Management by Objectives Increases Effectiveness

What does it mean to be a manager? While the skills to be an effective manager are many and the exact mix of skills necessary will vary from job to job and sector to sector, most writers on business and management agree that successful management involves the planning, organising, leading and controlling of resources, including personnel, to efficiently and effectively achieve organisational aims.

If you do any of these things, then you are a manager, whether or not the word “manager” appears in your official job title. However, many managers, especially ones new in the role, don’t feel well-prepared for the job and consequently, need advice and guidance in how to begin to fulfill their new role in a way that is effective and satisfies the requirements of superiors.

Know that, although there are no absolute measures of managerial effectiveness, nevertheless there is broad agreement that when a manager satisfies the aims and goals of the organisation he or she works for, effectiveness has been achieved. The problem is in defining exactly what these aims and goals are and then laying out a format of standard operating procedures that managers can follow to become more effective in achieving them.

One such way is the KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, a well-known approach where the job requirements of a management role are specified in a list of qualities, skills and outcomes written down on paper, with important ones subdivided into smaller subgoals with a numerical target attached, such as number of units sold, percentage increase achieved or number of times completed in order for the manager’s performance to be deemed satisfactory.

In particular, one of the most famous versions of the KPI solution is the “Management by Objectives” approach of Peter Drucker, the renowned writer on management issues. This is where the aims and goals of the organisation are arranged and presented as “Objectives” that must be fulfilled and then managers are evaluated on how well they contributed to the achievement of those objectives.

The downside to this approach is that it is often very difficult to apply in the real-life workplace. Typically, many problems arise and a whole range of issues complicate the achievement of these objectives, which can sometimes suggest that the idea itself is not all that great. However, the general consensus in business is that it is felt to be a practical construct and a useful description of “how things ought to be done”, even if things do not actually always end up being done exactly as the model describes. So, despite its difficulty in application, Drucker’s Management by Objectives remains an excellent way to envisage the goals of an organisation and create a template of performance for managers to strive for, while also acting as a map that guides the organisation in the achievement of its aims and the development of its future business trajectory.

In addition, Drucker also delineates eight practices that all effective managers follow -

1/ They ask “what needs to be done”

2/ They ask “what is right for the enterprise”

3/ They develop action plans

4/ They take responsibility for decisions

5/ They take responsibility for communicating

6/ They focus on opportunities

7/ They run productive meetings

8/ They think and say “we” rather than “I”

These eight practices of effective managers can be grouped into 3 areas – the first two practices give them the knowledge they need to do their job; the next four allow them to change this knowledge into action; the last two make sure that the whole team or organisation is responsible and accountable (not just the individual manager).

So a commitment by organisations to implement, at least as a broad framework, Drucker’s Management by Objectives and a commitment by managers to perform the eight practices described above will lead to greater movement towards organisational goals and a marked increase in managerial effectiveness.

Home Based Business Marketing – The Truth About Duplication

Recent conversations regarding the theory of replication and home based business marketing strategies sparked this article. I need to start by genuinely asking the argument of whether or not we should be chasing duplication at all. Moreover, what will we be duplicating?

For years in my business the idea of a duplicable home based business marketing strategy was shoved down my throat and infused within my thinking. I didn’t just accept this idea of using one system that anyone pursued, but I taught the notion to everyone I worked with. Then things changed for me that literally transformed how I understand home based business marketing.

Do not misunderstand, I definitely acknowledge that individuals and businesses crave systems. Succeeding is more challenging if you do not have a process to follow. Let’s face it, individuals need specific direction. New home business owners need a 1,2,3 kind of system. You have to ask yourself what your home based business marketing system is in fact yielding or replicating. Additionally, is your system really duplicating at all?

In order to answer this question, we initially have to describe duplication within the conditions of the home based business marketing field. The average home business owner views replication as the primary goal. Expressly, when we have enough individuals duplicating our business system, we may sit back, enjoy, and observe as the checks keep rolling in. This type of belief is actually buying into the myth of duplication. Allow me to demonstrate.

We start with the hope that one by one or two by two we will add others to our sales force who will follow and copy our home based business marketing strategy. We think that the majority of people will get comparable results to our own, before long momentum is achieved and we will be duplicating in masses. In due season though, real life slaps us in the face as the accomplishment of true replication isn’t as easy as we anticipated. This is where the light bulb was turned on for me and altered my rationale concerning duplication.

After 8 years of working my business persistently, I recognized that even though we had assembled a healthy business, we were still stuck in the same situation as when we began. Yes, I was making a lot more money than when I first started my business and had some pretty awesome perks; yet, I hadn’t secured the degree of viral duplication that everyone talks about. Hence I started studying home based business marketing programs.

I found that replication is a myth in the home business world. This might rattle your chain a bit; yet, I wish to rouse your beliefs. Fairly ask and assess what the statistics are in your business regarding overall duplication and real people seeing real results? For a fair assessment you need to examine more than the handful of individuals who may be having direct or singular results. The question is how many individuals are able to realize true reproduction in depth in your business?

Earnestly assess your business and ask:

Has your team grown apart from your personal contact? Fundamentally this indicates that you regularly have team members that you have never met who are generating ample numbers without you.

Would you be able to completely remove yourself and your personal resources (your closing calls, webinars, training, etc.) from the arrangement and have your team persist to multiply?
Is your team creating multiple legacy type businesses to the point where they could not be swayed to move to another company?

Could you walk away from your business and travel the world for an entire year without affecting your income?

Most people are answering these questions with a negative response. If you are answering yes to all of the above, either you are out of touch with reality OR you hold a superior home based business marketing formula that understands that true replication can’t be achieved with one limited home based business marketing system.

The reason so many people struggle to duplicate their home based business marketing lies in this answer. A simple system designed to be mass replicated does not exist. Why? Let’s get back to my light bulb moment.

After eight years of employing a duplicable home based business marketing plan, I was still doing the same things I was doing whenever I began working my career. Until I reprogrammed my beliefs and reprogrammed my strategies, I would continue doing the same things always. We are simply human. Each of us are different and bring to the table a different skill, talent, gift, personality, and perspective. Buying into an idea where a single home based business marketing plan will essentially clone your results is insanity.

I was executing the identical tasks repeatedly because I wasn’t offering options, strategies, and home based business marketing methods that would function for different individuals. I was wrongfully believing that anyone could be altered and adapted to fit the plan, rather than tailoring the system for dissimilarity. An eye opening lesson it was.

Duplication is a myth considering nobody may duplicate you. Nobody will do exactly what you do and get the exact same results. Until you discount the idea of mass duplication and adjust your home based business marketing system, you will make the same mistakes I made and continually reconstruct your team searching for team members just like you!

12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

How to Manage Your Business While Traveling

Whether it’s following up on work, assigning tasks, checking on your business mail, or just replying to customers, it can all be done from your phone. As a matter of fact, almost anything can get done online, through your phone today.

Yes, it’s that simple. But don’t go running home or rushing off to your next vacation destination just yet! We need to establish how you can get all this done and more without being at the office. Keep reading to find out the key factors you need to consider when managing your business while traveling or being away.

Key Factors to remotely managing your business:

Conduct Regular Meetings:

Everyone doesn’t need to be huddled up in the conference room to conduct a good meeting; you can get remote employees, freelancers, and employees at the office all in the same meeting with just an internet connection.

Now meeting on a daily or even weekly basis can be difficult while you’re traveling because you’re mostly busy and have other things to address. However, meeting with the managers weekly or bi-weekly will reassure your presence in the office and confirm your supervision on all business matters.

You can easily conduct meetings through Skype or Google Hangouts where everyone can see each other and even share files if needed. You can also use Google Slides for presentations or Team Viewer to share your computer screen with everyone for demonstration.

Be sure to regularly interact with your employees no matter where you are and build close relations with them that can evolve into trust. If this is accomplished, you’ll never need to worry about business when you’re away.

Follow-up on Work Progress & Hours:

You being away from the office should never mean work doesn’t get done or is on pause. Technology created a solution for slacking or lazy employees, time tracking software. This type of software allows you to track employees working hours so you will always be updated with who came late or who worked overtime.

Employees will be able to track their shifts, breaks, and leave notes on their work progress.

There are many types of time tracking software, some are essentially focused on tracking working hours like ClockIn Portal that generate timesheets and can be integrated with payroll systems.

Others include a project management feature like Zoho Projects where you can share projects, assign tasks, and follow-up on tasks.

You can also use essential project management software like Basecamp or Asana that mainly focus on getting work done efficiently. Project management software allows you to assign tasks, update them with comments, set deadlines, add attachments, and eventually mark them as complete. With a straightforward tracking method of working hours and work progress, employees will feel obligated to stay focused and get things done faster.

Handle Business Mail Instantly:

While traveling, your mail is something you mustn’t forget about. Neglecting your mail for even a few days can lead to problems. Unattended mail can be important contracts from clients, documents from partners or investors, or feedback from your customers.

With a virtual mailbox, you can take your mail with you wherever you go.

A virtual mailbox is a mailbox that you can access online and handle your mail. The options vary from shredding any document or forwarding packages to opening, archiving, or downloading mail in just a few minutes. Your mail is delivered to secure mail facilities where the envelope is scanned and uploaded to your cloud-based mailbox for you to control.

So not only is it remote access to your important mail, but it eliminates the need for a mailroom! This means lesser paper storage, no mail operators, and faster mail operations, a win-win for you and your pocket.

Now, you’re ready to go!

With your business essentials all in check, you can easily travel whenever needed without worrying about work falling behind or inefficiently managing your business. By following these three factors, you can manage your tasks and still have time to enjoy your vacation!

PostScan Mail guarantees that a future change of address or being away for frequent traveling will not pose any problem. They receive your mail, scan the outside, and alert you online. You can then view your scans and manage your mail and packages remotely through any device connected to the internet. Upon your request, they can scan the content of your letters, shred or recycle the junk mail, forward your items to the address you pick or store your mail at their facility for as long as you wish, all with just a click.