Identifying the Importance of Electrical Contractors in Your Business

In order to keep a large building maintained, there are many needs that must be tended to on a regular basis. Water and gas maintenance are two of the most important needs, along with electricity. Obviously no home or work environment can function without electricity and it is often best to hire in an electrical contractor to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Electrical contractors offer a specific skill set adept to taking care of electrical systems of any nature. They are often the very group that installed the system in the first place. Legitimate companies are fully licensed to operate and are often available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Just think about the electricity you use each day, and how many things you actually take for granted. Something as simple as breathing is often helped with the aid of electricity. Without the use of ventilation systems or electrical air conditioning, it can become quite uncomfortable in a building without a sufficient breeze, particularly if there are a lot of people in a small office space for an extended period of time. Electrical ventilation will also help to keep pollution out, as opening a window for natural air conditioning in an overly polluted area can lead to real problems.

One of the biggest needs for electricity is in lighting. A lot of companies work late hours or night shifts, and some work in areas without windows such as warehouses, so these areas need to be electrically lit at all times. Without light, it becomes near impossible to companies to function, so electrical contractors must be on hand to fix any problem as quickly as possible. A large building will require a huge and complex lighting system, so contract companies have to be sufficiently trained and qualified.

The other biggest strain on electrical systems is computers. Nowadays computers can be found in almost every work environment. From single computers to vast networks, they all need a large amount of electricity to function. As well as operating single machines, many companies operate large central servers to store and transfer data throughout the company. If power is lost to any of these parts of the network the company can really suffer. Long transfers can be cut off prematurely, unsaved work can be lost and data can become corrupted. It is hugely important they are kept functional at all times, and backup electrical systems are usually set in place to pick up the supply in the event of an emergency. Both systems must be monitored closely at regular intervals.

Without a good relationship with their electrical contractors, businesses are open to huge losses. It is important you know that your electrical company is up to the job at hand and that they are always available to take care of your electrical needs.

Business Systems – The Key to Growth and Freedom

As entrepreneurs we typically like to build a business and be intricately involved in every facet and know every detail. It’s our company and we want to control everything. Unfortunately this approach brings real limitations if we don’t purposely separate ourselves from the inner workings of the organization. Limitations not only of time but also of performance and income.

Entrepreneurs typically enjoy the process of creating a new business and the excitement of bringing a new concept to life. The question is are you building a business or just creating a job for yourself. If the enterprise cannot function when you are away from it then you are just creating a job. This may be fine most of the time, but what if you get sick or want to take a vacation. What happens then?

A business should be created to serve its owner and a ‘real’ business can function with or without the owner’s presence.

The key to creating an enterprise that is independent of your constant attention is systemizing your business as if you were creating a franchise, even if you never intend too. A franchise functions because every part of the operation is broken down into basic tasks and their is a procedure for carrying out each task so that it can be easily delegated to someone else.

This doesn’t mean that you will have to have managers and employees, but it might. Sometimes you may be able to utilize technology, such as using websites, automated hot-lines and customer management systems for your marketing and follow up. You may be able to hire independent contractors for handling customer service calls or sales. You may be able to outsource product manufacturing or installation to other companies. Frankly, the level at which you are able to grow and still avoid having employees depends on the type of business you are building, your creativity and your willingness to give up some control.

By creating an organization that will operate independently we free ourselves in more ways than one.

Benefits of Building an Independent Business

Greater Freedom – By building a company that can function without your constant involvement you are free to work ON your business to improve the existing systems and to create new systems for expansion.

Yields better results – By turning over tasks to specialists, either through hiring or outsourcing, the performance of your business is improved because the specialist can focus on their particular job and develop skills and a higher level of efficiency.

Better profits – Because you are free to work on your business you can improve systems and lower expenses. You can also focus on ways to expand into new markets or broaden your offerings in your existing markets.

Not only will you have greater freedom, improved performance and a more profitable enterprise you will have the piece of mind of knowing that your company can function even if you get sick or injured and because the business can function independently you will have an asset that has value and that you can sell when you are ready to retire or do something else.

Contractors: Hire the Right Professionals at a Flat Rate

The world is changing the trends of business as turbulent times in the economy affect all systems that are interconnected to each other. Any change in the economic system has a drastic effect on all the businesses that depend on the flow of economy. In recent years, the economy has not been in a good shape and small businesses have been hit the hardest as they do not have the financial power to sustain themselves in hard times. Many small companies end up downsizing jobs in the company to cut down their operational cost when sales of their service or product have dipped below breakeven point. This generally hurts such organizations at a deeper level because cut backs always create a void within the company at the grass root level. Employees are the people that are the cog and wheel of the whole business system. If the blood works of the system is removed, then the death of the system is inevitable. When small companies are not capable of hiring full time employees, then it is best to look for Contractors that are ready to render their services for their limited time. This is the ultimate solution for all small businesses that are having a bad time in the business market. There is always a way to meet preset goals, even if the conditions of the world are not favoring companies growth. Using the right tool at the right time can help a company survive through the turbulence of the economy.

Contractors are the kind of people who do not like to be tied down to a desk and they are ready to offer their skilled services on contract basis. They perform one given task at a time according to the agreement in the contract which allows a company the assurance that they are concentrating their efforts on their project alone. The employer also has the rights to any thing that is generated through the contract between them. It is the tangible nature of the work that has helped such freelancers to find room to work with their free will. They are able to perform at their best as they can avoid all office politics, and there is no manager above them who would command their actions. Even if they are not able to get the regular benefits that employers are supposed to give to their payroll employees, they can still make up for the lost benefits with job contracts.

System Conversion: Project Management Issues

It is common knowledge that technology has become a driving focus of business success in the past few decades. Evolving technology forces businesses to choose and consistently adapt to developing better and more efficient business systems.

Let’s take a look at an example of an investment bank and its operations around reconciling institutional client funds’ cash and positions. When the bank emerged into the market, the reconciliation function was a manual. Evolving technology pushed the bank to examine the choice to automate the process, especially given increased volumes. The bank chose an existing automated reconciliation tool that was available in the market at the time. Now, in 2011, the company wants to examine ways to even further automate the increasingly complex process. One solution is to use a workflow tool that encompasses reconciliations and thus requires a conversion from the originally chosen system to the new system. The company will need to inspect two important aspects of system conversion prior to and during pursuit of the project. First, the company needs to ensure that they utilize budgeting as a decision-making and monitoring tool for the conversion. Along with budgeting, important and common project management issues must be considered and plans should be implemented to attempt to avoid the common issues that could occur.

Budgeting, or forecasting future expected financial occurrences, should be used in the system conversion as it has proven to be an effective tool for decision-making and control. Preparing and analyzing budgets around project management allows the project managers to assign decision rights while also assisting the managers in controlling behaviors on the project. Managers creating and using budgets for system conversion should incorporate support from the vendor, salaries of contractors, overtime pay for employees that will have to work longer hours on top of their daily work, costs associated with the system, additional facilities needed and any other conversion-related costs. System conversion budgeting should occur in the form of bottom-up budgeting where the hands on employees who posses knowledge create the budget and present it to upper management for approval or alteration. During the system conversion, budgeting should be regularly reviewed as system conversions are highly susceptible to changes in the project plan from internal and external events. Budgeting can also prove to be a helpful tool useful in battling the common issues that can occur during a project’s life.

There are four main categories of events that can affect a project during its life cycle; the events affect the outcome and overall success of the project. One of the most noticeable factors that can negatively affect a project’s success is the schedule. It is important to properly identify a reasonable schedule for project steps and completion based on the budget and the input of knowledge experts. During a system conversion it is specifically important to meticulously outline the schedule around movement of data from the old system to the new one. The lack of a diligently prepared schedule can cause even further delays in project completion when issues which could have been identified via input of knowledge experts end up being identified too late in the project to prevent impact on the schedule. A second factor is resources; needs should be identified by working hand in hand with the set budget. If the appropriate resources are not allocated to a project then there can be a downstream effect to timing and quality of completion. It is specifically important to outline the need for additional employee resources during system conversions if employee capacity is already met with normal business as usual duties. It is vital to identify additional resources that are required prior to the start of the project because these resources can be included in the budget. Additionally, waiting too late to add resources is counterproductive because adding new perspectives complicates the project’s original course and training adds cost to the project.

Another factor that should be taken into consideration when planning a system conversion is design quality. For example, the operational team managing the project may outline certain business needs or requirements that the technology team may not be able to provide. It is very crucial to take the design quality issue into consideration when planning a system conversion and a work around should be built. One way to decrease the possibility of design quality issues occurring is by delegating the knowledgeable employees to thoroughly outline requirements, communicate with the technology team and following up with testing. The final major factor that can affect a project’s success is process quality. During a system conversion the testing time may get shortened if earlier parts of the project are delayed. One way to ensure that a breakdown in process quality does not affect the overall project is to outline the steps of the project that are most crucial for achieving a desired outcome and then to build slack time into those steps in order to prepare for potential delays in earlier processes.

In addition to the proposed preventive measures listed above to avert the occurrence of common project management issues, budgeting is a helpful aid in ensuring project achievement. Utilizing the budget to assign decision rights assists in creating appropriate delegation to project tasks. Improved delegation will decrease the susceptibility of the project to design quality flaws because the knowledge will be driven based on the facts provided during the budgeting process. The budget will also decrease the possibility of the project falling behind in schedule and will increase the relationship between all design parties and processes by setting performance measurements around the budget. While budgeting will be helpful during system conversion, it is important to note that employing the budget for performance management may reduce quality so there should be a control built to ensure certain business needs are not forfeited to meet the financial goals. In conclusion industrious planning, including budgeting, is essential for avoiding events that prove detrimental to the system conversion project’s success.

What Do You Need in Your Systems Manual?

Now let’s get this straight from the start. EVERY Business should have a Systems Manual. You cannot run a Professional Business and be Mega Successful without one. Your systems manual for your Business should outline everything in the Business and everything about the Business. I previously worked in a number of Government Agencies, where I didn’t get a lot of training. I would walk into the new position blind folded. I would read any manuals and copy things that I could. I found that when I started these new positions, the best way to cope and learn was to write everything down. For every single task that I completed, I wrote it down and I wrote it down in detail. Then I would type this up in a Systems Manual. When I left the position, I would often get comments and thanks at how easy it was to take over because of my detailed system manual. Depending on the type of Business and System Manual, I usually use Excel and Word to have all my information in. Again, depending on the type of Business, some manuals are set out with specific tasks for the day, week, month, quarter and year. Here are some topics that will help you get started with your Business System Manual.

Your Business Details
Enter all your Business details, Business Name, Trading Name, Australian business number, tax file number, postal address, location address, facsimile number, phone numbers including mobiles, internet sites, passwords, websites. Is your Business a Sole, Partnership, Company or Trust, give details. Who are the Managers and their personal details.

Your Mission Statement
Get Clear, write in your Mission and get passionate on why you are in Business and what you want. Remember – You should be in Business to make Money, but also to give benefit. In whatever business you do but you must make Money. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself? Be very specific with your answer. What is your net profit? What are you providing for your clients – What are their problems?, How are you going to solve them? Do you want to contribute some of the Net Profits to Charity? How Much? What are your Timeframes? This can be done in your Planning Manuals, but have the Statement in your Systems Manual for reinforcement.

Your Goals
Write down all the goals for the Business, again be very specific. Are they achievable? Are they measureable?. Who will do them? What role? Who is the leader? Who is Responsible for who? Timeframes? Consequences of going over the timeframes? You have to be able to setout exactly what you need to do to be able to achieve these goals in the set time frame. You need your goal A Timeframe How you will achieve the goals in your timeframe? Results Review – How did you go? What did you do well? What could you do better next time? Did it make money? How much? What was the Net Profit? The Mission and Goals will carry over to your Business and Strategic Plans. The more you have them around you, the more focused you will become to achieving them. DO NOT type them up and put them in a folder and leave them there for the year. Check them at least every week. Are you on task? What have you done? What do you need to do next?

Leadership and Management Roles
Who are the Leadership people in your Business? What are their specific roles and tasks? Who do they lead and who do they report too? Do up a detailed Position Description. What is their salary and ongoing costs? What are the incentives? Who has the Management Role in your Business? What are their specific roles and tasks? Who do they lead and who do they report too. Do up a detailed Position Description. What is their salary and ongoing costs? What are the incentives?

What is the Employee’s Role in your Business? What are their specific roles and tasks? Who do they lead and who do they report too? Do up a detailed Position Description. What is their salary and ongoing costs? What are the incentives? Who does their job when they are away? Get them to do a detailed system manual of their job.

Detail every task that is required: Database Collection – collect names, addresses, fax, phone and emails for all clients and all your business purchase contacts. Plus add a list of emergency numbers, including business machine and computer technicians. Faxing Emailing Online Social Networks and Forums Collect Mail Deliveries and Orders Answering Telephones (Are they answering sales calls? Do they need a script?) Website Management work Typing Bookkeeping Tax Reporting Office Supplies ordering Photocopying and Scanning What are the ongoing administration costs?

List your specific requirements, reports, how do you do the quarterly government reporting – what programs to you need or is it manually completed, the end of year process – what do you need to give to your accountant, closing your accounting software payroll year, closing your accounting software financial year.

Finance and Net Profits
Where do you make your money? What banks do you use? Where do you get your finance from? What loans do you have? Type of loan, term of loan, interest rate Has any Capital been put into the Business? Future Business dealings?

List all the Assets? Who owns the Assets? What are your future Asset requirements and costs? New Equipment. What needs to be sold? Who looks after the Assets Schedule and Maintenance?

Filing and Archiving
Have a very good filing system. You should have a filing system for basic correspondence and a separate file for taxation. It’s much easier to file your taxation correspondence in the correct folder during the year, than trying to organise and find it at the end of the year. Do you need to upgrade your filing system. How does your filing system work? If it is very large, write up a filing system list. Who looks after your Filing System and Archiving?

What software do you need for your Business? Are there future software requirements? What updates, upgrades are required? What are their yearly costs? Websites and Smart Phones? Who is your Internet Technician? Who needs to be called if there are problems?

Procedures Business Plan
The business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals. It sets out the reasons why these goals can be attained and the plan for reaching these goals. There can also be a mission statement and business background information. The Business Plan is usually for a 12 month period. Strategic Plan The strategic plan is the business process of defining strategies, direction and making decisions. It sets out the resources and capital required to pursue each strategy. The Strategic Plan is usually for up to 5 years.

Products and Services
What do you sell? Do you have to make it? Is it a service? Explain in details what your products and services are and what they do? What is it that you are going to do better than your competitors? BE HONEST. What do you sell your current products or services for? Is this too cheap, can you make your price higher? What future products/services can you implement to get more sales? Who has your customer before you and after you? Are your customers one time or return? How many customers do you need? Ongoing Customers – How do you keep them? What do they cost to keep? How to do you keep in touch with them? New Customers – How do you get them? What does it cost?

Telephone Techniques and Scripts
Who needs telephones, what is your standard procedures. Do you need to have specific scripts.

Marketing and Sales
What is Marketing and Sales? Marketing is getting them to the door. Sales is getting them through the door. Quote Brendan Nichols What types of Marketing and Sales will you do? The marketing mix includes the following marketing ideas, strategies, activities, tactics & thrusts.

1. Advertising Inclusive of Television, outdoor signage, radio and print (magazines, trade publications & newspapers). You should only engage the services of an advertising agency or sales promotion company if you can afford to and it is absolutely necessary.

2. Public Relations Media releases/Press Releases, editorials and advertorials. You should only engage the services of a public relations company if you can afford it and it is absolutely necessary to the success of your business.

3. Direct Marketing

  • Sales letter and sales brochure.
  • A meaningful Referral System & program amongst existing clients which rewards and incentives your clients to refer and recommend friends, family and other people who would benefit from your product and service.

4. E-Marketing Internet & e-mail

5. Point of sale Retail & trade

6. Sales promotion Seminars & industry trade shows

7. Strategic alliances Win/win relationships with like-minded individuals and organizations whereby you can help each other to market your products & services. What are the costs for each Marketing or Sales Strategy? Who writes all the sales and marketing scripts? Do your research? Test and Measure? What are your clients saying?

Seminars, Conferences, Press Releases
Do you run Seminars or Conferences, Book Release or Press Releases? Who do you attend the above to go too? Where are you getting your database of clients from? Make a list of your Book Release venues. Have a list of Press Release Agents. Who is your target market? What is your detailed plan of – Dates Venues Meals Clients Support Team Media used Costs for the event Net Profit Number of Clients needed to breakeven? Number of Clients needed to make a profit?

Training and Education
What skills do you and your team already have? If you write this down for each person, then you will be able to see if you can use them for doing other tasks, sometimes you don’t know what everyone can do, unless you ask. What training do you need now? Future Training requirements and cost? List the Incentives for your Staff in each position description. Remember Training and Education in Mindset as well? This is important for all your team, you want motivated and passionate people on your team. This could be weekly staff meetings.

Who are your Clients? What are their problems? Where do you get your clients from? What does it cost to keep your current clients? Include Employee, Administration, Product/Service and Marketing Costs What does it cost to get new clients? Include Employee, Administration, Product/Service and Marketing Costs.

Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly Tasks
For some of your specific Jobs example Administration, it’s a good idea to have a calendar/chart that lists the specific tasks that are required on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. Example: Daily – open mail, read emails, orders Weekly – pay accounts Monthly – bookkeeping reports and bank reconciliations, filing Quarterly – Tax and Payroll Government Returns Yearly – Tax Reporting to go to Accountant, Filing of all Yearly Financials to Archives Other positions that require these types of charts – Websites (Social Networking, Updating Articles, Testing and Measuring, Autoresponders? and Builders (This is very important when building a house for organising Contractors).