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Category - Entrepreneur

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1
Small Businesses And An Uncertain Future
2
How To Turn Around High Employee Turnover
3
Small Business Time Management
4
Small Business Leadership
5
Put All Your Employees In Their Places!

Small Businesses And An Uncertain Future

As small business operators, our world is impacted by uncertainty.

Sometimes, from day to day, we’re not sure of the long-term loyalty of our staff; overhead costs like rents can trend up or down quite quickly; new legislation that we had not expected can change your trading landscape.

Even as we write our annual or other short-term Business Plans, we sometimes feel unready to look too far ahead. While planning for next year may be reasonably reliable, really small businesses rarely write long-term Strategic Plans looking ahead 5 or 10 years because we feel that we are unable to reliably predict the stability of the future.

So what are we to do as small business owners trying to reach a vision of the future in as steady and as planned a direction as we can steer?

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How To Turn Around High Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can be one of the highest costs of any business when you take into account the cost of separation, recruitment, training, loss of knowledge and experience, transitional loss of productivity, and reduced workplace morale.

For a small business, these real and hidden costs can be seriously multiplied. In a small workforce, any small business employer can testify to the fact of how disruptive it can be if a key employee leaves, and it is not false to say that often if they are a popular co-worker, it can lead to further resignations.

In different industries the average “poor” turnover rate can be anything from 13% to 30% – that’s 13 to 30 people out of a hundred who leave your employment every year!

In a small business with a workforce of an average of 9 people, that’s 1 to 3 people leaving the business every year!

On the other hand, a settled workforce brings many benefits including the retention of corporate knowledge – and the fun of going to work!

How do you turn this around?

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Small Business Time Management

One thing all owners of small businesses say is “I don’t have enough time.”

Interesting, because we can have different balances in our bank account, we can afford to hire different numbers of people, we have different tax bills, we can have different equipment in the business.

But I’m pretty certain one of the things we all have equally is time.

Look at the clock.

Mine has the numbers 1 to 12 and I’m pretty certain yours does too.

So why do some of us struggle to get things done and others seem to fit everything in easily?

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Small Business Leadership

As I was tidying some old files and briefcases in my home office, I came across an old notebook that I used to carry around with me all the time (see the cover image of this post).

What was interesting is that I found some notes about leadership that I was penning in 1993 – quite a few years ago!

I remember that at the time, I had just started my business 2 years before, after working in large international accounting firms for the previous 9 years, so I was keen to develop the culture of my own firm in a way that would differentiate it from other small accounting firms.

I had attended Business Schools in the US as part of my employment with the large accounting firm I was with and some of these notes came from a book called The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner.

I thought it would be interesting to provide my notes about Leadership from 1993 and see how much I had changed in my thinking.

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Put All Your Employees In Their Places!

You need to put your staff in their place!

No, I don’t mean be a strict disciplinarian and shout at everyone!

That’s not the way to build stability and loyalty – and let’s face it – not the way to build a long-term business!

No, what I mean is that like any group of people, like any team, each person needs to have a role to play.

In order for your team to be productive and effective, everyone knows where they fit into the system, how they work with others, and how they are to be measured in their work.

Small businesses grow organically, so it is not unheard of to find that in small businesses, some of your employees are jack of all trades.

There’s nothing wrong in that, but trust me, in order to grow and scale, you need to identify where everyone sits in the team and what their primary purpose is.

Here’s the disaster that could happen, so read on:

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