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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.

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Establish Your Systems to Grow Your Business

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, August 15, 2017


As much as we businesses owners want to be personally involved every single aspect of our company, there eventually comes a point when the business is growing too much for one or a few people. To make sure each part of the proverbial business “ship” is running smoothly, owners and managers must establish efficient procedures, processes and systems.


Here are a few tips on making that happen.

 

  1. Today is the best day to start - If you are reading this at your desk and have not begun to establish your company’s systems, do not delay anymore. Develop three to four key areas in which you want to root your business philosophy and mission. These can be broad at first and then specified over the next several months. However, the key is to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.
  2.  
  3. Write it down - Documentation is crucial to your systems. Of course, you can audit and adjust things as necessary, but having the procedures in written and printed form add a sense of stability and efficiency.
  4.  
  5. Anticipate possible issues - Sometimes, what seems great on paper may not work out as well in practice. When you establish those three to four key areas of your business, analyze ways the systems can both succeed and possibly fail. Think in terms of productivity as a business owner, manager, employee, vendor and client/customer. Engaging these perspectives can sometimes prevent future issues.
  6.  
  7. Give your managers a chance to review the systems before they become official - Similar to the previous tip, a roundtable discussion via email, conference call or physical meeting can provide value feedback from people who will be responsible for implementing and maintaining these systems on a daily basis. Allow yourself to be open to questions and possible critiques. Once you have a mutually approved list of systems, document them and send out. Things may not come easily at first (like all new things), but hopefully your systems will help kick start a business mission that is ever eager to expand and grow.
 
For more tips on developing systems for your business, email leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

 

How to Develop Practical Processes As A Small Business

Leijun Campbell - Monday, July 31, 2017

Learning how to balance the operations and sales/marketing of your business with the systems and processes of your business is crucial to establishing a path for future success and growth. Creation, development, auditing, documentation and collaboration represent five steps you can take to make these objectives achievable.

What do you feel are ways that your company has developed practical processes?

 


2017 Midyear Financial Management Checklist

Leijun Campbell - Friday, June 23, 2017


 

This past Wednesday, June 21st, marked the first day of summer. Activity in your work or home office may have slowed down for the season, but this slight lull could be the perfect opportunity to review your company's progress for the first half of 2017 as well as refine your plans for the rest of the year.

Your financial management, in particular, should always be checked, measured, analyzed and refined. We will give you a few of the most crucial items to include on your midyear checklist. Keep reading for more information and be sure to let us know what you would add!

 

1. Check your prepared budget against your current spending: "Budget" may be one of the least liked, yet most important words in the business lexicon. Your business cannot survive without the creation of a budget and also the fulfillment of a budget. Bring up the documents you created at the beginning of 2017 or end of 2016 and cross-examine each category and item with what you actually spent on said items. If you're on your way to healthy year-end profit and positive cash flow, celebrate and keep pushing forward. If not, grab all of your head staff and determine what areas of spending can be cut or reduced. You still have a little over six months to turn things around, but no use in waiting.

 

2. Check your balance sheet for any missing or uncollected payments: If you are a solopreneur or small business owner, you are constantly being thrown new information about vendors and clients. Without proper systems in place for payables, receivables, bills and invoices, you can miss crucial payments and deadlines. Take time this last week of June to catch up on your balance sheets and income statements. Don't stop until each document is properly filled and all payments are made and received.

 

3. Make sure your tax documents are correct for all aspects of your business: We're just two months out of the dreaded tax season, but you cannot go wrong by trying to prepare for next year. You want to make sure no stone is left unturned with this side of financial management. Though some of you may hire an outside tax accountant for those first few months of each year, consider bringing one in for this next week just to audit your books and make sure everything is on track. You'll breathe easier knowing you have a rock-solid vision and strategy for the rest of 2017

 

Other important items for your midyear financial management checklist:

 

- Job-cost reports

- Estimates versus actuals details

- Profit/loss actuals

- Sales and marketing goals

- Customer satisfaction ratings

 

For more information on financial management, please email us today at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

Financial Fridays: Positive Cash Flow

Leijun Campbell - Friday, May 19, 2017

 

We want to give you something to look forward to every week, so starting today, we are unleashing our Financial Friday series that will feature a mix of blogs, infographics and more. Keep reading for the first post!
 
The four practical processes we advocate at Campbell Business Services are financial management, operations management, talent management and sales and marketing management. Today, we want to delve a little deeper into that first process with a look at cash flow.

 


 
We'll define cash flow as "the net amount of money that comes and goes out of a business during a particular period." The positive cash flow occurs when a business has more cash at the end of a period than at the beginning. The flip side would be to have less cash at the end of a period, indicating a negative cash flow.
 
Obviously, all of us would love a positive cash at the end of each period. However, with your many responsibilities as a small business owner, you may have a tough time establishing and maintaining a positive cash flow.
 
Here are a few tips for achieving this financial management goal:
 
1. Find ways to cut, or at least reduce, your major expenses: It's hard to maintain this objective in our personal finances, let alone for our businesses. Though this process will always be easier said than done, you must figure out at least a few items to focus on that could greatly impact your cash flow. Budget as much as you can each month (of course, there will be emergencies here and there). If you find a similar vendor who can reliably provide you the same product or supplies at a more affordable, consider that option and weigh out the pros and cons on budget sheet. Results will be small when you first start this process; however, continue to refine your process until you begin seeing the impact on your cash flow that you need.
 
2. Get cash faster from customers, clients and receivables: No business wants to feel like they are a collection agency, but no business wants to be bankrupt either. Before entering agreements with customers and clients, be sure to define your payment requirements and deadlines by sending out invoices as soon as possible. You can even include a percentage discount, or incentive, for clients who pay off their debt early. This process will also keep you and your accountant from sweating at the end of the month because you won't have several unpaid invoices.
 
3. Take loans with manageable payment options: In addition to invoices to clients, your business will receive monthly billing statements if you take out loans. These payments can put a strain on expanding your cash flow because you have to always meet these obligations first to avoid strict penalties. When applying for loans, be sure to only take out the ones with reasonable terms that will give you at least a small cushion for increasing your cash flow. Though a few exceptions exist, most of these loans will come with interest after a specified time period. Paying them off early can save you money that can be put towards your cash flow.
 
We hope these tips help. Feel free to email us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com if you'd like more information on establishing positive cash flow. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Three Things to Consider When Hiring A New Accountant

Leijun Campbell - Thursday, April 13, 2017

 


Tax season 2017 is finally coming to an end, and we hope you have been able to get everything correctly filed on deadline. Whether you are a detailed individual versed in important tax policies for your small business or you took the step of hiring an outside accountant, everyone can bring a sigh of relief knowing that another year of filing has passed. If you fell into the latter category and experienced a negative or slightly uncomfortable time with the accountant you hired for this past year, we can give you a few tips to make sure the next selection process is much more pleasant.

 

- Hire someone who communicates with you on a daily or weekly basis and has a quality reputation in your state: Reliability in financial management is crucial for any business, especially when you are running most of the operations by yourself or with a small staff. You want an accountant who you can trust with communicating with the right people, compiling the right documents and filing the right reports. Also be sure to check with your state's accounting board to make sure your new accountant will provide you the best experience.

 

- Hire someone who knows the rules of your industry and stays up-to-date with both the big and small changes: Knowing all of the tax and financial guidelines/rules related to your company makes an accountant a viable asset for your small business, especially if your focus is on a niche product or market. You also need an accountant who will keep a pulse on any changes to procedures that could directly affect your business, so that you can focus on making your company the best it can be.

 

- Hire someone who is willing to explain your financial statements fully and answer any questions you may have: Though you will want to spend most of your energy on your company's daily operations while delegating the important details and financial processes to an expert, make sure you hire an accountant who is willing to keep you informed on a regular basis, especially when a potential problem or issue arises. Make sure your accountant has an open door policy when it comes to questions about your company's financial health. No one enjoys shocking surprises when it comes to money.

 

For more information on how we can help you with your financial management, email us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

 

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

We have over 25 years of experience & 10+ years in small business management. Read More

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or Leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com

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