Successful Staffing – part 2

Patrice Barber - Monday, February 16, 2009
Keep the book keeper separate. One of the first jobs to outsource is book keeper or accounting. This can include the simple task of paying bills or tracking income to managing payroll, IRS forms and related financial assistance that doesn’t generate revenue. This is an important role and should be outsourced as soon as you can (unless this is your business). While being frugal, do not make the mistake of allowing your assistant to be the book keeper. Best interviewing questions. Start by creating the standard interview questions and leaving them open ended to allow for the “real” conversation to occur naturally. One of the best questions we decided on is to ask the candidate “ How do you feel or think about time?”  Do they feel like they have enough time to get things done, or is it more often that they think “there is never enough time!”  A good corollary to this is to ask what they think about money. Do they have enough, or is it always a struggle? An important lesson I learned from one of my own coaches, Gretchen Reid, of Integrated Growth (http://www.integratedgrowth.com/index.htm) is that money and time go hand in hand. Start the HR file. Resumes need to be kept for two years (legally) and we recommend storing in a clearly labeled file. The interview questions and answers or notes also need to be kept for 2 years to show that you chose the right person for the right reasons and did not discriminate illegally. Use a hiring contract. Now that you have decided who to hire, it is very important to have all the details that really matter ironed out in writing before their first day to work with you (even better to have it  before you start interviewing). The first detail is: when do they start (date, day, time). The next most important thing your new hire wants to know is how much they will be paid and when they will get paid. Offer the option of working remotely. Working from home always sounds ideal but truly is not for everyone. Employers often are not comfortable (read…feel out of control) when they don’t know what is getting done. Employees tend to spend a lot longer figuring out how to do something than if they were in an office and could ask for help right away. They often still want to be paid for the time they took to figure it out. Or worse they feel guilty about having to work the extra time and can’t determine how best to manage the hours and to charge for it. For your FREE copy of Best Practices for Managing Your Remote Work Forcecall us at 303-216-0472 or email us at info@tmwealthcoach.com. For a more detailed look at these tips visit us at www.tmwealthcoach.com/newsletter.php Patrice Barber is the President & Founder of Taylor Made Wealth Coaching. She has 20+ years experience in real estate investing, 15 years in corporate management consulting & training, 5 years in private financial mentoring & seminars.
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Successful Staffing – part 1

Patrice Barber - Monday, February 02, 2009
I had the pleasure of talking with some fantastic women business owners at a roundtable discussion and came away with some great tips about staffing do’s and don’ts. Here are some top tips for hiring staff, assistants and others. Write it down. If you are feeling pinched for time in your business, start solving the problem by writing down the tasks. Describe what you do and how you do it for about two weeks. This improves your own time management too! Decide what you don’t like to do or aren’t good at. Put these tasks into a job description (in your newly started company policy manual under the heading of job descriptions). Be sure to include the details of when you want these things done (monthly, weekly, daily) and how the computer or other systems are to complete the tasks. Yes, you already feel like you have no time and taking time to write things down seems like the wrong direction, BUT this IS the way to get out of the spiraling downward hole you are headed for. As you create the job description, be sure to include the character traits and skills needed for this position. Character traits are more important than job skills. Don’t attempt to combine tasks that require non related character traits to perform several different jobs.  When starting to add staff we often try to suggest that the next person we hire wear multiple hats (just like we do).   This is a common blunder that is soon regretted, leaving you with an angry new hire who is leaving very soon.  The nit-picker who will be excellent for taking on the book keeping, is rarely your top choice for marketing assistant who needs to be more artistic, creative and easier going. However the person handling shipping will do well at updating the client information database from a personality perspective (now you just have to find the right skills to match). Put the job description into an ad format. This will help you become succinct in what you are looking for and will require you to be clear about how much you want to pay for services. Do this even if you don’t plan to advertise. Need more help creating your Policy and Procedures manual, help with Time Management, job descriptions, staffing or hiring? Be sure to give us a call to take advantage of our complimentary  Small Biz Tune up strategy session. Patrice Barber is the President & Founder of Taylor Made Small Biz. She is a speaker and author of several Business training programs. She has, over 10 years in corporate management consulting & training, 5 years in New Business Venture & Startup education and consulting. Plus a 3 year side step into the world of personal and business financial strategies.
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Four Reasons Most Startups Fail (And how yours can succeed)

Patrice Barber - Friday, January 02, 2009
First, “make something people want.” Entrepreneurs often fall in love with their idea and what technology can do as opposed to what customers need. Address the issue of  “What are people forced to do now because what you plan to do doesn’t exist yet?” and you’re well on the way to getting at what people want, need, and may be willing to buy. Second, entrepreneurs have to “be willing to let their ideas change.” While  great startups are built around a great idea it isn’t always the original idea. Amazingly, Graham said, “the founders of Reddit came to Y Combinator with a plan to help people order fast food on their cell phones. When everyone agreed it wasn't exactly a killer idea, the desperate search for a new idea led to the launch of their successful company.” Third, “Don’t worry too much about money.” That’s what’s really different about this second wave of Web-enabled startups: It’s become cheaper to reach customers, and generate buzz on the Web. “It’s so much easier to get the money you need than to make something great. ”The emphasis is on making something GREAT”. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to have reserves before quitting your day job, just that you don’t need lots of capital. Finally, “be benevolent” in terms of how you do business. Good experiences are expected, and there referrals will come from them. Bad experiences and the resulting bad referrals are 20x more likely to be repeated to friends and family so, offering a heartfelt appology, asking what would help make things right, and offering a significant monetary compensation for a “bad experience” is well worth the reduction or removal of the bad referral the “bad experience” could create.  Act in the long-term best interests of referral partners, customers, and those you represent your business to as opposed to the short-term best interests of yourself. This approach doesn’t always impact your pocket book adversly. Take the extra step to follow up with recent clients, thank them for their business and ask how the experience was, it’s worth its weight in “referral gold". “In other words, the most important rule for starting a company is the Golden Rule-or, as in Google’s strategic bible version, “Don’t be evil” (or greedy).” Excerpts based on an interview of Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, with operations in two hotbeds of entrepreneurship: Silicon Valley and Cambridge, Mass. Original article written by Bob Taylor for Harvard Business Publishing Weekly. Our comments added throughout. Find out more:  To find out how you can get your business started up affordably in 90 days or less ( logo, biz card, website, articles of Inc, quick books, Top 5 marketing strategies, with a full years support AND your 1st years tax return )… call us at 303-216-0472.
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Do I need a Tax ID?

Patrice Barber - Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Here’s a great question that has puzzled many a small business owner. Do I need a Tax ID? First , there are two types of Tax ID’s. Nothing is simple right? There is a Federal Employers Identification Number (EIN) and the other is a State Sales Tax ID #. The EIN is like a social security number for your company. You will need it if you open a business checking account or file a separate tax return for your business. You also need it to register your business to obtain a Sales Tax Account with the State. It is provided at IRS.gov (use the search box on their site and key in Tax ID number). There are two types of state sales tax licenses available. Standard Sales Tax License for retail: You will need this if you are a person or business having a permanent location where retail sales are conducted on a regular basis must obtain a standard sales tax license. For weekend warriors ( selling jewelry, art work etc) Special Events Sales Tax Licenses are required for events at which tangible property is going to be sold. The organizer of a sales event which includes three or more vendors (businesses) may obtain a license for the sales event and all its vendors. If the organizer obtains the license for the event, then the vendors need not obtain licenses individually. The CO state sales tax rate is 2.9 percent. Cities, counties, and special taxing jurisdictions impose sales taxes at various rates. See publication (DRP 1002) Colorado Sales/Use Tax Rates that lists all taxing authorities and their tax rates. It also lists addresses and telephone numbers of “home rule” cities. You may obtain a DRP 1002 by CLICKING HERE. To get a sales tax account (ID #), and sales tax license, complete tax application “Colorado Business Registration” Form (CR 0100) by CLICKING HERE. What else would you like to know about small business In’s and Out’s? We may have some answers at our website www.TMSmallbiz.com/articles So check it out and post your questions.
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Auto Draft

Patrice Barber - Thursday, January 01, 1970
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Getting Media Coverage- online

Patrice Barber - Thursday, January 01, 1970
First a special welcome to all our entrepreneurs joining  in the Rapid  Achievement Program this past month. Rich L, Lenny M, SusanW , Suzi N, Angela R, Kyle R, George C, Leanna F. One of the key topics we spoke on at the Put Your Year In Gear event was the need to use EVERY kind of online marketing you can think of. This includes using the media and it doesn't have to be ABC news to get results. Here is an example of an interview broadcast completely online that brought in 5 new prospects within about 24 hours with only 10 minutes time for the interview and 30 minutes time to prepare for it. Listen in to my interview  by Loral Langemeir  - the Millionaire Maker from about 3:00 minutes to 13:50. Of course getting prepared includes having your media kit. If you need to see what that looks like here is an example.
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