|Business Management Information|
Where does the time go? Billable time. As a consultant, your practice may be doing reasonably well; you're charging $100-150 an hour. As an independent consultant, you're probably also doing everything from grinding the coffee to editing the umpteenth draft of your brochure.
To understand where you spend your time, list and categorize all your activities into clerical, professional and other suitable groups. Calculate how many hours you're spending on each-daily, weekly, monthly, annually. Some you enjoy, some you're really good at, some are a pain in the neck The point is, no one is paying you to do them. The more time you spend on client work, the more you bill. The more you bill, the more money you have available to pay someone else to take care of the stuff you'd rather not do or should not be doing yourself.
The time you spend on unbillable tasks makes you a very expensive clerical worker. Keeping the cash to yourself sounds good, until you really think about it. You wouldn't pay a secretary $150 an hour, but that's precisely what you're paying yourself. Your time is valuable and should be spent earning money or on activities that grow your business like marketing or product development. The rest is just overhead-costly overhead. Can you afford not to hire someone?
And, it's not just the on-going clerical and administrative stuff you can be helped with. Many of our own clients come only after having spent hundreds of hours trying to create their own marketing materials.
Entrepreneurs strongly resist giving up any responsibility. You know the refrain, "If it's going to be done right, I've got to do it myself." They struggle endlessly with business plans, and similar activities unrelated to their field of expertise.
You may indeed ask, who better? The answer is, your professional colleagues. They may charge the same hourly fee, but the job is done in much less time and they bring objectivity and fresh ideas.
This is not only less expensive in the long run, but these things will also be done better. The repercussions of doing a inadequate job on your business plan, marketing materials, accounting, etc. can be severe.
Certainly, keep an eye on things; but don't spend more time than you must. Leave the grunt work to others. Hiring clerical and professional help is practical, and necessary-if you want to squeeze the most out of your practice.
Keith Thirgood, Creative Director, Editor Thrive-on-Line http://www.capstonecomm.com Capstone Communications Group Helping businesses get more business through innovative marketing Markham, Ontario, Canada 905-472-2330 Subscribe to Thrive-on-line http://list.capstonecomm.com/mail.cgi?f=list&l=thrive_on_line
Teaching Large Companies To Think Like The Little Guys
Q: I am an executive at a large company and in our industry we are seeing a trend wherein smaller companies are gaining market share at an alarming rate. Our CEO believes the reason for this is that smaller companies are more prone to innovation and more entrepreneurial than larger companies. He has instructed me to form a committee to study this trend and make recommendations on how we should deal with it. I'm an executive, not an entrepreneur. Any advice would be very much appreciated. -- Name withheld by request
Management Procedures Usability ? How to Improve
Are your people consistently following your procedures? Each year, organizations lose thousands of dollars through common mistakes and lapses in usability. But what does that mean for business owners and executives?
CEO: The Key To Fix ingThe Marketing/Sales Collaboration Problem
We all know that achieving better alignment, synergy and cooperation between company marketing and sales departments is vital, but oh so elusive. Despite all the talk and more talk in the media and at national business gatherings, nothing significant ever seems to happen.
Once Upon a Conflict
Once upon a time there lived an innocent, hardworking manager. One day he dared to wander from the safety of his open-concept office to speak out at a team meeting. He was immediately challenged, nay attacked, by another team member and his senior manager, embarrassing him in front of his peers. Plagued by downsizing, this noble manager feared for his job. A senior human resource professional saved the day through mediation. From that day forward, the manager carried that scar and never trusted anyone enough to speak out again.
Importance of Just-In-Time Inventory System
In today's competitive world shorter product life cycles, customers rapid demands and quickly changing business environment is putting lot of pressures on manufacturers for quicker response and shorter cycle times. Now the manufacturers put pressures on their suppliers. One way to ensure quick turnaround is by holding inventory, but inventory costs can easily become prohibitive. A wiser approach is to make your production agile, able to adapt to changing customer demands. This can only be done by JUST IN TIME (JIT) philosophy.
Turbo Charge Your Career With The Most Powerful Leadership Tool Of All: The Leadership Talk: Part 2
In Part One, I described the Leadership Talk and how it is a much more effective leadership tool than presentations or speeches.
Innovation Management ? Measuring Failure!
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.
Do You Need a Personal Assistant?
It's great to be multi-skilled?be able to type your own correspondence, do your bookkeeping, answer all phone calls, prepare your PowerPoint presentations, organise your own travel, seminars, pick up and send your mail, pack orders, do your own marketing, do all the photocopying, ring your clients and prospects. However it may not leave you with enough time to focus on what really matters.
How to Manage Your People Well: Tips for Managers of Training
As a training manager, there are two important aspects to managing your people well: hiring, supervising, and motivating (managing with your people) and building up corporate support for your department (managing for your people). Unfortunately, training is not well understood by some executives, and its benefits can be hard to assess. Even a good training manager's department risks cuts by cost-conscious administrators convinced that training is an unnecessary expense. In The Secret of My Success, a cinematic fairy tale about life in corporate America, Michael J. Fox gets scolded his first day on the job for speaking to a senior executive: "Never consort with a suit unless the suit consorts with you first." As a training manager, however, you had better be prepared to consort with "the suits" from Day One. Managing for your people is a pro-active strategy that constantly demands selling your department's services and widening the base of organizational support for the training function.
Are Your Meetings Smart?
Soon after I finished a brief seminar on how to accomplish more in less time every day, Roger shook my hand and said, "I can use what you said. But there is one thing you didn't talk about. It is something that drives me crazy. I can't get anything done because I'm in meetings all day long. We have gone overboard on meetings. We discuss practically everything as a team before making decisions." I asked Roger for his card and I called him later that afternoon with some ideas that could help get him and his team out of their meetings trap.
5 Questions Great Managers Ask (and they arent hard!)
However hard we try, we seem to make life more difficult for ourselves; more challenging; more complex. Yet it needn't be so. try out these five questions with a regularity; a discipline and you will reap rewards. You will certainly reap rewards.
Five Steps to Better Employee Management
Hiring employees is a huge responsibility. Before hiring anyone, be sure to carefully analyze your needs in terms of extra assistance.
Telephone Techniques: Boost Your Productivity With Effective Phoning
One of the things that most impacts people's productivity is not being able to focus on completing one task at a time ? we are so overloaded with tasks and interruptions that it requires great discipline to avoid spending the entire day responding to other people's agendas. Telephone calls, both making and receiving them, are one of the greatest disruptions to the flow of the day and to our ability to concentrate on the task at hand. And the use of mobile phones, while a great asset to our business and personal lives, requires a whole new set of communication skills as well as business and social etiquette. By managing how and when we make and receive calls we can not only make better use of our time but make a better impression on the person at the other end of the line, too.
Invoice Factoring for Goverment Vendors
Assignment of Claims Act of 1986"....What does this mean for you?
Enhancing the Motivational Climate of Your Workplace
It has been well documented that employees' productivity and job quality increase when we are made to feel welcome at work. In other words, when the motivational climate is enhanced to meet their needs they produce quality work at the 100% rate.
Efficiency Around The Office
Nearly every office, be it commercial or home-based, may have areas of inefficiency that can be improved upon. We are not talking sales figures or profit margins or budgets, but inefficient waste and resource management. For instance, let us look at some common aspects and consider how consumption can be reduced and how to make better use of resources.
Good Idea Generation ? A Process
It seems incongruous that good idea generation can be a process or that a process may lead to insight. However, if you examine the behaviour of people who regularly generate good ideas ? such as creatives in advertising - you will find that common patterns of behaviour do emerge and it is possible to make insight more likely.
This Old Business
Not long ago I was asked to come out and take a look at a business that had been around for about 10 years... but the owner was frustrated with the amount of money he was making.
The Survey Feedback Process for Organizational Development and Change
THE PURPOSE OF SURVEY FEEDBACK:
Performance Evaluation: How To Create Change
STEPS TOWARDS GIVING A GOOD APPRAISAL INTERVIEW: Give specific feedback. Statements such as, "You're doing a good job" and "You'd better shape up" are almost without value unless accompanied by specific feedback on what the employee is to continue doing or to stop doing. If you evaluate with the word "positive," describe how the employee manifests that characteristic. If you say that the employee "shows initiative," talk about specific occasions on which the employee did indeed take the initiative. If in your appraisal you must deal with other vague adjectives such as "cooperative," talk about instances in which the employee has worked well with others.
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