The Hottest and Most Brilliant Business Tips for YOU – Get Yourself a Professional Home Office and Nine More Ways to Improve Your Business
Our researchers at Credit Suite found these ten great business tips for you! Be fierce and score in business with the best tips around the web. You can use them today and see fast results. A professional home office is only the beginning.
Stop making stupid decisions and start powering up your business. Demolish your business nightmares and start celebrating as your business fulfills its promise.
And these brilliant business tips are all here for free! So settle in and scoop up these tantalizing goodies before your competition does!
#10. Direct Yourself Before Your Wreck Yourself
Our first tip is all about using a self-directed IRA to invest in your business. Succeed As Your Own Boss says this means of financing has some pretty stringent rules. But if you follow those rules closely, you should be able to make this work.
Now, keep in mind, this is not the same as 401(k) financing. With a self-directed IRA, you can use your IRA’s assets to invest in your own business. However, there are some strict rules which you are going to have to follow. The IRS is not going to take kindly to you breaking these rules. So prevent an audit and follow ‘em!
Not Everyone Can Invest Their Self-Directed IRA into Your Business
Perhaps the oddest part of this arrangement is how the IRA puts limits on who can and cannot toss their IRA funds into your company. Only business associates, friends, and siblings can make this sort of an investment into your company. Your parents, spouse, and kids can’t.
But don’t fret. If Mom and Dad want to invest in your business, they can become angel investors.
You Can’t Invest This Way if You Own 50% of More of the Business
Another rule which you’ll have to obey is to watch the ownership percentage. Why? Because if you have a controlling interest in the business, then you are considered to be a key employee or key investor. So it’s a no-no for you to invest in this particular way.
Watch Your Business Entity
Got an S corporation or a general partnership? Then sorry, but you’re outta luck here.
Cross Those I’s and Dot Those T’s – No, Wait – The Other Way Around
Beyond reading the article thoroughly – which we highly recommend, by the way – protect yourself in one other way. Talk to a tax accountant or a tax lawyer, or maybe both. When it comes to taxes, professional consultations are worth every penny.
#9. Help Your Sales People Sell
The next tip is about your B2B sales enablement strategy. Sales Hacker notes your business can open up lines of communication and add value every time you’re in contact with your prospects, and this is how to do it.
But first off, what’s sales enablement?
It’s the process of giving your sales people everything they need to woo customers. This can come in the form of software, content, or information, or some combination thereof.
Value is Valuable
Our favorite tip was all about adding value at every step. And we are all for that! Because, let’s look at it from a consumer standpoint. And by this we mean both being a regular consumer and also being in a business which is a consumer of goods and services.
Do you love being sold to? Probably not. Do you love getting contacted all the time, for seemingly no reason? Probably not. So the idea of adding value every time makes a great deal of sense to us. It gives the sales person the perfect pretext for initiating contact with the prospect. And it gives the prospect a reason to listen to the sales person at all.
#8. Be a Better Boss and Don’t Stop Learning
Our following tip concerns several ways to make sure you’re constantly learning as you lead. Startup Professionals tells us you may not have been born a CEO, but you’re one now. So take the opportunity and don’t stop learning.
Perhaps the Most Important Lesson You’ll Ever Learn
Take more time to celebrate others’ successes. Yes, really. It is perhaps the most vital thing you can do as a manager.
So it’s story time.
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Several years ago, your intrepid blog writer worked for a rather difficult boss. At the time, I was transitioning from one particular kind of career (law) into a rather different one (social media – and it wasn’t even called that yet!). So leaving was out of the question for a while. Hence I had to take it.
When I would learn something new, my boss would claim anyone could learn or do what I had. If I worked fast, I was told it was messing up everyone else’s rhythm. If I worked too slowly, then I was holding everyone else back.
And I never heard a single thank you for my efforts.
So when I because a manager, my first thoughts were about emulating good former bosses. But they were also about doing the polar opposite of what this person did. So I thank people. A lot.
And I try hard to not end a meeting without some form of praise or gratitude.
Because the last thing I want is to treat anyone how I was treated.
#7. A Road Map for Rebranding
For our next tip, we looked at rebranding. Marketing Eye Dallas makes it clear that rebranding can be rather daunting. So don’t undertake it lightly. Rebranding isn’t just about changing a company name or logo. It’s supposed to be a pretty major change in your business.
So consider why you’re changing in the first place. How has your business changed? How has it improved? This should be a part of your customer strategy. You do, after all, want your customers to understand that the rebranding is a reflection of changes for the better. Because change just for the sake of change is kinda silly. Not to mention expensive.
And another tip we loved – get everyone on board! But that’s a good business practice no matter what you’re doing, don’t you think?
#6. Freshen Up Your Site!
This tip is so useful, and it works! Round Peg indicates there are a half a dozen great reasons to update your website.
Our favorite tip was to upgrade the user experience. While you may think your customers and prospects are getting a good user experience, you should test this.
Here’s an idea: get someone who probably hasn’t been on your site before (or at least not much) and give them a task to do. As in, order a pizza. Or book an appointment. Or chat with a customer service rep.
And you better believe you should listen to that person’s feedback! Are you asking for information on your signup forms which isn’t necessary? Then get rid of it. Seriously – do you honestly need someone’s middle name or even their middle initial? If you monogram stuff, then sure. Otherwise, probably not.
Take note of what they say about how hard it was to do this or that. Learn if took longer than they expected, or if they lost their patience with your site. This kind of feedback is golden. Don’t squander it – respond to it and make the changes you need to fix any identified problems.
#5. It’s Time For You To Have a Professional Home Office
Grab this tip while it’s hot! Put together a professional home office. Noobpreneur shows us how to set up a fantastic office at your residence which will exude professionalism.
Perhaps our biggest surprise was about color! Apparently there is some real-live, honest to goodness science out there, all about how color really can affect moods and emotions.
Apparently, yellow (according to the link clicked through) stimulates creativity. And your intrepid blog writer’s office is yellow! Coincidence?
Er, well, yeah. But hey, so far, so good.
Comings and Goings for Your Professional Home Office
Perhaps the tip that was most valuable was all about curb appeal and entries. If you have ever gone to, say, a doctor’s appointment in a place attached to a private residence, you’ve undoubtedly seen this. What do we mean?
A separate entrance for work keeps family and work life separate. Your clients don’t have to traipse through your dining room. And hopefully no one will wake the baby.
Of course, if you don’t entertain clients, you can pass this one by. But it’s not all there is to a professional home office.
Light, Light, and More Light in Your Professional Home Office
A professional home office with a window rocks. And if you’re working from home, you probably don’t have to wrestle with anyone else for such a coveted spot. Moving your desk near a window will likely make you happy. But at the same time, be mindful of street and nature noise. If you open windows, you could end up with either, or both. And it’s not exactly purely professional when your business meeting is interrupted by your neighbor using a weed whacker.
Furniture also matters a great deal when setting up a professional home office. And here is one serious pro tip which, surprisingly, wasn’t in the article.
Get a good desk chair. Spend some bucks. It doesn’t have to be thousands, but try the chair in the store and get something you can work with. Because back pain is no fun.
#4. Goin’ Fishin’ in Social Media – and Getting Bites
Check out this tip, all about getting customers from your social media marketing. Main Street ROI states it’s all about three rather specific things you need to be.
Build an Audience
We’ve covered this before, and it bears repeating. Fish where the fish are. Period, end of story. Don’t like Facebook? Then you’re going to have to get over that, as there are over 2 billion people who use it every month. So the chance of your customers being on it – and by a figure of at or near 100% – is such a sure bet no bookie would take it.
Engage Your Audience
Talk to people! And you will need to be putting out the right content at the right time(s). And at the right frequency as well. If your audience best responds to one post every half hour, then get crackin’! And for the love of all that’s holy, use every scheduling feature you can, so you can get some sleep at night.
Convert Your Audience
Of course that’s what we’re all about, and you should be, too! Because you can post till the cows come home, but if no one converts, then it’s a big, fat waste of time. It can be rather tempting at times to just post for the sake of posting. Don’t.
Your business can be on social media for all sorts of reasons. But if those reasons don’t include trying to convert your prospects to customers, then you’re ultimately using social media for all the wrong reasons.
#3. Grow Your Biz Brand with LinkedIn
It’s not your imagination: this winning tip can pull your hobby into the realm of a business. The Work At Home Woman tells us all about using LinkedIn to grow a home-based business. Now, keep in mind, we often tell people that using your residential address for your business won’t do you any favors. You can use a virtual office if you don’t need an actual, physical one.
And even a truly professional home office shouldn’t be your business address if yours is a retail establishment.
But we are also mindful of the fact that you’ve got to start somewhere. Plus we also feel a lot of the advice can apply to bigger, more seasoned businesses.
We really loved the tip about making connections. But don’t just connect willy-nilly. And for gosh sake’s don’t spam people! Rather, connect with people who are in your industry. Or they could be people you want to do business with.
Pro tip: don’t just connect and forget. Engage with your connections! Read what they post and comment on it, and you’ll get the same back from them.
#2. Every Day I Write the eBook
Our second to last tip can give you a new perspective on using your content for better lead generation. Manta lays it all out for us.
Our fave tip was to write eBooks! We’ve written a few and they are proven winners. Why? Because they dive in deep, even deeper than a lot of blog posts. They are also, often, well-organized. They can be easier for readers to navigate than most types of content. This is always appealing to customers and prospects.
We’re all about giving people the content they want. And a lot of people want eBooks. So start writing ‘em!
#1. Sun, Surf, Sand, and Summer Vacation Requests
We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on handling summer vacation requests from your employees. Master Card Biz says a good third of workers feel pressured to not take their well-deserved (and earned!) vacation time.
People may be scared they’ll lose their jobs or at least “lose their place” in their projects. So we really loved two specific tips. One was to get the vacationing employee to put in writing just what’s going on in their work life. Where are their projects when it comes to completion? Does a client expect a call? Is a package expected? Get that info in writing before the vacationer is out sipping jippers on a beach somewhere.
A corollary to this was to cross-train employees. And this is a good policy in any case. Of course you need for your employees to be the best at whatever it is they do for you. But at the same time, if someone can be cross-trained to handle a portion of their workload when they’re out, then everyone will feel more comfortable during the employee’s vacation.
And no matter what, get people to take the time off that’s due them. Burnout is very real, and so is stress, a silent killer. It’s just the right thing to do, for people to take leisure time – and for you, the boss, to be 100% okay with that.
So which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now?