Tuesday, April 15, 2014

So taxing!

It's tax time. And while most people agree that having good roads, health care, and social programs are important for the well-being of our society, it doesn't make the bottom line of income tax reports any more cheerful.

So while accountants put in countless hours to make sure you get the most out of your income, what hours are you putting in to make sure you get the most out of your income?

A friend of mine was recently brought to the realization that his current standard of living was completely self-imposed. In spite of earning an above-average living and maintaining a below-average debt ratio (meaning, he makes good money and doesn't have any house or car payments), he was still ending each month with nothing left in his bank account. And complaining loudly about it. And mourning the fact that his lifestyle was not more like mine (ha!). So we talked about it. And he realized he made more money than I did. Yet, I own a home and a couple of vehicles and have twice the number of children he does. We manage to eat and have clothes and enjoy some entertainment and manage all of our household and business expenses. So what is the real difference between us? CHOICE. That is all.

You can afford what you want to afford. You can live the way you want to live. You can make your income work for you to achieve the lifestyle you desire. So put in some time to decide what you really want to do, lay out a plan to achieve it, and exercise a little self-discipline. Make your money work for you.

And don't worry about the tax man - it can be a win-win if everyone is doing their part to responsibly manage money.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I told them they did a good job. I think.

You can't underestimate the value of a great team that synergizes business activity into a living, morphing organism of sustainable success. Do you know the secret to that success? It can be summed up in two words: effective communication.

Are your team members on the same page? Do you even know if they are? Maybe they are and they just don't speak the same language. Maybe they're not and they still don't speak the same language. And maybe they are misunderstanding you, the goals of the business, or other key concepts that daily affect their ability to contribute to the success of the company.

There are 98 common ways of saying, "You did a good job." How do you say it? How do your team members understand it? Do you think you're being supportive and congratulatory when in reality your team feels your encouragement is meagre at best? Are your staff meetings and team-building exercises successful or are they more an exercise in frustration? Do they build your team or do they seem to exacerbate differences instead? How well do you and your team members really communicate?

When a business owner and staff communicate effectively together and with one another, the result is a cohesive operation that runs seamlessly. Even when problems and obstacles arise they can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Positive energy, creative thinking, and ambition thrive in this kind of environment. When everyone feels heard, understood, and supported, they can put forth their best efforts in the workplace and know that these efforts are appreciated and rewarded. Everyone gives and takes and supports the business functions from their individual positions. It all comes together. And great things happen as this synergy places the business and everyone in it on the road to success.

If you find that your team is continually struggling to understand each other, that your staff is lacking in motivation, that you don't seem to be able to find common ground on which to build common understanding, or you're constantly frustrated with efforts to connect, it's time to call in a Business Coach. And not just any Coach - one that has experience with mediation, with strategies to build and enhance communication, and expertise in a variety of team settings (including corporate human resources, small business staffing practices, society and board function, and even government and municipal affairs). Team building is no easy task and you need an experienced Business Coach to make sure that the best is brought out in every member of your staff.

Take action today and start enjoying the synergy that will result in success. For you and everyone on your team. Call David Green today.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why Big Decisions Don't Always Mean Big Results

You can take all the massive action you want and still not get the results you need. Why? Because you weren't making sure that the action you took fit in to your bigger picture.

Think of it this way: would you drive around aimlessly day after day without knowing where you were going? It might be a great joyride, but it won't feel like progress. You may even make some pretty big decisions along the way (for example, going north instead of south!) but you still won't feel that satisfying sense of accomplishment.

When it comes to business, you need to make sure that every move you make fits in to your overall strategy. Would you hire office staff if there wasn't a clear outline of how that would prove valuable to your business plan? Would you acquire a new building if your financial goals would be unattainable with the added expense? Would you diversify your product line if your manufacturing processes needed to remain static to control maintenance expenses? As attractive as all these "side trips" may be, they may end up preventing you from achieving the goals that need to be realized in order for you to experience success and satisfaction.

After you have developed a clear picture of where your business is headed, stick to the plan. You've already determined the objectives that are worth your investment of time, energy, and action. So don't waste time chasing rainbows in other directions. Get down to business!