Saturday, 28 August 2010

Information loading

We know two things about information.  One - we need  it ... as the basis of decision-making.  Two - we get too much of it.  The latter has got worse over recent years as it has become easier to disseminate information.
So - when you get the time between reading all the information that lands on your desk - do a simple information audit.  Ask one or two employees about the information on their desks - and how much of it they need - and use. Then work out how to get rid of some or all of the rest ... and you'll have a grateful - and more productive - employee.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Coach to success

Coaching and mentoring is now big business ... presumably because it is effective in changing (and improving) the performance of those being coached and mentored.  After all, if it works in athletics, why shouldn't it work in business.
In small businesses, owner/managers often need mentoring but do not have ready access to suitable individuals ... and often (claim that they) don't have the time.  Improving your own performance is something you MUST have time for ... so make the time available.  If you can find the time, you can also find a coach ... go to a business club ... or just use yellow pages.
Jus talking through issues with a confidante often helps in itself ... but a coach also has knowledge of perofrmance improvement techniques.
Try it - it might make a big difference ... and the risk is very small.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Take a look at the conditions under which your staff work

You can perform good work in poor space and under poor conditions, but it is always easier to do so when the 'environment' is conducive to prolonged effort, provides what is necessary and makes the workers feel good about themselves.
So take a look at the conditions under which your staff work. Are they 'up to scratch'?  If not, is it because you really can't afford better, or simply that you haven't bothered to look before ... and have accidentally shackled your workers by not bothering to think of their real needs.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Small may be good ... but its not an easy fight.

Small is beautiful. Right?  Well, small businesses are the backbone of most economies. They end up growing ... or failing ... or, just occasionally, staying as stable, small bushinesses.

Thomas Friedman, in The World is Flat, suggested that technology is a real boon to a small business ... no-one knows you are small from your website .. and you can do things now that only the big boys could do 20 years ago.

However, tech costs. So, small businesses have to borrow (and then they are owned by the big guys ... and especially the banks) ... or they have to tread very slowly (and they get overtaken buy the big guys coming late but with lots of money) or they have to be innovative ... doing things the big guys haven't yet thought of.

What's your 'edge' ... why will you succeed in the face of competition from the big guys. If you don't know the answer, your chances of success are slim.