Is Stress Affecting Your Performance?

Ultimate Bliss (Vernita Naylor)
Ultimate Bliss (Vernita Naylor)

What is so different from the lives of our parents or the generation of yesteryear?  What has changed is our way of living?  If you look at the lifestyle of the 1800s, 1900s to even the year 2000 you will notice grave differences from our social life to our eating habits.  Now add technology to today’s lifestyle it is supposed to make things better for everyone but does it?

As I was listening to Dave Ross on KCBS he had a story about how some employers are tracking their employees using a bio-tracker wrist band.  Now wait, you may say why is this?  Well, believe it or not it is for monitoring their employees’ stress levels.

As a business owner my question to you is how is your stress level?  What have either your employees or customers said about you?  How is your customer service both internal (with your employees) and external (with your customers)?  A lot of times you can determine the stress level of a company upon walking within the facilities or talking with them on the phone.  The demeanor, reaction or conversation within these companies says a lot.  As Marcus Lemonis (The Profit) says if your People, Product, and Process is solid then no problem but if one of these elements are lacking then WARNING, WARNING, WARNING (Remember Lost In Space)!

I hope that you or your employees do not have to wear bio-tracker wrist bands to determine the levels of stress within your company.  Determine where your customer services lies by surveying both your internal and external customers on a quarterly basis; you will be surprised by the results.  Remember, uncontrolled high stress levels are not only bad for your health but could mean you losing customers and no longer being in business.

Connect with me at Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup), @JEGroupBizLinkedIn, Facebook to see what we are doing next, receive consulting or training services, speaking engagements or for copies of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting for your business or certification program.

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)

“Don’t think small, think business” Vernita Naylor

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Do You Need To Hire An Independent Worker?

Along the Pathway (Vernita Naylor - JEGroup)
Along the Pathway (Vernita Naylor – JEGroup)

Subcontract, Contractor, Intern and now the Independent Worker it’s all in the name.  Whatever you call your temporary workforce it’s important to know what you are getting.  As I was listening to The Osgood Files it was stated that the independent worker is on the rise.  This workforce has the desire for freedom, irregular working hours and has no allegiance to a company unlike their counterparts the Subcontractor, Contractor or Intern.

As a business owner you have to constantly plan your projects, deadlines and costs and each phase rests upon the workforce in place to get the job done.  If you have the time you may want to consider hiring an intern.  This could be a win-win depending upon how you look at it because the intern will be learning on the job receiving needed education and training while keeping your chosen industry flourishing and relevant for generations to come.  Some internships are at no or low costs but a lot of training on your end may be required.  Additionally, you may be taking on some unforeseen risks in your timeline and deliverables tasks.

If you are in need of a more robust team with more regularity then a contractor could be the way to go.  If there is more accountability requirements on a project and more stability is needed then consider a subcontractor.  A subcontracting arrangement could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship because you can then begin to create a partnership that can be set  for those special future projects.  If none of these options excites you and you are looking for a workforce just to fill in for those special occasions such as the Holidays then hiring an independent worker may hit the spot.  Whatever avenues you decide to embark upon take the time to choose wisely.

Connect with me at Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup), @JEGroupBizLinkedIn, Facebook to see what we are doing next, receive consulting or training services, speaking engagements or for copies of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting for your business or certification program.

GTC at Alexander Books (SF) 2

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)

“Don’t think small, think business” Vernita Naylor

BUSINESS ENHANCEMENTS

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Photo Courtesy: Vernita Naylor (JEGroup)

As the year is ending there are so many things that still need to get done. One thing that comes to mind is training.  Training is extremely important to the growth and maintenance of your business.  There is a plethora of training platforms to choose from.  But what type of training to choose is the rub?

First, let’s discuss training platforms.  For your training pleasure you can take training in a variety of ways from webinars, Periscope and in-class to on-demand.  The type of training that you choose all depends upon your budget and availability.

Secondly, if there is a restriction on either your time or budget no worries there are a lot of classes designed especially for you.  If you are looking for something quick and power-packed consider taking an on-demand, webinar or Periscope type training session.  If you have the time and resources and desire a little more personal interaction consider attending a seminar or conference based upon ideal needs.

Lastly, training should not be looked upon as an inconvenience or a time waster.  Begin looking at training as a way of staying in compliance, growing your business or looking for ways to work smarter and not harder.  As you change your mind about it, your process will change as well.

Do it today by finding a training platform that works for you before the Holidays kick in.  And while you are at it schedule time to take some more training in the first quarter of the following year.  This will help you to get a head start into the arena of scheduling your training sessions and in being on your way to scaling up.

Connect with me at Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup), @JEGroupBizLinkedIn, Facebook to see what we are doing next, receive consulting or training services, speaking engagements or for copies of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting for your business or certification program.

GTC at Alexander Books (SF) 2

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)

“Don’t think small, think business” Vernita Naylor

ARE YOU PROTECTED?

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With Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Periscope, PayPal, Hangout and Google Wallet within the marketplace there are so many technological tools to choose from for so many uses. With the advancement of technology that is designed to make our lives easier it is also making it easier for hackers as well.  How are you protecting yourself?

Here are some quick tips to help you stay above the curb of getting hacked despite the technology tools that you are using:

  1. Social Media – change your log-in passwords frequently. A good practice that could be somewhat cumbersome is to do the log in updates on a quarterly basis.
  2. Computer – (especially a PC) choose a reliable virus protection software like Norton Virus to help safeguard against computer intrusions. A good practice is to run the diagnostic report, live update, file cleanup and optimize disk on a bi-monthly basis depending upon your usage. Run the quick and full scan on a regular basis.  If you are a heavy Facebook user there is a scanning tool just for that.  Or you can customize your scan it is all up to you.  Whatever you do scan to protect your computer.
  3. For your website choose a hosting company that provides daily scanning and remediation services. Or you can look into a software program such as Sucuri or Site Lock to provide additional protection for your website.
  4. If you are using WordPress for your website back office make sure that you are familiar with the plug-ins to know which ones are ideal for you. Be careful about the plug-ins that you choose because it could cause your website to experience some technical difficulties.  These plug-ins are not designed specifically by WordPress but by third-party programmers so use them with caution.

I am sure that you can think of several other ways to safeguard yourself online but regardless of whatever you choose do so wisely.   Do your due diligence to avoid getting hacked.

Connect with me at Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup), @JEGroupBizLinkedIn, Facebook to see what we are doing next, receive consulting or training services, speaking engagements or for copies of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting for your business or certification program.

VNaylor Original 1 Cheek Cup_MG_1853 3.12.14 (Dawson Imagery)

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)

“Don’t think small, think business” says Vernita Naylor.

Top 100 at Google Washington, D.C. (Series 7)

Google Washington, D.C.

I wanted to save Google for last because their presence was felt and known throughout our three days in Washington, D.C. so welcome to Series 7. I was shocked to learn that they had a Google Washington, D.C. office and it was beautifully set up. On Day 2 we ended the day with a Google hosted Awards Program and Reception. This was such a great treat because not only were we able to get a chance to visit one of their many offices but we got a chance to celebrate the success of three businesses as they received the 2015 Small Business Award. Please join us in celebrating with Virginia McAllister, Iron Horse Architects who received the Technological Innovation Award; Chancee Lundy and Veronica Davis, Nspiregreen who received the Community Development Award and Beverly Hanstrom, Colorado Medical Waste who received the Sustainability Award. Congratulations ladies for helping to make this world a better, greener and sustainable place to live. If you want to read more about these ladies click here. Afterwards the party was on with great networking, music and excellent food. What a great way to end a business day.

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At the end of Day 3 we attended a Google Technology Training. The training “Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map” is designed to help business owners maximize their online presence with insider tips and best practices for online marketing. Here’s an overview about the training and how the program works visit https://www.gybo.com/business. On the business page you will see either “Check My Business” or see a search box with “Does Your Business Info Show Up On Google?” enter your business name and city. Your entry will determine if you already have a business presence on Google Maps. If so your information will populate quickly like Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) did then you will have the ability to edit the information if needed.

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If your business does not currently exist on Google Maps you will see “Your Business Isn’t On The Map” then you will have the ability to add your business name and city. Once you have taken these steps you are on your way to enhancing your online presence using Google. In some cities you may have the opportunity to attend a Google Hosted Event designed to help you leverage your business online, create a free website and much more. If you are a business owner and interested in learning how Google can help you grow your business there are a wide array of tools and/or resources available visit Google Apps for Work.

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If you are one of the Business Capacity Building Partners such as SCORE, SBDC or one of the Chambers of Commerce there is a program designed for you visit https://www.gybo.com/partners. As a part of this effort your organization will be considered a Google Official City Partner where you will have the ability to help businesses within your area to scale up and maximize their online presence with free resources and hosted workshops using Google tools. As business owners there are a lot of tools and resources available to help us in our businesses ask for a referral in your network or social group.

Once again thanks to John Arensmeyer, the Small Business Majority team and Google for such a great wealth of information, networking and the opportunity to be chosen as one of the Top 100 Small Pioneering Businesses Nationwide. This is our last series of the Small Business Leadership Summit and if you missed any of the Summit Series you still have time to catch up: Small Business Leadership Summit Mixer (Series 1), Access to Capital (Series 2), Technology and Minority Entrepreneurship (Series 3), Taxes and the Economy (Series 4), Chat with Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) (Series 5) and Summit at The White House (Series 6). If you have any comments and/or questions about the Small Business Leadership Summit 7-Part Series please contact us at services@jabezenterprisegroup.com.

Connect with us @JEGroupBiz on Twitter, or Jabez Enterprise Group on LinkedIn or Facebook to see what we are doing next or to see your post. For economic development for your business’ growth pick up your copy of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting today in paperback or on Kindle.

If you need a consultant to help take you to the next level in your business or need some training on supplier certification programs, building supplier-buyer-prime relationships or on government contracting call us at 1-800-865-0701 or email services@jabezenterprisegroup.com remember these services are designed to help you with your ideal corporate or government partners.

We appreciate you taking the time to connect with us and look forward to connecting with you again soon.

VNaylor Original 1 Cheek Cup_MG_1853 3.12.14 (Dawson Imagery)

Vernita Naylor Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group  (JEGroup)
Author, Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps

All photos courtesy of Vernita Naylor, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) Unless Otherwise Noted.

Small Business Leadership Summit 2015 Taxes and the Economy (Series 4)

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SERIES 4 – DAY 2 NATIONAL PRESS CLUB Welcome to Series 4 where we will talk about taxes and the economy but before we begin make sure that you get a chance to read Small Business Leadership Summit Mixer (Series 1), Access to Capital (Series 2) and Technology and Minority Entrepreneurship (Series 3).  As we are heading midway through the series we want to say thank you to the Small Business Majority team for such a great honor in being a part of the Small Business Leadership Summit 2015.  The Summit provided the business owners a wealth of information that has been instrumental in helping us to scale up in our business efforts.

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On Day 2, we are still at the National Press Club as the series continues and we are halfway done with our day.  Let’s hear what is being said about taxes and the economy from a business owner’s perspective in Panel 2.  Panel 2: Taxes, Budget and the Economy: Creating the Environment for Small Businesses to Thrive facilitated by J.D. Harrison, Small Business Reporter, Washington Post and including Mike Roach, Co-Owner, Paloma Clothing; Mike Brey, Owner, Hobby Works; Bill Beach, Chief Economist Senate Budget Committee, Republican Staff; Professor Caroline Bruckner, Executive in Residence, Accounting and Taxation Managing Director, Kogod Tax Center, Kogod School of Business, American University; and Evan Schatz, Staff Director Ranking Member Patty Murray, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.

Each legal business structure (sole proprietor, limited liability and corporation) has its benefits and it all depends upon several factors from State location and type of goods or services provided, to your vision and goals for the business. This panel addresses a concern that Sam Hughes, President, Capital Real Estate Group had in his letter to me for the Summit, the tax rate.  Here are some highlights of what was discussed in Panel 2:

  • Mike Roach, Co-Owner, Paloma Clothing indicated that sole proprietors should be treated like any other business structure because they are operating similar to other business types;
  • The national tax codes should be changed to be beneficial to all business types and to help level the playing field. We as business owners know that these codes are put in place to do the opposite and are more beneficial to big businesses. Do your part and get your voices heard by contacting your State representative;
  • Several major online retailers are getting benefits due to the Marketplace Fairness Act while small business owners are being taxed heavily for the goods or services that they provide;
  • What is the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA)? According to the MFA Website: The Marketplace Fairness Act provides the authority for online and catalog retailers-despite its location-to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction – as in a storefront retailer transaction.  The caveat is that States are only granted this authority after they have simplified their sales tax laws. To see more visit http://marketplacefairness.org/what-is-the-marketplace-fairness-act/
  • States have fiscal pressure by raising taxes but should it be on the backs of small businesses that in some cases can’t hide behind corporate tax laws?

For economic growth and development what type of CRM or SAP tools are you using?  If you don’t know what CRM or SAP tools are you should? Systems Applications Products (SAP) is the umbrella in which other software components such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) reside.  These software systems are designed to help your business run efficiently.  Especially if you are a mobile company and continually on the go or working in the field.  Having access to these types of resources are ideal.  The type of software that you need depends upon your business type.  Here are some benefits for using these types of tools:

  • Inventory
  • Sales management
  • Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Tracking
  • Marketing
  • And Much Much More

In today’s market it is best to work smarter and not harder, why not start today with a simple adjustment beginning with your tablet or even your smart phone.  Tell us what tool that you are using to incorporate into your business to scale up?  We would love to hear from you. Of all of the submittals we will choose a few comments to post, will it be yours?

Connect with us @JEGroupBiz on Twitter, or Jabez Enterprise Group on LinkedIn or Facebook to see what we are doing next or to see your post.  For economic development for your business’ growth don’t forget to pick up your copy of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting today.

VNaylor Original 1 Cheek Cup_MG_1853 3.12.14 (Dawson Imagery)

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner Jabez Enterprise Group  (JEGroup)
Author, Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps

All photos courtesy of Vernita Naylor, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) Unless Otherwise Noted.

How are you getting your education?

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VNaylor Revised_MG_1853 3.12.14 (Dawson Imagery) bwJoin me, Vernita Naylor and a panel of experts (City of Richmond, UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab) for Richmond Main Street ‘Business Bites’ on April 16, 11-1pm at the Catholic Charities of the East Bay.  Registration is required for more information click here Business Bites 4.16.2015–Flyer (Richmond Main Street).

Get the Cheese, Avoid the TrapsAfter the workshop I will be signing my latest book, Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting which is a step-by-step guide to help you better leverage your business, certification, and understand how to partner with both government and corporate entities using your goods or services.  See you there!