Job Applicant Tracking Is Important for Small Businesses

For large corporations, job applicant tracking software isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. With hundreds and sometimes thousands of candidates a year submitting resumes and looking for positions, the folder and file cabinet record keeping system that worked for your predecessors just doesn’t cut it anymore. When a human resource manager or corporate president makes a decision about applicant tracking, it’s not a question of whether or not, but rather which one. That should come as no surprise to anyone.

All stereotypes aside, the use of an applicant tracking database isn’t something you’ll find only in large companies. One surprising revelation that has become more frequently apparent to small business owners is that tracking software can increase the bottom line and make any company more efficient, even those that have less than twenty employees. If you do any hiring at all, the presence of an efficient and accurate job applicant tracking system can save you thousands of dollars in wasted recruiting, training, and severance expenses. Here are a few examples:

The candidate who comes back for more: Every company recruitment drive has one of these – the candidate who has been refused a dozen times yet still comes back for more. Small companies generally catch these situations, because the same person handles all the hiring, but what if you change human resource managers? The new manager won’t know that this person has a grudge against the company that goes back a few years. Applicant tracking software will show the history.

Recruitment drives over a year apart: Even a few months can make a difference. You always want new blood. If you’re using the same advertising resources, and tapping the same potential personnel pool, you’ll see a lot of duplication in your efforts. Avoid that with an applicant tracking database that shows you all of the notes for each candidate from the last drive. You can use those notes to separate the perennials from the truly new blood that can give your small business new life.

Tracking Advertising Mediums: The best applicant tracking software programs give you the ability to track advertising mediums and run reports based on those numbers. If you always do the same thing, you’ll get the same results. Obviously, unless you’re constantly expanding, recruitment drives happening on an annual or monthly basis mean that your turnover is high. Is that because of something you’re doing as a company or the quality of the people you’re hiring? Maybe the local Sunday newspaper isn’t the best source for you to find new employees. Look at the statistics from previous hiring to find out.

Doing more with less: Your company is small and your resources are limited, so you’re always trying to do more with less. Applicant tracking software helps you to do that. A human resource department with half a dozen employees can be cut down to two or three, giving you more money available to use for recruiting and salaries for new employees. You might even want to promote some of those folks who have dealing with all the HR problems we’ve listed in this article. They already know what needs to be done to make your company successful.

Don’t Bankrupt Your Small Business by Being Perfect!

No matter how seriously you take your small business or how dedicated you are to your clients, perfectionism is a mistake that will kill you. It’s like a virus that never seems to go away and it can really take a toll on you personally and your businesses health.

Unfortunately I see way too many small business owners who are perfectionists and I see the way this holds them back.

I am speaking from experience as I am a “recovering perfectionist” and had to learn the hard way to let that go.

If you’re a perfectionist (and you know who you are) here’s a phrase you’ll want to stitch into the fiber of your being…

Good enough is good enough!

A colleague of mine is really struggling in his business right now. He’s really great at what he does and makes sure everything is always done right. There is just one big problem…he’s an incurable perfectionist and because of this he is on the verge of bankrupting his business.

Everything and I mean everything has to be perfect.

Because of the perfect job he always does, his services cost about 3 times as much as others in his industry. They have to…it takes him forever to get things perfect!

When I suggested that he hire someone as a “junior” worker to do jobs that really don’t have to be perfect, he said, “No.” His reason, “They won’t do as good of a job as I will.”

Sound familiar?

Perfectionism is one of the quickest ways to bankrupt your small business. My colleague is in a world of hurt, because he won’t let good enough be good enough.

Here’s the deal, people will pay for good enough — most won’t pay for perfection…it costs too much and good enough gets the job done. If you strive to always make sure your services are perfect, this will hinder you.

We’ve all head the saying “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” If this is how you feel about every single task related to your business, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Or if you feel that everything has to be perfect before it’s released, sold, marketed or whatever, you’re setting yourself up to never get things done in your business. Nothing will ever be perfect.

Good enough is good enough!

Perfectionism hinders your ability to handle more work, because it takes you so much longer to get anything done than your competition. Yes, you can set yourself apart from the crowd by doing an outstanding job. But an outstanding job does not have to be perfect!

Would your clients really notice the difference, or care even half as much as you do that your work is perfect while someone else’s is good enough?

Clients want work completed on time and at a fair price more than they want a “perfect” job.

Overcoming perfectionism isn’t easy if it’s a habit you’ve developed, but the rewards for your small business will make it more than worthwhile.

Practice recognizing when projects are good enough, and then let them go. I know…this is sooooo much easier said than done. But you have to practice it and consciously make a decision that good enough is good enough.

One great strategy is to hire some help to handle tasks you don’t need to complete yourself or that don’t have to be perfect. so you have more time to devote to clients.

You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish without compromising on your client’s level of satisfaction with your service – when you learn and practice that good enough is truly good enough.

Stop the Time and Money Wasting Insanity in Your Small Business!

Let me ask you a question: How much money is your time worth? If you’re like most small business owners, you make money ONLY when you are working with your clients.

You do NOT make money when you are answering emails, driving in the car, prospecting for clients and above all… trying to do things on your own that you’re NOT an expert in.

It never ceases to amaze me just how many small business owners burn up precious time — and money — doing things they have absolutely no business doing. Time is a very precious gift. Once spent, you can not get it back. And with small businesses, time IS money.

Yeah, you’ve heard that a million times, but do you really take it to heart?

Do you spend your working day… your pay time… the daylight you have from 8 to 5… to make money? Or do you spend it on other things and activities that cost you money?

Here are a just few examples small business owners are guilty of:

#1 Doing your own taxes… better yet, struggling through the mounds of paper and chaotic time finding receipts and bank statements to make sure your taxes are correct.

Are you a CPA? Are you a tax expert? Wouldn’t it make sense to farm this activity out so that you can focus your time on your most important asset — your clients?! Unless you are a tax professional, I would make a bet that you don’t make money by doing your own taxes. In fact, you probably LOSE money by doing your own taxes! Could hiring the right CPA cost half as much in both time and money… not to mention frustration?

#2 Doing your own investing and retirement planning…

Are you a financial guru? Do you know all the ins and outs of investment strategies to pick the one that will get you to your goals the fastest? Or do you just piddle and do what everyone else does… which is usually not much? Wouldn’t it make sense to hire a financial expert to guide you through the jungle of 401Ks, IRAs, stocks, bonds and the hundreds of other acronyms that start to look like alphabet soup?

#3 Doing your own marketing and design… this, obviously is my favorite.

Are you a marketing expert? Do you have a degree in marketing? A degree in design? Years of experience in the field? Wouldn’t it make sense to work with an expert that actually knows what works and what doesn’t. Think of all the time and money you’re wasting by guessing about what marketing activity you should “try”…

Think of all the time and money you’re wasting by doing exactly what everyone else is doing, because you don’t know any better… Think of all the time and money you’re wasting by buying all those books on marketing that you haven’t even had time to open…

Your time is expensive — very expensive. Before you go off and try to “save time and money” by doing things yourself, you need to seriously do the math.

If you charge $50, $75, $100, $300 per hour… doing things that you are not an expert in will cost you, NOT save you.

Imagine for a moment that you are the CEO of a large corporation… let’s say you are the CEO of IBM…

Would you do the hiring for the company? Or would you let HR do that?

Would you do all of the sales for the company? Or would you let your sales team do that?

Would you do all of the accounting for the company? Or would you let your CFO and accounting team do that?

Would you design brochures and direct mail campaigns? Or would you let the marketing department do that?

Imagine how crazy it would be for the CEO to do the hiring, sales, accounting and marketing for IBM.

There is no way that would ever happen. IBM has departments of experts that focus on what they do best. And therefore IBM is a very profitable company because the collaborative effort of the experts allows the company to make tons of money.

It is the SAME with your business. You are the CEO, yet most small business CEO’s do everything themselves.

It’s no wonder that so many small businesses struggle to make ends meet. How can you be profitable when you are spreading yourself so thin by doing everything yourself? This is and will always be a very expensive waste of your time.

Here are a few keys to make sure your expensive time is making you the most money.

  • The most profitable companies, large or small, are those who know when to farm out the things and tasks they are not experts in. Want to make more money? Focus first on what you are the best in, hire out the rest.
  • You need to change your thinking that doing everything yourself saves time and money… it doesn’t. The sooner you come to this realization, the better.
  • Imagine having all of your time dedicated to what you do best and make the most money in… hiring help will free up that time and make you more money.

Whatever you charge your clients is how expensive your time is. Make sure that spending 5, 10, 20 of those expensive hours on something is really saving you money versus costing you.

Accounting Tips For Small Businesses

With tax time nearly upon us, many small businesses and first time entrepreneurs are scrambling to get their accounting information straightened out in order to file on time. When many small business owners think of accounting, they tend to associate it with income tax preparation and filing. The accounting for your small business should not be relegated to tax time. Accounting information can help business owners make better decisions, and improve the management of their business. It can also help them secure financing, and facilitate reporting to stakeholders (such as creditors, banks, and government agencies), and it can tip them off to any serious problems that might be brewing, such as dwindling cash resources, or debt burdens which may become overwhelming.

The accounting aspect of many small businesses is often the most neglected. Most small business owners don’t feel they have the time or expertise to devote to keeping their books. Let’s face it, most small business owners didn’t start a business because they were eager to deal with the finance and accounting aspects of it. The accounting is a function done at the end of the year for tax purposes. This attitude is unfortunate, because the accounting results of a business can represent a wealth of information, and can help business owners make better decisions. The fact is that accounting information really serves as an indicator of how healthy your business is. Think of your accounting information as a reading on a thermometer.

If you only see the value in accounting at tax time, you are missing out on an opportunity to get a true picture (and not just a “gut feeling) of how your business is performing financially. It is not likely that the individual who prepared your information is going to give you any tips or guidance with respect to the management of your business (unless your accountant or bookkeeper is also a relative or associate). Remember, in this instance you’ve paid them to prepare information for tax filing purposes, not provide consulting services on how to improve the performance of your business.

If you’ve already paid someone to prepare financial information for you, then the information is all there, waiting to be used. Business owners need not be the ones who prepare financial information, but they’d better be ready to be the ones who pay attention, and interpret, that financial information (or have a trusted associate who is willing to do this for them – although most accountants don’t come cheap). A responsible small business owner makes it a point to understand how to read financial statements, and draw conclusions from the information contained therein.

Unfortunately, you can’t really purchase accounting advice tailored to your small business over the internet. The good news is that you don’t need to be a financial genius to understand your balance sheet. There are many resources available on the web which can guide you through the process of understanding your financial statements. You may be just starting out, and looking for potential solutions. Or, you may be a seasoned business owner looking for some tips. There is a wide variety of solutions available, and these range from tutorials and e-books, to accounting and bookkeeping software. Learn more about these here: Accounting Tips for Small Businesses

With tax time nearly upon us, many small businesses and first time entrepreneurs are scrambling to get their accounting information straightened out in order to file on time. When many small business owners think of accounting, they tend to associate it with income tax preparation and filing. The accounting for your small business should not be relegated to tax time. Accounting information can help business owners make better decisions, and improve the management of their business. It can also help them secure financing, and facilitate reporting to stakeholders (such as creditors, banks, and government agencies), and it can tip them off to any serious problems that might be brewing, such as dwindling cash resources, or debt burdens which may become overwhelming.

The accounting aspect of many small businesses is often the most neglected. Most small business owners don’t feel they have the time or expertise to devote to keeping their books. Let’s face it, most small business owners didn’t start a business because they were eager to deal with the finance and accounting aspects of it. The accounting is a function done at the end of the year for tax purposes. This attitude is unfortunate, because the accounting results of a business can represent a wealth of information, and can help business owners make better decisions. The fact is that accounting information really serves as an indicator of how healthy your business is. Think of your accounting information as a reading on a thermometer.

If you only see the value in accounting at tax time, you are missing out on an opportunity to get a true picture (and not just a “gut feeling) of how your business is performing financially. It is not likely that the individual who prepared your information is going to give you any tips or guidance with respect to the management of your business (unless your accountant or bookkeeper is also a relative or associate). Remember, in this instance you’ve paid them to prepare information for tax filing purposes, not provide consulting services on how to improve the performance of your business.

If you’ve already paid someone to prepare financial information for you, then the information is all there, waiting to be used. Business owners need not be the ones who prepare financial information, but they’d better be ready to be the ones who pay attention, and interpret, that financial information (or have a trusted associate who is willing to do this for them – although most accountants don’t come cheap). A responsible small business owner makes it a point to understand how to read financial statements, and draw conclusions from the information contained therein.

Unfortunately, you can’t really purchase accounting advice tailored to your small business over the internet. The good news is that you don’t need to be a financial genius to understand your balance sheet. There are many resources available on the web which can guide you through the process of understanding your financial statements. You may be just starting out, and looking for potential solutions. Or, you may be a seasoned business owner looking for some tips. There is a wide variety of solutions available, and these range from tutorials and e-books, to accounting and bookkeeping software.