Business Advice: Tips to Avoid Burnout

Portal CFO How to Avoid Burnout

It happens to the best of us: burnout. Of course it does. Getting your business off to a good start, keeping an eye on profits, employees, competition, inventory, can wear anyone out. It take a lot of time, energy, and focus. So how does one avoid burnout and stay consistent? In this post, we’ve compiled some of the most common sense tips to avoid burnout in your business

Tips to Avoid Burnout:

Take time off.

Many business owners work more than forty hours a week. They may start early in the morning and work late at night, squeezing in as much time to work as possible.

However, if you don’t want to get burnt out, you are going to need to take time off. If possible, don’t work every evening and weekend. Your body and mind needs time to unwind and relax, so you are ready to go back to work!

To do that, you should work set hours.

It is important that you set aside certain times for work and times to have off. You shouldn’t just try to work every free moment that you have. Then, once they are set, make sure that you follow them.

Spend quality time with your family.

Even though you are probably working on your business for your family, it is still important that you find time to spend with those that you love.

Spending time with your family can really help you relax and enjoy life. This is necessary to avoid burnout!

Burnout is real, and it can be disastrous to a business. Many businesses fail because their owners overdo it. To avoid it, you need to make sure that you take time off every day. You can’t work twenty-four hours a day. You also can’t work seven days a week. In order to do this, it is important to set a schedule and stick to it!

To learn more about how to manage your business, contact us! We’ll help you assess your goals, and map out a strategic plan to meeting them.

Business Advice: Tips to Provide Good Customer Service

Portal CFO Customer Service Photo

Customer service should be a priority for you – from the first moment that you meet a new customer until they leave your store. You need to give them a reason to buy products and services from you (and to keep coming back).

Though many business owners worry that it is too hard, the truth is that it is doable.

Here are some tips to help you provide good customer service.

Smile.

Customer service starts with a smile. Greet your customers as they walk through the door. This will start their visit off on the right foot. Are you talking on the phone with customers? Even though they can’t see you, you should still smile. It brings a pleasant tone to your voice.

Listen to your customers.

Most people don’t properly listen to people when they talk. However, you need to give your undivided attention to your customers. They will know when you are paying attention and when you aren’t.

Focus on staff training.

If you have employees, you need to make them understand how much good customer service means to you. Make sure that they receive proper customer service training so that they know how they should handle clients, especially when problems arise. If your employees have the right tools, it can only help your business.

Respond quickly.

Most businesses have a policy where they return all phone calls and emails within one business day. Are you able to do that? If not, make sure that you let your customers know this beforehand. Most customers don’t mind waiting as long as they know how long it will be.

With a positive, responsive attitude, excellent training, and a service mindset, you can excel at customer service. It’s a simple tool for creating better, long-term client relationships.

Contact us for more information and advice on how to better serve your customers and grow your business.

Four Tech-Driven Tips for Increasing the Value of Meeting

How To Run A Productive Meeting in Your Office

Meetings, conceptually, are a difficult beast to tame. Too many meetings leads to lower productivity due to the level of distractions. Too few meetings… also leads to lower productivity due to employees having low information on their actual tasks.

And between all of that, there are issues that unexpectedly arise from the quality of the meetings themselves. The very structure of a meeting can lead to inefficient results, causing confusion or eating up working hours with a focus on topics that aren’t actually helping anyone improve material results of the task at hand.

Simply put, managing meetings is one of the most difficult skill sets to perfect, regardless of the type of business at hand. With that in mind, here are four essential tips geared towards generating a positive ROI on any new equipment needed:

  1. Rely on simple, accessible technology to keep the focus on communication over IT. 

With the myriad options available, it’s easy to fall into the trap of meetings relying on too many technological variables with the potential to cause issues. Focus on meetings that facilitate simple, broadly compatible technologies, such as projectors that easily serve content from personal devices. When presenters only have to connect a familiar device through HDMI, time-consuming troubleshooting disappears.

  1. Schedule video meetings whenever appropriate. 

Even within the same building, it’s often a boon to be able to quickly meet and exchange ideas or issue instructions without the logistics of going to a physical meeting space. And getting in the habit of video conferencing makes it easier to build meetings where even a single participant who is off-site can be brought in at a whim, seamlessly.

  1. Craft an immersive meeting experience. 

Attentiveness is the currency of meetings. It’s incredibly easy to reflexively go through the motions of a meeting, especially for experienced employees. Keep attendees engaged by cutting down on downtime, setting a structure that asks for input from everyone present at a consistent pace, and always ends with a strong call to action that succinctly rephrases exactly what needs to be done going forward.

  1. Leverage software to book and schedule meetings. 

A major roadblock for meetings, especially in corporate settings, is the deceptively complex process of booking and scheduling. Avoid this by standardizing an RSVP system, so each attendee receives an invite they are meant to respond to. This cuts down on unexpected absences and blocks out exactly how much time away from the regular working day is required for the meeting in question.

Following these simple tips, you’ll be well on the path to achieving greater productivity returns on the time spent in meetings. Contact us today for more business advice on how to keep your business running successfully.

4 “Type A” Tips to Successful Money Management

business owner tips for successful money management

When entrepreneurs dream of being business owners, their vision of a successful enterprise rarely ever includes the image of meticulously managing the books. It can be difficult to take the time to sit down and review the financial statements which can make it easy to fall behind on money management. Here are four “Type A” money management tips o help you successfully keep track of where your finances are going.

  1. Send your invoices ASAP: The timeliness of getting paid depends on when you send out an invoice. Any delay in sending out your invoice decreases the chances you will get paid on time. Finding ways to automate sending your invoices out assures your mind that the task is completed.
  2. Walk, don’t run with your growth: While your business’s journey from start-up to small business had its own set of leaps and jumps, remember to pace your growth. A business growing too fast can get out of control making it difficult sustain; so plan to invest in your growth.
  3. Get creative with color: Taking the time to create colorful and organized spreadsheets for your own personal use can incent you to keep track of your accounts payable, receivable, expenses, cash flow, and so on. Creatively personalizing and interacting with your own financial spreadsheets helps motivate you to try to look at your figures at least once a month; and if you’re on top of it, once a week.
  4. Save, Save, Save: Every business has its good days and bad days. The best way to prepare for these income fluctuations is to add a weekly sum to a petty cash fund (or whichever way you like to save) and put some away when you have it.

Making a good habit of checking your finances is the best way to stay on top of the bookkeeping. A weekly or daily check takes less time than the daunting task of spending hours going over finances every quarter. These four money management tips will help you know exactly where your money is going and how to plan for your business’s success.

Contact me today to learn more about how Portal CFO Consulting can help you grow your small business.

How to Grow Your Business with Some Help from Social Media

In today’s economic environment, growing a business requires business owners to create a presence beyond bricks and mortar. Today’s consumer spends a good portion of their time on social networks. With consumer habits trending towards internet based social interaction, it is essential that as a small or medium-sized business owner you throw your hat in the social media ring and learn how to grow your business through these powerfully popular platforms.

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Traits that Successful Small Business Owners Develop

Small business owners tend to be the types of people that are always looking for a leg up on the competition. As a result, there is a great deal of personal development that goes on with a small business owner over time. While many entrepreneurs and small business owners are highly unique, there are some common traits that arise again and again in successful small business owners. Let’s review some of the key skills that we see used every day by successful operators in business.

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How to Keep Employees Happy in a Family-Owned Business

One of the most difficult challenges to tackle in a family-owned business is the perception that employees who are part of the ownership family will be given special treatment when jobs open up.  The important thing is to make sure that as an owner, you do the best you can to make sure that those feelings don’t arise in other employees.  One of the biggest risks of that line of thinking is that your talented employees will be constantly looking toward the exit if they feel that there are no opportunities for advancement within your company.

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Be Prepared for a Business Interruption

One risk that many small business owners don’t spend enough time considering is business interruption.  Would your business be able to handle an interruption and still survive?

There are many types of interruptions that can occur in a business.  Today, we will review what I consider to be the three primary types of interruptions to your business that you can prepare for. If you’re ready for all of them, then you can run your business with more confidence; knowing that an interruption will not force your business to shut down permanently.

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Strategies to Reduce your Business Debt

In many cases, business debt is inevitable, especially during the earliest phases in a company’s development.  Depending on the kind of debt that it is, it could be eating into your profits and cash flow and keeping you from expanding your business the way that you want to.  It makes perfect sense that you want to get rid of any business debt you accumulate as quickly as possible.

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Business Trends for 2013: The Direction of Small Business in the New Year

business trends and business people

With the New Year only weeks away, it makes sense to look at business trends for 2013 so that you can know what to expect and how you should react as you shape your small business.

But what are some of those trends?

And what do they mean for the development of your company, as well as your industry as a whole?

Those are questions we’ll be exploring in this post, so keep reading to learn more about business trends for 2013.

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