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
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.
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.
Corporate cultures are adjusting to the unique needs of women in their workforce. More companies are creating flexible time off polices and maternity leave programs. As a result, women are more likely to stay longer at organizations with a culture that’s flexible to the demands of women who wear many hats. Now, organizations are looking to find ways to train, empower, develop and mentor women to be better prepared for advancement opportunities.
The blog today is all about four ways companies can empower and develop the women in their organizations.
Let’s start with the why. Why should an organization create initiatives that foster personal development for women?
Advanced education and on the job training can help employees learn important skills that will help them excel in their individual jobs, but if there isn’t a foundation of clarity, high performance and productivity then advancement and job development is actually stifled. A few months ago google released an article sharing that they’ve studied the trends, habits and effects of their personal development programs and discovered that soft skills were actually more valuable than job specific training.
Organizations do have very limited budgets. I have a couple suggestions on how they can still get started on this initiative. Two ideas here, first, allow 2 hours a week paid for personal development time. This can be spent in reading books (chosen or assigned by the organization), watching topic specific videos, etc. The second idea is to develop internal mentoring programs. Pair up senior level leadership with employees you want to develop for advancement and allow an hour a week for in person meetings to set goals, talk through job descriptions, etc.
What about the opposite side of the spectrum. What about the companies that are ready to take it to the next level and allocate budget for personal development. I have two ideas here as well. First, I recommend developing internal women’s groups. Many corporations, especially in technology companies have a “Women in Tech” group. They have budget for monthly lunch and learns where they can bring in outside speakers, discuss books, or even just connect women across various departments. Women who are part of these groups share a sense of belonging and connection. They also feel like they have a support group to cheer them on when advancement opportunities come.
For example, 38% of Women in tech jobs leave within 7 years, but THEY KEEP WORKING, but not in tech. They cite “culture and lack of connection” as their reason for leaving.
Second, I recommend carving out budget for outside training programs. We hear story after story of companies investing in women to get high performance leadership training and then come back and share what they’ve learned with others in the group. It can be VERY effective and helps to bring in expertise that may not exist in the organization.
Change is the one constant at work. If you’re a boss, how can you communicate company changes in a way that motivates and improves the company culture? If you’re an employee and you need a raise or a change in your work job description, how can you ask without hurting your position? Enter the four part enrollment process I created to help professionals communicate better when asking for something. In this video I share the four steps to have more positive conversations. (BONUS: this four step process also works with spouses, kids and friends, too!)
For more information about Michelle and booking her to speak go to: http://www.speakmichelle.com Subscribe to hear about new videos when they’re released.
It was an honor to be invited to Park City TV. We discussed my book The Make It Happen Blueprint, talked about motivation and success strategies and even talked about the National Speakers Association Mountain West Chapter.
As you focus on success, you can fear failure. However, failure can be a great teacher. But some fear failure to the point that they are held back from action and moving forward on what they want most. From personal experience, I missed some key opportunities because I was afraid to fail. And then the regret haunted me and halted me from moving forward in other aspects of my life and business.