About Steeplechase Business Solutions, Inc.

Steeplechase Business Solutions, Inc. is an outsourced sales and marketing firm located in the Greentree area in Pittsburgh. We specialize in direct customer acquisition and retention for Fortune 500 clients in the telecommunications industry. We are committed to providing a healthy work environment and advancement opportunities as we continue to go grow from the entry level. This guarantees our quality result from top to bottom.

Time Management Tips to Master in your 20’s

Time Management is taught as a skill at Steeplechase Business Solutions.  At some point in all of our lives, we have struggled with it.  We teach planning, scheduling, and basic time management at all levels.  Below are some tips that you should learn early on to help you be more productive.

  • Time is of the essence.  If you don’t have time, you are doing it wrong. There is plenty of time, but did you make it a priority?
  • Days can get busy.  Plan for four or five productive hours of the day.  Leave down time for anything that comes up and time for yourself.
  • Take advantage when you’re in the zone.  Some days may be more productive than
    Planning is key to time management.

    Planning is key to time management.

    others. When you aren’t having a great day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Take advantage of that day you are on a roll.

  • Stop constant multi-tasking.  Not only have studies shown that brain exhaustion occurs when multi-tasking all day, it also means that you are not doing any task at 100%.  Stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Smaller time frame for tasks.  Use smaller time frames when trying to complete tasks. This makes you work harder and quicker to accomplish tasks.
  • Not everything will be perfect.  You can’t get stuck on making everything perfect, but you can have time to make it all successful.
  • More work hours does not mean more productivity.  Just because you sit at your desk for more than 8 hours does not mean you will be doing more than 8 hours of work.  Look at your schedule hourly to make sure your time is not being under utilized.
    Visit Steeplechase Business Solutions on Linkedin.
  • Combine tasks that can go together.  If you have a long list of brainless tasks, do them all together and quickly.
  • Plan important meetings early in the morning.  Time is wasted more in leading up to meetings. If you are sitting around and waiting for your first meeting is at 11am, you are wasting time.
  • Break down massive tasks.  Make large tasks into smaller achievable tasks.
  • Delegate.  If you know a task can get done by someone else quickly and efficiently, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to others.
  • Focus on the future.  You can’t change yesterday or the past, but you can improve and work hard for today and the future.
  • Always take notes.  When you are working hard throughout the day and think of a creative, ingenious idea, write it down. It’s hard to remember everything that you come up with. Also, write down unrelated things that pop into your head.  Ideas can always be used in the future.
  • Set deadlines.  Don’t keep tasks lingering and unfinished. Setting a timeline can help you finish your task and complete all your objectives.

Steeplechase Business Solutions is consistently teaching and training our team on Franklin Covey Scheduling and time management courses.

To learn more about Steeplechase Business Solutions, visit us online.

6 Tips for Graduates Looking for a Career

People may have many careers throughout a lifetime. Your first job out of college may not be your fairytale dream job, but it can be a great start. Once you have the opportunity to thrive in an industry you can use those experiences and skills to find your next move. Here are six tips for recent college graduates.

  1. Start out by making a series of skills that you have obtained throughout all of your experiences including: volunteering, social clubs, sororities/fraternities, work etc. Note the times that you felt most confident in yourself and your skills. Try to remember the comments and evaluations that you received from supervisors, colleagues, and mentors. Most importantly employers are looking for teachable, resilient, communicates well, and creative problem solvers that can take initiative and work well as a team player.
  2.  Use examples from past experiences. Not only know your skills, but be able to prove them with specific examples of when you used them.

To see what positions Steeplechase Business Solutions is hiring for, check us out on Linkedin. 

  1. Don’t get hung up on finding the perfect job. If you are passionate about the work,
    that’s a good start. Think about what makes you excited about what you are doing, when you are at that perfect job.
  1. Network, Network, Network. Use your circles to meet new circles. Many jobs come from friends of friends of friends. If you share your own passions or interests, you can ask others if they know of anyone else they can talk to in that field for you.
  1. Don’t Give Up! It may be a long journey to be happy, but there are many skills and experiences to be learned along the way. Keep your support system strong and uplifting, while remembering every position will help you gain experience.
  1. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Get out of your comfort zone and try something you wouldn’t have imagined being possible. This may help you understand what you enjoy and don’t enjoy all while developing new skills. Use those new skills to lead you to another adventure.

Good luck in your search – the right position is just around the corner!

Visit Steeplechase Business Solutions online.

A Year in Review – 2014

Recently coming back from our annual Kick-off Meeting, Steeplechase Business Solutions was learning about goals for 2015, while also being recognized for a great year in 2014.

Take a look at what we accomplished in 2014.

januaryJanuary  The management staff headed to San Antonio, where Michael won an award for his outstanding first year.

February Steeplechase Business Solutions was ranked #9 in the country for our client.
There was a huge Polar Vortex in the Burgh!

March- We played a March Madness, Bracket Buster, which raised over $300 for Operation Smile.
Ulysses, one of the teams top Account Representatives, won a performance award from client at a training event.

April Steeplechase Business Solutions helped to contribute funds to sponsor an Operation Smile mission to Mexico.

June The top performers at Steeplechase Business Solutions headed to Orlando for our national conference.
Our client had a Sizzlin’ Summer bonus!

July Top Gun Meeting at Lansdowne Resort in VA.  The team was treated to a crab katyperryfeast, winery tour, and was able to network and learn from the top performers in the industry.
Katy Perry tickets from Client were given to our top performers.

August The team canvassed for Operation Smile and raised over $1,400!
Another client perk – Miley Cyrus tickets!

September-  Fantasy Football Draft for Operation Smile!

October Dan was promoted to Assistant Manager!  Dan promotion to Assistant Management
Management and Human Resources attended R&R at the Atlantis, Bahamas!

November Annual Baltimore Conference at the Marriott Inner Harbor.
Michael attended the Seattle leadership development conference.

December- Holiday Bonus raffling off an Ipad and 46” TV.
The team donated over 60 lbs of food for Pittsburgh Community food bank.
Mabel was selected to attend our High Potentials in Denver.
Steeplechase Business Solutions was accredited by BBB.

Steeplechase Business Solutions had an outstanding year and is looking forward to another great year in 2015.  The team plans to open another location in March of 2015 and double in size by the end of the year!

In the Words of our Intern at Steeplechase Business Solutions

As summer is coming to an end and classes are beginning, our intern Ashley is headed back to school at WVU to finish her senior year.  At the end of the 12 week program, Steeplechase Business Solutions sat down with Ashley and had a few questions regarding her experience.  Take a look at what she had to say.

Ashley Steeplechase Business SolutionsSteeplechase Business Solutions:  We know that you are a marketing major.  What made you decide on that?
Ashley:  I chose this major because I like working with people to achieve a common goal. I also enjoy the hands-on experience with customers and clients, and seeing hard work pay off.

Steeplechase Business Solutions:  What attracted you to the internship offered at Steeplechase Business Solutions?
Ashley:  I love that I was able to get the chance to deliver results for their client and their customers.  Hard work is rewarded at Steeplechase Business Solutions, even as an intern, and I got the chance to work closely with a group of hardworking and motivated people. I loved the office atmosphere, where we focus on our standards for success while having fun.

To learn more about Steeplechase Business Solutions, view us on Linkedin.

Steeplechase Business Solutions:  As an intern, what did you learn this summer?
Ashley:  I learned a lot!  I learned about planning, hard work, the importance of short and long term goals, and much more!  I was not only taught the sales and marketing aspect of the business, I was taught about human resources, interviewing, and training.  It was great to help to coach others to reach and exceed company expectations.

Steeplechase Business Solutions:  When looking for a career after graduation, what is one skill that you will take with you that was learned here?
Ashley:  One skill that I will use in the future is the ability to train and coach.  While working here this summer, I learned about different coaching styles and techniques for different individuals.  I think this is important to understand that everyone learns differently, which in turn means that I have to coach and train differently.  It was so beneficial to learn this because now I know I will become a stronger mentor to everyone around me and I will be a big asset to any company.

Thanks Ashley for taking time to answer some of the questions regarding our internship here at Steeplechase Business Solutions.  The team had a great summer with you and we are excited to see you graduate this year and looking forward to working with you again in the future.

To learn more about Steeplechase Business Solutions, view us online.

 

10 Things Great Bosses Give Their People

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Good bosses have strong organizational skills. Good bosses have solid decision-making skills. Good bosses get important things done.

Exceptional bosses do all of the above — and more. (And we remember them forever.) Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them.

And that’s why they’re so rare.

Extraordinary bosses give every employee:

1. Autonomy and independence.

Great organizations are built on optimizing processes and procedures. Still, every task doesn’t deserve a best practice or a micro-managed approach. (Here’s looking at you, manufacturing industry.)

Engagement and satisfaction are largely based on autonomy and independence. I care when it’s “mine.” I care when I’m in charge and feel empowered to do what’s right.

Plus, freedom breeds innovation: Even heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches. (Still looking at you, manufacturing.)

Whenever possible, give your employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best. When you do, they almost always find ways to do their jobs better than you imagined possible.

2. Clear expectations.

While every job should include some degree of independence, every job does also need basic expectations for how specific situations should be handled.

Criticize an employee for offering a discount to an irate customer today even though yesterday that was standard practice and you make that employee’s job impossible. Few things are more stressful than not knowing what is expected from one day to the next.

When an exceptional boss changes a standard or guideline, she communicates those changes first — and when that is not possible, she takes the time to explain why she made the decision she made, and what she expects in the future.

3. Meaningful objectives.

Almost everyone is competitive; often the best employees are extremely competitive–especially with themselves. Meaningful targets can create a sense of purpose and add a little meaning to even the most repetitive tasks.

Plus, goals are fun. Without a meaningful goal to shoot for, work is just work.

No one likes work.

4. A true sense of purpose.

Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone loves to feel that sense of teamwork and esprit de corps that turns a group of individuals into a real team.

The best missions involve making a real impact on the lives of the customers you serve. Let employees know what you want to achieve for your business, for your customers, and even your community. And if you can, let them create a few missions of their own.

Feeling a true purpose starts with knowing what to care about and, more importantly, why to care.

5. Opportunities to provide significant input.

Engaged employees have ideas; take away opportunities for them to make suggestions, or instantly disregard their ideas without consideration, and they immediately disengage.

That’s why exceptional bosses make it incredibly easy for employees to offer suggestions. They ask leading questions. They probe gently. They help employees feel comfortable proposing new ways to get things done. When an idea isn’t feasible, they always take the time to explain why.

Great bosses know that employees who make suggestions care about the company, so they ensure those employees know their input is valued — and appreciated.

6. A real sense of connection.

Every employee works for a paycheck (otherwise they would do volunteer work), but every employee wants to work for more than a paycheck: They want to work with and for people they respect and admire–and with and for people who respect and admire them.

That’s why a kind word, a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to ask if an employee needs any help — those moments are much more important than group meetings or formal evaluations.

A true sense of connection is personal. That’s why exceptional bosses show they , not just the worker.

7. Reliable consistency.

Most people don’t mind a boss who is strict, demanding, and quick to offer (not always positive) feedback, as long as he or she treats every employee fairly.

(Great bosses treat each employee differently but they also treat every employee fairly. There’s a big difference.)

Exceptional bosses know the key to showing employees they are consistent and fair is communication: The more employees understand why a decision was made, the less likely they are to assume unfair treatment or favoritism.

8. Private criticism.

No employee is perfect. Every employee needs constructive feedback. Every employee deserves constructive feedback. Good bosses give that feedback.

Great bosses always do it in private.

9. Public praise.

Every employee — even a relatively poor performer — does something well. Every employee deserves praise and appreciation. It’s easy to recognize some of your best employees because they’re consistently doing awesome things. (Maybe consistent recognition is a reason they’re your best employees? Something to think about.)

You might have to work hard to find reasons to recognize an employee who simply meets standards, but that’s okay: A few words of recognition–especially public recognition–may be the nudge an average performer needs to start becoming a great performer.

10. A chance for a meaningful future.

Every job should have the potential to lead to greater things. Exceptional bosses take the time to develop employees for the job they someday hope to land, even if that job is with another company.

How can you know what an employee hopes to do someday? Ask.

Employees will only care about your business after you first show you care about them. One of the best ways is to show that while you certainly have hopes for your company’s future, you also have hopes for your employees’ futures.

Now it’s your turn: What exceptional thing has a truly extraordinary boss done for you?

Polar Vortex – Nobody Freak Out!!!

I read an article today about how the polar vortex is causing a fuel crisis because of the cold weather.  I can’t help but feel like the people are trying to freak us out.  Polar Vortex, its the end of the world!!!  It’s cold and there has been a lot of snow.  That’s the extent of the polar vortex.  I think that everybody needs to calm down and put on an extra coat, maybe wear some warm boots and get to it.  We survived an ice age, I think we can handle this.  Here is the article.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-polar-vortex-is-creating-a-fuel-crisis-2014-02-27

20 Things 20-year Olds Don’t Get

Great Article from Jason Nazar at Forbes.com

 I started Docstoc in my 20’s, made the cover of one of those cliché “20 Under 20” lists, and today I employ an amazing group of 20-somethings.  Call me a curmudgeon, but at 34, how I came up seems so different from what this millennial generation expects.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I see this generation making their own.  In response, here are my 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level.  In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want.  Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

 

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated – Congratulations, you may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet.  As my father says, “I’ll Give You a Sh-t Medal.”  Unrefined raw materials (no matter how valuable) are simply wasted potential.  There’s no prize for talent, just results.  Even the most seemingly gifted folks methodically and painfully worked their way to success.  (Tip: read “Talent is Overrated”)

 

We’re More Productive in the Morning – During my first 2 years at Docstoc (while I was still in my 20’s) I prided myself on staying at the office until 3am on a regular basis.  I thought I got so much work done in those hours long after everyone else was gone.  But in retrospect I got more menial, task-based items done, not the more complicated strategic planning, phone calls or meetings that needed to happen during business hours.  Now I stress an office-wide early start time because I know, for the most part, we’re more productive as a team in those early hours of the day.

 

Social Media is Not a Career – These job titles won’t exist in 5 years. Social media is simply a function of marketing; it helps support branding, ROI or both.  Social media is a means to get more awareness, more users or more revenue.  It’s not an end in itself.  I’d strongly caution against pegging your career trajectory solely to a social media job title.

 

Pick Up the Phone – Stop hiding behind your computer. Business gets done on the phone and in person.  It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities.  And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home.  Don’t be a pansy, pick up the phone.

 

Be the First In & Last to Leave ­– I give this advice to everyone starting a new job or still in the formative stages of their professional career.  You have more ground to make up than everyone else around you, and you do have something to prove.  There’s only one sure-fire way to get ahead, and that’s to work harder than all of your peers.

 

Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do – You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility.  You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do.  Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure.  Err on the side of doing too much, not too little.  (Watch: Millennials in the Workplace Training Video)

 

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes – You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career.  But you shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution.  Stop trying to justify your F-ups.  You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes, and committing to learn from those experiences.

 

You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked – Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” would be the most valuable boss you could possibly have.  This is the most impressionable, malleable and formative stage of your professional career.  Working for someone that demands excellence and pushes your limits every day will build the most solid foundation for your ongoing professional success.

 

A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing ­­– 1-year stints don’t tell me that you’re so talented that you keep outgrowing your company.  It tells me that you don’t have the discipline to see your own learning curve through to completion.  It takes about 2-3 years to master any new critical skill, give yourself at least that much time before you jump ship.  Otherwise your resume reads as a series of red flags on why not to be hired.

 

People Matter More Than Perks – It’s so trendy to pick the company that offers the most flex time, unlimited meals, company massages, game rooms and team outings.  Those should all matter, but not as much as the character of your founders and managers. Great leaders will mentor you and will be a loyal source of employment long after you’ve left.  Make a conscious bet on the folks you’re going to work for and your commitment to them will pay off much more than those fluffy perks.

 

Map Effort to Your Professional Gain – You’re going to be asked to do things you don’t like to do.  Keep your eye on the prize.   Connect what you’re doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow.  That should be all the incentive you need.  If you can’t map your future success to your current responsibilities, then it’s time to find a new opportunity.

 

Speak Up, Not Out – We’re raising a generation of sh-t talkers.  In your workplace this is a cancer.  If you have issues with management, culture or your role & responsibilities, SPEAK UP.  Don’t take those complaints and trash-talk the company or co-workers on lunch breaks and anonymous chat boards.  If you can effectively communicate what needs to be improved, you have the ability to shape your surroundings and professional destiny.

 

You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore.  I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position.  If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.

 

Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business.  Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it.  Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible. (TIP: Here is my Networking Advice)

 

You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors – The most guaranteed path to success is to emulate those who’ve achieved what you seek.  You should always have at least 3 people you call mentors who are where you want to be.  Their free guidance and counsel will be the most priceless gift you can receive.  (TIP:  “The Secret to Finding and Keeping Mentors”)

 

Pick an Idol & Act “As If” – You may not know what to do, but your professional idol does.  I often coach my employees to pick the businessperson they most admire, and act “as if.”  If you were (fill in the blank) how would he or she carry themselves, make decisions, organize his/her day, accomplish goals?  You’ve got to fake it until you make it, so it’s better to fake it as the most accomplished person you could imagine.   (Shout out to Tony Robbins for the tip)

 

Read More Books, Fewer Tweets/Texts – Your generation consumes information in headlines and 140 characters:  all breadth and no depth.  Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover.  All the keys to your future success, lay in the past experience of others.  Make sure to read a book a month  (fiction or non-fiction) and your career will blossom.

 

Spend 25% Less Than You Make – When your material needs meet or exceed your income, you’re sabotaging your ability to really make it big.  Don’t shackle yourself with golden handcuffs (a fancy car or an expensive apartment).  Be willing and able to take 20% less in the short term, if it could mean 200% more earning potential.  You’re nothing more than penny wise and pound-foolish if you pass up an amazing new career opportunity to keep an extra little bit of income.  No matter how much money you make, spend 25% less to support your life.  It’s a guaranteed formula to be less stressed and to always have the flexibility to pursue your dreams.

 

Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business.  It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity.  Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure.  It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.