Zone_GraphicSpend time in "The Zone" every day working on your business not just in your business (Michael Gerber). Here you will find FREE audio, video, articles, links, and downloads that will stimulate your thinking and teach principles for building more effective business systems and processes. HAVE FUN!

Read PDF: "Get in The Zone"

Business Improvement: Better Than a Suggestion Box

Posted by Ron Carroll on Apr 9, 2013 6:20:00 AM

Suggestion Box

Collectively, your employees have a wealth of experience, talent, insight, and creative ideas that could improve your business operations. But, do you have a system to tap into this hidden treasure?

Some companies have tried using a "suggestion box," which typically doesn't work very well. They allow anonymity leading to frivolous suggestions or mean-spirited remarks. They tend to focus on problems, not solutions. They put more work on already busy people; oftentimes no action is taken. Finally, they are not usually set up to reward successful implementation and results.

There is a better way. You can learn more by reading,  "Better Than a Suggestion Box: Tap Into a Wealth of Employee Ideas."

Download the suggestion form below to implement a business system that can add hundreds of improvements and innovations to your business in the coming year.

Suggestions for Business Improvements Form- Microsoft Word (modify to your needs)

Suggestions for Business Improvements Form - pdf (print and go)

Tags: Worksheet, People, Improvement, Innovation, Culture

The Results-Oriented Job Description

Posted by Ron Carroll on Sep 18, 2012 9:26:00 AM

Job DescriptionMany small business owners do not have formal job descriptions. Big Mistake!

People are your most valuable and expensive components of your business systems. Every hire is important. Every mis-hire is expensive. The job candidate should fit the job function just as you would fit a component part in a piece of equipment. The better your part fits, the better your business system will work.

Job descriptions are used in the selection process, employee training, performance appraisals, and compensation. Results-oriented job descriptions define what job results the organization needs to accomplish its mission, values, strategy and goals.

Prepare your company Results-Oriented Job Descriptions using the sample form below.

Results-Oriented Job Description Form - Microsoft Word (fill in the blanks)

Results Oriented Job Description Form - pdf (print and hand write)


*Check out the World's Largest Database of Results-Oriented Job Descriptions offered by my friends Roger and Sandra Plachy at the Job Results Management Institute.

Tags: People

Turn Your Business Strategy into a Balanced Scorecard

Posted by Ron Carroll on Dec 12, 2011 8:03:00 AM

Balanced ScorecardDoctors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton of Harvard Business School introduced the Balanced Scorecard in 1991. It has gained wide acceptance as an effective strategic management system, a performance measurement system, and a communication tool. Simply put, the Balanced Scorecard enables organization leaders to convert mission, vision and strategy into specific and measurable objectives, with action plans to achieve those objectives.

Below are worksheets for helping you develop your business strategy and create a company Balanced Scorecard—a one-page summary of your organization's strategy and goals!


Prepare your company Balanced Scorecard now, and like your SWOT Analysis, re-evalutate it at least annually.

Strategy-Balanced Scorecard Worksheets - Microsoft Word (fill in the blanks)

Strategy-Balanced Scorecard Worksheets - pdf (print and hand write)

SWOT Analysis Worksheets

Tags: Business Startup, General Business, Worksheet, Business Measurement

Perform a SWOT Analysis to Guide Your Business Strategy

Posted by Ron Carroll on Sep 24, 2011 12:52:00 PM

swot-analysis297.jpgThe SWOT Analysis, developed in the 1960s at Stanford University, is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or business venture. It considers internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve the business objective.

Early Greek philosophers summed up the destired results of this process in two words, "Know Thyself."

 Below is a questionnaire to stimulate your thinking, combined wiith a worksheet to perform a SWOT Analysis on your company. Ideally, you will match your strengths against market opportunities that result from your competitors' weaknesses or voids.

Take an hour or so to do this important exercise. Re-evalutate your business at least annually.

SWOT Analysis Worksheets - Microsoft Word (fill in the blanks)

SWOT Analysis Worksheets - pdf (print and hand write)

Balanced Scorecard Worksheets

Tags: Business Startup, General Business, Worksheet

Ten Values of a Systems Thinker

Posted by Ron Carroll on Jul 7, 2010 6:00:00 PM

10 values of a Systems Thinker

We talk a lot about becoming a Systems Thinker, but what exactly does that mean? If you haven’t already read this one page document, click the link below to view ten foundational values of a Systems Thinker. Carefully ponder each principle and then apply them to your organization.  The payoff can be enormous!

Click to Discover
"The Ten Values of a Systems Thinker"

To become an accomplished Systems Thinker and developer, Check out my eCourse at:
Box Theory™: Double Your Profit with High Performance Systems and Processes.

Tags: Systems Thinker, Article

Business Systems 101: "Become a Systems Thinker"

Posted by Ron Carroll on Jun 24, 2010 4:31:00 PM

Business Systems 101 Webinar

Continuous learning is vital to the success of every business. Systems are the primary means of converting knowledge into action. When all of your employees are Systems Thinkers—pushing in the same direction with common goals and methods—progress is accelerated. Help your employees become System Thinkers by watching this brief video. Then discuss the concepts with them. 

Click link to watch video
Business Systems 101: Become a Systems Thinker

Tags: Product Information, Systems Thinker, Business Systems, Video

Learn How to Do a Business Break-even Analysis

Posted by Ron Carroll on Jun 9, 2010 1:36:00 PM

Business owners who "manage by the numbers" are ahead of the game. One important number to know is the business break-even point. This is the point during the month at which your sales revenue equals total costs. After reaching the monthly break-even point, your business begins to make a profit. The break-even point is not generated by most accounting software, nor is it one that is normally produced by your accountant, but it is an important number for you to know and understand.


 

Click Here for an Explanation of a Business Break-even Point

Click Here to Learn How to Calculate a Break-Even Point

Click Here to Access a Spreadsheet for Doing a Break-Even Analysis

Tags: Video, Article, Business Measurement

Cleanliness, Organization, Order—Three Qualities of Effective Business Systems!

Posted by Ron Carroll on Jun 3, 2010 9:50:00 AM

clutter208.jpg

No matter what kind of business you have, your customer service experience starts with a clean establishment, inside and out. Cleanliness also increases employee morale, safety, and productivity. The truth is that cleanliness and order pay off in a variety of ways.

Get organized. Clean up the clutter. Weed the flowerbeds. Set standards and expectations that everyone can follow. Make Your Business Shine! It's just good business.

See this article to learn the 5 S's of Japanese Lean Thinking. You can take these suggestions to the bank!

Click to Read: "Make Your Business Systems Shine!"

Tags: Article, Lean Six Sigma

I Only Have to Be Asked Once!

Posted by Ron Carroll on May 26, 2010 8:33:00 PM

Office People

Wouldn't you agree that a person with good follow-through is an asset to your organization? In this article (pdf) you will learn how to get everyone in your company to excel at this important skill. I recommend you have your employees read the article and discuss it with them. Make exceptional follow-through a part of your company culture. Your customers--and everyone else--will love you for it!

Click to Read or Download pdf

Tags: Article, Culture, Customer Retention

Do You Ask Enough Good Questions?

Posted by Ron Carroll on May 20, 2010 11:08:00 AM

When you meet with customers or staff, one of the best things you can do is ask questions--good questions. Questions show genuine interest and respect for the ideas and opinions of others. If you listen carefully, people often reveal information that will improve your business systems and your bottom line.

Questions are also the best way to teach. In the words of a professional trainer, "To tell is to preach. To ask is to teach."

Chet HolmChet Holmeses, a well-known marketing and sales teacher uses questions very effectively. Check out his three page article, Creating Great Businesses. Chet gives an example of how he helped one business implement nineteen important improvements, all stemming from a single question.

Click to Read or Download pdf

By the way, a great technique for using questions to uncover the root cause of business problems is applying the 5-Whys Analysis. You can learn how to apply this easy and effective method using the link below. 

5-Whys Problem Solving Tool

Tags: Systems Thinker, Article