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Don’t Let Your Company Outgrow You

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

If you take your role in your company for granted and simply assume you “own” that role you are in danger of being outgrown by your company.   There will always be more people entering your field including people who are more eager, people who don’t stop learning and growing.

 

It doesn’t matter how long you have been with a company or what you have done for them in the past.  You must consistently demonstrate that you are an asset to your company. If you stop learning, unable to adapt to change, too rigid and stuck, your company will outgrow you and replace you.

 

Tips to Keep Pace with Your Growing Company:

 

Put in Office Time: 

We all have a limited amount of time everyday and too many responsibilities. As you climb the corporate ladder, the tendency is to spend less and less time physically in the office connecting with peers and employees. However, office time and connecting with your team is what brought you to the position that you are in. Removing yourself can make you lose the ability to keep pace with your company.  Someone else can pick up the pace. that someone else is certainly picking up.

 

Build and Maintain Relationships:

Never stop building and fostering relationships. This holds true regardless of who the person is including your boss, your employees, your vendors, your suppliers, etc. You need to make sure that you are communicating proactively and effectively as well as making sure that you are continuously adding value to these important relationships and to your company.

 

Keep Learning:

Everyone can benefit from learning something new or learning more about something they already know. Keep up by reading specific books or trade magazines and take time to study other businesses’ successes and failures. Make sure that you stay on top of new trends, new technologies, and shifts in your market or customer base.

 

Add Value to Your Peers:

Take the time to develop relationships with other managers and peers. Make sure that you groom and teach your new employees in the company.  They can also teach you Learn more about other divisions and units and see how you can add value beyond your specific role.

 

 

Even if you have worked hard at your organization, your company will continue to grow with or without you. Remember to continue to impact the company.   They need to be reminded of your value.

 

 

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

This year has gone by too quickly and it is amazing that we are approaching the holiday season. VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association wants to wish our members, fans and followers a happy and healthy holiday season with quality time to relax and enjoy.

 

Soon it will be 2020 and a new year. VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association for military and veteran business owners including Service-Disabled Veteran Business Owners.  We have over 7,000 members nationwide in every type of business.  Those who serve our country have the discipline and skill to become entrepreneurs and run their own successful business. They also are your shopkeepers, butchers, bakers, mechanics, repair people and more.

 

As we approach the holiday buying season, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about Veteran and Military Business Owners.  I’d also like to provide you some compelling reasons to patronize their businesses. They are service oriented and are dedicated to putting forth their best efforts for you. This means they want happy and satisfied customers who will return. They want to earn your business and take pride in doing the best job possible and accomplishing their mission.

 

This Saturday, November 30th is Small Business Saturday. It is a day to support and celebrate small businesses and all they do for their communities. American Express began this tradition in 2010 and it has grown to become enormous. In 2018, more than 95 million consumers shopped on Small Business Saturday.

 

This day has been recognized by the Senate and elected officials in each state as well as being promoted by local communities. Please support all small businesses and especially Veteran and Military Small Businesses that are neighborhood champions that rally and are dedicated to their communities.

 

Small business is the engine that drives our nation’s economy.  Veterans and Military play a significant role in our economy. To provide you an idea of the impact of Veteran Small Businesses, below are a few statistics to share from the last census. I believe in the next census, these numbers will dramatically increase:

  • 52 million Businesses in the United States are Veteran majority owned.
  • 442,485 Veteran-owned businesses have employees
  • 08 million Self-employed Veteran businesses (without employees)
  • 1% is the percentage of all United States businesses that are majority-owned by Veterans
  • $1.14 trillion is the total annual revenues of Veteran-owned businesses
  • 03 million is the total number of employees of Veteran-owned businesses
  • $195 billion is the annual payroll of Veteran-owned businesses

 

Those who have served along with their loved ones have made many sacrifices up to and including writing a blank check for their lives. They have served so we can be safe in a dangerous world and live and prosper.

 

When you are buying gifts now, on Small Business Saturday or anytime, I encourage everyone to patronize a Veteran or Military Small Business. When you need some type of service, go to a business owned by Veterans.  Not only will you obtain superior products and awesome service, but it is a sincere and tangible  way to say thank you.

 

 

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

 

All small business owners have attempted to take a vacation that is inevitably interrupted with yet another crisis at work. You are currently on vacation and you are supposed to be relaxing and having a good time. Your phone won’t stop, your emails keep flowing in and instead of relaxing, you are furiously typing and scrolling away on your laptop.

 

It is easy to fall into the trap of working while on vacation. Most business owners never fully unplug from the office while supposedly vacationing. While this sounds like a good plan, you are unfortunately setting yourself up for more stress, anxiety, and total burnout.  Additionally, people who do not take at least one 1-week vacation a year are 30% more likely to have a heart attack and this number increases dramatically for women. So do yourself and your overall health a favor, and take a real vacation!

 

So, how do you truly let work handle itself for a while as you get some much needed R&R?

 

Setup a vacation plan:

Once you have selected your getaway, make sure that you work wit your team to be able to handle business while you are away.

  • Delegate tasks
  • Create backup plans
  • Make your communication boundaries clear
  • Make your availability clear
  • Make sure each employee knows what is expected of them
  • Empower your staff to handle problems should they arise

 

Setup a return plan:

You know that your first day back into the office will be a nightmare game of catching up. Your inbox will be full and your to-do list will be long. Take the time to pre-organize and prioritize what you will need to do once you return to work.

 

Use the three Ds – Delete, Delegate, and Deal.

  • Delete everything your team is already managing.
  • Delegate what you can have someone else handle.
  • Deal with what you need to take care of.

 

Setup a schedule:

If you absolutely must check in with your business, establish a daily and timed routine for checking in and stick to it. Deviating from your schedule, can lead you down the rabbit hole of emails, calls, and other work issues.

 

Only respond to real emergencies:

Not every situation requires your response. Make sure that you only engage if you absolutely have to.

 

Taking a true vacation can seem impossible for a small business owner.  With some careful planning and a bit of letting go, you can finally get the rest and relaxation that you desperately need. Now Unwind, relax and enjoy!

 

Simple Ways to Get More Done in a Day

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

 

There never seems to be enough time in the day to finish everything you need to do. This is especially true for Veteran Small Business Owners.  Below are some ways to help better manage your time and fit more into your day.

 

1.) Take care of the toughest tasks first thing in the morning:

Getting done the most unpleasant, or time-consuming tasks first thing does a few things for your entire day.  It will provide you a feeling of peace as you move onto tasks that are more appealing.  It will also start your day in a very productive way and can help you clear your head.  Often we have more energy first thing in the morning and as the days go on, we are use it up.

 

2.)  Group similar tasks together:

When you group similar tasks together and get into a “groove” of accomplishing them, you will end up saving yourself a ton of time. Switching gears can be tricky and you tend to lose your momentum getting ready for the next task.

 

3.)  Focus:

Multi-tasking is not a great idea when you are trying to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Keep your focus on one task at a time. Trying to tackle too much all at once can feel overwhelming and will slow you down.

 

4.) Track your time:

You know how long it takes you to accomplish most of your day-to-day tasks. Try to plan your day according to how long it will take to do the things you need to get done.

 

5.) Take breaks:

This may sound counter-productive but taking short breaks can help you be MORE productive. A short break can help you restore your focus, clear you head, rejuvenate some energy and balance your mental state. We are all human, not robots. Even if you only take a five- or ten-minute break to take a quick walk outside, you will feel better and be able to focus more on the tasks you need to complete.

 

6.)   Plan for tomorrow:

At the end of your day, it is always a good idea to plan ahead for the next day. List out the most pressing or difficult tasks to tackle first thing in the morning and budget the rest of your time based on what you already know about how long each task will take you.

 

Taking the time to really understand your time needs and planning appropriately will not only save you time, it will make you much more productive.

Loan Mistakes That Can Harm Your Business

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

At some point most businesses need to borrow money. Choosing the wrong type of loan can do irreparable damage to your business’s bottom line. There are countless financing options out there and the key is to choose the right one that fits your business needs and your ability to pay back the loan.

 

Choosing the wrong option can translate into less short-term on-hand cash for your business to spend.  It can also mean smaller overall profits as you pay down the loan, and a longer and more stressful search for your loan in the first place.

 

In order to select the correct option for your needs, you should make sure you avoid these mistakes:

 

1.) Not knowing your credit score:

Your personal credit is always a factor when applying for a business loan. It shows your creditworthiness and your ability to pay the loan off to the lender. A score of 700 or higher is considered good for a personal score.

 

These are credit reporting services where you can check your personal credit score:

 

These are credit reporting services where you can check your business credit score:

 

2.) Not doing your research:

It always pays to be prepared for the worst. Do not until you and your business is in dire need of cash to start the process of researching lenders and applying for loans. Do your research well in advance and keep a list of credible lenders on hand just in case you find that you need one.

 

3.) Not knowing your options:

Rates, fees, and terms for financing can vary greatly depending on where you go to obtain a loan and even the time of year you do it in. Make sure to do your due diligence and thoroughly research the options you are presented with.

 

4.) Not applying for enough money:

You never want to take out a loan only to find that you need another loan a few months later. Running a business comes with some uncertainty and unforeseen expenses that can pop up.   These may include new competition, equipment breakag, or employees quitting. Make sure that you are borrowing enough money to cover your immediate needs as well as anything unexpected that may come up.

 

5.) Not knowing your payment options:

Getting cash fast when your business is in a slump is very important, but you need to make sure that you will be able to pay the loan off once you are back on your feet. The payment schedule needs to fit with you and your business. If you cannot keep up with the payments, it can damage your credit and potentially lead to your business’s failure.

 

Getting the loan that you need shouldn’t be a stressful or scary experience. With proper planning and in-depth research you can be prepared for any possible disasters or downturn in your business. Taking out a loan is never something a business owner does lightly but done correctly it can add up to one result, a thriving business.

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