Managing a small business can be a thankless job, but if the business is at least yours there are some rewards. For years, large companies had the spotlight with better news coverage and higher salaries. Today, the coverage is all too often negative and the salaries are being cut or frozen. If you run a small business today, you’re the superstar. You operate a company that could help the flagging economy and change the world. Here are some resources just for you.
Creating the perfect business culture. What’s your business like up close and personal? We’re not talking about your product or service here, though part of your business culture may well emerge from that. The question is, how do your employees feel about coming to work. Do they love it or hate it and why? Fox Small Business Center
A great business starts with great people. It sounds like something every business owner should know. Your company, brand, product or service is only as good as the people managing them. Be careful when selecting, managing, and retaining employees. They are the lifeblood of your company and the choices you make will have implications. CFO Wise
Tips & Techniques
Managing mobile employees in the age of the Internet. One of the issues here is the number of documents, e-mails etc. that people now send over the Internet with barely a thought. Are there other possible problems that should be identified? How are you dealing with any security issues in your business while, at he same time, using the potentials of a mobile workforce. Global Folders
Negotiating with vendors: An entrepreneur’s guide. Getting the best service for the best price is obviously the ultimate goal here, but achieving this involves a process that may not always be quite as obvious. This Q & A will get you started in the right direction. Then check the slide show below for more advice from other small business owners just like you. WSJ
Tools & Standards
How do you measure your business’s success? Is it gross revenues, sales revenue, projects or contracts in your pipeline, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction or operations? Perhaps all these things together could best be used to measure the health of a business. What yardstick would you use? Tweak Your Biz
Using financial tools to spur small business growth. Financial tools, when used correctly, can improve both performance and growth in your business. Using data to track and predict growth will give you a better prediction of future productivity and yardstick to measure current progress. In some ways, this is also the best way to test a business or person against an established standard. Open Forum
Too many rules aren’t helping your employees or your business. Great customer service and employee input are part of the fuel that runs many startups. So why would anyone want to deliberately sabotage all of that? Well, it may not be as deliberate as it seems to the outside observer. But clearly an employer who imposes too many rules and metrics on employees may find that compliance takes the place of engagement. Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Making the best of summer internships. Many small businesses express enthusiasm over summer interns, students who work for your company for a few short months to learn more about a job or industry. They are happy for the help, especially when it comes with little or no cost, but how many businesses have taken the time to develop a program guaranteeing the internship is beneficial to everybody. Open Forum
How to reward your employees. You give them a salary and maybe the occasional bonus but clearly there are other ways to reward and motivate the employees who go above and beyond in performance and improve your business in the process. The question is, what are the best rewards? Are there some that are more appreciated than others or are wiser than others across the board, or does it all depend on the employee in question. What reward system would be best for your business? Grow Smart Biz
How to manage time. Perhaps harder than managing most aspects of your business is the managing of your time. Get your time management wrong and the negative results on your business are all too clear. If you manage other employees, you may consider their time management as well since it affects productivity and a variety of other issues. The Leaper’s Blog
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