How to say “Thank You” as a Business

Thank you. 

Those two words right there go a long way, farther than you might think. You might say them when someone holds the elevator for you when you are coming to work in the morning, or when your waiter brings you your drink at a restaurant. Those two words convey appreciation and gratitude but they are lacking in the corporate world. 

This article from Proposify really states it well: “A simple ‘thank you’ can show your clients and partners that you value the relationship, and it helps build rapport. For employees and co-workers, ‘thank you’ can instill confidence, demonstrate that the work they do is integral to the success of your organization.” 

A good, old-fashioned thank you can establish brand loyalty. People, when participating in your brand, will feel wanted and appreciated. People don’t want to show support to brands that treat their customers or employees poorly. Customers don’t only pick what brands they like solely on their products or services, they take into account the brand’s values. 

There are many specific ways to say thank you as a business. Of course, there is a thank you note. It is a classic for a reason. It feels personal and that someone took the time to sit down and write a note for you. A handwritten one obviously feels more intentional than an email, but in today’s technological world, it can have the same effect. If you find yourself writing a thank you note, be as personal and thorough as you can. Like I have said time and time again, people, at an innate level need to feel appreciated and your thank you note can provide that. Detail all that this person did that you are grateful for. 

A thank you doesn’t only have to go to just one person. A business can thank all their customers at once! Having a sale or promotion to say thank you for all their service to you as a business is usually well-received. The only thing I can say about this is to make sure that the promotion is filled with real sentiment and not just a reason to make more money. Customers can usually tell the difference. 

As you probably know, Ment Cowork has been celebrating our one year anniversary all month long. We have had a lot of celebrations, which is wonderful. But, our celebrations are about our members and the people who walk out of the elevator into Suite 203 every single day. We want to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of our year-long journey and we can’t wait to see where we go from here. 

Saying thank you should be an integral part of business relationships. It creates an air of goodwill surrounding your brand. The main take-away from this is if you are going to say thank you as a business (and I hope that you do,) make it intentional. Make saying thank you a priority in your company. 

Thank YOU for reading this blog. 🙂

 

Investing in Your Business

Starting your own business is scary. There is a lot of uncertain variables that can factor into creating your own company from scratch. The biggest question, of course, is money. Money makes the world go ‘round, whether that is a good or a bad thing: it’s true.

There are all kinds of ways to invest in your business. If you shoot videos for a living, maybe buying state-of-the-art video equipment. Maybe it is expanding your product line. Whatever it might be, an investment can go a long way and mean profit for your business. But, many entrepreneurs can be afraid to take that step towards their ultimate success. Investing is a big deal, especially into something you might not see turnover immediately in. Investments require time and money, both things that entrepreneurs value above all else.

The future is unknown, which is another reason why investing in the future of your company might be a little terrifying. Your investment might not even pay off (hopefully that won’t happen!) But, you have to ask yourself, is the risk of this investment worth the possibility of the greater reward?

Align your investment with your business goals. Create a clear line to sales and make sure that it can be profitable. For example, say you are a photographer. If your current camera is a little old, consider the possible investment into a new camera that takes phenomenal photos. With the better camera, you can afford to charge a little more for the pictures you take and that camera will pay for itself.

Set goals for your business and evaluate how some little investments along the way can help you grow. Create a system to track your investments, whether that be Google Analytics or some other metrics system, just create a visual to actively track what you are doing for your investments.

Making an investment doesn’t have to be one big end-all, be-all thing. For instance, you may be an entrepreneur who meets with clients and your business is ran out of your home. But, you also have a dog and two young children running around the house. Those little rascals, though you love them, might get in the way. You need a quiet place in a professional setting to get work done and meet with clients. That is where a coworking space, particularly Ment comes in. We obviously have memberships where you can always work here, but you might be a small business, wary of the cost of the investment and what that would look like. We offer day passes, which allows you to try out our services for yourself before you take the deep-dive into coworking. A day pass is a great way to begin to invest in your business.

Investing in your business requires a lot of external factors. Is your business profitable enough to take a hit if it has to? Is your personal finances have enough in it to suffice an investment? If you are ready to really take your business to the next level, great! Go for it. Create the business of your dreams. We’re here to support you!

Incorporating Podcasts into Your Content Marketing Strategy

Hi, my name is Emily and I am obsessed with podcasts. I listen to one probably every day in some capacity. They have taken over my Broadway cast albums I would normally listen to on a long drive (sorry, Lin-Manuel Miranda, I guess I threw away my shot.) Podcasts, if you have somehow been living under a rock, are just generally a broadcast conversation, much like talk radio. There are podcasts about every topic you could ever dream of—from politics to business to beekeeping.

Podcasts are really the new media frontier. They only require an internet connection and can go anywhere with the listener. They provide opportunities to learn something new without having to actually do any work. You can drive, clean your house, or work out, all while listening to an episode of your favorite podcast.

Podcasts are becoming a part of content marketing strategies across the globe. Many famous celebrities and influencers have turned to podcasting as a way to further enrich their followers with their brand—even Oprah has a podcast.  Podcasts are usually easier to create than, say, a blog post or a highly-produced video. All that is needed is a microphone and editing software. You can put out high-quality content about your brand with minimal effort on your part.

Podcasts establish brand recognition on a personal level. People identify with your voice, they feel like they’ve made a friend and have invited you into their home or car. And, if you do it right, will want to listen to you everyday. Establish a certain amount of trust with your listeners. People will follow your podcast and in turn, participate in whatever your brand is doing.

This type of content marketing isn’t only for those local to you. Podcasts are worldwide, people. You can only spread your brand so far on your own and podcasts can help send it even further.

If you are interested in starting a podcast, make sure it is entertaining as well as relevant to your brand and your industry. It has to incorporate your brand in there somewhere, or it is just you talking into a microphone for fun (which is also great, but not what we’re trying to do here.) Think of a podcast just like you would any other piece of your content marketing strategy—do your fair share of planning, target a specific audience, and engage them in the content you are producing.

Lastly, this is just for fun. If want to start listening to podcasts, you have come to the right place. Here are five of my favand why I love them:

  1. And That’s Why we Drink: The podcast that got me into podcasts. Now, I know that true crime and paranormal activity isn’t for everybody, but it is for me. The ladies of ATWWD (Em and Christine) are so personable and make murder and ghosts as fun as you probably can.
  2. Wine and Crime: Another similar podcast like the one above. I haven’t dived too deep into this one, but it is also wonderful.
  3. Slow Burn: Oooooh, I love this one. I think I binged this one in a weekend. It is about two political scandals in America’s history—season one Watergate and season two is the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair. I learned so much from this.
  4. Soul Sugar: This podcast is described as “sugar for your soul,” and that is exactly what it is. Carrie discusses all things self-love, self-care, and provides a little inspiration every Sunday.
  5. Rise: Now, I just started this one last week, but I have become quickly obsessed. The host, Rachel, provides business and personal development insight and she is just a wonderful lady. Definitely recommend.

One Year Celebrations

If you have been following us literally anywhere, you know that this month marks one year of Ment Cowork! Yay! We had such an amazing time celebrating our one year anniversary last week and we’re carrying that excitement into this work week. If you weren’t able to celebrate with us, here is a recap!

First off, our actual anniversary is June 13, so last Thursday. Our day started with cake and donuts and who doesn’t love those things?! We also had a lunch for our members to help us celebrate! 

Friday was a big day: We offered #ComplimentaryCoworking on Friday! Our space was open for the day to the public. A free coworking day allowed for people in the community to what Ment is about and promote our brand to the public even more! Also on Friday was a Ment-sponsored beergarden at Spencer’s Coffee with food from the BG Cheese Wagon (I am still thinking about my macaroni melt.)

It was great to be able to celebrate all that Ment has accomplished in just a year and to anticipate all that is to come! We have so many exciting things happening soon so make sure to keep up to date on all things Ment! 🍃

 

How to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Full-Time job

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More and more people have been turning to doing something on the side, along with their typical 9-to-5 job (cue the classic Dolly Parton.) Sometimes the income from one job just isn’t cutting it anymore or you are deciding to follow a deep-seeded passion of yours. A side-hustle may start just as such, but then may turn into a business of its own.

Leaving a seemingly steady job to embark on a business that is all your own can be invigorating, but also quite scary. Think about if you are willing to give up possible benefits and follow your heart’s desire. Of course, make sure you have enough income built up to live on beforehand. Are you making enough money with this side hustle to justify the leap? Don’t take the jump until you are fully ready and committed!

When starting out, you probably just want to reach as many people as you can through whatever means necessary, and I totally get that. But, just like any business, it is best to find your target market and stick to them. They will allow you to find your niche and decide what works and what doesn’t. Focus on what works. This could be through social media, traditional ads, or however you reach your consumer base. After the target market is met, branch out to those who might normally participate in your business. That is how to grow.

Time is money, especially as a fresh entrepreneur. Know that it’s on you to make things  happen but do not to spread yourself too thin: it’s a balance. Take breaks when you need them, do a little self-care, and then get back in the groove. I know it might be about making the most money at first, but soon it won’t be.

Being on your own in this capacity, you are probably wearing more than one hat: owner, HR, sales, and probably more. If you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed trying to get your business off the ground, break down your tasks into smaller ones and check them off of your list one by one. Seeing each item get ticked off makes you feel more accomplished and you will feel more productive! This builds up your own accountability. It is all on you and you can’t rely on any superiors to tell you what to do. Do what is best for you and your business.

This is one of my favorite tips that I have probably included in almost all my blog posts, but it is important! Ask for help! We as humans are not meant to do anything alone. When you are putting yourself in a vulnerable place such as starting your own business, know that it will be hard, but surround yourself with people who wish to see you succeed. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely experience, especially if you are doing everything on your own. Get to know people in the same line of work as you. Understand them as people beyond the competition. They are competition is some aspects, but take what you can learn from them and apply it to what you do.

Stepping away from the familiar 9-5 can be daunting, but if you are truly ready, don’t let that hold you back. Take the leap of faith, and your wallet might thank you down the line!

Using your Business Anniversary as PR

You say it’s your birthday?!

If you are reading this blog, you might be nearing an anniversary for your business. Whether it is one year (like us— I’ll get into that in a bit) or 50 years, any milestone is worth celebrating. If done right, your anniversary can boost your company’s PR through media coverage, word-of-mouth, and more.

A business anniversary is not just about getting a cake with the company logo across it, but who doesn’t love cake?! Still get the cake, duh. But, The Society for Marketing Professional Services really gets it. They state that business anniversaries can be used to really build up a lot of goodwill and brand recognition, and they describe it perfectly:

“Think of the milestone as a year-long celebration of the company’s longevity, and plan an anniversary campaign that strengthens the brand and promotes the firm and its mission. The target audience for the anniversary campaign could include employees, clients, prospects, potential hires, partners, and media influencers in the company’s target sectors. There are many marketing and PR activities that lend themselves nicely to anniversary promotion. Your goals, budget, and target audience will determine which activities best fit your company.”

Since we are only a year old, we are still learning and growing. We haven’t mastered any of these tips yet, but we found some really cool ways to build PR around our anniversary and we hope that we can all learn together.

It all starts with the planning. Think about what makes up your brand and what you want to highlight about yourselves. Planning should be done well in advance to make sure that this anniversary campaign can reach as many people as possible.

Social media is a great way to build your brand all year-round, but can truly be utilized during a business anniversary. We are using throwback photos from when Ment first took shape all the way until now. These types of photos can spark some nostalgia in some of your brand’s most loyal followers. This month on Instagram, we have been posting pictures of the construction of our space with a side-by-side of its current state. Events that celebrate the anniversary can also be posted and marketed in this way. Be consistent about posts and make sure they speak to your target audience.

Storytelling can also be used to generate brand involvement—people love that stuff. Detail how your business started with the idea and share how it grew and grew to where it is today. Highlight those people who helped along the way such as the owner all the way down the chain of command and thank them for their contributions. This week in particular, we are thanking those who have been with Ment since the beginning. Interview people who currently work in the space. Testimonies like these reach followers on a different level than just a normal ad.

Run a special on your product or service to commemorate this occasion. For instance, Ment is having a free coworking day and beergarden on June 14 to celebrate our one year anniversary. This is a great way to get people into the space and involved in what we do here, and hopefully keep them coming back again and again.

While it is important to focus on the past during an anniversary and dwell upon how you got to where you are, it is equally important to take a look into the future. Take note on what you as a business have done in the past and decide on how you can be better in the future.

June 13 marks the one year anniversary of Ment Cowork. We are so excited to have reached this milestone. It has been wonderful to serve Bowling Green in this way and cannot wait for what is to come!

Happy birthday to us and to you as well! 🎂

Networking for Introverts

Let’s face it—networking is an essential part of our professional lives and it doesn’t care if you’re an extrovert or an introvert. It has the power to help you secure that dream job you’ve been plotting and planning towards and even work your way up the infamous corporate ladder if that’s your style. What I have learned is, when done right, it can allow for deeper relationships to be built, friendships and new introductions to be made that you couldn’t even imagine possible, and numerous opportunities to promote your professional efforts in a less forced way than maybe an interview.

Now, I am the first to admit I need to work on my networking skills. I am an introvert through and through so when it comes to meeting new people and attending organized events, I tend to stay in my own little bubble until I get to know a person on a deeper level. Therefore, it is no surprise that I can sometimes find networking an exhausting task. I know how important it is and how beneficial it is to me, I just can’t seem to make myself talk to people I don’t know sometimes. It can be hard to put yourself out there in a situation you are not comfortable in; I totally get it! So I decided to break down networking in four simple points to combat my introverted self and hopefully so you can as well the next time you RSVP to that cocktail meet and greet.

Be intentional. This might be my favorite one of all, so I am going to list it first. Networking relies on conversations, and people can tell when you are being fake. Intentional conversations are so much more meaningful and memorable, but you have to push yourself to make those connections with people!

Do your homework. When you are planning on networking with, say, the head of the company you want to work for, you need to know who you’re talking to. Google them, research their work history and find how they made it to where they are today so you throw that in the conversation a little (but not too much.)

Talk to people. This is the one I struggle with the most, and you probably do too. If I am attending an event or something, I am most likely to say and do nothing, eating my food in silence. I know it is easier said than done, but push yourself to have one conversation with someone, and then it will slowly become easier to talk to the people you really need to.

Maintain the relationship. Woo-hoo! You’ve done the brunt of the work, you have talked to someone and secured a little more of a network. Now comes the hard part. Continue to stay in touch with the people you have been networking with. Create a cohesive list and make sure that you update them on what you are doing and ask how they can help you along the way.

Something I love about the coworking industry is that everyday is a built-in networking event if you let it. You work around people in different industries and are able to build a network bigger than you could do alone. You don’t always have to go out to an event to grow your network—you can find it right where you are.

I know that networking can be a daunting task, especially when you are more on the shy side like me. But if we look at it as a way to build connections and relationships rather than a means to an end, it becomes easier each and every time. Good luck, my friend!

8 Ways to Stay Motivated at Work

Some people are just good at staying focused, following each task to completion and then moving on to the next one with ease. Others may start off strong and then fizzle out before the day is done. If you find yourself in a rut while you’re at work, school, or anywhere else, and need tips on staying motivated, read on

  1. Find something you love to do.

First off, let me be blunt. It is easier to stay motivated in a position if you like (or even love) what you’re doing. If you aren’t happy in the place that you are at, you won’t want to keep doing it.

  1. Consider your “Why?”

If you don’t know why you’re doing something, are you going to do it and do it well? Ask yourself why you’re doing the tasks you’re doing, and seek that reason first and foremost.

  1. Commit.

Make your commitment to staying focused your first priority every day when you start your work day. Begin with the mindset that you are going to tackle the day and stick to it!

  1. Create a to-do list.

I know it sounds cheesy, but writing everything down you have to do helps you sort through your day and find out what tasks are most important. Getting it all out on paper or in a word document allows you to see what must be done, and then you can act on those tasks.

  1. Take breaks.

If you have read any of our blogs from March, you know the importance of taking a quick brain break will promote crazy amounts of motivation. Stepping away from what you are doing allows you to clear your head, and maybe see things from a different angle. Get up and refill your water bottle, take a stroll outside, or just take a minute to scroll through Instagram.

  1. Dress for success.

Jazz up your work wardrobe! Looking good always makes you feel good and you’ll want to be more productive.

  1. Ask for feedback.

You see those people around you? They’re valuable resources. Ask your buddies about that design, or that project you’re working on. Another set of eyes will help you see things more clearly.

  1. Positive affirmations

Yes, I know, these are even more cheesy than the to-do list—but they truly work. Hang some inspirational quotes around or find one for your computer background. Write some down on sticky notes to put on your desk.

Finding inspiration in a dull office or when you feel like no one gets what you do can be tough. However, if you follow some of these tips, you may start to see some positive changes take shape.

Happy working!