Business Advice on Working with Relatives

 

Business Advice on Working with Relatives

Working with a relative can be tricky waters to navigate, but the proper approach can point you toward a healthy, productive professional relationship at the office or worksite. To start, have a conversation with your relative about the situation and how to best handle the unique circumstances of working together. This conversation will ideally take place before you begin your professional relationship, but if you’re already well into it, it may not be too late to get on the same page.

Here are five possible questions to consider during that conversation:

1. Will you ride together to and from work?

Carpooling could save you and your relative both on gas money and can be enjoyable, but if you do decide to ride together, make some decisions ahead of time, like what time you’ll leave home for work and what time you’ll both leave the office to make sure it will work out logistically. It can also be a good idea to decide whether or not you’ll talk about work and your mutual colleagues on your rides together. Venting can be healthy, but it could create a division between you and your relative and the other people you both work with.

2. How much and in what manner will you communicate at work?

Will you work together on projects? If so, what are your standards for professional communication with one another? If you won’t work together directly, will you still visit one another throughout the day? If so, when and for how long? Will you have lunch together? These are important questions to consider when deciding what your working relationship will look like in contrast to your at-home relationship.

3. Will you talk about home life in the workplace?

Avoiding conversations about things going on at home or mutual relatives while at work and sticking to professional topics could be helpful in keeping both your minds on doing great work and could keep you from getting caught up in family drama on your employer’s watch.

4. How should you treat one another as colleagues?

Do you normally hug your relative when you see them? If so, do you hug your other colleagues as well? It’s a good idea to match your behavior with your relative to your normal behavior with other folks you work with. This communicates your commitment to professionalism to everyone in your office and a sets a clear boundary in your own mind that you’re at work and not at home.

5. How else can you keep home and work life as separate as possible?

It may not be 100 percent possible to treat your relative like just another colleague, but you should make that the goal. To the degree possible, agree that you and your relative will speak to one another with the same professionalism that you speak to everyone else at your workplace and hold each other to the same professional standard.

These topics may be a little uncomfortable in the moment, but having a challenging conversation now could help avoid conflict or hurt feelings later on and set you up for a great working relationship with your relative.

Mark Angelo is the co-founder of Yorkville Advisors.

The Difference between Business Etiquette and Business Ethics

The Difference between Business Etiquette and Business Ethics

Businesspeople are expected to look and act professionally during their work hours. As they work, they are expected to make important decisions that are fair and honest. There is a field that involves business etiquette, and another field for business ethics. Learn more about the differences between the two in the world of business.

Business Ethics Is More Risky:

Business etiquette consists of the proper actions and behaviors that are required to do business with other people. Business ethics are the values and principles that affect how fairly the professionals behave toward each other. The practices of both etiquette and ethics are needed by every successful professional or company.

For any business, violating a code of ethics has more serious risks and wide-sweeping effects. A discrimination or harassment lawsuit could bring down a high-powered business leader. Accounting scandals are known to have bankrupted some businesses. There are other ethics problems that include embezzling or the underpayment of certain workers.

Etiquette Is More Superficial:

Business etiquette affects common, everyday acts in the workplace. Wearing a uniform or clean, professional clothing to the workplace is the most basic form of etiquette. Showing up to a business meeting on time and completing work assignments by the deadlines are other examples.

Violating the code of etiquette has less serious consequences. All professionals are expected to practice email etiquette when they contact their clients through email. So, sending emails that are written in an informal, conversational tone is a minor offense. At the worst, practicing bad etiquette leads to a job termination. However, a widespread public scandal that could topple the company is not an effect of having improper manners.

Business Ethics Requires Training:

Every company has different training programs that involve ethics. From major corporations with thousands of employees to small businesses with 10 employees, all businesses have to follow certain codes of conducts. The most common programs involve training employees to prevent hiring discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. There are also state and federal laws that prevent business people from mistreating others or they could face fines or imprisonment.

It’s common to make mistakes with business etiquette. However, making a mistake with ethics could cost you a job and ruin your employer’s reputation. Know the differences between the two, but also know that you cannot survive with only either one. Every professional needs both proper ethics and etiquette to be important members of the business world.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009 and two affiliated investment managers.

5 Awesome Free Slackbots for Your Business

5 Awesome Free Slackbots for Your Business

Running a business demands your utmost time and attention. Sometimes, we may find that those resources aren’t quite as bountiful as we’d prefer them to be: that’s where the organizational prowess of using a slackbot comes in. Powered through Slack, Slackbots operate like chatbots to help tackle everything from sending reminder notifications to motivating blurbs for boosting company morale. Implementing the use of a Slackbot should be a must for every company’s communication strategy. Continue reading below for five free Slackbots to help you get started on doing exactly that:

1. DBot by Demisto:

In today’s day and age, the importance of cyber security is not to be brushed aside. DBot by Demisto helps to give you and your team peace of mind by filtering through any links that are sent to the chat to determine if they are safe or malicious. By scanning each file, URL, and IP address that users share within the app, Dbot by Demisto is able to quickly alert your team of any threats or suspicious activity.

2. Howdy:

When you have a lot of people to manage, consistently checking in with every employee about their day or about their schedule or current projects might not always be realistic. Howdy helps you to drop a line to see how your team members are tackling their workloads. Simply instruct Howdy on what kind of information you’d like to gather from your team, and it will automatically gather that information and forward it to you. Whether you need an update on the progress of a particular project or just need to tally up what everyone is feeling for lunch, Howdy has got your back.

3. TimeBot:

Keeping track of everyone’s vacation days, sick days, and holidays can really fry your brain. Forget fussing with human resources and manage everyone’s work schedule with TimeBot! Simply instruct your team to fill out a personal time off (PTO) request command to TimeBot, and a few questions later, the record of their request will arrive in you Slack window! Once a team member’s request has been approved, TimeBot will notify the rest of the team of when an employee will be out of the office. As a bonus, TimeBot even has holiday reminders for over 100 countries!

4. Statsbot:

Utilizing mediums for analytics is crucial to having a successful business strategy. These mediums and all of their tedious numbers however, can get to be a pain, and a bewildering one at that! Have no fear, for Statsbot is here! Statsbot combines with Google AnalyticsFree at Google, Salesforce, and other analytic mediums to provide straightforward insights directly to your Slack account. Forget about hasting with a login for your Google Analytics account; forego all the extra steps and windows by merely typing in, “@statsbot summary last month” and let the brilliance that is Statsbot automation take care of everything for you.

5. Donut:

Amidst deadlines and workshops and project meetings, it’s important to not overlook the significance of fostering an authentically connected work environment through team-building. The Donut channel helps to accomplish exactly this by inspiring your employees to get to know one another. From weekly reminders that introduce two colleagues to one another, to memos that encourage them to meet up for coffee and a doughnut, the Donut slackbot is all about creating something meaningful outside of office walls!

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

3 Great Occasions to Start Your Business’ Video Strategy

3 Great Occasions to Start Your Business’ Video Strategy

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, by 2021 video content will account for 82% of web traffic and will cross the threshold of a million minutes of video circulating the web per second. At that point, it would take someone 5 million years to watch all of the video content circulating the web. Just on YouTube alone, 500 minutes of video were being uploaded every second in 2015. There is absolutely no doubt that video consumption is increasing exponentially and will only continue to increase as the world only continues to become increasingly mobile. Smart businesses would be wise to take advantage of this trend, but finding ways of introducing video into your marketing strategy is not always that simple. For those looking to make the break into video, here are 3 great occasions to start your business’ video strategy.

1. Product launch:

There is probably nothing that goes more hand-in-glove with product launches than video. When you launch a new product, you want people to be able to see it, touch it, feel it, and interact with it. But first you have to get them in the door to do so. Video can give them a firsthand look at a product that can compel them to get out and see it for themselves in a way simple written descriptions or pictures just can’t. What’s more, with video, you can actually show the product in action and how others are using it, creating even more interest in the product.

2. Customer testimonials:

When text messages were first introduced, it brought on onslaught of misunderstanding until the advent of emoji’s. It turns out that human beings rely on a great deal of physical context to interpret the intended meanings of words. In addition, physical cues can also lend a great deal of weight to what the speaker is saying. While written customer reviews are highly influential, no amount of exclamation points will ever equal the weight of a person’s face lighting up when they talk about your product or service.

3. Social responsibility programs:

These days, most businesses have to do more than create and sell a great product or service, they have to also show they are responsible members of their community. In some cases, even the global community. In the digital age, you don’t just have clients and consumers, you have a following. To that end, people expect more from the businesses they do business with. They want to know not just about your product, but about your mission, vision and values as well -what you stand for as a company and how you give back to your community. Video is one of the best ways to spread that message. In the video world, there is a phrase “show, don’t tell” and if a picture is worth 1,000 words, even the shortest of videos is a novel. Rather than telling your followers about your mission, vision and values, you can use video to actually show them in action.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009 and two affiliated investment managers.

Best Ways to Run a Business Meeting

Best Ways to Run a Business Meeting

Introduction:

Business meetings are often an essential part to running a company efficiently and smoothly. The purpose of most business meetings is to get everyone attending up to date on what is occurring within the company, and what changes may need to be made for the future. However, often times, the point of the business meetings can become forgotten and can lead to more confusion among team members. In order to keep these meetings both focused and short, they will need to be run efficiently. There are a few things that you should remember, for your next meeting that will help you run it much better.

Clarity:

You should make the point of the meeting apparent from the moment that you start the meeting. Guide the discussion towards this objective and ensure that your team does not stray far from the objective. Consider addressing any other concerns, aside from concerns towards the meeting goal, after the meeting or during another meeting. By discussing exactly what you need to, you will create much more efficient and focused meetings. Rather than creating confusion among your team members, each member will be on the same understanding of why everybody is meeting.

Focus:

Once you have determined what you are meeting for, make sure to stay focused on that point. If there are multiple points that need to be made, address the most important points first. Anything that can be, or should be, done outside of the meeting needs to be addressed at another time. If there are important concerns, unrelated to the meeting topic, ask for your team members to write them down and communicate them with you or other team members at a later time. Utilize a time of the week where all of your team members are available and are not distracted by other projects.

Time:

Business meetings tend to run longer than originally planned. This is sometimes
due to the questions and concerns that people normally have, a misunderstanding of the discussion presented, or the fact that the meeting started later than scheduled. The first thing that you will want to ensure is that your meetings begin exactly when they are supposed to begin. As you prepare for your meetings, think of the needs of your team, and areas of your topics that may create a misunderstanding; try to simplify these areas so that your members can understand them the first time through.

Conclusion:

Running a business meeting can be confusing at first, especially when involved with people who are very creative and have different ideas. However, as time goes on, you will get better at running meetings and accomplishing the goals of each meeting. By the end of your meetings, you want to make sure that each team member understands what the point of the meeting was and what needs to be done after the meeting. By accomplishing these two things, you will know whether you will need to adjust the way that you approach meetings.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009 and two affiliated investment managers.

 

The Impact Business Trips Have on Your Health

The Impact Business Trips Have on Your Health

Traveling is both good and bad for your health. On one hand, you are finally outside of the office. On the other hand, you increase the risks of illness when you go into unknown territories. Learn more about how business trips have different effects on health.

Improve Back Posture:

Most office workers sit at the desk for hours on end. Not sitting with your spine straight increases the risks of back problems. If you do something too strenuous, you could easily throw your back out and feel pain for weeks.

A business trip requires that you step out of the office for a few days. As you move from one location to another, the back does not remain in the same curved position. In this short period of time, your back condition improves dramatically.

Reduce Computer Dependency:

An addiction to using the computer or Internet is a psychological condition. Your health suffers when you cannot function properly without using technology. First, you develop a poor back posture from sitting at the computer for too long. Then, you develop vision problems and, if you type often, strain in your wrists. Being away from the computer helps you to recover your mental and physical health.

Increase Stress:

Unfortunately, a business trip has just as many disadvantages as advantages. You could already have high stress levels because of your work or home life. On a bad business trip, your stress levels could increase three or four times more. A natural disaster, car accident, plane crash or armed robbery could happen to any traveler. As a result, your high blood pressure levels increase and affect your health in the long run.

Risks of Food Poisoning:

Whether you are traveling for business or recreation, you want to go out to restaurants. Most people want to try the local cuisines and do not worry much about sanitation. However, in some developing countries, personal hygiene is not a major concern. You have high risks of food contamination and poisoning that affect travelers. Once you are poisoned, you are left with prolonged days of illness and a few medical bills.

Everyone knows that traveling has its inconveniences like flight delays or lost luggage. However, it’s hard to determine exactly what business trips do to your health. For some people, it’s obvious – they had a car crash that resulted in risky surgery. They may have encountered food poisoning and never been able to recover since. Be aware of the problems that could affect you as you prepare for the next business trip.

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

Best Places in the UK to Start a Business

Best Places in the UK to Start a Business

The entrepreneurial spirit has busted all over the UK. In 2017, for instance, the nation saw an approximate of 80 businesses launched every hour. Happy times for most new entrepreneurs. With this economic advancement, it is no surprise that you can now start a business anywhere in the UK. Nonetheless, a startup will naturally have higher odds of thriving in specific locations compared to others. With that fact in mind, where can you find the best combination of creativity, support, and talent that will let your business survive and flourish beyond your wildest imaginations?

1. Oxford:

According to a 2017 survey executed by UK’s domain name registry, Nominet UK, Oxford is Britain’s current hotspot for startups. This comes as no surprise, in light of the fact that startups in the city have access to more than 20,000 of Oxford’s hardworking and smartest individuals.
The reputable Oxford University offers the city a never-ending supply of fresh graduates seeking the next big opportunities, particularly in the science and technology sectors. Better yet, in case you would like to take a short break from launching your business, Oxford boasts excellent standards of living you can avail. Being a historic city, Oxford features a mesmerizing scenery and architecture, as well as sovereign bars and shops. Nonetheless, note that Oxford is by far, not the cheapest city in this blog post, because its housing prices skyrocket way above the United Kingdom Average. Here is a fun fact though; “Survival rates of startup businesses in Oxford from 2010 to 2017 have hit a rather impressive 41%.”

2. Leeds:

After London, Leeds has been regarded to as the number two financial capital in the UK since it generates an estimated 4% of the nation’s total output. According to a 2015 study by the Centre of Entrepreneurs, Leeds had the fourth highest number of startups. Even better, in 2017 (two years down the line), EY named Leeds the best destination for FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) in the North. We can attribute Leed’s astounding success to its close connections with Manchester and the fact that Startups have access to one of the highest population of brilliant minds in the nation. Leeds is home to 3 prominent universities including, The University of Leeds, The University of Law, and Leeds Becket University.
Startups in Leeds have a survival rate of 42%.

3. Cardiff:

With Cardiff Enterprise Zone focusing its attention on Life Sciences, Creative Sector, Cybersecurity, and Fintech, City of Arcades works hard to lure startup businesses with its government incentives such business rates relief schemes. According to Mr. Chris Sutton, Chairman of the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone, startups in the city will avail different forms of perks, such as close supports and local research into legal tech and Fintech.

4. Cambridge:

Just like Oxford, Cambridge has been making grounds in the digital and technology sectors, thanks to its readily available workforce streaming-in from the gates of Cambridge University Year after Year. The incentives do not stop there. Cambridge University came up with a program aimed at equipping local business owners with the best business tips from world-class academics. While Cambridge is a small city, its business-friendly attributes say otherwise. No wonder it’s the City of perspiring dreams.

5. Bournemouth:

According to a recent report from Tech Nation, Bournemouth is currently experiencing the highest growth proportion of “Tech-related businesses” compared to any other location in the nation. The City’s tech industry is now worth £352 million, and it employs more than 15,000 individuals.
The fact Bournemouth is not too stuffy and is filled with creative minds makes it an ideal Location for startups. Even better the city features countless places to relax, in case you need to take a break from your routine activities.

Conclusion:

Location significantly impacts the success rate of a startup business. That said, entrepreneurs need to ensure that they are placing themselves in environments with business-friendly regulations and where customers can easily find them.

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

How to Get Ahead in Business

How to Get Ahead in Business

While you may think that cutting prices and beating the competition are the best ways to get ahead, you may be surprised to learn about a far easier and more meaningful to help your business succeed. Zack Obront’s article, “How You Can Get Ahead in Business In Just 5 Minutes” in Entrepreneur, describes the simple but effective strategy for moving your company into the fast lane and feeling good about it. Obront talked with Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, about the benefits of doing five-minute favors for others that can reap rich rewards. The takeaway from both book and article is the principle of helping others in order to help your business. Here are some basic ways to do brief favors for others without bankrupting your personal schedule and free time.

Use your talents:

Share your specific skill set to help others who can benefit. For example, if you are a gifted speaker, offer to present the committee’s new proposal at the next staff meeting. If you are a technology whiz, spend a few minutes showing a new employee how to navigate a job-related app. Not only will your good deed be appreciated and remembered, but will also establish a reputation for stellar skills that set you apart at work.

Orchestrate your favors:

Avoid accommodating everyone who asks for favors. Look for ways to offer your services before someone can ask. Make the gesture on your terms, at your convenience, rather than allowing yourself to be distracted at work or interrupted at home due to someone’s pressing need for help. You might set apart a certain time-frame, such as 30 minutes right after lunch, or Friday afternoons as the week winds down. This can help to protect the rest of your schedule while providing slots for helping others.

Maintain a positive attitude:

Give of your time and talents wholeheartedly rather than complain or sulk about it. A negative attitude can render a good deed null and void and may even relegate you to social isolation. Remember, smiles are free, or share them generously. Everyone is struggling with something, so any help you can give will almost certainly be appreciated. Patience in assisting someone to work through a complicated process or in dealing with a difficult customer sets a good example and designates you as a positive role model.

Being the person who others trust and come to for help at times that do not interfere with your job duties or personal life will make both you and your colleagues feel good about your workplace relationship. Reach out to others the way you hope they will extend a helping hand to you if needed.

 

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

3 Career Growth Mistakes to Avoid in Business

3 Career Growth Mistakes to Avoid in Business
When it comes to career growth, most people want to do more than just make a bigger salary. While raises and additional benefits are certainly welcome, most people want to also experience the satisfaction of growing more competent at their job, being given more responsibility and possibly even taking on more of a managerial or leadership role. In today’s business world, tenure is not always the most important factor in determining who gets raises, promotions or more prestigious titles. If you want to get ahead in your career, here are three key mistakes to avoid making.

1. Asking for a promotion without having earned it:

Again, just being on or at a job for a certain period of time doesn’t automatically guarantee you a raise or a promotion. You have to actually prove you are a valuable member of the team and can successfully handle an increased level of responsibility. In many cases, the people who successfully negotiate promotions are often already doing far more than their job description entails. Having said that, however, it’s also important to ensure you aren’t taking on tasks or responsibilities that your supervisor or coworkers don’t actually want you taking on. A willingness to do more than is asked of you is important, but it’s just as important to make sure you are also “staying in your own lane.”

2. Not understanding or fitting in with the company culture:

In today’s business world, “soft skills” are turning out to be one of the most important factors in ultimate success. Among other things, these skills and qualities help you navigate the specific culture unique to every company, group or organization. Just simply doing your job well is not enough. It is also important to ensure that you are doing it in a way that fits in with the overall values, mission and vision of the company as well as in a way that fits in with the values, work style and ethics of your coworkers. Remember, your superiors can give you a title, but they cannot make you a leader. As the old saying goes “if you think you are leader but no one is following you, you’re just standing in a field.” Moving up the corporate ladder involves far more than just impressing your superiors, it also involves establishing yourself as a leader among your peers and subordinates as well. That requires a great deal of skill, tact and emotional intelligence.

3. Lack of networking:

Networking is not only important within your own company, but outside of it as well. Networking within your company can help you keep your “ear to the ground” so to speak so you know what’s coming and can read the writing on the wall. Networking within your company can help you build a solid framework of champions and supporters who can come to your aid when necessary. Networking outside of your company, however, can also give you a safety net when your internal supporters can’t save you. Networking outside of your company also helps you keep your options open and to determine if the company you are working for is still a good fit. While you certainly don’t want to bounce from company to company the minute something better comes along, there may come a time when your growth becomes limited where you are and the only way to move forward is to move elsewhere.
Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

6 Ways to Grow Your Business Fast

10 Ways to Grow Your Business Fast

Growing a business is not a feat that is easily achievable overnight, however, with a thorough understanding of your target audience it is possible to maximize your reach regardless of the market or industry you work in. Scaling your business with the right techniques allows you to outperform competition while rapidly generating revenue and new potential leads.

Research Competition:

Research the competition in your market to get a better understanding of top performers and the current most successful marketing campaigns in circulation. Research keywords along with trending phrases to learn more about how your target audience prefers to search for content, services, or products that are most relevant to your own (in order to better optimize your website for search engine results).

Create a Social Media Presence:

Create a social media presence for your business using top networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest depending on the audience you want to reach. Use the same name across all platforms while remaining consistent with your company or brand’s official name.

Select the Right Branding:

Choose the right logo for your brand, ensuring it is relevant, unique, and eye-catching to your audience. Research colors that are most used in top brands within your industry while becoming familiar with various color schemes that work best with logos. Limit the number of colors you utilize within your logo, putting no more than three to use at one time.

Create a Sales Funnel:

Create sales funnels using newsletters along with social media marketing to help group various types of users into different funnels that fit your business model. Using sales models are ideal for both email and social media marketing, allowing you to hone in on your target demographic based on shopping preferences, location, gender, age, and even specific interests or hobbies. Create sales funnels for return customers along with users who currently have items in their shopping cart but have yet to complete the checkout process.

Social Media Marketing:

Use social media consistently when trying to grow any business or brand online. Create a posting schedule and utilize tools or services that allows you to schedule posts and updates ahead of time, preventing you from losing the interest of your followers. Share promotions, exclusive offers, and other incentives using social media to boost your website’s traffic and overall revenue.

Customer Loyalty Programs:

Create customer loyalty programs to boost referrals and the number of leads you are able to generate. Design loyalty programs that provide customers with the ability to earn points, cash back, or even freebies depending on your business model and the type of products or services you offer. Create contests and giveaways to attract more visitors to your website and to help with building a larger newsletter subscriber base.

Knowing how to grow your business fast with various tips and techniques allows you to save time while making the most out of resources made with online businesses in mind. Taking the time to develop your brand while reaching out to your audience using multiple techniques is a surefire way to make a mark in any industry you represent.

 

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.