Improve Performance Through Time Tracking

time trackingIf you want to improve performance, or likewise increase capacity or capability, you need to track the one thing that you’ll never get back: time.

In order to improve effectiveness and efficiency, you must understand how your time is being used. With all of the technological advances over the past two decades, we’re continually forced to do things “better, faster, cheaper.” In other words, all of these advances have taught us how to be more efficient.

But – have any of these advances (spreadsheets, email, cell phones, IM, etc.) made us more effective?

The difference between the two?…

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Increase Flexibility and Reduce Costs with Targeted IT Outsourcing

Targeted IT Outsourcing

Are you looking for ways to minimize increases in long-term staffing commitments, yet want to position yourself for growth once the economy recovers?

Outsourcing is a great way to create flexibility while meeting current demands in the organization, particularly in small and mid-sized businesses. (Throughout the remainder of the article I’ll refer to small and mid-sized organizations as SMBs).

In trying to solve current issues, companies may create new issues by turning over their IT department to an outsourcer without oversight, or negotiating outsourcing agreements solely to cut costs. Costs escalate because normal updates or company growth wasn’t included in the contract.…

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10 Valuable Small Business Management & Leadership Articles

leadership & management articlesAs small business owners, we want to be the best leaders possible.   If you’re new to business management, you may not know how to go about just that.   I’ve found 10 very useful articles that may give you some new insight into managing your small business better.   Each article has something different to offer readers so be sure to see them all.   Enjoy!

Kicking Them When They’re Down: How Not To Fire An EmployeeSkip Anderson pleads with managers to act professionally when terminating an employee.

Hiring From Outside The Company: How New People Can Bring Unexpected ProblemsKnowledge@Wharton weighs the pros and cons of hiring employees without prior experience in your business’ industry.…

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This is No Time for Sissies – Toughen Up with Business Survival Training

What do you need when times get tough?   Simple.   You — as the CEO — need to be even tougher than the times.

Right now is no time for sissies. And I mean that — whether you are a man or a woman CEO.

Recessions require the best from you personally if your business is going to compete. You have to be mentally tough; emotionally and spiritually centered; and you have to be able to go the distance physically as you lead your company and your team.

At the recent Small Business Summit I learned about a business executive training program that is based on the Navy SEAL survival training.…

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“Suit Up” For Small Business

volatile market cartoonMark Anderson, creator of the cartoon website Andertoons.com, shares one of his  business cartoons with readers of Small Business Trends every Friday morning. I got a really good kick out of today’s cartoon about volatile markets and thought I would share it with you here.   To see the full view of the cartoon, click on the cartoon image on the left.

This cartoon seems really timely to me since everyone is taking a beating these days.   Whether in business or in our personal lives, we could all use protection from the bumps and bruises the less than favorable economy has given us lately.…

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Would Your Parent Make an Ideal Employee?

An interesting topic was brought up in a recent Business Week article, “Should You Hire Your Parents?“.   Different experiences from each side of the debate are stated in the article.    I don’t know about you, but I think hiring your parents could create tension within the family unit.  

Obviously keeping the roles defined between the parent and the  son or daughter is most important.   Daniel Negari, one of the entrepreneurs interviewed for the article, states  that he only refers to his mother at work by her name.   He never uses the term  “mom” or “mother” while in the office environment.  …

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Better Leadership Thru Communication

I haven’t had much experience with different employers or managers but I have had enough interaction to realize it is a difficult responsibility.  Every manager has their own opinions about how to interact with their employees.  Whether their actions, or lack thereof, have positive or negative effects on their employees is a matter of opinion.   Unfortunately, most leaders don’t communicate with their employees enough to know how effective their leadership skills really are.  

Without proper communication, how do you know if you are getting the best performance possible from your employees?  Do they completely understand what is expected of them?    Errors and misunderstandings are avoidable.  …

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Are You Looking For Free Small Business Management Tools?

We are happy to announce the opening of our “Free Tools” section of the Small Business CEO website. Together we have gathered a group of helpful websites that offer free management tools and resources for your small business. Feel free to peruse the selection of freebies available.

There are lots of free ebooks, eguides, templates, business forms, checklists, worksheets, free pdf files, podcasts and white papers to choose from. Our goal is to provide you, our readers, with the most informative tools and resources available to assist you in being strong, effective managers and leaders.…

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Delegation in a Virtual World

In today’s microenterprise world where many times there is only one person actually in the business, delegation takes on a whole new meaning.

Typically even a microenterprise has to perform the same functions as a larger business but they tend to use outside suppliers and partners to perform and manage those functions.

For example: Most of us don’t host our own websites or email or e-newsletter systems, we delegate that to an outside provider.

If we process credit cards we might use Paypal or another merchant account supplier along with our bank.

Almost all of us outsource our legal needs to a local firm or possibly even one of the new online legal firms that provides legal support for a fixed monthly subscription fee.…

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7 Great Reasons to Have an Advisory Board

By Anita Campbell (www.smallbiztrends.com)

We can all benefit from good advice, and that makes advisory boards a hot topic for the savvy CEO and business owner.

In recent years, advisory boards have become an increasingly popular tool for endeavors ranging from Fortune 100 companies to one-person shops. That’s because a Board of Advisors can do more to make your business grow than any other comparable expenditure.

So here’s some advice: set up your own Advisory Board, and here are seven great reasons to do it today.

SEVEN GREAT REASONS TO HAVE AN ADVISORY BOARD:

1. EXPERTISE YOU CAN’T BUY: Advisory Board members typically bring a combination of skill sets that are totally out of reach for most small businesses.…

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