Most businesses invest in marketing and advertising each month but overlook another vital investment that they are already making–that investment is their employees. Your employees can make or break your company, and recently I ran into a very poignant example of that fact.… Read the rest
Companies and organizations often use part time employees to serve in a limited role. They are not paid as well as full-timers, sometimes do lower level work, and may have a limited career track. They may be moms who have priorities at home, seniors who no longer want a 40 hour work week, or college students looking to earn some money to supplement expenses. They are hired to reduce operating costs, fill leftover hours from full time employees, deal with an economic downturn, or seasonal requirements. Between 2000 and 2010 the number of employees working part time increased by 300 % or 9 million people.… Read the rest
Start Your Year Off Right / Goals for a Successful 2016
RLS Focused Solutions, in conjunction with the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, is offering an opportunity to help you achieve a more successful 2016. The workshop will be offered on Friday January 15th. They will be held at the Chamber Conference. Room It will begin at 8:00 AM and conclude no later than 2:00 PM. A working lunch from the Purple Onion will be included.… Read the rest
I am often asked the same two questions. Do I need a business plan? What should I include in my business plan? I am going to answer these questions when writing this article. Do I require a business plan? For most businesses the answer to this question would be yes. For the majority of new businesses and ones which require investment by way of a loan or a business partner, a business plan is a must.… Read the rest
Many of us have spent countless hours thinking about and documenting plans for either our business or non-profit organization. There is a sense of satisfaction with the completion of the final draft that is shared by all involved. Far too often that document is filed or left in a desk drawer to be revised in a year’s time. Many have even reported that they gave up on the planning process because it just didn’t work. I often remember the president of a very well-managed company once stating that the team had become expert on writing business plans, but not real good on making them a reality.
If you are a small business owner, your role as a leader may be the least of your priorities. Most of your time is consumed by finding customers, supervising employees, watching your cash flow and delivering you services or products. You don’t want to consider leadership because that is what corporate executives and government leaders need to learn about. Not you. We would argue that you are a leader and understanding your leadership role is an important key to success. What are some of the lesson we can learn about leadership in business?… Read the rest
Be the change you want to see occur in the world around you. We can’t make other people be more considerate, helpful, honest, etc., but if everyone were to work on him or herself and develop these attributes, our world would be a better place. In this article, we will examine five attributes to becoming a coach in everyday life.
I recently read the book, Boys in the Boat. It was a true story of a sculling team from the University of Washington, who through hard work and discipline became national champs and went on to win the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It’s a great story, set against the dramatic background of the Berlin Olympics hosted by Adolf Hitler. It describes how a rowing team developed into the fastest in the world. Of course, the members of the team need to be strong and fit, but there comes a point when all come together in harmony to maximize their performance. It is said that the team is only as fast as its slowest rower, but once they reach that synchronized harmony, they outpace the rest of the competitors.… Read the rest
Getting good feedback from customers and employees is vital for any business that expects to grow. Without knowledge, business leaders can not make educated decisions. Uneducated decisions lead to a higher rate of failure, which can have detrimental impacts on a business. Without high quality information, a business owner is flying blind.… Read the rest
There are many important steps to consider when developing a business plan for your company, but the first step is to fully understand the main uses of a business-plan. The four main uses of a business-plan are as follows:
A Business Plan is a written document that you can use in your search for external financing.
A Business Plan is a tactical planning and management tool for your business.
A Business Plan is a document showing the capacity of your team to control and manage all the aspects of the company.
A Business Plan brings you new ideas to refine your project by checking and estimating the induced hypothesis.
“Success is … the continual achievement of your own predetermined goals, stabilized by balance, and purified by belief.” – Resource Associates Corporation
In real life many people get stuck in a professional or personal position where goals are defined for them. The result is frustration where no one feels fulfilled and the goals often are never reached.… Read the rest
To achieve a goal, there is a process that you should implement. This process is to streamline and analyze your objectives. Begin at the very beginning at the smallest, specific part. These are the most important steps to take to meet the guidelines. An objective is a way of knowing what action or plan is to be taken and identifying the expected results. This plan provides a set of directions so that making the decision will not be as complicated as when the goal is just being considered.
Peter Drucker documented a book published in 1954 entitled Practiced Management where in MBO, which stands for “Management by Objectives,” was introduced. This is a program that consists of simple, but very useful processes in order to meet commitments in an organization.… Read the rest
In our discussions with business leaders, they often express frustration with the inability of people in their department or company to work together without distracting conflict. They say:
Why don’t they work well together?
Some refuse to even talk to a particular individual.
I don’t understand why people act the way they do.
Why don’t they see things the way I do?
Overcoming these issues is never simple, but the common approach is referred to as team building. This approach is often accompanied by direct types of game planning, where team members participate in a variety of activities. The games are helpful exercises, after which a facilitator helps the group discuss the lessons learned. We have used this technique on several occasions and we find the results interesting.… Read the rest
Realizing a compelling vision often means change, accepting new perspectives, and abandoning old habits and techniques. Many times the necessary changes require doing things differently. Lofty aspirations may involve outsourcing, merging, building strategic alliances, partnering, or acquiring other resources or organizations. It could mean selling off pieces of existing business that no longer fit strategically. It could involve restructuring your organization. What does it mean to you? There are tremendous risks in maintaining the status quo and doing it because “we have always done it that way.” It means that there is no longer validity in the expression, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” The operative phrase today is, “How can we make it better?”… Read the rest
You may be a member of a civic club or company which has operated in the same way over a long period of time. You may have observed that your club membership is not growing and maybe even shrinking. In the case of a business, sales are not what they once were. You may feel as though you are trapped and need to make some changes but you sense some resistance. To quote Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein, Change is Good… You Go First.
Creating change in any organization is difficult. As that organization grows and becomes more successful, the leadership which made it successful is replaced by management, who intend to maintain that success. That maintenance is the management of the status quo.… Read the rest
There are many ways to improve the way you communicate. For example, you will always start things off on the right foot by opening the conversation in a way that creates mutual respect. Using phrases such as, “If you have a minute, I’d like to talk with you about something that I think will improve the way we work together,” helps set your conversation partner at ease. It tells him or her that you have positive intentions.… Read the rest
Effective leaders are known for being excellent communicators. Here’s what to do.
1) Avoid “Not.” Negative talk encourages arguments, counter attacks, and attempts to solve your problems. It also creates a negative impression. For example, when you say, “I can’t,” you appear helpless and ineffective. Instead, talk about what you can do and what you want.… Read the rest
Several weeks ago we participated in a weekend retreat sponsored by our local Rotary District. The session is entitled RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and was attended by over ninety high school juniors from across southeastern North Carolina. These students were selected by their high school counselors not only as outstanding students, but leaders in their schools. During several sessions on leadership, we explained the processes that we had implied in the business and military environment, but these presentations seem to fall short of their expectations. These students were the leaders of student organizations and Clubs and were trying to understand why their members were not following their wishes.