As your home technology business expands, you take on additional responsibilities. At first, it might have been easy to manage your own schedule along with a couple key employees.
But after a few years, you may have more workers, numerous projects to juggle, and a steady inventory to monitor.
To strengthen your role as a business owner, you need to think of your supervisory responsibilities as falling under three different umbrellas: people, office, and resources.
Consider having a formal employee handbook
that explains federal and local employment laws for your workers as well as your business's own rules and expectations. By having formal customs and procedures, you have a standard to hold all of your workers to. This is particularly important as you grow so that you consistently maintain professionalism and quality within the workforce. It also provides backup if you
need to discipline a worker or let him or her go for poor performance.
Managing the Office
Your office needs to be more than well-organized and welcoming. It should be a place that displays your expertise and wide range of services you offer.
According to CEDIA’s most recent Benchmarking Survey
, the most profitable home technology professionals are more likely to have a dedicated office space rather than a home office. The same report indicates that more profitable companies are less likely to maintain a retail outpost than the typical company.
And while it’s no small investment, CEDIA’s 2014 Benchmarking Survey also indicates that highly profitable firms are more likely to have a dedicated showroom
rather than using an alternate space such as an employee’s home or a retail store for demos. Whatever your business model and/or resources, you should ensure that your office represents your company well.
Managing Your Resources
An established business will have inventory and other assets that need to be properly monitored to maintain a steady cash flow
and boost revenue. This means you need to have an inventory system for your equipment and products.
If you have yet to set up an inventory system, it may be best to first research inventory tracking software. These platforms are essential to deploying and keeping up with constantly shifting inventory. No matter the software you use, your inventory system needs consistent locations with specific names and labels - even if this means labeling each shelf in your store room. All items in inventory should have short but unique identification numbers to keep track of them - these also work as quick references for products on contracts, invoices, and in the inventory software.
Additionally, a strong inventory system will begin with an accurate count and have procedures in place for all workers to follow. It's best to have inventory best practices laid out in the employee handbook. (Learn more about inventory tracking in CEDIA’s Inventory Tracking webinar
As an owner of a business, you need to be a multitasker and a jack of all trades. Not only must you supervise your workforce, you need to ensure you truly promote the work you and your employees are capable of while maintaining an efficient inventory and a healthy cash flow.
Mark your calendar for the inaugural CEDIA Business Xchange
, April 29 – May 1 in Houston.