05 Oct 2017

Outsourcing is not a dirty word!

Before you go overworking yourself and making your life miserable you should consider the possibility that you might need to outsource some of your work. To some business owners the whole idea that your business can’t handle everything with the resources that you have but have no means to fix it,  looks as if the business is on the verge of going under. That’s totally not the case!

Outsourcing – the practice of using outside firms [or individuals] to handle work normally performed within a company. (Source: https://www.allbusiness.com/the-benefits-of-outsourcing-for-small-businesses-2-1084-1.html)

Sometimes as a business owner you need to step back and evaluate where the holes are in your business. If this means seeing the overall picture or breaking it down to individual groups or projects then that is fine. But know that whatever hole you have it can be filled.

There is no shortage of individuals all over the world looking for work and outsourcing to those individuals will help you easily fill the gaps in your business. The benefits to outsourcing takes are as follows:

  1. Save some money! Yes, that’s right, outsourcing can actually save you money because you are actually turning what would normally be a fixed cost into a variable cost for your business. You will also save on labour costs. Hiring, training and keeping staff can be expensive!
  2. Increase overall efficiency. When outsourcing you will have a specific person working on the one thing that they specialize in. Therefore, you are getting tasks done quickly and properly the first time.  There is no downtime to train them on the job, they are already a pro! Just give them the task parameters, set your expectations and then them do their thing.
  3. Focus that pent up energy on your business. Every business has limited resources, time and attention. By outsourcing where you need help, you are able to shift your focus over to the tasks that you were hired to do and therefore, build your business faster.
  4. Build competition. Small businesses that are trying to grow have a hard time keeping up with the expectations of them because of bigger companies. By outsourcing you are able to act like a big company while still being a small company.
  5. Less overall risk. There are two ways to reduce risk when outsourcing. You can reduce internal risk because you are outsourcing to someone that you trust and have the flexibility to write your own contract on your own terms. You can reduce outside risk because the professional that you are outsourcing work to knows how to avoid economical risk and be able to suggest the best plan of action when working on a specific task.

Now that you know the benefits to outsourcing you can go ahead and get the help that you need and start growing your business faster and easier. While you are doing that, why not try Sheldon out. Sheldon can actually help you discover those holes in your business and once you fill them, help you manage the people that are working on making you shine!

Visit our website to learn more: http://getsheldon.com/

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21 Sep 2017

Proper project planning = great customer service

As a service based business, you know that one of the most important parts of your job as an operation manager or project planner is to deliver your project on-time, done well and within budget. By staying consistently organized and up to date on the progress of your current project is key. We at Sheldon believe that proper project planning and management is a leading factor in great customer service.

Reports

When your project is organized you are able to provide better customer service to your clients. The reason behind this – you have the information that your client is looking for right at your finger tips. By not making them wait for status reports, budget reports or project timeline reports you are giving them the reassurance that they have indeed made the right decision to come to you for help.

Saving time

When you stay organized from the beginning, you are then able to focus more of your attention towards the project itself making sure that the quality of your work does not dwindle. You also have more time to devote to providing exceptional customer service because you are not focused on continuing to plan the project while it has already started.

Internal communication

All of the responsibility of providing updates to the client doesn’t necessarily need to fall on you. Being organized and having a well thought out plan for your project will actually minimize any type of confusion your team members may have with the status of the project. This takes the pressure off of you so that you can take a sick day or an extra long weekend knowing that the project will still move forward and the client will still be happy.

Believe it or not, Sheldon is designed to help with these pain points exactly. Sheldon actually eliminates the need for large complicated spreadsheets and provides you with a platform that allows you to have all of your project information all in one place! Curious to try? Sign up now!

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07 Sep 2017

Team Management Tips and Tricks From Sheldon

Team management is something that has to be learnt and is usually learnt through trial and error. In order to have a healthy team environment, a team leader is required to know the the needs of their team members as well as the needs of the company. Once those two aspects of a team mesh properly, you will start to see great synergy between team members, productivity and results.

Get the results that every team leader looks for when managing their team with these tips and tricks for success.

 

Teamwork

This is listed on almost every job posting ever written for a reason. Each individual on your team has their own specific strengths. Pulling those strengths together makes a power team. It is proven that majority of individuals work better in a team environment. Therefore, create an environment that your team can easily communicate, collaborate and succeed.

With the increase amount of individuals who are working remotely it might start to become difficult to really collaborate. To deal with this common issue, take advantage of online tools such as Slack, or Facebook Messenger for business. This will open the lines of communication between team members no matter where they are.

Roles and Responsibilities

Through strong organization, roles and responsibilities should be set forth to all members of a team including the leaders. Having two people working on the same task is not an effective use of time or resources. When everyone knows what they should be working on as well as what their co-workers are responsible for, there should never be an overlap in responsibilities.

One way to ensure that there is no overlap if you have a few people on your team with the same talents is to designate a person in the team that would be responsible for the outcome of that portion of the project. Otherwise known as the DRI or Designated Responsible Individual. This tactic works for all sizes of groups but works best when there are a lot of different tasks required of the team members.

Cohesive Leadership

Looking beyond an individual team and looking at a group of leaders in a business, it is very important that there is cohesion between all group leaders. It is important for all leaders to understand that decisions should not be made by themselves but instead as a group working together to achieve one goal. When a leader goes out on their own to work solo, they are not only damaging the team as a whole but affecting the outcomes of the project.

It is the responsibility of the owner or managing leader to keep all team leaders in tact by forming another layer of team management.

Understanding the importance of proper team management is the first step to achieving success within your business. To learn more about how Sheldon can help you manage your team by knowing what each team member is working on at what time and for how long, we encourage you to sign up now.

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31 Aug 2017

A Project is a Never a Failed Project if Caught Early Enough

Shifting focus midway through a project is not considered a bad thing. There is this famous saying by Thomas Edison, ” I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” That saying falls true for project planning and execution as well. It takes a true leader to know that what you are working on is not going to work and you need to make a shift in the plan.

For the three major parts of your marketing plan, ask yourself the following questions:

Deadline

– According to where you are right now in the project, are you going to be able to finish by the deadline?

Budget

– Are you on track to keep within your project budget?

Availability

– Do you have enough staff and resources available in order to finish the project at hand?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, that’s great! Keep on the right track!

If the answer is maybe to any of these questions, do a good evaluation of what could prevent you from hitting the project finish line and then fix what could be stopping you.

If the answer is no to any of these questions, stop what you are doing and shift focus. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do this project, it just means that you are going in the wrong direction. Look for what hasn’t been working and then find the solution.

We would like to encourage you to check out our infographic on the reason behind why projects fail. The people in this statistic didn’t stop and evaluate their project plan throughout the project to make sure it was successful. Learn from their mistakes.

 

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17 Aug 2017

A Blog Post About Blog Posts

I’m sure a lot of you have seen the TV show “Community”. Remember the episode where Abed makes a movie about a guy making a movie? Well, in this blog post, I want to talk about blog posts. 

Here’s How It Is.

Everyone’s trying to build a strong online presence to knock their competitors out of the running. Have you invested time in blogs and LinkedIn? Great! Those are my favourite! Facebook and Twitter? They’re a little more on the personal side of social media, but still effective. Instagram and Pinterest? Might be getting a little off the mark there…they are all about the pictures, not really the words. Tinder?… Alright, no one’s advertising their company on Tinder, but I bet they will soon. =P

My point is that everyone’s everywhere and it’s hard to stand out. A blog post takes time! Writing… editing… rewriting…etc. Why write a blog post when your competitors are on every platform that you know of and are averaging 5-6 posts in the time it takes you to get one solid post out?

If you do it right, your one super awesome post will be worth more to your business than 20 smaller tweets or shares. Don’t get me wrong, cute shots of team building exercises and convincing calls to action on LinkedIn definitely work for getting some clicks (we do that too!). But a good blog post can do so much more! It can convince people to sign up for more articles, sign up for your product or service, or even get involved by sharing their opinion, Ultimately, your readers will  share your blog within their own online network because  they really love it. So, what makes a good blog post?

Original Content

There, I said it. I know it’s hard… who has time to come up with original content? But hear me out. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. They’re always looking to learn something new. They don’t care what your team had for lunch, and they’re far more interested in their own success than yours. So, show them your secret to  success. Tell them what works for you and ask them what works for them.

If you don’t know what to write about, then you’re over thinking it. Everyone faces struggles at work every day. No matter their level in the organization. You’d be surprised how many other people are dealing with a business problem right now that you’ve already solved.

Maybe you’re a dev lead who figured out a way to mentor your juniors without too much hand holding. Or a product manager who couldn’t think of a topic for a blog post and decided to write about blog posts. =/

If there’s one “hack” here, it’s this: If you have a unique problem and you solve it, write about it. People will thank you. But you’ve already solved the problem, right? So, why bother sharing?

Community (Not the TV show this time)

By sharing what works for you, you’re not giving up company secrets. You’re helping grow a community which can help you grow in return. If you do that enough, you become a thought leader in your space and people will seek you and your products out. How many cat pictures do you think it would  take to make that happen?
So, get out there and share your success, post a few silly pics and don’t forget the shameless plug at the end! If you’re a service company and you need a good tool to manage your projects, teams, and budgets, check out Sheldon! We’re all here to make money, right? =P

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