3 Tips to Keep Your Business Afloat During Challenging Times

It’s been well over a year now that we’ve maneuvered through a global pandemic. Through this pandemic, many businesses have learned the hard way how to adapt on the fly. Unfortunately, many other companies could not make ends meet through rolling shutdowns and, ultimately, closed their doors for good.

Now, as the world rolls out the Covid-19 vaccines in hopes of gaining control over the rapid virus, many business owners look back at 2020 as a way to help prepare for other challenges they may face down the road.

Although we hope not to implement backup plans, it’s a good idea to have a plan for challenging times ahead that many businesses are likely to face. To help, your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have three tips to keep your business afloat during challenging times.

Avoid Reacting to the Situation

It’s common for people to react to a situation. When someone reacts to a challenge in front of them, they often do so with emotion, leading to an irrational reaction rather than a thoughtful process. Reacting head-on may work in some situations, but not all.

When faced with challenging times, it’s best to slow down and look at the big picture before doing anything. The issue with immediately reacting to what’s in front of you is that a quick decision now could have even more damaging effects later on. Instead, take the time to think things through, develop a thoughtful plan and then react with a calm mind.

A good example would be you have an employee that keeps messing up with inventory. Frustration may take over, and your initial reaction could be to let the employee go. However, if you take a moment to dig into what’s going on, you could find that the training process wasn’t thorough enough and the mistakes the employee is making aren’t actually their fault.

Have an Emergency Fund

When faced with difficulties, many businesses find themselves nervous about not having enough profits to pay the bills. Having a cash reserve meant for emergencies is a crucial backup plan to have. That way, if you end up having to close your doors for a bit, you’ll be able to make ends meet with your emergency funds.

Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

As the world goes in and out of challenging times, your marketing strategy needs to reflect that. If you continue to push the same marketing strategy regardless of the situation around you, your return may not be what it was a few months ago.

Have a couple of different marketing strategies to implement based on what is going on worldwide (or in your industry). For the recent year with the pandemic, businesses could benefit by changing their marketing strategy to showcase the value in what you offer, even if the budget is tight.

The point being, it’s about reflecting and being sensitive to what is going on around you and adapting your marketing strategy to reflect that.

No matter how prepared a business may be to face difficult times, our plans do not always work. However, by preparing for the “what ifs,” you could save your business and stay afloat.

5 Signs Your Business Might Go Under

We often talk about ways to grow your business and help it become more successful. That’s because your goal is likely just that – to grow and be successful. The last thing you probably want to read about are ways your business is failing.

Part of running a successful business, though, is understanding the warning signs that could mean your business is about to go under. When you know them and can identify those red flags, you’ll be able to respond accordingly, rather than stressfully reacting.

So, as part of your business plan and check-ups, Corporate Business Solutions encourages you to look for the following five signs that might mean your business is on the verge of closing.

Inconsistent Positive Cash Flow

Likely one of the best ways to tell how your business is performing comes from your cash flow. It’s pretty easy to determine your success level if you’re constantly in the red (although this is only a snapshot of your true success).

Make it a habit to regularly follow up with your company’s finances. Do you see a downward trend forming? Are there outside influences beyond your control contributing to the trend? Are you on the verge of not having enough cash flow to pay your bills? If so, it’s time to go to the drawing board and see how you can increase your profits to save your business.

You’re Not As Invested

How do you feel about your business? Although being passionate about your company will only get you so far, if you don’t have that passion for motivating you, chances are your business will start to suffer.

Think about why you started your company. Does that reason give you the same boost of motivation and passion as it once did? Keep in mind if you’re not as passionate about your company anymore, it could be a sign to sell rather than letting it crumble.

You’re Not Keeping Up With the Trends

Part of being successful is innovation and moving forward. Those that get left behind ultimately close their doors eventually. That’s because trends and innovation help solve customer’s problems right now and down the road.

If your company lags behind your competitors in innovation, it’s only a matter of time before you shut down. Keeping up with the trends is a way to stay ahead of the competition and keep customers coming to you rather than someone else.

Lack of Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is huge, especially on social media. When you can engage with your customers, they’re more likely to share what you’re posting and spread the word about your business. No customer engagement likely means no one is talking about you.

If you’re struggling to engage your customers, it’s time to revamp your marketing strategy. Something isn’t working anymore, and it’s time to bring in fresh ideas.

No One Wants to Work for You

Are you struggling to hire new employees or have a high turnover rate? It could be a red flag that the business isn’t functioning very well. Having to continually hire and train new employees is quite costly. Plus, it doesn’t look good from the outside.

If you’re noticing employees are frequently quitting, or you’re struggling to hire, take a look at what’s happening internally. What’s your management style like? Ask your current employees (or have an exit interview) to see what’s working or not working.

Paying attention to the warning signs of a failing business could help keep you afloat and thriving. Ignoring them will likely cost you considerably shortly.

4 Tips to Help Boost the Comfort Level of Your Office

How comfortable are you working at your office? We’re talking about your surroundings and the items you frequently use. From the chair, you sit at to how your office functions, various things affect your office’s comfort level.

When you feel more comfortable, you’re more likely to stay there and be more productive. Those who work at a desk that leaves them feeling stiff and sore after would likely rather be anywhere else.

Help your productivity levels by making sure you’re working out of a comfortable environment. Your Corporate Business Solutions Consultants have four tips that can boost the comfort level in your office.

Focus on Ergonomics

Is your office set up in a way that is ergonomically correct for you? If not, keep reading.

Ergonomics is when you design the job to fit the worker. Rather than sitting at a desk crunched over due to lack of back support, the desk and chair used would suit the person using it for proper position.

Focusing on ergonomics is essential to help reduce the stress on your body. Frequently performing an uncomfortable task for your body can lead to pain and discomfort in your muscles and joints and even lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Instead, purchase a chair that gives you proper body support, has your desk at a comfortable level for your arms and shoulders, and even ensures the temperature is at a comfortable level.

Incorporate Plants

Plants serve many purposes in life besides being aesthetically pleasing. They actually can be beneficial to our health by removing toxins from the air (which allows you to breathe better), give your surroundings a humidity boost (less dryness in the air), and add a pop of color.

Try adding in a few plants that are excellent for office décor to get the added benefits. Just make sure the ones you pick are ones you can take care of easily.

Use Headphones to Quiet Distractions

Do you work in a setting with multiple people having meetings or phone calls? Sometimes background noise can be a good thing. However, if the background noise is other people’s conversations, it can make it quite challenging to concentrate on your work.

Investing in a good and comfortable set of headphones is one way to tune out distractions. Whether you plug them in for music or not, they can quiet the environment around you so you can focus more on your work. Plus, if you struggle with coworkers interrupting you, headphones are like a universal symbol that tells people you don’t want to be disrupted right now.

Stay Clean and Organized

A cluttered desk may look like you’ve been busy and have lots on the go, but the mess can actually be distracting. You may not even realize it is happening, but the clutter around you does catch your attention. The more you have in your surroundings, the more draining it becomes on you.

Make tidying your desk a routine habit before you finish your workday. Put away papers, throw away garbage and organize your priorities for the following day. Not only that, weekly dusting is a way to stay on top of allergens that can add to the discomfort, especially if you have allergies.

Making your office surroundings more comfortable doesn’t mean an extensive renovation. Even the smallest changes listed above can have a drastic impact on your comfort levels each day.

Growing a Business and a Family? 4 Tips for Balancing Your Work and Life

A common question entrepreneurs face is balancing their work life and home life in a day. When do you know it’s time to put the computer down and spend time with your loved ones? What do you do to even get to the point that you can have a balance between the two?

Learning to balance your business and a family isn’t always easy. Depending on how the day goes, one will often be a higher priority than the other. Which one goes first in your day often comes down to what’s most important in your life.

For entrepreneurs who want to manage a healthy balance between growing their business and growing their family, we have four tips from CBS-CBS.com that can help.

Use Your Family As Daily Motivation

Finding the motivation to get work done throughout the day can be challenging. We often get used to the idea that we need to wait for motivation and inspiration to strike before getting the ball rolling. However, motivation often comes from within and outside influences.

If you struggle with taking work home, late nights, and not being fully present with your family, use them as your fuel throughout your day. Remind yourself that you need to get your work done to be fully present at the supper table and into the evenings with your family. It can help you stay focused and determined to complete your to-do list for the day.

Prioritize Your Day

Speaking of to-do lists, if you don’t use them already, you’ll want to start. A daily to-do list is an excellent way to organize what you need to accomplish right now and what can’t wait until later in the week.

A good tip is to start each morning making a list of what you need to achieve in your working hours. Start with the essential tasks that absolutely need to get done. That way, if something takes you longer and you have a few more tasks left, they’re likely not as high of a priority and could even wait until the next working day.

Don’t Shut Your Family Out

There’s a difference between separating your work and family life versus balancing the two together. Unless you and your partner both agree it’s best to keep any work talk at the office and not at the house, keep your family involved in your day-to-day activities with the business.

For starters, your partner can be your biggest supporter and cheerleader for your business (and the motivation we mentioned in our first point). Communicating with your partner about the company can also help solve problems that are frustrating you that could help make your next workday a little less stressful.

Learn to Delegate

When you’re first starting a business, you may not have the luxury to delegate tasks as you’ll likely be the only person involved in the business. As you grow, though, and work becomes more demanding, you’ll need to start delegating tasks to employees and managers. Learn the signs of when it’s time to hire support, especially if it’s cutting into your precious family time.

The above four tips can help you find some balance between growing your family and growing your business. Many of the ideas come from simple changes like how you start your day in the morning. It’ll be trial and error to find what works best for you.

Conquer Your Mind: 3 Tips to Manage Self-Doubt as an Entrepreneur

We all experience self-doubt at some point in our lives. For entrepreneurs, it can become even more prominent as you move forward with your business. Self-doubt can hinder your daily decision-making to even take your business down a path that would lead to success.

Along with self-doubt often comes impostor syndrome. If you’ve ever felt like you’re not fit for what you do, other people in your field are more competent than you are, or that you’re faking what people see, you likely are going through imposter syndrome. It’s an internal experience that ultimately makes you feel like a phony, even if you deserve to be where you are.

Trying to overcome something like impostor syndrome and self-doubt takes time. It’s about building your confidence and letting yourself accept that you deserve to be the entrepreneur you are today. To help, Corporate Business Solutions has three tips to try.

Find the Root Cause

There are likely certain areas when your self-doubt is at an all-time high. If you can pinpoint when you feel this doubt the most, you can start to unravel the cause to find the solution. For example, if you’re presenting information on a particular topic but feel you’re not fit to do the job, ask yourself why? Is it because you don’t know the information, or is it because you’re nervous about speaking in front of people?

When you find the root cause of the self-doubt, you can then form your solution to overcome it. In our example above, it may be that you need to spend a bit more time reviewing the information or finding resources to help with public speaking. You may have all the skills you need; you just need a bit of confidence in yourself.

Build Your Confidence Up

Having confidence is vital when running a business. If you doubt yourself and every decision you make constantly, it starts to seep into the rest of your business. How do you expect to move your company forward if you are unsure about where you’re at right now?

Spend some time building up your confidence. Find a mentor to guide you in the business world, focus on your previous success and failures as a way to grow, and always have a plan. When you have a plan, you’re more organized and more likely to feel confident in what you’re doing.

Watch What You Say and to Who

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you told someone about upcoming plans, only for them to have a weird reaction? When that happens, you may feel that your plans aren’t a good idea and start to doubt your choices. No matter what the intentions were of the person you spoke to, if they have a poor reaction to what you say, it can affect what you do next and how you feel.

Instead of letting self-doubt take over from something like this, prevent this type of situation from happening in the first place. When it comes to your business, be picky about what you say and who you say it to. Of course, having a few people to bounce ideas off is good to have, but that doesn’t mean you tell everyone what your plans are.

Managing self-doubt as an entrepreneur is an ongoing process. No matter how many years you’ve been in the business, you’ll have moments where self-doubt takes over. It takes time and practice, but you can overcome it.

4 Business Strategies for Female Entrepreneurs

There have been many strides forward in the business world for female entrepreneurs. In fact, four out of every ten businesses in the United States are owned by women. That number continues to grow as more and more opportunities present themselves for female entrepreneurs.

With that said, many female-led businesses still face unique challenges. Many challenges come down to having confidence in what they’re doing and being taken seriously in their field. In today’s world, though, there are various tips and suggestions available to help female entrepreneurs succeed in the business world.

Are you a female entrepreneur? Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have four business strategies to help with your success.

Advocate for Yourself

Advocating for yourself can be one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur, especially for female business owners. As entrepreneurs soon find out, the business world is highly competitive and can be pretty intimidating.

Remember that you’re here for a reason, and you have the skills and knowledge to be successful in the business world. If you find yourself being overshadowed when you know you have the skills, speak up.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

With that said, it’s essential to know when it’s time to get help. Entrepreneurs just starting often have to wear all the hats in the business. However, you can only do that for so long until you have to build a team. The tricky part is knowing when’s the right time to start building that team.

Asking for help also comes in other forms too, like your home. When you’re trying to grow your business, it requires much of your time. Women are often still the primary caregiver at home while working, whether employed or the employer. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner at home.

Always Be Learning

There’s never a downfall to continuing with your education and developing your skills. When you know more and have the education to back up what you do and say, you can open up new possibilities for you as an entrepreneur.

Always learning can also come from when mistakes. Every entrepreneur is going to make a mistake at some point. The difference, however, is what you do afterwards. Spend some time reflecting on what happened, what went wrong and how you can overcome the setback. It can help prevent the same mistake in the future, though make sure to not dwell for too long on the past.

Work Hard at Every Opportunity

Sometimes, when an opportunity presents itself, it may not be exactly what you hoped for. You could have planned for option A, only for option B to be what is the most feasible at this moment. No matter what route you take your business, work hard at it and work to the best of your ability. Even better opportunities can present themselves in ways you least expect it.

Female entrepreneurs continue to make strides in the business world. It’s not always easy, but being a business owner can be an enriching experience.

Website Makeover: 5 Tips to Revamp Your Website

From time to time, you may want to give your website a facelift. Why? Because a poorly designed and unattractive website can actually hurt your business.

Potential customers are more inclined to leave your website and go somewhere else if your website is slow to load, poorly designed, and has no contact information. Every website needs many crucial elements, and a well-planned layout that is aesthetically pleasing is one of them.

Take a look at your current website and see how it makes you feel. If you’re not proud of it or happy with how it looks, we have five tips from CBS-CBS.com on how to revamp your website.

Set a Goal

Why do you want to redesign your website? If you’re unsure of that answer, you should determine that before you begin.

There are various reasons why a company revamps its website. It could be to speed up the loading time, a change in branding, or it’s been a decade, and it looks outdated. Having a reason or a goal for your redesign will help keep you on track, and it will also tell you what to spend the most time on to engage your customers (i.e. Reducing photo sizes to improve load times).

Document Your Current Website

First, you want to ensure you have your current website documented if you need to go back to the original site. Having a website record allows you to reference back to check important information (like pricing and product descriptions). Also, it’s not a bad idea to keep track of your website’s progression over the years. It’s a great way to compare and see how far you’ve come in website development.

Be Consistent With Your Brand

Every company has a brand. Within that brand are specific colors that represent the logo and the company. It’s essential that you use the same branding across every page on your website.

Consistency comes in many aspects of your redesign, including font used, what’s bolded or italicized, and the photos. Keep things similar across all pages.

Follow the Less is More Rule

Have you ever loaded a website that bombards you with popups, paragraphs of information, and pictures everywhere? It’s distracting, annoying, and not very pleasing to the eye. Most users would likely leave.

With a website, you need to go straight to the point. Cut out any fluff (you’re not writing a novel). Our attention span to websites continues to shorten, which means you only have a handful of seconds to hook the reader into staying on your website.

Have a Call to Action

Make your website as easy as possible for the user to maneuver through. Don’t send them on a wild journey just to find the vital information they need. Instead, tell them where you want them to go next in the form of a call to action.

A call to action can be a statement to “click here,” “signup now,” or “join our email list today.” The purpose is to tell the user what you want them to do next. Using a call to action is a simple tactic to help guide the user to your end goal (increased exposure, more signups, higher sales).

Enjoy redesigning your website. When you have fun with the process, it’ll show through with the overall results. Remember, a website is crucial to your business’s success. Ensure it gets the time it deserves.

The World of Clickbait: What It Is and Why You Should Use Caution

You’ve likely come across them before – you see a headline that sounds epic, only to quickly realize the article has nothing to do with the title. You just went to a clickbait article.

Clickbait articles aren’t anything new, and there are many mixed feelings about them, yet you still can find virtually everything. In videos, paid advertisements, and blog posts, you likely can’t browse the internet without coming across something that is clickbait.

If you’re curious about what clickbait is and even thinking about using it yourself, hold that thought. First, let’s understand what we’re talking about. Then, your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have a few caution points to consider.

What is Clickbait?

Clickbait is something with a sensationalized headline (whether it be a Facebook ad, YouTube video, or a blog post). The purpose is to have a title that draws on your emotions, which, ultimately, connects to your curiosity and makes you want to know more.

The sensationalized headline usually uses words like “you won’t believe this,” “OMG, she did what,” or “this one simple trick will change your life.” It’s easy to see why people would want to click on articles with titles like that – they promise something dramatic and amazing.

However, the problem lies when you actually click the title and go to the media. Once there, you quickly realize that the video or article doesn’t live up to the exaggerated headline. Not only that, but the quality and accuracy of the content are usually questionable.

Why Use Caution With Clickbait

Now, there’s a difference between a more dramatic title that catches the reader’s attention and blatantly using a sensationalized headline that provides no relevance to the content. The goal of posting content is to get users to click on the headline and spend time absorbing what you provide.

There are a few problems with only using clickbait. The first is building trust with your viewers. If every time they click on your content, and it doesn’t live up to what you advertised, you’ll have issues creating that trust with your viewers. Ultimately, they’ll stop going to your content, which will hurt your business.

Another issue is with SEO (search engine optimization). Search engines consider the quality of your content with where you show up in search results. Clickbait content that is low quality will get punished by the search engine, which will put you lower in the search results.

Continuing with search engines, if they notice viewers spend only moments on your content before leaving for something else, they also mark that as less valuable in the search results. Basically, the more clickbait you use that doesn’t provide much value, the more you’re hurting your overall website (and business).

Now, that isn’t to say you should never use clickbait. When used correctly and sparingly, it can actually benefit your website by generating organic traffic.

When using clickbait, though, err on the side of caution. If you’re using sensationalized words to draw the reader in, ensure that the content and quality lives up to the expectation. A well-planned and phrased headline can use “clickbait” words that draw the viewer in. It’s up to you, though, to ensure you’re providing something that makes them want to stay.

Mental Health and Entrepreneurship: 5 Tips Business Owners Need to Know as a Business Owner

Mental health has been a growing topic in the last year, mainly due to shutdowns and isolation from Covid-19. With many businesses forced to close their doors and families isolated at home for weeks on end, mental health becomes very prominent.

As an entrepreneur, your mental health is a crucial aspect of your overall success and wellbeing. Without taking care of your mental wellbeing, stress can overtake your life and ultimately make you quite unhappy.

Luckily, you can do many simple things in your day that will help boost your mental health. Corporate Business Solutions has five tips for entrepreneurs to help with their mental health.

Get Enough Sleep

For business owners, their company is their entire life. Although you need to put in the work to get the results you want, it shouldn’t come at the cost of other vital aspects in your life – sleep.

Sleep is essential for everyone. Not getting enough can negatively impact all life elements, including how you focus, increase your risk for health issues, and even put you at risk for mental health illnesses. So, make sure you get enough sleep each night so you can tackle the next day with a clear and focused mind.

Write Things Down

Have you had those days when your to-do list is never-ending, but you’re frantically trying to remember what you all need to do? How do you feel in those moments? Likely, stressed, anxious, and frustrated.

Prevent your stress levels from rising too high by staying organized. One way to do so is by writing things down. Whether it’s a notepad with your daily tasks or journaling the night before to clear your mind, getting your thoughts on paper will help you remember them and keep your life more organized.

Ask for Help

Never be afraid to ask for help, even as a business owner. You may wear multiple hats, but if you’re drowning trying to get everything done, your quality of work will likely suffer. Higher employees to take over specific tasks to focus on the essential parts of running a business.

Asking for help isn’t just about hiring employees. It also comes in the form of mental support. Psychologists are trained to help provide the proper tools for an individual to manage their stress and anxiety. If you find you’re always overwhelmed, it may be time to ask for professional help.

Give Yourself Downtime Hours

Working every hour of the day may seem like a good idea, but you must give yourself time to unwind and relax. It could be at the end of the day or taking a lunch break. Whatever the case may be, those downtime hours are meant to disconnect you from work so you can focus on yourself.

Add Meditation to Your Routine

You’ve likely heard of meditation before, but do you include it in your daily routine? If not, you should.

Meditation for entrepreneurs is an excellent way to take a time out, reduce stress and anxiety, help with your sleep and even improve your creativity. Give it a shot one day and see how you feel after taking a moment to center yourself and clear your mind.

Make your mental health a priority this year by adding elements to your routine meant to slow you down and take a moment to think. You may be surprised by how much more productive and happier you are when prioritizing your brain’s health.

How to Manage Your Time Like the Boss You Are

Time management is a crucial skill that every business owner should know. Good time management can be the difference between checking off every task on your list and falling behind in growing your company.

Why should you work on your time management skills? For starters, it’s an excellent way to help relieve some stress in your day (by completing everything you wanted that day), give you more time for a better work-life balance, and even open more opportunities for your company.

With time management having such a positive impact on your life, here are six tips from your Corporate Business Solutions consultants that will help you master this necessary skill.

Plan Your Week and Day

One step for time management is to plan your upcoming day and week. Having a plan for what you need to achieve that day will help you stay on task, rather than feeling overwhelmed, trying to determine where to start.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Prioritization is another element of time management. If you spend most of your time in a day working on tasks due at the end of the week, rather than focusing on something due tomorrow, you’ll feel less rushed and stressed about everything. Plus, prioritizing allows you to see what items you can delegate to your team so you can focus on what’s the most important to the business.

Start Your Day With the Most Important Task

Are you someone who dreads working on certain things? Rather than dwelling on them throughout the day and procrastinating, schedule them for the morning so you can get them out of the way. You’re likely to have the most amount of energy at the start of the day, and completing those problematic or annoying tasks right at the beginning is an excellent motivator.

Remove Distractions

Did you know that a distraction can cost you roughly 25 more minutes than what you expected? A study into workplace disruptions found that it takes the average person almost 25 minutes to recover from a distraction and refocus on their task. If you kept track of how many times you got distracted in one day and added 25 minutes to each distraction, how much time was wasted?

Eliminating distractions is a crucial element of time management and keeping yourself organized, focused, and motivated. Close down additional tabs on your web browser or close your office door so you have more privacy. Whatever your main distractions are, think of how you can remove them or minimize how often they steal your attention from your work.

Focus on One Task at a Time

Think of this tip alongside removing distractions. Do you find yourself trying to work on multiple things at once? Maybe you’re in a phone meeting and shooting off emails to a client. Trying to accomplish multiple tasks at once doesn’t have the effect you’d hope. Instead, pick one item on your list and focus on just that task until it’s finished, then move on to the next one.

Set a Time Limit to a Task

A good trick to try is to set a time limit for each task you do. Whether it be doing the dishes, writing a report for work, or even cleaning your office, setting a time limit can help keep you focused and motivated to finish the job.

Don’t stress trying to master time management, as it’s a skill you’ll always be learning. However, making it a priority in your life will help ease stress and stay organized.