Starting and maintaining a business takes every ounce of willpower, perseverance and tangible assets you own. Many business people consider “assets” as capital or things that can be used as capital, often forgetting that their best assets often don’t come in the form of physical items. In fact, tapping into these hidden assets can help you grow a successful business without investing more precious money or resources. The trick is identifying major strengths and their corresponding weaknesses to ensure that you take advantage of untapped resources without succumbing to big pitfalls. The following will help you to identify resources you didn’t know you had.
Time & Energy
Managing a business requires constant supervision, which is why most owners ignore time as a valuable asset. They assume that because they work constantly, they really have no time to spare on investing further into their own company. But if you sit back and evaluate your time and how you’re spending it, you might discover that you could be using it more efficiently. The mistake that many people make is to skip breaks and work 50, 60 or even 80 hour work-weeks. This leads to burnout quickly, and if you’re burned out, then your company suffers. The human body needs rest, and you should take advantage of a normal, average work-week and expect your employees to do the same. There will be weeks that require more than the standard 9 to 5 schedule, but try to maintain a healthy balance of work and play. Time can be your greatest ally if you manage it effectively. You will actually produce more quality work by staying alert and organized than by burning the candle at both ends.
You and your employees may possess talents that you didn’t know would help your business. How do you tap into these talents? Host semi-regular meetings to brainstorm new ideas. Business owners often forget that their staff members may not necessarily want to be doing the job they’re doing. They may have other aspirations. Use this to your advantage. Encourage your employees to offer their great ideas and give them more responsibility when the time comes. You never know what great idea your receptionist has, and he or she may just solve a sticky situation you’ve been working on for weeks. Tap into your unexplored talents to help push your business forward.
Many companies lose sight of their creativity the more involved they get into certain projects and deadlines. You can avoid this while tapping into an unused asset by applying your natural skills in the workplace. If you tutor underprivileged children on the weekends, then you’re obviously good at finding alternate solutions to problems. Your employees may also have hobbies and non-work-related skills that can actually be used during work hours. This is another reason why semi-regular brainstorming sessions can be powerful tools for your business. You’ll get to know your employees better, and they can help you identify where weaknesses exist.
Outside the Box
One of the greatest assets that many managers forget they have is the ability to break the routine of the cubicle environment. Workplaces have operated under the same conditions for decades. With increased technology, you have a whole world of untapped potential that can help you increase your productivity while reducing your spending. Take advantage of this by setting alternate work schedules, allowing people to use their smartphones for work purposes and encouraging employees to put their tech skills to good use. Technology is a great untapped resource that many people fail to utilize to its best potential. If you work in a regular business office, consider letting some employees work from home via telecommunication. This will allow them to work at any time so you can actually get more business done without having to pay for costly office space and equipment. Using free or inexpensive technology can help grow and sustain your office, making it more tech-savvy and ready for the future.
When to Say “No”
Some of these ideas sound perfect, and while many of them can easily be implemented, you need to be careful about how you handle certain changes. Technology, for instance, can be a blessing and a curse. You should encourage alternate work schedules, but choose employees who can handle the responsibility and the freedom. Otherwise, you might end up shooting yourself in the foot by letting too many slackers work from home. Likewise, ensure that your equipment is secured by a professional IT service to avoid company leaks and security issues. Know your limits. Don’t expect your employees to give everything they have to a company. If you ask them to use their extra-curricular skills on the job, then they may have nothing left to give after a few months. Just find a happy balance of sharing skills and managing the work-and-home dichotomy.
Dean Brady is Green Housing Business Developer, a senior writer with experiences in sustainable financing and real estate from Mortgageloan.com, a trusted online resource for mortgages and loans since 1995. Advocates green living is the way in achieving a better life. Physically, Mentally, and Financially.
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Category: Personal Branding