7 Unhelpful Pieces of Advice from the Business Bookshelf & 1 that Works
November 11, 2019
Running a business is hard work, with no guarantee of success. And unless you’re Warren Buffet, it’s hard to have any idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Maybe that’s why there are so many books full of rules, tips, secrets, factors, habits, methods, and guidelines for transforming an ordinary struggling businessperson into the CEO of a space transportation services company with $2 billion in revenues and plans to colonize Mars. Or, you know, whatever your dream is.
If space capitalism isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other know-it-alls out there with advice for crushing your goals. Whether you want to craft a can’t-miss business message in only three words, be profitable from the proverbial “Day One,” or build your business plan around ancient Greek philosophy, there’s a book for that.
What are you waiting for? Clear your calendar for the next six months and start reading!
Or … for those of you still bound by ordinary rules of time and responsibility (yawn!) we’ve distilled a collection of tips from the sagging shelves of business books telling us what to do in giant, bossy typefaces. We stopped at 7 because according to some experts, 7 is an indisputably successful number.
Do Some of these 7 Things Now to Succeed in Business (Maybe):
- Be bold! Or maybe slow down a little.
- Lean in or lean out, but definitely lean.
- Innovate like crazy but also do things the way highly effective people do them habitually.
- Start with why – no wait: first, break all the rules, then stop giving a f*ck
- Never split the difference
- Always keep track of your cheese
- Choose Yourself but also Get Over Your Damn Self
See? All of the hard thinking has already been done for you. Now all you have to do is have all the right people doing all the right things and work around the clock until you succeed.
Just kidding! (No one should have to work around the clock.)
When book reviews speak for themselves:
Attila The Hun was basically a horribly evil person to have been able to kill as many people as he did, so if this author is going to claim we can gain leadership qualities from him, he better have a pretty strong case and a very good book. He didn’t. It sucked.”
– Reader review of the business book, Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun
We have provided solutions to business owners long enough to know that if you don’t have the right system for managing time, anything else you do doesn’t matter. Then what?
No worries! Our best-selling business book is on its way.
Jokes aside, time is money for business owners, and there is only so much of both. The value of time is high, which is why time management books are such a hit. You can’t slow time down, but you can make it go further with the right tools.
Speaking of books, here’s a great story: It’s about a Mississippi business owner who cut her payroll processes by more than three hours per pay period. She saved over 300 hours per year along with thousands of dollars by adopting the right time and attendance software.
How A Simple Process Made A Happy Ending
Leah Cannon was a little overwhelmed when she and her husband opened their Mississippi pharmacy business in 2014. Their business, Pharmacy Partners of Mississippi, supplies medication to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, filling up to 3,200 prescriptions a week.
As with any new business, there is a massive list of rules multiplied by the layers of state, federal and third-party payer and benefit manager requirements unique to the pharmacy business.
A once-tedious process that might have ruined a ski vacation a few years earlier was now all downhill. “It really was so easy.”
– Leah Cannon, owner, Pharmacy Partners of Mississippi
While every business has its own compliance and reporting hurdles, compliance in the prescription business can seem like it comes on steroids. “We’re audited every year by the state. We haven’t been audited yet by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but I know that it’s coming,” Cannon says. “We document, document, document… and keep very tight records and SOPs.”
Among other requirements, Cannon’s employees have to complete mandatory fraud and abuse training. There are HIPAA requirements, medication error reports and quality assurance plans. Some records have to be retained up to a decade.
With so many other recordkeeping responsibilities, Cannon knew she needed a more efficient way after just a few months of trying to manage time and attendance with a spreadsheet and a calculator. She and her husband asked a CPA they knew to recommend an automated system. “They highly recommended Timerack,” she said.
Now Cannon says she is able to complete the payroll data for 17 full-time and seven part-time employees in about 45 minutes – “and that’s going over it twice.” The process used to take four hours and cost nearly $5,000 a year for the time a CPA firm had to spend re-entering the data.
Today? Their CPA can download the Timerack file with a click. The process is so simple Cannon says she once completed the time and attendance data from her laptop while on a ski trip. A once-tedious process that might have ruined a ski vacation a few years ago was now all downhill.
“It really was so easy,” Cannon said. “It was like night and day.”
Ask yourself this: What would you do with another 300 hours of productivity per year? The possibilities could fill a book of your own.
Leverage the Right Time & Attendance Automation to Do More
State-of-the-art time and attendance software can do a lot more than track hours. It’s a system for collecting and reporting data that goes right to the heart of your business, letting you tailor its capabilities to your particular needs. Imagine you’re writing your own story. Chapter one? Assessing your needs.
It can be a tall order. Every industry has their own story when it comes to what they require from a time and attendance solution. Consider the staffing industry: their needs include being able to track the cost of individual positions with the hourly rates and the mark-up calculated as well. It provides real-time visibility into costs and profitability.
For nursing homes and other health care businesses, tracking hours broken down by specific job categories and formatted for compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s payroll-based journaling (PBJ) requirements is a critical need.
Industries such as hospitality, construction and home health care businesses (really, any organization with employees reporting to multiple job sites) need a system with mobile punches paired with geofencing. Both ensure that employees punch in from their job sites.
Another helpful feature for those industries is the ability to activate and de-activate seasonal employees, making employee information easy to repopulate. Finally, reporting that breaks down costs by client or job site can also be a critical benefit.
For the retail industry and others, automated scheduling features can eliminate over or under-scheduling and provide visibility into scheduling gaps and overtime costs.
Industries of every type benefit from customizable alerts, which let managers know when an employee is due for training or recertification. Detailed hourly reporting, including overtime alerts, can help make scheduling more efficient, provide a window into staffing needs and reduce overtime.
Customizable reports can be created for EEOC compliance or for certified payroll data for government contract work. Plus, there’s benefits to a system which can be expanded. For example, add-ons such as Timerack HR combined with a HR Support Center can provide built-in access to documents for compliance, benefits tracking, workers’ comp, expense reporting and employee performance data.
It’s also wise to consider one more thing about time and attendance: The right system can help employees who don’t even work for you yet.
Don’t Forget Hiring: First Impressions Matter, Too
Meeting your industry’s particular needs is a definite plus, but there’s another chapter in our stories some time management platforms overlook: the hiring process. Being able to streamline and automate the recruiting, hiring and onboarding process is a powerful advantage.
At Timerack, we’re integrated with JazzHR’s applicant tracking software. JazzHR provides at-a-click access to job boards, job candidate profiles and a customizable workflow that syncs calendars and emails, schedules interviews and creates offer letters. It’s a tool which allows users to stay competitive in a tough job market.
Samantha Spano, senior marketing manager at JazzHR, says businesses can pay a high price for a clunky hiring process. Research shows that “top candidates are hired within 10 days of being contacted,” she said. “If you are taking too long to get back to them… they could be accepting another offer.”
That’s a risk many companies don’t want to take, especially those in high-turnover industries, where recruiting is a year-round effort. JazzHR – which celebrates a decade in business in 2019 – has been “growing like crazy for the past four or five years,” Spano says.
JazzHR’s integration with Timerack adds another layer of efficiency, allowing data collected in the recruiting and hiring process to be pushed directly to Timerack once an employee is hired, eliminating the need to input new employee information into the time and attendance system.
Time & Attendance Software that Lets You Do More
At Timerack, we’ve designed our time and attendance software to meet the needs of a huge array of industries, with an in-house developer standing by to customize whatever kind of slice and dice reporting our clients can dream up. We may not be able to turn back time, but we can make it do almost anything else.
If your business could use a little help around time, Timerack is here to help. Our solutions are designed to make your time go further, no matter what sort of challenges you face. We are part of a family of companies dedicated to providing solutions across the entire landscape of compensation issues, from payroll tax management to payroll.
You might say we wrote the book when it comes to payroll solutions.