Management can be defined as getting things done through others. To be a manager you must be an expert at persuading and influencing others to work in a common direction. This is why all excellent managers are also excellent low-pressure salespeople. They do not order people to do things; instead, they persuade them to accept certain responsibilities, with specific deadlines and agreed-upon standards of performance. When a person has been persuaded that he or she has a vested interest in doing a job well, he or she accepts ownership of the job and the result. Once a person accepts ownership and responsibility, the manager can step aside confidently, knowing the job will be done on schedule.

In every part of your life, you have a choice of either doing it yourself or delegating it to others. Your ability to get someone else to take on the job with the same enthusiasm that you would have is an exercise in personal persuasion. It may seem to take a little longer at the beginning, but it saves you an enormous amount of time in the completion of the task.

A key form of leverage that you must develop for success is other people’s knowledge. You must be able to tap into the brain power of many other people if you want to accomplish worthwhile goals. Successful people are not those who know everything needed to accomplish a particular task, but more often than not, they are people who know how to find the knowledge they need.

What is the knowledge that you need to achieve your most important goals? Of the knowledge required, what knowledge must you have personally in order to control your situation, and what knowledge can you borrow, buy, or rent from others?

It has been said that, in our information-based society, you are never more than one book or two phone calls away from any piece of knowledge in the country. With on-line computer services that access huge data bases all over the country, you can usually get the precise information you require in a few minutes by using a personal computer. Whenever you need information and expertise from another person in order to achieve your goals, the very best way to persuade them to help you is to ask them for their assistance.


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How To Manage Your Business

Almost everyone who is knowledgeable in a particular area is proud of their accomplishments. By asking a person for their expert advice, you compliment them and motivate them to want to help you. So don’t be afraid to ask, even if you don’t know the individual personally.

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, multiply your output and rewards by persuading other people to do the job for you and do it well. Delegation is the key to personal leverage.

Second, identify the most important knowledge you need to do an excellent job and then concentrate on finding and using that knowledge.

The person who can find the knowledge in others is often more valuable than the person who possesses it.

Business organizations are inherently social organizations. There are relationships between employees and their bosses, employees and other employees, employees and customers, employees and vendors, the business and its outside consultants, and many other types of social interactions that can each cause problems of some sort. In fact, people problems may just be the most difficult type of problem to deal with.

It would be nice if we were all well-schooled in psychology and could avoid people problems by simply not hiring or associating with people that have the potential of causing problems. But that is unrealistic in many ways other than the obvious. You simply never know who might or might not be a problem individual under stress. No amount of psychological training is going to equip the small business owner to make such a determination and be 100 percent accurate.

There is also no way to know how effective an individual is going to be for an organization. A person may be nice, kind, polite, have a great educational background and a good work history, but just cannot function well in your organization. Is this the fault of the individual or the organization? How can you tell?

The stakes are high. More than a few small businesses have been ruined because the entrepreneur made poor decisions relative to the people he or she chose to associate with and how relationships with these individuals were maintained.

How To Manage Your Business

In order to manage you must first analyze your business - Answer these questions truthfully!

Growing pains

  • How much progress have you made?
  • Is your business well established?
  • How strong is your business base?
  • Are you in a position to consider growth?

Surviving start up

  • What are the most common causes of business failure in the first stages of a business?
  • How will these be avoided?

Business direction and strategy

  • Do you really know what your business is good at?
  • Do you have a good idea of where you want to be in three years’ time?
  • Do you know if you’re doing well enough to get there?

Customers and markets

  • Do you know who your customers are?
  • Do you know why your customers buy from you?
  • Do you know where new business will come from?
  • Can you sell?

Money Matters

  • Do you know the difference between cash and profit?
  • Do you keep the right type of information systems?
  • Is your pricing policy right?
  • Is your business making a profit?
  • How well do you control your debts?

Managing your resources

  • How well do you manage your time?
  • How efficiently do you use your equipment?
  • Do you carry the right level of stock?
  • How well do you manage the production of your business?
  • Do you know how your business affects the environment?

Managing your business relationships

  • Do you know who influences your business?
  • Do you provide them with information?
  • Do they know enough about your business?
  • Are they on your side?

Where to next?

  • Is your business strong enough to consider growth?
  • How fast should you grow?
  • How should growth be financed?

Management - People Problems

Failure to train employees properly.

  • Not all problems with people are related to personality. In fact, most problems that small businesses must face relate to the inability of the business to train employees for the tasks for which they are to be responsible.
  • There is a major difference here in the capabilities of large and small organizations. Large organizations generally have a formalized training structure in place for new hires. Small organizations generally rely on on-the-job training carried out by individuals who themselves have been poorly trained and thus are in no position to train anyone else.
  • Business is transacted by people. If the people who work for the business are poorly trained it will always reflect negatively on the bottom line.
  • Always.
  • It is critical that new employee training be carried out by people who are both knowledgeable in the subject matter of the training and capable of training effectively. If no employees meet these criteria, then a trainer or trainers must be brought in from the outside.
  • Poorly trained employees create more problems than just errors in their work product. They also become a drain on morale and can create problems with other employees, customers and vendors.

Failure to appreciate the contributions of employees.

  • It is not uncommon for employees of small businesses to feel unappreciated. Larger organizations have structures in place to recognize employee achievements and are better able to reward outstanding efforts financially.
  • Small businesses make a number of mistakes in this area. Some examples are:
    • Treating employees as though they are easily replaceable.
    • Failure to provide reasonable benefits.
    • Little or no recognition of outstanding accomplishments.
    • Failure to respect the value of employees' time.
    • Failure to ask for and respect employees' opinions.
  • Entrepreneurs sometimes treat employees like they are family, and this is generally a good thing. It can become a negative, however. People generally expect their families to help them out to the greatest extent possible while expecting little or nothing in return. They do it because they are family. Your employees will never BE family. They need more appreciation and recognition than family will ever need.
  • Employees are the life-blood of any business organization. It is critical that employees feel like they are part of the team, are respected, and are well compensated, and that their efforts are truly appreciated by the owners. Small businesses that look at employment costs first when seeking to control or reduce expenses are making a mistake that can be deadly.

Hiring or trusting the wrong people.

I once knew a business that was doing well, employing about 15 people, making decent profits for the owners, and growing slowly every year. The owner decided he was ready to take the plunge and take the business to the next level.

He hired a man who was generally recognized as being one of the best sales organization builders in the business to open several new offices and introduce new product lines at all locations. The business quintupled in size within six months. New locations were opened in two other cities in the same state and total employees grew to in excess of 125. Everything looked good.

But . . . the owner had lost control. The new hire demanded the world and threatened to walk out if his demands were not met. They were met until one day the owner could stand it no more and told the man to get out. He did. And he took every employee he brought into the organization with him! His people collected the businesses' receivables and left it with the bills due to vendors. He opened competing businesses in each city using his former employer's own money to destroy him. And destroy him he did.

The owner of this small business actually knew that this man had done this very same thing to two other businesses before him. He hired him anyway because he thought he could control
the situation.

The moral of the story?

A small business needs to know whom they are dealing with and refuse to let greed lead them down the path to destruction. Hiring or associating with people who are not VERIFIABLY trustworthy and honest, no matter how good the individual might be at his job, will always be mistake.

Creating an atmosphere of mistrust.

It is important that employees, customers, vendors and others that have relationships with a business trust the owners. I have seen situations where owners intentionally create an atmosphere of mistrust for purposes of control, but I won't address those situations because there is really nothing to say about them.

But in other cases, owners create an atmosphere of mistrust without meaning to. This can happen when an owner fails to recognize the contributions of employees and where owners fail to deliver on their promises whether they are promises made to employees, vendors or customers.

Vendors and customers will simply refuse to do business with an organization they can feel they can no longer trust. Employees will be constantly on the lookout for another job opportunity and job performance will suffer. Business results of operations suffer in direct proportion to this growth of mistrust.

Small business owners need to always be mindful of their actions and the consequences. For example, I know of one situation where the owners regularly pocket the cash from cash sales made by the business. The cash they take is properly accounted for in all ways but the employees do not necessarily know that.

Some employees think they are stealing from the business and cheating on their taxes. Some have even lodged complaints with taxing authorities, (anonymously, of course). All of this could be avoided by following simple procedures designed to eliminate the appearance of impropriety.

Your Style Of Management

Sometimes owners tend to think of their business as an extension of their personal lives and personal checkbook and do things they would never think of doing if they were the CEO of a business they did not own. This always creates problems in some fashion. Small businesses must create procedures that build trust and operate in compliance with them.

Entrepreneurs must build the character of the organization. Businesses have a reputation just like individuals do and that reputation is key to continued success.

Hiring the wrong consultants.

Consultants can add a lot of value to a small business enterprise. Small businesses generally cannot afford Fortune 500 executives, so they should include in the budget funds for the best consultants available. The hourly fees may be scary, but the right consultant will be worth many times the amount of the fees charged.

Small businesses make a big mistake when they make it a practice to hire the cheapest accountants, attorneys and business advisors they can find. Consultants should be hired based on their experience level, their reputation, and what they can do for the business. The capabilities of the consultant should be matched with the project at hand. If the project is critical, the small business simply cannot afford not to hire the best.

Managing A Business

The process of starting and managing a business requires a lot of analysis and paperwork. Managing a business is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises

  • planning,
  • organizing,
  • staffing,
  • leading or directing, and controlling an organization or
  • initiative to accomplish a goal.

Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.

Managing A Business effectively can help improve quality and productivity through coaching, feedback, counseling, and discipline. One of the primary duties of a manager is to keep the performance of employees at a high level. Indeed, much of what a manager does will affect the productivity level of the employees he or she supervises.

There are four general techniques that have a great effect on the productivity of an employee. They are:

  • Coaching
  • Feedback
  • Counseling
  • Discipline

Coaching is the ongoing, informal training and encouragement that a manager gives employees on a regular basis. It confirms to the employee that he or she is doing well and gives him or her confidence to continue the behavior. It most often takes place while the employee is working.

Feedback occurs when managers provide specific information to employees to let them know how well he or she is performing. This frequently takes place while the employee is working or when he or she has just completed a task.

Managers who counsel employees show them what they need to do to improve performance. Counseling should be conducted in private, away from other employees.

Discipline are the actions a manager takes to help employees follow the companys rules. It is often a last-resort technique implemented when employees break rules or as a precursor to termination.

Managing Your Business

After you have made the decision to go into business for yourself you must decide how to make your business work. Even after your business is up and running you must constantly be evaluating your business’ health. Managing Your Business is generally defined as an activity that generates profit.

The sole purpose of any business is to obtain and retain customers in a process that demonstrates profitability. If your business does not have profits then you do not have a business. If you make as much profit in your business as you would working for someone else you do not have a business either; you have a job with greater risk of unemployment, fewer benefits and most certainly longer hours and greater responsibilities.

Whether your business is a start-up or an existing business you must constantly be looking at managing it properly; you must manage your competitive advantage. What you do or sell must be distinguishable from others in the same industry:

  • can you sell it cheaper,
  • do it faster,
  • produce better quality,
  • give greater value, etc.

System Management

Read anything on the subject of building effective system management and you are sure to find McDonald's used as a prime example. Now their produvts might not be to everyones' liking, but it has one outstanding characteristic: it is entirely predictable. and no-one could argue that they haven't been successful.

In around fifty years, McDonald's have built over 29,000 stores based on a very robust system. If you didn't like the Big Mac you had in Moscow, you can be sure you would equally dislike the Big Macs you might have in Madrid, Melbourne or Manila.

Of course, McDonalds have it easy. Their business has never been about their food - it has always been about their systems. It is the sameness of their food, rather than its originality, which is what their customers expect. So it is sameness that they deliver.

Which is hardly what most of us are looking to provide, is it? We are selling a product or a service - not a 'system'. Our creativity, our unique approach, our flexibility to customer needs - these are what we are selling. The McDonald's approach seems anathema.

The reality is that systems have a place in every business because, used properly, they can help us achieve something that every business wants: efficiency and happy customers.

Business Process Management

Business process management is the systematic approach to making your organization's workflow more effective, more efficient and capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment. A business process is an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal.

The goal of Business process management is to reduce human error and miscommunication and focus stakeholders on the requirements of their roles. Business process management is a subset of infrastructure management, an administrative area concerned with maintaining and optimizing an organization's equipment and core operations.

When it comes to business process management, every company has their own sets of procedures as well as methods that they implement when it comes to handling all sorts of day-to-day operations in and out of their companies such as the following:

  • invoicing,
  • time sheets,
  • status reports,
  • new account setup and
  • you might as well include everything else!

Human Resource Management

Human resources are the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy. The professional discipline and business function that oversees an organization's human resources is called human resource management (HRM, or simply HR).

Human capital is sometimes used synonymously with human resources, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view (i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and can contribute to an organization).

Human resources management is the phrase that nearly everyone uses to describe a set of functions that once fell under the category of “personnel administration” or “personnel management.” Regardless of the name, you can sum up this particular aspect of business as the decisions, activities, and processes that must meet the basic needs and support the work performance of employees.

Change Management

Planning for change is essential; the greater the change the greater the need. Stable organizations can use previous experience as a guide to the future; organizations facing new challenges cannot. Change management (or BPR business process re-engineering) has evolved as a topic to combine all the relevant expertise and best practice into one discipline.

Change management refers to medium or long term re-structuring – it does not include short term major change which is part of contingency planning.

Where is change management most appropriate?

As a response to major opportunities and threats in the external or internal environment (for example, significant changes in customer demand, competitive environment, legislation, mergers and acquisition activity, suppliers, bad and worsening industrial relations, productivity, health and safety concerns).

Profitable Change Management

Research on successful change management suggest that there are perhaps 8 golden rules that need to be followed, and in a particular sequence.

  • Establish the team and lead from the top
  • If it is not broke, don't fix it;
  • Make sure it is achievable;
  • Communicate;
  • Take the stakeholders with you;
  • Detailed implementation bottom up rather than top down;
  • Train;
  • Control.

Project Management Software

Project management is the process and activity of

  • planning,
  • organizing,
  • motivating, and
  • controlling resources, procedures and protocols

to achieve specific goals in scientific or daily problems. A project is a time constricted endeavor designed to produce a result. A project has a defined beginning and end, undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value.

The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with normal business, which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.

Asset Management

Asset management refers to a system that monitors and maintains things of value to your business. It applies to both tangible assets such as buildings and to intangible concepts such as intellectual property and goodwill. Asset management is a systematic process of operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively.

Asset management is the practice of managing assets to achieve the greatest return (particularly useful for productive assets such as plant and equipment), and the process of monitoring and maintaining facilities systems, with the objective of providing the best possible service to your customers, suppliers and, of course, your employees.

Property Management

Property management is the operation, control, and oversight of real estate as used in its most broad terms. Management indicates a need to be cared for, monitored and accountability given for its useful life and condition. This is much akin to the role of management in any business.

Property management is also the management of personal property, equipment, tooling and physical capital assets that are acquired and used to build, repair and maintain end item deliverables. Property management involves the processes, systems and manpower required to manage the life cycle of all acquired property as defined above including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, utilization and disposition.

Career Management

Career management describes the active and purposeful management of a career by an individual. Key skills include the ability to reflect on your current career, research the labour market, determine whether education is necessary, find openings, and make career changes.

Career Management is the combination of structured planning and the active management choice of one's own professional career. The outcome of successful career management should include

  • personal fulfillment,
  • work / life balance,
  • goal achievement and
  • financial security.

Debt Management

Debt allows people and organizations to do things that they would otherwise not be able, or allowed, to do. Commonly, people in industrialized nations use it to purchase houses, cars and many other things too expensive to buy with cash on hand.

Companies also use debt in many ways to leverage the investment made in their assets, "leveraging" the return on their equity. This leverage, the proportion of debt to equity, is considered important in determining the riskiness of an investment; the more debt per equity, the riskier. For both companies and individuals, this increased risk can lead to poor results, as the cost of servicing the debt can grow beyond the ability to pay due to either external events (income loss) or internal difficulties (poor management of resources).

Management Blog

You must consider the technical aspects of setting up, maintaining, and running a management blog. Blogging is a great format and can be a dramatically effective tool for many businesses, but not all. The internal culture of some companies simply does not lend itself to the openness and honesty the blogging format requires.

  • Does your company maintain rigid walls of secrecy between development groups?
  • Is there a “need-to-know” attitude from upper management?
  • Is your company equipped to handle the additional feedback from customers a blog can produce?

Great Businesses are managed that way!

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