Small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners have a lot on their plates, many taking on roles typically outsourced or assigned to an employee such as human resources, marketing, and business development. One of the most vexing roles for a business owner to take on is IT administrator. IT is evolving at the speed of light with new technologies being introduced every day. While a small business owner may be an expert in his or her special craft, they may lack the expertise to research, understand and implement the myriad of IT solutions critical to operating a business today.
Small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) are faced with an ever-growing list of technological challenges. A few of those challenges are keeping IT systems humming, deciding which technologies to invest in, and keeping up with the latest technological developments that impact their business.
In business, we often talk about mission, vision, and values to our teams and the importance of ongoing discussions and communications around those major themes.
In the ultimate move toward self-leadership in the workplace, Zappos (among others) recently announced they were eliminating managers in an effort to keep things less corporate. In a movement called holacracy, teams are expected to know what needs to get done and do it, focusing on the relationships rather than the individual to meet objectives.
The IT services market is a unique one, and the SMB niche within it is even further refined. Small and medium-sized businesses have far fewer resources (and minimal manpower) when compared to their enterprise counterparts — and traditionally, these restrictions have prevented smaller organizations from gaining access to emerging technologies and infrastructure solutions.
In the darkest days after a tornado in early May damaged 30 percent of Van, Texas, (a city outside of Dallas) residents were provided some relief when the Van High School “Vandals” baseball team beat North Lamar High School to go on to the state semifinals for the first time in program history.
Bitcoins are a form of cryptocurrency, meaning they do not have a physical representation. Instead they are stored in an online exchange in anonymous wallets. They can be transferred anywhere in the world via the Internet. They can be paid from anywhere, to anywhere with total anonymity. The long and short of it is: They are the ideal form of payment for illicit activities and hackers.
One of the areas I spend considerable time on is helping business owners prepare for and then complete an exit from the business they often founded and have worked in for decades. Let’s get one thing straight: It is a big deal for an entrepreneurial owner to exit his or her business. In fact, it is a very big deal. The saddest call I receive comes from a small business owner that has worked in their company for decades. It was their creation, and they have poured sweat and blood into building it to where it is today.
The most important leadership lessons come from the least likely scenarios. I’ve found this to be true throughout my career as an entrepreneur and executive, and it’s part of the reason I’ll spend a few weeks this summer driving thousands of miles across Europe in a tiny car I rescued from the scrap heap.
I grew up in a family where advice was flowing most of the time, whether solicited or not. My dad was always providing his perspective on life and all things happening around us. For a lot of years, I really didn’t appreciate it so much. But as I grew older and actually began to listen to what he said, it suddenly became a lot more relevant. Now that he’s gone especially, I recognize the brilliance of much of what he shared and wish he were still here as I know I have more to learn.