With the month of August coming to a close, small business owners need to decide now whether or not they are are going to try to take one last trip to close out the warm weather. While we are not necessarily advocating ditching work for three weeks in Tuscany (although if you did do that, take pictures!), a last trip that allows you to relax, recharge and reassess is often just what the doctor ordered before plunging back into the business of the typical work week. Here are three ideas for getaways that can be condensed into microvacations or stretched into a leisurely week away from the office. Go camping. This option should rate high on the list for a few reasons; it’s easy to find a place to camp, whether you are in a rural area, a suburb or even in a metropolitan hub, it usually won’t be more than a few hours drive to the nearest outdoor recreation center. In addition to the easiness

Smartphones have gone from being a novelty to near ubiquity in the past few years, and their relationship with everyday lifestyle is one that bears consideration, especially on the part of small business owners, where the introduction of this technology has made it so that almost every aspect of their business can be effected, for better or for worse. On the plus side, smartphones mean new markets, new ways to get things done and new ways to stay in touch, largely making small business management The cons: Less face time, potential security threats. The use of smartphones to organize your life is one thing, but the almost endless amount of functions that can be performed on a smartphone means that they can quickly go from beneficial tools into rabbit holes of distraction. According to a blog post from Experian, the average American already spends 58 minutes a day on their mobile devices, but that number could be much higher for the chronically phone addicted. One problem

In a recent article that appeared on suceedinginsmallbusiness.com, a case study was examined that detailed the dangers of both bandwagon thinking and blind overconfidence in relation to the Massachusetts housing market. One of the major takeaways of the piece was that confidence can be a good thing, but overconfidence can have major implications on the ability of an entrepreneur to exercise sound judgement. How can you tell if you or a business partner are confident to the point that it jeopardizes your business? When does  healthy level of confidence turn into an excessive one? The interesting and potentially complicating factor in diagnosing overconfidence is the fact that it is pretty universally considered a virtue, especially among entrepreneurs. Having a real belief in the ability of your business to succeed is essentially a prerequisite for entrepreneurship- if you don’t believe in your idea then nobody else will. That being said, when confidence gets in the way of being realistic and productive, it’s a dangerous situation. Here are

  There are many ways of adding value to a small business, from equipment to new personnel. One thing that small business owners may or may not realize can add a huge amount of value to their businesses is something that it is hard to put a material price on; the insight and valuable experience that can come from a mentor. What should business owners look for in a mentor? A mentor should be someone with experience growing a successful business. While every business’s ride to success is unpredictable, the experience of growing a business gives both perspective and a sense of how to handle common problems that businesses encounter that an entrepreneur with less time behind the wheel might not know how to handle right off the bat. A mentor is not a guarantee that your business isn’t going to make mistakes, that is an unrealistic expectation and even seasoned entrepreneurs who have created and grown multiple businesses are constantly in a state of learning

  The prospect of a business trip can often be exciting, especially for business owners who don’t usually travel often. That said, there are plenty of potential headaches that can occur if a trip isn’t planned effectively. By doing what they can to prepare ahead of time, business owners can ensure that they minimize potential pitfalls and maximize their enjoyment of the travel experience. Pack for the days you are staying, plus one or two. While traveling light is a good thing, traveling too lightly is not. It is always a good idea to bring one extra outfit with you to be prepared in case one of your other outfits gets a stain or you are asked to stay for longer than you had originally anticipated. In a pinch, an extra outfit that is ready to go allows you options when deciding how to match the dress code of the meetings you must attend. Get to the airport/ bus station/ train terminal earlier than you think

If you have a solid managerial foundation in your office, working from home can help you to beat some of the distractions present in your office and plan for the big picture. While being in the office can help you to galvanize your employees and stay involved in projects in real-time, it can also become a distraction that takes time away from macro-processes vital to the long term health of your business. While it is important to be available to your employees and managers and be able to successfully steer your employees in then right direction so that all goals are met, as long as you are confident that your employees recognize the areas where they are accountable, Use time in your home office to review your long term strategies. The long term goals of your business can often become clouded over by the demands of the the day to day, and unless interim goals are created and met as stepping stones to a larger goal, it’s

In a great article in the Huffington Post by Carlotta Zimmerman, she expounds on some of the challenges that faced her when starting her own business. The piece is a wonderful read for female entrepreneurs, and really anyone who is involved or interested in running a business for themselves. One point she makes deserves special attention and is applicable for all business owners, regardless of their backgrounds. This point is that when you let your emotions get in the way of your confidence and what you need to accomplish for your professional development, you are defeating yourself. This same idea is represented in the saying “don’t cheat yourself”. Keeping negative emotions in check is an important part of allowing yourself to take risks and be productive. Emotional health is part of overall well-being. Just as physical health is important for those who are committed to being in the office or in the field everyday, emotional health allows for a clearheaded and even approach to the rigors

  In a recent press release issued by ICIMS, over 400 job seekers were surveyed in order to define what it is that they were seeking to find in an employer. One of their findings was that a company’s culture can play a major role in attracting strong, qualified job applicants, an element that goes beyond how strong a hiring ad is. In addition, once they have attracted this talent, they can keep adding to their businesses through referrals, which according to ICIMS research makes up an impressive 34% of all hires. Based on this information, a corporate culture that can attract employees with the ability to positively contribute can wind up paying dividends as a business grows, helping to sustain the positive environment as well as the ability to produce of those involved as time goes on. A “clan culture” was the most desirable corporate culture listed in the survey response. So what exactly is a clan culture? It refers to a corporate culture wherein

  We’ve already discussed the tangible benefits participating in follow Friday (#ff) can have for small businesses, and in that vein, throwback Thursday (#tbt) also deserves a mention. For business owners, the level of comfort they possess using social media can vary greatly depending on their age, the nature of their businesses and whether or not they use social media in their personal lives or not. Sure, to many social media “days of the week” seem silly, but there is nothing silly about a simple hashtag that has the ability to greatly increase the reach of your business. Throwbacks allow your followers to engage with the story of your brand. The great thing about a throwback is that it allows you, the owner of your business, a chance to step back from the pressures of your present situation and reflect on all that you have accomplished to be where you are. This in and of itself would make a compelling reason to participate, but on the other side

  Time is the one resource that can never be replaced once it is used up, so business owners should always be on the lookout for easy ways to save it. One of the biggest time sinks out there is writing and reading emails, especially from people who you would rather not remain in contact with. One technique for managing emails and cutting down the time it takes to sort useful correspondence from junk is adopting a better organized email filtering system that will automatically separate your mail into more easily scanned categories. This will only help when it comes to reading emails that you personally receive, so on the other side of the coin, creating some handy email templates can cut down the hours spent typing up letters in order to respond or reach out to business connections. While you may have to edit your templates before sending them out on a case by case basis, it is still much easier than sitting down to

TOP css.php