Fa·cil·i·ta·tion – To facilitate is to make possible, to ease, to assist.

We provide strategic facilitation services to help you articulate a more realistic and exciting future or solve a specific organizational problem or question with client-centric events and processes.

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Small Business Owners Should Be Using These Innovative Tools for Growth

Whether it’s strategic consulting or association management, Lighthouse Consulting Group has you covered. Contact us today to learn more! 401-247-0313

Using innovative techniques to grow a business isn’t just a way to keep up with the changing times; it can also help small and mid-sized business owners save time and money, reach a wider audience, and problem-solve with the push of a button. By introducing tech solutions to your company, you can streamline formerly labor-intensive tasks while taking your business to the next level in areas like customer service, accounting, and project management. You can even add on to your marketing strategy and build your customer base with tools like an SMS messaging tool.

No matter where your goals lie, making smart choices with technology will be to your benefit for many years to come, so it’s important to learn all you can about the software and services available to your business. Lighthouse Consulting Group shares a few tips on where to look first:

Remote work — One of the most meaningful concepts to come out of the pandemic for many business owners is the idea of remote work. Not only does it allow employees more flexibility in order to handle family responsibilities, but it also provides money savings for the company. When your team is scattered, however, it’s crucial to ensure you have the right tools to keep everyone on the same page. Project management would be nothing without online communication tools that allow for secure, easy document and image sharing or team meetings, so look into the advantages of these resources for your team members. Even if you don’t currently have remote workers, these tools may come in handy down the road, and training your team members on how to use them now will save you time later.

Time management — Any business owner knows that making the most out of every minute of the day is essential for both managers and team members, but it can be hard to ensure productivity every day, especially if some of your employees work out of the office. Utilizing time management tools like a note-taking app or calendar app to keep up with meetings, projects, and deadlines is essential if you want to ensure that everyone is on the same page. These tools will help to eliminate mistakes and prevent you from having to hold meetings or training sessions more than once on the same topic, which will save time for everyone.

Cyber security — When several people are sharing files and information, it’s crucial to ensure that your business’s most sensitive data is kept secure. That’s why investing in the best cyber security software, email system, and protection tools is imperative. The good news is, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on these tools; in fact, a password-protected PDF file can go a long way toward keeping certain documents safe.

When it comes to email, Google has a wealth of resources for business owners, including a secure email system that provides customized addresses for both your business and your employees. Not only is this great for lending credibility to your company, it’s also advantageous for your marketing strategy.

You’ll also need to consider using digital backup for your most important information. Often, smaller businesses fail to protect their data sufficiently because they underestimate the risks. Some utilize security methods without updating them, while others have no plan in place at all for future data loss. Whether it’s from hackers or a system malfunction, data loss can leave your business with costly issues that affect your sales and customer trust for a long time. Back up your most important information, and utilize the cloud to store images and other documents that you don’t need immediate access to.

Business process management — Business process management can be a huge benefit to startups and established companies alike. It is the practice of taking a close look at existing processes and using analytical tools to identify inefficiencies that may be holding your business back. By re-evaluating what isn’t working, you are able to replace outdated systems or processes with ones that operate more smoothly and cost-effectively. Conducting research on business process management can get you started so you can automate mundane tasks, minimize risk, and increase profitability.

Digital marketing – Most of today’s business owners already utilize digital marketing in some form, whether it’s through social media advertising or emails to customers, but it’s a good idea to put as many marketing tactics to use for your business as possible. This might include creating a unique, easy-to-navigate website that offers several payment options and includes informative copy and keywords for SEO to drive traffic; it might also include utilizing a chatbot or SMS messaging tool that gives you access to your customers’ needs in real-time while allowing them to resolve problems.

The Dos and Don’ts of Upgrading Your Home Workspace on a Budget

Whether it’s strategic consulting or association management, Lighthouse Consulting Group has you covered. Contact us today to learn more! 401-247-0313

Image via Pexels

The Dos and Don’ts of Upgrading Your Home Workspace on a Budget

Working from home certainly has its perks. The commute couldn’t be better and the coffee’s always fresh. Merging your work and home lives, though, presents unique challenges, mainly having sufficient designated space for professional purposes. Maximize the efficiency and comfort of your work-from-home setup by focusing on inexpensive upgrades that offer significant improvements. Lighthouse Consulting Group shows you how.

  1. Do Consider Your Job Responsibilities

The types of tasks you perform for work will dictate what equipment you need and how to arrange your workspace. For example, if your job involves frequent video conferencing, it may help to have a second monitor along with ample desk space for note-taking.

If you run your own business from home, consider reducing some of your responsibilities and the cost of hiring more full time employees by using a BPO (business process outsourcing) company. You can outsource your accounting, customer support and more for the tasks and hours needed, and you can trust these companies to provide you with high quality employees, which you don’t have to go through the process of screening and hiring.

  1. Don’t Let Clutter Take Over

Keep papers and loose desk supplies organized with functional, yet stylish storage systems. Use a combination of shelving and freestanding units to add dimension to your space while leaving all necessary items easily accessible. Cord Busters advises taming and hiding unsightly cables with a cable tidy box.

A space that is simply too small and accumulates clutter quickly can make it difficult to be productive. If your living arrangement fails to accommodate the work space you need, it may be time to look for a new place. Do your research first and check out the housing market of the area you’re considering moving to. Gauging the prices of property is a bit tricky at the moment, so be sure the information you’re sourcing is up to date and reliable.

  1. Do Use an Ergonomic Setup

A computer-based job should not condemn you to a life of neck pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Experts recommend choosing furniture that is designed according to ergonomic principles, such as:

  • Chairs with adequate lumbar support
  • Footrests that let your feet rest flat and keep your thighs parallel to the floor
  • Desks and chairs with adjustable heights to promote good posture
  • Sculpted keyboards that reduce wrist strain

You can also find ergonomic office solutions that include a stand up desk. These desks are great for reducing neck and wrist pain, and they encourage activity more than standard seated desks.

  1. Don’t Just Shop for Brand-New Items

Brand-new office items can be expensive and cheaply made. Instead, scour flea markets, consignment shops, and online marketplaces for deals on high-quality office furniture. This is also a great way to find unique decor that can serve as a conversation piece at your next virtual meeting.

  1. Do Dabble in DIY When Possible

Even if you’re not particularly handy, you can browse the web for tutorials on easy DIY home office projects. Make a fabric covered notice board or a mason jar tissue holder. Glam up a desk you found secondhand with a fresh coat of paint.

  1. Don’t Attempt Unrealistic Projects

While simple DIY pursuits are encouraged, don’t get too ambitious and take on a task that may be unsafe. It’s best to hire professionals for complicated projects that require a specific skill set.

  1. Do Add Your Personality to Your Workspace

Your home office space should reflect who you are personally and professionally. Add family photos, cherished keepsakes, and any meaningful decor that brings you joy and inspires productivity.

  1. Don’t Forget the Walls

Wall surfaces can be used as additional storage to free up prime floor space. You can also enhance the aesthetics of your space by hanging artwork, painting an accent wall, or applying wallpaper in a bold color or pattern.

Choose the type of wallpaper carefully. Peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for beginners who aren’t committed to the concept but want to try it out.

  1. Do Look Your Best on Video Calls

Paint yourself in a literal positive light during video calls. CNN notes that you can position a ring light behind your computer to brighten your face on camera.

  1. Don’t Give Yourself More Work With High-Maintenance Plants

Greenery effectively spruces up any space, but plant care can be a hassle. Opt for low-maintenance varieties that can survive and even thrive with little neglect.

You don’t have to spend a lot to create a pleasant at-home workspace. Make simple and affordable tweaks that will infuse happiness and productivity into your workday. You may want to invest into some ergonomic furniture, move to a larger home, or even outsource a few tasks to a BPO company to make your days easier, so you can build in that work/life balance that everyone deserves.



5 Great Apps to Help Business Owners Save Time and Money

5 Great Apps to Help Business Owners Save Time and Money

Photo via Pexels

Running a business isn’t easy. It’s a major time commitment and a never-ending responsibility. While rewarding, the day-to-day processes involved in keeping a business running can steal you away from all the other things you would like to do, like take weekend trips, spend time with loved ones, practice hobbies, or start new side projects. How do other business owners find the time for work-life balance? The trick is using the right apps to automate and streamline as much of your business as possible. Here are some tips from Lighthouse Consulting Group to help you get started with time-saving business apps!


Invoicing Tools

Getting paid is one of the most time-consuming business processes, especially as your company grows and takes on more clients. Invoicing becomes even more time-consuming when clients are confused by the information on your invoice factoring system or have trouble paying. Streamlining your invoicing process with the right apps will ensure you get paid on time without a lot of back-and-forth emails. You can find a free invoice maker online to create custom invoices in a matter of minutes, featuring your own business information and branding. Then, you can save your invoice as a new template for easy updates in the future.


Financial Tracking Software

Invoicing is just one small part of managing your business finances. To save time on tasks like expense tracking, bill payment, payroll, and tax recording, look for robust accounting software that fits your budget. The right financial software will automate a lot of your financial organization. Instead of manually inputting data into a complicated and error-prone spreadsheet, advanced accounting software will work with all of your other business systems to keep your financial records updated automatically.


Digital Organization Apps

Speaking of digital organization, look for other tools that will help you keep track of everything that goes on behind the scenes at your business. For example, digitizing documents and receipts will ensure you always have important records on hand. Mobile scanning apps make it easy to upload, save, and share documents right from your smartphone! Be sure to keep your file-sharing process organized as well with the help of cloud-based storage apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.


Project Management Platforms

If you spend a lot of time communicating with your team and coordinating projects via email, a solid project management app will help your business run more productively. Kissflow explains that project management tools range from simple “sticky note” apps all the way to advanced collaborative work software that helps leaders manage multiple projects from a high-level, strategic perspective. These apps keep all communication and collaboration in one centralized location, making it easy for you to assign tasks, define priorities, and monitor the progress of your team.


CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is another valuable tech investment. CRM apps can help you store and organize all of your customer information in one place, so you can streamline the customer service process and make data-driven business decisions based on customer information. Beyond this, CRM will help you track trends and adjust your sales strategy accordingly. Plus, robust CRM tools are very affordable for small businesses!


The right apps can make all the difference in your entrepreneurial experience. If you’re feeling short on time and frustrated by your growing to-do list, start looking for an app to take some work off your plate. Streaming and automating your business through the use of digital tools will help you achieve that elusive work-life balance!

Lighthouse Consulting Group designs and delivers workshops like business development meetings and team retreats. Give us a call so we can discuss your needs! 401-247-0313