Why a Good Sergeant is Priceless to Small Business

I never joined the military but, having worked in the family businesses from a very early age, I nevertheless grew up knowing the value of a good sergeant. They say that sergeants run the military. Sergeants also run the best small businesses. Having good sergeants is the difference between being a small business owner and being self-employed.

The Difference Between Small Business Ownership and Self-Employment
Someone who is self-employed may “own” her business, but nevertheless does everything herself. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, but she can never claim all the benefits of being a true small business owner. Since she does most of the vital work of the business, the self-employed person can rarely leave the nitty-gritty of the business. Vacations are usually impossible, as are other high-level business activities like strategy and product development.

On the other hand, the small business owner knows how to get her hands dirty, but doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to. The true small business owner has sergeants. Who are sergeants? Sergeants are well-trained employees who help run the majority of the business, and who are invested in the success of the business. Sergeants keep the business running smoothly and to the owner’s standards, whether the owner is present or not.

The Pros and Cons of Small Business Sergeants
As with everything, sergeants have their pros and cons. The pros are obvious. Small business owners who employ great sergeants can focus more on business development, strategy, and high-level networking. These owners don’t have to spend all their time in the trenches. Plus, they can actually go on vacation for rest, rejuvenation, and inspiration.

There are also the cons. You have to pay a quality sergeant well. Also, good sergeants can be hard to find. The truly great sergeants are in high demand, and are usually already employed by other businesses. That leaves the option of discovering a “diamond in the rough” and training your own sergeant. Developing a good sergeant takes time, energy, and a lot of trial and error. But, the rewards are rich.

I am fortunate to work with one fabulous sergeant exclusively, and two others on a contract basis. Having trained my main sergeant from the ground up over the last seven years, I’m not about to let her go. I offer a handsome bonus each year and strive to make sure our relationship is mutually beneficial. She keeps all three of my small businesses running smoothly, so that I mostly handle any exceptions on a daily basis. I spend the rest of my time on marketing, business development, and product creation.

Have there been rough times in the past? Absolutely. Screw-ups and miscommunications happen on both sides, but that’s just part of being human. We’ve gotten past them each and every time. With my sergeant running the businesses most of the time, I can spend 5 weeks in Mexico each year, and focus on the parts of my business I really love.

Based on the idea of having sergeants, are you a small business owner or someone who is self-employed? Which model are you more interested in? And if you want to be a small business owner rather than self-employed, do you know of any potential sergeants in your network?

Should You Invest in Letting Property Software?

Running a property management business involves a lot of different regular and irregular tasks to be done. Keeping a calendar organised can be a daunting task for someone in the property management business. Beyond all the scheduled things to do there are impromptu surprises disrupting your day as well. Letting property software can help you maximise your day and minimize errors and omissions as well as help you improve your professional appearance with tenants and vendors.

Depending on which letting property software package you use, you can organise tasks, rents, contracts, and other things relating to your business in one place. Manage inventory, track financials, automate tasks that you’d normally do manually, and ensure that you are within government guidelines for rent and other related issues.

Software helps a property manager manage day to day issues as well as track issues that crop up. Beyond being better able to work with existing tenants, you can also handle the task of dealing with new and prospective tenants as well and you can do this in a way that impresses upon them the fact that you are a professional that is running a professional business.

Notices can go out automatically, you can track and trace issues expediently, and with the touch of a few buttons can run detailed reports that help you manage various facets of your business effectively.

A lot of property owners are letting out their properties right now. And, with the fact that it is a great time to pick up properties at excellent pricing, many property managers have the labourious task of having to manage more properties than ever due to the expansion of their portfolio. Automating the various tasks that need to be done as well as the records ensures that tenants are looked after, property tasks are automated, and record keeping happens seamlessly.

Concerned about costs of implementing software? Investing in a letting property software package may seem, at first, like a big expense, depending on which software you choose and how many functions you need it to perform. But within a short amount of time after implementing the software, it will be apparent that it provides a huge return on investment. The software will help the company manage records, work effectively with tenants, manage day to day tasks, and more.

When shopping for letting property software, look for something that will help you get organised today and that will grow with you, should your property portfolio grow. You’ll find software packages geared to residential property letting as well as those that are more geared for commercial letting. Some are equipped for mixed portfolios, if that’s something that applies today or that may apply to you in the future as your business grows.

Why 2009 is the Best Time to Start an Online Business

2009 might not has a good start with the devastating global crisis. And with million of jobs lose worldwide and corporate giants collapsing, many believe that we might not yet seem the worst of this credit crash. But that does not mean we can’t find other ways to earn extra cash.

Online Businesses have exponentially increased in number since the start of the internet era. And with the global online sale index rising out of the roof, year after year. Online Business proved to be more confident and stable in the business arena, even during economy slowdown like now. Therefore with earning possibilities running low on the streets, there is no better time to start an online business than now. So here are the reasons why online businesses are on the growth while others are going no where.

Online Business is low Cost

You don’t have to pay for shop rental, fewer employees are required and all administration works can be automated. This all mean that setting up an online business or store can be incredibly low cost and easier to manage when compared with the offline business. All you might ever need is to pay for your hosting fee and one time domain name purchase and you are good to go. And there are also free website or blog platforms that you can use, if you choose to further reduce your risk to the minimum.

Online Business is easier to build

It has never been easier to build an online business. The internet is full of free resources and tools that will help an average people to set up a professional looking website within days to compete with the giants. And by spending some time learning through the internet, you will be able to market your success with success in no time. Where internet is an ocean of possibilities, the only obstacle you will face is your own creativity.

Online Business is very flexible

With just a laptop and an internet connection, you can choose to work at anytime or any place. No more waking up early to avoid the morning traffic or rushing to the office for that important sale meeting. You can start work after 10 am in the morning, and slowly sipping your coffee while still in your pajamas.

Earn Money while you sleep

How does having sales made even when you peacefully dose off in the middle of the night sound to you? Online business will never close as its customers came from all over the world. In a global online market, one place closed and another open. And the convenient of buying things at anytime the customers wants, have greatly increased the online sale volume year after year.

Business as usual even during renovation

Traditionally, stores have to be closed for several days just to get some minor renovation done. It could be changing of a new theme, a fresh paint on the walls or some extra fixtures to improve the store layout. All this will have an impact on the overall revenue. With an online business, changes can be adjusted in the background without having to close for business and affecting the customer shopping experience. When a new layout of the store template is selected or a new upgrade feature is added, the new changes will go on live with just a press of a button.

Online Business has better marketing strategy

Online marketing provide customers with a faster and more effective channel to satisfy their demand. When a person got interested in an advertisement of a product on the internet, by just clicking the ad will direct him/her to your online store immediately. And within minutes, he/she can buy the item and transfer the payment to you online. This add great value to online business as it act on the impulse of the customers when they got their attention on a particular items that appear on online ad banners or search engine listings.

Online Business is low risk

That right, you don’t really need to raise a huge amount of fund to get an online business running. No more worry of not getting your loan approved by the bank especially during this credit crisis or risk your mortgage in this uncertain times. With hosting fee as low as $9.99 a month, setting up online business is just like spending on your daily lunch. Starting by using free online advertising services will help you minimize your overhead at the early stage. And when the sale started rolling in, you can then invest in paid advertising like Google AdWords that will further boost your sale revenue.

The world is your Market

If your online business is not geographically restricted, then you will be benefited by the global market in the online world. Your online store is accessible by people from all part of the world. So if your products are consider rare in certain regions and you can shipped them in a reasonable rate, then your potential customer base will expend from your local market to the billion of people in the globe.

So no matter if you just want to earn extra cash online or build an online empire, 2009 present you with a good opportunity to get started. You can also find resources on small business ideas to earn extra cash.