Business Websites to Help Those First Beginning

Regardless of how experienced you are in running a small business, it can be hard to keep up with the changes in the market and the various factors that affect your business. Getting started as a small business owner can be incredibly challenging, and there are many reasons it can fail. Having the right tools and resources can help make your life easier. It’s also important to keep up with the latest trends and be aware of the multiple factors that can affect the success of your business. There are plenty of resources that can help entrepreneurs succeed, but the key to success is finding the best one that fits your needs.

BizFilings

Getting started in business can be a daunting process, especially if you’re new to the area. With the help of a website like BizFilings, you can easily create a variety of forms needed to start a business, such as a sole proprietorship or partnership. Besides helping you get started, this site also offers various other services to help you choose a suitable business model.

Bplans

A good business plan helps keep you focused and motivated even if you’re not looking for outside investments. It can also help you chart your progress and remind you why you started in the first place. Bplans has an extensive collection of business plans online, and it features a variety of templates that you can follow. Tim Berry, the founder of the software company Palo Alto Software, has also written a lot of practical advice for entrepreneurs.

HubSpot

For small businesses, HubSpot is a software company that focuses on customer relationship management. Aside from a focus on customer relationship management, HubSpot also has various resources and articles available for small businesses looking for extra help. Some of these include: how to write a blog post, social media content calendar, and sales plan. The company has additionally created a variety of free templates that you can use to create effective marketing materials.

SCORE

If you’re looking for more hands-on help, then look no further than Score’s website. Since 1964, they have provided free advice to entrepreneurs through a network of experienced business mentors. This organization has 364 chapters across the country and over 13,000 veteran volunteers available to help entrepreneurs. They have helped over 11 million individuals start their own businesses. According to their website, they also provide various online courses and seminars on topics such as finance and marketing, as well as a library of online resources that include templates, checklists, and guides.

Running a small business can be very challenging, especially if you’re not experienced in the industry. There are many factors that can affect your business and getting started can be incredibly hard. The tools and websites discussed in this article can help ease the stress of starting a small business.

How Successful Companies Inspire Teamwork

If employees feel comfortable, valued, and respected at work, chances are, their motivation, dedication, and general attitude will improve, as well as their productivity. Rather than focusing solely on work and work-related topics, companies that spend adequate time engaging in team-building functions perform better across the board. Just like students who enjoy their lessons typically retain more information than those who do not, greater results are gained by happy employees.

In 2019, Nulab conducted a survey among 1,000 full-time employees and asked them various questions about the use of team-building, if any, they normally experienced at their jobs. The survey also focused on the comparison between mandatory and optional exercises and the significance and effects of team-building on the employees and their company’s future.

The survey revealed four major conclusions.

Make It Fun

96% of participants agreed that enjoyable activities, combined with meaningful experiences, open dialogue, and positive collaboration, enhanced their relationships with their peers and improved their job overall.

Add Food

Evidence does not lie; people love food. 88% of the team-building events in which the employees took part involved some type of food and/or drink. Not surprisingly, company lunches and potluck gatherings ranked in the top few methods for increasing morale.

Listen to Your Employees and Learn About Their Passions

Although volunteer days and company retreats were much less common, they strengthened the employees’ relationships with each other and ranked as the most effective of all the activities, especially when they involved causes about which they were passionate.

Give Your Employees Options

The survey results showed that the full-time workers were 3.6 times more likely to enjoy optional exercises, and more than 50% of the group admitted to always attending non-mandatory events.
Ultimately, just remember, if you incorporate team-building into your business properly, it should enhance your work environment substantially and yield positive results and heightened success. Luckily, the supply of information and useful suggestions about this key topic is virtually limitless, so all you need to do is research team-building, find a few ideas and activities that you think will work with your particular staff, and then incorporate them in to your plans!

How to Put Inclusive Leadership into Practice

Diversity is imperative for the success of companies today. As the call grows for leadership teams to adopt a more inclusive outlook on hiring and management practices, leaders grapple with how to do it. These tips can help leaders do more than talk about inclusivity and incorporate it into their leadership styles.

Inclusivity as an Organizational Ethos

Those who want to put inclusive leadership into practice must start with the guiding principles of the organizations. Leaders should work principles of diversity and inclusivity into mission statements, organizational goals, and policies and procedures. Organizations could include diversity quotas for hiring practices, account for non-traditional backgrounds and transferable skills, and create programs for inclusive promotions. Include progress of organizational inclusion goals in annual reports and regular updates for accountability.

Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion

Many leaders may want to avoid conversations about diversity and inclusion because it may make them feel uncomfortable or out of fear that the reputation of the organization may suffer. Turning a blind eye to problems is not leadership. By having tough conversations and seeking the frank input of employees, organizations can identify problems and gaps in policies. Instead of taking a defensive approach, leaders should recognize their limitations, engage, emphasize, and install a culture in which employees feel safe to share experiences.

Interactions with Inclusion in Mind

Understanding the background and common issues in the workplace that people have can help prevent problems in interactions and create a more inclusive environment. Leaders should actively listen to make sure that the appropriate person gets credit for an idea, even if someone else reiterates it. Ensuring that a diverse representation of employees is a part of key decisions can create inclusivity in policies. A log of who takes notes, gets or makes coffee, or performs other tasks for meetings can give leaders an idea of unequal distributions of labor.

Creating a culture of inclusion as a leader does take a lot of commitment. It also means rethinking the structures and ordinary ways that organizations operate. Bias often occurs due to the creation of rules and processes with only one type of person in mind. Expanding those processes to include the way others work and live can help create true inclusion.

Why Empathy is Critical to Successful Leadership

When you ask people what they think is the most important quality or skill to be a successful leader, you’ll likely hear answers, such as “technical competence”, “problem-solving skills”, and “people person” as the more common responses. According to a research study, however, empathy may be the key to building a successful leadership role. Here’s why.

Navigate the Stressful Workplace Environment

The study argues that empathy is incredibly important in workplace settings because people are experiencing different types of stress on a daily basis while at work. A report released by Qualtrics found that 57% of the people interviewed for the study were experiencing increased anxiety, 54% were emotionally tired, and 53% were experiencing depression. Being empathetic towards your employees allows you to address the root causes of these sources of stress.

Anticipate Your Employees’ Needs

Being empathetic allows you to anticipate what others need. If your employees do not have the right work environment or tools, they cannot perform at an optimal level. An empathetic leader can tap into the general feelings of the workplace and make necessary modifications to steer their employees’ perception in a positive direction. By providing your employees with the support they need, they are able to tackle challenges and hit their milestones at work.

Create Strong Lines of Communication

Showing your employees that you are empathetic towards their needs and opinions encourages them to confide in you. People are more inclined to talk to you when they feel safe doing so. If you brush off their concerns or fail to listen to their pleas, they are unlikely to openly communicate with you. This lack of communication prevents important information from being relayed and, thus, creates operational inefficiencies at work.

Forges Trust Within Your Workforce

Empathy inspires trust within the workforce. Trust leads to empowerment, clear lines of communication, and an overall cohesive unit working towards the same goal. This improves the level of collaboration and productivity within the team and reduces business costs since it maximizes employee satisfaction and retention rate.

You can gain a competitive edge as an executive by honing your empathy. To do so requires active listening, a non-judgmental mindset, and a high level of emotional intelligence.

The Challenge of Achieving Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs

Regardless of the type of profession, most people in the workforce have struggled with not only achieving but maintaining a comfortable, efficient, and healthy work-life balance at some time or another. Entrepreneurs, especially new ones, are in a field that can be particularly difficult to reach a suitable balance between work and life; however, there are simple steps one can take to make the process much easier.

No matter how busy, stressful, or chaotic your career may get, there are new methods and healthy habits you can adopt to achieve more equilibrium in your life. Once you find what works best, you can waste less time trying to destress and recover and spend more time being focused, productive, balanced, and healthy – both mentally and physically.

The best area to work on first is prioritizing. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete, and arrange them in order of necessity, writing the most essential at the top. Organization at the beginning can help prevent chaos at the end.

Be sure to take breaks. It can be very easy to get carried away and push on, trying to get as much completed as possible. Far too often, people often ignore their bodies’ signals to stop. Symptoms like headaches, migraines, eye strain, body aches, stomach problems, heart conditions, weight gain or loss, and countless other issues can be signs that the body is undergoing too much stress. To prevent these symptoms and others, like physical and mental exhaustion, it is vital to listen to your body and rest when you need it.

Even though multitasking may seem smart and effective, it is actually not a very healthy habit. Try to stop multitasking, and start focusing on just one task at a time. Be more mindful, and pay more attention to what you are doing at the moment, even if it means that you need to delegate some tasks. Learn to avoid distractions, and consider working on learning to say no. Finally, set strict time limits and stick to them so that you do not overwork yourself. You may even want to consider a shorter workweek.

It may be challenging to strike a great work-life balance; however, it is not impossible, and it is definitely an integral part of achieving maximum potential in all aspects of your life. It is a delicate process that requires some time and practice, but the results can be enlightening, rejuvenating, and life-changing.

Critical Hiring Mistakes To Avoid

When it’s necessary to hire new employees for your startup or small business, you’ll want to ensure you hire candidates who best fit your open positions. Making a hiring error can lead to a drain on productivity, poor company morale, and a long series of disciplinary issues. Fortunately, you can do a few things to reduce the chances that you’ll make poor hiring choices.

Eliminate Superfluous Language
Avoid creating job posting headlines that use sensational adjectives, such as “superstar” or “ninja.” These terms are confusing in that they detract attention from the more important details in the announcement. It’s better to emphasize that you want an experienced accountant or a certified electrician to fill your open position. Using more direct language will help you attract candidates who are qualified but might feel put off by those colorful adjectives.

Respect the Candidates You Don’t Hire
Another critical hiring mistake that many business owners are starting to correct is the practice of ghosting candidates. When you determine that you don’t want to hire a candidate, send them a message to let them know. Even though they didn’t get the job, the message will leave them feeling acknowledged and valued. This will influence how they portray your business in online reviews and on job boards. Treating unwanted candidates well will help you keep a positive brand image for your business.

Don’t Hold Out For the Perfect Candidate
The perfect candidate doesn’t exist, and holding out for one is going to lead to you passing up good candidates who will perform well. Before evaluating any candidate, separate your “must-have” traits and skills from the “would be nice” attributes. Particularly in the current job market, passing up a good candidate can force you to hire the wrong candidate. Alternatively, you’ll spend that much more time searching for another good candidate.

You should also refine your recruiting and interviewing processes. You should limit the time spent on each candidate by knowing exactly what you want in the person you choose to fill the position. That will help you limit how many candidates you consider for each position. Interviews should be equally brief, focusing on questions that will give you the information you really want from each individual.

Five Habits of Successful Business Owners

Habits can either help push you to be more productive, smarter, healthier, and an overall better version of yourself over time or it can do the complete opposite. Doing the wrong set of habits day after day can cripple your personal and professional growth. And if it’s entrepreneurial success you seek, here are five habits from successful business owners that you can emulate in your everyday life.

Treat Others Fairly

It’s the golden rule that kids are taught growing up – treat others the way you want to be treated. In business, you don’t always have to be ruthless in order to succeed. Many successful entrepreneurs can attest to the positive impact of treating others fairly. Form mutually beneficial alliances with other entrepreneurs and help them accomplish their goals.

Avoid Multitasking

As many studies have shown, multitasking does not actually help you accomplish more in the long run. Instead, it can lead to more stress and anxiety. Instead of trying to juggle multiple tasks at any given time, sit down and focus on the most important tasks you have on your plate, whether it’s studying for an important exam or practicing your sales pitch to potential investors.

Adopt Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the state of being aware or conscious of the present. Immerse yourself in whatever you are currently doing, whether it’s reading, meditating, or exercising. The prevalence of technology has made it more difficult for people to focus on what they are currently doing and thus are unable to appreciate the little victories, privileges, and luxuries they are afforded.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Although it’s comfortable staying in that zone, this invisible box also tends to restrict growth in every aspect of a person’s life. Aim to stretch every dimension of yourself, including your physical and mental limitations. You can, for instance, sign up for dancing classes if you have two left feet or improv if you get socially anxious.

Keep Things Simple

Successful business owners go through various complex situations and have to make dozens of tough calls every day. Keeping things simple helps you stay agile and moving forward, despite the roadblocks and curveballs ahead.

Become more productive by adopting the aforementioned habits to your daily routine. Note that change won’t come overnight; you’ll need to be consistent at practicing these habits if you want to earn the positive gains

Tips on Managing A Healthy Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance is essential for both physical and mental well-being. Learning how to separate the two can help increase focus while staying in the present. Since the increase in remote jobs, many employees find it difficult to navigate their new work space.

5 Tips To Manage A Healthy Work-Life Balance

A poor work-life balance is not always recognized. Those who experience an increase in work responsibilities, childcare issues and household maintenance may feel especially worn out at the end of the day. Even if long hours are required, there are simple tips to improve the quality of life.

1.) Focus on health. Health care does not necessarily include expensive treatments. Daily health improvements can be made with minimal effort and money. Adding certain fruits like blueberries to a meal can boost attention and energy. Eating enough protein is another way to ensure long-lasting energy throughout the day.

2.) Unplug everyday. Finding a designated time to disconnect from devices is one way to feel completely relaxed. Without a smartphone or laptop available, there is no possibility for work interruptions. Even unplugging for one hour per-day can help reduce anxiety.

3.) Take frequent vacations. A vacation does not have to cost hundreds of dollars, nor doe it need to last one or two weeks. Weekend vacations are an excellent way to recharge with family or friends. A change of environment can include camping, renting a cabin or staying at a hotel.

4.) Eat together. It is often tempting to eat in front of the TV or computer, especially if someone is overworked. Zoning out can be a very effective way to create a positive distraction from work. However, sit-down meals provided at the table can foster conversation and meaningful communication on a regular basis. Cooking dinner is usually a healthier option than fast food or frozen suppers.

5.) Set a schedule. A concrete schedule can help organize time and priorities. By carving out specific time for meditation, TV or cooking, there is an increased chance of following through. Once an item on the list is finished, physically checking it off can wire the brain’s reward system in a healthy way.

Setting Boundaries Is Key

Clear boundaries are necessary for creating a work-life balance. Vague statements like “create more time for family” is usually not enough. When creating lifestyle goals, specific rules that include time and activity are critical.

All new schedules take time to get used to. Sticking in between specific boundaries on a daily basis is more likely to ingrain this type of healthy lifestyle. When space is divided between work and home life, it is easier to feel fulfilled.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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