5 Things You Need To Do To Set Up Your New Year Vision

If you want to inspire your team and connect with your customers, make a company vision. This is a clear statement about your business and gives you direction when you get overwhelmed or confused. Follow this simple guide to create your own unique company vision.

1. Identify Your Goals

Identify clear and measurable goals that you want your business to accomplish. Think about ways that you can accomplish these goals. You may place these goals in your mission statement. Consider how you will measure whether you have accomplished these goals and what metrics you will use to make this determination.

Some goals that you may have for your business for the next year may include:

· Provide a solution to a consumer problem

· Increase sales by 25%

· Be recognized as a leader in the industry

· Reduce turnover by 15%

· Be a workplace that motivates your employees and keeps them engaged

After you list your goals, consider each one and your emotional reaction to them. If they do not make you feel impassioned, revise your goals.

2. Consider Your Company’s Values

Examine your business and your own ideals to determine the values of your business. Do you pride yourself on “good communication” or “innovation?” Is it your mission for your product to be accessible to most of the market? Examining the values you want for your company may lead to you realizing that these values are not currently echoed in your business.

Your core values are what your company lives by and continue even as the business grows. Core values may include:

· High customer service

· Hard work

· Individual productivity

· Creativity

· Innovation

· Integrity

· Accessibility

· Teamwork

· Diversity

· Passion

· Courage

· Corporate responsibility

· Socialization

3. Examine Core Questions

To develop a concrete mission for your business, it is important to analyze the strengths, weaknesses and characteristics of the business. Answer core questions, such as:

· What is the current size of your business?

· How large do you want your business to grow?

· What is different about your business?

· How do you measure success?

· What does your business do?

· Which team members are necessary to accomplish your goals?

· What is the business owner’s feelings about the business?

· How do others view the business?

· What is the most important thing the business offers to customers?

· How do people feel about working for the company?

· Who is your target market?

· What is the best part of your business?

The answers to these questions can help you develop your company’s mission. Imagine you are in the future and what you want your business to look like. In addition to answering these questions now, imagine answers for what you would want to say about your business next year and even a few years from now. This information will provide you with the foundation for your mission statement.

4. Prepare and Share

Now that you have fully reflected on your company’s mission, you can prepare it. Keep your vision statement clear and concise. Share you vision with management and members of the organization who will communicate it.

5. Get Feedback

Ask for feedback from management and other members of the organization. Make sure the vision connects with your team members. Forbes reports that employees who do not find their company’s vision meaningful have an average engagement score of 16 percent while those who feel engaged have scores 18 percent higher than average. Revise your vision so that it resonates with your team.

Your company vision will provide you with direction for your business. These steps can help you quickly make a company vision that your customers and employees connect with.

Human Connections in a Digital World

Human Connections in a Digital World


By: Ramon Ray


 


The impact of digital technology has been overwhelming. Everyday interactions have been turned over to digital exchanges. But, people are quickly realizing that they miss the human connection. In a world of numbers and efficiencies, we talk a lot about automation. But, there is one thing that should not be entirely automated, and that is your interactions with your customers. Technology should be implemented to enhance the consumer-business relationship, not replace it.

How to Write Your Business Plan, 2019 Style

By Tim Berry, Guest Blogger

Published: December 13, 2018 Updated: December 20, 2018

Are you thinking about starting a business in 2019? This is a good time to go over the essentials of how to write, review, and manage your business plan. Like so much else in business, the business plan has evolved with technology and changing business standards.

I have dealt with business planning as a main focus since the 1980s. It’s still my main focus, but what works, and best practices, are always changing. This post is about the latest in business planning, not the standard or traditional.

 SMART Goals

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Most healthy businesses work towards collections of goals. A good business plan revolves around SMART goals.

  • Some of these are obvious: sales, costs, expenses, keeping cash in the bank.
  • Some are specific to your business, such as, repeat customers, renewals, churn, cost of customer acquisition, leads, close ratio, events, trips, whatever.
  • Some are what I like to call milestones, things that have to happen, such as opening the new location, refreshing the website, reaching some number of customers, launching a new version, an ad campaign, filling a team vacancy, and so forth.

I want to emphasize specific and measurable in this context. We business owners often imagine goals like “great customer service” or “being the best of breed.” Those generalities are not specific, not measurable, and not very useful. Actual management takes tracking, comparing results to expectations, and dealing with actions and causes. All of which should be part of a business plan and the process of frequent review and revision.

Also, attainable. I dealt with business plans as an expensive consultant first, for a couple of decades; and then as business owner for another couple of decades. I have seen first-hand that unrealistic goals don’t actually work for getting things done. They reduce incentive. In my experience, people identity with goals they can reach.

Planning, Not Just a Plan

As you do your business plan, think not of the old-fashioned formal plan but rather the planning, a process of setting goals and tracking progress. It’s not just a single plan, but rather an ongoing process that starts with a first lean business plan and keeps that lean plan refreshed and up to date using regular tracking, plan review, and revision.

This frame of mind makes the business plan easier to do because it’s always more like a latest draft than a finished product. Don’t postpone life or business for planning. Always be planning. Start with a simple plan that just covers your main goals or what you focus on first. Don’t sweat making it perfect. Just get it started. There is no such thing as a perfect business plan, and the closest anybody comes is a plan that helps you manage by laying out goals, tracking results, and highlighting the progress and problems along the way.

Whatever your initial plan, make sure you revisit every month. Review progress, analyze results, and make course corrections.

Do Only What You’ll Use

The web, blogs, business books, and business courses are full of recommended business plan outlines and recommended contents. The SBA site hosting this post has several. Common recommendations include summary, company description, product or service, management team, exit strategy, marketing, financing and so forth.

What I recommend is that you develop your own plan contents based on what you are actually going to use, track, and follow through with to optimize your business. For example:

  • The SMART goals that drive the business. You might group them into goals related to different elements of the business and the traditional plan such as marketing, sales, product development, administration. Call them milestones if you want to, or deadlines, projects, steps … get them written into your plan so you can track and manage.
  • Essential numbers. You can’t manage cash flow without managing expectations, budgets, and actual performance on sales, costs, expenses, assets, liabilities, and cash flow. This site and the web and bookstores and online software offerings are full of help for business owners who want to understand, forecast, and manage their business numbers. You don’t have to know accounting or even bookkeeping to understand what drives your cash flow and keeps your business in good financial health.
  • Key strategic and tactical decisions you need to keep in mind and regularly review and, when necessary, revise. Strategy, for example, may not meet the full criteria of SMART goals; but strategy is focus, and focus is good for business. You don’t have to have pompous text in a large plan to summarize your business strategy. You can use a simple bullet-point list to remind yourself about choices you make regarding what you sell, to what market, and so forth. Similarly, tactics are choices you make to execute strategy, such as price, deliver, channel, configuration, financing, and so forth. Find the SMART goals hiding in your tactics and write them out a part of your plan. Then you can start managing with tracking progress and reviewing and revising as necessary.

In addition, it’s important to avoid doing the traditional parts of a business plan that you won’t use. If you aren’t doing a plan to describe your business to outsiders such as bankers or investors, then don’t bother to describe in text what you already know. Leave out descriptions like management team or exit strategy and just keep the specific trackable attainable goals that drive those concepts. 

A Practical Summary

In brief, here’s how to put this in practice, for your business, during the National Do A Business Plan month of December:

  • Write a lean business plan, simple bullet-point lists and tables, to gather together the SMART goals you need to track, essential numbers, and key concepts. Do only what you’ll use. Do nothing for outsiders unless you need to show a plan to outsiders.
  • Use whatever outline and contents list you like. When in doubt, I recommend what I call a lean business plan that includes strategy and tactics as bullet-point lists, plus a list of milestones and metrics, and essential business numbers including sales, spending, and cash flow.
  • Make those lists and tables full of specifics you can track. And then track those numbers regularly.
  • Schedule ahead to make sure you take an hour or two at least once a month to review progress, identify successes and failures, analyze results, and make changes.

4 Things To Do To Get Back On Track For 2019

Did you know that the tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates back to 153 B.C.?

Yes, this has been a thing for quite some time.

For businesses, what you want for the new year should be kept in mind as January arrives. After all, it’s a good time to make the necessary improvements for your business to reach optimal success. Everyone else is doing it!

Here are four ways you get your business back on track for the new year:

1. Set SMART goals

Science finds that 92% of people that set goals don’t achieve them. That also means 8% do reach their goals.

It’s worth pondering what the 8% are doing right as we approach the new year. Hint: The secret, according to researchers, is setting SMART goals, which are:

  • S – Specific: Goals should be simple, significant, and sensible.
  • M – Measurable: Being able to track and see progress makes the goal meaningful and motivating.
  • A – Achievable: Goals should be agreed upon by your team and actually attainable (while still challenging).
  • R – Relevant: By making goals results-based, realistic, and resourced, they become reasonable and the team takes ownership of them.
  • T – Time-bound: When goals are time-based, it creates motivation to reach deadlines.

2. Get cash flow under control

82% of businesses fail due to poor cash flow management, according to a US Bank study. Cash flow should be something you prioritize.

Cash squeezes can come for a number of reasons, whether it be the ebbs and flows of business, clients not paying on time, or unexpected expenses like repairs to your office or store. While some are unavoidable, you can set up better ways to get money flowing into your business.

For instance, you can increase your odds of getting paid by clients on time by following up after an invoice and offering small incentives for quick payment. Chances are with gentle reminders and the potential for a discount, the client will pay you faster.

What you can also do is create a cushion for yourself by having additional financing options, such as a line of credit, which is convenient because you can tap into the credit line when you need and you only pay interest on what you use.

3. Reassess needs for the new year

Of course, every business has different priorities. Yet one thing we all want is success.

Michael Glauser, Executive Director of the Clark Center for Entrepreneurship at Utah State University, writes that every business must have the following things to achieve success:

  • genuine need
  • credible experience
  • adequate resources
  • buying customers
  • sound business model

Step back and analyze each of those. Rank them according to which ones require the most improvement, and then plan and act accordingly.

For example, if adequate resources are your primary shortcoming (which is common for many), look for inexpensive funding. There are lots of preferred rate loans out there. Business credit cards often come with 0% intro APR deals. And merchant cash advances solve short-term business needs. See what you can qualify for, and get the money you need to jump-start the business in the new year.

4. Explore ways to boost revenue

Nothing solves business problems like more revenue entering through the doors. It’s always worth considering how you can increase sales and profits.

Some ideas you may not have considered include:

  • Diversifying revenue sources: Even seasonal businesses can try this (i.e. a landscaping company could sell Christmas trees and other holiday plants in the winter).
  • Making strategic partnerships: Consider partnering with local businesses operating in adjacent markets to drive more sales. Explore online cooperations as well.
  • Entering new markets: Worldwide connectivity and an array of marketing tools and vendors make it easier than ever to enter new markets, even lucrative overseas markets.

Winning in the new year and beyond

From enhancing your marketing strategy to bolstering your team with experienced employees, there are lots of ways you can get on the track in the new year. The key is being smart about how you set goals and honest about what your needs are. If you plan accordingly, as well as take advantage of all opportunities out there, you’ll set your company up for success for this year and beyond.

2019 Labor Law Updates

2018 was quite a year in employment law especially for employers of hourly workers.  The trends of 2018 will continue through 2019 including Department of Homeland Security worksite investigations, gun legislation, tipped wage changes, and the continued state trends of legalizing marijuana.  

ICE Raids

There were almost 7000 worksite investigations under the Department of Homeland Security in 2018.  Almost monthly, there were headline stories about Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids of worksites where over 100 officers arrested more than 100 employees per location.  Construction, farming, and the restaurant industry appear to be the clear targets of worksite raids and investigations.

We expect these raids to continue in 2019.  It is important now more than ever to ensure that your I-9s meet government standards.  Be sure you review this quick guide  about how to accurately complete an I-9.  

Should ICE arrive at your worksite here are a few quick tips: 

  1. Request that officers identify themselves.
  2. Request to see the officer’s warrant.  If they do not have a warrant, contact legal counsel immediately.  
  3. Assign an employee to accompany ICE officers through your worksite.  
  4. Should any employees be detained, contact their next of kin immediately.  
  5. Be sure that you update your emergency contacts for all employees so that you are able to notify an employee’s family if they are detained.

Find more tips about your rights as an employer here.  

Tipped Wages

In 2018 rules about payment of tipped wages were updated clarifying that supervisory employees may not share their employee’s tips.  The key changes include:

  • Employers and management may not keep any portion of an employee’s tip.  
  • If an employer pays tipped employees full minimum wage, tip pooling is allowed between tipped and traditionally non-tipped (back-of-house) employees.  
  • Check your state law and Homebase’s recent article for more information on tipped wages and tip pooling regulations.

Firearm Policies

Although there was continued increase of gun violence and legislation debate about updating gun laws, before you revamp your business’s firearm possession policy, check your state law.  Though employers can ban guns in the workplace, almost half of states have a law protecting an individual’s right to store a gun in their personal vehicle. A company policy that does not allow firearms on company premises including a parking lot may be in violation of your state law.  

Legalization of Marijuana

Michigan became the 10th state to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older, joining Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state and Washington, D.C.  Missouri and Utah legalized medical marijuana, bringing the number of states to approve medical marijuana use to 32, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Employers don’t have to tolerate someone being high at work. But before taking action against someone who uses medical marijuana, consider whether there is a reasonable accommodation.  Whether employers will have to accommodate medical marijuana is currently being debated in the courts. It is likely that in 2019 we will get a definitive answer on the issue but tread lightly in the meantime.  Read more about this issue here.

State Trends

At the state level, several states passed laws related to paid sick leave, mandatory retirement accounts, and anti-harassment updates.  Here are a few of the highlights for upcoming 2019 State Laws to look out for.

2019 Connecticut Labor Laws

Connecticut passed legislation requiring employers with 5 or more employee to provide employees with a retirement account. https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/Pages/Connecticut-to-Implement-Mandatory-IRA-Program.aspx.  Under the Connecticut statute, eligible employees who do not receive pensions or have 401(k) plans from their employers will be automatically enrolled in the state IRA plan.   

2019 California Labor Laws

Notable updates in California for 2019 include an expansion of lactation protections and anti-harassment training requirements.

  • Employers must provide lactating employees with a private area to express milk that is not a bathroom.  
  • Employers with five or more employees must provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter.

2019  New York Labor Laws

New York City updated its requirements for communicating anti-harassment protocols to employees.    

2019 Texas Labor Laws

The City of San Antonio now requires 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked for employees within the city of San Antonio.  

2019 Washington Employment Laws

The state of Washington requires employers to provide 12 weeks of paid time-off for the birth/adoption of a child, or for the serious medical condition of the employee or the employee’s family members.

For more information or clarification on these employment law trends, employers should contact legal counsel.  This article is not legal advice.

Carol Wood Carol Wood is the People Operations Director at Homebase. At Homebase, Carol focuses on providing thought leadership, tips and tricks, and scalable HR solutions for the 60,000 businesses that Homebase helps to make managing hourly work easier. Prior to Homebase, Carol focused on helping small and medium businesses navigate the tricky waters of human resources, working with companies across the retail, food service, oil and gas, and healthcare industries through her roles as HR Director at Fuddruckers and Achilles Group, a Houston-based HR consulting firm.

4 Simple Ways to Wrap-Up 2018

The end of the year can often be hectic as you try to bring in last-minute sales and take steps to reduce your tax liability before it is too late. All businesses need to wrap up by the end of the year, but this process can be calm and simple if you follow these four simple ways to wrap up your business this year.

1. Take Inventory

It is important to take inventory to take stock of how many business assets you currently have. Taking inventory helps you determine how much capital is tied to your products. For goods-based businesses, you may have inventory in multiple categories, such as finished products, products used to make new items or work-in-process items.

Even if your business does not sell goods, you still need to take inventory to account for your assets. You need to keep track of computers, office furniture and other office equipment. Taking inventory can also help you evaluate if you need to replace some of these assets and if it is best to invest before the end of the year so that you can factor in these purchases with your taxes.

2. Complete End-of-Year Accounting Tasks

You want to be able to give your accountant an accurate picture of your financial situation, so it is important to complete end-of-year accounting tasks, such as:

· Reconciling your accounts – Reconcile all bank and credit card statements. Do the same for loans, lines of credit and payroll liability.

· Review fixed assets – Review your financials and ensure that assets are accurately identified. Fixed assets are usually worth $1,000 or more and expected to last for more than one year.

· Verify employee information – Soon tax forms will be going out, so it is important that you have up-to-date information for all of your employees. Have employees review their last W-4 form and make any corrections to their name, address, tax id or other information.

· Identify all 1099 vendors – Review the payments that you have made to vendors and independent contractors. You must provide a 1099 form to those you have paid $600 or more to that are not corporations. Ensure you have a W-9 for all such individuals.

· Check accounts payable and receivable accounts – Run an aging report to determine which accounts are still open. Try to get final payment before the end of the year and pay off vendors whom you owe.

3. Thank Your Employees

The end of the year is a great time to show appreciation for your employees and to recognize all that they have done throughout the year. Don’t worry about having to pay huge employee bonuses if you can’t afford it. Studies indicate that praise from management was the most motivating factor for performance for most workers.

Take time to write cards that express your gratitude and recognition for a job well done or verbally recognize staff during a meeting. You can also provide small gifts that are personalized to their interests, a day off or an award.

4. Reflect on the Year

The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on your business. Consider what goals you had for the year and whether you accomplished them. If you did not, identify the challenges that prevented you from accomplishing them and how you can refine your goals for next year. Consider important achievements you made this year and what you learned. Focus on two to five goals that you want to accomplish for the next year. Put this information in writing so that you can revisit it next year and keep yourself on track.

Now that you have thought about end-of-year tasks, you can focus on making sure you have enough capital to pursue the opportunities of the next year. Usher in the new year with confidence in your leadership and your business.

What to Know About Buying a Franchise

Getting the rights to a franchise business can be tough. But, as I’ve learned talking to franchisees, it’s really just the beginning — there’s a lot to learn, especially if it’s your first time operating a business on your own.

We spoke to Matthew Marcom, a Territory Development manager and franchisee of Pelican’s Snoballs about the advice he’d give to someone who’s just secured their first franchise agreement.

1. Start a List

This should be less a business thing and more a personal discipline thing but I think the running to-do list is a life saver, especially in owner-operated businesses. I keep errands, missed communications, and things I need to buy on mine and that keeps me running smoothly. This not only helps you keep your business running but can help build your reputation as reliable when you don’t forget to send that quote or return that call because you saw it on your list! Take full advantage of technology too with reminders and lists synchronized across all of your devices.

2. Make Existing Franchise Store Callbacks

You likely made some calls to existing store owners or folks already in a franchise during your discovery process to see if the business or franchise model was right for you. Call those same people back, or at least the ones you may have connected with. Ask them more specific questions now that you have been bathed in paperwork and are “on the inside” now. In many cases, you’ll find the wealth of knowledge flows much more freely once you are part of the team.

3. Nail Down the Infrastructure Items Early

I’ve come across many first-time franchise buyers who are also first-time business owners. In many cases, they handle business needs as they pop up, given they already have so much to do. Try and be proactive in anticipating what you’ll need behind the scenes of your business. A good example would be a bookkeeping person or tool; you could hire a CPA or try to learn QuickBooks and do it yourself. You’ll also need an HR tool to help with hiring and scheduling; we use Homebase and have found it to be a diverse tool for our needs. Some folks don’t think to have a good lawyer in their contacts or a payroll company ready in the wings. These positions will inevitably change hands as you try each choice on but planning ahead instead of as you need them gives you time to pick the best fit for long-term success.

4. Keep the Upfit Slim

When up-fitting a space for a new franchise, try to meet the branding requirements of the franchise in a modest way. You can use less expensive finishes or build-outs that still please the franchise concept without spending that extra money. This will keep your overhead lower, pay-off date closer, and your long-term success more likely. Zero in on the core needs of the franchise and the target customer and that will keep you from getting carried away in the extra $ items you may or may not be able to afford or need.

Ravi Dehar Ravi works on the marketing team at Homebase. In the past, Ravi has also worked at Yelp, SeatMe, and Google, helping local businesses save time and money.

How to ask for a raise or a promotion

How to ask for a raise or a promotion actually has an answer so simple it’s often overlooked — and, understandably, people tend to overcomplicate it.  There aren’t magic words, but 3 simple actions work almost every time, regardless of the type of job you’re working at now or the next step in your career you’d like to take:

1.  Ask your manager for help. 

2.  Do what they say.

3.  Follow up.  

Ask your manager for help

Managers are looking for employees that demonstrate self-leadership, accountability, and take initiative.  When an employee takes the initiative to ask their manager for help getting to the next level, managers want to help. A good manager is always on the lookout for employees that are committed to improving, so take advantage of that.

Follow your manager’s advice

The second step can be harder.  Then it’s on you to follow through and deliver on their suggestions.  What I wish every employee understood is that to succeed professionally, your manager’s perception is critical, whether you agree with it or not. If you disagree with the feedback, let your boss know you are working to internalize their feedback and could they provide specific examples to illustrate.

Don’t forget to follow-up

Then follow up.  Every few weeks or so, check in with your manager and ask them for more feedback about the steps you have been taking.  Ask specifically what is going well and what is not.  Inviting a manager to give negative feedback let’s the manager feel comfortable enough to get the criticism off their chest.  Even though it may be hard to hear, you need the information so you can continue to improve your perception in their eyes.  It’s this last step that imprints upon a manager that you are promotion material even more so than actually delivering on the feedback.  When an employee is brave enough to ask for negative feedback, the manager feels this is an employee  they can trust, that listens to them, and has great potential.

Last, keep in mind you should always schedule these discussions at a time that is convenient for your manager.  Avoid off-the-cuff and unplanned conversations.  You won’t appear as professional to your manager if you spring this type of conversation on them.

Carol Wood Carol Wood is the People Operations Director at Homebase. At Homebase, Carol focuses on providing thought leadership, tips and tricks, and scalable HR solutions for the 60,000 businesses that Homebase helps to make managing hourly work easier. Prior to Homebase, Carol focused on helping small and medium businesses navigate the tricky waters of human resources, working with companies across the retail, food service, oil and gas, and healthcare industries through her roles as HR Director at Fuddruckers and Achilles Group, a Houston-based HR consulting firm.

5 Ways How to Keep Up Team Morale During The Holidays

The holidays can be a hectic and stressful time, both in and out of work, with preparations, promotions, targets and deadlines, organization, shopping and social engagements… and there’s no denying that most people would rather not be at work at all! But the festive season actually offers some excellent opportunities to boost morale, bring your team together, and encourage positive engagement – a recipe for maximum productivity. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Recognize and Reward Employees

It’s hardly surprising that people feel more positive, engaged and motivated when they are recognized for their effort or achievements. Especially over the holidays, it’s the simple things like this that can give your team a boost as they feel valued, encouraged and all the more festive!

Something as quick and easy as a verbal thanks, recognition or appreciation can make someone’s day and give them the motivation they need to power through that to-do list. A personal holiday card for every employee is another nice touch, thanking them for their hard work and showing that you notice them and appreciate what they do.

You could also think about giving a gift, reward or bonus for consistent hard work or a job well done, which is sure to go down particularly well during the holiday season!

2. Get Festive – and Free!

 

It might be tempting to try and ignore the festive season because there’s so much that needs to get done, and you don’t want to remind your employees that they could be somewhere else! But acknowledging and celebrating the holidays within work time, through small but fun and creative activities – costumes, competitions, sweepstakes, or festive breakouts – is a great way to keep up morale and build team spirit.

 

If you’re asking employees to work long days and stay late over the busy holiday season, it’s not a massive stretch to throw a free lunch and/or dinner into the bargain, too. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this can make to employee motivation, and it’s another great way to bring you all together as a team.

 

3. Keep Communication Strong

 

With most employees taking at least some time off over the holidays, as well as the rush of seasonal promotions and deadlines, clear and consistent communication is more vital than ever. This might mean scheduling a few extra meetings over the peak season, just to make sure that everyone is happy with what needs to be done, and where their own responsibilities lie.

Be clear about who will be in the office and who will be on leave, delegate responsibilities, and give plenty of advanced notice about the deadlines that need to be met. When people are informed and kept in the loop, they are more confident and positive in their work, and it keeps your business goals on track at the same time.

 

4. Encourage Flexible Hours

 

Even if it’s not the way you usually do things, encouraging flexible working over the holidays is a sure fire way to keep your team engaged and positive. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is more important than ever at this time of year, and will be at the forefront of people’s minds.

You’re all likely to have extra family commitments or occasions to accommodate into your schedule, as well as errands that need running and shopping that you need to get done before closing, so flexi-time makes it easier for you and your team to manage yourselves effectively, while still fulfilling work responsibilities and meeting deadlines. This freedom and flexibility not only helps to boost morale but also keeps stress levels at bay as people are able to balance their various commitments.

5. Make Space for Relaxation, Health & Wellness

 

We are most focused and productive in our work when we are healthy and refreshed in ourselves. That’s why it’s a great idea – for you, for your team and for your business – to provide opportunities to step away from the desk, switch off, and revitalize the body and mind in a different way. You could arrange for an instructor to come in and lead a short fitness or yoga class to break up the day, organize regular meditation and wellness sessions, or encourage the team to take a walk around the block rather than sitting in a meeting room.

When you feel positive and motivated, this overflows to your team, and when your people are boosted, engaged and in the festive mood, your customers and clients will pick up on this too. Instead of grinding away in a workplace full of tired, stressed and resentful employees, why not explore a few simple ways of giving yourself and your team permission to embrace the holiday spirit!

Social Media Efficiency: Getting Better Results Faster

Most businesses now use social media, but for a small business it can be overwhelming to try to get it all done – especially when you’re the one running the business. Social media can become a huge time-suck and make you feel like you’re spending lots of time without getting the results you want.


 


How do you avoid this?