Business Management Information
A Winning Way to Handle New Ideas
Janet DiClaudio, who was charge of medical records at two large American hospitals, had an unusual problem.
10 Steps When You Need Help in Your Business
If you think ahead and plan, many nightmare panic and chaos situations can be overcome. By ensuring that you have a great group of people around you, there will be more to fall back on when the going gets tough - because that, as they say, when the tough really do get going. Big challenges can be very difficult to face - and they can be fascinating and exhilarating. So here's some thoughts on how to make the best of these times, by getting ready in advance and making it work.
How to Get the Best from Outsourcing
There's a great little article ('Business Lifeforms') on the back pages of the UK's leading management magazine, Management Today each month. It's a spoof (at least I think it is!) about some fictitious key player in a fictitious organisation. For January, it's about Ken, who's a 'Facilities Manager'.Now Ken has seen it all and truly worked his way up from the bottom to the top. Until, that is, a couple of years ago when new MBA-armed suits took over and decide to slash Ken's department (until now, running very, very smoothly under Ken's watchful eye) and Ken himself. Of course it all goes pear-shaped and the top dog has to come grovelling back to Ken, offer him loads of money and a big car, basically to ensure that the toilets aren't 'backing up' any more!This is in direct contrast to Michael Gerber, in his fascinating book The E-Myth Revisited. There he talks about working 'on' the business and 'in' the business, making it clear that if you do too much of the grindstone not-my-expertise stuff yourself, you lose track of what you are really good at, and what you went into business for.In a past life, I too experienced challenging outsourcing. At one time I had a great little local cleaner who I trusted (he even opened the store up for me - hmmm, that was a long time ago!). He did an excellent job and was on hand for emergencies. Then a new senior director decided to consolidate and outsource, for 'economy and consistency'. It was cheap - but the service was awful. Each time I got a new 'centrally sourced' cleaning company, they came with great intentions for the first 3 months and then dribbled off (with our money!) until it became unsustainable and another 'excellent contractor' came along.The moment of truth for me, was when the director for one of these contractors, came along for the first time in a brand new £60K Merc (and it's a few years ago now). Then I knew where my money would be going. I went through 6 contractors in 5 years, even though my hands were tied by 'Head Office' contracts!To solve this problem? There needs to be strong leadership at the start. Very clear standards required from outside contractors and severe penalties (yes, stop paying them even!) for under achievement. Corporate central contracts agreed there, but implemented and managed locally, leave a lot of space for waste.And yes, in a small business, don't even think of doing the bookkeeping yourself as soon as you can afford not to - do what you do best, value it and get on with creating the business you love, not like struggling Sarah in the book. But, get someone who you trust and who will deliver. Chris Barrow, of Million Dollar Coaching Practice fame, suggests that the very first thing anyone going into a consulting business should do, is get a PA. And that modern day evolution, a VA (virtual assistant) has made this a real, low cost possibility for many.Moral of the story?If you are going to outsource, especially if your business is big enough, where it's not only the fashion, but it can have economic and logistic value, take the following steps:-Find the best on the market, not the cheapest.Set the standards yourself, and don't take theirs.Be very clear on expectations and outcomes if standards aren't met.Keep in very business-like, however much you like/know/are related to them.Have clear timescales for regular review.Have a named and senior contact in the organisation for whom there will be pain if they lose the contract.Keep contract length manageable.If things start going wrong tackle them early, before too much money is wasted.If 'Head Office' agrees the contract, don't chase your own tail over non-delivery - get someone from there down as soon as there is a problem - you have enough to do.Don't get involved in the problems any local operatives might have - refer them back.
What Makes a Crisis a Crisis?
If you're old enough and were living in America about 30 years ago, you may remember the scandal in the motion picture industry known as "the Begelman affair" or "Hollywoodgate."
Dont Get Caught With Your PR Down
Why risk the embarassment when with a little basic PR training, you as a business, non-profit or association manager can always be ready for battle?
Lone Rangers Suffer without Tonto
A lone ranger is someone who prefers working in solitude or isolation. Sometimes life circumstances can call for us to adopt this attitude. When it comes to marketing our business, however, adopting this mentality can prevent you from achieving the success that you desire.
Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions
Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.
Paretos Law- Your Formula For Success
A 'dirt-world' retail business I used to manage had a large turnover, a very high profit, and less than 100 lines. Early in 2001, I was contracted to manage another business. This one carried over 800 different lines, yet had a turnover of only about a sixth of the other business, and a lower profit margin. They both had a comparable amount of traffic and credibility in the market, so how can it be that the results were so different?
1000 Managers Turned Their Plans Into Energy!
I bet you can't tell me how leadership training andstrategic planning work together to boost business resultsand energize performance improvements.
How to Beat the Turf Mentality
Want to hear a fascinating story? Let's sit in at a meeting of the human resources department of a large corporation.
New Leadership For A New War
Military analysts call this "asymmetrical" war (as if war has a terrible symmetry); and we know that it will be as different from conventional war as three-dimensional, blindfolded chess is from conventional chess. But one thing is certain, leadership lies at the heart of achieving victory. You only have to look to history to understand that when people needed to accomplish great things, whether in war or peace, great leaders had to rise to the occasion.
Biometrics and ?Return On Investment?
At this time of tight budgets, the mantra of business is ?Return On Investment!? With few exceptions, expenditures are measured against the bottom line. Outlays for capital expenses are strictly evaluated in terms of profitability and the total cost of ownership. The era of purchasing new gadgets due to their ?whiz-bang? factor is long gone. How can biometrics provide the sought after ?R.O.I.? in this environment?
CEO: The Key To Fix ingThe Marketing/Sales Collaboration Problem
We all know that achieving better alignment, synergy and cooperation between company marketing and sales departments is vital, but oh so elusive. Despite all the talk and more talk in the media and at national business gatherings, nothing significant ever seems to happen.
Where Businesses Fall Short
1. No vision. Successful businesses have a clear vision or picture of their business purpose and mission. Your vision serves as a roadmap to help you see where you are today in relationship to where you want to be tomorrow. Your business plan serves as the mechanism that will help you to bridge the gap. When you don?t have a clear vision as to why you?re in business or where you intend to take your business, it?s like taking a road trip without a map. When you don?t know where you?re going, you?ll waste a lot of time, money, and energy trying to find the right road leading to your destination. A well-defined vision will help you stay focused and on track.
Perfectionism can get in the way of building or marketing a successful business. It can prevent us from moving ahead quickly or from taking advantage of business opportunities. We set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations or goals, which can be damaging to us personally or professionally. Striving for perfection can damage our self-esteem because we never feel like we are good enough. Instead, consider adopting an attitude of striving for excellence. Look at failure as just another teacher. Let?s explore how being less than perfect can move you ahead in your business!
More Articles from Business Management Information:
The Dark Side of Help Desk SLAs
You just signed a Help Desk Service Level Agreement (SLA) and now think things will get easier. However, you may soon be falling into one of these traps:
How to Coach Your Emplyees and Increase Motivation
It is easy to spot the difference between a work team that is "motivated" and one that just goes through the motions. The motivated team produces at or above the level expected by top management, has only occasional absences or tardiness, and low employee turnover. The second group has trouble meeting its goals, greater absenteeism, and higher turnover. In addition, members of the latter work team may be more apt to argue with one another or to band together against their supervisor. Can a supervisor who is also a good coach really make a difference? The answer is a definite "yes" with a few qualifiers.
Project Management - Its Just A Button
I once worked with a developer who showed up at every product demo and constantly suggested improvements for the product. Don't get me wrong. Feedback is important and you shouldn't discourage developers from providing it. But there is a time and place for everything.
Workplace Security Plan: Does Your Company Have One?
The Rise of Corporate Chair Massages
Employers have rapidly begun to understand the importance of stress relief in the workplace. Stress free employees have a higher retention rate and higher rates of productivity. It is no wonder, given these facts, that many corporations have been encouraging chair massages in the workplace.
Be a Leader - The Importance of Going Home Early!
How you run your business is, of course your business. A little focus from your end will dictate the way your people act and behave. So the onus is on you to show the way.Why does this matter?If you create a style of working within your organisation which is able to get the very best from your people, you will have a vibrant business, your people will develop beyond their (and even your) expectations and above all, you will enjoy your work and success more than ever before. Try these eleven quick and easy ideas:-
Smart Hiring: What Makes the Right Employee?
Good hires do not happen by accident or luck. In this economy, employers are finding a large pool of available workers. But finding the right employee for a position is still a challenge. Few managers, when asked, can describe "right." Others can't agree on what qualifies one to be qualified, at least in measurable terms.
Indiscretion Can Kill Your Business
The quickest way to cancel out all the thought, work, energy, time and expense you've poured into promoting your business is with indiscretions. I'm not talking about giving your clients' confidential materials to their competitors, though that certainly will kill your business I'm talking about the indiscretions that leak out of your mouth, such as:
Learning To Let Go
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit (which clearly you have!), you probably have a tendency toward being a control freak. I know the feeling well -- "No one can do it as well as me, so I'll just do it all!" While this may seem to be more efficient than trying to bring someone else in to help out, it's actually more time-consuming in the long run.
Want to Manage Your Time? Get Real!
You know the drill - the ridiculous deadlines, the relentless barrage of email, voicemail, phone calls, all those "got a minute" interruptions, the constant worrying that one of those many balls you're juggling is going to unexpectedly drop.
Communication, Feedback, and Participation: Three Easy Tidbits For Smarter Business
On communication: One of the biggest strains on the communication process occurs when the sender or receiver is experiencing stress, anger, or frustration either at work or at home. When a situation is emotionally charged, it is difficult to express yourself clearly and maintain a positive communication relationship. How we communicate can be as important as what we say. Using "I" statements is the most effective technique to counterbalancing an emotional dialogue. "I" statements, help the receiver and the sender express their own feelings and represent their personal thoughts, rather than make an attempt to interpret for the other person such as "I feel that..." or "The way I see...".
The Four Key Steps In Hiring And Keeping Top People
"When you hire the best, the rest is easy!" We have heard this phrase many times, but how do we put this concept into action? We know that hiring the best people is vital to the success of your business, especially for fast growing businesses. And certainly, your customers have high service expectations. So?how do you hire and keep top people? Let's start from the beginning.
Top 10 Things NOT To Tell Angel and VC Investors
I am not writing this to create a list of things not to say so people can hide the facts or in any way mislead potential investors. On the contrary I personally believe you must be 100% upfront with any potential investors, and even volunteer some weaknesses to be credible. I am writing it to help entrepreneurs and CEOs "design" these issues out of their business so they never have to say them. Although there are certainly many exceptions to these, as a general rule there are many good reasons why all of these things should not be part of your company, if you are looking for outside investors. I have discussed some of the logic why, but this should not be considered a comprehensive discussion of the reasoning behind each item. You should also realize some of the reasons are a function or perception, of the market. I would never say they all make sense all the time. Each situation is always different.
Smart Staffing Practices: Don?t Confuse Activity with Results
Does your hiring process consist of proven practices or just a hodgepodge of activities that get into gear when someone says, "I need more people" or "Sally has left and we need someone to take her place NOW?"
Dont Wait for Tax Time to Look at the Bottom Line
A curious thing happens to entrepreneurs in the spring of every year. They wake up one day and realize they had better figure out how much money they made last year so they can pay their taxes. But wait, shouldn't a business owner already KNOW how much money he or she made last year, last quarter, or last month?
The Ins and Outs of Internal and External Relations
INTERNAL PUBLIC RELATIONS: Never overlook an opportunity to do internal public relations about your department and its offerings. A training department must, first and foremost, be visible in the organization it serves. Larry Lottier, Manager, Education of Dana Corporation publishes a training department course catalog with faculty, course listings and course descriptions to publicize his department's offerings. Gary Slobodian, Assistant Manager, Corporate Staff Development, of Great-West Life Assurance Company has found that getting training on the agenda at national sales meetings increases his department's visibility.
Do You Hear That?
I read a report in the Toronto Star stated that 70% of workplace errors happen because of communication breakdown and that many of them directly relate to a lack of listening skills.
Learn About Commercial Collections Agencies Fees
As with any other service, there are good and bad commercial collection agencies. Beware of any agency that offers you cut rate commissions far below the accepted Commercial Law League rates, offers you kickbacks on commissions, or makes outlandish promises about recovery success.
Managing People - No More Mr Tough Guy
I believe the media and our culture sends the wrong messagesabout how to manage people and this makes it difficult forBusiness Owners and Managers.
Meetings: Don?t Just Show Up, Stand Out and Shine
Meetings, whether they're regularly scheduled routines in your company or now-and-then get-togethers, can be a place for you to gain positive visibility and to showcase your capabilities. Here are three strategies that will help you stand out and shine.