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.

Virtual Meetings: 5 Tips to Keep Your Zoom Meeting Productive

If you asked the business world that one day we would spend more time working remotely and conducting virtual meetings more than anything in-person, many would likely shrug that off. Except, here we are today, and that is precisely the case.

We’ve talked before about how 2020 changed the business world (and the world as a whole, really). The Covid-19 pandemic forced many companies to shift virtually for the majority of their duties. To keep their team connected, Zoom meetings grew exponentially in popularity. As many found out, however, there are more challenges to maintaining a virtual meeting productive.

At Corporate Business Solutions, we know it’s essential to keep your team connected when working remotely. We have five tips to help you keep your Zoom meetings productive.

Invite Those Necessary

Have you ever attended a meeting where you left thinking that was a waste of time? Well, you likely didn’t need to be there. Keep that in mind, when inviting members to a virtual meeting. The more attendees you have, the more challenging it becomes to keep everyone engaged, and the meeting productive. So, invite-only the essentials that will benefit and contribute to the meeting.

Lay Out Ground Rules Before the Meeting

Before you even begin, lay out ground rules for the meeting. Having ground rules can help prevent the meeting from going off-topic, attendees talking over one another, and frustration for you as the leader.

Some ground rules to consider include muting those who aren’t talking, use the “hand up” feature when someone wants to speak, ensure all attendees keep their video on so you know they are paying attention, and that everyone will have an opportunity to speak when called upon. These rules help keep the meeting running smoothly.

Send the Meeting Agenda Beforehand

Those who attend a meeting want to know that it is worth their valuable time, helping keep their focus. One way of doing that is to send an agenda before the meeting begins. Not only does it ensure the attendee that it’s essential for them to attend, but it will also help everyone stay on task.

Keep the Morning Short

Long, drawn-out meetings typically aren’t the most productive. They drag on and lose the attention of the attendees. Some research suggests that the human brain becomes bored in only 10 minutes. Now, that may be a bit too short to run your meeting. However, you can use that timeframe to move onto different topics.

Keep in mind, when you’re conducting virtual meetings, attendees are usually at home. That means there are more distractions compared to being in the office. So, that 10 minutes could become shorter. Keep your meetings short and your topics concise.

Follow Up With Attendees

The best way to know how the meeting went is to hear from those who were at it. Follow-ups are an excellent step to take in the meeting process. It gives you a chance to get feedback to help improve the next meeting, and it allows you to further any discussions that got cut short during the session.

Ready to increase productivity and engagement at your next Zoom meeting? Use the five tips above to boost your meetings.

4 Effective Business Exit Strategies To Consider

Business exit strategies are plans for what is going to happen when you wish to leave your company. In this strategy, the form of the transition will be described and outlined. In the same way, as you create your business plan as a way of guiding your company through its life, it’s important to have a similar plan to guide it to its conclusion.

Of course, having a business exit strategy shouldn’t mean failure or disaster. It doesn’t even mean that action needs to be taken imminently. Actually, most business owners begin their company with the intention of existing it after a set period of time. That doesn’t mean they’re not committed as entrepreneurs. It simply means they’ve got a clear plan in place.

However, when you’re thinking about a business exit strategy, you don’t just need to consider the way in which you’ll leave, but also the other factors involved with the process:

  • Will you be making money when the time comes to exit the business, and if so, how much?
  • What is going to become of the business after you’ve left? Is it going to carry on operating with a new owner?
  • How long is the exit process going to take and what sort of transitional period is going to be involved?

When you’re reading Corporate Business Solutions reviews, you’ll see that many business owners have turned to us for assistance in this respect, so here are four of the options that our consultants recommend.

1.Continuing A Family Legacy

Some entrepreneurs are keen to keep the business within the family in the long-term. This means that they make plans to transition their company to a relative. While this seems to be an appealing strategy, it’s vital to ensure that family relationships are strong enough to cope with the stress and volatility of owning a business.

The benefits are that it’s possible to choose someone that you wish to carry on the business once you’ve left and prepared them fully for the challenge. You also don’t need to be completely separate from the business, being able to remain in place as an advisor in the long-term.

On the downside, though, it can be difficult to find someone in the family or is capable or who wants to take the business on. Also, business partners, investors, and employees may not be supportive of the chosen individual, while the process brings a considerable amount of financial and emotional stress to the family.

2.Merger Or Acquisition

When you adopt an acquisition or merger business exit strategy, the company will either be bought by or merge with an organization that has aligned or similar goals. Depending on who the business is sold to or merged with, this could mean greater flexibility with it comes to your own involvement in the future.

This strategy allows you to negotiate the sale price, but it can be a time-consuming process and it may not happen at all. Only a fifth of all companies listed for sale gets bought.

3.Employee Or Management Buyout

While it’s hard to plan in advance, it’s possible when you want to leave your business, the management team or employees may wish to purchase it from you. Since these individuals already know how the organization is managed, this strategy may result in a much smoother transition process, with a better chance of your legacy being preserved. On the downside though, there may be nobody willing to make the purchase.

4.Taking Your Business Public

A lot of entrepreneurs hope that one day they will be able to sell their company to the public and make a huge profit. Yet, when it comes to exit strategy planning for small businesses, this option won’t work for everybody. Even when your business is successful, your industry might not be appealing to the public, and therefore, your company may be devalued. Also, IPOs are quite rare. Yet, they’re also very lucrative and could gain you substantial profits.

No Single Strategy Is Best

When it comes down to it, there isn’t a single perfect exit strategy for every business. The right strategy for yours depends on several factors, and it could develop or change as your company’s life cycle progresses.

It’s important to be aware, though, that planning ahead is the best option. From the moment you launch your enterprise, you should be considering exit strategy possibilities. After all, if you’re proactive about the process – how it could look, how you could execute it, and what the possible consequences could be – you’re most likely to be successful when the time comes to leave your company behind.

 

4 Exit Planning Steps To Get Your Business Prepared

A lot of business owners know they should have an exit plan in place, but fail to develop one. This is a major problem. All owners should ensure they have a plan for exiting their business in place from the start of their enterprise.

With an exit strategy in place, you’ll be able to keep your business moving in the right direction since you’ll be aligning constantly with the long-term goals you’ve set. An exit strategy also ensures there’s a trigger event to signal the time has come to get out. Without one, you’ll just carry on without ever knowing when the time has come to stop.

There is one thing to note, though. Your exit strategy will certainly change with time, so it has to be reviewed often. Writing down your exit strategy then re-reading it and reviewing it every 6 months to make updates is the best solution.

With this in mind, the team at CBS-CBS.com outlines these simple steps to help prepare your business exit strategy.

1. Sourcing A Buyer

One thing that many business owners fail to consider is how to find a buyer for their company. A lot of owners just naturally assume somebody out there will be interested in purchasing their business, but this is a big mistake. In fact, only a quarter of all saleable companies exit.

One critical element of your exit strategy is to keep a list of prospective buyers. They may be businesses or individuals who have shown an interest previously in buying the business. They may even be competitors who have an interest in acquiring the business once the time has come.

2. Reoccurring Revenue

Revenue represents a key element of a business exit strategy. It isn’t only about the amount of revenue you have, it’s also about the form it takes when it arrives. Subscription-based services and products producing predictable and reoccurring revenue present an attractive proposition to prospective buyers.

Automatically billing in advance is a wise strategy. If all revenue has been set up to be recurring payments, your business will be an extremely attractive option for purchase.

3. A Strong Pattern Of Growth

A business that has displayed strong patterns of growth will be attractive to potential buyers. Predictable and steady financial growth couldn’t be more important. As long as erratic growth swings can be avoided, some tips that are explained easily won’t affect your business’s appeal to purchasers.

4. Standard Procedures Of Operation

If your business doesn’t have a written set of operating procedures, developing them now is vital. Your business should reach the point where should you have a sudden accident and be unable to run your operation yourself, the company would be able to carry on running with no disruptions. Detailing everything from your core values, management practices, mission, vision, and execution strategy to your marketing and sales plans will ensure that prospective buyers have no difficulty in taking over your business.

Every small business owner will have to exit at some future point, and it’s foolish to assume somebody will be ready to buy it when the time is right. If you follow these four steps, you’ll have the best chance of making a successful sale once you’re ready to make the move.

Would Selling Your Company To Its Employees Be A Good Exit Strategy?

If you’ve built up a successful business, deciding whether or not to sell it is a difficult choice to make. Yet, every business owner must have their exit strategy firmly in place.

You’re sure to already know the classic exit strategy options – finding strategic buyers, an equity sale, or possibly going public for a larger small business. Some owners decide that they’ll just wind down their business entirely. There is, however, a different option – the ESOP or Employee Stock Ownership Plan. This could be the perfect exit strategy if you want your business to stay rooted in its locality and its staff meaningfully employed.

What Is An ESOP?

In simple terms, an ESOP is a tool that can be used by a retiring business owner to sell their company to its employees. They are becoming more popular worldwide thanks to the many benefits that they provide. The Corporate Business Solutions team will explain some of those advantages here.

A Flexible Timeline For Exit

Everyone knows that most Baby Boomers aren’t retiring when they get to 65 anymore. They enjoy working and are happy to carry on as long as they remain in good health. This trend looks set to continue for many more years to come since more people today are seeing their work as an extension to their personal life.

ESOPs allow business owners to carry on playing an important role in their business, but with added flexibility to begin reducing their value within it by transferring value to its employees. With a long transition period, the owner can educate and mentor key people to take over their new roles.

Not only does an ESOP enable a more flexible departure, but it also enables owners to start accessing their retirement capital via the liquidity of transferred shares to employees.

Getting Money Out

Every exit plan hinges on being able to turn the business as an illiquid asset into cash. For your employees to purchase shares in the company, it has to be valued professionally at FMV (Fair Market Value).

As long as the company is currently profitable and looks set to continue in that vein, your employees are unlikely to mind paying fair prices for share. Although some owners believe their employees won’t be able to afford to purchase their company, they find many different financing tools are available that facilitate the process.

Lasting Legacy

Studies have shown that a lot of owners of small businesses end up regretting the sale of their company a short while after the deal is closed. Some even regret the decision when they got the price they wanted for the sale.

A major reason for regretting the decision is that their exit plan has failed to address issues such as legacy and succession. For a lot of business owners, it’s very important to be reassured that the values and culture they put in place will carry on once they have left.

An ESOP helps to ensure the business moves forward with those people who have already shared the owner’s values and vision. More importantly, research has shown that ownership by employees also results in better business outcomes such as improved engagement, retention, and productivity.

Would An ESOP Suit Me?

Not every business owner will find employee stock ownership the right solution since it requires a willingness for financial information to be shared and a more participative management style. However, for those business owners who are keen to have a more flexible timeline for their exit, to obtain a fair price for their sale and a way of leaving their legacy intact, the idea of an ESOP is certainly worth exploring.

Will A Facilitator For Strategic Planning Help Your Business?

Planning strategy planning sessions for your business can be a real challenge, and that’s why a strategic planning facilitator could prove to be indispensable. When you need some specialist support and advice, a facilitator can come to the rescue, helping you to get the most out of each session.

How can a facilitator be helpful? Corporate Business Solutions consultants outline just a few of the reasons why.

A Facilitator Will Enable Your Contribution And Participation

Rather than leading a planning session, a facilitator will enable you to participate. You cannot participate fully in any session if you’re leading it, so this is a major benefit. A facilitator is also an expert in their field. They have developed a process that maximizing the effort and time you put in and know which questions to ask to produce optimal results. While it’s technically possible to lead your strategy meetings, it’s best not to take any risks with the future of your organization.

Getting To The Heart Of The Matter

As a facilitator is neutral they can ask tough questions on your behalf without any misconceptions or expectations. Even if you think the questions they ask are irrelevant or pointless, these questions often get right to the heart of what is most important. As a facilitator is coming in from outside, they can ask the perfect questions at the perfect time and in the perfect way to ensure the success of your business.

Having someone to lead your organization through the strategic planning process who is neutral is vital to getting your business to the place it needs to be. Your choices won’t impact the facilitator and that means they’re able to approach sessions without any bias.

Setting The Tone

A facilitator will set the tone for a planning meeting and can show you’re committed and serious about strategy development. It shows you’ve made not only a financial commitment but also an emotional commitment to ensuring the session gives your company the best possible level of value.

It isn’t easy to manage a planning session and its facilitation if you’re trying to involve yourself in the conversation too. A facilitator will put pauses into the discussion at strategic moments while controlling the agenda to ensure the best possible outcome for the team.

People Management

Facilitators are used to managing people with all kinds of personalities. It’s their special skill and they use it to ensure there is balanced conversation throughout the session. They ensure everyone can offer their contribution and that it’s as easy as possible to move on with your strategy.

A facilitator can also act as a catalyst to keep things moving forward and getting change initiatives underway. They help to move the organization forward more quickly, rather than living with legacy conversations and decisions that never seem to get dealt with.

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

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

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

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

Why is a healthy workforce important?

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

Reduction in sick absence 

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

Enhanced business performance 

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

Improved employee engagement 

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

How to keep your workforce healthy

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

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

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

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.

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.

Life Changing Steps to Becoming Successful

Becoming successful – it’s what so many of us strive for. Success is one of those things that comes in all shapes and sizes. It is not something saved for only the rich and famous. It’s not a fairy-tale or a dream that will never come true.

Success is attainable for everyone, as long as you’re willing to go after it.

That is the thing with success; it’s not something you can just hand over to someone. It comes from hard work not just on what you’re doing, but on who you are as a person.

If you’re looking for the key to success, consider some of the following tips for an overall successful life. CBS-CBS.com provides many tips for small businesses that will help you get on the success path for not just work, but for life.

Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

There’s a reason why it’s called the comfort zone. It’s where you are most comfortable and likely not very vulnerable. You know what is going on and what is likely to happen. It’s easy.

One key to success is to step outside of your comfort zone every so often. Take on a new challenge that may make you nervous. Once you step outside of your comfort zone, you start to learn new things about yourself and what you’re capable of doing.

Be Determined and Committed

Because success is not something that gets handed to you, determination and commitment are vital to being successful in life. There’s a difference between being interested in something, and being determined to know more. When you have that determination and commitment, you won’t let anything stand in your way of being successful.

Learn to Appreciate Failures

We often look at failures as the enemy, which is why we tend to stay in our comfort zone. Failures can be quite discouraging. They lead you to think that you can’t do something. However, if you learn to appreciate each failure as a stepping stone, you learn from those speed bumps and continue down the road to success.

Think of a child learning to walk. They don’t start walking right after the first step. Instead, they fall over and over again until they get the hang of walking. After that, good luck stopping them because they want to walk everywhere now.

A failure is when you stumble down after learning to take a step. Instead of giving up, continue with those steps until you’re past the point of failing. After that, you won’t want to stop.

Be Realistic

Most of these keys to success are about being daring and going after things. Another key that is different from those stated above is knowing when you need to be realistic. Setting too high of standards and going after unattainable goals is a way of setting yourself up for disappointment. That disappointment can quickly pull us down from the high of success and make us want to give up.

Instead, be realistic about what you can and cannot do. You can have big dreams, but set yourself realistic goals to get there.