Are You a Whining Project Manager or a Problem Solver?

It seems like some project managers (at least a vocal minority) like to whine about perceived shortcomings. It seems like some are more interested in identifying problems instead of solving them.
Baseline.com examined the issue in a story called “Top Challenges Facing Project Managers.” It raised a variety of issues that project managers feel challenged by.
“So what factors contribute to these issues? The top culprit appears to be giving project teams work that has nothing to do with the project itself, according to a recent survey from Janco Associates,” said author Dennis McCafferty.
According to McCafferty, 180 project managers with at least one year’s experience took part in the Janco survey. ” …. there are an assortment of unrealistic expectations, time pressures, staffing shortfalls and inadequate tech resources, findings reveal. Clearly, IT projects need leadership that combines technology savvy with effective business-focused oversight to successfully navigate these hurdles,” he said.
A top challenge for project managers is budget issues. (After all, what manager wishes he or she wasn’t constrained by corporate finances?) There’s also the issue of administrative overhead, too.
The survey equates being overworked with toiling in a sweatshop. That’s a little extreme when one thinks of children working in clothing factories in Bangladesh. That kind of dramatic thinking could also explain why 51 percent of the project managers also feel understaffed. Here’s a tip. Don’t use words like “sweatshop” and you might get a more sympathetic hearing for more staff.
This statement also isn’t helping their cause: “47% of the project managers think they deal with too many fluctuations in tech specifications.” Flexibility is one of the keys of being a good project manager. Some 42 percent of the project managers also say change requests come in too fast.
James Bentham makes that point at Business2Community.com. He says, “Ask any experienced project manager and the first thing he will tell you is to plan for things to go wrong. Fluctuations, errors, bad planning judgment and incorrect assumptions about what is needed all come to play when the implementation process occurs.”
Bentham also says, “If the planning and budgeting phases did not account for contingencies or additional, unplanned needs, a project manager will then have to find other efficiencies in the project to make up the difference. This is where a good, seasoned manager becomes apparent because he will see the problem, adjust for it, and keep the project moving to completion.”
This next complaint sounds like a communications problem. (Then again most of these issues sound like communication problems.) About 40 percent of project managers say the lack of agreed-upon deadlines is a constant problem.
There are basically two types of projects: those done in partnership and those done for upper management. Partnerships should have agreed upon deadlines or it’s not a partnership. Nothing can be done when upper management changes deadlines. That’s just a fact of corporate life.
Slightly more than one in five project managers struggles with outdated technology. That circles back to the issue of budget in some cases. But it also goes full circle back to communications. Failing to express concerns about outdated technology and making a case for its replacement falls on the project manager.
Finally, somewhat surprisingly only one in 10 project managers feel hampered by staff turnover. That’s one benefit of ongoing slow expansion of business. There are less opportunities for staff, even highly trained IT staff, to move onwards and upwards to new employers.
As discussed in an earlier blog post, “5 Good Tips for New Project Managers,” listening to your team might reduce turnover. “Genuine listening has become a rare gift—the gift of time. It helps build relationships, solve problems, ensure understanding, resolve conflicts, and improve accuracy. At work, effective listening means fewer errors and less wasted time,” the article says.

How to start a business after you retire?

Retirement sounds good after hard working years and in the beginning, it’s a wonderful experience. But a lot of people find that everlasting rest is a little boring so if you are part of this group, you must be seeking something to keep yourself busy with.

As such, starting a business after retirement is more common than you might think. The National Bureau of Economic Research claims that 68% of people between 75 and 79 years old are self-employed, and 46% from 65 to 69 years old. It’s safe to say that if you decide on this path, you are not alone.

To make this happen, many tools can help you to build a second career, from business ideas to merchant cash advance models can give you purpose and a base to start. But how to even begin to think about it?

Suggested article: What Is a Merchant Cash Advance?

Finding your new employment
Your way back into work doesn’t need to be super time-consuming, and it also can be something you enjoy and you can merge with your newfound time for yourself. These are some ideas to get you started.

Do what you are passionate about
If you loved your previous job, you can find a way to exploit your knowledge, contacts, and expertise like turning into a teacher or opening up a consultant. If you don’t, this is the right time to do something that makes you completely happy, it doesn’t matter if it’s walking dogs or selling handmade soap. Do what you love.

Buy a franchise
A relatively easy way to start a business is buying an already established one. There are so many models, sectors, brands, and prices out there that no doubt you will find the one that makes you happy and you can afford. And you’d be running your team, learning something new, and managing your own time. Exciting, right?

Take advantage of your resources
You don’t have to buy or rent a big office to start a business, you can begin with a home office or even a kitchen office, your laptop, and your coffee pod. This will ensure that, the. The money you require to get your business up and running will be less. In case you need to have initial inventory, you can always use a merchant cash advance or other kinds of financing to keep business and personal finances separate.

Build a client base
It’s not as hard as you think. Just think about the people you know that would benefit from your product or service and go out and sell them. Build a digital database with these possible clients, make some phone calls and let go of fear and ask them for references to other possible clients. You know, friends of your friends. And so it goes until you are selling someone you’ve never met before.

The basics to starting your own business
Before you open the doors of your brand new business, you need to have a little structure. Remember to have:
A business plan where you can map out everything you want to achieve and the way you are going to do it.
Financing. Knock on all the doors you need to get the right amount if you are planning to use external financing.
Clean bookkeeping so you can keep track of all the money that comes and goes, file taxes, and build up your empire.
Proper scheduling so you won’t be consumed and you can keep a part of your newly gained independence.
Help for the things you can’t or don’t know how to do.
Training to learn new skills.
It’s not just about making more money, your new job will be key to keep yourself busy, remain sharp and fulfill a dream that you didn’t before. Enjoy your new project and make the best of your best years. Are you ready to start?

Things to Consider When Hiring a Home Improvement Company

Improving your home is a very big decision. This is because of the expenses you need to shoulder when you start making improvements around the house. One important thing you need to consider is the exact part of your home that you want to improve. This will determine the work and the money you need to spend. The larger the portion the more money you need to spend. It is important to acquire lots of ideas just before you decide to make any improvement around your home.

Even if you are hiring a company to make these improvement possible, you need to have the right knowledge about everything to be able to supervised and create your own ideas. There are different Ways on how you attain the knowledge that you need when it comes to house improvement. You can gain ideas by asking people, visiting home improvement shop, online searching and contact a home builders London. Remodeling a home is not an easy job to do. It requires patience as well as effective and efficient planning. If you lack confidence on your skill, it is better to call for somebody who is an authority when it comes to home improvement. The following is what you need just before you choose the right company.

Ask some people you may know- on of the most effective way to do if you want to select something vital for you is to ask people who are closely related to you such as your relatives and friends. You can ask for their suggestions especially those who have tried the services of a company before. It is the better place to start gathering information. Right before you go ahead into another option, it is better to begin looking for information right through your own niche. Your relatives and friends will tell you honestly about the performance of different companies that they have tried for improving their home. You can also check the actual performance of the company by looking at your friend’s home personally. A well skilled and experience tradesman will surely create great work.

Visiting home improvement shop- it is better if you will visit a home improvement shop such as paint shops, hardware, as well as home decor store. Some of these shops can suggest good contractors for improving your home. They will honestly tell you which contractor has good performance based on the information coming from other customers who have already undergone a home improvement process. The role of plumber and electrician is undeniably very important to be able to attain success when improving your home.

Online search- majority of building services has their own website and it is practical to locate the best company on the web. Some of these companies have testimonials from their past clients. By reading these testimonials, you can have clear idea that the company is good. It is better to trust a company with customer testimonials because it means that they are by hiding anything. Read all the details including the history of their company. All of this information will help you decide whether they are the best company to trust for improving your home. You can also easily make comparison between each company to come up with better decision.

Small Business Acquisitions in Houston – More Buyers Are Looking

Investment groups and baby boomer corporate executives looking to get into action with companies of their own are making small businesses hot prospects these days. Buyers have money to spend and are turning more frequently to the local landscaping company or delivery company as good investments.

There is no question that Houston-area small businesses are becoming more frequent targets for seasoned buyers currently combing the marketplace for investment opportunities. Houston’s business-friendly climate is an attractive incentive for these categories of buyers who are more sophisticated about gauging the risks of acquiring small businesses. As a result, they are going after privately-held, well-oiled enterprises with an annual profit of at least $100,000. Manufacturing, trucking, distribution, and service-sector businesses are a few on the list of popular targets.

Proof that the buying spree has heated up in Houston is partly in the growing ranks of business owners consulting with business brokerage firms about the marketability and valuation of their business. Business brokers are intermediaries who assist business owners sell their business in a confidential manner to qualified buyers. They will review the business operations and financial records to advise their clients on what they could expect in the marketplace. They also advise clients of the drivers that add value to a company, how to prepare their business for sale, and help them understand the factors that might impact the net proceeds they could receive from the sale.

More people are looking to acquire profitable small businesses than are available for sale. This is further validation of this surge of acquisition interests in Houston. Our statistics indicate that the ratio of qualified buyers to available target businesses are, on an average, ten to one. It has been our experience recently to have three or four offers on the table within a two-to-three week period of going to market for hot businesses that are properly run, have good financial histories, and are priced right. An increased number of deals are being done with businesses in the $250,000 and up range in annual profits due to these well-capitalized buyers.

This group of buyers is looking to Houston for small business acquisitions because the future economic outlook in Houston is one of the most promising in the nation. “The Houston economy is the talk of the town in the rest of the country,” according to the Wells Fargo February 2007 Texas Economic Report and the Census Bureau April report “predicts the continuing growth of the city.” The Houston Chronicle also reported on this buying surge mirrored in the real estate sector. This same group of investors is buying up downtown buildings and real estate in many other areas of Houston. Furthermore, unemployment rates in Houston are at the lowest level in seven years. The fuel that is firing this robust job market is small business growth and expansion.

Because of our daily interactions and relationships with Houston’s small business owners and our receipt of buyer inquiries from across the U.S. who want to be part of the commerce engine in our market area, we are barometers that measure the pulse of the local economic climate of the small business community. Of note is that we have many more investment and strategic buyers and high net-worth individuals in our database of prospective buyers these days who are searching for acquisitions in Houston.

Since small business is under the radar of investment groups, these groups need to connect with available acquisition candidates through business brokers in the city. The growing phenomenon of corporate boomers who want to buy existing businesses is a trend we see firsthand through the increased level of inquiries from this category of buyer as well. We are seeing the first ripples right now. These individuals are healthy, wealthy and wise and have business acumen. They typically have resources to invest in business ventures, and they have the energy and long-term vision to be successful. Business brokers assist them through the process of how to purchase a small business and explain the approach that is needed to reach their goal.

Small business owners who are pondering the possibility of selling should consider a number of things. Among them and of major importance is not to procrastinate. If you are waiting for a sign to tell you the time is right, well this is it. Economic conditions in Houston are still ripening and the wave of buyers is not yet at full swell. You do not want to wait until these trends are on the downside of the bell curve. This competitive environment makes it a seller’s market. A business brokerage firm can provide all the resources needed to assist in the decision-making process through the final sale if the decision leads to the business-selling path.

One thing that investment groups and corporate executives might not recognize and has been one of the barriers to successful deals is that much of the value owners of small businesses derive from the business is not financial. It’something they get out of it on which one cannot put a price. It’s what the business adds to the personal life of the owner. This is the difference between acquiring public corporations or companies that have hundreds of employees versus a privately-held smaller businesses. It’s the human element, the emotional personal attachment the owner has to his or her business, his employees and customers. If these buyers understand this factor, the chances that negotiations will go well and a deal consummated is much improved.

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