Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking Action

A new client of ours recommended the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen and commented that it was a real life saver in her business.  I have just started reading it and what has struck me the most so far is his statement that the best way to reduce stress and increase productivity is to take action.  This struck a chord with me as I have often found this to be true.  When I have been worried about a presentation at work or fretting about a friend in need, stopping and asking myself "what are you going to do about this besides worry?" and then taking action has reduced the anxiety.

When we are reviewing financial statements with our clients and pointing out areas of concern, our first question is "why do you think this is happening?" but the next question is always "what are you going to do about it?"  Merely making note of a negative trend in your business is not enough although it is the first step.  This is why we focus on managerial accounting and work with our clients on reviewing their financial reports regularly.  The sooner you spot a negative trend, the sooner you can take action.

When has taking action reduced your anxiety or increased your productivity? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Succeed At Running Your Small Business

What does it take to run a successful small business? Many entrepreneurs are caught off guard by the amount of work and the variety of tasks they must perform when running a small business. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the jobs both big and small. Is there any way to make the juggling of all these tasks easier?

Some jobs are easier to deal with than others simply because the owner likes the particular task. Others are easier to avoid because the task is distasteful. The fact of the matter is that each task is crucial to the success of a small business and cannot be avoided. So how can you get them all accomplished?

Set up procedures and processes for your business. Take the time to figure out how best to organize your office, your business, yourself. Write down all the jobs that must be done to keep your business running and determine when they must be done. Then determine who is best suited to complete each task. If you are a one woman shop then it would appear that you must do everything but consider whether it would be money well spent to outsource some of your tasks. Hiring a bookkeeper or enlisting a payroll service may free up your time for income producing tasks which will pay for the outside service and allow you to do what you love and what you are good at.

We recommend putting undesirable tasks right on your calendar. Figure out what time of day and what day of the week works best for you to get the dirty work done and schedule your least favorite tasks for this time. Then stick to the calendar. Get the job done and crossed off your to-do list. You won’t believe how good it feels. Use to-do lists, a calendar and an organization chart and you will find your business running more smoothly and your life feeling less hectic.

So any other good ideas out there to help a small business owner stay organized and on track? Let us know.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Running your business with a proactive attitude

One of the seminars we are working on deals with how you can run your business more effectively if you approach life with a proactive attitude rather than always reacting.  Here are just a few topics to inspire your curiosity:

Develop short and long term plans, set up a budget, have goals and benchmarks to measure your planning and goal setting.

Write up job descriptions for employees and have regular job performance reviews.

Get expert help when you need it: accounting, IT, marketing are a few common areas where many business owners seek help.

Develop a good risk management policy.  Many small businesses are run with a very small staff and it is important to plan ahead and have procedures in place in the event someone else has to step in due to illness or injury.

This is just a start to the topic and we have many more areas to cover.  Any suggestions as to what else we should cover?