The American business landscape is littered with CEOs who, for one reason or another, showed the public, investors and their peers precisely the wrong way to run companies. At the time of their tenure, some of these former industry heads were first touted as business geniuses. Now they’ve become examples of how not to behave if you want to run your own business.
Jonathan Schwartz – Sun Microsystems
Founded in 1982 by three graduate students from Stanford University, Sun Microsystems grew to be a giant in computer hardware and services. Jonathan Schwartz was named CEO in 2006 by the founding CEO, and prior to that point, the company had grown aggressively and showed steady profits. Nearly every move Schwartz made ended poorly, acquisitions failed, the stock tanked, and thousands of employees had to be laid off. Ultimately, the company was sold to competitor Oracle.
Thinking of starting a small business? You’re certainly not alone. Small businesses are on the rise in America; according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the number of small businesses has increased by almost 50% since 1982!
However, despite the surge in popularity over recent years, starting a small business can still be a daunting challenge to the entrepreneurial-minded individual. With lots of initial hurdles to overcome, many small businesses fold within the first year.
But there’s still plenty of hope! By maximizing revenue while minimizing overhead in those early years, many small business owners can set themselves on a solid foundation for success from the start. Do you need the biggest and best equipment on Day 1? How much space do you need for your workforce? Can you live without that can’t-live-without software for a few months? Putting together a plan that accounts for immediate, short-term, and long-term needs is essential, especially when it comes to finding an office.
While it can be tempting to sign on the dotted line for a new workspace immediately, there are tips that every small business owner should take into account to increase your survival rate right off the bat. Here are the top 3 ways to make the most of an office space on a budget.
Businesses that operate 24 hours a day tend to have their own unique operation structure and vary from one type of business to the next. But when you don’t have a set closing time in place, how can you handle issues that come up that 9-5 companies don’t face? Here’s how to keep your business running smoothly from the AM to PM with the following tips!
1) Have a manager you can trust
A responsible team member you trust should be delegated as being in charge for each shift in the schedule. Be sure that each supervisor is properly trained, understands what tasks must be done on their assigned shift, and knows how to delegate out duties accordingly to the rest of the team.
2) Be fair with employees
If you don’t have one or two people who prefer the overnight shift, scheduling can get tough. Rotating shifts is usually the fairest way to work, but switching shifts isn’t easy on anyone. The key to a successful overnight shift is to offer employees an incentive to work it. Monetary incentives usually get the best results, but survey your employees first to find out what they want. If you run a repair business that is open 24/7, like Advanced Roofing Company, the best option may be to have someone on call at night. This way you can still meet the customer’s emergency needs, but everyone can just take turns being in charge of the late night calls once a week or so. If you must have someone work the graveyard shift every night full time, try hiring someone specifically for that position so that the terms and hours are agreed upon in advance.
Love him or hate him, you must admit that Vito Corleone, head of the fictional New York crime family in the film The Godfather, adeptly built a thriving “business.” Nefarious goals and bloody outcomes aside, what can we learn from him about effective business operations?
1. Branding is in the details. The Godfather without strong branding would have been nothing more than a petty criminal with an annoying voice. Instead, he built a rock solid brand, a reputation that was paramount to his success. No detail went unnoticed in establishing his powerful presence, from his dark attire, to the mood lighting in his office, to the theatrical application of that gravelly mumble. In today’s business environment, branding is the difference between being remembered and getting lost in the fray. A successful brand should be carefully crafted and bolstered with attention to detail similar to Corleone’s, including staff selection, wardrobe choices, even the font in your emails.
As the owner of a small business, you know what it’s like to have a lot on your plate. Some days, it may feel as if you need a small army in place just to keep up with the way you need to market and brand yourself – not to mention making a profit and paying attention to your customers! Well, I’ve got a secret to share with you: you don’t need an army. All you need is a thirst for knowledge. The trick is to stay on top of trends and when things move, move with them!
Working in the marketing industry, I’ve come to understand that it is never about one thing or the other, it is about how all of the pieces of the puzzle come together to form the big picture. Ten years ago, your business might have gotten by with some television commercials and perhaps an advertisement or two in your local newspaper, but times have changed – how can you compete and stay on top today?
Any entrepreneur who has tried to start up a new venture knows how difficult it can be to get the ball rolling – and expensive as the costs begin to add up over time. There are many ways business owners can work to keep their expenses down and one of these methods includes outsourcing. Whether you have three people working for you, or 30, outsourcing your bookkeeping can be hugely beneficial for the following seven reasons.
1. Less mistakes.
In the early stages of a business, you are a one-person operation. All of the hats, from bookkeeping and marketing to cleaning and sales, must be wore each and every day. By doing several jobs at once, it’s much easier to make mistakes due to lack of time and energy or even simply overlooking some assignments.
This guest post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!
Running a business only works if you get paid. Sending out invoices with no answer from the client or customer can cause you to pull your hair out and stay up all night wondering how you’re going to pay the bills.
Now that GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping also includes a new Invoicing feature, we’ve taken a marked interest in how our customers invoice. And we’ve come up with several best practices that seem to get invoices paid promptly and in full.
Many of life’s burdens – big and small – are lightened with a friend for support and this lesson has not been lost in business. If you’re thinking of starting a business with a friend or family member, you’re not alone. Some of the most enduring and positive American companies were founded by a couple of friends who had an idea. They didn’t always have a lot of start-up cash, but they had each other.
- UPS was started in 1907 by two teenagers with a single bicycle and a hundred dollars borrowed from a friend. Back then the U.S. Parcel Post wasn’t around and there was plenty of opportunity for the American Messenger Company of Seattle, Washington.
- Ben and Jerry met in seventh-grade gym class in 1963. A decade later, they took a five-dollar correspondence course in making ice cream.
- In 1978 two 20-something friends, John and Rene pulled together $45,000 to open what started as SaferWay and later became Whole Foods Market. Times were so hard on the friends they lived in the store and reportedly bathed using the hose disconnected from the dishwasher.
By Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant Writer
In the eyes of most small business owners, bookkeeping is likely one of their least favorite things to do. When you sit down and think about it, who truly enjoys pouring over lengthy spreadsheets and calculating financial figures that will often make your head spin? Even though bookkeeping is not a highly popular task it is still one of the most important priorities on any business owner’s to-do list.
Bookkeeping is a practice that involves maintaining all of the financial records of a business. It is vital to keep a keen eye on the profits a small business generates, the money it pays in the form of expenses, and the taxes it incurs on a regular basis. When you can see a clear snapshot of this information in front of you, the financial side of your small business will immediately become very important to you.
Computers and printers? Check. Copy machine? Check. Coffee maker? Check. Paper clips? Check
Running a business involves juggling so many moving parts—and so much stuff—that keeping track of everything can seem like a full time job of its own. But there’s much more to operating a well-stocked office than simply having enough desks, chairs and computers for everyone.
From cleaning supplies for the break room to foot rests for each desk, from paper towels and toilet paper for the bathroom to pens and printer cartridges, running out of certain items can have a ripple effect on employee productivity, motivation, morale and even retention!
Here—in no particular order—are the top 5 business supplies to never, ever forget: Continue reading