Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to Keep Paperwork From Driving You Completely Insane

If you're a CEO, chances are that you HATE paperwork. The thought of facing that pile of paper on your desk makes you break out in hives and drives you to drink (more coffee that is). For most leaders, paperwork is the thorn in their side that takes all the joy out of doing their job. Does this sound like you? Read on.

For the past ten years I have worked in the financial services industry. (If you have never worked in this type of industry, let me assure you that the paperwork NEVER ends.) When you're dealing with money it seems like even the smallest task requires volumes of paperwork all of which needs to be processed immediately. It is not uncommon to have a stack of paperwork 6 inches high on my desk that needs proofing, scanning, faxing, signing, filing etc. I remember a Seinfeld episode when Newman explained why postal workers have such a high suicide rate by saying "the mail never stops, it just keeps coming and coming!" I empathize.

Let me share with you some tips I've learned when dealing with paperwork that have kept me from going completely bananas. (Feel free to share in the comments section your best tip.)
  • Simplify. Look through your stack and separate out what could be done by somebody else. Physically get the paperwork off your desk and onto theirs asap.
  • Prioritize. Review the remaining stack and do what needs to be done first, first. Don't leave an important task to the last minute. Take one action step towards getting it completed immediately.
  • Don't multi-task. Handle one piece of paperwork at a time and don't put it away until you have finished doing whatever you need to do to it. Don't answer the phone, don't check your email, don't shift your focus. Your rate of making mistakes will increase if you're distracted from completing your task.
  • Do it right the first time. The only thing worse than doing paperwork once is having to do it again. Don't cut corners, do it right the first time through so that you (hopefully) never have to see it again.
  • Use a tracking system. Initiate a way to keep a record of what what sent to who and how it was sent. Do not rely on your memory when it comes to paperwork, your auditor will not be happy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thing You Need to Know to Start a New Business

As the title says, this article is to discuss the things needed to start a business. If you want to start your own business, you need to know and analyze many things.

First thing is the reason behind your decision to start a business. Some possibilities are as below:

• You are a graduate and are unable to find a suitable job for you in the industry.

• You do not want to work under someone else so want to start your own business.

• You are willing to make a career in business industry as an entrepreneur.

• You want to be your own boss (freedom of work)

There are many other possible reasons. You must know the reason of your decision so that you have a certain aim.

Second thing you need to know is how to take the start. If you are new to the industry, you may face some problems while doing the task. But if you are already working in the industry, things would be easier for you.

The thing you need to know is how to start with the task. Then, you will have to make a detailed step-by-step plan. As a starter, you will face several problems. Many things will be new for you. Since you do not have many contacts in the industry you will have to make some extra efforts to reach the people.

The possible difficulties you may face while starting a business are as below:

Finding a relevant Industry: This is the first step of starting a business and if you are not properly focused while choosing the industry, you may not get desired success in the business. You need to give some time to find the industry that is very much relevant to you and your interests.

How to Start: This is the second important thing. Suppose, you want to start a business in marketing industry, the question you will face is how to do that. For this, you have two options available. You can start a new business from scratch or can buy an existing business.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Entrepreneurship: Customer Service Lessons From a Restaurant

Our American society is becoming ruder. Yep, I said it, and I know it's true. Day in and day out, people are commenting more frequently about how poorly they are treated by their clients and customers.

Our political season doesn't help. We hear one side calling the other a liar, a racist, a felon, and a tax evader. If you disagree with someone's political view you may be called all of the above, or even a homophobe, heaven forbid.

Driving the American freeways can be an adventure as well. Horns are honking and fingers are pointed, and most of the time no one does any damage. People are just angry. George Will calls all this rudeness the "coarsening of America". And he's right!

Enter a famous fast food restaurant. All it took was its 80 year old owner giving his opinion about gay marriage, and all hell broke loose. Many years ago people could give their honest opinions about all kinds of things, and they weren't verbally abused, and their businesses weren't boycotted. Oh what a mess we have caused.

This famous fast food story is a lesson for all entrepreneurs and small business owners. We know the story about a bully, a chief financial officer at an Arizona company who verbally accosted an innocent young lady server while ordering a FREE cup of water. He didn't like the company owner and his stance on gay marriage and wanted to take it out on this young lady.

When the world saw the bully's video, a great thing happened. The young CFO became the bad guy and the young server became the hero. The bad guy lost his job and the lady gained a fan club.

The lesson learned? In today's society, make sure you're entire staff is grounded in their principles, know what to say to abusers and bullies, and be professional at all times. Can this be done? Sure it can. Hire the right people through testing mechanisms, extensive interviews, background checks, and yes, reference checks.