Online security has received lot of attention lately as a result of NSA scandal and high profile hacking attempts at several large corporations. With the rise of internet and proliferation of computers in our daily lives it is imperative that businesses pay close attention to online security and protect their computer networks like a hawk. At the same time, it is also important to ensure your offline or physical security is in place to protect physical infrastructure from intruders and scammers. Failing to do so can result in theft and sabotage producing large financial loss for your business.
Large corporations use outsourcing to offload their non-core operations so that they can focus on what they do best. Small and medium size businesses can benefit equally from outsourcing. Many small business owners do not feel comfortable with outsourcing thinking that it does not provide them sufficient benefits or they don’t like losing control of their business operations. This could be a mistake. When done properly, outsourcing can help small business owners grow by focusing on core operations.
Work-life balance is not something that is on top of mind for many entrepreneurs and small business owners. After all, when you have customers expecting immediate response, employees asking for help, vendors waiting for payments, all at the same time how can you even think about taking time off from work. Life can wait until you have established your business. Once you have put the business on the right path you can go back to enjoying the life, right? Wrong. Let’s face it. When you are running a small business will there ever be time when you will not need to take care of this?
When you sense a conflict brewing in the business situation what do you do? Do you put your head down and focus on your own work to stay out of it? Do you play peacekeeper and attempt to help everyone just get along? Or do you add fuel to the fire?
According to the leading theories of conflict, there are five major “conflict styles,” or approaches we take to handling disagreements. Everyone uses one of these styles at one point or another, but most of us tend to stick to one or two styles in most situations. The style you are most comfortable with and use majority of time can have a big impact on the outcome. It can help you arrive at a solution to your advantage or make you suffer with unfavorable outcome. It is crucial to understand what style you are most comfortable with and develop alternate styles so you can respond appropriately in a given situation.
Fire safety is usually not on top of mind for many business owners. After all, they have business to run and fire safety does not help them improve their sales or customer service. Most business owners probably include fire safety equipments as part of building construction and pretty much forget about it as they go about running their daily business. There is nothing wrong with focusing on your business first, however it should not be done at the expense of safety of your employees and yourself. There is a good reason why fire safety is taught to us from a very young age.
Project management is a must have skill for small business owners as well as managers and executives of large companies. Anyone can dream up new projects without much effort. Only those who can execute those projects stand to succeed in their endeavor. History is rife with examples of projects, large and small, that have either failed or overrun their time and budget because they were not managed well. The managers in charge of these projects did not possess and exhibit necessary skills required to take them to the finish line.
Bundling products and services is a time honored technique used by businesses of all types. Walk into a McDonald’s and you will see bundling in the form of Value Meal where you can buy burger, fries and drink for the price that is lower than if they were bought separately. When you book your vacation package that includes airfare, hotel and car rental for one low price you are buying a bundle. In customers’ mind bundling saves them money by paying less than what they would have to pay otherwise. Businesses also benefit from bundling because they are able to sell more even if they sell at a discount. It appears that bundling is a win-win for both customers and businesses.
It is said that leaders are not born, but made through hard work and dedication. It takes different types of skills to advance in your profession and be a true leader that everyone admires. Unfortunately, these “soft skills” are not taught in the classroom. You have to learn these skills on the job and by seeking advice from friends and professional colleagues. The good news is these skills can be learned, and once you master them the payoff is significant in terms of promotion and pay increase / bonus. You don’t even have to wait till you get a job to learn these skills. You can teach your school going kids these skills to give them jump start on their future careers. After all, you need a combination of school education and soft leadership skills to get hired and advance in the career.