Monday, July 23, 2012

Business Management

Business start-up

…….. as a follow-up to the last blog here are additional reasons or benefits that are provided from starting your own business.

6. Follow your dream
You may invest long hours and feel like you are not working because you are building something on your own. You are making a conscious decision to earn a living doing something of your choice that may be a passion.

7. Get it done
As the owner you do not have to get buried in red tape. Owners of small businesses can make the decisions to get things done. You have the flexibility to be proactive, try new ideas, and be at the cutting edge of new products or ideas or strategies. Never underestimate the benefit of being quick in decision making and reaction to the market place.

8. Connect with your customers
Interacting directly with customers can be among the most satisfying experience in business. Dealing one-on-one with your best clients rather than hiding behind automated answering machines can generate tremendous satisfaction. You can choose to focus on key clients or ignore those you do not enjoy and at the same time control the results.

9. Community involvement
If you choose, as you build your business and time and success permits, you may be able to give back to the community from which you derive your success. You may be able to make donations that help create other jobs and have the satisfaction and pride in helping others in the community. Some business owners derive great satisfaction from this activity.

10. Pride in Success
     One of the greatest differences between owning as opposed to being an employee is the great satisfaction derived from building something on your own. When your own abilities in leadership, creativity and effort produce positive results you enjoy a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Good luck to those who should choose to start a new path to success.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Business Management

Starting a Business

Thousands of businesses are started every year, some with success, some fail. There are many reasons for starting your own business and this first of two articles will provide some thoughts for the basis of launching on your own.

1.     You Control Your Own Destiny

If your style is to want control and to make the decisions owning a business saves you from working for someone else. You get to steer the ship and direct the culture and style of the business. This can be overwhelming and it is best to know when and how to delegate. Owners should focus on the big picture and strategies for growth.

2.     You control your work/personal life balance

This is a primary reason people want their own business. It allows the opportunity to set one’s own hours, dress code, and sit next to your dog if that’s what you want. Setting priorities is the key. Setting your schedule and spending time in ways that satisfy personal needs. As long as the degree of success supports the lifestyle needs you can be very satisfied. 

3.     You choose the staff you work with

When you are an employee you don’t get to choose whom you work with. If you don’t like or get along with co-workers, you start another job search. Owning your own business allows you to choose the employees are. You can surround yourself with people who share your values and work ethic. 

4.     Risk-Rewards

Owning a business can be a risky proposition but with risk may come rewards. The better you manage and eliminate risk the greater the potential for rewards. Learning the “business game” managing variables, recognizing opportunities and avoiding mistakes are steps that can challenge you but winning the game offers the rewards from which you will reap great satisfaction. 

5.     Set your challenges

While some individuals thrive on routine, business owners have a continuous opportunity to challenge themselves and create new experience almost daily. New learning experiences occur daily in areas of sales, manufacturing, service, taxes and other areas involved in running the business. These all add up to more experience and satisfaction in operating the business.

More ideas on why individuals start up on their own in the next blog………..stay tuned…

Monday, July 9, 2012

Business Management

Stress Management


Feel like you are in a pressure cooker? Here are a few tips to reduce your stress level and lessen the negative effect stress can have on your business operations.

1.     Don’t procrastinate and postpone decision making. Difficult decisions are not made easier because you postpone them. At times conditions may worsen if issues are not resolved quickly. Without really ducking a decision, stress can be relieved if you just take a short break or switch tasks for change of perspective.

2.     Stay fit. A program of regular exercise can help your body and mind deal with difficult situations that may arise from time to time. Try to maintain a healthy diet to support your overall health. Know your body signals; excessive heart rates, headaches, anxiety may be signals and suggest a need to find time to wind down.

3.     Delegate responsibility. No one has a monopoly on all of the good ideas and ways to resolve problems. Let staff participate as part of team that enjoys successes and faces difficulties on the job as well.

4.     Network within and outside of the business to share ideas and issues with. Trust people to help with business issues. Working in isolation is rarely a good idea.

5.     Eliminate surprises. Make sure key support people including those managing finances keep you up to date. Since cash flow is a key marker make sure expenses are kept under control and systems to improve productivity are reviewed often. A well run business with good information flow is a key to stress reduction.
These suggestions won’t eliminate all of the stress in your business but I find they help keep stress at a manageable level.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Exiting the Business

Determining when and how to exit a business can present issues often more challenging than starting the business.  Here are a few thought starters for owners looking for a way to exit their business.

·        Is the business operated from strong principles of strategy with a clear vision? Can that vision be expressed and understood by those who manage the business or potential buyers? If you the owner cannot clearly state the purpose or reasons that you exist don’t expect new owners to invent it for you.

·       How will you get the maximum return if you plan to sell? In cases where management/ownership is dominated by a single individual there is a risk that customers will not have confidence in new ownership unless the current owner can provide an effective transition plan that ensures continuity of the business operations. Current owners may need to plan for extensive transitional training.

·       Factors that may support your decision to leave can grow out of many conditions. The most common are age or health related. A long career leading to a desire for more personal time; reap the rewards of your career. Age may not be the prime driver but longevity at the job could be creating burn out. It may be time to move on.

·       Look for opportunities to exit from positions of strength. A well trained and competent management group may provide the opportunity to offer your staff a management buyout.  Managers may be able to pool resources to fund the buyout, you as owner may offer to finance all or part of the buyout or there may be an option to use company assets to finance the loans needed for the buyout. It also provides good opportunities for maintaining stability in the organization.

·       Finally, the marketplace may facilitate determining the right time to exit. Poor economic conditions or competitive activity can have a huge impact on if or when you should exit. Positive conditions too might bring a competitor to the door with a buyout offer.

So the options are many but not always easy to sort through. Timing is critical, business life changes, choose wisely.