Archive for May, 2018

Bad Business Habits You Need To Stop

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

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Getting into bad business habits will hold you back and stop you from growing your business. We all have bad habits and it’s not just limited to things like biting your nails or smoking. We also have bad business habits. Here are 5 that you need to stop now so that you can grow your business:

Lack Of Planning

As I talked about in last weeks post about Social Media Marketing Mistakes, you need a plan. Whether it’s for your marketing or your overall business, you need some sort of plan otherwise you’re driving blind and don’t know where you are going. Some people seem to get by in business just completely winging it. This is the exception to the rule. In general, you need a plan and you need to stick to it.

Thinking It’s All About You

Even though you are your business and there may be nobody else involved in it, it’s not all about you. Actually, it’s nothing to do with you. If you are constantly thinking about your own wants and needs and doing everything to suit yourself in your business, then you are very quickly going to form some very bad business habits. Your business isn’t about you. It’s about the people you serve. Your audience, your customers. It is about their wants and needs so make sure you are putting them first.

No ROI

There are lots of marketing and social media activities you could be doing in your business but you need to do them with a clear ROI (return on investment). If you are doing lots of things but don’t really have a clear goal for what you want to achieve from them, you may be wasting your time and forming more bad business habits.

If it’s a case of you need to set the goal so that you can have a clear ROI then you may find my goal setting worksheets useful to plan out your goals.

Not Listening

So often people ask for help with specific tasks in their business but then don’t listen. They ask the expert but then think they know better. Nobody knows your business better than you but likewise, nobody knows marketing/accounting/legal stuff better than the person who does that stuff day in day out. So many times I have had businesses come to me because they are struggling with their social media. I come up with a plan for them but they still go off and do it their way. The way that wasn’t working in the first place. Listen to others when you seek help. But listen to the right people. You wouldn’t take financial advice from your butcher.

Similarly, listen to your customers. Listen to their feedback, their wants and needs. You can’t serve them if you don’t first listen to them. Listen more than you speak.

You Can’t Do It All By Yourself

It would be great to think we can build these amazing businesses all by ourselves without any outside help. But the truth is you can’t do it all. You can’t be chief floor sweeper and chief marketing officer. Sometimes you need to outsource or ask for help. Try to offload and outsource as much as you possibly can. Even if it’s small tasks in your personal life, like getting your shopping delivered, do things to free up your time and save your stress.

Even if you can’t afford to outsource tasks to, find others you can talk to about your issues or things you need help with. Sharing is caring and someone else may know the perfect solution to your dilemma.

This article originally appeared in Socially Sam.

 

This article was written by Samantha Martin from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Nothing kills a vacation faster than obsessing about the work you left behind. Next time you’re OOO, try these real-world hacks for leaving the office at the office.

I used to be distracted with work for the first few days of every vacation because I don’t turn it off and on easily. Now I know that I have to have a system in place to release work thoughts. When I’m with my family, we bookend the trip with some kind of relaxing activity. We might sleep in on the first and last days, at a minimum. We don’t schedule anything. That helps me put away the work thoughts and transition into relaxing. Being intentional about the transition is so important to me. — Jennifer Kem, 44, CEO of Branding Agency Kemcomm in Honolulu

One goal I have when I vacation is to stop multitasking and just focus on a single thing at a time. I use the vacation to experiment with letting go of the world I’ve created for myself and escaping my routine. I also like to think about what I want to get out of the time. Ask yourself, “What kind of vacation is this? Is this one for the kids? Is it a retreat for me? Is it for R & R, to get away?” Knowing the answer creates a purpose for my vacation. — Marsha Nunley, 68, Physician Specializing in Bioidentical Hormones and Healthy Aging in San Francisco and Austin, Texas

Before I go on vacation, I write out what my intentions are for the trip. I might write down, “I desire this to be a really rejuvenating time” or “I hope to have ease during my check-in and flight.” I meditate on those intentions and put them on an altar in my house, which I use as a place for all the things I want to come to fruition. I also take crystals and stones with me on vacation: rose quartz for love, citrine for happy energy, and carnelian because it’s grounding. Anytime little things happen on vacation that might agitate me, I take out my crystals and hold them to help me stay in my restful state. — Jo-ná Williams, 37, Intellectual Property and Business Attorney in New York City

Last year my wife and I went on a trip to Costa Rica. We bought plane tickets six months in advance and took Spanish classes at a local college to prepare. Since we’d been looking forward to the trip for so long, it was easier to not let myself work while we were away. I didn’t want to spoil all the anticipation we’d had by working. Planning everything so far in advance also helped us make the best use of our time and really made the trip feel special. My first day back at work, I set aside some time to catch up on everything. — Jon Busdeker, 35, Freelance Videographer and Nonprofit Group Leader in Orlando, Florida

We schedule our work and phone time so our family time doesn’t revolve around it on vacation. I make sure I schedule about an hour of phone and computer time each day and like to do it first thing so it’s out of the way. I feel better knowing the sky isn’t falling back at work. We also have a family agreement that when we sit down for a meal, there is a no-phone rule. My children fought this rule for a while, but now they put their stuff away and we just enjoy our time together. It’s such a stress reliever. — Sunny Hostin, 49, Cohost of the View and Senior Legal Correspondent for ABC News in New York City

 

This article was written by Jane Porter from Real Simple and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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When I was in high school, my mom started banning phones from the dinner table. To this day, whenever I pull out my cell to check my inbox when we’re eating, my mom shakes her head and tells me to put it away.

And as much as I resent it in the moment (“But this, I swear, is really important!”), I’m usually grateful that she called me out.

As a working adult who’s being pulled in multiple directions at any given time, I rarely get to enjoy my time with friends and family. I’m sure you can relate. My mom, in fact, lives thousands of miles away, so when she forces me to pay attention to her it’s because we only have so much time together. And I listen to her, because I know I’ll regret not making the most of this time.

(If this isn’t the case for you and your parents, feel free to substitute “mom” with someone you enjoy being around.)

It’s so silly, but being present during our time with loved ones is one of the best gifts of self-care we can grant ourselves—and one that we tend to neglect the most often.

But don’t take it from me, I’m just your average working gal. Take it from someone who’s higher up—who has 10 times more responsibilities than I, and yet follows the same philosophy.

I spoke with Raji Arasu. In addition to being Intuit’s SVP of CTO Dev, she’s also an advisory board member for Code.org and the CTO Forum and serves on the board of directors at NIC Inc.:

One of the most important lessons I learned in my career was to drop the guilt and be present in the moment, whether it’s at work or at home. For that reason, I prioritize quality time with my family and colleagues. Being present in those delightful moments is what keeps me from reaching for my phone, and helps me to remain truly present. As a leader at Intuit, I try to set the example of making eye contact, actively listening, and participating in every interaction. I try to carry that appreciation for moments of true connection, whether at work or at home.

What I love most about Arasu’s advice is that she doesn’t just apply it to your time away from work. Practicing being present outside the office ultimately makes you better at it when you’re in the office. And this makes you a better employee (actively listening helps you better understand direction and take note of important social cues), and a more enjoyable co-worker to be around (actively paying attention makes people respect you and trust you to care for and support them).

And, like I said above, it’s good for you. It encourages you to truly unwind, take in and appreciate your breaks, and connect with people you love, all of which are crucial for anyone’s happiness. It’s almost as if it’s a form of mindfulness—crazy how that works!

So, what does being present look like? It starts with putting your phone away when you’re out with people (Fun fact: Doing so can start a chain reaction). And not looking at your computer when a colleague’s talking to you (a.k.a., not bringing one to meetings).

And it’s about setting an intention to give someone your full attention. Our minds are full of distractions—to-dos, worries, conversations we’re overthinking. Make the effort, for just a few minutes, to push those thoughts away (or, write them down for later) and really focus on what’s happening in front of you.

You won’t regret it. And if a SVP of a major company can do it, it doesn’t hurt for you to try, too.

 

 

This article was written by Alyse Kalish from The Daily Muse and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

How to Be a Better Leader at Work

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Whether you’re the boss or part of a team, it’s always possible to be a leader. In fact, leadership is very different from being in charge.

You can show leadership through your actions no matter what position you hold. Ultimately, being a leader may help you make your way to a position of authority, but that’s not the only career benefit. You’ll find that people want to work with leaders, so if you can show leadership, many career opportunities could open up for you.

Becoming a leader starts with acting like one. Image source: Getty Images.

Lead by example

Be the best employee possible. Come in early and leave late. Be eager, open, and excited about every opportunity presented to you.

Every piece of advice above may sound hokey, but the best leaders are willing to fully commit themselves. That doesn’t mean you should work yourself to death or even try to be the hardest worker in every situation.

Instead, you need to establish a pattern of hard work. You want to get to the point where your bosses and co-workers simply understand that you can be counted on and that you’ll always be there when needed.

Do the worst jobs

In my first season working a paying job at the summer camp I had long attended, my boss showed us how to solve some basic plumbing problems. As you might imagine, that was not always pleasant work.

Some of my coworkers always seemed to be busy when a clogged toilet needed to be fixed. Others, however, were always willing to jump in when needed. That’s something the boss noted and appreciated. It’s also something every employee noticed, and while some were happy to get out of a miserable job, most appreciated the effort.

Look the part

The old hackneyed line is to dress for the job you want, not the one you have. That’s often not possible depending on the work you do, but Mark Sanborn, president of Sanborn & Associates Inc., explained how to dress to be seen as a leader in a guest post on Entrepreneur.com.

“Don’t dress to impress, dress to influence,” he wrote. “That means making sure your appearance is consistent with your personal and professional brand. Begin by asking yourself how a leader with your aspirations should appear to others.”

Be a good teammate

Leaders support the people they work with and liberally share credit. They also acknowledge that good ideas don’t have to come from them. A willingness not to be right is a major part of showing leadership.

Leaders lead

It’s hard to respect a leader who leads from behind the scenes. To establish yourself as a leader, you need to be on front lines along with everyone else. That’s not always possible when you become the boss and need to be more hands-off. However, if you’ve gained your reports’ respect by showing that you’re willing to do any job, regardless of your status, then it will be easier to ask them to handle tough jobs without you. People are more likely to follow leaders who have proven they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty.

Leadership isn’t about your title. It comes from actions and attitude. Act like a leader, and soon enough, you will be one.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

 

This article was written by Daniel B. Kline from The Motley Fool and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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A solid team can make or break your business. Even if you are a control person, you can’t handle everything in your business. Having team members you can trust and rely on makes a huge difference.

While finding a promising team can seem like a challenge, keeping those people onboard and happy should be your true focus. That way, you can focus on long-term goals and start to build a routine.

Here are some tips for keeping team members happy.

Set Clear Expectations

As the business owner, you have to clearly define your expectations for team members. Make sure you communicate effectively about job roles and what you expect. If you notice any issues or slip-ups early on, be sure to address them so everyone is on the same page.

When your team knows what you want and expectations are set, it makes it easier for all parties to be happy with the process.

Show Appreciation

Showing appreciation is important and easy to do. Members of your team may be the first people to interact with clients or customers on your behalf. If they’re doing good work, be sure to say thank you. A nice gesture around the holidays is also a nice way to show appreciation.

Make the hierarchy in the business as flat as possible and you will have an appreciated and engaged staff. Encourage your frontline staff to be creative in coming up with new ideas and ask for feedback on what the clients really want.

Make the Environment Pleasant and Comfortable

Every business has a company culture even if you just work virtually. You want each team member to fit in and feel comfortable with the way things are run.

Be sure to make the workplace as comfortable as can be with suitable conveniences and regular team meetings so everyone can interact. If you’re working in an office give your employees the freedom to personalize their workspaces.

When I worked for a small business, I loved the environment. We got to decorate the office and our workspaces and there were often weekly informal meetings to discuss the team’s progress and share suggestions.

Reward Small Achievements

Nothing makes employees like being recognized for the small and big things. It doesn’t have to be anything major. A simple ‘thank you’ email or an inquiry on how your employees spent their weekend. Your employees are more likely to feel great about their work when they know you care about them.

You may also want to take things a step further and incentivize certain activities that your team helps with. At a previous job, my boss offered Amazon gift cards to anyone who could get a client to leave a review on our company on Google or Yelp. Your reward doesn’t have to be monetary either. You could consider doing an ’employee of the month’ type of recognition easily.

Consider Offering Benefits

Depending on the size of your business, it may or may not make sense to offer employee benefits. Doing so, however, can make a big difference and lead to employee retention.

If you have part-time team members or can’t afford to provide benefits like health insurance or a retirement plan, consider other benefits your team members may enjoy. Providing a monthly gym membership may not cost much but can help your team members focus on their health. Maybe you have a product or service that your team can get for free or at a discount when working for your business.

If you run an online business, structure work schedules to allow unlimited vacation days and time off so long as team members meet their deadlines.

At the end of the day, be mindful that with no staff there may not be a business. Focus on keeping your team members happy and treating them with respect to grow your business.

How do you keep your team members happy and productive?

This article originally appeared in Calendar.

 

This article was written by Choncé Maddox from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

zzzWhile the Murray Hill neighborhood has deep historic roots and beautiful buildings that have literally stood the test of time, Rami Singh realized one thing was missing: a high quality preschool.

So he decided to open one.

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, recently announced its latest School opening in Manhattan, NY. The new School, owned and operated by Singh, hosted a grand opening ceremony for families throughout the community on Saturday, February 24.

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