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Financial Management is an important Practical Process that should not be treated as an afterthought. You should never be haphazard in your planning and strategies because one major error in accounting or sales can deeply impact your company’s past, present or future.
Here are some important facts you should consider for keeping your company financial healthy.
1) Have a specific bank account for your business only
2) Have a one specific credit card for the business only
3) Have a designated software for financial record keeping, i.e., Quickbooks, Freshbooks, etc.
4) Have a designated financial point person. If this is not your avenue of expertise, hire a reliable trustworthy person to assist in this arena.
5) Have a documented financial process in place
6) Have a system for filing financial paperwork
7) Have a budget – this is a crucial step in the planning
Look out for part two of this series later this month.
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As a business owner, you want to be thoroughly involved with shaping the mission of your company as well as the team members who have joined you. However, you may eventually reach a point where you begin stretching yourself too thin and need someone else to handle daily operations. Here are a few qualities to look for when seeking out a manager that will help drive your vision and team forward.
The manager communicates effectively with the team, and in turn, the team trusts the manager - Communication and trust represent two of the most important aspects of any relationship and are incredibly crucial in a business setting. Your manager should be able to articulate expectations, objectives, and measurable goals in a way that motivates your team to perform beyond their potential. If the communication is open and effective, the team will be able to put their trust in that manager and work alongside them to create the best results possible.
The manager stays organized and calm in any situation - Sure, we all lose our cool sometimes, but the manager of your business should have a high enough emotional intelligence to where they do not explode or break down in a stressful environment. Your team looks to the manager for leadership and guidance; they do not want to see their leader crumble. Also, the manager must plan ahead for any and projects and meetings. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a client or customer like a team who is not prepared to address their needs.
The manager cares about the customers and/or clients they are assisting - The last thing you want in a manager is disinterest or apathy towards the people who ultimately hold your livelihood in their hands. You want a manager who inspires to team members to go beyond what is expected in customer relationships. The manager should be a superb example of service and hospitality. Accepting anything less is detrimental to your team and your business.
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Before focusing on elements such as sales & marketing, financial management and talent management and then delegating tasks to those specific departments, a small business owner must understand why an operations manager is so crucial. Operations management sets the tone for the day-to-day tasks necessary for a successful company.
Here are three ways describing how an operations manager is the heartbeat of your small business:
1) Selecting and cultivating relationships with your vendors - No matter how small or large your operation, you will need to contract vendors for office supplies or product distribution. An operations manager will provide you the template for seeking out and using certain vendors, whether that is the schedule for deliveries, certain contact persons or price points for different products.
2. Establishing daily procedures for employees - Your policies and procedure manuals are essential to providing structure within your team. Click HERE for a list of items you should include. The procedures developed by your operations manager can help solidify the practical processes for new hire training, team member absences and more.
3. Creating company objectives - Before releasing your sales and marketing teams out into the world, you must first provide them a series of company-related goals to meet. These team members look to your guidance to provide them with a mission that permeates all their efforts. Your operations manager can help clarify what is needed for the next month, six month or 1-year period.
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As job satisfaction and career/life balance becomes increasingly important to the modern workforce, today's business owners must be aware of their team members' needs and objectives. The onboarding process represents a significant step for new hires that helps determine their view of their tenure with the company.
Here are five reasons why the onboarding process is so crucial:
1) Expedited Paperwork Processing - It's a part of every job. Forms for taxes, insurance, company policies and other miscellaneous documents are stacked in front of every new hire, taking up valuable time away from that first few hours on the job. With all of the technological advances, software and apps, you can find a way to take care of these forms well before the new team member walks through the door.
2) Early Rapport Building with Team - No matter how jobs we have throughout our career, meeting people can be difficult. If possible, surround your new hire with team members in their department as early as you can. Allow an open environment for any kind of questions and give plenty of shadowing opportunities to make sure that the new hires learn how to do things the proper way. You can also create a FAQ document with questions and answers submitted by current team members. Making these new hires comfortable with their team in the onboarding process will help them succeed when they start the actual work.
3) An Initial Sense of Ownership - Speaking of the actual work, your company's onboarding process allows you to communicate tangible goals, objectives and responsibilities to the new hire. Explaining the mission of your business and how their role impacts the overall picture can help new hires experience a sense of ownership before they even begin their tasks.
4) Reinforcement of Business Mission for Other Team Members - By encouraging this sense of rapport between new hires and current team members in the onboarding process, you can help reemphasize your values and mission throughout the company. This new energy can even lead to innovation in current and future projects.
5) Higher Retention Rate - Most businesses have a probationary period of three to six months to determine if the company and new hire are the right fit. Using a structured onboarding process to engage the new hire from the very beginning can help ensure a higher chance of retention those first few months and beyond.
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As a small business owner, you and your team juggle many tasks. Some of these tasks are unique and change frequently. However, you also complete several projects in the same way every single time.
Documenting processes creates a streamlined approach for effective management. Here are some reasons why your company should practice documentation.
1) Unexpected or planned absences – If your team is small, oftentimes an absent member can hinder productivity, especially if their position comprises of specific or specialized tasks. Documenting processes allows your business to create specific instructions and objective for each position. Whether a team member is out with the flu or is enjoying an island vacation for two weeks, you or one of your team members will keep the business on track by referencing your documented processes.
2) A Unified Company Approach – We all have our preferences and habits when it comes to working and marking things off our to-do lists. However, no matter how big or small your business is, some tasks and processes need to be uniform for everybody. Documenting processes such as clocking in/out, submitting expense reports and creating presentations reduces confusions and helps speed up productivity for the various departments.
3) New Hire Training – One aspect prospective and new team members look for in a company is the depth of their new hire training. Documenting processes in one central database allows managers to quickly create training materials for every department and position. Once training is complete, team members still have the option to access the materials should any questions arise.
4) Process Review and Innovation
– As important as documentation is, your company should also take time at least a few points during the year to review your processes. Ask
objective questions from your management and team members to see how things can be improved for each process. Be open to these suggestions will also
give your team members a sense of ownership in their position
A common expression in business and life in general is "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail," a sentiment with which Campbell Business Services can agree, as seen in blog posts such as "Goal Setting for the Second Half of the Year". However, knowing the difference between setting flexible objectives and locking into strict expectations can help you improvise on the former while avoiding dead ends with the latter.
Here are a few ways to plan ahead and embrace the natural spontaneity that occurs in the day to day operations of your company:
1) Set objectives, but acknowledge that different steps can lead to the final result: Two plus two equals four, but so does three plus one. For example, your company has a specific profit goal for the year. You have a client who renews their contract every September, and this renewal makes up your biggest sale of the year. It's easy to get comfortable with that kind of arrangement, if the client has to cancel their service after 10 years of loyalty, you may be left scrambling. Remember that creating multiple ways to accomplish your goal is much more effective than putting all your eggs in one basket.
2) Understand that trends change, and you might have to follow suit sooner rather than later: In such a technology-driven society, businesses can always find ways to maintain their core standards and mission, but adapting your methods to maintain relevancy is necessary. Find time each day to read up on the latest industry news and encourage your team to do the same (you can also prepare a list of articles each week to send them). Pinpoint which trends affect you and your team and try to incorporate them frequently and smoothly.
3) Encourage your team members to put forth new ideas: As a company leader, you probably know specific ways in which you like to complete both short-term and long-term projects. While these habits are important to maintaining your company's vision, be sure to set aside time before and after each task to discuss new angles and approaches, and allow your team to be part of the conversation. You may discover brand new ways to increase creativity and efficiency for your next product launch.
If you have any questions, feel free contact us at email@example.com
Though you never want to be labeled as a micro-manager in the eyes of your team, striking a balance between giving instructions and allowing autonomy for your assistants provides an unforgettable sense of trust.
The key question revolves around defining that balance and then creating a set of instructions and checklists that accomplishes that purpose on a monthly basis. Today, we'll discuss three different levels of checklists.
1) Basic - This first set of checklists hearkens back to your assistant's job description and making sure every single "essential" task (big or small) gets listed. This level requires/allows you to maintain a relationship of accountability with that particular team member and ensures everything gets done in a timely manner.
2) Intermediate - After your assistants finish their "basic" tasks for the month, encourage them to schedule time during the month for pet projects that could help improve their department's productivity such as looking for a new CRM or accounting program. This level allows them to feel that sense of autonomy in their day to day as well as feel like they're contributing to the welfare of the department and/or company.
3) Advanced - Finally, allow your assistants to establish a few steps in their checklist for professional development whether that is reading a certain number of industry articles or books per month or attending a 1-day conference every quarter. They will gain invaluable knowledge, and in turn, become a invaluable resource for your company.
If you have any further questions on this topic or executive assistance/business management, click here to contact us.
Executive assistants help companies maintain their infrastructure in big and small ways every single day, serving as the administrative gatekeepers between the executive and the general public. Though executive assistants handle a variety tasks such as data entry/management and scheduling, companies would be wise to use their assistants’ professional, administrative and people skills to provide a jolt to their marketing efforts.
Here are a few ways to incorporate your executive assistant into this particular realm of the company:
Social Media - By now, most (if not all) companies have discovered their clients live on social media whether on juggernauts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube or discover and repost-friendly sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr. Your executive assistant most likely knows all aspects of the company including important product launches, company events and industry seminars. Utilize their scheduling expertise to help plan posts on your network of choice and their people skills to respond to client and customer questions. Encourage them to document important company details both ahead of the curve and in the moment.
Copywriting - Similar to potential social media efforts, your executive assistant can also help your company by writing fresh website copy on a monthly or weekly basis, whether this is updating your event calendars or crafting blog posts. This steady content stream keeps your website from becoming static to your users and provides ammo for social media. The more reasons your customers have to come to your site, the more conversions you are likely to have.
Email Marketing - Executive assistants provide email management in one form or another already for their employers. However, they can take this task to an even more effective level by creating email marketing campaigns. As with social media, these blasts put you front and center in front of your target audience and present them with reasons to anticipate your messages and subsequently visit your site.
It's Wednesday at 4:30, and you collapse into your desk chair. Today was full of more meetings than you can count: the weekly team meeting, the monthly brainstorming session with your biggest client, and a surprise conference from a friendly entrepreneur who knows how to stay just a little too much over his time.
The temptation once you fire up your computer for the last time of the day is just to coast through the last half hour without incident or receiving any unexpected tasks. Social media is calling your name, and dinner plans need to be made. However, using those remaining 30 minutes of your work day in a productive manner can make a significant difference for tomorrow or even the rest of your week.
Here are three things you can do to increase your end-of-day productivity:
1. Choose one to three small tasks that you can knock out easily: When we eliminate the busy work in our schedule, we're able to accomplish more of the important tasks. If you know an email to send a coworker or some copies you need to make for your upcoming presentation, don't put it towards tomorrow's to-do list; get it out of the way now.
2. Make your schedule and/or to-do list for the next day or week: Though it's tempting to put off thinking about tomorrow or next week's work, taking care of writing out your to-do list in the morning saves at least ten to twenty minutes when you first get to your desk at 8 a.m. Mark the highest priority tasks to alert yourself that these need to be done first while your mind is more alert.
3. Catch up on industry news: Don't let your last 30 minutes consist of watching cat videos on YouTube, finding recipes on Pinterest or making "crucial" trades for your fantasy teams. Subscribe to three to five industry newsletters or blogs and spend some time studying the latest trends and brainstorming ways you can incorporate these tips into your current position.