Important Resources for the Small Business

Posted August 29, 2017 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: , , ,

business team ID-10066165Do you have everything you need to succeed as a small business? In this complex world there are many resources available to the small business owner. The trick is to fully use these tools in order to realize the greatest success for your business. After all, most small businesses can have access to a global market providing an even greater opportunity to reach your goals.

Listed is a sample of some of the resources you can tap into  for your business:

  1. Your local Chamber of Commerce – contacts and networking opportunities in the area you live in.
  2. The US Chamber of Commerce – national networking and information site.
  3. SCORE – a cadre of mentors waiting to assist you as you grow your business.
  4. SBA – Small Business Administration – access to knowledge and funding resources.
  5. Social Media – schedule regular posing to maximize the benefits of this marketing tool; don’t forget your regular email marketing campaigns.
  6. The Internet – with a little research you can find content in the form of blogs, podcasts, webinars.
  7. National Federation of Independent businesses – NFIB.com
  8. Online social networking sites – there are numerous sites, some are paid memberships, others are free.success written in sand pexels-photo-261630
  9. Books and conferences- new books are released and conferences scheduled every day. The point is that you continue to educate yourself and keep abreast of any new information that could help your business grow.
  10. Smart Outsourcing – determine the parts of business that you can relinquish to another expert that will consequently help you manage your business more efficiently and effectively.
  11. Lead Generation Software – leads are your potential customers, you should always be alert to finding new customers and lead generation software could augment your search.

Growing your business is your most important task if you want to be successful. But you can’t grow without the right tools and resources. Some resources directly impact your business, like lead generating software. Others offer indirect, less immediate results like social media activities.

Don’t leave money on the table! This is a list to stir your thinking and provide possible resources for you to take advantage of.

When you are looking for ways to add more time to your day, consider contacting the Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions team.

 

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Midyear Personal and Business Checkup

Posted July 31, 2017 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: , , , ,

Let’s talk about your personal vision. You shouldn’t be confused: there is a business vision and a personal vision. In truth, the success of your business vision is intwined with the success of your personal vision. Doesn’t it make sense to check your progress on both, especially at the midyear point? What does your midyear vision checkup look like?

Midyear remains a great time to see where are in accomplishing your goals for your personal life and your goals for your business. We all want to become successful, accomplish our goals, but if we don’t track them we are unable to tell if we are making progress. It’s much like traveling to a destination but never seeing a mile marker or anything else to indicate where we are or how far away we are from our destination. A midyear checkup gives us the information we are looking for, good or bad.

This can only be done if you have actually written your goals. If you haven’t, now is a good time to take on that task. You can be sure that it will be so much more difficult to realize your vision, personal or business If you have not committed it to paper. It’s like trying to hold water: it eventually all slips through your fingers.

Once you commit your vision and your goals to paper, keep a copy handy where you can easily access it. Clearly define your vision. See it – visualize it – as you would want your life and your business to unfold. Vague phrases like “I want to make a lot of money” or even “I want to travel a lot” does not give you a clear picture of what you want to happen. What is a lot? Where would your travels take you? When?

Your goals should be in even sharper focus because this is how you want your life to unfold as you strive to realize (live) your vision (your life). Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Those words very powerfully point to reasons to clearly define what you want your vision of your life to look like. Don’t let someone else define it for you. They can help you clarify what you want but they can’t create the vision.

Take the time to do an assessment. The process will give you peace of mind when you clearly define where you want to go in life. You can’t just wing it. If that is your tactic, then the winds will carry you wherever it blows and you will be clueless – merely reactionary.

So I ask you again, “What does your midyear vision checkup look like?”

Leave a comment about your vision. Are you goals clearly defined? Are you making the progress you expected to make?

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To Vacation or Not to Vacation?

Posted June 23, 2017 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: ,

It’s that time of year when Hamlet’s question, “To be or not to be?” seems relevant. The difference is that the question becomes “to vacation or not to vacation?” Unfortunately, for far too many that is the question of the day, especially for the entrepreneur or the small business owner. I’m sure the subject is not a new one for you. However, like most people, you probably need a reminder of why you and nearly everyone else should take a vacation from work. But if the thought of vacation literally makes you break out in hives or leaves you weak in the knees, here are a few reasons you should consider a vacation a must at least once a year:

  1. Taking a vacation helps improve your job performance. When you go on vacation you shut off the task oriented part of your brain, giving it a break. This enables you to reenergize so that you are more apt to create and be receptive to new ideas. Problem solving is also improved. Europeans seem to know this and regularly take vacations. Americans and Asians lag far behind.
  2. Vacations are a health benefit. No matter what your job or business might be, there is going to be stress. We all know that relentless stress leads to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart problems, and a host of other health related issues. It also weakens the immune system making you more susceptible to disease.
  3. Vacations improve your relationships with others. If you have a family, spending time focused on activities that promote togetherness and create memories is priceless. In addition, when you take a vacation and actually travel or at least explore your surroundings, you will have more to talk about with your friends.
  4. Vacations provide exposure to different parts of your city, country or the world. You meet new people and observe firsthand new ways of approaching (and appreciating) life. You are sure to learn something new.

The bottom line is that I urge you to take a healthy dose of time out from your work. Create balance in your life. I’m reminded of the saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The saying hasn’t been around for decades without some basis in fact. Think about and then schedule those vacation days! Don’t be like the millions of Americans who, according to a recent survey by Expedia, are very vacation deprived.

When you take that vacation, if you need help managing your business, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can keep your business going in may areas while you take a much needed break. Ask how we at Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions can help.

Step Away from the Business

Posted May 17, 2017 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: , , ,

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It’s vacation time again. Regrettably, it’s a sad truth that many entrepreneurs and business owners are reluctant to take time off. Their hesitancy exists for a variety of reasons including not feeling comfortable releasing the reins to someone else, an inability to unwind, or simply failure to plan for a vacation. But you know that taking the time to step away from your business can have many benefits.

According to a survey conducted in 2015 by Office Depot Small Business Index, 66% of small business owners struggle with taking vacations and when they do, the majority stay connected to their business in some way. Today’s technology – smartphones, tablets and laptops – contribute to continued connectivity. The upside? It can keep you connected with your business. The downside? It can keep you connected to your business. In some ways, it’s good for the small business owner to take advantage of that connectivity as long as they control the dosage.

Still, it’s crucial that the small business owners take vacation and disconnect from the demands of growing and maintaining a viable business. Here are a few of the benefits of taking a vacation:

  • You reduce stress which equals lower blood pressure, improved heart rate, a boost to the immune system.
  • You Improve family relationships – connect with your spouse and kids while you create lasting memories.
  • You experience improved creativity.
  • You add new experiences and break the routine.
  • You meet new people.
  • You gain a new perspective on life and your business.
  • You set an example for your employees so that they will take vacation.

These are compelling reasons to take time away from your business in the form of vacation. Making vacation a part of your yearly planning may be one way to ensure that you will take much needed time away from the day to day of running your business.

If you are still finding it difficult to take time off, here are a few suggestions to make it easier to create a better work/life balance:

  • Make your vacation plans early and complete all the steps to getting you to your destination.
  • Prepare your staff and your customers for your absence.
  • Add your vacation days to an out-of-town conference or business meeting; take the family with you and once the conference or meeting is over, devote time to them.
  • Plan at least a week of exploring the vacation area.
  • Schedule retreat/spa activities to help you unwind.
  • Check in with your designated staff at a designated time and then disconnect from technology.

Your work and your personal life must be balanced. It has been proven that taking regular vacations gives you a healthier, more positive outlook on life. In short, it’s good for you; it’s good for your business.

How do you step away from the business? Do you plan a vacation or do you spontaneously take time away from the business? Which works better for you? Share your insights and experiences.

Should You Consider Creating a Side Hustle or Becoming an Entrepreneur?

Posted April 26, 2017 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: , , ,

computer, glasses picThere are hundreds if not thousands of new businesses created by bold entrepreneurs daily. Some are created as full-time entrepreneurship and others are entered just as a way to earn additional revenue in the form of a  side hustles. Some of of these opportunities readily come to mind, while others may not be as quickly thought of or they may not even exist, yet. After all, who knows when and where the next big thing will emerge?

I’ve taken a moment to compile a list of businesses or side hustles you can consider as an entrepreneur either as a part-time side hustle/venture or as a full-time business. Why not explore some of the ventures I’ve listed here?

  • Business plan services
  • Copy Writer
  • Mystery Shopper
  • Business Presentation Developer
  • Business Support Services (I turned this into a full-time business)
  • Business Form template Creator
  • Career and Personal Coach
  • Freelance Sales Consultant or Coach
  • Headhunter Service
  • Home Offie Planner
  • Web Designer
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Airbnb
  • Brand Ambassadorship
  • Write a Book (I did, you can, too!)
  • Teach English as a Second Language
  • Freelance Photographer
  • Artist
  • Pet sitter or groomer (Pets are a billion dollar business)
  • Personal Trainer
  • Yoga Teacher

This list is just the tip of the proverbial iceburg. You can explore these and the many more that exist. What I wanted to accomplish was to get you thinking of what you could do to change your current budget for the better. In today’s world, both virtual and real, there are so many more avenues that can be explored, many from home.

Yes, the economy is certainly improving for many. Unfortunately, others have given up on their dreams. It’s not too late to look into developing something new or something that will augment your current finances. You can tackle that entrepreneurial venture you have always thought of pursuing. Many who partner with me have business ventures of their own.

If you are still on the fringes of unemployment or you are underemployment (and many are), there are other avenues available to you which require little to no money to start. Side hustles are valuable; new businesses are possible. It does, however, take research and tenacity to get your new venture moving. Being an entrepreneur does not have to be risky business if you have a plan and you diligently work at the plan. The same goes for having a side hustle.

Give a new venture some thought. Either way, Exceptional can assist you with that new venture. We can help with your strategic plan, accounting needs, even with your social media. It goes without saying, if you have transcription needs, we are the company to turn to.

Leave a comment if you have thoughts on starting a new business or venturing into a side hustle.

I’m Published! What Do I Do to Sell My eBook?

Posted March 23, 2017 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Writing

Tags: , , ,

How to Create an Ebook screenshotI’m published! My new book, How to Create an Ebook, is available at Amazon and I couldn’t be happier. At $2.99 per copy, I think you will find the information useful.

The next big question is: Now what do I do next? How do I get my book to potential readers “out there?” A press release is certainly in order, but there are other housekeeping items I must attend to in order to sell my book. In fact, the following is useful information for anyone who has published a book:

  1. First, celebrate your accomplishment with a “release party.” No matter the size of your book, you should celebrate. The size of the celebration doesn’t matter either – a few friends or many.
  2. Send announcements via your email contacts and via “snail-mail.” Indicate how they can purchase your new book.
  3. Send press releases via the internet. There are various outlets on-line for press releases, some paid others are free.
  4. Send press releases via email to local newspapers, addressing the press release to specific persons at the papers. If you have ties to other towns or cities, send press releases to the papers of the city or town you are from. Followup with a phone call.
  5. Use social media to announce your new book. Create a strategy for these social media releases, keeping in mind where you think your target audience spends the majority of their time.
  6. If speaking is a part of your enterprise, let the speakers’ bureaus know that you now have a book.
  7. Don’t forget to include your book on your website and your blogs.
    Solicit friends to purchase, read, and then write a review of your book. This will help boost your rankings on Google.
  8. Consider having a few hard copies of your book on hand to sell at any speaking engagements or networking activities.

Feels exhausting, I know, but you wrote the book; you should be proud enough of it to work just as hard getting  your book to your audience. You don’t need to spend a fortune – hardly any money at all, really – but you must spend the time cultivating, cajoling and recruiting your customer in order to make the sale.

Have you considered writing a book? Have you started yet? You have information to share, a story to tell, let’s get started. It takes only one word at a time. You can manage that!

Read This Before You Write That Book

Posted February 17, 2017 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Uncategorized

writing-pixabay-828911_1280I promised myself that this year would be the year the book that has been sitting in the back of my mind would come out. I’m sure that every New Year nearly all of us make writing a book our goal. However, stop and take a moment to read this. I  admonish you not to write that book if you don’t intend to take the project seriously. Here’s why not:

  1. Writing your book will feel like a chore rather than a journey or an adventure. We all know how we feel about chores!
  2. Those who encourage you to write are much more enthusiastic about you writing a book than you are. Maybe they should write their own book! You are only apt to produce a good, finished product if you’re enthusiastic and determined.
  3. Writing a book will not enhance your credibility. This is only true if your book is poorly written, in which case you will actually harm your credibility.
  4. A hastily or poorly chosen topic will produce a book no one is interested in reading. No sales equal no profit. That being said, however, don’t let that stop you if you really feel the book in you must come out. There really is no crystal ball when it comes to what your audience will like.
  5. You can’t invest the time in marketing your book. Writing just for the sake of saying you have written a book could result in a manuscript that goes nowhere. Again, no sales, no profit.
  6. You can’t commit to ensuring that you will have your book proofed and edited. There is nothing that ruins a potentially good book than bad grammar, misspelled words, and run-on sentences. It is distracting to your readers and shows you are not really invested in the successful outcome of your writing project.

                             “A book worth writing is worth writing well.”

The bottom line is there are many people who may urge you to write a book and maybe you should, but consider the project carefully. It will take time and it will take commitment to produce even a small book. If you can’t take it seriously, it’s better not to embark on it. If you are serious, then by all means, get busy writing.

Have you considered creating a book? If it isn’t already one of your goals for the New Year, maybe it should be. What would you choose as your topic? We would like to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment  below. And if we can help with your transcription or business solutions contact us at Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions.

“But it’s writing…If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else. Wash the car, maybe.” – Stephen King