Business Operations Overview - Guerilla/Gorilla Style
How you approach the management & operations of your business will determine if the business is working for you, or you’re working for the business.
virtual office for virtually no rent
ShopSquawk suggests that you set up your company to function as a virtual company to the greatest extent possible. Management should definitely consider utilizing a virtual office. Virtual offices work extremely well with many business models, especially those where there is no need to handle walk-in customers, or provide facilities for employees or contractors. In many parts of the country (metropolitan areas), the price of renting a facility will remove all profitability from your endeavor.
street cred and a po box?
You can still operate a new business, but you must be aware that the current state of the economy is rife with ‘Rentier Capitalism’… which is a monopolization of property (both financial, intellectual, and physical) by those who don’t contribute much to society. If you want to discover how all this money got into the hands of those who have bought up important assets, take our 'Learn the System Course'.
As you are considering proper business management techniques for today’s environment, keep in mind that for marketing purposes, it is best to utilize a PO Box. This is important because you probably do not want clients showing up at your home. Another great reason to establish a PO Box is that it provides an opportunity to maximize your marketing efforts when using major search engines such as Google’s Local Area search feature. We recommend that you rent a Post Office box either from your local post office, or from one of the many establishments that provide a street address for just this purpose. Mail Boxes, Etc. is one, Postal Annex, is another. Make sure that you will be allowed to use a street address that will include a “Suite” number, and not a P.O. box number. It is NOT advisable to use your home address for Internet businesses.
outsource like loyal american companies do.
If you wish to hire additional personnel such as salespeople or managers to handle your training, and/or your marketing, business management, accounting, or tax preparation, consider outsourcing these tasks to an independent contractor or another firm. Organizations that provide virtual assistants are now widely used and you should take advantage of them.
These virtual assistants usually live overseas, but some of the contractors are located in the United States. This is an excellent way to avoid having to deal with payroll and direct supervision. You can find qualified (and not-so-qualified) individuals that will do your blogging, back-links, social media work, Twitter and Facebook for very little money (you may want to do this sooner than later before the US hyperinflates and devalues their currency). If you are not comfortable with social networking, consider employing these individuals to do it for you. Find those with good English and writing skills, and remember that they will be representing your company at all times, so hire with care. An excellent organization for locating qualified help is Fiverr (Click to go). Keep a short rope on the foreigners, as they like to use their 'lack of expertise in English' as a negotiation tool.
While it’s true that many large companies pay legislators to create overbearing and expensive regulations to keep competitors out of the market, you can still compete! Why? Big companies are as slow as a slug to innovate and change. Find a niche, make it happen. Don’t build a hardware store by a corporate hardware store! Find what they’re lacking, and consider offering your service and products from your ‘virtual’ home base. Remember that many large corporations (especially publicly traded ones) have an unlimited line of credit to build facilities – you do not.
Slay Unwilling or Unable Management!
This does not apply only to a new enterprise, although 85% of start-ups fail in the first year. An established company often needs to expand or diversify into new or related activities which are termed in management-speak, “horizontal or vertical integration”. The creation of a new division, for example, will equally require the application of “start-up” principles.
Successfully launching a new venture is difficult. Often it’s near impossible to succeed although it’s more likely that management is unwilling, rather than unable, to make it work. Many management teams recoil when they realize how long and difficult the road to success will be and will use any excuse to abandon ship. How often ShopSquawk caught the classic wail of failing management: “The banks don’t understand, they just pulled the rug, they ruined a good business”. Probably for good reason!
Sometimes start-ups expend way too much effort for little prospect of return. Many need in-house abilities beyond the management team’s skill-set. Willing management that lacks ability will re-position itself with deletions and additions, using every device to promote success. By comparison, a management team lacking in determination isn’t positioned nor even motivated, to fix anything!
Have a clear chain of command
With no clear chain of command, organizations become less effective. Companies often stand or fail on the efficiency of their internal systems. Customers become extremely frustrated when negotiating twisted paths to answer their enquiries which often results in loss of business. This is an area which is mainly addressed by ad hoc (you’re going to hear this word a lot so learn what it means now!) implementations of inadequate or inappropriate information flows designed, not by a systems specialist, but left to the inexperience of department managers.
A very smart person once said; “A systems audit starts with an Organogram and ends with flow-charts to ISO systems standards.” Huh? Well here’s an example… there was an American company that was cited for failing to comply with FDA regulations, but they did have an organizational chart. However, when the company’s Director of Governmental Compliance was questioned together with the Director of Quality Assurance as to who was responsible for ensuring FDA compliance, neither had any idea which individual was accountable. When one was chosen to be in charge of the next FDA inspection they gave the company its first clean “bill of health”.
The lesson: Companies can’t perform effectively without clear lines of authority and responsibility together with internal system structures. If missing, a ‘blame’ culture develops, as management seek scapegoats for system failures: “Good systems don’t fail, People do”. Always have a current Organogram and have it published it on the ‘About Us’ tab on the company website. A regular systems audit is vital because systems are dynamic and by nature are constantly changing.