Archives for July 2018

Back-to-school is around the corner!

The hot Georgia summer is in full bloom and the kids will back-to-school in a few weeks! Now is the time to get them ready and we’ve got health providers ready to help save you cash! Be sure to call your trade coordinator for helpful tips and provider info at (770) 591-4343.

Some ideas for back-to-school prep include:

  • Dental (dental exams, cleanings, fillings, braces and more!)
  • Optical (eye exams, glasses, contacts, lasik and more!)
  • Hair cuts/salons
  • Clothing & backpacks
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4 tips to getting your kids back on a regular sleep schedule

With school about to start, one of the challenges parents face is getting the kids back on a regular sleeping schedule.

Dr. Carol Ash, director of sleep medicine at Meridian Health told The Today Show’s Willie Geist and Al Roker that it’s very important to get the kids back on track as classes start because a lack of sleep will cause problems with academic performance.

“Kids are more sensitive to sleep loss,” Ash said. “They have different physiology.”

Adults may ask what’s the big deal; why not just put them to bed earlier? Dr. Ash says it’s harder for kids to actually go to bed earlier because they have a slower response to normal sleep cues.

Kids actually need more sleep than adults, so it is recommended that they get anywhere from 9-to-10 hours of sleep per night, as compared to between 7-and-8 hours for adults, Dr. Ash said.

To help kids get back into a normal sleeping routine, Dr. Ash offered these tips:

  • Adjust bedtime by 15 minutes per night – This will gradually get them closer to their ideal sleep schedule. Make it a family effort.
  • Enforce an electronics curfew – It takes children an hour to wind down for sleep, but most now have smartphones and other gadgets that allow them to text or play games late at night. Try to have them unplug at least an hour before going to bed.
  • Apply the 4-7-8 breathing technique – This helps the body relax. Tell your child to breathe in for a count of four, then hold to a count of seven, and release to a count of eight. Repeat four times before going to bed (and do the same in the morning).
  • Add fun to bedtime – Read a book and create an environment that kids want to go to at night. Fun touches can include hand-painted light bulbs or glow-in-the-dark paint, which can be used to write secret messages your children will see when the lights go out.

(See original post from 11Alive here.)

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Managing a Business Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

Do you get anxious just thinking about the administration part of running your business — like managing cash flow? Do you dread it as much as a visit to the dentist? Actually, the dentist can be the perfect place to learn about managing cash flow. Dr. Clarence Kegler of Artistic Smiles has a unique method to alleviate fears about dental work as well as business worries.

Dr. Kegler manages his dentistry practice with less anxiety by using barter to exchange goods and services for some of the things he needs to run the business. For the past seven years, he has been a member of The Barter Company and has traded dental services for advertising, printing, painting, contracting, and promotional items. “I have to buy these items anyway to help run the practice,” said Dr. Kegler. “If I can get these services through barter, it’s an easy way to save cash … or use that cash in other ways to hire a new person, expand, and grow the business.”

For 12 years, Artistic Smiles has offered patients state-of-the-art dental procedures that leave patients looking and feeling great as pain-free as possible. During his years in practice, Dr. Kegler has learned that barter can take the pain away from managing his cash flow. It has also helped him grow his practice. “Once a patient comes in through barter, they become a regular patient. And, they usually bring in their family members and refer friends and neighbors who then become patients too,” explained Kegler. “Barter helps reduce the stress of running the practice and then I can focus more on my patients.” Less fear and anxiety about managing a business will give any business owner something to smile about.

Clients like Dr. Kegler at Artistic Smiles have realized the benefits of barter to their business. At The Barter Company, we’re here to help take away some of the “pain” of managing a business by offering a barter experience based on long-term client relationships, thousands of available goods and services, and barter coordinators who provide individual client service. We work hard each day to help our clients live out our motto – “barter is smarter.”

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6 Google Doc Hacks to Boost Your Productivity

It’s one of the most widely used business tools, but it isn’t always easy to use. Here are some hacks for Google Docs that can save you time and energy.

When you run a small business, there’s never enough time in the day. Your task list is as long as a shopping receipt, and it seems to stay the same length no matter how many items you check off. And, of course, you probably want to make time for your significant other on top of that. It’s no wonder you’re stressed.

Small-business loan provider Fundera surveyed several hundred business owners last year and found that 19 percent of small-business owners work more than 60 hours a week. It also found that 70 percent work more than 40 hours a week, and 89 percent work on weekends.

You’re most likely overseeing a litany of business operations, from hiring and sales to marketing and customer service. Improving your productivity isn’t only about working harder or faster, it’s also about working smarter. Leveraging tools can help you make the most of your time.

Google Docs is one of the tools most widely used by entrepreneurs these days. It can help you squeeze the most out of every hour and run your business more effectively. But are you using it as efficiently as possible? Here are some ideas that can help you optimize it.

1. Get organized with color coding.

Business owners use Google Docs and Sheets for everything from tracking employee hours to creating marketing collateral. Over time, your Drive can get pretty messy and crowded. And if you can’t remember the exact name of a doc or sheet, you’re forced to waste time looking for it.

Color coding your folders will stop this. You’ll locate your materials far more easily. First, create new folders and sort your docs. Next, right click or control click any folder. Select “Change Color” and choose from any of the 24 hues.

2. Make conference calls from within a doc.

Add-ons are companion apps for G Suite that allow you to perform a variety of tasks. Let’s say you’re collaborating on a Google doc with two of your employees. The UberConference add-on lets you book a conference call with your collaborators right from the sidebar.

To get the add-on, open your doc, and then click “Add-ons” and “Get Add-ons.” Type “UberConference” into the search bar and click the blue plus sign. Then allow the app to access your Google account.

To launch the add-on, click the add-ons menu and select “UberConference/Launch Sidebar.”

3. Use templates for recurring projects.

If you find yourself struggling to format project proposals, meeting agendas, or customer invoices, use a template you can quickly modify as needed. This way you don’t have to start from scratch every time.

Navigate to drive.google.com/templates and choose from a variety of preformatted docs. This list includes business letters, project proposals, onboarding notes, and job-offer letters.

Other templates, like consulting agreements, sales quotes, and statements of work, are available as add-ons.

4. Add your signature to a document.

How many times have you printed a document, signed it, then scanned and emailed it to someone? Imagine how much time you’d save over the course of a year if you could add your signature to a document with the click of a button.

The PandaDoc add-on inserts your e-signature to a doc from any device. After you get the add-on, you’ll be prompted to connect to PandaDoc and create an account. Once that’s done, activate the add-on to open a sidebar and draw your signature. Click it to add it to your doc.

5. Use your voice to type.

There are plenty of situations where it might be more convenient to speak your draft than type it. Try the Voice Typing feature to speed up the creation of a Google doc.

From Tools, select “Voice Typing.” Click the black microphone icon and begin speaking after it turns red. You can add common punctuation by saying “period,” “comma,” “exclamation point,” or “question mark.”

6. Send a fax without a fax machine.

Have a love-hate relationship with your fax machine? The HelloFax add-on enables you to fax documents from within Google Docs. It may inspire you to kick that clunky machine to the curb once and for all.

To fax a Google doc, simply open the add-on, enter the fax number, and click “Send.” Add an optional cover page in less than 20 seconds.

When you use these hacks to extend your abilities, you can get more done in less time. Who knows, you might even clock a 40-hour workweek for a change.

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12 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Company’s Culture

This list of quick-strike team boosters will put you on the path to culture-building success.

Great company culture isn’t created overnight. At Hireology, the company I co-founded eight years ago, we put a lot of intention, action and oversight into making sure we have a culture by design; culture by default doesn’t give us the competitive edge we need to achieve our goals. We work hard at it every single day.

While building an award-winning workplace takes time, but there are actions you can take right now to move your company in a positive direction.

1. Increase transparency

In the absence of clear information, your team will fill in the blanks with a litany of “worst case scenarios.” Pat in Customer Service was let go? Mass layoffs are coming!

Share information. Talk about your cash balance, and how you manage it.  When you show your comfort level with openly discussing important information, you communicate a critical component of great workplace culture:  I trust you.

2. Reconfirm the vision

Your early joiners drank the Kool-Aid, but you’ve hired lots of new people since then. Do they know why you started this company?

At the next town hall, put together a 10 slide “pitch deck” and present the business as if you’re talking to a venture capital firm. Make a passionate case for why you should exist as a business, and why your team should back you 100%. Inspire them to give every ounce of incremental effort that they can.

3. Fire someone

I want you to think of “that person.” You know who this person is: When you go to bed at night, as your head hits the pillow, the last thought running through your mind is, “How. In the world. Did this person. Get a job. In. My. Company?

Keeping this person employed signals to everyone else that you’re willing to tolerate mediocrity. That violating company core values is ok.

Fire this person. Do it today. Do it humanely, do it legally. But do it.

4. Thank someone with a handwritten note

When was the last time you got an honest-to-God handwritten note or letter? It’s probably been a while, right?

It takes time and thoughtfulness on the part of the sender to hand-write a note. It’s a real, tangible thing.  Think of someone in your organization who’s done something great, and thank them with a handwritten note.

5. Give public praise

Someone in your company did something amazing last week. They landed that deal, they saved the account, they engineered the solution.

Walk into the center of your office and make that announcement. Publicly share this individual’s accomplishment, and why it was exceptional. Ask everyone to give a standing ovation. (Make it loud!)

6. Show vulnerability

You might think you’re approachable, but you’re not.  You’re the CEO, and you’re scary.

Remind your team that you’re still a human being with hopes, dreams and fears about the business. Talk about a low point in your career, how you got there, and how you got back on track. Talk about your successes, what you’re most proud of, and why.

7. Run a contest

There’s a reason that game shows have been among the highest-rated television programs for over 60 years: they’re fun.

Pick a target you’d like to hit – new appointments set, new accounts opened, anything –  and whoever hits that target gets raffle ticket. At the end of the month, raffle off a three day weekend. Second place gets a $50 gift card. Third place, you’re fired! (Kidding.)

8. Sit on the sales floor

What inspiring leader sits thirty miles behind the front lines?  Go to where the action is and rally your team.

Pick an open desk on the sales floor and spend the next five hours making cold calls with them. Put 100 percent effort into it — exceed your own number. Talk to prospects, set meetings. Show that it can be done, and that the sales role is a critical one, because without new business, there is no business.

9. Take a team to lunch

What’s the least-recognized team in your company? It’s time to give them some props.

Reserve a private room at a nice restaurant, and take a two hour lunch. Don’t skimp, get loads of appetizers and order everyone desert. Show your love for the people who grind it out for you every day.

10. Give everyone a day off this Friday

Your team has worked its tail off this month, and you’re darn proud of them. Everyone gets Friday off. Have a great weekend, see you Monday.

11. Interview your superstars

Grab a smartphone and shoot an interview-style video with three of your star performers. Hearing your best people talk about why they love what they do inspires everybody.

Post it on YouTube. Social media the heck out of it.

12. Ask for feedback

Everyone has room to improve – even you. So, send an email to your entire company and ask for their help.

Create a Google form that gives them the space to provide anonymous feedback on how you’re doing as CEO. What could you do differently? What could the company do differently?

Want better culture? Do these twelve things. Do them now.

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