What Do You Want, Do You Really, Really Want?

As the owner of a small to medium business, it can be tempting to try and do everything in -house. In fact, many small business owners take it one step further and try to complete many tasks themselves.

The problem with this is that no-one can be an expert in every aspect of running a business. There is also a chance that tasks will not be completed effectively when a business tries to do everything itself. This is why it often makes sense to seek professional help with

CBS-CBS.com. Doing so can help a business get the expert assistance it needs when dealing with complex issues such as analytics or tax issues.

Knowing what help you want

If you are running a business, and decide that seeking professional assistance is a good idea, you need to understand what help you want. In order to get this understanding, you need to examine your current business structure. This helps you to determine what expertise you have in-house.

You also need to be critical about which areas of the business are not being addressed as they should. For instance, you may not be making the most of tax opportunities. You may also be missing out on marketing opportunities because you are not paying enough attention to your analytics. There are many areas where seeking professional expertise can be useful for a business. Here are three of them.

Tax and accountancy

Tax rules can be complicated for business owners to understand. This means that they serve as a distraction from other business-related tasks such as creating a marketing strategy.

Likewise, business finance decisions can also be complicated and difficult to negotiate. This is why working with a partner that can provide accountancy services is a good way of optimizing your tax position and ensuring that your business finances are managed efficiently.

Analytics

No business can operate to its full potential, without measuring its performance. There is usually an array of data that businesses can use to inform their operational decisions. The problem is that not all businesses have personnel who have the time and/or knowledge to use analytics effectively.

If this applies to your business, it’s a good idea to work with professionals who can provide you with analytics solutions. This is because you get accurate and transparent information that you need in order to make the best decisions for your business.

Human resources

This is actually one of the most important aspects of running a business. However, it’s also one that is often neglected. This is because business owners and managers tend to concentrate their efforts on the numbers when it comes to productivity and profits.

However, without a good HR system in place, it’s impossible to manage one of the most important resources of a business; its workforce. This is why many businesses work with professional partners in order to get the HR solution that they need.

You can see why you should stop and think about what assistance you need to make your business run more efficiently. Then you need to find a reliable and reputable partner to provide this assistance.

Why Good Succession Planning is Essential for Your Business

In order for a business to continue being successful, it needs to be prepared for any future gaps in personnel. This applies from ground level to senior management. To have this level of preparation, effective succession planning needs to take place.

This planning helps a business to establish vacancies that may occur. They can then make decisions about how to fill these vacancies. This involves planning aspects such as identifying internal skills and potential, training and external recruitment requirements. Businesses can make use of Corporate Business Solutions Consultants to help with this planning, which provides several vital benefits.

Identifying potential within the business

Succession planning enables a business to identify potential talent within. It helps a business to determine who are the future leaders within the workforce. These people can then be developed with a view to filling gaps that are likely to occur, higher up the ladder.

Making important savings

It’s a lot more expensive to recruit externally than it is to train and support gifted people that are already employed within the business. This means that succession planning helps to save money which the business can allocate to meet other essential expenses.

Identifying potential future weaknesses

While succession planning is a useful tool for identifying potential talent and training requirements; it also has another important role in business planning. It can help to identify future potential weaknesses in the business.

It does this by predicting the loss of essential personnel. For instance, the head of sales could be looking to move on. If this happened, and there was a delay in filling the role, there could be a negative impact on sales. Having this information in advance enables a business to mitigate the potential risks. This helps to preserve the performance and profits of a business.

Establishing if there is a competency gap

Succession planning is not just about filling gaps that may be created by vacancies. It’s also about establishing if there is a gap in competencies required for the current and ongoing success of the business.

For instance, there may be a lack of knowledge at ground level that will enable people to progress to a higher level in the business. There may also be a lack of awareness of skills and expertise that will be needed to meet technical or industry developments.

Identifying these competency gaps means that a business can act accordingly. It can ensure that the gaps are addressed so that the business continues to operate successfully.

In summary

Effective succession planning is a vital tool for any business that wants to maintain its level of success. It enables the business to ensure that any potential personnel or skills gaps are identified and addressed.

This type of planning can help a business to save money by ensuring that it makes the best use of its current workforce. Members of this workforce can be trained and developed so that the business becomes self-sufficient in filling vacancies and does not have the expense of external recruitment.

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.

Choosing the Right Corporate Business Solutions Consultant for Your Business

Any business owner knows the value that working with a consultant can have. It provides an independent perspective on the processes and practices of a business and provides potential solutions and improvements.

However, if you are looking to enlist help with corporate business solutions, you need to make sure that you choose the right Corporate Business Solutions Consultants for your needs. Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Know what you are looking for

Before you set about enlisting the services of consultants, you have to understand the needs of your business. This means that you need to have a clear view of what specific help is required.

This enables you to find consultants who have experience in providing the required services. It also means that you can have a more informed conversation with consultancy providers. You can explain exactly what needs to be done and they can tell you precisely what help they can provide.

Speak to the companies you are considering

It’s not a good idea to select a business consultancy provider based simply on what you have read, or recommendations you have received. You need to speak to the provider in order to determine whether they are the right fit for your needs.

Reputable consultants incorporate business solutions should be able to provide you with clear and concise information when you speak to them. You can then use this information when choosing the best options for your business.

Check reviews and recommendations

While you should not make your decision entirely based on reviews of a consultancy provider, you should take them into account. This is because these reviews have been provided by people who have experience of working with the consultants. You can learn about how the consultants can have a positive effect on the performance of your business and you can identify any less than positive aspects.

Understand the culture of your business

It’s important to understand how consultants are likely to fit with the ethos and culture of your business. In order to do this, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your business culture. You should use this information when you are making decisions about how well the ethos and provisions of a consultancy provider will match with this culture.

In summary

Any business can benefit from expert help with corporate business solutions. Seeking this type of help is a way of establishing the current health of a business and identifying means of improvement. However, it’s important that the consultancy provider is the right fit to work with a business.

To establish whether this is the case, a business owner needs to understand the needs of the business, check for reviews of prospective consultancy providers, have a conversation with providers and consider the culture of the business before making any final decisions. If the correct choice is made, the business and provider can work together in order to optimize the performance and profitability of the business. This is a benefit that is invaluable to any business owner.

 

 

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away – Does This Work for Employees?

You have probably heard the apple a day saying. Originating from a Welsh proverb, and reworded by Benjamin Franklin, it’s been around for almost two centuries. So, is there any truth in it and can it work for your employees?

The truth is that there is no medical evidence to suggest that an apple a day results in fewer visits to the doctor. However, eating fruit can form part of a healthy diet which can, in turn, lead to healthier employees. Ask any expert in

Corporate Business Solutions and they will tell you that a healthy workforce is a valuable asset to any business.

Why is a healthy workforce important?

So why is it so important to have healthy employees? There are actually several benefits to be had.

Reduction in sick absence 

An obvious advantage of having employees who are healthy is that they are less likely to be absent due to sickness. This means that if you promote the health of your employees, they are likely to be in work more often, thereby protecting the productivity levels of your business.

Enhanced business performance 

Just because people are in work does not mean that they have an optimum level of health. They could be overtired or suffering from stress. This has an adverse effect on their performance levels. Therefore, taking action to improve the overall health of your workforce helps to improve personal performance and the performance of the business as a whole.

Improved employee engagement 

When people see that their employer is interested in their health and well-being they feel as though they are valued. This means that if you pay attention to the health of the people who work for you, they are more likely to engage with you and be motivated to work towards the ongoing success of the business.

How to keep your workforce healthy

While there is no way to guarantee that your employees will remain healthy, there are things that you can do which make it more likely to happen.

  • Make healthy food available to all employees. Many businesses provide vending machines which contain snacks such as candy and chips. Employees may get a short-term energy boost from eating these items, but they are not healthy in the long term. It makes sense to provide easy access to a selection of fruit instead. While apples may not keep the doctor away, they can help.
  • Encourage employees to exercise. This is an essential aspect of helping to protect the health of your workforce. Employees should be encouraged to move their limbs regularly while seated at their desks. They should also be encouraged to move away from their desks during their lunch break and go for a walk or a run.
  • Provide furniture that is supportive. This type of furniture helps to protect the joints and muscles of employees, making chronic pain issues less likely.

You can see that while giving your employees an apple a day may not keep the doctor away, providing a healthy workplace can make a real difference.

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.

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.

How to Handle Negative Online Reviews

No matter how much effort you put into your business and do everything right, there will still be people that won’t like your idea. In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to give a negative review because of the internet. Through social media and review websites, you can post a review at any time, anywhere.

At some point, you’re bound to face a negative review. Those reviews don’t have to be the end of your business if you don’t let them. It’s all in how you handle them and move forward.

Don’t fall victim to a negative review. Use the following seven tips from Corporate Business Solutions Consultants to stay on top of negative reviews and not let them affect your business.

Always be Professional and Courteous

There’s a reason for the negative review. Even if you did everything you could to keep the customer happy (and even if you were in the right), it’s important to remain courteous and professional at all time, because there is a reason why that person posted the review. Responding negatively will only worsen the situation. By responding professionally, you can use the online publicity to your advantage.

Respond Quickly

With a negative review, don’t ignore them, it’ll only look worse on your part. Respond promptly. Even if you don’t have the time to fully assess the review, at least reply as quickly as possible that someone will be in contact, or provide your contact information. It will at least show that you’ve taken the time to read the review.

Provide Contact Information

That being said, you should always provide the review with a contact so that you can take the matter privately. Diving into the negative review online isn’t always the best idea. By giving a phone number or email to the person, it opens up a new line of communication to solve the issue.

Remove Any False Reviews

False reviews do happen. Whether it’s from a disgruntled employee, a competitor, or someone who was paid to write the review, false and misleading reviews do happen, and you can request to have them taken down.

Listen to the Customer

In many circumstances, frustrated customers are those who feel like they haven’t been heard. Poor customer service skills can lead to negative reviews. Take the time to listen to the customer and their needs. Show that you are listening to them by responding to their complaint before offering a solution.

Use it to Improve

As noted, there is a reason why the customer posted a negative review. After responding to it and finding a solution, use the complaint as a way to improve your business. One way to really show that you care and that you listen to your customers is by considering their complaint.

Don’t Fall Victim to “Trolls”

Have you heard of “internet trolls?” These are those who purposely causes a scene or issue on the internet for entertainment. Usually, when an internet troll posts a negative review or comment, there isn’t a reason behind it. Don’t fall victim to internet trolls, as they tend to flare up emotions.

To combat negative reviews, rise above and remain professional at all times. Use the review to your advantage by being courtesy online, listening to the customer, and using the complaint to reflect on your business.

4 Tips for Staying Organized as a Freelancer

If you’re a freelancer, then you know the many perks that come along with the lifestyle. The freedom to build your schedule and work around your own day, being able to work from home (or anywhere else you want, really), and having the joy of relaxing without the stress of an office, are all some of the many benefits of working as a freelancer.

You also know, then, that there are some downfalls to being a freelancer as well. One of the most major downfalls is staying dedicated and organized to get the work done.

You don’t have a boss hanging out near your office ensuring that you complete your workday. Instead, it’s all up to you. That is why it’s crucial to stay organized as much as you can to keep on top of the game.

At Corporate Business Solutions Reviews, we know the importance of organization. So, here are four tips that will help any freelancer stay organized.

Know Your Limits

Especially when you’re first starting, it’s hard to say no when jobs come up. Money tends to be tight at the beginning, making it more appealing to work as much as you can. However, taking on more than you can handle will cause unnecessary stress in your life.

Have a Consistent Schedule

Consistency is essential for freelancers. If you get in the habit of waking up whenever you want, scheduling in appointments and errands in the middle of the workday, it gets hard to stay on top of your work.

Having a consistent schedule will not only help you stay organized and keep track of all the different projects you have going on, but it will also help you maintain a life. It’s easy to get caught up with work every evening and into the weekend.

A way to build a consistent routine is to schedule out your week in advance. Make a note of all your appointments, deadlines, tasks, and other projects on the go, and allow yourself a realistic amount of time for each. Always leave wiggle room for things taking longer than planned, and unexpected projects or issues popping up.

Prioritize

Prioritization is key for success as a freelancer, and it will help you stay organized as well. If you start your day off with a project due at the end of the week but ignore the one that’s due tomorrow, you’re setting yourself up for a stressful evening. Stress can cause chaos in our lives, and that will only lead to feeling overwhelmed and disorganized. So, when you plan out your week, start with the high priority jobs and work your way down.

Have Steady Work

Part of what makes freelancing a challenge to organize is all the one-time jobs and random assignments popping up. It’s hard to feel secure in your work when you can’t guarantee you’ll have an assignment coming your way.

Building a relationship with your clients to maintain long-term work will help ease the stress of the unknown. You won’t feel the need to take on more than you can and say yes to any unnecessary jobs just to make ends meet.30

If you’re a freelancer who struggles to stay organized, consider implementing the above four tips. You’ll find that after adjusting to them, you’ll stay more on top of your work and feel better about your daily schedule.