Category: Product Development

 

How a Business Cope with Staff Loss

image from saveup.com

image from saveup.com

2 weeks ago, one of my Key staff  in fact a person I have been training for 3 years to replace myself was head hunted and decided to go with the offer given to him. This was a shock and a blow not only to myself, but to clients and fellow employees. So how does a business recover from this?

In the IT trade, moving jobs is a common occurrence. This is not something I am proud to express, but it is a fact. So many people are working on contract today, and the demand for quality programmers is so high, that contracts constantly overlap each other, that a person can really choose not only where they wish to work, but the type of IT work that they wish to do. So at all times I prepare for staff to leave and make sure that all people duplicate each other and that all information is recorded.

We have systems that cover for staff turnover. So the core work is always being achieved, and clients are not being disadvantaged by changes of staff in a technical sense. However the human sense is affected.

This occurrence can cause impact on current staff, as they have to learn to work with a new staff member.

CRM in word tag cloudSo one part of the solution to this problem, is that for core work, you need to have good systems, in fact a good database. What can you expect from such a system? A CRM or customer relationship management systems can control not only your customer, but generally link the data you need to retain about your customer, your contacts, your quotes, your invoices can link to this as well if it is a good system.

At Accede we have recently been interfacing off the shelf CRM’s to Accounting products, estimation packages and other products. By creating this interface for the client, it is a seamless way to see the whole of the customer’s information.

Other places I have created solutions for include knowledge based systems. These systems in fact hold expertise, experience etc. from key people. Knowledge bases for a user is like talking to the expert about a problem. The knowledge base take a person through a potential issue, what questions they should ask, what possible answers they may get, and what to do next. It is a like having the expert right beside you without having them there. I have noticed, however, that this is generally the main reason that the loss of Key staff is hugely impacting.

The other part of the equation, being the human affect, is solved only by communication. This communication is essential if you wish to retain clients, build new clients and retain existing staff members.

Losing staff and clients is a fact and generally not in your control (unless you need to review your management). However retaining clients and staff is something you need to constantly work on. The key to this retention is communication. Take the time. Discuss. Share. Find ways to openly communicate in a respectful manner. Praise where praise is due. Discuss problems without being personal or denigrating. Work as a team.

Insurance of key staff, often helps with the financial aspect, but good systems will help with the core work and management. Plus make sure your staff’s work is overlapped, so that people can take holidays and the loss of a staff member can quickly be covered.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Life Lessons I Learned in Renewing the Business

As a Christian, I am currently in the period we call Lent. Lent for me is a time of year that I review, repent and then begin renewal. While I was studying in my Lenten study group last night, I noticed that what we studied had a great similarity to the circle of life.

renewWhen I considered the idea of a circle of life, and how this circle of life in a micro sense is a circle of my Christian life, I really began to appreciate the need to Die/Renew oneself, and how energizing this is.

I also realised the necessity for routine and ritual in this process.

In our own lives, we are born, we grow, and we review our lives and repent or try to do better. We often as people do major sacrifices to start a new form of life, e.g. being a parent generally means the end of a single and sometimes selfish life.

So this circle really has a lot of ways it can be applied in our lives.

As a director I know I am responsible for my business, and to make sure I give it the care and attention, I generally consider that business to be that of a helpless child, one I have to care for, protect, watch out for, and help to develop. With this mindset, I wondered what applying the circle of life idea would have on my business.

 

Check, Fix, and Renew…

If I review my business on an annual basis, work out what I need to repent/ fix/ rectify and then renew my business. I will naturally bring about the death of out of date routines and bring about new goals and ways of growth. This new birth would need to be done with some form of recognition and acceptance by staff. It would also have to be a regular event. By doing this process, I would be bringing new life to my business.

 

In business, Energy = Income

annual-report-61851_640Up until now, bringing about energy and life in a business can really be either by the staff one employs, irregular ideas or promotions, or an external reason that brings about a surge in the company or forces a change.

The concept of me making this happen on a regular way, and having control to bring about energy and new life in the company never really occurred to me in this fashion. I can see that this will be far less stress than any past ideas I have considered.

So as this is my first week in Lent I plan to use this week to Review. Next Week I will consider how I can repent, then the best way to put the past to death and bring about the New Accede.

 

Wish me good luck!

For those of you, who like me are working through your own Lenten circle of Life I send blessings.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

What you Need to Know about Virtual Products

virtual products

Do any of these ring true to your business?

  • Space is limited
  • Staff are reducing or need to reduce
  • Must increase profits
  • Need to service a wider area
  • Need to give more to get /keep your staff
  • Wasting time due to poor efficiency

These reasons and others have brought about the rise and demand in Virtual Products. This demand is increasing at an exponential rate.

So what Products are going Virtual?

  • virtual productsSoftware

Accounting

CRM’s

Design Software

Databases

  • Banking
  • Staff
  • Communications
  • Libraries and Books
  • Advice / Education
  • Bill Payments
  • Receiving bills
  • Storage of Records
  • Photos and Memorabilia
  • Videos and Entertainment

This is a new generation for businesses. We all have to begin to go virtual. So here is a check list that may assist you.

  • Define your business processes. What of these can be improved in time, cost or efficiency by becoming virtual?
  • Do you have an internet and intranet presence?
  • Make sure you have a good SEO and good SEO processes in place to make sure your Presence is found on the internet.
  • Review all your costs.
  • Review your marketing plan. Make sure you have a good internet presence.
  • Consider your biggest costs and how can you minimise them
  • Get rid of your local server and go Virtual – major cost and time saving.

Here is a couple of personal stories that may interest you or even inspire you to consider going Virtual.

Virtual Book Keeper

virtual-productsI was employing a book keeper at $25 per hour, and she came to my office, did my books, I paid her as an employee and this work took her 16 hours per week. I found that I was spending about 2.5 hours per week answering her questions, reviewing her work etc. I found that I was not really happy with her quality of work, and so decided to that as my son was at Uni, he did a MYOB course, and then I trained him to do the MYOB work for me. My son, moved back to Canberra, and he does all my MYOB work remotely. He is paid the same $25 per hour, but finds he can do all the same work in an average of 2 hours a week. Some weeks he works 4 hours and the next none, but he gets all this work done, and I am only spending 30 mins a week going over admin questions etc. This is a huge saving. Now with Financial year coming up, I don’t need to buy him a new PC or anything.

Virtual SEO

18 months ago, my full time local SEO was just not getting me any results and the costs were not in accordance with what it cost me. So I cancelled this position. However, a good SEO is worth their weight in gold. So I began my search for a Virtual SEO, and I feel my search has now found true fruition. In fact I am sending this blog from word to my Virtual SEO who lives in the Philippines. My SEO will then clean up, add images, check keywords and post this blog in a timely manner to my web site. Her key work is to make sure our webs are current, getting good natural position on search engines, make sure I do my work on time (e.g. be regular with my blogs) and keep me posted with key words, and new trends. To date, she has brought in a new lead. It is the first time one of my SEO’s had brought in a real solid lead. This lead may or may not result in a sale. Most of our sales are by word of mouth, so the fact that this has been achieved in only 4 weeks of employment, I am really impressed about. So with my virtual SEO, I don’t need to supply a desk, or internet, or a PC. I pay her what she asks for and make sure I pay in a timely manner.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail