How to Gain Respect from Employees: Leadership Tips for Managers

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By Freshbooks

Leaders don’t automatically gain respect from their employees; they need to earn respect by demonstrating that they value employees and prioritize their growth. Managers can earn more respect by improving their communication with employees and explaining important decisions. Gaining the respect of employees is important for management, because it improves workplace morale and can provide greater motivation among workers to be productive.

These topics will show you how to gain respect from employees and foster a better work environment:

How Do You Gain Respect from Employees?

Managers can gain the respect of employees by standing up for their best interests and offering strong, professional leadership. Here are 10 tips on how to gain respect from employees:

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GIVE RESPECT

If you want your direct reports to respect you, it’s important that you first show them the respect they deserve. Treat all your workers fairly and demonstrate that you value them with your words and actions. Listen to their concerns and do your best to address them. Communicate clearly with your employees and explain important decisions to them. If you treat your staff members well, they will likely reciprocate the respect you show them.

SHOW YOUR WORK ETHIC

It’s important that good managers lead by example. Demonstrate through your work ethic and contributions that you’re a reliable member of the team worthy of your employees’ trust. Provide the lead on projects when appropriate and be sure you’re not pushing your workload onto employees.

BE CONSISTENT

Consistency is key among strong, respected leaders. You should be consistent in your leadership approach and your expectations of people, so they always understand what’s expected of them. If your leadership style changes from time to time — if, for example, you give your employees freedom to make decisions with a hands-off approach, but suddenly micromanage a new project — they’ll be confused and unsure of what you need from them. Being consistent builds trusts and helps earn the respect of your team.

BE A FIRM LEADER

Managers who are pushovers with their workers don’t gain the respect of employees. Make decisions and stick to them if you feel it’s the right choice, even if it’s not popular with everyone. If you decide you need to change course in order to improve your approach, you’re free to change your mind, just be sure you’re doing it because it’s what’s best for the business and the team, not because it’s a more popular choice with employees.

ADMIT YOUR WRONGDOINGS

Leaders are human and just like your employees, you’ll make mistakes from time to time. It’s important that you own up to your wrongdoings and show your employees through example how to bounce back from a mistake. Always do everything you can to fix your errors and don’t be afraid to ask for help correcting a mistake. Your workers will notice and respect you for it.

SEEK OUT NEW OPINIONS

You hired your employees for a reason, so be respectful of their opinions and open to their suggestions on new ways of doing things. Being open to new opinions shows that you’re flexible and committed to following the best ideas, not just the ones you come up with yourself.

RECOGNIZE SUCCESSES

You can earn the respect of employees by rewarding them for their accomplishments. Find out how each employee likes to be recognized, whether it’s public praise or a private congratulations. Rewarding employees in the way they wish to be recognized demonstrates you care for them and creates a supportive work environment.

SEEK OUT FEEDBACK

To get respect, don’t assume employees will come to you when they have feedback about your leadership or criticisms of the company culture. Schedule regular check-ins with employees where they’re free to discuss how things are going. Ask specific questions that address your management and accept any criticism in a positive, thoughtful manner.

DON’T MICROMANAGE

Tell your employees what work has to be done and set clear deadlines for completion, but don’t tell them how to do their jobs. Delegating tasks and trusting your employees to complete them is key to gaining the respect of your workers. Let them know you’re available if they have any issues or want to talk through a project, but don’t micromanage how they approach their work.

HAVE THEIR BACKS

Stick up for your employees and show that you have their backs. If an issue comes up with a project, you should shoulder the blame for the problem as the boss, rather than passing the blame off on your workers. On the flipside, if you receive praise and rewards from upper management for a successful project, make sure to spread the praise around and publicly recognize the role your employees played in the success.

How Do You Get Your Employees to Like You?

It’s natural for leaders to want to be liked by their direct reports. Follow these five easy tips to get your employees to like you:

  1. Listen to your team members and take their opinions into consideration to make them feel valued and show that they can always come to you.
  2. Set clear expectations so workers know exactly what they need to do and can be more productive in their tasks.
  3. Don’t break your word by failing to follow through on promises you make, whether it’s a small matter like providing feedback on work by a certain day or a larger concern, like promising a pay raise to an employee.
  4. Be constructive with your feedback to help your workers grow and improve in their jobs, rather than making them feel bad about their weaknesses.
  5. Ask for feedback on your performance and leadership skills from employees, to show that you care about their opinions and are willing to grow as a manager to better support your workers.
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How Do You Build Trust with a New Employee?

When a new employee joins your team, you want to demonstrate that you’re a capable and fair leader to build trust with the new team member. Here are five tips for building trust with a new employee:

CREATE A PERSONAL CONNECTION

Get to know your new employee on a personal level to help build trust and respect. Ask them about their personal interests and hobbies outside of work and remember the details they give so you can ask more about it in the future. Show that you’re interested in them on a personal level so they trust you and see that they’re valued.

BE TRANSPARENT

Be truthful with new employees about the challenges and opportunities within the company. Give them a clear picture of what they can expect in the future and what’s expected of them in their new role. When you make important decisions that affect them, explain the reasons behind your choices.

OFFER ENCOURAGEMENT

Starting a new job can be stressful and raise insecurities in a new employee. Offer encouragement and constructive feedback to new team members early on so they can gain confidence and a better understanding of how to successfully complete their job duties.

DON’T PICK FAVORITES

It’s important that you don’t play favorites in the office among your team members. If you show the same level of support to all your employees and are fair in how you dish out assignments and perks, a new team member will start to trust and respect you sooner when they see they’re on a level playing field with their coworkers.

SEEK OUT FEEDBACK

Check in with a new employee regularly to get feedback on your leadership and the company culture. Make sure the employee understands their role within the team and has all the resources and support needed to successfully execute their work.

from: freshbooks.com

10 Spring Cleaning Ideas for Your Business

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By Square

Small businesses, it’s time to step into spring. Friday officially marks the start of the season, and with it, a great opportunity to dust off your business. Where to start? Some ideas:

1. Deep clean your books

Your head is probably in taxes right now. If the whole process is proving to be a huge nightmare, you need to get your accounting more organized. Connecting your Square account to solutions like Xero or TaxJar will help you streamline many aspects of your bookkeeping. The more automatic your processes, the more likely things will stay in order.

2. Spiff up your website

A great website is not only your digital calling card, it can also help you grow your brand. Make sure your website is SEO optimized — meaning you’ve done everything you can to help it show up in search engines. A blog is a great place to jumpstart this effort. Need ideas? Check out our roundup of Square sellers who have killer posts.

3. Set up new ways to sell

Dragging your feet on setting up an online store? It’s now easier than ever if you’re a Square seller. We’ve just integrated with e-commerce platforms Bigcommerce and Weebly so stores in the U.S. and Canada can start selling online with Square in just a few minutes.

4. Pour over your data

Your Square Dashboard is a treasure trove of powerful information, right at your fingertips. Familiarizing yourself with your data will help you run your business as efficiently as possible. Here are five ways Square Analytics can inform smart business decisions.

5. Closely examine staffing

Scheduling employees can feel like a game of Tetris — if you’re not fast and efficient, it becomes a mess. Square data can help you on this front, too. Take a look at your historical sales information by day, week, and month. This will help you figure out when to staff up for busy times and staff down for lulls — which will save you time and money.

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6. Plan ahead for the holidays

Mother’s Day and graduation are on the horizon. Do you have the things people will want for these occasions? Gift cards are a no-brainer here. Order customizable ones from Square and start to display them prominently. Then people will know you have them when they need them.

7. Get rid of all that paper

Paperless is the way to go. And a good place to start limiting your usage is with Square Invoices. Not only does Square’s digital invoicing help you get paid faster, it does a solid for the environment. For a nudge, here are some scary stats on the environmental impact of paper receipts.

Get Started With Square Invoices

Send online invoices from anywhere to get paid fast.Send Invoices with Square

8. Optimize your shipping

Is your shipping area maximized for efficiency? Read this checklist to find out. And to help you optimize the fulfillment process through batch label creation and connections to top shipping carriers, hook up your Square account to ShipStation.

9. Empty your inbox

We know this one is painful. But clean inbox, clean mind. Sit down for a couple of hours and go through all your email, making sure you don’t have any outstanding ones from customers. (And while you’re at it, brush up on best practices for emailing customers.)

10. Do some actual cleaning

It wouldn’t be spring cleaning without an actual scrub-down of your space. Consider making this an event for your staff — probably with drinks.

We hope these tips set you up for continued success this year. When things run efficiently, it means more time for you to focus on growing your business.

For more tips and advice on how to run and grow your business, sign up for Town Square News, our monthly newsletter.

from: squareup.com

Six Reasons Why You Should Beat Enemies with Kindness

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By Anan Tello

Many self-help and mindfulness articles try to convince us that if someone were mean or hostile to us, there must have been some kind of miscommunication because ‘no one is evil.’ 

We also read cliché statements like, “There are no bad people, but people who do bad things” and “they must have been hurt”. Some even have the guts to suggest you must have done something wrong. 

I personally prefer articles that say, “It isn’t about you; it’s about them.”

Let’s admit it; some people are bad seeds and human devils that come in different species. They thrive on other people’s suffering and feed off their pain. 

Nevertheless, that should not be the rule but the exception. When people are hurt, they hurt others, and there will be a long, unbreakable cycle of hurt people hurting other people. Violence begets violence, cruelty breeds more cruelty and negativity is contagious. 

But what if we stepped back for a second and decided to master our minds, own our emotions and take control of our lives? What if we decided to respond to cruelty with kindness?

Imagine you are among mean classmates or coworkers. I know the easiest thing to do is to be meaner and show them who’s the boss, but the easiest solutions are not always the best. 

You might think kindness is a sign of weakness but, in fact, kindness only empowers you. Kindness in the face of cruelty requires so much willpower, patience and strength.

Sometimes it is best to be kind to those who wronged you, whether their reason was maliciousness, fear, pain or miscommunication… and the following are six pros of doing so.

1. Helps you avoid unnecessary battles and even turn an enemy into a friend.

Don’t underestimate the power of kindness. Your kindness in the face of those who did you wrong may make them have second thoughts about being enemies with you. It may also awaken their conscience and make them refrain from further hurting you.

Being enemies with certain people might be tempting sometimes, and the battles get better but trust me; it’ll only drain your energy with time because not every battle is worth fighting. 

When you allow yourself to get dragged into unnecessary battles and win at the end, it might feel good at first, but then you’ll find out it wasn’t worth your time and effort.

Kindness is contagious and reduces emotional distance between people, which is why we like those who are kind to us. 

Therefore, when you respond with kindness, those who did you wrong may soon become your biggest allies.

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2. It is a way of being proactive, not reactive.

By responding to cruelty with kindness, you tell your enemies you will not allow them to have power over you.

Those who are unkind to you most likely want to create tension. They expect you to either respond in a similar manner or shy away from dealing with them.

By being kind, you make a strong statement that you will not allow anyone to dictate you how to feel or how to react, and that your actions are your choices and not anyone else’s.

3. It means you are actually winning the battle.

Some people are rude because as long as you’re classy, they cannot beat you. They want to drag you to their level and beat you with experience.

My mom always says that if you want to beat rude people, wear a smile, be kind, never respond to their rudeness with rudeness and be patient. At the end, you will defeat them. 

Now my mom isn’t the Buddha, but her strategy actually works most of the time, especially when you’re someone who isn’t experienced in scheming.

Your kindness in the face of others’ cruelty will kill them. You will smile as you watch them eat their hearts out. 

For instance, if your coworkers wanted to prove to your boss that you are hostile to them, they won’t get what they want. To their dismay, you will be using their demeanor to prove to your boss that their accusations are false and that there might be some kind of conspiracy against you—if I may call it so—because you’re the angel who treats everyone with compassion.

Make them fall into the pit they dug for you.

4. It attracts more kindness and fights their negative energy.

Kindness is a virtue, and most, if not all, of us have read stories about how good people got rewarded at the end.

It’s a way of emitting positive energy, and the more genuine your kindness is, the stronger your energy gets, which will conquer the negative energy released by cruel actions. 

Moreover, the kinder you are, the stronger the aura surrounding your body will get, and therefore will protect you from the negative energy trying to get you and turn your life into hell.  

By being kind, you attract more kindness into your life. Always remember that you attract the kind of energy you emit, so don’t allow anyone to turn you into a source of negative energy.

5. It is a sign you took responsibility for your feelings and owned them.

When you are kind to others, you tap into something deep and profound inside you, which says, “This is how I choose to feel, this is what I choose to be and this is who I really am. No one has the power to change me.”

Your feelings should be your choice and not others’. You shouldn’t allow others to decide whether you will now feel bitter or happy. A classmate was, say, jealous of your achievements, and so s/he said something really vicious to you in order to make you feel bad about yourself when you should be feeling proud and content, but who said they were unbeatable wizards? Your feelings are yours, and so you must choose whether you want to give others the power to make you feel bad about yourself, or just laugh in their faces and walk away like a champion.

Believe it or not; mean people are among the unhappiest. So if you choose to face meanness with meanness, you are simply choosing to be unhappy, which was a choice not fully made by you, but provoked by those who treated you wrong.

6. It is the most decent way to get back at those who treated you callously.

Yes, you are actually getting back at those mean gossip girls who spread rumors about you by smiling in their faces every morning and wishing them a nice day.

For all the reasons mentioned above, you are defeating and even getting back at those who wronged you by being so kind to them because the best revenge is living happily.

You are telling them they did not hurt you, you are undefeatable, you are not a quitter, they mean nothing to you and your days are relatively as smooth as they usually are.

If those who mistreated you were evil, you are actually killing them with the kindness you radiate.

from: linkedin.com

10 Powerful Ways to Deal With Your Narcissistic Boss

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The smarter you become about your narcissistic boss, the less power your boss will have.

By Lolly Daskal

Practically everyone has either worked for a narcissistic boss or been exposed to one in some capacity. It’s an unforgettable experience to be around someone who’s flagrantly self-absorbed, self-admiring, self-centered and self-obsessed–someone who works hard only when, and as long as someone’s watching, who’s quick to claim credit and to assign blame.

A narcissistic boss spends an enormous amount of time thinking about achieving power, influence and success. As a result, there’s a tendency to lie and exaggerate the truth to feel self-important.

But the biggest problem with having a narcissistic boss is that they never feel they’re the problem. They may have go-to scapegoats, or they may pick employees seemingly at random to be tagged with the blame when something goes wrong.

If you’re dealing with a narcissistic boss, you basically have two choices: you either quit and get another job or you stay and deal. And if you stay, the only way to deal is not to try to change your boss but instead to change yourself and the way you respond.

Here are ten power moves that will help you deal and keep you from feeding the narcissistic behavior:

1. Understand the source. To cope with your narcissistic boss, you have to understand them. The odds are very high that they’re never going to change, and they’re never going to be easy to work with. The description that’s been going around under names like “The Narcissist’s Prayer” sums it up well:

That didn’t happen.

And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.

And if it was, that’s not a big deal.

And if it is, that’s not my fault.

And if it was, I didn’t mean it.

And if I did…

You deserved it.

2. Respond, don’t react. The worst thing you can do with a narcissist is to shine a spotlight on their bad behavior–they thrive on attention. Instead, learn to respond in affective way that keeps you in control of options and choices. If you feel yourself reacting, step away and regain back your control.


3. Set clear boundaries. Set a firm boundary wherever you need one and stick to it. Remember, boundaries aren’t meant to control others; they’re a guideline for you to know what is and isn’t acceptable. Boundaries are a part of self-care–they’re healthy, normal and often necessary.

4. Don’t allow them to get under your skin. Narcissists thrive on getting a rise out of someone–especially someone they feel they have power over. They will goad you, shame you, call you out, embarrass you and humiliate you, but you don’t have to allow any of it to get under your skin. Use emotional intelligence to manage your thoughts and actions. And remember that any cruel behavior and words reflect badly on the narcissist, not you.

5. Don’t feed the beast. A narcissistic boss has a constant need to be admired by others. So refuse to feed the beast. It’s good to understand that bad behavior comes from insecurity and that the more your narcissistic boss acts out, the more insecure they are. But it’s just as important to remember that the more you feed the bad behavior the worse it will become. Narcissists surround themselves with only two types of people: those who enable them and those who bite their tongue. Anyone who doesn’t fit into one of these two categories will certainly be fired or banished–and, if the narcissist has their way, manipulated into thinking it was actually their own fault.

6. Don’t empower those who don’t deserve it. Your narcissistic boss holds some degree of power by virtue of their position, but we know there are no leaders without followers. Refuse to follow those you don’t admire, those you don’t trust, and those who lie. Just do your job to the best of your ability and with respect, honor and integrity. When you do, you’ll be known as one of the sane ones–maybe even the only sane one.

7. Fact check everything. A narcissist will always portray themselves as a victim who’s innocent in all aspects. When the truth offends them–which is often–they’re quick to exchange it for lies and half truths. If you’re dealing with a narcissistic boss, be ready to do a lot of checking up.

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8. Don’t argue. The last thing you want to do is argue with a narcissist, because everything you say and do will be held against you. Don’t argue or engage but instead make them invisible–the last thing a narcissist wants. It’s impossible to argue with someone who’s willing to distort the truth to suit their own agenda–the best you can do is to take away their power by making them unimportant and invisible.

9. Don’t be provoked. Narcissists thrive on provoking people and then blaming them for the fight. Stay cool and disengaged and refuse to be swept up by the wave of dysfunction. The alternative is realizing they’ve found a way to make it all your fault. Don’t allow yourself to be provoked or manipulated.

10. Stay focused on what’s important. Working with a narcissist boss means a constant pull to play by their rules and for everything to revolve around them, with no accountability or responsibility when things go wrong. It’s easy to feel angry and frustrated. That’s when you have to take a step back and reconnect with your purpose in being there.

It’s never going to be easy working with a narcissist. Often the wisest thing to do is just walk away–but when that’s not possible, remember you’re at least gaining valuable experience in dealing with one of the most difficult personalities you’re ever likely to encounter.

from: inc.com

Pivot: How to Plan to Change Direction of Your Small Business

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By John Packham

A familiar word in the world of start-ups, pivot refers most simply to those moments when a leader or management team realize that their current business model is not working. This realization, if accepted fully, triggers a (quick) reshaping of the business to a new plan or model in order to remain relevant and invigorated. More realistically, as Alan Spoon describes, a pivot allows a business to “grow beyond their initial dreams by re-imagining their assets and talents, thinking more broadly about the customer problems they solve, and accessing growth capital to seize the new high ground.”

For small-business owners looking to pivot, paying particular attention to some basic steps in the planning stages not only mitigates the risk associated with the investment of time and money in moving from Plan A to Plan B, but can clarify the operational elements needed to accomplish a pivot as elegantly and cost-effectively as possible.

Most obviously (and a too-often overlooked step) is to understand that a pivot is change, and as such means that your business is starting out in one place and ending in a different one.

This simple moment is crucial: to imagine B (your new state of the business) as clearly and completely as possible. Setting B firmly in your mind, in your business plan, and as the fixed end point of the pivot is critical, for once the pivot begins it requires an anchor point. Without this anchor point firmly in place, it is far too easy to lose focus on your endpoint as well as on what non-negotiable points are (and we all have them), or what your cost projections really say. Without this anchor point, pivots take on an energy all their own, and you struggle to keep all the moving parts from spinning out of control as the usual (and unavoidable) contingencies appear.

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Once B is firmly in place, write a list of what are known as transform goals. These are the key differences between your business in Plan A and your business in Plan B. For instance, your current Plan has your business fully imagined as a traditional brick-and-mortar sales model, while your transformational Plan pivots it to a hybrid of traditional and online sales. Or perhaps you see your business pivoting from a suburban strip mall to an upscale urban shopping centre. Or from a position of brand inclusivity to a more focused, brand exclusive model, which might allow for some price renegotiations with your suppliers. The important thing here: know what will be different about your business when you complete your pivot.

With transformational goals set, the next step is to think through what are called reduction goals. In other words, make a list of what has to be reduced or eliminated from Plan A in order for your business to pivot successfully to Plan B. This list might include a reduction of inventory, a simplification of your supply chain, or a move to a new, more appropriate space. Planning on what barriers need to be removed, and how to remove them, before the pivot begins allows for a full and thorough cost and risk analysis as well as the opportunity to gather input and ideas from key stakeholders. The more eyes on the plan at this point, the better.

With reduction goals established, move to setting your application goals, also known as those pieces that need to be added to your business in order to Plan B. You might have to renegotiate financing in order to underwrite the pivot, for instance, or plan a strategic “relaunch” so that both current and potential customers can see the new iteration of your company in action. If your pivot is focused on optimizing online sales, you might have to expand your infrastructure or invest in technology that allows you to meet the next generation of customers “where they are” (a common phrase informing many pivots) or that will improve delivery of online orders.

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A successful pivot demands foresight, resilience, and resolve. It means moving beyond the simple numbers of a business in order to imagine a future that is brighter and more profitable. When successful, a pivot not only revitalizes your business (and your excitement about doing business) but amplifies its value to your customers. Careful planning goes a long way to ensuring that your aspirations for your business can be realized.

from: businesspartnermagazine.com

6 Tips on Getting Your Business off the Ground

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Starting a new business is rife with challenges, but there are a handful of things you can do to tip the scales in your favor.

By Christina Desmarais

Starting a new business is rife with challenges, but there are a handful of things you can do to tip the scales in your favor. That’s according to Jon Beekman, CEO of Man Crates, a Redwood City, California-based company that delivers jerky-, sports- and outdoor-related gifts to guys and grew five times year over year over the last holiday period. Here’s his advice on how to make a startup prosper.

1. Make Monday your favorite day.

Getting any business off the ground is going to involve plenty of unglamorous work, so it helps if you’re passionate about whatever you’re doing. “It’s important that you find something that you really love to do, so that Monday is your favorite day of the week,” he says. “If you’re going to spend half your waking hours or more working on a startup, you should be excited to go to work in the morning.”

2. Build for yourself.

You can spend infinite time and resources testing the market to tweak your offering, but a cleaner, faster path is to sell things you would buy yourself. “For Man Crates, we could have gone in a thousand different directions,” Beekman says. He decided, however, to offer gifts he would like to receive himself. “Other people are likely going to want to buy the same stuff, rather than try to design your startup by committee.”

3. Exude enthusiasm in all that you do.

Whether customers, employees, or investors, plenty of people will be judging your new company and offering reasons why it won’t work. Your positivity and passion have to be strong enough to turn around any negativity. “I think the hardest thing in the world is to build something new and then put it out and allow it to be judged by the people around you,” he says. “As entrepreneurs, we always have to be selling.”

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4. Move quickly.

Man Crates is Beekman’s second startup, and he learned the first time around that it’s easy to spend too much time on administrative tasks such as setting up an office and getting payroll in place when really the only thing that matters is figuring out product-market fit. “None of that stuff matters if you don’t have something that people want to buy,” he says. “Move quickly and focus on product-market fit early on, to the exclusion of almost everything else.”

5. Focus on customer delight.

Who or what is your competition? How can you deliver a better, more emotional connection with your customers? Beekman says in business school he learned about how Intuit co-founder Scott Cook realized the company’s competition wasn’t other accounting startups, but the pen and paper, which most people were still using in the ’80s to do taxes. It’s the same thing in the business of gifts, which many consumers approach with dread. “We’re basically competing against customer apathy, and if we can delight those customers, we’re going to have them for life,” he says.

6. Have some fun.

Cultivate the kind of work environment in which your employees are happy and motivated to do good work. At Man Crates, Beekman integrates fun into the company’s culture through happy hours, fun outings, or quirky events such as blindfolded hot sauce taste testing. “People talk about the Sunday test, like would I want to come in to the office on Sunday to work with my co-workers? If the office environment is fun and engaging, then people will say ‘yes’ to that question,” he says. “That’s how you build a really solid team.”

from: Inc.com

Ecommerce Know-How: Improve Cash Flow by Delaying Suppliers

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By Armando Roggio

Cash flow can be the strongest indicator of an ecommerce business’s success or failure, and properly managing your accounts payable and receivable can be the difference between success or insolvency.

Years ago, I read an article that described cash flow as the difference in time between when you get paid and when you pay. This very pragmatic definition has stuck with me. Unfortunately, cash flow can be one of the consequential challenges that online retailers face.

That challenge lies in the very nature of the retail business. For the majority of retail operations, the proprietor (a) purchases goods (products) from a variety of suppliers, (b) warehouses those goods in inventory, and then (c) sells those goods at retail prices to individual consumers over time. Suppliers want to be paid when they make a sale, but the retailer does not get paid until a customer buys the product days, weeks, or even months later, putting a huge strain on the merchant’s cash flow.

Tips for Better Cash Flow Management

In this edition of “eCommerce Know-How,” I want to share three tips for improving your ecommerce business’s cash flow.

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Take More Time to Pay

Recently, I had a conversation with a long time supplier. This supplier, who had been very “hard nosed” about terms in the past, was, in the face of harder economic times, amiable to net 30 day payments. I was very quick to accept and place an order. Remember our definition of cash flow as the difference in time between when you pay and when you get paid. By pushing out my supplier several additional weeks, I reduce the time between when my customers pay me and when I have to pay my bills.

As an added benefit, I get to keep my funds in a bank account earning interest (meager as it may be) rather than having those funds head out when I place a new order.

This also means that if you already have terms with a supplier, don’t prepay. For example, if a supplier has given you 30 day net terms, don’t pay the bill in 10 days, 17 days, or even 28 days. Wait until the last possible moment.

And remember, once established, I can keep my longer terms even as the market comes back.

Pay With a Credit Card on the Date Due

I have a friend that operates a small ecommerce business, but hates credit cards. Oddly he is happy to accept them on his site, but personally likes to pay for everything with cash or a check. But using a credit card to pay suppliers can give a merchant as many as 30 days of additional cash flow.

After waiting until the last day on your terms, call the supplier and pay with the company credit card. Just like when a customer makes a purchase on your store and the funds don’t really show up for four days, paying by card means that you delay payment for the goods until your credit card payment is due.

As implied above, the goal of good cash flow management is to minimize the time between paying a bill and selling an item in your store.

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Remember that Sometimes Flexibility is Better than Price

Finally, know that a lower price or free shipping is not always better than flexibility. Many suppliers are now offering shipping discounts or even price discounts. In some cases, these offers are a real deal, but stockpiling inventory is not usually a good strategy for continued solvency.

When these offers come, consider them carefully. Is the discount really worth the hit your cash flow will take.

Better Cash Flow Equates to Better Business

These three tips will help you keep your cash longer, and keeping cash longer can be a contributing factor to your business’s success.

from: practicalecommerce.com

9 Reasons Teams Love Empathetic Managers

People do their best work when they trust the boss

By Sherrie Campbell

If we want to succeed in life or in business, we cannot do this with any depth or longevity if we’re not empathic. Empathy is what gives life meaning. It allows us to be open, and to tolerate points of view that differ greatly from our own. When we are empathic towards others, we are better equipped to understand, soothe, communicate, bond and develop long-lasting successful connections. At its base, success is a function of trusting, dependable and dynamic relationships.

1. They recognize feelings.

Empathic people can identify and recognize both the emotions of others and the emotions they grapple with inside of themselves. Compassion for others develops from the self-compassion empathic people practice on themselves in their private lives. They believe that to succeed on any level, they have to show empathy for the people they are working with. They are naturally sensitive to the fact that life is hard, business is tough and everyone is at risk of getting down on themselves.

Empathic people don’t forget about the humanity of others. They take the time to recognize if someone is feeling up or down, then take the opportunity to support them from where they are.

2. They have an ethical identity.

Empathic people live their lives by a compass of integrity. An ethical identity intersects with each decision empathic people make throughout their lives. Empathy motivates them to live by their morals determining what is right and wrong. They are conscious of who they are, of what they do, what they say and how it all may impact and influence those around them. Respect for themselves and others helps them keep their enduring commitment to live a fulfilling lifestyle.

Empathic people hold themselves to high standards of kindness, tolerance, respect, service and good communication. These traits set them apart when it comes to success and longevity. Their humble morality inspires others to live better in their own lives. Because empathic people strive to have a positive influence, they naturally become people others look up to and admire.

3. They always consider the needs of others.

Empathic people have dynamic working relationships because they always consider the needs of each person they work with. They are open to what is different. Their definition of tolerance is “even though your belief is not mine I accept it and we can still connect.”

Success cannot flourish under a my-way-or-the-highway mindset. Intolerance blocks learning, kills empathy and breaks down connections.

4. They have a moral intention.

When people operate from a place of empathy they pursue goals which others find inspiring. The intention behind every goal an empathic person pursues is to serve others. In this construct, success is measured more by the development of a person’s character, rather than status, position or money earned. Empathic people approach deals, conflicts, negotiations and communications confident solutions will arise from right action, honesty, integrity and thoughfulness.

Even in the midst of a chaotic experience, positive intention allows empathic people to intuitively and correctly perceive what actions are necessary.

5. They’re calm.

Empathic people can accept feedback without getting defensive. They help others to remain calm by remaining calm and rational under stressful circumstances. Their example inspires others to work toward the same levels of openness and maturity when they are pressured or stressed. Empathic people can be an anchors for those who are struggling with the reactive emotions stress brings. They live with an inherent trust that solutions can and will be found, and that worrying about things doesn’t make those solutions come any quicker. Being grounded in this way, benefits everyone around them.

6. They’re kind.

Kindness is empathy in action. Empathic people trust that kindness will get them further in life than other human character trait. Everything can be solved with kindness. People destroy relationships when they try to solve problems with anger, threats or force. They may get their way once or twice but they inevitably lose opportunities because they are not enjoyable to work with or for.

Being kind doesn’t mean empathic people are pushovers. Empathic people can be assertive and direct while still respecting the person who is on the receiving end of the dynamic with them.

7. They are always thinking “us.”

An empathic person will own their part of the problem when something goes wrong in the daily grind. They do what they can to keep their side of the street clean instead of reactively blaming their problems on people or circumstances outside of themselves. If they cannot see where they contributed to the problem, they ask for feedback to help them to more clearly understand the part they played. Staying away from blame and emotional reactivity guarantees successful communication and customer satisfaction going forward.

8. They take risks for the team.

A coward will only cover for or take a risk for themselves. Empathic individuals value character over ego. Empathetic people who work together are so bonded that they have no problem sticking their necks out for whomever they believe in. Taking risks for their team is an integral part of being in a dependable and trusting relationship and work environment. When empathy is present no one person is ever allowed to take on the full responsibility for a problem. Empathic people put other people first and make sure to come to their defense whenever necessary. No one they care about is left alone.

9. They have a strong desire to make a difference.

Empathic people are privy to the understanding that selfishness and success cannot coexist. Eventually selfishness will bring about failure. When people are team oriented, they seek not just to lift themselves up, but to lift all of those who surround them. The greatest gift an empathic person can experience, is to bear witness to the positive results their hard work and good character produce. They live to see others feel satisfied on the other side of them, whether that be financially, emotionally or both. Empathic people live not for fame or riches, but to make a difference.

from: entrepreneur.com

Heart Warming CHRISTMAS Quotes That Show The True CHRISTMAS 2020 Spirit

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

By Pixels Quote

Christmas is a special occasion of the year to celebrate love, peace and goodwill. To always remind ourselves about the true meaning of Christmas, we have a lot of heart warming Christmas quotes.

These quotes below present the wisdom on how to really enjoy Christmas and keep its spirit throughout the year.

Christmas Quotes with beautiful images

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – by Calvin Coolidge

Christmas Quotes 1.
Christmas Quotes.

We tend to think of Christmas as a date or a season. It is somehow true, but to think more carefully: can a season become Christmas without Christmas spirit in the air?

That is why the heart of Christmas lies in the state of mind of everyone. We wait and embrace a special time and special season in the year with peace and goodwill. That is what makes a Christmas.

“The love at Christmas should be with us throughout the coming year.” – Quote by Lailah Gifty Akita

Christmas Quotes 2.

Christmas is special in the way it brings love and connects people. The magic of Christmas shows in how we become better with each other and love our life more.

We see people gather under the Christmas tree, exchange gifts and love with each other. We see people care to strangers and poor people on the street. That beautiful love should not only be for a time or a season, but for the whole year.

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” – by W.T. Ellis

Christmas Quotes 3.
Warming Christmas Quotes.

What makes a day become a Christmas? Christmas quotes reveal the answer: it comes from the heart. It is the joy and belief in every person that combines and builds up the Christmas spirit.

Every myth and story about this special occasion just enhances our belief in goodness, leading to our actions. And Christmas is all about goodwill and enjoyment that people feel about each other and about the life.

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” – Quote from Harlan Miller

Christmas Quotes 4.

Why are we so happy and in peace during every Christmas? Because Christmas is filled with reunion, love and cheer.

Christmas comes with a wonderful spirit that distracts us from daily worries and disappointment. It is no surprise that anyone who has experienced the magical feeling of Christmas wants to carry it all year long too.

“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” – by Janice Maeditere

Christmas Quotes 5.
Heart Warming Christmas Quotes.

One of the most familiar images in Christmas is when children get excited and open their presents. But as we grow up we come to realize that what is most precious is not the presents themselves.

It is the love and care behind those gifts that make Christmas special. Santa Claus’s gift to all of us is not something physical. It is the chance for us to open our hearts exchange love with our close ones.

“Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Merry Christmas Quotes 1.
Merry Christmas Quotes.

How special is Christmas? The best description for Christmas is the season of joy and happiness. Joy exists everywhere during Christmas weeks, when we reunite with our families and exchange our greetings and gifts.

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – by Burton Hills

Merry Christmas Quotes 2.

Christmas is the season of gift. But the greatest gift of all that Christmas brings to us is its spirit. This is the occasion of family reunion, when people leave all their business outside of the home’s door.

And then, all the family gathers around in the living room, sharing their stories, hopes and support. Such peaceful atmosphere can be hardly found in any other occasions other than Christmas. And it makes Christmas such a magical time.

Heartwarming Christmas Quotes:

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” -Short Christmas Quote by Marjorie Holmes

Merry Christmas Quotes 3.
Heartwarming Christmas Quotes.

At Christmas, family is the most important thing in our mind. No matter how far we go and how busy we have always been, it is time to comes back home. It is when we come back to the fundamentals of our life, our beloved ones.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” – Funny Christmas Quote by Andy Rooney

Merry Christmas Quotes 4.
Funny Christmas Quote.

Some of the most precious moments in a person’ life happen on Christmas. Even the mess created on Christmas Eve with wrapping paper all over the floor and kids running around bring happiness.

This funny Christmas quotes remind us to treasure every moment in this occasion, as they present the true meaning of life.

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – by Peg Bracken

Merry Christmas Quotes 5.

To enjoy the Christmas holiday to the most, it requires us to look beyond a casual time to rest. Christmas comes with a special spirit that if we can grab this chance, we can feel happy and energized.

Spend this time with our beloved ones, to do good deeds and to feel the magic of love covering the whole world. That is the true meaning of Christmas.

Quotes about Christmas 1.
Quotes about Christmas.

“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” – by Edna Ferber

Quotes about Christmas 2.

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – by Charles Dickens

Quotes about Christmas 3.

“Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – by Mary Ellen Chase

Quotes about Christmas 4.

“Let’s be naughty and save Santa the trip. ” – by Gary Allan

Quotes about Christmas 5.

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ” – by Norman Vincent Peale

Heartwarming Christmas Quotes 1.

“And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” – by Jesus Christ

Heartwarming Christmas Quotes 2.

“Christmas is joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace.” – by Pope Francis

Heartwarming Christmas Quotes 3.

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”

Heartwarming Christmas Quotes 4.

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” – by Winston Churchill

Heartwarming Christmas Quotes 5.

Happiness is everywhere our hands are busy with many tasks as carols fill the air.” – by Shirley Sallay

Check more quotes about Christmas below

  • “Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” – by Alexander Smith
  • “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” – by Hamilton Wright Mabie
  • “Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” – Christmas Quote from Ruth Carter Stapleton
  • “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – by Burton Hillis
  • “I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” – by Shirley Temple
  • “Christmas day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both.” – Heartwarming Christmas Quote by Phillips Brooks.
  • “Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words.” – by Harlan Miller
  • “For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.” – by W. J. Tucker
  • “Mankind is a great, an immense family. This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas.” – Famous Christmas Quotes by Pope John XXIII
  • “I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things. It’s about being good to one another, it’s about the Christian ethic, it’s about kindness.” – by Carrie Fisher
  • “Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered.” – by Phyllis Diller
Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com

You may also like these Famous Christmas Quotes

  • “Love the giver more than the gift.” – by Brigham Young
  • “Christmas is forever, not for just one day,for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.The good you do for others is good you do yourself.” – by Norman Wesley 
  • “Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.” – Quoted by  Helen Steiner Rice.
  • “November is auspicious in so many parts of the country: the rice harvest is already in, the weather starts to cool, and the festive glow which precedes Christmas has began to brighten the landscape. “
  • “Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” – by Steve Maraboli
  • “Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” – Shor Christmas Quotes by Zuzu Bailey
  • “What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day. ” – by Phyllis Diller
  • “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” – by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “I’m in love, I’m in Love, I’m on love, and I don’t care who knows it!” – by Buddy the Elf
  • “May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.”
  • “Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.” – by Victor Borge
  • “I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note saying: “Toys not included!” – Quote by Bernard Manning

Summary about Christmas Quotes:

Christmas is more than myths, gifts and traditions. It is a state of mind that celebrates life and wants to implement goodwill that is the true soul of Christmas.

And the most important wish is that we can carry the Christmas spirit to the whole year long, all celebration and appreciation for life.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

from: pixelsquote.net

4 Reasons Why Empathy Is Good for Business

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

How this traditionally soft skill yields hard, bottom-line results for organizations big and small

By Maria Ross

It’s easy to be cynical these days. The 24/7 news cycle brings us images and extreme headlines about tragedies almost as soon as they occur. If you listen to the rhetoric, it’s easy to believe violence, sexism, ageism, xenophobia and prejudice are winning the day. 

However, there is another — more positive — way to look at this. Access to information from around the globe gives us opportunities to consider the needs of others and to respond with compassionate action. Yes, playing to our emotions is the cable news and social media business model. But what we choose to do with our emotions is up to us. So, why not choose empathy

We all know empathy is the right thing to do, but empathy is not just good for the world (and our own sanity). It can also bring a competitive advantage in business. Our ability to see the world from the perspective of others is one of the most crucial tools in our business toolbox. So, let’s walk through the business benefits of empathy and acting with compassion.

1. Increased sales, loyalty and referrals.

Every skilled salesperson knows that the key to closing sales is anticipating your customers’ needs and demonstrating how your product or service will suit their needs best. Truly understanding your customers’ needs means reflecting on their fears, desires, pain points and whatever keeps them up at night. If your sales team doesn’t intimately understand your customers’ lives, how can you expect them to explain how your products or services fit their lives? This is the power of empathy in business.

Going beyond increased sales though, what’s even more valuable are loyal customers and strong referrals. To see repeat customers and customers transformed into super fans, make sure this empathy mindset enlivens the culture of your entire organization from customer service to the accounting department. 

One industry where empathy clearly counts is in the ultra-competitive airline industry. Any company that can make flying more convenient and pleasant scores points with perpetually frustrated passengers. By now, we’re all familiar with this string of PR blunders from United Airlines demonstrating the failure of empathy on a corporate level. But you may be less familiar with Ryanair’s empathy success. After implementing their “Always Getting Better” program, which many customer annoyances like hidden charges,un-allocated seating and carry-on baggage restrictions, Ryanair saw a net profit increase from €867 million to €1.24 billion (US$1.39 billion). CEO Michael O’Leary famously remarked, “If I’d only known being nice to customers was going to work so well, I’d have started many years ago.”

Who knew being nice could be so profitable?

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2. Accelerated productivity and innovation

When customers perceive your company as empathetic, you will see sales increase, but wait…there’s more. Employees with strong empathy skills are also more productive and innovative. This means if you want to increase efficiency and expand the number of problems you can solve for customers, you want to hire employees with strong “soft skills.”

Google knows this well. Since the company began in 1998, Google focused on hiring the best computer scientists, software engineers, analysts and highly skilled STEM professionals. But when it comes to putting together successful teams, it turns out that soft skills rule. Project Aristotle, a study released by Google in 2017, showed that the company’s most important new ideas came from B-teams comprised of employees exhibiting a wide range of skills including: equality, generosity, curiosity toward others’ ideas, empathy and emotional intelligence. These teams may not have had the top scientists, but when team members feel confident speaking up and know they are being heard, great ideas are born.

3. Greater competitive advantage and market value.

The highest performing companies also top the list of the Most Empathetic Companies. This might seem surprising at first: Don’t you have to be cutthroat and willing to win at any cost to be competitive in this global, capitalist economy? Well, if you’ve been paying attention, the answer will be obvious. In fact, statistics show that empathy is more important to business success than it has ever been.

According to the 2016 Empathy Index, a report published by UK consulting firm The Empathy Business that seeks to analyze the internal culture of 170 companies on major financial indexes, “The top 10 companies (on the 2015 list)…increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50 percent more earnings (defined by market capitalization).”

How’s that for competitive advantage?

4. Expanded engagement and collaboration.

So if the best managers and team members express empathy and a willingness to act compassionately toward others, it stands to reason that companies with cultures that encourage empathy would attract highly engaged individuals. And that’s just what the data show. Empathetic companies also have better retention and higher morale among employees.

This makes a lot of sense when you consider what today’s workers value. Good, high-performing individuals have lots of employment choices. Among other things, the gig economy and access to technology have created opportunities beyond traditional corporate work. So, it’s time to think beyond traditional corporate benefits.

Additionally, according to a Gallup poll, 60 percent of Millennials are open to new job opportunities, while only 29 percent of them report feeling engaged at work. This means less than a third of workers born between 1980 and 1996 feel connected to their companies. Studies by the Queens School of Business and by the Gallup Organization show that this lack of connection can result in higher absenteeism, lower productivity…and lower profitability and share price for the company over time.

What skilled workers are demanding is a different kind of working experience: they want their voices — and their workplace requirements — to be heard. That’s bad news for companies that aren’t considering company culture as they look toward future growth. Fortunately, making small, subtle shifts toward improving empathy in the culture can make a big difference.

Small changes can yield big results.

All of these business benefits sound great, but none of them are likely to make any company empathetic. To really make a change, the first step is to WANT to understand where others are coming from. When you focus on wanting to understand your colleagues, you can cultivate empathy in your own sphere of influence, which can have a big impact on your team, brand and the world.

Here are some key areas to consider as you plan ahead:

“Employee of the month” awards do not constitute an empathetic environment. When we feel that others value our contributions, we feel respected. While trying to create an empathetic environment from the top down is unlikely to work, letting workers know, through word and deed, their work is valuable should be a daily focus.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Respect makes workers more engaged. There is an intangible value to feeling respected by one’s colleagues and superiors. We’re more likely to take personal responsibility and our desire not to lose the respect of others means we’ll be more engaged. Listen closely to how employees talk about their work. Ask them what would make their jobs easier and make them feel heard.

Motivate based on individual needs. In Daniel Pink’s bestselling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, he points out that financial rewards are not universally enticing. Consider how your company rewards colleagues. How much better would things be if we asked our team members what they would like? Use empathy to see things from their point of view and act accordingly.

Consider ways to flip the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as they want done unto them.” This rule goes for every stakeholder involved in your organization from investors to board members to customer service representatives to clients. This is the mantra of the empathy mindset. Get out of your own head. Engage in more active listening and curious conversation to unlock what matters most to them.

As you reflect on the business benefits of creating a more empathetic company, you may have noticed the irony of compelling you to set aside your interests by showing that it’s actually in your interest to do so. Of course, in an ideal world, the drive to do the right thing would be motivation enough. But because motivation is unique to each individual — and organization — presenting a menu of reasons to embrace empathy is a good idea. In my own career, I have personally witnessed leaders and marketers who have embraced empathy purely for PR motives, but found themselves personally transformed — and left with a desire to do more good for the right reasons. Sometimes, initially speaking to selfish motives can help people and organizations transform “from the outside in,” and end up making the world a more empathetic place.

from: entrepreneur.com / modified (clarification through shortening) by luciditySBM.com