MYB month in review: June 2022

Check out some of our favorite articles from the blog last month.

Our blog contributors authored some very informative articles this month. Check out some of our favorites:

Shifting your mindset from work-life balance toward work-life integration

In this first article of a two-part series, discover why work-life integration is important and then stay tuned for the next article outlining ways to achieve more of an integrated professional and personal life.

>> Read more

Saying it again for the people in the back: Workplace culture matters

Recent research indicates that toxic workplace culture is the biggest reason for turnover. Here are three key takeaways from this research to consider as you reflect on the culture at your small business.

>> Read more

Implement an effective employee wellness program with these 9 tips

Make sure the wellness program you choose for your business is effective for your workplace with these nine tips.

>> Read more

BBB tips: Common business scams and how to avoid them
 
From phishing to brand hijacking, scams can impact every business, regardless of location, size or industry. Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland is here to help you identify common scams and provide tips on how to protect yourself, your team and your business.  

>> Read more

Introducing the "Platinum Rule" of communication and how to embrace it
 
You've heard of the Golden Rule, now let us introduce you to the Platinum Rule. Start communicating with others the way they want you to communicate with them, not the way you want to communicate. 

>> Read more

How to create an impression that LASTS
 
If you're in the business of selling — and we all are — creating a good impression is not enough. The key is to create an impression that LASTS (read on to find out what this acronym stands for).

>> Read more

What was your favorite article? Let us know on twitter.

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  • Next up: Key American Rescue Plan Provisions Will Help Advance GCP Priorities

    Key American Rescue Plan Provisions Will Help Advance GCP Priorities

     

    Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act - a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. Here are some key provisions that will help advance our priorities:

     

    - Public Transit: Provides $30 billion for transit agencies who have been deeply impacted by the pandemic and forced to cut service and jobs in 2020.

     

    Our 2021-2022 Public Policy Agenda calls for revitalizing development around our existing transit hubs and funding multimodal transit that better connects residents to jobs, goods, and services. 

     

    - Broadband: Invests $7 billion in broadband so millions of public school students will receive the internet services they need for their education.

     

    We are a strong advocate for affordable, high-quality broadband in digitally divided communities, understanding that Cleveland’s unaffordable and unreliable internet service options prevent economic progress. Our long-term success hinges on a strong partnership with local governments, the state of Ohio, federal partners and the private sector. 

     

    - Small Business Support: Provides $15 billion in additional relief for the nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries through increased funding for Targeted EIDL grants; $25 billion in funding for a new dedicated grant relief program for restaurants; $7 billion for expanded PPP assistance for nonprofits and digital news services; and $1 billion in Save Our Stages grants for independent live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.

     

    Our agenda lays out our federal priorities to build wealth for minority entrepreneurs and small businesses but doing so will mean addressing disparities in lending. 

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  • Next up: Make a great impression every time

    Make a great impression every time

    We are slowly returning to in-person events and we will soon be networking face-to-face again. Check out these six tips to making a great impression.

     

    Now that we’re getting back into more in-person business and networking events, it’s time to revisit best practices for making a Great Impression with the people you meet. The strategy is really simple and easy, yet the devil is in the details of execution.

    Here are six tips to making a great impression.

    Tip no 1: Talk less, listen more. Tell less, ask more. Actively listen to their words, tone of voice and vis-ual cues.

    Tip no. 2: Value their time. Keep the conversation short and focused. Defer to a later time if it gets overly interesting or complicated.

    RELATED: What is appropriate small talk at networking events?

    Tip no. 3: Ask focused questions. These questions can be about them on a personal or business level. Let them know that you value them enough to remember what to ask about.

    Tip no. 4: Compliment. You can give a compliment on a recent award, mention in the media, etc. This approach also subtly lets them know that you read and are interested in their accomplishments.

    Tip no. 5: Givers always gain. Be sure to ask if there’s anything you or someone you know can do to help them with a particular problem or challenge. I promise giving of your time and talent in this way will come back around to benefit you at some point down the road.

    RELATED: Read more from Phil Stella

    Tip no. 6: Follow up. After the conversation, send a brief email or hand-written note indicating that you enjoyed the chat and look forward to next time.

    And if it isn’t obvious by now, each of these tactics works with networking via email or over the phone. The medium of the communication may change, but the strategy of striving for positive first or ongoing impressions remains the same.

    Like I said, easy and simple. And don’t tell me these strategies won’t work until you try them and can tell me they didn’t work for you.

    Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440 804-4785, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.   

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  • Next up: 3 things to know: Marketing your business during COVID

    3 things to know: Marketing your business during COVID

     

    While we are still facing a global pandemic and the accompanying economic impact, your business might need a marketing boost. Here are three things we think you should know when it comes to marketing your business during COVID.

    1. You’ve got to go with SEO
    Getting your website up and running took a lot of time and effort on your part. Now that it’s where you want it, don’t hit the brakes—it’s time to get your website seen. Enter search engine optimization marketing—the best way for you to stand out to potential customers in a sea of other businesses. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons to invest in SEO, as well as 9 SEO tips to get your website noticed. We promise it’s not as overwhelming as you might think. In fact, you can set up an effective SEO strategy in just four steps. 

    2. Take it to the next level with an elevator speech
    An elevator pitch is about as outdated as handshakes. It’s time to turn it up a notch with an elevator speech—keeping the mindset that these opportunities are for sharing information, not making obvious sales pitches. Here are some tips to improving your elevator speech so that—whenever you’re ready to take elevators again—you are prepared with this effective marketing tactic. 

    3. Outshine, don’t outspend
    Your budget might be a little tighter these days, but that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on marketing. One excellent and free marketing tactic is to become an MYB contributor! As an expert in your field, what better way to share your knowledge and promote your business than writing for a small business blog. Email Marie Zickefoose at mzickefoose@greatercle.com for more info and to get started.

    More tips for branding on a budget include doing pro bono work and promoting customer testimonials. And, don’t forget that as long as you have your cell phone and a social media account, you can produce engaging content and free videos to amplify your marketing and drive results

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  • Next up: Month in Review: May 2021

    Month in Review: May 2021

     

    Mind Your Business was full of great information last month to help you grow your business.  From employee retention challenges to strategic planning—and a compilation of business resource recommendations from COSE members—check out our favorite articles from May. 

    What Ohio Business Owners Need to Know About Anti-Harassment & Anti-Retaliation Laws
    As a business owner, providing your employees with a safe working environment is one of your most important tasks. This includes a workplace free from unwanted sexual advances, jokes and other types of sexual harassment. It also means having an understanding of the laws created around employee-relations issues.

    Here is what you need to know about anti-harassment and anti-retaliation laws in the workplace.

    So, Do I Need a Strategic Plan? Who Cares?
    Is there anything scarier to a business owner than those two words? Strategic plan (*shudders*). 

    But a strategic plan doesn't have to be overwhelming—or scary. In fact, the end result of a strategic plan should be a more effectively-run business, less stress, and more free time.

    MYB's very own strategic planning expert can help you get there. Read on for a breakdown of the terminology and components of a strategic plan, and guidance on how it can be helpful to your business—and to you.

    Employee Retention Challenges and Solutions
    It's no secret that the key to a great business is great employees. But does your small business struggle to hire or retain top talent? 

    From recognizing your staff to opening lines of communication, here are nine suggestions to hiring and retaining excellent employees to grow your business.

    COSE Members Share Their Favorite Small Business Resources
    We asked some of our COSE members to tell us about their favorite resources they turn to while running their small businesses and growing as leaders—and we received several noteworthy submissions to share with you.

    Podcasts, books, websites, YouTube channels... and some are even written or produced by the members themselves. Check out their suggestions and add them to your to-do list!

     
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  • Next up: Month in review: May 2022

    Month in review: May 2022

    It’s finally spring in Cleveland. Weather is warming, flowers are blooming and we’ve picked a bunch just for you – of MYB articles from May, that is. 

    Check out our favorite articles from last month:

    The lost art of cold calling (and why your business should revive it)
     
    Cold calling might be lost, but it's not dead. In fact, in this article you will hear from a company that had its best March in its 14-year history—due, in part, to cold calling. If you hate even the thought of calling someone you don't know—or if you don't know where to start—check out these tips for successful cold calling.
     
    >> Read more

     

    Get the biggest bang for your buck with these 7 marketing tips

    You worked hard to establish your business, but are you marketing it effectively? Have you set aside the appropriate funds to do so?
     
    As a small business owner, you have to know how to stretch a dollar in all areas—and marketing is no exception. Check out these seven tips for effectively marketing your small business while still sticking to your budget.
     
    >> Read more

     

    Maintain positive ties with former employees in 7 easy steps
     
    Making sure you keep a positive connection with employees even after they leave your company actually starts the day you hire them. Learn how to maintain positive ties with former employees in seven easy steps.

    >> Read more


    The 3 biggest excuses that get in the way of growing your business – and how to tame them
     
    We all say them to ourselves sometimes – but these excuses can keep us from moving our businesses forward. Discover these three big excuses that might be holding you back, and how to eliminate them from your thinking.

    >> Read more

     

    Eight key traits for successful leaders and teams
     
    From communication and confidence, to empathy and vulnerability, there are eight key traits that most successful leaders and teams possess. Learn what they are and how they can impact your small business.
     
    Which of these key traits have you and your team mastered? Which ones still need improving?
     
    >> Read more


    Inflation and your small business: 5 tips for minimizing the impact
     
    You're feeling it every time you pull out your wallet lately: inflation. With a U.S. inflation rate hovering around 8%, the costs of goods and services are going up, which is sure to impact your bottom line.
     
    Lessen the effect inflation has on your small business with these five tips from Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland.
     
    >> Read more

     

    Do you have a WOW budget? Impress customers with these 8 tips

    Do you leave your customers saying, "WOW!?" Setting aside a portion of your budget to go above and beyond for customers can really make a "WOW!" impression. It can also go a long way toward customer loyalty, your bottom line and the overall success of your small business.

    Create a WOW budget with these eight tips that are sure to impress old, new and prospective customers.

    >> Read more

     

    What's your favorite article? Let us know on twitter.

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