» 2012 » November

All-in-one Payroll Solution for Small Business Payroll

November 26, 2012

Running payroll is one of those tasks that most small business owners don’t look forward to. There are many tools available for these businesses, but many are either time-consuming or complicated and overrun with unnecessary features. Now, American small businesses have one more option that is not only small business specific, but also automated to save time.

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Obama Promotes Small Business Saturday

November 26, 2012

President Barack Obama made a quick trip to a Virginia bookstore for some Christmas shopping. The White House says Obama was promoting an effort called “Small Business Saturday” to encourage shoppers to support mom-and-pop businesses after Thanksgiving.

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Google For Entrepreneurs

November 26, 2012

Google released a new site recently aimed at helping entrepreneurs and small businesses. Google for Entrepreneurs is basically a site that brings together all of Google’s programs and partnerships that could possibly benefit startups or entrepreneurs.

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Knowing when to delegate

November 26, 2012

If you are in Small Business, you must be able to wear ‘many hats.’ However, taking on too much responsibility could be harmful to you and your business. It’s not always easy to relinquish responsibilities, but it’s important when you become burnout. The following tips will help you know where and how you should delegate.

1. Learn to Let Go

Many entrepreneurs will need to let go of the “if I want something done right, I have to do it myself” mentality. If you’re the type of businessperson who still phones the office 10 times per day while on vacation, delegation is definitely going to be a challenge.

You’ll need to take a deep breath and just let go. Realize that when you delegate something, it’s now out of your hands. You’ll need to step back to avoid interfering in the process and progress. As hard as it may seem, wait until the final product before judging how the delegation is going.

If the very thought of delegation makes you uneasy, you should start by delegating a single, low priority task. As you see the job can be completed successfully without you, you’ll gain confidence in the process and can move on to delegating another task, and another.

2. Empower Your Staff and Contractors

Delegating offers an opportunity for employees to develop their own skills, knowledge and capabilities. By granting your workers to make their own decisions and responsibility, you’ll ultimately have employees who can work independently and deliver more value.

In order to empower others, you need to delegate, not dump. Effective delegation is not about dumping the dirty work off your desk or asking someone to jump in and fix something that you let fall through the cracks. These tactics will ultimately lead to a breakdown in employee satisfaction.

3. Pick Things to Delegate “Up”

There are also tasks that require special knowledge and skills — and ones not related to the core wheelhouse of what your business is all about. For example, handling taxes and legal matters on your own may be easier on the wallet, but it’s typically better in the long run to hire a specialist to handle complex issues, such as an accountant for bookkeeping or taxes or an expert for handling your legal paperwork like incorporation.

4. Pick Things to Delegate “Down”

In your day-to-day operations, there are countless tasks that are easy to do and don’t require specific expertise (for example, sending out a mailing). Conduct a time audit over the course of an average week and find out what busy work is taking up a considerable amount of your time. Then, hire an assistant (either full-time, part-time, or virtual) to take them over. If you’re worried about costs, just remember how much of your valuable, revenue-generating time you’ll be freeing up; your business can’t grow when you’re focused on busy work.

5. Provide Clear Instructions

The key to successful delegation is being absolutely clear about what you’re expecting for the outcome. How much direction you provide to get from point A to B will depend on the level of expertise of the person doing the task.

If you hire a professional moving company to transport your valuables, you probably just need to tell them which items need moved, when and to where. However, if you’re hiring your teenage son and his friends for the job, you’d be wise to also instruct them on how to wrap the items, load them on the truck, avoid pot holes during the drive, etc. The same applies to delegating at work: you can decide what kind of detailed instructions to give, but in all cases you need to absolutely clear about your expectations and goals.