Biz Bits - September 2009
PHONE IT IN
THESE MOBILE APPS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS.
Your phone becomes a virtual accountant with this money-management application, which records purchases, transfers and loans, and can export account balances and transactions. $4; www.ledgerapp.com
Great for managing your freelance or consulting business, this app can add up billable hours, create client records, track and email invoices, and accept credit card payments. $10; www.sorth.com
This app lets you make notes or send emails with your voice, transcribing what you say into any email account and eliminating the need to type while on the go. $4/month; www.jott.com
Access your computer remotely, even through a firewall. Check email, manage files and edit documents. $40; www.rdmplus.com
Check the status of your network and web server, wherever you are. It's the perfect app to keep track of private office servers. $5; www.archanet.com
FINANCE FOR ANDROID
Access real-time quotes with this stock quote and portfolio app. It synchronizes with Google Finance portfolios, and keeps you up to date on the latest market and company news. Free; www.android.com
THE CLOSING BELL
BY JACK GUINAN
SUITED FOR SUCCESS
Put as much effort into your appearance as you do your business. Every power suit should have:
1. A full canvas layer between the fabric and lining of the jacket.
2. A felt lining under the collar of the jacket.
3. A thread count between 100 and 120. (Over 200, and the suit becomes fragile.)
4. Tortoiseshell or enamel buttons.
5. Lining in the pants that goes at least to the knees.
Difficult times call for a no-nonsense approach.
George Cloutier thinks most management experts are wrong. "They're all saying, 'Work with everyone and be everyone's best buddy,'" says the author of Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing. "This is the opposite."
Cloutier, the chairman and founder of American Management Services, has spent more than 30 years telling small and mid-size business owners what they don't want to hear, but what they need to hear. "I've developed a very strong view of the school of tough love," he says. "Small businesses don't have the time and resources to be particularly tolerant of mistakes and problems."
Here, Cloutier explains what every business needs to realize today - it's not time to play nice, it's time to play nasty:
LOVE YOUR BUSINESS MORE THAN YOUR FAMILY.
Leaving early for little Suzy's ballet recital won't cut it. She'll pout and stamp her feet now, but she'll thank you later when you can pay for college.
DELEGATE, DON'T ABDICATE.
Never hand over the reins, no matter how senior the employee.
"I AM YOUR WORK GOD!"
Tell your employees: "Don't think; obey." You want them to do what you say, not what they think.
Team meetings should be quick and informational, not motivational. Group hugs don't improve performance.
YOU'RE NOT IN BUSINESS TO PAY YOUR VENDORS.
Stretch out payments from 30 days to 60 or 90 days. Your vendors are your best source of interest-free financing.