5 Ways to Transform Dissatisfied Customers Into Priceless Assets

customers

No matter how trained and honest your customer service reps are, there are instances where some customers may feel dissatisfied with your product or services. No matter the cause of the dissatisfaction, you have to take steps to remedy the situation to gain the loyalty of the clients who feel dissatisfied. The process of doing this may not be easy and, to some extent, embarrassing, but remember that one dissatisfied client can bring your company down.

Here are the five steps you can take to transform dissatisfied customers into priceless assets.

1. Build a Strong Reputation

When one of your customers is unhappy with your service, the first step is to find out the cause and extent of the dissatisfaction through a DSAT analysis. Once you get your facts right, invite the offended clients for a one-on-one discussion. If they can’t come physically, you can organize a phone conversation.

Tell them how sorry you are and the steps you have taken to remedy the situation. You can offer to replace the product or offer the service without charging them. When they agree to come for the product or service, let them get the best. This will instantly convert them into your loyal customers.

2. Listen to the Customers

customers

Dismissing a disgruntled client or failing to hear their side of the story can hurt your business. The customers will get more outraged and frustrated. Offering a listening ear to your clients makes them feel valued and respected. Sitting an angry client down and listening to them gives them a sense of satisfaction.

Remember that an unhappy client is always very honest. They’ll tell you everything they feel about your company and products. So don’t stop at listening. Let them know the steps you plan to take to prevent the recurrence of whatever they experienced.

3. Damage Control

Today, people have access to several communication channels. Once a customer is dissatisfied, they can instantly post the incident on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. And within no time, hundreds, if not thousands of people, will be sharing and discussing the issue. This can hurt your company’s reputation. When faced with such a situation, make sure you take damage control measures.
Have your customer representatives respond to the sentiments expressed on social media professionally and, if possible, explain the situation and offer apologies. You can also publish an official statement about the incident and the remedial measures taken on your company’s website. Try as much as possible to protect your company from negative comments.

4. Seize the Opportunity for Improvement

You and your employees should learn from unhappy customers. Once you listen to them, try to improve on the areas they mention. If it’s about customer service, you can invite an expert to train your team. If it’s about the product, make sure the customers’ suggestions are incorporated into your future production.

Once you make the changes, let the angry customers know what you’ve done.

5. Do Everything Possible to Please Angry Customers

Whatever happens, don’t let a customer leave your premises when they are still unhappy. Try as much as you can to make the customer feel special, even if it means giving them more than they asked for. By going above and beyond what they expected, you can win them back.

Let them know how much you value and respect them before they leave your premises.

Conclusion 

Converting an unsatisfied customer into a company asset can positively impact your business. Some customers may indeed overreact, but it’s upon you to cool things down and let the customer feel like they’ve won. When you handle an angry customer well until they agree to work with you again, you will have found a loyal partner

Client

Hiring a Tenant Representation Broker

Perhaps it’s always been your dream to start a business, and now you’re finally ready, or you wish to expand because profits have increased. Running a business is no easy feat- there are various aspects to consider and financial dealings to conduct. For instance, consider renting a commercial property to carry out your business affairs and manage your team. Finding an office, retail, or warehouse space while being unfamiliar with the area or market conditions can be expensive and time-consuming. If you’re trying to get the best deal available, you should hire a professional who will keep your best interests in mind. Keep reading as we explain why you should hire a tenant representation broker.

1. Properties Are Listed in Different Places

Navigating your way through listing sites won’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a clear picture of available properties. You might encounter the following problems:

2. Incomplete Information

Leasing firms’ websites for property search are usually up to date regarding all the details on commercial buildings. However, they’re not without their disadvantages. It takes a lot of effort and time to jump from site to site and compare all the building spaces for sale. It will distract you from investing in other essential business aspects and hinder your long-term plans. 

3. Out of Date Information

There’s no doubt that going through listing forums and websites is a great way to gauge where the real estate sector stands and estimate how parameters like area, demand, and size can affect prices. Unfortunately, if you’ve been accessing free listing sites, you should keep in mind that many brokerage firms rarely ensure that their listings are up to date. 

With a tenant rep broker by your side, you’ll get a hold of numerous resources that can help you solve the problems mentioned above and secure a list of quality real estate options. 

4. Industry Connections and Complete Listings

There’s a good chance your representation broker has a well-established network, enabling them to quickly get updated on which buildings or areas have offers available. They’re known to maintain professional links with both landlords and leasing brokers, gaining access to comprehensive listing databases.

5. Off-Market Opportunities

Because of their solid connections, these professionals may also have access to information regarding options that have not yet been placed on the market. These include companies looking to sublease some or all of their property. 

Your tenant rep will go the extra mile to find you listings best suited to your preferences and needs, doing all the grunt work and negotiating with sellers to get you the best possible price.  

6. More Landlords Will Be Cooperative

tenant-representation-broker

The commercial real estate market has been experiencing major shifts in demand and supply, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no longer a walk in the park to find an office space alone; landlords rarely return calls. You can call numerous numbers you’ve written down from ‘For Lease’ signs, but it’s rare to hear back. Landlords are typically busy individuals who don’t bother answering every call they receive. 

It’s also possible that a landlord has hired their own landlord broker who prefers working with other brokers rather than clients themselves. A tenant rep has greater authority with landlords because their company and its reputation back them. Additionally, the leasing broker may already be working on projects with your tenant rep or has in the past, meaning there are greater chances of them accepting your broker’s call and considering your interest in their place. 

7. They’re Expert Negotiators 

Landlords can be vicious when negotiating the terms of your offer, quoting whatever terms or rates they deem fit. Meanwhile, you’re most likely clueless about the standard market conditions unless you’ve conducted thorough research beforehand. There are many things to negotiate, such as compliance fees, exclusivity use, renewal options, and much more. Working out a fair deal can be challenging if you don’t have prior real estate experience. 

You probably aren’t your tenant rep’s first client and certainly won’t be last. They’ve dedicated their careers to understanding commercial real estate and have carried out numerous negotiations in the past. A tenant rep will add value to your experience by helping your business attain the most appropriate lease terms without worrying about whether the proceedings are being conducted properly. 

This is why hiring a tenant rep broker is recommended because they can save you considerable hassle and money. They’re well-versed with which economic and non-economic factors are running the market and can walk you through the entire negotiation process. The best part is that you don’t need to pay them an out-of-pocket fee, meaning you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain from letting them negotiate your deal terms. 

 

8. More Time for Your Business 

With a tenant representation broker taking care of the real estate dealings, you can spend more time on your business goals. Whether it’s customer relations or managing supply chains, you should focus on handling these affairs as an entrepreneur. Even large corporations collaborate with tenant rep brokers because of their real estate market expertise. Finding a suitable location for yourself can take hours every day, and the search can hold you back for several months. Let a tenant rep take this burden off your shoulders. 

Consider a tenant rep to be your personal assistant, working to secure the ideal office space for your company without interfering with business operations. From financial analysis and final lease summary to needs assessments, they will look after everything and allow you to be as hands-on or off as convenient. Time is money, especially in the competitive corporate sector. 

Endnote on a Tenant Representation Broker

Real estate is a complex industry, even more so when dealing with the commercial side. You’ll need to know many legal details, market catches, and industry-specific terms. Unless you’ve been conducting matters in this industry for several years, you’ll find yourself at one crossroad or the other. If your business is a priority, it’s in your best interest to hire a tenant representation broker to help you settle on a space with the best lease terms and meets your requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact tenant representation services and let them take the reins on your commercial property search. There are many options to choose from, so make sure to do your research.

small business coach

How To Create A Logo For Maximum Branding: Beginner’s Guide

Should a logo be simple? Or should it be complicated? Is it better if you use words? Or will symbols do a better job? Will a colorful logo be more effective than a monochromatic one?

If you’re starting a new business, expect this slew of questions as you go along your branding quest. It might seem daunting to answer such questions, but the sooner you grapple with them, the better the turnout of your designs will be.

We are here to guide you through the basic process of logo design. Take note, a basic understanding of a logo doesn’t mean your logo will come off just that — basic. We’ll help you achieve an impactful logo design with just the basic information.

We need to understand that logo design is not rocket science. And with this article, it won’t take long before you get a good grasp of what works and what doesn’t.

The Purpose of Logos

Imagine a world without logos. Imagine all brands have the same typefaces, with no distinct color, just a typical word you see in print. Good luck looking for things that you want.

Logos help a normal person navigate through a saturated industry. If there’s hundred shoe brands, how are we going to choose? Sure, you look at the design of shoes, the price, and the location of the stores. But that’s a whole bunch of information to process.

Logos give us a glimpse of what the brand is all about, what color their products have, what kind of customers they cater to, and how much the products would be. All that in a simple image.

Whether it comes in the form of a word image or a 3D logo, this wonderful branding asset enables brands to rise up from the crowd and be recognized.

How To Create A Logo That Stands Out

As in any form of design, there are so many rules to logos. But it really boils down to what industry you’re playing in, what customers you want to attract, and what the business is all about.

It’s not one size fits all. Because if you take the aesthetics of fashion houses, for instance, and use it in the kiddie pool product manufacturing business, then we’ll see an obvious disconnect from the customers’ age group. Luxury houses cater to a middle-aged group, while kiddie-related businesses are for youngsters. Obviously, the brand designs follow the market.

What works for one won’t work for all — that’s a key rule in design. However, there are golden rules that you must follow should you want success in your brand as much as possible. Using design tips from the best-performing logo, here are four characteristics of an effective logo.

Logo

  • Simple

Gone are the days of elaborate and intricate logos. We’ve seen that in antique brands, monarchies, and government agencies. The real deal now is simple, often with only one or two design elements.

For example, Starbucks used to have a detailed picture of a mermaid in their logo design. Now, it’s a flat image of a long-haired girl with a crown. Same with Apple. The logo was once a picture of a tree and below is Isaac Newton. Now, it’s just an apple with a bite.

  • Symmetry

Symmetry is the perfect equality of an image, either left to right or top to bottom. Apple’s logo is a perfect example of a symmetrical logo. If you divide the image horizontally, you’ll still see an equal image both at the top and at the bottom.

Symmetry means that the size, shape, layout, and color mimic each other from both sides.

  • Recognizable

People love seeing things they recognize. If they can’t tell what that image is, they’ll probably get disinterested. That’s why choosing a symbol-based logo is a tricky choice. It’s difficult to pull off. Apple’s apple fruit, Nike’s checkmark, and McDonald’s letter M logo marks are the best examples of recognizable logos. 

  • Timeless

Make sure that your logo design lasts. Although rebranding is possible, it’s often difficult to execute successfully. Not to mention, it’s expensive. So consider a logo that will stand the test of time.

If you have to map the future journey of your business, do it so that you can anticipate the possible changes in your brand.

Design Elements To Focus On

  • Color

Color comes first among others because it transcends the logo itself. The color palette will transfer to your products, stores, packaging, stakeholders, events, promos, flyers, and many others. That’s why it is important to choose a logo that not only stands out but also is relevant to your customers and industry.

Since there are no original colors, consider an original combination. Black and gold are usually there so why not try black and orange or black and fuschia. That’s just an example but feel free to combine colors and see what works.

Take note, colors evoke emotions and other non-verbal communication. So always place your customers in the picture.

  • Style

Style varies depending on your chosen types of logo. If you’re going for a wordmark, the style could be either a serif or a sans serif, a decorative or a script, bold or light. If it’s a symbol, it’s either edgy or curvy, composed of lines or with shapes.

Style will likely depend on the whim of the brand which is highly subjective. Budget, research, environment, market, and product points are factors too.

Where To Create Logos

  • Professional Logo Designer

If you have the budget and the time, a professional designer is indeed a judicious choice. Most companies are willing to shell out this kind of luxury.

Why not? You easily hand out the brief, and the designer does the hard work. Easy. Not to mention, if the designer is trained enough, he or she will have done the necessary research and come up with industry-standard and aesthetically pleasing results.

  • DIY Logo Creator

Not anyone has the budget of a big company. This is the reality for most brands. So a DIY logo tool is a no-brainer choice. Fortunately, these logo creators nowadays are keeping up with the technology. Armed with AI systems, they could generate free logos and inexpensive templates based on the keywords you provide.

These templates can be customized using drag-and-drop tools and a few simple buttons. However, you cannot change the totality of the design. That is, you cannot start from scratch. You can only go so far. But at least it’s easy and cheap. Within minutes, a logo design is ready.

Wrapping Up on Creating a Logo

It’s important to understand that for a logo to become really successful, the brand has to be one first. The products and services have to be top-tier for a logo to even be considered wonderful by the community. Saying that a logo is enough to skyrocket your brand is a misinterpretation of the role of logos in branding.

The truth is that they have to work hand in hand. The logo is just the wings. And the business is the gear that uplifts it from the crowd. Without the effectiveness of each other, it might be challenging to replicate the success of world-famous brands.

small business coach

7 Proven Ways to Support Small Businesses

Introduction to Supporting Small Businesses

Small Business Saturday is held every November on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, an annual holiday in the United States meant for shopping for small businesses and supporting them. In 2021, around 60 percent of the consumers in The US decided to shop from small businesses on this holiday.

With the pandemic that took place and ruined the economy, it is vital that the economy recovers. Small businesses or local businesses are the ones that suffered the most from this unfortunate disaster. Small Business Saturday is meant to help these businesses, and everyone can contribute.

However, even with the best intentions, many people usually have a hard time finding ways to support these businesses on this holiday, so without further ado, read about how you can help these businesses.

The 7 Best Ways that can help you Support Small Businesses on a Small Business Saturday

1. Post positively

Think about promoting other small businesses on social media through your own company. Share your excellent remarks about them on your website or social media to support them, whether you buy their products and adore them, think their storefront is impressive, or just appreciate having them as neighbors.

It is a free, simple, and easy way to help businesses that require your support to grow. Your positive words are also greatly appreciated by them and help them a great deal. Remember that your kind words can do wonders for local businesses.

2. Leave positive reviews 

Consider all the other little companies you enjoy, such as quaint stores and diner-style eateries. Consider leaving them a glowing review on Yelp, Facebook, or any other website where people go for recommendations if you haven’t already done so.

Every artist and business benefits from positive reviews, including writers, illustrators, and retailers like stores and restaurants. Ratings are the lifeblood of our culture of consumption, and the more favorable reviews a company or product has, the more likely it is to attract new clients.

Someone else may find your kind words just what they need to read before making a purchase. Be sincere and truthful when describing some of your favorite products in a brief review.

3. Spend on Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday

Black Friday can be very alluring, it’s true. All those huge discounts on expensive products only appear once a year, but remember that every dollar you spend at a large chain store is a dollar you will not spend at a small business that much more directly supports the community’s economy.

Even if you are an avid Black Friday shopper, think about forgoing it this year in favor of Small Business Saturday. Even if you might not get a $20 flat-screen TV, you can relax knowing that you prioritized spending your money on important things.

Big chains earn a lot daily and are not going through a crisis. Small businesses, however, require your help, so do not feel bad about not shopping on Black Friday as these big chains already make enough; instead, help those businesses that don’t.

4. Shop local

small-businesses

It is a major issue. Small businesses are the ones that have suffered a lot as a result of the pandemic, and if you want to see them flourish and move into the new year, you must also provide them with the financial help they need.

It’s important to remember that doing this might require ordering items earlier to account for shipping and production times, but it will be well worth it when you buy special, one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones.

 Plus, you can feel even better about these gifts knowing that your money supports small businesses run by people with big dreams and considerable talent. You need to keep your favorite small businesses this holiday season if you want to see them survive.

5. Create awareness 

Small Business Saturday can be promoted in various ways, including word-of-mouth, fliers, social media posts, and direct mail. Awareness must be created and spread about Small Business Saturday and if you have a few specific favorite small businesses, tell people about them.

Posters are a great way to create and spread awareness about Small Business Saturday. Make a small business Saturday poster or a small business Saturday flyer and publish it on websites such as PosterMyWall, where you can find different templates for your poster.

Take your steps to create awareness and let your friends in the loop. Suggest they share their favorite local businesses online and recommend them to others so they may also shop from small businesses.

6. Network with other small business owners

Even if you don’t do much shopping, you may still benefit from Small Business Saturday by getting out and meeting other small business owners. You may be able to effortlessly assist another business owner you weren’t aware needed it and forge connections that will benefit your company in the future.

Let’s imagine that another business owner is planning a celebration, and you have a ton of extra disposable cups from a party. The beauty of networks and connections is that you may give them your leftovers for free or at a significant discount.

It does not require extra effort or money; it will also help you and small businesses that need assistance to grow and survive in the future. So, before November this year, network with small businesses and help them.

7. Start your shopping early and be patient

Starting your holiday shopping earlier can ease your life and aid small companies in several ways. Small businesses benefit from the extra income, which enables them to prepare your order before the busy holiday shopping periods.

Get out there, start your holiday shopping before Black Friday, and be patient as small companies prepare your order.

Don’t rush them to prepare or deliver your order. Instead, give them the time they need, and hope for a fantastic product or service, and let them work in peace. Being kind as a customer will also give them the support they require.

Important Takeaways on Supporting Small Businesses

Financial support is important, but it is not the only way you can support small businesses. It’s okay if your holiday spending budget is reduced this year. Every little assistance is beneficial, including your unpaid reviews or suggestions that attract more clients.

You need to support small companies this year in a way that seems right to you. There are numerous ways you may do this, which will look different based on each person’s skills and financial budget this season.

Remember to help by creating awareness, and positive reviews, saving up for Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday, and trying to shop locally as much as possible. Finally, be kind, and as a customer, be generous with your tips whenever you can.

Happy Shopping!

small business coach

What Kind of ERP Should Your Company Use?

ERP

If you run a small enterprise, you may be used to managing your business data and processes manually with the help of just a few rudimentary digital tools. As your business grows, however, you’ll soon find that spread sheeting applications, websites, email clients, and other basic software can’t provide the agility and operational efficiency that your company needs to function at its best. A more specialized solution will enable you to fulfill more customer transactions, process higher volumes of business data, and manage more complex workflows with ease. For companies looking to streamline their business operations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems are usually the most viable solution. The term ERP describes a collection of digital tools and applications designed to help companies manage their business operations more effectively. Depending on a company’s needs, ERP packages can include modules to help with planning, purchasing, marketing, sales, inventory management, accounting, and other crucial functions.

The trick to making the most of your ERP system is to choose a software suite that’s well-suited to the size, needs, and objectives of your business. Certain ERP providers will cater specifically to enterprises of a particular size, whereas others will have offerings available across the board for all types of companies. For example, when looking into offerings from the popular ERP provider SAP Philippines-based companies will immediately see that certain iterations of the system are designed specifically with the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses in mind. 

Read on to learn more about the different ERP systems out there and how to choose the right type for your company: 

Types of ERP Systems

ERP systems are typically differentiated on the market according to their particular deployment model. An ERP system can either be installed locally on the company’s servers or hosted in the cloud. Increasingly, certain ERP systems can be deployed in a hybrid setup where certain components are installed on-premises while others are cloud-based. 

ERP

On-premise ERP systems are highly customizable ERP solutions that are hosted on company servers and maintained by your organization’s IT staff. This gives businesses greater control over their ERP. On-premise ERPs typically also enjoy tighter security and data privacy than other types. The tradeoff is that most on-premise ERPs will take longer to implement and cost you more upfront than other types.

Cloud-based ERPs, meanwhile, are hosted online and maintained mostly by your chosen ERP provider. While companies often express concern about the possible security risks posed by systems hosted in the cloud, cloud ERPs are fast becoming the preferred deployment model for companies the world over. This is because cloud enablement comes with a wide range of benefits, including lower upfront costs, greater flexibility and scalability, easier integration with third-party tools, and more. 

Hybrid ERP systems, as previously mentioned, combine the best of what cloud-based ERPs and on-premise ERPs have to offer. While they are often more expensive than either of the previous two types, they’re the must-have choice for businesses that prize flexibility above all else. 

Choosing the Right ERP for Your Business

In general, it’s good for companies to take a strategic approach when deciding what kind of ERP to use and which software providers to get it from. Instead of simply checking off a list of features, organizations must consider the needs of their business as a whole and how their chosen system should help them address those needs. Putting together a dedicated ERP selection team with participants from across all of your organization’s departments can help make this process more comprehensive. 

Once you’ve gotten your team together, the following helpful tips can get you started on choosing the best possible system for your business: 

Assess Your Current Business Processes

Choosing a new ERP is the perfect time to evaluate incumbent business practices, so you can figure out how to leverage what’s working well and refine or even remove processes that are inefficient or unnecessary. This analysis will, in turn, give you a clearer picture of what your company’s needs are and what you truly require from your ideal ERP system. 

Decide on the Proper “Tier”

ERP systems are usually categorized between 3 tiers. Tier 1 systems are those intended for large, global enterprises, tier 2 for small- to midsized enterprises, and tier 3 exclusively for small businesses. While the differences between these tiers are not necessarily set in stone, the factors that usually determine what companies use systems in which tier include the following: 

  • Number of employees 
  • Number of users requiring access to the ERP 
  • Complexity of the organization’s processes 
  • Total organizational revenue 
  • Budget 
  • Complexity of requirements 

Figure Out What Functionalities You Require

Your selection team should have a good idea of what features and functions your chosen system must have. Do you want a software system with unparalleled longevity that will justify the significant amount of money you invest in it? A highly customizable system? A system that provides extensive industry-specific capabilities? A scalable system that can grow as your business does? Or something else? 

One way to determine what you need is to have your team gather input from the employees who will be working with the software. These people are in the best position to tell you what business functions could benefit most from the support of an ERP system, as well as what functions they would like to have going forward. 

Determine Your Implementation Requirements

Of course, deciding on an appropriate ERP solution has to do with more than the software’s functions. You’ll also have to look at your organization’s tech infrastructure and preferred methods of deployment. Consider your company’s particular requirements in terms of factors like data privacy and security, compliance, transaction processing, and flexibility. This will better enable you to choose a system that works with those requirements easily and efficiently.

The right ERP systems will bring a host of benefits to any company, whether you’re a multinational corporation or a small home-based enterprise. They help you cut costs, automate tedious manual tasks, produce more detailed and insightful reports, and much more. Once you have a solid idea about what your company requires and what systems are out there, choosing the right ERP solution should be a breeze.

small business coach 

Should You Hire Employees Or Contractors For Your Startup?

startup

You’re setting up your business the way you want it, from operations to the financial aspects. But, when it comes to hiring people to work for you, there are considerations you need to take into account, such as the necessary job roles that need filling and how long you’ll need them. Also, there are situations wherein you might need to choose between hiring permanent employees or contractors for your startup.

This article will thoroughly discuss both types to help you make wiser hiring decisions. It’ll show you the pros and cons of each of these two options, and it’s up to you to weigh them out. Read on!

  • Permanent Employees 

When hiring permanent employees, it’s essential to assess if your budget can sustain the wages and benefits they’re entitled to. The primary difference between employee and contractor is that the former is under your payroll and must follow specific policies and rules to remain working with you. Employees are given binding contracts containing their job descriptions and the working hours they need to fulfill. 

Here are some of the basics of working with permanent employees:

  • Employees need to adhere to the company’s vision and mission at all times. They’ll work towards your goals and work with the whole team for a seamless and effective collaboration. Full-time employees usually get long-term incentives as well. 
  • A regular working schedule is set for full-time employees, typically eight hours a day, five to six days a week. Thus, you don’t have to guess when they need to work. Also, expect fewer errors on their end, and you can expect earlier or on-time submission of requirements.  
  • It’s your responsibility as the employer to withhold part of the salary for taxes and pay it back to the government regularly. 
  • You also need to provide health insurance to your regular employees, which is one way of making them feel that they’re well taken care of and that you value their presence in your company. 
  • Employee compensation and benefits will likely cost about 30% of the company’s expenses. That’s because they’re also entitled to perks such as several vacation leaves with pay. Salary with benefits can reach up to USD$200,000 per year for a medium-sized enterprise.  
  • As an employer, you ought to provide training to your employees, as well as direct and manage their daily responsibilities. You must also provide constructive feedback, as well as reprimand and sanction employees for breaking company rules. 
  • When it comes to the scope of work, employees tend to have multiple roles when working for a startup. These responsibilities will revolve around similar tasks. For example, IT personnel won’t only be taking care of network security; sometimes, they may also help with customer service.
  • Contractors

startup

Contractors may have similar roles to full-time employees; however, they’re not exclusive to your company only. They can work independently, decide as to when and how many hours they work, and they typically have their own pieces of equipment. Contractors can also work offsite or from home. 

With contractors, you don’t have to provide long-term salaries and benefits. Thus, you can save money, and, on the workers’ end, they can earn more working for more people.  

Here are some of the facts about working with contractors:

  • Contractors are responsible for paying their taxes.
  • Hiring contractors also means that you need to use IRS forms W9 and 1099. 
  • Hiring contractors can be faster and save you costs because you don’t have to do the customary interviews and assessments to see if they’ll fit your company. You can refer to agencies instead who do the testing of applicants, and they’ll be the ones to refer qualified people to fill job positions for you.  
  • Unlike employees, the services of contractors can be terminated at any time. Your company is also not obligated to follow severance rules when ending a working relationship with a contractor.  
  • You don’t have to pay workers’ compensation insurance to contractors. And, since they work independently, they’re responsible for their retirement insurance. The liability rates and health insurance are significantly higher for self-employed people. Employers can typically get discounts for employees only.  
  • Contractors also have their own equipment and supplies. This can help your company save money as you no longer have to provide such tools for them, although you have the option to give them what they need.  
  • When you’re not sure whether a job position will be long-term, primarily due to an economic crisis that can unexpectedly happen anytime, a contractor can temporarily fill it in. Contractors offer the opportunity for you to assess their skills. In a way, you’re like trying out a person’s skills and work attitude first before fully hiring them.

Which One Is Right For Your Needs? 

When deciding what type of worker you want to hire, whether a regular employee or a contractor, there are considerations you need to take into account to make the process much easier. That said, you can ask yourself the following questions along the way:  

  • What roles does your business need?
  • Is the available job position full-time, part-time, project-based, or seasonal?
  • Do you constantly need people working on shifts, or can you allow them to take vacations off? 
  • Do you need them to work on-site at the office or place of business, or are they allowed to work anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection?

Avoid Misclassifying Your Workers

The workers must be aware of their positions in the company. As the employer, you stand to pay state and federal penalties for noncompliance. You could also face jail time for the intentional misclassification of your workers. One reason could be the avoidance of paying benefits. If a worker gets wind of this misclassification, ensure to heed their concerns to avoid involving the IRS.

To avoid such penalties, you can create a unique contract for the independent contractors you hire. Specify and make the terms and work agreement clear for them to understand. You can choose to state that they’ll be working the same hours as the company. Set the pricing following the result of the deliverables instead of by hours. You might also want to include that the contractor must have liability insurance if the tasks include certain risks.

In Conclusion 

Have you made up your mind yet?  There are no right and correct choices when deciding between contractors and employees for your startup. At the end of the day, it’ll depend on the needs and financial capacity of your business, as well as the risks you’re willing to take.

small business coach

Finding and Training Great Employees for Your Company

finding and training employees

The people you hire to work for your business can be your biggest assets and your biggest headaches; finding and training great employees can be a challenge. They can support and help you to achieve the vision you have for your company – but they can also prevent you from reaching that vision.

Finding and Training Great Employees

Too many businesses overlook the role of employee recruitment and retention when planning for the success of their organization. Staffing is an important exercise that needs to be purpose-driven and strategic, just like marketing.

Employees Think: What’s in it for Me?

It is vital to understand in today’s market that the relationship between employee and employer is a two-way street. Now, more than ever, employees have a “what’s in it for me?” attitude that extends beyond salary and benefits expectations into incentive and rewards programs. The days of simple compensation structures are over.

Now, this may sound like a big headache, but it’s actually a good thing! With some simple systems and open dialogue, you will be able to effectively create – and keep – your dream team.

The Power of Your Dream Team

How much of your own personal time has human resources – staff hiring, firing, issues management, etc. – taken this year? No doubt staff recruitment and retention is one of the biggest challenges facing any business owner today.

The truth is, if you spent half as much time on human resources as you do on marketing, I guarantee your sales would increase dramatically.

Employees Treat Customers Exactly the Way You Treat Them

Customers know the difference between happy employees and disgruntled ones, and it makes a difference when it comes to purchasing decisions. I’ve heard it said that your employees will treat your customers exactly the same way that you treat them. Would you rather have your car serviced by a grumpy mechanic who doesn’t feel his good work is rewarded or a pleasant one who just stepped out of a weekly team meeting?

A successful business owner has confidence in the people who work for him because he believes they are the best people for the job. Employees who know their employer believes in their skills and abilities will go over and above to get the job done, to make the sale.

Successful Business Owner Invest Time and Money in Employees

Successful business owners invest time and money in finding, keeping and training great employees. These are the people who share and support the collective vision of the company.

I’m not talking about a complicated formula or magic concoction. I’m talking about some careful thought and a proactive strategy that will make your business shine from the inside out.

finding and training great employees

Finding Your Dream Employees

Building a dream team starts by finding and hiring the right people for the job. Sounds simple enough. You post an ad, find someone who has the necessary qualifications and hire them on.

Not so fast. Recruitment is a complex process that can dramatically impact your business operations. Just like finding and securing the right customers, finding and hiring the right candidates requires pro-active planning and careful evaluation.

Create an Internal Recruitment System

If you currently work with a recruiting agency to build your team, now may be a good time to stop and evaluate the effectiveness of their service. While a recruiting agency can save you the time and hassle of working through the hiring process, it can also cost more money in the long run.

I always recommend creating an internal recruitment system, not because recruiting agencies do a bad job, but because no one knows your business like you do.

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Create an Attractive Business Culture

If you want to attract and retain the highest quality clients, you must have a culture that is attractive and a future that is compelling. Developing an effective strategic plan and including your employees in the process is a good place to start. Determine where you are going, what your mission is and how your organization will treat others. Once you have established your vision, mission, and values, then you must deploy them throughout your organization to ensure that you “practice what you preach.”

An internal recruitment system ensures that the true essence of your business culture is communicated – from advertisement to interview. You also have the opportunity to communicate expectations from the outset, instead of relying on the recruiter to relay this information. The middleman’s thoughts and impressions are eliminated, leaving you to make decisions based on your impression of the candidate and no one else’s.

Step One: Advertise the Opportunity

The first step in recruiting candidates is obviously letting potential candidates know about the opportunity with your company.

But before you pick up the phone to place a classified ad, remember that advertising for potential employees requires just as much consideration and planning as general advertising for your business.

Before You Place an ad ask yourself:

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  • Who is your ideal candidate?
  • What are their skills and qualifications?
  • What is their personality or demeanor?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What are they looking for in a job?

Once you have a mental picture of your candidate, then you can begin to write an ad that will not only reach them but also inspire them to act (and submit an application).

When writing this ad, be as specific as possible and focus on the benefits of the job. Remember that potential candidates screen job postings with an eye for “what’s in it for me.” Tell them exactly that.

Here are a few sample job postings:

Are you the Marketing Assistant we need?

About You

You’re fun, friendly and have a keen eye for detail. You’re always two steps ahead of your colleagues, and eager to take on new and exciting challenges.

You’ll be the glue that keeps the marketing team operating in a seamless fashion, responsible for website updates, copywriting, event coordination and client relations. You’ll be punctual, responsible, and well put together.

You’ll ideally have an undergraduate degree in marketing or English, and some previous office experience, but a fast learner with a great attitude will also get our attention.

About Us

We are a collaborative team of young professionals. We offer a competitive salary, great benefits and performance incentives.

Think you fit the bill? Email your resume and cover letter to John Jones at [email protected] business.com by Friday at 5 pm.

Are Computers Your Life?

About You

You are smart, outgoing, and a wiz when it comes to computer programming. You’re on your friend’s speed dial for computer emergencies, large and small. Helping people understand the complex digital world is your passion.

You’ll be our Lead Computer Technician, managing our computer repair counter and five Junior Technicians. You’ll have great people skills, mounds of patience, and enjoy working as part of a dynamic team.

About Us

We operate Anytown’s leading computer repair store and are known across the region for our customer service. We work hard, play hard, and offer a competitive benefits package to our employees.

Tell us why this job is for you. Email your resume and cover letter to [email protected] by Thursday, September 23.

Both of these job postings speak directly to a very targeted audience. They’re friendly, colloquial, and communicate the job requirements in an informal way.

Every job posting should:

finding and training employees

  • Be written in the way that you talk
  • Be specific
  • Describe benefits
  • Include skills, qualifications, duties and job title
  • Be written in the present tense
  • Have a great headline
  • Call the reader to action
  • Be simple – in word choice and sentence structure
  • Be more exciting than the competition

Now that you have a great ad to post, you need to decide where you are going to publish it. This depends on the level of the job (junior to management) and on the specific type of candidate you are looking to recruit.

Here are the five major places to advertise your opportunity:

Government Employment Center

These are great places to find blue-collar or junior level employees. Candidates register with the center, which keeps their resumes on file. Be cautious with this route – it can produce a wide variety of candidates who are not qualified.

Indeed, Ziprecruiter, Etc

This is a great place to post junior to mid-level employment opportunities. You’re looking for basic qualifications from local applicants, perhaps even for part-time positions, with minimal cost.

Linkedin

Senior employment opportunities that require specific high-level qualifications are best advertised with a broad scope. This incurs a greater cost but will return a greater variety of candidates.

Online

This is a cheap way to tap into a massive database of job seekers. Post your ad online on sites like www.monster.com or www.workopolis.com and watch the resumes come flooding in. A large number of highly qualified job seekers who do not wish to register with a recruitment agency will use these services.

Referrals

The most ideal way to find candidates is through your existing network – including associates, colleagues, employees, friends and family. These candidates come to you already vetted by a trusted source. You may also wish to consider giving your staff an incentive to refer their qualified friends and associates to you.

Other Niche Areas

You should also brainstorm a list of any other niche areas that your target market may look for a job. Consider vocational schools, colleges, industry publications, industry associations, small publications, etc.

Once you’ve posted your ad, your next step is to manage the inquiries that come flooding in. These are just a few steps in the process of finding and training great employees.

Screen and Interview Candidates

Screen and interview candidates is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the recruitment process, so you will need to work out a system to manage the response to your job posting.

Screen and interview candidates is a system that will also ensure you ask all potential candidates the same questions, and provide them with the same information about the role as well as about your company.

1. Decide whether all inquiries will be handled by one person or several.

To screen and interview employees whether it will be handled by one person or several, depends on your staff resources and capacity. A system will allow multiple employees to assist in the process.

For example, if your candidates have been instructed to submit their resume and cover letter to you through email, designate a single email address and inbox to receiving and responding. This way you or another staff member will not be bombarded by emails and can designate an hour of time each day to managing the inquiries. If your candidates are calling in, designate a unique phone number or answering machine for this purpose.

2. Decide how inquiries will be responded to.

This can be as simple as an email acknowledging receipt of the resume, or specific instructions on an answering machine. Ensure everyone receives the same information, and that you receive the same level of information from all candidates (resume, cover letter, portfolio, references, and other relevant information.).

If you have asked candidates to call you instead of submitting their resumes through email, create a standard checklist of questions to ask them, as well as of information to provide them with. You may wish to create a script. Some questions might include:

  • What kind of job are you looking for?
  • Why do you think you would be well suited to this position?
  • Tell me a bit about yourself.
  • What makes you interested in our company?

Use this opportunity to get a feel for the applicant’s personality, and trust your initial impression. Create a form on which to record this information, and file it with their resume when you receive it.

3. Devise a process for reviewing resumes or applications.

The easiest and most time-efficient way to do this is in a single session, after the stated deadline, and not as you receive them. You may wish to enlist the assistance of a senior colleague to provide a second opinion.

Review the resumes and application materials, and divide the applications into three piles: interview, no interview, and maybe. From here you can begin to call candidates and set up the first interview.

It is also a good idea to be in touch with unsuccessful candidates, and politely let them know that you will not be asking them in for an interview. If you anticipate your response rate will be overwhelming, you may wish to consider stating in your advertisement that only successful applicants will be called.

Step Three: First Interview

The first interview is also a screening interview; your objective is to develop a first impression of the candidate as a person and to determine if they are qualified for the position. If you feel you have found an ideal candidate, this is also your opportunity to convince them to choose your company over any others they may be considering. Good people don’t stay in the market long.

Interview Candidate Structure

You will need to decide on a structure, or system, for the interview process as well. Will you be conducting the first interviews, or will another manager? Will the interviews be conducted one-on-one, or will several employees participate? If you are replacing an employee, you may want to consider inviting that employee into the interview to provide insight into the role.

finding and training employees

Interview Candidate Materials

Just as you are asking the potential candidate to come prepared to the interview, you must be as well.

  • Have an outline prepared for what you would like to cover? Topics include company history, job description, interview questions, compensation structure, availability, and room for advancement.
  • Bring two copies of a typed job description. Include all tasks the candidate will be responsible for completing or assisting with.
  • A company profile or overview document (other marketing collateral will also work here).

Interview Candidate Attitude

Begin to build a relationship with each applicant. The purpose of the interview is not just to discuss the job description, or for the applicant to get all the interview questions “right.” It is to determine if this person has the right attitude for the job, and whether or not they will fit in with the company’s culture and its employees.

Keep the interview professional, but make sure the applicant is comfortable. Interviews test our ability to perform under pressure, but you will want to gain an understanding of the applicant’s true nature. Remember that even if the applicant is not well suited to the role they have applied for, they may be suited to a future opportunity with the company.

Interview Candidate Questions

The questions you decide to ask the candidate are highly specific to your company and the role you are hiring for. Take some time to brainstorm what you really need to know about each person, and what questions you can ask to get that information.

Keep in mind that part of the objective of the first interview is to get a sense of the candidate’s personality. You will want to ask questions about their responses and begin to establish a real relationship with them.

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Here are some starter interview questions to get you going:

  • Tell me a little bit about your background.
  • What has been your first impression of our company/product/services?
  • Tell me about a time when…[insert a likely scenario they will encounter in the position]. How did it make you feel? How did you handle the situation?
  • What advantages do you feel you have over the other candidates?
  • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Tell me about an achievement you’re proud of.
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • …and so on.

Make sure you take good notes or ask a junior member of your team to take notes for you. Also, record your impression of the candidate after each interview. You will want to be able to reflect on each interview before inviting the candidate to the next phase of the selection process.

When the first interviews have been completed, review your notes and discuss your first impressions with other employees involved in the process. Then, decide who you would like to invite back for a second interview, and let the unsuccessful candidates know they are not right for this particular role.

Step Four: Second Interview + Reference Check

The second interview is used to confirm your impressions of the applicants you believe are well suited to the job. It can also be used to get more information, or to more closely compare two solid candidates.

Make sure you only offer a second interview to those you are considering hiring. If you are on the fence about a candidate, chances are your instincts are right, and bringing them in for a second interview is a waste of their time and yours.

Callbacks

When you call a candidate to invite them to come in for a second interview, remain professional and don’t make any allusions to a job offer. If your impression of the candidate changes during the second interview, you do not want to have to go back on something you said. Let them know what you thought of them based on the first interview, and ask if they would be interested in meeting with you a second time.

Give yourself and the candidate at day or two between interviews to reflect on the first interview and prepare for the second.

Interviewers Can Change

You may wish to change the person or team of people who conducted the first interview. Usually, the second interview is conducted with more senior team members at the table.

Interview Candidates Questions

While the second interview is often less structured than the first – a relationship has already begun to be established – you should still prepare a list of questions for the candidate.

These questions should focus on the specific tasks related to the job, and on providing more information about the culture, systems, and values of the company. You can also use the second interview to ask questions you may not have had the chance to in the first interview.

Office Tour + Introductions

Once you have determined that you have found the candidate for the job, take them on a tour of your office or business, and introduce them to your staff members. This is a good way of gaining an initial understanding of how the candidate might interact with your existing staff members.

Calling References

This is the final – arguably most important – step to make before offering the job to the candidate. You should ask your candidate for at least three employment references, and perhaps one character reference.

Call each reference contact, and explain who you are and why you are calling. Then ask if they have a few moments to answer some questions about the candidate. You will want to find out information about punctuality, professionalism, skills, and their reason for leaving. Cross-reference this information with your interview notes to ensure consistency between the candidate and their reference.

Step Five: Hire Your Employee

Provided their references are solid, now is the time to make them an offer of employment.

Call the candidate personally to offer them the job. Make sure you congratulate them and express your enthusiasm in welcoming them into your team. You will also need to follow up your conversation with a letter or email that includes the job offer document or contract.

In the case a candidate declines the job offer, you may wish to do a reference check on your second pick candidate and make them an offer.

Training Your Dream Employees

Once you have landed your dream employees through a rigorous recruitment process, it is essential that you continue to invest in your decision by putting them through a thorough training process. Training great employees makes them a great asset and grow professionally, and this makes them stay in your company.

finding and training employees

Training is Important for Employee Retention

Training an employee is actually an element of recruitment. A new employee’s orientation and training set the tone for their entire employment; this includes their impression of your business, its systems, and respect for its leaders. This has an impact on your ability to retain good people and avoid unnecessary or redundant recruitment processes.

Too often, businesses rely on junior employees to train new ones without any guidelines or ‘curriculum.’ New employees are thrown into the deep end without clear expectations or an understanding of ‘how things are done around here.’

Your Leaders’ Involvement in the Training Process

These elements affect how an employee perceives their own required level of effort or performance. A business that doesn’t give much thought to planning, expectations, and preparation will end up showing a new employee that the same lack of attention is expected from them.

Here are some things to ensure you implement when you create your comprehensive training system:

Prior Learning / Existing Knowledge

Acknowledge your new employee’s prior learning, and don’t overestimate or underestimate their existing knowledge.

Choice of Trainer

Investing time and effort in training employees, make sure the person or people who will be training the new employee are sufficiently qualified and experienced. If an administrator is leading a salesperson’s training and orientation, consider asking another salesperson or more senior team member to assist on specific days or sessions.

Training Materials

Have all the required training materials handy. This includes company manuals, industry guidebooks, common reference materials, work samples and anything else that will aid in the training efforts.

Training Tools

Also, ensure you have the tools available to train your new recruit. Will the training be held at their workstation or another workstation? Do you have all the software you need? All the equipment required? Doing so will ensure the training runs smoothly and the time provided will be used effectively.

Time for Training

Provide more than ample time for training – including time for questions and elaboration. Rushing training benefits no one, including your profits.

Testing to Ensure Mastery

Consider including some ‘tests’ or checks to ensure the new recruit understands each component of the training. Ask the trainer and the trainee to sign-off on each section.

Employees’ Part in the Big Picture

Each team member’s role is part of a larger picture: the company as a whole. Ensure that the trainee understands how their role contributes to the big picture on each level. If they are a junior member of a department, they should understand how their job contributes to the department, as well as how the department contributes to the entire company.

Encourage Employee Feedback

The trainee should be able to ask questions and review information at any time – including after the training process. Create an environment that encourages open dialogue and encourages employees to ask questions when they are unsure of a task.

The other common mistake that many companies make is ending training after the first few weeks of a new recruit’s employment.

Ongoing Employee Training

Training our employees is an ongoing process for every single member of your team, and there should be a system or structure in place to ensure that staff training and development happens on a regular basis. This can include cross-training, employee development, and new systems orientation.

Benefits of Regular Training

Regular training not only benefits your staff and improves their performance, but it allows you – the business owner – to:

  • Implement new policies + procedures
  • Invest in your staff, thereby improving confidence and morale
  • Evaluate staff performance at an individual and team level
  • Reward staff based on performance improvements
  • Provide a regular arena for feedback and discussion, including positive and negative experiences and issues

One-on-One Training + Evaluation

An effective system of ongoing training for employees is by weekly, monthly, or quarterly staff reviews. When conducted one-on-one, this provides a forum for regular communication with employees to review performance and identify areas for improvement. A one-on-one environment will encourage more open and honest dialogue than if the session were conducted as part of a team.

As a business owner, these sessions are valuable sources of information and insight into the strengths, weaknesses, and motivations of your team.

Senior Staff Mentoring Junior Staff

If you have a large staff, consider pairing junior staff with senior staff and establishing mentorship relationships. This is a powerful way to build the synergy of your team and frees you up from weekly meetings with each staff member. Instead, each senior staff member can report back to you on the results of their regular training sessions, and you only need to conduct these sessions with your senior staff.

Team Training Events

Team training events are great team builders and provide insight into how your team interacts as a whole. These can take the form of “lunch and learns”, where senior staff or guest speakers conduct an hour-long session with staff members or more social team-building exercises with a less formal program.

Team training exercises will shed light on the leaders and followers in an organization and bring together employees who may work outside of the office. These can be especially helpful if you and your senior staff do not see the team ‘in action’ on a daily basis.

Keeping Your Dream Employees

Now that you have spent hours of time and potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars recruiting and training your staff, your human resource job is done, right?

I suppose you’ve done what you’ve set out to do: get the right people working for you. But what happens when those people get bored? Or stolen by another company? Or feel they’ve “done all they can do” at your company?

The final step in the overall recruitment process is employee retention. This includes keeping your employees happy, supporting their development, and giving them an incentive to continuously improve their performance.

Your Work Environment

The environment you create for your staff has a huge impact on your employee retention rates. This includes the interior design and layout of your office or business, the lighting, plants, and kitchen amenities available. It also includes the culture of the company – what is the general working atmosphere? Are most people loud? Quiet? Is there a buzz or hum to the office space?

The bottom line is that employees should enjoy and feel comfortable coming to their workplace – they do spend most of their waking hours there.

Spending a little more on comfortable office furniture and amenities like coffee, tea, snacks, and social spaces will go a long way toward keeping your employees happy at work.

Recognition, Rewards, and Incentive Programs

finding and training employees

Did you know that many employees place more value on positive public recognition for a job well done than they do on salary?

Recognition and rewards are powerful tools when it comes to keeping employees happy. Positive feedback from those in more senior positions has a higher perceived value than a 3-5% salary increase – and it costs the business little to nothing to implement.

Retaining Your Employees

Incentive programs are a formalized way of rewarding employees for their achievements and successes. Clear targets and milestones are identified, and when an individual or team reach those milestones they are rewarded with bonuses or prizes.

Recognition, rewards, and incentive programs are an important part of employee retention, as well as team building. They will be discussed in further detail in the Team Building chapter.

Professional Development Programs

Another common reason employees choose to leave their positions is professional development. Many feel they need to move to another company in order to develop their careers or gain more responsibility. They may not necessarily dislike their current role, but become bored or stagnated and believe they have ‘done all they can do’ at that particular company.

Keeping good people means providing opportunities for growth and advancement within your company. This benefits the company because you can hire from within, and save money and time on recruiting and training new staff. It also benefits your employee and increases their loyalty toward your business.

Staff Retention

Professional development programs are an important part of staff retention – but they are also an important part of business growth and development. A company with staff who are always increasing their knowledge and improving their skills will stay on the ‘cutting edge’ of their industry and have an advantage over the competition.

Ongoing training and development should be a primary focus for any growing business. Here’s why:

  • Increases productivity
  • Increases staff retention
  • Increases workplace safety and morale
  • Increases customer service
  • Increases sales

Professional development programs typically focus on the big picture ambitions of the company and its staff members. The longer-term goals and career ambitions are recorded and taken into consideration.

Professional development can be easily worked into your ongoing one-on-one training systems. Keep a folder or binder for each staff member that outlines current role responsibilities, short and long term goals, and areas for improvement, and review it during your weekly or monthly meetings. Identify specific areas for growth, and develop plans of action for that growth.

For example, if your marketing assistant wants to grow into a marketing coordinator or manager role, and needs to improve her people management skills, consider putting her through a management course.

Simple System Tools for Employee Retention

Maintaining this program doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. With some simple system tools and a commitment to regularly scheduled meetings, you can have a clear and effective program for your staff.

  • Evolving job description documents to monitor roles, responsibilities, and tasks
  • Regular performance evaluations
  • Goal planning worksheets
  • Continuing education programs at local business schools
  • Regular meetings between staff and supervisors
  • Rewards and incentives
  • Difficult to re-organize
  • Best for smaller lists

Conclusion

Finding and training employees is one of the most challenging issues that small business owners are facing. Implement these practices and see your business take on a life of its own!

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Top 5 Powerful Forms of Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the best ways to promote your business. However, different audiences prefer different forms of content. You can segment audiences by the content they like to consume to visual and auditory learners. Obviously, visual learners prefer blog posts, infographics, and videos while auditory learners enjoy podcasts.

Ideally, you should mix various types of content marketing but it’d be a mission impossible to cover every single form of content marketing (blogs, videos, eBooks, case studies, social media posts, podcasts, webinars, success stories – the list goes on and on).

So, today we’re talking about the 5 most powerful forms of content marketing you can use to really make an impact instead of having to juggle a dozen of different strategies.

We singled out these 5 forms based on the effort-impact ratio, which means that these can help you expand reach, grab attention, build trust, and increase sales without overinvesting your time or resources.

1. Blogging

No, blogging is not dead, and here are just a few fresh stats that can prove this claim.

  • Blogging is a part of the content strategy for 89% of marketers,
  • Blogging makes the primary content marketing strategy for roughly 53% of marketers,
  • More than 20 billion blogs are read each month,
  • Almost 45% of buyers go through a couple of pieces of blog content before making a purchase.

Does this seem powerful enough? Oh wait, there’s more…

Blogs can truly help you build brand awareness, especially elaborate and detailed ones, and get you heaps of passive links. However, contrary to the popular belief that long-form content blogs typically do much better than short-form content, the truth is that 75% of readers prefer shorter, under 1000-word articles. The best thing of all? You need just a little more than 4 hours to write a good 1,000-word blog.

2. Newsletters

Many people would say that email marketing is dead, too, and guess what? They are so wrong! Yes, email marketing is old-school but it’s still one of the most effective strategies out there.

More than 37% of brands have started increasing budgets they are investing in email marketing and the engagement rate with newsletters has increased by 77% in the past 12 months.

Sending newsletters can help you create stronger bonds with your audiences than, let’s say, posting on Facebook where most people just casually read and scroll. Also, people are more likely to start paying for a subscription after they’ve been subscribed to a free newsletter first.

Newsletters can help you reduce churn rates and increase the chances of people actually buying your product once a free trial expires. However, stick to 3 to 5 newsletters per week since, otherwise, you’ll risk that your audiences will unsubscribe.

Finally, it takes just about one hour to write a good, engaging and informative newsletter

3. Social Media Content

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Almost 2 billion people use Facebook, almost 1.5 billion people use Instagram, and almost 250 people million use Twitter on a daily basis. Do you know what that means? You have a chance to get to tens of thousands of people every day or million people every month by simply posting content on social media.

Sure thing, you should nail your positioning and do proper research on which channels your target audience uses in the first place. For instance, Gen Z spends most of their time on Instagram, Millennials prefer Facebook, etc. Then, create a strong mission statement, think about the messaging and the tone you are going to use for captions and craft posts accordingly to make your content relatable.

For instance, if you want to appeal to a professional base of users, you’ll, naturally, use LinkedIn in the first place. The business community is all about professional development, networking, discussing business ideas, business growth, generating leads, and hiring the best talent so you should definitely focus on creating business-related, educational and inspirational content to tap into the right audience.

Do this positioning and messaging thing right, and you’ll drive genuine engagement, boost brand awareness, and have tons of sales!

When it comes to writing content for social media, it’s totally up to you to decide how much of your time you want to devote to it. It can take 5 minutes a day (provided you are posting short captions) or a couple of hours per week (provided you prefer creating content in batches and long-form captions). 

4. Influencer-Generated Content

Influencer marketing has been gaining the edge over paid ads lately. Having influencers share your content, whether it be a blog, photo, or video, or post unique content about your business can help with increasing reach, boosting awareness, and getting more sales. However, it is crucial to work with influencers from your niche if you want to reach people potentially interested in your products or services.

  • 93% of marketers have used influencer marketing at least once. 
  • 65% of viewers visit websites and shops after watching influencer-generated content.
  • 46% of viewers actually end up purchasing from a brand that is being promoted by an influencer.

If you don’t have a large budget, you can partner with nano micro-influencers who charge $100 to $500 per post and still get amazing ROI.

5. Videos

Video content has been booming lately. Shorts, Stories, Reels, and TikToks – users are consuming at least 100 minutes of video content per day. In 83% of the cases, videos can help with generating more leads, while 84% of customers make purchases right after watching a video.

Once your customer base starts growing significantly, we highly recommend you start using a CRM solution so that you retain those people and turn them into recurring customers.

Ideally, do both short-form, 60-second explainer videos and demo videos to show or tell how your product or service can help your potential clients. Don’t be afraid to hop on trends related to your industry and create quick social media clips but also do some storytelling and create long-form content from time to time.

After all, videos provide up to a 1,200% increase in reach compared to single-photo posts. This is the way to go if you want to see results, and you want them fast. Indeed, making videos can take from 30 minutes to several hours but this strategy is totally worth the time. 

Summary on Content Marketing

It’s super important for you to figure out which content marketing form would make the most sense for your audience. You can achieve great results by doing SEO and traditional marketing or you can invest in paid content. Whatever your choice is, remember that content marketing is a long-term play and your initial numbers will be growing bit by bit if you are persistent enough.

Author: Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.

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Manage Time Like Money and Profit Through Time Management

Manage Time Like Money and Profit Through Time Management 

Why did you get into business for yourself? Was it to be your own boss? Choose your own hours? Have more time with the family? Spend more time doing what you love? How do you manage your time? Chances are, you answered yes to all these questions.

These days, you probably wonder where the time went. Why you spent 12 hours at work and barely make a dent in your to-do list? We already know that time is a key resource for you and your business, but it’s also a key resource in your life. Harnessing and leveraging time is the only way to enjoy life, and have a profitable business at the same time.

A few years back I was working with a client who told me that he hadn’t had a date with his wife in years! He was running a million-dollar business with ten employees but he didn’t take any time off for himself. We were able to restructure the business that made him more profitable and he was able to get regular dates with his wife.

The Pareto Principle in Business

time management

You may be familiar with the Pareto Principle; 80% of your results can be attributed to 20% of your efforts, while 20% of your results can be attributed to 80% of your efforts. As the leader of your business, you want to focus your efforts on the activities that yield the greatest results.

Most business owners carefully manage their financial and personnel resources, and pay due attention to their performance. Marketing plans and budgets are created, people are hired and fired. What most business owners don’t realize is that time – and the time of all employees – requires the same attention and diligent management.

Time will never manage itself.

Time is invaluable when you are running a business. That is why it is important to manage your time like money and profit through time management. Time will never manage itself. The decision to make a pro-active effort to manage your time must come from you. Once you have committed to taking ownership for your own time management, there are a host of tools available to you. But first, you must understand how much your time is actually worth, and where you are currently spending it.

What is Your Time Worth?

Ever wonder what your time is actually worth? Here’s a quick way to figure it out:

Target annual income A.

Working days in a year B. 235

Working hours in a day C. 7

Working hours in a year D. 1,645

A/D = YOUR HOURLY WORTH (before tax + expenses) E.

This is a very simple calculation intended to put your time in perspective. In reality, no one is productive for each of the 1,645 hours. Various studies have put actual productivity at anywhere between 25 minutes and four hours per day. Either way, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

How Many Days Do You Have Left on Earth?

Let’s look at it another way:

Your age A.

Days in a year B.

Days spent on earth to date (A x B) C.

Average life expectancy D. 70

Total projected days on earth (D x B) E.

Estimated days left (E – C) F.

This exercise isn’t intended to scare you, but bring your attention to the importance of choosing how you spend each hour you have available. It is a choice! By developing the skills required to manage your time, you will not only have a profitable business but rewarding and balanced life

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar to ask any questions you have about small business coaching. I’ve been a business coach (and business broker) for over 20 years. I also have a business coach of my own, so I know what successful coaching looks like on both sides of the table.
~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

The Five Culprits of Time Theft

Chances are – if you’re like most people – you have no idea where your time goes. You’re likely frustrated by the fact that you can spend 10, 12, even 14 hours a day working, and not make a dent in your to-do list, or only bill half of those hours.

When we’re too busy and overloaded with work, we often switch into reactive mode. We can’t make it to the bottom of the pile and end up handling issues and making decisions at the last minute. One of the great benefits of choosing to become proactive in time management is that you can become proactive in all other areas of your business. When in a proactive mode, you can take steps to grow your business through networking, building programs, and establishing systems.

Before you investigate where your time goes, let’s take a look at the top five culprits of modern-day time theft:

1. Time Management and Your Email

Make profit through time management and managing your email. How many times a day do you check your email? Is Outlook or Mail constantly running on your desktop? Email – internal, external, personal and business – clogs up your day like no other communication channel. For many of us, it is possible to spend the entire day writing and responding to emails without even glancing at our inbox. The number of emails sent and received each day by the average person in 2007 was 147. Multiply that by an average of two minutes per message, and you have spent almost five hours on email in a single day.

2. Time Management and Your Mobile Phone

Cell phones have created convenience, security, and the luxury of telecommuting. PDAs and cell phones have also created a society that expects to be able to reach you at any moment or at least receive instant responses to their calls. Your cell phone or PDA not only robs you of your time during the day but also during the evenings and on weekends when you are not at work.

3. Time Management and Your Open Door Policy

If you make it easy for your staff and associates to interrupt you, they will. Too often, open-door policies are set up by human resource departments to create clear communication channels. Instead, they create a clog of employees lined up at your door seeking immediate answers to non-emergent issues.

4. Time Management in Meetings

You can profit through time management if we also manage our meetings well. How many times have you been to a meeting that was scheduled to be an hour, and ended up lasting three? How often do you attend unnecessary meetings? Or meetings that run off-topic? Meetings can be a huge source of wasted time – your valuable time that is why it is important to manage your time. In a senior management or ownership position, your day may consist of back-to-back meetings, leaving only your evening hours to complete the tasks that should have been done during the day.

5. Time Management: YOU!

Every person has daily habits that sabotage their ability to work productively and efficiently. Many entrepreneurs and business owners can’t separate business hours from leisure hours. Some get caught in a time warp while surfing the internet. Others – mainly overachievers – can become paralyzed by perfectionism or procrastination. Mainly we just don’t have the tools to schedule and structure our time in a way that fits with our working style.

Where Does Your Time Go?

So far we’ve seen that time is a resource that should be as carefully managed as cash, we’ve figured out what your time is worth, and looked at the top five culprits of time theft. You’ve committed to taking steps to become a better time manager. What now?

time management

Personal Time Management Research Exercise

The next step is to take a good, (and honest!) look at how you spend your time. Once you understand your patterns and habits, you begin to implement the strategies in this chapter that will make you manage your time better.

Step One: Time Audit

Use the Time Log Worksheet at the back of this chapter to record how you spend your time for three working days in a row. Be honest, and be specific. Include time spent in transit, surfing the web, interacting with clients and colleagues, as well as how your time is spent at home in the evenings. The more information you can record, the easier it will be to analyze your time management skills in step two.

Step Two: Time Categorization

Once you have recorded your time for three days, sit down with all three sheets in front of you and identify the following using different colored markers or highlighters:

  • Driving, public transportation or other travel
  • Eating, including food preparation
  • Personal Errands
  • Exercise
  • Watching TV
  • Sleeping, including naps
  • Using the computer, personal use only
  • Being with family/friends
  • Emailing, including checking, reading, and returning messages
  • Talking on the phone, including checking and returning messages
  • Internal meetings
  • External meetings
  • Administrative work
  • Client work
  • Non-client, non-administrative work

Step Three: Time Analysis

Now that you have identified how you have spent your time, go through the worksheets one more time and identify if you have spent enough, too much, or too little time on each main task.

Then, based on your observations, answer the following questions: Download the Template Here

  1. What patterns do you notice about how you spend your time during the day? (i.e., When are you most productive? Least productive? Most or least interrupted?)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Write down the four highest priorities in your life right now. Does your timesheet reflect these priorities?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If you had more time, what would you do?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If you had less time, what wouldn’t you do?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Could you remove the items in question four and add the items in question three? Why or why not?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Is procrastination a problem for you? How much?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Strategies for Profitable Time Management

There are many ways to curb time theft and refine your time management ability for you to manage your time well. Through a solid understanding of how you currently spend – and waste – time, you can determine which strategies you need to implement to correct unproductive behavior.

Here are 17 ways you can turn less of your time into more money:

1. Set Clear Priorities

The foundation of time management is a clear understanding of what your time is best spent on. Once you accept that you can’t do everything, you need to decide what needs to be completed now, what can be completed later, and what someone else can complete in this way you can manage your time effectively. Each to-do list you create should be put through this filter, and reorganized so the highest priority items are on top, and the lowest priority items are less visible, or on the bottom.

Once you have established your priorities – which will also naturally reflect the priorities and goals of your business – stick to them. Just because someone else feels something is of a high priority doesn’t mean it holds the same status next to your other tasks.

Prioritization is also helpful in your personal life and leisure time. Your spare time is precious – so make sure are clear on how you would like to spend it.

2. Use Your Skills – Delegate Your Weaknesses

As a business owner, your day naturally consists of tasks you dislike doing. Some are essential – signing checks, reviewing financial statements, and other business maintenance – while others are simply not within your skill set.

If you are a strong public speaker but struggle with report writing – delegate to a copywriter or editor. If you own a retail store and have no experience in design – outsource your signage. These freelance professionals often cost half as much as you and take half as long to complete the task. It is a great idea, especially if you struggle with time management. Your time is saved for tasks that use and strengthen your skills effectively, your stress is managed, and ultimately a better product is produced. Delegating your weaknesses or tasks that can be delegated to your team is one of the best strategies for you to manage your time effectively.

3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

As a small business owner, the only way you will ever get everything done is by delegating. Delegation is a vital skill that needs to be refined and practiced, and once mastered is the key to profitable time management.

time management

Too often, owners and managers believe that it will be “faster” or “more efficient” to complete the task themselves than to train and monitor someone else. Other times, there are no internal resources to download assignments.

As a result, the following trends can be seen in many small companies:

  • Owners and senior staff are stressed and overworked, while junior staff is underutilized and under capacity.
  • Staff members are not given an opportunity to grow and develop in their roles and may perceive a lack of trust or confidence in their ability. The company loses good people.
  • Owners and senior staff are always in a reactive state, instead of a visionary or proactive state.
  • Delegation happens at the very last minute, and junior staff has little understanding of either the overall project or expectations for the task.

The easiest way to fix this problem is before it starts. Create a solid team of staff members around you who are well-trained and prepared to support the business. Attract and retain qualified and quality people who can be cross-trained and promoted within the company. Ensure that communication flows throughout the business, so everyone has the product and service knowledge to step in and assist when necessary.

4. Learn to Say “No”

It’s easy to fall into the habit of saying yes to everything. You are, after all the business owner, right? No one can complete these tasks as well as you, right? You’ll lose that customer if you don’t help them with their garage sale, right?

Wrong. The most successful business owners have a keen understanding of time management and delegate the remaining responsibilities to trusted others. It’s too easy to say yes to every request in the moment, and later feel overwhelmed when it’s added to your to-do list. You may not ruffle any feathers, but what toll does it take on your stress level? Your workload? Your time is valuable – so manage your time well and protect it!

Remember that if it is too challenging to say no immediately, you can always request some time to think about it. This way, you can evaluate your workload and realistically decide whether or not you can take on a new project. Then, stand by your decision, or assist in bringing in the necessary resources to get it done. 

5. Create (and keep!) a Strict Schedule

While multi-tasking is a desirable skill, it is also often a time thief. Attempting to do too many things at one time ensures that nothing gets done. As a business owner, you need to be able to focus and concentrate on essential projects without interruptions.

The only way to do this is to commit to a strict schedule. Once you understand your work style and concentration patterns, you can allocate periods of the day to specific tasks. This includes personal and leisure time – schedule it, and stick to it.

Doing a time management by creating a schedule time for list-creation + prioritization, email messages, telephone messages, internal meetings, client meetings, meeting preparation, “me-time”, family time, recreation + fitness, daily business tasks, and blocks for focused work.

Remember that there is a training period involved in beginning a new routine – for yourself and those around you. Use your voicemail, out-of-office email message, and a closed-door to begin to let people know when you will not be disturbed.

6. Make Decisions

The choice to not make a decision is a decision in itself. The most successful business owners have the ability to make good decisions quickly and efficiently and do not waste time deliberating over simple choices.

In leadership positions, often people are afraid of making the wrong decision or looking foolish if they make a mistake in front of junior staff. What they don’t realize, is that hesitating or avoiding decision-making impacts their leadership just as much or more than making the wrong decision. Not only can being indecisive be personally stressful, but it is also stressful for those around you whose tasks are waiting on your choices.

Remember, you must make the best decision with the information you have, in the time frame you have to make the decision. No one expects you to be a fortune teller – be decisive, make some mistakes, and learn from them.

7. Manage Telephone Interruptions

This is a huge source of time theft that can easily be managed and avoided. If you are available to take phone calls at any time of day, you are setting yourself up to take work home in the evenings. The phone will always ring when you are focused on an important task, and this is something that can easily be avoided.

Figure out when you are most productive. Is it in the morning or the afternoon? Before, during, or after lunch? Once you have identified this time period, set your phone on “do not disturb” or have your calls directed to voicemail. If you do not have a receptionist, a variety of automatic answering systems are available for a nominal fee. To structure your phone time further, let callers know on your voicemail what specific time of day is best to reach you via phone. Then, set that time aside to receive and return phone calls.

8. Keep Your Work Environment Organized

Have you ever tried to make dinner in a messy kitchen? More of your time is spent looking for (and cleaning) dishes and tools than actually spent cooking the meal.

The same goes for your work environment. If your desk and office is in a constant state of chaos, then your mind will be too. In fact, some studies have revealed that the average senior business leader spends nearly four weeks each year navigating through messy or cluttered desks, looking for lost information. Does that sound like a productive time for you?

Once you make the initial clean sweep, it’s easy to maintain order in the chaos:

  • Tidy your desk at the beginning and end of each day. Attach pertinent documents to your to-do list, or have clear and organized folders for loose papers.
  • Organize your supplies drawer so you have easy access to stationery like pens, post-it notes, staplers, and highlighters. Every minute counts!
  • Only have the documents and files you are working on, on your desk. The rest should be neatly filed on a side table for later retrieval.
  • Keep personal items (like photos or memorabilia) out of your primary line of vision. These can be distracting and encourage daydreaming.

time management

As for your office or store, there are many ways to make its layout more conducive to effective time management. Try:

  • Minimizing the distance between the reception desk and electronics like photocopies and fax machines.
  • Keep a clear line of sight between your office and the most productive area of your business, so you are aware of what is happening amongst your staff.
  • Organize shelves and filing cabinets so files are not only easily accessed, but out of sight when not being used. Consider putting sliding doors or cabinets in storage areas, and remember that the floor is not a storage cabinet.

9. Keep Your Filing System Organized

If your data isn’t organized properly, you will waste hundreds of hours searching for documents you need on a regular basis. This includes both electronic and hard copy files; they need to be organized and up-to-date.

Customer databases and inquiry records are worth their weight in gold. You can’t afford to get behind when updating this information, or poorly store it for later retrieval. There are many easy to use software programs that will manage and organize customer databases for you; it doesn’t need to be a time consuming or tedious exercise.

A simple way to manage information is to keep it in short, medium, and long term files for both hard and electronic copies. Create shortcuts on your desktop for folders or files you constantly access. Have short-term files available on your desk, medium-term files available within an arm’s reach, and long-term files stored in cabinets.

10. Clearly Communicate – Never Assume

One of the biggest issues for time management in business – and likely the world – is miscommunication. This is a dangerous issue that can cripple any business, including yours. Establishing and enforcing clear policies on things like accurate note-taking, task assignments, and phone messages will ensure your staff understands the importance of clear and accurate communication.

The easiest habit to start to curb miscommunication is simple: write everything down. Carry a notepad, and jot down key points, figures, agreements, and deadlines. Don’t assume you’ll remember later – you have at least a hundred other things to remember.

Some other simple strategies are:

  • Return all communication promptly, including email, letters, faxes and phone calls
  • Repeat back phone messages, phone numbers, and other figures to confirm you recorded the information correctly.
  • Record appointments in your PDA or agenda the moment you make them. Otherwise, you will forget.
  • Double-check and confirm everything – addresses, phone numbers, meeting locations and times.
  • Maintain accurate customer contact logs with dates, times, and phone numbers.
  • Post checklists in your store or office for routine operations procedures.
  • Announce any changes to the policies and procedures manual immediately.

11. Stop Duplicating Efforts

This is a key element of time management that is closely related to effective communication. Studies have continually shown that many businesses often duplicate and triplicate efforts that need only be completed once.

When you have clear systems and procedures in place, your staff will not need to “reinvent the wheel” each time the task needs to be completed. Meeting minutes and individual task assignments will ensure everyone is on the same page and understands their personal responsibilities.

Simple examples of this include re-reading your to-do list each hour to determine what the next important item is. If your list is already structured by priority, this is a needless task. If two staff members are working on similar projects, but unaware of the other, the work will not only be inconsistent, but the efforts will be duplicated. These are easy problems to fix, once they have been identified and communicated.

12. Say Goodbye to Procrastination + Perfectionism

If you want to manage your time effectively, then, procrastination is something you need to get rid of. We all face procastination at one time or another – and likely have since our school days. However, given the pace that the world operates at today, you will only fall behind your competitor if you allow procrastination to rule your day. So how you do avoid it? It’s simple. Stop, and just get started, no matter how boring, tedious, or painful the project may be. Reward yourself by crossing each step off your to-do list.

Many small business owners also fall victim to perfectionism, which can be paralyzing. The fear that there isn’t enough time or resources to “get it perfect” will sometimes stop you dead in your tracks. Perfectionism can also hinder your ability to delegate and say no to tasks you believe no one else can complete “better”. Do the best you can with the time and resources you have – and just get started.

13. Avoid Needless, Impromptu + Unstructured Meetings

This may seem like a time theft issue that is out of your control, but it’s not. You are in control of your own time and able to manage your time, and through strict scheduling can establish a structure for internal and external meetings that everyone around you can work within.

Minimize impromptu internal meetings by letting your staff know when you’re available for a “quick chat” and when you are not. If it is important, ask them to schedule a time to meet with you that works with both of your schedules. This not only saves you time, but encourages staff to find solutions to their own issues, and only approach you with more urgent or challenging matters.

You can’t avoid having meetings, but you can avoid having unstructured meetings. Ask for or create an agenda for each meeting you attend, with a clear objective and an amount of time allocated to each item. This will keep your meetings focused and on task. If a meeting does run late, give yourself a reasonable buffer, and politely leave for your next appointment. You can always follow up with a colleague to catch-up on the pertinent items you may have missed.

14. Establish Clear Policies + Procedures

A clear policy and procedures manual is like a marketing or business plan – it takes time to create, but ultimately saves everyone in your company time, money, and effort. A step-by-step guide to “the way we do things here” is an invaluable resource for your existing and new staff, and provides clear expectations for how you like things done.

Too many businesses make up policies and procedures on the fly – creating dangerous scenarios where mistakes are made and expectations are not clear. Some items that should be included in a comprehensive policy and procedures manual include:

  • Recruitment
  • Customer relations
  • Customer inquiries
  • Customer complaints
  • Returns
  • Exchanges
  • Late Payments
  • Salary structure
  • Bonus structure
  • Employee review
  • Theft
  • Harassment

15. Keep the Right Set of Tools

The equipment your business needs to operate (and grow!) effectively should always be on hand, or easily contracted out. This is specific to each company, and closely related to costs – including the cost of your time.

Whether you are a high-tech business or local retailer, knowledge of the latest advancements in technology will increase your efficiency. It will help you stay on top of the competitor, maintain your position as an expert, and perhaps provide an easier way of getting things done.

Always ask yourself if these purchases are essential to your business –could you perhaps make these purchases from a second-hand dealer to minimize cost? Is it more cost-effective to outsource or sub-contract the tasks to someone with access to this equipment, or to buy the equipment yourself?

If your business relies on tools and technology for daily tasks (such as the trade profession) then obtaining the best quality you can afford is crucial.

16. Maintain Your Equipment

This may seem obvious, but you’ll understand the importance of your network server has ever crashed, or point of sale system has malfunctioned. Your business can be slowed to a stand-still if your equipment is not in good working order. Of course, there are instances that can’t be predicted, but regular maintenance of your essential equipment will reduce these occurrences and help to anticipate when old equipment needs to be repaired or replaced.

Personal Time Management Strategy

Choose one from the top five tips that you think will help you the most, given your personal time management study. This time management study will help you finish all your important tasks and appointments on time.  Write them below, with three corresponding actions that you will start tomorrow.  For example, if you are going to set a strict schedule, three actions might be to establish the schedule, communicate it to your staff, and re-record your voicemail message. Download the Template Here

1.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

2.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

3.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

4.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

5.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

Timesheet | Day Three Download the Template Here 

Timeslot Activities More/Less/Enough time?
7:30 – 8:00
8:00 – 8:30
8:30 – 9:00
9:00 – 9:30
10:00 – 10:30
10:30 – 11:00
11:00 – 11:30
11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:00
12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:00
1:00 – 1:30
1:30 – 2:00
2:00 – 2:30
2:30 – 3:00
3:00 – 3:30
3:30 – 4:00
4:00 – 4:30
4:30 – 5:00
5:00 – 5:30
5:30 – 6:00
6:00 – 10:00

(Evening)

Daily To-Do List | Business Download the Template Here

Task Priority (1-10) Deadline Delegation?

Weekly To-Do List | Personal (Family, Leisure, etc.) Download the Template Here

Task Priority (1-10) Deadline Delegation?

There you have it, then. I hope this post will help you manage your time so you can attain the results you were hoping for.

Do you need help taking action on all this information? Then book a free call with one of our small business coaches today.

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Top 5 Reasons For Increasing Employee Lawsuits

employee-lawsuits

Employee lawsuits are on the rise, and employers are baffled as to why. An employment claim can not only be extremely costly for any business, but it can also significantly reduce productivity. If the claimant is still working for the company, which is highly probable, it can be challenging for the employee, their work colleagues, and the employer to concentrate on the business. Employee lawsuits are a risk factor that can be avoided.

There is also a significant amount of time taken away from work for meetups with attorneys, depositions, and other lawsuit-related matters. Furthermore, if an employee files a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or files a civil suit, the charge may be made public, negatively impacting the company’s reputation.

These sorts of damages are not always monetary in nature, but they can be equally devastating as a million-dollar settlement.

And the laws are making it much easier for employees to sue their employers than ever before. Also, finding an employment lawyer is a piece of cake since many employment lawyers are aggressively courting employees to file more employee lawsuits.

Let’s take a minute to discuss some of the issues that are driving more and more employee lawsuits:

Unlawful Interview Questions

During the interview process, all candidates must be treated equally. This implies they are evaluated based on their abilities and experience rather than other unimportant factors. Unfortunately, illegal interview questions are still common. Women are frequently questioned about whether or not they have kids, and individuals with disabilities are frequently questioned about their disability.

These are both discriminatory and inappropriate situations. If an applicant feels they were denied a job because of their gender, disability, or other protected minority, they have the opportunity and the right to sue.

Termination Without Cause

Wrongful termination is a common reason for suing an employer. Differences between an employer and an employee can take place at any time. However, that does not mean that the employer has the right to wrongful termination. If an employer is firing an employee, the reason for the dismissal must not be illegal under federal or state labor laws. If the reason for dismissal was in fact illegal, like workplace discrimination, then this gives the dismissed employee the right to sue their employer, which they are doing since employees are more aware of their rights.

Unfair Punishment Or Retaliation

employee-lawsuits

Rash discipline in the heat of the situation may result in a lawsuit; similarly, employment retaliation is likely to result in a lawsuit. It is critical that all employees are treated fairly and, as a result, disciplined in the same manner as fellow employees in similar situations.

Most organizations have a written organization discipline policy in place to ensure that all employees are treated fairly, and managers and supervisors are expected to follow it. All employees should be aware of the disciplinary strategy, and all employee discipline must be handled in the same manner.

Remote Work Issues:

This is another potential driver of employee lawsuits. Employees who have been working from home due to the pandemic for the past couple of years may interpret an order to return to the office as a threat to their health.

The new norms surrounding remote work leave employers open to potential lawsuits. If an employer fails to create a safe work environment and requires employees to return to the office, endangering their health, they may face a lawsuit. Even if an employer believes they have taken all the necessary precautions to protect its employees, a lawsuit could still challenge that.

Lawsuits for Harassment

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors,  sexual comments, and other physical or verbal harassment. Employers are facing sexual harassment lawsuits because they do not have sexual harassment training programs in place.

By 2020, harassment claims would have likely decreased due to workers’ being at home. However, just because more employees work remotely does not prevent sexual harassment from occurring. With the return of offices and a new way of working, we may see an increase in claims. Businesses are more likely to face the same types of lawsuits, but they will be approached and upheld differently again due to new remote work norms.

Misclassification Of Workers As Independent Contractors

Misclassifying employees as independent contract workers is not only a breach of both federal and state laws but also invites legal action from employees. Employers frequently misclassify employees to avoid paying payroll taxes and benefits. If a worker appears to agree to be handled as a contractor, that does not suddenly make them one, nor does it deter that employee from suing in the future. If a worker is not classified accurately, the supervisor will always be subject to serious penalties and fines, as well as a workers’ lawsuit.

Conclusion on Employee Lawsuits

Many employment lawsuits could be avoided if employers paid attention to specific aspects of their organization’s environment and understood employee red flags. While not every employment-related lawsuit can be avoided, employers can minimize litigation risk by recognizing and comprehending the following reasons why employees end up suing their employers.

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