Every business demands growth, and double-digit growth is the dream of every dedicated business owner, even when lackluster results show up at quarter’s end.
Most entrepreneurial business owners need a guide to navigate their way toward substantial, sustainable growth. It can be done even in a slow economy as demonstrated by such companies as Harley Davidson, Starbucks, and WalMart. Even smaller companies such as Paychex and Oshkosh Truck have been able to make gains in revenue, gross profits and net profits.
You may a local merchant with 150 employees; whichever, however or whatever—you’ve got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions. Anytime the cash flow in a business, large or small, starts to tighten up, the money management of that business has to be run as a “tight ship.”
Some of the things you can and should do include protecting yourself from expenditures made on sudden impulse. We’ve all bought merchandise or services we really didn’t need simply because we were in the mood, or perhaps in response to the flamboyancy of the advertising or the persuasiveness of the salesperson. Then we sort of “wake up” a couple of days later and find that we’ve committed hundreds of dollars of business funds for an item or service that’s not essential to the success of our own business, when really pressing items had been waiting for those dollars. Continue reading “Survival tips for small businesses”→
I just got a bit of malware spam: “CWIH8974 PAYMENT RECEIVED” / “Avril Sparrowhawk [Avril.Sparrowhawk@lescaves.co.uk]”
This fake financial spam does not come from Les Caves de Pyrene but is instead a simple forgery with a malicious attachment. How did I know it was spam? I don’t buy wine. 🙂
If you receive this e-mail, delete it immediately and contact your IT Support company. Do not open the attachment(s).
The attached file is a malicious document “CWIH8974.doc” which has a low detection rate. There are likely other variants of this virus going around but in the cases we’ve seen it downloads a malicious executable file from.
The virus itself allows the hacker to compromise the web browser so that when the user tries to log in to their Internet Banking, the details are leaked to the hacker who attempts to withdraw funds from the user’s bank account.
There are a number of laws regarding hacking a computer you don’t have authorization to hack, the CFAA in the USA, the CMA in Great Britain, the CHM in Australia, and the list goes on. All of which make it illegal to do what you want to do, and in some cases have pretty strict penalties for even the smallest of actions.
The term most often used to describe what you’re talking about is Hacking Back. It’s part of the Offensive Countermeasures movement that’s gaining traction lately. Some really smart people are putting their heart and soul into figuring out how we, as an industry, should be doing this. There are lots of things you can do, but unless you’re a nation-state, or have orders and a contract from a nation-state your options are severely limited.
There’s always an “Abuse” email address on the whois of a netblock for reporting misuse of an IP address.
The best way to keep your top employees is to know them better than they know themselves. Use this knowledge to create the career of their dreams, and they’ll stick to your company like glue. The new “biz-speak” for this is called Job Sculpting.
The concept of Job Sculpting as defined by career experts, Timothy Butler and James Waldroop, in the Harvard Business Review, is that good people will stay only in jobs that “fit their deeply embedded life interests—that is their long-held emotionally driven passions.”
To adopt this strategy, spend a lot of effort listening to your company stars. For each one of them, try to identify what life interests are dominant with them, and then offer them the assignments that satisfy this interest. It may mean simply adding another assignment to the existing responsibilities, or it may mean switching one set of tasks to another employee. It may even require moving your “star” employee to a different position altogether. Continue reading “Hang On To Top Employees”→
Like it or not, the first impression people get from you is your appearance.
When engaged in an interview or you are already hired, you always want to look best. Clean cut, professional looking people get treated like a professional. How you dress sends specific signals to people.
Are you stuck in the same old job for ages? Why not have a look at what the upper boys are playing at?
Career clue from the boardroom
My way was to plan what I wanted, try to distract the quarry by conceding generously on minor points, and hope the big ones slip through. The key is to listen first. Let them dig a hole for themselves. In one case I had planned to ask for fees of £10,000 per month, but I didn’t answer the straight question of ‘how much?’ Eventually the client, after a preamble about how hard and competitive times were, asked us if we would mind working for a fee of’just £20,000 a month at first’ until he could justify a budget increase to his boss. Surely the best return on investment for lunch at the Groucho an adman could hope for.
Richard Humphreys (serial Chairman)
If you make a move to a new company, you are at some disadvantage against your fellow managers. They know the ropes and how to shine in the existing environment.
It is therefore a very good idea to do something very early on in your new career to question that environment and change it in a high-profile way.
So, think about it when you are making a change of employer. Look at why the company has hired you. If you are coming in at a fairly high level it is likely that the people who hired you saw you as a change agent (rule of 20% Idea 44), for a part of their culture with which they are dissatisfied – new blood and all that.
Career case in point
A manager moved from a telecommunications company to another larger and longer established company. He knew, from his competitive knowledge and from things said at the interview, that senior management were implementing a huge change programme aimed at knocking the old-fashioned corners off their longserving managers. These people were accustomed to a hierarchical rather deferential culture where seniority counted highly. They were also struggling with the concept that the customer was king. The first thing the new boy did on his first day was to remove every car parking space allocated on the basis of management seniority. He re-allocated the best spaces to customers only.
Also in his tour of the car park, he realised that there were some areas that were not only dark but also outside the range of the security cameras. Accordingly, he allocated the next best spaces nearest to the entrance to those women who sometimes or regularly worked late. At a stroke he got the support of those of his people who felt held back by the old guard, and of the more ambitious women willing to work long hours. It also became high profile without his having to tell a soul. The old guard were in furore. They sent angry letters to human resources and senior managers in all parts of the organisation. They themselves gave him the oxygen of publicity. By the end of literally his first day his name was very high profile, he had sorted out the resisters of change from the enthusiasts and impressed on senior management his grasp of what they were looking for in terms of cultural change. Senior management congratulated themselves, modestly of course, for hiring the right person for the job.
We recommend this read to any person who is looking to succeed and wise enough to accept advice from the people who have been there before him.