Top Tips For Improving Your Business Efficiency

If you’re running a business, you’re no doubt extremely busy. It’s hard to find time to get everything done, but if you can improve the efficiency of your business, you’ll find that you can not only get more done but actually boost your revenue and take your company to a whole new level. With this in mind, here are some top tips to improve your business efficiency.

Adopt Project Management programs

Keeping every member of your team on track couldn’t be more important when you need to improve your efficiency, and that’s why adopting a project management program such as Trello is especially helpful. This will enable you to plan time more effectively and to ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner. You’ll be able to see at a glance whether a specific job has been completed and, if not, it can be chased up rapidly.

Carry Out Weekly Reviews

Each week, it’s well worth planning a half-hour into your schedule to review everything that went well and all the lessons that you have learned that can help you to improve in the future. With a weekly review session, you’ll be able to identify your successes, learn from them, replicate them and celebrate them, as well as analyze everything that went wrong so you can learn how similar mistakes can be avoided in the future.

Plan the Next Week

At the end of every week, it’s important to look over your diary and plan the week to come in advance. What do you require to prepare for upcoming appointments? Which jobs do you need to complete before attending them? Once the week begins, you’ll probably lack sufficient time to think about the things you may be missing or the things you haven’t yet achieved, so plan ahead so that you can be well-prepared.

Process Finances Regularly

Try to make a specific time slot every month or week to process finances and check bank accounts for outgoings and incomings. This will ensure you stay on top of your expenses and expenditures so you don’t have a lot of chasing up to do in 6 months’ time.

Arrange Marketing In Advance

Marketing is an essential task, but it can often be left behind in the rush of day-to-day business management. Create your marketing materials in advance so you can be fully prepared. If you spend a whole day working on all your upcoming newsletters, blogs, and posts, you’ll not only be more efficient but you’ll also be able to create better flow between your posts since you’ll be in the groove.

Reply To Your Emails Once Daily

It can be tempting to keep checking your emails all day long, but actually, this isn’t an efficient strategy. Taking time out to reply to every single email that comes in means that you’ll be constantly distracted. Instead, take time out once per day to respond to everything that has come in. This will keep your inbox manageable without taking up too much of your time.

Bring In Expert Advisors

It can be difficult to know how to use your time to your best advantage, however, when you bring in professional help you can be sure that you’ll have expert assistance at your fingertips to improve your efficiency. Corporate Business Solutions are on hand to offer you expert advice to help boost your company’s efficiency, improve its policies and drive its efficiency so that your business can begin to grow and thrive.

Can Marketing Strategies Impact On Your Exit Strategy?

As a business owner, you’ve probably never put the terms “exit strategy” and “marketing plans” together before. Yet when you combine both of these things, the results can be especially impressive. If you implement one properly, the benefits to the other are significant. For example, marketing strategies have a key role to play in determining the value of your business once you’ve executed your exit strategy. Conversely, having an exit strategy that is well-defined can make it much easier to market and grow your business.

While both require their own unique approach, it’s possible to think about and implement both together. Marketers are able to take an appropriate approach to help the business grow if they already have their exit strategy firmly in mind. Also, strategists and exit planners are able to guide the marketing team with their exit plan in mind.

Therefore, if a business is to be truly successful, both concepts have to co-exist.

The Importance Of Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies are the tactical blueprints which you’ll follow and which perfectly align with your business goals. The best marketing strategies are simple to implement but are also very diverse, using a wide variety of marketing platforms. Every marketing plan goal should be to put the business and brand in the most positive light so leads can be converted into new customers and profitable sales.

The Importance Of An Exit Strategy

All business owners build their business thinking that one day they may sell it onto an investor. Therefore, having an ultimate exit strategy in mind is important for the business to be successful. Focusing on gaining more new clients, increasing sales volumes and growing its bottom line is key. When investors start to look into the business, those figures translate into higher valuations and allow business owners to exit for the greatest possible price.

Planning A Marketing For Exit Strategy

Marketing for an exit strategy must be defined clearly so that the team knows what must happen at every stage. This means that clear goals must be put in place with specific numbers linked to every goal.

There are several questions that must be defined to put together an effective strategy. Who are your business’ ultimate customers? Which services and products do you sell that interest those customers? Why are they interested in those services and products? Are they ready to buy straight away?

The strategy you adopt needs to be tied closely to each lead that enters the sales funnel, and to every qualified lead that is pushed to the sales team. You could even ensure your marketing strategies are tied into your monthly sales figures and ROI. Above all, your team must know which of the goals are most vital and which are destined to have the largest impact on the final goal – executing your exit strategy.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you’re planning an exit strategy for your business, seeking professional advice is always wise. Corporate Business Solutions Consultants are available to offer you the help you seek, and as a team of experts in the field of business, you can depend on us to point you in the right direction for maximum profit.

Is Size Important or Not?

The importance of size obviously depends on the situation. For instance, a business benefits from having a larger customer base. In cases such as this, it’s important for a business to optimize the size of its assets.

One of the best ways to do this is to use analytics. Doing so helps businesses to see where improvements need to be made. The problem is that many businesses struggle to have the time and expertise to make the best use of analytics. If this applies to your business, you may find that getting help from Corporate Business Solutions Consultants is a good idea. Let’s take a closer look at why getting this type of help can be so important.

What is analytics?

Analytics has come to the forefront of the business world in recent years. It’s a field that makes use of data, IT, statistics and quantitative analysis in order to provide detailed information. This information is used by businesses in order to plan and strategize effectively.

Analytics can be applied in many different areas including customer relationship management, management of business finances, HR management and management of the supply chain.

Why is business analytics so important?

Considering the question of the size that was raised earlier in this article, you can start to see why analytics are so important to a business. For instance, how can your business understand the size of its customer base, or its revenue, if it does not have analytics in place? It’s important that your business has this information so that it can make decisions about improvements that need to be made.

The simple fact is that analytics can help your business grow the size of its share of the market and increase the number of customers that it has, and the resulting revenue. This means that your business can remain competitive and continue to grow. Obviously, these are important considerations for any business.

Different types of analytics

Most full analytics processes involve the use of three types of analytics; descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics.

Descriptive analytics

This is the part of the analytics process that deals with the interpretation of historical data. It provides a business with information about what has happened in the business up to that point.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics involves using techniques such as machine learning and predictive modeling to analyze the current and past situation with the business in order to predict future situations.

Prescriptive analytics

This is the stage in business analytics which involves the use of predictive and descriptive analytics to help make informed decisions for the business. This is done using mathematical and computational sciences.

The answer to the question about whether the size is important or not is that it certainly can be. Businesses need to concentrate on the size of their revenue and market share in order to thrive. Using business analytics helps them to do this. If you want to ensure that you use analytics for your business, as effectively as possible, it may be a good idea to seek professional assistance.

 

Help – You Need Somebody

Owning and running a business can be an exhilarating experience. However, it also comes with many challenges, one of which is recognizing potential problems. As a business owner, who is invested in wanting their business to succeed, it’s easy to miss signs that your business is not doing as well as it should.

The problem with this is that issues can get out of hand if they are not dealt with. This is why it’s so important for you to recognize that your business has problems to solve and get the help that you need from experts like the team at CBS-CBS.com. So how do you know when your business needs help, what assistance can you get and how can it benefit your business?

How to tell if you need help

It’s easy to become complacent when you are running a business, but this is a trap that you should attempt to avoid. There are some signs that you should look out for which might indicate that there is a problem including:

  • A lack of customer interest. If your customer base is stagnant this is likely to lead to a decrease in sales and profits. It can also affect your marketing is word of mouth recommendations are likely to decrease.
  • Mistakes have not been rectified. You can tell if mistakes are being repeated by using business analytics and by paying attention to customer feedback. If you identify this type of repetition, it may mean that you need assistance with improving your business processes.
  • Employees leave on a regular basis. A high level of staff turnover is a sure sign that there are issues with the business that you may need assistance to resolve.
  • Bills and other payments are not being addressed on time. This is an obvious sign that the cash flow of the business is not as it should be and that changes need to be made.
  • There is no innovation in the business. When a business fails to innovate, it’s likely to fall behind its competitors. This is why you may need help from experts if your business practices have not changed over the years.

What expert help can you get?

If you notice signs that your business is having problems, it’s often a good idea to seek help from experts who can give you an unbiased view of the current state of your business, as well as providing you with advice and support.

The help that you can get includes:

  • Data collection and analysis.
  • Customer satisfaction analysis.
  • Business and financial reporting support.
  • Business strategy and planning support.

How this help can be beneficial

The most obvious advantage of getting professional help to resolve business issues is that this assistance is independent and is therefore not hampered by pre-existing assumptions.

This advantage leads to others that can result from the information and advice that is provided, including improved employee satisfaction and retention, enhanced customer engagement and improved strategic planning.

Help is not something that a business owner should be ashamed of asking for. It should always be seen as an effective business tool that can help to improve practices and increase profits.

Using SMART Goals to Help Your Business Grow

Making goals for business growth can, at times, feel challenging. You may have a vision of what your business’ future success looks like, but you may not have a business plan in place to help your team reach that productive end-point. You’ll need to set goals in order to incrementally pave the way towards success, so why not be SMART about it.

SMART goals are a specialized system of breaking down your business or personal goals into easy-to-evaluate criteria. Through these five components, you’ll be able to create goals that will sow confidence and accountability into your entire team.

Should you need further support, though, the consulting experts at Corporate Business Solutions can help to create customized goals to meet your business’ financial and productivity needs.

Specific

First, your goal must be as specific as possible. While it’s easy to set a broad goal, your business will see more success if your goals are carefully tailored to meet specific end-points. Team members, in particular, will benefit from specificity because it will help them align their role on the team towards your vision for the company’s success.

If you’re struggling to specificity your business’ goals, consider using the traditional “6 W’s” (Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why) approach to verbalizing your goals. You can then use these keywords to create a fully-fledged statement of your goal’s purpose and structure from the outset.

Measurable

Measuring the degree of success in meeting specified business goals is crucial, plain and simple. Without a metric for measuring your business’ success in meeting a goal, your progress will remain largely intangible and difficult to track from quarter to quarter. Measurable criteria can come in several forms, with everything from “dollars” to “number of new clients” included.

One of the best ways to determine if your goal is measurable is to evaluate if it can be broken down into tangible milestones. These waypoints can help guide business operations in the short-term in order to make the larger long-term goal more manageable for each team member.

Attainable

Attainability primarily evaluates the structural changes that may need to take place in order to make your goal into a reality. These changes need not be earth-shaking; in fact, they are often as simple as determining which tools and skills your team will need to acquire to make this goal a reality. Make sure that your evaluation of attainability is focused on motivation (IE “we can attain this goal!) or else your team may not have the drive to overcome potential obstacles.

Relevant

Evaluating relevance can be crucial to ensuring that your individual goals align efficiently with your larger business-wide goals. A relevant goal is able to set a course for a distinct end-point while still optimizing existing resources to enhance the goal’s eventual impact. Often, the best way to evaluate relevance is by meeting with all key team members and breaking down how your new goal aligns with (or potentially breaks free from) their existing goals and objectives.

Timely

Finally, your goal should have a built-in time table in order to keep your fresh objectives on a clear course towards fulfillment. You’ll know your goal is timely when you can continuously evaluate its efficiency based upon how much time has elapsed since its initiation. Such a time table should also be realistic and informed by relevant research into the norms for similar goals within your industry.

3 Tips for Finishing Out the Year Strong

As we move through the second half of the year, you’ve probably begun to turn your attention towards your productivity and revenue goals for the year to see if you are on target. If you’re like most business owners, you could always use a little extra support when it comes to finishing the year strong.  The following field-tested tips will fit that need with precision, with each tip providing insight into an issue or method you can use to optimize your success.

When it comes to staying on track with for your goals, you need not go at it alone, though. Corporate Business Solutions consultants are ready and waiting to meet with you to create a personalized management plan that meets your business’ short- and long-term goals.

Tip #1 – Look at Your Last “To Do” List

Though it may sound obvious, your efforts towards planning should include a full review of your goals. During the course of such a review, you can check off any goals that you have been successfully met as well as make modifications to ongoing goals that reflect their current priority status.

If a previously completed goal has fallen by the wayside, don’t be afraid to add it back in for next year’s “to do” list. This can help emphasize its overall importance, as well as provide a stepping stone for making that company-wide goal or milestone a permeant feature.

Tip #2 – Use SMART Goals

There’s an old saying that the best way to eat an elephant is “one bit at a time.” While you need not go to such carnivorous ends to achieve your goals, you should use a goal-setting method that helps you incrementally break down your goals into easy-to-monitor criteria. SMART goals are just one method of accomplishing this standard.

“SMART” goals are those that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. When creating a new line item for next year’s “to do” list, ask yourself, “Is this goal specific? Is this goal measurable?” and so forth. If not, take time to further pare down your goal until you are able to communicate its qualitative and quantitative components with precision.

Tip #3 – Identify Systematic Problems and Solutions

Finally, while looking at the company-wide “to do” list, take some time to determine if any system-wide barriers to efficient operations stand in your and your employee’s path. Though these hurdles can appear on a variety of fronts, they most often prevent employees from completing their assigned tasks in a timely fashion or communicating with one another with a respectable degree of clarity.

Many companies resolve these systematic problems by implementing new tools to supplement their existing capabilities. App-based messaging programs such as Slack, for example, have helped many small and large businesses streamline their team-based internal communications. Even non-communications problems can be solved by looking at the root cause of the barrier and then implementing a purpose-built tool or plan that helps eliminate that barrier substantially.

Onboarding New Employees with the Teaching EDGE

Onboarding new employees can be a challenge, especially if you expect that they’ll need extensive training using your business’ equipment or require extensive support to slot into your company’s workflow. Regardless of the skill or system, you need to teach to your new employee, you can do so using a method promoted in the Scouting program known as the “Teaching EDGE.”

This four-step cycle is designed to incrementally guide an individual from a position of deficit understanding to a position of fully independent operation. Using this Teaching EDGE can certainly take the edge off of both large and small training scenarios. For additional insights into managing your business, consider checking out CBS-CBS.com and their portfolio of informative consulting services.

E – Explain

Before your new employee ever picks up a tool or receives any projects, you (or a relevant manager) should work one-on-one with the new employee to fully explain what is expected of them with regards to this specific task. After explaining these expectations in detail, you should physically walk through every step in the relevant process. During this walkthrough, be sure to go slowly and make all of your actions deliberately geared towards the stated outcome.

At this stage, the new employee will not engage the new skill on their own. Instead, they will watch while you perform the task to gain a broad understanding of the bigger picture.

D- Demonstrate

Continuing on from the “Explain” stage, this next stage is focused on demonstrating the proper methodology behind completing the desired task, as well as explaining the underlying rationale for those actions. To this extent, you’ll repeat the previously completed process while breaking down each step in language familiar to the new employee. This step should also include an emphasis on intricacies that would not otherwise be obvious to the new employee.

By this time, new employees may possess (or should be prompted for) questions. Answer these questions fully and on their terms. While the new employee won’t work hands-on at this stage, they should be empowered to retain as much information regarding the skill’s successful completion as possible.

G – Guide 

After watching both a broad and in-depth implementation of the desired skill, the new employee is ready to begin attempting the new skill in a low-stakes scenario. As the teacher, you may walk your new employee through the steps on the first several cycles before allowing them to complete the task from memory.

Some mistakes are bound to happen, which is perfectly normal. Reassure your new employee and provide input to support their fundamental understanding of the task. At this stage, the new employee should grow in confidence and be able to complete the desired task with some auxiliary support.

E – Enable

Finally, it is time for you, the teacher, to step away and allow the new employee to apply their new skill in a live or realistic scenario. In other words, it is time for the new employee to act on their own and take responsibility for reinforcing their own mastery.

Some mistakes may still occur at this stage, which is okay. Remember that learning a new skill should be treated as cyclical, requiring occasional reinforcement in order to provide your new employee with an opportunity for skill mastery.

3 Tips for Harnessing Social Media to Meet your Business Goals

Regardless of your professional field, gaining new clients and building your revenue is likely at the core of your business planning efforts. While these plans should always be well-aligned with trends in your specific industry, nearly all business large and small can benefit from harnessing the raw communications potential of contemporary social media platforms.

Like the Yellow Pages of yesteryear, social media is where many consumers today turn to in order to ascertain key business information. It is up to you to meet your clients where they are and create a robust social media presence that meets their expectations.

While the following tips for harnessing social media resources will start you down the path towards success, Corporate Business Solutions reviews will help you further solidify these digital gains.

Tip #1 – Identify Your Audience(s)

First and foremost, you’ll need to know your audience before you can ever hope of reaching out to them on social media. While this may broadly include folks working in or in need of services from your specific industry, you should further pare down your audience based upon specific demographics (such as hierarchical position in a company and geographic region).

In all likelihood, you will end up establishing several “target audiences.” This is perfectly normal and can actually help you draw in clients and customers from several different entry points. For example, a bakery may maintain a social media profile that targets both regular bread-seeking customers as well as potential partners (such as a coffee shop) that could sell their products at a commercial level.

Tip #2 – Choose the Right Channels

With your target audiences in mind, you should begin to select social media platforms that are demographically tailored to engage those audiences with precision. Simply put, not all social media platforms are designed to reach every audience, so these selections may be the difference between striking it rich with your audience and wasting your resources on a fruitless digital venture.

Facebook remains the best social media platform for reaching a broad audience and advertising, though its impact on younger audiences is greatly waning today. Meanwhile, LinkedIn remains a great option for networking with other industry professionals and publicizing your business’ services. Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube each respectively hold potential as well when it comes to digitally communicate with your target audiences.

Tip #3 – Engage and Respond

Unlike other communication platforms of the past, social media revolves around the core concept of “engagement.” When you make a post on a social media platform, your audience can immediately respond (both positively or negatively) to your content through verbal and iconographical indicators. This can change how much visibility and productive reception your business receives online as a whole. Often, social media platforms will include analytical tools to help you make heads or tails of your platform-specific engagement.

Engagement isn’t a one-way street, though. When an audience member engages your social media presence, you can respond with feedback based upon their identified needs. Regardless of the feedback’s content, you should always maintain a professional demeanor in order to project the best possible digital brand voice for your physical business.

Are Your Employees Stressed? 5 Ways to Reduce Stress and Boost Productivity

Did you know that stress in the workplace costs companies around the United States to lose $30 billion a year in lost workdays? For any size of the business, that is a significant hit to your profits. A small business, though, the amount of money lost from stressed employees could be detrimental to the bottom line.

Trying to be productive while stressed is one of the hardest things to do. Stress causes us to lose focus on the task at hand, affect our mental wellbeing and can cause physical symptoms as well.

To prevent your employees from being stressed while working, Corporate Business Solutions has five ways that you can keep your workplace stress-free and boost productivity.

Have Open Communication at All Times

Lots of employee stress comes from not having enough communication with their manager. One of the everyday stressors for staff members is their boss.

Luckily, you can do something about that. Evaluate your management skills and see if that’s what is contributing to the stress. Keep your door open for communicating with your team at all times. If someone is having issues, he or she should feel comfortable enough to discuss the problem with you.

Offer Mental Health Days

Although the purpose of reducing stress is to keep your employees productive, there will be times that the only way to do this is by giving stressed employees time off, with pay. If someone needs a break but worries about not getting paid, it won’t solve anything.

Offer mental health days to your staff. These days should be for when someone is highly stressed due to work or personal related matters. It will allow them to relax and ease their mind before coming back to work.

Have an Outlet Room

If you get highly stressed, it’s nice to have somewhere you can go to get all that built-up frustration out. You can offer that in your office by having an outlet room. Think of it as a break room, but for getting rid of stress.

Have things like a ping pong table, dartboard, basketball hoop, and other board games that will relax their minds and help ease up on the everyday stressors of work.

Have a Take Your Dog to Work Day

It’s common for people to have dogs nowadays, and rightfully so. Pets offer so many health benefits to us, as long as you don’t have any allergies to them. They can help reduce your stress and make you feel happier.

Have a day where employees can bring their dogs to work. Before doing this, check to ensure everyone is okay with this idea, as not everyone is a dog lover. Incorporating this into your week, though, can help create a more comfortable work environment that is less stressful and more productive.

Have a Workout Place

If it’s feasible for your office, have somewhere that employees can get in a quick workout. Physical exercise is a great way to reduce stress and keep you healthy.

Having a spot to workout doesn’t necessarily mean you need a full gym in the office. It could be a meditation spot, an area for yoga and stretching, or having a treadmill for a quick run.

6 Tips to Establish a Successful Freelancing Business

More and more people are looking at the world of freelancing as their career path, and understandably so. Freelancing is something entirely different from a regular day job.

As a freelancing, you’re your own business. You’re the boss, employee, bookkeeper, HR department, administration, and even the maintenance crew to clean up your desk. In other words, you’re everything that makes up a business.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of freelancing – being your own boss, building your schedule, and working from basically anywhere in the world – then you need to establish a successful business. With these six tips from CBS-CBS.com, you’ll get off to a good start.

Know Your Focus

Although some work better than others, you can freelance in just about any line of work. Part of being successful, though, is to master in one field and stick with it. Trying to do too many things at one time will only make your life challenging. Plus, you want to develop your skills, and having one focus will help you do that.

Be a Master at Scheduling

One of the most essential points to stress for freelancers is that you have to be organized. It’s next to impossible to be successful if you cannot organize your day. Since you don’t have anyone checking in on you and ensuring you stay on task, it’s up to you to create your schedule and stick to it.

Actually Work

Although this seems obvious, if you’ve never freelanced before, you’ll soon realize why this point is here. It’s so easy to get distracted by everything around you that you end up falling behind in work. Make a note of doing a set amount of work every day to stay on top of everything.

Prioritize

Just as scheduling is an essential skill for freelancers, so to is prioritizing. As you become more successful, you’ll have multiple clients with multiple projects on the go. You have to juggle everything and ensure that you hand every assignment in on time.

Learning how to prioritize will help you with your success. Make a list of what you need to do for the week. Base it off what is the most important to what can wait. You wouldn’t want to spend hours on a project due next week when you have an assignment for tomorrow that you haven’t started yet.

Advertise Yourself

People won’t know who you are at the start. It’s up to you to advertise yourself and get the word of your skills out in public. You can do that by having a social media account dedicated to your freelancing, setting up ads, and by having a portfolio website.

Your portfolio is a way to showcase who you are, what your skills are, your previous work, and what you want to focus on. You can use this to send to potential clients to gain their trust and earn their business.

Persevere

It won’t be easy; there’s no other way to put it. Freelancing is a challenging field to get started in. However, once you establish yourself and get going, you’ll enjoy the rewards of this lifestyle. So, persevere through the difficult times at the start and don’t give up.