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Friday Five - Five Ways to Promote High Performance

Leijun Campbell - Friday, November 07, 2014
As a supervisor or manager, you provide the motivation and direction for your team. You sometimes delegate the small details to others, but you take charge in driving forward the overarching theme and vision for your organization. You want to provide the greatest service for your customers no matter how big or small the task. To accomplish this, you must encourage your employees or team members to be consistent in all aspects of their position.
 
The key question you may be asking: “How do I even begin?” Let us give you five tips on promoting high performance among your employees on a daily basis:
 
1) Lead by example - If you want your employees to complete a task in a particular way or to exhibit certain behaviors in client settings, make these intentions clear in both your instructions and your actions. Be consistent in how you manage your own tasks and clients and be quick to correct yourself if you digress too much from the “usual way” of doing things around your employees.
 
2) Offer feedback often with tact and encouragement - You’re probably familiar with the concept of yearly and mid-year reviews for employees. While these do provide some direction in a sincere attempt to encourage positive achievements and to help curb negative behavior, they often come off as ineffective because of the sheer amount of information delivered once or twice per year. To avoid any surprises, make coaching and feedback sessions more frequent, either on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis. Allow your workers to ask for feedback whenever they need it and be sure to respond in a timely manner.
 
3) Equip your team with tools for success - Most of your employees possess some form of higher education, either a 2-year degree from a community college, 4-year degree from a college or university or a Master’s degree in their field. However, people work a lot longer than they are in school, so presenting them with opportunities of certification classes, seminars or even just a healthy dose of industry literature makes their job intriguing and less monotonous.
 
4) Reinforce team collaboration - Most people played some kind of sport growing up to promote unity, the exchange of ideas and the willingness to listen and/or compromise. These ideals shouldn’t change when one enters the workforce. Some of your employees stand out as the “stars”, but reminding everyone that they are an integral part of the organization (even if some believe being “just” a receptionist or data entry clerk makes them less important) is one of the quickest ways to boost company morale.
 
5) Recognize a job well done - Just like with feedback and coaching sessions, shining the light on employees for accomplishing both major and minor tasks can encourage continuously high performance. You can make these recognitions publicly in a team meeting or company-wide email; you can also offer a quick private message to the person who put in the extra hard work as soon as the task is complete. These are just a few ways to encourage strong performance among your employees.

Less Headaches at Tax Time

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Worrying about what records to keep and for how long can be a headache all on its own.  However, when tax time rolls around each year a lot of Small Business owners and Contractors find themselves with many Tension Headaches.  

If you are a small business owner, there are certain receipts and documents that you should hold on to.  If you have employees you are required to keep all your employment tax records for at least four (4) years after the tax itself becomes due or is paid, whichever comes later.

Listed are some types of important documents that business owners should hold on to for at least four (4) years:

All Gross receipts from Operation:

Cash register tapes, credit card charge slips, bank deposit slips, receipt books, invoices, and 1099 forms

All Proof of Purchases:

Purchase receipts, canceled checks, credit card sales slips and invoices

Expense  Documents:

Account statements, credit card sales slips, invoices and petty cash slips for small cash payments

Verification of Assets:

Purchase and sales invoices, real estate closing statements and canceled checks

If you are a Small Business Owner or operating under a 1099 classification, other documents you will want to keep on file for three (3) years are:

Credit card and other receipts

Invoices

Bills

Mileage logs

Any Proofs of Purchase

Canceled Checks

Any other records to support your deductions or credits you are claiming on your return

Organization

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I get asked quite often, what is the best way to organize my business/home files?  In an effort to lend A Little Assistance, I have put together some basic suggestions to get you started.  Get out your pendaflexes file folders, manila (or colored) file folders, labels and lets get started! Start with a list of your major categories.  For example: Automobile Credit Cards Medical Insurance Home Mortgage Etc. All of the above will be your Pendaflex Folders.  Now that you have all the Main file folders completed we can move on to the subcategories, this is where your manila file folders come in, label each file folder according to each subcategory.  For example: Automobile -Car Insurance -Lender Credit Cards -Visa/ABC Bank -Mastercard/123 Bank Medical Insurance -File for each family member, i.e. Johnny -Suzy -Flex Spending Etc… I think you get the general idea.  One last little suggestion, to keep all my receipts organized I purchased a coupon holder you can label each slot with each month, and keep your receipts for your personal use for several months, or if it is a business receipt you can hold a whole years worth in one of these holders. I hope you find this helpful.

Are You Experiencing Receipt Defeat?

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Picture If I had a dime for every time I heard, “I don’t have the receipt”, I think I would at least have a long vacation paid for at this point. So what point am I trying to make?  In researching the top mistakes that entrepreneurs and small business owners make when preparing for their taxes, the one that is repeatedly at the top was Not Keeping Proper Documentation for Expenses Incurred. Even if you have a professional accountant handling your taxes, it is ultimately your responsibility to keep and organize the documentation for them.  Whether you undertake this daunting task yourself or hire a trustworthy assistant/bookkeeper to handle this matter for you is up to you. It is imperative that all receipts for expenses be kept.  For example, restaurants, supplies, equipment, travel, etc.  If an audit should occur these receipts are necessary to verify the purchase is legitimate. I know what your thinking, in this day and age isn’t everything kept virtually?  Well, honestly a lot is and things will continue to go in that direction.  But we are not completely paper free yet.  Here are some suggestions on how to organize the piles of receipts. One of the easiest is to get a receipt box or plastic holder with dividers they have them in envelope size.  (I actually got a couple of mine at Target in the dollar section, big investment, huh…).  From there you can either stick with a monthly excel sheet with categories across the top, one for each month and attach all receipts for that month with it, or you can get high tech and buy one of those scanners and the programs that go with it that you see on TV.  Once the set up is done for these the scanning and monthly reporting is no problem.  It will make your bookkeeper and accountant’s life much easier also, which is less costly to you.  The only easier way of doing all of this is to shove all your receipts in a envelope and hand them over to your assistant/bookkeeper to handle all of the above for you, which will be a little more costly to your payroll, but alleviates the headache from your plate allowing you to focus on more important business items.  You could go with the shoebox method (believe me there are plenty of people still going this route) hand that over to your accountant and have his/her office deal with it and seeing a more hefty bill on you desk when it is all done and said. The ultimate decision is yours but please take head on the receipts thing, it is more important than you might think. If you have realized that you need help in this area of your business and you’re not sure where to start or what might be best, give us a call or email for a FREE 30 minute consultation.

Stay on the Task Track

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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Tick Tock of Time for Small Business Owners

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Picture Do you find yourself saying there is never enough time in a day?  You feel as though you are a dog chasing its tail each day.  Your stuck in the rut of doing everything yourself or not being able to see the value of paying for the help.  In the meantime, you are lacking any personal time to refresh yourself and keep your focus.  Not to even mention the lack of time with your family. As a Small Business Owner (SBO) it is very important that you take just a few hours to go somewhere quiet and meditate on what is really important to you in your business right now.  What tasks you are willing to give up and pay for.  What your business needs at this time in order to maintain and even grow.  If the paying for help is a scary thought for you, because your budget is already tight, think about how much you are earning per hour, and where that can be better used.  For example, you are worth more by getting out there and developing the business.  You are actually losing money for that newsletter, bookkeeping, administrative task by you taking care of it, instead of you developing your business. A Virtual Assistant, Virtual Bookkeeper or Virtual Business Manager would be a great solution to these common problems.  You only pay them for the task and time it takes.  So for the SBO with commitment phobias to managing employees and dealing with the benefits, etc.  This is the perfect Solution. If you having any questions on what a Virtual Assistant can do for your business, contact us at A Little Assistance, WWW.ALITTLEASSISTANCE.COM

National Small Business Week

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cheers to all the Small Business Owners out there! A Little Assistance honors the over 27 million Small Businesses nationwide. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration "More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. They also create 60-80 percent of new jobs in the country."

A Little Assistance would like to thank all our Small Businesses clients for their business.  We also encourage anyone thinking of starting a Small Business to live out their dreams of doing so and  we at A Little Assistance will assist you in anyway we can. 

The Shine in Your Star

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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The Art of the Serve

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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    1. Know Who is Boss – You are in business to service customer needs, or solve customer problems. When you truly listen to your clients, they will let you know what they want and how you can provide good service.
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    3. Top Notch Listening Skills – Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the client is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and MOST importantly how they feel. BEWARE – do not make assumptions.
 
  • Identify and Anticipate Needs – Clients don’t buy products or services. They buy solutions to problems. The more you know your clients the better you will become at anticipating their needs. Communicate with your clients regularly so that you can keep on top of any posing problems or upcoming needs.
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  • Client Appreciation – Treat clients as individuals. Remember each client is a VIP. Think about ways to make the client feel good about doing business with you. Don’t forget to say Thank You.
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  • Educate the Client -You may have the best system for getting t results, so be sure that your client understands how you go about doing that. It cuts down on the off chance that there may be confusion, which can lead to disappointment.
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  • Yes Sir/Madame – Always look for ways to assist your client. Whenever they have a reasonable request, the answer is Yes. Figure out how to make it happen. The appreciation from you client if anything but for the effort alone, will go a long way to keep a loyal client.
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  • It’s Not Hard to Say You're Sorry – When something goes wrong, own it and apologize. I am sorry can go a long way instead of playing the blame game.
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  • Go the Extra Mile – In business today, the future of our client relationships lies in keeping them happy. Therefore, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition.
 

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