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.

Ready to Boost Security? 5 Cybersecurity Tips to Keep Your Business Safe

Cybersecurity is crucial for all businesses, and small companies are no exception. In fact, a 2018 report (The 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Size Businesses) found that almost 70 percent of businesses in the study had fallen victim to a cyber attack. Unfortunately, nearly half of the respondents didn’t know how to protect their organization against threats.

Don’t let your business be another statistic of cybersecurity threats against a small business. Take action today to protect yourself tomorrow. Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions has five cybersecurity tips to keep your business safe.

Always Create Backups

Backups are your best friend if you save a lot of important information on a computer. Not doing so leaves all of that critical data vulnerable. If you have all your personal belongings stored in one garage that has minimal protection and it catches fire, you’ll lose everything.

Get in the habit of doing daily backups of your main devices. Most computers, tablets and even phones connected to cloud service or external hard drive allow you to set a backup schedule, so you don’t have to remember each day.

Use Strong Passwords

A password is your first line of defense for your device and any accounts you have access to. Slacking on creating a password puts everything at risk. A strong password is something not easily guessed and includes numbers and special characters.

For devices and accounts that hold critical information (think of customer info that could expose banking information), you may want to add extra authentication steps. Multi-factor authentication is when you need to input a number code sent to you via email, text or having to scan a thumbprint or your face to gain access.

Train Your Employees

If you’re a small business with a few employees, then cybersecurity is vital to everyone, not just you as the owner. That is why you should spend time investing in training for everyone related to your business.

Ensure that all your staff know how to create strong passwords for all devices, red flags of phishing scams or websites that look suspicious, and even how to protect their devices when they take them home for the day.

Keep All Devices Updated

Regular updates are a crucial step to security. Ever wonder what happens when your device does it’s the tenth update of the month? The chances are that quick update contains valuable coding that is filling gaps in its security.

Hackers and threats are continually evolving, so that means your device’s security abilities also need to evolve. Each time your device updates, it’s likely providing a solution to a potential security exposure due to the latest threat evolution.

Download Security Software

You’re not alone when it comes to cybersecurity. Many companies provide top-notch cybersecurity software for individual and personal use. If you’re new to security or not overly interested in it, downloading one of these programs is necessary.

Browse through the available security programs to find one that best suits your needs. Look for ones that include firewall protection and password management. They’ll all come in handy.

Small businesses don’t need to take drastic steps to protect their company from cyber threats. Even small actions, like updating your device and regularly changing your passwords, can provide valuable protection to all of your important data.

Affiliate Marketing Program – Why It May Be Worth Introducing

Have you ever logged onto your social media account to see someone posing with a new product, telling you how awesome it is? If you look at the description, chances are they have a discount code you can use to get a percentage off.

This is a style of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to get the word out about your products and services to a broader audience – more than you likely could with regular marketing. It’s a massive market worth over $12 billion and shows no signs of slowing down.

So, how does affiliate marketing work, and is it worth setting up for your business? Our Corporate Business Solutions reviews break down affiliate marketing and why it’s worth considering.

Affiliate Marketing 101 – How It Works

At its core, affiliate marketing is when you have someone who advertises your products and services to their following. It can be through their social media accounts, blog posts, YouTube channels, and other platforms that reach a following.

A typical affiliate will either purchase your product at a discounted price or receive something small for free to begin. Then, they share their personal experience with your product, which would draw in others to try it themselves.

An affiliate would have his or her discount code that they would share with their followers. You often see the discount code as their name for 15 percent off the purchase price. It’s enough to entice someone to buy, but not too steep that you’re losing money. When someone uses this code, the affiliate will gain a small commission from the sale (think of it as their paycheque for bringing you in more sales).

It doesn’t have to be a discount code, though. You can also provide the affiliate with a unique URL that they share with their followers. When someone uses said link to make a purchase or sign up for a service, the affiliate will receive a commission that way.

Is It Worth Having an Affiliate Marketing Program?

For starters, affiliate marketing is probably one of the least expensive forms of advertisement out there (besides word of mouth, which is free). The great thing about it is that you only pay the affiliate when a sale is made. If the affiliate doesn’t generate any leads, you don’t pay a cent.

Another benefit is that your affiliate marketer reaches his or her established audience. There’s a decent chance that many of their following doesn’t know about your business. As the affiliate shares posts about your products and services, your brand awareness increases. It’s a way for you to reach a wider audience, gain new clientele, and establish relationships you may otherwise not have gotten.

Of course, one of the main benefits of affiliate marketing is a boost in sales. Even after you pay out the small commission, you’re still increasing your sales. Not only that, because you’ve gotten the word out to a new client, but you also increase your chance of having a repeat customer and having them share with their following too.

Affiliate marketing is a win-win for both sides. The affiliate earns a few bucks as you gain brand awareness, customers, and sales.

If you go this route, create criteria for who can be an affiliate of your brand. You’ll want trustworthy people that will help positively promote your business.

5 Tip to Help You Reinvent Your Business During the Pandemic

There’s no denying that our world has drastically changed in the past couple of months. You could even go as far as to say that our work lives have changed as well.

How so? Well, many companies were forced to adopt a remote-working policy to cope with the pandemic or, ultimately, close doors. If you’re faced with that situation, wouldn’t you want to go the route that kept your business alive?

Has the pandemic made you take a step back and evaluate your business model? If so, the following five tips from CBS-CBS.com reviews may help you reinvent your company.

Make a Note of What Was Successful

You most likely have particular aspects of your business that works. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to operate. As you reinvent yourself, don’t completely shy away from what’s made you successful.

Make a note of all aspects of your company you’re happy with and has gotten you to this point. This isn’t to say you don’t touch them. However, it can help put things into perspective and also find ways to fine-tune them to be even more successful.

Make a Note of What Wasn’t Successful

On the other hand, you want to make a note of what wasn’t working. Every business will have some aspect of it that they could improve on. Those are the ones you want to focus on as you reinvent yourself.

Parts that need tweaking may not be obvious, so take time to genuinely evaluate your company. Even the simplest of things, like your hours of operation or your customer service policies, can make a significant impact on your success.

Start Brainstorming and Get Creative

Spend a day brainstorming different ways you can boost your business. Let yourself get creative here. You don’t want to restrict your creativity just yet. Any idea that pops into your head write it down. Later on, once you have a good list of ideas, then you can be more critical of them.

Discuss it Without Fresh Eyes

As the owner, you tend to be biased to your business, and rightfully so. It’s hard to take that step back and see where you need to improve on. Not only that, once you have your ideas for improvement list, but you may also think each point is the key to success when maybe it’s not.

Having a fresh set of eyes and ears to discuss things that can provide you with a valuable perspective you don’t have.  That’s the benefit of bringing in a professional business consultant to give you an objective, third-party view.  Business consultants also can share with you ideas that have worked in other businesses to save you from making the mistake of implementing an idea that is likely to fail.

Make a Plan

A big mistake to make is thinking your idea is the key to everything, and it’s time to dive in headfirst. What if that idea blows up, then what?

Make a plan before implementing any changes. Spend some time testing it out to ensure whatever you have planned will work. Start small and work your way up. You have a better chance of succeeding that way.

Reinventing a business isn’t an easy task to take on. Not every reinvention will be successful, either. However, the more time you spend thinking, brainstorming, and researching, the more set up you’ll be for a successful reinvention.

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.

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.

Seven Expert Tips to Prevent Business Fraud

Fraud prevention in the business world is more important than ever before. There are now even more opportunities to defraud businesses, so having a strong fortification for your organization against all the conditions that may facilitate fraud in your workplace is essential. With this in mind, here are seven expert tips that will stand you in good stead to protect your reputation, your profits and your business success.

Implementing A Top To Bottom Anti-Fraud Program

The first step to success when it comes to taking anti-fraud measures in your organization is to ensure that the program you choose is implemented from the top to the bottom. This is the best way to create a culture of fairness and honesty at every level of your company. A robust program begins with an ethical code, signed by every employee. It also encompasses anti-fraud policies, internal controls, training, and employee surveys carried out periodically to determine how much employees believe that their managers act with integrity and honesty.

Taking Anti-Fraud Training

Employees should receive hands-on, practical training to educate them about how fraud can be detected. They should be made aware of what they should be looking for, how the internal controls function and how any incidences of fraud should be reported.

Implementing Clear Methods Of Reporting

Over half of all fraud cases in the workplace are reported by workers. Therefore, implementing a clear and simple way to report fraud couldn’t be more important. Whether you put in place a web form, a dedicated email or a fraud hotline, you need to ensure every employee knows how to report suspected fraud.

Proactive Detection Methods

Anti-fraud efforts should be at the forefront of any organization. You should regularly send out messages to your team, conduct surprise audits, perform regular account reconciliations, and implement monitoring software that will detect any anomalies. In our Corporate Business Solutions reviews, we find that those companies that take on board the advice of our Certified Fraud Examiners to put in place proactive solutions find it quicker and easier to weed out fraudulent behavior than those businesses that rely solely on passive methods.

Internal Controls And Strong Auditing

Putting in place both strong internal controls and a robust auditing team can make an enormous difference. The auditing team must have sufficient authority and adequate resources to allow them to function effectively without any undue managerial influence. These internal controls should include:

  • External auditing of financial statements
  • Putting in place an internal auditing department
  • Managerial certification of all financial statements
  • External auditing of financial reporting internal controls
  • Reporting hotlines
  • Management reviews
  • Having an anti-fraud policy and an ethical code
  • Job rotations

Safe Hiring Practices

You should always be carrying out background checks when hiring new staff. Pay close attention to their criminal background, their references, and their credit reports to ensure fraud is prevented.

Put Employee Support Programs In Place

There are many reasons why employee support programs have proven to be valuable, however, when it comes to fraud in the workplace, they are effective in addressing many of the issues that result in “red flag behaviors”. When employees can speak freely about their addictions, their money worries or their financial problems, they can alleviate those issues before they lead to a destructive pattern of fraudulent behavior.

Limiting Your Fraud Losses

Limiting your fraud losses is vital if your company is to remain profitable. Here at Corporate Business Solutions, our team of Certified Fraud Examiners can help you to address fraudulent behavior within your organization so you can maximize your profits and limit your losses.

Choosing the Right Corporate Business Solutions Consultant for Your Business

Any business owner knows the value that working with a consultant can have. It provides an independent perspective on the processes and practices of a business and provides potential solutions and improvements.

However, if you are looking to enlist help with corporate business solutions, you need to make sure that you choose the right Corporate Business Solutions Consultants for your needs. Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Know what you are looking for

Before you set about enlisting the services of consultants, you have to understand the needs of your business. This means that you need to have a clear view of what specific help is required.

This enables you to find consultants who have experience in providing the required services. It also means that you can have a more informed conversation with consultancy providers. You can explain exactly what needs to be done and they can tell you precisely what help they can provide.

Speak to the companies you are considering

It’s not a good idea to select a business consultancy provider based simply on what you have read, or recommendations you have received. You need to speak to the provider in order to determine whether they are the right fit for your needs.

Reputable consultants incorporate business solutions should be able to provide you with clear and concise information when you speak to them. You can then use this information when choosing the best options for your business.

Check reviews and recommendations

While you should not make your decision entirely based on reviews of a consultancy provider, you should take them into account. This is because these reviews have been provided by people who have experience of working with the consultants. You can learn about how the consultants can have a positive effect on the performance of your business and you can identify any less than positive aspects.

Understand the culture of your business

It’s important to understand how consultants are likely to fit with the ethos and culture of your business. In order to do this, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your business culture. You should use this information when you are making decisions about how well the ethos and provisions of a consultancy provider will match with this culture.

In summary

Any business can benefit from expert help with corporate business solutions. Seeking this type of help is a way of establishing the current health of a business and identifying means of improvement. However, it’s important that the consultancy provider is the right fit to work with a business.

To establish whether this is the case, a business owner needs to understand the needs of the business, check for reviews of prospective consultancy providers, have a conversation with providers and consider the culture of the business before making any final decisions. If the correct choice is made, the business and provider can work together in order to optimize the performance and profitability of the business. This is a benefit that is invaluable to any business owner.

 

 

4 Tips for Staying Organized as a Freelancer

If you’re a freelancer, then you know the many perks that come along with the lifestyle. The freedom to build your schedule and work around your own day, being able to work from home (or anywhere else you want, really), and having the joy of relaxing without the stress of an office, are all some of the many benefits of working as a freelancer.

You also know, then, that there are some downfalls to being a freelancer as well. One of the most major downfalls is staying dedicated and organized to get the work done.

You don’t have a boss hanging out near your office ensuring that you complete your workday. Instead, it’s all up to you. That is why it’s crucial to stay organized as much as you can to keep on top of the game.

At Corporate Business Solutions Reviews, we know the importance of organization. So, here are four tips that will help any freelancer stay organized.

Know Your Limits

Especially when you’re first starting, it’s hard to say no when jobs come up. Money tends to be tight at the beginning, making it more appealing to work as much as you can. However, taking on more than you can handle will cause unnecessary stress in your life.

Have a Consistent Schedule

Consistency is essential for freelancers. If you get in the habit of waking up whenever you want, scheduling in appointments and errands in the middle of the workday, it gets hard to stay on top of your work.

Having a consistent schedule will not only help you stay organized and keep track of all the different projects you have going on, but it will also help you maintain a life. It’s easy to get caught up with work every evening and into the weekend.

A way to build a consistent routine is to schedule out your week in advance. Make a note of all your appointments, deadlines, tasks, and other projects on the go, and allow yourself a realistic amount of time for each. Always leave wiggle room for things taking longer than planned, and unexpected projects or issues popping up.

Prioritize

Prioritization is key for success as a freelancer, and it will help you stay organized as well. If you start your day off with a project due at the end of the week but ignore the one that’s due tomorrow, you’re setting yourself up for a stressful evening. Stress can cause chaos in our lives, and that will only lead to feeling overwhelmed and disorganized. So, when you plan out your week, start with the high priority jobs and work your way down.

Have Steady Work

Part of what makes freelancing a challenge to organize is all the one-time jobs and random assignments popping up. It’s hard to feel secure in your work when you can’t guarantee you’ll have an assignment coming your way.

Building a relationship with your clients to maintain long-term work will help ease the stress of the unknown. You won’t feel the need to take on more than you can and say yes to any unnecessary jobs just to make ends meet.30

If you’re a freelancer who struggles to stay organized, consider implementing the above four tips. You’ll find that after adjusting to them, you’ll stay more on top of your work and feel better about your daily schedule.