Connor Business Resources

Tips and News

OSHA isn’t alone in fining employers; don’t forget the Department of Labor

By Paula Mathews

In a recent session, New Hampshire’s legislature passed Senate Bill 416. The new law “prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who requests a flexible work schedule.” Although the law does not require the employee to accommodate a flexible work schedule, it prohibits an employer from taking any negative employment action again an employee who makes the request.

Continue Reading

Project Proposal Structure Leads to Project Success

By Susan Fennema

A good project proposal is necessary to the success of your project. It defines the scope. It provides the budget. Lastly, it sets the timeline. In other words, your project proposal sets the tone and expectations for your project.

A project proposal should minimally include the following:

  • goals of the project
  • reasons the project is being undertaken and what the client should expect to achieve from it (think ROI)
  • scope
  • pricing
  • timing
  • payment terms
  • signature area
  • any necessary legal language
  • an expiration date for the proposal itself

Continue Reading

Winning, Consequences, and Productivity

by Susan Fennema – Beyond the Chaos

Winning is a consequence of a choice. And, it has its own consequences as well. While it is an innate desire in most of us, we have to be prepared for what happens afterward.

So, what do I mean by that? Winning is fun! We work hard to be winners, but we don’t often take into consideration the effects of winning. One of my first and favorite clients was weighted down by his success. He sold a lot of projects (winning!). The result (consequences!) was that he become so busy that he started to lose his ability to enjoy his life. He was working too hard and too long – his consequence of winning.

We were able to help him “get his life back” (his own words!), by putting together some project management systems. Being organized and setting clear priorities was yet another way to win in his case.

Winning in Sales

If you keep closing deals, your consequences might be like my client’s above. While we high-five (even if it is figuratively) when we close a new deal or score a new client, we must remember that we still have to do the work. Are you thinking of that consequence as you put proposals out? Are you managing your timing and your workload for you and your team in advance?

I am blessed to say that I recently closed several new proposals and have several new clients. It’s exciting. And it feels good to know they are willing to trust me with their business. Our team is looking forward to serving them in an effort to improve their lives. (Just like we did for the aforementioned client.)

…and, the Consequences 

But, we’re going to have to deal with some consequences as well. The first is that we will all have more work to do. We need to focus. We need to plan. Organization is key. One of the things I find is that when you have more to do, you get more done. I believe the quality of work is better when you are more focused as well. You get in a better rhythm.

Furthermore, you change your priorities. For example, writing is one of the things I will need to forego over the next couple of months. With four new clients and a speaking engagement in August, blogging will have to go on the backburner. (Don’t worry – we’re planning to be back in September!)

We might have longer hours for the coming months too. Which means that things like making dinner need to be streamlined. I love to cook. It’s a creative outlet for me. But, family members might have to help more. Or, maybe I’ll buy some of those pre-chopped vegetables to make my prep go faster.

Productivity  

Calendaring

I’ve mentioned my love of calendaring before. It’s definitely a way to manage winning new work. You must plan so that you can deliver the best product. Additionally, you need to be clear when your workload is lightening up so you can sell and plan future projects appropriately.

Delegating

We talked about delegating in my last post. Determining what to delegate and who to delegate to are important steps toward productivity and focus. I can’t stop marketing and selling, but I can bring in other companies or people to help with it. Remembering to serve your clients by using your particular set of skills to their advantage is paramount. In other words, do those things that only you can do. Delegate those other things that you might be capable of doing, but that someone else can handle for you. (And, often, they even do a better job!)

Celebrate Winning

When we work at something and then win, we feel a great deal of satisfaction. Whether that is a professional achievement or a personal one, winning feels great. Working, learning, planning, executing are all parts of putting yourself in the position to be able to win. When you do, you should stop and celebrate.

My husband and I just got back from Park City, Utah, where we attended Ford Performance Racing School. My husband loves cars and racing. He’s participated in it in various forms throughout his life. He has worked at it. He’s learned it. His base of knowledge and skill is much higher than mine in that area.

So, when we got to the AutoCross part of the training day, he wanted to win. We had driving instructors to educate us on what could be improved. He planned his drive. He failed once and learned from it and planned again. And, then, he executed… and won!

The same day, I learned I had won a new client and a large project. We both felt that satisfaction flowing from our work. So, we stopped for a moment to acknowledge and to celebrate our wins.

But, we have consequences even with the AutoCross win. Both of our necks were sore after the race. (We weren’t just turning left on a track!) As we licked our wounds, so to speak, we had a reminder of the win.

So, don’t let those consequences get you down. Work through them. (Take some Advil… or calendar your work.) Let the neck pain or the focused work days be a reminder of your win. And if you are hurting a little here or there, take a breath and a quick moment to celebrate again before you dig back in.

Continue Reading

Let our experts help you navigate your small business.

Let our experts help you navigate your small business.