is wasted.

Make Emails Mobile-Friendly
While this may seem obvious, testing your email campaigns on tiny smartphone screens only takes a quick second. After seeing how your emails look, you can either leave the emails as they are or make improvements.

As expected, if a smartphone user can’t see your emails the right way, you won’t see a high click-through rate with your mobile audience.

Only Include One Call to Action
You’ll never want to ask your subscribers to do too much in the emails you send them. This may overwhelm them and cause them to take no action at all. When you send out an email campaign, make the subject line clear with a concise and relevant copy. Furthermore, you should include one call to action for subscribers to perform.

Always Offer an Incentive
It only makes sense to give your potential subscribers something in return for their email address. People absolutely adore the thought of getting something valuable in return for their personal information. You can try offering a free e-book or a coupon to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list.

Personalize Your Campaigns
If you inquire about people’s names when they subscribe to your mailing list, you should use them when you send emails. Personalizing emails, even if just in the subject line, help build a long-lasting relationship between you and your subscribers. Ultimately, this will help improve your open rate.

Integrate Social Media
When you add social media buttons to your email campaigns, it makes it easy for people to “like” or “follow” you. This also gives them an opportunity to share their favorite content and products from your brand to those who they know and love.

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5 Great Ways to Save Money

While there isn’t a perfect formula for starting a business. different approaches work for different people. Having said that, there’s a great deal of value in cash flowing a business and avoiding the burden of debt on the front end. In order to effectively fund your own business, you have to master your savings habits and attain a strong grasp of your financial situation.

Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend the following tips to saving money in a small business setting. Considering using these today to better improve your cash flow.

Eliminate Your Debt

Sure, nobody wants to discuss the dreaded topic of debt. While we all seem to have it, very few of us ever directly confront it until it becomes too much to handle.

Just imagine what you could do if your debts were gone. All of a sudden, you’ll feel like you got a raise. Suddenly all of that money that was going towards repaying a debt can be put towards something else, such as starting a business.

Reduce Your Discretionary Spending

One of the best ways to pay down debt on a limited income is to slash your discretionary spending and put that money towards your debts.

Between eating out and online shopping, you should be able to save a few hundred dollars per month. Over the course of a year, this can add up to a significant amount of money.

Automate Savings

It’s easy to get so caught up in spending that you don’t even think about savings. Over time, this can have some pretty traumatic effects. And while there are plenty of ways you can deal with this issue, automating the savings process is one of the smartest options.

Ask Yourself THE Question

When you find yourself in a store and before placing something in your shopping cart, ask yourself this important question: “Do I really need this?”

Most of the time, the honest answer is generally “no.” While you might not like the answer, it’s what you need to hear in order to avoid spending money on things you don’t need.

Reinvest Profits

While this may seem simple, it’s often very challenging. Sure, your natural inclination is to start spending the money you make from your new business. However, it’s a much more logical practice to reinvest your profits. This will allow you to continue growing without needing to take on debt.

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4 Ways Your Store Can Adapt During The Retail Apocalypse

Sure, there are many rumors surrounding retail’s demise. Having said that, these rumors are largely exaggerated. According to Deloitte, in 2017 alone retail sales improved by more than three percent. The GDP, to compare, grew by just over two percent.

Nonetheless, there are some significant changes to which retailers need to adapt and understand.

There is both good and bad news.

The Good News

Over ninety percent of retail sales still take place in your good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores. Despite digital retail being projected to grow nearly twelve percent, in-store sales are also projected to grow by almost two percent. This is fantastic news!

The Bad News

Sure, traditional retail may certainly be facing a devastating apocalypse or, at the very least, a huge transformation.

Why is this?

Historically, shoppers have been split into two explicit groups: high-income consumers and then everybody else. While eight out of ten Americans’ incomes have remained the same since 2007, the cost of living has gone up significantly.

Furthermore, technology has played a huge role in increased costs.

So, what does this mean?

Well, according to a recent study, eighty percent of buyers have less money to spend on retail store items, such as clothing and accessories.

Courtesy of Corporate Business Solutions experts, let’s take a look at four proven ways that your store can succeed during the retail apocalypse.

Don’t Cater to Everyone

According to that same study by Deloitte, there are three types of retailers:

  1. Premier retailers that deliver value via premier product and experience offerings;
  2. Price-based retailers that deliver value by selling at the lowest possible prices and clearly communicating that proposition to customers
  3. Balanced retailers that deliver value via a balance of price and/or promotion.

Based on the information above, know who you are and deliver it properly.

Prepare to Go Premium

There are many opportunities for small retailers in the premium category. High-income consumers not only spend more money, they also tend to patronize more retailers. Think about this one.

Think Psychology

It’s easy to become infatuated with the differences between Gen X and Gen Z. However, shopping tendencies are based more on the income level that on generational behavior. In other words, a consumer’s economic status has a much greater impact on their shopping habits than you may think.

Establish an Online Strategy

If you don’t already have a strong digital presence, the time is now to start building one. If you’re not ready to sell online, which you should be, solidify your online marketing and advertising strategies. This will help you attract your target audience.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

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Five Critical Tips to Hiring

We know. Hiring new employees can be a very time-consuming and resource-draining process for any business. However, it can be particularly challenging for small businesses with limited means. For a small company, each new hiree has a significant impact on the business, whether it be negative and positive. As a result, it’s critical for small business owners to have the right approach to hiring in order to avoid mistakes.

If you are looking to take the right steps when hiring, consider the following pointers from our Corporate Business Solutions experts.

Be Very Candid

The first step to ensuring that potential hires are truly ready to take on the duties is to be as clear as possible. You’ll want to inform them of the day-to-day tasks and share the company’s goals as well. Furthermore, it’s important to include details regarding salary and benefits. In addition, be candid about any challenges that he/she might face. Being as candid as possible about the position helps you hire the right people who will last a long time.

Use Connections

You might be able to find great candidates by contacting people you already know in your field. For example, calling or emailing business colleagues and/or creating LinkedIn posts is an effective way to let people know you’re hiring.

Establish Your Company Culture

As mentioned, each employee has a significant impact on the culture of a small business. Remember, you can teach skills, but not personality or a tireless work ethic. Take time to establish company values and the look for these qualities in your candidates. You’ll want to address your company’s values during the interview and also gear questions related to those values.

Measure Commitment

You’re really going to want to understand whether or not a potential hiree is truly committed to working for you before you put that offer on the table. Focus on little gestures during the interview and try to understand how enthusiastic the candidate really is about the job opportunity.

Implement a Trial Period

It’s important to implement a trial period prior to making a full commitment. You might want to consider having new employees sign a short-term contract or hiring them as freelancers. Ultimately, this will help you determine if he/she is the ideal candidate for the job before you make any long-term commitments. Furthermore, an effective trial period can be a great way to give both new employees and employers the right amount of time in order to make informed decisions.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

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6 Tips for Bootstrapping a Startup

With any startup company, obtaining proper funding is usually the biggest challenge. Having said that, there is a myriad of routes that small businesses can take outside of venture capital.

For the best approaches to fundraising, Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend the following six tips for bootstrapping a startup. Keeping these tips in mind will put you in great standing.

Find Mentors 

Seeking out mentors that can advise you on your journey is super beneficial. In doing so, be sure not to limit yourself to where you look. A mentor can be anyone from a friend or family member to even a co-worker. Ultimately, you want to find people who have more expertise than you do.

Establish a Business Plan 

You always want to think things through and have a vision. Creating an actionable business plan and following through with it will land you in a great place. Having a business plan will allow you to reach both short and long-term goals.

Track Expenses 

When you first launch your business, you want to be as frugal as possible without cutting necessities. You won’t learn the financial ropes and understand the costs that are associated with running your business. You also want to consider re-investing the money you make to continue to grow the business.

Key In On Operations

 Getting into the nitty-gritty details of your business is essential. You want to be able to lay the groundwork in order to get to where you want to be. Take the time to focus on marketing, accounting, and human resources.

Do It Yourself (What You Can)

 Yes, of course, you’ll want to outsource when you have to. Having said that, during the onset of your startup you’ll want to complete as many tasks as you can on your own. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also learn the indispensable ins and outs of your business so you can properly train people later. Trust us when we tell you that doing things on your own (initially) will benefit you so much later on.

Assemble an All-Star Team 

As a new small business, you’re going to want to surround yourself with great employees who share a similar passion and vision. You want to hire people who buy into your mission and understand the importance of multi-tasking. Ultimately, your team is the component that will take you to the promised land. To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com

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Five Techniques to Enhance Your Blogging

It’s no secret that online blogging and other forms of published content can prove to be a critical aspect of your marketing strategy. Having said that, it takes a lot of strategic thought and preparation to make online content supplement your business goals. In order to help you improve those efforts, Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend the following five tactics.

Identify Optimal Keywords

 In order for your target audience to stumble across your blog content organically, you must integrate relevant and applicable keywords. While this can certainly be challenging, it’s up to you to invest the time and energy into researching the best keywords. Trust us when we tell you that you won’t regret it.

Get More Subscribers

So, you post your blog and you see that it hasn’t been viewed as many times as you’d like. Now what? To ensure that people actually read your blog, it’s helpful to offer an email subscription option. This will put the new blogs directly in their inboxes. What could be better?

Utilize Your Blog to Augment Your Reputation

Whether it’s via blogging, reviews, or social media, it’s absolutely imperative to not only monitor, but also constantly improve what is being said about your company online. Ultimately, your reputation can make or break a potential customer’s decision to buy into your business.

Personalize Your Content

Think about it – which will draw more interest: generic or personalized content? You got that right. Generic blog content will not yield the positive results you are looking for. Rather, take the time to publish personalized and relevant content that is specific to your target audience.

Make Your Content Shareable

One of the best ways to widen reach your reach is to optimize your content and make it more shareable. The more your content is shared, the more people you will reach.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

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HR Software For Your Small Business

Instead of devoting so much time, resources, and energy on time-consuming HR tasks, the savviest of small businesses use the right HR software for their venture.

HR software makes admin tasks much easier, which frees up your time to focus on running and growing your business.

Let’s take a closer look at what our Corporate Business Solutions experts consider to be the best HR software for small businesses.

Despite the fact that the HR software market is growing and, with so many products available, which HR software is right for you? Here are four of the best HR software programs out there.

BambooHR

BambooHR is HR software explicitly designed for small businesses. With this relevant and effective HR app, you will find the best candidates for your company faster with applicant tracking. You’ll obtain quick and precise HR insights through HR reporting and time tracking. You’ll also be able to create custom workflows and support employee self-onboarding.

What could be better?

If you’re truly interested in utilizing BambooHR to take care of your admin tasks, you’ll have to fill out your information online in order to get a quote.

HR Direct Smart Apps

HR Direct Smart Apps is a streamlined and smart HR software program that is not only affordable but also highly effective. This program will provide your company with a free employee record keeping app which allows you to both monitor and manage employee information.

From there, you can also decide if you want to exploit the additional features, such as software that makes it easier to complete I-9 and W-4 forms, managing employee attendance, and allowing employees to handle their PTO.

Gusto

You can simplify the chaos that comes with HR by using Gusto. Gusto makes the entire HR process easy, including managing benefits and running payroll. From sending out communications to onboarding new employees, you can make the whole HR process seamless and enjoyable with Gusto.

Furthermore, advice and support are provided by HR experts with Gusto. You’ll be able to choose the right plan for your business and budget.

What could be better?

Zoho People

Zoho People allows you to manage and track all of your HR activity from one location. Zoho makes it easy for employees to update their personal information, which saves you a great deal of time. Furthermore, it includes seamless time tracking, performance reviews, and automated workflows.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.