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February 3, 2017

3 Big Ways to Save Yourself Time

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3 Big Ways to Save Yourself Time

A lot of the time-management tips out there deal with eliminating waste in your daily procedures. They give you ways to cut down procrastination or how to increase your speed in getting through your tasks for the day.

But these tips miss out on the biggest time-saving question there is – should you be doing those tasks at all? The real key to running your business at full speed isn’t getting through every single job at breakneck speed – instead your focus should be on figuring out which jobs you should be doing, and those that you should be cutting from your personal schedule.

Tip 1 – Schedule a Goal

First off, schedule one or two big goals for your business as a whole. A year from now, what is one major accomplishment that you would like to see achieved by your firm? Mark that goal on your calendar in big bold letters 365 days from today.

Now break that big goal down into a series of smaller goals, scheduling them one after another in reasonable increments. Put those on your calendar too.

You’ve now just narrowed your focus down to where you should really be putting your energy. All of those milestones you’ve just marked down are your next big due dates. Having these deadlines means you’re going to have a much clearer vision of what you should be working on and what is extraneous.

Share these deadlines with your crew. Checking off one of these milestones gives a huge morale boost, and if everyone in your firm has contributed, you’re going to have a healthy bit of teambuilding built right into the process without any extra effort on your behalf.

Throw a little party when you check off a milestone. Throw a big party when you reach that major one-year goal. And then repeat.

Tip 2 – Delegate

Delegation can seem kind of obvious from the outside looking in. But for some people, especially those who have built up their business right from scratch, letting go of any of the day-to-day details can be nerve-wracking and even a bit painful.

But giving into those fears and doubts is holding back your firm’s growth. If you’re running around trying to get a finger into every pie then you’re not spending time accomplishing your big goal. In other words, you’re not growing.

Still not sure? There has to be at least one thing that you groan at doing, a task that is just a total drag for you to do. Give it away. Someone is going to love A) having the work, B) being trusted with the responsibility of caring for your baby, and C) they’re going to become more invested in your firm since they now play a larger part and carry a bigger responsibility.

You’ll be amazed how much lighter your day will feel. And you’re still there to course-correct as your trusted delegate gets into your established workflow.

Now take a look and see what else you can delegate. We bet you can find more than one item on your checklist.

If you’re currently a one-person shop and you’re not sure you want to initiate the financial and time-sink risk of hiring someone on then take a serious look at outsourcing – it’ll save you an immense amount of time and money.

Tip 3 – Spend Less Time Talking About Doing Things and More Time Actually Doing Them

Some meetings are absolutely essential. Others, not so much. It’s time you figured out if your meetings fall under the first category or the second.

Here’s one way you can find out – put a hard time limit on how long a meeting can last. Initially you might have to spend a few post-meeting minutes in one-on-one sessions with employees who weren’t able to get all their points across in time. But the idea here is with that time limit in place they’re going to start to think about condensing their info so they can get it across in a faster fashion.

If you have multiple employees, rotate who gets to go first. The people first in line are initially going to take longer because they don’t feel as much pressure. But when they end up last in the next meeting, they’re going to see how detrimental to the team as a whole it is when they take too long.

Get them used to the “elevator pitch.” This is a show-business term describing how if a writer or producer meets a studio executive (the person with the money) in an elevator they can pitch a movie in the time it takes for the elevator to get from A to B.

So show them how to make their own pitch, and then if you need more information you can give them more time or talk to them one-on-one later. But you’ll be surprised – the more practice you all get, the more informative those pitches will be, getting more info across in a smaller amount of time.

Going further, you need to ask if certain meetings are necessary at all. Can everything you’re going to say be said in an email? Or do you, as the boss, have to be in on every meeting? Departments aren’t necessarily going to need you there for every info-swap session. Just get someone to shoot you a quick summary.

Set the Right Example

The more your people see you, the boss, focusing in on what really matters to get you to your next milestone or big goal, the more they’re going to emulate you. Your whole team will become a time-management master, not because they’ve cut down on procrastination or have upped workflow efficiency by one or two percent, but because they’ve learned to work only on what truly matters.

Would you like to know more? Visit https://boz.com.au/how-we-help-security-firms/

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January 4, 2017

Are You Competing On Price Alone? Look into Alternatives

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Are You Competing On Price Alone? Look into Alternatives

Competing via price kind of makes sense, right? If you cost less than the firm down the street for the same quality of work then the clients will come to you. The big problem though is that you now have to do a lot more work to make the same level of money you were bringing in before. But if you outsource your bookkeeping and your compliance responsibilities, you might find a better way to take on your competition.

Offer More Services

Instead of lowering your prices you could consider expanding your firm’s menu of services beyond the basics. Moving into more complex, higher added-value services or advisory tasks will help your company to set itself apart from the competition. You and your core team’s goal is to demonstrate that you’re experts in security matters. Once you’re regarded as their security expert, your chances to improve client retention will increase exponentially.

Offering an expanded menu of services obviously means more work for you from existing clients, and work from new clients rolling in who weren’t served by your previous menu of offerings but are attracted by the additional services that you’re now able to provide.

All set to take in new opportunities?

You’ll need to be ready for the coming changes. What are the trends in Security in your specific subsector? Are you prepared to take on new services that might be vital to your firm’s success in the near future? A good example is the Internet of Things. We’ve been reading a lot about the tech giants investing billions on it. They’ll surely need partners to deploy some of their solutions. Who and how is yet to be unveiled but one thing is clear: only companies that are ready for change will have the ability to get a slice of the pie.

Another example –this one a bit more niche- is the facial and facial expression recognition devices that are being developed for the security industry, extending from crime-fighting, border control, or access control. Again, we don’t know yet when this will become main stream but few would dare say that it won’t have much of an impact.

Staying tuned with industry trends is not easy when your day to day obligations take 100% of your time. This is why freeing up some time is indispensable for decision-makers. Outsourcing accounting bookkeeping and compliance work can help your company in this regard. Additionally, outsourcing non-core tasks will slim down your firms’ structural costs, making it more agile to respond to industry changes and take advantage of new opportunities.

Meet your clients as often as you’d like

One of the immediate consequences of outsourcing is that you’ll free up some time and resources. Once this happens, you can spend this additional time meeting your clients, which is something that they’re going to love. This will automatically lead to client retention and most likely will help you increase business through referrals. It’s worth remembering that the simplest way to grow your business is to retain existing customers and provide them with additional services!

A recap on outsourcing benefits

If you outsource admin work, you will have a team of experienced accountants doing all of the compliance work for you. Plus since you don’t have any of the costs associated with the hiring process, you’re setting yourself up with a relatively small bump to your overhead costs. Remember that costs like HR, office space, consumables, superannuation and the like can be up to 1.4 times the base salary of an employee!

Take care of your business anywhere with BOSS. Get started with your Free Trial today!

Would you like to know more? Visit https://boz.com.au/how-we-help-security-firms/

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BOSS,
BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
@2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved
Under Professional Standards Legislation

January 4, 2017

Security Industry and Compliance Work

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Security Industry and Compliance Work

The administration costs in the security industry are higher than in other industries due to specific compliance work. In addition to the usual obligations (BAS, tax returns, financial reports, etc.) firms have to cope with other security industry requirements such as recording information for incidents, jobs, keys, and keeping records on all jobs subcontracted to licensees and service providers. Being compliant is expensive due to admin costs. It’s rarely possible to pass these costs on to customers due to the competitive nature of the industry. Large multinationals found the answer to this puzzle many years ago: they started outsourcing processes to third parties to reduce fixed costs and to improve their flexibility. And yes, they still do today.

Looking at the whole picture

When looking at the overheads directly related to compliance work, one should not only focus on employees’ wages but on a range of activities which contribute to cost. Think of, for instance, the induction process, the ongoing training, the day to day management of staff, superannuation, office rent, etc. To succeed in the security industry, firms need to make sure they keep a lid on all these staff-related costs. This is why successful security companies pay serious attention to employee retention.

Retaining staff: a complicated venture?

It’s not! Retaining an average performance team should not be an issue, but this is not what you want. You will need a top-level team if you are to succeed. When you outsource compliance, accounting and bookkeeping work, you’re giving yourself more room to hire a better in-house team. First you’re left with far more time, and second, your budget to hire people that will add value to your business will also increase.

Let’s take a look at 3 factors that should go into your building a dynamite team.

Bad hires

When you outsource accounting, you avoid bad hires. BOSS provides you with a deep pool of certified and experienced overseas team members that come with an added bonus – you don’t have to directly manage them.

This isn’t to say that you’re denied input into how they work with you. You are in fact encouraged to tweak your relationship with your outsourced team members and their manager so that you work together as efficiently as possible in the manner of your choosing. However, you don’t have to do any daily handling of your overseas team – that’s handled by your assigned manager.

On the flip-side, you do have to manage the people you have working for you at home in your office. When it comes to in-house teams bad hires are a definite possibility. Someone who came across like gold during the interviews might not work out in actual practice. Or they may have a bad attitude which brings morale down.

When you outsource accounting you send the work out and it comes back in a high-quality and timely form. That’s more or less the entire transaction. But with in-house hires you’re not only taking on a worker’s skill-set, you’re also taking on every interaction they will ever have with every other worker in your office (and possibly every interaction they’ll have with clients and prospects, depending on their position).

If a bad hire is bringing down your office it’s up to you to get them out of there. Firing is just as much a part of your job as hiring people, and it can be a game-breaker to keep a bad hire on staff.

A zone built for success

Take a look around your workspace – how would you describe it?

The design of your office has a major impact in two main areas. The first is on your in-house staff. Is this a place where a person would want to work? Or does it look like the epitome of some dreary government office environment with drab paint and tired furniture?

The second way your office décor is going to have an impact on your business is the impression it gives to clients. If it’s drab, you’re not going to look very successful. If it’s well appointed, you’re going to look like a firm that gets things done.

Since you outsource accounting, you’re going to have some extra cash lying around. Putting some of that money into making your firm’s office an inspiring place to work will boost your team’s morale as well as making you look successful.

Delegate, trust and be trusted.

Your team is going to be happiest, and certainly at their most efficient, when they know exactly what is expected of them. Talent that hasn’t had their roles clearly defined are always going to be nervous that they’re not giving you what you need.

By the same token, you’re not going to be sure your people are giving you what you need. That means you or your managers are going to have to be micromanaging, constantly looking over the shoulders of your employees. That’s a waste of your time and makes your employees feel like they aren’t trusted.

Employees who don’t feel trusted are going to be much harder to get fired up when you announce the firm’s goals.

One of the side benefits you’ll find you gain when you outsource is that it makes you create clearly defined workflow documents. These may seem confining at first, but those limits are actually going to free up your team and make them much happier in their work. They’ll know exactly what you want from them, and how you want it to be achieved.

Take care of your business anywhere with BOSS. Get started with your Free Trial today!

Would you like to know more? Visit https://boz.com.au/how-we-help-security-firms/

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BOSS,
BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
@2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved
Under Professional Standards Legislation

January 4, 2017

Levelling the Playing Field

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When You Need Australian Quality and Complete Control

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Levelling the Playing Field

The Australian Security Industry has become extremely competitive. Increased competition has forced companies to reduce operational costs to keep prices attractive, and retain existing customers.

In a marketplace with razor-thin margins, large companies have benefited from a major advantage which used to be exclusive to them: economies of scale. They have used this in a variety of ways, but there’s one area that has played an important role in keeping their internal costs down: the outsourcing of non-strategic processes.

Fortunately, Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) are no longer in a disadvantageous position. Outsourcing is now available for firms of any size.

Outsourcing accounting and admin work helps businesses to expand in two major ways. First, it frees you up to work on your business not in your business. It means you have more time to give additional service and develop new offerings for existing clients, time to look for new clients and develop new areas of services. Second, it saves businesses a significant amount of overhead.

It’s extremely rare to find a large company that doesn’t outsource some of its non-core processes. It’s almost as difficult to find SMB that do outsource processes. Is there a reason for this? Not really. Some SMB directors think that the advantages are not big enough to implement the change. Other companies are just reluctant to change. One thing is for sure: large companies will continue their efforts to shrink operational costs in order to reduce prices or improve their margins. Small and Medium size business can increase their margins and gain in flexibility as well by outsourcing accounting and other admin work.

Outsourcing with BOSS is easy. This video shows you how.

Take care of your business anywhere with BOSS. Get started with your Free Trial today!

Would you like to know more? Visit https://boz.com.au/how-we-help-security-firms/

Subscribe to BOSS - Receive monthly articles and special white papers

Sign up to receive monthly articles and special white papers and learn:

  • Tips to Market Your Business
  • How to Increase Your Profit
  • And More!

BOSS,
BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
@2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved
Under Professional Standards Legislation

June 8, 2015

Are You Limiting Your Own Growth?

BOSS - Back Office Shared Services Australia

When You Need Australian Quality and Complete Control

Call 1800 88 92 32

Are You Limiting Your Own Growth?

You’re determined that your business is going to grow like gangbusters this year. Every business wants to grow of course, but this is the year you’re really going to make things happen.

And that’s as far as you’ve gotten. You’re not sure what to do, how to plan, or how to work with your people to achieve your overall goal of growth.

You’re right in that this growth, and the desire for growth, has to emanate from you. You’re just not sure how to break down the growth into achievable and measurable steps that are practical and workable instead of just having a vague overall goal.

So let’s help you figure out just what exactly “growth” means for you and your business and what steps you can make to achieve it.

Where Are You Now?

In order to understand where you want to go you’re going to want to know where your business sits now.

Where are your sales at? What’s your ROI on marketing?

If you’re aching for growth then obviously these numbers are not where you want them to be. Here’s an important point – when you approach your sales or marketing people it’s not to pressure them into upping their game – they’re already doing their job to the best of their abilities.

Do this instead – go to them with the goal of finding out how you can help them. Your questions won’t be about why they’re not delivering numbers that you want; rather you’re there to ask them what single point (or two points, or three) makes your product or service harder to sell than it should be.

Or do they feel that your current marketing or branding tactics aren’t clear on what you’re selling, or are they not clear enough about what pain points they alleviate for customers?

Find out what they need – don’t demand from them what you want.

Where Do You Want to Go?

Now it’s time to get measurable goals down on paper. “Growth” is not something you’re going to be able to measure with a milestone.

Be specific. Let’s say you choose to double your net profit while maintaining the same marketing budget you have now.

Can you break this down further, into smaller milestones? Breaking steps down into smaller chunks will present you with more achievable steps. Each step will now have a variety of possible methods to achieve them. That’s far easier to work with than one big goal of “growth” – plus you’re going to feel good each and every time you cross another one of those sub-goals off of your calendar.

These smaller steps will also help identify who needs to work on which problems. Some of these steps will identify with marketing, others with admin. You’ll have a much better grasp of who can help you deal with which task.

You’ll also be able to see where to steer any additional investment dollars. Every dime you put into your tasks will have a much greater ROI than just throwing money at the company as a whole in the hope that “growth” will occur.

Top-down Streamlining

So you’ve made your list of smaller tasks identifying the hurdles that are slowing your company’s growth. Now physician, heal thyself.

Clearing up leadership hurdles is going to make going down the corporate tree so much easier for you. If you’re streamlined you’re going to be far more productive and you’ll have the added bonus of your people seeing you working on yourself instead of only on them (which looks a lot like passing the buck).

How do you know what department a hurdle belongs to?

  • CEO – Your company’s actions don’t match your stated company values.
    Branding – You think your big selling point is X but customer reviews either don’t recognize that value, or even worse, they disagree, and your service or product is known for something else.
  • Financial – You simply don’t know where your money is going.
  • Management – You have a consistent turnover in quality employees. If there is constant churn then there’s either a compensation problem or your people are feeling their own career goals stagnate.
  • Marketing – You haven’t yet identified your core client base and what they desire most from a product or service like yours.
  • Sales – Your sales people aren’t confident when they relate your product or service to your client base.
  • Production/Service – Your customers’ reaction is “Meh” instead of “Awesome!”

Having identified the smaller hurdles, where can you get the most return in allocating your money or time? Where in the overall process is your product or service at its weakest?

Macromanage – Don’t Micromanage

You now have something substantial for your various sections to work on. And that’s the key – let your sections do the work. Let them own their hurdles – they’re going to feel like their work really means something both to their own career-building and to the company as a whole.

Your work here involves talking with the team to find out what you can provide for them to accomplish their sub-goals.

Aside from that do keep an eye on each team’s manager. Are they getting it done? If they’re struggling, is there anything you can guide them with or give them to help them out? Or are you perhaps discovering that you don’t have the right person in the team’s driver seat and that it’s time to try someone new?

Get Your Team Excited

Schedule a meeting or two. Share with your talent why you’re excited about what you hope to accomplish in the next 6 months, in the next year, what you hope to accomplish the year after that if you and your people achieve this year’s goal.

Let them know what it is they’re building and that their work matters. And let them know what they’re going to get out of it if they achieve this goal, and then the next goal, and so on.

Now Relax

You’ve set the ball in motion… now let it roll. All of your hard work in the previous steps can really only be truly undermined by one thing – you.

Yes there will be mistakes made. Every business is an ever-ongoing experiment, and experiments mean you’re going to have to sometimes learn the hard way about what not to do.

Expect the mistakes. Here’s where real leadership shines – yanking the rug out from under your people when something goes wrong says far more about your distrust than it does about your talent. Guide, yes. Offer help, yes. Blame, no.

Be vocal about leaving problems in your people’s hands – it’s a big show of trust. That faith is going to pay off when your talent works all the harder to correct mistakes in an effort to prove that they’re deserving of that faith.

That’s a sign of your people growing in their roles.

When your people grow, your company grows.

And that was the goal all along, wasn’t it?

Take care of your business anywhere with BOSS. Get started with your Free Trial today!

Would you like to know more? Visit https://boz.com.au/how-we-help-security-firms/

Subscribe to BOSS - Receive monthly articles and special white papers

Sign up to receive monthly articles and special white papers and learn:

  • Tips to Market Your Business
  • How to Increase Your Profit
  • And More!

BOSS,
BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
@2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved
Under Professional Standards Legislation