Small Business Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is one of those issues we often hear about when it comes to employees, but what about small business owners and entrepreneurs?

Being a small business owner is challenging. It takes a lot of time and energy in order to keep the business going and growing. This can often lead to the assumption that the more time you put into something, namely, your business, then the more you will get out of it. Right? Maybe, maybe not, but you should try and be smart about it.

Consider this, studies show that the belief that multitasking is a powerful productivity tool is a myth. If you are in the middle of a personal, non-business task at home for example, then it might be a good idea to finish that up and then take care of that business matter later. Of course there are always exceptions, emergencies do happen, but do not automatically assume that making your business your number one priority will always lead you to better business results. If you come back to that business task with your full attention, you will likely complete it better and in less time.

Another way to help you obtain a better work-life balance would be to set aside one day out of the week (or maybe even the whole weekend if possible) to not do anything business-related. Think carefully about what day you choose, and make sure it is one that can work for you. For example, if your business gets an important delivery on Saturdays where there are commonly questions or problems with it, then that might not be a good day to choose. This can allow you to decompress, get some greater perspective, and then be ready to jump back into work more inspired and reinvigorated. Burnout is real, and taking steps to overcome it or prevent it now will reward you and your business over the long-term.

A common problem with work-life balance for small business owners is when you operate a home-based business. When you are in this situation, it can be hard to ever feel like you are off-the-clock and actually able to relax in your own home. If you are in this situation, consider limiting all of your business operations, equipment, inventory, et cetera, to one or two rooms in your home. If you have business items strewn across the house, you will likely find yourself thinking about work everywhere you go at home. Additionally, if you do all of your work at home, then it might be a good idea to keep a strict schedule for yourself of working hours. Get in a routine. Together, these tactics should train your brain to focus better on your business by concentrating both when and where you work in a common and predictable way for yourself.

Whatever your small business’ circumstances, it is crucial that you give it 100%, but you cannot do that if you are trying to work 100% of the time. We are all human after all, and we need to eat, sleep, get some rest, and spend some time with our families in order to be at our best on the job. So try and strive for a reasonable work-life balance for yourself, and you will likely be a better person and business owner for it. Lastly, remember not to feel guilty for taking some time out or else you likely will not experience the benefits of rest and balancing your work and the rest of your life. Just give it a try and see if it works for you.

If you need legal advice for your business, or are ready to start a new business of your own, then don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Business Attorney, Elizabeth Lewis, at 720-258-6647 or email her at elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com.

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Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80264
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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Craft Beer is a Billion-Dollar Economic Driver in CO

As today is National Beer Day, what better way to celebrate than talking about beer! According to a study released by the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business in association with the Colorado Brewers Guild, small, locally-owned breweries had an overall economic impact of 1.15 billion dollars on the Colorado Economy for the year of 2014, and it employs over 6,000 workers in Colorado.

This is good news for Colorado as one of the top craft beer brewing states in the country. At the end of last year’s count, there were 261 craft breweries in Colorado, with more and more popping up all the time. The latest figures now have the count at over 300! Altogether, this means that you likely don’t have to go very far to find excellent beer in or near your neighborhood. These Colorado craft beer brewers are made up of small businesses that simply love great beer and Colorado. They just want to share their passion with others, and consumers have been buying.

Overall, the craft beer takeover is not showing any signs of slowing down yet, but how long can it continue to grow at these rates? This is growing concern. How much is too much craft beer in one area? As far as the national numbers go, craft beer is still only sitting at just over 12% of the beer market share, but more locally, the market may be experiencing a lot more crowding. The growth and interest in craft beer is likely making the bigger, national brewers nervous too, who may be looking to buy some of the smaller brewers or get more creative with their own beer offerings to try to compete.

Another ongoing concern for craft brewers is a potential ballot initiative that would allow for grocery stores and other big retailers to be able to start selling full-strength beer inside, an issue we discussed previously here. They fear this could lead to more consumers opting for buying some of the more national brand offerings at these larger stores rather than going to their local liquor stores who tend to have large selections of local, craft beer offerings. Then there is also the impact on local small business liquor store owners being affected by the change as well. Craft beer is certainly an industry worth watching here in Colorado, whether you work in small or big business.

If you need legal help for your craft brewery, then don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Business Attorney, Elizabeth Lewis, at 720-258-6647 or email her at elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com.

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Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80264
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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Your Small Business and Social Responsibility

In a previous post, we discussed how to craft an elevator pitch for your business or even for yourself. The key is to come up with a simple but powerful way to describe what problem you solve and how that can really make a difference. In this post, we will talk about some more marketing ideas that can help your small business shine.

The first is to highlight the social impact and responsibility of your company. One survey found that 55% of global online consumers across 60 countries were willing to pay more for products and services offered by companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

As a small business, you may not think that you are poised to compete with bigger companies when it comes to sustainable practices or changing the world, but really, that is not all that social responsibility is about. As a small business, you are actually better situated to really own that message of social responsibility because you have a trait that bigger companies often lack, which is authenticity. As a small business, you can leverage your smaller size by highlighting the positive impact that you generate even with fewer people.

Social responsibility isn’t something that only big companies with big ideals can achieve. No, social responsibility is something that bigger companies have to remind themselves about, it is a part of the entrepreneurial spirit of doing something differently for the better and remembering the people that make it all possible in the process.

You can start by looking at things your business is already doing. Are you locally owned and operated? Tell people. Are you following sustainable business practices and partnering with other businesses that do the same? Tell people. Do you use local sources for your products or make your final products in Colorado? Tell people. Even if you are not currently following some of these practices, be sure that you announce it if you do make such a change.

Consumers are more conscious about the purchasing decisions they are making. As we talked about in another post about being a customer of your own business, consumers are likely to research their purchasing decisions online. Consumers therefore want more information about what they are buying, so why not tell them? Informational costs are low when it comes to your website and social media pages, so tell them about the good things your business is doing and they will likely be more interested.

Alternatively, if your business is not following some of those practices, that does not mean you don’t have great characteristics about your small business that you should market. For example, if your business is more service-oriented, you can try telling the stories of yourself, your employees, and also your clients. You can tell them about charities and other community projects that you, your employees, and your business all help to support. When people develop a personal connection with the people of a particular business, they are more likely to keep going back and tell other people about it. This is why great customer and client service can be so effective.

Are you or employees of your business involved with any charities? Tell people about it, and see if you can get more employees and partners with your business to get on board too. Overall, this will be something both good for others and for your business, and that is what social responsibility marketing is all about.

If you need legal help for you business, then don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Business Attorney, Elizabeth Lewis, at 720-258-6647 or email her at elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com.

Contact Us Today

Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80264
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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Growth in Denver and What that Means for Small Business

For this post, we are going to talk about something that has been on a lot of people’s minds for at least the past few years. We are talking about growth in Denver, and what a key concern with this growth should be for small businesses.

The Metro Denver’s population growth rate has held steady at a high level of 1.5% annually between 2004 and 2014 according to the MetroDenver Economic Development Corporation. In January of this year, Forbes ranked Denver #6 among the top twenty fastest growing cities in the country. More recently, in June, Metro Denver ranked #1 in economic job growth among the top ten Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

With the growing population, as well as the booming economic environment, these people and businesses all have to go somewhere. As to be expected, the Denver area has been experiencing some growing pains, especially when it comes to both residential and commercial space availability and rates. Over the past year, rental rates for offices in Denver jumped up 7.5 percent, which amounts to the 6th biggest jump in the country. Residential rental rates increased 9% over the last year, the highest in the country, even higher than notoriously high rental markets like San Francisco. So what does all of this growth mean for a small business owner?

Whether you operate a small business as a landlord of commercial or residential space, or are a small business that is a tenant of commercial space, with this growth and rising rental rates, people have a lot more at stake when it comes to their leases. Your small business might not be able to stay afloat with a large unexpected rent increase on its commercial space or it might not be able to afford to move somewhere else. Similarly, if you are a landlord, your tenants might not be able to afford higher rates or might be looking over leases more critically, since they are paying more. Either way, with more money at stake, people are more likely to get into a dispute leading to a legal battle over a lease now more than before.

After all, rates are high, so tenants are more likely to want to fight to stay where they are now or might try and get away with more at their rented space due to the high price they are paying. All of this means that there is no better time to look over your leases, whether you are a lessor or lessee, than right now. This goes for leases that are currently in effect, and ones that might be coming up. You should be sure that you know exactly what terms are in those leases, exactly when they will end, and all the other details and problems that could arise. Even if you have looked at your leases, give them another look, and have an experienced attorney look them over too. This is not an area you want to have any surprises in, as they can be quite costly. Investing some time and money now with your leases can save a lot of money and headache down the road. Additionally, you should consider preparing now for upcoming lease negotiations that will likely happen in this tight market, and knowing what the existing lease contains is the first step in that process.

If you need legal help in writing or reviewing your leases as a landlord of rental properties or as a tenant of commercial space, then don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Attorney, Elizabeth Lewis, at 720-258-6647 or email her at elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com.

Contact Us Today

Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80264
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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Marketing Your Business or Yourself, the Elevator Pitch

Perhaps you’ve heard about this idea before or even told yourself that you would come up with one but haven’t yet. It’s the so-called “Elevator Pitch.” It is all about being able to pitch your business, idea, or yourself to someone in the minute or so that it takes to ride in an elevator with someone. It sounds easy right? It can be harder than you think, but it is time to finally put one together so you are armed with it when the need arises.

The general idea is that you describe yourself or your business in a dynamic way that is succinct but sticks with the listener. Just like with a well-timed pause, less can be more when it comes to making a pitch to someone. When crafting an elevator pitch, you should be thinking about what would be important to the listener. What keeps them up at night? What problems do you solve for people? These are the questions that can prompt you to create a good elevator pitch. However, you want to make sure you include some passion too, to keep it interesting.

So a good elevator pitch would generally cover the following areas:

  • What you do and how you do it differently than others
  • Explain what problem it is that you solve
  • Describe the value that you add
  • Close with a call to action (hire me, invest in my business, etc.)

The first part is to try and come up with a catchy way to explain what you do and how it is different from others. However, you should not dwell on the competitors if there are any, remember, this pitch is about you and why you do things differently. This is distinct from just what makes you better than the competition. You can then expand on this by describing a common problem that people face and how you or your business solves it in a way that makes economic sense. Incorporated within the entire pitch is the idea of value. Whether that means that you do what you do more efficiently and affordably than others or if you are adding some new value that others don’t, you just need to make that value clear to your listener.

Once you put together a great elevator pitch, it’s a good idea to think about what you will say next. If you get their attention with your pitch and respond with “tell me more,” you should be prepared for that too. Come up with the “what’s next” part of your pitch. This can include what the next direct steps are in order for them to do what your call to action consisted of (hire you, invest in you, etc.). Another approach is to offer some examples or hypotheticals of how what you do has or can succeed.

All of these concepts can apply whether you already own a business and are trying to get new clients, customers, or investors, if you are seeking out investors or partners to start a new business, or if you are just trying to get hired individually. After all, this type of pitch is a great way to network for a new internship or job too.

If you need legal advice on making a change to your business, or are ready to start a new business of your own, then don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Business Attorney, Elizabeth Lewis, at 720-258-6647 or email her at elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com.

Contact Us Today

Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80264
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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