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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Business woman who owns a bicycle repair shop

 

The pandemic has changed the world’s workforce. Some women started working from home, some were fired, while others quit their jobs to introspect and re-invent themselves. If your entrepreneurial bone has also been tickled as we emerge from the pandemic, here are some business ideas you should consider to become an entrepreneur.

 


 

Start an Online Tutoring business

 

As parents juggle working from home and their young ones, online tutoring helps take the burden off. Engaging an online tutor, gives students a boost with their studies and helps improve their grades.   It also gives parents a chance to manage their own time better as they juggle their work-life balance while working from home.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

You can combine your undergraduate or grad degree and experience in customer relations to be a successful tutor. You could not only offer tutoring to school students but also to returning learners at local colleges and universities, as well as those learning to speak English as a second language.

 

Prepare for Success

 

Create a strong blend of your soft and technical skills. Choose a couple subjects you’re interested in or excel at for best success. This way, you will be more comfortable preparing courses and related activities. Remember to focus on both first-time and returning learners to reach a wider clientele.

 

  • Highlight any skills gained in your other careers, such as math if you’ve worked in finance.
  • Create engaging course material, mixing traditional and digital resources.
  • Dig deeper into your student’s learning style.
  • Establish a collaborative and interactive teaching style.

 


 

Start an Interior Design business

 

Being at home gave people a chance to get around to the DIY projects that had always been on their lists. While it sounds like a grand proposition, there’s little room for trial and error when buying pricey decoration items. That’s when you can step in as an expert.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

If you’ve always had an eye for details, colours, textures, textiles, and furniture, this could be your new business! Interior design is more than moving a couch from one corner to another; it also entails an understanding of lighting, depth, and space. You will connect all these elements to breathe life into the vision your client has for their space. You could also consider taking a short online course that can solidify this career move.

 

Prepare for Success

 

Build a portfolio. Start by practicing at home or by decorating for your friends. Take on a variety of projects so you can show your clients a diversity of décor concepts.

 

  • Practice on the most commonly re-decorated spaces, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Take photos — lots of photos — of your projects showing both the before and after stages.
  • Talk about the latest trends in decoration or entice the more niche market with vintage styles.
  • Build a local suppliers network so you can bypass supply chain issues.

 


 

Start a Virtual Assistant business

 

Off-site employees reduce employer costs, but somebody still has to do the work! Virtual assistants have been masters of remote work since before the pandemic. And now that you understand how it all works, it’s time you turned it into a lucrative business.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

Virtual assistants work part-time to manage day-to-day business administration tasks, deal with clients, schedule appointments, and enter data. As a contract worker, you retain the freedom to take on various clients.

 

Prepare for Success

 

Put the spotlight on your time management skills. A successful virtual assistant can manage multiple tasks simultaneously and can switch tracks very quickly. Show your prospective clients that you can improvise and think outside the box.

 

  • Able to pay attention to detail.
  • Can make tedious repetitive tasks look interesting.
  • A whiz at organizing the day and achieving goals.
  • Skilled at dealing with people and resolving conflicts.

 


 

Start an Event Planning business

 

Despite the popularity of Zoom calls and virtual gatherings, in-person events are back! This means there’s need for someone who can take on the duty of planning and organizing events.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

As a good event planner, you smoothly integrate the various moving parts of a function and make it all work like a well-oiled machine. You can think both in big picture terms and focus on each component of an event separately. Event planners are great at making connections in various industries so they can bring together all the elements of a successful event with ease.

 

Prepare for Success

 

As the world slowly embraces the new normal, the need for in-person gatherings also returns, but with caution. Understanding the new rules and regulations that now govern our social events takes time that in-house employees may not have. You can fill that gap.

 

  • Great at bringing together people from different fields.
  • Highly organized and can adapt on the fly.
  • Can manage budgets efficiently.
  • Have the ability to handle large-scale logistics with ease.

 


 

Start a Food Catering business

 

With events and weddings returning, food caterers will see a surge in demand. Your skills will be needed at events or even for smaller weekend barbecue affairs. If you represent Canadian diversity, you could tap into your heritage to reach a niche market.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

The secrets lie in grandma’s recipe book. There’s value in offering classic, family recipes that have been around for generations. And if you have a diverse cultural background, you could also dig into traditional recipes to create a unique menu for diners.

 

Prepare for Success

 

Whether it’s delivering for events or packaged home-cooked meals, practice is what makes perfect. Gather a few friends to sample menu items to get in some training and refine the final products.

 

  • Practice, practice, practice — that’s what makes it perfect when you need to amend dishes for specific tastes.
  • Hone bargain hunting skills to find the best deals for inventory needs.
  • Research nearby cloud kitchen rentals for larger catering events.
  • Create a list of servers you can call on for larger events.
  • Look up recipe variations to cater to specific dietary needs.  

 


 

Start a Fitness Training business

 

We all know someone that has experienced a drastic change in levels of personal activity during the pandemic. Sedentary work styles have long been known to increase body aches and pains. Being unable to go to a gym has prevented people from maintaining their established fitness routines.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

If you’re high energy, love fitness-related activities, and like motivating others toward their health goals, you’re a good fit for this field. Augment that with a certificate in fitness and training and you’re good to go.

 

Prepare for Success

 

As a fitness trainer, you will be required to assess clients’ health goals. Being a good listener and asking key questions is crucial to this role. Find the key motivators that work for your client and form a step-wise plan they can follow.

 

  • Analyze and implement effective ways to increase your clients’ physical activity levels.
  • Lead by example.
  • Validate the efficacy of the fitness plan through constant follow up. Be ready to present alternate options if needed.
  • Be good in both one-to-one interactions and in conducting group activities.

 


 

Start a Coaching business

 

The pandemic has thrown many a wrench in peoples’ plans for personal development. Stress levels have gone through the roof, impeding peoples’ personal growth and leading to loss of self-confidence. As a personal coach, your role is to provide a steady, motivational partnership to success.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

As a, you will peel back the layers of barriers preventing people from reaching their personal evolution goals. And then you will gently guide clients toward the path to achievement and progress.

 

Prepare for Success

 

There are ample online certifications that can prepare you for this role. Aside from the courses, you will also need to sharpen your listening, assessment, problem solving, and analytical skills.

 

  • A strong sense of empathy to relate to peoples’ struggles and stresses.
  • A genuine aspiration to help people reach the next level in their lives.
  • Ability to motivate others to break free of personal barriers holding them back.
  • Comfortable sharing personal life experiences to inspire others into action.

 


 

Start a Podcasting business

 

This form of digital entertainment has become huge during the pandemic. And it’s not going anywhere even as the pandemic nears its end. It’s an easy form of entertainment for long commutes or as travel resurges.

 

Assess Your Skills

 

Are you able to research a concept, gather information, spin it into a tale and tell the story in an engaging manner? If you answered, yes, plug that into any of the various podcasting platforms and you’re ready to broadcast.

 

Prepare for Success

 

Like books, podcasts follow genres. You could choose a genre that interests you personally or you could sample some popular podcasts and find the missing gap. Then dive into the creation process.

 

  • Research a podcast platform that you’re comfortable using.
  • Invest in reliable recording equipment or you could look into a local library offering rentals.
  • Do background work on the theme.
  • Prepare the script for the first few episodes.
  • Create a brand for your podcast.
  • Launch podcast

 


 

In conclusion, this is a good starting point when considering new business opportunities for yourself. Contact REM for the perfect website when you are ready to launch your business!

 

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This is a headshot of Rob Matlow.

Landscape photo of mountains, trees and a lake

 

REM is closed on Monday, August 1, 2022 for the Civic Holiday. We hope everyone has a great long weekend!

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Blackhedge's website on a computer monitor

 

About

Blackhedge is a Miami-based commercial real estate investment firm focused on acquiring and managing well-located properties across major Florida markets. Blackhedge targets single-asset and portfolio transactions between $10 - $75M in Gross Asset Value where we can enhance value through our hands-on active asset management approach.

 

Blackhedge's Main Contact: Charles Pilney, President

No. of Employees: 6 employees

Established: Q4 2021

Location: Miami, Naples

 

Visit Blackhedge's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

Recommended by Matbridge Investments.

 

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

REM team was responsive and easy to work with!

 

 

 

REM team was responsive and easy to work with!

 

-- Charles Pilney, President

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Giant megaphone and laptop surrounded by people

 

One of the most effective ways you can make your small business stand out and generate client interest is by starting a blog for your company. Although it may seem intimidating at first, starting a blog does not have to be a complicated process.

 

Business blogging and content marketing are essential for businesses that want to thrive in a digital retailer space. Google has clearly stated that content, especially valuable content updated on a regular basis, is a key criterion to ranking in search pages.

 


 

Below are some tips and necessary steps to help you start your own business blog. But don’t forget that REM offers blog writing services to supplement your own blogging or even blog for you. Each blog is custom written for your company and ghost-written, so you get full ownership of the content.

 

1. Register a domain

The first step that you should begin with is registering a domain name. To do so, simply visit a domain registrar, type in the domain you want to purchase and pay the required fee. Remember, you won’t be able to buy any domain, only one that isn’t already registered by another business or person.

 

If you already have a business website, speak to your designer about adding a blog to your existing site. REM customers have the option to get a blogging module during their initial design or add one later. Speak to one of our sales reps to discuss your options for adding a blog to your custom business website.

 

2. Select a content management system

There are countless content management systems that you can choose for your blog.

 

Some popular options include:

 

[email protected]

REM’s own custom CMS system has all the blogging features you might need built right into the module.

 

Blogger

A free Google product that has been influential in the world of online publishing since it was established in 1999. Blogger is simple, and it can be linked with all your Google accounts.

 

Ghost

Ghost is a great choice for businesses looking for an intuitive dashboard and built-in SEO features. There is a free version of the platform, Ghost Open-Source, and a monthly subscription option for more advanced features.

 

Tumblr

Although it’s known as a social media website, Tumblr offers a user-friendly interface that’s ideal for blog posting. It’s a good choice for incorporating trending subjects and memes if you’re looking to incorporate a casual tone to your blog, and best of all, it’s free to use.

 

3. Implement an editing tool

Nobody wants to read blog posts that are filled with spelling and grammatical errors. To catch mistakes before they make it onto your site, consider implementing an editing tool. Grammarly is a reliable option, and although there is a paid version of the editing add-on, the free version will likely be enough to cover any common errors that might pop up in your blog.

 

4. Consider a content calendar

If you’re already familiar with social media calendars, then this concept isn’t much different. A content calendar for your blog would include blog post ideas, pitches, the timelines for completing each of your posts, and the publishing dates. This will help you stay organized and keep up to date with your posts.

 

5. Send out an email newsletter

Emails newsletters are an incredibly effective and simple way to get the word out to your current and potential clients about your blog. You can send out a weekly newsletter with updates about recent posts, and a sneak peek into the newest content on your blog. Consider utilizing a platform like Mailchimp to help design, set up, and schedule your newsletter.

 

[email protected] has a newsletter module which you can add on to your existing site or new custom build. Our talented, in-house, designers can make a gorgeous template and then our Customer Success Team can walk you through how to edit and send them out on a regular basis.

 

6. Use Google Analytics Dashboard

The Google Analytics Dashboard is a hugely helpful tool in helping you track and review the statistics of your blog posts. You will be able to look at information like the number of people visiting your site, where they’re located, and how long they’re staying on your web pages.

 

Speak with our Marketing Director to learn more about digital marketing and monitoring your traffic on your sites.

 

7. Write engaging content

The key to a successful blog is the content. People will not want to stay and read your posts if they’re not written well, and the subject matter isn’t engaging. Try to think outside of the box with your topics, and make sure that each post is thoroughly edited.

 

People will want to stay on your site if they see that your posts are unique, thoughtful, and offer valuable information that they would not be able to receive the same way anywhere else. Standing out in a highly competitive space can be challenging, but if you put the work in to make your content shine, you’ll start to see the benefits of prioritizing it–and your customers will be grateful for it.

 

8. Have a cohesive theme in mind

It’s necessary to have a plan of action in mind when creating your blog and to think about the goals you want to achieve in the process. You don’t want your blog to be all over the place and inconsistent, so strategize a theme, or at least central points, that you want to regularly incorporate into your posts.

 


 

Now that you know some of the basic steps, what are the benefits of starting a blog? There are a number of positive reasons you should be bringing your blog to life, but here are some of the ways your business could be benefit from a blog:

 

1. Leads

Although this is not something that will happen overnight, creating a blog is a great opportunity to generate leads. Each post you make opens the possibility of reaching a potential client, and if your content is well-written, consistent, and reliable, it’s more likely you will start accumulating people who rely on your business.

 

Building trust and authority (read more below) takes time, but it’s worth it when trying to establish your business as a trustworthy source.

 

2. Traffic

Creating blog content is an excellent way to gain more traffic on your site. Generating more content is the key to ranking high on Google. Combining business blogging with social media will increase the amount of search engine results your business receives online, and as a result, boost your website traffic.

 

3. Authority

Blogging can help establish authority for your business as a strong figure in a competitive industry. By creating an engaging blog with content that demonstrates your thorough knowledge and expertise, more and more people will look to you for advice. Even smaller brands can benefit from providing helpful information to their target audiences.

 

Once you begin sharing well-written blog posts consistently, customers will rely on your business and go to you for services and assistance. Solve minor problems for your readers, and do it for free, and soon you’ll be hired to handle bigger jobs. Show your readers you are a Subject Matter Expert.

 

4. Make more money

Not only can your blog be the perfect method to reach clients and create more traffic on your site, but you can also earn money from it as well. Monetizing your blog can be an effective way to earn more money for your business.

 

Some ways you can make money from your blog include:

 

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves showing ads on your site for outside companies. If a visitor clicks on an ad link and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission from that sale e.g., Amazon.

 

Offering private ad space

Unlike Adsense, you can provide private ad space to other companies, like Nascar sponsorships.

 

Selling digital products

With little to no cost on physical materials, you can also use your blog to sell digital products. Well-written e-books, for example, can be a lucrative resource to sell.

 

Adsense ad revenue

Adsense is a popular form of ad revenue for websites. It’s important to note that with Adsense, however, you won’t receive a lot of additional money unless your website has a large amount of visitor traffic.

 

5. Highlighting products or services

A blog can serve as a great way to highlight products or services that your business would benefit from promoting. Create blog posts about specific products breaking down their benefits and top-selling points to encourage customers to purchase them.

 

6. Expanding on your business’ values and goals

It’s not always completely clear where a business may stand on important issues or what its values and goals are from a website alone. A blog can help expand on these points and provide clarity to your audience about the things your business stands behind.

 

In a socially conscious world, an increasing number of people care about the ethics of the places they choose to do business with and blogging can be an ideal way to share these viewpoints in detail.

 

7. Showcasing your knowledge

Blogging gives business owners the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and expertise about a variety of different topics. You want to prove to your customer base and any potential clients that you are knowledgeable about your field and can provide them with the best resources to prove it.

 

8. Sharing honestly

A blog can be the ideal platform to share posts transparently and honestly. Customers highly value honest companies who are open about their policies, products, and services. Blog posts can serve as a great means to do this and engage with your audience on a more personal, down to earth level that makes them trust you more.

 

Conclusion:

Creating a business blog is one of the most effective ways to expand the potential of your online presence and stand out in the highly competitive e-commerce space. Take the opportunity to develop a blog that showcases your knowledge with unique and engaging posts and establish yourself as a top competitor in the digital marketplace world.

 

Use these tips to get your blog started, and you’ll quickly see all the benefits business blogging has to offer! If you don’t have the time to tackle this on your own, or if you want to write one post a month while we write additional ones for you, speak to an REM sales rep today to get started.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

People looking at an E-commerce platform on a mobile device

 

Starting an E-commerce website doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does require planning, clear objectives, and an understanding of consumer psychology.

 

REM’s [email protected] offers a robust E-commerce platform with a suite of tools and shipping options to help get your online store up and running correctly from the start.

 


 

If you’re interested in building a successful E-commerce business, here are some of the things you should consider before you get started.

 

1. Select a platform

When you’re setting up your E-commerce website, one of the first things you should be thinking about is what hosting platform to use. Compare online store builders and weigh your options to see which one would work best for your business. Consider template and theme options, payment processing, Amazon integration, free trials, and built-in metrics when deciding on which one to use for your product sales.

 

The software you choose should ultimately be based on your customer experience goals, so be conscious of those needs when making your decision. Sit down with an REM sales rep to see if our E-commerce platform and a beautiful custom website will work for your needs.

 

2. What to sell

Although it may seem like an obvious, basic step, but having a clear idea of what you will be selling is essential to getting your E-commerce business started. Follow what’s trending and look at social media for inspiration.

 

3. Understanding your consumers

When you begin building your E-commerce business, you should have a comprehensive understanding of who your consumer base will be. Truly knowing the buyers who will be purchasing your wares will help you understand their habits and offer what they really want to see rather than what you want to sell.

 

4. Order tracking and simple checkout

Incorporating order tracking features and a shipping system into your website can save you on resources in the long run. As well, customers will be able to track, update, or cancel their orders easily.

 

Long checkout processes are often a huge turn-off to online buyers. If they’re purchasing something digitally, then they want the process to be faster than it would be in-person. Additionally, you can include a “guest checkout” option and bypass annoying your customers by forcing them to go through a mandatory sign-up for buying products.

 

If you want to gather names and emails, e.g., for a newsletter, make sure you give your customers an enticing reason to provide their information and make an account. Offer a 5% discount or maybe a free product, or cheaper shipping for site members vs. guest accounts.

 

5. Payment

You’re more likely to see success and an increase in sales if your E-commerce business accepts all methods of electronic payment including PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay.

 

6. Social media plan

Create social media accounts for your online store to set up an additional online presence and get the word out about who you are and what you offer. This way, you’ll be able to connect on a personal level with potential consumers, advertise your products, and provide additional customer service support.

 

Create a social media plan that targets your main goals and addresses your business’ needs.

 

7. Customer support

Investing in top-notch customer service and buyer support is another crucial aspect of operating a successful E-commerce business. Live chat and Q&A features are popular options to engage with customers. Chatbots are also another feature to consider since they can provide 24/7 support when humans aren’t able to.

 

8. Mobile commerce

More and more people are opting to online shop using their phones. This is why it’s important that you optimize your website to function smoothly on mobile devices as well as on desktops. You want to create a strategy that ensures your mobile website works seamlessly between both options and buyers are able to use them easily, without any unnecessary roadblocks or errors that would prevent them from hitting the check-out button and purchasing the items in their cart.

 

9. Marketing campaigns

Marketing your E-commerce site can be one of the most challenging aspects of getting an online store off the ground. Creating a dependable marketing strategy will be essential in succeeding with your business.

 

Strike a balance with your marketing choices so you’re not relying too heavily on one strategy. Sit down with our Marketing Director to brainstorm some ideas on how to get your store noticed online. Even better, hire REM to do your digital marketing for you so you can focus on the other parts of your business.

 

10. Content management plan

Creating interesting content that users want to read is one of the most necessary steps in ensuring your online business is successful.

 

Tips to making good content:

  • Write topics that are unique and engaging to new customers
  • Make sure posts are easy to scan, and free of any errors
  • Use a conversational, friendly tone
  • Try to include interactive elements like links and videos

REM offers content and blog writing services to help improve your content. Improving your content will also help your rankings in Google. All of our content is ghost-written for your company, and you will own and can take full credit for the content.

 

11. User-friendliness

One of the most important factors of your website that you should be considering is its user-friendliness. You want your customers to be able to operate your site easily and not run into any unnecessary difficulties.

 

The longer a site takes to load, and the more challenging it is to navigate, the more likely it is that users won’t stay on it and will take their business elsewhere.

 

Tips to ensuring a website is user-friendly:

  • Keep the design simple
  • Use accessible language and a friendly tone
  • Be mindful when choosing a colour palette
  • Ensure the layout is straightforward to use
  • Place your company logo on the top left
  • Make your content easy to skim
  • Include your business’ social media icons

 

12. Security measures

If you have an E-commerce business that promises to keep your customers’ personal information safe and secure, consumers will be able to trust and rely on you. A security badge is a way to make your website dependable.

 

Avoiding retail fraud for the sake of both customers’ and sellers’ safety should be one of the largest priorities you focus on when starting your E-commerce business. Make it clear to buyers that you genuinely care about protecting their emails, passwords, and credit card numbers.

 

13. Shipping products

An overwhelming majority of shoppers will abandon their carts for online purchases before they checkout due to additional fees like high shipping costs.

 

To try and avoid buyers leaving their carts before purchase here are some things you can do:

  • Choose the best shipping method at a lower cost
  • Be clear and up-front about shipping costs from the beginning of the purchasing process
  • Offer free shipping on certain items or after a shopper spends a specific amount of money
  • Include an estimated delivery time-range

 

14. Keep an eye on prices

In order to be a top contender in a competitive online market, you will need to keep your prices at a reasonable level. Research the prices that similar businesses to yours are selling their products for to get a sense of what price range you can be selling your stock for.

 

15. Have a team in place

Having a reliable marketing team in place to support your online store can be hugely helpful in making the process of starting and operating an E-commerce business less stressful.

 

16. Post-sales

Your job isn’t over when a customer has completed a sale. It’s valuable to stay in touch with your consumers and receive feedback, while encouraging them to visit your business again. Send them reminders about good deals.

 

17. Return policies and reviews

It’s unrealistic to expect that every product you have to offer is going to work out equally for each customer. It’s beneficial to provide a reliable return and refund policy for unsatisfied customers on specific products.

 

As well, give buyers the option to leave reviews after they’ve made a confirmed purchase. This will be valuable for you in the longrun, as you will be able to read feedback about your products directly.

 

18. Email newsletters

To help push the word out about your business and make people aware of deals, membership sign-up incentives, sales, and new products, email newsletters can be an incredibly effective option to for this.

 

Include an email newsletter pop-up on your website and generate an email contact list that you update with new customer information.

 


 

Conclusion:

There are a lot of different factors to consider before starting an E-commerce business. If you follow these considerations and put careful planning into your online store, you will become a reputable shop that consumers can rely on and trust.

 

Speak with an REM sales rep to get started with your very own custom E-commerce website to really show off your products and wow your customers.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

A lined, yellow note that says 'learn how to say no' on a red background

 

Being a people pleaser may seem like a positive trait, but it can also come with downsides. People pleasers often have trouble saying “no,” and as a result, end up doing more than they have the time or capacity for.

 

Although it’s valuable to help your co-workers and employees when they need it, it isn’t worth going beyond your personal limits until you’re left with little energy to focus on your own tasks. Learning to say no when you need to can be difficult when you’re a people-pleaser, but there are ways you can start setting more boundaries in the workplace.

 


 

Try some of these tips below.

 

1. Be polite but firm

If someone approaches you with a task that you know you won’t be able to do, you don’t need to immediately resort to giving a defensive or harsh “no” as a response to make the other person back down. Be polite but make it clear to the person you’re speaking with that your answer is firm and does not leave any unnecessary room for debate.

 

When in doubt, keep it simple and to the point. A basic “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to do that right now,” is typically the perfect way to approach a request that you don’t want or have the time to take on. Most people will be able to understand and respect your decision if you’re clear and unshakable from the start.

 

2. Don’t always feel the need to justify your “no”

It can be challenging for people-pleasers to not immediately resort to giving longwinded justifications when they turn down a request at work. Although it can be helpful to provide context to some queries that are brought to your attention, specifically for larger, more complicated tasks, it isn’t always necessary.

 

For smaller requests specifically, don’t go out of your way to give a long list of excuses as to why you can’t do something. Sometimes, a straightforward “no” is all you need to put a personal boundary in place at work.

 

3. Prioritize time for yourself

If you notice that you’re starting to feel exceedingly overwhelmed and are finding it difficult to manage your day-to-day tasks, consider prioritizing time for yourself. You’re more prone to end up in uncomfortable situations or feeling burnt out at work when you’re not focusing on your own needs and putting your co-workers’ desires ahead your own.

 

If you take the time to focus on your mental health and overall wellbeing, you will likely feel more capable and confident to tackle the requests that come your way. Saying “no” won’t feel as difficult or guilt-inducing, and you may want to freely say “yes” more often if you can manage your time more effectively.

 

4. Take time to think about it

It can be an easy habit to slip into when you want to keep everyone around you happy and pleased with your work performance but saying “yes” immediately to every person who asks you to do something is not always a smart move. And the same can be said for saying “no” right away to certain requests as well.

 

There’s no harm in taking some time to think about what’s being asked of you. Ask yourself some questions, especially if what the person is requesting isn’t a simple task:

  • Do I really have the proper amount of time to dedicate to this?
  • Is this going to take time away from my own to-do list?
  • Am I doing this because I genuinely want to, or because saying “no” would make me feel guilty?
  • Does this person genuinely need my help and is just asking for a favour, or are they taking advantage of my willingness to assist them?

If you make a point to ask yourself these questions when someone wants you to do something for them, it will help you reach a reasonable conclusion that won’t leave you regretting your answer later. So, the next time a co-worker comes to you with a request, consider responding with something like this: “I will think about it and get back to you by the end of the day.”

 

5. Acknowledge the other side

As you learn how to say “no” more, don’t forget to remain as empathetic and compassionate as possible. You don’t want to needlessly step on any toes and negatively impact your workplace relationships unintentionally. Acknowledge the other person’s perspective and try to express that you understand where they’re coming from.

 

While this step is not necessary for every instance of saying “no,” it can be helpful for specific situations where a kinder approach is needed. Even something as simple as stating “I know that this is not the answer you were hoping for” can help lessen the potential blow of turning down the task that’s being asked.

 

6. Adjust your own expectations

Sometimes, even if you do everything “right” and approach these situations with nuance and graciousness, people may still respond negatively. It is important to recognize that many people will not always react positively when they hear ‘no’ and it may have nothing to do with you at all. Try not to look too much into an unfavorable response from a help-seeker or take it personally. More often than not, they’re likely just frustrated, and their reaction has little to do with you at all.

 

It’s far more constructive and beneficial to set any needed boundaries instead of going against your limits to appease others out of fear that they won’t like you. Handling rejection is a part of life, especially at work, and you can’t always control how people react to it, even if you do everything you can to lessen the blow from the refusal.

 

7. Practice as much as you can

You won’t be able to turn down requests well if you don’t get yourself used to doing it. Even if it seems silly, take the time to practice saying “no” out loud. Try talking out hypothetical scenarios to yourself behind closed doors, or even work on it with a friend or trusted colleague.

 

This can help you work on your tone and your initial reaction. After all, like most other communication skills, learning to say no needs practice and can be refined over time if you do your best to improve it.

 

8. Compromise or propose an alternative

Although this option is not always a necessary, it can be useful to offer a compromise or propose an alternative instead of ending a proposal with a simple “no.” Ask the person if there are other small ways you can be helpful in that specific situation, suggest a brainstorming session with them later, or mention a better time they could approach you with the request.

 

If you offer someone a lifeline, it will convey an attitude that indicates you still care about them and their needs, while not completely giving in and letting go of your own boundaries.

 

9. Be authentic and honest

Most people can tell if you’re forcing out a fake response or coming up with a lie on the spot to get out of something you don’t want to do. While you don’t always owe someone a detailed response when you’re not able to do a task for them, it can be a polite courtesy to give a brief explanation as to why you are not able to help that person out.

 

It can be useful for them as much as it is for you. They may gain a perspective they had never considered before, which may positively affect how they approach you with similar requests in the future. Sincerity is far more likely to guide a situation to an agreeable conclusion than dishonesty.

 

10. Recognize your limits

Similarly to the importance of prioritizing time for yourself, it’s essential to recognize your personal limits. Consider saying “yes” to one or two people for smaller tasks but turn down any additional requests you receive that week or people coming to you with larger projects that you know you won’t have time for if you agree to do them.

 

Once you begin to acknowledge your own limitations instead of instinctively taking on every request that’s brought to you, you will be able to properly recognize when you’re able to help others without sacrificing your health or performance in the process.

 


 

Remember:

 

Do:

  1. Be polite and offer alternatives when the situation requires it.
  2. Critically think about if you have the time and/or the mental bandwidth to dedicate to the request that’s being asked of you.
  3. Practice saying no out loud – it will eventually become easier the more you do it.

Don’t:

  1. Be rude or use a hesitant tone when you respond.
  2. Feel the need to lie or give excessive, drawn-out excuses that are insincere.
  3. Tiptoe around your true feelings in order to keep the other person happy. Stand your ground while being honest and respectful.

 

Conclusion:

Saying “no” can be a hard thing to do for people who are used to taking on every request – no matter what the consequences are for their personal limits and schedules. If you start to apply these tips, turning down help-seekers won’t be so difficult when you need to prioritize yourself.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Craftsmen Hardwoods website on a computer monitor

 

About

Craftsmen Hardwoods has been servicing the Ontario market since 1996 as a distributor of hardwood, softwood, plywood, cabinet hardware and accessories. Craftsmen started out in a 2,700 Quonset hut and has grown into a 35,000 square foot climate-controlled warehouse.  Craftsmen strives to earn the privilege to do business with our customers through a customer service mindset.

 

Craftsmen Hardwoods's Main Contact: Rob Weber - Owner

No. of Employees: 21 employees

Established: Established October of 1996

Location: 34 Drayton Industrial Drive, Drayton Ontario

 

Visit Craftsmen Hardwoods's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

After vetting 4 different website developers, we concluded that REM best understood our vision for the website. Rob was professional to work with, yet not pushy or aggressive. We also knew that a website we envisioned would be expensive, however REM’s quote was very competitive. We liked their portfolio and felt confident they would be able to bring our vision to reality.

 

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

Working with REM has been a good experience overall. Being in the wood industry, technology is not our strong suit! They were very patient working with us and did well to explain when we had questions. REM comes through with getting things done and making changes as we ask. We really appreciated having a single contact person for each step of the process. Rob, Sean, Shauna and Colleen have been great to work with.

 

 

 

We really appreciated having a single contact person for each step of the process.

 

-- Rob Weber - Owner

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: [email protected]

Support: [email protected]

 

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People doing charitable things with the Earth and a heart behind them

 

A growing number of consumers are placing increased importance on the social responsibility of businesses, and believe that it’s the duty of corporations to leave a positive, significant impact on the world.

 

In turn, this line of thinking can also benefit businesses. More and more people are willing to spend money for sustainable products that are from socially conscious companies, and as a result, they trust the brands that make them available.

 

It’s becoming common for even the largest corporations to advertise and market their social activism, while making a profit from it in the process. Consumers now look for it in the companies they choose to do business with, and an increasing number of organizations are adapting in order to reflect those expectations.

 


 

Read the strategies below to learn about how your business can become more socially responsible.

 

1. Take care of the local community

Take a critical look at your local community’s needs, and as a company become involved in causes that will leave a positive influence. An organization who is active within their community and participates in local events, charity drives, and fundraisers, is more likely to be perceived positively and be regarded as an authentic presence who is reliable and trustworthy.

 

As well, holding a strong presence in the community will likely draw more attention from potential local clients and bring in more business. If people have already formed positive perceptions of your company based on your public activity, it’s reasonable to assume they would also want to use your services.

 

2. Create goals with a measurable impact

If you want to become a socially responsible company, you need to create and set goals with a measurable impact. By establishing goals that leave a significant impression, it helps organizations be accountable to themselves, their consumers, and stakeholders.

 

3. Promote a healthy and inclusive workplace culture

One of the most crucial aspects of social responsibility starts internally, with your own workplace culture and community. Organizations who prioritize this aspect cultivate work environments where their employees can thrive and excel at what they do.

 

Promote a culture that highly values the overall wellness of employees and prioritize high-visibility training efforts to encourage inclusivity. This is a big step in the right direction to maximize shareholder value by giving companies the chance to communicate their values and beliefs across stakeholder segments.

 

However, it’s necessary to note that a positive company environment doesn’t begin and end at one training session and will require a more expansive and involved strategy.

 

4. Give back to a charity

Philanthropic practices and giving back to charities is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. Finding the causes that truly make a difference in the world to invest in proves to people that you put thought and care into your choices as a company.

 

Striking up a partnership with a charity that matches your company’s values and beliefs can take time and careful consideration. If you find the right fit, you have the option to create a meaningful relationship that’s mutually valuable.

 

With a give-back program for charity, for example, you can motivate your employees, as well as people within the local community, to choose your business based on that partnership alone.

 

5. Solicit Feedback

If you want to become a socially responsible company, consider soliciting feedback from your employees, customers, and people in the community. Brands who actively listen to the feedback they receive can take control of situations and maximize stakeholder value.

 

As well, when companies engage in constructive conversations about how they can improve, it proves to their consumer base that they value their input and are seriously committed to moving in the right direction as an organization.

 


 

So, how can your company benefit from being more socially responsible? Here are just a few ways your business can see success from becoming more socially conscious, in terms of reputation and employee perception.

 

1. Employee retention

It’s not hard to figure out that employees who are happy with their workplace culture and values are more likely to stay with that company than to change from job to job. Staying connected and serving “the greater good” is something those millennial employees especially place a large amount of importance on in their place of work.

 

Providing staff with a brand they can proudly represent and stand behind that goes beyond profit value is simply effective marketing–if an employee is satisfied with what they do, they’re more likely to spread the word about that company to people they know. Many companies are now leveraging their “work perks” alongside salaries as added incentives to new hires. Whether that’s by offering “mental health days,” office upgrade “allowances,” or additional paid vacation time, it’s becoming more commonplace for organizations to tout their additional work bonuses.

 

Along with the common work incentives mentioned above that are becoming more mainstream like flexible hours and hybrid, off-site work models, a powerful brand mission can be incredibly helpful in attracting and retaining talented workers. Keeping your employees happy, motivated, and content can be achieved if you provide them with the right opportunities to take pride in their work and the company, they’re doing it for.

 

2. Community reputation

Building a positive community reputation can do wonders for your business overall. Not only does it encourage more customers to choose to support your brand, but it also encourages them to give their business to you if they grow to respect and trust your brand. A good reputation can generate more community backing on a smaller scale.

 

Attending your business’ events and following and engaging with your social media accounts are just a few examples of how a positive reputation in your community can leave a recognizable impact on your organization.

 

Participating in local events and fundraisers like charity marathons also serve as team-building exercises for your employees. You’re taking the opportunity as a business to work together to raise money for a worthwhile cause, creating public exposure for your workplace that promotes a positive, charitable image to the community, and you’re engaging in an activity that encourages your team to socialize outside of a formal work setting.

 

3. Playing the long game

Socially responsible companies who are committed to their values and goals are more likely to succeed in the long-term. If a company values the wellbeing of their employees and makes an honest effort to adapt to changing expectations surrounding worker welfare, then it’s safe to assume that retention is less likely to become an issue.

 

Additionally, making a commitment to having ongoing, honest conversations with stakeholders can build a strong foundation and clear path for becoming a leading company, and a socially responsible company compared to your competition.

 

If you commit to becoming a socially responsible business, your consumer base will appreciate you all the more for it, and your longstanding reputation will ideally reflect that as well.

 

4. Changing market expectations

Even the most profit-driven businesses are now keeping up the appearance of being socially responsible companies. Big box stores are introducing lines of organic, sustainable products, and are promoting their involvement with various charities and support of social movements.

 

Falling in-line with socially responsible business practices and marketing is quickly becoming the norm, so it’s better for your business in the long-run to keep up with the developing expectations of modern consumers.

 

5. Positive social media presence

Socially responsible companies generally have a successful social media presence and a dedicated audience to go along with it. Social media accounts are an excellent place to share your brand’s initiatives, goals, and involvement within the local community in a way that’s straightforward and accessible.

 

As well, if your business maintains a communicative and honest relationship with users on your social pages by answering questions, engaging in dialogue about important issues and causes, then you’re likely to leave a positive impression on potential consumers.

 

The mark you make on social media is crucial in the day and age we live in, and people are looking to corporations and businesses to use their platforms for good, reputable causes. No longer are business pages solely looked to for sharing only products and services, rather, they’re often treated and expected to serve as a mouthpiece for activism as well.

 

Speaking out against injustices, sharing company policies and practices, and treating your socials like an advertisement for the valuable work you’re doing won’t go unnoticed by socially inclined customers.

 


 

Conclusion:

Forging a commitment to becoming a socially responsible company is something that will take time, effort, and careful consideration. If you approach these goals with the right mindset, however, you are going to benefit from becoming a more well-rounded business who prioritizes important causes, and advocates for the overall happiness of your employees.

 

So, try out these tips if you’re looking to make your business become more socially responsible!

 

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Red maple leaves in the background with the text 'happy Canada day' in the middle

 

From all of us at REM Web Solutions, we wish everyone a Happy Canada Day!

 

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Man working on a laptop outside

 

Over the course of the pandemic, people across the globe had to adjust to working from home. As we transition back to more normal business operations, companies are now starting to adopt a hybrid working model for their employees.

 

More and more people are not only working from home or at the office, but from other locations as well. Enter: the third workplace. Remote work has seen a boom in popularity in places like cafes and coffee houses. Although a common choice for people who are accustomed to remote work, the third workplace has seen a big boom in popularity lately.

 

Here’s why it’s important for companies to know more about them and the potential they hold.

 

What is a third workplace?

Third workplaces are locations where people go to work that are not their physical office or their home. A third workplace can pretty much be anything but is most commonly a coffee shop, hotel, or co-working space.

 

With remote work becoming more commonplace, third workplaces have turned into ideal spots for people who may not need to go into their office but also don’t want to work from home. A spot like a coffee house offers the hustle and bustle of people and relaxed interaction, with a controlled environment to get work done–and the bonus of accessible caffeine on hand if you desire it.

 

Because of their popularity, business owners have the potential to seize a possible opportunity for additional income with third workplaces. In small towns and rural areas especially, more people will be looking for spots away from their own homes to get their work done during the day. Here is where you come in.

 

What do you need to set up a workplace?

A new line of income could be created for a small business with any space that can be rented out and adapted into an area for people to work. You want to create an environment that’s desirable for people to go to for their daily tasks. Many workers would rather travel to a third workplace instead of staying at home because they crave a change in scenery, desire more interaction and interpersonal connections, wish to stay connected with the local community, or simply require a controlled environment to focus on the work they need to complete for the day.

 

Luckily, setting up a third workplace does not need to be too complicated and you don’t need an overabundance of supplies in order to get started. Think about the basic needs of the average worker, and what helps people concentrate and be productive.

 

Some items and assets to consider:

  • Comfortable seating
  • Desks or sturdy tables
  • Wifi
  • Unobtrusive lighting that isn’t too bright (no one likes working under harsh, fluorescent lights if they can help it)

 

Most of the elements associated with a third workplace are negotiable. You can draw inspiration from other popular spots that people like to go to do their work, but the most important thing is that the essentials are in place for people to take advantage of. Most individuals won’t be hung up on the minor details and will be more focused on the overall space and their ability to work on what they need to get done.

 

Even if other co-working spaces exist in your area, you can turn your third workplace into your own. Make it reflective of your personality and figure out what kind of vibe you want to go for. Different people prefer different working environments. Some may like noisy coffee shops, and formal business locations, while others may enjoy a quiet library or a homey, relaxed spot. Figure out what theme resonates with you the most and go from there.

 

It’s not just about leisure

Although they’re often looked at as a leisurely place to escape from work and home, third workplaces aren’t just about relaxation. They’re also about productivity. A blend of the office and home without all the typical distractions that make those locations more difficult to work in.

 

A neutral third workplace is whatever you desire it to be. A spot where people don’t have to worry about taking calls around their screaming kids or overhear their coworkers in the middle of other distracting calls while they’re trying to get a project completed. Third workplaces could quickly become the sanctuary people need to be more efficient with their work during the day.

 

The future of hybrid work

The pandemic certainly taught many companies that it is possible to function successfully as a business with employees follow a remote or hybrid model of work. What was once a trendy new term and special incentive or perk for select workplaces is now quickly evolving into a new normal for many companies.

 

Hybrid work is now more than just a trending term. It’s indicative of a larger shift that’s happening with the way people approach work, the most efficient way people want to reach productivity goals and increase employee satisfaction in the process. To highlight the monumental scale of this trend, 65 percent of companies now want a hybrid working model moving forward.

 

It’s crucial for businesses to consider what this model of work will mean for their company and employees in the future.

 

The benefits of a hybrid work model

The 2020s saw a large number of employees show preference to remote work options, and many want to keep them in place. The middle-ground approach of a hybrid working model offers the benefits of both in-person and remote work, while keeping both sides of the employer-employee relationship happy.

 

There are also added benefits to this work choice as well. Employees are typically more satisfied when they are given the freedom to choose where they work. From an employer standpoint, companies save on costs when hybrid work models result in lower turnover rates, and office expenses are lessened as a result.

 

Hybrid working models can also address a critical problem that was seen during the pandemic: isolation. Employees are still given the choice to work away from the office, but there is also a social component that allows for group collaboration and discussion with face-to-face interactions that aren’t through a Zoom call or over a cubicle wall.

 

Potential issues with third workplaces

Although there are many benefits to a hybrid working model and the concept of third workplaces, they aren’t without their downsides as well.

 

Hybrid work and third workplaces open the possibility for security holes in organizations. It also presents the issue of working from personal devices instead of using company software. Many businesses are still not at a place where they can properly handle this problem effectively. The question stands, how can you provide access to confidential information to employees working in remote locations who are using personal devices?

 

Many employees also hold the expectation that they will be doing work at third workplaces from their own devices instead of company owned computers, which presents a set of challenges for the business-side of operations attempting to tackle the hybrid working model.

 

Conclusion

With hybrid working models becoming the new normal for organizations, it’s a smart decision to investigate the value of investing in a third workplace to gain an additional income. As well, they hold a lot of potential benefits for your employees if used correctly and can drastically increase worker satisfaction.

 

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