Cluttered Personal and Professional Lives
It’s easy for a small business to become overwhelmed with blocking-and-tackling tactics and unable to focus on strategic initiatives. The to-do list is almost endless and can become paralyzing. A recent survey finds the average worker spends less than half their time on their primary job function. The rest of the time is spent on meetings, administrative work, answering calls, and other tasks.
This creates immense pressure on small business leaders who are under pressure to perform, and time is one of the biggest challenges. A study conducted by Sage found that almost half work 40 to 60 hours per week, with 16 percent working more than 60.
The impact of having a “cluttered” professional life also impacts the personal lives of small business leaders. A recent survey by Simply Business reveals:
- Half cancel social plans once a week
You’ve got a dream in your heart to launch a business venture that will change the world—or at least change your world. Whether you’ve tried and failed in the past or this is your first venture into entrepreneurship, it’s time to dream big and take purposeful action.
Here are three principles for success as you set out to start your dream business:
- Incorporate online instead of hiring an attorney. I’ve started a number of corporations myself in a matter of minutes online. I’ve also hired accountants and attorneys to start corporations and paid upwards of $5,000. It was a waste of time and money. In most states, you can start a corporation online for less than $100 with no attorney or accountant involved.
Google the phrase “incorporate a business online” and add the name of your state and you’ll find the appropriate site to get up and running toward your dream today.
Building your own startup isn’t an easy process. If anyone tells you different, they aren’t being honest. There are an enormous number of variables at play, and unfortunately sometimes luck isn’t on your side.
Between funding, market health, brand awareness, staffing, and consumer recognition, building a company from the ground up is always a gamble. The hard data tells the same story. Depending on your definition of success, anywhere from 40-90 percent of startups fail.
So why then, is entrepreneurship on the rise?
Well, independence for one. The ability to control your own destiny is very appealing to many Americans. Then there’s the 10-60 percent of startups that actually succeed. These are the companies glorified on investor television programs such as Shark Tank.
Small businesses are the engine that drives the U.S. economy. Employing 55% of all workers, 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all sales in the country today. And the future of small businesses is bright: they have created 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970’s and have increased in number by 49% since 1982. When compared to their much larger counterparts, this success stands in even greater light: mid-size and large businesses have eliminated four million jobs since 1990, while small businesses have added eight million new jobs.
Wow! These are some pretty impressive statistics. Small business owners should take a moment and congratulate themselves for all of this success. But they shouldn’t take very long; it takes a lot of organization to run a small business. Indeed, those that succeed often are the ones that are the most organized. With better organization, a small business can focus on strategic initiatives and its customers.
The workplace is changing rapidly. No longer are workers measured based on the amount of time spent sitting at their desks or in their offices. The concept of a defined 9 AM to 5 PM workday also is becoming a relic of the past. Instead, workers are measured based on their performance, and whether their work contributes to bottom-line results.
Workplace and Workstyles Changing Rapidly
One factor is demographic changes in the workforce. Millennials comprise over half of the workforce, and more than one-quarter hold managerial roles. Much has been written about millennials and their desire to use technologies from the consumer world at work; they look for solutions that are easy to use and enable them and their colleagues to be more productive and to engage with customers in new and better ways.
Most business professionals cite time wasted in meetings as one of their biggest complaints. Studies show the average business professional attends 62 meetings each month, and of that time, 31 hours equates as unproductive. This tallies up to a whopping $37 billion in annual.
When workers feel unengaged and that their time is being wasted, the repercussions are dramatic. Forty-seven percent of employees describe them as “boring, pointless, and unproductive.” Consider some of the things meeting goers admit:
- 91% daydream during meetings
- 96% skip meetings that they deem a waste of time
- 39% have slept during a meeting
- 45% feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings on their calendar
- 73% do other work during meetings
- 47% aren’t passive-aggressive; they complain to others in the office about unnecessary or unproductive meetings
With employees at work being more agile, mobile, and nomadic — getting together, especially for those critical/high-yielding and productive meetings that value more from in-person face-to-face collaboration, are becoming more necessary and requiring sharper planning than ever before, often at an inopportune time. Meetings require careful consideration on when and where they need to occur — plus given consideration as to whether they even are necessary, virtually through a video/conference call or Skype, or can be better handled for a better use of time.
During the winter holiday season, many businesses turn their attention to showing gratitude toward their customers—for their business, loyalty, and even advocacy. Simply saying “thank you” isn’t enough. Businesses need to seek out opportunities to show their gratitude to customers in fun and memorable ways. The following are 12 ways that you can show your gratitude to customers, not only this holiday season but all year.
- Write a personal note. Making the extra time in today’s digital world to write a personal note to your customers. It will make a big difference in your customer’s day.
- Educate your customers. Know your customers’ businesses and deliver content that educates them and gives them new ideas that enable them to develop new revenue streams, deliver better customer service, increase operational efficiencies.
Let’s face it, BCs and Serviced Workspaces are smack dab in the middle of the High-Hospitality industry — and in fact it’s the highest of the High-Hospitality business models since it serves its clients for days, weeks, months and years on-end. This is not just for an hour, or a day or two here-and-there, such as what Hotels, Car Rental agencies, airlines, restaurants and even resorts like Disney do.
And with the territory of being the premier High-Hospitality industry comes the responsibility to show appreciation at any, and every turn. It’s more than just providing service — more than fielding and fulfilling customer service requirements. ‘Hospitality’ requires initiating a friendly interaction. It’s pro-active, whereas customer service is re-active. It’s extending a helping hand or compliment, and not waiting for the client, guest, tenant, member or neighbor to initiate or be left hanging expecting it. And the centerpiece … the fuel that drives the engine of an ongoing, fruitful, professional, winning relationship at any business, and especially at a High-Hospitality business such as at a Business Center or Serviced Workspace — is demonstrating appreciation.