Is Employee Management via Text Okay?

19 Jul

I consider myself a tech geek.  I don’t have to have every new gadget, but I believe I’m near the cutting edge.  I use new ideas in tech all the time; however I have started to see a trend that bothers me, managing employees via text.   Have we reached a point where (to me) an impersonal text is accepted way to manage employees?

I have been around long enough to see two-way radios, beepers, alpha-numeric pagers, bag cell phones, cell phones, Push to talk cell phones, and email.  All these devices were tools to facilitate faster communications, saving time, and money. Even with all these improvements face to face conversations were still the norm for totally private (or secure) information.  I was told repeatedly to be a good manager you had to develop your communication or people skills.

Four workers in Britain were fired via text in March 2007.   “The message, which each of the four received had said, “Due to the lack of professionalism and poor overall performance of the Chester office, I have no option but to let u go,” It went on to say “Ur pay wil be calculated and paid on pay day. U are not required to go into the office. All belongings wil be sent to u.” (Duffy, Michelle.  http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/138840#ixzz20up8muXD).  I can’t even believe a manager could even think of sending a text like this.

I believe text may be okay for some things.  I just can’t think of any.  I am old fashioned in I want to at least hear a voice when I am asking for something to be done.  Let me know what you think.  Please post your comments below, on Twitter, or email.

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Who should be on Your Entrepreneurial Team?

9 Jul

Entrepreneurs believe they have to do everything themselves.  It is true in they need to oversee the entire project and make sure it is going the direction they want it to go.  However, you’re going to need people to help you take care of the areas of your business that you can’t.  Legal and Accounting are the first to come to mind.  Other areas that I include on my Entrepreneurial Team are:

  • Logo/Artwork
  • Website Administrator
  • Reality Check Network

Logo/Artwork is self-explanatory.  I am a slightly below poor artist, so I pay a professional to help me out.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive professional designer.  I have known Entrepreneurs’ who used someone from fiver.com or an art student at a local college.  I have been lucky to have some good artist’s in my family and friends to help me out.

I run my own website through Dot-easy.  It is fairly simple to do, but I have a couple of real Website designers/operators in my network.  It is great to have someone to help me out when I get in over my head.  Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive.  I have done some writing for them in exchange for them helping me.

Reality Check Network is the most valuable team member I have.  This is a group of Entrepreneurs who have been successful with their own businesses.  I have connected with them through chance meetings, Chamber events, LinkedIn, Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter.  These people know what it takes to be successful.  I run ideas by them to see what they think.  Don’t do this step if you’re not ready for BRUTAL HONESTY.  They know what works and aren’t shy about saying so.  They provide a Reality Check to try to keep me from making a big mistake.

These are the members of my Entrepreneurial Team.  Who are the members of Your Team?  I would love to know your thoughts about who should be on the team.  Please leave your comments below, on Twitter, or e-mail.

Being an Entrepreneur means managing yourself

6 Jul

When people ask what I do and I reply, “an Entrepreneur,” they invariably reply with “must be nice to be your own boss.”  It is true.  It is great to be my own boss.  It is also the worst thing because I have to manage myself to get everything done.  I constantly have to prioritize my tasks to make sure things moving along so I can get paid.

I am sure my daily schedule of tasks is not very different from yours.  There is a wide variety of personal, business, and family tasks that must be done each day to keep things on track.   A lot of people use fancy electronic planner systems or complicated (to me) Name Brand Planner systems.  I just use a blank one month per page calendar printed from MS Word and two note pads (one paper and one on my smartphone).

  1. The month calendar gets meetings, bill due dates, family appointments, etc. put on it as a reminder of what is up coming.
  2. Each evening I take the paper note pad and make a list of everything I need to accomplish the next day.  I refer to my monthly calendar to see if I need to be working on a project or have meetings or appointments.
  3. I use the note pad on my smartphone to jot down notes on the go.  I then transfer them to my paper list.  This way I only have to keep one calendar and one to do list updated each day.

This simple and easy system allows me to plan and concentrate on the most important tasks and keeps the lesser ones from falling through the cracks.

In all the years I have used this system, I have never had an assignment sneak up on me.  I may have procrastinated in doing the assignment, but I knew it was coming.  The bonus is I don’t have to remember to sync any device to another one and if I misplace my smartphone I have not lost everything.

This is the same system I learned in college 23 years ago.  As the story goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it.  I used to carry a spiral note pad in my shirt pocket (yes, I was/am a nerd), but have modernized some using the smartphone, albeit only in the last year.

I encourage you to comment on this.  I am always looking for a better system; I just haven’t found it yet.

As always, please remember to follow me on Twitter and visit my website.

Why a Fast NO is better than a Maybe

28 Jun

In the business world, we have to sell product.  It doesn’t matter what the product is.  If you’re not selling it, you’re not making money.  When a potential client says “I want to hear more about it” after the initial product pitch, I have to keep myself from cringing.  I didn’t get an immediate sell; so now I am looking for a “Fast No.”  The “Maybe” answer just keeps me from moving on to the next potential “yes” client.  What I need is the “Fast No.”

At this point, I follow these 3 steps:

  1.  I ask the potential client, “What is your biggest concern about the product?”
  2. If the client responds with a direct concern, I answer it and ask for the sale again.
  3. If the client beats around the bush, I immediately let them off the hook with an “I understand the timing isn’t right for you.  How about I call you in a few weeks?”

By following these steps, I have a sale or I have a “Fast No.”  Either way I move on to the next potential client.  Since I let them off the hook, they are more at ease and will take my call when I DO call back in a few weeks.  This process keeps me from squandering time waiting for a sale that might not happen.

Some salespeople will recoil in utter disbelief that I let a potential client off the hook.  I know it is just a smart business move for the following reasons:

  1. Most of us hate high pressure sales tactics.  This is definitely low pressure.
  2. It keeps the business relationship friendly.
  3. The potential client will more likely refer you others because you weren’t high pressure.
  4. Most importantly, I can move on.  The more people who hear my pitch—the more sales I get.

That is why a “Fast No” is better than a “Maybe.”

 

Please feel free comments and questions.  Please, check out my website at fields685.com.

Elected Office Wanted- will commit crimes for votes

23 Jun

Interesting points. I do not agree with all of his points, but it does make one stop and think about the political process.

SlowFacts

What would a weak politician do to remain in office?  If he were above the law, he would do whatever it took to get re-elected.

The politician would sue the states for enforcing immigration law, then suspend immigration enforcement effectively offering amnesty to illegal immigrants.

The politician would stop border enforcement so more illegals can come into the country, and at the same time oppose voter ID laws.

The politician would suspend drug interdiction at the border.  In the interior of the country, he would stop federal drug arrests and prosecutions to effectively decriminalize drugs.

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A Level Playing Surface

22 Jun

Candor News

Apple may have to finally begin sleeping with one eye open. The old champion, Microsoft, made a splash in the tablet market earlier this week. There answer to the iPad is what, from technical specs alone, appears to be a faster, smarter tablet called the surface.
Microsoft’s history with keeping up on the latest tech advances, like the Zune, tells us that we shouldn’t hold our breath. However, it seems like there is some room for excitement. Here are some reasons the Surface might be awesome.

– On the iPad typing is a hassle. The on screen keyboard doesn’t make typing anything more than an email easy. The Surface has a solution for that problem. With a built in key board, typing on the Surface should make much more sense. It also comes in a variety of unique colors.

– The Surface is also barely larger than the iPad. It…

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Are we wildly underestimating solar and wind power?

21 Jun

the Net economy

By Brad Plumer – Right now, renewable energy sources like solar and wind still provide just a small fraction of the world’s electricity. But they’re growing fast. Very fast. Three new pieces of evidence suggest that many policymakers may be drastically underestimating just how quickly wind and solar are expanding.

  • Solar is growing exponentially
  • Official agencies keep underestimating the growth rate of renewables
  • Using only current technology, renewables could technically provide the vast bulk of U.S. electricity by mid-century

And that’s where a new report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory comes in.

NREL even provides a nifty animated map of where different power plants–from hydropower to photovoltaic solar panels to wind turbines to concentrated solar plants — would need to be built to make this a reality. more> http://tinyurl.com/cglov9t

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