The 6 things you’d never know about the coaching industry

woman sitting at a conference table
by Chris Atley

The 6 things you’d never know about the coaching industry: 


1. Only 20% of coaches earn a 6-figure salary according to Forbes. 

We need to raise this percentage! Most coaches unfortunately are not taught how to run a business and sales trainings are certainly limited. When you can focus on how to best serve your potential clients by asking questions, you will approach sales in an empowered way for both you and your clients.

2. The coaching industry is not regulated. 


I get asked all of the time by people who want to enter this industry where they should start in terms of training. The reality is that the coaching industry is not regulated. Meaning there is no governing board or association overseeing coaching. You “technically” don’t need a certification. A lot of successful coaches I have coached with personally actually don’t. They do though have a ton of experience and have also taken many trainings to master their approach.

That being said, there is a reason coaching schools exists. Coaching is a skill that enables the client to self-reflect and discover what is best for them and is a process, and therefore needs to be learned. It is not consulting or therapy (even though you can offer a hybrid depending on your own training and experience). My answer is to pick-up a certification through a coaching school accredited with the ICF (International Coach Federation).

If the industry does ever become regulated, then the government will look to the ICF. The ICF lists all of the coaching schools it recognizes that meet the ethics standards they have set out, and once you are certified through one of those schools you can be accredited with the ICF.


3. There’s a lot of shaming happening in the coaching industry. 


The attitude is that how can you coach someone if you don’t have the level of success you are coaching on. This makes no sense and is not what coaching is. Again, coaching is a process of helping others be the best version of themselves. It’s about helping them set their goals and holding them accountable so that they actually do what they say they want to do! An executive coach does not need to have personally earned a billion dollars in order to coach a billion dollar CEO. Anyone feeding you this line of B.S. is likely just trying to sell you on something.

4. Coaching can change the world. 


Imagine everyone having a personal cheerleader there to guide them, help them stay on track and create the most beautiful life? We all deserve this and each coach deserves to be compensated accordingly.

5. The most successful coaches charge based on the value they bring, not the amount of time they spend with a client. 


The trading time for dollars is an old model. The new and empowered method is about looking at what your client can potentially achieve by working with you and what that is worth to him or her. Now we can’t guarantee results, because it’s always up to the client on how much action they take and how willing they are to bring their goals to fruition, but the potential on what they can achieve is limitless.

6. Coaches are not responsible for their client’s results. 


This goes either way – they are not responsible for the client achieving their goals nor are they responsible for their clients not achieving their goals. This is about guiding the client to get in-touch with their own resources so that they have the tools to succeed in any area of their lives. We are merely the facilitators. If you are a coach, imagine if you stayed neutral either way? How refreshing, selfless AND what an amazing space you will create for your clients to take full responsibility for their own lives. YA!


Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

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Starting a Small Business? Keep These 5 Points in Mind

fists bumping
Running a small business comes with a lot of hard work and responsibility. While being an entrepreneur can be a path to making your dreams come true, there are a lot of pitfalls that can lead to the failure of a business.

For many small business owners that fail, at least part of the problem is related to the mismanagement of finances. With the following financial advice, you’ll be able to protect your business and your personal finances from many of the issues that can either set you back or possibly cause your business to fail.

Separate Your Finances


Keeping your personal and business finances separate is one of the most important steps in managing your finances as a small business owner. This is true even if you are the only person at your company. If your finances are not separate, it will be impossible to keep accurate records and this can cause problems when it comes to things like applying for a small business loan and paying your taxes.

If you are running a small business, one of the first things you should do is open a business bank account. You should also pay yourself a salary, save money for your family, and start a retirement plan.

Prepare for the Unexpected


Unexpected events happen in business. It could be a sudden decrease in revenue, an expensive piece of equipment that needs to be replaced, a sudden injury, or any number of other events. If you are not prepared for the unexpected, it could have dire consequences for your business.

One tip to protect your business is to try to keep at least six months of expenses in reserve. You should also make sure to have policies for health and disability insurance. A policy for whole life insurance could also be a valuable resource if you need money for the unexpected.

Consult With Experts

Small businesses often run into problems because their owners fail to consult with the appropriate experts in certain situations. As a small business owner, you should have a lawyer you can contact, an accountant, and you may also need a tax consultant.

Reinvest Wisely

Having some capital reserves can be good for protecting your business, but you do not want to hold onto every extra cent. If you want your business to grow, you need to make strategic investments with some of this money.

When looking to reinvest capital into the growth of your business, you should take the time to develop a plan. Maybe you could invest in hiring some employees or consider spending on marketing. Look for the areas where the investment will offer the biggest return for your money.


Look for Tax Breaks

Small business owners often miss opportunities to reduce their tax liability. Try to learn about all of the small business tax breaks that apply to your company and take advantage of them. This is one of the reasons why it is worth it to pay professionals like accountants and tax consultants. They can identify all of the tax breaks for which you are eligible and they can also make sure you do not make any costly mistakes when filing your tax returns.

Starting your own small business can be intimidating, especially when it comes to figuring out finances. Luckily, there are resources available to help you navigate. The above points will allow you to get your small business off the ground without any hurdles.


Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/action-collaborate-collaboration-2277292

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Why Women Leading Teams Is A Natural and Necessary Fit with Susan Leahy and Freeman Michaels of Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Susan Leahy and Freeman Michaels
Show #500

Topic: Why Women Leading Teams Is A Natural and Necessary Fit with Susan Leahy and Freeman Michaels of Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions 

Susan Leahy and Freeman Michaels, the co-founders of Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions, offer a powerful perspective for women in leadership.

Research shows that teams with more women consistently outperform teams dominated by men, at solving complex problems.[1] Digging into the research, it becomes clear that “social sensitivity” and a willingness to share ideas, rather than compete to be “right” about one’s ideas, are the key factors in being good teammates. 


Susan Leahy and Freeman Michaels offer a powerful perspective for women in leadership.  The following key topics represent core components of a 9-month pilot program they recently completed with women leaders from The North Face and JanSport. 

·  Empowered Women Empower Everyone (Why More Women Need To Lead)
·  Why Soft Skills Are Becoming the Hard Skills Required to Succeed in Business
·  Understanding that “Power-With” vs. “Power-Over” is the Key to Thriving as a Woman Leader
·  Balancing Masculine and Feminine Energies – Helping Women Leaders Develop Healthy Confidence and Assertiveness


[1] Woolley, Anita; Malone, Thomas: Defend Your Research: What Makes A Team Smarter? More Women, Harvard Business Review, June 2011 - https://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-women


Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions Inc., is a global consulting company that specializes in helping organizations build a culture of team through comprehensive training, coaching and consulting services.  They also specialize in women in leadership programs.  For more information about their trainings, please visit wwww.GroupToTeam.com.




Susan and Freeman


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Celebrity Morning Routines to Increase Productivity

To be the most productive and successful in life, you will need to implement healthy routines as part of a healthy lifestyle. One way many people do this is by starting their day in a productive way.

Often this means developing a morning routine that works for them. Whether it’s drinking a tall glass of water first thing, working out or getting your mind right with meditation — there are tons of things you can do to start your day right.

Oprah Winfrey starts every morning with meditation practice. Meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system and boosts your endorphins, setting you up for a great day.

Another great example? Arianna Huffington starts her day with a cup of bulletproof coffee. That’s the butter coffee that Silicon Valley is obsessed with. One of the busiest ladies in Hollywood, Jennifer Aniston, starts every day off with a protein-rich breakfast. That’s something almost everyone can do!

Even if you can’t go to a workout class or if meditation isn’t for you, there are ways you can implement healthy activities into your morning schedule. Just think about what works best for you and go for it!

For more ways to level up your mornings, FragranceX has put together the below list of celebrity morning routines. Enjoy!

Celebrity Morning Routines
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5 Unique Ways to Get Your Brand Noticed

by Maia

Marketing is plastered everywhere from TV and radio to your Facebook feed. When it comes to marketing for your own business, it can be hard to choose advertising campaigns that are right for your business and brand. You want advertising that is as effective as it is unique. Check out these 5 unique ways to get your brand noticed.

Influencer Marketing


The rise of social media has heralded a surge of influencer marketing. Most common on Instagram, influencer marketing is a great way to get your brand spread to a huge audience. The most important part to note here is that this huge audience is willing. They have chosen, for their own reasons, to follow these Instagram influencers. The audience will watch influencer content with intent, allowing you to market your goods. Think of all the wasted costs of muted TV advertisements. Invest in influencer marketing and watch your brand outreach soar.

Social Media Competitions


Flowing from the same vein, running social media competitions can cause surges in your brand's popularity. Everyone wants to win something, right? People are always willing to part with their email for entry to a competition. Use this to get permission to sign them up to your weekly catalogues or blog for even further outreach. Instagram and Facebook competitions could involve the sharing of a post or tagging a friend, allowing your business to reach a wider audience than normal.

Consider starting competitions in real life too. Get the wider community involved. Also, it may pay exponentially in outreach for you to donate proceeds of community competitions to charity. This will help your brand to gain support from new and existing customers alike. Community involvements are also useful for spreading awareness. Allowing you to gain support from both existing and new customers with a passion for community work.

Go Against the Flow


You may make the mistake of imitating successful marketing campaigns of competitors. While it is logical to think that this should work for you too, it tends to help your competition rather than you.

Find your own niche and work with it. It can be difficult to find that perfect idea, but brainstorm ideas with those close to you. Your family, and especially children, can provide unique perspectives. So, let the creative juices flow! Don't let your competitors determine your pace, get out there and let people hear your voice.

Power to the People


Throw around the idea of letting your customers pay what they believe their experience to be worth. Although this isn't practical in every scenario, think of the implications.

This works best in the service industries, such as restaurants, salons, cafés and bars. Encourage customers to keep in mind their satisfaction with the service. This can be through their interaction with staff and appeal of the venue as well as the end purpose of their visit. The rationale behind letting customers choose the price, is that often they don't want to seem greedy or thrifty. Sometimes, they will pay more than what you would even charge.

Live-Streaming


Hosting Facebook or Instagram live-streams accommodates your viewers. You can answer questions from your audience up-front. It feels personal to each audience member, while acting as a conference or meeting to you. Real-time interaction is one of the best ways to build an audience and a larger group of customers.

There are so many unique ways that you can get the name of your brand around the town. As your business grows, it becomes increasingly important to protect your assets. Investing in insurance is a fail-safe way to put all worries at the back of your mind to keep your business at the forefront.


Author bio: Maia enjoys her freelance writing career in the sun-kissed city of Gisborne, New Zealand. When not busy with her freelance work, she loves to go for a relaxing stroll down the beach. Connect with Maia on Tumblr.

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Brand Strategist, Entrepreneur & Author Christina Geist on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Show #499

Christina Geist is a brand strategist, entrepreneur and children’s book author who lives in New York City with her husband, NBC and MSNBC host Willie Geist, and her two children.

Christina is the first to raise her hand in any brainstorm. Her career spans news producing, public relations, marketing, branding, and design strategy positions at large agencies like Arnold Worldwide and Interbrand, in house at Johnson & Johnson and inside growing start-ups.

After taking four years off to raise her kids, she started two companies and sold a children's book to Random House right around her 40th birthday.

Boombox: An online boutique for bespoke, premium, personalized memory boxes, filled with custom-printed photos and written messages from friends and family (an idea born from the boxes Christina’s college friends made for each other as they each turned 40, and for her Dad when he turned 70). A Boombox is more than a gift: It's a deeply personal experience that connects the recipient to his or her people and her life story, in turn, creating an unparalleled relationship between Gift Givers, their Collaborators and the Brand. www.boomboxgifts.com 



True Geist: A boutique brand strategy and design firm, founded in partnership with Christina’s former creative director at Johnson & Johnson and Interbrand, Todd True. Todd thinks in pictures; Christina thinks in words. Together, they do global work for some of your favorite household brands, and start ups too. Services range from naming companies and products, to logo and brand identity design and large-scale global packaging redesigns. www.truegeist.com

Sorry Grownups You Can't Go to School


Christina’s first children’s book, Buddy’s Bedtime Battery, was released by Random House Kids in September 2016 and - for a beautiful moment - eclipsed Harry Potter as the #1 children’s book on Amazon. Her second release - Sorry Grown-Ups, You Can't Go To School! - was released on July 16, 2019.


Christina grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey and graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She comes from a loud, loving family and makes a mean chicken parm.

Photo by: Emily Neville Fisher Photography

Business URLs: 
www.boomboxgifts.com - Boombox memory boxes
www.truegeist.com - True Geist branding & design firm
www.christinageist.com - children's books


Listen on Podomatic:
https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/dbcoach/episodes/2019-08-20T22_01_56-07_00



Subscribe on iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/women-entrepreneurs-radio/id939410730?mt=2



Listen on Libsyn:
http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/brand-strategist-entrepreneur-author-christina-geist-on-women-entrepreneurs-radio








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Attract the Right Influencer With Content Marketing

Traditional forms of advertising just aren’t working any more. Over the past few years marketers have had to tap into their creative sides in order to dish out techniques for effective and modern marketing campaigns.

Content Marketing


Content marketing is one great way to do that. This type of marketing involves the creation and sharing of online content such as blogs, videos, pictures, and social media posts. These posts allow businesses to provide information quickly, simply, and in an aesthetically pleasing way.
While content marketing doesn’t necessarily push any products, it can help steer prospective clients to your brand. If done properly, consumers will be more easily persuaded when it comes to your actual marketing message.

Content marketing is relatively simple to pull off. All you need is a reliable content production team, which can be easily outsourced if you don’t have the team in-house.

Influencer Marketing


Using influencer marketing is another effective way to get your message across. Influencers are seen as regular people, and so, when they promote a product, it is often received as an honest, and authentic recommendation rather than just another advertisement.

Choose the right influencer, and you could get a return on investment of up to 520%.

The challenge with influencer marketing, however, is connecting with the right influencer. Ideally, all you would need is a great product that appeals to the influencer and their target market. The influencer would organically pick up the product, and recommend it because they loved it.

But, unfortunately, in the real world, it’s not that simple. Most influencers will promote products for a fee. If they really believe in that product, they might agree to negotiating a reduced rate, but, in the end, they will most-likely want to be compensated.

That is, unless you can come up with a way to bring your product to their attention without directly approaching them.

Why Not Use One to Hook the Other?


Instead of looking at content marketing and influencer marketing separately, start thinking of them as a dynamic duo. A great way to start collaborating with influencers is by aiming your content at your chosen influencer’s target market and what is most important to them. Do your research. Find out what lifestyle products they use, what causes they support, and what demographic they belong to.

You could write a blog post about a fundraiser for a charity that this specific influencer supports. You could also make a video in response to concerns that their followers have raised. The idea is that you want to be seen as a valuable resource, whether you’re paying the influencer or not. If you can get on their radar, they’re more likely to approach you.





This infographic from Small Biz Genius
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8 Interactive Presentation Tools for a Successful Conference

woman leading meeting
Attending conferences, meetings, summits, workshops and seminars have positive impacts on businesses. They offer an opportunity to meet new people and gain knowledge.

It takes the input of two parties to make a conference successful: the presenter and the audience. Audience engagement is much easier and more interactive nowadays thanks to communication technology. There is a variety of tools and apps designed for this very purpose, and they come with a host of varying and handy features.

Here is a review of 8 of the best interactive presentation tools.

1. BuzzMasters


BuzzMasters takes audience engagement to a whole new level compared to most other audience engagement tools. It is unique for its incorporation of actual human moderators who moderate responses from the audience in real time. These moderators are professionals who are either qualified journalists or experienced event managers. Their work is monitoring the responses coming from the audience and sorting the data for a more organized and professional appeal.

BuzzMasters, the moderators, can also draft new questions as the presentation goes on and prompt even more input from the audience.

buzzmasters


2. eventScribe


eventScribe is a comprehensive live voting tool that comes with a wide range of additional functions. It gives both the presenter and the audience the ability to interact on a deeper level albeit on virtual space. Some of the capabilities offered to the audience members include posting comments and asking questions. The speaker can control the direction of the discussion at certain levels.

This app also comes with a presentation-sharing feature whereby the audience members can download and annotate presentation slides. Audience members also have a private networking space where they can hold discussions on a wide range of topics.

eventscribe


3. Mentimeter


Mentimeter is the best online voting tool by current standards. In fact, it is more than just a voting tool. It leverages the flexibility of technology to make conferences more interactive and successful. It comes with a wide range of features that every online conference need.

For starters, this app has a voting feature capable of tallying up to 30,000 votes per minute – this makes it especially ideal for large online conferences. The polling feature accommodates a wide range of surveys including multiple-choice questions, word clouds, rating scales, and even open-ended questions. What’s more, the surveys can be branded to reflect your conference or company for a more professional appeal.

mentimeter


4. swipe


Swipe offers all the typical features available in most virtual interactive presentation tools with a bit of greater finesse. It operates on a web platform whereby conferences get unique URL tools where presenters and audience members can interact. The web platform accommodates a wide range of capabilities including sharing files, providing commentary, and even composing a wide range of polls.

The unique feature about Swipe is its ability to share video files by embedding them from online video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. This makes the presentation more interactive as videos provide better communication capabilities compared to slides and written documents.

swipe



5. Crowd Mics


Crowd Mics is an excellent app for interacting with the audience in real-time, one-on-one during the course of the conference. It is essentially an app that gives the audience’s phones the capability to function as microphones. This way the audience can pitch in on the topic of discussion directly and personally unlike most other tools that are mostly virtual. This leads to more productive discussions and, consequently, success. This app also comes with polling and commentary features. What’s more, the speaker gets to control the direction of the discussion through an iPad application that controls the communication platform.

The only downside of this app is that it is not suitable for remote conferences as the speaker and audiences have to be in the same room to interact.

crowdmics


6. Glisser


Glisser is one of the most dynamic interactive presentation tools in the market today, thanks to its variety of unique and convenient features. It brings the presenter and audience together at a greater level and also functions as a live voting tool.

Glisser gives the presenter the ability to reach more members of the audience with the app’s sharing tool – presenters can send slides of their presentations directly to members of their audience through a mobile application. The presenter can also craft surveys and polls of varying types, including multiple-choice and open-ended questions.

Audience members, on the other hand, have the ability to like and comment on individual slides in addition to voting. They also have a private social media network where they can interact one-on-one.


Glisser



7. Presentain


Presentain offers a variety of features convenient for both presentation and polling purposes. It is easy to use and ideal for remote conferences.

Presentain works with Google Drive to give presenters greater coverage. Presenters can share slides, PDF, and PPTX documents with their audience members live via a web platform accessible using a unique URL. The audience members can then view the files and make their own conclusions. They can also share interesting slides with each other and hold one-on-one discussions.

Presenters can also create live polls and get feedback about their presentations from the audience. Audience members can also ask questions in real-time.


presentain


8. Catchbox


Last on the list is Catchbox. It is unlike any other tool on the list. It also lacks some of the conveniences afforded by virtual technology, but it offers a fun way to interact with the audience.

Catchbox is essentially a microphone fit into a box. It is unique in that the speaker passes it on to members of the audience by throwing it – it is easier and much more fun than passing it around hand-to-hand. The audience members get to voice their opinions and throw the box back to the presenter. This additional aspect of fun makes conferences much more engaging and leads to success at the end of the day.


catchbox



Conclusion


Holding a conference has never been easier as it is nowadays, thanks to these and more audience engagement tools. They offer a wide range of features that make it easier for presenters and audience members to interact, thus making conferences more successful.

Author Bio: Billy White is part of the writing team behind E88 Bangkok, the creative space features meeting rooms and seminar rooms in Bangkok. He likes to write about tech, lifestyle, freelancing, and how to free yourself from the typical 9-5.

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"Can You Make Money with a Podcast?" with Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Kerry Heaps
Show# 498

Kerry Heaps returns as co-host for this episode about making money from podcasting. Deborah and Kerry discuss:

Should you start a podcast for money?

How podcasters get paid

Good reasons to start a podcast

A seasoned Entrepreneur of 14 years, Kerry Heaps is the Publisher of Pageant Platform Magazine and the Host of Pageant Platform Podcast.  She is also the Founder of Pitch like a B*tch Media, an online resource for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners that want to gain more media exposure and Book.Speak.Repeat. a speaker submission service.  

She is the Author of Pitch like a B*tch, Top 10 tips to pitch like a Pro (December 2018) and the Create your own Media series for Podcasting, Publishing and Publicity.  Kerry has an extensive background in Sales, Networking, Recruiting, and Training. She is a former Model who specialized in Trade Show and Print work, and an experienced judge on the beauty pageant circuit.  

Pitch Like a B*tch Media, www.pitchlikeabitchmedia.com  
Pageant Training:  www.kerrysstudio.com 
Pageant Platform Magazine:  www.pageantplatformmag.com 


Mentioned on this podcast:

Why Are There So Many Podcasts?


The Truth Behind Podcast Guesting






Subscribe on iTunes:


Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

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How a Road Trip Develops Your Leadership Skills

Driving from point A to point B might seem simplistic, but the planning that is taking you on your journey is where the leadership development begins. Planning and executing a plan of action takes courage to whip up the details of your trip. You may have been overlooking your leadership capabilities until now because we are here to compliment you on all your road trips and teach you that what you have embarked on the road has crafted you into the great leader you are today.

CarRentals has put a unique twist on pulling leadership skills from life's endeavors in this guide to 8 leadership lessons the road has taught us. You’ll recognize your leadership skills from your courage to adapt to breakdowns, collaborate with your co-riders, being open to new experiences and more. Check out all the leadership lessons a road trip can teach you below!



Leadership Lessons Learned From Road Trips
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33+ Startup Statistics for 2019

These days, it feels like we are surrounded by successful startups. New time-saving conveniences launch every day, and the market for startups has never been better. However, the truth is that only 10% of startups are able to make it out of the gate every year. This is because startups are inherently risky as the first few years are dependent almost entirely on seed funding. So, what does it take for a startup to be successful? In order to answer this question and track startup trends, Embroker compiled a guide on the 106 must-know startup stats for this year. Take a look at the infographic below for some of the key findings, and visit the full guide for a deeper dive.



33+ Startup Statistics for 2019

Infographic by Embroker.com/.
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How Mentorship Can Keep Your Remote Employees Happier

woman working on a laptop
by Baili Bigham

Digital technology has made a tremendous impact on the way people go to work. In fact, the digital nomad trend has risen in popularity as remote work has become more normalized.

This offers benefits for both employees and their managers. Workers who can’t stay put in one place, or who want to travel the world are happy in careers that don’t require them to show up at the same office each day. Meanwhile, managers can hire the strongest candidate for a job, coordinating with their teams from afar by using continuous performance management review software.

Of course, the digital nomad lifestyle naturally affects the supervisor/employee dynamic. Management techniques that may be effective in an office setting won’t always be as effective when employees work remotely.

It’s true that you won’t be able to check in on your remote employees in the same way you would if you shared an office. However, you can still provide the kind of feedback that helps you cultivate strong professional relationships with every member of your team. Keep the following tips in mind, and you’ll be able to forge positive mentor/mentee relationships with your employees no matter where they work.

The Essentials of Mentoring Digital Nomads


According to a recent survey, 65 percent of employees want to receive more feedback from manager than they currently get. Providing constructive feedback helps a worker know if they’re meeting your expectations, and how they can further improve. It also gives them the opportunity to voice their own insights or concerns.

Thus, it’s necessary to establish regular processes for offering your remote workers the feedback they want. Using management tools to set deadlines, track progress, and conduct weekly check-ins is a great way to start familiarizing yourself with the practice. Employees can work more confidently if they know they’re on the right track each week.

These tools allow you to design custom weekly check-ins you can use to gauge how your employees feel about their performance, while also providing feedback if they need to make adjustments. You can also use these tools to set clear objectives so your employees know what they are expected to achieve, and whether they’re making great progress.

However, merely tracking progress isn’t enough. To truly become a mentor to your remote employees, you must also identify when they’re struggling, provide encouragement when they feel lost, and generally help maintain their enthusiasm for the organization’s goals.

Plan regular virtual sessions that focus on specific, practical goals, and check in with employees to ask how they’re doing in a general sense. Don’t always feel the need to ask them if they think they’re on track to reach their objectives. Instead, ask them if they feel they have the resources they need to succeed in their roles.

Also, ask them if they feel satisfied with their work, and what you can do to boost their overall satisfaction. Give them the chance to suggest ways of boosting their own engagement. Acknowledge that not being in the office might put them at some disadvantage, and find out what steps you can take to address any issues that arise from the remote work experience.

You can also use these meetings to recognize them when they achieve major goals, and to remind them how the work they do contributes to the overall mission of the company. This is a simple way to keep them engaged and let your remote employees know they play valuable roles in the organization.

Experts point out that you shouldn’t expect the pace of these meetings to be natural and perfect at first. As you and your employees grow accustomed to this new way of giving and receiving feedback, you’ll get a better sense of how regularly you need to meet.

That’s key to mentoring digital nomads. The experience of providing regular reviews is much more natural in an office setting, when you can simply visit their desk any time you wish. However, there are already some tools available out there to help mentoring remote teams, such as Mentor Scout, Zoom, Appear or Join.me.

So go ahead and start scheduling those remote sessions with your team. There will likely be an adjustment period, but over time, you’ll all get used to the idea of cultivating a mentor/mentee relationships in this manner. As a result, your employees will be more engaged, enthusiastic, and appreciative of your management style.


About the Author: Baili Bigham is Content Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. When Baili isn’t writing, you can find her binge reading a new book or strategizing ways to pet every dog in San Francisco.

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Five essential ways to make your work environment more female friendly

Jean Boler
by Jean Boler

Face it, equality between the sexes is a work in progress. In the history of the human race, female empowerment is a relatively recent concept.

After all, women in this country didn’t get the right to vote until one hundred years ago, and their right to work wasn’t legalized until 1964 when Title VII was passed outlawing discrimination against them.

Today the objective evidence of sex discrimination is everywhere: the lack of women at the higher levels of power in business and government, the #metoo movement and all its fallout, the travesty of the USA Women’s soccer stars being paid a fraction of what the losing male soccer players make. It’s a problem with roots stretching back into history that is often blamed on biology.

And yet, we now live in a country where 40% of households are headed by women and 47% of the country’s workforce is female. We can’t afford to wait for men to voluntary hand over an equal share of the economic pie.

If every working woman did a little bit more to nudge, cajole, and pressure their employers, change might come faster. So what are the 5 things that we can all do to make our work environments more conducive to female equality and advancement?

1. Speak up for yourself. 

This is hard and the only thing that makes it easier is having other women, and maybe even men, back you. If you have been working your butt off to launch a project and out of nowhere the company puts a man in charge, complain about it. If you’ve gotten along great with your manager until you had to brush him off at an after work party, speak up. Go to a trusted supervisor or go to human resources and explain what happened. Nothing may change right away, but you have planted a seed. I won’t lie to you, there are risks that you will be labeled as not on the team, but do you want to work somewhere with that kind of culture?

2. Become a leader. 


No matter what your job is, the powers that be appreciate someone who is willing to take responsibility. If you show you care about the business, you will have a solid platform from which to make suggestions about how the workplace could be fairer. You also model for your supervisors and peers what a confident woman can accomplish.

3. Be an advocate for other women. 


While it’s hard to stand up for yourself, it’s sometimes harder to stand up for someone else. If you are sitting in a meeting where other supervisors are justifying denying a raise to a stellar employee because she leaves work at 4:30 every day to pick up her kids, it is right to point out that she is back on her work computer at 8:00—and that she is more productive than the guy in the next office who is always burning the midnight oil. Taking it a step further to recommend that the company have policies that support caregivers (who are mostly women) is even better. In this era of low unemployment, there are many ways to show that such policies are good for the bottom line.

4. Call in reinforcements. 


There is power in making alliances at work. Studies have shown that men are more likely to take credit for women’s ideas than other men’s. If the woman whose idea has been poached protests, she’s seen as overly sensitive, but if another woman backs her up, with an observation that “Jane made that same point about ten minutes ago,” the dynamic shifts. Networking with other women and men not only means others will have your back, it can give you the confidence to assert yourself.

5. Find a good lawyer. 


Sometimes you have to bring in the big guns. If you have been denied promotions or pay increases that are going to less qualified men, or been fired for criticizing discrimination at your job, it’s time to hold that employer to account. You can try to work within your company first for your own peace of mind. If you’ve tried that route and gotten nowhere, however, there are good employment lawyers who will help you make your case. Slinking away to another job will not help move the equality needle.

Women have made progress in the workplace, it’s true. The pay gap shrank from women making 36 cents per dollar less than men in 1980 to 15 cents less in 2018. Finally closing the gap will take a push from all of us.

About the author: Jean Boler is a lawyer who has worked for decades on gender discrimination issues. She was lead counsel for the first sexual harassment class action: Jenson v. Eveleth Mines, which later became the subject of the book Class Action and the movie “North Country.” She is now at the Schaefer Halleen law firm where she concentrates on sex discrimination and harassment cases. She writes and speaks often about women’s rights. For more about Jean go to www.schaeferhalleen.com/our-team/jean-boler/
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7 TIPS FOR ONBOARDING A NEW VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

virtual assistant
by Alex Jone

Is it correct to say that you are looking to hire a virtual social media assistant ? Or. on the other hand, do you have one and you're considering how to get them ready for your business venture?

The contracting procedure was monotonous; I went through 200 applications for a Shopify General VA. I recorded a few things I required assistance with, and I needed to test them.

When we chose who to hire, we built up a technique in getting our VA onboard with our business venture.

This appeals to the solopreneur who hasn't constructed business forms for this activity.

1. Build up a Blueprint


My regular everyday employment before was doing construction project management. We never began constructing a house without a blueprint.

The blueprint will oversee the whole project. But, it is uncommon to pursue a design on-the-dab. In the construction stage, you are compelled to manage certain situations and modify.

But you need to recognize the significance of having a spot to begin.

You should make the blueprint for your business before employing your first VA. My wife and I mapped out pieces of the venture that we needed to designate. This isn't complicated. We didn't have forms that required complex workflows; it was straightforward with several IFTT (if this, at that point that).

In our organization, we give new hires several job descriptions. What I suggest is giving them an assignment list — make it specific. You can add to that a rundown as you check your VA's range of abilities.

2. A Piece in a Puzzle


I figured this wasn't essential as we were designating legwork. But, my wife said that it would allow her to comprehend the specific circumstances and significance of the undertaking.

Any business venture should esteem every one of their workers regardless of their position. A riddle won't be complete without a missing piece, irrespective of how little that piece is.

3. Make Shared Folders


Working with a VA implies you don't get the chance to meet them face to face. In our organization, it's merely my wife and I. We take a shot at digital files through a shared Dropbox folder, or we send them over Airdrop. But this is beyond the realm of imagination with a VA.

So, we chose to figure out how to utilize Google Docs and Google Drive. Indeed, we were that uneducated about the Google Suite.

Work with your VAs utilizing this shared folder framework. Assemble a drive where all your records will be located; you can give them get to but don't make them an owner.

This is the place we work from now.

4. Gain proficiency with a Screen Recording App


Figure out how to utilize a screen recording app. This is additionally my first time recording my screen to show our VA how to accomplish something. Regardless of whether it's tied in with bringing in an item in Shopify, editing images, or building a Facebook app — everything can be clarified with a screen recording app.

The primary programming we utilized was a web app called, Loom. This is beginner friendly, and anybody can use it. The issue with the app was that it continued getting cut off following ten minutes. I can't in any way, shape, or form clarify Facebook advertisements in ten minutes, so I needed to make sense of another app.

If you are a Mac client, I suggest using the Screenflow App. It has somewhat of an expectation to learn and adapt; but thirty minutes of watching two or three videos will give you information. This is the place we record all our tutorial videos for our VA.

5. Require Daily Checking


Tell your VA that you will record their screen while they work and that you will require a daily check in with them.

Recording their screen while the work involves rules. With our VA, we disclosed to her that we'd test it out for about fourteen days and check whether we would continue with it or not.

For me, it's not about the hours worked, but rather the results that they produce. It doesn't make a difference if they worked over eight hours of the day, but didn't get the right results.

The daily registration comprises of three essential questions — what did you accomplish, what issues would you say you are confronting, and how might I help you? Composing their daily registration will enable them to clarify their what they've done and let you see their day on a snapshot. Surveying several screenshots doesn't remove as regular reporting — you wouldn't comprehend a thing.

Try not to get threatened in enlisting your first VA. Regardless of whether it doesn't work out following one month. What's the most exceedingly awful thing that can happen? You'd lose some money. But, if they work out you'll have an additional forty hours of the week.

Your VA will never take care of business the first time through. So, it's your responsibility to instruct them regularly. There's a barely recognizable difference between somebody who's inept and somebody who knows as much as you do — know the difference. Before you decide, assess your  tutorial videos. Check if there was a misconception or confusion. We are synchronizing with our VA, even if we sometimes have miscommunications. But we are dealing with it.

Author Bio:
Alex Jone Works in a HR and Recruitment at Alliance Recruitment Agency- an IT Recruitment Agency. He specializes in helping with international recruiting, staffing, Facebook m virtual assistant ,HR services and Careers advice service for overseas and international businesses.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Alliancerecruitmentagency/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/career_alliance


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How to Respond To Negative (and Positive) Reviews

Criticism hurts. Many people take offense to negative feedback and react irrationally.

Publicized criticism such as negative reviews can bring out anger and fear among the business owners and operators. Since negative reviews directly impact their customer acquisition strategy, they are a touchy subject for a company’s leadership team.

Before you respond emotionally charged and ready to fight fire with fire, stop and think about how your prospective customers will perceive your customer service practices. Instead, take the high road and “kill them with kindness,” figuratively speaking.

You should respond to both negative and positive reviews. For positive reviews, you can simply thank them for their business and the time to share their experience, or you could use the reply to further highlight noteworthy business practices. Here is an example of a great response to a positive review:

“Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and share your great experience with us at XYZ. Did you also know we offer X, Y, and Z? We look forward to seeing you again soon!”

Here are some points to address when responding to negative reviews:

  • Acknowledge the customer’s problem directly
  • Apologize for the issue or their poor experience
  • Attempt to remedy the situation with a generous offer
  • Provide contact information to resolve offline
  • Update with the resolution stats


For more detail about the do’s and don’ts of responding to negative reviews, refer to the visual below from Housecall Pro:

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5 Reasons Why Usability Testing is Important for Your Business

post it notes on a white board
by Yazi

We live in a fast-paced world where today's users expect a product to deliver right away. If a product fails in this regard, users tend to abandon it for something else, so the importance of usability testing cannot be disregarded.

Companies such as Amazon have gone on record to say that their incredible success came from the huge amount of usability testing they incorporated into their platform at its inception. We have put together 5 reasons why usability testing is important for your business.

1. Evaluate if your product meets user expectations.


Sometimes we cannot see things as they really are, and this is especially true when we are talking about something that we created. We know what to expect from our product, but that may not reflect what a user expects. Usability testing allows us to discover if users are happy with our product and if it behaves as they expect it to.

2. Match your business decisions to real-world use.


Often in business, we can get tunnel vision and can go down a particular path that we feel is right. We have invested our time into our product, and our design is based on how we imagine a user will behave. But the reality is that we are developing a product for other people to use, so to be successful, we need to know if our product can easily be used by real-world users. We know how to use our product, but that does not mean that our users will automatically understand how to perform the same tasks.

woman writing on a pad on a desk


3. Eradicate any flaws in the product.


We know how the product should work, so we are inclined to use it in the way it was meant to be used. But this might not be how a customer will use the product. They don't have the same knowledge about the product as we do, and they might do things in a way we have not considered. This is why user testing is important, as we are essentially giving users the opportunity to break our product in the testing stage, rather than after production. There are many approaches to recruiting participants for your user testing project. You can either ask your own users or recruit new users, depending on your objective.

4. Evaluate users performing required tasks.


It can be hard to receive criticism, but the reality is that we are developing a product for other people to use, not for ourselves. So to be successful, we need to know if our product can be easily used by our customers. We know how to perform certain tasks, but that does not mean that our users will automatically understand how to perform the same tasks. Usability testing allows us to observe people as they try to perform a certain task, and we can see how they go about it. This may allow us to fix details that we might have otherwise overlooked, and help users have a more pleasant experience.

5. Obtain feedback and observe user reactions.


If you are still asking yourself why is usability testing important, then think of it this way, you will get the opportunity to hear what a person is thinking while they use your product. You get to see how they react to your product before it is released and you will receive unbiased feedback. This information is truly invaluable if you want to deliver the best possible product to your users.

About the Author: Yazi is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women's lifestyle.
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