Managing

Managing

[Video Excerpt] Onboarding Employees with Nancy Simonson

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In this expert interview, Molly talks with Nancy Simonson. Nancy spent 25 years at Accenture and is now starting her own consulting and coaching practice. Check out the full video (with an Elusive Moose membership) to learn more about Simonson’s approach to hiring and onboarding employees including: Clearly defining the job role Quickly assessing skills Positioning the new employee for success One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Expert Interviews video series where we tap into our vast network of colleagues and experts to learn from their experience through personal stories, tips, and techniques. These interviews are informative and inspiring as our guests have faced and overcome many of the same challenges you face each day. Along with Expert Interviews, Elusive Moose members can experience the best sessions from our Find Your Moose conferences through our conference video series, explore techniques, processes, and methodologies through our exclusive Moose Guides, and receive discounts on our live events like the upcoming Find Your Moose conference, September 7 & 8 in Chicago.

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Elusive Moose Podcast
Managing, Podcast

Episode 24: Getting Paid

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Getting paid is an obviously critical aspect of running your business. We need to figure the appropriate billing method and terms for our culture, clients, and projects. Then we need to know what to do when a client doesn’t respect those terms.

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Managing

[Video Excerpt] The Power of Networking with Anne Kirby

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Whether you’re no longer productive at home or you need room to expand your business without biting off more than you can chew, consider coworking. It’s a transformative approach to remote work. This is an excerpt from the Find Your Moose 2015 conference with designer, coworking advocate, and business owner Anne Kirby from The Candy Factory, Lancaster, PA. Anne talks about the benefits of coworking for both solopreneurs and small business owners. Become an Elusive Moose member to watch the full video! One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Find Your Moose conference video series. Along with our conference videos, members have access to our Expert Interview video series and our exclusive Moose Guides. Members also receive discounts on our live events like the upcoming Find Your Moose 2016 conference, September 7 & 8 in Chicago.

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Elusive Moose Podcast
Managing, Podcast

Episode 20: Productivity Hacks for Teams

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Molly and Jason have both managed consulting teams and have implemented a number of productivity hacks over the years to increase billable hours and raise the overall efficiencies of their teams. On today’s episode they discuss common misconceptions that can lead to consulting firms leaving money on the table and a few suggestions to increase the productivity of consulting teams.

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Managing

Will Implementing a Bonus Plan Improve My Team Productivity

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Will Implementing a Bonus Plan Help My Team Productivity? Dear Molly, I’ve got a small team of programmers and we had a great client roster but I feel like I can never get ahead in terms of the finances. I have consistent cash flow issues and feel like we are just scraping by even though we’re doing great work. What I need is for my team to bill more hours but I can’t seem to motivate them to bill more than 20 hours per week. I have a bonus plan in place if they bill more than 25 hours/week but frankly, while I thought the bonus would get them to bill more, right now it just feels really expensive to me. What do other people use to incent their employees and what kind of bonus plans do you think work best? Gotta Bill More in Texas Dear Gotta Bill, There are all kinds of bonus plans that reward on a weekly, monthly, or the classic year end basis. I’ve experimented with several methods based on individual performance, team performance, company profitability, and customer satisfaction. But if you’re struggling with cashflow, offering a bonus as your incentive to get more productivity […]

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Managing

[Video Excerpt] How to Work IN the Business and Thrive with Jesse Barnum

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What kind of boss are you? Can you maintain your craft as you grow your business? This is an excerpt from the Find Your Moose 2015 conference with software consultant and business owner Jesse Barnum from 360Works, Atlanta, GA. Jesse talks about continuing to work IN his business and thriving as it grows. Become an Elusive Moose member to watch the full video! One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Find Your Moose conference video series. Along with our conference videos, members have access to our Expert Interview video series and our exclusive Moose Guides. Members also receive discounts on our live events like the upcoming Find Your Moose 2016 conference, September 7 & 8 in Chicago.

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Managing

Questions to Ask Before You Outsource Bookkeeping

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When you outsource bookkeeping there are lots of questions you should ask the candidates. But first, there are some questions you should ask yourself in order to find the right person and develop the right system of checks and balances, which allows you to set their expectations and yours. Questions to ask yourself: How involved are you willing to be? How much control are you willing to give up? What shape are your records in? Are you satisfied with your accounting software? What reports do you want? How often? What reports does your accountant need? How often? Who does your bank reconciliation?   How much are you willing to pay? Insist on a rock-solid set of internal controls, from your file cabinet full of receipts to your computer hard drive and shared online storage files.  For example, we recommend that as a business owner you sign all of the checks and open all of the bank statements—literally open the envelopes or download the files yourself. Questions to ask your candidate: Now that you have determined your expectations and your level of involvement, it’s time to interview candidates and ask some hard questions, for example: What is your level of expertise? […]

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Ask Molly, Managing

Ask Molly: How to Close Out a Project and Get Paid

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Closing Out Projects and Getting Paid We have several clients that are dragging their feet on their testing keeping us from wrapping up of our final product delivery and getting paid. Getting a commitment from them is nearly impossible. Is it acceptable to give them a firm deadline to test by and if not met, close the project, send them final invoice and disable our product until they pay? Additionally, we have several clients that are held on retainer and are not paying on our terms. Should we stop the projects until the checks are received? Signed, Not a piggy bank   Hey Not a A Piggy Bank, Ughh! It’s a horrible place where the client won’t pay you until they approve your work. There are solid ways to avoid this problem in the future by setting up a deployment and payment schedule at the beginning of the project, but that’s not where you are right now so let’s talk about the immediate situation. I’m assuming you’ve poked and prodded gently so now you have to be tackle it head on. If you’ve been reading my column you know that any difficult situation should be handled in person or over […]

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Managing

[Video Excerpt] Thinking and Acting Like an Owner with Mark Richman

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Want to hear how one business owner stopped funding his company through personal debt and turned his company into a thriving consulting practice? This is an excerpt from the Find Your Moose 2015 conference with software consultant and business owner Mark Richman from Skeleton Key, St. Louis, MO. Richman shared how he taught his team financial literacy through the Great Game of Business and turned his company around. Become an Elusive Moose member to watch the full video!   One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Find Your Moose conference video series. Along with our conference videos, members have access to our Expert Interview video series and our exclusive Moose Guides. Members also receive discounts on our live events like the upcoming Find Your Moose 2016 conference, September 7 & 8 in Chicago.

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Elusive Moose Podcast
Managing, Podcast

Episode 16: A Chat About Billing Methods

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There are several billing methods out there for consultants to choose from when deciding how to get paid. This week on the podcast Molly and Jason discuss a few of the most popular, like hourly and flat fee billing, the more obscure target price method, and the emerging value pricing. Included in this episode is a clip from a recent expert interview with Jonathan Stark, a mobile consultant and value pricing advocate.

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