4 Tips for Building Strong Work Relationships

When it comes to the professional workplace, the differences that atmosphere creates lends to automatic tensions. This is why it’s important from the beginning to build strong work relationships.

Here are four tips that you can use in order to ensure that your work relationships are solid and thriving.

Initiate Personal Conversations

In a professional working environment, most people feel as though they should not ask personal questions of their colleagues. With the correct amount of foundation and sensitivity, personal conversations can help to increase how connected co-workers feel to each other and also create a better connection between bosses and their workers.

When you begin to initiate personal conversations, the key is to remember to start small. For example, if you know that the person you’re speaking with has children, then ask how that child is doing in school or ask them about a school break that their child was on recently. This builds trust and confidence and can open the door to broader conversations in the future.

Understand the People You Work With

Different ideals in the workplace often lead to questions of differences in personality. It’s a good idea for everyone in the work environment to take a personality test and set aside a day to share their results.

Doing this process as a team will help each person see better ways of communicating with each other and what values each person places significance on in the workplace.

Learn or Practice Emotional Intelligence

Once you understand the personality types for each person, study on and learn more about emotional intelligence.

By combining emotional intelligence and the results of the personality test, you can create a thriving workplace where communication barriers are decreased and productivity, efficiency, and better workplace relationships are increased.

Seeking help from a company that focuses on professional management development can help with learning about how to implement emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try

Creating a strong working relationship can seem very scary at first. The key is to not be afraid to try. People appreciate being thought of and they appreciate communication. Don’t be afraid to try to increase your communication with your coworkers, boss, or workers. If you’re feeling trepidation about the process, communicate that. Everyone in your workplace will appreciate it.

Conclusion

These are just some of the ways that you can build better work relationships. The process won’t be fast, but it will be beneficial in the long run.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a  passionate traveler and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 

It’s All about Who You Know: 3 Networking Tips for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, knowing how to effectively network with prospective clients, investors, and partners is essential, regardless of the market and industry you represent. Knowing how to network with professionals within your industry is imperative to connect with those who have the power to help and support the growth and expansion of your business as you begin to generate sales and leads among your target consumers. Here are some tips to help small businesses with networking.

Create Branded Business Cards

Branding is one of the most important elements to keep in mind when building a business of your own from the ground up. Develop branded business cards and marketing material to travel with anytime you are actively representing your company or planning to attend a networking or business event.

Always carry your branded business cards and marketing material to ensure you are fully prepared for new encounters and potential connections you make with other professionals in your industry—they can happen anywhere. Be sure your cards and materials represent your business well and include all of your website, contact, and social media information.

Attend Local Business Networking Events and Gatherings

Research and attend local business networking events and gatherings to boost your brand’s awareness while making your presence as a new entrepreneur known. Attending relevant business networking events and gatherings provides ample opportunity to get to know other entrepreneurs and business owners in your local area.

Attend networking events as a traditional attendee or consider the opportunity to rent your very own booth or trade show space to showcase your products, services, and the purpose of your business and brand. Downtime will give you just enough time to check out and chat up other professionals at the show. These strategies can help you gain insight into good universal business practices, commercial vendors, equipment suppliers, and more. Talking about business with fellow professionals is a unique experience that should not be neglected.

Build Your Online Presence

With the advent of the internet, social media, and smartphone technology, networking online with the use of social media has become more prevalent than ever. Building your online presence is extremely important, whether you are selling generic unisex t-shirts or if you are currently selling niche handmade one-of-a-kind home decor items.

Use social media to streamline your brand’s online presence using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Create pages for your brand using the same username, logo, and color scheme to prevent confusion among users and new prospective followers. Connect with followers and create a sense of community among those who have a genuine interest in supporting your business and the products or services you provide.

Understanding the significance of networking among professionals and peers in your market is a must whether you are launching a startup for the first time or in the midst of expanding an existing business and brand. With the right networking abilities, set and achieve goals to expand your business in no time.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Enticing Potential Employees: 4 Strategies for Making Your Company an Attractive Workplace

Attracting new and qualified employees can often be a challenging and complex process. There are many factors to consider when recruiting new employees, such as the background, qualifications, and educational history you are looking for. Many qualified applicants are searching for specific qualities in companies when job hunting. Therefore, not only will you need to be aware of the type of employees you are searching for, but you will also need to ensure that you have created a company culture that is conducive to their needs. The following information provides four helpful strategies you may want to consider in order to make your company an attractive workplace for job seekers.

Create a Desirable Company Culture

You should strive to create a desirable company culture by developing an environment that promotes innovation, inclusion, and diversity. This will allow employees to think freely and creatively to come up with new solutions to business problems. It will also show that the company is ethical in its hiring and promotion strategies. Everyone should feel like a valuable asset to the company, and employees should be encouraged to be respectful to each other despite their differences. All of these factors combined should help to create a company culture that attracts the top talent and discourages high employee turnover rates.

Offer Competitive Wages and Benefits

You will also need to make sure that you are offering competitive wages and benefits to your employees. The top talent wants to work for a company that values them and invests in their potential and professional success. Therefore, you should encourage their growth and always strive to reward hard work.

Make Ethical Decisions

Your company should strive to create a positive and ethical reputation for itself. This can be achieved through manufacturing products in an ethical manner that doesn’t damage the environment or communities. It can also be helpful to give back to your local communities through charitable endeavors and to listen to the feedback and concerns of your customers in order to provide them with the best products and services.

Become More Eco-friendly

Many companies are making a shift towards becoming more eco-friendly. This is something all businesses should consider because the health of our ecosystems is vital to our future. Ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and make more environmentally friendly decisions include reducing your energy and water usage, manufacturing products in a way that causes less harm to the environment, and disposing of waste in the proper manner through research and by hiring professionals, such as aerosol disposal services.

Overall, there are many ways you can make your company a more attractive option for talented and qualified applicants. You just need to strive to be ethical and compliant and to invest in the future of your employees. The aforementioned tips make excellent starting points and there are always ways to improve and grow in order to become a better company for your employees.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley 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.  @LizzieWeakley

10 Networking Tips for Your Next Business Conference

Conferences are one of the best places for networking. You’re surrounded by people with similar interests, including many who can help you advance your career. There’s plenty of opportunity for the taking at conferences. You can learn a lot from your fellow attendees and may even land yourself a new position, since 46 percent of jobs get filled through traditional networking. Here are 10 networking tips to use for your next conference.

1. Have a Plan

Attending a conference can be overwhelming, especially if it’s a large one with a lot of people and events. Do yourself a favor and schedule your time beforehand. In addition to deciding which presentations to go to, build some time into your schedule for networking. You can also plan some of the specifics of your networking. Before the conference, research who’s going to be there and decide who you want to talk to.

2. Start Early

You don’t have to wait until the conference to start networking. Connect with other attendees on social media beforehand and post about the event on your feeds. Send fellow attendees a message saying you hope to see them there and ask them which sessions they plan on attending. You can also reach out to presenters and tell them you’re looking forward to their talks. That way you’ll have the foundations of a relationship already in place when you get to the conference.

3. Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a tried and true networking tip. Your pitch should be about 60 to 90 seconds long, or between 150 and 250 words. Keep it to the point while still showing a bit of your expertise, passion and personality. You can memorize it and practice before you go, but do your best to keep it genuine and natural-sounding too.

4. Look Approachable

Networking has two main purposes — maintaining relationships you’ve already started and meeting new people. To increase the number of people you meet, look approachable whenever you can. Only look at your phone or laptop when you have to. A lot of people look at their devices when they’re bored or uncomfortable, but situations in which you’re waiting around are often some of the best opportunities for networking. Other attendees are probably looking for something to do at these times too.

5. Ask Questions

Conferences are excellent opportunities to tell other people about yourself, but of course, you also want to get to know others. When talking to people at your conference, be sure to show interest in them, engage with what they’re saying and ask questions. Try to think of some things to ask before you go. Often, people lead with basic questions like “what do you do?” and “where are you from?” You can also try asking people what their favorite presentation or session of the conference was so far.

6. Reach Out Right Away

Often, after a conference, people come home with a stack of business cards that ends up gathering dust. They put off reaching out to the people who gave them cards, and the connections end up getting lost. Instead, reach out as soon as someone gives you a card. Send them an email with your information and a reminder of who you are to get the conversation started and help them remember you. This strategy can help keep your networking efforts from going to waste.

7. Take Notes

At conferences, you typically meet lots of different people, so it’s easy to forget details about some of them. To help you remember your connections, write a few notes about each person on their business card, on a notepad or on your phone. Jot down something you talked about, what they were wearing, a funny joke they told you or anything else that will help you remember them.

8. Just Go for It

Networking can feel awkward, especially at first. It’s natural to worry about how someone might react if you walk up to them and introduce yourself. One of the great things about conferences is that it’s acceptable — and even expected — that people will come up to you and start conversations. If you see someone you want to meet and they don’t look overly busy, just go for it. Don’t miss out on the networking opportunity your conference offers.

9. Supplement With Social Media

While you want to focus on face-to-face interactions, you can also use social media to your advantage. Post about the conference and use event hashtags. Tag presenters when you tweet about their talks. Ask questions. Doing so can garner online interactions and may have even lead to face-to-face meetups.

10. Follow Up

Just as you want to start your networking before the event, you should also continue it once it ends. Post on social media or your company blog about the conference and reach out to the people you met. This will help keep the relationships alive following the event itself and help you make the most of your conference experience.

Do what you can to make the most of your conference experience, and you will likely come away with lots of contacts, business leads or even a possible new job.

Bio: Nathan Sykes is the editor of Finding an Outlet, a source for the latest in IT and business news and trends.

Starting a Business: How to Find the Right Technology Solutions for Your Company

Starting a business can be a complicated experience, but it is often rewarding. If you are starting a business, you should consider using technology solutions to make the business run more efficiently.

Use Technology for Time Management

Time management is a necessary part of starting a business. You need to have a timeline, goals for your time and know what you’re doing at all times. If you know these things, you’ll always know exactly when you need to be performing a task or something similar. It’s important to start doing this right away.

IT Operations Matter

Handling IT aspects can be hard especially for someone who has never worked in IT before. Using Managed IT operation services might make it easier for you to handle different aspects of IT. It may also make it easier for you to form connections with the people you’re working with since it can be easier to get started with your business if you handle the technological aspects of it.

Team up for Technology

If there is a piece of technology you really want but just aren’t quite ready to invest in right away, you might want to team up with another company that’s getting off the ground. Split the cost of the tool and then split your use of it. There are different ways you can do this, but the easiest is finding software that can easily switch between different systems or companies.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Technology is all about working smarter instead of working harder. Dedicate different tasks to the way you want to work and make sure you’re doing everything you can to make the tasks easier. It’s important to try different things and make sure you’re prepared for anything that could come in the way of your business being successful.

Research before Investing

Always do your research. The chances are you researched about your business before you invested your time and money in it. Do the same thing with technology you plan to use in your business. If you know what you want, start researching it right away so you can make the necessary changes. It’s important to focus on how technology can improve your business instead of how it could cost your business a lot of money.

Starting a business doesn’t have to be difficult. Even though it takes a lot of work, there are things you can do to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley 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.  @LizzieWeakley

A Beginners Guide to Online Growth!

With the boom that is being experienced within the world of e-commerce, it is no wonder that more and more online businesses are popping up all over the place. This is a good thing that you should take advantage of and use to finally get you in a position that you are doing what you love and able to leave that job that ha a dead end. There is a lot that you need to make sure that you keep in mind before you even begin this journey for your business needs. Having this information beforehand will help to reduce the number of mistakes that you will make when you get ready to begin your online business. Let us take a look at a few of the things that you need to make sure that you keep in mind before you start this journey.

Market to the Right Demographics

There is something to be said about making sure that you are sending the right message to the right people. One example of this would be to make sure that if you are going for a crowd that is into surfing, then you do not want to target people that are into buying customized dog collars. The key to being popular is to make sure that your marketing is hitting the mark in the demographics you are aiming for. This can save you a lot of trial and error that many beginners will make when trying to get their business up and running. The next tip will be just as important as you will want to make sure that you look at the method of getting paid for your goods and services.

Setup a Payment Gateway to Accept Payment

Having a way to accept payments will be just as important as the business end of things. This is why you need to make sure that you set up a payment portal that is reliable, safe and easy. This is a step that many people will forget about as it will not be at the top of their thought process. Knowing how to find a good payment gateway and how to get it set up will be a very important process that you have to make sure that you keep in mind.

Accept Multiple Forms of Payment

There is no need to move forward if the payment side of your business is not in place. Even once you get the payment gateway established, you will need to make sure that you are accepting all forms of payment. Many businesses lose out on potential customers due to the fact that they limit the types of payment that they are able to accept. If you only accept cash, then that will reduce you from being able to be an online business. If you only accept Visa then you are not getting the customers that have other forms of credit cards that they use online.

Mobilize

Make sure that you are making yourself mobile ready to deal with all of the customers that will be doing business with you on a regular basis. More and more people are living online and as such, they want sites that are mobile friendly. Nothing is more frustrating than having a site that has not been optimized for mobile devices and as such will not display the correct way. This can hurt you in the fact that customers will not want to do business with you as well as it may affect the ability for you to accept payments.

Offer Feedback Options

A customer having the ability to leave feedback is one of the most important things that you can do in helping to build a customer base that will in the end trust you. Having the ability to accept this feedback as well as helping to listen to the feedback and take the advice that is being given to you via the customers. The feedback that they are able to provide to you will help you to better cater to their needs and allow you the chance to make things better for your business and thus allow you to improve on areas where you are a little weak.

Market the Business as Much as Possible

Marketing the business is as essential as the other parts of running the business. If you fail to market it correctly, then your efforts will not be as successful when trying to get new customers to come and check out your business. The ones that you do have will get bored as there will not be anything there to help and keep the customer engaged. If you are not sure what you need to do in the marketing of your business, then you can always hire a firm that will handle all of the details for you.

As you are able to see, there is a lot of running your own business and the more that you understand from the beginning, then the better results that you will have. Following these tips, will make sure that you have a business that will be profitable and will go a long way in helping to give you a sense of accomplishment.

Have Content/ Products that People want

There is no use in having products to sell if the people do not want to buy them. This will involve a lot of research to see what people are and are not into and what types of goods or services that they are seeking out. A little research, in the beginning, will lead to a lot better results for you down the road. Look closely at the things that are doing well and those that are not doing so good and shift your focus on these accordingly. Take ideas from established online stores like Oroton outlet to have a clear idea and implement them in your case. This will help to lead to you having a lot better results with getting products sold in a timely manner. After you have established the selection of products that you are going to sell, you will then want to make sure that you focus on the marketing of the products.

The Expert Seamstress: How to Run a Successful Fashion Business

If you are an expert seamstress, then it may be very easy to turn your abilities into a money-earning career. There are some steps, however, that you will need to take along the way. Here are some points you may want to consider to turn your fashion ideas into a money-making proposition.

Create a Business Plan

You will want to consider the type of sewing that you want to do for the public. Making a list can be a great place to start. Then, think about the supplies that you will need to carry out each one of those activities like an embroidery machine, a regular sewing machine, thread, fabric, tape measures and manikins. Make a list of the cost of each of your expenses and figure out what you need to charge your customers to make money from your sewing passion.

Choose a Location

Many seamstresses work from their home while others choose to open a storefront. Others choose to meet with their clients at a location of the client’s choosing. Decide on which choice is right for you, but remember that you will need a place to work on projects for clients. Often times, businesses find tax advantages or grants that make one location more favorable over others.

Decide on Marketing

You may be a great seamstress, but unless others know about your skills, then you cannot make money using those skills. Therefore, you will need to advertise. Consider creating a website showcasing projects that you have completed. Spread the word using social media. See if you can write guests blogs on other people’s sites to introduce them to your services. Make sure to claim your Google My Business account and your spot on Google Maps.

Network

Make sure that others in related businesses know about your services. Consider letting bridal boutiques who do not have their own seamstresses know about your services. Join community groups so that you get to know others in the community who might need your services such as putting logos on company shirts. Attend area trade shows where you can interact with local people to tell them about you and your business. Take advantage of these opportunities by practicing your elevator speech beforehand.

If you have the skills of a seamstress, then you can make money using those skills. Use these ideas and your own ingenuity to go into business for yourself.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley 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.  @LizzieWeakley