A roundup of the best tips of the week from Entrepreneur.com.
A high stress tolerance is one of the most important attributes you can have as an entrepreneur. David Ballard, psychologist and head of the American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Excellence, describes it as "the ability to cope with stress or adversity and bounce back." To save time, entrepreneurs often try to power through stress and keep working. "Many workplaces function in a state of chronic stress," Ballard says. We'd be better off taking frequent breaks, since we function best when we deal with stress in short bursts and then recover, he says.
But not all relaxation strategies are created equal. Knocking back a beer or watching a funny cat video may seem like a good way to unwind after a stressful work day, but it doesn't truly let your body recover. For that, try picking up a good book or getting some exercise. Being active is one of the best ways to reset your system and increase your overall stress tolerance. That way you'll be ready for the next crisis. More: How to Raise Your Stress Tolerance
Clarify company values to increase efficiency and reduce turnover.
Telecom startup Grasshopper learned the hard way that a large staff can sometimes mean a bloated payroll and disjointed company culture. Defining their core values improved the employee review process and influenced hiring choices, says co-founder Siamak Taghaddos. After Grasshopper shifted to a streamlined staff of subject-matter experts, it experienced 130 percent growth in organic search. The company is currently pulling in $20 million in revenue. What's more, turnover has dropped to 10 percent from 25 percent in 2008. More: To Boost Efficiency, Rethink Company Culture
Monitor revenue and expenses constantly.
It should be a no-brainer for business owners to track their progress when it comes to revenue, sales figures, customer outreach and more. A great way to do this is to create a list of goals with a deadline, budget, team responsibilities and other important metrics assigned to each. When it comes to your monthly projections, it isn't about hitting the targets. It's more about tracking progress and revealing the relationships between expenses, sales and other numbers. Once you understand those, you'll be able to make useful adjustments. More: How to Build a Lean and Efficient Business Plan
Summarize what makes your idea valuable in a single sentence.
Business ideas are great, but what you're really selling to investors and customers is a benefit, not an idea. Create a one-sentence summary of the practical value of your idea that you can use in your pitch. What makes it unique and worthwhile? What does it offer that customers can't get elsewhere? If you can't create one, it may be a sign that you should rework your idea or scrap it altogether. More: 5 Secret Ingredients of a Winning Business Idea
When traveling east, take melatonin to relieve jet lag.
Sleeping pills can dehydrate you, causing more problems than they solve for business travelers. Melatonin supplements might be a better solution to jet lag when flying east, as opposed to light therapy when heading west. "Melatonin is released by the pineal gland before sleep," says Vancouver-based naturopathic doctor Melanie DesChâtelets. "It's one of the circadian hormones that makes you sleepy at night." When you're on the road, try taking three milligrams of a melatonin supplement two hours before your head hits the pillow. More: 6 Ways to Reduce Jet Lag Naturally