Archive for the ‘Business Advice’ Category« Older Entries |
Monday, March 21st, 2011
Ahhhhh! The joys of self-employment. No demanding bosses, office politics, or snooze-inducing meetings. You can dress how you want, go to the gym midday, and do business on YOUR terms. The flip side—you’re working16-hour days, trying to please everyone (especially clients), continuously running the hamster wheel, and ingesting the bad food that fuels it all. After all, you’re the President, the owner, the visionary and the worker at your company. You haven’t got time to slow down, right? Wrong. While research shows that self-employment has risen by 68% since 2008 (that’s a good thing!), the consequences for some entrepreneurs aren’t good–exhaustion, migraines, heart disease, depression, or worse. So if stress has become a 24/7 routine for you, it’s time to implement some of these strategies, courtesy of Entrepreneur magazine:
Step #1: Create a schedule. Enforce structure and stick to it.
Step #2: Implement daily rituals. Create signals for when it’s time to work (ie. end breakfast at 9am or eat lunch at the same time every day).
Step #3: Stay in the zone. Keep distractions at bay by separating home and work time.
Step #4: Define your workspace. Set yourself up in an office area that says “work.”
According to Fawn Fitter from Entrepreneur magazine, “starting a business is a little like having a baby: at the beginning, your life revolves around figuring out how to help it survive. Everything else–family, friends, health, hobbies, even sleep–takes second place. For first-time entrepreneurs with no previous practice in raising a business to maturity, the experience can be even more overwhelming.” She says, even if you are passionate about the company, don’t be afraid to step away for a break. You’ll be more productive, healthy, and proactive when you return.
This Holiday season, let go of business matters that rob you of joyous moments with family, friends, or relaxing time by yourself. Don’t be tied to your to-do list or demanding clients. Reclaim your boundaries and balance…..And take time to celebrate!
Monday, February 14th, 2011
Starting a business is like having a new relationship. There’s passion for your work. There’s lust for signing on new clients. And there are rewards from meeting client needs. You’re content and thriving. Ahhh….the honeymoon phase!
But soon the challenges set in. Your resources are limited. You’re working day and night. Your last client is about to wrap up and there isn’t another one on the horizon. The honeymoon is over. So do you throw in the towel or stay the course? After all, they say it takes 3 to 5 years to build a business. Assuming your heart, soul, and commitment is right into the relationship with your business, here are some tips for bonding and keeping the focus on your goals:
- Confront challenges immediately: Make a list of them. Prevent the same challenges from reoccurring by seeking solutions now when your chances of overcoming issues are better. You’ll have a renewed sense of control, drive to achieve, and there are lessons learned.
- Be persistent (even after failure): Thomas Edison “failed” to invent a practical light bulb thousands of times. But he knew 9,000 ways an electric light bulb would not work. His persistence paid off and he became a success by creating a timeless, universal product. Failure is not a reason to give up.
- Learn and review: Keep a log or mental note of what did and didn’t work with your business strategy. According to morebusiness.com “managing challenges means reviewing steps and making changes that meet the goals you have set.”
- Ask for help: Don’t be too proud to ask for help when managing challenges. Use a mentor or hire a consultant for their wisdom, experience and best resources to overcome the issues you’re facing.
- Review your achievements: Take stock of what you did best, right, and won recognition for. Did you form a valuable partnership, over deliver for a client, or get a bigger office?
By implementing these tips you can spice up the relationship with your business, loved ones, and clients and continue to grow. “Business is built on genuine and real relationships,” says BOSS Business Connector, Ryan Coelho. “Don’t treat someone as a business but as a relationship.” Happy Valentine’s Day!
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
“I’m a multi-tasker!”
That was once the coolest and most valuable line job-seekers included in their cover letters when applying for jobs. But that’s so 1990s!
Today, with a significant increase in the number of self-employed professionals, multi-tasking has taken on a whole new dimension. And in most cases, it’s not really something to brag about. According to many business leaders and career experts, multi-tasking reduces productivity rather than enhances it.
Bruce Weinstein from Bloomberg Businessweek says multi-tasking today is so complex that many professionals lose their focus on what’s really important to their business. Whether that’s making money, acquiring more clients, and selling more products or services, Weinstein says “technological advances that once seemed so liberating [have] become oppressive.”
He suggests that it’s time to stop the multi-tasking madness: put down the iPod or Blackberry and pay attention to the task at hand. Today’s computers make it so easy to seamlessly switch from one program, window and tab to the other, making it possible to answer emails, research, invoice and build spreadsheets without pausing for a coffee break. But the more you do, the tougher it is to focus on one activity.
BOSS Director, John Sanchez implements a system he calls Mission Control to maintain his focus and manage everything. Here are his steps for prioritizing tasks:
Step #1: Download information from your brain.
Step #2: Compile a TO DO list and prioritize everything.
Step #3: Schedule each task into your calendar, delegate, and follow-up with other tasks.
Step #4: Get rid of tasks you are not going to do and communicate that. He says “it’s okay to say no when it’s warranted.”
Knowing HOW to do multiple things is fine, but it’s even better to focus on what you do best and filter out the rest.
Monday, November 29th, 2010
You’re passionate and revved up about having your own business. The clients are lined up, your workload is maxed out, and now you’re at a crucial point. You want to expand the business. Only one problem. Your resources are maxed out too.
Until now, you’ve likely been enjoying the adrenaline rush of being the decision-maker, the order-taker, the service provider, the marketer, and the money maker. But to survive and stay competitive, you have to grow the business. And that means more time and more money you’ll need to spend to stay on top in the marketplace. So what do you do?
According to Business Weekly magazine, here are some suggestions:
Step #1: Give up some control. Delegating small tasks frees you up for the bigger ones that need more focus.
Step #2: Take smaller steps. Accomplish a few things each day, not a laundry list of over-ambitious tasks. This allows you to complete them right away.
Step #3: Be resourceful and innovative. Enlist the help of student interns or professionals interested in bartering services with you. Sign up for webinars and business seminars attended by other business owners.
Step #4: Maintain your focus. Many people will try to sell you services that don’t improve your bottom line. Take on only services that are vital to the day-to-day operations of your business. Team up with other likeminded business owners to form an effective group purchasing power.
Step #5: Promote your business inexpensively. Instead of traditional advertising, find other ways to market your product/service. Attend a business networking event where you have an opportunity to exchange business cards, services and ideas that put your company at the forefront of the marketplace.
Taking your business to the next level comes with challenges. But a little creativity, drive, and ingenuity will yield results in a cost-efficient and often more effective way….simply because you’ve worked hard to find solutions that increase your revenue and decrease your costs!
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
As a BOSS member, you are all well aware of the sheer volume of people you will interact with at each and every networking event; some interactions will build stronger connections than others. However, once we have connected with certain individuals…
What steps should you then take to further the conversation?
How can you ensure that this relationship will continue to develop?
Here are a couple tips that may help “seal the deal”. Studies show that most business deals are not made on the first or second attempt, yet it takes several memorable conversations. With this in mind, make sure to stay persistent when creating a new relationship. Don’t procrastinate! Consider setting a timeline, for example; “I will contact Joe before the end of the week.” Implementing a strict timetable will increase the probability of success.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
After putting in countless hours and tireless dedication, you have finally completed that project. It’s easy to get caught up in the passion and put your guard up. Remember to take advice from others; it will only improve your initial ideas. Keeping this in mind, not all criticism is beneficial. Make sure you take into account feedback that addresses both the positives and negatives. Ignore the personal attacks. It’s impossible to tackle every comment, so pick selectively. Try inserting a “comments and concerns” section to your website. Avoid those rose coloured glasses; use the constructive criticism to your advantage!
Follow this link for more information…
Thursday, August 5th, 2010
What’s the first first impression your business makes, and the last impression it leaves?
Why it’s your Business Card of course!
Take a look at our latest BOSS TV episode that outlines the different looks and feels of business cards, and how you can turn it into a powerful marketing piece!
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
According to Freud and Jung, pioneers of Psychodynamic theory, the concept of the “unconscious” may be the answer to de-stressing your life! Psychodynamic theory praises the ability to achieve unconscious awareness; gaining a thorough and complete understanding of oneself; ones emotions, needs, wants, motives, etc. Psychologists have now applied such theories to the working world.
In order to succeed in gaining unconscious awareness, one must become more attentive to their surroundings. According to one study, we must realize that our environment is constantly changing, and unavoidably so. Some adapt well to these stressors, and some, well, not as much. The difference in response is based on fear; the amount we feel threatened by a situation determines our reaction. Most of the time, this fear is unwarranted; we need not feel intimidated. However, due to biological instinct, for the most part, this response is automatically triggered. By paying closer attention to our surroundings, we are actually becoming less subjective to stress! So next time you feel stressed at the office, carefully re-evaluate the situation. It may not be as taxing as you once thought!
To learn more, follow: http://www.bemindful.org/mindmastery.pdf
Monday, July 26th, 2010
We all know there are not enough hours in a day to get everything done, so make sure you use your time wisely…
When scheduling meetings, allow yourself time to plan beforehand. Structure your meetings to ensure they run smoothly. This link below compares a meeting to a dinner party, a very cleaver analogy; there are different aspects involved in a successful dinner party, just as there are in a successful meeting. Three key elements to any meeting should include:
1) A clear-cut goal or objective
2) Don’t waste anybody’s time – be punctual and be prepared
3) Your team should leave feeling as if they’ve accomplished something, they should feel excited to begin that project. Get your team energized about their work, make sure to structure your next meeting!
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we want to ensure that every aspect of our business is being run not only efficiently, yet effectively as well. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, we can’t monitor every single task individually. Build a team, one that you feel confident in, and delegate. Trust your employees to complete the work you hired them for. You are still the boss, and still have the final say, but sometimes the job may be best completed by someone specialized in that particular field. For example, allow HR to deal with HR issues, allow the marketing rep to deal with marketing, and so on and so forth. Center your attention towards the tasks you do best. So don’t fear delegation, embrace it, and give yourself a much needed break!