FTC Legal Upate

This past year the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a baseless lawsuit against Traffic Jam Events, LLC and David J. Jeansonne, II (“Traffic Jam” and “Jeansonne”). This action was in response to Traffic jam and Jeansonne’s success in roundly defeating the FTC’s requested temporary and preliminary injunctive relief, which the Court heard on June 25, 2020, and denied in a written opinion issued on June 26, 2020. In that opinion, the Court made numerous citations to the lack of evidence presented by the FTC to support its claims. 

Following a ruling denying a motion for preliminary injunction, on August 10, 2020, the FTC voluntarily dismissed without prejudice the Federal Complaint against Traffic Jam Events and David Jeansonne. Then on December 28, 2020, the second complaint was finalized and a deal was reached clearing David Jeansonne and Traffic Jam Events™. 

For more information, please contact Traffic Jam Events™

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Finding New Office Space for Your Business

Whether your business is downsizing, has plans of expanding, or has been met with unforeseen circumstances, a relocation might be the only way forward. And while searching for new office space can be quite exciting, especially when there are plenty of budget-friendly options available, it isn’t smart to jump right in without a clear vision of what is needed and what can potentially harm your operation. Here are a few practical tips to aid you on this pivotal quest.

Establish a Clear Budget

You probably have a general idea of how much you are willing to invest in this new space, but you don’t even bother searching for properties unless you have an exact limit. Get clear on how much your business is sure to bring in, and measure it towards the cost of the building and your expenses. This isn’t the time to be overly optimistic as you don’t want to be in this same position just a few months from now.

Thoroughly Research Locations

If you aren’t planning to have customers in and out of your business throughout the day, your shopping pool will be more vast, but as both you and your employees deserve a safe place to work, welfare and security should be at the top of the list. Pay attention to crime rates, find out what is nearby, and determine whether or not the daily commute will be worth it for all parties involved.

Study the Layouts

While the quality of the neighborhood is paramount, the layout is just as crucial. Not only is having enough space to work necessary, but you will also want to account for any office equipment and amenities that will enhance the environment. Choosing a suite that resides in a large building comprised of other suites is beneficial because there are often shared spaces and impressive services available to all tenants and employees.

All in all, finding the ultimate office space is quite simple once you map out your standards and figure out how much you can put towards the cause. While on the search, you will likely spot a few deals that look appealing at first glance, but applying patience and due diligence will be the key to connecting you with the property of your dreams. 

New Year’s Resolutions to Make for Your Business

It’s the end of the year, and now more than ever is the perfect time to take a look back at the past year for your business. Take notice of the areas that can use some improvement, and plan for developing more in the new year. Having a New Year’s resolution to achieve success can help dictate the future of a business. The following New Year’s resolutions can help set your business on the right path heading into 2021.

Operating a business can be overwhelming. There is so much to get done, but the fact of the matter is that not everything has to fall on you. Resolve to learn to delegate, and do more of just that! It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that we must do everything ourselves for it to get done. We question ourselves as to why we are so tired and stressed out. Delegate tasks to others to help improve a better work-life balance.

While there may be a never-ending list of things to do, always take the time to promote your business. Promotions always slip the business owner’s mind because more pressing matters must be attended to. However, promoting a business is something that should be done consistently. Make this a goal for the new year! Promoting a business is the only way to attract new customers. When promotion is made a priority, the difference can be felt significantly in any given company.

Look around your local community, and you will find plenty of organizations that could use some support– this is especially true right now throughout this COVID-19 outbreak. This New Year, resolve to give back to an organization and support a cause that is meaningful to you. There are numerous ways to give back! Whether through a charitable donation, volunteering, or even serving on a committee that needs your support. Those who take the time to give get back in twofold. Businesses who willingly offer their time in their local communities develop a reputation that is so beneficial to their brand.

Business Trends to Focus on in 2021

Owning a successful business requires owners to stay up to date on their industry’s latest developments. Regardless of the industry that the business is in, being informed on the industry’s overview can help owners stay ahead of the curve when new trends arise. Top business owners are continually looking to expand their business, and those owners looking to get ahead in 2021 should keep an eye on these trends.

Mobile Employee Communication

Millennials currently makeup 50% of the workforce and are projected to represent about 75% of it by 2025. If there is one thing companies need to know about millennials, they are tech-savvy and mobile-driven, and it’s important to keep them focused and engaged. It’sIt’s important to adapt communication efforts to be mobile-friendly. Switching to a communication app offers managers a direct channel to their employees to boost communication efforts within your team. 

The Growth of Remote Work

As companies continue to adjust to Covid-19, many have dropped their office spaces and shifted their companies to remote work. Office space rental isn’t cheap, and any business that is looking to cut costs right now is doing so by allowing their employees to work from home while subletting the office space. Remote work is appealing to more and more businesses as working the normal 9 to 5 five days a week is no longer the norm. 

Non-Monetary Perks and Benefits

While the ability to work from home used to be considered a perk at many companies, many employees are looking for other perks at their job that are not money-related. Traditional compensation packages that focus on 401(k) and bonuses aren’t as compelling to employees anymore. Instead, they are looking for their work experience to include things like telecommunication, flexible work schedules, paid time off, paternity leave, and much more. These perks are nice to have, and companies need to recognize that engaged employees will help them get key business results! 

Customer Service

Personalized customer service experiences are becoming the norm for companies as we move towards 2021. Customers have their wants and needs when it comes to engaging with your business, and it’s important that smart personalization engines can recognize what your customers are interacting with. 

What trends are you most looking forward to taking off in 2021?

Keeping Your Business Organized for Success

An organized business is more successful because it ensures accuracy and efficiency. While established business owners eventually understand this concept, new business owners and entrepreneurs go through a costly trial and error period before reaching that point. If you want to eliminate that learning curve, these tips will help you create an efficient business model that’s well-positioned for growth.

Ditch the Filing Cabinets

You no longer need to keep every document physically available. Make use of cloud storage to keep a record of most of your documents. While you should still keep important and relevant documents available in print format, most information should be stored digitally. You can print them later as needed. This frees up a great deal of space in your office, which you can use for other essentials.

Organize Your Social Media Presence

Building a positive brand image requires exploring various options to see where you have the most significant effect on your target demographic groups. Once you reach that point, you should delete any accounts your business will no longer use. This leaves you with just a few account profiles to clean up. Ensure all of the information you provide on these pages is correct and uniform across each social media platform. You should also use the same profile image on every account to ensure followers can find your official account on every site you use.

Use Bookkeeping Software

Accounting software has advanced considerably in recent years, with some programs using smart technology to keep accurate records of inventories, raw materials, and other resources. This ensures your business accounts are separate from your accounts while also helping you get an accurate assessment of your business at a glance. You can generate reports, graphs, and charts to analyze the information you need to make important financial decisions. This will help you prevent overspending that could cripple your budget.

As you implement these tips and develop your strategies, you’ll find that keeping your business more organized also makes its management more straightforward. You’ll have everything you need readily available, which will eliminate most of the stress that business managers experience. This will leave you more time to pursue effective marketing campaigns to boost your business’ growth.

What Does it Mean to be an Entrepreneur?

In a nutshell, an entrepreneur is someone who builds and runs his/her own business. And while the dictionary definition of what it means to be an entrepreneur is a widely known piece of information, only a few people understand what it means to be in business. Here are qualities that make up the core of an entrepreneur:

Has a Diverse Skill Set

Entrepreneurs are known for having a diverse range of skills and expertise to effectively navigate the day-to-day and significant picture challenges of their respective industries. Aspiring entrepreneurs should proactively seek out new skills that they can add to their existing repertoire. For instance, those whose background is in finance or economics can use their weekends to learn tech-related skills, such as web design or mobile app development.

Has Absolute Command of His/Her Finances

While rags-to-riches stories of billionaires, like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, are great for motivating those with little money to spare, these cases should be more of an exception rather than the rule. Aspiring entrepreneurs should make sure that they are financially stable before taking on a financially demanding project as a business entity. If your finances are rocky, you will have difficulty making the right decisions to move your business forward.

Is Driven By a Deep Purpose

Real entrepreneurs are working towards something they feel genuinely passionate about. While making money is the goal, it shouldn’t be the only factor to consider when deciding what business to get into. Identify what bigger purpose your business serves.

Is Ready to Put in the Work

Anyone can claim that they’re an entrepreneur. But when it comes to putting in the effort of filing and submitting legal requirements, running marketing campaigns on various channels, and working on eliminating bottlenecks on product or service production, they fall short. Be ready to put in the time and effort demanded by your business.

These are only a few of the many qualities an entrepreneur should possess to compete in his/her respective niche. Other attributes that make up an effective entrepreneur include managing risk, leading other people, and selling any product or service to anyone.

5 Tips for Getting Your Business Involved in the Community

Building a positive reputation and presence in the marketplace is a top priority for any business. Community involvement is becoming a valuable mechanism for business owners. Here are five tips for businesses’ participation in local communities.

Focus on Real Local Needs

Many communities have an array of outlets for volunteering and contributing to the betterment of the local area. When you select ways for your business to get involved in the local community, look for real needs in the community. Get to know the populations within your community, such as homeless, underprivileged children, animals in shelters, and other demographics. Speak with your customers and employees to learn about what they value and how they would like to see the community improve.

Engage Your Employees

Your employees will be deeply involved in many community activities, so they need to feel passionate about their efforts. Share your vision for how you hope to help the local community and get them excited about the activities you have planned soon.

Be Consistent and Dependable

Once you commit to a neighborhood or non-profit, consistency and dependability, arrive where you promised to be and on time. Also, make sure that your group of employees act with the same attitude and stay positive throughout the event. People take notice of people’s attitudes during community events, and you want your staff to be compassionate, supportive, and happy to get involved.

Celebrate the Involvement

You want to reward your employees for taking time from their personal lives to represent your business in the community. Make sure to set aside time for recognition and employee events. Share how your business involved in the community enhanced people’s lives and give credit to the staff who showed dedication, leadership, and good interpersonal skills.

Invite New Opportunities

After you do your first community event, let other organizations in the community know that you would like to support them as well. You can also continue to work with the same organizations to coordinate the next event. This demonstrates a true commitment to the local community and shows that you stand ready to help out in any possible way.

4 Tips to Reduce Employee Burnout

Your employees with peak performance are some of the best assets at your company. It’s easy as an employer to focus on this productivity without questioning whether your employees are happy.

When employees are overworked or underappreciated, it often leads to burn out. What does this look like? It may feel like they are stressed, exhausted, and becoming cynical about their work for your employee. To you, it may look like decreased productivity. In some cases, it may be impossible to recognize at all. Employees who want to be viewed well at their job aren’t likely to speak up on their own about burn out.

So what can employers do to keep employees happy, productive, and wanting to stay on at their jobs?

Be Mindful Of Your Work Culture Pushing Employees Too Hard

To prevent employees from burnout, you can refine your work culture to promote behaviors that overwork employees.

This sounds vague, but it comes with simple actions.

For example, employers used to put in place programs that encouraged employees not to take their vacation or sick days. Instead, encourage your employees to use those days, so they take breaks and clear their minds.

Apply this as well to taking breaks during the day and socializing. Even if you are working remotely, you can find ways to encourage employees to take breaks, so they are more focused when actively working.

Create a work culture that encourages people to be mindful of taking care of themselves as human beings. This will pay off in healthier and happier employees who feel respected in the workplace.

Give Them More Control Where You Can

Many employees who suffer from burn out don’t feel like they have any control over their days. Micromanaging employees may seem like a great way to get them to stay on task, but it can also make them feel suffocated. Give your employees as much space as you can to create a stress-free work environment.

Keep Business Processes Efficient

Are you having too many meetings? This is a common worker complaint. Are you offering your employees tools to make their days more efficient and respecting their time? One way to keep employees from burning out is by looking at tools for making their jobs more efficient. This can look like offering new automation tools for scheduling their tasks or making sure meetings are tightly scheduled, with only those needed in attendance.

Connect With Them To Ask How It’s Going

The best way to know how your employees are feeling about their job is to ask them. Perform regular reviews and have private meetings with them. During this time, it’s good to go over their tasks and how they’re managing the day to day. Do they feel overworked? Are they adequately challenged? Are they happy at their job? You won’t honestly know how they feel until you ask them.

The Best Books for Business Owners

Perhaps the most common trait amongst some of the most successful business figures is the yearning to keep learning. As a business owner, you know that trends, materials, and marketing changes on the fly. It is recommended to learn from those who’ve been in your position through the act of reading. But where should you start? The following list includes some of the best books that business owners should take the time to read.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

There’s a reason why this book has continued to fly off the shelf year after year, and that’s because it’s simply timeless. Stephen Covey goes in-depth regarding the various areas of business, not just the logistics. He helps the reader understand the importance of improving all areas of their lives, including people’s lives outside the office. This book will learn about the art of time management, improving workflow, and having a positive mindset. This is no doubt a must-read, especially if you’re starting on your journey.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini

Suppose you could only know what makes people say yes, then everything would be easier. Although it’s not possible to read people’s minds, it is certainly possible to become more aware of what people are thinking and how that influences their decisions. In this book, Dr. Cialdini goes over the six universal principles of customer persuasion. The book also helps you, as a business leader, avoid being influenced by specific physiological influences made by your clients, which can save you from making costly decisions.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Although this book is meant to educate war generals, it undoubtedly resonates with the world of business. For example, in the book, Sun Tzu talks about not letting your enemy know what your plans are. This allows you to catch them by surprise, and thus your chances of victory improve as well. This lesson can also be used in business. If you’re working on a new product or service, it would be wise not to tell anyone outside your company. Work on it until you know that it’s ready for the public, and only then should you attack the competition.

Mastering Communication Skills For Entrepreneurs

Part of being an entrepreneur is mastering a wide range of skill sets. Many of these skills are ones people take for granted that they are already good at, like communication. How do you effectively communicate your marketing message to consumers? To other companies? How do you effectively negotiate with suppliers or communicate your needs to an employee or freelancer?

Mastering communication skills as an entrepreneur is necessary for long term success. Your business can’t grow without other people.

So what types of skills are part of effective communication that you can work on?

Letting People Know You Are Actively Listening

There are two parts to this. There is making sure the people you are listening to know they have your attention, and there is giving it. You don’t want to fake this. Part of building your relationship with the people you’re communicating with is taking in what others have to say.

When you are giving someone your attention, make sure you are listening. Cut out distractions. If your phone is going off, put it on silent and apologize. It’s a common practice to repeat some of what you’ve heard when you reply. Not only does this indicate you were listening, but it clarifies that you understood them correctly.

Learn to Write Well

You’ll be sending many texts, emails, and social media messages as part of your business. You’ll also either be writing marketing messages yourself or approving them. To do this well, you want to write well. Today, this is simply an essential part of effective communication as an entrepreneur.

You can also use online tools like Grammarly to check your work for you while you’re on your device to help speed this up. You can also take copywriting and written communication courses in-person or online to improve this area.

Learn to Express Your Ideas

As an entrepreneur, you have big ideas that need communicating. You need to be thorough in how you express them. Being concise is also important as part of being transparent, but often people will lean too far one way or the other on this. You don’t want to ramble, but you also need to give enough information that people clearly understand what you’re saying.

If you struggle with getting your point across, you may practice writing a first draft of what you want to communicate, just for yourself. Write down every thought you have on the topic. Then read through it and highlight the important parts. This way, you’ve got everything you need and can still cut the extraneous. This is an excellent way to organize your thoughts and practice effective communication.