5 Tips for Staying Focused

Staying focused is never easy, but it’s a fact that some people are much better at focusing than others. If you’re the kind of person that can’t stay focused on their tasks or their life goals, it can be really frustrating, but there are lots of things you can do to change this. This article contains five tips that can help you to learn how to stay focused and work towards your goals.

1. Set Short-term Goals

Goal setting is something that everybody does, but a lot of people make the mistake of setting goals that are too far in the future. Perhaps you want to save for a house or go on a holiday, but if these things are months or even years away, you’ll probably find that it’s very difficult to stay goal-focused and keep moving in the right direction. In order to stay focused, set short term goals, or mini-milestones, to remind yourself that you’re still on track towards your goals.

2. Remove Distractions

If you’re the kind of person that finds it hard to stay on task and get distracted easily, then this tip is for you. When you’re trying to get some work done or achieve something specific in your day, try to remove things that will distract you. Trying to work at home can often be hard because you’re surrounded by things like the TV or the internet that can easily leave you astray. Instead, you should put yourself in an environment such as a library or a quiet cafe, where you don’t have access to your usual distractions. If you do this, it’s much more likely that you’ll stay focused and get your work done.

3. Go to Bed on Time

In order to focus, your brain needs time to rest and recuperate. Whether you’re trying to focus on a daily task or your working towards a long term goal, getting enough sleep can help you to stay on the right track. If you really want to get into a good sleeping pattern, begin winding down 30 or 40 minutes before your ideal sleep time. Try taking a relaxing bath and read a book. If you’re relaxed before bed, it’s more likely that you will drift off soundly and have a full night of the REM sleep that your brain requires.

4. Share Your Goals

Sometimes, telling others about your goals can help you to stay more focused. For example, if you have a long term goal to save money, then sharing this information with your friends and family could help you to feel more accountable. If other people know that you aren’t staying on track with your goals, it could give you the added motivation you need to keep working towards them.

5. Meditate

In a lot of cases, people find it hard to stay focused because there are simply too many things going on in their lives. If you’re struggling to manage your day to day stresses and stay on track towards your daily and long term goals, meditation could help. It can help you to manage your emotions and learn to relax and stay focused, even when it feels like things are getting on top of you.

5 Reasons To Switch Over to VoIP Business Phone Service

If you’re a business owner and you don’t know about VoIP systems yet, you should, so here’s the rundown. VoIP stands for voice over IP.  VoIP phone systems are just like traditional phone systems, except that they connect your calls over the internet rather than a traditional phone network.

What’s so great about that, you ask? Well, it turns out that they have a ton of benefits over traditional phone systems that could dramatically improve your bottom line. If you’re still relying on a traditional phone system, you’re missing out on an opportunity to save money. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Quick Installation

VoIP phone systems take all the hassle out of installation. You don’t need to pay for someone to come and wire your office. Instead, you can just pay for hosted VoIP software and quickly set up and configure your own web portal. You don’t need any hardware except for IP phones and it can all be set up over your browser. It’s super easy, even for those with little to no technical knowledge.

2. Inexpensive

VoIP phone systems also often make more economic sense, particularly if you’ll be making frequent international calls. Call rates on traditional network phone lines can be expensive, but as VoIP phone systems connect through your data package, it often works out much cheaper. Plus, you don’t have to pay for all the hardware and installation costs that come with traditional phone systems either.

3. Easier to Scale

If you’re a small, growing business, a VoIP phone system will scale with you. Every time you add a new employee, you don’t need to install a separate phone line. Instead, you just log onto your web portal and add a new user. It’s as easy as that.

4. Flexible arrangements

As VoIP phone systems are all based over the internet, it’s a very flexible arrangement. If your employees travel around a lot for work, their work numbers will travel with them.

5. Call Tracking Data

Last but not least, let’s talk about call tracking data. This is probably the single biggest advantage to using a business VoIP phone system. Most VoIP systems – even the most basic packages – come with built-in call tracking. This means that you get easy access to important data about where your calls and coming from and why.

The upshot of having these call tracking statistics at your fingertips is that it allows you to make better business marketing decisions. Think about it: if you know that one of your local ads is only bringing you in a handful of calls per month, and none of those calls are converting to sales, you’ll know that it might be better to divert those marketing funds to something with a better ROI. A VoIP business phone service with call tracking will show you that and much more.

There you have it – 5 reasons to switch over to a VoIP phone service. Good luck!

All about Businesses you can run from a Self Storage Unit

When you are the owner of a small business, you do not want to invest much. Your priority is a minimum investment with maximum returns. Small businesses can be run from home, but it makes your place quite messy. Renting an office space is extremely expensive. A middle way is to rent a self-storage unit which gives you that extra space to run your small business and also does not clutter your home. Most important of all is that self-storage units like public storage Virginia Beach can be rented at quite an affordable rate.

Businesses that can be Run from a Self-Storage Unit:

From-Home Catering and Bakeries

Running a home-based bakery or catering business needs a small space. It can be done from your house but that would mean storing the cooking appliances at home which you do not need on a daily basis. A self-storage unit is a good idea to run such small businesses; you also get that extra place to work. You can just get a kitchen table, equipment and supplies and start your business right away.

E-commerce

Whether you sell on e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc or your own website, you need space to store the stock or else the alternative of storing it at your home might clutter your personal space. Self-storage unit is a great affordable way of running your business by letting you store all your stock in a sufficient space.

Video Production and Photography

With proper lighting and green screen, a self-storage unit can easily be converted into a photo/ video studio. You can set up your desk and laptop too. As an added advantage, it is a very secure place to store your expensive photography equipment and it gives you the privacy to work on editing your images and videos.

Handyman

If you like to fix things, renting a self-storage unit is a good option. It lets you store your tools and also gives you a place to work independently.

Content Writer

We all know that a writer needs privacy and a dedicated space to work without any disturbance. A climate controlled self-storage unit can be converted into a writing office easily.  It can be a great place for concentrating on work as no one would disturb you.

Craft Businesses

Small craft businesses need supplies and a small set up. This can be easily done in a self-storage unit. It gives you an isolated environment to work without cluttering your home with the craft supplies.

Direct Sales Businesses

Not only e-commerce but several home-based demand-supply businesses such as Tupperware can be done through self-storage units. It is a great place to store all the extra stock.

Lawn Care

Lawn care companies or individuals can store their equipment in such units and use them only when they get a job. A small unit can be rented out to store the equipment’s to run the business.

Conclusion:

Running a business from a self-storage unit sounds appealing but make sure you talk to the store manager to make sure they allow running such businesses using their facilities. Most of them do but few facilities have certain restrictions.

Setting up a business in a self-storage facility can be a smart decision for many small businesses. It gives you space and privacy to run the business at an affordable and reasonable rate which is great for any business.

 

Companies Seeking Best Practices for their Channel management Programs are Changing How They Evaluate New Channel Partner Managers

Channel VPs and directors at large technology companies are re-ordering an expanded list of qualifications they’re seeking in new channel account managers (CAM).

Analysis of a poll by the Channel Institute of more than 400 channel execs revealed that job applicants need more than the usual set of related business skills and relationship building capabilities. What especially surprised us was how much channel execs expect new hires to really want a career as a channel professional.

And in what we see as an acknowledgement of disruption in the overall technology industry as well as channel organizations, channel leaders are seeking new hires that have the flexibility to innovative responses to shifting business requirements.

The Channel Institute polled more than 400 Channel VP’s and Directors at large technology companies to learn what they look for when hiring new Channel Account Managers. There were some surprising results! Although most responses fell into standard categories, there were two unusual standouts in the top 5.

The two surprising entries were “Innovation & Creativity” and “Commitment to the channel”. These were accompanied by the more commonly expected factors of “Business Acumen”, “Relationship Building” and “Flexible Delivery”.

Innovation and Creativity.

This is not something that was highlighted in previous research by third parties, but innovation and creativity is a skill that appears to have jumped up the rankings. Heads of Channel want to know that new team members can think on their feet and bring new insights that can be shared across the entire channel team. This was mentioned as being particularly important for channel teams working with partners that are still trying to adapt their business to cloud-based models.

Commitment to the Channel.

The second most frequently reported response was that candidates take the channel profession seriously, and do not merely consider it “another type of sales job”. This category covers topics such as a clear knowledge of channel management and channel best practices, along with excellent skills in partner business planning. Channel leaders are clearly raising the bar on the profession, recognizing that the subtleties associated with channel program management requires skills that can only be acquired through a combination of formal channel training and experience in best practices, as opposed to the more ad-hoc learning approaches of the past.

Job candidates could set themselves apart from the crowd through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) with a business qualification specifically in channel partner program management or channel marketing. This was particularly important for those companies hiring candidates that are relatively new to the channel profession.

Business Acumen.

The runaway number one sought after skill falls into the general category of “business acumen”. This covered responses such as understanding of best practices and new business drivers (AI, Business Transformation, Digital Co-Marketing, Social Selling, etc.) and how these will impact on channel partner profitability. New CAM’s need to quickly grasp the consequences for channel partners of increasingly shifting towards service delivery with recurring revenue model programs and the impact of this on a business and its profitability.

Relationship Skills.

Communication skills, empathy and the ability to develop relationships and trust are obvious skills that any successful Partner Account Manager must possess. These skills were identified as being a basic requirement in channel partner sales training and not something that would make a candidate stand out from the crowd.

Flexible Delivery.

Finally, many respondents highlighted that Channel Partner Managers operate in a world that is affected by many stakeholders, and many factors are entirely outside of their control. The ability to maintain focus on a channel partner program in the face of turbulence, managing unpredictability and still deliver sales results according to best practices was identified as a key requirement.

The top 5 factors listed in order of priority are:

  1. Business Acumen.
  2. Channel knowledge and commitment.
  3. Innovation and creativity.
  4. Relationship building.
  5. Flexible delivery.

Key Learnings:

According to Mike Kelly, Director at the Channel Institute, “There are five key takeaways from this research to help channel professionals progress their career:

  1. Emphasize your business training and acumen.
  2. Channel-specific CPD and channel-business certification is essential to prove your commitment to the channel profession.
  3. Demonstrate “outside-the-box” thinking.
  4. Prove your communication and empathy skills.
  5. Convince employers that you can deliver in the face of unforeseen disruptions to channel partner programs.”

Top Three Things to Consider When Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business is a massive step. So many aspects which need to be considered when turning an initial idea into a viable commercial enterprise can seem overwhelming at times. However, as many and varied as these considerations may be, it is fair to say that there are some business essentials which should be prioritised above all others. The following three are arguably some of the most compelling.

Are you made of the right stuff?

Having a good idea for a business venture is not enough in itself; you need to have the drive and commitment to push that idea through to completion. While this may seem like a fairly easy prospect on paper, the reality is that creating a business out of nothing is a very demanding endeavour.  Long stressful days, short sleepless nights and tunnel vision are all par for the course; will you be able to handle that? If you don’t think you have the mettle to grind a measure of tangible success out of the ether then hold your hands up and be honest about it. Making a business work is a challenge that not everyone is made for.

Ltd or LLP?

There is no set rule on whether your intended business should be a limited company (Ltd) or a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – it’s entirely up to you. However, while both options offer limited liability to the owners, they also offer differing benefits to certain types of businesses, most notably in terms of tax liabilities. To explain: LLP members are treated as self-employed individuals and as such they pay Income Tax on all profits made, regardless of whether they receive profits as a salary or leave some of it in the business (although they are not liable to pay any employers’ National Insurance). In contrast, limited company directors are often shareholders too, therefore they are sometimes regarded as being employees of their own company. All profits made by a limited company after tax deductible expenses (including salaries) are subject to Corporation Tax between 20% and 23%, and any salary the directors receive is liable for Income Tax, National Insurance and employers’ NI.

The importance of safe online operations

Every company needs to have a decent online presence these days. It should go without saying though, that consumers/clients will not visit your site or do any kind of online business with you if they think your company website is not entirely secure. Online visitors like to feel reassured when they are looking to making enquiries/purchase so it is absolutely vital you have clear and up-to-date security measures – such as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates – protecting your site.  Happily, it is easier (and cheaper) than ever to acquire suitable SSL for business start-ups nowadays so this is an area of concern you can deal with quickly and inexpensively.

 

Expert analysis

When you get heavily involved in something, be it writing a book or planning a holiday, you cannot see the wood for the trees. On a day to day basis, you are probably absorbed with tackling the little details, and rarely, if at all, take a step back to think about the big picture.

Sometimes, it can be very difficult to take that step back. You worry that if you do, you will lose control and that things will get out of hand so that before you know it, everything will unravel in front of your very eyes.

This is particularly true of those of you who run a business. After all, you don’t want to let go of something that you have worked so hard for.

Often, it is an external body or a third party who is best placed to offer advice about something that you are just too wrapped up in.

Take a football club as an example. Whilst the coaches are out on the training pitch, putting the goalkeepers through their paces or trying to sharpen up the strikers, the manager stands back and takes in the whole scene. He is the one who will ultimately make the key decisions.

In the technological age, this is still as important as ever. To properly utilise all the technology at your disposal can require the same approach. As programmes get bigger and more advanced, you can become lost in all the different features and facets available to you.

You will be able to understand exactly how your website performs, and then to see where you stand in comparison to your closest competitors. To help you really get to grips with this, you can see this information as a video representation. You will then be given clear, concise tips so that you can improve your website with immediate effect.

As well as making use of the latest in technological performance tools, you can access an expert analyst over the phone to really get to grips with your results.

Moving forwards, you will have facts and figures behind you, which when combined with professional advice, will allow you to make your website the best it can be, thus helping to make your business the best it can be.