Managing Conflict in the Workplace

Leadership and conflict go together. If you cannot or will not address conflict in a healthy, productive fashion, you should not be in a leadership role. You shouldn’t fear conflict; embrace it – it’s your job.

You can try to avoid conflict (a bad idea), but you cannot escape it. Conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. It will find you whether you look for it (good idea – more later) or not. Being able to recognize conflict, understand its nature, and be able to swiftly resolve the conflict are prime leadership qualities, failure to do this will lead to your downfall.

Good conflict resolution skills will lead to good employee retention. But if you don’t deal effectively with conflict your best talent will leave for a better workplace environment. Failure to deal with conflict can result in loss of productivity, the stifling of creativity, and the creation of barriers to cooperation and collaboration. But good conflict resolution skill sets will build a sustainable business model.

Typically, the two main causes of conflict in the workplace related to poor communication or letting emotions drive decision-making.

The following tips will lead to more effective handling of conflicts in the workplace:

Define Acceptable Behavior – having clearly defined job descriptions for all staff to know what’s expected of them. Make it known what behavior will and won’t be tolerated. Having a published delegation of authority statement, encouraging sound business practices in collaboration, team building, leadership development, and talent management will all help avoid conflicts.

Approach Conflict Head-on – You can’t always prevent conflicts at work, but if you seek out areas of potential conflict and intervene proactively and decisively, you can prevent many conflicts from getting started.

Understanding the WIIFM Factor – understanding the other person’s “What’s In It For Me” position. If you understand their motivation, you can avoid conflicts by helping them achieve their objectives.

The Importance Factor – pick your battles and avoid conflict where possible. If the issue is important enough to create a conflict, then it must be important enough to resolve. Do whatever is necessary to open lines of communication and close any positional and/or philosophical gaps.

View Conflict as Opportunity – the outcome of many conflicts creates great teaching and learning opportunities. View a conflict as an opportunity for growth and development. Differing positions when addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning whereas two people who are on “the same page”  are less likely to come up with different positions. Smart leaders look for the upside in all differing opinions.

Resolutions can usually be found in conflicts where both parties are seriously seeking a positive outcome. Being prepared to compromise, forgive, show compassion and empathy, find common ground, be an active listener, and place the goals of the business ahead of your pride and reputation will always allow you to be successful in building rapport if the underlying desire is strong enough.

But, if all else fails and positional gaps cannot be closed, resolve the issue not by playing favorites, but by doing the right thing.

Let Corporate Business Solutions be your guide when you are facing conflicts in your workplace.

Designing a Traditional Business Model

“Business model” is an oft thrown around the term, but what is the most efficient and perfect way to go about designing one? A clear and concise business model is useful for not only the business owner, but it is also immensely helpful when searching for a line of credit and even when one is looking to sell his or her business.

The business plan is the document that will keep you grounded and on track as you plan, finance, and develop your firm moving forward. In addition to your vision, having a clear business model can be extremely helpful when looking for lines of credit such as small business loans or microloans. Investors will want to see a defined path to turning a profit, and banks will want to know that you have a, organized plan in mind before offering you any sort of financing.

Business plans can come in many forms. What’s important is that it fits the needs of your particular industry and concept. Traditional business plans will involve multiple sections, going into detail of funding, price points, supply chains, and employment planning. These pages can be multiple pages long, but a large amount of work upfront can save a great deal of trouble later.

The traditional format can be useful to individuals who are very meticulous and prefer to start with a truly clear plan of attack. This format is also preferred by potential investors and banks who need to know exactly what they are getting into.

The traditional model begins with an executive summary, briefly describing the company’s overall goals and why it is a worthy venture. Entrepreneurs will essentially want to give investors a brief description of every aspect of their business.

The company description and market analysis will describe the service or product that the company will supply and how it will help consumers. The market analysis will then show why a similar product or service is currently lacking in the market and why your business will supply something that is missing from the modern economy.

The next section should typically include a description of the organization of your company’s employees. This overview of your chain of command will make it clear which employees will cover which roles. This employment overview will make it clear to investors and financiers that you understand how best to distribute your employees to maximize their talents and efficiencies.

A section on how you plan to market or advertise your goods can prove useful. While this often varies greatly between industries, it can let others know that you have a vision for the future and are developing a plan to expand your enterprise.

Business models that are made to request funding should include a section detailing how any investment funds will be spent. Entrepreneurs who are pitching to investors should be extremely specific in how much money is necessary for their project and where it will be gave. This helps the business owner to be certain how much funds he or she needs so that they are not gaining any unnecessary debt. It also makes it clear to potential financiers that there is a definitive plan for how the money will be spent.

A business model is particularly useful for both entrepreneurs personally and as a means of attracting financiers. Potential business owners who cannot fill out a detailed business plan should think twice before diving head-first into any given project. Corporate Business Solutions is dedicated to helping you with all aspects of the business planning process to help you both in obtaining a clear vision of your business and establishing a coherent plan for potential investors.

 

Taking Control of Your Billing Systems

When it comes to focusing on the goods and services that your business has to offer, the billing process may be taking away from your priorities. Billing can be time-consuming, and in a perfect world, all customers would pay on time, though unfortunately, this is not the case.

Keeping up with billing can be tedious and time-consuming. When employees who oversee billing have other responsibilities, staying on top of billing can take away from their main priorities.

When it comes to billing, there are two ways to make sure you are doing it in the most effective ways possible. Having staff members dedicated to billing and outsourcing your billing can ensure you are on track with current and past bills you are owed and avoid negatively impacting other operations within your business.

Dedicated Billing Staff

One of the best ways to ensure that billing responsibilities do not take over time that could be dedicated to other types of tasks is by having staff members that are dedicated to billing functions.

If you have more than one secretary for your business, for example, dedicating one to overseeing billing can help ensure that there is still a strong, undistracted focus on bookkeeping. Having members of other teams may not be ideal when it comes to overseeing billing.

If you do not have a staff member that can pick up billing responsibilities, picking up a staff member solely for this purpose is an incredibly wise thing to do. They will be able to manage collections, billing reminders, new billing statements, and other tasks without taking away from areas such as marketing or operations.

One of the most important reasons to have a dedicated billing department, whether it consists of one person or many people, is to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. With staff members solely focused on billing, all loose ends will be tied up and will not burden other departments with doing their job efficiently.

Outsourcing Your Billing

For some businesses, hiring extra employees solely to oversee billing responsibilities may not be practical. When you have many different areas of operations to focus on, resolute employees to take charge of billing may be more of an inconvenience than a benefit.

If this is the case, consider outsourcing your billing to a professional billing company. Doing so will ensure that all your billing needs are fulfilled without management or other staff members having to worry about it. This will allow them to prioritize their responsibilities and not worry about things as important as billing being procrastinated due to a heavy workload.

Outsourcing billing may save you money. When billing is managed by a team of professionals, there is no need to spend money on hiring and training new employees to oversee billing. In addition, you will not have to worry about purchasing modern technology and programs just for billing. All of this will be included with your billing agency.

If you are unsure if in-house or outsourcing billing is best for you, Corporate Business Solutions can help you make the right decision.

 

Stressed Every Day? 6 Stress Management Tips for Business Owners

Stress is part of our everyday lives. There’s good stress that can help prevent you from doing something you should. Then, there’s the bad stress that can cause harm to both your physical and mental health.

Uncontrolled stress can lead to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. On the physical side, too much stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and eating disorders. Too much stress can cause many health issues that make your everyday life difficult to go through, especially if you’re a business owner.

Keep your stress under control so you can work to the best of your abilities. Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions has six stress management tips for business owners.

Learn Your Symptoms of Being Overly Stressed

Everyone has their own symptoms that tell you when there’s too much stress in your life. However, there are several common symptoms of stress that it’s important you’re aware of.

Stress manifests itself in various ways, including headaches, acne, frequent sickness, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, and decrease sex drive. Pay attention to these types of symptoms if they’re frequently happening. It could be your body telling you to slow down and relax.

Take Breaks Throughout the Day

Breaks are essential but often overlooked. Many long and stressful days could be eased up a bit by knowing when it’s time to take a break. That is also why it’s important to know the symptoms of stress to take those breaks when symptoms appear.

Taking a break can look different per person. Some may prefer to go for a walk around the block and breath in some fresh air, while others might need to exit their email and get lost in a quick game. Whatever your break looks like, just make sure to take them when you start feeling stressed.

Stay Active

Physical activity is an effective aid against stress and even prevents it from flaring up. Staying active has a positive effect on the brain. It reduces the stress hormones while stimulating endorphins (those “feel good” hormones). When you feel good and strong, you’re more likely to have a better handle on stress when it does appear.

Learn to Delegate

Is your stress coming from being overwhelmed with work? If that’s the case, it’s time to learn how to delegate or start hiring a trusted team. If you’re constantly drowning in tasks and never feel like you can get caught up, it’ll be challenging to get your stress under control.

Take a Vacation

Many entrepreneurs are stressed because they have too much work. So, taking a vacation may seem counterintuitive. However, sometimes when you take a step away from the job and focus on relaxing, it can help clear your head so you can come back and tackle your day with a more positive perspective.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Sleep is essential for everyone. Although it may seem tempting to stay up late to catch up on work for the next day, running off too little sleep can actually do the opposite. Not having enough sleep will lead to chronic exhaustion, which can cause mind fogginess and slow you down. So, get a good night’s rest as much as you can.

Stress management seems simple. However, it does take some practice to develop the habits that will help keep your stress under control.

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.

Own A Business? You May Need A Wake-Up Call

Many business owners are highly focused on the day-to-day running of their enterprise. That isn’t too surprising – running any company is a challenge that throws up constant issues to be addressed. However, it’s important to remember not to spend all of your time focusing on the here-and-now. Yes, it’s important to forge new networking links, to improve customer service and to grow your bottom line. Yet, it’s also very important to plan an exit strategy for the future.

The Exit Strategy – Important Yet Overlooked

Running a business is, all-too-often, a life-consuming task. If you’ve just launched a start-up, or if you’re a few years down the line into establishing your thriving company, probably the furthest thing from your mind is how you’re eventually going to leave the organization that you’re working so hard to build up. However, this is quite worrisome, considering that, on average, around 80-90% of your net worth could be tied up in your company.  If you’re going to work for decades to create a valuable organization, you need to plan for how that value can be harvested when you’re ready to move on to pastures new.

The Key Statistics

For the average business owner, around 90% of their net worth will be tied up within their business, yet around half have absolutely no plans in place for exiting the company that they’ve built up. This leaves a difficult situation when the times come to move on. Whether you’re keen to retire and enjoy the fruits of your labor or whether you’re ready to embrace a new and exciting challenge, the reality could be that it could be harder to get out of your existing company than you ever imagined.

Over half of all business owners have sold their business in mind as their exit strategy of choice, with over 40% of them considering doing this within the next 5 years. Yet, it’s likely that they could find numerous obstacles in their way when they get around to putting their company on the market, and they’re also very likely to be unhappy when they finally make the sale. Even those who want to keep their business in the family face a host of issues when it comes to sharing out ownership amongst several potential heirs.

In short, it seems that exiting any business can be fraught with difficulties, so there’s never been a better reason to start planning well in advance.

Beginning Exit Planning at An Early Stage

The team at Corporate Business Solutions recommends starting to deliberately consider Exit Planning as early as possible. It may even be best to beginning writing your exit plan before you even set up your company! Bear in mind that, to have the best chance of success, your process of exit planning should take somewhere between 4 and 10 years, so you need to leave enough time.

Why does it take so long? A good exit plan won’t just analyze your business and determine ways of strengthening it with your exit in mind, but it also bears in mind the owner’s financial and personal situation as well as their life plan once they’ve left the business. It takes calibration and time to align these factors.

So, don’t leave it too late to arrange the exit you want. When you’ve spent a lifetime building up a successful company you don’t want to throw it all away at the last hurdle. Seek professional help and start drawing up your plan today.

 

Investing in Onboarding to Benefit Your Business

Running a company involves making a lot of decisions, and one of the most important is where you’ll be making investments to further your business goals. Although it may be challenging to determine where and how money should be spent, it’s certainly worth considering investing it in onboarding your new employees. Evidence shows that employees who enjoy an excellent onboarding experience will be almost 70% more likely to remain with that employer for a minimum of 3 years, so it’s well worth making this investment.

Corporate Training and Its Role

Corporate training could have a vital role in your company’s strategic plan if you want to improve your new employee onboarding experience. Culture development and increased retention are two key areas that organization is usually focus on when drawing up a strategic plan, and implementing corporate training can tackle both of those priorities effectively.

Many businesses choose to train new employees themselves through one-to-one sessions with staff members, managers, and other employees. As an approach, this makes sense, since it creates a more organic transition into the company by learning from those who are already working in it. Yet, there are some shortcomings associated with DIY training too. A more effective approach could be to pair in-house training with professional training services so onboarding plans can be designed that facilitate a successful and smooth professional development for new staff from their very first day.

Introduction to Your Company’s Culture

When introducing new hires into your organization, part of the onboarding process should be an introduction to your company’s culture. Every staff member needs to fully embrace the workplace culture if the business is to thrive. Therefore, part of this early phase of your recruits’ employment should help them to immerse themselves in the cultural experience of your business and introduce them to its goal’s missions and values so that they can align themselves with them.

Communication and Continuation

Communication is central to the success of any workplace, so part of your recruits’ onboarding experience must involve helping them to integrate with the team and to forge strong connections with their new colleagues. It’s also vital to remember that the process of onboarding is an ongoing one – it doesn’t come to an end after the first day or even week. Checking in regularly with new hires is essential to ensure that they are coping and increasing confidence as they settle into their new role.

Seeking Business Consultancy Advice

The onboarding process is essential for any small business that wants to grow its bottom line and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. Corporate Business Solutions reviews show that our clients experience significant benefits when they adopt our advice regarding implementing more effective organizational socialization. New employees enjoy better morale and have a more positive welcoming experience when joining the company, while retention rates increase exponentially.

New employees are an asset to your organization, so ensuring that recently recruited staff members enjoy the best and smoothest transition process into your company is imperative.  By investing in onboarding, you can set your business up for a positive and successful future.

Key Questions You Need To Ask Yourself When Planning A Business Exit Strategy

If you’re planning your exit strategy from your small business, it can be difficult to know how to get started. While a lot of the planning is bound to be unique to your own company, there are some questions you could ask yourself that will help to get you started with developing your business exit plan and avoid some common mistakes.

Will You Want To Remain Involved With Your Business Forever?

When you start up a business, you’re probably not thinking about a time when you no longer want to be involved with it. However, even at the earliest stages of your endeavor, you need to be realistic about the future. Even when you dedicate your whole career to running one business, eventually you’ll probably be planning to retire at some point. So, you need to set up the business from its earliest days to ensure this will always be a possibility at some point. You should also revisit this question on a regular basis as your plans and life evolve to make sure that you’re moving towards the right goals for you.

What Financial Goals do You Have?

Everyone has their own financial goals that they hope to achieve. Even if you love your business idea, to be truly committed to it you will almost certainly have financial goals and needs that play into your business plans. Whatever yours are, they will have a key role to play in the outcome of your business exit strategy plan.

How Does Planning For Your Exit Work?

Working with professionals like Corporate Business Solutions Consultants is the best way to make the right decisions for you. You will have to work on executable items like deal structure and taxes, and you’ll also need an understanding of your company’s full value so you can work out all your available options.

Planning Ahead

If your business exit is looming on the horizon, it’s important to choose a strategy and stick to it. However, if you’ve got sufficient time to plan in advance you should usually set up for several options. The earlier you start planning, the more options you’ll have to pick from when you’re contemplating your company’s future.

No Single Perfect Solution

Just like all other aspects of running your own business, there’s no single perfect exit strategy that fits everyone. In the end, finding the right strategy for your business and you as an individual depends on several different factors. It may also develop or change as you move through your business’s lifecycle. The best thing to do, therefore, is to plan for your business exit strategy at as early a stage as possible. Seeking professional advice is always the best idea so you can devise a plan that meets all your unique requirements. When you think proactively about the process – how it could look, how it could be carried out, and what kind of consequences there could be – it’s more likely that you’ll achieve success when the time comes to part ways.

Top Tips For Improving Your Business Efficiency

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

Adopt Project Management programs

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

Carry Out Weekly Reviews

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

Plan the Next Week

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

Process Finances Regularly

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

Arrange Marketing In Advance

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

Reply To Your Emails Once Daily

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

Bring In Expert Advisors

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

Is Size Important or Not?

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

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

What is analytics?

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

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

Why is business analytics so important?

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

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

Different types of analytics

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

Descriptive analytics

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

Predictive analytics

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

Prescriptive analytics

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

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