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Management

Business New Year’s Resolutions You Need To Keep

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business person leapingAre you all ready for 2018 to begin? It’s just a few weeks away so if you haven’t already started to think about the new year, now is definitely the time to do so. For many CEOs and entrepreneurs, a new year is a great chance to freshen up their business and set themselves some new goals and targets. Think this is something that you need to do? Well, how about setting you and your business some useful business-related New Year’s resolutions?

When it comes to setting New Year’s resolutions in a professional capacity, you should make sure they are challenging, yet achievable. If you try and stretch yourself too far with them, then there might be no way you could ever keep the resolutions for the entire year, which could easily frustrate you.

Not sure what kinds of New Year’s resolutions to set yourself and your business this year? Here are some that might inspire you.

Improve Your Digital Presence

If you haven’t been that active on social media or you have been meaning to upgrade your company website for some time, then now is the time to focus on that. These days, it is incredibly important that all businesses are very active on social media for a number of reasons. First of all, it can greatly increase your reach and help you get more clients and customers onto your books. It is also a part of your brand and the persona that you give your company on the likes of Facebook and Twitter will affect how the public view your company. It’s also a good idea to upgrade your website so that all of your SEO is up to date and there is plenty of web traffic going to your site from search engines.

Up Your Advertising Campaigns

Think your advertising campaigns and strategies could do with a spot of improving? If so, that’s another project you could work on once 2018 is here. If you don’t have one already, it’s a good idea to incorporate a PPC strategy as part of your campaigns as they can direct even more people to your site from their search engine results. It’s also worth considering branching out with your advertising too. For example, if you already use social media and many online methods, why not think about moving into some traditional methods, such as radio and TV?

Invest In Yourself

Many entrepreneurs and business owners are so invested in their company that they can often forget about themselves and their personal success. So, next year, it’s worth taking a couple of months out to focus on yourself and invest in your own success. For instance, if you have any ideas of personal projects that you might like to carry out, it’s a good idea to try them out for size. Many of our personal achievements and successes overlap with our professional life, so there might be plenty of skills and experience you can amass in your personal projects that can be easily transferred to your professional life and business.

Start A Mentorship Program

Why not invest in your employees as well next year? One way you can do this is by creating a new mentor program within your company. This is a great way to help improve your onboarding of new hires. For instance, as part of the mentoring program, you could introduce a buddy system. Each of your new hires will be teamed up with a “buddy” who has been working at the company for a while. This way, they then have their very own point of contact who can help them get to know the ropes and how things work in the company.

Charge Your Worth

If you think up your own prices and offer this price list up to all your new clients, it’s worth reviewing how much you are charging. Are you sure that you are charging what you and your work are worth? If you haven’t reviewed your prices or pricing plan for a few years, it’s worth taking another look as various factors could mean that you are now charging too little for your services. Taking a look online at what people who offer similar services to you can help you figure out exactly what you are worth. Don’t worry about increasing your prices in the new year – many companies do so and do it without putting off any of their loyal and long-term clients.

Improve Communication Skills

I’m sure that there are a few different skills that you might need as an entrepreneur or CEO but are quite weak with. After all, we can’t be fantastic at everything can we?! So, it’s worth thinking about the skills that you are weakest with and work on them throughout the new year. One skill that many people seem to have trouble with is communication. As there are now many different forms of communication that CEOs need to use, there is a chance that you aren’t quite adept with one. For example, you might not be too skilled in public speaking or you might struggle writing formal emails.

Work On Cash Flow

Lots of companies struggle with cash flow issues. Many people think that these kinds of issues only affect relatively new businesses and startups, but that really isn’t the case. Even if your company has been trading for a few years, there is a chance that certain mistakes could prove problematic for your cash flow! So, it’s worth organizing a couple of meetings with your accountant or financial department so that you can start to figure out solutions to ease your cash flow. There are often very simple solutions you can put into place, such as shortening the payment terms on your invoices. It’s a good idea to ask your finance team for advice as they will be full of great ideas that can help improve things.

So, do you have a few ideas for business New Year’s resolutions? Fingers crossed you keep yours for the whole year!

Management

4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace

food

foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.

Conclusion

Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

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Management

How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

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Management

4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.

Visuals

One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.

Whiteboard

When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.

Conclusion

These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

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