Monday, February 25, 2019

Business Management

Do You Have Time Management Issues?

Business owners and managers often struggle with managing time efficiently. There are many root causes for time waste that can be addressed to improve effectiveness of the business.

Here are a few thought starters:

1. Project assignments. 
Have you assigned the right person to the right job? An employee may appear to have a problem managing time but they may be in a role or doing a job they are not suited for.

2. Delegation. 
As owner/manager do you have poor delegation skills or do you not delegate in order to maintain control? The need to do everything yourself can dramatically impact your time management. Delegating is not abdicating.

3. Meetings. 
How many meetings held are really effective? A lot of time can be wasted in unnecessary or poorly organized meetings. Make sure agendas are prepared and followed.

4. Training. 
Do staff members need training to perform better? What appears to be a time management issue may be a training need.

5. Planning. 
Are the business’ plans well defined? If direction is unclear staff may struggle to know how to prioritize work activity. Make sure time is used to critique time used and avoid time wasters like email, calls, breaks and other non-productive activity.

These are samples of business issues that may mask what appear to be time management issues. There can be many others; examination of each may uncover root causes of poor productivity.

If you have thoughts to share please let me know.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Business Management

Start-up Challenges in Business

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges every business faces whether they are large or small.

Here are a few challenges that face many new business ventures.

1. The Market
There is not a compelling enough value proposition to cause a buyer to actually commit to purchasing. Is this product/service “nice to have” or “need to have”.
The market timing is wrong. You could be ahead of your market by a few years, and they are not ready for your particular solution at this stage.
The market size of people that have interest and funds may simply by too small to support a viable business.

2. Starting without a plan:
Enthusiasm over a good idea is over-rated. An idea is only an idea and without a well-developed business plan chances of success are minimal. It is also very difficult if not impossible to raise financing without a plan.

3. Money Problems
The majority of small businesses that fail do so because of lack of cash. Often, this is because owners borrow based on their ideas of a successful business, instead of borrowing for a worst-case scenario. A start-up business owner needs to be optimistic, but often is too optimistic about seeing profits. Without adequate cash flow, slow sales or a downturn in the market can end the business before it has a chance to gain momentum.

4. Fatigue 
The hours, the work and the constant pressure to perform wears on even the most passionate individuals. Many business owners, even successful ones, get stuck working much longer hours than their employees. Moreover, they fear their business will stall in their absence, so they avoid taking any time away from work to recharge. Fatigue can lead to rash decisions about the business, including the desire to abandon it completely. Finding a pace that keeps the business humming without grinding down the owner is a challenge that comes early (and often) in the evolution of a small business.

5.  Trying to Do It Alone
A common problem for most entrepreneurs is the belief that they can handle all of the start-up’s operations by themselves. It may be a cost-effective way to run the business, but operating the entire business on your own may not be a wise decision or the best use of your time. Many small-business start-ups may not require full-time employees. But it's a good idea to have at least two teammates, a lawyer and an accountant, ready to help. With experienced, reliable assistance, you can avoid common business mistakes. When it is time to hire staff, be careful in your choices. Employees are a crucial component in the success of your business.

I hope these thoughts help you plan for a successful venture. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Please let me know your thoughts.