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Best Communication Tips for Business Owners

Competency in communication is highly essential at the business management level. Good communication facilitates the effective exchange of ideas between the top leadership and low-level employees. Developing communication competency requires a strategic focus on five critical areas.

Enhancing Listening Skills

Listening is a highly essential aspect of communication. For effective communication in the workplace to occur, one party must actively listen. For active listening to occur, the listener must be able and willing to turn off any other form of internal engagement and focus all senses to the party talking.

Varying Communication styles

Communication takes place in a wide variety of styles. To better understand employees, who may be diverse in their composition, every business owner should clearly understand how to utilize a suitable communication style. It may also help learn about the different communication skills and behavior assessments to make sense of how employees behave in the workplace.

Being Objective

Being objective when communicating helps both the listener and the communicator to better exchange ideas. Objective communication has more to do with ensuring that each communication session has a clear purpose. The best way to pass across a message clearly and concisely is to ensure that every aspect of the communication is done with a specified goal in mind.

Using the Right Channels

There are different channels of communication that can be relevantly used in the workplace. Every competent business owner should understand when to use each to achieve a specific objective. Some communication channels, such as email, may take time for information to be passed across, especially since not all employees open their emails daily. Other channels, such as using a phone call, may help relay information in person and with clarity.

Leading by Example

The only reason why some organizations and businesses experience hitches in communication is that there exists a huge gap between knowledge and practice. One way to make a difference is for business owners and managers to lead by example. Practicing all communication tips for business owners can help make a considerable change in the workplace as far as communication is concerned. Leading by example, provides employees with a benchmark on the direction to take to achieve effectiveness in workplace communication.

To learn more, please visit Mike Plumlee‘s business blog!

An Introduction to Investing Your Money

Learning to invest can seem intimidating. But investing can be a key to moving from a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle to one of wealth. And the truth is, it doesn’t take a lot of money to get started when it comes to investing. Today, there are plenty of investment options for people of all income levels and social classes.

Investing means using money to earn more money. Investors put their money into something, like real estate or company stock, hoping to make a return on it. Investing carries the potential for loss in ways that a simple savings account does not. For example, someone can buy a stock at $50 per share, and then it might go down to $45. So investing can be risky.

However, there are ways to mitigate risk when investing. One of the best ways of doing this is by diversifying a portfolio. It’s not always wise to put money into individual stocks. Nonspecialists may not understand the best way to interpret data about a specific company and determine whether or not to invest. These days, some robo-advisors can help with that. Wealthfront is a popular one that has no fees for accounts under $5,000.

Putting money into an indexed fund can be a great alternative to individual stocks. Index funds are compiled to represent the average composition of the stock market. People who invest in them can often see the results of 5-10%. They have fewer fees than many other types of funds, and they have less risk than some other forms of investment.

Treasury securities are incredibly safe investments, backed by the US government. There’s no risk of losing money. Returns are modest but stable. These securities include savings bonds, treasury bills, 30-year-bonds, and shorter-term notes. Anyone can sign up for an account at TreasuryDirect.gov and start investing. This isn’t the most common way to invest, but it’s an excellent option for beginners.

Finally, it’s important to have some savings before starting to invest. Investments tend to be a lot less liquid than cash. Creating a high-interest online saving account through companies like Chime or even eTrade. These savings accounts can pay up to 1.00%, much better than savings accounts at brick-and-mortar banks.

For more information, please check out Mike Plumlee‘s finance blog!

Books Every Business Owner Should Read

Bookstores are filled with thousands of great books that will help you succeed as a business owner. These books can help you set and achieve your goals, manage your finances, and promote your business. But it’s often hard to choose which book is the right pick for you! The following are just a few of the top business books to check out the next time you are at the library or your local bookstore!

Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill took 13 common habits from prominent men of his day over a span of 20 years and turned it into one of the business world best selling books! Hill discusses how business owners must possess the right state of mind to become successful during their career and he helps break down the steps to success into actionable items!

7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

In 2020 one of the biggest challenges most successful business owners face is finding work-life balance. Published in 1990, Stephen Covey wrote the blueprint on balancing your personal and professional life. He offers advice on productivity, time management, and positive thinking. 

The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferris

A 4-hour workweek sounds perfect for any business owner and Tim Ferris has broken down the process that allowed him to work less while earning more! Ferris was inspired after working 80 hours a week and wanted to streamline what he was doing. The book is divided into 4 sections and highlights how entrepreneurs can work around the lifestyle they desire.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink

Daniel Pink highlights the secret to high performance and satisfaction in Drive. Whether you’re at home, at school, or at work, this book looks at the human need to direct our own lives while learning and creating new things. This book is perfect if you’re looking to realign your personal and professional priorities. 

Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson

While this isn’t a traditional business book, the book is based on over 40 interviews Walter Isaacson conducted with Steve Jobs, his family members, and even his competitors. The interviews are life lessons to be learned at every stage of your career. 

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen

Any small business owner knows that it can be hard to maintain productivity levels. But David Allen shares the secret to increasing your productivity. And that secret is being able to relax! In Getting Things Done, Alle outlines the best system to help you achieve ways to relax!

Tips for Working Remotely

Companies are starting to loosen the reigns and are allowing their employees to work from home or work remotely. Some companies even advertise their job listings with remote options. But one of the biggest challenges of remote work is staying productive, creative, inspired, and still keeping some type of work-life balance. So how do you make the transition from working in an office to working remotely?

Communication is Key

The key to being able to succeed in any role is communication. But once you go remote, communication is key and becomes an even more important asset to your everyday work life. Being a remote employee means you are no longer a few feet from your boss or other coworkers so it’s important to have scheduled daily meetings or even weekly 1:1’s. This allows you to stay connected with your fellow colleagues, connect about any projects you’re working on, and discuss your goals. 

Technology

It’s important to have reliable technology to help you complete daily work tasks. Whether it’s updating your wifi router or getting a new laptop or desktop, the right technology is going to help you be successful while you’re remote.

“Logging Off”

One of the hardest things to do when working remotely is to stop working for the day. Even though you’re going to continue to receive emails and notifications, it’s important to put a hard stopping time in place for your mental health. This will also help establish a work-life balance. 

Workspaces

One of the easiest things to do when working remotely is to work from your bed or couch every single day. But setting up a designated workspace will allow you to focus on the tasks at hand. Whether it’s setting up an office in your home, finding a coworking space near you, or setting up in a corner of a coffee shop a few days a week, your workspace should suit your needs and allow you to tackle whatever projects and tasks come your way. 

Embrace the Travel Perks

Working remotely doesn’t mean you just work from home every single day! If it’s possible, take advantage of being able to travel while still working! Whether you are an employee at a company, a freelancer, or an entrepreneur, you’ll be able to work anywhere! 

The Importance of Business Blogging

With the explosion of digital content in the age of the Internet, many businesses and companies have followed in the footsteps of early adopters and begun developing a blog on their websites. There are many reasons why having a blog is a crucial aspect of any business website. Here are some of the most significant and vital considerations for any business that may not yet have a blog on their company website.

A blog at first may not seem like a very impactful resource for a company to put resources into, but there are few places where customers can get as engaged with a business as they can on a blog. It is an excellent tool for putting out updates on your business to the most engaged customers. Those who are interested enough to actively seek out information on the business they are interested in.

One of the primary goals of any business website is to improve its visibility in online search engine results pages. A great way to achieve this is by building quality links to essential pages on your website. While you can’t necessarily control who links to your pages from other sites, you can control the internal links that move visitors around your website. This internal linking structure to the website can make it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for, increasing their chances of continuing to use the business in the future.

Perhaps one of the most important reasons to create a business blog if your business does not yet have one is that a blog is quickly becoming an expected part of any business website for customers and website visitors. Any website that does not have a blog will likely be a disappointment to site visitors. This would undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on the conversion rates the business observes from the website traffic. On the other hand, having a blog as part of a business website has been shown to have a significant benefit for the business that owns it, helping to boost conversion and sales rates amongst blog visitors over time.

Having a blog on a business website is a crucial aspect of website design for many reasons. The return on investment for a blog is often quite high since the relative requirement of time and money for a blog is low compared to many other business growth sources and improvements.

Originally published: https://jamesmichaelplumleefinancialadvisor.net/the-importance-of-business-blogging/

Developing a Youtube Brand

YouTube offers an opportunity for anyone to express themselves and explore the topics that interest them. They also allow you to monetize your videos, but this requires building a brand that attracts a large viewership. The following tips can help you build up a brand that can lead you to success as a YouTube contributor.

Research Your Niche

The first step in building a successful YouTube brand is identifying the topics you want to focus on with your videos. This should be a popular area of interest, but it will allow you to present a unique take on the topic. It will help to explore what others are doing since YouTube contributors that address the same issues will be your competitors. You’ll have to draw some of their viewers, but you can also look to see what marketing strategies are working for them. You may be able to adopt some of their marketing practices to help your channel grow.

Keywords Matter

Like the rest of the internet, YouTube relies on keyword searches to connect viewers to channels that interest them. For this reason, you should develop a series of keywords that you can use to promote your videos. The keyword phrases you choose should be relevant to each video’s topic while also being familiar enough that the average user will search for them. The right keyword phrases can help you attract viewers before you’ve spent any money on advertising and marketing.

Create Content

If you want to keep the viewers you’ve attracted and draw in new viewers, you’ll have to create unique content consistently. Whether you post a new video once a month, or once a week, set up a schedule that you can stick with over a long period. This will help your viewers watch for your new content. Additionally, give other YouTube contributors the chance to appear in your videos, and look for opportunities to appear in the video content created by others. By exploring the option of guest appearances, you and the contributors you work with can help each other build your audiences.

These are the basic guidelines that can help you develop and grow your own YouTube channel. As you gain more experience, you may find other practices that will improve your content and increase your reach. While this will be a trial and error process, you’ll achieve success as long as you persevere.

Originally published: https://jamesmichaelplumleefinancialadvisor.net/developing-a-youtube-brand/

Employee Retention Tips

It’s happened to all of us. Our best employees have resigned out of nowhere. Not only do you have a brand new set of challenges to tackle, but you have to consider how the departure will affect the rest of your staff. When employees leave, their coworkers start to wonder if they should also be thinking about new career opportunities. 

Employee retention should be a top priority at every organization regardless of their size. Creating a successful employee retention strategy will require your organization to think about things from their employees’ standpoint. Each employee wants to know that they are appreciated and going to be treated fairly. They want to be challenged, paid well, and have access to excellent benefits. 

The manager has to be serious about employee retention and to do more than the bare minimum for the people they work with. The following tips can help develop employee retention in your business.

Onboarding and Orientation Programs

Each new hire should be set up for success from day one. The onboarding process should teach new employees about the job as well as the company culture and how their contributions will help them thrive. It’s important not to shortcut this because the training and support they receive can set the tone for the rest of their tenure with the company.

Compensation

It’s crucial in a competitive labor market that companies offer attractive compensation packages, which should include salaries, bonuses, paid time off, health benefits, and retirement plans. Each employee must understand the benefits they are receiving and know that they are entitled to good perks.

Communication and Feedback

Open lines of communication are essential for employee retention. Your employees should feel comfortable coming to you with ideas, questions, and concerns, and expect to receive an honest and direct communication line. They are also looking for this when they are getting feedback about their performance. It’s important to connect with each employee regularly, so that performance issues do not build up over time.

Work-life Balance

What is your company culture like? Do your employees have a good work-life balance? A healthy work-life balance is key to job satisfaction, and employees are looking for bosses that understand that they have a personal life outside of the office. Encourage your staff to take vacation time and days off. If you need them to stay late, make sure you offer late arrivals the next day or even an extra day off to compensate. You do not want a workplace that encourages and rewards employees with 24/7 availability! 

Improving Your Putting Skills

Golf is a game of many skills. However, what you do on the green might be the most important of them all. Let’s take a look at some ways to improve your putting.

Scout the Green From the Low Side

It’s a lot easier to understand the texture of a green from the low side. While you’re looking at the same thing either way, this shift in perspective gives you the best read for the putt. Approaching the green from the high side gives an unnatural sense of elevation that could offset the ball.

Work on Depth Perception

It’s easy to take depth perception for granted as something our eyes have provided our whole lives. However, it can often be uncalibrated, which leads to poor reads on the green. In your garage or at the practice green, mark off some objects and try to guess their distance. Calibrate your depth perception for perfect distance measurement. When you get to the actual green, you’ll have a good sense of distance between you and the hole.

Picture the Hole as a Clock

Picturing the trajectory of your ball is not an easy task. One thing that can help is to picture the whole as a clock, with six o’clock pointing at your feet. Then, visualize at what angle and time your ball will roll into the whole. Focusing on the destination instead of the entire trajectory can be easier to manage at once.

Find a Horizontal Background

When you kneel down to read the green, the background may not be horizontal if there are clouds or trees nearby. These things can easily distract you. Instead, try to focus on a horizontal object in the background, perhaps a roof or the waterline of a lake. Knowing what comprises the true horizontal will allow you to read the green and determine which way your ball will roll.

Improving your putting will lead to massive progress in your golf game. Follow these tips to become a masterful putter in no time. Remember, putting is all about patience and technique.

3 Tips on Effective Leadership

No matter if you’re new to management or a seasoned veteran, it’s never too late to learn a few tips on being an effective leader. Therefore, the following list includes three ways you can begin to hone your leadership skills and make them as useful as possible.

Lead by Example

If you are noticing that your employees are not doing what you’ve outlined in your company policy, you might want to first look in the mirror. The reality is that employees will only follow a specific procedure if they see you doing it as well. After all, if it’s okay for the boss to do it, why not themselves. Therefore, you should always make sure to lead by example. If you expect your team to be in the office within a specific time, you should as well. If you expect a certain amount of work to be done, then you should also be working right alongside them.

Share & Recognize Good Work

One of the most common complaints from past employees is that they would never get recognized for their hard work, or their boss would usually take credit for the good and blamed for the bad. An effective leader should never belittle the efforts of their staff. Instead, you should always make sure to share the glory along with the recognition. If an individual member of the team went above and beyond, that person should have the spotlight placed on them. On the other hand, when good work has been accomplished, make it known to your staff how proud you are of their hard work.

Master Communication

There’s no doubt about it; if you want to become an effective leader, you should continue to work on mastering communication. However, excellent communication skills don’t involve telling everyone what you want out of them; it’s also about listening to their concerns and suggestions. An effective leader should be able to persuade their staff to go above and beyond. They should even understand how to listen and process feedback when they are being spoken to.

So you’ve made it, you’re not a leader within your business. However, now is not time to rest on your laurels. It is crucial to utilize the information able to make sure that you become an effective leader to your staff and company.

How to Apply for a Small Business Loan

For a small business to get off the ground or to keep operating effectively, a small business loan is often the best course of action. However, it usually isn’t as simple as merely stepping into a bank and applying for one. Therefore, here are some of the steps and suggestions you should take when applying for a small business loan.

Understand Your Reason & How Much You Need

It would seem that a business owner would understand the reason why they need a loan and how much they want to ask for. However, this isn’t necessarily true, especially when they are first-time business owners. Those new to business often only understand that they need capital first to allow them to plan. However, the reality is that you first need to plan then apply for a loan. You will notice that most lenders will ask for this information before even presenting you with your options.

Focus on Your Credit Score

When a business decides to ask for a business loan, lenders will usually look into your business’s credit history. However, what if you’ve never held a business before or your business is less then three years old? Lenders will then look at your credit score to determine your eligibility. This is why it is important to focus on your credit score before even thinking about stepping into a bank. It would help if you took the time to fix any issues with your record as well as pay down any outstanding debts.

Research Your Options

Just because you’ve never received a bank loan does not mean you are a slave to the most established banks. The fact is that you do have options, and those options should be explored. You may find that you could receive a better outcome from locally operated banks or even a non-bank institution such as a credit union. The reason for that is because not only are your requirements much easier on your company in terms of finance, but if anything needs to be taken care of, you are only a few blocks away from speaking to someone in person.

Funding your new business is no easy task, but it is possible. Therefore, it is highly recommended that business leaders adhere to the tips posted above to see a positive outcome for your company and your pocketbook.