By Benjamin Sweeney
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” - Socrates
Computers, gizmos, gadgets, iPods, iPads, iPhones, basketballs, goalie gloves, soccer balls, PlayStations, Wiis, the list goes on! There are so many things that kids have. Sometimes they don’t even realize they have it! Therein lies the irony. Everyone wants more, but many times, less is more.
Less “stuff” yields a better imagination. That is a hard sentence to type because I have a lot of stuff. My mom always says less is more. Interestingly, I recently saw a Lexus commercial that said, “more is more” and that is the pursuit of perfection. However, I am inclined to believe my mom. Less is more!
“Less is more” brings individual satisfaction. When you have too much, you savor nothing. Let’s say you get a new toy each week. What is special about that? You are probably thinking that getting a new toy every week is special, but it is not. Getting an occasional new toy is better because that toy can be enjoyed.
What is ‘simplicity?’ Simplicity may be considered complex. However, it is really rather simple. It is the decision to limit our external wealth so we have greater internal wealth. Fewer things mean more happiness. A “life with less” often means more time with friends, more time with family, more community, more socializing, and more activity. Less stuff is the secret to happiness.
We’re really getting in the Thanksgiving spirit here at MyCorp! Not only are we all prepping our turkeys, and candying our yams, but we are prepping for our upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as well! It seems that with the passing of each Thanksgiving, there is a new sales day added into the mix. What was once Black Friday, is now the trio of Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday. Companies and customers alike are choosing to partake in all three!
We noodled on it and thought the entire sales weekend should just have its own name – something that combines and explains Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. We turned to our fellow small business owners and here’s what they came up with!
By David Nilssen
Guidant Financial’s 8th annual Office Olympics were celebrated this past week. It’s an event that consistently brings our teams together by promoting intra-company friendships through healthy competition and some ridiculousness.
This year’s theme, “Time After Time” covered some of the most famous eras of our past, present and future. Each day, a new challenge was brought to the table for a chance to win points. The top three teams with the most points at the end of the week were awarded with gold, silver, and bronze medals (as well as Amazon.com gift cards).
Day 1: Tango of Time
On day one, after the opening ceremonies, the competition kicked off with Tango of Time, also known as musical chairs. Choosing one valiant member from each team, nine individuals went head-to-head as the sound system belted out tunes themed to “time.” Teams also had a chance to earn spirit and style points, which lead to some creative dancing and intense cheering.
One of the biggest challenges for young entrepreneurs when they are trying to start up a business is of course securing sufficient funding. The most common hurdle is the fact that they have not yet managed to build up a good credit rating. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to get ahead despite a poor credit rating.
A credit score is fairly important when it comes to raising finances for your business, the higher the score the easier it will be to get loan or some other form of financing. However, it is not the be all and end all – you can still get funding with bad credit. The key is choosing appropriately so that you can begin to build up your credit so that when the time comes to move to the next level your business will have sufficient credit to do so.
Do Not Depend On Credit Cards & Bank Loans
It has recently been suggested that only 25 percent of entrepreneurs use traditional credit cards and bank loans to meet their start-up costs. That is actually great news for those seeking funding as it means that the majority of entrepreneurs are getting money from sources that are not so dependent on credit scoring. There are plenty of ways to fund a start-up which do not involve taking out a bank loan.
Saving money on your business overhead is like putting money directly into your pocket. As a small business owners are always looking for ways to make the most of their budget so they can classify as much of their revenues as possible as profit. As you probably know, cash flow is what is going to keep your start-up above water. To get more cash flow, you need to either sell more or cut back on expenses, and when you do not have a large book-of-business, cutting back is the most practical option.
Every business owner knows the basics of reducing overhead, but sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to reduce spending without compromising business solvency.
Ohhh I loved my pillow. I used to travel with it all of the time when I was a kid. This week, while I was at the Los Angeles airport on my way to see clients in San Francisco, I saw this guy with the worst comb-over ever traveling with his own pillow. I was expecting him to whip out a juice box and maybe even his special blanky. He had made up his mind to travel in comfort.
So, how comfy are you in your business? I mean really comfy? I’m not sayin’ that you should convert your office into a day spa. I’m talking a little less chaos and less flying by the seat of your pants. On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed are you when you come into the office? Believe me, I still have some of those days.
In the past year, I have worked with tons of entrepreneurs. Many of them aren’t comfy in one particular area – their team of employees, independent contractors, and even their vendors! They have the wrong people with the wrong skill sets in the wrong positions.
Summer is rolling in and it’s time to think about what you’re going to do to get your business heating up! As with holidays, summer is full of opportunities to entice your customers. From Fourth of July sales to summer-friendly promos, you won’t want to miss out on all the fun. Here are some tips so you can jump right in:
Let the thermometer drive your sales up
So you’re smack in the middle of a heat wave. Even though your seatbelt is giving you third degree burns every time you get in your car, it doesn’t mean that you have to be a downer about everything. Use the heat to your advantage! Give your customers a special deal for every consecutive day that the heat exceeds a certain number on the thermometer – it depends on where you live! It can be as simple as posting up a coupon code on your business’s Facebook and Twitter pages and sending out an email offering a free summer gift to those who visit your business during that time. Get creative with it!
The digital community expects you to stay on top of major holidays year-round. It looks pretty bad when a business overlooks a widely celebrated holiday and just goes along with the usual content and strategies. Holidays are a great way to create excitement, make noise, and even boost sales. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Change your cover photo
Whether you are trying to spread some Valentine’s Day love or some Christmas cheer, a great way to start is by updating your cover photos to reflect that. Social media is becoming more visual by the day, so give the people what they want – pictures! Find or create an image that reflects your business and the holiday and make it your cover photo on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other platform. Continue reading
It’s that time of the year: long weekend time! A time to wrap up all projects at work for the weekend, keep your Outlook unopened, and hopefully your iPhone or Blackberry will also be closed for business. Who wants to be plugged in when there are barbecue grills to fire up, pools to splash in, and road trips (insert mandatory exclamation point here:!) to hit the road with?
Surprisingly for small business owners, that answer is less than half. According to BusinessNewsDaily,about 46% of small business owners will go on a summer vacation this year. This is compared to the 67% that took vacations in 2006. Granted, it was a different time in ’06, both for the economy and gas prices. But we here at MyCorp are betting to guess that those who don’t take the time off for summer vacations might not be taking this Memorial Day weekend off either. Finding the line between career and personal life for many individuals is beginning to blur, as the digital age mandates that we stay completely plugged in, logged in, and sending auto-replies at all times. Continue reading