SMB Owners: Don’t Get Bogged Down in Your Bookkeeping

You Can't Afford NOTto Delegate

Franchisees and small business owners of all kinds:

Business suffering because you’re bogged down with administrative mess? You say you didn’t sign up for bookkeeping when you dreamed of your new business?

Not focusing on what you love is a BIG mistake.  And guess what? There are people out there who LOVE bookkeeping. Yes, it’s true! And, thankfully, they are ready for hire.

EVEN IF YOU KNOW HOW

You choose a business because you are following your bliss, your passion, your venue to champion your skills. My guess is you never gave a damn about bookkeeping, ordering, payroll, maintenance, or many of the duties that are so necessary to run a successful business. Just because you know how doesn’t always mean you should.

I bet you’re still mowing your own lawn, too.

Time for a wake-up call

So why aren’t you hiring people to do those tasks? Or at the very least, delegating it to the person on your staff who does enjoy and excel at that kind of work?
The excuse I hear over and over is that you can’t afford to hire another person to handle those chores. You can’t afford NOT to!

Start with part-time help

There are many people who are taking on clients like you on a part-time basis:

  • Virtual Assistants
  • College Interns
  • Stay-at-home Moms/Dads who are dying to talk to adults and keep their fingers in the work  world part-time
  • consultants who want to make their own hours, and more.

Yes, you will have to monitor their work, but do hire someone to do what you hate or is eating up quality time in your business. Get back to your business at hand. You will be less stressed without those duties hanging over your head and they will do a better job with the full focus you need. That is what THEY love to do.

3 Reasons NOT to DIY Market Your Small Business

Did you losePiggy bank upside down money doing it yourself?

You tried to DIY market again, didn’t you?

My husband and I are both entrepreneurs, and when we need help on anything outside our frame of expertise, here are 3 considerations we recount when we get the DIY itch and are dying to scratch.

1.  The expert you hire EARNED that status.

For your own small business, you earned expert status how? Right, by working hard to learn and produce the best possible results. It took time and practice, but there you are. Therefore, the person you should hire achieved his/her expert status the same way.

But, because a tool is free, you believe you should DIY. How much of your valuable time do you have to learn to use the “free” tool? Oh, Really? How many unopened emails are in your inbox right now? Riiiighttt…

The person you hire has the right tools, education, experience and FOCUS to complete the job properly, efficiently and with expected results – usually all in a very short time and all at once.

2. When you DIY, YOU WASTE VALUABLE TIME AWAY from YOUR business.

If you are a highly qualified and experienced person in your field, why waste $$$ earning time on work someone else could complete far more quickly and correctly with better strategy considerations for you. In other words, why are you trying to save a few bucks on labor when you could be generating new business that has a far better ROI for time spent?

3. When you DIY everything, you risk jeopardizing your professional reputation and your potential to earn business. 

What message are you sending anyone who witnesses your DIY projects? Bet you never thought about that. Oh, sure, you get to be proud of saying “I did it myself.” But how do you justify anyone needing to hire YOU for your expertise if you don’t respect other professionals for their expertise?

AND when your clients and customers see you taking the time away from your business to DIY, are you giving them the impression that a) you have the extra time to kill, and/or b) you don’t use your free time to learn and grow your business?

BOTTOM LINE:

YOU HIRE AN EXPERT FOR THE OVERALL VALUE THEY PROVIDE YOU.

Go clear the cobwebs off those DIY projects you started (outside of your expertise). How many times have you run across, or into, those unfinished projects over the last few days, weeks or even months? They are just THERE. . .WAITING to be completed. YouTube DIY videos are not the right answer for speed and efficiency, not to mention no substitute for experience.

Now go back to work and let an expert do it, do it right, and do it now.

Really? How often have you “learned” this lesson?

SMBs, Coach Your Staff Daily for Success

City Market Tourist Info, Savannah, GADo you communicate daily with your staff?

Ever notice how the more successful restaurants have daily meetings with staff before they start their shift?

  • menu changes
  • staff issues
  • maintenance problems
  • staff division of duties and tables

It is critical in the restaurant business for the best possible diner experience to enable a profitable outcome. Management reviews these items BEFORE staff interacts with customers.

So why don’t ALL small businesses follow this practice?

Recently, at a tourist info kiosk in Savannah, Georgia, I overheard the person coming on shift complaining to the leaving shift person: “And again, why do I know nothing about this?”  Lack of communication is always the main complaint in the workplace in a multi-shift business environment. Why? Take a look at the image of this lone kiosk worker – many small businesses have staff that work alone or come on to a shift after management goes home. All too often, changes or necessary updates go unnoticed or unaware. This causes mistakes, unhappy customers, profit loss, and more.

A “Get up to Speed” daily staff session is critical for your success. Weekly meetings are not practical in a multi-shift business. Find the means that works best to communicate regularly. Email, bulletin boards, communications notebook, dry erase board, voice mails, a Facebook Group page, Google Hangout …whatever it takes!

Yes, it takes time and preparation on you or your manager’s part, but would you rather spend that valuable time fixing problems caused by a lack of communication?

Shopping Small is Shopping Wise for Busy Entrepreneurs

Shopping Small is Shopping Wise for Busy Entrepreneurs

Are you guilty of lost time picking through discount racks to NOT find what you need?

It is a far more enjoyable shopping experience to “Shop Small.” Since Entrepreneurs are always short on time, small business shops and services can be a huge time saver once you establish a relationship with the staff. And since you entrepreneurs are always watching every dime,  shopping small keeps you out of hot water when you need your needs met. For example, your small business will educate you on extending the life of your purchases, and proper use. In addition, with your sales history, they can make suggestions for wiser future purchases to supplement what you already own.

You will get additional value if you ASK your small business:

  • Do you keep my purchases on file?
  • Will I be notified of sales or specials?
  • Will you let me know if something I expressed an interest in goes on sale or is running out?
  • Can I work with the same salesperson each time if I find a good match for me?
  • Do you have a loyalty program?
  • Is there a maintenance alert program (for home and office machines, appliances, landscapers, etc) perhaps via email or texting?

ASK, ASK, ASK! You’d be surprised what they might offer for your customer service experience if you only ask.

I know our clients are very happy when we notice items of concern or mistakes FOR them before a consumer does. And by the same token, we are very happy to have small businesses who help US with their specific goods or services so we can keep our minds focused on our clients.

Generally, small business owners LOVE what they do. Give them a chance to treat you special and you’ll save a lot of time and money – and stress!

:) Take 5 minutes to post a good review on social media or review sites (like Yelp or Google Places for Business) for the small businesses who make your daily life easier! They work hard to keep you coming back.

Productivity Tips: How Do You Get Busy Doing Nothing?

I'm busy doing nothing
everydaypeoplecartoons.com

LinkedIn just sent me an email with this subject line:

“Hania, see 60+ productivity tips from LinkedIn Influencers”

First thought I had: If I stop and read these 60+ ways, productivity will not be a stongpoint today…

That said, of course they had my attention a little, so, I had to sample one or two. I won’t mention names, but one of the Productivity EXPERTS suggested we spend much more time in good old-fashioned conversation because talking generates ideas. I’m betting the good old-fashioned conversation is a way to escape confessing: “I’m a lousy typist and not too tech savvy and can’t keep up online.” For the rest of us – don’t you talk more with people via various social media platforms and IM tools then ever before?

Another productivity EXPERT to remain nameless (lest I get sued for embarrassing s/he), suggested you should work while others sleep. Getting up at 4 am was the miracle cure given for lack of productivity.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (I’m obviously NOT a morning person)

Oh, wait, they were serious?

Yes, they admit you are zonked by 8 pm, but the point in the article is that work is less productive in the evening anyway, so might as well relax a little, then go to bed.

Guess dinner and a movie is never an option.

There seem to be a rash of articles and posts on “what the successful people do in the morning,” and other such content fillers. Here’s my TIP: Stop reading these! You’ll be more productive.

Or – you could always watch some TED talks on YouTube. . .

;-)

Is Working Fast Efficient?

Entrepreneur posted this on Facebook. Some commented there was too much an emphasis on fast and not efficient. I disagree. The tips are strong in leading you to efficiency since you are not wasting valuable time on self-doubt, poor environmental influence, and external distractions. From personal experience, I find the music tip very helpful. Having a consistent background is far less distracting than empty space occasionally interrupted by external noises. Making my office brighter was also helpful in raising productivity. Please leave your feedback if desired.

Work Fast

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Pressing: “I Am An Introvert & I Am Not Ashamed! – DR. HEIDI MASTON

I Am An Introvert & I Am Not Ashamed! – DR. HEIDI MASTON.

I loved this post and had to press it and share. As an INTP, I could relate to so much of it. If you aren’t familiar with the Meyers-Briggs personality test, here is a link for more info. It’s also a great success tool for leadership and management understanding.

Enjoy!