Business Owners – Four Steps to Help You Truly Make Time For Yourself and Benefit Your Business

Here are four steps to creating time for yourself and the benefits they can lead to in your business and your life:

1. Examine your mindset about me-time. Are you still struggling with an inner critic who tells you that self care is a pie-in-the-sky luxury? If you want to truly make time for yourself, it’s essential to stop thinking of (and treating) me-time as something that’s nice-if-you-can-get-to-it and start approaching it as a necessity and a priority. Remember, the time you invest in yourself is time invested in LEADING your life (and your business) instead of chasing along behind it.

2. Identify what you need. What DO you need to be you at your best? In my Emotional Eating Toolbox™ program, I call these non-negotiable. Many women who have let self care drop off their radar haven’t thought about this in a very long time. Make a list and include everything you can think of-from vitamins to physical activity, to sex and laughter, reading and consistent time off (just to give you a few ideas). Give yourself enough time to be creative and expansive here. Now examine your list. Where are you consistently feeding your spirit and where do you need to invest more time and energy? When you are well-fueled and at your best you bring more energy, zest, and purpose to the work that you do. You will be less tempted by unhealthy substitutes like stress eating or mindless time wasting that just leave you feeling more “behind.” Many women find that simply having clarity about what they need and where they want to spend their energy leads to better stress management more effective action in business and in life.

3. Find your energy leaks and fix them. If you are short on me-time than you are probably also spending your time and energy spinning your wheels because you are not well fueled. When we’re tired, stressed, or overworked, we don’t tend to be very productive. However, busy business owners often keep forging ahead (because there is “so much to do!”). They tend to stay in “action” that gets progressively less effective. This leads to time and energy that gets frittered away. To find possible energy leaks, ask yourself what you do when you are too tired to be “productive.” Many women who don’t have enough hours in the day also “lose time” micromanaging their email, their social media accounts, and other tasks that take whatever time you give them. Be sure to look for time and energy leaks at the end of the day too. Does your “down time” really rejuvenate you? What if you did something really lovely for yourself instead? We know that workers who take regular breaks are more productive and enjoy their work more. Try scheduling 15 minutes of time for yourself (using the list you created above) several times a day.

4. Put it on the calendar. If you are struggling with step number one, this may be a difficult step for you too, but by all means don’t skip it. You are a resourceful, high-achieving business owner. You know that for something to happen there has to be a space for it to occur. Leveraging the same skills and strengths that you use to grow your business is a must. Schedule your me-time and honor that appointment the way you would if it was with anybody else. When you value yourself and your time (instead of trying to wedge yourself in to an empty space that never occurs) it can create an important mind shift. Others pick up on the value you place on yourself. As you show more respect for your time and energy, you may find that they do too.

Creating Me-time can be a challenge for many women juggling their own businesses and their busy lives, but doing so is more than a worthwhile investment.

How to Make Your Business Card Stand Out

When it comes to marketing your business, business cards are one of the best things to have. Why is this? It’s simple; your prospects will have instant access to your information if they want to utilize your services. However, any old generic card will not suffice. You will need to make sure your business card stands out more than your competitor’s.

How will a unique business card help you?

Look at it from a logical view. Let’s say your prospect has 5 cards that involve companies that offer similar services to yours. If you have a unique card design, yours will stand out and be the first one that catches their eye. People tend to get used to seeing generic business cards and will quickly skim over them. The longer your prospect looks at your card the more likely it is that they will choose your service. You want your card to make a lasting impression, but make sure it is a good impression.

Business Card Pointers

Include A Tagline Or Slogan
Taglines are a simple one sentence statement. You want it to be simple, relevant to your business, and catchy. Having a simple slogan will allow a person to remember it a lot easier. If you have a catering business having a tagline that says “food for less”, the prospect may be confused as to what you offer. Having a tagline that says “catering at a price you can afford” tells the prospect that you are a caterer. Catchy taglines are the best to use, much like commercial jingles, they leave a lasting impression.

Invest In Full Color Business Cards.
Full color cards are becoming more affordable than ever before. They offer versatility to have a unique look and beat out plain two color card. Again this goes back to having a card that stands out. You will have better luck with full color cards.

No Templates
You should never use a business card template under any circumstances if you want yours to stand out. Templates are limiting and will almost always come out plain and boring. Creating a card should be done without the use of a template to ensure it will not blend with other cards that get tossed.

Hire A Professional
Nine times out of ten a business owner will not have design experience and will benefit greatly from hiring a professional designer. Designers tend to think outside the box which makes them better equipped to create a unique business card. They know the proper dimensions, bleeds, and the best uses of design elements.
No matter what type of business you have, business cards are one of the most vital marketing tools available. Remember that you want it to stand out above all the other cards your prospect will receive. Your best bet is to go with a professional designer and invest in your cards, as you will reap the benefits in the long run.

The Benefits of Investing in Small Business Software

Most businesses utilize software to manage their everyday operations. In fact, many large corporations depend heavily on these tools to expand their operations all around the world and keep different departments or business units in sync. Small business owners may start out with manual business practices, but there comes a stage where upgrading to this type of a support system may be inevitable.

While most small businesses may not be able to afford to maintain a number of business units, they fail to see that their current operating processes already mimic the steps of a simple small business software. For example, an administrative assistant usually performs the function of a Human Resources Manager as well as the occasional job of a personal secretary. In a small business, multi-tasking is often the key to success and small business software can be the glue that fuses all these functions together seamlessly.

Of all the areas in a small business, accounting is perhaps one of the more crucial areas that needs constant attention. This is why it is important to have small business software that can manage the automation of everyday accounting process without having to worry about human error. Small business software built for accounting purposes will track income and outflow. In addition, it can also build accounting formats that consolidate profit and loss statements and petty cash flow, among other things.

Every business owner agrees that time is money. Luckily, there are a number of small business software that can help business owners organize their time more efficiently. In this instance, the business owner can integrate the software with existing tools like the Microsoft Outlook Express, Calendar and appointments to streamline the business process. In addition, it is also possible to calculate the amount of time spent in meetings, traveling, and conversing with customers on the telephone. While these may seem like necessary duties, many managers miss the importance of time management, especially when it comes to the smaller everyday details and how they can hinder the progress of business expansion. It is an excellent way to find out the total amount of time spent on each customer, and consequently determine how much to charge each client in order to make each hour profitable.

Another area that can be benefit from using business systems is in the management of human resources, especially if the business has less than 20 employees. Besides recruitment and hiring functions, most software can track sourcing, payroll, attendance and conflict resolution for each employee. This substantially eliminates the need to invest in a physical human resource department and can drastically streamline the human resources department.

In this challenging economic climate, small businesses need all the help they can get in order to stay in business. Investing in small business software takes away the time consuming and manual process of running a business and allows the business owner to focus on sourcing for new opportunities and business partners.