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ZenboLife is a life planning & personal productivity tool. It is a holistic application to help store all your contacts, tasks and notes as well as guide you through the process of planning your life. It is designed to cover all areas of your life to be your all in one source.

Management

  • As companies have grown, the figure of the CEO has gained prominence because in their hands rest different vital processes for the organization to succeed. The responsibilities and functions of a director are many and give shape to the organizational culture marking the course of the company and enhancing the joint work between the different areas of activity. The responsibilities and functions of the General Director in an organization are:

    1. Encourage a good work environment

    One of the functions of the General Director is to promote a work environment that facilitates the achievement of the company’s objectives. The response of managers to problems and opportunities, as well as performance expectations that they establish in the organization, will determine to a large extent the work environment that is breathed. If a director sets high standards, department heads will do the same, and a culture of quality will be fostered, where each worker strives to give their best.

  • As a business owner, manager or supervisor delegation is a valuable skill to become good at. Proper delegation takes tasks off your plate and allows employees to develop and grow. It allows employees more responsibility and gives them new career opportunities.

    Delegation is often hard for most to start at. It usually comes from trust issues. It is hard for us to give up control. We may fear that the task will not be completed on time or to our standard. You may have the feeling as if you can do a better job, you are irreplaceable. It is especially hard to give up a process or task that you built up from scratch and have always owned. Start small. Start by delegating small tasks to build that trust and you to start to give up control. Learn how to trust and not micromanage.

    It is important to give good instructions. You cannot expect someone to read your mind. Ask questions to make sure the employee understands the task required of them. They might make mistakes initially because they are learning but be open and available if they have any questions. Be there ready to support and assist.

  • We cannot do it all. Sometimes we need help. Sometimes we just need to look at things in a different way. A business consultant can help you do that and potentially save your company money, improve performance and help you to make changes to achieve success.

    What Is A Business Consultant?

    A business consultant is an outside expert that can be hired to solve a business problem. They are an excellent source of knowledge, skills and experience. They understand all aspects of business, everything from business planning, sales, marketing and financing.

    A business consultant will analyze your problem; help you to develop strategies, goals and an action plan to reach the desired result, by focusing on your business strengths.

    Added Value

    There are many reasons why a small business should hire a business consultant. Business consultants have insights that can increase the value of your business. They offer an unbiased third party point of view. Hiring a business consultant can save a small business time and money. It can increase your competitiveness in the local market.

  • Running a small business can be difficult and no one wants to fail but many do. New companies have the highest failure rate of all. In fact less than 60% of new business make it past the first two years.

    What Reasons Do Small Businesses Fail?

    Poor Planning

    You need to come up and write down your strategic plan. You need to analyze your competition, forecast sales and plan for a changing environment.

    Not Enough Capital

    If you do not have enough cash flow to keep the business operating then you will run into trouble. Small business owners take on lots of personal debt using their credit cards to run the business. Cash is the lifeblood of a business.

    Ineffective Marketing

    You always have to be marketing your business. If you are not promoting you will fail to reach new customers and maintain a good reputation. Look at multiple channels of marketing.

    Poor Leadership

    Having the necessary skills to inspire and empower your employees is essential. You need to make sure morale stays high and employees remain productive.

    Growing Too Fast

    Success is good but you must be careful not to spread resources too thin. Trying to go too fast can cause cash flow issues and can even lead to bankruptcy.

  • Theory X and Theory Y management theories originated in the 1960s by Douglas McGregor. Theory X and Theory Y management styles make assumptions about human behavior and are essentially opposites of each other. These are among the first theories discussed in business schools, and are fairly easy to understand as they are two completely different viewpoints and most managers are somewhere between the two. Theory X is a very pessimistic view of employees while Theory Y is much more optimistic. These theories seem to try to give to ends of a spectrum and there are other management theories that build upon these.

    Theory X

    • employees hate work and will do anything to avoid it
    • employees do not want any responsibilities
    • what management says goes
    • employees are not creative
    • employees are motivated only by rewards and money
    • the organization must have a well-defined hierarchical structure
    • employees require close supervision, need to be micro-managed and need help to stay on track
    • management must apply pressure to insure the work gets done
    • employees require direction
    • employees are self-centered and look out for themselves

    This style of management tends to produce very low morale, as it is reliant only on the manager and is not a team effort.

  • Appreciative Inquiry is all about making change. It looks to the positive strengths to make change happen. The leader has to motivate and empower followers in order for the change to occur.

    Often when businesses or individuals have a problem they seek to find what is going wrong and focus all their efforts at resolving the negative. Appreciative Inquiry turns this on its head by finding what is working and focusing all efforts on make the positive even better.

    There are four stages of appreciative inquiry Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny. (Daft, R. L. 2014 P.467) Discovery looks for the strengths to find what is working. Dream this allows us to imagine a world in which the organization would be like if the best outcomes were a normal occurrence. Design asks us to create a plan so that we can build the dream. Destiny is all about implementing the plan.

    As an example if an organization has a high turnover rate instead of looking at the negative why employees are leaving Appreciative Inquiry looks at why employees are staying and we would then look at increasing the positive reasons employees stay. Appreciative Inquiry gets out of the negative thinking that can lead to pointing fingers and placing blame.

    Appreciative Inquiry need not only be for used for solving problems it can be used for change in general. It can also be applied at the personal and organizational level.

  • Selling your business can be difficult, a long process and be emotional. There are steps you can take to help smooth the process and there are certain external professionals you should consider consulting with.

    The first thing you probably want to know is how much money will I get. A quick way to ballpark the price of the business is three times cash flow after all expenses and taxes. If your business nets you $100,000 per year, a good starting price for the business is to sell for $300,000. Everything is relative however.

    First, consider your situation. Why are you selling? This is one of the first questions any potential buyer will ask. Retirement, overworked, relocating, family issues or just other interests are all valid.

    Your reason will affect the urgency in which the deal must complete. Selling when you do not have to sell is the best place to be in.

    Prepare to sell your business long in advance, at least a year. Really, try hard to push the business to sell on a strong year. You want to show that performance of the business has been increasing year or year. Get everything in order. Write down everything you plan to include in the sale. Include inventory, supplies and equipment. Are you willing to offer training to the buyer? Are you willing to finance the purchase?

  • Scheduling staff can be difficult and time consuming. There is just so much to think about. Labor laws, absences, vacation time and seniority to name a few. Employee wages can account for a majority of the costs to run a business so it is important to optimize it as best as possible.

    It is important to get scheduling done right so it reduces stress for not only management but also the employees. Job satisfaction increases if you allow employees a variety of shifts to pick from and allow them to swap shifts with others. Schedules should be as consistent as possible and any changes should be communicated to the staff. Do not forget to ask for their input.

    The requirements of the business is to ensure there is enough staff available to handle customers but at the same time not to be overstaffed and wasting money.

    Thankfully, there is scheduling software available to help elevate some of the pain. They track businesses hours, employee preferences for hours as well as their skills set and seniority. They track employee request to changes whether its vacation, sick, leave of absence or shift swaps. Factoring all of this it will generate a schedule and make it available for management and staff.

  • If you are in the business of selling products, you most likely will carry some sort of inventory. Inventory management it crucial to cost savings and running an efficient business. One of the worst things that can happen is continually wasting inventory, it is just cash out the door.

    Inventory can be one of the biggest expenses for a company. The goal is to use up 100% of inventory.

    Inventory is an asset of your business but too high inventory and you are wasting money. Too low and customer has to wait for item to come in and may go somewhere else.

    Record keeping

    You will need to manage on-hand quantities to ensure you have enough to do business but only keep the minimum you need to do business. This reduces costs and takes up less space. The amount of inventory depends on customer demand for your products.

    You should keep good records of all items and once you have built up a history you can get a good idea of how much you will need. Watch for trends throughout the year.

    Managing items

    You should know your inventory turnover rate. Depending on your industry it could be a few or several times per year. Food items are perishable and must have a higher turnover. Luxury items on the other hand most likely will have a lower turnover.

  • A change initiative may face many possibilities of resistance, among the greatest possible resistor is sabotage. Sabotage, occurs when someone tries to make the change fail on purpose and it happens more often than you think.

    In any change initiative there can be many stakeholders involved. The change agent must perform a stakeholder analysis to determine all those who have a stake in the initiative and what their level of power toward the impact of the project. The change agent must be aware of the motivations of each of the stakeholders. The knowledge of each stakeholder’s interest in the project, as well as the power they can provide. The key stakeholders are those with great power and interest as they can change the initiative on a whim.

    A disgruntled employee who may have low power and low interest can be a thorn in the initiative, the change agent must be quick to identify if the concerns of the employee is justified or if it is the employee’s own behaviors that are impacting the project.

    All stakeholders have their own interests, in general most do not like to acquire additional responsibilities without receiving any added benefits or perceived value. Motivations include power struggles, job security and resistance to change. Benefits could be in the form of added salary or bonuses, or could be as simple as the introduction of a new title. Value from the consumer perspective could be new features or decreased costs.