2. How do you know what challenges I might be facing with my business?

Here are some common challenges that run across most of the clients I have had:

- Keeping the books! Business owners are not bookkeepers or accountants – nor should they expect themselves to be. There are numerous ways to manage the business’s books. Some small businesses can even do this with a simple spreadsheet that I can help set up for you. Or, I might recommend outsourcing your books to another small business with expert skills and knowledge. Without an efficient accounting system, you may have no idea of the financial health of their business. Once the books are in order, financial forecasting is feasible.

- Time management! You may be managing your schedule for the first time in your life. Think about it … in the past, your previous time use was based on the schedule set by a boss or a teacher or even your parent. Does this seem accurate to you? Well, now you may have to give time to your spouse, partner, children, and aging parents! I can analyze how you currently manage time and help you establish a weekly structure that allows you time to run the business, spend time with family, and have time for yourself.

- Employee management! Often, employee management is about finding “the right words” to discuss a topic with a worker. I can troubleshoot and role play to prepare you to handle challenging employee situations. I can guide you on what you are obligated by law to do or not do. Also, so much of employee management is understanding human behavior – what might trigger a negative response or motivate a positive accomplishment? There might be difficult situations that would be best handled by a different kind of expert. I do not hesitate to refer you to one of the “experts” I have identified that have specialized knowledge and skills in specific niche areas which would benefit you.

- Growing pains and scaling up! I have seen businesses rush to hire employees. Unless you carefully and truthfully answer the “why” you are hiring now question, you could likely be making a costly and difficult to reverse the decision. By locally outsourcing part-time responsibilities, you minimize the risk of permanently hiring prematurely. I can help you evaluate where hours are being worked, by whom and for what reason, and then determine which positions to hire first. Don’t make the mistake of hiring costlier product or service facing employees because you don’t have enough time to be product or service facing. Remember, you are likely hanging onto the operations “hat” for too long.

- Name the challenge, and we can help!