Signs That Your Company Is Growing Faster Than You Can Manage It

Who wouldn’t love to grow their business? It usually means more attention, more profits and more ideas, but there will always come a point where you’ll realize that your business is actually growing faster than you can manage it. If you want to detect the early warning signs that your business is growing out of control so you can manage it better, then here are a couple of things to look out for.

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  1. Your infrastructure is starting to cost too much

If your basic business infrastructure, such as paying for cloud services and salaries, is costing you far too much of your budget, then there’s a good chance that you’ve started to outgrow what you can manage and you might need to start shuffling your money and removing expensive services like freelancers and outsourced work.

  1. You’re running out of space to grow

Physical space is another concern. You can easily run out of office space if you’re not careful and you’ll want to ensure that you always have extra space for new employees to work and storage space for your products.

  1. You’re hiring people far too often

If you find yourself hiring people for every little task, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to run out of money extremely quickly. You’ll need to start training employees instead of just hiring someone for every problem you encounter.

  1. You’re investing in things you know nothing about

Whether it’s a laser drill, networked devices or a powder coating booth as part of your manufacturing line, if your employees are asking you to invest in things you know nothing about then there’s a good chance you’re starting to grow beyond your knowledge. Regardless of if you’re planning on upgrading computers or adding a laser drilling service as part of your workflow, it’s a good idea to learn more info about it so that you better understand how it plays a part in your business. If you lack this knowledge, then consider speaking to your employees and having them explain it to you without technical jargon.

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  1. Your team is starting to grow further apart

Have you ever noticed that your team are starting to disagree on more things and work less together? If so, it’s a clear sign that your business is growing large enough to need separate departments that will rarely ever speak to each other. 

  1. You and your staff are lacking in direction

If you’re lacking a sense of direction and you’re unsure how to approach your business growth or adapt to new market conditions, then you need to be wary because you could start making poor decisions that affect your success in the future.

  1. Your employees aren’t growing anymore

Once your employees hit a wall, it can be difficult to overcome it and teach them new skills. This is a problem that can be overcome with professional training, or you might need to bite the bullet and hire more agile and flexible employees to replace them.

  1. You’re failing to communicate with your customers

Lastly, if you’re failing to communicate with your customers in a meaningful way then it’s possible you’re starting to grow too large for what you can handle.

Is Your Money Being Properly Invested?

When it comes to your financial investments, do you tend to be happy with your outlook? For some individuals, investing can be a difficult task to tackle.

Whether no experience in investing or tied to bad advice from some people; investments can go bad. When they do, some lose a significant amount of money in the process.

That said do your best to make sure your money will get the proper investment no matter who does the investing for you.

Will You Invest in Commercial Property?

In the event you opt to invest in commercial property, where should you look first?

To start, do your homework on what commercial real estate might be in your best interest to put money down on.

As an example, what about REIT investing?

If you have not heard of this before now, REITs are real estate investment trusts. They allow you to invest in sizable commercial property assets. Often, you would not have the opportunity to do so without a REIT involved.

When thinking commercial real estate investment, what kind of property interests you?

For example, what about an office complex near where you live? While you could do one not near you, one closer allows you to check on the property. This way, you can see how your investment is coming along.

If it is an office complex your money goes toward, you’d be looking for one that offers:

  • Growth potential – The bigger the area of a complex, the more possibility of expanding it. It only stands to reason that property owners can charge more money for more land. Don’t settle on a small office complex property rental to invest in where there is no room to grow. Over time, many small businesses will outgrow their current offices and look to move on to something bigger.
  • Relative nice area – Any area one ventures into is bound to draw one or more sighs. When looking at office properties to invest in, search for one in an area of town that gets little or no complaints. For instance, you don’t want a property that gets regular visits from law enforcement. You also are likely to steer clear of one that is is hard to access for both workers and customers.

While you may avoid limited growth potential or questionable areas, stop and think.

Would such issues scare away most other investors? If so, you could end up investing in property that means you will be ahead of the game.

Last, be that educated investor who outdoes others.

One way to go about this is by seeing all there is to learn about commercial property investments online.

You may find surprise at how many blogs, videos and podcasts address the subject of investing. As such, you can learn a wealth of information before you ever invest a single dollar.

Given you want your money invested the right way, start today by seeing where your best options are.

When you do, you could be one step closer to a financial payday.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business and money topics on the web.

 

 

 

 

Is It Time to Cut Ties with an Employee?

Running your company means you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulder. With that in mind, one of the biggest calls you have to make at times is now the right time to cut ties with an employee?

Whether performance, issues with co-workers or money, letting someone go can be difficult.

So, will you cut ties with them?

Thinking If Now is the Time

As you ponder the idea of letting someone go, it is good to consider the following:

  1. Performance – Even if an employee has a quirk or two, you more than likely rate them on their job performance. Has their performance been detrimental to the company and clients as of late? If so, did you try and talk with them about improving on the job? In the event you did give them chances to improve and they did not, you more than likely will move ahead with a release.
  2. Personality – You can have the most talented worker, but what if he or she doesn’t get along well with others? That is a dilemma many bosses face over time. You might have to dismiss someone because they are causing too much friction in the office place. In looking at their personality, did you know a lot about them before hiring them? Although many do background searches, they do not always get all the details on someone. It could also be a case where an employee changed during their time with you.
  3. Repercussions – Although you do what is best for business, do you worry one may cause problems if you let them go? In doing an online people search, you can more times than not keep tabs on someone. This could be important if a former employee is trying to undermine your company. You may have lost track of where he or she moved to after you dismissed them. That online search may yield clues on where they are now and how to contact them if you need to. If a former worker is making trouble for you, you will have to decide if legal action may be necessary.
  4. Future – Last, what is good for your office and of course your business will be what is most important to you. That said parting ways with an employee is oftentimes never easy. Like you, they need to earn a living to get by. Before you cut ties with someone, think about the real reason why you are doing so.

Hiring the Best from Day One

Although your goal should always be to hire the best people, you know that this does not always happen.

Did you rush to hire someone only to fill a seat in the office? Many use a public records search to find out where people are and what they’ve been up to. Should you have done more background investigating on someone you hired?

When you craft a job hiring advertisement, take the time to get it right.

Be sure to spell out not only the qualifications you want, but also the type of personality you want in the office.

Hiring workers is not as easy a task as some might make it out to be.

That said getting it right the first time around will save you money and frustration.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

 

 

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Employees

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and you know that your hard-working employees deserve at least a small token of your appreciation. But, we also know how busy and stressful December is in the world of business, so it’s not unusual to find yourself heading to the office Christmas party and realize that you completely forgot about holiday gifts for your employees. But fret not! Here’s a list of cool last minute gifting ideas to save the day and help you show your employees that you value them.

Baked goods

Who doesn’t like cupcakes, pies, or Danish? Even if somebody actually doesn’t, then that person must be a doughnut lover. So, instead of racking your brains trying to come up with something unique and fancy, it’s a better idea to try and remember what your employees like to gorge on during their lunch break and hand them an assortment of their favorite baked goods in nice, festive wrapping. Sometimes there’s no need to go over the top when it comes to gift-giving, and a box of, say, blueberry muffins can do the trick.

A desktop terrarium

Let’s face it, offices can be stuffy and gloomy places which is why a decorative desktop terrarium makes a perfect addition to your employees’ attempts to personalize, brighten up, and add a touch of nature to their workspace. What’s great about these miniature greenhouses is the fact that the plants in them don’t actually require too much nurturing or natural light. So even if your busy employees, immersed in their everyday work forget to water them from time to time, no biggie. All these resistant plants require in order to thrive is to be misted every two to three weeks and some indirect light.

A Christmas gift card

When you want to get your employees something that they really want or need and you have no idea what that would be, then simply give them prepaid Christmas gift cards, and make sure that yours will be their favorite gift this holiday season. Every year, thousands of gifts are returned because people either don’t like the choice or they already have the same thing, so this is the best way to avoid disappointing your employees by presenting them with unwanted items. Additionally, gift cards are suitable for any budget, and they can be used in a number of stores.

A digital notebook

Writing important notes down is very useful, but it’s not exactly practical as people tend to lose post-it notes or torn pieces of paper, which is why a digital notebook is the right thing. Namely, this smart gadget allows you to jot down your thoughts, ideas, or lists and it stores them in the cloud where you can access them anytime you want. Your employees will be thankful for this amazing, and yet comparatively affordable gift as they will be able to clean up and declutter their desks.

A Shiatsu massage seat cushion

Sitting at your desk for more than 8 hours a day can put a lot of strain on our health. To help your employees stay healthy and productive, get them a relaxing Shiatsu massage seat cushion that will be just the remedy their sore backs need. Nothing says “Thank you for all your hard work” better than this portable massage device that they can use anywhere – in their car, on the couch, or even at the office.

A heating lunch box

Some people prefer home-cooked meals to fast food, but the problem is that their food gets cold by the lunch break. This can be an issue, especially if you don’t have a kitchen at the office. That’s why a heating lunch box is an amazing idea that will allow your employees to enjoy healthy and delicious meals while they’re at work. This useful device renders a microwave oven completely unnecessary.

A desktop punching bag

Working at the office can be stressful, so a desktop punching bag that will let your employees blow off some steam when someone (maybe even you) steps on their toes should be a mandatory piece of office equipment. This convenient gift can be a part of stress and anger management strategy in your company, and help people who work for you vent their frustration and have some fun at the same time.

The gift of words

Never underestimate the power of warm, sincere, heartfelt words. A personalized and carefully crafted thank you note, preferably accompanied by a box of chocolates or some cool merch, will definitely hit the spot with your employees. Don’t forget to mention what a pleasure it is to work with them and how you appreciate all their efforts.

Creative holiday gifts don’t have to cost you a pretty penny and yet they can make your employees happy and show them that you care.

 

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. Alex is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

Getting a Leadership Buy-In For Your #LMS

As an L&D professional, you probably know that Learning Management Systems can truly diversify your eLearning system.

If you already have employee profiles handy, focus points of the program ready, content topics worked out and even a prospective LMS, congratulations! You’re off to a great start. (If not, then don’t worry. You can find out how to do it step-by-step here)

You’re probably very enthusiastic about your brand new training initiative and can’t wait to implement it. So, what’s the next step?

Getting a leadership buy-in, of course.

However, convincing your decision makers on investing in a new learning technology is not a walk in the park. If you think that you have it covered with your list of ‘reasons why the initiative is important’ and ‘how it will boost productivity of all employees’, then Stop.

You may not have realized it, but you have been focusing solely on how to sellthe initiative.

Have you ever come across salespeople who are fast-talking and pushy. Salespeople who are so engrossed in the merits of their product that they completely forget to listen to what the customer wants and answer his/her questions. These customers may feel that the salesperson is trying to force them into giving in to the product.

You don’t want to be that salesperson and jeopordize your initiative do you?

Take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of the customer — or victim — of a hard sell. You would probably be left thinking:

“Instead of talking, listen to what I need first. Find out what my pain points are. Then we can start talking about how you could help me.”

Now that you know what you are doing wrong, let’s focus on how to do it right by focusing on these key steps:

  1. Listen

It’s not that difficult to figure out what your leaders want. Check your company’s website, your CEO’s tweets, press releases, company newsletters, and internal memos. Do your leaders want to cut down costs? Or perhaps transform the company culture? Maybe, they want to expand into new markets? Or maybe, they have multiple goals in mind.

If your LMS powered initiative directly addresses one or more of these goals, that’s great. Move on to step 2. If your training does not directly address a stated company goal, search for a connect that shows how your training can indirectly compliment a goal.

For example, if your CEO wants to cut down costs and your LMS is capable of improving customer service, do some research into how improved customer service results in reduced costs of handling customer complaints.

  1. Look for a Champion

Search for a senior leader outside of your department to champion the initiative. The mere presence of an influencer on your side would boost your credibility and chances of getting a funding. It would also bridge the gap between the senior management and your L&D department.

  1. Ask Questions

Once you’ve selected your potential champion, discuss your training initiative with her. Be on the lookout for any pain points that she mentions. Ask her about the obstacles she sees to implementing your initiative, any changes she could suggest etc.

  1. Build a Team

Reach out to HR professionals, IT professionals, procurement professionals etc to help evaluate and select the best LMS for your initiative. Having multiple votes on your side always helps in the long run.

  1. Identify Key Metrics

Even though the main focus of your strategy is to gain a buy-in for your initiative, it is vital to prepare for what happens once your initiative has been accepted and put into effect. Your leaders will want to see a clear return on their investment and it’s your job to figure out a way to measure it. To do this, define metrics for your success prior to implementing it. You can use metrics such as cost savings, increase in sales, reduction in training costs, improvement in customer satisfaction etc.

  1. Develop a Change Management Strategy

Introducing a new technology always requires some level of change management. For eg, in some organizations, the introduction of an LMS involves moving away from paper-based training to eLearning. With a decent change management strategy in place, your decision makers will be more willing to accept the introduction of a new learning technology into the organization.

Change management for an LMS implementation begins with pulling two teams together — your IT team and your LMS administrator team.

IT Team

Work with your LMS vendor to ensure that your IT team knows the in and outs of the new LMS. Including aspects like integration, troubleshooting, implementation, data transfer, user transfer, content transfer etc.

Admins

Your LMS administrators will most likely come from your HR /Training department. These guys would be on the front line of your training initiative. Arrange multiple demos of multiple LMSes with all admins to know which LMS suits them best. You need to make sure that they know how to operate the LMS perfectly as they would be the ones training content authors, trainers, HRs, managers and end users.

Delivering Your Case

Now that all of this is done, approach your executives with the help of your champion(s) and present your case for your LMS powered training initiative.

If you receive the green flag for your initiative, good job! Inculcate the habit of reporting to your champion and to the leadership team at timely intervals.

Even if your plan was not approved, keep your seniors informed about changes in the organization which may suggest that it’s time to give your LMS a shot again.

Guest Author, Mahati Vanka, is a Business Development Manager at LearnBee, which enables companies to train their workforce with the help of cloud-based learning solutions. Drop a line to me at mahati@learnbee.co if you are want to inculcate a culture of learning in your team.

The article was originally published on Nectar, where LearnBee’s top team contributes actively to Enterprise Learning.

Are You Promoting Vehicle Safety?

Whether you build cars and trucks or sell them, driving home the message of vehicle safety never gets old.

How do you make sure consumers are aware of the different safety features you offer? Even more important, how do you entice them to use such features?

Although you do not want to put fear in the minds of drivers, you do want them cognizant of potential dangers.

So, are you promoting vehicle safety?

Using Your Website to Drive More Business in Your Direction

Pre-Internet, builders and dealers relied on ads and word-of-mouth marketing to make sales. Although those still work to this day, the web changed how making and selling vehicles works.

For example, do you know how backup camera systems offer more safety in the vehicles they ride in?

With such a system, drivers are able to do the following:

  • See other drivers – Even a small fender-bender has potential to cause problems. Not only is there damage to one or both vehicles, but injuries can occur at slow speeds. The backup camera system allows the driver going in reverse to see oncoming vehicles.
  • See pedestrians – It is not uncommon for pedestrians to dart in and out of traffic. This is especially the case when they are in crowded parking lots such as stores and malls. The backup camera system assists the driver in locating those that he or she may otherwise miss.
  • See stationery poles and other objects – Stationery objects can present problems too. Hitting a pole or other such object backing up can cause more than a scratch or two to your vehicle. That backup camera system will show you how close you are getting to the object before hitting it.

In using the Internet to promote the brand of vehicles you make or sell, be sure to have a website that offers:

  • Easy maneuverability – If your site is hard to maneuver around, do you expect visitors to stay long? Review your site to make sure you do not have broken links, pages that load too slow, and copy that is as free of errors.
  • Contact info – There is a good chance some visitors to your site have questions about a vehicle and safety. As a result, be sure that you provide them with easy to find contact information. Nothing irritates an online visitor more than when they have to hunt for information.

Socializing the Vehicle Safety Experience

You also want to be sure that you do not miss out on all that social media offers your brand.

Whether a vehicle maker or one selling cars and trucks; use social media to the fullest extent. This will allow you to reach out to the millions of consumers spending time on social media sites.

Among some of the best ones to drive forward with:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Google+

You should also incorporate images and even videos into your posts.

If promoting safety like lane-departure warning systems, include a link to a video. This helps potential buyers of your brand can see how the system can help prevent accidents.

Last, don’t be afraid to interact with consumers when they leave feedback or question on any of your pages.

By having dialogue with consumers, you are more driven to make sales.