YouTube on laptop and cellphone

YouTube for business: Must-watch channels for busy professionals

Move over Netflix: Use YouTube for business to access educational content, inspiring personalities and financial news that can move your organization forward.

YouTube for business: Must-watch channels for busy professionals

Are your favorite television shows on hiatus for the summer? Are you looking to stay up-to-date on all the latest business news and trends? Want to continue your professional development or grow personally and professionally? Though it might seem strange, it may be time that you head over to YouTube.

You may be familiar with the video-sharing platform as your go-to for cute animal videos or DIY projects, but there’s also a wealth of knowledge being shared by entrepreneurs, business experts, growth strategists and others, waiting to be discovered. 

Here are some of our favorite selections and best picks of business-related YouTube channels, which every busy professional can get value from:

Best Overall Business Advice

Brian Tracy’s Success Channel

An internationally best-selling author with 70 books on business, personal growth, leadership and strategic thinking, Brian Tracy is one of the most recognizable names in the industry. He has spent the past 30 years travelling the world and has consulted with over 1,000 companies. In that time, he has addressed more than 5 million people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the US, Canada and 70 other countries.

Tracy’s YouTube channel is one of the best resources for business professionals from all industries, and the accumulated 46 million views are well-earned. Topics range from personal growth to leadership and business tips and more. Updated with fresh videos weekly, most of which run under 10 minutes, this channel is great for the busy professional on the go.

Best Host & Interviews

Marie Forleo – MarieTV

Named one of Oprah’s top thought leaders for the next generation, Marie Forleo is a YouTube host, entrepreneur, life coach and philanthropist. 

Forleo has dedicated her channel to videos and interviews that help entrepreneurs and business professionals reach their ultimate potential. Best of all, her outgoing and approachable personality makes the material engaging and inspiring.

Forleo is also a great interviewer and regularly hosts interesting guests. With over 500,000 subscribers, 48.8 million views and 4 new videos a month, MarieTV’s playlists are organized by topic, making it easy to find specific videos that interest you.

Best Financial News & Market Analysis

Bloomberg Markets & Finance

You may very well be familiar with Bloomberg as a top media source for business and political news, but have you visited their YouTube channels? Our favorite channel for market and finance news and interviews with leading business figures is Bloomberg’s Markets and Finance channel. 

This channel doesn’t have just one single host. Instead, it relies upon a variety of experts to provide content for the channel. Playlists are organized by topic and video host for easy navigation, and with dozens of new daily videos (totalling over 46.2 million views), content is always fresh and current. If you work in finance or business, you will definitely want to become one of the 360,000 subscribers to this channel.

Best Inspiration & Personal Growth Tips

Tony Robbins LIVE

A go-to among celebrities, entrepreneurs and athletes, Tony Robbins is a success strategist focusing on personal growth, self-help and entrepreneurial advice. As an extension of his highly-publicized seminars and books, Robbins’ YouTube channel publishes new videos weekly. 

Whether you’re looking for advice or inspiration, Robbins’ channel has it all — which is evident by his 650,000 subscribers. Videos vary in length, so whether you have a spare hour or just a couple minutes in between meetings, you can always find a video that will help you get one step closer to achieving your personal and professional goals. 

Ready to watch? Here’s how to watch YouTube for business.

Ready to get watching? You can access the free YouTube platform through any web browser, or download the free app to your favourite mobile device from the App Store or Google Play.

Working desk with documents

Don’t sell yourself short: 3 common invoicing mistakes

If you’re making these common invoicing mistakes, you can correct them quickly…

common invoicing mistakes

A business is nothing without income. That might go without saying — but many business owners spend so much time focused on finding new opportunities and doing daily tasks that they lose sight of the most important parts of generating income: the invoicing.

An invoice isn’t just a receipt. It’s a contract that summarizes your hard work and helps ensure you’re compensated for it fairly. That’s why it’s so crucial to make sure your invoices are accurate, so you’re not selling yourself short.

Here are three common invoicing mistakes that, if avoided, can help your business thrive.

 

1. Not itemizing your services or products

Many people assume that the person they’ve been dealing with is the same person who will process their invoice, and will know what service the invoice is for. This is often untrue, and most businesses require an itemized invoice so their accounting departments can process them correctly.

Providing an itemized invoice up-front will help avoid delays in payment down the road. It’s also good practice for your own accounts so you can easily reference a past job. This is useful in the unfortunate case of a contract dispute, or the (even more intimidating) event of a tax audit.

 

2. Not clearly indicating a payment due date

common invoicing mistakes accounting

This is one of the most common mistakes people make with their invoices. Common turnaround times are 30-day and 60-day schedules, and you should specify this to ensure your payment comes in when you need it.

That said, some accounts will require payment schedules longer than you’d like. If you find that you need your invoice filled sooner, or you’ve run into issues with delinquent accounts, it might be worth thinking about funding options such as invoice factoring.

Related: What’s the cost of NOT using invoice factoring?

 

3. Omitting payment terms

It might seem obvious, but this is the single most important part of your invoice. You should make it as easy as possible for your accounts to pay you, including the address where they need to send payment and your preferred payment method.

If you use a factoring service, it’s also important to remember that you should provide their terms so your accounts can pay the invoice directly to them.

 

Pay attention to these three details to proactively avoid the pitfalls and give your invoicing the attention it deserves. That way, you’ll also get the payment you deserve!

Mobile security

Combat cybercrime: 3 actions every business should take

How your company can combat cybercrime, prevent an attack and bounce back in the event of a data security breach.

Combat cybercrime

Whether big or small, any business is vulnerable to cybercriminals and fraud. However, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may not be ready for cyber attacks, and each one of these can be disastrous. In fact, an incredible 60 per cent of small businesses fold in the six months following a cyber attack.

Although this is a scary statistic, proper procedures can help you prevent an attack or, at the very least, recover from one with minimal damage. Here are three things you can do to prepare in advance and limit the impact of cybercrime.

1. Train your staff to combat cybercrime

According to research by Kaspersky, 88 per cent of SMBs that have suffered a data breach claim that social engineering played a part. What is that? Social engineering is any form of cyber fraud that relies on using human error — such as phishing (getting you to click on a harmful link), pretexting (pretending to need sensitive data for a legitimate issue), or quid pro quo (pretending to provide a service in exchange for access to data).

Human error also comes into play in simpler ways. Employees could leave their laptops in a public place, while others might keep a Post-It with their passwords on their desk. It’s easy to become careless with safety, and these small mistakes can easily be exploited by someone with bad intentions.

The easiest way to prevent these attacks is to train your staff appropriately. Teach them to identify common scams such as phishing and to be extremely careful with sensitive data. Repeat this training regularly to prevent a sense of complacency from developing.

2. Encrypt your data

Combat cybercrime - Encrypt data

“Data encryption” is one of those technical terms that feel too complicated to understand, but it’s actually very simple. Data encryption registers your data as a code, which can only be read with an encryption key or password. It protects your data as it sits in your system and during data transfers.

Encryption is particularly important if your employees carry around laptops with sensitive business data (this can easily be stolen or lost) or if such data is often exchanged by email. You can protect your laptops and system using an encryption software — PC Mag has a useful roundup of the best ones on the market.

For email data, you need a separate email encryption software — specifically, a type called secure webmail is best for small businesses. This is because it is cost-effective and doesn’t require both the sender and recipient to be set up with encryption.

3. Be ready to react quickly

A data breach response plan will make your reaction to a data breach fast and effective. With a good plan, you can prevent loss of service and even mitigate the damage. Without it, you will be caught completely unaware, making the attack much more harmful.

Data breach response plan templates are available online, along with guides highlighting the best practice. Do your research and spend some time developing yours, and remember to revisit it as your business grows and your data protection needs become more complex.

Of course, you will need to determine exactly what happened, both to mitigate the damage and prevent it from happening again. It might be worth investing in a team digital forensic specialists, (search for reputable and certified services such as Secure Forensics), who can put a data breach response plan into action. They may also utilize private investigators to locate the people responsible for the attack.

It goes without saying you can’t bounce back from a breach without backing up your data, so a solid backup and storage strategy is also crucial. Keep full backups of everything — at least two separate online copies and a third offline one, preferably in another physical location.

Why combat cybercrime?

Cybercriminals target SMBs specifically because they expect them to be vulnerable and poorly prepared. It’s your job to prove them wrong. While you don’t have the limitless resources of a large corporation to protect yourself, you can definitely make it harder for the fraudsters and combat cybercrime from within. Taking the time to develop a concrete strategy surrounding your data protection and response to breaches could literally save your business, so make it a priority.

 

Up Next: Are Your Clients Safe from Hackers?

Combat cybercrime - Safe from hackers

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When is a good time to expand your small business?

expand your small business

Expanding your business can be both an exciting prospect and a daunting challenge. An upcoming expansion may indicate your company is profitable and successful, but at the same time, it requires careful thought, planning and execution.

To say the least, it’s important to get it right. Plenty of companies see major success by building up the business, but companies may also risk financial troubles from expanding too quickly.

For example, one study found that two-thirds of the fastest growing companies ended up performing worse long-term than companies growing more slowly.

Signs you should expand

So how do you know when is the right time to expand your small business? Here are four indicators that it could be the right time.

1. Loyal customer base

If you’ve built a strong base of repeat customers, this could be a sign that it’s time to expand. Repeat customers provide recurring revenue that stabilizes your business, and strong customer loyalty demonstrates a demand for your product or service.

However, a rush of one-time customers doesn’t necessarily mean you have a loyal customer base. Rather, it could just be due to a temporary fluctuation in the market.

2. You can no longer meet demand

Do you regularly turn away new customers because the demand is higher than your current capacity? Expanding your business can make it easier for you to meet this demand. However, you’ll want to make sure this is a true result of increased demand and not just poorly run processes within your company.

3. There is growth within the industry

If your industry is gaining popularity, then you should consider expanding your business to meet the industry’s consumer growth. Spend some time researching industry trends to see if your industry is on the rise.

4. Your business is meeting and exceeding goals

Every business starts out with a plan and milestones they hope to reach. Once you start regularly meeting or exceeding these goals, it’s probably time to expand. However, you need to have the right partners and systems in place to meet these bigger goals.

If you’re ready to expand your business, you’ll likely need to consider how much working capital you have at your disposal to keep up with the growth. Make a cash flow budget that factors in your potential growth, and ensure you’ll have the right financing in place. Now could be the perfect time to discuss options with your funding partner to get your growth strategy in place.

How to differentiate your B2B company

Tips to set your B2B company apart from the rest

How to differentiate your B2B company…

How to differentiate your B2B company

As a competitor in the business-to-business (B2B) world, you already have a leg up from your typical consumer-based business. B2B entrepreneurs provide products, services and solutions that keep other businesses afloat — and that puts you in an extremely valuable role. So how do you make sure you become a preferred vendor and set yourself about from the competition?

As Business News Daily describes it, “B2B companies are supportive enterprises that offer the things other businesses need to operate and grow.” You are an essential piece of the puzzle, but your industry is likely packed with copycats and similar organizations.

Here are a few ways to differentiate yourself from to convince more prospective clients that you are the right partner for their business:

Conduct a competitive analysis

Research your competitor’s strategies, strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your own. Then identify your gaps and clearly outline ways to improve. One great resource for this research is social media. Browse through competitor social networks and make a list of the keywords they use, hashtags, top followers, amount of activity and quality of engagement they receive from the same type of audience as your own.

Tools that may help you in this research stage include Hootsuite, Brandwatch, and Unmetric. And one you’re likely already quite familiar with is LinkedIn, which you can use in sleuthy ways to uncover clues and solve the mysteries of how your competition engages with their customers and prospects.

Create a top-notch website

In B2B sales, your website isn’t the only way you generate traffic, interest and revenue, but it is often the starting point and launching pad. There are several website must-haves to keep in mind. For one, determine the purpose of your website, such as generating leads and downloads or educating clients about your services.

Next, be sure your website messaging reflects that main goal. Provide meaningful (and relevant) content, follow along with an editorial calendar to stay active, and provide a consistent design. To do this effectively, find talent who can help you assemble a website that suits your business’ many needs, whether it’s someone to help streamline your site for mobile devices or a graphic designer to establish your brand with logos and graphics.

Improve your customer experience

How to differentiate your B2B company

Customer experience in B2B can often mean dealing with many people in one company, from front-line staff right up to the CEO. And put simply: The B2B buyers often hold the power.

Forbes contributor Blake Morgan explains that “the space is getting more competitive, so if a customer isn’t happy with the service they are receiving, they can take their business elsewhere.” Your ultimate goal is to get the customer to choose to do business with you. Take time to understand your target market as well as their own needs and goals so that you can create a personalized experience.

More and more B2B businesses are turning to technology as well to meet customer needs, such as help desk software, live chat and CRM software. These tools help resolve customer issues faster, provide a constant source of contact, and show your commitment to helping the customer meet or even exceed their goals.

Improve your public relations

Landing a sale isn’t as simple as making a single phone call. You have to go through various touchpoints and business contacts before a buying decision is made. In fact, most prospective businesses have entire teams of employees whose input ultimately goes into the final buying decision, so you could have an uphill battle.

A good way to reach such a large group is with public relations. You can accomplish this by being featured in a media venue that your target customers will see. Contact the managing editor and give them your best pitch.

Other ways to get your name and expertise out there are even simpler. As a starting point, it’s good to post regular blog articles formatted for SEO, publish press releases on your website, or even offering your insight on a new trend, product or service via a comment or post on industry websites, forums and LinkedIn groups.

Setting yourself up as a strong competitor is important if you want your business to succeed. While the B2B sector is unique, differentiating your business is achievable. It will take some hard work and dedication, but with patience and diligence, you’ll get your business where you want it to be.

How women can refresh their careers by becoming entrepreneurs

Could your career use a shot in the arm? Are you considering a venture of your very own? For women who feel they have climbed as high as they can in their current role, who aspire to be “more,” or who are simply ready for a change, entrepreneurialism can be an ideal solution.

Options abound

Do you have a clear vision you hope to pursue? For instance, maybe you have unique expertise to offer and could work as a consultant to other businesses, or maybe you have a thriving side gig and it’s time to transition to full-time.

On the other hand, maybe your path isn’t so clearly defined. Perhaps you have abundant leadership qualities, but you don’t have a certain place to exercise them.  People with ample confidence, who love to learn, and who believe in shaking things up often make the best entrepreneurs.

Narrowing choices

Determining a clear path for your business can feel pretty daunting, but sorting out your strengths and interests can help. For example, do you love doing work that makes the world a better place? There are several service-oriented careers to consider and by sorting out your interests, you can lay the groundwork to achieve your goals.  Here are some ideas:

Coaching: You could become a career coach, helping others pursue their hopes and dreams. In this case, unless you currently work in human resources, in an academic advising role, or another related field, you might want to start a side gig to gain experience before you quit your current position.

Continuing Education: Perhaps you have a knack for listening and communication. A career in speech pathology could be the perfect fit, and you can enroll in a master’s program with a bachelor’s degree in another field. By taking online courses, you can complete the bulk of your schooling while you’re still at your current job, which just leaves clinical work to do in person.

Combine Your Skills & Interests: If you love crunching numbers, perhaps you would enjoy freelance bookkeeping. In the role of bookkeeper, you help others not only with tallying their routine accounts, but you can help them find ways to stay on budget, identify places to cut costs, and avoid overspending. It’s easy to become established through platforms that connect freelancers and clients.

Grow Your Own Business: Do you love the idea of doing something research-oriented and creating your own business from that idea? Perhaps becoming a paralegal would be your ideal choice. There are several routes you can take, from earning a certificate to attending a four-year degree program. Once complete, Chron explains you can hang your own shingle as a freelance paralegal.

Identify barriers

There are many things that can hold us back from making a major career change. Do some thinking about what barriers could be keeping you from making the transition you desire.

For many women, financing can be a crucial hurdle to overcome. Thankfully, Hiscox points out there are numerous grants available designed specifically to help women entrepreneurs in their pursuit of success.

Do you lack both funds and an appropriate education? Explore grants and scholarships that are available to women who are returning to school.

Maybe the one thing you lack is connections or customers. If you need contacts with other professionals or need to develop a customer base, grab some solid networking strategies to build your business. Participate in events for founders, establish yourself on social media, attend industry conferences, and go to local events for business owners so others get to know you and what you offer.

There are many great options out there for women interested in starting their own businesses. Think about what you have to offer and what drives you, and narrow your focus so you can develop clear goals. With a set path, you can refresh your career with a satisfying entrepreneurial venture.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Business people presentation

Making sure you safely store your business contracts

Business contracts

When you finalize your business contracts and seal them with signatures and stamps, they are legally valid documents. Unfortunately, business owners often don’t pay adequate attention to storing their contracts safely for reliable retrieval in the future.

Why will you need to retrieve your contracts?

It’s important to keep your contracts in a safe in a place where you can readily access them, should you need to review them in the event of a contractual dispute. Usually, you’ll just need them to remind yourself (or your contractual partners) about the terms agreed upon when you got started. But in exceptional circumstances, you might need them in the case of a larger dispute, such as if the documents were called upon in court.

Businesses often make the mistake of storing an early version of their contracts, rather than the final version that is signed and stamped. Different versions of contracts are exchanged during the drafting process, and they simply store the wrong version. It’s important to avoid making this mistake.

You have a number of storage options

Keeping your contracts in a safe place can give you peace of mind. Ideally, you should store your contracts in three different ways.

  1. Storing physical copies: Not only should you physically save signed originals in a safe place, you should store copies as well. Ideally, the hard copy originals and copies should be in fireproof filing cabinets in different locations. Should something happen to one set of documents, you will at least have the other.
  2. Storing digital copies locally: Your signed contracts can be turned into PDF documents and stored in a safe, password-protected office computer. It’s a good idea to create a couple of backup copies as well to store in different places. Should one drive crash or be damaged, you can access the documents that you need on another drive.
  3. Storing digital copies on the cloud: When you put your documents on the cloud, you no longer need to worry about drives crashing. Professionally run cloud storage systems create enough backup copies to ensure that there is no data lost.

While there may be a few risks to do with data breaches associated with cloud storage, storage companies are generally able to implement security far better than the average small business. Considering that businesses are routinely targeted by hackers for the promise of ease of entry that they present, cloud storage makes a lot of sense.

No matter the size or scale of your business, storing your contracts safely should not be an afterthought. Make sure your business contracts are safe and accessible at all times, and you’ll be better prepared for whatever may arise in the future.

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6 time-saving tools to streamline your business operations

Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur (solopreneur) or you have a full team, running your own business can sometimes seem like a never-ending cycle of documents, tasks and communications.

Thankfully, there are tools available for almost anything you can imagine — and business operations are not an exception. Here are seven simple and proven tools that will allow any business owner to streamline their operations — from project management and marketing to finances and paperwork — saving them valuable time and money.

1. Manage your projects

Time-Saving Tools Trello

Businesses of all sizes often struggle with project management, prioritizing and keeping on top of tasks.

Trello is a versatile and collaborative online tool that allows you (and your team) to monitor and prioritize not only the big tasks, but to manage the finer details and assign responsibilities. With both free and paid options available on desktop and mobile app, Trello is the perfect project management tool (and to do list!) for solopreneurs and teams alike.

Price: Paid options from $9.99 to $20.38 per month

Trial: No trial, but a free version is available

 

2. Save time with templates and automation

Time-Saving Tools PitchBox

Whether it’s blogger outreach, pitching or link-building, there are a plethora of tools to help you save time in your sales and outreach.

A tool such as Pitchbox helps here, by integrating with your email account and contacts, supporting outbound communication campaigns. Part email management tool and part CRM, Pitchbox manages your outreach by matching incoming responses to your opportunities, allowing you to prioritize your responses.

Pitchbox also has an automated follow-up process, which allows you to set rules and messages for those who don’t respond to your initial contact. By prioritizing and taking the time-consuming follow-up process away, you have more time to focus on the other parts of your business, safe in the knowledge that outreach campaigns and outbound communications are covered.

Price: Upon request

Trial: You can book a demo

 

3. Bring your documents and paperwork online

Time-Saving Tools Google Suite

Another brilliant digital tool is the Google Suite — otherwise known as G Suite. Not only does it include your Gmail and calendar functions including Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, you can benefit from the sophistication of Word, Excel and PowerPoint without the hefty price tag.

Cloud-based and digital, your documents on these programmes save automatically as you type, cutting back on the time spent by repeatedly saving and sorting through version histories. (And say goodbye to losing unsaved changes!)

Google Drive stores all of these documents in one secure place. Accessible across all devices, you can even invite others to collaborate on these documents, track changes and share with others. With Google Drive, no longer will you have to rely on printed paperwork and multiple collaborator versions, saving you critical admin time.

Price: From $6 to $25 per user per month

Trial: 14 days

 

 4. Manage your marketing in one place

Time-Saving Tools Loomly

If social media is critical to your sales and marketing strategy for lead generation or brand awareness, it’s essential to use a content management tool. Curating and posting organic content across three or four platforms each week can become extremely time-consuming, and that doesn’t include the time spent on creating additional advertising content.

Loomly is an innovative social media management tool that not only allows you to manage your content and keep on top of all your social channels, but that also gives you tips as you create your posts including ideas, subjects, optimization tips and a preview function.

With Facebook post sponsoring and audience targeting available within the tool itself (goodbye Facebook Business Manager!), Loomly is a collaborative and useful resource to save you time on marketing.

Price: Starting at $20 per month

Trial: 15 days

Related: Just starting out in social media and not sure where to begin? Get these smart social strategies here. 

 

5. Automate your reporting

Time-Saving Tools DashThis

Reporting is critical to your role as an entrepreneur, providing a top-down view of your business. Whether it’s marketing, financial or cash flow reporting, it’s critical that you have the right systems in place to be able to quickly identify your priorities as a business owner. You may also want to gauge the effectiveness of your social strategy, as well as the growth and engagement on each platform.

A tool such as DashThis includes key reporting such as channel overviews, periodic dashboards and campaign dashboards to monitor the effectiveness of any given campaign. With widgets and templates, it lets you customise your social media reporting and to share this data with collaborators or clients.

Price: Starting at $33 per month

Trial: 15 days

 

6. Soar higher with automated reporting

Time-Saving Tools Kyte

If you sell products, the Kyte app is an excellent resource for automated reporting. As a business owner, you need to know what sold, which are your best-selling products, revenue and, of course, your profit.

Kyte gives you a dashboard on your chosen device that is simple to understand and accompanied by intuitive and detailed reports. This app also works as a Point of Sale (PoS) system and as an online catalogue for your customers.

Price: Pro version $4.99

Trial: No trial, but a free version is available

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How social media can improve your sales process (A real business case study)

Sitting in our weekly sales and marketing meeting, I am so impressed with (yes, my company, but also) how powerful a tool social media is for helping improve your sales process. We’re having a conversation inspired by a single tweet from earlier that week.

The CaseClassroom - Improve your sales process

Recently, one of our sales reps was following up with one of his inbound leads that came through a website lead form. When he couldn’t reach the person on the phone, he left a voicemail offering to follow up on the resources he downloaded.

That could have been the end of that story.

But what happened was the person tweeted about the voicemail, expressing his discontent:

noahwesley : «Someone from HubSpot just left me a VM & told me he noticed I’d been on the site often & «…consuming resources…» …who talks like that?»

The Response

Whoa! That’s not a typical HubSpot voicemail. We create tons of free resources and LOVE when people get value out of them — whether or not they’re interested in our marketing software. We had to respond, and did so in two ways:

  1. The marketing team, which of course monitors company mentions in social media and noticed this tweet, forwarded this message to sales management to respond appropriately.
  2. The marketing team also responded to the tweet from the @HubSpot account, apologizing for the ill-phrased message.

HubSpot : @noahwesley Sorry for the ill-phrased vm. That’s not how we think of visitors. We LOVE when people take advantage of our free resources.

The Result

Noah responded to both the rep’s phone call and the @HubSpot tweet – Success!

noahwesley : @HubSpot No problem at all. I love your free resources, I just thought the phrasing was funny 🙂 Thanks for the follow-up call.

Taking It A Step Further

Improve your sales process - Business strategy plan over ladder leading to success

Already this is a successful use of social media — we uncovered an issue and resolved it quickly. We could have stopped there, but instead decided to learn from this case and improve our sales process. At our weekly sales and marketing meeting, we discussed this tweet and this voicemail. What could the rep have said instead? How can we better follow up with these inbound leads? The team worked together to brainstorm different approaches.

Lessons

There are plenty of examples of using social media for lead generation or for PR or for customer service. With this case study, we learned that social media is a powerful tool for improving the sales process itself. What are the key takeaways?

  1. Listen. Social media gives you visibility into the sales funnel where before you were in the dark.
  2. Respond authentically. This was our bad, we apologized, and that relationship was restored.
  3. Learn and improve. Take this feedback and use it to improve your processes. Never before was it so easy to get candid feedback — now utilize it.

How have you been able to use social media to improve your business processes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Advice for busy professionals to avoid burnout

Avoid Burnout

In our culture, we have a tradition of admiring people who stay busy. Unfortunately, for many professionals embracing that belief, it can mean losing fulfillment both at home and in their careers. If you want to avoid burnout, consider incorporating a few changes into your lifestyle to help you keep things balanced and feel more satisfaction in both the personal and professional realms.

Are you burning out?

Being busy is one thing, but burnout is a reality that can sidetrack your home life and career. When you continually overextend your time and energy, you put yourself at risk.

Even if you love your job, friends and family, without proper balance and healthy coping skills, you could be heading for trouble. Ask yourself if you recognize any of these signs of burnout:

  • Feeling fatigued all the time
  • Poor motivation
  • Feeling cynical or frustrated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Waning performance or productivity
  • Unhealthy choices (poor eating habits, failure to exercise, self-medicating)
  • Continually thinking about work
  • Reduced general satisfaction
  • Increased health problems

All too often, we equate stress with success. A little bit of stress is helpful, such as when you’re preparing for a job interview or competing athletically, but our minds and bodies aren’t designed to be under a continual onslaught of stressful situations.

In fact, chronic stress appears to be linked with cardiovascular disease, digestive trouble, reduced immune function, and neck and back pain. It’s important to address this stress — and make positive changes to help reduce those feelings.

Lighten your workload

Avoid Burnout - Outsource

Being passionate about your job is wonderful, but cutting back can ease your schedule as well as your mind. Do you have tasks you could pass to other team members? Think about delegating some of your to-do list more often, and if you don’t have others who are properly qualified for something unworthy of your time, consider outsourcing it.

If funds or people power are a concern, another option is to add technology that facilitates routine tasks. For instance, bookkeeping, scheduling and communication can all be streamlined with well-chosen apps.

Positive coping methods to avoid burnout

Avoid Burnout - Yoga

There are healthy, natural ways to manage stress that you can incorporate into your business day. One natural stress management method is meditation. Harvard Health Publishing notes mindfulness meditation could potentially lower your levels of stress and anxiety. Not only that, it’s convenient since you can slip in some breathing exercises from your car, in the office, or wherever you happen to be when you feel the tension rising.

Yoga is another natural solution since it incorporates mindfulness with physical activity. If you aren’t getting in workouts, consider adding it to your lifestyle — it’s multitasking at its best! And supplements may be something to discuss with your healthcare professionals when it comes to stress management, as they may help regulate your mood and decrease anxiety.

Boost personal efficiency

Avoid Burnout - Boost efficiency

After parceling out tasks as much as possible, boosting personal efficiency can free up time and energy for things like working out or dinner with the family. Prioritize work carefully, and flex timing on less important tasks. Do your top items when your energy is best, so if you’re a morning person, schedule key meetings early in the day, and so forth. Lump lower priorities into low-energy, open slots in your schedule. And lastly, consider whether your workstation could be more efficient since you might not even notice that your office surrounding is slowing you down.

Burnout is a real thing, so avoid putting yourself at risk. Find healthy ways to manage stress, reduce your workload, and improve your efficiency. Balancing your personal and professional life can improve your health and save your career.

 

Up Next: Want to find business zen? Paying yourself first will help.