Small Business Diva

October 29, 2008

Tilda Virtual Services Are Looking For A New Team Member

I just noticed that Tilda Virtual Services are looking for a new team member – someone who is proficient in video and audio editing.

If you think you have what it takes or would like to find out more, please fill out the form on Kylie’s blog.

June 27, 2008

Should You Hire Friends Or Relatives?

As you enjoy more success in small business, or you look for trustworthy and reliable partners for your venture, it might seem logical to look to those you rely on the most in your private life; often it seems that that the right thing to do is to help those who’ve been with your throughout the ups and downs of life, or to help those who’ve helped you.  However hiring friends and family is not always a good move for you—either for you personally or for your business.  Before you commit to it, you should consider some very important aspects of working with family and friends.

Strong Personal Relationships Are Not Guarantees Of Compatible Working Relationships

Just because you get along well at home and in your personal life does not mean that you will get along equally as well with friends and family once you enter into a working relationship with them.  Often the additional time spent together becomes a strain, even for married couples who’ve been together for years.  There is definitely something to be said for time apart and individual interests for friends and family.

New roles also cause tension between friends and family that start working together. It can be very difficult for your sibling, parent, relative, friend, or spouse to respect you as a boss, and even difficult for you to feel comfortable “bossing” them, regardless of how equitable an employer you may be.

Choosing The Right Person For The Job

Something else that is crucial to consider is how well suited or qualified your friend or family member is for the position he or she will hold.  Being a nice person or a deserving person does not make you qualified for a job—experience and expertise do that.  And putting an under-qualified person in a position could be detrimental to your company; it could be a liability, too.

Ultimately success in small business will depend on the abilities of qualified staff.  If you place the wrong person in a job that they do not perform well, you could very well have no business left to support any one of you!

Preventing And Managing Disagreements And Difficulties

Managing disagreements starts with prevention.  And that starts from the very beginning of the partnership or employment arrangement.

If you are entering into a business partnership with friends or family, you must clearly define the relationship, roles, and responsibilities ahead of time.  You should draft an agreement (preferably with the help of a solicitor or legal representative) that outlines who is responsible for what, who gets what percentages of profits, what happens in the event of a disagreement or business failure, and what the rights of each of you are.

If you are employing family and friends you will need to clearly define roles and responsibilities as well as the structure and hierarchy of the business.  Construct clear policies and expectations, and hold each person accountable as you would any other employee.  Be clear from the beginning that respect is a must, and that you will expect to be treated as any other employer would be and that in return you will be a respectful and fair employer.

At its best working with family and friends can be a very rewarding experience.  At its worst it can be detrimental to business and personal relationships.  Give strong thought to whether the arrangement is workable for you, and maximise the situation by being clear and open from the start.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

February 25, 2008

Who Owns the E-Mails?

Filed under: Communication,Employment,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Have you ever wondered who owns e-mails that are sent to employees while they are at work?

Ingrid’s Heart Harmony blog has a great post that’s worth reading – Legal Technology: Who Wins the Fight Over E-Mail Ownership?

This post refers to recent US case laws regarding the use of private e-mails in a business setting.  Ingrid goes on to outline some good, basic policies that make a firm foundation for company email policies.

If you employ staff or are considering employing staff in the future, this is definitely worth the read.

Here’s to your business success…

February 21, 2008

A MUST Read Article – 1943 Guide to Hiring Women

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Employment — smallbusinessdiva @ 5:18 pm
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I know many of you are going to love this – whether you’re male or female, it makes for very interesting reading.

This article, the 1943 Guide to Hiring Women, was printed in the September/October 2007 edition of Savvy & Sage. I am so glad we’ve come a long way since then!

Here’s to your business success…

October 28, 2007

What turns hiring managers off?

Filed under: Employment,Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:00 am

Further to my post a four days ago about hiring staff, I came across this post – What Turns Hiring Managers Off? – on the Write Powerful Resumes blog, written by my good friend, Beverley Neil.  It’s a great article, well worth the read.

October 24, 2007

7 Things to Think About When You Employ Staff

Filed under: Employment,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:05 am
Tags: , ,

I have recently employed an assistant here in my office and so I thought it time to share some tips employing staff.

Everyone’s situation is different and so only you will know when the time is right, or even whether employing staff is the best option for you. In the case of many small businesses, rather than employee staff as such you can look at outsourcing certain tasks to other businesses and consultants. Things such as general administration, bookkeeping, writing, PR, website design, database management, marketing… the list goes on and on.

However if you decide that you do want to employ staff there are many things you need to consider, such as what tasks they will be doing, what hours you’ll need them to work, how employing staff will affect your insurance, workers’ compensation, tax implications and what your requirements are as an employer – just for starters.

In summary, here are seven points to consider:

1. The Position Description – this document should provide a written summary of:

  • Title and Classification
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Qualifications and Experience Required
  • Reporting Relationships
  • Working Conditions (including rate of pay)
  • Supervisory Responsibilities

2. Finding the best person for the job:

Decide how you will find the ideal job candidate. Will you advertise online or in the local newspaper, use word-of-mouth techniques, advertise with a job network provider or hire a recruiting agency? Would this position be suitable for a trainee or apprentice?

3. Know your requirements:

Make sure you are aware of your legal and obligatory requirements regarding things such as workers’ compensation, insurance, tax, superannuation, rates of pay, awards and conditions of employment, anti-discrimination legislation. These areas differ greatly between countries and even between states within countries. For somewhere to start, I have a list of helpful organisations/agencies on one of my websites – YourSmallBizExpert.com. Have a look here under your relevant country for some helpful websites.

4. Undertake appropriate reference checks to verify details provided in the application and to get an idea of the applicant’s past performance as an indicator of their future potential. Some industries, such as those where staff will be working with children, require further checks to be carried out.

5. Human Relations Forms

Before you employ staff make sure you have all the necessary forms such as:

  • Tax Declaration
  • Employee Timesheet
  • Leave Application
  • Personal Information (next of kin, etc)
  • Banking Details (if you will be paying wages direct to their bank account)

6. Employee Induction

Some of the things you should ensure new staff are aware of include:

• All leave procedures
• Company hours of operation
• Company policies and ethics
• Completion of forms such as personal information, emergency contact information and Taxation Office forms
• Confidentiality requirements
• Customer service and complaints policies
• Emergency procedures
• First aid procedures
• General overview of company products or services, other outlets or offices and company aims
• Parking regulations
• Pay procedures
• Security precautions
• Smoking regulations and any smoking designated areas
• Superannuation
• Telephone, Email and Internet usage
• Terms of employment
• Their job requirements and area, and who to ask for assistance
• Their work hours
• Timesheet procedures
• Tour of premises, including toilets, lunchroom, canteen,
• washbasins, personal lockers, and introduction to main people they will be dealing with.
• Unions
• Vehicle and logbook usage
• Workplace health and safety guidelines

7. Looking after your staff

Okay, so now you have employed your staff, you have to look after them. Firstly, there are workplace, health and safety considerations. As an employer you have a ‘duty of care’ to look after the safety of your employees. Additionally, on-going training will be required to ensure that your staff maintain a high standard of job competency, including safety, service, technical knowledge and efficiency. 

You may have legal obligations to train your staff, including in areas such as food handling requirements; responsible service of alcohol or tobacco; first aid and occupational health and safety practices; or environmental issues. You should first identify the training needs relevant to your business, and then draw up a suitable plan including details of how the training will be provided and the costs and time frames involved.

And remember… “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

Stephen R. Covey

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