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.

Virtual Meetings: 5 Tips to Keep Your Zoom Meeting Productive

If you asked the business world that one day we would spend more time working remotely and conducting virtual meetings more than anything in-person, many would likely shrug that off. Except, here we are today, and that is precisely the case.

We’ve talked before about how 2020 changed the business world (and the world as a whole, really). The Covid-19 pandemic forced many companies to shift virtually for the majority of their duties. To keep their team connected, Zoom meetings grew exponentially in popularity. As many found out, however, there are more challenges to maintaining a virtual meeting productive.

At Corporate Business Solutions, we know it’s essential to keep your team connected when working remotely. We have five tips to help you keep your Zoom meetings productive.

Invite Those Necessary

Have you ever attended a meeting where you left thinking that was a waste of time? Well, you likely didn’t need to be there. Keep that in mind, when inviting members to a virtual meeting. The more attendees you have, the more challenging it becomes to keep everyone engaged, and the meeting productive. So, invite-only the essentials that will benefit and contribute to the meeting.

Lay Out Ground Rules Before the Meeting

Before you even begin, lay out ground rules for the meeting. Having ground rules can help prevent the meeting from going off-topic, attendees talking over one another, and frustration for you as the leader.

Some ground rules to consider include muting those who aren’t talking, use the “hand up” feature when someone wants to speak, ensure all attendees keep their video on so you know they are paying attention, and that everyone will have an opportunity to speak when called upon. These rules help keep the meeting running smoothly.

Send the Meeting Agenda Beforehand

Those who attend a meeting want to know that it is worth their valuable time, helping keep their focus. One way of doing that is to send an agenda before the meeting begins. Not only does it ensure the attendee that it’s essential for them to attend, but it will also help everyone stay on task.

Keep the Morning Short

Long, drawn-out meetings typically aren’t the most productive. They drag on and lose the attention of the attendees. Some research suggests that the human brain becomes bored in only 10 minutes. Now, that may be a bit too short to run your meeting. However, you can use that timeframe to move onto different topics.

Keep in mind, when you’re conducting virtual meetings, attendees are usually at home. That means there are more distractions compared to being in the office. So, that 10 minutes could become shorter. Keep your meetings short and your topics concise.

Follow Up With Attendees

The best way to know how the meeting went is to hear from those who were at it. Follow-ups are an excellent step to take in the meeting process. It gives you a chance to get feedback to help improve the next meeting, and it allows you to further any discussions that got cut short during the session.

Ready to increase productivity and engagement at your next Zoom meeting? Use the five tips above to boost your meetings.

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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.

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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.

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.

6 Entrepreneurial Skills You Should Master Right Away

Anyone can be an entrepreneur if you think about it. If you have an idea, a plan, and the means to make it work, you could become an entrepreneur.

Just because you can be one doesn’t mean you’ll be successful at it.

Successful entrepreneurs have particular skills that they’ve either mastered or are highly developed. It’s these types of traits that drive them to push the boundaries and reach every goal they set out.

At CBS-CBS.com, we know how important it is to have the resources to get you where you want to be. That is why we created a list of the top six entrepreneurial skills you’ll want to master right away.

Time Management

As an entrepreneur, you’re wearing multiple hats in a day. If you struggle to manage your time efficiently, you’ll become overwhelmed with all of your tasks. You may even miss important deadlines and meetings.

Many small business owners starting still have a full-time job on top of their startup. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. It’s up to you in how you use them.

Determination and Motivation

Entrepreneurs rarely walk away from what they started because it didn’t work the first, second, even fifth time. Instead, they take what they learn, apply it to a new strategy, and continue to persevere. They are determined.

Having determination allows you to take on challenges head-on to reach their goals. It’s also their determination that motivates them to stay the course.

Marketing and Social Media

You’ll spend a lot of your time marketing your business; otherwise, how will people know you exist?

The marketing world is challenging to maneuver. That is why this is an essential skill to develop quickly to help your business succeed.

Customer Service

At some point, you’ll have to handle customers and clients. Maybe, later on, you’ll hire someone to do that for you. However, as you start, you’ll take on the role of customer service.

Handling customers is more than merely talking to them. It’s a unique skill to have under your belt. It’s these skills that help put out fires and keep upset clients coming back happy.

Ready to Learn

Although this may not seem like a skill, entrepreneurs must keep learning no matter what.

Successful entrepreneurs set aside their pride and admit when they need more education on a subject. Not only that, they learn from every discussion, failure, success, and hiccups they have on their journey.

Ability to Listen

The ability to listen is a considerable skill one needs as an entrepreneur. It is this skill that wraps everything together.

Whether it’s through interactions with customers, employees, or a potential business partner, you need to spend time listening to them speak. Give people a chance to speak and respond in ways that keep the conversation on the topic, rather than turning it back to you.

Having the ability to listen is a deceivingly tricky skill to master. Individual responses may seem fine to you but are offensive or condescending to someone else. Practicing empathetic listening will be a tremendous asset to know.

Add these six skills to your to-do list as an entrepreneur. As you develop them and continue to grow, watch how they change the way you think, listen, speak, and work.

Develop the Perfect Marketing Strategy with Our 6 Points

Pretty much every business needs a marketing strategy. It’s this plan that helps spread the word of what you’re doing, reach new clients, and build your business into a thriving empire.

A solid marketing strategy includes multiple elements. From social media to designing your website, each method you use to reach clients should fall under your marketing plan.

Where do you start, though?

Developing this plan isn’t always the easiest. That’s why at reviews for Corporate Business Solutions, we put together six points to get you started.

Lay Out Your Starting Point

You have to start somewhere, and it’s best to know where you’re beginning from. This first step is likely the easiest as you’re laying out your current situation.

Write out all products and services you offer, your current target audience, your social media following, niche, and what sets you apart from your competitors. After you have your starting point, you can proceed to the next step.

Narrow Down Your Business Goals

Before anything, you must have business goals. Short-term and long-term goals keep you on the right path that is best for your company. Without them, reaching your end goal (a successful business) will look like a zigzag that can cause confusion and disarray.

Create SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. These goals help hold you accountable and are practical enough for your business to achieve. Once you have those, you’ll use your marketing strategy to help reach them.

Create a SWOT Analysis

Have you heard of a SWOT analysis before? If not, it’s time to become familiar with it.

SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis are what showcase your strengths, weaknesses, and factors that affect you reaching your goals. It’s a chance for you to brainstorm points that help you understand yourself and your business a bit better.

Define Your Target Audience

You can almost guarantee that any marketing strategy tips you read; it will include defining your target audience. That’s because this is a crucial step.

Throw away the idea that you can appeal to every single individual on this planet. It’s just not possible. Instead, you want to focus on a specific group. Using what you’ve laid out so far with the steps above, define your group by personal characteristics, geographic location, career, interests, and anything else you deem essential.

Set a Budget

Although there are many free ways to market your business, there will come the point when you need to invest a few dollars. Without a budget, those few dollars can quickly get out of control.

Set a realistic budget for what your business finances are like. Include elements like social media ads, radio, television, print, highway signs, and any other features you may utilize.

Brainstorm Marketing Ideas

Once you have the specifics nailed down, you can start to brainstorm ideas. Enjoy this process as it’s your chance to be creative.

Plan out ideas that you are likely to use. Write out the details of each design. Once you have a plan, break it down to see if it ties into your marketing plan you’ve worked on. Does this idea help you reach your defined business goals?

Your marketing strategy is a way to boost your business and reach the goals you layout for your company. Don’t forget about this vital element of running a business. Taking the time now will offer great rewards in the future.

Affiliate Marketing Program – Why It May Be Worth Introducing

Have you ever logged onto your social media account to see someone posing with a new product, telling you how awesome it is? If you look at the description, chances are they have a discount code you can use to get a percentage off.

This is a style of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to get the word out about your products and services to a broader audience – more than you likely could with regular marketing. It’s a massive market worth over $12 billion and shows no signs of slowing down.

So, how does affiliate marketing work, and is it worth setting up for your business? Our Corporate Business Solutions reviews break down affiliate marketing and why it’s worth considering.

Affiliate Marketing 101 – How It Works

At its core, affiliate marketing is when you have someone who advertises your products and services to their following. It can be through their social media accounts, blog posts, YouTube channels, and other platforms that reach a following.

A typical affiliate will either purchase your product at a discounted price or receive something small for free to begin. Then, they share their personal experience with your product, which would draw in others to try it themselves.

An affiliate would have his or her discount code that they would share with their followers. You often see the discount code as their name for 15 percent off the purchase price. It’s enough to entice someone to buy, but not too steep that you’re losing money. When someone uses this code, the affiliate will gain a small commission from the sale (think of it as their paycheque for bringing you in more sales).

It doesn’t have to be a discount code, though. You can also provide the affiliate with a unique URL that they share with their followers. When someone uses said link to make a purchase or sign up for a service, the affiliate will receive a commission that way.

Is It Worth Having an Affiliate Marketing Program?

For starters, affiliate marketing is probably one of the least expensive forms of advertisement out there (besides word of mouth, which is free). The great thing about it is that you only pay the affiliate when a sale is made. If the affiliate doesn’t generate any leads, you don’t pay a cent.

Another benefit is that your affiliate marketer reaches his or her established audience. There’s a decent chance that many of their following doesn’t know about your business. As the affiliate shares posts about your products and services, your brand awareness increases. It’s a way for you to reach a wider audience, gain new clientele, and establish relationships you may otherwise not have gotten.

Of course, one of the main benefits of affiliate marketing is a boost in sales. Even after you pay out the small commission, you’re still increasing your sales. Not only that, because you’ve gotten the word out to a new client, but you also increase your chance of having a repeat customer and having them share with their following too.

Affiliate marketing is a win-win for both sides. The affiliate earns a few bucks as you gain brand awareness, customers, and sales.

If you go this route, create criteria for who can be an affiliate of your brand. You’ll want trustworthy people that will help positively promote your business.

Is The Time Right To Exit My Business?

Every business owner needs to acknowledge that they will want to leave their business at some stage. Therefore, thinking of a business exit strategy from the very beginning couldn’t be more important. Many things need to be borne in mind when exit planning, but perhaps the most vital has to be timing considerations.

Here at CBS-CBS.com, our consultants know how important it is to think well in advance about how to exit a business as early as possible. Therefore, we’ll take a look at how to know when the time is right to exit a business.

The Lifecycle Of Your Business

Whatever kind of business you have, it has its own lifecycle. Knowing where your company is within its own lifecycle is key since this will impact in a major way on how sellable your business is. While there isn’t a single perfect time for selling a business, if you know the exact stage that your business is at, you can ascertain an accurate valuation and, therefore, build a sales pitch that will convince potential buyers. For example, if your high growth business is under a year old, you might require more time in order to progress towards a mature stage, while businesses that are already in their mature stage could require diversification if its value is to increase and its appeal is to extend to a wider pool of buyers.

Is The Time Of Year Right For Selling Your Business?

When you’re timing your business sale, its seasonality shouldn’t be overlooked. For example, if you consider e-commerce enterprises, most notice a significant increase in sales around the busier shopping period from October to January. In the case of some e-commerce websites, this may account for more than half of the company’s annual revenue.

While it may feel natural to sell your business right after this especially lucrative time of year, however, it’s important to consider whether any buyer would be interested in acquiring the company in February but having to wait for 8 months until real returns start to come in. This would have a material impact on how much the buyer would be willing to pay for the company.

With this in mind, timing your exit around lucrative periods is vital.

Is It The Right Choice For Your Business?

Timing is essential to successful sales. There are numerous factors that come into play and, therefore, you need to make sure that you don’t just sell for the right reason, but that you sell at the right time too. Selling your business under duress or too quickly is almost certainly going to end up getting you a low sale price. In general, the longer you’re able to keep your business, the better the chances of your business having a fully-developed exit plan, and the greater the value you can achieve when you sell it.

When it comes to timing your business exit, it’s important to take professional advice. The Corporate Business Solutions team is on hand to answer your questions and help you to draw up an effective strategy for the long-term.