Monday, February 16, 2015

How well do you know your business?

Your employees may be able to tell you a lot about your business you may not know. What do customers really think about your product or service? Are there more complaints (or less) than usual? What could be done to improve sales, marketing and customer service?

It seems simple enough just to ask the people who work for you, “What’s going on and how can we improve?” and expect an honest answer. But, due to the nature of the boss-employee relationship, things don’t always work that way.

Employees rely upon you for their livelihood, so they are less likely to speak truthfully.  Non-candid feedback is meaningless, and will not help you run your company more effectively.
So how do you get people to open up? Here are four tips to nudge them toward sharing creative suggestions for growing the business:

1. Share the big picture. 

If employees don’t understand the financial state of your business — and what you’ve 
got planned for the future — it’s difficult for them to offer useful feedback. Take every 
opportunity to share information about the business, both successes and setbacks, so 
they have a better sense of how their knowledge and creativity might help spur growth.

2. Actively encourage participation. 

There are plenty of ways to encourage employees to share their ideas for improving the company: 

 • Have an “open door policy” (at least during part of the work week).
 • Hold occasional brainstorming sessions outside of the workplace.
 • Put up a suggestion box.
 • Create a “shopping list” of topics you’d like to see addressed and invite employees to offer comments and suggestions.

Encourage employee participation by communicating the benefits of their ideas to your organization, your customers, as well as employees themselves. Make it clear there’s no such thing as a bad idea. Employees (like just about everyone else) are generally risk-averse. An idea could mean they will have to explain it, give a presentation, or risk difficult questions on unfamiliar topics.

Some employee ideas may be game-changers. Some will result in only marginal improvement. Others will simply fall flat. You must make it clear that, regardless of the outcome, there’s no penalty for sincerely offered ideas that fail to move the needle.

3. Reward your employees’ creativity. 

Whether an idea results in explosive growth or simply helps overcome a minor operational 
hurdle, people are more forthcoming when some type of reward is involved. Always start
with a publicly delivered “thank you” to everyone who offers suggestions. Other low-cost
rewards might include an extra day off, special notice at a staff meeting, a coffee shop or
movie gift card, a free car wash, or a company-hosted lunch at a local restaurant.

The trick to giving your people rewards that make a real difference is to personalize them.

4. Get to know your team. 

Encouraging open communication and rewarding ideas for improvement to your business cannot be a one-size-fits-all type of reward.  Take a few minutes each week to connect with your employees.  Personal interaction and knowing what motivates your employees will make your rewards effective.  

Hopefully you stay in tune with your business and employees as much as possible.  urBook$ strives to communicate pro-actively when it comes to your bookkeeping. bill pay and payroll services.  Contact urBook$ today to become a client and experience the urBook$ difference

Monday, February 2, 2015

urBook$ offers SmartVault for Secure Information Sharing

Many business owners and managers prefer to keep their files and accounts up to date on a daily basis. Bookkeepers and businesses have struggles in the past finding a secure way to continuously share and update information related to their business.  E-mail is a great form of communication but unfortunately it is not very secure.  Who wants the personal financial information of their business accessible to anyone with access to e-mail?

With SmartVault urBook$ client's can access their data anytime of day or night and know it is up to date and secure.

SmartVault offers the ability for clients to:

1. Access files at any time and from any device.  Enjoy the ability to access your data without having to be in front of a computer.  SmartVault is mobile friendly and can easily be utilized from any device you are using.

2 Securely share files with clients, employees and partners at your discretion.  You can customize your vault to have select groups that can access certain files without having to share your entire vault of sensitive information.

3. You can attach and view files utilizing apps such as Quickbooks from any device.  SmartVault allows you to have the ability to update your information or attach new data directly from software to your vault.

These 3 key features of SmartVault allows urBook$ to maintain accurate and up to date data for your business, and allows you access to your data any time and any place.  This feature can allow urBook$ to serve it's clients anywhere in the world.  No more trips to your bookkeepers office - it can all be done securely online with urBook$.  Contact urBook$ today and get started as a urBook$ client.  You will find our secure vault and data sharing allows you to easily pass off the day to day bookkeeping, bill paying and payroll tasks - saving you time to focus on what you do best...YOUR BUSINESS!