Tag: Small Business

Pre-Paid Legal Small Business Opportunity: Pyramid or Legit MLM?

Pre-Paid Legal Small Business Opportunity: Pyramid or Legit MLM?

Pre-Paid Legal is a network marketing company that specializes in the sale of legal services, which its representatives sell as legal insurance as clients can have attorneys on call by paying monthly premiums at varying rates. There are two ways that people interested in this […]

Barack Obama Targets Small Business on the Campaign Trail

Barack Obama Targets Small Business on the Campaign Trail

Barack Obama will extol his economic policies to small business during the recession in the final week of the 2010 Mid Term Election campaign. He plans to visit American Cord & Webbing Co, a manufacturer of cords and buckles, in Rhode Island according to Kevin […]

Good Staff Recruitment for Small Business Owners: Shortcuts in Recruitment and Selection Lead to Staff Problems Later.

Good Staff Recruitment for Small Business Owners: Shortcuts in Recruitment and Selection Lead to Staff Problems Later.

Big business and government bodies have a personnel management section, middle-sized companies often rely on recruitment agencies, but small business owners, corner shopkeepers, sole operators and tradesmen usually go it alone when the time comes to find good staff.

Small Business Owners’ Reluctance to Interview Job Applicants

For many sole operators and small businesses, hiring is a chore; some even feel they can’t waste time, taking time out from the business operation. Consequently, the hassled employer may have to resort to asking the departing key employee if they have a friend who could do the job. Otherwise, in busy operations where the need is urgent, the first person who applies sometimes gets the job.

Why Small Business Owners Should Advertise for Staff

Advertising is often limited to a scrawled note in the window of the premises saying: “Help Wanted. Apply within.” Too often, however, necessity leads to the snap decisions and an annoying high turnover of staff. It makes good business sense for the employer to have a clear picture of the ideal applicant in his or her mind and spell this out in the advertisement, even if the ad simply goes in the front window.

 Failure to Interview for New Staff is False Economy for Small Business Owners

While someone might go shopping for a friend’s birthday present with the attitude: I’ll know what I want when I see it, this is not a smart way for a business person to select staff, who, after all, greet the customer, represent the business name in contacts and work skills, and are entrusted to make a business prosper.

A wrong choice can cost the business money both in obvious mistakes and not so obvious mediocre performance. Wrong choices, in some circumstances, are notoriously difficult to get rid of. It is good business sense to get the right person in the first place. Finding good staff in the first place is one of the best employee retention strategies. A sound interview will reduce the chance of a bad choice.

How to Write Simple Selection Criteria for Staff Recruitment

The process of writing a list helps clarify thoughts. The employer needs to brainstorm a list of the basic skills and attitudes they must have in a new worker, then the qualities they would like to see in a new worker and, lastly, to be contrary, a private list of the things they hate most in a worker.

Some practical people find it hard to think in abstraction. In such cases, it is useful to think about past workers who would be welcomed back in a flash- think in terms of: “Joe was great because…” Every business is different. Some require a gift of the gab, others manual dexterity. Some need speed and quick thinking; others patience and accuracy.

How to Write a Simple Position Vacant Ad

Having pinned down precisely the most valued skills and attitudes he or she requires, the employer is now able to draft a suitable advertisement. To get precisely what you want, it is necessary to start by asking for what you want.

Of course, the employer’s requirements must be appropriate and meet anti-discrimination guidelines. Spell out at the very start of the ad those qualities that are absolutely essential and make it clear that they are essential. Use words like “must”, and “essential.” Remember that words and phrases such as “should,” “would prefer,” “some knowledge of,” “desirable” leave the door open for applicants who don’t possess the named requirements. This may be appropriate, if it is precisely the employer’s intention, because the skills required are in short supply.

Nevertheless, “some knowledge of the food industry” means that someone who worked in a fast food chain for 1 week 20 years ago when they were 15 can legitimately apply. Being precise and exacting about requirements should deter most unsuitable applicants, but, bear in mind, people who desperately want work are likely to apply for any job, even if they don’t meet the criteria.

The Importance of Interviewing for the Vacant Position in Small Business

It is possible that the very wording of the advertisement will yield a better group of applicants, but interviewing will help sort the best from the rest. Yes, it is a time-consuming process, but well worth the effort.

Interview questions need to address the job criteria closely. If a person with at least five years’ experience in hand-painting plaster gnomes is absolutely the requirement, why ask “What sort of sports do you play?” (unless it’s a question to relax the applicant) or even “Have you ever painted a gnome?”

The interview is important for another reason. Gut feeling. Getting to talk to applicants and watch them will reveal much. Most people can trust that inner sense that tells them someone is appropriate or that sounds warning bells inexplicably when someone appears to say all the right things. An employer who knows what he or she wants, asks for it precisely in clearly worded ad, then tests for it at an interview, is more likely to get an employee with the desired qualities who will form a lasting relationship with the company.

Small Business Plan Template For Strategic Planning Management

Small Business Plan Template For Strategic Planning Management

A small business plan template, provided by the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) can be extremely helpful for an established business that is in need of strategic planning and management for a new project. This business plan sample includes an executive summary and financial […]

Small Business Using Internet as Road to Economic Recovery

Small Business Using Internet as Road to Economic Recovery

The Internet is providing a lifeline to small businesses, with 79 per cent of those questioned saying that it is making the road to recovery easier this time round than in previous recessions according to a new report released by internet service provider, Easynet Connect. […]

Every Small Business Needs a Business Plan: Establish Goals and How to Reach Them with a Detailed Business Plan

Every Small Business Needs a Business Plan: Establish Goals and How to Reach Them with a Detailed Business Plan

No matter what the business, product or service, a business plan is essential for any small business. A business plan helps determine strengths, weaknesses, competitive edge, growth objectives and financing. Every small business needs a plan.

Start with a Business Plan Summary

In two to three sentences, determine what the small business is about, what it offers and to whom. The summary is essentially the 30-second elevator speech. The summary will help determine exactly what the business is and isn’t.

Small Business Plan — Business Profile

The business profile includes all of the business basics, such as the business name, how the business is organized (corporation, limited liability corporation (LLC), sole proprietorship, etc.), who the business owners are, and outlines the product or services.

Small Business Plan — Product/Service Overview

What are the product or service offerings? Provide a detailed description of how the product or service helps customers. What sets it apart from similar products or services? Having a clear understanding of the offering will make it easier to sell and market. In the overview, include the cost. If it’s a product, what does it cost to produce the product? Be sure to include the wholesale cost (just double the production cost) and the retail cost (just double the wholesale cost) as well.

Small Business Plan – SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis helps business owners determine a small business’ strengths and weaknesses, which may include how the business is run (e.g., online versus brick and mortar) or the product and service offerings. A detailed SWOT analysis will help identify strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T). Create a grid with four quadrants. Each SWOT item gets its own box. Brainstorm all of the possible strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats the business may have. Then begin to think about how to overcome the weaknesses and threats while leveraging the strengths and opportunities.

Who is the Business’ Ideal Customer?

Small business owners should determine what their customer market looks like, including demographics. Begin to think about what a typical customer of the business looks like and acts like. For example, the market could be for 40-something stay-at-home moms who like to shop at malls. Another example is avid male runners, aged 40-60 who spend $1,000+ per year on sports equipment that live in the Northeast. The more specific the customer market, the more precisely a business can sell and market to those individuals.

Determine Competitors With a Market Analysis

Who are the business’ key competitors? How are the competitions’ offerings different? As business owners identify their ideal customer, simultaneously, identifying competitors will help uncover strengths and weaknesses — both in the business and the competition.

The market analysis should also include geographies the business will target. Is it a global business, domestic or geography specific?

Small Business Plan – Operations

The operating plan is just that, how the small business will operate on a daily basis, and it should include details such as hours of operation, staff members (current and projected), the business’ organizational structure and how it may change as the business grows.

Are there any core processes that must be followed in order for the business to be successful? Those would also be included in the operating plan.

Small Business Plan — Finances

The next step is developing a financial plan. How will the business be funded, and how will revenue be generated? It’s important to consider all of the expenses involved, from a website and employee salaries, to inventory and rent. Create a budget of all of the necessary expenses to get the business up and running, as well as expenses that could be incurred down the road (i.e., cost of expanding the business).

The financial plan should also outline how the business will be financed. Is there cash available from a savings account? Will there be investors? Will credit cards be used to finance the business? Will a business loan be obtained? Obviously, cash is king and the most minimal expenses are the best way to start a business, but that isn’t always an option.

Small Business Plan Revisions

A small business plan isn’t set in stone. Things may change and the business plan may evolve over the times. The most important thing is to have a plan. It’s difficult to get from point A to point B without a map. Business is the same way. Understanding the purpose of the business, its key differentiators and how it will operate are essential to its success.

Get started on a small business plan today!

Free Small Business Software: Make Running a Business Easier With No Cost Software Options

Free Small Business Software: Make Running a Business Easier With No Cost Software Options

When a small business is just starting out, the expenses can seem overwhelming. As the business owners shops for one thing after another, the start up budget shrinks so fast. Luckily, there is one spot where home businesses or small businesses can save quite a […]