Benchmark Business Group

Business Owner Newsletter - Page 15

Where Does Accountability Start?

Asking ourselves the right questions and making the right decisions is the focus of another favorite book of ours, QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, by John G. Miller. He challenges us to eliminate complaining, blame and procrastination, and begin asking solution-based questions. Instead of asking who is to blame for a situation, we should ask, "What can I do to improve the situation?" Only when we are able to ask this "question behind the question" can we take ownership of a problem and start focusing on a solution.

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Can Your Business Thrive Without You?

There are several reasons a person owns a business. Building equity, earning a comfortable living, filling a need in the community, building a job around a hobby or passion, or being able to "do it my way" are all motivations for owning a business. No matter how you define what it means to realize value through your business, there comes a time when every owner will exit their business. It will be by choice, or it will not be by choice. Only time will tell if you exit your business because your exit strategy is being implemented, or due to something outside your control, such as a health issue, unforeseen family dynamic, economic downturn, or numerous other uncontrollable life events. Whenever it happens, tomorrow or in 20 years, will you as the business owner get the most value out of your business?

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Adjusting Your Sails

Our Thoughts: The ability to adapt to change within a project is vital to success. Regardless of how great your project plan is there will always be some factors that you cannot control. The good news is that you can always control your reaction to those factors. The sample mindset document we provided earlier addressed the need for a project manager to adapt a flexible point of view, but to truly be ready for change, you must also think about the structure of change.
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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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