Category Archive: Entrepreneurship & Small Business

How to Get the Management Skills You Need to Rise in Your Industry

~by Hannah Whittenly~


As a new entrepreneur or business owner, you are probably well aware of any flaws that you may have and might even lack the complete confidence that you need. Such feelings are completely normal for those first stepping foot in the business world. However, you can overcome that by compensating with strengths — especially when it comes to the way that you run your business. In this game, efficiency is key, and those who do it better come out as the winners. A huge part of that efficiency is your ability to manage.

management skills

To help you gain the management skills that you absolutely need to come out on top, here are a few tips:

Determine Which Skills You Need

As “Management Skills List and Examples” indicates, there are hundreds of management skills that you should try to learn. Yet, to optimize your ability to move forward in your career sector, you need to know which of these management skills are the most applicable within your field. As noted in the aforementioned article, most management skills pertain to five basic functions:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Coordinating
  • Directing
  • Oversight

Within each of the five major categories is a subset of skills that can include things like:

  • Persuasion
  • Research
  • Presentation
  • Responsibility
  • Productivity
  • Qualitative Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Sales
  • Project Management
  • Public Speaking

You’d be better off determining which major and minor skill sets will help you rise in your specific industry rather than simply trying to attain general management skills. Entrepreneurs, for example, often have great ideas and come up with very useful products. Getting it out to the public, however, can be difficult—especially if you’re not a well-known person or have some significant competitors. In this case, it might be best to step up your game when it comes to sales, presentation and persuasion. If you’ve ever watched “Shark Tank” on TV, then you know that those three things are very important. Study up on different techniques and strategies that will make you stronger in those areas, but don’t forget to practice them! Grab a few of your friends or family members and practice pitching your products and business services to them. Little by little, you’ll get stronger at those skills and see your business profit for it.

Develop a “Team” Mentality

management skillsOne of the best ways to gain management skills is by working effectively with others. You can either do this through networking or working with whatever size team that you have available to you, small or big. You can collaborate with them on new products, event planning and business strategy. Doing so can help you develop management skills such as the following:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Division of Work
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Engagement
  • Flexibility

With this idea in mind, make sure that you operate according to a “team” mentality. There are several ways that you can learn to work effectively in a team. As noted in Inc., effective teamwork necessitates that each group member understands what the team is trying to accomplish. Therefore, one way for you to operate effectively as a team member is by remaining up to date regarding the group’s professional objectives.

Pursue an Additional Degree or Certification

When you’re an entrepreneur or new business owner, you’re pretty much on your own, and learning the skills that you need is pretty much all up to you. Therefore, if you’re serious about gaining the management skills necessary to rise in your industry, consider the value of pursuing an additional degree or certification. Engaging in an ongoing education process will always provide you with some or several management skills that you can use and list on resumes when you apply for jobs. If you’re an entrepreneur providing a service to the healthcare industry, for example, it would be beneficial for you to get your healthcare administration degree online. Whatever industry you’re in, you can find some way to become more educated in it. Not only that, but pursuing an education is one of the best ways to become up to date within the industry you’re trying to work in. It could also help to establish your legitimacy.

Hopefully, the above tips have helped you understand how you can go about becoming an effective business person with managerial skills that can only take you upward to success. Just remember to practice every newly obtained skill at every available opportunity.

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Hannah WhittenlyMeet the Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.

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Entrepreneurs, You’re Not in it Alone: How to Find Comfort in Your Resources

~by Kara Masterson~


When working to start your own business, it’s not uncommon to feel alone and isolated. This can be problematic because it can kill your enthusiasm and do harm to your business. But it’s important to remember that, as an entrepreneur, you’re never truly alone. This guide will help you find comfort in the myriad of resources available to you.

entrepreneursYour Employees

Your employees are an excellent resource that you should always be using and referring to regularly. After all, very few others, aside from the people who are in it with you, are going to truly understand your company’s struggle. A good business owner needs to rely on his or her employees for updates, honesty and new ideas. Always take a minute to run an idea by one of your employees and see what he or she thinks about it. They’ll rise to the challenge.

Your Family

Your family can be a very supportive resource for keeping your spirits up and for advice as you build your new business. They can help encourage you to follow your dreams and offer outside solutions to problems you might be stuck on. Your family can definitely be your biggest support system and help get you through even the toughest times. When it comes to running a business it is important to remember that you are never alone.

Other Professionals

Other professionals working in your industry are an invaluable resource and you should never underestimate what good connections can do for you. They can give you advice, create key partnerships and help you find new, quality employees. Professionals outside your profession are also key, such as business lawyers. Experienced business attorneys can not only help you set your business up correctly, but they can also answer your questions that can help prevent legal issues down the road. Accountants can help you with your business taxes and keeping your business compliant. Never be afraid to look outside for help.

Other Resources

entrepreneursOther resources that can really help an entrepreneur include seminars, books, publications, blogs and more. Find publications, websites and blogs in your industry in particular, and make it a point to follow them. There are countless books out there on the subject of starting your own business and being a good manager. Industry seminars and events let you connect with other industry professionals and learn new information and tricks that will make your life easier.

Entrepreneurship can be lonely and extremely hard, so never be afraid to fall back on your resources for advice, knowledge or a little encouragement. Utilize the people and resources listed above to reassure yourself that you aren’t in this alone and that you can do this!

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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.

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It’s True, Facebook Likes Don’t Matter. But Here’s What Does.

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


facebook likesSo many entrepreneurs are focused on numbers and results in their businesses. That’s a good thing. But there may be a point where we are measuring numbers and focusing on numbers which don’t actually lead to an increase in sales or visibility for our business.  

What I’m talking about here are Facebook ‘likes’. When I started building Leadership Girl’s Facebook page, I was super focused on getting more likes on my page. If only I got to X number, I’d have clients coming in the door.  

So, I did paid Facebook Like campaigns and saw my numbers shoot up. But, the engagement on my Facebook page dropped like a rock towards the bottom of a pool.

I also did Facebook Like Ladders. Those are discussions where you have everyone in a group like your page. Yeah. People would like my page, and then a few days later they’d unlike it. Facebook penalized me because I would get a bunch of likes then get a bunch of unlikes. That worked about as well as the paid Facebook Like campaigns.

None of those people converted to clients. 0. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Effort, time and money completely wasted.  

Then I started doing some research. I learned that Facebook had been changing its algorithms. They do this test to see how long someone looks at your content, and if they look at it or engage with it, they show it to more people. If they scroll past it super fast, then according to Facebook, it must not be interesting, so Facebook shows it to fewer people.  

Getting all those likes from people who didn’t really like me or my page was actually causing me problems! I was getting seen by fewer and fewer people.

To add insult to injury, Facebook changed its algorithms so that if you post just a link to a blog post, they show it to very few people. It’s like a jealous boyfriend who doesn’t want to share traffic.

So what do you do instead?

facebook likesYou focus on putting up pictures, and videos, and short posts with a link and a separate graphic to your blog. You can still drive a lot of traffic to your website, if you do it carefully.  By focusing on sharing content on your Facebook page itself, you’ll get better scores from Facebook. Focus on pulling people in and getting them engaged. Do you tell a story? I try to tell lots of stories to make this whole social media thing more interesting and engaging and to help make it more relatable.

People like stories, and wit and humor. How can you appropriately tie those into your business? How can you engage people? Think about what you can post that people would want to see. What types of posts do people tend to engage with? Some of my most successful posts are the ones that are a little bit sarcastic and unexpected.

Ask your customers to join and engage. Post pictures of them and tag them in those photos.  Ask them what they would find useful and helpful.

Remember, people come onto social media to be entertained and to hang out with their friends. They might decide to buy if something catches their fancy. They just don’t like being sold to directly.   

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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4 Things Every Restaurant Owner Should Know About Food Production

~by Rachelle Wilber~


The food production and preparation processes are key to your restaurant’s success. Any lapse in safety could cause a loss of your business license and serious illness in anyone dining at your restaurant.

food production

Keep these four things in mind during all of your food production activities.

1. Understanding Natural and Organic Labels

As a restaurant owner, you may want to focus your menu on ingredients that are natural, locally harvested or organic. The food label “natural” has no legal meaning and may differ from one food source to the next. Certified organic has legal requirements. If you purchase food with the label “certified organic,” you can trust in it being fully organic. Locally-harvested food does not necessarily mean it is organic.

2. Handling Foods Properly

Proper handling of foods requires specific safety procedures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health department guidelines. For example, employees are required to wash their hands after using the restroom and before touching food. Foods should be cut and prepared with clean utensils. Meats, fish and raw eggs should not touch the same surfaces as foods that will be consumed fresh, such as raw vegetables, breads and fruits. All surfaces must be properly sanitized between touching different foods.

food production3. Using Industrial Boilers

Using industrial boilers ensures that a food production facility has enough hot water for all of the sanitizing that is necessary for maintaining a hygienic environment. These industrial boilers deliver enough hot water for dish washing, hand washing, and floor and surface cleaning. Industrial boilers also help maintain a comfortable indoor environment in the food production and dining areas.

4. Following Food Storage Guidelines

Once your employees have prepared the foods, they need to be stored properly. Raw meats should not be placed above foods that are ready to eat. All foods should be clearly labeled with the date and time of production. Containers require tight-fitting covers. No prepared foods should be left on counters. Be sure to regularly check the thermometers and sanitize them and all other food storage areas, including walk-in coolers, chest freezers and refrigerators.

Thorough and regular employee training, attention to detail and well-maintained equipment will keep your restaurant operating safely. Following the outlined safety procedures is key, and everyone must completely understand all guidelines. From understanding what food labels mean to making sure that your industrial boiler is operating efficiently, you can educate yourself about food production and safety requirements for your restaurant’s success.

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Meet the Author: Rachelle Wilber

Rachelle WilberRachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.

Follow Rachelle here:

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How to Make Your Business Brand Really Stand Out and Shine

~by Melleigha Nichols~


business brand board branding

Brand Board

When starting out, a lot of entrepreneurs may think that branding is just a logo. That is simply not true. Your brand is ANYTHING a customer or client can see.

That means that your website is part of your brand. So is your social media accounts, your photos, your chosen fonts, your colors, and so much more. To really stand out, your brand should be cohesive. 

Everything a potential customer or client sees should be part of the whole. Social media graphics should use the same fonts that are used on your websites. The same colors should be used again and again.

A good recommendation is to choose two or three fonts. The first font should be a “fancier” font. For example, a brush script or something bold. The secondary font should be something easy to read that is complementary to your first font.

business brand boardThe same can be said for colors. Choose one or two stand out colors and another one or two to complement. An example is a bright blue with yellow, black and grey for complementary colors.

When beginning the process of building a brand, find photos that make you think of what you want your brand to stand for. It could be a photo of a floral arrangement in the color scheme you want, representing that you want the brand to feel feminine. Or it could be a photo of an organized desk, representing a need to feel professional.

Most branding experts will recommend putting together a brand board. They may even do this themselves. This is where you can see everything in one place. A brand board will include your logo, any alternative logos, your fonts, your colors, and inspiration photos. It is a great way to be able to see everything together so you can keep your brand cohesive.

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Melleigha Nichols

Meet the Author: Melleigha Nichols

Melleigha “Mia” Nichols is the owner of Moonglow Branding, a company dedicated to helping businesses grow through branding and building their websites. When not working tirelessly for her clients, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband of 8 years, their many fur-babies and her parents. She currently resides in her hometown in Missouri.

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More Advice for New Entrepreneurs from Fellow Entrepreneurs

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


I love helping other business owners find their way to success. And I know there are many other entrepreneurs out there who also want to be supportive of their fellow entrepreneurs. So a few months ago I asked members of my Facebook group, Women’s Entrepreneur Network, what advice they would give to new entrepreneurs. The response was overwhelming.

fellow entrepreneurs

These wonderful women, and men, have so much to share and are so willing to help other entrepreneurs. I couldn’t let all this wonderful advice be limited to those in my Facebook group, so I decided to share their entrepreneurial tips in my blog and newsletter.

Here are a handful of their valuable responses:

Esmeralda Perez: You have to do what you love and love what you do. Passion and be coachable!!

Diana Chan-Warren: Make sure you have a bit of “cushion money” before starting path to entrepreneurship.

Virginia Phillips: It is your business, but you can’t go it alone. Network, make alliances, find mentors, build a support system and ask everyone questions.

Nikki Tobias: Just know that it will likely take longer than you think it will… longer to have clients, longer to make money, longer to come up with a name or logo — just longer. It isn’t a bad thing, just something to plan for.

Revonah Hill-Holloway: Take your time building your business. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Brianna Feltych-Düren: Always ask for advice. Do not feel like critique is meant to hurt you in any way. You will not succeed right away, but never give up. Hard work and the love you put into yourself and your business will pay off.

Adrien Blackwell: If the first business doesn’t succeed, try, try, again. Most self made millionaires fail with their first two businesses before making it. This is just practice. The practice you need to be successful.

Krissi Copper: Just when you feel like giving up, keep going. You’re almost there.

Jessica Granish: Communication is key: Need I say more? All great relationships let it be professionally or personally start with great communication. Creating expectations and sharing your communication style is super important. When starting your business you will want to set those expectations with your clients, your vendors and your team. Communication is a foundational piece to building authenticity and trust as you grow and expand in your zone of genius.

Chris Butler Yates: Patience and Persistence.

Joanna Sanchez: Stop striving and surrender.

Mrs. Lakeasha Jackson: My advice is: When deciding to brand your business and yourself, research EXACTLY what you want to do and WHO you want to work with. Although, we may just want cashflow, you want to be sure you are working with your ideal client and not overworking yourself and underserving your client. Do your self and client due diligence in putting the best foot forward in the beginning and actually taking the time to learn your industry before jumping in.

Deanne Williams: 5-R’s of Success: Being Relatable to the community you plan to service is a necessity. Being Reasonable when setting your financial expectations towards the services you plan to offer within that targeted community is wise. Being Reliable towards those services and products is a must. If you can manage being Relatable, Reasonable and Reliable your business will no doubt be guaranteed to become Remarkably-Rememberable to all. ~ Deanne ©2016.08

Celesti’ne Chumo: Don’t overwhelm yourself, do a little thing everyday that leads to your goal.

fellow entrepreneursStacie Jones: Don’t ever give up. If something isn’t working, don’t just stop all together, make little tweaks until you start seeing results. Sometimes it could be as simple as rewording your copy or revamping your pics that turns it around. It’s all about fine tuning your message and figuring out who your ideal customer/client is.

Ella Rose: Pace yourself. Building momentum can be exciting, but it’s easy to take on too much when you’ve never done this before.

Vickie Gould: Be consistent and confident in your message.

Star Raya Burke: Be accepting of your mistakes because that’s how you will learn and teach yourself to be a great success story.

Adriana Summers: Surround yourself with smart passionate people to guide you.

Deanna Shankle: Know your vision and your market. Do your research and take small steps to reach the bigger goal. Remember you have a life outside of your business, enjoy it and don’t neglect it. Your business is a representation of you, so project it the way you want to be seen. Learn from you mistakes and don’t ever give up.


If you missed my previous post, here are some of the many awesome responses that I included in my first post on entrepreneurial advice.

I hope you’ve found these entrepreneurial insights enlightening.

Stay tuned for more!

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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7 Keys to Running a Law Firm as a Successful Business

~by Lizzie Weakley~


Some lawyers go into practice as good negotiators but not good leaders. If you run a law firm, you must have the same leadership qualities needed to run any business.

Review these 7 ways to handle the day-to-day running of a law firm.

law firm1. Acquire Management Skills

Think about running a law firm like you would run any business. Develop basic management skills that include reporting company data and solving day-to-day problems. A lawyer must be a superior communicator to deal with many different types of clients, lawyers and other professionals.

2. Track Finances

Before you start the firm, pinpoint the legal areas that bring in sufficient profits. If the money flow is not coming in, one reason might be that few people need your legal expertise. Manage a financial plan using analytics software to keep track of monthly cash flow, expenditures, savings and profits.

3. Reach Your Audiences

Reach your legal audience using a website, blog or other digital marketing technique. Through professional expertise, stay up to date on current marketing trends from social media to mobile phone advertising. Find digital marketers who have worked with similar law firms to reach customers like yours.

4. Promote Continuing Education

The two main types of education for professionals are general and continuing. Continuing education is necessary in a world where laws change regularly based on changing economic needs or social values. Professionals will find hundreds of education law programs available online, in the classroom or both.

5. Monitor the Employees

law firmMost employees at a law firm are disciplined, self-sufficient and dedicated to their jobs. However, there may be a few people who perform poorly due to lack of expertise or enthusiasm. Their shortcomings turn into poor results and declining profits for the entire company. Monitor the productivity rates of employees and know how much financial value they bring to the firm.

6. Implement a Referral System

In every business and industry, it works to maintain a referral system. Lawyers work harder to find new clients for the firm if this system is put to place.

7. Hold Employee Assessments

The main task of any business is to choose the right employees. Once you hire them, conduct regular assessments to see if their skills are up to speed.

As the owner and manager of a law firm, you set an example for other lawyers, clients and members of your community. Create a company that keeps the clients flowing in and maintains referrals to others in need of your legal help.

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Lizzie WeakleyMeet the Author: Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.

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18 Things I Learned While Building My Facebook Group

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


I got the bright idea a couple of years ago to start a Facebook group to help me grow my business. I thought, “Why not? All of the other business coaches are doing it”. I figured I’d do it a bit differently… and march to the beat of my own drummer.

Then I got on a webinar a couple of months later, during Sales School with Kendrick Shope. She mentioned that a Facebook group is a great vehicle to grow your business; I was totally hooked.  

I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t made more than my fair share of mistakes and that I haven’t had my fair share of frustrations with building the Women’s Entrepreneur Network group on Facebook. But now it’s a dynamic, fun, ever-changing group.

Here are some things I learned while building my Facebook group:

1. Post content in the group regularly. 3-5 posts a day if no-one else is posting. You can post all kinds of things: funny videos, music videos, questions, other prompts, and more. But keep talking.

2. Invite your friends, but don’t add them to the group. What I mean is that you should send all of your friends a private message with an invitation to join the group, along with the link. Do not add your friends without their express permission. This tends to really annoy people and gets their tails in a twist.

3. Add a second Admin to your group as soon as possible. It is worth remembering that bad things can and do happen to Facebook accounts. If your account gets hacked, you want to have at least one friend who can let you back into the group once you re-create your ID. Otherwise you could be S-O-L.

4. Interact with people regularly. If they post, thank them for their post and comment on it. Interact with them. It can be very hard to get people to post quality content in your group, so encourage them and praise them for doing so. One of the mistakes I made early on was not always commenting on people’s posts. The more you engage people, the more they will be inclined to post. After a while, once you have people trained a bit, you won’t need to post and comment on everything, but it still builds loyalty if you do comment.

5. You need rules. YES! People will get upset that you have them. Those are probably the people you don’t want in your group anyway. A number of people have asked me how they’re supposed to get new business out of a group that doesn’t allow them to do drive-by posting. It works like this: You build relationships with people rather than broadcasting at them all the time. Try being a real, genuine human being. It’s amazing how well that works. (Crazy talk, I know)

Facebook group6. Pay attention to who is asking to join the group, and make sure you don’t accept fake profiles. If someone posts something illegal, immoral or unethical, they are out of there. The “Delete” and “Block” buttons are two of an Admin’s best friends.

7. Facebook Live in your group. This gives you a unique opportunity to engage with your followers. I recently took this one step further and upgraded Zoom to allow me to be able to do Facebook Live from my computer while I interview someone. (This requires Zoom Pro Plus Webinar 100, for a total cost of about $55 a month).  

8. Schedule your content. Use social media scheduling tools like Buffer or MeetEdgar. You can post manually, but you can’t be active in the group 24/7. It’s a great source of fun, but you need to have time away from the computer.  

9. Invite people to join your group from other social media platforms or pages – LinkedIn, Twitter, Webinar Thank-you pages, and more. Ask people to join your group from anywhere you can think of.

10. Run regular challenges. When you set up a formal program, like a challenge with activities and prompts for people to get involved, you get more more engagement and activity. The more value you deliver, the more people will want to be in the group. (Crazy idea, right?)

11. Set limits on how much time you spend in your group each day. I know that this is counterintuitive, but as things start to move along, you’ll be tempted to spend every waking moment in your group rather than doing other client-seeking activities. Limit your time there, and be mindful of how you are spending your time.

12. Make sure you regularly tell people what you do. People really do need to hear – often – what you do and how you can help them out. Don’t be shy about sharing quality content and occasionally pitching your and your business. 

13. Swap out the group’s header files occasionally to keep things fun and engaging.

14. Post the group rules. You can post them in the group description. You can also create a pinned post with the rules and attach them to the header graphic, or put a short link (e.g. bitly) in the graphic, so that the group rules are easily found. No matter how many times you remind group members to read the rules, chances are many will ignore what you’ve posted, or they just won’t bother.  

15. You may have to remove people from your group if they don’t follow the rules and just promote themselves all the time. That’s OK. If you have someone who only posts and never comments on anyone else’s posts, you may need to remove them. Don’t be afraid to remove someone who doesn’t fit in with the vision you have for your group.

16. As your group grows, get volunteers to help moderate and manage the group. I’ve seen some people spend a fortune on this, and to me, that does not make sense. Find ways to offer value to volunteers and create a community.   

17. Build a repository of content and questions you can use in the group. You can also set it up so that there is a posting theme each day of the week. The more you prompt people to engage, and encourage them to step up, the better your results will be.  

18. Be of service. Answer questions completely and honestly. One of my pet peeves is people who don’t fully answer questions, or people who tell others to private message them to get more information. Honestly, that sets up an atmosphere of distrust, and people don’t appreciate it.  

Building a Facebook group doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s mostly a question of being of service and putting a significant amount of value into the group. Make sure that you take care of yourself and don’t get totally sucked into it, or you can easily land yourself in the hospital!

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

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Office Fit-out: The Stress-Free Way

~by Lillian Connors~


If moving is one of the most stressful things in life, then fitting out your office space is right up there high on that list as well. Planning out the whole thing, taking into consideration your worker’s wishes, finding the right partner for the job, and then finally moving your business –- it all sounds like a real nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s a stress-free way to fit out your office and here’s how to do it.   

office fit-out


Get your research done

First things first –- find out what you want your new office space to be. Remember the reasons why you are moving from your current building, and come up with a list of things that you did or didn’t like before. Also, make sure you run a survey among your employees and include them in the process. What works in your workspace and what does not? How much technology do you want and how much do you actually need? Analyze your workflow and your team to see what exactly it is that you want.

Come up with a plan

Planning ahead of time is essential if you want your office fit-out to go as smooth as possible, especially if you don’t want your work to stop for more than a few days. This is particularly important when it comes to technicalities, such as the installation of phone lines, broadband, etc. You don’t want any surprises to happen after your move is complete, so make sure you keep everything under control.

Set up a budget

The most important thing to remember when setting up the budget for your office fit-out is that it’s a long-term investment. Once you do it, you’re probably good for a decade; so take that into account when figuring out how much you’ll spend. If you’re on a budget, see where you can save up. Of course, to get the numbers right, it’s essential to know exactly what you want. Get estimates for everything, even for the little things. Once again, you don’t want any surprise costs.

Find a reliable contractor

office fit-outFinding the right partner for this job might seem a bit overwhelming when you first start looking, but it’s essential to set up your standards and stick to them. Meet with your potential contractors, ask to see their previous projects, and test their knowledge on legal issues of the job. Also, look for a contractor that works with your preferred style. For example, if you’re into contemporary office interiors, then hiring someone who has creative designers on their team and enough experience in that field is likely to give stunning results, both functionally and visually.

Reuse or replace

Some of the furniture you had in your previous office space can be reused in your new setting; so make sure you take that into account. It will affect your budget, but make sure you make that decision early in the process because your designers need time to think of a way to make it fit into your new style. For example, you can reupholster your old office chairs which will give them a fresh look and save you some money.

Have a plan for temporary working

If you don’t want to make a break in your business while you’re moving, then coming up with a plan for your workers is a must. You’ll probably need a few days to have all the furniture arranged and technology installed; so it would be best to let your employees work remotely. Whether it is from their homes or in a temporary office –- that’s all up to you. Just make sure you have a plan for the worst-case scenario.

Double-check everything and, finally, after you move, make sure you run a full office review to iron out minor creases if needed. Give it time to see how it works and then correct if there’s something to correct. After you’ve done that, you can just relax and watch your business grow in your new space.

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Lillian ConnorsMeet the Author: Lillian Connors

As the Co-Editor of BizzMarkBlog, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. 
You can check her out on LinkedIn.

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How to Make Your Business More Sustainable in 2017

~by Chloe Taylor~


If you’ve been around the green business block over the past few years, you probably know that sustainable business operation entails low environmental impact, long-term utility savings and increased customer appeal. If your company hasn’t been a byword for eco-friendliness by now, however, 2017 is a good year to make some green changes. If you don’t know how to make your brand board the “environmentally safe” boat, here are a few smart and simple suggestions that will help you dial up your corporate game in line with hot and profitable green trends.

1. Office Appliances Gone Green

sustainable businessEnergy Star office appliances have been growing increasingly popular in the past few years, and for a reason. Although a tad costlier than non-energy efficient models, green office equipment is better for both the environment and your brand’s bottom line. When buying energy-saving technology for your office, check energy rating labels: more stars mean higher long-term energy savings.

2. Alternative Power Mode On

As global fuel supplies continue to dwindle, more and more brands are switching to alternative energy for an environmentally and financially viable change. For a clean and green power twist, go solar with your office power supply. The transition to solar energy will allow you to cut long-term electric bills, minimize your company’s ecological footprint, and perhaps even earn some cash by feeding surplus energy to the grid.

3. Go Paperless (or at Least PCW)

Many brands have gone paperless in the past couple of years, and you can make the switch, too. By replacing printed documents with digital data which you can store on a cloud service, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of paper waste and office storage space requirements while doing the environment a big favor. If you can’t go paperless in your workplace, you can at least switch to post-consumer waste paper which requires 45% less energy to produce and entails a waste footprint that’s 50% lower compared to that of standard paper.

4. Switch to Green Office Lights

Another simple way to up your brand’s green game in 2017 is to switch on energy-efficient light. Although slightly costlier compared to conventional incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED lights last a dozen times longer and use significantly less energy. If you don’t know which type of lighting will work best for your workplace, you can consult with an industrial lighting expert and inquire about the most cost-efficient option based on office size, budget, and lighting requirements.

5. Recycle, Repurpose, Repeat

If your brand is not recycling waste already, now is the perfect time to start doing so. In addition to paper, electrical waste can be taken to the local recycling plant to minimize your company’s impact on the environment. Also, you can repurpose or reuse hardware such as desks, shelving, chairs, and other furniture for an extra dose of environmental safety and productivity-conducive workplace décor. Bonus point: participation in the community recycling programs may earn you a few dozen new green-minded customers.

sustainable business

6. Eco-Friendly Side of Cleaning

Biodegradable cleaning supplies are safer for the employees, the environment and your brand’s bottom line. Swap commercial cleaning staples such as hand soap, dish liquid, glass cleaner, and bathroom cleaner which contain harmful chemicals with DIY counterparts: it will allow you to prevent toxic waste from getting into the drainage system and polluting water and soil while attracting eco-conscious consumers and reducing office maintenance costs at the same time.

7. Save Water, Don’t Flush Cash

Water scarcity has become a pressing environmental concern in most third-world countries and it may not be long before it comes knocking on your neighborhood’s doors. Fortunately, you can help save the planet by decking water outlets with water-efficient extras such as faucet aerators and low-flow toilets and shower heads. You should also inspect the waterways around the office and fix any leaks or damaged pipes: it’s only a matter of time before a minor hitch evolves into a serious and costly problem. If your office has a lawn or backyard, you should switch to drought-tolerant landscape design to minimize water waste through regular upkeep.

In the world of business as it stands today, sustainability, success and growth are synonymous with green office design. Are you ready to turn your corporate headquarters into a hotbed of comfort and peak profits? If your answer is ‘Yes’, don’t hesitate to put the tips above to use this year. It’ll help you improve brand image, reduce running costs and do good by Mother Nature. Good luck with your green business moves!

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Chloe Taylor

Chloe Taylor

Meet the Author: Chloe Taylor

Chloe is a young blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, business, psychology, and productivity related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on Facebook and Twitter.

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