The Engine Of Business: Forging A Cohesive Team

Running a business is a dream that so many people hold. It’s one of those things that makes society great to be able to follow your dreams and be your own boss. Being a valuable asset to the economy is also a title of prestige that we want to hold. This can cause us to think of a business as some kind of machine that somehow works together to bring us forward to this place in life.

The truth is that businesses are like living organisms; they all functions due to one component that is more complex than anything else inside the moving internals. The human being behind the desk, behind the paperwork, behind the different levels of research, production, testing, sales and future plans is what keeps a business afloat and prosperous.

Small business owners around the world think about meeting deadlines and targets, pushing their employees to work harder, faster and for longer and longer hours. We don’t often realize that by showing leadership that actually treated employee growth, the business would automatically grow itself; you may even fire up the afterburners if done correctly. This is why forging a cohesive team is so vital to becoming adaptable and strong.

 

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Realizing Individual Strengths

When hiring an employee, the basic criteria is to meet the required qualifications, experience, expertise, and possibly possessing that spark of genius that only be described as raw talent. Of course, this is how you should be hiring because these are the foundational aspects of each employee. Staff have to be competent, and at the interview process, you can only judge this by how successful they have been in the past, how their character and skills have developed, and it goes without saying their professional standard qualifications.

However, when it comes to employees in the workspace, soon you’ll realize that despite their brilliance on paper, they have a lot of growing to do. Every single business is different, so you should be making your own standards or which the people you hire should adhere to. It’s vital to, therefore, assess each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. You should know who can do what, who has more of a positive attitude, their time management skills, their ability to think on their feet, and also their individual leadership skills—to name a few.

When you can form an employee profile based on this, you have started the ball rolling for creating a team that has both yin and yang; a team that has members that can close the gap of each other’s shortfalls.

 

Source Pixabay

 

Forming A Hierarchy

Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do in business is to able to read people. It’s not quite on the same level as national politics, but politics do play a part in how you form a hierarchy. Every business needs one; there can be no uncertainty about who is doing what, and who is reporting to who. Otherwise, it’s just chaos with no clear direction.

Usually, when this kind of decision-making conundrum is figuratively at your front door, and suddenly you hear the knock of firm but fair leadership calling your name; it’s at the beginning of a business’ life. However, this can and should be done whenever you feel as if things aren’t moving in the right direction or how fast you would like them to.

Alway, always create the hierarchy of superiors based on two things alone. One, the ability of the person regardless of race, gender or age. Two, their thought process and how much in tune they are with your mindset, your vision of what the business should be. You must violently shun any emotional responses that come into your mind.

Promoting friends who have less ability and vision than a stranger will almost always end in disaster. Put the best person for the job in the role of a manager, who will lead a section of employees in the various departments of your business. This person will not only lead, but will transfer your orders and wishes to the team, and have the responsibility to then meet targets.

 

Photo by JuralMin

 

Helping Everyone to Stay on Board

The world of business is head-spinning, always moving quickly. This is no more so in the world of small businesses, enterprises and entrepreneurship. It’s vital that each employee has modern tools at their disposal, coinciding with your wishes, to keep up with whatever is going on. Just think about the many memos, invoices, updates, notifications, reminders, briefs, tasks, guidelines, and other documentation you will constantly be giving your employees.

On top of this, organizing events, meetups, conferences etc. keeps the schedule of you and your employees packed all year round. Running a smooth ship is by far one of the most overlooked aspects, so many small business owners are guilty of. But, with modern technology right at everyone’s fingertips, there is no excuse why you shouldn’t be able to keep all your employees reading from the same page and attending meetings on time and at the right place.

Think about employing free scheduling software that is easy to use as an administrator, and even easier to distribute among your staff. So much communication happens on the cloud, i.e. online storage servers, and it’s easy to see why. By each of your employees setting up an account on these various websites, they can access documents that have been shared to them by the managers on the floor whom you are distributing your orders and target ambitions through.

Of course, there will be different software for different tasks, with some more oriented toward numbers, figures and statistics like Microsoft Excel, and others like Sling that can create timetables. It’s up to you how you use them, but one thing is for sure: because they’re online, every employee who adheres to your documents is therefore in sync. This allows the team to move forward in one united front.

Credit 드림포유

 

Allow Creativity and Individuality to Sparkle

The silent and invisible binding glue that keeps the lowest ranking employee to not conjure a resentment toward his or her superiors is the ability to inject their own creativity at work. We’ve all been there, where you’re the lowest on the totem pole either because of skills and need, or holding an entry-level position and you feel unappreciated. A good business person will acknowledge the fact that leaders in their business are few, and followers are plenty in number.

In order to get the best out of your employees who act as the day-to-day workers in their departments, it’s important to allow their individuality to shine. Of course, it’s a little awkward because you don’t want them to be totally free to do whatever they like, so you must choose the right time and set the correct parameters for this to occur.

For example, if someone in your marketing department, or sales, or research has an idea that is not detrimental either in derailing the main goals of your business or in the eating up of resources, then allow them to explore further. Don’t forget that small businesses are where innovation beams the brightest, so don’t be afraid to accept new ideas.

When there are meetings that are either departmental or as a whole business, there should be a section for questions and answers. Don’t just bark orders at your team and think of yourself as so high and mighty that you expect them to shut up and do as they’re told. Lead with a firm hand, but not as a tyrant dictator. Allow junior staff to explain their ideas and how they think the processes could be improved.

Every department has their own modus operandi, and it’s just how people of different natures, expertise, and sub-group professional cultures are. Don’t repress this and try to turn everyone into a bland robot.

Source AJEL

 

Playing by the Same Rules

One of the lesser areas that small businesses should also be looking at is fairness regardless of rank. One of your company ethos should be rules or codes of conduct guidelines. All staff members should have a copy available to them, so they know what is and isn’t permissible, along with what is expected of them in the workplace.

As the leader and owner of the business, you should be wary and watchful of who is not abiding by these rules. More often than not, junior staff will be more likely to keep within the boundaries of operations and be more ethically aware. It’s unfortunate to admit sometimes, but power does corrupt.

This is why you should openly exert an attitude of holding managers, board members, and junior staff all to the same standard. If anyone breaks a rule or does something that is provocative that you do not agree with, it’s wise to punish that individual in a way that lets everyone else know that you are not afraid to lay down the law no matter what seat you sit on in the hierarchy.

Forging a cohesive team will unlock the power your business needs to succeed and champion your competitors. People are the engine of business. Being able to command respect and wield authority over your employees is incredibly important and must not ever be overlooked or underestimated.

However, with this in mind, you should allow creativity to be expressed from junior staff, form a hierarchy based on skill rather than personal relationships, help everyone stay up-to-date with online software, and realize the strengths and weaknesses of your employees.

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Is Your Biz Software A Hindrance Or A Help?

Software is playing a much larger role in businesses the more time goes on. We’re using it to better communicate with one another, we’re using it make work a lot easier and we’re even getting it to do our work for us. But not every tech-business pairing is going to make for a happy couple. Without addressing the following concerns, you could end up costing you much more time and money than you save.

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Time Is of the Essence

Before you implement a new piece of tech across the board, make sure that it’s actually helping make the business more efficient. For instance, bookkeeping should take much less time with accounting software, not more. Get one of your tech-savvy workers using it as part of a trial.

Track their performance with processes the old way, first, including how long it takes them and how many errors they produce. Then test them using the new software. Use the results to see whether it actually provides any benefit or if it even ends up taking more time.

 

Teething Problems

Those tech-savvy lab rats can also prove helpful in the next step: training the team to use new software. You have to account for a period of decreased productivity while they get to grips with new software. Don’t just give them a user-manual, either. Teach them as a group how to use the software’s main functions. From that point on, keep an eye on them individually.

Use those tech-savvy geniuses to help you provide one-to-one help to anyone that’s having problems in particular. At the same time, make sure you systemize the process of using the software so it’s easy to teach any newcomers that missed the first training sessions.

 

When In Need

Sometimes there will be a problem with the software that you’re not able to solve. You have to make certain that the support is there when you need it. Reviews on many products will feature input on the support, as will online forums dedicated to said software. But make sure you train employees on how to get better support.

You have to bridge the gap between your team’s competencies and that of the technicians they work with. A company of electricians needs to know how to work with PCB support technicians when they need them. Sometimes, it’s not the technician’s fault, after all.

 

Old And Busted

That help can be crucial and it’s just one of the reasons you should try to keep the amount of legacy software in the business as low as possible. Legacy software is software no longer supported by its creators. There will be no one on the creators’ team to lend customer service, no updates helping it work better with new systems, and it will lack many of the integration features that newer software contains. It can be a huge pain to update software systems already in place, but the longer you rely on legacy software, the harder you make it on yourself.

Getting the right tech for the business is only the start. Implementing it and working alongside it is just as important. Make sure you choose the tech that’s really going to help and help it fulfill its role properly.

The Future Of Fundraising: Crowdfunding For Nonprofits

What could your nonprofit organization do with $7,000? 

If you are searching for an innovative way to bring in more funds for your nonprofit, crowdfunding may be exactly what you are looking for. This popular, new method of fundraising in which an online platform is used to raise money through the collective efforts of friends, family, supporters, and other investors is becoming widely used by nonprofits around the world. And it’s no surprise when you consider that the average successful crowdfunding campaign raises $7,000 and 78% of successful campaigns actually exceed their goals.

But is crowdfunding right for your charity? And if it is, how do you get started with your own campaign?

While the idea of crowdfunding is relatively simple, it takes careful research, planning, and preparation to devise a compelling campaign that is likely to meet its goal. Plus, with close to 200 different platforms based out of the United States alone, it can be challenging to decide which one is best suited to meet the needs of your nonprofit. That is where Acendia’s Quintessential Crowdfunding Guide for Nonprofits comes in.

The comprehensive infographic below walks you through the ins and outs of crowdfunding and details everything you need to know to create an effective and successful campaign. Can’t decide which site to use? It outlines ten of the top platforms nonprofits are using today. Need help crafting a campaign tailored to your target audience? This guide has 8 easy tips that will have you ready to start fundraising in no time.

Whether this is your first time to try crowdfunding or you’re just looking for a way to enhance your current efforts, use this helpful infographic (pictured below) to make your next campaign a success.

Acendia Crowdfunding Infographic

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Boost your Bookkeeping

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For many business owners, bookkeeping is the bane of the job. However, it doesn’t have to be such a time-consuming and headache-inducing task. Here are just a few ways you keep track of your finances more simply and efficiently.

 

Speed Up with Software

 

If you’re still doing financial calculations manually with a pen and calculator, it could be time to upgrade to the digital age. Accountancy software can automatically calculate tax and expenses make it easy to keep records and file your tax return.

You may also benefit from downloading a W2 template generator and invoice template generator (some programs will automatically calculate tax for you, whilst also giving your employees and clients a detailed receipt for their own benefit).

 

Organize On the Go

 

Rather than leaving all your bookkeeping to the end of the week or even the end of the month, try to keep records as you go. Nowadays, many accountancy programs can be used in conjunction with apps allowing you to do your bookkeeping on your phone from any location.

This can benefit business owners that are rarely in the office – if you’re out shopping for office supplies or filling up the gas tank on your company car you can make a note of this expense there and then.

 

Hire An Accountant

For some companies with large numbers of transactions, it could be worth hiring the help of an accountant. They can organize your books for you and ensure that everything is accurately calculated. You’ll want an accountant you can trust as you’ll be giving them access to sensitive financial information.

Make sure an accountant has a good reputation by reading reviews and testimonials. Chartered accountants can offer extra security as they have been thoroughly vetted. There are also virtual accountants who can operate entirely online.

 

Multiply Your Accounts

 

If you don’t already have a separate business bank account, it could be worth opening one. This will make calculating expenses easier as you will be able to separate personal spending from business spending. You could even set up multiple accounts for different aspects of your business – just make sure to always pay with the right account.  

 

Consolidate Your Expenses

Keeping track of multiple suppliers and clients can get confusing. Consider ways of consolidating these costs so that they’re easier to keep track of. If you’ve currently taken out multiple insurance schemes, consider taking out a general business insurance package instead that covers all these schemes. If you’ve got multiple debts, you could even consider taking out a consolidation loan to pay them all off.

When it comes to software subscriptions, you may be able to opt for general business software that can handle multiple tasks rather than having to keep track of lots of different program subscriptions. Try to have as many bills coming out on the same day, as this will also help you to keep track of them.

Making a Difference and Running a Business: A Simple Guide

If you have been dreaming about having a job caring for people or supporting vulnerable individuals, you should be looking out for opportunities that fulfill your personal mission and help the community. You might be a caring and compassionate person, and build your business around what you really care about. The below guide will tell you how to find a business opportunity that will make you content, happy, and feeling like you have a purpose in life.

Do What You Love Doing

If you already have a passion in life, you can turn it into a business. You might already volunteer at your local community center giving people free advice. You could do the same as a business, and provide confidential and affordable legal advice for the community.

This type of business can be profitable and very rewarding. You will feel like you are making a difference while earning a living. You already know a lot of things about the service you are about to provide, so it will be easier to get started than with something new.  

Look Out for Social Enterprise Projects

You might want to set up a social enterprise, instead of a profitable business. You will still be able to make a profit, but your business will be focused around one social issue and provide solutions for people who face the same difficulties. When starting a social enterprise, you can get government funding and investment from large organizations.

Engage with Your Community

To find out which services are in demand in your area, engage with the public. Go to local meetings, and find out more about the issues people in your neighborhood are facing. If elderly people are facing challenges in your city, you can start a senior care franchise to make their life easier. Engage with industry leaders and researchers who can give you more insight about the area you are about to get started in.

“ACM – Alliance for Community Media 2013” by FS1 – Community TV Salzburg is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Set Up Your Own Charity

You can run a profitable business, and create a charity on the site, so you can give back to the community. Creating a charity can be beneficial for building a strong corporate culture, and bring your workers together. It will also help you create a great working environment and define a corporate vision and mission.

“Generic charity” by Sascha Pohflepp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Donate a Percentage of Your Business Profits

If you decide to have a profit-oriented business, you can still give back to the community. Create a pricing and business model that automatically allocates a percentage of your profits to different charities. Let your colleagues and customers choose which organizations you support each year, and you can do some good, while earning a living and providing employment for people.

Having a personal mission and building a business can go hand in hand. You can choose a profession that you feel strongly about and give back to the community at the same time. Look out for social issues and problems you can build a strong business model around, or set up a social enterprise to create a better future for your community.