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Practical Process

We offer full framework consultation or you may need assistance with just one area. Please contact us for information on how we may assist you with managing your practical business processes.

 

We offer additional support to help you maintain the processes that you have developed.  Please visit our Support page for more information.

Practical Process Support

 

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Getting Ready for Tax Season 2017

Leijun Campbell - Friday, February 10, 2017

Campbell Business Services would like to offer you some #PracticalPoints for Tax Season 2017.

What are some tips that have helped you these past few tax seasons?


2017 Tax Season Checklist

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We’re several weeks into tax season 2017, and we hope you have been able to keep up with the various deadlines that we discussed in our previous post. We also mentioned talking to an accountant if necessary to help you get everything together.

 

If you are about to meet with your accountant, be sure to have the following items ready in your books for review:

  • 1. Any new equipment purchases
  • 2. Any new investment purchases
  • 3. Vehicular expenses that pertain to your business
  • 4. Home office expenses if relevant
  • 5. A list of any vendors that you are carrying
  •  

If you need any assistance in preparing these documents, don’t hesitate to reach out to Campbell Business Services with any questions! Contact leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com for more information.

Four Practical Points to Prepare for 2017 (Infographic

Leijun Campbell - Thursday, December 22, 2016

Practical Points to Prepare Your Small Business for 2017

Leijun Campbell - Friday, December 16, 2016

 

We have two weeks left in 2016. I don’t know about you, but this year has flown by. Now is the time to start building momentum for 2017. Before the holidays really take hold, I am looking over what all has happened over the last 12 months, and I want to give you some tips on how you as a small business owner can evaluate and improve your practical processes for the new year.

 

 

1. Analyze your day-to-day operations and procedures manual - Though surprises always reveal themselves in sometimes inconvenient ways, your business maintains a level of routine. If you run a small business, you may have an easier time adjusting this routine than a larger corporation. If you have hourly team members, evaluate your scheduling practices to see if you utilize their abilities efficiently (i.e. seeing if a shift requires two people or four people for optimal customer service). If you have more of an office environment, look at how you can improve your task management system or if you can implement a regular meeting format. Keep a monthly journal of how each change provides or detracts value, so you can have something to review at the end of next year.

 

 

2. Get all your financial statements prepared for tax season - The first of the year can be incredibly hectic and stressful as you try to navigate new procedures, new hires or new clients. In addition, you need to take care of your employees and provide them their tax documents by the end of the month. Instead of letting everything build up, why not start taking care of those responsibilities now? Enlist the help of your in-house accountant to verify everything is correct. If that option is not available, plenty of outside resources exist specifically for this purpose.

 

3. Know how you will expand your brand and profit in the next year - Hopefully, you set some marketing and sales objectives at the beginning of this year. If so, use these last few days to truthfully evaluate your successes and failures. Even if you missed some opportunities, include them in next year's list. Plan out your marketing budget and include a portion for digital strategy, website development, email marketing and social media. Develop a content calendar and stick to it. Set up quarterly meetings to check on the analytics and progress of these initiatives. If you have a customer or client mailing or email list, send them a Christmas card and include an end-of-the-year survey that asks for feedback on how to provide better service in 2017.

 

4. Discover more about  your team - Your team is the heartbeat of your company, so decide on ways to help them feel valued on a daily basis. Engage them with a year-end review, help them find and schedule professional development training or conferences for the new year, throw a Christmas or New Year's Eve party and if you can afford it, a Christmas bonus. January 1st marks a fresh start and you want to have everyone on the same page and buzzing with excitement.

 


 


Can Your Business Run Without You?

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Creating an efficient procedures manual can be a daunting task, but a creative one at that. It's definitely worth it if producing precise instructions allow you to step away and know all that is needed is within the manual.

 

Here are some tips:

 

1. Start a list/log for all activities - It is not easy to remember every step that you take to accomplish a task. Carrying a list or log in which you can notate steps as they arise will help exponentially later. Write down the explanation of the task, how long it should take and what tools you may need. Do this for approximately one month. After this period, you should have a good idea of what needs to be documented.

 

2. Begin documenting the actual full procedure - Understand why this procedure is important, clarify all the departments, people and other procedures it affects, recognize all those that need to participate in the procedure and make a list of all the tools needed.

 

3. Present your content in visually enticing ways - If applicable or necessary use pictures or graphics to help explain and elaborate on your procedures

 

4. Embrace the power of checklists – Checklists are my favorite tools; they are very helpful in a manual so that someone coming behind you can mark off each step after they finish. To ensure efficiency, be sure to include the specific action steps. If you add any notes within each action step use a different color or font. If other people are named within the action steps use their titles or department names because people come and go. Make sure the action steps are in the proper order to complete the procedure.

 

5. Don't forget these important "other items" -


A. Table of Contents – use this page to locate the exact procedure that you need to reference.
B. Contacts – keep a page that is frequently updated with names and numbers of others that can assist the person trying to step in
C. Templates – create templates for forms or action lists so they can be easily updated and replaced.

  •  
  • This is just a few items to get you started; for more information, contact Campbell Business Services.

 


Top Tools for Small Business Efficiency

Leijun Campbell - Friday, November 18, 2016

We love discussing the practical processes you need for running a successful company or small business. Now I want to give you a quick list of tools that have helped me and that I believe could work wonders for your company in maintaining your practical processes.

 

Email - serves as your main source of initial and continuous contact between you, your clients, your staff, your vendors and more. I recommend email services such as Outlook or Gmail.

 

 

Boomerang – lets you schedule your emails for maximum communication efficiency.

 

Dropbox – safely stores all your documents. You can share files and also have access across all devices.

 

 

Google Docs – gives you the benefit of making changes in real time.

 

 

Doodle – helps with arranging and scheduling meetings with more than two people.

 

 

Join.Me – allows free server and screen sharing.

 

 

Conference Calls – provides an easy dial-in number for participants in different cities and countries. Try Uber Conference or Freeconference.com.

 

 

Buffer aids in publishing content across several accounts. Feeling overwhelmed by keeping up your social media pages? Can’t afford to pay a social media expert? Try Buffer.

 

CRM (Customer Relations Management)- helps small businesses and solopreneurs track all your client/customer information. Zoho or Streak (a Google app inside Gmail) are both good options.

 

 

Evernote – provides an easy, searchable system for keeping notes.

 

 

Shoeboxed – keeps receipts and creates expense reports. One of my favorite applications.

 

Let us know in the comments which tools you use for your business!


Five Steps to Establishing Your Practical Processes

Leijun Campbell - Thursday, October 27, 2016

We present to you a visual representation of last week's blog post on raising the bar with your practical processes at your small business. If you have any questions, email leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com

 

 


Raise The Bar with Your Practical Processes

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

 

 

No sooner do businesses open their doors or offer services and they are already looking to the future growth and scale of the business. Most likely the owner/founder is aware of all the responsibilities and tasks that need to be managed. They may even delegate some of these responsibilities. As they look to future growth they may also look into financing. All of these are important to a strong business, however, to have a strong foundation built for that business is best. Remember that your company will never grow to be bigger than the strength of its practical processes.

 

Solid processes offer a systemic approach to operating the business as well as a more organized business creating less chaos at growth time. Here are a few steps to creating a process for each area of your business.

 

1. Better out than in

 

Get all of that information about your business and how to run it out of your head and down on paper or recorded digitally. Include everything that you can think of to establish the basis for a manual format (this will serve as your company’s operations manual).

 

2. Start things right on Day One, not later

 

Think back to Day One. Think of of the steps/procedures it took to get the business running (most importantly, the procedures that are done regularly and that are vital to the business). You need to refer back to your Day One philosophy on every procedure.

 

3. Shadow yourself

 

Start writing down every literal step you take a given day running the business. Take time to “shadow” yourself; it will be frustrating but well worth it. An intern can also help you establish these processes. Hiring someone who is interested in your type of business creates a win-win situation.

 

4. Fear the worst, Hope for the best

 

Think of any possible problems that could come up, identify those specific to your company and develop a process for dealing with them. Include these issues and concerns in your eventual Operations Manual.

 

5. Ask for help

 

If you are a solopreneur, ask a friend that you know will provide sound, objective advice; if you have a manager or employee ask them to review the information you have and provide feedback. It is possible that you missed something or they may have information to add.

 

6. Sharing is caring

 

Create and share your processes or the full Operations Manual you have now created. If you are a solopreneur you will now be ready when growth happens.

 

 


Infographic: Four Practical Processes for Your Business

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, September 27, 2016

 

Operations Management, Sales & Marketing, Financial Management and Talent Management are the four practical processes your business needs to establish from the beginning. See above for how these apply to your company and email leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com if we can help you in any way.

Taking Stock of What You Have: The Need for Process

Leijun Campbell - Friday, September 16, 2016

In any Small Business, there is a prevalent set of business processes that must exist for a strong foundation. These practical processes provide more than a set of rules for you and your employees, but help create and solidify the consistency, efficiency and innovation of your company.

 


 

Here are four essential examples.


1) Of course the goal of a business is to make money; therefore, you need a strong process for your Financial Management. The size of your small business/solo venture will determine how extensive this will need to be. Take the initial steps of setting up a company bank account, ordering a company credit card, choosing your bookkeeping software, creating a budget and documenting your financial procedures. Using the right technology combined with the right professionals allows you to automate this process for the most accurate results, and knowing the amount of assets, liabilities and equity your company has equips you to make smarter financial decisions.

 

2) In order to keep the cash flowing, every business needs to utilize a Sales & Marketing process to keep their name in front of potential clients/customers and service then in good standing. Develop your brand through a mix of traditional approaches and digital practices with a decidedly personal touch; your customers and clients want to know that they matter and that the information you provide benefits them beyond the product or service. For sales, create and maintain a schedule of measurable objectives, goals, benchmarks and checkpoints along with specific procedures for documenting new and current clients. However, give yourself and your sales staff the flexibility to adjust the process if something isn’t working.

 

3) At some point even the solopreneur will find the need for outside help, and for those small businesses that rely on employees, a proficient process for dealing with Talent Management will help ensure less problems. If you haven’t already, create an employee handbook and//or specific orientation process for every new hire. Provide opportunities for professional development and training as often as you can, so that all team members feel invested in the company, no matter how small or large their role actually is. Have weekly, monthly or quarterly “all-staff” meetings as well as an open door policy for feedback and evaluations. Many employees desire to know how they are performing in their position, but often feel too afraid to ask.

 

4) Finally, your company must have an exhaustive Operations Management process that makes everything flow together, bringing all of the above into your products, the who, what, when and even why to your business. Establish essential daily operation policies for employee benefits and sick leave/vacation time, create company objectives and select and cultivate healthy relationships with your vendors. If need be, hire a reliable, coachable and client-oriented operations manager.

 

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