Saturday, 24 September 2011

Big - only smaller?

I have read two publications recently which purported to be aimed at small businesses. Both of them seemed to assume that small businesses are the same as big ones - they just have fewer employees.

If only that were true. If it was, small businesses would not have the 'growing pains' they have when transforming into bigger ones.

Not only must they grow ... they must change. Those that attempt ,to grow without changing almost always fail.

So, as you (hopefully) become ever more successful think about how you will need to change - your management practices, your communication processes, your promotional activity, your sales techniques and channels, etc ... as you become one of the bigger boys.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

What is your City?

Productivity rises as people move into cities. This is what has been happening in China, in India and in South America over the last 20 years. However, eventually the benefits reduce as the problems increase - congestion, pollution and so on.

Is there a parallel for office space? the tendency over the last few decades has been to move to open, shared office space ... this improves communication and lowers space costs.

But is there here also a limiting factor - when 'overcrowding', noise and distraction start to reduce productivity?

Think about your office space and whether it helps or hinders productivity. Do you save more money than you lose? If you are not sure, think some more!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Don't believe everything you read

I've just read another of those spurious buts of 'research'... this time suggesting that over 10 percent of UK SMEs that integrate personal devices such as iPads into their business enjoy productivity gains of more than 30 percent.

When you see that the survey was sponsored by Citrix (not exactly disinterested bystanders), alarm bells start to ring.

The survey was conducted by a reputable company on behalf of Citrix (YouGov) but the press release I saw gave no details of sample size ... and I bet it was quite small.

I can see devices like the iPad changing some jobs for the better ... but rarely by margins like those claimed.

So, don't spend your money just yet ... there are far more reliable ways of improving productivity.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Too darned hot

Office workers’ productivity peaks at 71 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, says William Fisk, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US.

So, make sure you are giving your staff a chance of working at their peak levels by maintaining an appropriate working temperature.

It might cost you to maintain the right temperature, but it might cost you more if you don't.