Procrastination-Proof Your Work Habits


Do you have a problem with procrastination? If you do, you are not alone. Everyone struggles with the tendency to put off responsibilities and delay tasks from time to time, but when left unchecked, it can become a serious problem. Without management, procrastination can actually negatively impact your business and erode away at your efficiency and profitability. Getting ahold of your problem with procrastination is not only good for your time management; it’s good for the overall success of your business.

Beating procrastination takes dedication and self-discipline. If it’s become a deeply rooted habit, it can be quite difficult to shake, but it’s worth the effort. Start with the following tips to get rid of it once and for all:

  • Find out why you tend to procrastinate—get to the root of the problem.
  • Get rid of the obstacles that keep you from getting stuff done.
  • Attack tasks before you have time to think about delaying them.
  • Put yourself in the right environment to succeed.
  • Be realistic about what you can accomplish.
  • Divide larger tasks into smaller ones.
  • Let go of perfection.
  • Focus on results.

When you change your perspective and how you think about the tasks you have to do, you may find it easier to stop putting it off and just get it done. For you, beating procrastination could be as easy as taking the first step…and then the next one and the next one after that, one at a time. Time management is a skill that all successful people must grasp, and that certainly means slaying this particular demon.

Procrastination is often rooted in how you feel about the task at hand. Instead, focus on how you will feel when it’s over and you have accomplished a goal or knocked something off of your to-do list. Breaking this bad habit is possible, and once you’ve stopped the procrastination habit, you will enjoy greater productivity than ever before.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Research Your Way To Doing Better Business


In business, as in most things in life, it is quite prudent to know where you are headed and how to get there before you endeavor to start on any journey. No matter how your business started, it can be quite beneficial to do an appropriate amount of research before you either launch your entrepreneurial endeavor or move forward with a new phase or product offering. Excitement is the driving force behind many of the most profitable periods of any type of business, and while excitement is good, research should always lead the way in these matters.

Research is critical as it not only allows you to better understand the market, your potential customer and the impact of the product and services you intend to offer, but it can also help you avoid major, costly missteps. There is a reason why major companies invest thousands, if not millions, of dollars into research groups — a bit of research allows the opportunity to analyze how something will perform before releasing it to the general public. This saves money, time and a significant amount of stress for any type of business, no matter the type of product or service in question.

The amount and type of research necessary for your endeavor will depend largely upon factors such as the size of your company, your budget, your products and services, and more. Whether through surveys, online searches, product sampling or even focus groups, you can better better understand what your target audience wants, what adjustments should be made and how you can make your product perform better once it reaches the marketplace.

Research is not only a practical way to avoid problems, it can give you a better understanding into how your target audience operates and what they are looking for. This alone is worth the effort, allowing you to tailor what you offer to meet specific needs and wants. Research makes a difference in small business, so don’t overlook this critical step when starting something new.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Better Management Means Better Business


Business owners must learn, either through training, formal education or a little of both, that good management is a key component to doing good business. A poorly managed restaurant will still have trouble succeeding, no matter how good the food is and how experienced the wait staff may be, and the same can be said for any type of business. You must manage well, even if you are running a one-man show. If you struggle with management skills or feel a bit out of control, the following tips may help you streamline your management and step up your game:

  • Prioritize tasks
  • Keep a detailed calendar
  • Spend time in the mornings getting ready for the day ahead
  • Know how to unplug from your business
  • Hire good people and train them well
  • Have workable systems in place
  • Don’t be afraid to change if your current plan isn’t working
  • Continue to seek education for yourself
  • Recognize burnout and know how to prevent it
  • Delegate tasks when necessary
  • Set a “stop time” for work-related activities in the evenings
  • Find a good, workable work-life balance

Good managers learn through change, allow people the freedom to use their creativity to get results and don’t shy away from adversity and the unexpected. Management is about much more than systems and procedures, but rather, it has much to do with your mindset and your willingness to have a people-first mentality when it comes to partners, customers and employees.

Better management doesn’t have to mean that you must change yourself or lose sight of why you started your business in the first place. Evaluate yourself and your management skills, identify a few areas that could benefit from improvement, and work closely with others involved in your business to find out how you can make things work better and more smoothly. Whether you are the only person working for your business or you have dozens of employees, good management is a skill that must be valued and fostered.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Differentiating Your Brand And Standing Out

differentiating your brand

Standing out from the crowd is one of the most critical components of succeeding in a crowded market. It is possible to turn a profit with stiff competition surrounding you, but you must be intentional, thoughtful and creative in your marketing and branding strategy. Differentiating your brand is not only a smart business move, it could be the smartest business move you ever make.

The great thing about free enterprise is that anyone can choose to shop anywhere, at any time. You must present your business in a way that not only captures a person’s attention but also compels them to spend money. Getting people “through the door” is only one step in this process. From using social media to connect with potential customers to introducing new and exciting products, there are many ways you can do this. Consider the following suggestions as you think about how you could be differentiating your brand:

  • Rethink your pricing. From introducing a line of lower-cost products or a la carte services to running sales, there are plenty of ways that you can encourage more spending by reducing your costs. Even offering premium services for higher fees may be a smart way to attract higher-paying clientele, therefore connecting with a certain market that your competition may be missing.
  • Offer exceptional customer service. There is a reason why people will pay significantly more at one store rather than visiting the discount store next door — it often boils down to good old-fashioned customer service. You can differentiate your brand from the competition simply by treating your customers like valued individuals, not just a dollar sign.
  • Don’t shy away from change. While there is a certain value to knowing what works for you and sticking to it, there is much to be said for making adjustments and changing as needed. How long have you been doing the same old thing? If it’s not really working anymore, why not adjust? Trying something new doesn’t mean turning your whole business upside down; it simply means that a fresh look or a different approach could be the ticket to pulling ahead in a crowded market.

Competing well is a key for any business looking to find success in a crowded marketplace. You can’t sit there and watch your customers turn to other businesses. Fight for your client base by employing creative methods and thinking outside the box. How are you differentiating your brand, and is it time to try something new?

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC