It’s true: people work for money. Even people who love what they do and are willing to work for free won’t do it without a salary. The corporate world has always been perceived as a ladder with people climbing looking at the “carrot” or more money as incentive. However, there is a new generation of employees now filling up the workforce called the millenials. According to a growing body of studies, this generation is not just in cubicles for their paycheck. They are indeed looking for something more.
But with an equally growing evidence of more mature working generation’s working motivations, there is a higher demand for work and life balance, something that goes against the very nature of providing more money as it equates to more responsibilities.
What is an employer to do? Here are some ways to make a winning team that’s on the ball even without the pay increase:

1. Instead of a ladder, create a jungle.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s famous COO and author of Lean In said it best: think of one’s career and the rise to the top as a jungle, not a ladder. In it she explains that going sideways or learning laterally is the way to go, with different departments and different managers contributing to one’s capabilities.
One sure way to achieve this is by having a great mentorship program wherein managers are transformed into leaders, providing key insights to mentees when it comes to the industry. It’s true, not all employees will stay even after being mentored, but the act itself shows the employees how invested the company is in their growth.

2. Make them do personal projects—on company time.
Google is famous for their innovative nature, but innovation rarely happens during the throes of work, which is why employees there always have personal projects that they work on during company time.
For employees who have kids or who commute, money is not the problem—time is, so providing at least three hours from their 40-hour work week to work on personal projects is giving them ample time to rest and yet be productive at the same time, something that the company in the end will benefit from anyway.

3. Offer telecommuting as an option if possible.
Family first is a message every company espouses or at least they think they do. But like most mantras, this is easier said than done with a ton of deliverables on a person’s head. Telecommuting is a way to bridge the gap. This can be offered to employees who are parents to kids at least 10 years old and below for starters.
The great thing about telecommuting is that employees feel that their company values their families and at the same time trusts them to get the job done.

4. Have a cause.
Most employees spend most of their lives on the job, no doubt about it. And it is truly something that no salary can pay for. Having a solid CSR program then gives the employees the chance to work for something greater than themselves and makes all the hours worth it.
No matter what, a company’s vision to make a difference counts to attract and maintain employees who are determined to make it happen without the need for adding zeroes to their salaries.

Outsourcing to virtual assistants or VAs has becomes popular among business owners in the recent years. This is because many businesses in various industries have experienced the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant, including saving time and cost and generating more income for the company. If you haven’t tried working with a virtual assistant and you are considering hiring one to help you with your day-to-day operations, it would help to know the types of tasks you can outsource to a VA.
Tasks that You Can Outsource to Virtual Assistants

Michael Hyatt, virtual mentor and one of the leading business bloggers in the world, says that a virtual assistant can do anything for you, as long as it does not require physical presence. If you think of jobs that don’t require a person to be physically present, you’ll realize that there’s a lot that you can outsource—from accounting to marketing, to recruitment.

You can outsource almost any kind of task to a virtual assistant. Gregg Landers, CBIZ MHM director of growth management says in an article published in Entrepreneur that there are three categories of tasks that are best outsourced. These are: specialized knowledge, expertise, and highly repetitive tasks.

Expertise tasks are those tasks that require a high level of skills such as management of legal matters, analysis of your sales and financial performance, and other tasks that require executive-level expertise. Highly repetitive tasks are those that include data entry and general administrative work like responding to emails or organizing your inventory. Commonly outsourced tasks like blogging, graphic design, and web development all fall under specialized knowledge, or those tasks that require a specific set of skills.
Here is a list of tasks that are commonly outsourced or assigned to VAs:

1. Blogging and Blog Management – Writing blogs and ensuring that your blog is regularly updated can be done by a VA who has the writing skills and a working knowledge of blogging platforms.

2. Graphic Design – Tasks that involve designing corporate identity materials, marketing collaterals, product packaging and the like can be performed by VAs with graphic design skills.

3. Website Design and Management – VAs can also design and manage your website, as long as they have designing and programming skills.

4. Video Creation and Editing – Another technical and creative task that you can outsource to VAs is creating and editing videos. This can be done by VAs with the creativity and knowledge of video editing software and media production programs.

5. Social Media Management and Marketing – A social media-savvy VA can help you set up and update your social media pages. VAs can also create a social media plan for your business.

6. Email Management – You can ask your VAs to respond to incoming messages and filter your emails on your behalf.

7. Transcription – A VA with excellent typing, listening and transcription skills will be able to accurately transcribe audio and video files like interviews, podcasts, etc.

8. General administrative work – General administrative work that are usually done by executive assistants like scheduling, answering phone calls, taking down notes during meetings, and even doing personal errands for you online can also be done by a VA.

9. Research – Work that requires research like reports, product development, and strategies can be done by a VA.

10. Marketing – All marketing tasks, as long as they can be done online, can be performed by VAs with sales, marketing, or advertising background.

Defining Your Scope of Work
Before hiring a VA, the first thing you should do is to determine what you need to outsource. What will be your goal for hiring a VA? After determining your needs, define your scope of work. Specify your job requirements, including the skills you are looking for. Doing these will help you attract the right candidates for the job.

The easiest coaching program in the world is the group coaching program model, with teleseminar coaching and recorded automated lessons. No email access, no skype access. Just one live weekly q and a phone call, with recorded lessons sent out via autoresponder. You can’t get any easier than that.

And you teach your group clients – 100 of them, 1000 of them, 10,000 of them – the EXACT SAME THING you teach your 1-1 clients. The training is EXACTLY the same. But instead of coaching one person for one hour, you coach 10 people during that hour or 100 people during that hour or 1000 people during that hour.

It works for your clients too.

Let’s say you charge $500 an hour for 1-1 coaching.

Your client gets 1 hour of coaching. You get paid $500.

But if you teach the SAME THING but have 100 people on the SAME HOUR –

and you only charge $100 for that hour – your clients get an 80% discount on the coaching – and you make 20 times more – you make 100 times $100 = $10,000 instead of $500.

Your client pays 80% less, and you make 2000% more.

Now, you might ask, but what if someone has a question?

Simply open the call up at the end for questions. Only about 5% of your callers will have a question on a live teleseminar with open questions.

So with 100 clients, you open the call live, answer 5 questions.

With 1000 clients, you simply ask that they submit their questions before the call, and you have an assistant (you can afford an assistant if you have 1000 clients paying $100 a month) screen their questions and answer the ones you have never answered before.

The questions that you HAVE answered before, since you keep a recording of all your prior calls, you simply have your assistant send your client the recording of you answering THEIR question for another client in the past.

(Once you have 100 clients, all in the same niche with the same problems, you discover over time that almost 100% of the questions asked are almost always the same questions as someone else has asked in the past).

Does this sound simple?

It is.

You deliver the live teleseminar coaching call each week using a teleseminar services that records your call for you, you send an automated email out to your client list after the call with the recording.

If someone has a question for you, they just have to come to the live call. That’s fair, isn’t it? They are paying for a live coaching call with you, not for unlimited access to you for you to jump anytime they send you an email, right?

How would YOU like to have a coaching program that works like this:

You hold one weekly live teleseminar, you teach for 45 minutes to an hour, you answer any clients’ questions that they have, and then your coaching is done for the week.

You can spend the rest of the week learning more in your niche so that when you teach each week you are teaching the VERY BEST information in the world in your niche, so that you become the #1 preferred coach in your niche, and you are only coaching for 60-90 minutes each week, no more.

Your time becomes focused on long term development, not scurrying around trying to meet all your clients needs all day long.

And because you aren’t scurrying around, you end up being the very best coach in your niche, so others are referring to you and talking about you, so you don’t have to work hard to convince people to become your client.

And you have time to write articles and emails that ATTRACT people to work with you, instead of spending your time chasing clients.

Would a neurosurgeon wash his own scrubs?  Would an astronaut source the best and most cost-effective rocket fuel?

No.  He leaves these sort of tasks to experts in those fields, leaving himself one hundred per cent free to focus on what he does best.

If you try to do everything, you’ll burn out – and when it comes to tasks you’re not expert in (like manning a Help Desk or perhaps creating your own eBook covers) it makes good economic sense to outsource or hire staff who are expert in those tasks – and who love doing them as much as you love coaching.

Reward Your Contractors or Staff

If they provide vital support for your business, reward them.  Let them know they are appreciated.  Pay them well – so they can outsource unnecessary parts of their own business – and spend more time (stress free) on yours.

There’s a horrible trend in the upper halls of internet marketing, and it spills out even to online coaching:  And that’s under-paying people who deserve to make a living as much as anyone else.  By all means try out that graphic design offer on – but if the designer does an amazing job, be prepared to pay market rates after that.

Value is always good – but not at someone else’s expense.  Underpaid contractors are stressed contractors.  They work long hours to compensate, burn out fast, and lose heart for your business.

Nickel-and-diming your contractors creates bad karma:  It’s nickel-and-diming the Universe – and the Universe has a whole lot of abundance to go round.

Your clients will pick up on any hidden areas of avarice, because these will spill over into other areas of your life.  Some clichés are true – especially “Give much and expect much”.

After all, isn’t that what you’re teaching your clients?

Business coaches can be a powerful tool for any business environment. They can help business managers in innovative companies to understand and take the next step in solving a specific technology or business development. A business coach can help your company reach the next stage in product development.

When business coaching is done on a one on one basis it can be offered in many forms such as weekly or monthly and each session can last from a couple of hours to a full day. Monthly programs tend to work well with small to mid size businesses where there is only one owner or one partner. The company’s commitment to business coaching should be long term. On average 9 to 12 months is the commitment period. Most business coaches can create custom packages for you.

ROI for the Business Owner
Using the unique approach of having a business coach work with your management team or other employees, can be highly beneficial to your ROI. The increase in profitability using a business coach is well documented. Business coaching can result in a larger market share, improved talent retention, lower operating costs, improved marketing, faster methods to get the product to market, greater customer satisfaction and overall streamlining. The use of personal that’s from outside the organization can help you to see things differently and help you to grow and prosper.

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We hear a lot about business coaching these days, but you may not actually understand how it works and what it’s really all about. In fact, you may have considered business coaching, but then changed your mind because you weren’t really sure your company needed it.

Business coaching will apply the essential coaching principles to every part of a business or organization. It will follow meticulous and detailed methodology to ensure both facilitative coaching processes and management consulting tools are employed and put into place in the manner they should be.

It is acknowledged just how important the role of employee productivity is to any business or organization. Therefore, it is also interesting and important to know about the productivity components and their role in the business success.

Employees at every level of the organization must have the proper skill and the skills they have must be properly used. Employees need to be motivated in order for optimal productivity to occur and for the corporations or organizations’ vision to be fulfilled.

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Have you ever wondered why some people are successful in life while others are destined for mediocrity? Well a big part of succeeding in life is to know exactly what you want and taking continuous action towards achieving it. Unfortunately, most people do not know what they want. They seem quite clear about what they do not want in life but they certainly do not know what they want. This is a big oversight on their part. If you want to succeed in life you have to know exactly what you want. If you are vague and unsure about what you want you will likely be unhappy and unsuccessful in life.

“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.”
– Norman Vincent Peale

It is unfortunate that a lot of people really do underestimate the power of goal setting. It is important to set goals to give you direction, a sense of purpose and focus in life. Goal setting provides you with a road map of where you want to go in your life. If you do not know where you are going, do not be surprised when life takes you to a place where you do not want to be. For you to achieve your goals you have to know where you want to go or be. At the same time you have to know where you are at the present moment. Only by knowing these two crucial details, are you able to guide yourself in the right direction. It is the same as using a map to get to a place. To get where you want to go, you have to know where you are. In life you have to do the same.

A lot of good and hardworking people end up in unfulfilling lives because they do not set goals for themselves. They let external events dictate the course of their lives. They react to circumstances in their life instead of orchestrating circumstances for their future benefit. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, they get caught up with the day to day activities. Most people are on survival mode. They are living for the present only. They are busy from morning to night, making ends meet and making sure they and their family are fed. Sadly most people do not plan for their future. They may plan for the immediate future but certainly not set goals for where they want to be in twenty or thirty years.

The reality is that if we do not set goals and set our priorities in life, we are going to wake up one day and realize that we have not accomplished much in life. Without goals, we wander aimlessly through life. The truth is we are always going to be busy and if we do not prioritize our actions we may find that at the end of the day we have nothing to show. Do not mistake being busy with being productive. You can be busy every day and not accomplish much.

Something magical happens when we set goals. Goals focus attention towards goal-relevant activities and away from goal-irrelevant activities. When we have a goal, we focus our time, energy and talent on what we want to accomplish instead of squandering our lives away. The next time you are about to do something, ask yourself, “Does it move me closer or move me away from my goal?” Make sure you minimize the activities that move you away from your goal and embrace activities that get you going towards your ultimatum.

Make sure you plan your future. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Do not wake up one day and regret that life has gone by you. Goal setting is the vehicle that can transform your life from a mediocre one to a rewarding one. Take action now and set your goals to live a fulfilling life.

News releases are not the best way to get major media coverage, but they can be used to increase the frequency with which your company name appears in the press.

Press releases will get you coverage in set features like business notes, and new personnel columns. They also provide a good way to let allies, employees and customers know what you are doing. For these purposes, post releases on the company website, send out by e-mail, or distribute by one of the services like PR Newswire or PR Web.

Here is a quick list of 33 possible reasons for you to write and distribute a news release.

* New Products

* Business Start-Up

* Partnership

* Strategic Alliances

* New Or Innovative Business Strategy

* Restructuring The Company

* Going Public/Going Private

* Company Comeback From Adversity

* New Employees

* Important Executive Retiring/Resigning

* Executives Comment On Business/Economic Trends

* Employee Promotions

* New Branch Offices

* New Divisions Established

* Headquarters Relocating

* Research Results Announcement

* Major Anniversary

* Major New Client Acquisition

* Company Revenue, Sales or Profit Growth

* Company Name Change

* Winning Major Awards Or Receiving National Recognition

* Company Presenting An Award

* Receiving Important Accreditation or Certification

* Holding Free Seminar or Workshop

* Employee Appointed To Civic/Government/Professional Board

* Availability Of Guest Articles Or White Papers

* Issuing A Position Statement On Topical Subject

* Free Consumer Information Available

* Company Speakers Bureau

* Company Philanthropic Support

* Major Company Milestone

* New Board of Directors

* New Website

“You are the worst company I have bought from!” – writes the client. Oops, bossss! What should I write back?
It is very hard to select words when some of your customers is angry and complains about your company. Read more for an insight into it.

All is well when it ends well. And until it ends be sure not to panic; no matter how bad it looks. Your customers only want you to do your best when they complain. They can see things that you might miss and every complaint will give you insight on how to improve your business. Here are some tips of handling with complains:

• Be empathetic and come them down – which means that you should acknowledge the person’s feelings (you don’t have to agree with them to do that). In the NLP practices this is called “to build rapport”. For example, you can say: “I understand how upsetting that might be…”

• Do not defend yourself – you will surely want to say something to defend yourself – don’t! Getting defensive will never help. The issue is not about who is right, it is about helping a disappointed customer and keeping their repeated purchases.

• Take responsibility – no matter whether you are guilty for the complaint or not, you still represent your company. Therefore, you should take the “blame”. By doing that, you emphasize the company’s trustworthiness and reliability. If you can’t handle the issue alone, be sure to hand the customer off in a classy manner.

• Make commitments – only that way the customer is assured that something will be done in a precise time interval. You have to state your actions clearly, for example: “Our team will come to your place tomorrow at 15:00”.

• Make some offer before they ask for refund – that’s what most of your customers say in cases of dissatisfaction: “We want our money back”. But that is the least you want, because it leaves your customer disappointed in your company. You will have to be cleverer and offer them something of a value for their trouble and time before they ask a refund.

• Do more – every company can do things the regular way. We are sure you can come up with something more. After all, the complaining customer only wants you to be better, and you can use this interaction to prove that you can.

• Walk the talk – make sure to do what you have promised.

• Follow up – check back with them after some period. Phone them up or e-mail them and ask if they need anything else and if the arrangement you made works properly. That way you show them that you care and can also trigger word-of-mouth referrals.

At the end, let’s use the statistics as a guide: it shows that about seven out of ten complaining guests will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favor.

Starting a business and becoming successful is often part of the American Dream. But there is a difference between starting a business and building a successful business. Many businesses fail within the first few years of existence due to the lack of planning for the long-term. There is not enough vision and there is not enough done to strengthen the business properly from the ground up.

If you want to start a business there is an easy way to get a better understanding of why some businesses fail and others don’t. When starting a business think about it similar to building a house. If done right it is protecting you against any kind of storm or danger of the outside world and will last for a long time. It offers shelter and protection. For you and your business that could be translated to that you want to have a business that is able to weather economical ups and downs (=storm) and that will provide income to pay the bills (shelter and protection).

When building a house there are several different steps you need to follow to have the house build. You know you want a house, but you got to pick a location and get an architect to plan everything out. In the business world that would be: you know you want to start a business, but you have to come up with a business idea and work out a business plan. The next thing for the house would be to build the foundation (and eventually the basement) for the house. In the business world – you got to build the initial infrastructure (example: connecting with vendors, find a manufacturer for your product, create a sales team, rent office space, get a delivery truck, etc.). Once that is in place you able to actually do business and earn some money. But you are not completely done yet. You need to build a frame, put in windows and you also need a roof on house. For your business this means that you pay off debt, improve business processes and get professional help when needed (example: find a tax accountant, select a payroll service, etc.).

Once the house is build you probably want to fill it with furniture and make it livable for the future. Nobody wants to sleep on the floor, right. Again translating this to the business world it could mean that you invest money you earned back into your business. You buy machinery instead of leasing it. Eventually you buy a building, hire more staff, develop more products, move into new markets, build up a high cash reserve, and buy other businesses and so forth. This is often the step where winners and losers separate. Re-investing money into the business is a key factor for success. If you go and spend all the money on your own salary to buy things you have nothing to go back to when the economy slips into a recession or if disaster strikes.

The successful business owner has build up a cash reserve or can borrow money from bank – securing loans with the assets of the business. Going back to building a house this pretty much matches the same efforts. You pay off your mortgage and have equity available to eventually borrow against when emergency arises. Emergencies do not include paying off credit cards to use them again or to buy a car. Financially responsible you should be looking at the long term and not finance short-term goods with long-term debt.