Listen to GWBC WBE, Jordan Lofton, Golden Source Consultants, explain the answer to this very popular question.
Welcome to Episode One of the LION’s Den: Conversations around a 21st Century approach to management and talent. In the first episode, we ask the important question: Is there a millennial crisis in the workforce? And if so, what is it, and what do we do about it?
By Erica Bracey, Business Consultant, Small Business Development Center at Georgia State University
Business owners wear lots of hats and typically find themselves spending more time working IN the business than they do working ON the business. Small business owners are often incredibly proud to report, “I am a responsible business owner and file my taxes on time every year!” However, when asked about book keeping practices and the corresponding financial statements, more often than not, that cheerful smile quickly dissolves into the proverbial ‘deer in headlights’ blank stare.
The IRS has done a great job communicating the need to report revenue and “file taxes” on an annual basis. Unfortunately, the same messaging does not exist to motivate entrepreneurs to manage business records regularly and accurately. What some small business owners fail to realize is that engaging a tax accountant to prepare an annual tax return is NOT a viable substitute for bookkeeping and maintaining good records. While business revenue and expenses are reported on the tax return, it only provides an annual snapshot of the business performance. Using reliable bookkeeping and corresponding financial reports throughout the year provides a business owner with the information and data needed to track performance, identify trends and ultimately manage the business. Taxes aren’t more important than bookkeeping or vice-versa. The bottom line is that you need BOTH!
Five solid reasons business owners need bookkeeping during the year.
1) Monthly statements provide timely business information
2) Profits need to be managed MONTHLY not annually
3) Monitoring Cash Flow is critical to business success
4) Benchmarking – in both business and life the saying is true, “You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been.”
5) Being “Bankable” – Current financial statements are the first items requested with the loan application and set the tone for the entire loan process.
This Month in the WBENC President’s Report
In this issue, Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO, not only welcomes new leaders to the WBENC Board, but also announces the launch of the WBENC blog.
Turning Your Socializing into Profitable Relationships
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Across the globe Women Owned businesses supply an incredible range of products sold in retail stores everywhere. Women Owned is an initiative to enable consumers to identify those products created by Women Owned businesses during their shopping experience. Any product that bears the Women Owned logo is produced by a company that is owned and operated by a woman or women, as certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the United States and WEConnect International globally.
The logo launched in June 2014 and has steadily gained recognition. Look for the logo in a variety of retail stores across the nation.
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How to Avoid Holiday Party Missteps and Keep Your Focus on Professionalism During the Festive Season
The holiday season means holiday parties. “Employees at all levels get excited about the holidays and all the different functions that are a part of the season,” states Pamela Eyring, president and owner of The Protocol School of Washington. “But, at the same time, they might relax and lose their focus on professionalism.”
So, if you don’t want your name to appear on the office naughty list, it’s important to put a plan in place beforehand to avoid being embarrassed. By taking a few precautions and exercising good judgment, you can go through the entire season stress-free, with your reputation unscathed. Read more here.
HORNS BLARE, TAMBOURINES SHAKE, THE AUDIENCE IS ON ITS FEET, APPLAUSE!
Congratulations GWBC 2015 LACE Awards Winners!
Each exemplifies and embraces the vision and mission of GWBC and were selected best in class for inspiring, engaging and empowering women owned businesses. They are to be commended for their accomplishments and contributions.
Thank you to our 2015 Sponsors for making LACE Awards memorable and to our guests for celebrating an exhilarating evening with us.
LET’S MAKE SOME NOISE ABOUT IT!
Here are tips for when and how to start delegating the small stuff.
Delegating some of your daily tasks may not only give you some relief from 18-hour workdays, but can also help your business in the long run. Here are some daily tasks every small-business owner should consider delegating, as well as tips for making delegation work for you. Big opportunities can make or break a business. See how these small-business owners got the job done.
What Can You Delegate?
Not every business owner can delegate the same things. When your business is just starting out, you probably will have to handle almost everything on your own—at least until it gets off the ground.
Micromanaging won’t ease your workload. However, delegating doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility, so you should stay on top of employees and contractors’ progress via check-ins and reviews. But as your business becomes successful, you should at least consider delegating the following daily tasks.
1. Accounting/Bookkeeping: You should always keep an eye on your overall financials. However, you can likely delegate the smaller daily tasks, such as sending out invoices, inputting financial information, managing payroll and maintaining records.
2. Administrative: Managing your calendar, scheduling appointments, returning phone calls, booking travel plans and even sorting through emails are all tasks that seem quick, but actually add up to quite a bit of time in the average day. Using a virtual (or in-house) assistant can save you several hours.
3. Customer service: Once your business grows, you should no longer be the first person customers call for help or with complaints. Delegate this task to an employee.
4. Data entry: Data entry is still required for some tasks, such as inputting customer names and email addresses into your email marketing solution. If possible, postpone data entry until you’ve got enough names to make it worthwhile, and then outsource it.
5. IT support: Learning how to solve your and your employees’ computer problems usually takes more of your time than hiring someone to handle it. Look into services from companies such as Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which provide tech support for an annual fee, or find a local IT consultant you trust to help you. A good consultant can also go beyond problem-solving and troubleshooting to help you plan for growth.
6. Marketing: Although you need to oversee your overall marketing strategy and plan, you can likely save a lot of time and effort by finding experienced marketers to handle the day-to-day aspects of marketing, such as writing ad or website copy, designing and placing ads, and scheduling blog posts or social media content.
7. Packing and shipping: Whether you’re sending out direct mail pieces and promotional products or fulfilling product orders, you can delegate the envelope-stuffing, packing and labeling to someone else.
8. Production: Even if your business makes handmade products, such as jewelry or housewares, you should delegate production at some point so the business can grow beyond your own capacity.
9. Website: Designing, updating and securing the safety of your business website may be jobs best left to a professional, since the rules in this area are constantly changing.
10. Writing: Running a small business can require lots of writing, from proposals and blog posts to white papers and reports. Even if you’re a good writer, you can save time by having an employee or freelance writer write a first draft and then putting your own spin on it to create the final version.
Who to Delegate to
Depending on the size of your business, the importance of the task and whether you’re looking to delegate it on a long-term or short-term basis, you can delegate to family, employees or outsourced contractors.
• Family members: If your business is new or very small, sometimes family members who’ll work for free can be your best bet. Even younger family members can handle simple tasks like envelope stuffing or data entry.
• Employees: If a task is part of the core functions of your business (such as producing your product or handling customer service), ideally, you’ll want to delegate it to an employee so you can supervise the person more closely.
• Outsourcing: There are many tasks you can delegate to freelancers or independent contractors. You can find freelancers specializing in everything from IT consulting and website design to marketing copywriting and bookkeeping.
How to Delegate Effectively
• Choose the right people. Obviously, trust matters more if you’re choosing someone to handle your social media presence than if you’re selecting someone to input addresses. Still, it can be vital to choose people you trust and who have the skills and experience to handle the job (or the intelligence to learn it if they don’t already have experience).
• Create systems and processes. Develop directions for each task you delegate. These might be complex or simple depending on the task. Identify the steps of the task, what materials or tools should be used to perform it and what outcome you want. (Example: “Go through my emails every day at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. Use these templates to answer the ones that can get a standard reply. Those for me, forward to my attention and label them as urgent or non-urgent accordingly. The goal is for me to get through my emails faster.”)
• Try them out. Start small by delegating one small task to a person you’re considering. For example, if you’re testing an employee to manage all your social media, start by having her schedule blog posts and see if she can handle this before you graduate to having her write tweets. A test run can enable you to correct problems and make sure you have selected the right person.
• Communicate regularly. Open communication can be key to successful delegating. You may have to constantly communicate with some people, such as your virtual assistant. Others, such as an IT consultant, may not require frequent contact. In either case, however, you should set up systems and timelines for when and how to communicate (for example, check in via IM every morning and afternoon, meet by Skype once a month, etc.).
• Don’t micromanage, but do manage. Ideally, once people know their assigned tasks, they should be able to handle them without further interference from you. Micromanaging won’t ease your workload. However, delegating doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility, so you should stay on top of employees and contractors’ general progress via check-ins and reviews.
By implementing these tactics, you may find your business growing more as you do less.
HARTSVILLE, S.C. , U.S. — Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, has unveiled its 2015 Supplier Sustainability Awards. Recipients are: American Packaging , AT&T, Eastman Chemical , Staples, Rockwell Automation and Superior (Rookie of the Year) .
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