It’s that time of year for gifts and presents for family and friends, but it’s also the time of year for businesses to make any last minute purchases for tax purposes.
Today’s blog features three gifts you can give your business this season, that are also tax write offs.
Many businesses say the end of the year is a great time to buy big equipment and upgrade computers. Is that true?
Many years I have purchased new laptops, computers and printers but this year I’m encouraging businesses to increase their VIDEO equipment. If you don’t have a solid camera for video, make the purchase. If you have a camera but could use a light kit or another studio enhancement. that’s a good way to go.
This leads us to the question what if a business wants to do something with a little more heart? I know that many businesses spend time this year in charitable areas, there’s an additional area to be generous…your team. Anyone who works for you should be extra appreciated or loved this time of year. While some companies can afford a Christmas bonus, others give their teams a turkey or grocery store gift card. Decide what is best for your business, but make sure your team knows they are appreciated. You could even buy gift cards now for future promotions and incentives.
The final idea I have to gift your business this year is to invest in your company’s growth and buy services. Now, here me out. If you’re a small business and you haven’t outsourced you accounting, this is a great time to get a good book keeper or tax accountant on retainer. Want to learn something about marketing? Find a marketing event to attend next year and buy a ticket and travel. Better yet, combine my tip 2 and 3 and invest in your team. If you’re a bigger organization don’t just give incentive programs for health…Give them each a “personal development” bonus. Decide on an amount and let them buy books, events or coaching that will help them grow personally or professionally
A study done by the American Psychological Association found that 48% of respondents noted that they feel like their stress has increased over the last five years. With the everyday roles and responsibilities on our plates, it’s no wonder we’re stressed and overwhelmed. But too much stress can lead to sickness, burnout and even depression and anxiety. The blog today features One DON’Ts and Three DO’s to help destress when things get tough.
Let’s dive in, when you’re stressed, what’s on your Don’t List?
Michelle: Number one hopefully happens before you get stressed. Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself. Some of our stress is self Imposed, make sure you give time in your schedule for relaxation, sleep, etc.
Now some of that sounds easier said than done. Let’s talk about what is on the DO list to help other and yourself in stressful times
One of the Do’s is to focus on the present. There may be a lot of challenges in the future, but the present is all that is in our control, we need to spend more time focusing on what we can control and let the future come what may. The old adage that worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere, is true. Spend your time thinking about the things in your control.
Let’s go to a question to get the next do.
Question: Many of our viewers have taxing jobs and a lot of personal responsibilities what would you recommend they do first? Ask for help. I think you’re right, the demands we have on our lives AND the worry combined are a lot so we need to not go it alone. Whether you’re a CEO or a stay at home parent we all need help with our responsibilities. So whether it’s hiring good help or trading with friends – not only does it lift a burden, but it helps us remember that we’re not alone. Community and solidarity are great antidotes to stress.
The final tip I have for you to de-stress is to create a “Play List”. In my book The Make It Happen Blueprint, one of the ways we tackle the feeling of being overwhelmed is through things that bring us joy. It can be making time for a hobby, reading a good book, or even learning something new. I recommend to corporate clients and high performance individuals to make sure they do something every day that takes their mind off the stress and also helps them develop personally with things they enjoy.
Tips on How To Increase Productivity in the Work Place
A study done by Basex Research shows that if you’re “in the zone” on project or deadline and you get interrupted, it takes 20 minutes to get back to where you were. That adds up to a lot of wasted time in a day and drain on company resources. With the number of demands on our time and the distractions that come every day, it can be hard to increase productivity without burning out, our next guest,
Today on the blog we will be talking about three productivity tips to help you streamline your work week and increase your effectiveness.
It seems like there are always demands on our time. My number one tip for increased productivity is to first and foremost, eliminate distractions. Turn off notifications on your phone and your computer when you’re in the middle of time sensitive or focus required tasks. If you have a coworker who always messages you on the company chat, mark yourself as busy. If you have people who interrupt you in your office, put a sign on your door or cubicle when you’re in the middle of a project that needs your full attention. Take control of your focus, no one else will do it for you.
Even if the distractions are gone, some employees still struggle to be effective in their workday. My advice for those who could use additional help would be to marry your to do list with your calendar for routine tasks. Here’s what I mean, most people keep a to do list, even in their own minds, but they are constantly putting routine tasks on their lists. Most employees and business owners have routine tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly or annually. Go through your routine tasks and create action lists of items that you do on a regular basis, and then schedule appointments for those items in your calendar. If you have a report do every Friday morning, block out time Thursday afternoon to complete it. If you regular post or comment on Social Media, schedule time every day in your calendar to create that routine.
In my book I talk about weekly planning and how it is the key to success. I have had a few people ask me what weekly planning looks like for me.
Plan is the four letter word for success. We may not want to spend time planning each week, but when you do, you’re much more likely to be in control of your clock. Each week ask yourself, what worked this week, what didn’t work this week and what needs to change. Once you’ve identified your routine action items and the days and times you complete them, you may find that things need to shift or move. Take 30 minutes Friday afternoon to plan for your week ahead and you’ll get more done, and have more peace with the clock.
In my book I share a number of other productivity tips such as the how’s and why’s of delegating and there’s a whole chapter dedicated to time management.
Last weekend video marketers and YouTube stars met in Provo at CVX live, a social media conference that focuses sharing the latest in on online video. Today on the blog we will discuss four video marketing trends that you can apply in your business.
Video seems like it’s not going away. This year I did a lot about video and I would like to share. Number One, while most people were at the conference to learn about YouTube, don’t rule out Facebook Watch. Facebook watch can be a great way for your small business to shine on a every changing platform. You can create playlists, release a video series like a podcast and more. AND since Facebook is caring a lot about making Facebook Watch work, videos are doing better in the news feed algorithm.
Let’s jump into a few frequently asked questions to help us learn more about video.
Question #1: If you do want to dive into video, what’s working in terms of length?
Michelle: YouTube measures two things, views and watch time. While some people consume short form content, longer format videos that are between 8-12 minutes and maybe even more help your watch time, especially if the information is valuable and entertaining. RIP Vine, people want more. More watch time also can increase ad revenue.
What would you say is the one thing video marketers need to know before starting or revamping a video strategy?
Michelle: This isn’t necessarily a trend, but it was repeated as a success principle. Consistency is still KING. Entertaining is good, humor is good, interesting is good, but if you aren’t consistently putting out content you can be easily forgotten when there are a number of other people out there who are producing content, almost daily. That may be hard to maintain for some businesses but always recommend that at least weekly will help keep you top of mind, especially for those people who subscribe and get notified when you put out something new.
Question #3: There are a lot of people out there that seem to have it figured out. What would you say to someone who may have tried this but may be struggling?
Michelle: Don’t copy – create. Look around and see what other people are doing that’s successful. For example, my good friend Dr. Paul Jenkins from Live on Purpose TV produces 20 videos in one day and then releases one a day Monday through Friday. He has a wildly successful channel that he just started in November, but that may not work for me. You have to do your owner and you can’t copy his content and just make it your own. Successful videos and video series work because people add their own unique flair and personality.
The Greatest Showman pleased audiences across the country and hit a box office milestone: It’s the third-biggest live-action original musical ever behind Enchanted and La La Land (according to Forbes). While many people tout the positive storyline and catchy musical numbers, there are some lessons business owners can take from this biopic story.
On the blog today I am going to share three of my favorite business takeaways.
An obvious takeaway from the movie is to be passionate about pursuing your “million dreams”. Business owners can really glean some great thoughts from the movie. Dreams are awesome and I love how the movie talks about dreaming with your eyes wide open, but one of my favorite lessons from the story is that when the museum was a flop, he pivoted. As the show grew, he added new acts to keep things fresh, one of the biggest challenges I see small businesses make is they enter the market one way and dig in their heels, but you need to be willing to innovate and grow and sometimes you have to let go of what you started to get where you really want to go.
They had to change, as it seems like there were a number of challenges faced in their business. The second tip I have for business that are facing challenges comes from one of my favorite lines in the movie. “We don’t need a building.” I love the idea that they didn’t have to do it the way everyone else was doing it, or the way they “thought” it should be. Barnum’s idea to buy cheap property and use a tent is a great example of thinking outside the box. Small business owners need to be willing to do things a different way if they want to stand out.
The final message from Greatest Showman is my favorite, in the song, “Greatest Show” they sing, “Everything you ever want, everything you ever need, is here right in front of you.” THIS is what I tell all of my clients. You can have “A Million Dreams” but truly everything you want you already have. Don’t assume a rocking business, or even an awesome goal or success can fill some kind of hole in your life. Everything you want you already have. Everything you need to be successful in business is within you already. This story is a classic tale, one we’ve heard from many successful and famous business owners, that they sacrificed their families for their careers, don’t let that be so. I truly believe you can grow a thriving business without having a meaningful personal life. Don’t wait until you crash to figure this out.
Audioblogging goes back to the 1980s, but podcasting became more common place over 14 years ago in 2004. In 2018 48 Million people listen to podcasts weekly, so is there a way for your business to leverage podcasting as a marketing tool?
Today’s blog will be all about how podcasting can help businesses use conversations as part of their marketing strategy.
There have been quite a few frequently asked questions about podcasts. Today I would like to share with you a few of the questions along with the answers.
Question #1: Is podcasting dying out or picking up steam?
I’ve been podcasting since 2013 and I thought it would die out over time, but we’re just seeing our listenership increase, even though there is increased competition. Studies are showing that downloads are increasing and show no signs of decline, even with the rise of social video. People listen to podcasts when they multitask so it fills a unique void at home doing mundane housework, on the commute to work and also running errands or at the gym
Question #2: Why should a business consider podcasting as part of their marketing?
Podcasting let’s to you tell more of a story. Podcasts should be sales shows, you won’t get listeners, but a podcast can be used to establish expertise. Authors and speakers use podcasts to share thought leadership, but even brick and mortar businesses can use podcasts to share a unique angle and extend the customer experience. A salon could have a podcast on inner and outer beauty, an auto mechanic could have a podcast on car care or even purchasing the right car, etc.
Question #3: Beyond extending the story and creating content, how can businesses leverage podcasts in other ways?
Podcasts are great for building partnerships and sharing audiences. Interviewing other people in your industry or complementary industries can be a great way to cross audiences and grow your market. I have a friend who is a marketing consultant and he interviews marketers from top companies about how Marketing Builds Trust. He’s leveraging their expertise and connections and as that individual and organization shares the podcast, Adam reaches a bigger audience. Podcasting can be a great partnership tool.
Question #4: What thoughts you can offer a business who may want to dive into podcasting?
Don’t wait, dive in. Marketing in the digital era is about sharing content that is both relevant and searchable. Podcasts are consumed and shared, but they create a marketing asset that you can use year over year. Think of podcasting like building your arsenal of marketing resources. Audios can be transcribed and then turned into blog posts, social media shares and more.