Tuesday, July 30, 2013

“Small Business Spotlight” - Joe Soltis and Soltis Consulting!

As a slight departure from the usual “Small Business Spotlight” article, I am taking this week to feature and congratulate Joe Soltis and his company, Soltis Consulting, on 19 Years in Business!

Joe started Soltis Consulting in August 1994.  With over 25 years experience, Joe uses his skills and business acumen to help other Small Business Owners achieve their goals.

Joe considers himself as part of a team with every client.  He helps to oversee their “day-to-day” business operations, as well as develop new business.

Soltis Consulting focuses on creating “streamlined business operations” for each client.  Their services include business development and planning, organizational process development, financial resource management, training, and much more.

Each client can be assured that Soltis Consulting will provide them with a strategic program tailored to their needs.  Joe can assist with everything from basic business services to a more in-depth program covering lead generation and and sales.  He will even help create and implement automated accounting systems.

Joe is also a huge proponent for Small Business.  He publishes an online newspaper, “Small Business Owner Weekly Review”.  Each edition features many articles of interest to the Small Business owner.  The topics cover business strategy and operations, business structure, and much more.

 A prolific writer, Joe writes many articles throughout the year geared toward educating and encouraging other Small Business Owners.  He shares these articles on many of his Social Media platforms.  His blog can be found at http://soltisconsulting1.wordpress.com/ .  As always, his focus is on promoting communication and sharing knowledge.

According to Joe;
“Communication is one of the most basic functions of management in any organization, and the importance can never be over emphasized.”

On a personal note:  Joe Soltis has been a wonderful friend.  He was one of the first to welcome me when I entered the world of Facebook, and he regularly contacts me with help, suggestions, a pep talk, or just to chat.  I have found his commitment to helping other small business owners unparalleled.

I encourage you to learn more about Joe Soltis and his business, Soltis Consulting, through the links in this article and the links below.  You are sure to find information and tips to help you with your Small Business.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SoltisConsulting
Email:  soltisconsulting@gmail.com

And once again, Congratulations Joe and Soltis Consulting for 19 years in business......and we all hope for many more!

Authored by

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Monday, July 29, 2013

8 Easy Tips to Help You Take a Vacation ~ and Why You Should!

As we take a week off after the holidays, it is time once again to share our tips on how we manage to "break away" from our Small Business and how you can too......

Are You Planning to Take a Vacation? Many “Solopreneurs” would answer with a resounding “No”! And just as many would probably continue that by saying “and I don’t plan to”!

We have learned and put into practice 8 Steps that you can take to both create the time you need and help you organize your business so you can relax while you are away.

The reality is that any steps you take now to reduce your workload and pre-schedule what is necessary will help.

You will Need To:
  • Decide When 
The important thing is to choose a time that works well for you and your business. You can lessen the impact of taking time off by opting for a slow time of year.  Our best time usually happens to be summer and major holidays. That is traditionally when businesses are not interviewing or hiring. No matter what time you choose, put it in your calendar. Treat it as you would an important appointment.
  • Defer and/or Complete Outstanding Projects 
Any projects that are not vital you can choose to put off until your return. Those that are important, or near completion, will require extra hours to finish before you leave. Besides freeing your calendar, this also helps lessen your stress so you can relax during your vacation.
via Kimberly Kline, Access Profiles, Inc.
  • Organize 
We suggest you notify your clients at least 2 weeks in advance of your vacation if at all possible. Offer to do what you can before you leave and reconnect with them when you return, with ample notice this should not be a problem.
  • Hire a Virtual Assistant or Contract Employee  
At API we have never utilized this tip, but it can make sense if your business requires it. Keep in mind that hiring either a virtual assistant or “seasonal” employee would require you to take the time to rearrange your schedule and bring your hire up to speed.
  • Pre-Schedule Your Social Media Posts or Blogs 
Here is where using Hootsuite and Buffer has been invaluable. This will keep your “social media presence” active so you don’t lose ground. We also try to check in at a minimum while away. Remember, this is vacation!
via Kimberly Kline, Access Profiles, Inc.
  • Pre-Pay Outstanding Bills  
We have found this gives us the peace of mind to enjoy our time off, and we don’t come back to a stack of bills to pay!
  • Invoice for Completed Work  
This helps clear your desk and it is nice to have a check or two to return to!
  • Make a Priority List  
Write down what you will need to attend to and when you will need to address it for your return. Having a “re-entry” plan is important for getting you back up to speed.

If you still think taking a week long, or longer, vacation is out of reach, explore the option of “short breaks”.  
Maybe you can arrange to get away for a long weekend or two. The key is to find what works for you. Most importantly, with the right prep work you can and should enjoy your time away.

via Kimberly Kline, Access Profiles, Inc.
With the stress of running your own business, you need downtime.  
You need a chance to decompress and focus on yourself, something many small business owners  rarely get to do. We guarantee that your good clients will understand. After all, they are probably in the same boat. And it is possible will a little pre-planning!
Another upside to getting away, you will return rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated. And that alone makes it all worth it!

Authored by

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Independence - What it Really Means to Small Business Owners!

Created by Kimberly Kline
As we gear up for the annual celebration of our Nation’s Independence, we pause to reflect on what that Independence means to us, and to all Small Business Owners!

The rights our Patriots fought hard for are a big part of my every day life. We embrace them each time we are free to vote and worship as we choose. I also cherish the ability afforded me to pursue what makes me happy.

Our forefathers founded our nation on these rights. They believed in the idea that hard work brings great rewards and that all should have the opportunity to better themselves.

Throughout our history, we have continued as a nation to fight for our rights. We have encountered those who have attempted to harm us from outside and within. Each time we rally because we believe in these freedoms and they are important to us.

We also believe that spirit is alive and well in our nation’s Small Business Owners.

We embrace what is best in our country. Every day we are a testament to resilience and the “frontier spirit”. The opportunity to run things our own way drives us.

Small Business is making a strong resurgence in our nation. Many are realizing the importance of “shopping small” to keep us strong and self-reliant. Our Entrepreneurs are stepping up to the challenge.

Check out this infographic from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and Babson College and Baruch College.

Their research shows that our Nation’s Entrepreneurs are ambitious and we need to recognize and encourage the “energy and value they bring to our societies”. Many are opening new businesses or working hard to make their existing ones a success.

And if you are thinking of going it alone, then these tips on "Starting a Small Business of One" will help!

This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson describes the spirit within our Small Business Owners perfectly;

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Small Business Owners are trailblazers, and nothing says “independence” more!

We personally celebrate the freedom and independence we feel in running my own business each and every day. The ability to pursue our own dreams is unequaled. To us, this is true independence.
Photo Taken by Kimberly Kline
This 4th of July, while we celebrate the independence of our nation, let us also remember that it is alive and well in the hearts, minds, and businesses of our Small Business Owners ~ our innovators, our inventors, and our instigators!

We close with these words from a true visionary, Walt Disney;
"If you can DREAM it, you can DO it."

And that is what the 4th of July is all about......celebrating our freedom to dream and the independence we continue to hold close.

Authored by

API can help you realize your own 
Business dreams.  
If you are ready to hire, we will help you do it safely and effectively!
And our Business Consulting services can help you get started!
Ready to spread the word about your business? API can help you write or tweak 
your Small Business blog!  Find out more on Our Services page! We also offer Security Consulting services to keep you, your employees, and company safe!