There was an article that first appeared in the February 2006 issue of Entrepreneur that is about finding focus and fine-tuning your business. We all get lost in the details and day-in-day-out stresses of management. Our third post shared by the DFW B2B team outlines Management.
Day-to-day management of employees and processes is probably the single toughest job for any entrepreneur. Want to simplify? Here’s how:
11. Hire strategically. Create an online application form, and have elimination criteria related to scheduling, salary and educational level. “Select out vs. select in,” says Suzanne Zuniga, COO of CorVirtus, a Colorado Springs, Colorado, HR consulting firm. Being more selective means you’ll hire sooner and get back to work.
12. Stay on schedule. Creating a schedule for employees is a time-consuming nightmare for every employer, especially in retail. But there are software packages–Asgard System’s Time Tracker, TimeClock Scheduler and TimeCurve Scheduler, to name a few–that let you scan for scheduling errors and track employee hours and earnings in real time. Some, like TimeCurve Scheduler, also integrate with QuickBooks to make payroll easier. Scheduling software packages range in price from around $125 to more than a thousand dollars with site licenses depending on the size of your staff and what you want, but it’s an investment that will save you time in the long run. Many of these companies provide free demos on their websites for you to try, too.
13. Rent a CFO. At some point, a bookkeeper won’t be able to keep up with your burgeoning bottom line. “One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is they don’t realize they need the sophistication of a CFO,” Hall says. Today, there are employment agencies that specialize in hiring out CFOs. You can “rent” a CFO who will come in one day each week or month, depending on what you need. A temporary CFO’s services can be expensive–$1,000 or more per day–but is worth the cost if he or she helps focus your business and make it more profitable.
14. Tighten your supply chain. “Strong partnerships with suppliers and service providers [are] critical in the supply-chain excellence area,” says John DuBiel, managing partner of Raleigh, North Carolina-based Supply Chain Edge, a firm that helps companies identify, develop and execute their supply-chain strategies. Keep relationships strong by leveraging your buying power with as few service providers as possible. Says DuBiel, “Simplify and leverage all the volume you can.”
15. Outsource your HR function. Entrepreneurs spend up to one-third of their time doing payroll and benefits administration. They’re also risking penalties if tax payment deadlines aren’t met or filings are incorrect. “When you pay a company that you outsource to, you’re paying for the benefit of their mistakes on their dime, not yours,” Zuniga says. So outsource HR, and make your time count.
16. Have fewer staff meetings. Do you really need a staff meeting every week when an e-mail update might do? Fewer staff meetings mean less talk and more action. Workers will thank you for your brevity: In one survey, 60 percent of executives complained about the time they waste in meetings, and 74 percent doubted the meetings they attended were effective.
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