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.

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.

Could Flexible Working Cause A Lack Of Community In The Workplace?

Flexible working is becoming more commonplace. There has been a greater demand for a transformed work culture in this day and age due to the belief that a smarter and more modern approach will foster better business productivity while supporting a healthy work/life balance for employees.

It seems clear that the flexible work scenario isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and it comes in many forms. From flexible daily hours to home working and compressed working weeks, this style of employment is especially appealing to today’s workforce. So much so, that it has been suggested that in just a few years, the dominant form of employment will be flexible working.

The Benefits Of Flexible Working

It’s easy to see why flexible working is such a popular choice. There are well-established benefits associated with allowing workers to work more flexibly, and positive correlations with a higher level of commitment to the organization as well as better job satisfaction. When family commitments can be accommodated, the stress of commuting can be reduced and workload aligned to the energy cycles of the individual, employees are empowered and feel they have greater control over their working environment and schedule.

For the employer too, the evidence suggests flexible working can reduce staff turnover while also helping in the recruitment of top talent. It also helps to keep a successful team intact while enhancing the company’s image overall.

Yet, there are some disadvantages too that are often overlooked.

The Downside Of A Flexible Work Schedule

Flexible working can lead to the “always-on culture” which can be detrimental to an organization and its employees. Checking emails and responding to them out of office hours, and being available for work at any hour of the day or night may be a way to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, but it can also cause high levels of stress among workers that can impact negatively on psychological and physical health.

Nurturing A Positive Work Community And Environment

When a team can work together closely within the time and space they can generate the best creative energy. Being physically together permits intimacy, clarity, and spontaneity that, in turn, nourishes conviction, confidence, and understanding.

The answer to this is to have more flexibility about flexibility. Flexible working’s outcome should be a set of agreed targets that both employee and employer are on board with, that cover a mix of personal and professional priorities.

So, how do you go about implementing this practice within your organization? If you read Corporate Business Solutions reviews you’ll see that getting the right business consulting help can make an enormous difference to your company’s success.

Our team is well-positioned to give you the essential advice that you need to take your business forward into the future with modern and flexible working practices that reap all of the benefits of this way of operating but that avoid the potential pitfalls of a loss of community and an uncreative, incohesive working environment.

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.

7 Tips to Help You Stay Focused at Work

Do you struggle to stay focused at work? You’re not the only one. It can be difficult to stay focused while working, especially if you have a lot on your plate. The mind can easily wander to other thoughts you’ve had throughout the day. Next thing you know, 10 minutes have passed and there’s still much work to be done.

How do you stay focused at work so that you can achieve everything you planned for the day? Here at Corporate Business Solutions, we want offices to be as efficient as they can be. That is why we came up with a list of seven tips to help you stay focused throughout your workday.

Set Daily Goals

Having a physical to-do list or a sheet with goals for you to achieve will help keep you focused and determined. It’s easy to say that today is a new day and that you’ll be super efficient. However, without something to help keep you in check, you’ll soon start to notice your mind wandering again.

Put Away Distractions

We’re all guilty of it – leaving our phone on our desks or Facebook running in the background and then checking it from time to time. The thing is that when you are still connected to the outside world, those distractions will always be in the back of your mind. By getting rid of them, there’s no temptation to check in our social media accounts.

Work in Blocks

Trying to work for hours on end isn’t the answer to being focused and efficient. Your mind needs time to relax and reset. Otherwise, the tension continues to rise and it will become harder and harder to focus. Instead, work in blocks of roughly 60 to 90 minutes and then take a quick break to listen to music, take a walk, or close your eyes and take deep breathes.

Find a Reason in Everything You Do

If you cannot find a purpose or reason for doing something, it will be hard to stay motivated and focused at your task. When beginning a new task, ask yourself why you are doing this. That answer will help give you the push to stay focused to finish your job.

Get Comfortable

One distraction that is difficult to fight is discomfort. When you’re uncomfortable at work, whether it be due to the atmosphere or the chair you’re sitting at, your mind will keep wandering to that discomfort. Keep yourself comfortable at work to help release any tension and stay focused at the task at hand.

Drink More Water

We already know that water keeps us healthy. Did you also know that water can help you focus more? By drinking a glass of water throughout the day, it helps to refresh and revitalize you so that you can get back to work. So, keep a bottle of cold water at your desk as your reminder.

Stay Organized

If your desk is always disorganized, the clutter won’t help promote an atmosphere to focus well in. When there are so many things in your eyesight, it makes it difficult to keep your attention on one thing. By decluttering and staying organized, there will be fewer distractions for your mind to fight.

How Can You Define Success – Understanding What it Means to Be Successful

Have you ever asked yourself what the definition of success is to you? The most basic definition is when you achieve a particular objective set for yourself. Success is the opposite of failure – it’s when you accomplish something.

But to truly define success according to your life, that isn’t as simple. Success can mean something entirely different to you than someone else. It is all on how we perceive it. To be successful though, you need to have a definition of success.

Corporate Business Solutions Consultants want to encourage everyone to be successful, which is why we have a few tips to help you define success for you.

Write Out Some of Your Proudest Accomplishments

You’ve had accomplishments in your life which would be the basic definition of success. Think of those accomplishments and write them down on paper. It could be anything from starting the job that you’ve always wanted, buying your first house, or learning a skill you’ve been thinking about for years. They don’t have to be the biggest ones, but they should be the ones you are most proud of.

Once you have a few achievements written down, write out the steps you took to attain them. These steps should include characteristics about yourself as well.

If your proudest accomplishment was about your job, then you may have points like persistence, commitment, intelligence, and courage to take the next step. Think of the least obvious ones and write them down.

Doing this will help you see a common thread between all of your accomplishments. Maybe commitment and persistence were the most common characteristics that led you to feel successful. Make a note of those traits.

Look at Accomplishments That Were Less Satisfying

It’s true that you can have an accomplishment that doesn’t feel very successful or that you’re not proud of. That isn’t to say that you did something wrong or something you shouldn’t have done. Instead, it goes to show you that maybe that won’t fit into your definition of success.

An example could be that you wanted to purchase something significant for a long time, say a new outfit that’s quite expensive. You set yourself a goal that once you got your first promotion, you would buy the outfit.

You’re likely proud of yourself for hitting that promotion, but the reward of the outfit may not make you feel as impressive as the promotion itself.

Knowing that the success of attaining that goal of getting the outfit isn’t the same as the proudest accomplishments you wrote out, you can continue to form your definition of success.

Start to Form a Definition

By now, you have accomplishments that make you feel proud and pretty awesome inside, and then you have achievements that you’re just happy you achieved them.

You start to see what is truly important to you. In our example above, it was the milestone of moving up the career ladder that was more rewarding than the goal itself, buying the outfit.

Knowing this, you can define success according to what’s most important in your life, and the steps and characteristics needed to achieve your goals.

Finding Work-Life Balance as a Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday tasks of work and forget to make time for at home. For your small business, it’s quite likely that you are not just the owner, but also the employee, the maintenance staff, and the customer service. You are everything to your company.

The problem, though, is finding a healthy balance between work and life. You don’t want to spend every waking minute of the day thinking about work or being at the office. However, you also need to dedicate a lot of your time for the business to succeed. How do you find a balance between the two?

Corporate Business Solutions Consultants understand the difficulties of maintaining a balance between the office and the home. We have four tips that will help you find that balance.

Ask for Help at Work

One of the first things you can do is to ask for some help around work. Whether that means giving a trusted employer more responsibility or hiring more staff, lightening up your workload will free up some time at home.

Some of the tasks that you could hand to someone else would be running the social media accounts and website, dealing with customer support, filing, bank deposits, or cleaning up the office.

Ask for Help at Home

If you cannot afford to hire additional employees at work, then ask for more help around the house. Many working families still have other tasks they need to complete once they get home. By asking for more help around the house, it will free up more time for you when you get home to do the things that matter the most to you and your family.

Some of the tasks that you could get help from family members include general housecleaning, grocery shopping, maintaining the yard, taking care of the family pet, or starting laundry.

Set Boundaries for Yourself

Setting boundaries for yourself not only will help you free up time for at home, but it will also prevent you from overworking yourself too. You could make a rule that after a certain time in the evening, work must stop. It could be as simple as keeping your personal phone number private from work.

Brainstorm boundaries that would prevent you from being at home. Include your family in this as well to have a different perspective. Once you have your list, keep it visible as a reminder.

Be Consistent

Once you become okay with asking for help around the office and at home, as well as setting those boundaries that stop you from working too much, you then need to be consistent with them. All of these steps will only do so much if you don’t maintain it.

If you have that trusted employee taking care of some additional work, don’t micro-manage them and get involved. You’ll just be putting yourself back to square one. The same goes for at home too. You need to trust the people you asked that they will get the job done.

As for your boundaries, if you are not consistently following them, they will never become a habit. Once it’s become second nature to put the phone or computer down at a certain point, you’re less likely to forget about it. Also, if an emergency comes up that requires your time at work that breaks your boundary, you know that it is an okay exception.

4 Traits That Signal Bad Leadership

If your employees avoid you at all costs, don’t make eye contact with you when talking, and you can see how nervous they are when you come around the corner, chances are there’s an issue with your leadership style.

Poor leadership quickly can be the downfall of any business, no matter the size. If your team does not respect you as their leader and manager, it will be difficult to not only keep them on board with your plans but to keep them employed altogether. Poor leadership is noted as one of the top reasons employees quit their job.

If you want to avoid this scenario or fix it if this sounds like your office already, you’ll need to evaluate your leadership style and see if anything needs changing. Corporate Business Solutions (CBS-CBS.com) has some of the top traits that signal bad leadership.

Poor Listening Skills

If you never listen to your employees, how do you expect to gain their respect? A good leader will take the time to listen to all of the employees he or she has. Not only will this help improve the employer to employee relationship, but you may also find that they have ideas that could benefit the company.

No Honesty

A quick way to turn into a bad boss is by lying to your staff members. The lack of transparency from management will ultimately lead to the lack of trust and respect from the staff in your company.

Being transparent as much as possible with employees helps develop a positive and trustworthy relationship. It shows that you care enough to include them in what affects them. Transparency brings everyone onto the same page, which will help foster a strong team.

Ego Gets in the Way

Ask yourself this – how often do you take responsibility if an issue arises, or do you often find yourself asking someone else why this problem occurred? A visible sign of poor leadership is when the manager won’t take responsibility and lets his or her ego get in the way.

When there is good leadership in the office, the manager knows when to take responsibility for issues that are out of their employee’s controls. If he or she makes a mistake, they own it, learn from it, and move forward. Also, a good manager knows when it’s time to recognize his or her employees so that the spotlight isn’t always on them.

Lack of Understanding

Proper leadership knows there needs to be a balance between empathy and being understanding, and knowing when you need to be stricter. If you don’t have compassion towards what your team goes through on a daily basis, as well as any challenges they face outside of the office, you’ll likely notice a negative atmosphere in the office.

Empathy is essential in management. Quite often the word empathy correlates soft management. However, the lack of empathy actually corresponds to harsh management in the employee’s eyes. Showing a bit of understanding towards your employees will help foster a sense of trust and that you care, which will help grow your relationship with your employees.

Consider these four traits and compare them to your leadership style. Can you confidently say, and know your employees would agree, that you listen to them, are honest with them, takes responsibility when needed, and shows empathy? If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your leadership style.

5 Awesome Content Marketing Strategies

While some companies use content marketing as a way to increase brand awareness, others use it as a way to generate sales or leads. Regardless of its purpose for your business, Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend the following five strategies for improving your content marketing.

Identify Your Target Audience

As expected, content works best when its targeted for a particular audience. Rather than aimlessly creating content without considering who your target audience is, spend time identifying your target audience and think about who will benefit most from your products or services. This will ensure the content you create on your site is more engaging and relatable for your target audience.

Use Great Visuals

The old adage of “a picture tells 1000 words” certainly carries truth today. This is particularly true in the world of content marketing. Combining the use of great visuals, whether it’s pictures, videos or infographics, with quality text, is one content marketing strategy for your website that should not be overlooked.

Having said that, one image placed at the top of a blog won’t suffice. Rather, the content on your website should be accompanied by stimulating imagery. In other words, throwing a stock image at the top of an article will not cut it. You should add relevant images throughout the article to try and keep the user’s engagement high throughout the entire piece.

Create Shareable Content

Another critical aspect of content marketing is to make the content you create on your small business’s website shareable. In other words, you want to aim to make it go viral. Generating content that encourages others to share it will inevitably drive higher volumes of traffic to your website. As you know, higher percentages of traffic results in greater leads and sales.

Create a Content Marketing Plan

Successful content marketing campaigns should always begin with a content marketing plan. This essential content marketing strategy for your small business should include mapping out potential blog titles and topics for the upcoming weeks and months. You’ll also want to include any guest blogging targets and where your content gets posted on external websites to help your small business reach a wider audience.

Share Your Website Content On Social Media

Rather than simply writing a new blog and publishing it on your website or creating a new landing page and forgetting about it, share your fresh and creative content to as many followers as possible. In addition to using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, post regular content on multiple social avenues, including LinkedIn and Google+.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.

7 Great Tips For Your Email Newsletter

Establishing and building your brand is a key component of any small business. Accordingly, an email newsletter is a great tool to use to help you get there. Corporate Business Solutions experts recommend the following eight tips for optimizing your email newsletter.

Inform Subscribers About What They’ll Get    

You want to make sure that everyone knows what to expect right when they sign up. Tell them the type of content they’ll get and when they should expect newsletters to arrive in their inboxes. This transparency establishes a good tone and helps to build a strong relationship.

Make It Mobile-Friendly

As you know, it’s important to keep in mind how important mobile is to get your target market to read your newsletter. Reading on a smaller screen is always different than the desktop, and you’ll need to make the changes to optimize your newsletter for the iPhone and other smartphones.

Buttons should be large enough so they are easy to click and the content must be short and sweet. It’s important to keep in mind that people are reading from their smartphones on the go.

Create Engaging Subject Lines

By creating excellent subject lines, you’ll drastically improve your open rate. For example, letting them know they’ll be getting 10 useful tips on a relevant subject is a great start.

Nonetheless, keep your subject lines short and simple.

Add VERY Interesting Content

You likely already know what interests your target market the most. Thus, you should capitalize on that and include interesting content in your newsletter that doesn’t include a lot of hard sell ad copy.

In other words, you should include 90% educational content and 10% sales copy to maximize your opportunities.

Include That Personal Touch

Chances are very high that the people receiving your newsletter delete more emails than they open.  Thus, adding the first name at the beginning of your newsletter can and will make a significant difference when it comes to optimizing your open rates.

Offer Cool Stuff

Special offers are one of the biggest draws to improve your open rates. Offers can include coupons or even discounts that are only available to your email subscribers.

The special offers that you offer will go further if you only include them with a subscription to your email newsletter.

Consistency is Key

As routine-oriented organisms, people like consistency. This type of routine includes your email newsletter. Thus, it’s important to make sure that you send out your newsletter on the same day at roughly the same time.

To learn more, visit CBS-CBS.com.