7 Sercret Strategies to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level

Every business starts out as a small business but not every business makes it to a big business status. Here’s what you can do to ensure that yours does.

As an entrepreneur you’re the proud owner of a small business. However, you don’t want your business to remain “small.” You want to see it make it to the status of a big business. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help ensure that your business successfully does this.

Step up Your Marketing “Game

Marketing may not seem enjoyable at the moment, but when you take a closer look at this process. You can find ways of making it more enjoyable. This is important for you to do because marketing is one of the main things you’ll do to propel your business on to bigger and better things – like becoming a bigger business. It’s at the very heart of achieving success. Fortunately, there are many great ways for you to engage in digital marketing today (e.g. hiring a company to do the work for you). What’s important though is being successful here.

Be More Productive

It’s good to have a routine that includes the various tasks you must accomplish each day so your business runs smoothly. The more effective you are at accomplishing these things which you can’t delegate, the more potential there is for your small business to become even more successful. One of the best ways of making this happen is by developing systems to streamline these processes.

Place More Focus on Customer Service

Your business’ continued success also requires you to be able to retain “desirable” clients. Having regular clients means you’ll have income you can depend on. The fact that these clients are happy with the products or services you’ve been providing also means that they’ll provide you with powerful word-of-mouth marketing. This is something that only happens when you become more focused on customer service though. Some ways of doing this are by:

  • Not only asking for feedback but acting on it
  • Quickly and thoroughly addressing any complaints that are brought to your attention
  • Making sure that you’re always available for your clients and accountable to them as well

Learn from Employing Experts and Delegating Tasks to Them

One of the biggest tasks you must face when you want to take your business to the next level is finding the right people with the right skills, experience, and expertise to help you get there. Sometimes this means that you must hire someone who has these characteristics and can help propel your business forward. When this happens, you’ll need to give up your hold on every area of your company and allow them to lead in this area instead. This is known as delegating and it’s a great way to take your day-to-day jobs and have someone else handle them so you can concentrate on other key areas of growing your business.

Another thing you can do when you open up part of your schedule is spending more time learning and developing your business knowledge. Whether this means following through on good practices or staying on top of developments that are happening within your niche, this is time well spent. You can delve into reading books, completing some online training, attending conferences, or networking.

Be Committed to Always Learning Something New

If you want your business to thrive, you must continually want to learn more about things like marketing, the evolution of today’s business environment, and your specific niche too. The use of conference speakers is one of the best ways of making this happen. They can be found online and even in self-paced programs. Of course, there are also other ways of learning new things like through mentoring, reading, and attending various workshops.

Remain Up-to-Date with Technology

Technology is interwoven throughout your business. As a small business owner you’ll benefit from understanding how this technology impacts you and how it changes. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make better decisions for your business. You’ll also be able to save yourself time, money, and other important resources

Have Goals and a Vision That you Assess Regularly

As you work to take your business to the next level, make sure you have some goals to guide you along the way. This is the best way to measure the progress you’re making while also keeping track of the achievements you’ve already accomplished.

Additionally, you need to clarify your focus so you can find ways to push and challenge yourself. The best way of doing this is by creating a vision for where you want your business to be in 2 – 5 years from now. To do this you must first determine what your business’ unique selling point is – what makes your business unique and helps your products or services stand out from your competition. This will help you determine how you will grow your business whether this is by attracting new clients or expanding to include another niche. Of course, a lot of this will depend on your finances. Some viable options here include acquiring a business development loan from your bank and finding an investor to support you. Once you determine these things, you’ll want to make an amendment to your business plan so that it will reflect your vision, goals, and growth assessment strategies. Doing so will also help you plan so that when the unexpected happens you’re ready to deal with it head on.

Conclusion

When you heed these tips, you’ll find yourself well on your way toward success. Fortunately, there’s nothing too hard here. While it may take you a little time, this is time that you’ll want to invest in your business anyway. At least now you’ll know how to invest it in a way that will offer you great paybacks. Take the time to schedule some periods throughout your week in which you can spend time doing these things. While you may want to argue that there isn’t any time for you to do these things, honestly, you’d be surprised to find a few minutes occasionally, in places you least expect it and you’ll appreciate this since the reward is very worthwhile.

Author’s Bio:

Mila Jones is a Senior Business Consultant, with rich experience in the domains of technology consulting and strategy, she works with both established technology brands and market entrants to offer research inputs and insights on leveraging technology as a source of strategic competitive advantage. She is a prolific author and shares her expertise with tech enthusiasts on popular digital publishing platforms. She loves not only to write about several topics but also loves to explore new ideas about Lifestyle, Travel blogs and many more.

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12 Top Secrets to Lead a Stress Free Life

Read these 12 suggestions on how to Lead a Stress Free Life

Today, we live in an era where there’s so much going around us amidst a fast-paced society that it is difficult to not be stressed out. On one hand where we have finances, families, friends, rent, taxes and so many such factors. On the other hand, we are left with very little or almost no control over these factors and situations. Whenever possible, we need to reduce our stress and take on some healthy habits to help in making life go as efficiently as possible. While an idyllic life on the beach without any worries at all may seem to evade many of us, it doesn’t mean that we cannot have a stress-free life. Interested to see how this can be accomplished without going out of your way? Then read on to know about the top secrets to leading a stress-free life.

  1. Create a Systematic Routine

The moment you establish a routine, even the problematic situations become a routine. When we diverge from our daily routines, we tend to bump into a few roadblocks on the way. Whether you defy mental, physical, or dietary challenges, having a systematic routine can help structure the effort in keeping yourself healthy and sane. Irrespective of what is happening in your life, it is important to stick to a routine. This begins with inculcating the habit of sleeping early and waking up on time, dressing up, and stepping out of the house each day. For this, hand-over a plan to yourself or schedule one.

  1. Indulge in “ME” time Everyday

Stress is a crucial issue as we age. The more responsibility we take on as we get older, the less time we’re left with, for ourselves. After all, time is the most valuable commodity anyone possesses

Knowing the art of de-stressing is very important. If you’re already at high-stress levels to start with, it can have a greater toll on your health and managing stressful situations can become much more difficult. Out of all of this, if you can manage some “ME” time on a regular basis, your overall stress levels will eventually lower down. Ensuring that you have great coping mechanisms to handle stressors is crucial to our overall well being as we age.

  1. Prepare a Checklist

Making checklists will help you take things one at a time without over-burdening yourself mentally. When we prepare mental checklists, we tend to look at things we have to do with a broader perspective instead of covering one task at a time. Also, successfully crossing something off our checklist gives a sense of pride and accomplishment which acts as a major motivational factor to handle the next task. This helps in building positive momentum.

  1. Get MOVING, each day!

Even if you are not a huge fan of working out every day, there are many other activities that you could do and are fun such as cycling, taking a stroll at the park, bike riding, etc. Endorphins are authentic stress and pain relievers. Exercising regularly not just contributes to endurance, but also to living a worthy life. Besides, physical exercises help in decreasing the risk of major health complications, including diabetes, heart disease, and cerebral decline. To begin with, try sparing 15-30 minutes 3-4 times a week, and eventually, build from there.

  1. Meditate

A lot of doctors across the globe endorse meditation as a way to get rid of stress. Meditation contributes in feeling alert and refreshed, thereby reducing stress levels, and anxiety. When we are exposed to unexpected stress or threat, we tend to retaliate with a typical “flight or fight” response. This, in other words, is also called an “adrenaline rush” since the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine gets released from the adrenal glands, causing an upsurge in blood pressure levels, faster breathing, and increased pulse rate. And hence, to reduce the emotional and physical consequences of stress, meditative or other relaxation techniques can help with consistent practice.

  1. Work on Developing New Habits

How are you managing stress? By smoking cigarettes, binging onto a bag of chips, or yelling at your partner? None of these habits are productive, nor are they helping you. We need to work on developing healthy coping techniques such as jogging, meditation, yoga, or anything that gets us through problems. If you’ve ever thought about this, the so-called happy hours at the restaurants make for a “not-so-happy” future down the line. If a peg or two and cigarettes are your stress relievers, it’s time that you reconsider your choices. It’s a myth that you’ll feel anxious or go through sleepless nights without consuming alcohol or smoking for days to go.

The thought of quitting the habit for good may appear daunting at first – especially because the withdrawal symptoms can trigger anxiety and irritability. But in that case, you’ll need to find an alternative, something like an E-cig that can help you in the quitting smoking regime. This form of smoking is way less harmful than tobacco-based smoking. But more importantly, e-cigarettes give you the option to cut down on the level of nicotine gradually to eventually lead a zero-nicotine lifestyle successfully. Some people also experience depression, fatigue, and insomnia, but recognizing your withdrawal symptoms and ensuring that you have your friends and family members around can help you in overlooking your temporary irritability.

  1. Fuel Up with a Rich Diet

You do not have to necessarily consume chicken for lunch and a fruit for breakfast, but it is suggested that you fit a robust dose of nutrients at every meal. This begins with focusing on your protein intake since that plays a crucial role in keeping your muscles strong as you get older. Add antioxidant-rich food items to your meals to help ward off and prevent diseases. How you eat is equally important as what you eat. A vast majority of people indulge in consuming junk food or overeat due to stress. Pay more attention to your food than your cellphone, television, or laptop to avoid indigestion.

  1. Break Up with Sleep Disruptors

When it’s time to shut your body down, put down your cell phone and switch off the TV. As we talk about physical and mental health, sleep ranks at the number one position of the list of to-dos. Not exercising and poor eating habits can hinder sleep. Besides, good sleeping is also significant for reaching your flat-belly goals, which is critical because you want to live longer, right?

  1. Eliminate Clutter

Decluttering begins with getting rid of those old jeans that you never wish to wear again, the relations that serve no purpose, and old destructive habits that do not help you in any way. One thing is amply clear – they all need to leave your life, pronto! Getting into the depth of doing work and creating space in ourselves and homes lets in positivity and possibility of things we didn’t notice when we were amidst the clutter.

  1. Breathe Deeply

When you breathe deeply and take full breaths, and accept this as the way you breathe all the time, you can keep the stress and your reaction to stress outside the door.

Breathing wholly and deeply creates a sense of serenity by retrieving the part of nervous system that enables us to digest and rest well.

  1. Keep yourself Hydrated

We often confuse thirst with hunger. By keeping ourselves hydrated, our mind stays alert and our metabolism is improved. If you find yourself running low on energy, grab a glass of water and ensure that you’re not hungry. Replace caffeine, sugary drinks, sparkling water, and sweetened soda with basic mineral water and notice the difference.

  1. Practice Self-Care

Go get your nails done. Get a massage from your favorite spa. Take a bubble bath. Indulge in some movie time. The alternatives are unlimited, but the idea is to rejuvenate and relax. Remind yourself to watch a movie every once in a while, go for a massage every once a month to relax and to take care of yourself. The idea of pushing yourself to do things you love is necessary, but often gets ignored due to time or financial constraints.

Get started today

While most of us think that contentment is a stroke of luck, it’s not true – it is merely the output of personal effort. You have to insist upon it, strive for it, look for it, and fight for it. You need to participate persistently if you wish to have a stress-free life. Live longer and be happy with your life.

Author Bio:

Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and startups to make effective business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well-researched content pieces.

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How To Improve Your Mental Focus At Work

Staying on the ball at work is crucial if you’re going to complete tasks to the best of your ability and stay focused. If you’re feeling fatigued, low in mood, or under the weather, then you simply won’t be able to do your work as well as you usually can. It’s vital to take a day off when you’re ill, but you need to turn things around if you’re continually feeling physically tired and distracted at work. If this chimes with you, then know that you’re not alone and there are methods to try to combat these feelings. Staying mentally focussed is more achievable than you might at first think, our below tips can help you to begin improving how you cope at work and home.

Get Organized

Limit distraction and get organized to clear your mind at work. Firstly, arrange and clean your desk space from all items that don’t hold meaning or purpose. Remove clutter and anything which is broken or looks messy. If you’ve got a pile of paperwork that needs your attention, it’s time to sort it instead of putting it off. Make a concentrated effort to sort all work documentation and keep a well-organized file of all your pay stubs, your invoices, contract documentation and advisory literature. If you have a backlog of paystubs, you can save time and create them using a check stub maker. Avoid wasting your time, and company time, by being distracted by clutter and disorganization.

Avoid Distractions

This is easier said than done, but to stay focussed you have to have the mental power to stay on topic and avoid being distracted. Avoiding distraction might be as simple as working away from your friends in the team and moving to work in a more isolated space in the office. You should not be keeping your personal cell phone with you during work time, and especially during busy times when the most work is required from you. You should try and think of the cause of your distraction, and figure out if it’s because you’re anxious about something.

Stay Hydrated

You cannot afford to shirk on doing precisely this. You must stay hydrated if you’re going to improve your mental focus. Your brain is up to 80% percent water, so you must keep it topped up and ensure you’re drinking enough H2O to replenish your body’s stocks. Staying hydrated encourages you to urinate and pass toxins from your body also. Staying hydrated throughout the day is going to boost your mental focus, so give it a try before you do anything else.

Avoid Mid Afternoon Slump

Pay close attention to your diet, and in particular what you’re eating for lunch and breakfast. What you consume on your lunch break is going to affect your concentration levels after it’s over. If you’re eating a meal or snacks that are high in sugar, then you’re going to experience a sugar crash. Inevitably, what goes up must come down so you’ll hit a grouchy mood when your sugar stocks have depleted, and your blood sugar levels drop. To try and combat this, you should keep your blood sugars at a steady level throughout the day and avoid foods high in sugar and instead eat protein and carbohydrates. For a boost in mental focus, keep it topped up by snacking on things like almonds, carrot sticks, and edamame beans.

 

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Six Ways To Win At Employee Experience

 

 

At the start of January, Forbes contributor, Denise Lee Yohn, shared this quote, followed by its definition. She wrote, “EX is the sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization”.

Employers will start to see a change from “human resources” to a fresher standpoint of HR, seen as “people operations”, in order to take full advantage of employee value. It’s all about your employee’s experience over time – from the application process to the day they leave your business.

 

Think about the employee involvement in four parts: value of work, culture, workplace, and technology.

What makes up the employee’s experience? First, there is value of work, and whether or not your employees find significance in the work they do. Second, there is culture, defined by the way your employees feel when they are at work and all the components that add to this – their collogues, the management, compensation and benefits, etc. Third, there is the workplace feature. Consider the physical workplace that your employees are in and how this permits them to be industrious and creative in doing their job. Lastly, there is the technology element, and giving your employees the utensils to do their job effectively. All of these components make up the employee experience that strengthens HR goals of increasing retention and decreasing the amount of employees who leave.

 

How can you win at the employee experience?

Here are six ways to help employers focus on building a better employee experience.

  1. Revive your onboarding procedures and processes: Make sure your employees feel welcomed on their first day and enthusiastic to start their employment voyage with your company.
  2. Embrace the idea of allowing your employees to work remotely: Technology can be utilized almost anywhere. Take advantage of the machines and devices that allow your employees to work from home or different locations.
  3. Foster an environment that is inclusive: Check in with your employees to make them feel like they’re part of the decision-making process. You want your employees to feel like they have a voice and can be heard.
  4. Start a social committee: Inspire your employees to start or join a social committee and support them with it – this is a great way to build company culture and keep them happy.
  5. Celebrate milestones: Mark your calendar with your employees’ key milestones and show that you recognize and appreciate them.
  6. Welcome feedback: Try and gather information from your employees on job satisfaction and have them identify what they love, like and dislike about the organization.

There are a number of ways to focus on employee experience. There is no better way to create a hospitable experience than by incorporating these six elements. Our advice to employers is to start by thinking about the four parts that make up the employee experience and what will be the most cost-effective and rewarding to both your workforce and to your business.

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