Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Starting Your New Business

It is important to make the right decisions when starting a small business in order for it to become a success.

When you start your own business, you will get advice from just about every person you encounter. Some of that advice will be valid and some of it will be a complete waste.

Often the advice you get will have no merit to the business you are starting. There are a number of business startup tips for small businesses that are valid regardless of the business you are starting.

Let's take a look at the five best starting a business tips for becoming successful.

Business Startup Tip #1
Making sure you have a financial plan is key to succeeding in small business.

When you develop a financial plan along with a budget that you stick to you are giving yourself more control over your success. This gives you the ability to better track your success and dictate your short-term and long-term financial goals realistically.

Without a financial plan you are really trusting fate to make your small business a success. That’s not very smart.

Business Startup Tip #2
Networking is another important aspect when it comes to small business success.

Regardless of whether you operate your business from a home office or you have an actual office you need a support structure. Having industry related contacts can help motivate and inspire you.

In addition, networking helps keep you updated and current within your industry. Networking for small business success can be done online and through local associations and groups.

Business Startup Tip #3
Many people who start a small business successfully do so with the help of a mentor. When you are just starting out it is good to have someone within the industry that is already successful.

When you have a mentor to help you start a small business you can bounce ideas off of them and get their input on critical business decisions you do not have experience with.

Business Startup Tip #4
It is also important to take care of yourself when you are starting a small business.

Starting a small business can be very time consuming - and if you are not careful, you can overwork yourself and burn out.

Balancing the responsibilities of your small business with your personal life will not only enable you to recharge your batteries from time to time, but it will also help you to maintain an objective and fresh perspective.

Business Startup Tip #5
By far the most important tip for starting a small business successfully would be to do something that you love.

If your small business is just a means to an end and you get no enjoyment from what you do, your chances for success are slim. Figure out what you are good at or what you have a talent for and take advantage of that skill or talent.

If you do this and succeed, your success will only be sweeter - but if you don't and you fail, your failure will only sting more.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Time Management

This is the best time management perspective I have seen! Even the most busy small business owner should take "time" to watch this one.

Summary of points: (but watch the video)

Time must be explicitly managed, like money:
If you find money being important, you have to start viewing time as being more important than money. He did tell his students and urge them not to invest time on irrelevant details, it does not matter how well you polish the underside of the banister.

I believe many of us understand this, just that not many people are doing it.

You can always change your plan, but only if you have one:
He is a big big believer in to-do lists. So am I. I wasn’t one and I started on it only recently. My favourite phrase now is “What’s the plan?”. Randy stated that a to-do list is to help us break life into small steps. He also mentioned that a to-do list is only useful when you break tasks into smaller steps. You would not want to write tidying up my room in your to-do list and most likely you would not tidy it up. Most of us just have it for the sake of writing.

The trick here is to be really specific. Break it down into like. Tidy the bed, vacuum the floor,…etc. You get what I mean.

Ask yourself, are you spending time on the right things?:
You may have causes, goals, interests. Are they even worth pursing? He talked about a news showing a photo of a pregnant woman who lodged a against a local construction site. She worried that the sound of jackhammers was injuring her unborn child. But in the photo, the woman is holding a cigarette. If she really cared about her unborn child, she would have spent the time putting out that cigarette.

Develop a good filing system:
Simple as it is, it helps you to save time when you search for the documents you want. A little time spent on filing them, helps you long in the future.

Rethink the telephone:
Like to mention some techniques he shared and they are very interesting. To keep unnecessary calls short. It is better to stand when you’re on the phone. You are more apt to speed things along. Also have something in view on the desk that you want to do (to-do list), so You have the urge to wrap things up with the caller.

Other phone tips like quickly dispatching telemarketers is mentioned too. “I like this!” Here is the trick. It is to hang up while you are doing the talking and they are listening. They will assume your connection went bad and they will move on to their next call.

Want to have a short phone call with someone? Call them at 11:55a.m., right before lunch. They will talk fast. You can’t be more interesting than their lunch.

You can’t do everything by yourself and to make things to be done more efficiently, it is to delegate. People will be more satisfied if you delegate the task to him/her. Because at the same time, they are learning too. As Randy is a professor, he trust his students with the key to his kingdom, and “most of the time, they were responsible and impressive”, he said.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Job Descriptions

Important for small business folks to focus on job descriptions. This is not a "minor task" as it sets the direction for your employees.

Some quick tips:

Job descriptions are imperative to your small business because they define job responsibilities and expectation.

Job descriptions can be used in a number of ways in your business. First, a description will help a candidate decide if the job is of interest. Second, the description will help you interview the candidate to decide if the candidate is right for the position. The job description can help you in training new employees. Finally, the description forms the backbone of your evaluation and review process.

Many people will be tempted to skip this step. It's too difficult; all of my employees know what they are supposed to do; I don't have time; it's a waste of time. The excuses go on and on. Don't fall into this trap! Job descriptions are an absolutely necessary part of your business. As the business owner or manager, you are the one responsible to create them.

The job description should be as clear and precise as possible. Start by listing the major tasks an employee in that position will be responsible for. It could be customer satisfaction, follow-up, or administration.

Next, list the activities necessary to do each task. Be as detailed and precise as possible. If you aren't specific and meticulous in describing every important aspect of the job, federal regulators and courts can assume that the employee can perform the job any way he or she wants, regardless of whether it complies with the company's policy. This is important if you ever have issues with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Labor Department or just a disgruntled employee.

Do this for each task involved with this job. You may have a very long list. That's ok!
Job descriptions that contain detailed statements of the employee's job pass the accountability for that action to the employee. Pretty quickly you will stop hearing excuses. "I didn't know I was supposed to do that" or "that's not my job" are familiar ways for employees to pass the buck to someone else. With a precise statement, each employee knows exactly what is expected and there is little room not to be accountable.

Clear, precise job descriptions will help you to both hire and manage your employees.