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Management

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An important rule in building your small business company culture - don't hire assholes

How ‘the no asshole rule’ boosts your culture in a growing small business.

As I’ve mentioned before, in my opinion – most success in business (small business in particular) comes down to people. It was Jim Collins’ seminal book ‘Built to Last’ which really turned my thinking to where the value is in small business, and as I’ve said before – the hardest thing in small business. In [...]

Using QA to grow a small business

The value of QA – a Quality Assurance verb and habit.

QA (Quality Assurance) is a simple step and habit your small business can form and use to improve the quality of its outputs, with little effort and time. Especially if your business is professional services, ensuing important emails and documents are ‘QAd’ or simply read by someone else before they are sent out is one [...]

Why I hate small talk on a Monday morning

Why I hate Monday mornings – I’m a High D.

As I mentioned in the post on introducing DiSC®, I’m a High D. I nearly fell off the treadmill at the gym when I was going through the Manager Tools casts on each of the quadrants, listening to the cast on High Ds. I realised why some people (mainly High Is) really annoyed me at [...]

Meetings in a small business

Get your small business into a meeting rhythm.

When small businesses are growing, especially undergoing fast growth, communication is critical. As I like to say – “communication is the key to any relationship.” And as people are the hardest and most valuable thing in small business, effective relationships are crucial.  To have better relationships, regular and personal communication is needed. Early-on in your [...]

Grow a small business using first or final Fridays

First or final Friday. Either way, it’s guaranteed to be fun and add value to your business.

This one is simple, effective and fun.  One Friday a month take some of your “fun budget” and hand it to a team member to organise an event the team (and each persons’ partner/friend) can participate in.  Everyone bonds much better, stress is reduced and you get to know your team in a different light [...]

Should an small business entrepreneur do an MBA

Why an entrepreneur is better taking a year off and lying on a beach than investing in an MBA.

Ahhhh, this old chestnut (I just know I am going to get flamed for this one!) I have close to 10 friends who have completed MBAs.  They are all very bright, driven and successful people.  But I noticed none are entrepreneurs. In 2010 a professor at London Business School mentioned to me only around 2% [...]

Grow a small business - check your ego at the door

Ego is not a dirty word.

A great line from the 1970s hit song of the same name from Australian band Skyhooks. We all have an ego.  The question is – do you understand yours and have it under control?  Most entreprenuers are overly confident (some arrogant) and come with a healthy ego.  There is an argument that this is needed [...]

Reducing admin time in a small business

The first thing most people do when starting work each day, and why you should cap it.

Ask 7 people what the first thing they do when they start work in a morning? Nearly everyone will say – “clear email”. So, go with reality. If that is what you feel compelled to do, don’t fight it – recognise it. When planning your day using the Worker Bee Habits, put in a 30 [...]

Small business employee appraisal system

A simple and effective employee performance and appraisal system for small business.

Annual performance reviews and on-going appraisals are usually reserved for medium and large businesses. A small business owner or manager justifies not doing these because “margins are tight, we never have enough time as it is to get everything done and besides, people won’t take it seriously.” Often the truth is more they don’t know [...]

Small business organisation chart

Create your org chart before you hire your sixth team member.

As your baby grows up it will need more structure. Systems, processes, routine and structure will set you free, not confine you.  If you are serious about growing your business the sooner you have these in place and working smoothly, the sooner you can move out from working IN the business, to working ON it [...]

Creating a fun culture in growing a small business

Take 1% of your sales and invest it in a “fun budget”.

Yes, 1%*.  The purpose of your fun budget is to ensure you invest in a vibrant environment and culture in your business.  It forces you to think and act on the small things that your team will appreciate.  Note the word “invest”, that’s the third time I’ve mentioned it in these 53 words. This is [...]

The Art of (anti) Procrastination

The art of (anti) procrastination.

When I saw this true but painful video I harked back to the many months if not years of time I have wasted from pointless distractions.  Little threads of meaningless things I have picked at like a dangling stitch staring at me on a jumper.  By the end of it (the thread, or the day) [...]

Abba

Knowing me. Knowing you. An introduction to DiSC®.

A poignant line from that classic ABBA hit song of the same name. Before I left Australia in 2007 (to find, buy into and grow a small UK I.T. company, fast) I asked for some feedback from my fellow business partners and the General Manager we had put in place a few years earlier, to [...]

Grow your small business using a simple employee satisfaction survey

Find out in 27 minutes flat if your team loves you.

Here is a quick HR/people win for you.  You’ll not only look more professional in less time than it takes to watch an East Enders or Neighbours episode, but you send a clear message to your team that you value them.  Set up a free online survey at the awesome tool Survey Monkey, add some [...]

Worker Bee pic

Boost productivity and stress less – introducing the Worker Bee Habits.

Since 2006 I have been using something I’ve coined as the ‘Worker Bee Habits’.  The analogy allows me to explain to everyone – from individual contributors, to managers and owners / entrepreneurs – that these habits are something everyone in the company can adopt. It’s not something that only individual contributors, or even just “senior [...]

Ivy Lee public relations

The secret to guaranteed success.

This secret was imparted by Ivy Lee, the person credited with ‘inventing’ Public Relations (PR).  Napoleon Hill, the author of best-selling book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ used to recount the story of Lee’s amazing little secret revealed to Charles Schwab during the 1920s. According to Hill’s version of the story, Charles Schwab – who was [...]

Leadership when growing a small business

The best resource to develop your team, and yourself as a manager. And it’s FREE.

In my 10+ years managing people in small businesses this is by far the best resource to develop yourself and your team of managers and supervisors.  I have not come across a resource anywhere near as comprehensive or as valuable as this.  And it’s free. Check out Manager Tools. Bookmark the site and set up [...]

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