Monthly Archives: July 2016

How should you advertise a job opening at your business?

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Finding the right candidate for your job opening may be challenging at best. A myriad of people seeking employment search newspapers, magazines, online sites and social media in the hopes of acquiring employment.

Advertising a job opening requires a bit of marketing. As a business owner, you need to be specific, clear, and appealing in order to find the right person for the job. Fortunately, it can be done and generate good results.

Process of advertising a job opening

When it comes to creating a job advertisement, it needs to be clear and direct. The type of job and level of expertise should be clearly stipulated in the title of the job ad. From there, the job responsibilities should be listed starting with the vital responsibilities. Ideally, your job ad should list the requirements you are looking for in a job candidate such as skills, education, certificates, or experience. As with any ad, marketing is crucial thus your ad should have other benefits besides monetary as an appeal to the right candidate.

Places to post a job opening

With your job opening ad clearly defined, your next step is to decide where you are going to post your ad and what are the costs.

Online

Depending on the nature of the job you are advertising, you may want to look at social media such as LinkedIn, Monster or Indeed. These will help you target multiple professional people simultaneously. Often social media can help you target qualified people in a cost-efficient way.

Another way to promote your job opening online is to research your industry’s events, social gatherings and online groups. This will give you direct access to experienced people in your industry. Other online websites that can help promote your job opening include Craigslist, which targets lower skill workers or temporary workers.

If you are targeting a specific niche, you may want to try the following sites:

1 Finance jobs can be promoted on www.efinancialcareers.com

2 Retail jobs would be posted on www.allretailjobs.com

3 Advertising jobs can be promoted on www.theladders.com

4 For IT employees look at www.dice.com

With online job postings, you may receive a huge number of applicants some of which often are not suitable for the job. While this may not be the case with niche sites, Monster, Craigslist and Indeed can result in a large quantity of applicants in which case, you may need to take some time to sort through all the applicants or get some assistance during the recruiting process.

Print

Besides placing your job ads online, you may choose to focus on print ads or a combination of both online and print. A good place to start is with your local newspaper. Your local newspaper is targeting people within your vicinity. If you advertise in your local newspaper be sure that your job ad meets the paper’s format and is in the correct size.

Trade publications offer an opportunity to business owners to advertise their jobs both in print and online. You have a higher chance of people in your niche reading the publication you are advertising in when it is a trade publication. Ask the publications you use if your ad will appear both in print and online as well as the costs involved.

The dynamics of a family business

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A family business often symbolizes legacy, accomplishment, and value to its founder and family members. It has become their way of leaving an impact on the world around them. It’s their legacy. The successes have brought them closer together while sustaining them through the ups and downs of life.

Through it all, the road to success has been challenging and one not often travelled by the majority of business people. Emotions frequently run high. Conflicts can be rife. Managing family dynamics strategically and delicately is vital to ensure the future success of the family business.

Family members and non-family employees

When it comes to family working together in a business, each employee (family or non-family) should have a clear understanding of their role within the business. These parameters need to be firmly established and reinforced.

As much as possible family members should avoid any form of separation between themselves and non-family employees. This will ensure that non-family employees have a chance at salary increases, further training, and career advancement.

Family members should not be given any special treatment. Instead, all employees should be treated with the same expectations and work ethic.

Resolving internal conflict effectively

When it comes to resolving internal conflicts within a family business, communication is king. Communication allows each employee to understand the dynamics of the business and the current situations the business is facing. This is especially beneficial to non-family employees since it reassures them that they are included in the business, valued and integrated into the business.

Being open to change and taking risks, this can be hard for those family members who love the status quo. In this situation, family members reluctant for change can be slowly removed from the business or delegated to a less-influence position within the business.

Business profits can be fairly distributed throughout the family by including business perks such as insurance, pension funds, stock investment plans, etc. Salaries should be based on the current salary for each job position.

By implementing some of these strategies, a lot of internal conflict can be avoided or resolved. This will go a long way to creating a healthy family business environment.

The value of outside management

Since conflicts within a family business affect multiple areas of both the business and the family, outside management or council can be beneficial to resolving conflicts while maintaining business success. By understanding business and family dynamics, an outside manager or advisor often provides a fresh objective perspective.

Outside perspective can assist in financial decisions, visionary planning, strategic positioning of employees, and more. Where family members can often have a biased viewpoint when it comes to business decisions, an outside business advisor gives unbiased and unemotional perspective and advice.

Final words

By implementing some of the above strategies and tips, a family business is sure to maintain its successful momentum while dealing with conflicts that arise when business and family mix. Intentionally communicating and working together will create a conducive healthy working environment for all involved.

Working with freelancers

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Freelancers are becoming increasingly popular as more businesses turn to them for their expertise and quick turnaround. However, working with freelancers comes with a new set of pros and cons while finding the right freelancer for the job requires a different level of selectiveness.

Benefits of freelancers

Hiring a freelancer for your next job can be a beneficial move for your company for several reasons:

1       A freelancer is not an official employee thus your business is not obliged to cover taxes or work benefits.

2       Freelancers have low overheads since they provide their own expenses such as office space, supplies, computers, etc.

3       Hiring a freelancer allows you to focus on a specific skill required for the job.

4       With a freelancer, you are not tied into an employment contract per se. The length of the relationship depends on your business needs.

The disadvantages of working with freelancers

Working with freelancers often comes with a few disadvantages. Among these disadvantages is freelancer loyalty in which case a freelancer may leave your business after completing a specific task due to a new client that may pay a higher fee. Freelancers have multiple clients thus your business most probably won’t get their undivided attention.

Another drawback involves copyrights whereby a freelancer has legal copyrights unless a contract or agreement is signed stipulating that upon completion all rights are transferred to your business.

Other disadvantages include lack of oversight since the freelancer works from the comfort of their home and companies are not able to directly supervise them.

Finding a freelancer

When finding a freelancer, look at freelance job boards such as Upwork, Guru and PeoplePerHour, which provide a vast number of freelancers. Alternatively, you can also search social media or ask your social network for any recommendations.

A freelancer’s profile will be a good indicator of their technical expertise and skills. In the interview process, establish the freelancer’s skills in communication, availability, and reliability.

Tips to working well with freelancers

Working with freelancers presents different challenges in comparison to working with employees.  Fortunately, a business can create a good working relationship with its freelancers. Below are four tips to improve your interaction with your freelancers:

1       When hiring a freelancer request references or look at the freelancer’s profile reviews. Request work samples where possible.

2       Since freelancers often have multiple clients, communication is king to a great working relationship. Be clear with deadlines, thescope of the work, and request regular updates. This will help keep the project on track.

3       Connect with your freelancer whether it is over video chat or other communication means.

4       Evaluate your freelancers to decide if you will work with them again on a different project or hire someone else

Do I need an accountant or a bookkeeper?

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Audits, payroll, taxes, and more are all part of running a business. Some business owners initially manage their company finances themselves while others seek the services of an accountant or bookkeeper. Either way, the decision to consult with an accountant is inevitable.

Do you need an accountant? How will an accountant help your business grow? How do you decide to work with an accountant?

The roles of an accountant vs bookkeeper

A bookkeeper works with accuracy and efficiency on a company’s payroll, invoices, creditors and debtors, general ledgers, and other financial activity. Bookkeepers have a basic level of financial education although their role within a business is often irreplaceable.

In contrast to the bookkeeper, the accountant is more specialized in finances and tax since they are required to have both a financial degree and experience. An accountant goes beyond the bookkeeping understanding of finances by providing businesses with key performance indicators (KPI’s), balance sheets, statements on profits and losses, cash flow, and balance sheet. This information gives a business owner a broader, deeper understanding of company finances and growth.

How an accountant can help your business

Besides assisting you with tax, audits, and financial tracking, accountants can assist you develop a business plan that is professional, realistic, and a higher chance for success. This business plan will be based on your current finances and goals.

As a business owner,you will need to decide on the type of business you would like to be registered as, a sole proprietor, corporations, etc. An accountant will be able to explain each option to you and recommend the option best suited to your style of business and business needs.

Deciding to contact an accountant

When it comes to hiring an accountant for assistance with your business finances, a cost benefit analysis can help make this important decision. As a business owner, you should look objectively at the cost of hiring an accountant versus you or one of your current staff taking over the company books. Is the cost versus your time spent worth it?

As a business owner what are your strengths? If you enjoy the process of keeping track of company finances and should these finances be manageable, it may be best not to hire an accountant for now. However, if basic bookkeeping is not your strength and your time is better used elsewhere that will generate more profitability; an accountant will be a benefit to your company.

Hire, consult or outsource?

Once you have decided your company will benefit from the skills of an accountant and/or bookkeeper, your next decision may be between hiring an in-house accountant, consulting with an accountant for a certain period of time, or outsourcing.

When hiring an accountant ask yourself if your business finances can afford another salary on your payroll. Should you prefer to consult or outsource you would need to obtain quotes from an accountant firm on the relevant costs involved, scope of work covered, and time duration.

Can you afford to take a vacation from your business?

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People are not created to run at optimal capacity and productivity indefinitely. Physically it would be impossible not to mention hazardous to your health and relationships. Taking a vacation at least once a year will go a long way to keeping your business successful and your productivity optimal.

Affording a vacation is more than a financial affordability. Knowing that your business will survive without you, that you have capable employees to entrust your business to and that your business will benefit from your vacation all pinpoint to affordability.

 How a vacation benefits your business

The ramifications of taking a vacation are proof in themselves that your business needs you to take a minimum of a week’s vacation each year. The benefits are more than a healthy founder.

A vacation increases productivity and sales providing a fresh perspective. This can often help you approach your business dilemmas from a new angle. The result can be a 30 percent productivity increase and sales increase.

Taking a regular vacation will show your staff that vacations are beneficial for their health and the overall business will result in a sharp and productive team.

 Preparing yourself for a vacation

When it comes to business owners and entrepreneurs, preparing for a vacation goes further than packing a suitcase. In fact, planning a vacation can have a lot of preparation to it. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a well-deserved break.

Organize your business

Taking a vacation in the midst of a company audit may not be an appropriate time for a vacation. All bills need to be paid, supplies bought, contact clients about your time away, and brief your managing staff on what to do in your absence.

Plan ahead

Before you start a new year with your business, look at the year ahead. Mark off in your calendar a vacation time. A week or long weekend is usually viable to slot in for all owners.

Arrange frequent updates

If you need to know how the business is going while you are away, set up a time to check in on emails or call the office for an update. This will help you relax during your vacation.

 Tips on taking a vacation

Since a regular vacation should be a priority for any person let alone a business owner, knowing that your business is in good hands is vital.

Building a passive income will help your business obtain the necessary finances for future growth and daily operating while you take a week or two off. In addition to passive incomes, your business will need clear procedures and delegations to help delegate your work to your employees, while maintain a professional standard of excellence and uniformity.

When your business has been taken care of, you can take time to relax and unwind. When you return from your vacation, your business will be waiting for new inspiration and innovation.