3 Things to Know: Vacationing as a Small Business Owner

Before you decide that you can't get away for some time off this summer, check out these three things to know about vacationing as a small business owner. It will have you packing your bags in no time.

Even small business owners need to take a break from their work from time to time. Since we are in peak summer vacation season, here are three things you should know when it comes to stepping away from your business.

The first thing to know: It’s always a good idea. Vacation time, paid time-off, unplugging—whatever you call it, it’s an important part of any workplace wellness program and an effective way to better your bottom line. With a little time off, morale can be improved, stress can be lowered—leading to lower healthcare costs, and your business can witness increased productivity—among other benefits.

The second thing to know: Your business doesn’t have to suffer. With the proper advanced planning and an effort toward blocking off your schedule, as well as making sure you prepare your clients (and staff) for your time away, you can make the most of your time off. Click here for four ways to recharge without neglecting your business.

The third thing you need to know: You don’t have to stop learning. Lounging on the beach, being confined to the car on road-trips, and hanging out at home for a stay-cation are all great times to get caught up on topics of relevance to your work and to your growth as a business owner. In fact, here are 11 business books you should have read by now—and if not then add them to your reading list for your next vacation. And, if you’re the one doing the driving, you need to multitask, or the sun glare from your spot on the beach is just too much, learn why audio books and podcasts are good options.

Speaking of learning, Mind Your Business would like to start featuring books, podcasts and other resources that have had a positive impact on you as a business owner, have helped you grow your business, or that you have personally had a role in writing, creating or producing. Contact us for more details or if you have a story to tell for this new series.


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  • Next up: 3 Things to Know: Business Challenges

    3 Things to Know: Business Challenges

    Owning a business isn't always cupcakes and rainbows; facing obstacles and dealing with challenges are a consistent part of the job. Check out these three things our experts think you should know when it comes to business challenges.

    While there are many benefits and rewards to owning a small business, it certainly does not come without its struggles. In this month’s 3 Things to Know article, we challenge you to take a look at your business challenges.

    First thing to know: You are not alone

    You probably know this already but let us reiterate: every business and every business owner experiences hard times. Over the years, Mind Your Business has brought you several opportunities to hear from COSE members about the specific challenges they deal with on a regular basis. We featured interviews the Young Entrepreneur Institute conducted with COSE members, asking them about the most challenging obstacles they face as entrepreneurs. Here’s another interview with Cleveland Chain Reaction finalists who reveal what they find to be the most difficult parts of running a business.

    The blog’s Q-and-A series with investor level members is another way we’ve put a spotlight on these challenges. Here is one under-the-radar challenge that most business owners aren’t talking about from the perspective of one of COSE’s own.

    Second thing to know: Your challenges may be a result of your success

    With new sales, more demands from clients and increased staff needs, it might be hard to keep up with the onslaught of responsibilities of a growing business. If you have trouble delegating or don’t know when it’s time to ask for help, check out these tips to keeping up with your growth.

    Third thing to know: You can be prepared

    Speaking of difficulty keeping up with your growing business, this MYB article features COSE member Tim Dimoff, president of SACS Consulting and Investigative Services, who talks about his struggles with doing just that and how he could have been better prepared.

    COSE is always here to help you overcome small business challenges. Perhaps your challenge is in social media, pitching your business, or finding the resources you need to effectively run your business. Join us October 16 for the Small Business Resource Fair and meet entrepreneurial support organizations, discuss business challenges and opportunities, and more.

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  • Next up: 3 Things to Know: Success in Sales

    3 Things to Know: Success in Sales

    In our 3 Things to Know series we explore a variety of topics popular on the Mind Your Business site. This month we’re focusing on what our experts think is important to know when it comes to being successful in sales.

    When you own a small business, you are in the business of sales. Sometimes this is not a hat you like wearing, or a role that comes naturally. Luckily, our resident sales experts have thoroughly tackled this topic. Take a look at these three things they want you to know when it comes to having success in sales.

    First thing to know: Every salesperson or company should adopt a selling system that works well for them. This is the process by which you develop an opportunity from start to finish. Whether that finish is closing the sale or closing the file, you must have a defined beginning and end. Check out the flow of the selling system that Sandler Training uses.

    And, once you have a system that works for you and your company, it’s important that those involved in the process receive the necessary training. Proper sales training can mean the difference between keeping and losing a customer. Here’s what you should look for in a sales training program.

    Second thing to know: You must make people feel confident about their decision to work with and buy from you and your company. From managing successful transitions to being engaging and innovative, here are five tips to being successful in sales.

    Third thing to know: You don’t have to become a sell-out just to land the sale. Don’t roll over like a puppy dog; do keep in mind that the customer may not always be right. Don’t perform a “dog and pony show” every time you pitch your business; do subscribe to the line of thinking that sometimes less really is more. Keep the integrity of your business and your confidence high with these do’s and don’ts of selling.



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  • Next up: Alesha Washington Named ACCE 40 Under 40

    Alesha Washington Named ACCE 40 Under 40

    The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) is an organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting the most talented professionals in the chamber industry. Its latest 40 Under 40 List names Alesha Washington, Vice President of Advocacy at GCP, as one of the industry’s best emerging leaders.

    The list, which includes CEOs and staff professionals from a wide variety of roles and chamber sizes, recognizes up-and-coming leaders that are shaping the chamber industry with their creativity, dedication, and commitment to innovative problem-solving.

    Referring to her role as Director of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, GCP CEO Joe Roman said, “In her short time, Alesha has reinvigorated the coalition, stabilized the finances and elevated the influence of the organization in Congress.” You can view ACCE’s full 40 Under 40 List here.


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  • Next up: Apply for the 2020 Safety Innovation Awards

    Apply for the 2020 Safety Innovation Awards

    Has your company addressed a workplace safety or health risk in an innovative way? You could win a cash award for submitting your unique process or practice to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) 2020 Safety Innovation Awards.

    BWC established the Safety Innovation Awards to encourage and recognize innovative and creative solutions that reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses. Showcasing the most successful innovations inspires other Ohio employers to develop innovative solutions of their own.

    BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene subject matter experts will select finalists at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo on March 12, 2020. Cash awards range from $1,500 - $10,000.

    Apply here by September 30, 2019 and click here to learn more.


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  • Next up: Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee

    Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee


    On Wednesday, the Ohio House State & Local Government Committee approved Ohio House Bill 242 (HB 242), a bill to prohibit taxes, fees, or bans on auxiliary containers like plastic grocery bags.

    When Cuyahoga County introduced and later passed an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags countywide, GCP supported an amendment to delay the implementation of the ban pending further examination.  GCP recognizes plastic bags are harmful to the environment but bans like these have the potential to drive up use of paper bags, which are economically and environmentally costlier to produce. In the case of the Cuyahoga County ban, GCP was also concerned about the potential impact on retailers that make up our membership.  For example, Heinen’s, a Cleveland-based, family-owned grocery store, could see costs for bags increase by $2 million per year because of the switch to paper.

    The GCP submitted written testimony supporting HB 242 earlier in June, urging lawmakers to further study how to reduce the use of plastic bags while preserving the economic vitality of Ohio’s small businesses and retailers.  You can read more about GCP’s advocacy work regarding this issue here.


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