“Every Problem Is a Gift:” Reframing Your Company Narrative

Too often businesses struggle with the idea that the perfect product or service will be a completely pain free process. In fact, many companies have mottos that drive toward perfection, success, and guaranteed positive results. However, what many companies miss is the opportunity to embrace problems. Contrary to popular belief, problems can actually be the thing that makes your company better than anyone else’s.

photo of woman showing frustrations on her face
Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

“Every problem is a gift- without problems we would not grow.” Anthony Robbins’ famous quote perfectly underlines exactly how much of a positive impact problems can have on their business. Going through a journey without your business ever experiencing issues or problems is unrealistic; problems are a natural part of any company. However, too many companies respond simply by trying to hide or push down the issues as quickly as possible and end up not learning from them or their mistakes at all.

Treating each problem in your company’s life cycle as a gift involves reframing your company narrative and demonstrating just how powerful positive thinking can be in terms of improving company performance. Every problem you encounter points out a flaw and place for improvement in your current company design. Each hiccup and bounce along the way will help move you forward towards a more productive, informed, and nuanced company approach. If you can train your team to treat problems as the powerful learning opportunities and gifts that they are, you can begin building a framework of continual improvement that promotes personal and professional growth.

Reframing company narratives can be a challenging process, especially if you have many employees who are used to working with the “old way of things.” In these cases, it’s even more important to engage with them and help them understand why a transition in company mission can be so effective. With one switch, you can begin rewriting your company culture for the better, creating an environment where everyone wants to work and feels excited about the path ahead. Viewing every part of your business’s journey, whether success or problem, as a gift and growing opportunity creates a business that every employee can be proud of. Take the time to reframe your narrative today and reap the benefits of a more motivated and productive team well into the future.

“The Courage to Continue” – Finding Hope in Business Challenges

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

– Winston Churchill

One of the hardest concepts to get used to as a business owner is the idea of failure. As a business owner and entrepreneur, no one wants to fail. The idea of facing a business flop or failure is often the last thing on our minds. However, failure and struggle are a constant part of the lifecycle of a company. No idea is perfect at its start: every company tries out ideas or different strategies that do not work successfully. It’s important to remember in those moments the immortal words of Winston Churchill: “failure is not fatal.”

Winston Churchill may not be remembered primarily as a business manager, but his time as the Prime Minister of England during the Second World War certainly saw many different challenges. Churchill’s battle plans were not always successful, and it took him many years to build England back up and continue fighting until they had won. His advice holds true for any situation: failure is not fatal. One failure will not hold you back forever. Even if you take a hit as a company or your business plan struggles, you can continue to push forward and keep working.

Churchill also reminded us that success is not final either. One success, while certainly exciting, does not indicate that you’re guaranteed success in the future. Settling for success is the number one way to guarantee that your business won’t continue to grow. Continuing to innovate, develop, and advance further in your craft is the best way to guarantee continued success beyond just one or two good things.

Whether you’re enjoying success or struggling through failure, the most important thing in determining your ultimate success is your path forward. Neither success or failure is finite and final; instead, you must work through each phase with an eye towards pushing past any other issues and continuing on. The courage to continue, as Winston Churchill so eloquently puts it, is what distinguishes you as a successful business and creator, and the more you continue forward despite success or failure, the stronger your business plan and overall success will be.

How To Make Your Business Customer-Focused

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Are you a brand new small business? One of the most important tools to learn as quickly as possible for a small business owner is customer service. Customer service is the technique that keeps clients coming back to your firm again and again, but it’s not the easiest thing and the world to master. Customer-focused service means focusing on your customers as the emphasis of your company, not your products. Many businesses tend to make the mistake of focusing on their products over their customers, working to put out the best possible product they can. You should work to put out high-quality products, absolutely, but by emphasizing customer needs, experiences, and feedback, you achieve higher customer satisfaction rates than if you solely focused on your product.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of customer focused service, let’s look at a few easy and effective ways to enable customer focused care in your business today.

  1. Create a Customer Service Centered Position
    • Designating a position within your team to focus specifically on the customer experience will go a long way towards identifying and serving specific customer needs that come up. Make this role the main lead and organizer for all your customer service operations to keep things efficient and running smoothly for both you and your customers.
  2. Know Your Customers
    • Though your goal should be to focus on customer satisfaction, not every customer is the ideal target to market to. Analyze your customers carefully and focus on customers that make recent, frequent, and high-value purchases. Use those as your major audience when you’re promoting and selling your services.
  3. Hire with Customer Service in Mind at Every Level
    • No matter what position your employee holds within your business, their interactions with customers and their approach to customer service will contribute to your company’s overall consumer experience. Make sure that every employee you hire has the right customer service skills to support your mission.
  4. Create Opportunities for Direct Customer Contact
    • In an increasingly digital and remote workplace, making the time for direct customer engagement is essential to preserving customer-focused workplace standards. Train your employees on customer service calls or hold retreats so they can hear feedback directly from their clientele on what their needs are and create forums where your clients can post their thoughts as well.

4 Tips to Choose the Right Office Space for Your Small Business

Finding office space can be exciting because it means your small business has come of age and can no longer function effectively in a home office. While this growth is good news, actually finding the RIGHT office space can be tough. The reason this is important is that there are several factors to consider and they affect the image and progress of your business. Here are 4 tips to help you choose right!

1. Think Location

As a small business, protecting your customer base and workforce is vital. This makes location one of the most essential factors when choosing an office space. Your ideal office space should be:

  • Located within or around your customer base and ultimately easy for them to get to.
  • Accessible to your team or workers.
  • Favorable for your services to help you gain even more clients and foot traffic.
  • Safe to ensure the safety of your clients, workers, and business.
  • Close to necessary facilities like coffee shops or restaurants.

2. Consider Size

How big or how small should your office space be? To determine this, analyze your services, activities, equipment, staff, and more. Experts recommend that an office should have 70sq feet per person. Don’t forget you are a small business and you are aiming for expansion. The office space you choose should also have room for considerable future growth. Do you need storage space, kitchen space, recreational space, or a meeting room? If yes, they should influence the size too.

3. Infrastructure

This is crucial in several ways. First, infrastructure is essential to the reliability of your services. So, if your small business needs the internet, it should be fully considered with the building you choose. Hence, you can opt for buildings that offer these services to businesses. The appearance or looks of the building also matters to attract customers and support your business. People always prefer to do business in beautiful, clean, and professional environments.

4. Budget

In the end, it all boils down to what you can afford. If you spend too little, you might get something unpleasant. If you spend too much, you might struggle to make payments at first. So, in closing, choose an affordable office space with the right benefits for your small business.

At Valdosta Shared Office Space we are able to meet all of these needs. Explore our website to learn more about all we can do for you. Check out these links to learn more about the history of the Wisenbaker Building, our private office spaces, our virtual office services, the standard amenities we offer, the optional features we are able to help you with and our pricing model.

Small Business Sales

Decide how you’ll accept payment when it’s time to make a sale.

Choose how you’ll accept payments

The kinds of payments you accept can impact your marketing and sales, as well as your bottom line. Accept forms of payments that are cost effective, secure, and provide a positive experience for your customers.

Credit Cards

To accept credit and debit cards, you’ll need either a merchant services account with a bank or an account with an independent payment processing company.

You’ll pay small processing fees for each credit or debit card transaction, plus costs for setting up any necessary equipment.

Accepting credit and debit cards exposes you to the risk of fraud, but most vendors provide a certain level of protection for your business. Make sure that you use an EMV chip reader, which will limit both fraud and your liability.


You only need a business bank account to accept checks.

You’ll want to create a policy for accepting checks to help you avoid bad or fraudulent checks. Standard practices include only taking checks from well-known or in-state banks, or requiring checks be only for the exact amount owed. You could also use a third party service to help verify the quality of the check.

If a check bounces, your options to get the final payment will vary depending on your location. Some states require businesses to mail a registered letter and allow a designated waiting period to lapse before further action is taken. To get payment for a bounced check, you could end up in small claims court or using a collection agency.


Many small businesses operate as “cash only” merchants because it’s fast, easy, and inexpensive.

If you accept cash, remember that large sums of cash can add to accounting time and come with an additional security risk. You’ll want a secure way to hold your cash, like a register and a safe.There are special reporting requirements for cash.

The IRS requires you to report if your business gets more than $10,000 in cash, or a cash equivalent, from one buyer as a result of a single transaction or two or more related transactions.


If you sell your product or service online, you could accept payment through your website with an online payment service.

Online payment services typically accept credit and debit cards in addition to other popular online money transfer services. You’ll pay fees to in order to accept payments online, just like accepting credit cards in a physical location.

Online payment services require a virtual shopping cart to calculate the total, tax, and shipping costs of an order, in addition to collecting customer account and shipping information. Some online payment service providers offer free shopping cart services to businesses.

Small Business Marketing

Make a marketing plan to persuade consumers to buy your products or services.

Marketing takes time, money, and preparation. One of the best ways to stay on schedule and on budget is to make a marketing plan. It describes the actions you’ll take to persuade potential customers to buy your products or services.

Use these sections in your marketing plan

1. Target market

Describe your audience in detail. Look at the market’s size, demographics, unique traits, and trends that relate to demand for your business.

2. Competitive advantage

Describe what gives your product or service an advantage over the competition. It might be a better product, a lower price, or an excellent customer experience. Sometimes, an environmentally friendly certification or “made in the USA” on your label can be an important factor for customers.

3. Sales plan

Describe how you’ll literally sell your service or product to your customers. List the sales methods you’ll use, like retail, wholesale, or your own online store. Explain each step your customer takes once they decide to buy.

4. Marketing and sales goals

Describe your marketing and sales goals for the next year. Common marketing and sales goals are to increase email subscribers, grow market share, or increase sales by a certain percent.

5. Marketing action plan

Describe how you’ll achieve your marketing and sales goals. List marketing channels you’ll use, like online advertising, radio ads, or billboards. Explain your pricing strategy and how you’ll use promotions. Talk about the customer support that happens after the sale. The federal government regulates advertising and labeling for a number of consumer products, so make sure your advertising is legally compliant.

6. Budget

Include a complete breakdown of the costs of your marketing plan. Try to be as accurate as possible. You’ll want to keep tracking your costs once you put your plan into action.

Measure and update your plan

Plan to compare your marketing and sales costs to the revenue it generates. You want to make sure you’re getting a positive return on investment, or ROI.

Some tactics are hard to measure  — like print advertising or word-of-mouth campaigns. Get creative and use others’ advice, but be consistent in how you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Marketing plans should be maintained on an annual basis, at minimum. Measuring ROI will help you know which part of the plan is working and which part needs to be updated.

Don’t forget about operations

Not everyone agrees on the exact distinctions between marketing and sales, but most people recognize they’re connected. The influence operations has on marketing and sales is often overlooked.

Simple operations elements like your staff uniform, where your product is made, or the product return process contribute to your customer’s experience. That experience shapes how your customers view your company, and can influence whether they’ll become a loyal customer for life or tell their friends to stay away.

National Small Business Week – May 5th-11th, 2019

For more than 50 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st-century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

Don’t forget to participate in their Twitter Chat on Friday to learn “How to start and grow a business”. Tap or click on the image below to find out more.

National Small Business Week - Twitter Chat: How to start or grow a business|May, 10 @ 12PM

Always Learning

I believe that it is important to always learn and towards that end, I have found that the U.S. Small Business Administration is a great resource to learn valuable skills. The best part is that they offer the training online and for free.

I found this course on Customer Service and thought about how many times I have gone into a business and received poor service. I would like to see businesses utilize the resources that are out there to help their employees learn how to help others in an efficient manner.

Well, I just thought some people might find this information helpful and decided to share. Thank you for your time.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I have heard that this book is essential for anyone in business so I wanted to find out more. While I was researching I found this video that provides an excellent synopsis of the book in a little over 5 minutes. It really made me want to read the book. So, take 5 minutes to watch the video then head over to the “12min blog” and check out their summary of the book as well.

I also wanted to provide this preview of the book from Google Books which also has links to purchase.

Marketing ROI for Your Small Business

marketing: the key to your success

I believe marketing is key to any small businesses success. However, many undervalue its importance and those small businesses that do value the importance of marketing, struggle to see their return on investment.

So, while I was researching content to post, I came across this article about Marketing ROI and thought I would share it. I truly hope that this helps someone.

No Marketing ROI in Your Small Business? Here’s How to Fix It

No Marketing ROI in Your Small Business? Here’s How to Fix It
By Shalini M

If you are a small business owner, you know how hard it is to manage all aspects of your business. Marketing is the backbone of any business as far as growth is concerned. Unlike large companies, small businesses have to work with smaller budgets. As a result, the owners have to try their best to get the maximum return on their marketing investment. In this guide, we are going to give you a few tips that may help you get the highest ROI.

1) Make sure you have Realistic Goals

Having solid goals is the first thing you need to do. This is important if you want your marketing plan to be effective. You can have different goals and ways to achieve them. For example, you can find a way to spur on your customers or clients to sign up for your weekly or monthly newsletter.

In the same way, for better revenue growth, make sure you have an eye-catching call-to-action in your newsletters. This will increase the click-through rate.

2) Choose a Suitable Channel

Not every marketing channel can work for you. So, you need to choose a channel based on real data. This channel can be a platform that can help you exchange information with your customers, such as social media.

Of course, you may have to spend the time to get familiar with these channels. As soon as you have learned to use them, you are good to go.

3) Run Optimized Marketing Campaigns

This is one of the best cross-platform technique. With this approach in place, you can make your message more effective whether you are using ads on newspapers, TV or the Internet.

It’s good to have an integrated marketing campaign as it may have a positive impact on the visibility and efficacy of your message. In fact, experts say that 70% of customers lean toward the integrated marketing method. So, an optimized campaign can give better results.

4) Write Content

Marketing can be done in more ways than one, and content marketing is on top of the list. Writing content for your blog or website can help you get a number of benefits down the road. The fact of the matter is that content is king as far as getting your site listed on the first page of Google is concerned. Once your site is listed on top of the search results page, your ROI will go up.

5) Use task Automation Platforms

With the help of digital marketing, you can reap many benefits. Digital marketing has a lot of tools and platforms that allow you to do the automation of your marketing tasks. Some of the platforms are MailChimp, Facebook, and WordPress. The automation of tasks can save you a lot of time and investment dollars. At the same time, it will boost your marketing ROI.


If implemented the right way, these techniques can help you increase your marketing ROI significantly. So, make sure you give them a go if you are a serious small business owner. Hope this helps.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Shalini_M/2609777

5 Communication Apps for Small Businesses

When operating a small business, communication is a major factor in the success of your small business. Here are some of the best communication apps to improve productivity within your company.

Microsoft Teams brings everything together in a shared workspace– letting you work from anywhere and making it easy for your team to chat, collaborate on files, and work with your favorite apps.

Fuze is a video conferencing app that hosts online meetings for all devices and operating systems, including iPads and tablets. It offers high-definition video and crisp audio, and it’s easy to set up and download.

Pushover sends push messages to any smartphone and organizes messages and notifications from your devices in one common space. You can send 7,500 messages each month for free and receive an unlimited amount of notifications on Android and iOS devices and desktops.

With Slack’s instant messaging platform, you can organize your team’s conversations into separate private or public channels or send a direct message. The app also makes it easy to drag, drop and share images, PDFs and other files right in the chat. It automatically indexes and archives any message, notification or file, and there’s no limit to how many users your business can add.

You can use Skype to video or voice call anyone in the world; get up to 25 people together on a call; transmit video, photos and files of any size; share your computer screen; and send text or voice messages. Skype can also be used on Amazon Alexa devices.