How To Make Your Business More Accessible

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When you own a business, it’s incredibly important that you’re able to keep it available to use for everyone; this involves making sure that people can reach you any time and that it is easy to reach you! But what can you do to achieve this? It’s difficult to know what your options are, so read on to find out what you can do about it!

 

Having Social Media Accounts

 

Websites like Facebook have fast become incredibly popular over the past few years, and it’s a brilliant platform for you to be taking advantage of! A lot of people use social media, there is an estimated 3 billion accounts that are being used at the moment and you should be using this to your advantage. You should be creating accounts on every social media that you can in order to make your company more accessible. People are going to be more likely to message a social media account than make a phone call about an inquiry as it’s easier meaning you can get more business.

 

Customer Answering Service

 

We can’t always pick up the phone, whether it’s in our personal lives or our business ones,  sometimes we just don’t have the time to speak to people. So, we have to do something about this because every missed phone call means that we’re missing out on business. Hiring an off site customer service call center means that the phone is always going to be answered by the people that you are hiring, they can help the customer as best as they can and often leave messages on to you, meaning that you don’t miss out on any business! This also opens up to people who are calling from different time zones; if you’re able to effectively communicate to people that live in different countries then you’ve just opened yourself up to a whole new market meaning you can become much more successful as your audience will be wider!

 

Advertise Your Details

 

This is of paramount importance for anything you own, especially when you’re advertising! Your details are obviously how people are able to get into contact with you, without them people would have to blindly trawl through the internet for your business which they will quite quickly give up on. When you’re advertising, and even on your website, make sure to put your details on the advert somewhere; this means that people can directly get into contact with you instead of having to search around for you so you can get more business in!

 

All of these things are great for keeping your business connected! You’ll have a call answering service for when you just can’t pick up the phone so you don’t miss out on anything, you’ll have social media accounts that are manned and ready to answer any questions that potential customers might have and your details will be advertised on everything you put out to the world to ensure everyone can get in touch with you! Putting yourself out there is essential to getting investors on board, but what else can you do to attract them? Well, read this and you’ll learn how!

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Easy Ways You Can Practice Self-Love and Be Kinder to Yourself

The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens.. you will ALWAYS be with yourself.”

Dianne Von Furstenberg

 

While it’s no question that relationships, whether it’s one we have with our significant other, our family or friends, are to be cherished, the most important and by far the longest relationship we will ever have in our life is actually one we have with ourselves.

After all, by learning to give love, acceptance, and compassion to ourselves, the more we feel whole and worthy and the more we have and are willing to offer to the world.

That said, I know firsthand that it can be extremely difficult to believe that we are worthy. Ever since we were kids, we have been told otherwise by our loved ones, bosses, colleagues, clients – and even strangers. Nevertheless, this is precisely why it’s crucial for us to become our very own best friend. With so much vying ‘against’ us, we’ve got enough on our plate that we need all the support and love we can get.

Here, I’ll be sharing with you some simple yet effective ways that have personally helped me to cultivate and strengthen self-love. May these tips help you to become kinder and gentler to yourself too!

 

1. Make Time for Self-Care

 

 

Has fear of missing out or being disliked prevented you from being able to set some time for yourself?

Well, it’s time to start learning to say ‘no’ to things that you think do not add any value to your life. By passing on events or added responsibilities that are not so important, it becomes much easier for you to make the time to do things that you actually enjoy.

Whether you choose to spend it by getting more sleep, going to an invigorating  yoga class, or picking up a new hobby, it’s all up to you! Practice self-care regularly by committing the time and effort you need to become the best version of yourself – because you’re truly worth it.

 

2. Connect with Your Inner Self

 

Image credit: Huffingtonpost.com

 

We may not want to admit it but most of us live our lives basing our values on our successes and failures. Deep down, however, we know that these ‘things’ do not illustrate the whole picture of who we really are. So, let’s ingrain it into our heads that our self-worth does not equate to our net worth – and act accordingly.

One way we can effectively do this is to learn to connect with our inner self (the soul) through activities that quiet the mind and bring it to a state of peace and stillness such as meditation or journaling. As Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, a renowned spiritual leader, beautifully said quiet the mind and the soul will speak”

 

3. Apply Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWu3rSEddZI – action=share

Video credit: Mercola YouTube account

 

Several years ago, a life coach who happens to be an EFT practitioner introduced me to Emotional Freedom Technique as a way to calm myself whenever I’m feeling stressed, anxious, or critical of myself. Though its name may appear rather scientific, it’s actually a pretty simple healing tool where we tap ourselves on specific parts of the body (acupressure) while repeating an affirmation. 

The great thing about this technique is that it can be done just about anywhere as it only requires a bit of time, our fingers, and a ‘mantra’ or affirmation. I’ve personally found it to be quick and effective in helping me to release negative energy when I’m feeling extreme emotions and to regain a sense of calm and balance. 

 

4. Stop Playing the Comparison Game

 

Image credit: isigood.com

 

We’re all familiar with the comparison game, it’s that dreadful yet addictive game where we compare ourselves with practically everyone we know and even those we don’t! 

The truth is, each and every single one of us is special and we all have our own unique purpose and path in life. Comparison is the ‘thief’ of joy and it prevents us from counting our blessings and embracing our already beautiful lives. Instead of comparing our journey to the journey of others, we should focus on being grateful for who we are and what we already have. 

Energy flows where attention goes. The more you recognize who you are and what you already have, the more abundance and blessings you will manifest in your life.

 

5. Give Up the Need for Approval from Others

 

 

Old habits die hard,” they say, and from my own experience, I admit that it’s not that easy to let go of our need of approval  –  but it’s certainly not impossible.

We can start to do this by choosing to consistently speak our truth. When you believe in an idea or have an opinion that differs from those around you – stand by it. Be aware when you are tempted to conform to someone’s else’s opinion just for the sake of having them on your side or obtain their approval and consciously choose to resist it.

In order for us to live our very best lives, we must learn to be independent of the good opinion of others. This means that we need to learn to make choices and take actions that are unapologetically true to who we are. After all, the only validation we truly need is one that we give to ourselves so stop living your life trying to impress others. Live your life trying to impress yourself instead!

 

Contributed by Lystia Putranto

 About

Lystia Putranto

Lystia is a personal & professional development blogger who seeks to inspire and to motivate people to create and to live out their best lives. A proponent of meditation, she actively encourages those who seek to become their best selves to integrate meditation as part of their daily routine.

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Want to Build and Keep Trust in Your Dealings? Don’t Forget These “Minor” Things!

We’re pretty much aware that, when dealing with people, be it a business deal or casual plans with friends and family, that following through is important. If I sell you a product, I need to give you that product and you need to give me what you said you’d pay for it. If I say I’ll bring the cake to the party, I should bring the cake to the party.

But, something too many of us forget is, communication, particularly when there’s a potential that things may change or go wrong, being ethical, and yes, following through (and be sure you can follow through)!  These may seem minor, especially the communication part, but they can be just as important for building and keeping trust, as delivering the product itself. Below is an example of a business transaction that I was involved in where all of these things came into play.

Communicate when Things Change Unexpectedly and Be Ethical!

Recently, I was selling an air mattress online. A potential buyer, who we’ll call, ‘Jim‘, called me and said he wanted to buy it, but at $5 less than I was listing it for, which I agreed to. We agreed to meet at a certain time and I thought that this was fine.

I was then texted by a 2nd potential buyer we’ll call, ‘Karen‘. I told Karen that there was a potential buyer in front of her but that I’d let her know if the deal fell through, or if it did go through. In other words, I would let her know either way so she would know where she stood. I also gave her a date by which I would know for sure, just a few days away.

Well, I called Jim to confirm just before our meeting time and he said he was out of town on short notice from his work and couldn’t meet until the next Saturday, which was a day past the date I’d given Karen earlier.

So, I asked him if Saturday was definite and he told me he never works Saturdays and would definitely be available. I did let him know that I had a deadline to give an answer to another buyer so that Jim would know I was holding the item for him. He told me he would be buying the mattress for sure on Saturday.

Having sold things in the past, I knew well that something isn’t sold until the buyer actually and physically picks up the item and gives me the money!  As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t believing that Jim would be buying the mattress until I would actually meet with Jim and he would pick up the mattress and pay me the money he agreed to pay.

I then contacted Karen again to let her know that Saturday was the new deadline and that it was certain I’d have an answer for her, and I did apologize and explained the situation concerning the first potential buyer. Karen then offered me $5 more if I went ahead and bypassed Jim and sold it to her, but I told her that I couldn’t do that to Jim as I’d given him my word to wait until Saturday. To Karen’s credit, she said that was fine and she didn’t get mad or surly in any way as many other people would have.

On top of this, a third potential buyer we’ll call ‘Bill‘, texted me and I told him he had two potential buyers in front of him but that I’d let him know by a certain date or earlier for sure on where he stood and would keep him updated.

So, Saturday arrives and I decide to call and confirm again. (Not everyone has the message of this post or will learn from their own experiences, so, unless you know that the person you’re working with is truly reliable and will communicate when needed, confirmation of such things is advisable.)

And lo and behold, when I called him, he tells me he was called to work that Saturday! Now, to Jim’s credit, he did say to go ahead and sell it to someone else, and he did apologize to me.

What I wonder is, would he have told me at all, or would I have ended up at our meeting place, waiting and waiting for someone who never would have shown up?

When sudden changes come up that affect the other party, communicate, communicate, communicate!

Anyway, I contacted Karen and we agreed to a meeting place and she did show up and bought the air mattress, I let Bill know that it had been sold, and all was well.

Photos of my Motorola Moto-e 2nd generation 2015 phone. 4/30/2016

So, in your dealings, do keep everyone who’s supposedly in the loop, in the loop. Update everyone in the loop so you don’t hear later, “I never got the memo!”, or something to that effect. If you have a smart phone and you know that everyone else in the loop has one also, it’s even easier to keep everyone updated at any time!  (Just don’t text while driving. Pull over and park first!)

 

 

 

 

And, if you tell someone you’ll call them, call them! And if you do forget to call them (which we all do from time to time), and they bring it up to you that you didn’t call them when you said you would, please, don’t say to them, “So why didn’t you call me?”, when it was you who said you’d call themIt was your responsibility to call them!

And don’t reserve a time with someone and tell them it’s certain when you know it really isn’t, and if you do reserve a “guaranteed” block of time, for someone, try to keep that commitment! And if you can’t guarantee a time, then let the other party know that it’s not guaranteed, and agree to a limit as to how long or how many changes they’ll be before letting the other party know that it’s ok for them to move on.

And finally, speaking of ‘reservations’, it should be first come first serve, unless, in a business dealing, you’ve put the ‘deal’ up for bids and have let everyone concerned know. Otherwise, if you have a potential buyer and you’ve agreed to sell it to that buyer at a certain price, don’t dump them if the next potential buyer, who’s arrived after the first buyer, offers you a better price. And the same goes for if you are the buyer and have agreed with the seller to buy something at an agreed price. If another seller jumps in, after said agreement was made, and offers a better deal, go with the first, since you’ve already agreed to buy from the first seller. It’s just plain unethical to do otherwise.

So keep talking! And be ethical! It’s worth it in the long run!

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Be Sure Your Brain is Running Before You Throw Your Mouth Into Gear!

I once saw a sign at my mother’s workplace that read, “Be sure your brain is running before you throw your mouth into gear.” You can see where I got the title from. Though it was quite an amusing sign, it really rings true.

 

Close up of window deflector. 5/26/2014

Oftentimes we let emotions and pressures make us say things that we later come to regret. In my own life, I’ve come to see that I fare better when I calm myself down before speaking if I am under pressure or strong emotion. It’s certainly improved my own life and my relationships in general.

Most often, when talking about saying things we come to regret, angry conflicts come to mind. However, it’s not only the argument that can trigger regretful words. It can be other pressures, such as trying to make a sale. One may over promise in order to get a sale that appears to be slipping away.

Later on, the customer may find that what he purchased does not live up to the promises made, and may become an ex-customer as a result. Instead, by taking the time to think, then asking the customer what he is looking for instead of making false promises, the sale may be salvaged and you won’t get an unhappy customer. Even if the sale still falls through, the customer won’t leave feeling that he’s been deceived. An honest disagreement is always better than agreement under false pretenses.

It’s not only in business that thinking before speaking is warranted. We all need to think more before speaking if there’s a possibility that the person we’re speaking to may be extra sensitive to the subject we may be bringing up. You don’t go up to a widow at her husband’s funeral and ask about the two dollars her husband owes you, for instance. It doesn’t mean one should always walk on egg shells or hold back from ever saying anything, just do it at the right time and place and in the right manner, if it really needs to be said.

And thinking doesn’t just apply to speaking. By now, many of us have heard about thinking before sending that email or making that tweet. A few years ago, a reporter flying to another country for an assignment made an inappropriate tweet, which got the reporter fired upon landing.

And sometimes, there’s really no need to say anything in some situations. You’d just be adding your two cents where it really isn’t needed, and it can sometimes cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Another quote I once read said, “A closed mouth gathers no feet.”

Happy talking!

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Communication is Vital!

Orange 1970’s vintage phone. Seen at 42nd St Station in PDX. 4/17/2015

Ever have a person or business representative say that they’ll call you right back then they don’t? Yeah, it’s happened to me, too. Truth is, this is one of the big complaints people have regarding communication.

If you’re in business, the best way to keep customers is to get back to them when you say you will. All too often, I hear stories about people who have legitimate questions or complaints be told by a company representative that they’ll be called back within a certain amount of time, then never get the call back at all.

In a way, this is also an integrity issue. But aside from that, communicating with the customer keeps them in the loop and let’s them know where they stand. I know that, for myself, I prefer a call back when I’m told to expect one, even if it’s to say they have no answer yet, to no callback at all. I’m sure most people feel the same way.

Now, this is a two-way street, and also applies to person to person communication, not just business communication. If you tell a friend you’ll call them within a certain time, do it. And, if you are the customer, and you say you’ll call or come by to pick up the package, etc, by a certain time, you’re just as obligated to do so as the business was to call you back if that’s what it said it would do.

So, just don’t promise to communicate or call, then forget. It leaves the other party hanging, and also damages your credibility with them.

Photos of my Motorola Moto-e 2nd generation 2015 phone. 4/30/2016

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What It Means To Be Truly Unique In Business

All businesses, but especially small businesses, must strive to be unique. It’s what keeps you competitive in an industry with little breathing room. It’s what gets you remember and establishes a bond with your customer base that goes beyond offering a good deal. It’s also what makes you a good company to work for, attracting and retaining the most talented of teams. So, what makes a business unique?

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The USP is a must

Let’s start with what we know to be a fundamental truth of business. You have to have something unique to offer within the services itself. Whether it’s some niche that sets you apart from your competitors or it’s an innovative new take on how you deliver the same services or products, a unique selling proposition is essential. More than essential, it is the meat of the brand. But you’re going to need more than meat if you want a real impact. You’re going to need heart.

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Finding your heart

The heart of the brand is all about expressing that unique selling proposition in a way that not only resonates with consumers but also the members of your own team. People need to be on-side if they’re going to be the team that represents the business. For instance, put more thought into your office interior design, creating an environment that not only fits the workflow but captures the appeal of the brand and reinforces it within the team. If consummate professionalism is part of the business, then the office needs to look like a sleek, smart, professional workplace. If creativity is favoured above all else, then it can’t look too dry, too serious or too limiting. Make sure that what is unique about the business is reflected through it at all levels.

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Motives other than profit

Nowadays, people care about more than what a business says and even what it delivers. They care about what it stands for. There’s a reason that many businesses are going green and it’s not just because they have a sense of their morality and values. It’s because they know that putting those true values on display through the way the business operates helps them stand out and build a connection to consumers based more than on their trade. It creates a shared identity that fosters loyalty and connection.

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Growing a culture

The most unique businesses aren’t those that are built by some visionary. It’s not just your unique take on business, your unique sense of style, and your unique values that can inform the profile of the company. It’s the culture of all the people around you. It’s your ability to source expertise and opinions from within the team. It’s also the very people that make up the team itself. A workplace culture makes you stand out not just amongst businesses but amongst employers. There aren’t a lot of workplaces that do that in most industries.

If you think being unique is all about the brand or all about the product you offer, you are in for a shock. That strain of ‘something different’ needs to be a part of the company DNA, going from the basics of the office setup right up to how you come up with your strategies.

Contributed Post.

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I’m Back!

Me and Mom at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

Hi everyone! Just to let you know, I’m back! There still may be contributed posts, and I do want to thank all those who’ve contributed so far. I’ve learned a lot from your posts.

Anyway, I’ve been quite busy since I had to move recently, (Well, actually, last November.) And it does take time to settle in. Also, I’ve learned a few things about the move and also have ventured into Chromebook land. As a matter of fact, I’m using my new chromebook to write this post. I’ll be back to writing and submitting posts and hope you’ll read them.

As always,

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