Many business owners excel at the core activities of their company but can struggle with the supporting functions that come with it. It’s certainly true to say that not every business owner is a natural leader and manager of people, and nor would they consider themselves to be. However, this is something that must be learned, at least until the business is large enough to hire someone who is if the SME is to be a success.
So what are the realities of people management for business owners? We spoke to Vasco de Castro, the co-founder and business development director to find out what he has learned about people management during his time at the helm of the new international workplace fruit provider Fruitful Office.
1. Make your team the focus of the business
It’s the business owner who has grown the company from the ground up, so it can be difficult to let go. However, once you start taking on staff, it’s important to step back and play a supporting role. The tendency is to think the business is all about you, but it’s the people who work for you that play a key part in creating the business’s culture.
Making time for your team on a personal and professional level and listening to any problems or issues they may have is central to the perceptions they form about the business. It’s also important to acknowledge that in their specialist areas, employees may well be more knowledgeable than you. Asking for their input and acting on the insights they provide will help them become a valued part of the business.
2. Let them shine
The reason you’ve hired the workers you have is hope that they have the specialist skills you lack, so it’s essential you give them the support and space they need to put those skills to good use. The tendency to micromanage is something business owners should resist at all costs. Understandably, you will be protective of your business, but once you’ve provided clear direction and made your expectations clear, it’s time to step back and let them shine.
As Vasco de Castro explains: “In my view, it is the role of the leader to provide the vision for the business and communicate it clearly to employees. It’s then down to the employees to make it happen.”
3. Remember the bad bosses you’ve had in the past
When you’re finally in the position to be in charge, remember all those horrible bosses you’ve had along the way and make sure you don’t become them. There are a number of small and simple steps you can take to make your business somewhere your employees actually want to work.
Recognizing their achievements, giving them the freedom to make their own decisions, trusting them and actually getting to know them on a personal level all help. However, simply allowing yourself to relax and enjoy what working life has to throw at you has an important part to play in creating a loyal and energized team.
What do you think is the key to successful people management in an SME? Do you agree with Vasco de Castro? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Being a small-business owner, you have been putting your whole-hearted efforts to make your business venture a success. You have been working long hours, traveling for client meetings to different cities, staying away from home for days on stretch and also investing all your personal savings and assets to take your business to new heights. Now that you have put your business on the path to growth, it suddenly dawns on you that you have not been able to pay adequate attention to your financials. Now when there is a significant opportunity in front of you in the form of a brilliant idea, which will change the future course of your business, you find that you do not have necessary funds to put that into practice. You feel anguished and frustrated, but that is not going to serve any purpose. So rather than ruing your ill-luck, its better you start looking at other options that you must explore, to meet your financial requirements. One of the most obvious options is availing an Unsecured Small Business Loan.
What is an Unsecured Small Business Loan?
Business Loans that are available to small business owners for their desired purpose without any requirement of collateral are called Unsecured Small Business Loans. These loans are extended by all financial institutions in India, private sector as well as public sector. You are free to utilize the loan amount for any purpose you may deem suitable including the purchase of machinery, upgradation of infrastructure, renovation of office premises etc. There are two types of unsecured business loans in the market NBFC business loans and Bank business loans. The repayment of these loans is to be made in monthly EMIs.
Advantages of Small Business Loans
Small business loans offer a flexible source of funding for you to meet your urgent financial requirements. There are various advantages provided by small business loans such as: -
No dilution in ownership :
When you take a small business loan from a financial institution, you need not provide any collateral and are free to utilize the money in any way you want for your business purpose. The lender does not have anything to do with the way you have spent the money, as long as you repay your EMIs on time. This ensures that the ownership of business stays with you and is not diluted. This is a better option compared to other sources as venture capital or personal borrowing, where you must give up a part of your ownership of your business in lieu of money.
Taxation Benefits :
Small business loans are to be repaid in monthly installments, which comprise principal component and interest component. The interest that you pay on loan is allowed as an expense, and you can claim tax benefits against the same. This, in turn, reduces your tax burden, and the loan in effect costs less in practicality. No other source of funding offers this option.
No Collateral required :
If you do not have any collateral to be hypothecated with the financial institution, then unsecured business loans are your only option. This is an ideal situation for new businesses or start-ups who have a great idea but do not have any collateral to be mortgaged. If required by the lender, you can get a guarantor on board.
Lower Interest Rates :
Unsecured small business loans have a more moderate rate of interest as compared to various other sources of finance such as credit cards or private money lenders. Lower interest rates mean lower EMIs which translate into a lesser burden on your finances. In some cases, the government also offers subsidies on unsecured business loans to help small business owners have easy access to credit at lower interest rates.
No stress on working capital :
When you are able to avail an unsecured business loan, you get spare money at your disposal, which can help you in getting better deals from your suppliers and vendors. Moreover, this ensures that you need not withdraw money from your working capital and thus you can meet your daily expenses conveniently. Also, as the EMIs are to be paid on a monthly basis only, you do not have to put pressure on your cash cycle by withdrawing huge sums together.
Flexibility in Repayment :
some NBFC business loans come with the option for EMI holiday or flexible repayment options, where you only need to pay interest on the loan as your EMI for a specified period, in the beginning, this way your EMI payments, in the beginning, is reduced and you get time to manage your financial position. The principal amount for this mortarium period is adjusted over the remaining period of the loan.
Unsecured small business loans offer a lot of benefits for you. But you must conduct proper research and analysis before you take a final decision regarding the loan.
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Top 5 Types Of Startup Business Loans
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The word debt in the term technical debt may compel you to think that it is just like any other debt which has to be cleared at the earliest. Well, it is true that tech debts are just like any other debts and it is also true that a little bit of tech debt is also useful just like any other debts. Moreover, it is also true that just like any other debts you must manage it properly to enjoy the benefits and keep your business running. Therefore, you can cut the corners while designing software provided you do not let the debt accumulate and pay it off timely.
Various Debt Issues
You and your technical team may have various reasons to cut the corners while designing your projects like lacking proper skills, laziness or due to the time pressure and willingness to release code within a specific time frame. These reasons can lead to various debt issues as these debts can accumulate over time creating a huge backlog and cause technical inefficiency. The issues can also arise due to the faulty code base, environment of the development of the project, the operating platform, test coverage and automation programs, program designs and libraries and much more.
Addressing The Debt
As the issues of debt can result in defects which can reduce the velocity of the codes it must be maintained properly and regularly to increase the productivity of the codes. You must have a specific and positive attitude while you address the tech debt always. Be vigilant always towards your codes so that you can manage it whenever necessary. You must also use easy and simple designs in your codes so that anyone of your team can understand, identify and make the necessary changes in it. Avoid using shortcuts to achieve a design in time. Track the velocity of it regularly and ask your team to refactor it as soon as detected to increase the velocity.
Service Your Debt
Proper debt management means proper and regular servicing of it. You must also refactor your debt relentlessly and regularly to keep it in check. Once you give up it will start to pile up and the cost of paying off would increase as compared to the reimplementation. No matter what others think about code servicing, you must do it regularly to have a good return. Use various tracking tools and techniques for reworking on your defective codes as you will also come to know how much debt you have currently with the help of it. Identification and registering is the first step of proper management of debt.
Evaluate And Prioritize
Once identification is done you must start working on it by evaluating and prioritizing your debt so as to decide on which you want to work first. During this prioritization process, the factors which you must consider apart from the cost of the debt are the frequency, justification for rework and the economics behind. Check online to know more about prioritization. Consider paying those debts first which are about to expire and then those which have a higher rate of accumulation and keep your debt within manageable limits. Do not forget to check out for bill consolidation loans which are much popular these days and can be of great help.
Read More: Top 5 Types Of Startup Business Loans
Acquiring your very own farm is a significant entrepreneurial venture that involves obtaining an existing business entity to bring your dreams of ownership and management to life.
This intricate process requires a well-structured approach, thorough research, financial prudence, and adept negotiation skills. The journey to buy a farm starts by identifying the right opportunity, which means evaluating industries, markets, and sectors that align with your expertise, interests, and long-term objectives.
This phase requires meticulous due diligence to assess potential risks, opportunities, and the overall health of the target farm. This analysis encompasses a close examination of financial records, operational procedures, market positioning, and customer base, as well as legal and regulatory considerations. A critical aspect of this decision-making process is conducting a comprehensive financial assessment. Scrutinizing the farm's financial statements offers valuable insights into its revenue streams, expenses, profitability, and growth potential.
This evaluation aids potential buyers in gauging the farm's financial stability and sustainability, which is crucial for making a well-informed investment decision. The art of negotiation plays a pivotal role in shaping the purchase terms. Effective negotiations encompass discussions about the purchase price, and payment arrangements, including assets, liabilities, and any necessary contingencies. The aim is to strike a balance that ensures a fair deal for both parties while safeguarding the buyer's interests. Securing financing, if necessary, is a vital step in the acquisition process. Buyers can explore various funding sources, such as personal savings, bank loans, venture capital, or even seller financing. It is essential that the chosen financing structure aligns with the buyer's financial capacity and the farm's potential returns to ensure a successful acquisition.
The final steps of the transaction involve creating legal agreements and documents that outline the terms and conditions of the purchase. Legal professionals play a crucial role in ensuring the sale's legality and protecting the interests of all parties involved.Acquiring your own farm from the available farms for sale presents a multitude of advantages. It serves as a canvas for manifesting your entrepreneurial spirit, allowing you to harness your expertise, insights, and aspirations to navigate the farm toward expansion and success.
When you secure an existing farm, you frequently gain access to a well-established clientele, a functional operational structure, and even a potentially familiar brand, effectively lessening the obstacles commonly linked with commencing from square one. However, it is important to recognize that acquiring a farm also comes with its own set of obstacles and uncertainties. The buyer must be prepared to address potential operational issues, adapt to a new business environment, and navigate unforeseen challenges that may arise during the transition.
In conclusion, buying your own farm is a multifaceted yet rewarding endeavor that demands meticulous planning, thorough due diligence, skillful negotiation, and a strategic financial approach. Successfully acquiring an established farm provides the avenue for realizing your entrepreneurial dreams, achieving financial growth, and turning your aspirations of farm ownership into reality.
Here Are Twelve Crucial Ideas To Buy A Farm
Rest assured, this comprehensive guide is here to walk you through the process step by step, guiding you as you transform your dream of owning a farm into a tangible and fulfilling reality.
1. Define Your Farming Vision and Goals
The first step on this transformative journey is to define your farming vision and goals. Reflect on the type of farming experience you envision – whether it's cultivating crops, raising livestock, or a combination of both. Consider your long-term goals, such as sustainability, self-sufficiency, or generating income. This clarity will serve as the guiding light throughout your farm-buying journey.
2. Assess Your Budget and Financing Options
Before delving into the realm of farms for sale, it's imperative to assess your budget. Farm ownership comes with a range of expenses, including the purchase price, operational costs, maintenance, and improvements. Research financing options tailored to agricultural properties and engage with lenders experienced in farm transactions to secure a suitable financing arrangement.
3. Research Ideal Farm Locations
The location of your farm plays a pivotal role in its success. Research potential areas based on climate, soil quality, water availability, and proximity to markets. Each geographic region has its unique advantages and challenges for farming. Explore different options to find the location that aligns with your farming goals and preferences.
4. Understand Zoning and Regulations
Farms are subject to various zoning regulations and land use restrictions. Familiarize yourself with local zoning laws, agricultural designations, and environmental regulations that could impact your farming activities. Ensure that the farm properties you consider are zoned appropriately for your intended agricultural pursuits.
5. Engage Real Estate Experts
Navigating the complex landscape of farm real estate requires expert guidance. Enlist the services of real estate agents and professionals experienced in agricultural transactions. Their insights into market trends, property valuations, and negotiation tactics will be invaluable as you explore farms for sale.
6. Evaluate Farm Properties
As you embark on property visits, carefully evaluate potential farms. Consider factors such as land size, topography, soil quality, infrastructure, and existing structures. Analyze the farm's potential for your intended farming activities and assess whether it aligns with your vision.
7. Conduct Thorough Due Diligence
Thorough due diligence is essential before finalizing a farm purchase. Verify property boundaries, survey records, water rights, easements, and any existing liens. Engage professionals, such as land surveyors and attorneys, to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the property's legal and physical attributes.
8. Plan for Farm Operations
A successful farm requires meticulous planning. Develop a comprehensive farm business plan that outlines your farming activities, production goals, resource management, and marketing strategies. Consider factors like crop rotation, livestock management, and equipment needs as you envision the daily operations of your farm.
9. Consider Sustainability and Conservation
Sustainability and conservation practices are integral to modern farming. Explore methods to reduce environmental impact, conserve natural resources, and promote biodiversity on your farm. Incorporating sustainable practices not only benefits the land but also enhances the long-term viability of your farming endeavor.
10. Prepare for Transition and Ownership
Transitioning from aspiring farmer to farm owner involves legal and logistical steps. Work with legal professionals to navigate the transfer of ownership, property titles, and any required permits. Additionally, consider forming relationships with local farming communities, cooperative networks, and agricultural extension services to foster knowledge sharing and support.
11. Implement Your Farming Vision
With ownership secured, it's time to implement your farming vision. Begin by preparing the land, planting crops, or setting up livestock facilities according to your business plan. Seek guidance from agricultural experts and mentors to ensure a successful start to your farming journey.
12. Embrace the Farming Lifestyle
Owning a farm is not just a business; it's a lifestyle. Embrace the joys and challenges that come with farming – the early mornings, the connection to the land, the satisfaction of a successful harvest. As you immerse yourself in the rhythm of farm life, you'll discover a profound sense of fulfillment and a deeper connection to the earth. In the tapestry of farm ownership, transitioning from dreams to reality requires careful planning, dedication, and a willingness to learn. By following this comprehensive beginner's guide, you're embarking on a transformative journey that connects you with the land, fosters self-sufficiency, and allows you to contribute to the rich tapestry of agricultural heritage. From selecting the perfect farm to embracing the farming lifestyle, each step brings you closer to turning your agricultural aspirations into a thriving reality.
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