If you are a small business contractor you know all too well the many tasks you have to juggle throughout the day on top of providing the good or service that you offer. Within the constant flurry of activity required to keep your business afloat, it can be hard to find time to hear new ideas on ways you can improve the services you provide. Fortunately, if you can just find a few minutes of time to do some light reading each week there are some excellent bloggers out there serving up some healthy doses of wisdom for contractors like yourself. The following 10 websites offer some helpful and useful information to use in the managerial aspects of your daily business administration.
How to Run Your Business Successfully
1. Construction Business Owner
Description: CBO is exactly what it sounds like, a website dedicated to information for owners of construction businesses. They break out their articles and resources by topic, so if you’re looking for ideas to improve your business in a specific area like marketing, you can quickly find some focused information on that topic.
The linked article is from back in 2012 but the points very much hold true for today for most contracting businesses. There are tips to help you improve your sales, finances, hiring, and increasing your staff’s productivity.
Description: ShyEntreprenuer is a site focused on topics specifically for small business concerns. Topics discussed on this site include the following areas: pre-business, starting a business, growing a business, general business principles and tools for successfully operating your business.
This article discusses interesting elements of small business management. Topical areas covered in this article include: an example of differing management directions, opportunity cost vs. over-extension, benefits of stepping up capacity ahead of demand and benefits of stepping up capacity after demand.
Description: The BizMove site focuses on topics related to effectively managing a small business and being successful in business. Topics discussed on this site, amongst others, include: starting a business, management skills, marketing sales and advertising and general management topics.
This article offers a comprehensive discussion of things needed to make your business successful including: managing a business successfully based on the internal/external environment, building your team, structural issues, management policy and procedural issues and even offers a checklist for effective organization.
4. Chron Small Business
Description: Chron offers a number of different topical areas on their site that can be valuable for contractors. The site’s small business section offers articles on virtually every small business topic.
Topics discussed in the linked article include: financial literacy, small business financing, legal concerns and quality of work/life balance.
Managing Your Finances
5. Succeed as Your Own Boss
Description: The Succeed as Your Own Boss site offers some comprehensive business content from Melinda Emerson, a renowned business contributor to news organizations like The New York Times, Black Enterprise, Fox News, Fortune and CNBC. Topical areas on the site include many small business related concerns. This specific article discusses: educating yourself, separating personal and business finances, cutting costs, investing in cloud-based accounting software, performance measurement and hiring professional help.
Description: The Finder site offers extensive information mostly centered around personal and business finance. This specific article discusses those 17 tips across three areas: 1) day-to-day money management, 2) business and personal account separation and 3) general business issues (like legal, expansion, etc.)
Description: FitSmallBusiness is a blog focused on small business improvement in areas like marketing, finance and HR. It provides articles on practical tips like how to accept credit cards online and how to make smarter tax decisions. This blog selection is actually a starting point to another reading list – their recommended list of finance related blogs. If you’ve got some additional time and want to take a deeper dive into managing your finances, this list is a great starting point.
Managing Your Staff
Description: Staples, of course known for their retail offerings, also provides resource articles on business expertise to help small businesses improve their technology, sales, operations, management, and finance among other areas. This article discusses some key elements of managing your people that many contractors will likely find helpful. Tips covered include information on hiring, leadership, and employee productivity.
9. American Express – Open Forum
Article: Top 5 Skills for Effective Employee Management
Description: As a financial powerhouse, American Express has a lot of experience working with businesses of all sizes. This article covers many soft skills that can help you manage your employees better, including communicating intelligently, accepting responsibility, dealing with confrontation and knowing when to speak up to your staff.
10. Great Harvest Bread Company Blog
Article: 8 Keys to Managing Employees as a Small Business Owner
Description: While the Great Harvest blog has a good shot at making you hungry, it also has a lot of information small business ownership. If you’re trying to cut back on your carbs, stick to articles like this one that provide tips on employee management. Tips included in this article cover ways to help your employees feel ownership and providing proper training and support.
As a business owner it can be difficult to find the time to do more than what’s required to run your business each day. However, it’s important to expose yourself to new ideas so that you can find ways to be more efficient, more productive, and more profitable. Carving out some time each week or each month to follow some blogs and websites like those listed above can certainly reap some long-term rewards for your business.
Another Way to Improve Your Business
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