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Biz Bits: Business owners: Use your time for growth
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Tip of the Week
Managing time is what is costing business owners. Here are tips to use your time more productively and achieve stronger growth in 2014:
Explore the resources available to you
A challenge for many small-business owners is understanding how to utilize resources to further grow their business. Through extensive national research, OfficeMax found that small business owners have a lot of questions, such as which vendors to turn to; what questions to ask; how much time to invest in researching appropriate vendors for each specific business need.
Resolve to explore the options and resources available to you in order to assign important tasks to a reliable partner. One such resource is the OfficeMax Services Center, which offers more than 40 business solutions services, from credit card processing and payroll services to IT support and cloud storage solutions.
Use new technology to your advantage
A majority of surveyed business owners expressed concern that their current vendors were not keeping up with technology trends. Be sure to enlist support that offers you the hardest-working technology options aligned with your business needs, whether for website hosting or on-call IT support. Cloud storage is another priority technology that can help business owners save time and sleep sounder knowing that files are secure and easily accessible in one central location.
Select reliable vendors to provide support
Fifty-four percent of survey respondents felt their current service vendors do not understand their business or specific needs. An important part of reinvesting time for growth is finding trusted vendors to get the job done.
As usual, scammers are using a variety of ways to prey on utility customers. Scammers claim that the electric meter is not working properly and must be immediately replaced - at the customer's expense - or the electricity will be shut off. Other scammers are using email to reach customers. Watch out for emails disguised as overdue notices from your utility company. Clicking on a link or attachment will load malware on your computer.
Here are the top-earning "American Idol" stars of 2013, according to Forbes:
1. Carrie Underwood ($31 million)
2. Kelly Clarkson ($7 million)
3. Phillip Phillips ($5 million) and Adam Lambert ($5 million) - tie
5. Daughtry ($4 million)
6. Scotty McCreery ($3 million)
7. Taylor Hicks ($2.5 million)
8. Fantasia Barrino ($1.5 million) and Kellie Pickler ($1.5 million) - tie
10. Katharine McPhee ($1 million) and Jennifer Hudson ($1 million) - tie
Number to Know
4 billion: Twenty-three million small-business owners across the U.S. lose four billion hours each year managing time-consuming - but crucial - business operations and administrative tasks, according to the OfficeMax Small Business Efficiency Index sourced in the fall of 2013. In addition to lost time for growth, most business owners said these tasks also drained their passion for their business.
Your digital world can get just as messy as any other area of the home with all the photos, emails and documents you're creating and storing. Your inbox is a great place to tackle first considering the average person will receive more than 10,000 emails this year, according to The Radicati Group, Inc. According to Outlook.com, 80 percent of the average inbox is commercial mail, such as newsletter and daily deals.
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