Sunday, August 30, 2015

Are you a Procrastinator?

Think the time you spend answering e-mail, composing IMs, and trolling Twitter doesn’t have an impact? Think again. Procrastinating in making business decisions generates enormous costs from time wasted and decisions delayed.

There are several approaches that may be considered to eliminate this waste.

1. Don’t delay. 
Any time you put something off the problem usually gets bigger leading to more stress and possibly more procrastination.

2. Focus.
Reduce the issue to small tasks and work in short bursts to complete each portion. This focused activity for short periods allows you to get the feel for accomplishment. It gets you started.

3. Prioritize. 
You may never get caught up with everything you need to do. To be an effective leader you have to prioritize and decide what’s important and manage your time effectively.

4. Tune out. 
Turn off distractions. If necessary turn off email, stop answering the phone; give 100% attention to the task at hand.

5. Plan.
Create a daily plan. At the end of each day spend 3-5 minutes setting up the next day’s schedule. It may save an hour the next day while you try to determine where to start your work activity.

6. Be accountable. 
Make yourself accountable to someone for what you want to accomplish. This could be an associate, friend, or business mentor.

A task can more easily be tackled if you visualize it completed. Remember the “Law of Expanded Time”. Work will fill the time available to complete it. By making less time available to complete a task, you will spend less time completing it.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Business Management

Build Cash Flow

In times of a slower economy and when growth is difficult to sustain it is important to stay on top of the company’s finances and to preserve cash.

Here are some ideas to maximize cash availability in the business.

1. Track Cash
Track your cash as it comes in and goes out throughout the month. That will help you stay on top of problems and make adjustments, such as delaying discretionary payments.

2. Work with customers and suppliers.
You can increase cash flow by offering discounts to early paying good customers and preserving cash by having suppliers help by extending payment terms.

3. Protect working capital.
If cash is tight don’t pay for long term investments in equipment. It is better to use debt to finance these projects. Debt can be used to re-finance fixed assets to free up capital.

4. Cut waste.
Make every effort to improve productivity, eliminate inefficient equipment and other sources of waste. Engage staff to get involved in developing solutions.

These are just a few suggestions to improve that most vital business tool – cash flow. I hope you agree.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Are the right managers in place?

It’s important to motivate and reward your best people, but is promotion really the right call? Promoting your best people into management roles seems like a quick fix to show employees you recognize their hard work. Unfortunately, many companies find out the hard way that not every great employee is management material.

Before promoting your best people, here are some thoughts to consider:
1. Is the role correct?
Too many companies have a flawed methodology for selecting people into management. How? They base hiring and promotion decisions on an employee’s past experience, and then reward them by giving them an entirely different role.

2. Managerial talents
Management candidates should have a broad set of skills including:
Ability to motivate employees
Take initiative to resolve problems
Support a culture of accountability
Are able to develop trust among employees
Can make well-reasoned unbiased decisions that benefit their team and the organization.

3. Alignment with Company Goals & Vision
A manager will be representing your company in a more visible way. They’ll be interpreting company goals for a team and ensuring organizational objectives are achieved. It is important the employee in question is strategically aligned with company goals and culture. If your company culture says, “The customer is always right,” then managers should embody this mission statement. Just because an employee excels at the day-to-day work of an organization, however, doesn’t mean they’ll be great with big picture initiatives.

4. Are they Communicators?
Communication is important, but listening is essential.
Managers need to listen up and down the organizational chart so they can clearly communicate workflow to their team. They need to not only listen to what is being said, but understand what is unsaid among the employees they manage. If a manager is more focused on their work than their workers, this could spell bad news in a management setting.

5. Do they want to manage?
Not every superstar employee wants to become a manager.
Your top-notch sales rep might have become invaluable because they really love the work they’re doing. You want to reward them by giving them a manager position, but what you’re really doing is taking them away from the work at which they excel.
If the candidate doesn’t seem motivated to manage, find another way to recognize and reward their hard work and find someone more suited to the management lifestyle.

Bad management can truly hurt your company, kill employee morale, and bring down your bottom line. Before promoting someone to a management position, ask yourself these questions in order to ensure you’re making the right decision.