Business Management Information

A Winning Way to Handle New Ideas

Janet DiClaudio, who was charge of medical records at two large American hospitals, had an unusual problem.

10 Steps When You Need Help in Your Business

If you think ahead and plan, many nightmare panic and chaos situations can be overcome. By ensuring that you have a great group of people around you, there will be more to fall back on when the going gets tough - because that, as they say, when the tough really do get going. Big challenges can be very difficult to face - and they can be fascinating and exhilarating. So here's some thoughts on how to make the best of these times, by getting ready in advance and making it work.

How to Get the Best from Outsourcing

There's a great little article ('Business Lifeforms') on the back pages of the UK's leading management magazine, Management Today each month. It's a spoof (at least I think it is!) about some fictitious key player in a fictitious organisation. For January, it's about Ken, who's a 'Facilities Manager'.Now Ken has seen it all and truly worked his way up from the bottom to the top. Until, that is, a couple of years ago when new MBA-armed suits took over and decide to slash Ken's department (until now, running very, very smoothly under Ken's watchful eye) and Ken himself. Of course it all goes pear-shaped and the top dog has to come grovelling back to Ken, offer him loads of money and a big car, basically to ensure that the toilets aren't 'backing up' any more!This is in direct contrast to Michael Gerber, in his fascinating book The E-Myth Revisited. There he talks about working 'on' the business and 'in' the business, making it clear that if you do too much of the grindstone not-my-expertise stuff yourself, you lose track of what you are really good at, and what you went into business for.In a past life, I too experienced challenging outsourcing. At one time I had a great little local cleaner who I trusted (he even opened the store up for me - hmmm, that was a long time ago!). He did an excellent job and was on hand for emergencies. Then a new senior director decided to consolidate and outsource, for 'economy and consistency'. It was cheap - but the service was awful. Each time I got a new 'centrally sourced' cleaning company, they came with great intentions for the first 3 months and then dribbled off (with our money!) until it became unsustainable and another 'excellent contractor' came along.The moment of truth for me, was when the director for one of these contractors, came along for the first time in a brand new 60K Merc (and it's a few years ago now). Then I knew where my money would be going. I went through 6 contractors in 5 years, even though my hands were tied by 'Head Office' contracts!To solve this problem? There needs to be strong leadership at the start. Very clear standards required from outside contractors and severe penalties (yes, stop paying them even!) for under achievement. Corporate central contracts agreed there, but implemented and managed locally, leave a lot of space for waste.And yes, in a small business, don't even think of doing the bookkeeping yourself as soon as you can afford not to - do what you do best, value it and get on with creating the business you love, not like struggling Sarah in the book. But, get someone who you trust and who will deliver. Chris Barrow, of Million Dollar Coaching Practice fame, suggests that the very first thing anyone going into a consulting business should do, is get a PA. And that modern day evolution, a VA (virtual assistant) has made this a real, low cost possibility for many.Moral of the story?If you are going to outsource, especially if your business is big enough, where it's not only the fashion, but it can have economic and logistic value, take the following steps:-Find the best on the market, not the cheapest.Set the standards yourself, and don't take theirs.Be very clear on expectations and outcomes if standards aren't met.Keep in very business-like, however much you like/know/are related to them.Have clear timescales for regular review.Have a named and senior contact in the organisation for whom there will be pain if they lose the contract.Keep contract length manageable.If things start going wrong tackle them early, before too much money is wasted.If 'Head Office' agrees the contract, don't chase your own tail over non-delivery - get someone from there down as soon as there is a problem - you have enough to do.Don't get involved in the problems any local operatives might have - refer them back.

What Makes a Crisis a Crisis?

If you're old enough and were living in America about 30 years ago, you may remember the scandal in the motion picture industry known as "the Begelman affair" or "Hollywoodgate."

Dont Get Caught With Your PR Down

Why risk the embarassment when with a little basic PR training, you as a business, non-profit or association manager can always be ready for battle?

Lone Rangers Suffer without Tonto

A lone ranger is someone who prefers working in solitude or isolation. Sometimes life circumstances can call for us to adopt this attitude. When it comes to marketing our business, however, adopting this mentality can prevent you from achieving the success that you desire.

Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.

Paretos Law- Your Formula For Success

A 'dirt-world' retail business I used to manage had a large turnover, a very high profit, and less than 100 lines. Early in 2001, I was contracted to manage another business. This one carried over 800 different lines, yet had a turnover of only about a sixth of the other business, and a lower profit margin. They both had a comparable amount of traffic and credibility in the market, so how can it be that the results were so different?

1000 Managers Turned Their Plans Into Energy!

I bet you can't tell me how leadership training and strategic planning work together to boost business results and energize performance improvements.

How to Beat the Turf Mentality

Want to hear a fascinating story? Let's sit in at a meeting of the human resources department of a large corporation.

New Leadership For A New War

Military analysts call this "asymmetrical" war (as if war has a terrible symmetry); and we know that it will be as different from conventional war as three-dimensional, blindfolded chess is from conventional chess. But one thing is certain, leadership lies at the heart of achieving victory. You only have to look to history to understand that when people needed to accomplish great things, whether in war or peace, great leaders had to rise to the occasion.

Biometrics and ?Return On Investment?

At this time of tight budgets, the mantra of business is ?Return On Investment!? With few exceptions, expenditures are measured against the bottom line. Outlays for capital expenses are strictly evaluated in terms of profitability and the total cost of ownership. The era of purchasing new gadgets due to their ?whiz-bang? factor is long gone. How can biometrics provide the sought after ?R.O.I.? in this environment?

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.

Where Businesses Fall Short

1. No vision. Successful businesses have a clear vision or picture of their business purpose and mission. Your vision serves as a roadmap to help you see where you are today in relationship to where you want to be tomorrow. Your business plan serves as the mechanism that will help you to bridge the gap. When you don?t have a clear vision as to why you?re in business or where you intend to take your business, it?s like taking a road trip without a map. When you don?t know where you?re going, you?ll waste a lot of time, money, and energy trying to find the right road leading to your destination. A well-defined vision will help you stay focused and on track.

Overcoming Perfectionism

Perfectionism can get in the way of building or marketing a successful business. It can prevent us from moving ahead quickly or from taking advantage of business opportunities. We set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations or goals, which can be damaging to us personally or professionally. Striving for perfection can damage our self-esteem because we never feel like we are good enough. Instead, consider adopting an attitude of striving for excellence. Look at failure as just another teacher. Let?s explore how being less than perfect can move you ahead in your business!

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