|Small Business Information|
Gold Medal Delegation
When the recent Games of the XXVIII Olympiad came to a close in Athens, two events stood out in my mind as perfect examples of the importance of time management:
1. Teenage swimmer Michael Phelps, America's most-celebrated Olympic athlete, matched Mark Spitz's record of four individual gold medals with a stirring comeback in the 100m butterfly. Phelps pulled off an incredible feat in the final 50 meters, making up a half-body length to nip teammate and world-record holder Ian Crocker by four-hundredths of a second.
2. In the men's 100m track and field final, the United States took first, third and fourth. The time separating Justin Gatlin's gold medal performance from teammate Shawn Crawford's fourth place finish was again four-hundredths of a second. That means after running more than the length of a football field, four men crossed the finish line separated by less time than you can start and stop a stopwatch.
Fortunately, most small business owners don't have to overcome such narrow time margins to achieve success in their endeavors. The key for you is to get the most out of your entire working day. Once you identify your Genius Time ? those high-impact activities that lead to your peak performance and bring the biggest return to your franchise business ? your Olympic challenge becomes disciplining yourself to focus on it regularly. To do this, you must become a gold medalist at delegation.
Success Handler Action: After you finish reading this e-newsletter, spend some time thinking about things you do in your small business that could be given to others with a few minutes of instruction. These are "Delegation Tasks" that may require you to go over the "how to" with a person the first few times, yet could easily transition to someone else's responsibility on a regular and ongoing basis. Here are some questions to help you get started:
~ What things did you do today that someone else could have handled?
~ Where are you spending time that your instincts tell you someone else should be doing?
~ Why do the 'smaller' things keep getting in the way of accomplishing your 'bigger' goals?
~ When you are away for awhile, which employees 'get things done'?
~ Who in your small business best accepts new challenges?
Eliminating Delegation Tasks does not necessarily require increasing your payroll. It can be as simple as choosing a few of the less-important things you do frequently (our clients often mention answering the phone, making bank deposits, copying and filing), and transferring them to an existing employee.
The second step to maximizing your Genius Time is to identify your "I Wish Tasks." These are the two or three things you wish someone else would do, and they may take an hour or more of guidance on your part to get this person up to speed (invoicing and writing thank you notes are two examples that come up during our coaching sessions). When you think about how much money your time is worth per hour, it probably makes sense to off-load these to someone else.
Success Handler Action: If you don't have people on staff to handle Delegation and I Wish Tasks, it won't cost a fortune to have someone take them over for you. Here are five places to look for the right person to give you four or five hours each week at less than $10 per hour:
1. Friends and neighbors who left the workforce to become stay-at-home parents
2. Family members who could use some extra money
3. Full-time college students looking to create work experience for their resumé
4. Seniors who retired from successful business careers
5. The best volunteers in your local elementary school's parent-teacher organization
Olympians train for years for the chance to have their moments of glory. Whether legends like Jesse Owens or those who finish out of medal contention and fade from the spotlight, each takes on the enormous challenge of the Olympic motto ? Swifter, Higher, Stronger.
Developing your Genius Time won't occur overnight. You'll find yourself drifting off course and allowing Delegation and I Wish Tasks to interrupt your productivity. The goal ? your gold medal ? is to commit to changing how you approach your role in your small business. Delegate those things that aren't of Olympic importance, and spend your time focusing on the areas that give you the best shot at celebrating victory.
Copyright © 2004 by Success Handler, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Coach, David Handler, is the founder of Success Handler, (http://www.successhandler.com), and specializes in helping small business leaders find clarity and take action. He understands the challenges of running a business, because he's been there ? as a small business owner, franchisee, franchisor, corporate leader and trainer. Much like sports coaches, his coaching will show you how to compete on a level playing field in your industry.
Why The Carwash Industry is Stagnant; What You Can Do to Change Your Field
Many years ago, I had warned the carwash industry of problems brewing in customer dissatisfaction as we continued to grow our car wash company into a National Franchise Chain. I warned of environmental controls, speed of wash, water usage, quality of labor, price points, car wash fundraisers, car damage, up selling and hot wax. At that time I was called everything under the Sun by operators who did not wish to change.
Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants: Small Business Saviors
Work smarter, not harder
Entrepreneur to Employer
You make the decision to go into business and for some time work from home or in leased premises and your business starts to grow.
The Advisory Board: A Business Owners Most Valuable Resource
As a company grows, the owner's role begins to change. More and more of the owner's time is spent "in the shop or in the field" handling day-to-day operations rather than focusing on high-level planning and strategic issues.
Three Small Business Secrets to Getting More Billable Time
As small business owners we're in business to make money doing what we love. And that means we need enough billable hours to cover our expenses, our payroll, upgrades in skills and technology, and profit. But if stay in business for any length of time, you eventually reach the point where you just don't have more hours in the day to give to your business. After all, you have a personal life too. (If you don't have a personal life, you really need to work on that.) So, if you've maxed out on the hours you have available to build your business, how can you get more billable hours?
Successfully Adding a Service To Your Business
There will come a time in your business where you feel ready to add another service offering. To make this successful, there are ten tips to consider before moving ahead.
Small Business - Is The Accounting Profession Ripping Them Off?
My 16 year-old daughter said, "Gee Dad! You look just like an accountant" And she wasn't being complimentary. Accountants are perceived to be boring, stodgy and conservative. Over the years we've been the butt of many jokes. I've heard them all. Why did the accountant cross the road? Because he looked up the file and that's what they did last year! Ha Ha! What do accountants use as a contraceptive? Their personality! Ha Ha!" Why do accountants become accountants? They don't have the charisma to be undertakers! Ha Ha! What do they call an accountant at the bottom of the sea? A bloody good start! Ha Ha! I think I am the exception. That's why I've begun to call myself a business strategist and counselor. "You're still an accountant," says teenage daughter. I am still an accountant and I'm still as passionate about it as the day I started. Because accountants have an impact on people's lives. The advice we give changes people's businesses which in turn changes their lives. I'm excited in my role of accountant. Accounting is not stodgy. Accounting is exciting. Accounting is cool! My ambition is to become the "cool dude of accounting". (do they still say "dude", do they still say "cool". Remember that song: When I say, "cool, man, cool, I don't mean cool, man, cool, I mean you leave me cold, Jack") We were throwing some ideas around with some of our clients as we do from time to time, looking for that unique benefit that our firm gives to our clients. That unique something that distinguishes us from other accounting practices. One said, "You have helped me to improve my business. Not only am I making more profits and have more to spend, but I also have more time to spend away from the business. The more time I spend at home with my family the happier my life is. And the happier I am the happier my wife and children seem to be. When my wife is happy all sorts of good things happen ? even our sex life improves. That's it! You can advertise that using Kelvyn Peters CPA and Associates improves your sex life" I don't think so! Sorry, we haven't accepted his idea. You're completely on your own in that department, but we can help you improve your business and consequently your life. And your goal might not be extra profit but extra time for living! We know we can because we are doing it for others. We repeat ourselves so often because the truth is the truth and there is only a limited number of ways to tell it. You've heard this before. If you are spending every waking moment in a hassle about your business, there must be a better way. There is! Accountants have been ripping off their clients for years In 1973 I attended a workshop for accountants at the Finance Management Research Center then headed by Dr Keith Cleland. The workshop was intended to drag participants into the 20th century. "Accountants have been ripping off their clients for years", he told us. The 25 participants were shocked. These represented vibrant accounting firms from all around Australia, both large firms and small. They were at the cutting edge of the industry. Otherwise they would not have been at this kind of workshop. To a person they resented that comment and one fellow wanted to punch him on the nose. (It wasn't me, but I would have held his coat). By the week's end we discovered how we were charging high fees for things that our clients couldn't understand, couldn't use and didn't need. At the same time we were neglecting the information that they did need to increase their profits and safeguard their businesses. 20 Years Later what's Changed? I attended a week long seminar hosted by CPA Australia in 1993 which was to train us in "client based accounting". Dr Cleland presented the initial module. He did not openly criticize accountants this time, after all, it was the CPA's hosting it, but he gave almost the same speech (same jokes, too) as he had 20 years before. "These things aren't taught in Universities", he said, "so the accounting profession has mostly ignored them. They have let small business down but things are changing". Know-it-all, Kelvyn Peters had to jump to his feet and say that the doctor had said exactly the same thing 20 years ago. Where were the signs of change? Universities were still not teaching accountants how to help their clients. "This seminar with CPA Australia and the suggestion they might make client based accounting a speciality is a good sign", he replied. 10 Years Later? Nothing has changed. Our hopes have withered on the vine and small business must look elsewhere for help. Recently I was called in to assist an ailing restaurant. We were happy to work with their existing accountant. We'd rather do the fun stuff and let the accountant do the boring tax returns and compliance work. In this case the client insisted we take over the whole of the accounting function. The accountant was most unhappy. "They are difficult clients", he said, "I have kept the fee lower than it should be and I have done extra to help them". Indeed, he had! The financial statements were beautiful to behold with colored graphs and key ratios compared against industry average. (most accountants still don't do that. I had advised that both wages costs and cost of foodstuffs were too high. Our focus was to form tactics to reduce them. "But I had already told them that", said the Accountant, "what do they need you for?' I told him that the client knew the kitchen wages were too high and what he wanted was for someone to show them how to reduce the wages in the kitchen. "I can't do that", he said, "I'm an accountant". I would have to camp down there in the restaurant to see what's going on. And they wouldn't pay the fee". Yes they would. They were going to pay me. Most accountants see their role as being the provider of financial statements, cash-flow projections and tax returns, and there's the rub. Each of these is a tool not an end in itself. It's like giving the client a hammer and saw and telling him to go build a house. He needs more than the tools, he needs to be shown how to use them. Of course the client will complain about fees whatever the level if all he receives are not useful to him. Accountants generally are flat out preparing financial statements and tax returns. Meeting dead-lines. They haven't the time to 'smell the roses'. Anything that doesn't help meet a dead-line has to wait until later. Often its too late. I may still look like an accountant, even the cool dude of accounting, but there is nothing I like more than talking with a business owner about his business. There's nothing a business owner likes more than discussing his business and planning to make more money. It's great fun and he loves to pay me for it.
Are You Using a Chess or Checkers Small Business Marketing Strategy?
Until the day I learned to play chess I loved playing checkers. Both games require a strategy that maximizes a player's ability to capture her opponents pieces without first losing her own. Checkers was fun. But the complexities of chess lead to more satisfying victories and defeats.
Public Relations: Antidote for Small Business Failure
When small businesses fail, the wreckage is often assigned to undercapitalization, among other mistakes. Seldom is failure attributed to a lack of effective communications that might have modified the behavior of sales prospects in a positive way, thus averting bankruptcy.
Private Investigator Tactics
A Private Investigator is a professional trained in the art of investigations and surveillance. Otherwise known as Private eyes or, these professionals are for hire 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Many investigators have backgrounds in CIA, FBI, military, special forces, police, and government. I assume you all have heard of the famous Sherlock Holmes, and his trusty side-kick detective Watson. They were a type of private investigator. Today's private investigators use modern technology along with investigator training to serve the public and attorneys, police investigations, insurance investigations, and so much more.
(P)Refer to Grow Your Business
(Although this article is geared towards small business owners, the information is just as applicable to a similar personal situation, only the action is slightly different.)
Your Babys Ugly..and Youve Got Bad Breath
I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that 98% of businesses are small businesses. That bodes well for the entrepreneurial spirit that has made our nation great. The bad news is that 80%, that's right, four out of five new businesses will fail in their first five years.
6 Steps to a Successful Medical Spa Expansion
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, since 1997, nonsurgical procedures have increased by 471 percent. Jeff Russell, CEO of MedSpa Financing, comments "Medical Spas are a natural progression of medical practice expansion, having a medical doctor run them gives them the credibility and public confidence needed for their success."
Business Debt Collection Letter Writing Secrets
Debt collection letters--an overview
Naming Your Business: 3 Tips To Ensure Success
If you are just starting your business, or if you have just developed a new product or service for an existing business, one of the first questions you need to answer is, "What should I name it?" And while you may feel pressure to make this decision quickly, I caution you to not make it lightly. What kind of things should you take into consideration when choosing a name?
Small Business Strategies - Four Critical Success Factors
Change May Be Your Ace in the Hole
Whether it has been thrust upon you by external market forces or it has simply bubbled up from the internal dynamics of your enterprise, change itself always presents opportunity for improvement. And in a knowledge based economy, change may be the only thing we can count on as small business people. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must embrace change as a necessary strategy for commercial success.
Mobile Carwash; Senior Citizens and Mobile Homes
Senior citizens are generally not a large marketing segment for mobile detailers or car washers, however, they should not be ignored. You will find in a near by area a seniors-only mobile home park. You will also find square dance clubs and senior centers. All of these places can be extremely good places to look for new business. If you want to accelerate word of mouth advertising, you should meet with people in these groups. Wash cars at senior centers while they play cards. Hand out flyers, etc.
Small Business Marketing Secrets: Look Like Sizzle, Be The Steak
You've heard marketing and advertising gurus quip, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." Advertising initiatives best reach their target audience with benefits and the "wow" effect, not the value or features of their product or service. This may work well to get customers in the door. But once they're in, you better have some substance. How can you ensure you uphold the integrity of your business and still maintain the "Wow Effect"? It just takes well executed strategic steps for business AND personal development:
20 Great Ways to Market Your Business Locally
Whether your target audience is in your neighborhood or across the world, you can use your local resources to get the word out about your business. Your local community is easily accessible and provides dozens of opportunities for building a buzz about your product or service. The following are twenty ideas to get you started.
|home | site map|