Tough Financial Decisions to Make as Your Business Venture Grows

Tough Financial Decisions to Make as Your Business Venture Grows

***Contributed Post*** In business, our successes are generally defined by our profits. While many of us start a business venture with more than just money as motivation, when it comes down to it, what we earn is the most important thing. And finding the balance between spending and earning is always a tricky one in business. You need to be investing in the best workforce, equipment and materials to create good products or services - while still turning enough of a profit to make things a success. Here are three, tricky decisions you might have to make as your venture grows. Generic vs bespoke software? Software is so important in business. These days, so many processes throughout our company will be done online, and so, the right software to run everything on is crucial for speed and efficiency. There are lots of great software on the market that can fit most businesses, but in many cases you will need to adapt your processes around their limitations. If you have more money to spend, investing in bespoke software allows you to tailor everything to your exact tasks and needs. This won’t come cheap, but at some point you might reach the stage where it’s the next logical step. Outsource or in-house? Deciding whether to outsource departments of your business, or to hire your own staff and run them in house can be a tricky one. It’s not ‘one size fits all’, and instead, will depend on your personal preferences, time limitations, budget and other factors. When you outsource, it’s a weight off your shoulders. You know the work is being...
5 Tips To Launch A New Project Successfully

5 Tips To Launch A New Project Successfully

As a small business owner, you are likely your own project manager! Especially in the beginning, many entrepreneurs start out as a one-man show. Launching a new project can be daunting and is often the hardest part. Depending on the scope of your idea, it can seem complicated, overwhelming or intimidating. A few simple outlined steps can really clarify your vision and make the task seem less scary. Here is the 5-step process I recommend when preparing to launch a new project: Do your homework. Have you ever tried to build IKEA furniture without reading the instructions? It usually ends badly! Take the time to do your research so you can launch your project successfully the first time. Do digging on numbers, projections, other companies who have done similar projects, read articles, etc. Don’t spend forever on this step, but budget an hour or two each day leading up to launch. Set up a clear and focused plan. Write down WHY you are doing this project and WHERE it will take your company. Make sure the destination/outcome is worth all the energy you and your team put into it. Keep the plan simple and focused, with a solid roadmap of how you will get from start to finish. Include DATES of when things will happen.Build the project team or acquire training. Choose exactly who you want to be working on this project with you. This may look like picking people from your team with the most experience or talent relating to the project or bringing on a contractor. Utilizing people with expertise in project launching can make or break your bottom line! If...
How to get organized for the new year

How to get organized for the new year

I hope you a great Holiday with your family and friends! My Christmas was spent with family where we had delicious food, some karaoke singing, loads of laughter and lots of memories to cherish. Today here in Canada is Boxing day, a day full of great after Christmas sales. Who doesn’t love a good after Christmas sale no matter where you live.…Before I get into that, tell me… are you ready for 2018? Are you feeling good about the New Year and its possibilities?Have you ever looked at a fellow entrepreneur and wondered how they manage to get it all done and organized, well the answer might surprise you.They’ve got good systems.It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel, instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you: Work faster and produce more Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do Here are 2 tools that will help you get better organized for 2018The Magic of TemplatesOh, how I love templates! How many times do you answer emails from potential clients? What about responding to customer inquiries? Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch?These tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be re-purposed for specific situations. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as...
The building blocks of a great relationship with your VA

The building blocks of a great relationship with your VA

The building blocks of a great relationship with your VA Great! You’ve hired yourself a VA – you’ve already started assigning  projects and tasks and everything is moving along just fine. You might ask yourself, is your VA working out as planned? In order for you to build a good relationship with your VA, you need to be clear in what you need and you need to be sure that your tasks & projects are being carried out as you require.   For example, does your VA perform the daily and weekly tasks that you need done? Do you feel that you need to go more into depth explaining the jobs that need to be done – something that you didn’t expect to have to do?  Or maybe it’s going great and you think wow what took me so long to do this? In the beginning, you could allot some time at the end of each week for a short discussion with your VA to see how everything is going?  Cover tasks/projects, what still needs to get done? How long does it take to see if it works or doesn’t? Start with a TRIAL RUN – When you hire a VA, the best thing to do is to set a timeline, at which time you can decide if you want to keep working together or not, a sort of test period. Ideally, this is also a good time to let your VA know all the good things he/she is doing for you and also gives you the chance to talk about the other side and discuss those things that you would...
Project Management Techniques for You and Your New VA

Project Management Techniques for You and Your New VA

Typically when you work with a virtual assistant, it means you will have to be in touch with each other quite regularly.  This also involves sending images and files as well as other types of data.   The way you communicate together will depend mostly on you, as well as your VA’s, personal choice.  Where some people prefer to work casually - just emails and telephone calls - others would much rather use a Project Management system. Here are a few ways you can share projects/tasks with your Virtual Assistant: Email – One of the more popular ways of sending your projects to your VA is via email. Perhaps emails is the option that you both would prefer.  It does give you something that you or your VA can refer back to if you ever have to recheck on some instructions or content given. Phone/Skype - for certain assignments that need more detailed instructions that may be too difficult to explain by email, then it would be a better idea to speak to each other by phone or Skype.  There is, however, a setback with this method, in that you don’t have a paper trail.  In that case, it would be a good idea to phone/Skype your VA and follow that up with a short email with the key notes which your VA may need and can easily refer to while doing that particular assignment. There are apps out there that can record your Skype calls.  Which is another way to refer back to the conversation. Personally, I have not used them but here’s a list supplied by Skype. Dropbox -  Now,...