The Thanksgiving holiday comes in the midst of one of the busiest times to be a business owner. The rush of planning that takes place going into the holiday season is one that can seriously drain the time resources that would otherwise be dedicated to family time. Fortunately, small business owners can manage their family and business commitments if they plan strategically. Take travel time into account if you are visiting family. The time that it takes you to go to and from your final Thanksgiving destination is important to factor in to your planning. You may be tempted to project an optimistic number when allowing for time spent traveling, but be aware that you may encounter holiday traffic depending on your area and the weather. It’s better to allow yourself a bit of cushion rather than lose your cool while trapped in a traffic jam because you will miss a meeting you scheduled too close to the holiday. If you must be productive while

A small business environment is one that lends itself readily to distraction if you are not careful to focus on the priorities you have defined for yourself. This can be especially true if you know that you have a personality that is prone to distraction. A restless mind is by no means a bad thing, and as an entrepreneur you will often be well served by the ability to quickly shift gears and think on your feet. When the time comes for less exciting tasks, however, you might find yourself slipping more than you would like to. In order to manage your productivity while acknowledging the nature of your attention span, consider the following ideas for getting through the workday. Don’t over-caffeinate. Caffeine, when used in a responsible amount, has been generally found to not produce significant side effects, and is recognized as a legitimate aid to productivity within reason. It’s the “within reason” part, however, that some business owners can have problems with, especially if

Running a small business, you will quickly realize the value of your finite resources, time and money. While both are essential to manage, your business will ideally be able to make more money, but no matter what you do, there is no way that you can regain even a moment once it has been spent. While this is somewhat of a negative thought, it doesn’t have to be. Rather, you should embrace the challenge of taking the time that you are given and making it work for you to the best of your ability. Remember that you get the same twenty-four hours each day that have been given to moguls of the business world, and it is up to you to use them in the best way you can. What do you spend time on during the day already? The first step to a better level of appreciation and management of your time is through auditing the ways you already spend it to determine what are

A new habit can be the start of even more positive change in a small business lifestyle. One of the reasons why entrepreneurs become  self employed in the first place is often because they crave more flexibility in achieving a balance between their work and their lifestyle, so taking full advantage of that should be something that you think about as the seasons change. Fall is a great time both for growing your business habits and your lifestyle habits, with plenty to do outdoors and a lot to plan in order to be ready to take advantage of the prime sales months of the holidays. Creating a habit isn’t something that happens overnight, and generally speaking the best way to integrate a new aspect of your routine is through building it up gradually. For example, someone who doesn’t jog would probably not be able to adjust to running four or five miles multiple times a week, since they would quickly become burned out. Still, jogging

  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

  Would you ever turn away a customer? While conventional business wisdom holds that the customer is always right, like so many things in business there are clear exceptions to this rule. Customer relationships that turn sour can create major sources of stress for small business owners, but apart from that, can also place major drains on finite time and capital that can be tough to recover from if allowed to get out of hand. Identify if your customer relationship makes sense, or if you are stretching to accommodate for a poor fit. Common problems that can arise because of a toxic customer relationship including scrambling to accommodate for a customer that simply isn’t asking for services or products within the realm of what your business is able to offer. While you may have some strongly performing products and others that don’t perform as well in terms of sales, you offer what you offer and constantly stretching outside the bounds of what you typically produce for

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

Chaos is a given in the world of a small business owner, since every week there is another issue to deal with, opportunity to take advantage of and idea to act on all at once. The great part about being an entrepreneur is the ability to manage any situation that arises in your own way, creating a high degree of  flexibility that can make problems that would be much more difficult to handle in a corporate setting seem trivial. On the other hand, keeping track of decisions that you make should be taken seriously lest you find yourself three calls down the line forgetting what your endgame was supposed to be. Take the time to write things down. Even the best laid out strategies can turn into major sources of problems if they aren’t managed correctly. One suggestion for helping remember and keep track of ideas in the moment is taking a second to physically write them down. Whether it is on a tablet, or a

When it comes to making progress on goals, having a deadline is necessary. However, all too often the art of setting  a deadline that is both reasonable enough to account for the unexpected and strict enough that things actually get done is ignored and deadlines set in a haphazard manner. While sometimes this is fine, and the deadline will be met without any problems, on other occasions a poorly planned deadline can create issues such as customer complaints, disorganization when synchronized processes don’t line up, and in the worst case, major waste in budgets or missed opportunities. Planning a deadline that makes sense doesn’t take much time to do correctly, and as business owners get a better sense of how long it takes their team to do certain things, they can arrive at a much stronger ability to create deadlines that allow for the most effective use of time. When creating a deadline for a project, account for the potential for issues to arise. Even a

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

TOP css.php