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Implementing business operations must be done right at the outset of a company's launch. This article offers tips for selecting and implementing such systems, including payroll, accounting, document management, and data collection.
Why should any organization adopt collaboration? There's only one reason—value creation. After all, if we're not creating value, what's the point? With a growing consciousness for collaboration, many companies are investing in collaboration tools and technologies. These range from enterprise instant messaging and unified communications, wikis, and enterprise social media to virtual worlds, Web conferencing, and telepresence.
In a typical scenario, the months fly by after the collaboration tools are implemented. As the seasons change, decision-makers anticipate reaping the benefits of collaboration. And perhaps they can even point to successes within particular business units or functions. Often, though, it's the same old story. The company remains for the most part internally competitive, hierarchical, and command-and-control driven. The tools alone have failed to make the company collaborative. Worse yet, the tools may have created no real value, and the decision-makers who had pinned such high hopes on these tools are surprised.
Credit cards allow entrepreneurs immediate access to some levels of financing. This author, who used credit cards to launch a company, says business owners who take his approach should focus first on the key tasks of winning and keeping customers.
Six Disciplines energized this manufacturing firm as its CEO and management team struggled to motivate and reward employees by measuring performance. Engaging employees in ongoing strategic planning, using Six Disciplines software to stay focused on the plan, and remaining accountable for performance resulted not only in increased enthusiasm and efficiency. An unexpected benefit was that it helped management and employees learn how to work much better together.
Ron Rubin's profession is tea, but he is also steeped in giving back to student entrepreneurs.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
Any entrepreneur who hopes to raise capital from individual investors, so-called "angels," should be properly prepared with a presentation, business plan, list of potential angels, and outline of the opportunity his or her new venture affords. The author explains that it's also important to avoid making such mistakes as allowing investors to have too large a stake in the enterprise. That could cause problems should the company fail, he writes, in an article filled with specific tips for dealing with these financiers.
Entrepreneurs need to be leaders to motivate people to undertake the daunting task of turning a vision into a tangible entity, says the founder of the nation's largest pediatric home healthcare provider.
Specialized or technical advice or skills not closely related to your company's core objectives can often be handled effectively by outside contractors. Typically less expensive that hiring full-time staff, potential outsource services should be carefully considered with these topics in mind: expertise, experience, proposals, and attitude.
After coaching others in spin control for years, a cash-strapped entrepreneur had to face the music-and the media-himself. He drew on long-cultivated relationships to tell his story accurately and bring his business out of receivership. Being both proactive and honest, he says, is essential in a crisis situation.
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