There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.

#EANF#

Conversations With CEOs – Why Business Savvy Counts

“But I know my profession inside out,” says my next door neighbour. “I don’t understand why this particular contract eluded us.”

Most of us can checkmark the long list of reasons why clients do business with us. Besides establishing rapport and long-term relationships, providing excellent quality of service and technical accuracy, often there is one important criteria that hasn’t been given consideration. This is most true when dealing with senior executives. Decision makers gravitate to professional experts they trust to understand their business and the particular industry issues that can make or break their success.

They appreciate that you are an expert tax advisor for example, and wouldn’t see you if you weren’t. However, they are most interested in how you can help them navigate industy issues inside and outside of what you do as a professional. What do you actually know about business and particularly theirs? How conversant are you? Can they introduce you to their investors? Their Chairman of the Board?

Now you ask, “How can I keep up with all the nuances related to a multitude of industries when I can barely keep up with all the ongoing changes related to my own profession and staying at the top of my game?”

Here’s a few suggestions:

I. Identify the industries your top 20 clients and top 10 prospective clients come from?

II. Start with prioritizing a few industries to learn more about based on who you do profitable business with now.

III. Keep files of newspaper and magazine articles, industry journals and anything else you can find that’s pertinent for easy reference as required. Read them, think about them, make connections to your services.

IV. Ask clients about their industry issues. What level of knowledge would distinguish you from a competitive service provider and why is that important to them?

V. Finally, as you learn about the top issues currently affecting your clients, explore your expertise can help turn issues into opportunities rather than threats. Quantify how your services can minimize risks and make a difference in the achievement of the client’s objectives.

VI. File your stories, either your own or those that you hear about. For example, if you have a client who was able to retain one staff member that saved them $200,000. in recruitment and training costs, not to mention preventing loss of knowledge and clients, as a result of your consulting or coaching services, then be sure you find a way to save that story. Get a testimonial or at least be able to talk about the bottom line results that your client achieved as a result of working with you, Business Savvy Professional Extraordinaire!

VII. Have fun – part of lifelong learning is getting outside of our own boxes and jumping into other’s now and then to truly empathize and problem solve with clients.

Ways To Effectively Work From Home

In this day and age, there are several people who work from home on a regular or on an on-and-off basis. The reasons could be numerous, starting from health issues, long commute, maternity, and so on. The belief that an employee needs to be in the office to be efficient is now gradually changing, with benefits of working from home arising aplenty. However, for some people, especially if you have just begun to work from home, things can get a bit overwhelming. Here are a few things you can do to organize your ‘home office’.

A Constant Office Space

Setting up one room (or a portion of a room) as your office can go a long way in creating a sense of mood and motivation that might otherwise be lacking when you are not in office. Fix a table, an ergonomic chair (yes, it is an investment you will not regret if you work from home regularly), and other essentials you might need for work, for example, a charging station for your computer or mobile phone around that area. Stick to that place the best you can while working and move away when you are not. You can still visit that area when you are not working, but make sure it is not close to the bed that you sleep in. In smaller houses this might be difficult to arrange but try to set up your workplace in a different room than your bedroom. This is not because you might accidentally climb onto your bed, and sleep during working hours, but because your quality of sleep at night might be affected by the presence of your work things.

Air Quality

While you are indoors through the major portion of the day, it is important to ensure you get sufficient ventilation, and good quality air to breathe. If you live in an area where the pollution level is low, keep your windows open at all times for the fresh air to stimulate your brain, and improve your efficiency. If, unfortunately, you live in an area where the outside air is horrid, an air purifier is recommended. Remember, your health is of utmost importance no matter from where you work.

Exercise

Although exercising is a mandate for everybody, it is even more crucial for people who work from home. When you are in office, you might take frequent breaks down to the cafeteria or a roadside tea/coffee shop, but when you are home, these breaks are eliminated from your routine. Hence, it is of utmost importance to exercise regularly. Choose whatever works for you – yoga, aerobics, weights, cardio, but be regular and diligent about it.

Venture Out

Make it a point to get out of the house at least for ten or fifteen minutes every working day. You could either run a quick errand such as going to the ATM, picking up dry-cleaning, buying dinner, and so on, or you could take a simple walk in your neighbourhood at the very least. Going outside once in a day and seeing other people on the road helps your brain relax, because, after all, we are all social beings.

Do Not Overwork

Many people, especially in the beginning, tend to feel guilty about not working from the office. They feel that they are not working enough, or something is missing. Some people have it even worse because others who go to office regularly have a tendency to point fingers and condemn those who work from home. Snide remarks such as “Oh, what do you know about the hectic traffic we go through”, or “You work from home, that must mean you have plenty of time”, to “I don’t think people who work from home actually get any work done”, are very commonly heard. Do not get bogged down by such things. Just because you work from home does not mean you should work longer hours. Fix your work hours as you would if you were in office, and stick to it.