10 Ways For Freelancers To Successfully Launch A Startup Business

In recent times, working for yourself has caught a lot of steam. More and more people are taking the leap to work for themselves and create content and services that speak to their own interest.

Although being your own boss and setting your own hours sound sweet, launching your own freelance career can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect.

Before you leave your corporate job and transition to the life of a small business owner, read on to find out about the 10 ways to launch a startup freelance career.

1. Pinpoint Your Endgame

Before you jump into freelancing, you need to know what it is that you want out of the experience of working for yourself. Without a clear plan that defines your goals, the transition to entrepreneurship will be difficult. 

Prior to making a decision, sit down, make a list on a notebook pad or a computer, and answer the following questions:

  • Is freelancing a means to just earn extra income on the side while you continue to work your full-time job? 
  • Is freelancing full time a means to become your own boss and work within your own schedule?
  • Is freelancing a stepping stone to eventually achieving a different goal all together?

Once you pinpoint this goal and determine what you want out of this freelancing, then you can start planning on how to operate moving forward.

2. Determine What Your Niche Is

So, you’ve decided that you want to be a freelancer. Where does your services fall within the chasm of other small businesses?

For example, if you are a blogger who likes to write about stocks, focus on how you can become a great asset to that space. Take the time to research what other freelancers within this realm are doing and build your service off what the current market is looking for, or what it’s missing that you can add to the space.

Create a YouTube channel talking about the daily movement of the stock prices. Create an eBook or course about a niche stock play that the interested audience can learn from.

 Once you determine what your niche is, you are able to create content that speaks to what this space offers.

3. Identify Your Audience

After you’ve found out what your niche is, attracting the right clients is what naturally follows. 

To determine the best type of target clients for your freelance business, ask yourself these three questions:

  • What type of customer will find my services useful?
  • Which customer can afford to pay the prices I’ll need to charge in order to get to my income goal?
  • Can I find a way to connect with my clients on a personal level?

By appealing to a specific, well-selected niche, your services or products will fair better than if you were to just go in blind and not have a specified voice or tone for your target clients. 

4. Figure Out Your Finances

Although not the most glamorous part of your startup experience, accounting, or keeping track of your financials, is perhaps the most important.

Keep in mind that when run your own business, you are the one who’s in charge of the money you receive, or give, and where it goes. Research or take courses about how to handle taxes and financial statements for small businesses.

If you need additional help, which you most likely will, hire a part time or freelance accountant to manage your finances. Be sure to always ask questions to make sure that you understand where your money is being allocated.

Accounting will be the crux of your business, so be sure to invest a lot of time and help with this one.

5. Set Your Prices

The previous step was about handling your accounting business before your business gets off the ground. Once you’ve established who will help you with handling invoicing, taxes and the like, you can now set prices for your services.

Search the market and watch your peers to see what the typical prices are for the services for your work.

Never lowball yourself! Even if you are just starting out with freelancing, your cost of services should be competitive with the current market for your niche.

6. Develop Your Own Design

If you are crafting your own business, then people need to know how to identify your service in a sea of others like yours. This is where developing your own design comes in.

In addition, developing a website for your company is essential for people to buy your product and connect with you. It is your “Home Base” so to speak

Since this is such an important step, invest your money to hire a professional freelance designer to make your website pop. Ask the designer to also create a logo, flyers and banners that you can use on YouTube, at events, and on other social media channels.

7. Market Your Business

In order for your company to grow, you will need to market your product and services to gain an audience. 

You can hire experts or freelance marketers to help you with this step, but the truth is, you can do what they do for free. Instagram is a great app to use to show off how your designs and products look and function in real time. Twitter and Facebook are avenues to create hashtags and connect with other people in your niche. 

So, you can grow and market your small business organically on social media by using hashtags and following others who have your same interest.

If you’re marketing on social media, one of the key things to remember is to be yourself and be relatable to your audience. They will appreciate that more than any theatrical facade. 

If you need help on where to start with marketing on social media, watch other vloggers in your niche to see what works in your market and what doesn’t. There are also many YouTube videos that touch on how to market your business organically online and by using SEO tactics.

8. Start Monthly Newsletters

One of the best ways to keep your customers engaged and up to date on the latest news with your business is to send out free monthly newsletters. 

When you send out newsletters, you are informing your potential clients that you are committed to keeping communication open, as well as showing that you appreciate their interest in your products.

Free newsletters will get sent directly to your customer’s inbox to provide them with an update on your business and anything new that you have coming up.

There are freelancers who can help you out with doing newsletters, or you can do it yourself by using an automatic email service.

9. Maintain Good Customer Service

So now that you’ve created a sizeable audience after you’ve spent time cultivating relationships online, you want to make sure that you always keep an aura of professionalism and open communication with them. 

Great customer service skills will reflect positively on your new business. A satisfied customer is likely to tell at least three friends about a positive experience and is even more likely to keep coming back to buy more of your product.

As a freelancer with a small business, you will need to guarantee great customer service as it leads to increased sales, thus growing your company.

10. Keep Your Day Job Separate

If you are starting out with freelancing on the side and you currently have a full-time job, don’t jeopardize your employment.

Yes, it may be tantalizing to just jump headfirst into freelancing and let your full-time employment fall to the wayside, but as of now, your day job is a steady source of guaranteed money and in some cases, it’s probably funding your side business.

In addition to that, there are a few lists of things that you want to consider with your full-time job:

  • Do NOT breach any contracts or agreements you’ve signed with your employer.
  • Do NOT work on your freelance business during company time.
  • Do NOT use company resources, computers, or paid for blogging tools within your freelance projects.

6 Reasons Why Your Company Should Hire Military Veterans

The job industry is always changing in 2021. Every other week, there are new services, new products and a wheel of ever-evolving skills that are sought after from global companies. 

Businesses may find it difficult to keep up with finding qualified candidates in their industry, simply due to not knowing where to look or not being confident that they can find the appropriate talent within a sea of new industry developments and expectations.  

Has your company, though, thought to investigate one of the most untapped, but perhaps the most skilled, resource? The best talent that you can possibly employ is…our Military Veterans.

That’s right! as employees, veterans bring incomparable skill set and expertise that will add value to your company in ways that you might not have even thought possible.

Please read on and see the 6 reasons below as to why your business should hire military veterans.

1. They Are Quick Learners

Your dream employee may be someone who you don’t have to spend a lot of time training from scratch or walking them through repetitive processes. Well, Veterans are trained to make snap of the finger decisions in order to keep safe or when working with new skills or ideas.

So, if you need someone who is comfortable performing under pressure, veterans may be the candidate for you. For example, if you have a customer service or project management team who are always working on high stakes projects for customers, a veteran will be able to effectively blend in, transferring their knowledge of how to stay focused and organized within a busy environment.

Also, if you’re looking for help in your warehouse or shipping dock, veterans are able to learn the ropes quickly.  People who have operated tanks, troop transports, cranes and other heavy equipment in combat situations is most likely going to do an awesome job within your physical labor or transportation operation.

2. They Value Teamwork More Than Anyone

When it comes to teamwork, veterans probably know more than anybody the importance of comradery between groups in order to be effective. Vets work within a structured unity daily and understand that a well-rounded team is most important with successfully reaching goals.

3. They Respect Company Safety Protocols 

Health and Safety protocols are a daily part of everyone’s job, especially in 2021. With the help of thorough physical training that veterans are required to go through throughout the year, veterans are respectful of company’s protocols put in place to protect the staff. Due to this, Veterans are also equipped to recognize or point out any security threat, whether that is intrinsic or extrinsic, within the company’s parameters.

4. They Value Inclusion.

When veterans are in the field working side by side with their comrades, race, gender or ethnic background is an afterthought.

Veterans can be Great influences on how companies should respect coworkers and employees as people first, regardless of factors such as religion, origin or background. Their presence can promote inclusivity and diversity amongst the company and a reminder to treat people kindly no matter their varying economic statuses for political views. That can bring a calming and open aura to the office. 

5. They Are Tough. 

For a vet, being in the middle of a combat zone, or going through a rigorous training course, requires endurance, stamina and immense critical thinking skills. In order to have gotten through the day, veterans knew that slacking was not an option. In the work environment, veterans will navigate the day with that same thought process.

To them, every task has a purpose, and they want to see a goal through to its completion. Those in the military are hardwired to be mental tough, thorough and accurate, no matter if the task seems too difficult. Why wouldn’t you want someone like that on your team?

6. They Are Ahead Of The Curve With Technology 

Veterans are exposed to varying types of cutting-edge technology while in the military, which is one of the reasons why they thrive in this sector.

Since the military invests millions into technology each year, many veterans gain valuable experience in this industry. Every day, some military members are involved with learning and working with state-of-the-art technology, which will serve them well once they integrate into the civilian world.

So, not only will veterans have highly-sought-after skills that your engineering company needs, but you will have a brand-new team member that is detail-oriented and self-disciplined because of their uncanny ability to problem-solve and work under pressure.

Seven Strategies For Effectively Maintaining Stress In The Workplace

Workplaces are officially starting back up again after their prolonged downtime due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re going back to work and find yourself stressed out and don’t know what to do, there are a few simple strategies and tips you can participate in to reduce your stress.

Stress is natural and happens to most everyone, especially at work, but that doesn’t mean you just have to live with it without doing something. Follow these tips and strategies to effectively reduce the stress you feel at your workplace.

Keep Perspective

One of the worst parts about stress is the hopelessness it may make you feel. People usually feel much smaller and completely insignificant when they’re feeling stressed, which can lead to a spiraling effect of more stress and greater isolation.

It’s important to keep yourself and your life in perspective when you’re feeling stressed. You can go over what the best- and worst-case scenarios are for any given situation and find the sliver lining in the emotions you’re currently feeling. You can also look back to find other situations which felt worst than what you’re currently experiencing to cheer yourself up.

Maintain Control

Another common response to stress is to completely let go of the things you can control and start to feel bad for yourself all the time. It’s important to avoid this pitfall and remember that you still have some control of the situation you’re experiencing. Don’t tell yourself that everything is hopeless and that you must have others to help you out of the spot you’re in.

This can lead to spiraling and discourages you from taking account of the situation. While you can absolutely call on friends and families for help (more on that later) don’t feel like they’re obligated to solve all of your problems for you. It’s important to find yourself in the midst of your stress and relax yourself.

Just Breathe

On a more micro level, there are a few things you can do which will be immediately rewarding. The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and simply breathe in and out. This will help calm your nerves and make your body more relaxed.

Relaxation is a great way to counter stress because the two are essentially diametrically opposed. It’s incredibly difficult to feel panicked when you’re calm and breathing in and out in a measured and conscious manner. Take a few minutes to empty your mind and remind yourself that it’s not as bad as you think while you’re breathing.

Ask For Help

Once you’re sufficiently relaxed for the time being, you can take it upon yourself to ask for help. There are plenty of people in your life who are willing to help you through tough times, such as your friends and family members.

You should have a closely knit network of friends and colleagues so that you can turn to them whenever you’re feeling stressed or insignificant. There’s nothing like the comfort and touch of a good friend to keep you sane and move you through your day in a measured and calm manner. Never be afraid to ask your friends or family for help.

Develop A Course Of Action

In addition to calming yourself and asking for help, it’s important to understand that your stress will be mitigated if you have a plan of action for your day and life. Making plans greatly reduces stress because it helps you calm down further and signals to your body that the situation is in your control.

Plans and schedules also help keep your mind off of what you don’t know or may be stressed about during the day. You can make a plan during your breaks or throughout the day and stick to it to keep yourself calmed and stress free.

Develop Your Own Strategies

In addition to these strategies, you can make your own plan about the best course of action to take for yourself. You can devote yourself to a project that you’ve needed to do or meditate at your desk. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress because it gets your endorphins running and helps adrenaline escape in a healthy, measured, and controlled way.

Whatever you choose to do, there are several ways to help yourself relax and keep calm. You should stick to the activities that help you and discard those that may not be doing anything that you can see or feel.

Make Positive Relationships

While you can always go to people you know and trust when you’re feeling stressed, you can also make new relationships at work or at other locations throughout your day. Keeping your heart and mind open to other people will help you destress and combat any feelings of inadequacy.

You should try to stay off your phone during the day and pay attention to what others are doing around you. In addition, you can start a mentorship program or become a protégé. Being molded by someone else’s hands is a great way to feel in control of your life and help you destress.

Seven Tips For Enhancing Workplace Collaboration

Workplaces are returning to normal, and managers are reconnecting with employees in real time and in person again. Colleagues are also coming back together and relearning how to work together again for the betterment of the team and the company.

This process can take some getting used to but there are many tips and techniques for speeding up the awkward return to work that can help your workplace become more productive and efficient than it was even before the pandemic ran across the nation. If you’re looking for a happy and collaborative workplace, try these seven tips and techniques.

Have A Common Purpose

Nothing rallies troops together like a shared goal or purpose, and it’s no different for workplace employees. You should bring your employees in on the first day and remind them about your company’s values and vision for the future.

You can inspire them to work productively by giving them a goal to strive for and a hypothetical future to look forward to. Employees are much more likely to make a meaningful contribution if they believe in the vision of your workplace and can see their hard work doing great things in real time.

Make Friendships

Another technique that inspires employees in the workplace is the belief that they’re working with people they can trust and rely on. In order for this idea to take shape, you need to foster friendships within the workplace and attempt to have your employees see eye to eye with each other on a number of topics.

Of course, you can’t force people to be friends, but you can instill a culture of friendliness and dependence for multiple people working on the same team. Your employees will be more engaged when you use this method, and they’ll work harder and faster knowing their friends are depending on their efforts.

Use A Corporate Social Network

Social networking is not just for your customers. Your employees like to social network to and you can take advantage of this love by allowing them to hop on a corporate social media page and engage with their colleagues and supervisors.

Many companies have found that social media networks boost the productivity and engagement of their employees and lead to better and more consistent work across the board. This works because social networking will make your employees feel like a part of the team and like they’re contributing to something meaningful.

Make Reflection Key

Just like in an individual’s life, reflection is often the first step to improvement and the cement used as the foundation to a better and more productive life. You should hold retrospectives for your employees and allow them to voice their complaints and positive messages about the work the office has been doing over the last few weeks.

You should record these sessions and take notes about the things that are on your employees’ minds. This recording and the notes you take will help you give direction to their frustrations and positive feedback and allow you to show them what they could be doing differently from week to week. Introspection and retrospection are two key ingredients for collaboration and engagement.

Establish A Culture

This is a fundamental idea that many businesses today struggle with. Corporate identity is often put first, and employees struggle to find themselves with the confines of the business mentality on a daily basis.

You can nip this fear and frustration in the bud quickly by giving your employees a culture to rally around and engage in without feeling self-conscious or fearful. Once you establish a culture of high-quality work and confidence, your employees will follow suit, and they’ll collaborate in an easier and more relaxed manner.

Be A Top-Down Leader

One frequent mistakes many managers make is to lock themselves in their office and focus on tasks that may not be as important to their direct employees. While you obviously have to keep an eye on your outside responsibilities and make sure your bosses are happy, your employees should also feel like they can talk to you at any time of the day.

If they’re feeling swamped or beaten down, they should be able to enter your office and talk to you about it. Managers are with their employees in a personal way, walking among them and making sure everything is going smoothly. Taking just a half-hour out of your day will go a long way in helping your employees with the task at hand.

Highlight Strengths

Finally, one of the best ways you can manage and make sure your employees are collaborating together well and frequently is to highlight the strengths of each person in your office and delegate in turn. No one person is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. If you can find and accentuate the strengths of your employees, you’ll be one step closer to bringing the office together and making sure everyone is doing their best work at all times.

Technology Advice And Tips While Working From Home

The Covid-19 pandemic may finally be winding down in most areas of the country (and hopefully it will stay wound down) but people all over the nation are still working from home. The new normal is apparently here to stay as many individuals as possible across the nation have been working from home for over a year and there appears to be no signs that they’ll stop anytime soon.

Indeed, the time is still right to learn all about your new digital workspace and take advice on the best tips and tricks to successfully work every day. If you’re still working from home, here are the seven best tips for staying connected and focused with technology.

Keep Your Data Secure

It’s incredibly important to have a secure Wi-Fi connection from your house. If your workplace didn’t provide you with a Wi-Fi connection, you need to stay on top of your own, ensuring you have a password put in place to stop others from stealing your information.

There have been many attempts at theft by neighbors and others who know people who work from home and have easy access to their work secrets thanks to unsecured Wi-Fi. Your work should provide you with a way to stay safe and secure if you have to work from home and handle confidential and classified information at the same time. Don’t trust public Wi-Fi and always keep your passwords a secret from those around you.

Use Technology For Idea Storage

If you’re working in an office that has recently moved online or are managing that same office, there are a number of problems that can arise in the span of a few days. Workflows will be disrupted, and new routines will have to be thought of and implemented as employees become accustomed to their new working environment.

The workload and workflow can be streamlined, however, by using the technology available at everyone’s disposal to make changes and keep track of notes and differences in the two workplaces. You can use your laptop and other technology to capture and organize ideas and processes which may still be new to your workplace easily.

Utilize Video Messaging

One of the largest changes that’s been made in the recent year is the idea of using video conferencing to work through problems and connect with teams in a more consistent and unified manner. Platforms such as Zoom and Loom have been made the norm and have allowed employees to share and discuss ideas in an easy and time-sensitive way, without wasting many resources or disrupting their daily routine.

You should always be recording your screen when hosting a video conference because this is the easiest way to remember what was said and when. Video conferencing technology also allows you to go back and replay what you may have missed in the meeting easily.

Videos Are A Must

If you’re having trouble adjusting to your new workspace and flow of progress from your home, Loom can help you in another way as well. There are dozens of how-to videos and training sessions on the platform, as well as FAQ videos about a number of subjects, mostly pertaining to working from home. You can use this technology to help guide yourself through your new circumstances and connect with your colleagues or employees more easily and fruitfully.

The best part is the affordability, as there is a multifeatured free version of Loom available to employees and employers. Use this technology to become accustomed to working from home and giving yourself an easier time with the work you have to do on a daily basis.

Don’t Fall Prey To Phishing

Phishing and phishing attempts are almost as old as the internet itself. When someone tries to phish you, they’re usually trying to get you to click on a link and provide them with personal and extremely sensitive information. They then use this information to access personal resources such as your bank account and other private entities you use. Your workplace can be the victim of phishing attacks to if employees and colleagues are not careful.

You should know the signs of phishing: the e-mail you receive will come from an unofficial from address, it may seem urgent or dire, and it will almost definitely include a link to an obscure website. The text may also be poorly written to weed out those who won’t fall for the attempt from those who will. Make sure you’re wary of these attempts and don’t yourself or your company fall prey.

Back Up Your Data

Finally, you should regularly back up your data to ensure no progress is lost on your work. Computers and laptops can malfunction and shut down at a moment’s notice, and you may end up losing dozens of hours and hundreds of files’ worth of information from your laptop if this happens to you.

Your files can also become corrupted, and hackers can gain access to your software if you don’t back it up often. You should keep additional copies of your work in a secure location and make sure your work computer is frequently updated to make sure none of these negative outcomes are met.

How To Enjoy Work

Everyone wants to enjoy their work. No one wants a job where every morning feels like a punishment, or you got to work watching the clock in anticipation of the day’s end. “Thank God It’s Friday!” should be an exultation at the end of the week, not heartfelt thanks for being freed from a criminal sentence. Enjoying a job isn’t just available to people who are ‘living the dream’. Most work has some sense of fulfillment. It’s usually only a matter of having the right perspective to find it.

What Makes A Job Enjoyable?

In order to find pleasure in your work you must ask yourself “What makes a job enjoyable to you?” Do you enjoy variable hours? Do you like a particular type of work? Is it stability you crave? Do you need to show your creativity? Whatever questions and answers you have, you should be honest with yourself. Examine your motivations, and be sure your problem doesn’t lie within. If you’re being truthful, you’ll understand what it is you want. Understanding your needs is how you begin to get enjoyment from your job.

What Makes A Job Unpleasant?

Once you know what you really want, you can identify what’s standing in your way. There are several reasons why a person doesn’t like their job. Any combination of these reasons might help you understand what you must do to turn things around.

Type Of Work – You may not enjoy the type of work you’re required to do. Maybe you never did, or perhaps you did once but don’t anymore.

Poor Work Environment – Is the job site too chaotic? Is it dangerous? Are there unpleasant smells? Don’t underestimate how much an environment impacts how you feel about what you do.

Difficult Job – Is the job too hard for you? Is it physically taxing? Do you have the skill set to do the work? Be honest with yourself if you’re not up to the job. Maybe you can rise to the occasion, but first you have to know where you stand.

Inadequate Pay – Are you financially stressed? It’s hard to feel at ease when you have money worries.

No Room For Improvement – Does the job feel ‘dead end’ to you? You must see some future in your job, even if it’s only for the near term.

What Can You Do To Enjoy Your Work?

If you’ve identified the problem, then you’re looking for solutions. Here are seven things you can do to start enjoying your work.

Know What You Want From Your Job – Whether this is your dream job or a temporary position there was a reason you went after this job in the first place. Even if it was only to make money to make ends meet, you had a purpose when you applied for the job. You began to fulfill that purpose as soon as you got employed. Relish that accomplishment. Don’t expect more from the job than it has to offer.

Have A Manageable Schedule – Don’t let the job overwhelm you. It’s natural to spend at least a third of your waking day on the job. Use that time wisely, and integrate it properly with the rest of your life. People feel resentful when they think they’ve lost control of their lives. Don’t let your job become a convenient excuse for why you’re not doing the things you enjoy. If you balance your leisure time correctly, you won’t feel like the job is a punishment or a burden.

Get Along With Your Coworkers – There should be no one at your job you despise or resent. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but good manners go a long way. Show respect to your coworkers and demand it in return. At the end of the day it’s all just business. Everyone has a job to do. Keep it professional, and keep the personal to yourself. A job is more enjoyable when everyone works within the boundaries.

Don’t Make Work Problems Bigger Than They Are – The world doesn’t come to an end because there’s a problem at work. Most issues aren’t life or career threatening. Don’t fall for hyperbole or exaggeration. It’s easy to feel an issue is insurmountable when it’s right in front of you.

Be Clear About Your Job Duties – Know your place and the place of others. Do your job and encourage your coworkers to do the same. If you have a boss, get them to clearly define what you do. Politely insist that you not be made to over perform. It’s fine if you want to go above and beyond your duties, but that shouldn’t be a requirement. It brings a sense of fulfillment to perform a job well, but you can’t experience that if you’re being overworked.

Improve Your Skills – Empower yourself to do a better job. No matter what you do there’s always a way to become better at it. Even if it’s a job that doesn’t excite or challenge you, you’ll feel better if you become more proficient at the job.

Take Necessary Breaks – Rest is vastly underrated. Neuroscientists say that an exhausted person is more physically impaired than someone who is stumbling drunk. Give yourself mental and physical breaks. You’re not a machine. You have to rest and play as well as work.

Top 6 Characteristics Of A Positive Work Environment

We know what it takes to do the technical sides of our jobs, but one of the main factors that influences how employees feel about work is the overall environment. A work environment encompasses not only the work itself, but other factors such as the relationship with co-workers, managers, organizational culture, training, and development.

A positive work environment provides motivation for the employee to get through the day with as little stress as possible.

If you need help on how to foster a positive work environment, or if you need to know if you currently work within a positive environment, we’ve got you covered. Below are 6 characteristics of a positive work environment.

1. Positive Values

To start, an organization needs to promote positive values to attract a culture of honesty and ethics. A great mission statement is a good place to start. Have frequent meetings about your organization’s philosophy, mission, and values to make sure that your employees know that the company cares more about its workers than just referring to them as numbers. A company that is dedicated to sincere business practices recognizes the need to provide a positive work environment for their employees.

2. Open Communication

Every great relationship revolves around open communication and transparency, and your relationship with your work colleagues is no different. 

Open communication allows a safe space for employees to feel that what they have to say has value. Creating an opportunity to have these open discussions helps to get people involved and allows them to share their views and perspectives on how to achieve company goals.

If you are a manager, it is important to get together with your staff during meetings to discuss the organization’s philosophy, mission, and value from time to time to ensure that everyone knows that they offer more to the company than just their service.

3. Work-Life Balance

For us to be successful at our jobs, there must be a healthy balance between work and our personal lives.

When we have balance, there will be little to no feeling as if you are spending more time at work than you are with your family or friends outside of the office. Make sure that the days you have off work are truly your days off. Recharge from a workday by practicing self-care and doing things that make you happy. 

4. Training And Development

Due to ever evolving technology, it is important that organizations provide training courses for their employees. Not only does training and development courses keep employees on top of their A-game, but it also gives them access to skills that they can use outside of the company as well. 

An organization that is focused into pouring constant training and development into their employees is a company that sustains and enhances the productivity of the organization.

5. Rewards For Hard Work

Positive reinforcement toward employees is a must. I mean really, it is nice to come into a job knowing that if you successfully reach a goal or complete a task, that you’ll get some type of recognition for it. 

A company should have a system in place where they reward employees with gifts or special perks when developing and sharing cool ideas or innovative solutions. Keep in mind, rewards often come in the form of bonuses, money or even gift cards, but it doesn’t necessarily always have to be financial. 

6. Strong Sense Of Community

A solid team makes it easy for individuals to feel like they are supported. An organization should encourage teams to develop a habit of being vocal about expressing any new innovations, thoughts, or changes that they’d like to see within their department.  Teams should consider doing trust building exercises  together at least once a week to foster the feeling of community and openness.

6 Tips On How To Make Returning To The Office As Stress Free As Possible

We have been working remotely for more than a year thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Recently, many employers are starting to reopen their offices. While there are some workers who are ecstatic about being able to leave their houses and go into work again, others are a bit more hesitant about the change and how their safety will be affected. One of the biggest questions for a lot of people is – how can I make the transition back into work as smooth I can?

Don’t worry. We want your transition into office to be as seamless as you do. Read our 6 tips below about how to make returning to the office as stress free as possible.

Think About What You Need

We are all more hyper aware of germs than we have ever been before. It’s easy to be diligent on your own, but when you go into a shared workspace, you have to consider keeping yourself safe even more. Think about what you need to feel comfortable in your office. Maybe bringing disinfectant spray or wipes, for example, will make you feel comfortable using communal spaces like restrooms. Perhaps you need to wipe down your desk and keyboard each night to feel safe and secure. Consider what feels right to you and secure the information and supplies you need as you think through your return to office plan.

Try To Socialize (If You Want)

If you have been craving face to face interactions with human beings and couldn’t wait to get back into office to get it, try to get back into the groove of in-person socializing.Start by making an effort to check in with your team throughout the day (from a safe distance if mandated by your job). You can also schedule in-person meetings or designate a time to have lunch. After interacting with your team through a screen for over a year, this might feel foreign at first, but soon you will see how those personal connections contribute to getting back to connecting with people and improving your overall mental health.

Know Your Boundaries And Stick To Them

Yes, you are back to work now, but that doesn’t mean that you do not need to speak up if you are uncomfortable about it or have questions. Feel free to get with your human resources department to see what support and resources are being made available to staff during this time. Trust yourself. If being in the office makes you uneasy, whether it’s a requirement about vaccinations or mask, or if you simply prefer to continue to work remotely, make your voice heard. It is important that you are comfortable at work to do your job efficiently.

Support Safety Protocols

If you have made the conscious decision to work in office, it is your professional duty to support your employer’s safety protocols. These protocols are set in place for the safety of yourself and everyone in office. This means that you should be prepared for mandatory mask, social distancing, and daily temperature checks.

It is also your right to offer feedback about protocol if you so choose. Get with Human resources and offer help or suggestions with the current policies. These recent changes are affecting everyone company-wide. Sharing suggestions, as well as empathy, will go a long way.

Get Support

This pandemic is something that we have never lived through before. Some of us have had to watch our family battle COVID-19, others have had to submit to the pandemic changing our social lives and living situations. So, it is okay to feel as if you need mental and emotional help getting through these changes as Covid-19 continues to alter our lives. Whether you’re feeling relieved or hesitant about your return to the workplace, it may be helpful to find a coach, therapist, or counselor to help you get your mind around this transition.

Take this opportunity to get the care that you need so that you can feel well-supported as you return to the office. You deserve mental health care that sustains every part of your life.

Be Realistic About Your Situation

When we go back into office, things aren’t likely to be quite the same as it was before the beginning of 2020.

While it feels good to be back in office, workplace interactions will be different because the World is different. So, prepare your mind for the constant changes that may happen now within your workplace as we navigate through the pandemic and the ever-changing orders from National Heath Organizations and the federal government.

Just breath, be safe and stay prepared

Flocksy Featured Team Member Of The Month: Whitney

Let us introduce you to Whitney, a Project Manager here at Flocksy

In Her Own Words :

Hello Everyone!
My name is Whitney, and I’m a Project Manager here at Flocksy.
I reside in the western suburbs of Chicago with my 2 year old son, Luca, and our dog, Joplyn. Outside of work, we enjoy being outdoors, listening to music, having impromptu dance parties, and Trolls is on very frequently. I like to say that we live in a beautiful chaos and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Inside of work, I enjoy working with the clients and team members, to advocate, ensure excellent quality of work and customer service, and the efficiency of project completion. I have been with Flocksy since September 2020 and hope to be here long-term and develop great relationships moving forward with everyone. Feel free to reach out to me for anything or just to say hello!

We Asked Her A Few Questions

What is a typical day for you working at Flocksy?

  • I like to setup a priority list for the day, to ensure that I’m as organized as possible. Most days are definitely busy, and entails reviewing projects, communicating with clients and team members, handling emails and chat, and trying my best to keep everyone happy!

What do you like best about working at Flocksy?

  • Working at Flocksy certainly provides the sense of purpose in the given work, that I enjoy having every day. Whether that be helping small businesses or larger companies, I truly enjoying helping people reach those project milestones.

Tell us a great customer story

  • I have developed wonderful relationships with the clients over time, and found a kinship with one in Sweden, who was previously from the Chicagoland area (where I am from) and it made for very nostalgic conversation. Really goes to show, that this is a small world, indeed.

6 Tips On How To Effectively Respond To Customer Complaints

Simply put, the backbone of a company is its customers. The lifespan of your business depends on how you value and communicate with your audience, so you can’t afford to turn off a customer with poor interpersonal skills. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to stay on top of responding to customer complaints, as well as understanding what it is that may be causing them annoyance.

Customer complaints can be stressful, time-consuming and simply irritating, but how you respond to these issues will help your business’ reputation greatly.

Below are 6 tips on how to effectively respond to customer complaints.

1. Don’t Get Too Crazy With Over-Automation

Adopting automation technology may be tempting because it frees up time, but it is not always the best answer for customer interaction. Each customer prefers different modes of communication such as phone numbers, live chats and emails so that they can reach out to you. When it comes to a customer having an issue, there are many who prefer the experience of talking to a live person instead of an automated robot that may not be equipped to handle varying degrees of issues.

2. Take Your Time With Each Customer

Get rid of the idea of having a “script” when customers call. Moreso, don’t assume that you know what your customers want when they call, and thus try to rush to give them a solution to get them off the phone. This type of service can irritate your customer and cause them to feel as if you aren’t listening to them. To avoid losing or aggravating your consumer, invest in “Effective Listening skills” courses for your customer service team, or have weekly meetings about how to improve their skills in this area. The goal is to make sure that your team is taking the time to listen to the customer, understand their specific problem, and offer a solution.

3. Have A Reliable Web Service Provider

If your website is constantly crashing or glitching, especially during a time where your business is offering an exclusive sale for a certain amount of hours, it can be a point of contention for your customers.

Although no online system is perfect, to be on the safe side, look for a reputable web service provider that offers fast page loading time and a reliable, round-the-clock uptime.

4. Never Leave Your Customers Hanging

With the assistance of technology, Everyone wants to have things as quickly as possible. For a business, having a fast turnaround time is a must in order to stay successful. Having a speedy response draws new customers to your business, leading to you gaining long-term customers. Whether it’s on Instagram or your website, respond promptly to your customers’ questions and feedback.

5. Value Your Customer Service Team

Your customer representatives are the first line of communication that your customers receive. They are the face of your business and the ones who interact with your consumers the most.

As the business owner, it is your job to make sure that your customer service team not only has top notch skills, but also are rewarded for their efforts and treated well within the company. Find ways to motivate them to go the extra mile to satisfy your customers. Have weekly team building exercises, have rewards in place when goals are met, pay them well and check in on their mental health. By taking care of your employees, you will also attract top talent to your organization if you build a reputation treating your employees well. Happy employees lead to happy customers.

6. Incorporate Changes From Customer Feedback

Let’s say that multiple customers have called in with a complaint about not receiving a shipping confirmation from your site and your customer service team has said that they will look into fixing these issues in the future. Well, now it’s time to follow through with your word. After all, if you complained about a mishap and were promised a change that doesn’t actually happen, wouldn’t you be a bit peeved? In this case, it would be wise to get with your IT team to make sure of any bugs with your online systems and if they are, get them fixed at once.

It is on you and your team is on you to listen carefully, draw connections between complaints, and determine which course of action is needed to correct the issue.