Archive for

Project Spending: Investment and Insanity

For anyone who has worked in retail, you know that customers have a variety of ideas as to what “expensive” means. Terms like “sale,” “deal,” and “cheap” are all a matter of perspective. When I worked in retail, out of all the people who know what they wanted, there were three general ways to make a purchase:

1) spend whatever amount of money for the best product
2) spend a medium amount of money for a decent product
3) spend as little money possible for a minimum quality product

Though I was always an advocate of getting the best, long-lasting product, as long as people understood what level of quality they were buying, I was fine.

I think these types of people everywhere. When it comes to hobbies, talents, work, and relationships, quality depends (in most cases) on the time and effort put into that activity.

I think project managers can be categorized the same way:

1) those that invest large amounts of costs and resources into producing top quality results
2) those that invest medium amounts of costs and resources for medium quality results
3) those that invest the least amount of costs and resources for minimum quality results

I think it is very important to note that these categories aren’t necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Each aspect can be positive and negative depending on the situation. Sometimes, a project’s quality is less important than saving time and money, and, sometimes it’s the other way around. Overall, a manager must have the skill of knowing how to prioritize costs and resources.

Another important thing I learned in my retail experience is that there was one other category of people that stood out among the rest: the person who wouldn’t spend a dime unless it was the best product listed at the same price as the cheapest. The latter was hardest to confront for I couldn’t explain that it was impossible to live up to their expectations.

I think project managers, team members, and executives alike are capable of thinking the same way. These individuals might put in as little effort as possible, yet expect that the project will produce top possible quality. Such expectations are a surefire way of destroying a project. In addition, this obliviousness to reality can further damage the team and even the enterprise because the decision maker can refuse to take responsibility for his or her actions. To Albert Einstein, this would be the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

408 Request Time-out


Advice on Choosing a Home Based Business

Is there too much month for the money? Do you dream of being debt free? Have a nicer home? Travel? Pay for private school or college for your children or grandchildren?

Can you picture yourself having a nicer home, perhaps near a tranquil lake with peaceful water and a golf course near by? Perhaps a mountain setting is more to your liking with snow capped peaks- where skiing and winter sports are easily accessible. Maybe the large city is for you with the arts available, opera, theater, museums, and art galleries. Or maybe a farm or ranch would be more to your liking, raising crops or animals, leading a quiet life.

Many people are attaining their dreams and the great American Dream by owning a home-based business. People are getting tired of dealing with large companies and are grateful to have a person to speak with and not answering machines and button pushing. People like to touch, smell, feel and see what is available. As a business owner you can fill that role for people by bringing a personal touch back into business and achieve your goals at the same time. Both people win, the owner and the customer.

Have you considered attaining that American Dream and owning your own business?

Here are some tips in choosing the right program for yourself.

o Is the company proven?

o What is their track record?

o Talk to those who have “made it”, not to those who quit. If you had a choice to learn a new sport from a pro or someone who never made the team, would you really not choose the pro? Treat your business the same. Look beyond a mentoring program that is offered, make sure it goes beyond “here is how to get started and good luck”.

o If you want to make it in business, treat your business like a business, not just a hobby. Establish business hours and adhere to them.

o Wrap yourself around a product that you can put your faith in and be faithful in using your own product. This establishes credibility for you. What sort of product do you want to represent? Is the market primed for it? Is there a hole you feel needs filled in the market?

o Think about your goals. Are you wanting just a little income or looking to replace your full time income?

o Don’t expect your business to be cost free. It should have minimal start up costs and minimal training costs but be real! If you want a real business, don’t short cut yourself. Be prepared to invest but don’t go overboard either by investing thousands. Be smart about your investment decisions. Realize it IS an investment.

o Find out if the company you are considering is limited to a certain region of the state, country, or world. If so, does that change or limit you or can you make a good living with those restrictions. Your business, you decide. Be prepared for either consequence.

o Find out what sort of inventory must be maintained? Do you need to stock up and fill your garage or can you maintain a minimum purchase with your personal use? Save yourself some time and money by not purchasing a bunch of inventory that you end up having to give away to get rid of it. Go for the minimal amount every month, usually around $100 retail, that you can use yourself so you have personal experience but not strapping yourself to a huge inventory.

Here are some benefits to running your own business:

o Tax advantages for working from home (consult your tax professional).

o Work your own hours.

o No boss to bother you.

o You get to determine your own income and finally get paid what you are worth.

o Bring a personal touch back to business.

o Bring mom-and-pop shop feeling back to business.

o Teach others about products that are missing from their life.

Owning and running your business is both frustrating and self-fulfilling. One thing to keep in mind is that no occupation is perfect and you have to choose your battles. Think about what it is that you do not or did not like in your day job and make a conscious effort to make those changes in your own business. If you bring on employees make sure to use the golden rule and treat others as you would like to be treated. Working your own business can be time consuming too so set office hours to keep yourself on a schedule so your family life can be strong too and not suffer for extra long hours of working a business.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a business so think carefully and choose wisely! The rewards far outweigh the costs!