How to Hack The Way Towards Thriving Remotely

thriving remotely

Thriving remotely is becoming the norm for some companies. The COVID-19 pandemic birthed a lock down that forced everyone to stay indoors for their safety and the safety of the environment at large. To prevent the spread of the virus, everyone had to stay indoors, and since the virus did not give the world any warning, the lock down forced many companies to move from the conventional office setting to a remote environment.

Some workers were used to working from home; however, many people were not familiar with work remotely. The impromptu call for change did not allow companies to do proper planning or to give their staff adequate training. What this means is that workers have to change or adjust their habits to perform their official duties and since most people are not used to working remotely, it is germane that workers are educated on how to hack the way towards thriving remotely.

Here are five keys to thriving remotely

thriving remotely

  • Have a Schedule:

As a remote worker, you need to set working hours for yourself. You do not have to work throughout the whole day. Have resumption and closing times like you did before you started working remotely. Be faithful to these times. Flexibility is one of the greatest strengths of any remote worker, this means that your resumption and closing times can change from time to time.

If you have a hard time staying faithful to your work hours because you are at home or in a co-working space, certain applications let you track the time that you spend using applications. These applications can also help you find out the time of the day when you are at your peak and you can schedule your work hours around that time so you can be productive.

  • Create a Trigger:

It is usually hard for some people to get into work mode. To help you overcome this, you should create something that will trigger the work mode in you. You must do this over time so that becomes more like a habit. It could be that you brew a cup of coffee and that will be what triggers the work mode in you. It could be that you begin work after a morning walk or after breakfast. Whichever activity you choose to do before work, repeat it daily so that you get used to it over time.

  • Talk to People Around You:

You need to talk to the people around you, that is, your family members if you are working from home or co-workers if you are working with other adults. You need to agree on what to and what not to do during your work hours. Setting ground rules will help you to avoid distractions from people that share the same space with you. If you have children, they need to know that while you are working, they cannot be making noise or playing around. You can make them read or give them something to do during this time. If you are working with another adult or other adults, you need to agree on how to share the space – when each person gets to use the chair and desks if they are limited.

  • Schedule Breaks:

Just as it was when you were going to your office, you need to take breaks during your remote work hours. You can take the breaks the way you used to do it at work, or you can be flexible with it. If you are self-employed, give yourself time away from your computer and phone. If your work causes you to sit at your computer for a long while, you need to get up to take a walk at least once an hour. This will help blood circulate your body and also help you look away from the computer screen.

  • Make Requests:

Your company should provide support in making sure that you have all that you need to ensure that you are productive if the company supports that you should work from home. For this, make sure that you always ask when you need something. Since you are working remotely, you will need information or documents from other members of staff from time to time. The company can lecture staff on how to send large files so that they can always help each other out.

Many companies seek training, consulting, and coaching services such as ones offered by CareerStone Group in order to establish successful workplaces. If you see it necessary, you should ask your employer to utilize something similar so that you get more productive in the new work model.

Summary

Thriving remotely requires that you be disciplined and dedicated. Since you are at home, there is the tendency to feel comfortable and unmotivated to work. Also, you might have troubles with your work files getting mixed up with personal files in your system.

It will do you much good to teach your mind when it is time to work and when it is time for personal stuff. You can partition your hard drive into two for work and personal use. You can also dedicate a particular chair and table in the house for work so that whenever you are on the chair, your brain and body know that it is time to work. Check out this article on developing relationships remotely.

 

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Surviving the Big Boomer Business Bust

Exit Plan

Why is an Exit Strategy Important for Business Success?

Do you have an exit plan? This is an update to an earlier blog post. Things have changed significantly over the last few years!

According to PricewaterhouseCooper, approximately 50% of all owners of small and mid-sized companies will exit their companies over the next few years. Others estimate that the exit rate will be closer to 75%.

This massive exodus from the marketplace will be driven by retiring baby boomers, who are now 60-78 years old. Unfortunately, of those small business owners who exit their business, only about 1 in 5 will actually sell their company. The remaining 80% are closing their doors with a big financial thud!

2020 Reality Check according to December 2019 statistics:  Baby boomers own 2/3 of U.S. businesses, that’s millions of companies. Only 8% of this group plan on selling the business.

Business Owners Have No Exit Plan

Of all boomer business owners, nearly 60% have no plan for selling their business or passing it on to an heir or successor.

Why is this happening?  There can be many reasons:

  • Their business isn’t saleable because of its lack of profitability or it can only function with the boomer owner at the helm.
  • Boomers are pushing out retirement because they haven’t saved enough
  • These business owners are failing to look ahead at hard facts and figures or to set.
  • Some business owners truly love what they do and want to do it forever.

Why Don’t Business Owners Do Exit Planning?

Business owners are reluctant to create an exit plan; it seems like planning for their own funeral. They are afraid to consider what life would be like without their business, so they do nothing.

I think most don’t realize the rewards they’ll get from having an exit strategy –peace of mind, and new opportunities — to cash out now and enjoy a secure retirement, or maybe to try something else like start another business or become a mentor, to travel or spend more time with family, to pick up a hobby or do volunteer work. Thinking about when and how you’ll exit your business can reap dividends:

Financial

By knowing when to reduce your inventory, training, or staff; when to stop investing in newer equipment, software, or supplies; and how much income you’ll need for a comfortable retirement

Organizational

By grooming a possible replacement, you smooth the transition and by structuring the company well for takeover.

Exit Planning

By gathering and then “selling” the benefits of buying an established company (saves a lot of work, heartache, and money).

Ethical

By considering the needs of your staff, customers, and vendors and also by planning your exit with the people in mind who depend on your business will leave your mind and heart at rest.

Reputation

You’ll leave a strong and respectable legacy by preparing ahead, by thinking about the effect on others, and by setting up your business for sale or passing it on to a heir.

An exit plan isn’t the end of your world. It will begin a new phase for you and everyone who’s been connected with it.

How to Prepare Your Business For Sale

Below are some things you can do to increase your chances of selling for big bucks:

  1. Create an Exit Plan.

You know the drill – “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” The problem with failing to plan is obvious. Hire an Exit Planning Coach to help you figure out the right window for retirement and the steps needed to reach it.

  1. Plan Three to Ten Years in Advance.

Most experts say that you should have an exit plan when you start a business.  At a minimum, you should develop your plan at least three years before an anticipated retirement.

Consider that life happens – illness, recession, technology changes, governmental rules and compliance, divorce – so thinking ahead helps you avoid a catastrophe.

  1. Sell from a Position of Strength.

You can command top dollar for your business when it’s strong. Unfortunately, many owners wait until an economic turndown, burnout, or a health crisis forces them to sell from a position of weakness.

  1. Know the Value of Your Business.

Every business owner should get an annual valuation on their business; this is the best indicator of a company’s performance and provides potential buyers with a view into its worth.

  1. Get Revenues and Profits Up.

Your business should be growing; both top line and bottom line. Become the number one or two largest business in your market.

The top line refers to a company’s revenues or gross sales. Therefore, when a company has “top-line growth,” the company is experiencing an increase in gross sales or revenues. The bottom line is a company’s net income, or the “bottom” figure on a company’s income statement.

  1. Develop Management Succession.

If you’re the only one who can run your business, who will a buyer have to help run the business after you leave?

If none of your family want to take it on, then consider offering it to a key partner or employee; perhaps sell it to the remaining staff.

  1. Maintain Confidentiality.

This is critical to the health of your organization. If your competitors, customers, employees or vendors find out that you are selling, this could mean disaster for your company!

Addition: Silently plan your exit strategy – even to the point of having informed parties sign a confidentiality agreement.

  1. Keep Focused on the Business.

Don’t let your business performance decline because you’re too focused on the sale of your business. Continue to work on your business as if you don’t plan to sell it.

  1. Get Help From Professionals.

You will need an exit planner/business coach, a business broker, a wealth planner, a CPA, and a tax attorney on your team.

Local, state, and federal laws and regulations change frequently, so hiring an expert could pay for itself.

  1. Get Your Books and Records in Order.

Have your financial statements and legal documents in order; this will give the buyer confidence in your business.

Summary

Planning your exit strategy will help you …. to make wise decisions now … to fashion your future and … to create a legacy for yourself, your family, and your community.  For more information on this topic read this blog post: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying:

Even though only 20% of all small businesses are selling, it is possible to get yourself into that group. But it is going to take some planning and some more hard work to get yourself there. You should start today!

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Growing Your Business Value BEFORE You Sell

growing your business value

If you are like most business owners, you would like to sell your business one day for top dollar. Growing your business value, you must first determine its value.

Businesses have “three values.”

The book value is typically determined by your accountant. The book value is your business equity; assets minus liabilities. Secondly, the academic value is the method determined by a professional business valuation. This approach determines value with a formula based on your company’s hard assets, cash flow, industry averages, and multiples. The third method is what is referred to as the fair market value.  The fair market value also takes those items into consideration, but then considers what buyers are really willing to pay.

Intangible Value in Small Businesses

For many small and mid-sized businesses, hard assets such as equipment, vehicles, land, buildings, and inventory are limited. Some small businesses have no hard assets at all. In this case, the business value is based on intangibles like employees, business processes, customer lists, location, and business relationships.

Growing Your Business Value Before You Sell

In growing your business value, it’s critical that you leverage both tangible and intangible assets.

  • Make your business an expression of you: develop your niche.

Make your business unique. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Many buyers will pay a premium for a niche that has barriers to competitive entry.

  • Attract, hire and develop key employees.

Make yourself dispensable to the day-to-day operations. Buyers won’t pay a premium if the business relies on you for its success. Some buyers won’t buy at all. Delegate responsibility to key employees and involve your key staff members in the planning and decision-making process. Demonstrating that your company’s success is reliant on your capable, well-trained employees, rather than you will pay off at the time of sale.

  • Build relationships with customers.

Make sure your employees have those relationships too. Your name recognition, customer awareness and your reputation are all part of your business value; these are important components of goodwill. Even if your company doesn’t have many hard assets, your customer relationships are key.

  • Diversify your relationships with all stakeholders.

Make sure your largest customer is less than 20% of your total revenues. Don’t be too dependent upon one vendor. Build a strong brand in your community.

  • Maximize your revenues and your bottom line.

The larger your business is, the better chance you have of selling it. A potential buyer also wants you to “show me the cash.” As you know, in the business world cash is king. Be sure you are driving all income to your bottom line. Hire a business coach or broker to recast your financials, showing all discretionary income.

  • Document everything the business does.

Ensure that job descriptions, company standards, operation processes, and strategic plans are documented. Documented records and plans will give buyers a greater sense of security that they will be able to continue your successful business. This will also help your buyer obtain financing.

  • Give your business a “facelift.”

Like real estate, curb appeal is important with businesses too. Clean things up and make sure everything is organized. Painting, cleaning, landscaping, and carpeting can make a big difference. A well-maintained facility will help you to make a good first impression. Even consider making this investment with leased space. Doing these things will express a sense of quality and competence with prospective buyers and your customers too.

  • Get rid of unproductive assets.

Sell off or dispose of unproductive assets or obsolete inventory. Remove from your balance sheet and your premises any assets that are for your personal use.

  • Develop an exit plan.

Look at your business through the eyes of a buyer. Bring in a professional to help you prepare your business well in advance of selling. Doing these things will communicate pride, quality, and strength. Work on these tangible and intangibles in advance, and you will put more money in your pocket now and increase the likelihood of selling later.

Overcome Business Owner Burnout

Unfortunately, many business owners reach a point where they burn out and become “emotionally divorced” from the business before a sale is made. They put themselves in a position of weakness. That’s the worst time to sell! It’s important to work hard on your business until the sale is complete.

Line Up a Team of Key Specialists

Finally, line up a team of key specialists who will help you get the highest value and the most protection when you sell. Hire a good exit planner, attorney, accountant, and a business intermediary to name a few. You only have one chance to sell your business; do it right!

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Adding Value to Your Business

value of your business

How to Increasing the Value of Your Business

If you’re looking to sell a business, it’s helpful if you are constantly adding to the value of your business. In this articles we’ll explore some ways to do that.

A typical business really has two values. The “academic” value is the one determined by a professional business valuation. The other is the “true market” value. The academic value is arrived at with a formula based on the firms’ hard assets, cash flow, industry averages and multiples. The fair market value also takes those items into consideration, but then considers what buyers are really willing to pay.

For many small and mid-sized businesses hard assets like equipment, vehicles, land, buildings, and inventory may be limited. For some small businesses there may be no hard assets at all. Instead, their value is based on intangibles like employees, business processes, customer lists, location and business relationships.

Adding value to your business requires focused efforts. To maximize the fair market value of your business, it’s vital that you capitalize on those intangible assets.

• Develop key employees. Buyers generally aren’t interested in paying a premium if the business relies on you for its success. Remember to delegate responsibility to key employees and involve your key staff members in the decision making process. Demonstrating that your company’s success is reliant on your capable, well-trained employees – not just you – will pay off at the time of sale.

• Document what you do. Be sure that job descriptions, operation processes, and strategic plans are documented. Documented records and plans give a buyer greater comfort that he or she will be able to emulate your successful growth and will help your buyer obtain financing. Also, be sure to keep business records like sales and expense reports, internal profit and loss statements/balance sheet, and tax returns clean and well-organized.

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• Build relationships. Name recognition, customer awareness and your reputation are all part of your business value. Even if your company doesn’t have many hard assets, your relationships are key. Consider diversifying both supplier and customer accounts.

• Improve cash flows. A potential buyer wants to see the “true cash flow.” And, of course, in the business world cash is king. Be sure you are driving all income to the bottom line.

• Review your assets. Sell off or dispose of unproductive assets or unsalable inventory. Remove or buy off any assets that are primarily for your personal use.

• Find and build your niche. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. Buyers will pay a premium for a niche that has barriers to competitive entry.

• Remodel, clean, and organize. What’s the first thing anyone does when they put their home on the market? They spruce things up and make sure everything is in its right place. Yet, in business, that’s rarely considered. A well-maintained facility will get the best price. Even businesses that lease space can benefit from a thorough cleaning and organization to convey a feeling of quality and efficiency.

Keep these important intangible assets in mind if you’re looking to sell your business. They convey a value that financial statements alone do not. If you are looking to sell, make a plan. Start working on the intangibles well in advance of putting your business on the market. For many business owners, they reach a point where they burn out and psychologically retire early, before a sale is made. It’s important to work to keep your focus right until the sale is complete. Make sure that focus is on adding value to your business.

Finally, when the time to put your business on the market arrives, consider lining up key specialists who will help you make the most of the sale – an attorney, an accountant, a small business coach and a business intermediary to name a few. Remember, you only have one chance to sell your business, so you want to do it right.

Questions about our small business coaching services?

Call us at 1-888-504-0777,

or 

Enter your information below to start growing your revenues and profits today…

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