Mary Harcourt - Forbes

Mary Harcourt - Forbes

The Tasks Every Entrepreneur Should Automate If They Want To Scale Their Business

Payroll

After struggling with spending a lot of stressful time adding up the minutes and the hours of each clocked-in employee, I found that salaried positions often mirrored hourly nearly the same amount when it came to employees leaving 20 minutes early one day and hitting nine minutes in overtime the next day. I have all of my employees on salary now, and my payroll is automated. I went from spending 12 or more hours a month on payroll to about 15 minutes a month. I only log in now to make adjustments or to add in bonuses. You will want to check with your state's salary requirements and be sure you are following the rules for that. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Email Marketing Mistakes That Might Be Hurting Your Brand

Writing Emails That Aren’t Adding Value

Make your emails valuable. You want people to be excited to open them. A higher open rate leads you to brand loyalty. Add in recipes for the next holiday, fun things to do with your kids, organizing ideas—things that people are thankful they spent the three minutes to read through. They will be more eager to open up your email and receive your message this way. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Tasks To Spend Your Time On As You're Launching Your New Company

Delegating

Take inventory of where your time is spent during the workday. How many of those tasks could someone else do for you? What do you enjoy doing and what do you dread doing? Hand off the tasks that you don't love. Chances are that someone else will be able to do them more effectively and will enjoy it. Write out your biggest dreams, goals and projects. Break down each of those into smaller pieces. Break those pieces into daily tasks. Focus on one to two tasks a day to start and complete rather than only focusing on the bigger goal. You will reach your result much faster by taking smaller, more easily accomplished pieces at a steady pace. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Effective Ways To Showcase Your Personality On LinkedIn

Send Personalized Messages

Send a customized message. Introduce yourself to the employer. Tell them who you are and why you are interested in the position. Explain the skills you have and how excited you are to find a position that will be able to utilize your skills. Bullet points on a resume are great, but the reality is that we hire people, not certificates. When their personality shows through, the employer is more likely to hire an underqualified candidate who has taken the time to really show the employer who they are than a person who may have more qualifications, but didn't take the time to say hello. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Introverted? Here Are 13 Ways To Make Your Personal Brand Shine

Control Your Online Narrative

Personal branding is placing information, photos and articles for people to purposefully find instead of them finding old college pictures of you from 1995. You put forth things that promote your current roles and pride points so you control your narrative in the search instead of leaving it up to chance. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Seven Tips For Building Positive Client Relationships While Working From Home

Take Notes To Build Client Profiles

Stay positive. Take notes during your meetings and build customer profiles. If you hear your client lives in Miami, take note of that. The next time you have a meeting, you can start with, "Good morning! How is sunny Miami today?" The client will feel welcomed by the fact that you remembered details about them instead of just what time you had a meeting together. Ask questions. The first two minutes of a call should be getting to know someone. People do business with people. The more details they provide you, the more they feel invested in that relationship, and if you can note down all the details, it will also help you truly get to know them and build a solid relationship around them as a person and not another boring screen call. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Salary Negotiation Tips For Professionals Who Have Never Done It Before

Highlight Your Value

You always want to highlight the value you have added to the company over the past year. Elaborate on the goals you have for the company in the upcoming year. An employer may know that you do a good job, but they probably don't know all of the details of your contributions or your future plans with the company. If you can express your future goals to the company they are more likely to invest in you to see your goals play out in the upcoming year. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Ways To Ensure Your Brand Is Evolving Alongside Your Customers

Aim For Transparency

Transparency in brands is heavily respected and appreciated. We all know that a company that starts on day one will evolve as it goes through years of business. The company will receive feedback, gain knowledge of what's working, be more aware of its customer base and consumer needs and make changes to cater to that. Transparency allows the brand to show that it is changing and evolving and invites the consumer to be a part of the process instead of the company showing up one day with a rebrand and confusing everyone. Modern-day consumers respect brands that are transparent by allowing the consumer to take the journey with them. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Resources To Help Up-And-Coming Entrepreneurs Sharpen Their Skills

Business Books

Books! Books are a collection of someone's advice, tips and proven strategies for what got them to the next level. It's like being able to read the instruction manual for how they were able to conquer an area you may be struggling with. Business books will give you valuable information for you to absorb and soak up like a sponge, allowing you to implement it in your own life and see the results in real time. It could be an area of interest you are curious about, struggling with or even something you are excelling in. There is so much knowledge in books and they are available in every area of business you will be exploring as an entrepreneur. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Seven Steps To Turn Your Business Idea Into A Reality

Commit To It By Setting A Date

Commit to it with a date on the calendar. Say, “On this date, I will start turning this idea into a reality!” There is power in setting a date. Hold yourself accountable. It's too easy to say “one day.” When is that “one day” ever going to come if you don't put it on the calendar and commit to it? When you choose a day to begin making this dream a reality, there is no turning back. Decide how much time you want to spend on this idea. It could be one hour a week. Four hours a month will get you further into making that dream a reality than telling yourself “one day.” And as you progress with your idea, it's normal to become obsessive about it. When you first started, you were scheduling the time you could spend on it. It's surprising how quickly you find the time as you start to see your idea forming. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Smart And Effective Ways To Build Trust With Your Employees

Treat Your Employees Like People

Remember that your employees are people too. They have real lives and real situations that arise. Of course, we want everyone to be punctual and stay their full scheduled time. When situations arise, however, showing them compassion and allowance to go care for their families will go so much further than demanding they stick to the working hours. When you need more from them in the future, they will feel it is a partnership and perform in a way you can be proud of because they know you were there for them when they needed you to be. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Things You Can Do Right Now To Grow Your Side Hustle

Set A Start Date

Set a date for when you will turn this side hustle into your full-time income. It can be weeks, months or even years into the future. Setting a date will keep you on track and will make you accountable for making that dream come true. With a daily reminder and a ticking time clock, you will be more aware of the challenges you have to work through, the business you have to grow and the income needed to make that side hustle your full-time income. You could say "one day" for years and never get to your goal. By committing to a date on the calendar, you will align with that goal and pick up knowledge and skills along the way that will be helpful. Don't leave it to chance; plan for it. This will force you to take yourself seriously as you see those days getting closer and closer. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Leaders: How To Respond When You Don't Have All The Answers

Let Them Know You're Actively Researching

Say, “I do not know the answer to that yet, but I am actively researching what the right answer could be.” An entrepreneur is always thought to have all the answers. As entrepreneurs, we make our own path in the world. As leaders, we create the answers. Being transparent about the fact that you do not have the answer but you are actively researching one gives everyone a sense of peace in knowing you are still leading them. It also brings in a sense of relatability as we all know what it feels like to not know the right answer but be in search of it. It's rarely a bad thing to show an element of human emotion tied to being an entrepreneur. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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12 Important Tips Every Customer Service Team Should Know About Live Chat

Greet The Customer Right Away

Greet the customer as soon as possible. You can follow it up by asking them to please give as much information as possible about their reason for contacting customer support in the meantime so that your team can get their question solved quickly when you return to assist them. When you are ready to take that ticket, the information will already be presented to you. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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11 Ways To Sound More Confident And Professional Over The Phone

Avoid Space Fillers

Avoid saying "um." When you have meaningless space fillers between words and sentences, the client subconsciously thinks that you are not confident in your message. Removing these space fillers will not only make you sound more professional and confident, but it also will relax the subconscious of the potential vendor by affirming that you understand your product and will deliver on it. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Things High-Quality Candidates Always Do When Applying For Jobs

They Share Their Excitement

They share why they are excited about the position and share how their skill set will help them perform well in the available role. It's one thing to see a resume and think the person would be a good fit; it's a completely different feeling to see the person would be a good fit and watch them relay how excited they are to accept and progress in the role. At the end of the day, I want to fill my company with excited people who are happy to be there. Excitement for a role will outweigh better qualifications from a candidate who lacks the excitement. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Entrepreneurs: Six Ways To Narrow Down The Content You Consume

Determine What Suits Your Needs

Determine what works best for you! Each person is different. We have different learning styles, schedules and time constraints. What works for one person may not be a surefire solution for the next. If you are an Audible listener, you may find that podcasts help you the most. However, maybe you are visual and you need the pages of a book or a documentary to solidify those lessons for you. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Things The Best Marketers Do Really Well

They Understand The Consumer's Struggles

Marketers are experts and understand what the consumer's struggles are. They speak in a way that allows the consumer to feel heard and validated. When you can put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, everything shifts. Your potential customer should be able to read the content and instantly think, "It's like they read my mind!" Now that they feel heard and validated, they are open to the solution you have to offer. It's a no-brainer for them to accept the offer, as it sounds like a solution to their problem. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Steps A Leader Should Take When Faced With A Company Crisis

Think About The Situation From All Angles

How will this affect the staff? How will this affect the vendors? What about your investors? What about your customers? Seeing the value that each piece of the puzzle brings can help you in determining what is most important to save and what is okay to reduce. You may make a plan to keep 80% of the company happy while figuring out a way to eliminate 20% of the company that isn't adding as much value. Cutting 20% of the company that is no longer valuable may be just what you need to come out of a crisis. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Smart Tips For Creating A Balanced, Effective Sales Strategy

Show Genuine Interest In The Consumer

Know the client. People want to feel valued. Pay attention to where they live, their children's names and the sports they play, and you will have a client for life. If they have to re-introduce themselves each time, they will lose interest in you and move on to a company that shows more genuine interest in them. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Tips For Transitioning Away From A Transaction-First Sales Mentality

Invest In The Future

Build for tomorrow. When your focus is on the future, your day-to-day interactions become tools to make connections to build a strong tomorrow. Invest in the customer and the transaction as if they will be with you for a lifetime. That simple change in mentality will help the customer feel important and create that lifelong relationship with your brand. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Traits Of An Ideal Employee (And How To Attract Them To Your Company)

 

Adaptability

One thing that remains constant is that everything is always changing. Having an employee who is adaptable is important in finding the flow and balance of the company. It is much easier and more valuable to have someone say, “Okay, here we are! Let's get to it,” than one who says, “Well, this is different and I don't like it.” Adaptability is the key to figuring out solutions and moving on from problems. Without that, it is too easy to get stuck in a no-progress zone. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Determine Your Business Idea's 'Market Need' With These Top Strategies

Get Feedback From Others In The Industry

Talk to people in that field and industry. Some ideas are brilliant; others are terrible. You will really want to figure out which one yours is before investing time, energy and resources. Absorb feedback from others. Change and edit your plan as needed. The worst thing you can do is think you know it all and fall flat on your face. Opinions and feedback are free. This is your best tool in determining if your idea is worth pursuing or if it still needs some fine-tuning before it is ready to release. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Taking On A Major Project? Keep Your Team Organized With These Nine Strategies

Schedule Weekly Meetings

A weekly meeting, scheduled at the same time every week, works well for us. We discuss the next moves forward for the project and assign who is in charge of making those things happen by the next meeting. We document everything in an email, including the tasks and who is assigned to them. Then, at the beginning of the next meeting, we do a check-in using the email and discuss who was responsible for making those things happen. As we check off all the completed tasks, we talk about how to move the project forward and assign the next tasks to be due the next week. It's a great way to keep the project moving forward, maximize the efficiency of the time spent together each week and keep everyone fully aware of their role in the project and what is expected of them for the upcoming week. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Effective Ways To Help Employees Create Clear, Meaningful Career Paths

Help Employees Find Their Strengths

Helping your employees find their strengths is incredibly valuable. They do not always know what to strive for or what they are good at, but they usually have a good heart and want to help. Finding the things they are incredibly helpful in can be redirected back to them as a strength. Building up your employee to be a powerhouse is not only valuable for you as the employer, but it also helps them understand what skills they should be focusing on and growing. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Increasing Workload? Nine Ways Leaders Can Help Their Small Teams Avoid Overwhelm

Reward Their Achievements

Reward all achievements, large and small. As a small group with an incredible amount of work to accomplish, people can get burned out and feel overwhelmed. Celebrating all their wins and accomplishments will keep their morale high and remind them that the work is important, appreciated and rewarded. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Things You Should Never Do When Negotiating Your Salary In An Interview

Ask For More Later

Do not agree to a salary in person and then later follow up with written correspondence stating that you will need more to start. If you want to negotiate for a higher salary, do it in person, face-to-face. Agreeing in person and then following up with written correspondence gives the employer the idea that you do not fully think through situations and that you are not a good communicator. Either of these can throw the job out the window before you have a chance to start. Rather than asking for a higher salary to start, ask what you can do to get yourself closer to your ideal number in the next six months. Mention that you are willing to take an online course and study to bring your skills up to achieve this higher compensation point that you are looking to accomplish through this new role. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Lifestyle Changes You Can Make To Become A More Successful, Fulfilled Leader

Read Stories About Other Entrepreneurial Journeys

Read as many business and entrepreneurship books as you can. Books are the summaries of someone else's journey. It’s about how they made it work, what they learned, things they can coach you on and how they give their advice to you throughout the pages in the book. You have this amazing ability to absorb all of that person's experiences and adopt the lessons as your own and grow from them. Books are really so powerful on the journey of entrepreneurship. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Building A SaaS Stack? Ask Yourself These 10 Questions First

Do we want trendy or trusted?

Do you want to be a trendsetter with the newest platform out there, or do you want to go with the trusted and vetted platform that has been there since the beginning? New platforms may have more perks and can sometimes have better integration options. A trusted platform will allow you to relax with the knowledge that the platform has endured the test of time and will most likely be around in the future. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Skills And Traits These Entrepreneurs Look For When Hiring For A Creative Role

Personality

This person will have a hand in telling the company story, understanding your market and helping to connect the dots between your customers and the product you supply. You want that person to be able to win people over in real life so they can do the same through marketing. How can you expect someone to create a magnetic effect in a creative way if they did not first gain your respect through their personality? - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Tips For Building A Product Prototype (Without Spending A Fortune)

Keep It As Unfinished As Possible

Many entrepreneurs get excited about their prototype because it’s the first time they will see their idea come to life as a finished product. The idea behind a prototype, however, is to have the product come alive for the first time to allow for changes and edits before production. Keep it as raw and unfinished as possible to save on costs for a future prototype with the new edits installed. Then, you can perfect the idea for full production. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Key Tips For Revitalizing Stale Blog Content

Seek Inspiration Outside Your Comfort Zone

Get out of your comfort zone! Take a weekend trip to somewhere new, eat some amazing food and meet some locals. Observe the couple that has spent a lifetime together. Breathe in the fresh air and get a dose of sunshine. These things are sure to awaken your senses and make you feel alive again, which can get your creativity flowing again and turn on that passion for sharing new topics on your blog. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Implementing A New Digital Marketing Strategy? 10 Ways To Help Ensure ROI

Leverage Promotional Codes

Advertise with a unique promotional code that gives a special digital download gift with purchase. You will be able to measure exactly how many purchases came from that marketing strategy. You can change the codes with each channel of advertising and see which channel is working the best for you so you know where to invest more of your funds in the future and where you should be pulling back from. The customer also feels special because they are getting something extra and unique for their purchase. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Ways To Create An In-Store Experience That Will Surprise And Delight

Personalize Human Interaction

There’s power in personalization. Remember the customer's name, how many kids they have and what sports they play. A customer entering a brick-and-mortar store with someone saying “Hey John! It's great to see you. How is Millie's softball season going?” will outperform an online transaction any day of the week. In a screen-to-screen world, we often miss out on the personalized touch of human interaction. Brick-and-mortars have a chance to outperform any other sales channel by paying attention to their customers. If someone knows there is a warm hello and a handshake, they will more often than not choose the brick-and-mortar location over an online store. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Areas To Dedicate The Bulk Of Your Social Media Budget To (And Why)

Strengthening Current Customer Relationships

So many companies only focus on new customers and making new sales. Your loyal customers are the ones who keep coming back for more. Making them feel special and valued will do more for your campaign than focusing on new customers only. Your trusted and loyal customers are the ones who love your product already and will be more willing to share it with their network than a new customer who hasn't tried the product yet. They will rave about it, show others how to purchase it, allow them to try theirs and speak highly about the company. Be sure you are dedicating resources to showing appreciation to your current customers as well as earning new sales. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Strategies To Ramp Up Positive Publicity For Your New Business

Write A Press Release

Press releases are great for bringing a bright light to a new business. They are easy to localize and are usually very well received by local communities that love to share interesting news with their members. If your goal is to have the news be seen nationally, they are great for that as well. A press release serves as a great way to get in front of readers and raise awareness of your new business. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Elements Of A Successful Facebook Ad Campaign

An Audience Connection

So many companies want to place a product in front of the consumer, thinking that's what will excite them to purchase. It's just a product to them. You want to connect with the audience and show them why their lives will improve with your product. Help them understand how valuable your product can be to them and why they are missing out if they don't purchase. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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12 Entrepreneurs Share What Inspires Them To Be Better Leaders

Improving Others' Lives

Knowing that what I am doing truly has a ripple effect for improving others' lives inspires me. I have a staff to mentor, a company to run, industries to change and innovation to develop. If I don't come to work inspired and make a difference with what I am doing, it is a disservice to everyone I can help along the way. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Looking For A Board Advisor? Eight Traits That Make Up A Quality Candidate

They Come With Years Of Experience

You want someone who has weathered many storms before. After all, you are adding them to your board to help you run a company and to lend advice when needed. Advice is usually asked for when the company is going through a rough point or an extremely important time. Someone who has been through struggles will be able to offer personal advice, and your company will be able to gain knowledge from this person’s past experiences and lessons learned without making the same mistakes. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Seven Limiting Beliefs That Can Hold Female Entrepreneurs Back

If I Fail, Then I Am A Failure

The fear of failing holds more people back than the actual pain of failing. Learn the lessons from the failure, move on and try again. Accept that it will happen. When it does, be prepared to analyze what worked and what didn't. From there, you can adjust, change and try again. These small adjustments will be what allows you to succeed. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Tips For Successful Social Media Marketing As A Solopreneur

Keep It Short, Simple And Unedited

Spend time collecting content of yourself in action. Clip and post. This will dramatically cut down on the editing, fluffing and planning phases and show your followers the real, unedited side of yourself they are more likely to establish a connection with. Short, simple and real is a perfect way of delivering to your viewers on your social media platforms. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Ways Experience Has Changed How These Business Leaders Communicate

I Use 'We' Instead Of 'I'

I have learned to use “we” when describing all things—positive and negative. We are a team, and we function as a complete unit. There is no such thing as “I” asked you to get this done and “you” did not complete it. It’s more like, “We had a target to complete, but we did not get it finished on time. How can we correct this?” Speaking this way shows that we are on the same team and need to work together to accomplish goals. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Want To Run Your Own Business One Day? Nine Actions To Get You Started

Read Books By Entrepreneurs

Read books by people who have already done it. Not only will you pick up incredibly valuable tips and tricks, but you will also gain insight and knowledge on things that may end up saving you an incredible amount of time in lessons learned. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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10 Strategies These Entrepreneurs Use To Simplify Their Days And Avoid Stress

I Delegate As Much As Possible

I keep a running list of everything that needs to be done in the business. At least once a day, I go down that list and see what projects I can hand off to an employee. I have found that I can not do it all, and usually there is someone ready to help. They often will do a better job than me, in less time and with more pride. Being able to delegate allows me to keep my list true to only the things that I can put into motion. This gives me laser focus and a plan of action to achieve those tasks while the other tasks are being completed by another team member. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Eight Effective Ways To Develop Employees Into Future Business Leaders

Allow Them To Solve Problems

Many managers want to micromanage and make all the decisions on the team. This leaves your company at risk. If you lose that one manager, you have an entire team that was never trained to think for themselves. I challenge everyone to problem solve. We will have a conversation about the solution, and I may offer up a different way of thinking about it to get the results I want. However, I take great pride in watching my staff work together to find and enact a solution, which strengthens my team and my company. My company is full of problem-solvers, which is much more valuable than micromanagers. They get a feel for how you think, manage and grow, and become incredibly valuable team members whom you can promote from within. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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The 'Last Straw' Moments That Convinced These Entrepreneurs To Hire Business Coaches

I Needed Accountability

I know that I can give myself a to-do list and a deadline, but understanding that someone will be calling me in six days to make sure I got that last task completed is enough of a reason for me to press just a little bit harder and get everything finished by the time that phone call comes. It's easier having to answer to deadlines that I set for myself with my coach holding me accountable to the same timeline. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Nine Ways Advertising Could Change In 2023 (According To These Entrepreneurs)

Social Proof Will Become The New Advertising Currency

It's one thing for brands to spend millions on advertising campaigns; however, current customers telling their peers they had a great experience with your brand will go further toward gaining you new business without the ad spend of campaigns. Social proof is trusted, inevitable and a much more effective way to gain new sales. The psychology is that a consumer feels better about purchasing because a peer has previously purchased the item and had a good experience. Social proof will be the new trend for how customers shop in the near future. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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Building Thought Leadership? Nine Tips For Finding Speaking Engagements

Find Where You Can Add Value

Apply for events in your industry where you can add value for the attendees. Talking about coaching baseball at a sewing convention may not earn you the interactions you want. However, teaching courses on how to sell your quilt patterns online to create passive income would be a grand slam at a sewing convention. As a speaker, you may have many different pitch decks to work from. Put yourself in the shoes of the attendees and choose a topic that they are most likely to interact with. This will pose you as the expert, earn you respect and turn that speaking engagement into a lucrative benefit if you offer a session-only special for courses or coaching to the class. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

 

Seven Ways Professionals Can Show Their Gratitude All Year Long

Send Customers Personal Messages

Take time to write out personal messages to your customers. You can highlight some of the best parts of this year or where you plan to go in the next year, and thank them for their continued support, which makes it all possible. A personal touch will go further than a generic message any day. - Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

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