April 2018
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Ladysmith Chamber Business Essentials
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2018 Biz Buzz Symposium + Expo
NETWORK ~ ENGAGE ~ LEARN
Join us for the 2nd Annual Biz Buzz Symposium + Expo featuring an exciting line up of Speakers and a terrific opportunity to connect with fellow business people and leaders in the community.
 
New to this years Biz Buzz is a business-to-business themed Trade Expo offering a limited number of display booths.  Trade Expo Info Sheet
 
BIZ BUZZ SYMPOSIUM + EXPO
DATE: Friday, September 28, 2018 
TIME:  10:30AM - 6:30PM (Registration 10:00)
LOCATION: Aggie Hall  (1110 1st Avenue, Ladysmith) 
 
Click Here for full event details!
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Business-Home-Life - A Balancing Act

 

Business-Home-Life - A Balancing Act

Work-life balance has become a major HR topic of concern in recent years. Employers are expected to be aware of their employees' need for a healthy work and home life balance, but what about small business owners themselves? Too often entrepreneurs are torn between their businesses and their families. If they are putting in long hours at their company they feel guilty they are not at home with their spouses and children; if they take a vacation they worry about their business and feel guilty about abandoning it for a period of time.

This is typical of most small business owners; the balancing act of keeping your business running smoothly and spending quality time with your family can be extremely difficult. Add to that - volunteer activities, a spouse or partner whose work schedule conflicts with yours, a thousand activities your kids need to be driven to, and it all leads to an out-of-control schedule that can drive you crazy.

Is it possible to hope for a balanced work and personal life when you're running a small business? It's definitely a challenge, but it can be done. Here are a few ideas to help you achieve more balance in your life.

What's Important is not Always What's Urgent

When it's either or, business tasks will almost always seem more important than something personal. As in the rest of life however, the urgent is not always the most important. Decide ahead of time what your priorities are, and then stick to them. If you've promised your son you'll be at his little-league game, but an urgent customer quote is staring you in the face at 5:30 p.m. - you need to know which is your priority.

Setting priorities is hard because what's urgent often calls more loudly than what's important. If keeping your word to your son is your priority, you'll find another way to get the report done and not miss his game. If making that sale is important enough to make or break whether you'll be able to feed your family this month, you may need to find a way to make it up to your son. The important point is, don't automatically divert your attention to what screams most loudly. Make conscious decisions to live according to your values and priorities, and you'll feel better about whatever you decide to do.

Ask Your Family What They Need from You

Too often, business owners just do what they do. The business needs are there and the family's needs are there and somehow you juggle the two sets of often competing needs, the best way you can.

As with most things, a little planning helps. Sit down with your family together and individually and discuss what they need from you. Let them know what demands your business has on you and why the business is important to the entire family not just you. Discuss their needs and expectations of you and expect to make some compromises.

Once you understand their needs you can set goals that you can realistically meet in terms of what you need to do for them and your business. Once there is an established level of understanding, the amount of stress on all parties is reduced.

Notice the Signs of Stress

Stress is a killer of people and also a killer of relationships. Take note of your stress level. Find ways to minimize or cope with the stresses your business imposes on you and ensure your family gets the best of you, just as your customers do. Explore meditation and mindfulness techniques; these are becoming an increasingly popular way of dealing with stress and are being used by CEO's of some of the world's largest corporations.

Find a Mentor

Finding someone outside of your immediate family to be your mentor, is one of the best ways you can deal with work/life balance. Having someone with whom you can work through your problems, troubleshoot your challenges, and get advice from, can be a godsend. Your mentor can be anyone, as long as they understand the environment you are dealing with. Often, older businesspeople mentor younger business owners and offer their guidance, friendship and support because they struggled when they were younger and feel a need to give back. It works both ways, if you can help someone younger than you, or someone newer to business than you, this too can not only help them, but help ground you too.

Balancing home and work is a challenge for small business owners, but acknowledging your need to do so is the first step toward greater harmony at work and at home.

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Business-Home-Life - A Balancing Act

 

6 Ways to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

People who are grateful and who show gratitude, are happier than those who dwell on the negative things in life. We all know people who seem to find the downside of just about every situation. It can be a wonderful sunny day and they will say, "Yeah, but it's supposed to rain tomorrow." If we dwell on negatives our attitude suffers, if we focus on the good things that happen we become more positive.

So, if you have a habit of looking on the downside how can you make the shift toward being grateful for what you have, not what you don't have? And if you do, how do you make your gratitude work its way outward and express itself to other people?

The first step is to acknowledge inwardly that you can be a little negative at times, and that this can sometimes show itself as being ungrateful to other people such as employees, colleagues and even customers. Being grateful and demonstrating gratitude in business can make a big difference to your success.

How? Thankful people are happier and more satisfied. If you are happier and feel satisfied, you will be less stressed. If you are less stressed you will be able to focus better, work more effectively, have more energy and enthusiasm, and this will translate into a better version of "you" when dealing with everyone around you.

But how do you become more thankful or grateful? Here are a few tips.

Start a gratitude journal. Start your day by focusing on the things in your life you are thankful for, both personally and in your business. Take two-minutes over your first coffee or tea of the day to note a few things down. This is a simple act of acknowledging what's happening in your life for which you are grateful. Think about it - starting the day on a positive note MUST be better for your business than the reverse.

Develop the habit of saying thank-you. Internal gratitude is good, but spread your joy and positive attitude to others. Watch for employees doing good work and thank them for their contribution - and watch motivation and morale go up. Set a goal to show your gratitude to a minimum of five people a day - anyone you come across, literally anyone!

Go above and beyond thank-you. Take an employee for lunch, or carry out a random act of kindness to someone to whom you are thankful, even if they haven't done something specific today. More formally, perhaps host a customer appreciation day or an employee picnic.

Be positive even when something isn't altogether positive. This is a great way to show potential customers they are dealing with a great company. Even if after your sales pitch, they decide to go with someone else send a note thanking them for the opportunity to present your company's product or service for their consideration. This goes a long way to impress and show a positive attitude, and may bring them back to you the next time they need what you sell.

Thank customers for reviews or referrals.

Never ignore people who give you a review or recommend you to others. Never take these positive occurrences for granted. Send them a thank-you note or call them in person. Show you appreciate both their patronage, and their willingness to tell others about your company.

Thank others when you receive good service. It seems great customer service is becoming rare, so when you receive it, make sure you acknowledge it. When a car stops to let you cross the road, show your gratitude - a simple wave will encourage that person to stop for pedestrians more often. Being shown gratitude is a great motivator for people to continue being positive.

Being grateful and showing gratitude will make you feel better and it's a small thing each one of us can do every single day to make this world a better place. Focus on gratitude and you will see your life and your business improve. Sometimes, it's the little things in life that can make all the difference.

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Business-Home-Life - A Balancing Act

 

Learning for Life
Golf Digest

Continually learning new things is what keeps us energized, creative, and enthusiastic. There's a part of us that grows when we seek answers to questions, when we have the desire to know more and there's happiness in that feeling of having learned something new.

Not only that, learning new things prevents us from becoming stale in our business. It helps us avoid doing the same old, same old, from being in a rut, from slipping behind our competition.

But how does a busy business owner fit in time for education? Here are six ways you might kick-start your learning and stimulate new approaches in your business.

College/University Continuing Education Programs

You may not have time to go back to school, but most colleges and universities have an ever-increasing list of continuing education opportunities offered in the evenings and on weekends. This is a great way to learn because the variety of courses is vast. You can study anything from photography to business management in your spare time, and some courses can even be credited to a degree program, should you decide to do that down the road.

One-Day Seminars

There are a variety of companies who offer one-day seminar programs throughout the year. Go online and search 'corporate training', or ask friends and acquaintances for the names of companies whose one-day seminars they've attended. These seminars are usually affordable, highly interactive and fun. And, as a bonus, you'll make great contacts with like-minded people.

Online Courses

Online courses are everywhere these days and the quality has risen amazingly in recent years. Whatever you can think of that you might want to learn about will be covered somewhere by someone! From private schools to colleges and universities, the choice is huge. Search by topic or by deliverer, just be careful to carry out due diligence by checking credentials and looking at reviews. And always ensure you read the complete syllabus before making your decision.

Correspondence Courses

There are still a large number of institutions that offer correspondence courses. This is a great option for people who want to proceed at their own pace, without deadlines or specific timeframes. Usually, the institution will send out (or you can download them) a series of books/course material, along with assignments, which you complete and mail back for assessment. Many of these types of courses also offer credits toward university or college programs.

Audio/Video Learning

Courses on DVD are also still available, but increasingly popular are streamed (live or recorded) sessions. For something less formal check out business audio-books - these are great if you are truly strapped for time, as you can listen to them in the car. Course and book topics are almost endless.

Local Clubs and Organizations

Chambers of Commerce are a great source of educational opportunities and/or advice and recommendations. Many other industry organizations offer educational opportunities specific to their market sectors.

There's no excuse for not making learning a part of your life and your business growth. Everything you learn, whether it's a personal or professional topic, makes you a more well-rounded person. You'll enjoy the break from your routine, meet some new people, add a new skill to your repertoire, and who knows, you might pick up a new customer or client. What have you learned recently? Is it time to take on a new learning challenge?

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Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 598, 33 Roberts Street, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1A4
Phone: 250-245-2112
info@ladysmithcofc.com
www.ladysmithcofc.com

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