Category Archives: Work

Online Business

5 Tips for Growing Your Online Business Before the End of the Quarter

We all want to grow our businesses and boom our brand and do well with our products and services.  We want this, and rightly so too.  We want to really get ourselves known and get out of obscurity and into the forefronts of buyers’ minds when they think of our type of product or our type of service.

If we work online or have an online business, competition is as tough or even tougher than it is with a brick and motor business.  There is such a push right now to go the online route and to engage in an online business that it is hard to push out of obscurity and actually make oneself known online.

For a lot of online business owners, especially online business owners who are still pretty new to the online business game, it can be difficult and confusing to figure out how to grow the business and push out and away from obscurity and not being very well known.  Listed here are some tips and tidbits of data on how you can grow your business:

  • Narrow your focus.  You need to find your target audience and pitch to them exclusively.  Marketing is expensive, and if you’re a one man or one woman show then you don’t need to go and use scattergun marketing techniques.  Perform surveys and gather data on your customer basis in ways that enable you to learn exactly what your target audience is, what products of services they want, and how to service them.
  • Find out what advertising does work.  Advertising is almost magical when it does work, and it’s a pain when it does not work.  Using the proper advertising method is key to targeting your client base and getting them to realize that you have the products and services that they want.  Experiment with multiple different advertising techniques to ensure that the one you use is the one that is getting you the absolute best results.
  • Automate what works.  Get rid of what does not work.  When you find a business technique for your online company that does work for you, try to put it on autopilot if you can, so that it continues to operate that way without any work or effort from you.  Set it up so that it is constant and regular.  Set it up so that it is always working that way.
  • Engage your existing customer base.  When you have customers who have already bought products and services from you, continue to grow your business with their help.  Really engage yourself and them to get an idea from them what they like about you, and what they could see improving.  Survey those who have bought products and services from you, and get their feedback.  Try to get them to leave you good reviews online, and try to get them to refer you more business.
  • Study your competition.  Do you have a competitor who just always seems to stay one step ahead of you?  If this describes you and your business, then you should consider trying to study and examine your competition, and try to learn from them.  Obviously, they are doing something you are not doing.

Savvy business owners know that they can learn from their victories in business just as much as they can learn from their failures in business.

This might seem like a lot of work to do, and it is.  Breaking through into a new marketplace and really taking a business off the ground (even an online business) is a tricky and often difficult thing to do.  Take these steps and learn from their results and you will do better for it in the long run.

Jobs and Substance Abuse

Professions Most Associated with Substance Abuse

As business owners, entrepreneurs, even department heads, managers, bosses, CEOs, any upper-level position in business really, we need to know the prevalence and the regularity of drug and alcohol addiction within the American workplace.  The truth of the matter is that drug and alcohol addiction is very prevalent and very usual.  Drug and alcohol addiction is a common and regular occurrence that makes for difficult situations and hardship left and right.

We need to know and understand that these issues and problems are quite regular and common, but in the same token we also need to recognize that some professions attract these issues more so than others do.  Some professions and some areas of business tend to attract and make for a lot of drug and alcohol addiction, and some do not.  Written below is an excerpt from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration on what they have to say about drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse issues in general:

“The SAMHSA survey wrote for all to see the exact numbers by different industries and found that drinking and drug use varied by type of job, depending on the job. The biggest numbers for heavy drinking the past month were seen in trades like mining and construction. Nearly 18 percent of miners are drinking heavily and frequently, while close to 17 percent of construction workers can say the same too.  Rounding out the top five heaviest drinking professions were hotel and restaurant, arts and entertainment, and utilities to add to construction and mining.  The lowest rates of drinking were seen in healthcare, education, government, and finance to name a few.

What we know from this is that miners drink more heavily than anyone else, and that could be explained by the stressful nature of the difficult and dangerous work involved.  It could also be noted, though, that it may not be the job itself that dictates how people drink or why people drink.  There are a lot of different points here that need to be considered.  It may be that people who drink more or less are drawn to certain jobs. For example, miners are mostly young men, who are more likely to be heavy drinkers than people in other demographics are.  In fact, young, male demographics are the most at risk for alcohol abuse and addiction.”

What this Means for Businessmen and Women

So what I take from this is that, if I were planning on going into business in mining, construction,  hotels, restaurants, arts, and entertainment then I would put more attention and more direction on the business in terms of preventing drug abuse and excessive drinking.  I would be paying a lot more attention to these areas than maybe I would be if I worked in a different field.  That is to say that, I would keep a close watch and a close eye on the HR departments of those businesses to really ensure that any possibility of drug and alcohol addiction was totally locked down.  I would make certain that drug and alcohol addiction was something that we could all watch out for and keep a handle on.

You really do have to watch out in professions like these.  You really do need to keep an eye out, because drug and alcohol addiction can and will have a very dangerous and disturbing effect on a person’s business.  Drug and alcohol addiction can and will rip into a business and cause intensive and excessive problems and crisis issues the likes of which may have never been experienced before.  Because of these factors, watch out in these business areas, and make sure that addiction does not become the norm here.

Grief

When a Loved One Overdoses: How to Deal with the Grief While Continuing to Work

An overdose occurring within the family is the single most horrendous thing that can happen as a result of drug and alcohol addiction.  It is that one thing that the family members and loved ones of addicts fear the most, and it is the one thing that is sadly quite likely to happen if the addicted family members do not get help with their drug and alcohol addiction crisis.

An overdose is a big worry and a big concern to top them all.  It often involves death.  At the very least, for those who survive, it is a near-death experience.  Abusing drugs and even alcohol too always runs this risk, though, and overdoses are all too prevalent in our society today considering how common drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is now.  For example:

  • In the year 2010, pharmaceutical drug overdoses were established as one of the leading causes of death in the United States of America.  Can you believe that?  And these are drugs that are supposed to help us too.  In further digging, though, it becomes apparent that total drug overdoses killed more Americans than firearms or motor vehicle accidents did in 2010.  The death toll from drugs is just now purely catastrophic and it doesn’t seem to be going down.
  • As of the year of 2012 (just two years later), overdose deaths involving prescription opioid analgesics (which are essentially medications used to treat pain) have increased to almost 17,000 deaths a year in the United States!  When these numbers are crunched and compared to other drugs, it becomes obvious that these substances actually kill more Americans than all other drugs combined do.
  • It’s not just pills, though.  Starting in 2000 and through the years to 2013, the age-adjusted rate for drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin increased for all regions of the country, with the greatest increase seen in the Midwest of the nation, an area that until that point had not seen much in the way of heroin abuse and addiction.  Drug poisoning (overdoses) is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States now, though, with no less than a staggering 43,982 deaths occurring in the year 2013.  That’s eight times the deaths in 1993!

This is just a glimpse at some of the facts and statistics on overdose that I was able to find.  Overdose is a big problem, to say the least.

Working Through the Grief

If you experience having to bear witness to an overdose, then I can understand that times are hard for you.  Probably the hardest that they have ever been before.  I can understand that this means that things are rough and tough and problematic.  I can understand that this means that you might not be sleeping well or eating much.  I can understand that you might not be performing so well at work.

The best advice I can give you is to look to the future and to work in the future, create in the future, and think in the future.  Abandon the past.  Disregard the depression and the grief of the present.  Focus entirely on what you are shooting for, what your goals and ambitions are, and how you will create it for yourself down the road so that you never have to bear witness to drug and alcohol addiction ever again.  This must be your main and primary focus.

Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is a serious life threatening crisis issue.  Addicts get it.  We get it.  It’s not a mystery to anyone.  If you’ve just had an overdose in the family then you need to move on and not be stuck in the past.  Get out of your grief.  What’s done is done and until scientists invent a time machine there is nothing you can do to change the fact that the overdoses occurred.  Move on to the future and you will be better for it, and your future will end up being better as a result too.

Office Hostility

5 Tips for Handling Office Hostility

Probably one of the most unpleasant things to experience or witness in the office space is hostility.  In fact, any kind of hostility of any kind in any type of business, office-based or not, is a total pain.  Why people?  Why?  Why engage in such idiocies when everyone has to work together and share their same space.  It totally blows me away that this comes up, but sadly it does and when it does it has to be handled and addressed properly.  A pain indeed, but one of those pains that need to be confronted and faced down sooner rather than later.

I actually rarely see office or workplace hostility come up.  I don’t think it’s as common as people say it is, or as common as some people try to convince others that it is.  But that might be just me.  I’m sure it differs a lot on a job to job type of basis, meaning that some types of jobs and some lines of work might be more inclined to have office space hostility than others will.  That’s all probably quite true, but that doesn’t mean that any kind of hostility in any business should be tolerated.

Tackling Office Hostility and Putting It Down

Here’s what I have to say about workplace hostility, “NO.”  Simple as that.  To go more in depth, here are some tips for handling and addressing office hostility that I’ve found to be workable:

  • Make sure that the person who is doing it knows that it is very much so not okay.  Sometimes this is all it takes.  Just letting someone know that it is not okay is all that it takes to get them to stop doing it.  Let them know, and be pretty firm about it.
  • If you don’t want to do that, then just don’t respond.  Don’t respond to the office hostility, just don’t.  Completely ignore it.  If you can’t or don’t want to tell the person to stop, then anything else you might say could just fuel the flame, so don’t say anything at all.
  • Speaking of that, whatever you do, don’t get all fired up and be hostile back.  Then your position within the company could be at stake too.  You don’t want or need that kind of drama in your life.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up to the person in the right way.  Going further than point #1 of telling them that it is not okay would be to tell them that, and to go on to explain why it is not okay.  Keep your calm and remain composed and relaxed, but doing this can also really gain you a lot of respect in the company and cause others, including your seniors, to look at you in an entirely different way.
  • Go to the boss.  Don’t buy into the tattle-tale nonsense.  If someone is causing hospitality, the head honcho needs to know about it so that corrective action be taken.  If you are the head honcho, then you need to have a talk with the person and let them know exactly what’s going to happen if they continue to act and perform in that way.
  • Understand, acknowledge, and find the real reason.  Ever have someone just go off all of a sudden and be really hostile, even though they had never done something like that before and it is actually quite surprising that they did that?  Nine times out of ten, there will be something else really unpleasant or something else that’s a real bummer in that person’s life that caused the situation to occur.  Find it, address it, and help them work through it, and they probably will never cause hostility again.

I get that the workplace can be stressful.  I get that hostility can occur.  I get that life can be tough, and that people can often not want to confront these types of issues.  I get all of that.  But that is no reason at all to allow hostility to continue in the workplace.  No reason at all!