Benchmark Business Group

Business Owner Newsletter - Page 12

Where Do I Start?

This week we continue our spotlight on project management in small business with the age old question,
"Where do I start?"
 
In planning a project, there's no one "place" to start as this is not a linear process. Instead, the project management process is a constant flow of information through the project plan. However, in most cases there are two important sections of the project plan that need to be completed early: the business requirements and milestones. If you haven't already, we recommend downloading our sample project plan and using it to follow along this week.

 
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The Dreaded Project Plan

Previously, we discussed the need for project management skills in small businesses. We challenged you to define the point of view that a project manager needs to successfully manage projects in your business. This week we want to focus on the main structure that will help you, and your employees, plan out and execute the details of a project. This all-important document is the project plan, and a tool that is severely lacking in many businesses.
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The Project Manager Mindset

In a small business, there is never a lack of projects to be completed. In fact, many of the projects that are meant to take your business to the next level often stall due to the lack of available resources and talent to keep projects moving forward. In order for a project to succeed there needs to be one person that is accountable for driving the project forward. One person that ensures that all the obstacles small businesses run into: not enough time, not enough resources, etc., are obstacles to move beyond and not dead ends. The catch is that the accountable person doesn't, and in fact shouldn't, always have to be the business owner. Your business needs to have a structure for project management and a team of people who are trained to use the structure to lead and manage projects successfully.
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Hiring for Sales

For any business that wants to grow, there comes a time when your sales team will need to grow by adding sales associates. When your business makes the decision to grow its sales team, it needs a plan. A plan that starts with:
  • Who would make a great sales associate and where to find them
  • How to determine which applicants you should interview
  • How to conduct an interview for the sales associate position
This month we will focus on creating certain parts of your hiring plan for sales associates. With a first look this week on who would make a great sales associate and where you can find possible candidates to build your pipeline.
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Managing Work Relationships

If you've been following us this month you've: The next step is to make sure your managers are equipped to create the best working relationships that they can with upper management (who they report to) and their team.
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5 Structures to Develop Managers

Our Thoughts: Last week we covered the importance of shaping the mindset of your management team. It's an important step to ensure that your business is able to create managers that fit into your culture. The next step is to ensure that your business is ready to allow your employees and managers to make great decisions. The structure of your business will allow them the freedom to act without worrying if they are on the right path.

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How Should a Manager Think?

For every company the answer to this question is different, yet, we often make the assumption that people know what it means to be a manager. The truth is, most people don't. Unless you specifically discuss what a manager is and how they think in your business, your managers will always be on a different page than your vision. When you and your managers have a different understanding of what it means to be a manager then your business won't get the results that it needs.
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