Monitoring Your Staff

An essential task of running a business and ‘being the boss’ is the monitoring of your staff and how to go about it without making it obvious you are checking upon them.

If done the wrong way, you can engender fear in your staff as they could feel you don’t trust their abilities or work commitment.

If done the right way, employees will not be aware that they are being monitored and will accept monitoring tasks as simple methods of safeguarding staff, protecting resources, or improving productivity.

Employers monitor their employees in several ways; dedicated software is increasingly being used, but more traditional methods are checks of emails and voice messages, recording telephone calls, and the use of CCTV.

Who do you Need to Monitor Your Staff?

Some of the reasons for monitoring staff include:

Cybersecurity

Most IT security breaches happen through employee negligence. By monitoring and restricting employees’ online activity, a business can protect its systems and information from outside attacks.

Data protection

Globally, there has been an increase in hackers gaining access to the personal information of clients and blackmailing the business, requesting money or the information will be released across the internet. Tracking employees’ actions can help ensure that employers become aware of any data breaches as soon as possible and that relevant rules are complied with.

Leaks of confidential information

Monitoring may not prevent a leak, but it can help spot one and gives the business a fighting chance of damage limitation.

Internal rules

Monitoring can help employers ensure that many policies and internal procedures are followed correctly, and any misconduct is detected immediately.

Remote working

With the increase of remote workers, employers need to make sure they are not being taken advantage of. By tracking communications and login details they can confirm that employees are performing their job appropriately.

Boosting productivity

Some data generated from monitoring can be analyzed to help devise strategies that could increase production.

Many of these issues may seem to apply only to large businesses with hundreds of staff and thousands of clients.

However, in an SME with lower staff numbers, the key knowledge within the business is retained by a very small number of the staff. This places even greater emphasis on ensuring that knowledge is not shared where it shouldn’t be, whether accidentally or on purpose.

In a small or medium-sized business, it becomes even more important that staff is aware of the monitoring and the reasons behind it. So, make sure your business has the following:

  • Have policies in place that clearly explain the extent of the monitoring being undertaken, with an explanation of why it is needed
  • Regular check the policies are up to date and have been brought to the employee’s attention
  • Regularly review alternative, less intrusive options for monitoring as part of a risk assessment
  • Develop processes to ensure that the information collected is kept securely, is seen by as few people as necessary, and gets deleted when no longer needed
  • Do not jump to conclusions when the monitoring reveals potential misconduct. Sometimes all that is needed is a reminder of policies or some retraining.

Take care when monitoring employees, infringing their rights could result in claims, fines, and reputational damage that has a lasting effect on the business. Corporate Business Solutions Inc. can help you understand your rights and those of your employees.

How to Increase Employee Retention

A running truism in entrepreneurial circles is that “one great employee is worth ten bad workers”. A key to success in business is making sure that you attract, identify, and hire the best workers possible, but the challenge doesn’t stop there.

Owners need to provide a situation where the best people happily return to work for years. Employee retention is just as important as the hiring process and here’s how you can make sure that you organize and keep the best team possible at your firm.

Perfect Your Onboarding Program

Ensuring that your new hires are getting off on the right foot is crucial to making sure that everyone knows what to expect and how to operate in a new workspace. Many fresh workers are understandably nervous upon starting with a new firm, so it’s paramount to make their onboarding to your staff as friendly and clear as possible.

Letting employees know what their responsibilities are and what resources they can access can set the tone from day one. No one wants to lose a good worker to cold feet because they were unclear or alarmed by a hostile or vague orientation process. This is especially important for hiring to fill a remote position.

Make Sure That Your Compensation Is Competitive

Never forget that your workers are generally looking to pay their bills. Business owners need to constantly monitor their competitors to be sure that they are offering competitive wages as well as benefits packages when applicable.

Even the most passionate worker can be forced to leave if your offerings don’t keep up with market trends. Don’t miss out on exemplary employees because your company hasn’t updated its compensation or benefits packages.

Provide Constant Feedback

The ritual of annual performance reviews is going the way of the dinosaur, and this is a good thing. Quarterly reviews can be a great way to let your employees know that you acknowledge and care about their production. Furthermore, it can be a great way to discuss your employees’ goals and have them thinking about their future within your company.

This relies on your ability to make performance reviews a welcome experience. You and your team members should be excited to discuss their work and everything that the future might have in store. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep, but don’t make employee reviews feel like being called into an interrogation.

Acknowledge Work-Life Balance

Your employees need to be seen. This means noting that they are not just cogs in the workings of your business, but that they have dreams and ambitions outside of the workplace. Doctors and emergency personnel may have periods where they have to be on-call for several days, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have other obligations.

Likewise, programmers and journalists may have to participate in a “crunch” to meet certain deadlines, but managers should acknowledge that this can’t be a constant in the workplace. Demonstrate how proud you are of your workers for meeting certain milestones or periods of chaotic business with a long weekend.

Anything that lets your crew know that you are aware when they are going the extra mile can go a long way to ensuring their continued enthusiasm and loyalty to your firm.

Hiring practices and employee retention policies are ultimately two sides of the same coin. It is expensive to filter out the best candidates and then train them up in your company.

Doing all you can to keep your team happy and healthy pays dividends in not only your hiring department but also bolster your reputation as an entrepreneur those other talented individuals want to work for. Corporate Business Solutions Reviews can help you in every step of your mission to find and keep the right people in your firm.

Planning Your Small Business Website

Creating a website for your small business is one of the best things you can do for your company’s future. Not only will it improve your local presence, but it can pay dividends down the road if you decide to expand your firm’s scope of operations.

This step-by-step guide to designing your company’s website can get you started for digital success.

Decide on a Provider

Designing a website used to require extensive technical knowledge, but an entire sector of services called content management systems (CMS in shorthand) has made it possible for entrepreneurs to build a website from the ground up without needing to learn how to code or hire a website architect within one’s own firm.

Most modern website providers allow business owners to design and host their websites in a bundled service package. The sheer volume of platforms within the CMS field means that most business owners won’t have to pay more than $10-$40 per month to host and constantly have editorial abilities over their firm’s website.

Registering a Domain Name

Your domain name is your digital address, very much like a street address. This can be very important for overall visibility and message branding, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

The cheapest and most straightforward way of obtaining a domain name is by going through one of the very popular website-building platforms. They often provide free domain names.

If you plan on coding your own website, most web host companies also offer free domain names. This will take more work, so it’s probably not a good option unless you are technically savvy with web coding and have a very specific idea as to how your website will look.

Registering a domain name can be very expensive depending on the field. Some individuals have made entire careers out of buying up domain names and selling them off after interest in given term sprouts up.

This makes it especially important to get a jump start on reserving your desired domain name and all social media accounts that might be associated with your business.

If your business turns out to be wildly successful, you can save thousands of dollars in the long run by being diligent about your digital identity.

Vigorously Test Your Site Before Launch

One of the great things about modern website hosting services is that they allow constant, real-time editing so the site always looks exactly how you want it to. This means that there’s no shame in launching a site that doesn’t “look” exactly how you want it, but you always need to make sure that it performs well.

There is a wealth of data showing how many seconds potential consumers are willing for a screen to load before leaving a website. Most website designing/hosting services will provide a checklist to make sure that the site is running properly, but as the captain of the ship, you need to be positive that your company’s website is ready for a global release. An inefficient loading time or messy interface can turn users into negative reviews. Due diligence is paramount before launching your company’s website on its maiden voyage.

Launching a small business website is a far less esoteric task than it was at the dawn of the information age. More than technical expertise, it now requires an entrepreneur’s vision, focus, and diligence.

If you’re willing to take your business model online, then Corporate Business Solutions Reviews can advise you every step of the way.

 

Financing Your Small Business

One of the greatest hurdles entrepreneurs meets when trying to start up their small businesses is adding the first funds to break into the market. This simple but challenging problem is one of the first great trials for all but a few of the luckiest entrepreneurs.

Luckily, there is a myriad of options to choose from depending on a potential small-business owner’s risk tolerance and patience.

The easiest and direct method of financing your business is by dipping into your savings. This allows an individual the keep from taking on any debt bring a partner into your project. Of course, many could find it difficult to come up with enough funds depending on the scale of his or her business ambitions.

A total failure of the business could entirely wipe out hard-earned savings. Some recommend that people keep a separate savings account to contribute to in addition to others saved for retirement and unforeseen expenses.

Retirement accounts can be a source of these personal savings, but there are often taxes that are paid whenever one makes a withdrawal. The risks are again the potential total loss of whatever funds invested that you had planned to save for your future.

Regardless of the money you take out to finance your business, entrepreneurs should always err on the side of caution and make a solid plan on what they are willing to lose.

If individuals have supportive families and friends who believe in their business model, they can also be potential financial sources, but this often comes with emotional complications. You can offer them a structured loan on specific terms to ease their minds, and they typically won’t charge you the interest of a bank and offer more flexible terms.

If both parties can reach a supportive agreement, this can be a possibility, but emotional intelligence is paramount. Financial disagreements amongst family and friends can ruin relationships.

Home equity loans can be useful low-interest options to garner funding for a small business, but owners need to be prepared to offer their home up as collateral. Borrowers are also still responsible for the repayment of the loan even if the business project doesn’t generate adequate income, and total default can result in the loss of one’s house.

Credit cards can be a quick solution if one needs a small cash advance to cover an immediate expense. Outside of these specific conditions, credit cards are not a safe way otherwise. Both interest rates and minimum payment amounts are typically quite steep with most credit cards and expenses can cost a great deal of money in the long term.

A better solution for business models that won’t require a great deal of capital to start is a microloan. Their terms and conditions are often better than typical banks in the regular market, but there is a limit on how much money can be borrowed. Microloans will not be useful to customers who need a lot of money and/or expansive business plans.

Microloans can also be easier to obtain than a standard small business loan from the bank. These lines of credit typically have favorable conditions, but most banks have strict lending criteria. Typically, these include good personal credit, sources of collateral, and a thorough business plan.

Financing a small business is often described as the most difficult part of starting a small business. There are multiple options to consider but they all come with their benefits and follies. Starting a small business should never be started on a whim and individuals should never be embarrassed to consult an expert. Corporate Business Solutions Reviews can help you with any advice you might need in starting your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Improving Employee Relations

As a business owner, employee relations are one of the most important aspects of your company. Without good employee relations, it can be difficult to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine.

One of the best ways to enhance employee relations in your business is by preventing burnout. Stress is inevitable in any job but minimizing it in your company will help improve your employee relations and even save you some money.

The American Institute of Stress has found that job stress costs U.S. companies over $300 billion annually due to absenteeism, accidents, workers’ compensation, reduced productivity, employee turnover, and direct medical, legal, and insurance costs.

It is safe to say that reducing stress and preventing burnout is one of the best ways to improve employee relations and keep your business thriving. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways that you can reduce job-related stress for your employees.

How to Prevent Burnout

  • Implement Work/Life Balance 

One of the best ways to prevent burnout is by promoting and implementing a work-life balance for your employees. This can be done by closing around the holidays or accommodating individual schedules. Allowing employees time out of work for family, self-care, and other personal tasks that they need to do will help them show up fully when they are in the office and decrease distractions.

  • Encourage Using Vacation Time 

Numerous studies have found that a significant percentage of employees do not use their vacation time. This may be due to a fear of being able to get the time off without risking their job or putting more work onto their colleagues while they are gone. Encouraging the use of vacation time is a wonderful way to emphasize the importance of taking time off to avoid burnout. Make sure you have systems in place for coverage while an employee is gone so that they can easily get time off when needed.

  • Promote Wellness in the Workplace 

Promoting overall wellness is a fantastic way to prevent burnout and should be done inside and outside of the workplace itself. Offering calm spaces to take a break, free healthy snacks, and even workout classes within the office on certain days can help encourage overall wellness. In doing so, you may be eliminating a few extra tasks for the day such as going to the gym or grabbing a bite to eat. These simple steps can help employees avoid burnout and easily take care of themselves as an individual.

  • Introduce Remote Working Options 

Remote working is becoming increasingly popular. While some may prefer working in the office, others may find that working at home is more accessible. Working at home saves commuting time and transportation money. Even if you cannot go fully remote, offering work to complete at home can help employees feel more balanced and less overwhelmed.

  • Focus on Opportunities for Employee Growth

One reason that employees may feel burnt out in a company is if there is no room for growth. Being transparent with a company’s future growth and the employment opportunities that will come is an effective way to avoid turnover. Employees who feel they can have a career with a certain company that offers more money and opportunity as time goes on are more likely to stick around longer.

Corporate Business Solutions Reviews can help you map out your company’s future as well as your employees.

Dos and Don’ts for Small Business Owners

Small business owners throughout the world are different. However, there are some dos and don’ts of business ownership to beware of. There are certain traits, qualities, and mindsets that will take you further.

These things will also help you create success for not only yourself but everyone around you. Leading a business properly matters for customers, staff, and you as a business owner. Though, nowadays this mentality is quite rare. That statement is especially true in larger corporations.

With all that in mind, Corporate Business Solutions has put together some dos and don’ts for small business owners.

Do: Show respect to your customers and staff

In your chosen industry, you must be respected. However, that respect must be earned. The best small business owners will always treat people with respect.

Whether rich or poor, all people should be treated the same, without any judgment. Make sure your customers and staff are treated with respect, courtesy, and honesty.

Do: Communicate

To get the best out of your small business, you want to show that you have great character, maturity, and integrity. Most of all, you want to ensure that you communicate effectively with everything you encounter. Successful business owners don’t just speak about themselves.

Instead, they will share expertise, check in on customers and employees, and ensure that every conversation adds value. Make sure you use good manners and speak with consideration and thoughtfulness.

Don’t: Waste people’s time

As a leader, you mustn’t waste people’s time. Every time you show up late to a meeting or appointment, you are essentially saying that your time is more important. How you treat people says everything about you as a leader.

If you don’t allow staff to show up late for meetings, why should you be allowed to? It all goes back to respecting your staff and treating people equally.

Don’t: Think too highly of yourself

Self-confidence is important. However, thinking too highly of yourself could cause a lot of issues. Make sure that the words “do you know who I am?” never come out of your mouth. This could put you in hot water with your employees and those around you. While many business owners don’t usually mention that they’re the owner, some will pull out the “I’m too important” card all too often. People will like you far more if you stop acting as you know better than they do.

This will, in turn, make your work life far easier. The last thing your small business needs is someone acting like they’re above everyone else, even if you technically are. Treating people with kindness will take you far further than you think.

Owning a small business is no easy feat. However, with the right tools and the knowledge of dos and don’ts, you’re on the right path to success. Implement these dos and don’ts to ensure that you keep winning with a positive reputation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Can Upselling Benefit My Small Business?

Without knowing it, we deal with upselling every day. Have you ever been through a McDonald’s drive-through only to be asked if you like to upgrade into a meal? When you’re a customer, noticing an upsell attempt is easy.

That is why it is hard to put an upselling strategy into place as a business. You relate to all the times people have tried to upsell you. You also remember just how annoying it can be.

However, it doesn’t have to be annoying. There are ways to effectively upsell without annoying. Check out this small guide from CBS-CBS.com to learn how upselling can benefit your small business.

What is upselling?

Upselling is the act of offering an additional product, feature, or service to a customer or client after they have decided to purchase from you. Upselling benefits your business by increasing the profitability and size of each sale.

Upselling comes into play when the customer has already signaled intent to purchase and is ready to complete the sale. They are already interested in doing business with you. Now, all you need to do is improve the bottom line to get customers to add to their purchases.

Once you learn how to identify it, you will see that this technique is used every day.

How to make upselling benefit your business

Check out these three things you have to know to make upselling benefit your business:

Understand your costs

Before trying to upsell, you need a good understanding of your profits. To do it correctly, you must understand:

  • The cost of your products and services- How much does it cost to deliver and produce your product?
  • The cost of customer acquisition- How much does it cost for you to acquire a new customer? 

When figuring this out, talk to an accountant or bookkeeper to further identify your costs. Don’t just consider the basic materials. Ensure that you consider packaging, commissions, labor, branding, and any other costs.

Identify your upselling goals

Once you understand your costs, separate your products and services into two margins. The high-profit margin, and the low-profit margin. Then, you need to pick out your high-margin items to upsell. That is where you will get the most leverage.

It is a good idea to identify your upselling goals and understand how much you want to profit from the upsell. With upselling, you get more profit for little effort. After all, upselling is nothing more than simply asking questions.

Create intriguing offers

When upselling, ensure that you pick out offers that are more than complementary. The basic offers as well as the upsell should appeal to the same buyer. However, the items should remain unique enough that the buyer sees the added value.

By creating intriguing offers, your customers will be more likely to accept your upsell attempt.

The bottom line

Make sure that you’re not too pushy or overbearing. Some customers will jump at the opportunity while others remain uninterested. If you push too hard, you could turn your customer off completely.

 

Always let the buyer make their own decisions.

 

 

 

 

How Text Message Marketing Can Help Your Business

Text messaging is often seen as a way for people to contact their friends. Did you know that it is a powerful marketing tool? The majority of people all over the world own mobile phones.

Most of them use their mobile phones to send and receive text messages. After all, phones are for texting more than they are for social media. On top of that, mobile phones always alert their owner when they receive a text message. 

Usually, those text messages get read mere seconds or minutes after delivery. Though, many business owners have avoided text message marketing because they think it is ineffective. Realistically, it is the best form of marketing. It is affordable, easy to use, and valuable.

Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions have three ways that text message marketing can help your business.

  1. It is very affordable

Text message marketing is a great way to market your business affordably. Small business owners can benefit greatly from this form of marketing. Instead of spending hours creating marketing content, a text message is cheaper, quicker, and easier to send out.

It could also be far more effective. While prices vary, many platforms will allow you to send text messages for only a few cents per text. There are also bulk packages that send hundreds or thousands of text messages per month for only a fraction of the cost you usually pay for marketing.

  1. It is quick

Many people like text message marketing because of the speed for both the advertiser and consumer. Text messages are usually a few sentences long, whereas email marketing can be lengthy. That means that people are far more likely to read your text message and act on it.

The consumer can also choose when they want to read the text. Telephone calls, on the other hand, can be intrusive and disruptive. On top of that, text messages don’t take long to plan or send. Overall, they are far quicker in many ways than other forms of marketing.

  1. It has a further reach

Pretty much every person in the world has a mobile phone these days. That means that text messaging casts quite a wide net. Email marketing is much the same. The only difference is that text messages usually feel more direct, personal, and urgent than emails.

For example, a promotion delivered right to your phone number would feel far more personal than a promotion to your email address that people can easily find. The urgency of texts can help your business reach far more people in a quicker time frame.

Not many people receive promotions in their texts.

Overall, text message marketing is an easy, affordable, quick, and reliable way to promote your business. It is proving time and time again to be a powerful marketing tool, especially for small businesses. If you are looking for a promotional tool that is effective and affordable, there is no better option than text message marketing.

How to Avoid Being Burnt Out by Your Side Hustle

Starting your own business can be hard enough without negative feelings and being burnt out. It can be downright exhausting having to make time late at night or early in the morning to work on your side hustle. Many people quickly burn out and find the need to quit. However, this is the worst thing you can do when working on your side hustle.

You need creativity, haste, and passion to start your business and work on it, and that can be drained from you after a long day. However, there are many great ways you can combat this exhaustion and general fatigue. These tips from Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions will teach you how to avoid being burnt out by your side hustle.

Love what you do

When passion is intertwined in your business, you will never get sick of it. It is so easy to become caught up in life in general, but if you love what you do, your side hustle can become your safe place. After working so hard, it can become easy to lose the passion that once fuelled you.

However, if you really love what you do and are connected to it, you won’t let yourself become burnt out. If you aren’t 100% in love with your side hustle, why spend your time creating it for the wrong reasons. When an important decision arises, ask yourself whether you will love it or not.

Value your productive times

If you have the chance to pick and choose your hours, you should always use your most productive times to work on your side hustle. This way, you won’t have to cram it in your busy workday or around events. Take advantage of any flexibility that comes your way as much as you can.

If you get a long lunch, take it. If you get a day off, take it. Then, work hard during that time to make sure your side hustle is given a very fair chance to succeed.

Allow yourself to relax, refresh, and recoup

We use our brains every single day. Most of the time, we are worn out after using it for extensive work or a long day at the office. That is why it is so important for you to take time to allow yourself to relax, refresh, and recoup. For many people in the world, they see relaxing time as a waste of time.

However, this could not be further from the truth. To fully focus and give your side hustle the time and effort it deserves, you should be fully rested. Otherwise, the work you do will actually be getting very little done. Taking care of yourself is just as important as getting things done. If you are not good for yourself, you will not be good for your business.

These simple tips can help you get far with your business. Implement them to make sure you create enough time to work on your side hustle.

4 Productivity Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

4 Productivity Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Productivity is a skill that we can constantly improve on. It’s a skill that can take your day from being overwhelming to one of the most efficient days you’ve had in a very long time. Simply put, productivity is one of the main pillars of your success.

How do you become more productive? Keep in mind that it’s not an overnight fix. It takes time, dedication, and practicing new habits and routines that fit your lifestyle. Once you find the perfect mix, though, you’ll see your productivity skyrocket and your life feel less stressful.

Ready to boost your productivity when trying to balance everyday life with your business? CBS-CBS.com has four tips that every entrepreneur (or anyone, really) should know.

Start Your Morning By Planning the Day

A popular trick that successful entrepreneurs often reveal is how they start their day. Waking up to what you’re doing while enjoying your morning coffee can set the mood for your day.

Include a moment to plan out the rest of your day as part of your morning routine. What are the top priority tasks that have to get done today? Organize those first within your working hours. You can then have another list handy with tasks that should get done at some point this week but aren’t a pressing matter today.

Love the List

Lists are an excellent way to stay organized. Have you tried managing your day without writing anything down? You’re relying on your memory to ensure you get everything done? Maybe this works right now. However, at some point, you’re going to forget important tasks and ultimately cause more stress in your life.

Create a few lists that you have readily available throughout the day. Start with your priority list – these are the tasks that you need to complete before anything else. You can then have a list of medium important tasks that you can schedule throughout your week. Basically, you can turn anything into a list.

Incorporate Breaks Into Your Day

Now, this may seem counterintuitive at first glance. The point of productivity is to get work done, not slack off. However, if you’re working every minute of the day without any breaks, you’re actually hurting your productivity levels.

Taking a break is like a quick recharge to your system. It allows you to relax your mind for a moment, stretch the body out, and even prevent stress from creeping in. Adding breaks does wonders for your mental health, which in return helps you become more productive through the rest of the day.

Remember Your Why

Many productivity tips out there often include technology and points above to help give you that boost. However, there are a few tricks that don’t require much from you besides taking a moment to think.

What is your why for what you’re doing? We all have it. From wanting to run a successful business to ensure you have enough family time at the end of the day, reflect on why you’re doing everything. When you remember that, it can give you that quick mental boost to get your work done.

Part of being productive focuses on your overall health. Include a balanced and healthy diet with enough sleep, and a quick workout will all contribute to your productivity levels.

Remember, it takes time to get in the groove and start noticing the benefits. Once you do, though, you’ll be more inclined to continue with those habits.