George N. Root III, Demand Media
Small Business Management Tips
Managing a small business means managing your time, resources and employees as effectively as possible. Learning new ways to better manage the various aspects of your business can make your business more productive, and your life easier.
Sometimes pays to be aggressive when managing your business, especially if you find yourself consistently chasing the competition. Learn to work outside your own personal comfort zone and be prepared to take risks you would not normally take. Sometimes it is necessary to take risks to move forward. To add a level of comfort to your decisions, always take into account the effects of what your company does. If you can anticipate the consequences of things going wrong, then you are better equipped to handle them if the worst happens. You may want to avoid taking risks that could result in the closing of your company. Have confidence in your decision-making process, and use that confidence to avoid second-guessing yourself on big decisions. Once the decision is made, move forward and look to reap the benefits of your move.
Managing employees should be about more than performance evaluations and delegating responsibility. Employees are more productive when they feel a sense of loyalty to the company. That sense of loyalty can come from things the employees do, things the company does for the employees or a combination of the two. Finances are a top concern for most employees, and major expenses, such as car repairs and medical expenses not covered by insurance can be a huge source of aggravation and distraction. Suggest that employees start a fund, either on their own or one you help them set up that they can all donate to and which can be used by employees in need of personal financing. Set up loans that eventually need to be paid back, but make the loans available to all employees. Create a board of employees that can approve or disapprove loans from the fund. If the company is able, try to offer financial loans to employees to help with large expenses. If an employee feels like he can turn to his place of employment to help solve his problems, he develops a higher sense of loyalty.
Have professionals visit the office on a regular basis to offer support and counseling on an anonymous basis to all employees. Financial consultants, dietitians, stress management experts and grief counselors can help employees to deal with their problems better and become more productive at work.
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