Traveling this weekend for family fun allowed me to try many different restrooms and rest stops along my adventures. Two places, one a rest stop and the other a restaurant, had the super hand dryers that dry your hands in seconds. Other rest stops had only paper, some only slow-blow driers and some had both. In the ladies restroom, the slow-blower often leads to lots of toilet tissue around as many women don’t take the time to wait for the dryer and just grab tissue to dry often enhancing the mess.
When getting back into the car, I mentioned that every place should have the super dryers and my travel companion reminded me that “they cost money” and I thought how could the added cost of fast dryers be a cost saving? Of course my LEAN thinking kicked in and wondered if cleaning up after paper messes is less costly than the super dryer investment and I’ll let someone else do the study. I know that the super dryers and towels get you out faster and for me time outside a highway rest stop is far more fun. Let’s agree, paper towels, toilet tissue, fast dryers, slow dryers and the back of your trousers all get the the job done, but which ones cause the user to actually smile?
As a business owner, what items are worth the extra money. Here are a few that will pay for themselves over time:
- Comfortable Office Chairs
- Computer Security
- The Company’s Online Presence
- A Break Area
- Energy Efficient Appliances
You always want to be careful with your business’s balance sheet, but picking where you will splurge can in the long term save you money, increase productivity, ensure employee satisfaction and maybe keep a customer in the shop longer instead of drying their hands.
When was the last time you took off two weeks? Business owners need to plan and then take vacations to refresh, reinvigorate and renew their commitment to their business. A vacation from your business is important to the health of your future and your businesses. Other things that may happen when you vacation include:
- Identify Number 2 or Second in Command (2iC);
- Test “What if” scenarios for an extended owner absence;
- Test Standard Operating Procedures;
- Identify things you don’t need to do leading to new space in your calendar;
- New ideas for the future!
Planning for a vacation is a key step to long range planning. Creating a business that is “You-Proof” will be important
Did you know that 95% of business experience employee theft? It’s a horrifying feeling when your business experiences theft from the inside. The feelings of anger and guilt can eat away at you.
Preventing employee theft can be time consuming, but the costs and time involved truly outweigh the costs of having to recover from the theft. Here are a few ideas to keep your businesses money flowing where it should be.
• Policies and procedures
• Alterations of ANY photocopied documents
• Employees in close relationships with suppliers
• Inventory (including office supplies)
• Checks written to cash
We make assumptions about people almost every minute of every day, it’s only human. We are naturally geared towards certain personality types and avoid others. In the workplace these natural human behaviors can cause bias evaluations on an unconscious level. Supervisors who fill out staff evaluations need to be careful not to let their personal perceptions get in the way of an evaluation. There are several biases anyone handling evaluations should be aware of.
- Direct Supervisor Bias
- Personal Bias
- Avoiding the Truth Bias
Read on to find out more about these bias and how to avoid them.
Dreaming about the value of your business? Especially when Instagram sold for $1 Billion in 2012 to Facebook and Tumblr being sold in May 2013 to Yahoo for A$1.1 Billion with $13 Million in revenue. These were both still very much start-ups Instagram with 13 employees and Tumbler with 178. These two businesses have won the business start-up lottery.
Sometimes, serendipity will knock at your door as it did with Paypal when the elegant software made for the Palm and was being used by 12,000 users was discovered by 1.2 million users selling crafts and beanie babies to each other on Ebay. More often than not, businesses are sold based on real financial data that proves the business is profitable and has a teachable and repeatable process to drive revenue.
We all would love to win the business lottery, but most of us will do it the old fashioned way, creating a cash flow machine. Getting to HOW your business will do this is key - for more ideas go here.
If you have watched any amount of TV in the last few months you have probably seen those commercials for Progressive Insurance, specifically the commercials about their SnapShot device. The devices collects information about your driving habits such as when you drive, how fast, how hard you hit the brakes, etc. The device will even beep when you hit your breaks too hard, giving you instant feedback. Progressive then analyzes your driving habits and you may get a discount. From a marketing and business stand point this device is pretty ingenious and can save the company (and you) a ton of money. But how?
Wanting to be a good employer, we often make decisions without thinking of all the costs and benefits to our organization. The two main reasons to give vacations are:
- To reward longevity!
- To allow employees time to refresh and get recharged!
I am reminded of the time I was working at a Consulting firm that would give either overtime or compensatory time, “comp time”, for extra hours worked during the busy season. Being a young mother, I opted for “comp time”. This was fine with the managing partners until I started using the earned time – in the summer – during their slow cash flow time. Although they grudgingly gave me my earned time off with pay, they did not understand the cost and benefit of this arrangement. They also did not acknowledge that it is generally illegal under federal law (state and local governments are allowed to do this is certain instances).
So, before you either say NO or YES, work through a Benefit Analysis to better understand what a day of vacation will cost.
Check with your CPA about any plan you want to start – there are laws and rules that must be followed AND usually a way can be found to make things work well for your company and your employees. Tips Here for Happy Vacationing – Linda
Everybody likes to talk, especially if it’s about someone you have in common. The problem is knowing what it is appropriate and when it’s not.
Just the other day I was at a personal appointment with my hairstylist. It wasn’t really my hairstylist but I’m going to use it to keep things confidential. Anyways, as I was sitting in the chair we were talking about places that I use to work. Then the subject of a certain employee from that company came up. The stylist just started talking about that person, nothing bad, just personal.
I was blown away to say the least. If he/she was willing to talk about this person and what transpired in their appointment who knows what is said about mine. Not to mention the stylist had no idea why I stopped working there and whether or not my employment ended on good or bad terms.
In any business it is poor manors to talk about other clients whether it’s good or bad. Understandably it can get pretty rough talking about the weather with every client, every day. If you’re one of those people that are terrible at coming up with good conversation I came up with a list of appropriate topics that are safe to use.
This past month I had a little communication mishap. To make a very long story short I was trying to get in contact with a client’s IT department about giving me access to the web server so I could do some work on their website. For the past few weeks I’ve been emailing and calling them (but not getting an answering machine), to see if they had granted me access. I never received any emails back, no phone calls, no nothing. To make matters worse my client has been on vacation and couldn’t be reached. Great, this IT guy is trying to sabotage me… Or is he?
As a business coach, I am often asked, “what does it cost to give employees a paid day off like Memorial Day?” The simple answer might be “lots” – realistically, I’ll often use the old accounting term “it depends”. Employers need to look at both sides – Costs and Benefits. Costs are usually easy; benefits are often softer – like morale, turnover, and image. We forget that the sign on the grocery store saying “We are closed today so our employees can be with their families” speaks volumes and builds customer loyalty.