How to Set Up an Effective and Successful Meeting

Although they aren’t always the most fun thing you can do at work, having regular meetings with your office is a productive way to ensure everyone is on the same page. Meetings are often an underrated tool that management can use to work with their team.

Having a successful meeting comes from how you set it up. Simply telling your staff to gather in the board room for a meeting and preparing nothing in advance won’t get you very far. It would help if you got in the habit of doing some prep work.

To help you hold successful and effective meetings, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has six tips.

Give Advance Warning

Especially if you want people to engage with you and have something to say, you should give the attendees advance warning. This also allows them to adjust their schedule so that they can fit the meeting in.

Provide a Written Agenda

Part of giving your staff a warning for the meeting is to provide them with an agenda. When they have the main points you plan to talk about, again, they can plan ahead of time and come more prepared. When everyone in attendance is prepared, you’re likely to have a more engaging meeting.

Stay On Time and On Task

Meetings frustrate people because they tend to be long, dragged out, and end up going off task. If that happens, people leave feeling like they’ve (or you) wasted their time. That is not the sign of a productive meeting.

Manage the clock as you guide the meeting. If you said it’s only going to be 10 minutes, make sure you stick to that. If you have points brought up that are off topic, make a physical note of them and mention you will follow up with either them personally or the group after, but that you need to stick to the agenda. Make sure that you show the team you are making a note of the topic, so they know you’re taking it seriously.

Use Visuals If Necessary

Not every meeting requires visuals. If you’re making a PowerPoint for the sake of having something to look like, you’re probably doing more work for yourself and wasting your time. However, if you need to prove a point with charts, then make a straight-to-the-point presentation not to distract people.

Encourage Note Taking (and Take Notes Yourself)

Note-taking is an essential skill to learn and master. Our minds can only remember so much, and if there were an important point brought up at the start of the meeting, you’d want to remember that later. Encourage the attendees to take notes by providing them with a notepad and pen.

Even though you’re conducting the meeting, you should also take notes yourself. If you want to encourage discussion, then you should jot down what your employees mention.

Follow Up is Key

No matter how prepared you are and how engaging the meeting was, you’re likely going to lose an employee or two at some point. It happens. That is why, following up with the attendees is critical.

Send out an email to the attendees and anyone who couldn’t make it. Include any points brought up from the group and any points that you tabled for later. Again, make it brief and straight-to-the-point. Include if you want to do a follow-up meeting on something important.

Your Guide to Handling a Business Lawsuit

As you start up and grow your business, the last thing on your mind is to be dealt with a lawsuit. It’s something that every business owner knows can happen, but it’s not something you want to go through.

A business lawsuit can come from many circumstances – from an employee, a customer, or possibly another company. Lawsuits cost company’s lots of money and can quickly become overwhelming to the point of feeling like it’s the end of your business. However, it’s all in how you handle the lawsuit and maneuver through each step.

Whether you’re currently going through a business lawsuit or want to prepare just in case, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has a guide to deal with the situation.

Hire an Attorney

First things first, fire yourself an attorney that works with business lawsuits. You won’t want to go through this on your own. Once you receive the papers, take them straight to your attorney to go through them and develop a plan.

When you go through the lawsuit with your attorney, you’ll check for any discrepancies in the lawsuit to ensure it is accurate and for the right person. After that, you and your attorney will start to draw up a plan of action.

Do Not Communicate the Lawsuit With the Plaintiff

The person who files the lawsuit, it is best to not to communicate with them about the lawsuit. Anything said about the lawsuit could get used against either of you. That doesn’t mean you have to cut all forms of communication off with the person filing the lawsuit. However, it’s best to clearly state that you will not be talking about the lawsuit.

Control Your Emotions

If you’re handed a lawsuit, it can bring out all sorts of emotions. From anger, frustration, sadness, and confusion. As you continue through the steps of the lawsuit and gathering all the necessary information, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything and all the questions bound to come.

Staying in close contact with your attorney will help keep your emotions in check and how to handle all conversations. Discussing and answering questions based off of emotions often lead to costly mistakes. Remember, things that you say can come back and get used against you during the lawsuit.

Gather All the Necessary Documents

You’ll want to gather as much information as possible to help you throughout the lawsuit. Your attorney will guide you and inform you of what you all need to gather. Information related to the lawsuit could include emails, notes, recordings, and even visuals. Make sure to keep everything and not throw away any information.

Have Patience

Patience is vital during a lawsuit. A lawsuit can last for months, even years before it even gets to a trial, let alone a settlement. Set realistic expectations for the length of the process and the outcome. In many circumstances, time is on the side of the defendant during a lawsuit.

 

A lawsuit is not something that anyone wants to go through, but it is something that many businesses face regularly. By staying calm, taking your time, and being realistic about the situation, you can overcome a lawsuit and learn from the process.

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.

Delegating: A Crucial Leadership Quality

As a business owner, you’re likely always looking for and learning new qualities to make you a great leader. Having strong leadership skills is essential for a successful business. If you cannot lead your team and your company, it will be difficult to push it forward.

One of those top leadership qualities is knowing how and when to delegate. Delegating is essential for not just yourself and keeping your task load manageable, but it also shows that you trust your team to take on these responsibilities.

There may not necessarily be a right or wrong way to delegate. However, there are some tips that will help you be better at it. Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have a few delegating tips to help.

Know Who to Delegate To

A good delegate knows who can handle that task. You will have certain people that can handle more responsibilities than others, in which you would delegate larger tasks. Those who are more creative, there would be specific tasks you delegate to them. The point is that you know who can handle what, and you delegate accordingly. This will help you and your team be successful.

Knowing What to Delegate

Not only should you know whom to delegate to, but you should also know what is and isn’t appropriate for you to delegate. If you’re just starting, you’ll likely want to start with smaller tasks to see how it goes. As time progresses though, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable delegating more substantial and more important jobs.

It’s important to note that not every task on your plate should get delegated. As the leader, you still need to take on the things that only the leader should handle. Time-sensitive, delicate, and personal tasks should still be left to you.

Don’t Hover and Micromanage

If the purpose of delegating is to ease up your workload and trust your employees, hovering over them will not solve the issue. In fact, micromanaging will only make things worse.

It’s okay to check in with your team from time to time, and it’s a good leadership habit to get into. However, when you’re presences is dominating to the point that your team feels frustrated and not trusted, you’ll only cause issues. When you delegate, let the task go.

Communicate Efficiently

When you delegate a task, you need to ensure that you properly communicate the task, so the person knows what he or she needs to do. If you only give half the information, or can’t clearly communicate the task, that person will either keep coming back with questions or deliver the project not how you wanted.

When you delegate a task, make sure to clearly lay out your expectations, along with any instructions on how to perform the task. Be available to answer questions, but also encourage the employee to learn on his or her own as well.

Give Credit

If you delegate a task, only to take the credit for it, you’ll have many upset employees. No one will want to help you out again if that’s how things go. When you delegate a task, it’s imperative that you give credit where credit is due. Reward for a job well done, and thank everyone who was involved in the project.

Delegating is an essential leadership skill to learn and master. Not only will it make your job easier, but it also builds up trust and the employer to employee relationship for a successful team.

6 Instagram Tips Every Business Owner Needs

Instagram has turned into a powerful tool that businesses can take advantage of. It’s one of the most popular social media platforms around, and many users enjoy scrolling through their feed to see what’s happening around the world.

For businesses, Instagram is a way to connect with its customers and clients. You can show behind the scenes photos and videos of what goes on in the day, showcase employees, or give your followers a sneak peek of something new.

If you do not have an Instagram account for your business, you should start one right away. To help you out, Corporate Business Solutions has six tips for your business Instagram account.

Follow People in Your Industry

Those who work within your industry, it’s a good idea to follow them. There are a few reasons behind it (and it’s not to copy what other people are doing). To start, when you follow someone, chances are they’ll take a look at your profile. They may even follow you back.

Another reason to follow people in your industry is to see the latest trends, and whether or not you’re keeping up with your competition. If you’re wondering why your clientele is slow, low or sales are slow, take a peek at your competition and see what you’re missing.

Follow People Who Follow Your Competition

Not only do you want to follow those in your industry, the ones who follow your competition, but you should also add them to your list too. Those clients are following your competition for a reason – for what they sell. Since you’re in the same industry, they are likely more inclined to follow you back since they’ll be interested in what you have to offer.

Have a Target Audience

If you’re posting for the sake of posting with no plan in mind, your account will only grow so much. Before you begin anything, determine who your target audience is. Once you know that, you can start to tailor your posts to them.

Create Engaging Content

After you set your target audience, you want to create content that will engage them. If you’re trying to reach to women in their early 20s, you wouldn’t want to post pictures and videos that are more appealing to men in their 50s.

Are you running out of creative and original content? Post-behind-the-scenes photos and videos and upcoming products or events with your business. Ask questions in your post to get your followers to interact with you.

Interact With Your Followers

If you want people to interact with you, you need to interact with them back. There is something to be said when a company replies to a comment from a customer. To them, it shows that you’re listening and taking the time to read what they’re saying.

Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Quantity

Many think you need to be constantly posting throughout the week. You can, but there is a good chance you’ll end up boring your customers. Cluttered feeds don’t get much attention.

Instead, focus on the quality of the post rather than how often. Although you do want to be consistent, you don’t need to post five photos in one day (unless you have a reason to).

Have a Home Office? 6 Ways to Update It On a Budget

If you work from home, you need to have an office that is functional for your job. Improving your work environment has many benefits that will not only boost your productivity, but it will also keep you relaxed and focused.

The difficult part of renovating or updating an office typically comes down to the budget. Doing any enhancements to any part of a home is not always cheap. However, if done smartly, you can do many updates on a budget.

Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have a few ways that you can update your home office on a budget.

Add a Coat of Paint

Paints the walls in your office can do wonders. Changing the color can make an old office feel brand-new. You can also go the route of using wallpaper for unique styles and added texture.

If you paint the walls, try to stay within colors that promote productivity and staying focused. Blue tones help if you need to focus, while yellow can help keep your creative juices flowing.

Reorganize Your Desk

Your desk is likely the main focus in your office because it’s where you do your work. Having a cluttered desk doesn’t benefit anyone.

Take some time to reorganize your desk. Go through all of the papers lying around and either file or destroy them. Organizing a desk can give your home office the update it deserves.

Bring in Natural Light

We know how beneficial natural light is. So, try to let in as much as you can in your office. You don’t have to do a full renovation and cut new windows in. Instead, utilize what you have first.

Give your window a good clean. When dust and fingerprints build up, it takes away from the natural light. Change out your blinds so that they allow more light in. Another trick is to install a mirror opposite of the window. That way, when the sun shines in, it bounces off the mirror and back into the room.

Get a New Office Chair

Your office chair should be of high priority if you’re working from home. An uncomfortable chair will only cause you issues down the road. Look for chairs that have good padding and give you the back support for good posture.

Bring in Some Green

You can decorate your office at a decent price with green plants. Try to incorporate a balance of indoor living plants and fake ones. Just like with daylight and the colors on the walls, the type of plant you have around you can also benefit your productivity.

Indoor plants also help to purify the air. If you’re in a small area all hours of the day, you’ll want to breathe in the clean, fresh air. If you can’t get outside, a plant is the next best thing.

Add a Personal Touch

The joys of a home office are that you can design it however you want. Don’t be afraid to add a personal touch to space. Decorate with items that you like (but won’t distract you). If you have a favorite painting, hang it up in your office.

Updating an office doesn’t have to cost you much money. Even the smallest changes can go a long way in making your office feel brand new.

6 Golden Rules for Writing a Business Plan

Any business expert will tell you that you need a solid business plan before moving forward with your idea. A business plan helps you visualize what the company would look like, the costs to start it, and if your idea is feasible or not.

Business plans are an essential part of any company, no matter what stage it is at. The question, though, is how do you write a good business plan?

At CBS-CBS.com, we have six golden rules that will help you write a solid business plan.

Don’t Be Scared

Writing a business plan can get intimidating very quickly. However, don’t let that happen.

Not every business owner is an expert, but many owners started at the same point you’re at – getting a plan. You’ll likely learn as you go, so don’t shy away from the challenge.

In the beginning, you can have a more basic business plan to get the ball rolling. A simple, single-page plan is enough to get you started. Then, as you move forward, continue adding more to your plan.

Keep it Short and To the Point

A business plan needs to be straight to the point. You’re not writing an essay or novel that requires a colorful description. If someone has to read page after page that could have been summarized in one paragraph, you’ll likely lose their attention.

Your business plan is something you carry with you as you grow your business. That means you’ll need to revise it many times. Having to change a hundred-page business plan will take you quite a long time that you’ll likely neglect it.

Define Your Audience

Unless you’re opening up a general store, your business plan should have a designated audience you want to target. Your audience is a group of people that your company should attract.

Another audience to think of is for who is looking at your business plan. If you’re submitting it to a bank, you’ll want to put more emphasis on the numbers. Maybe you have a partner joining you, in which case you’d likely tailor your business plan a bit differently.

Know Your Competition

Basically, every business out there has competition. The business world is competitive, and you need to be able to identify who your competition is. You should clearly state this in your business plan, along with any research about the competition. Also, make a note of why your idea is different and what makes you stand out from them.

Provide Evidence for Every Claim

You can’t expect to make unrealistic claims on your business plan and have an investor take it seriously. Every claim you make needs to have evidence to support it. By getting in this habit, not only will it educate you more in your field, but it will also help you out as a leader.

Be Realistic

When presenting a business plan, you want your idea to look good. However, you need to do so realistically. For things like the timeline, budget, employees, and supplies, you don’t want to exaggerate anything just to make your idea look better.

Take these six golden points into consideration when writing your business plan. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of your idea succeeding.

Looking for a Product Manager? Hire Someone With These 4 Traits

The product manager is an essential role in a business. He or she does more than simply manage products. There is also coordinating with sales and procurement, working alongside the marketing team, and taking on a leadership role beside the owner of the company.

Because of how important this role is to an organization, it is not something you want to give to just anyone. You need to be able to trust this person not only to get the job done, but to get the job done correctly and efficiently.

If you’re looking to hire a product manager, Corporate Business Solutions consultants have four traits you should look for.

Trustworthy

As mentioned, your product manager needs to be something that you can trust completely. If you have any doubt in their abilities at all, it will not only harm the relationship between the two of you, but it will be hard for anyone to get any work done.

You need to trust your product manager, but he or she also needs to trust the team. The product manager won’t have time to micromanage the team, and nor should he or she be. There should be trust between the product manager and the team so that everyone can efficiently do their job.

Communication

Another important trait to look for is communication. Your product manager talks to everyone within the company and knows basically everything happening with the business. If he or she cannot communicate tasks and information to the correct person, there will be a disconnect that can negatively affect the company.

A good product manager should have his or her own method of reliable communication. Whether it be through meetings, emails, texts, or simply checking in now and then with the team, the product manager should always be in constant communication.

Proactive, Not Reactive

There is a major difference between being proactive and being reactive. Your product manager should be proactive for the most part, but know how to react to a situation properly.

When looking for a product manager, see how he or she would react to a situation, and what he or she would do to prevent that from happening in the first place. By being proactive, he or she can see the bigger picture and know what to do and whom to speak with to ensure the company runs smoothly.

A Bit of Skepticism

Although being optimistic is still a good trait to have, your product manager should be a little skeptic. It’s not that he or she expects something to go wrong, or only looks at the negative side of things. Instead, the product manager takes previous mistakes as a learning curve and will ask the hard questions about assumptions, budgets, timelines, and the why.

A skeptical product manager likely has more than one answer to every question, because he or she is not satisfied with only one response. They go into great detail about questions, and will even challenge answers sent from managers above him or her.

A product manager plays a vital role in any business. Ensure you have one that you can trust and rely on to keep the company running smoothly.

9 Business Lessons You Should Follow

Every entrepreneur goes through a moment where they think, “I wish I would have done things differently.” Having this thought is normal. When you’re an entrepreneur, you can do all the research in the world to prepare you. However, there will still be lessons you learn along your way.

Corporate Business Solutions Reviews came up with a list of nine business lessons that are common, and something you should follow.

Learn to Market, It’s Essential

Marketing is something you can’t ignore, especially in today’s world. If you want your business to grow and get the word out there, you need to have a solid marketing plan. Don’t put this on the backburner. Spend some time thinking about what would grab your audience’s attention.

Stop Waiting

How often do you find yourself saying that you’ll do something when the time is right? In the business world, you won’t find the “right” time very often. Instead of waiting (and procrastinating), take on a challenge right now.

Honor Your Commitments

If you made a commitment, honor it. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t make a meeting or why your payment is late. When you honor your commitment, you become known as a person of your word, which means everything in the business world.

Be Honest

Honesty can slip through the cracks in the business world. However, we shouldn’t let that happen. If you miss something important or a payment, be honest with the person as to why. If people find out that you lie, that will haunt you while you run your business.

Customer Service is Extremely Important

Customer service means everything for a business. You could have the best product or service in the world, but if your customer service is poor, people will go to your competitors. Keep your clientele around by having the best customer service on the market.

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

With that being said, as important as customer service is, it’s important to remember that the customer isn’t always right (contrary to what people like to say). Each situation is different. Sometimes you’ll have to swallow your pride and acknowledge that the customer is right. Other times though, you will need to stand your ground and back up your company or an employee.

Be Nice to Everyone

Niceness is another characteristic that can get lost in the business world. Because of how competitive some industries are, we get into that competitive mode and lose what it means to be nice to people. When you’re nice to people, they will likely be nice back to you, which can make your life a little easier.

Work Hard

Never stop working hard. That isn’t to say don’t take breaks. You should take those breaks when you know you need them. When it’s time to work, though, work hard. Be dedicated to your business so that it will flourish.

Take Care of Yourself

As important as it is for your business to succeed, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your health. If you can’t stay healthy enough to run your business, how will it succeed then? Take care of your health, both mentally and physically.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Work Computer Secured

At work, you have tons of important data on your computer, just like you have personal information on your computer at home. If that device or its data got into the wrong hands, it could be detrimental to the business.

Keeping your computer and everything stored on it secured is essential to the safety and privacy of everyone involved in your company. From employee’s information for payroll to client contact and banking data, you’re responsible for all of that information and to keep it safe.

Here at CBS-CBS.com, we know how essential security is for any business. So, we came up with six points to help keep your work computer secured.

Physically Lock Your Computer

Chances are, you have a laptop for your work. They’re great in the sense that they’re portable and you can take them anywhere. However, if you can move your laptop to wherever you want, so can somebody else.

You can get cable locks that will secure your computer to wherever it’s sitting. That way, if you’re not around, you don’t have to worry about someone sneaking in and stealing the device. These cable locks can also be useful for monitors as well.

Always Log Out

If you have to step away from your computer, always log out of what you’re doing. Even if it is only for a few minutes, put your computer to sleep so that if anyone tries to access it, they have to enter in your password.

Logging out will hide any personal information you may have open on your computer. It’s one of the best ways to add additional security from anyone walking by.

Have Strong Passwords

If you don’t have passwords, you should add some right now. Passwords are a way to lock out unwanted users from your device. However, passwords are only useful if you’re the only person that knows them, and you make them strong.

Make a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters for your passwords. Try to use different combinations for all the passwords you need, and get in the habit of regularly updating them.

Keep Your Computer Updated

If you’re more concerned about an online breach, then one step to take is to keep your computer updated. Each update your device has will likely have useful upgrades for protecting it against online threats. Falling behind on those updates could leave your computer vulnerable to an attack.

Install Additional Security Software

Depending on how strong your computer’s internal security is, you may want to consider installing additional protection. Use software that regularly scans your computer, warns you of suspicious online activity, and blocks you from accessing threatening websites and emails.

Use a VPN

If you’re ever on a public network and doing remote work, it’s a good idea to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This software creates a tunnel for your data to travel through once you connect to a network. It makes your information virtually impossible to look at or attack while connected. That way, you can work from any network safely and securely, without putting your main office network at risk.

Take security seriously for your work computer. You wouldn’t want to have all of that stored information taken by someone who is not authorized.