Tag: company

Starting a Small Business Pt: II

businessWelcome back for the second installment of starting a small business. If you’re reading this then you must have read the first piece on starting a small business and the important factors that must be considered and enacted early on. In the first section of this two part series I highlighted the importance of multiple factors like setting team expectations, managing your employees without an ego, having a clear set of processes, creating a solid foundation, and getting open and honest feedback from your team or employees. In this new installment we will discuss some more variables to keep in the forefront of your mind and lock down immediately to ensure the success and growth of your new business.

Transparency is Key:

You want to be as open and honest with the people working with you and for you as possible. Your small business shouldn’t be hiding anything from the people that are dedicating their time and efforts to growing your company. The more your employees know the better because they will be more involved and committed to the cause rather than being in the dark.

Document Progress:

Start documenting your company’s progress and recording all your milestones. Knowing where you started and where you are at any point in time will give you a realistic point of view as to how your company is performing. It can also be extremely useful to share with potential investors when they ask about your progress from the beginning. Documenting your progress will also show you real time numbers and data so that you can accurately map out the future of your business and the potential ability to scale.

3 P’s:

There are 3 P’s that exist in each and every business that are extremely important to your business. The first P is “Process” which alludes to knowing and understanding all of the processes your company uses on a daily basis. The second P is “People” which is related to filling your company with good, hard working individuals that are going to propel your business to the next level. The last P stands for “Product” which is the main point of your business when it comes down to it. Product is what you sell and what makes your money, so knowing the ins and outs of the product(s) you are selling is vital.

Supreme Customer Service:

A rock solid customer service team can be the difference between a sale, a continuing customer, or a good review online. Your customer service team must be well-versed in all aspects of the company and be able to handle tough situations or questions with potentially upset individuals. Your customer service team will help lay the groundwork for your company’s reputation and growth from the very beginning.

Data-Driven Decisions:

This is your business, this is not a gamble at the casino, so make sure all decisions you make are rooted in numbers based information. Before making any decision with your small business make sure it makes sense from a numbers point of view because in the end numbers don’t lie and if it doesn’t make sense on paper, it most likely won’t off paper either.

I hope you enjoyed all the tips I had for owning a operating a small business. It was my pleasure to provide you and young entrepreneurs with some helpfuls ideas on how to ensure the growth and prosperity of their businesses. Be sure to check back again soon for more helpful information.

Thank you for reading!

Nona Black

Tips For Business Owners

nona-black-business-ownerIf you own and operate your own business you need to grow your business and always keep an eye on the prize. When you envisioned being the leader of your own company you had a vision and ideas that you wanted to see come into fruition. It is your job to make those visions and dreams into reality. Below you will find some helpful tips that will aid in the growth and success of your company. Enjoy and feel free to let me know if you think there should be more on this list.

Focus:

Its easy to get distracted in today’s world with technology, friends, and more. Focusing on your business is the most important thing you should be doing. You should be dedicating most of your time to the growth of your company and forgetting about the extraneous things going on around you. Don’t get caught trying to juggle multiple projects outside your business or you’ll be destined to fail. The best advice I can give for this point is, do one thing perfectly, not a bunch of things poorly.

Do What You Know:

Don’t get into an industry you know little about or start a business based around products or services you aren’t familiar with. Do what you know and do what you love. Build your business on your strengths and passions, not your weaknesses. You will have a much better chance of success doing what you know rather than learning more than you can handle along the way and asking too many questions.

StartUp Mentality:

You should always feel like your pants are on fire. You should be moving around with efficiency and thoughts constantly swirling around your head for ways to improve what your business does and provides. If you’re just getting started with your business, understand you’ll need to make cutbacks and sacrifice certain things. Forget about getting a sprawling, technology filled office space in the nice area of town, and think more like your garage. Being frugal and watching all your costs needs to be at the forefront of your mind.

Learn Quick:

Owning and operating a business is tough and often requires you to learn things on the fly and figure stuff out by yourself. Business books and entrepreneurial articles can only teach you so much, but at the end of the day your business is riding on you. Understand that there will be rough patches because no plan has ever not had pitfalls or troubles, but it’s up to you to rise to the occasion and perform to the best of your ability.

Know When To Quit:

This tip might be the most important one on this list. Knowing when to quit a project or a plan with your business is something that is hard to master or even consider, but you need to realize that some plans are destined to fail and if an idea isn’t panning out and costing you too much time and money, it may be time to pull the plug. It is always an easier decision in my opinion to have a partner with you for each step so you can gain a new and different perspective, and make the most informed decision possible.

Hope you enjoyed the article and good luck with your business. Check out some of my other articles on successful business practices and corporate tips here.

 

Thank you for reading!

-Nona Black

The 10 Best Corporate Benefits Your Company Needs to Adopt

nona-black-corporate-benefits

If you want to attract top talent to your company, you have to care about your employees happiness. In fact, your company culture matters more than salary when people are considering joining or leaving your company. There are a ton of trendy perks companies are providing for their employees nowadays, but not all perks are created equal. Which ones are the most meaningful to your employees and ultimately your company’s success?

Internal Referral Bonuses

The great thing about internal referrals is that you’re taking someone you (presumably) already trust (i.e. your current employee) and having them provide you with someone they would vouch for as a potential employee. When your staff refer someone to an internal job, they understand that how that person performs is a reflection of themselves. They’re only going to give you candidates that make them look good. What you end up with is quality candidates who are more likely to fit in with your existing company culture. The referrer ends up with some extra cash, a lot of gratitude, and another friend at work who’s also going to add a lot of value to the team. Allowing current employees to help build your future workforce communicates trust to your staff, instills a sense of personal responsibility to internal teams, and it makes you less dependent on external recruiters who aren’t personally vested in the company’s long term success.

nona-black-corporate-benefits-1Employee-Driven Transfer Policies

Turnover is costly for any employer. It’s better to lose an employee to a different department, than to a different company altogether. When managers block transfers because they don’t want to lose/replace them, your employees feel stunted. Its important to empower your employees to create their own path within your company. Otherwise, you’re keeping otherwise well performing employees in roles where they aren’t happy. Eventually they will feel forced to leave if they want to achieve their personal goals, and it will be more bitter than bittersweet.

Vanpools and Subsidized Transportation to Work

Getting to and from work, especially during rush hour, is a headache, and for many, it’s expensive. It might seem like a small gesture, but helping your employees get to work in a more cost effective way alleviates a lot of stress and starts everyone off on a better foot each morning.

Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall meetings aren’t just about informing your employees of the high level goals and performance of the company, they’re about utilizing the people you have working in the trenches everyday as a resource for valuable feedback, ideas, and insights that managers/executives may not be privy to on a daily basis. Creating a space for employees to communicate across team lines motivates everyone to bring their best ideas to the table, as well as inspires cross-functional collaboration to tackle issues.

Anonymous Hotlines

Reporting internal issues is not as easy as it should be. Often times employees feel intimidated, embarrassed, or afraid for their job if they speak up about something negative happening to them or their team. Confidential outlets for employees to voice their concerns lead to more honest disclosure, which means as an employer, you have more genuine insight into your company and are able to fix issues quickly and effectively.

Sponsored External Training and Development

What better way to create a more skilled workforce than by encouraging your employees (via sponsoring them) to educate themselves? Give your employees a budget for personal growth. Their teams will benefit from their new skills, your employees will feel more engaged in their own professional growth, and the company will acquire expertise without needing to make new hires to get them.

Alumni Groups

Just because your employees leave, doesn’t mean you have to lose them as connections. If you organize an Alumni group, you can utilize your former employees future growth as a source of business as well as potential hires.

Social Responsibility Programs

People want to feel like they are providing some good to the world, or at least not causing any harm. Creating a culture of social responsibility encourages employees to think about the company’s role in the world from a larger perspective, and employee initiatives that come out of these programs can often times put the company’s overall image in a more positive light with their consumers, investors, and the general public.

Matching Contributions

Matching contributions is a great way to show employees that you’re as invested as they are. Some employers match their employees’ personal donations to charitable organizations, others match their employees’ 401(k) contributions. Matching contributions makes employees feel that they are getting exactly what they give, which only encourages them to give more.

Company Intranets

Having access to training documents, benefits information, internal job openings, company updates, and any general information that everyone within the company should know so they can be on the same page is important. New hires are able to get up to speed more quickly, and existing hires are empowered to answer their own questions. Intranets are also useful for making remote employees or ones working at home feel more clued in on the happenings back at headquarters.

Implementing all of these benefits tomorrow might be unrealistic, but considering these and other benefits for your employees is crucial to attracting and retaining key members of your team. It’s also important for developing the best employees possible out of the people you have. Without the best people, your company won’t be able to achieve its highest success. Make sure your employees know just how much they mean to you.

Thank you for reading!

-Nona Black