Vision refers to something that goes beyond the ability to plan for the next month, and far beyond the normal day to day routine of your business. It’s the ability to project the values and role of your business in your community into the future, and knowing what those values are. Successful businesses are often able to grow not only because of the practical business knowledge put into their development, but also because the vision behind the business is big enough to grow beyond being important to a single entrepreneur and involve a whole team, then eventually a whole community. Even if your vision is to simply create a place in your neighborhood that will be there for future generations to appreciate, that vision should factor in to the way that you manage your business and set goals in the short term. What is the vision that you have for your business? Where do you see yourself in five years from now? If the answer is

Learning to run a business is one thing, and learning to be a small business owner is another, entailing another level of personal commitment, ability to balance work and home life as well as the ability to constantly challenge oneself to grow. When you are your own boss there is no waiting around for orders from on high, you must be motivated to create your own agenda and set your own ability to grow in motion lest you wind up getting nothing accomplished. For this reason, small business owners should learn to trust themselves and value their own perspective as the guides of their businesses and employees, but far from meaning that they should shut out feedback from other channels, business owners should instead look at opportunities to gain other perspectives as ones that will allow them to strengthen their own with the benefit of viewpoints that they can contrast against their own perceptions and experiences. There are three main perspectives that you should seek to

According to familydoctor.org, some of the symptoms of dehydration include sleepiness, confusion, headaches and dizziness, all symptoms which have the potential to sneak up on you should you not recognize or respond to the cues your body gives you when it requires more fluids. When in the course of running a business, it’s often the case that business owners will be preoccupied to a point that they may forget to take care of themselves, opting to miss meals or eat nutritionally poor quality food, forget to exercise and skip water for coffee, which due to caffeine content can actually contribute to dehydration. In order to stay focused on the many tasks you may have during the day while remaining hydrated, business owners can use the following tips in order to ensure that they are getting around the 6-8 8oz glasses recommended per day. Drink water when you feel like eating. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger, and for those who may be trying

In a great article from Forbes, some tips for female entrepreneurs were looked at provided by  Maria Coyne, Executive VP of Business Banking at Key Bank. One of the tips that rang particularly true was the second, which suggested forming an advisory group, wherein entrepreneurs can offer each other advice, shared resources and expertise in the nuances of managing industry specific tasks from a shared perspective. Along with tips that included a call to female entrepreneurs to familiarize themselves with the basic math that goes into managing a business and keeping a clean balance sheet, the suggestion to form advisory groups is stronger than one might initially think. Business owners who have mentors have been shown to benefit tangibly, through being able to avoid common mistakes, gain insight on problems that otherwise would have taken them much more time and resources to troubleshoot. How can you begin to form an advisory group? The first step to creating an advisory group is to network with other female

  Running a small business is a marathon, not a sprint, so avoiding fatigue and burn out is essential in order to allow yourself  to effectively manage your endeavors. Fatigue isn’t something that you plan for, it often arrives in the middle of important work, when you have been pushing yourself for a while and finally receive signals from your mind and body that are hard to ignore. Combating fatigue is possible through long and short term strategies, but in order to prevent it as much as possible, a combination of both is recommended. Balance is an essential principle in both management and life, and without it, you run the risk of putting both yourself and your business into a corner. 1) Get the sleep that you need. The amount of sleep that a person needs each night to be effective can vary, but the commonly accepted “optimal” number of sleep hours per day is eight for an average person. You may or may not be

Football season is back, and while some people are busy not caring at all, others are looking at brackets and dusting off their foam fingers. Whether you fall into either camp, if you are a business owner, you should be open to the lessons that you can learn from the strategy and athleticism that goes into the game. There are many sports metaphors out there that can be directly applied to life, partially because of the fact that sports revolves around the idea of overcoming obstacles through improving yourself and learning how to work with others, which happens to be the same things that lead to success in business. No matter what the obstacle, your whole team needs to know that game plan. In the football season, one of the reasons that the action is compelling is because of the potential for major upsets when one team beats another, more heavily favored team. Often, the reason that an underdog is able to prevail is through planning a strategy

Balance in a small business lifestyle can often go conspicuously missing, especially during the Fall, when the change of seasons and the impending rush of the holiday season means that business owners are very likely to get sucked deeper and deeper into their business priorities to the detriment of their other commitments, both to themselves and to their loved ones. While the idea of balance may come off as slightly conceptual, in reality it is not difficult to identify where it comes into play for business owners and when it is being neglected in favor of a lifestyle that is overly weighted in one direction. Why is balance an important element for small business owners? Balance isn’t only useful in a business context, it is a principle which can help improve anyone’s ability to focus and achieve their goals. When work piles up and a business owner has no choice but to dig in and work longer hours to get it done, they are increasing the

Fitness and business don’t have to be diametrically opposed, but for many, that is the way things seem like they have to be. Long hours in the office and commute times mean that once the day is done it can be way too late for any thought of hitting the gym to seem appealing. Diet-wise, people working in the office can fall into some bad habits, going for food that is quick, cheap and convenient, but often nutritionally poor. While it may seem like adapting better lifestyle choices and getting e just won’t mesh with your lifestyle, the reality is that there are plenty of things that business owners can fit in to their routines that can make a difference over time, adding up to improved physical and mental well-being. Take 10 to give 20. Push-ups are an exercise that can do wonders for improving arm and core strength, and the beauty of them is that you literally only need your arms in order to push

The Fall is just around the corner and despite all the reasons to love it, from the holidays, the seasonal produce (and products), and the simple beauty of the season, the flu that can come with it can be a real drag on business owner’s ability to be productive. Whether you get sick or one of your employees, the impact of missing work days can be quite palpable, especially when it forces you and your team to be productive while short staffed. Health should be considered as an asset to your business, both in terms of physical health and mental wellness. Get vaccinated. Getting your flu shot is a simple and effective way to avoid getting sick during peak flu season. A vaccine can be gotten at your doctor’s office, but you may even be able to get vaccinated at your local pharmacy. In terms of simplicity and effectiveness, getting your flu vaccine may be the most beneficial step to take, but if you don’t like

We’ve written before on this blog about some of what goes into creating a pet friendly workplace, and while it’s not always easy to set up the means to support having furry friends in the office, for business owners who either have employees who place a high value on time with their companion animals, who themselves have pets or  see the potential to do more business by creating a pet friendly atmosphere, it can be worth it provided they have an understanding of the potential cons as well. Is your entire staff ready for pets, or will this cause divisions? Having an animal in the office may be logistically safe after you spend the time needed to identify potential hazards and remove them, but will it create problems among your employees? Making sure that your staff is on the same page about wanting animals in the office should be done before changing your policy. It may be the case that an employee is allergic to animals

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