Month in Review: January 2020

From what you should know about internships to understanding digital harassment in the workplace, we’re bringing you a recap of January’s Mind Your Business articles.

 

We kickstarted 2020 with a month full of expert advice on the blog. Here is a rundown of some of the standout articles from January.

Understanding Digital Harassment

Harassment does not only come in the form of face-to-face contact. With a growing number and popularity of social media sites and forms of technology, digital harassment is becoming a real problem in and out of the workplace. Here is what you need to know.

Insourcing vs. Outsourcing Digital Marketing: The Pros and Cons

Is it better to build an in-house team of marketers or to rely on the currently thriving outsource market for your business? Maybe it's both. Read on to find out the pros and cons of insourcing vs. outsourcing your digital marketing.

5 Cybersecurity Tips to Keep Your Business Safe in the New Year

Technology is more prevalent than ever and keeping your business safe is more important than ever. From a firewall that protects your entire network to ongoing internal threat tests, here are five cybersecurity tips you can implement in the New Year.

3 Things to Know: Internship Programs

A good internship program can be a win-win for students and small businesses. Here are three things to know before internship season comes.

Another surefire way to plan and perfect your internship program? Attend the 2020 Cleveland Internship Summit.

How Being a COSE Member Helped My Business in 2019

We are proud of the work we do here at COSE to help our members grow their businesses and reach their goals. From saving money with our healthcare options, to networking, writing and speaking opportunities, hear from our members about how they benefited in 2019 from all that COSE has to offer.

What was your favorite Mind Your Business article from January? Let us know on Twitter!

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  • Next up: Make Meetings Work

    Make Meetings Work

    A bad meeting is unbearable. Here are topics to consider and questions to ask yourself when planning meetings that are effective and… well, bearable.

     

    Ask any group of COSE members what they think about meetings at work. You’ll probably hear comments like “… too long … unorganized … #$%&*@# waste of time … always start late … no action … I hate meetings.”

    Poorly planned meetings translate into inefficient and ineffective results and missed opportunities. Too many people still haven’t learned how to plan, manage or follow up on meetings; they simply “have” meetings … or, even worse, they “do” a meeting.

    As leaders, meetings are part of your work life. And just as work without meetings would be unthinkable – wonderful, but unthinkable – work loaded with terrible meetings is unbearable.

    RELATED: Why Your Meetings Suck part 1 and part 2

    A meeting is nothing more than a communication tool. Not a perfect tool at all, but one with specific advantages and disadvantages for potentially solving communication problems or needs. A meeting can also be an opportunity for you to display leadership and management skills. But, it can be an opportunity to fail, too. The difference depends on how skilled a workplace communicator you are and how well you make meetings work for you.

    Planning is Everything – The Pre-Meeting Phase

    We all know that failing to plan is planning to fail with our businesses. Same goes for meetings. There are seven different topics you need to considering when planning meetings. Take a look at each topic and the questions to ask yourself regarding each one.

    Topic no. 1: Objective. What problem are you trying to solve? What’s your specific objective? What outcomes do you want to accomplish as a result of the meeting?

    Topic no. 2: Participants. Who needs to attend? Who is necessary to contribute, decide and implement as needed? If people are not helping to achieve the outcomes, why are they there?

    Topic no. 3: Agenda. Does your agenda include attendees, location, start and end times, topics to be discussed, time allotted for each one and specific assignments? If not, fix it. If you don’t have a good agenda, don’t meet.

    Topic no. 4: Alternatives. Is there a more effective and efficient way to accomplish your objective than having a meeting? Would a note, conference call, video conference or series of one-on-one conversations be smarter than a meeting for this particular situation? A meeting should be the best tool you can think of using, not the first one you think of or the one you usually think of. Remember, the only thing worse than a bad meeting is a good meeting that should have been an email or conference call instead.

    Topic no. 5: Location. Where’s the most convenient, practical and productive location for your meeting? The wrong location can impact meeting dynamics and results.

    RELATED: Read more by Phil Stella.

    Topic no. 6: Timing. What day and time are the least disruptive and most productive for your meeting? Your objectives, attendees and group dynamics will influence timing. When in doubt, ask the attendees for input.

    Topic no. 7: Frequency. if you need to meet regularly, how often makes sense? If you changed your weekly staff meeting to every other week with e-mail updates in between, you cut the organization’s yearly “cost” for that meeting in half and increase the real productivity of attendees.

    The quality of the meetings you conduct is a reflection of your ability as a workplace communicator and leader. So, start improving your meetings tomorrow with more and better planning. You absolutely can make meetings work for you.

    Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440 449-0356, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.   

     

     

     

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  • Next up: Make Your Vote Count in November and Learn More About the GCP PAC

    Make Your Vote Count in November and Learn More About the GCP PAC

     

    Election Day, November 5th, is fast approaching and the polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Using your vote to help determine the individuals that represent you and the public policies that impact your business is a key ingredient to advancing a prosperous environment that reaches all corners of our region.  If you are unable to cast your vote in-person, applications for absentee ballots for the November 5th General Election must be received by boards of elections three days before the election by noon.  For more information, please visit your county board of elections website today.

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) takes great pride in the fact that we are a non-partisan, member-driven organization, which helps us achieve significant public policy victories for over 12,000 large, mid-size and small businesses and their 250,000 employees. 

    The strength of our membership also allows GCP to provide essential tools, like the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Political Action Committee (GCP PAC), helping to ensure elected officials and candidates hear the concerns of our members.  Our PAC provides an organized way to pool resources and actively support those that champion our priorities and promote initiatives that are conducive to the Northeast Ohio business community and its workforce. 

    To learn more about how you can become involved with the GCP PAC and why it is so meaningful, click here to read our annual report.

    Please consider making your contribution of $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 to GCP PAC today, so we can continue to lead the conversation in the development of common-sense policy and regulatory reform.  

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  • Next up: Month in Review: August 2019

    Month in Review: August 2019

    From the benefits of working with contractors to the benefits of employee wellness programs, MYB explored a variety of topics that will benefit your small business.

     

    We were hard at work on the blog last month. Check out some of our favorite Mind Your Business articles from August.

    Hiring Contract Remote Workers Can Benefit a Small Business if Done Right 
     
    Not having the responsibility to pay for heath care and saving on office space are just two of the reasons many businesses are using contract remote workers. Read these other benefits to hiring contractors and how you can have a successful experience for all parties

    The Benefits and Costs of an Employee Wellness Program


    From reduced health care costs to increased employee morale, there are many benefits of a workplace wellness program. Discover the details behind employee wellness programs: the costs associated, the benefits and examples of the limitless possibilities for these programs.

    Sales Q & A: Goal vs. Objective
     
    All small business owners are sales people in disguise. In this new Mind Your Business series, we are providing expert answers to some of your most pressing sales questions. Take a look at what differentiates a sales goal from a sales objective, and let us know what questions we can answer for you.

    • RELATED: 3 Things to Know About Success in Sales

    Shutting Down Workplace Gossip
     
    Workplace gossip may seem harmless, but it can negatively impact employee productivity and morale. Before watercooler buzz becomes damaging to your business, learn how to address it in a positive and assertive manner.

    Could Your Professional Relationships Ruin Your Small Business Status?

     
    Receiving a small business status can be valuable when it comes to federal contracts and other benefits. But, this status may be jeopardized if your business “affiliates” with another business or even a person, and that affiliation results in revenue and employees that exceed the small business size limits the government has set. Learn more about protecting your small business status

    What was your favorite Mind Your Business article from August? Let us know on Twitter!

     
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  • Next up: Month in Review: February 2020

    Month in Review: February 2020

    We have highlighted some of the stand-out articles from the blog in February. What were your favorites?

     

    Love was in the air in February—love of running small businesses and love of giving small-business related advice. Check out what information our experts shared on the blog last month and what they love about running a small business.

     

    Make Meetings Work

    A bad meeting is unbearable, and unfortunately we've all had to suffer through them. Here are topics to consider and questions to ask yourself when planning meetings so that they are effective, intentional, productive and…well, bearable.

     

    Build a Positive Work Culture

    Some larger companies work hard to ensure theirs is a company employees enjoy working for. But it's just as important that small businesses focus on attracting good candidates and keeping them happy. Here's how you can build a positive work culture at your small business.

     

    Single-Page vs. Multi-Page Websites

    A single-page website can be preferable when it comes to scrolling on your mobile device. But a multi-page website can really help boost your SEO. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of both types of websites, and which one is best for your business.

     

    Netflix and Learn: Demystifying Recommender Systems

    Between Amazon, Netflix, Pandora and just about every other site and app, you're constantly encountering suggestions on what to watch, listen to or purchase. Find out about the science behind these recommendations.

     

    What Our Members Love About Running a Small Business

    Valentine's Day might be over, but love is always in the air for our COSE members who get to wake up everyday and go to a job that they are passionate about. Check out what they love about running a small business.

     

    What was your favorite Mind Your Business article from February? Let us know on Twitter

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  • Next up: Month in Review: July 2019

    Month in Review: July 2019

    If you have been on summer break from the blog, check out this recap of some of the stand-out articles from July.

    You may have been in vacation-mode this summer, but we are business as usual on the blog. Check out some of our favorite Mind Your Business articles from July.

    Building the Matrix: Who’s Responsible for Your Company’s Decisions?

    You can follow the law, carefully think through your options and consult with others. But even proceeding with extreme caution won't guarantee the outcome you're hoping for with every decision that's made for your company. Learn how the matrix of authority can help

    The Importance of GCP’s PAC

    From the state budget to infrastructure to the environment, there are many crucial public policy issues in Ohio today. As the political landscape continually evolves it is more important than ever for our business members to have a seat at the table. Learn more about GCP's political action committee.

    Can Businesses Avoid Minimum Wage Requirements by Bartering Services?

    In an effort to boost their bottom line, small businesses often barter services with independent contractors. If you're considering bartering as an option, follow these legal guidelines and tips to ensuring your business is protected.

    How to Handle HR Situations Without Having an HR Department

    You wear many hats as a small business owner. And, if you don't have a formal human resources department, HR director might be one of them. Follow these three steps to help address HR issues on your own.

    3 Things to Know: Vacationing as a Small Business Owner

    Whether you hit the beach, climb mountains or simply enjoy a stay-cation, it's important to give yourself a break--even if you run your own business. But before you put up your 'gone fishing' sign, read these three things to know about vacationing as a small business owner.

    What was your favorite Mind Your Business article from July? Let us know on Twitter!


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