If you were to ask someone from out of state, what words they would use to describe the City of Detroit, you would most likely hear answers such as: corrupt, bankrupt, impoverished, and dangerous. We are all aware that Detroit has seen better days. What once was considered the “Paris of the West” and “The City of Tomorrow,” Detroit has become a shell of its former self. Detroit used to be a model American city, where innovators like Henry Ford and the Dodge Brothers helped to establish a strong economy that employed hundreds of thousands of people. That Detroit has become a distant memory.
Recently, there has been a lot of focus on building a strong company culture. What does that mean, though? Simply put, it is the personality of your company through the sharing of common values and attitudes. “How does this help my company?” you might ask. Fostering a strong company culture can benefit your company in a number of ways:
- Worker productivity
- Retention of employees
- Company reputation
- Quality products and services
The summer season is clearly beginning, and it’s bringing up anticipation of your typical Michigan summers, full of bonfires, lake living, ‘up north,’ and so on. But, when you’re an entrepreneur, the typical work hours tend to not apply. So, how do you enjoy your summer months while continuously moving your small business forward?
Though you may miss out on some of the fun, one of the benefits of working for yourself means making your own hours. So, take full advantage, along with some of the following tactics:
- Attend summer networking events.
- Women in Defense is holding their first “no-host mixer” on June 4 at the Whitney Garden Party. This outdoor venue is the ideal networking location for the season. We welcome comments on other great, casual, outdoor networking events!
- Keep updated on Meetup.com and industry professional groups for those networking events at ball games, on boat cruises, etc.
- Use your breaks to get some outdoor exercise.
- Though your work days might be 12 hours long, it is counter-productive to work that long without breaks. Why not use that time to get outside and get your blood moving? Dust off your bike or simply grab your walking shoes.
- Evidence suggests that exercise during regular work hours may boost performance. Cognitive benefits to exercise include improved concentration, sharper memory, faster learning, prolonged mental stamina, enhanced creativity and lower stress.
- Take your work to a serene outdoor location.
- Who says you have to work in your office? Grab your computer and head to your lakeside dock, a restaurant patio or even your own backyard. I would much prefer to hear the wind whistling through the trees than the hum of the HVAC system turning on!
- Open the windows.
- The fresh air does wonders for mental and physical health. It can boost your immune system, bust stress and increase happiness.
- As Richard Ryan, research and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, calls it, “nature is fuel for the soul.”
- Go golfing.
- Golfing has forever been known as the sport for business professionals, and never discount the importance of cultivating lasting business relationships. The golf course or driving range may prove to be the best way to work off some steam and network at the same time.
- Family or friends heading out of town for the weekend? No problem! Work remotely for a few hours each day.
- A large workload is no reason not to go! Do some research ahead of time to find the closest coffee shop or library.
- Plan your work day around the group’s activities. When my family goes up north, water activities usually start around noon. So, I have the entire morning if any work needs to get done.
- Take the team for a weekend retreat.
- Grown your business enough to have a few employees? A retreat may be the best use of your time to solve issues, strategic plan, or simply team build. Regardless of the route you choose with a retreat, a strong benefit in all cases is getting to know team members on a deeper level, thus further cementing the business relationships.
- Entrepreneur.com has multiple articles on this subject, including “5 Reasons Why a Retreat is Good for Your Business” and “4 Unexpected Benefits of a Company Retreat” as well as “How to Plan a Company Retreat” courtesy of Inc.com.
- Take a vacation!
- You may be an entrepreneur but you’re also human. Take a vacation! Clear your head and get away, even if it’s just for a few days. You’ll come back refreshed and potentially with new ideas and a fresh perspective!
It may seem to take more dedication to fit these tactics into your schedule, but working for yourself is an extreme dedication in itself. You got this, and enjoy your summer months!
Marketing & Communications Manager
Whether you’re a student, job seeker, entrepreneur, or working your dream career, maintaining an updated portfolio is a necessity. Individuals are changing positions and career paths more frequently these days. According to Forbes, job hopping is the new normal. “The average worker today stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that.”