Motivating employees is fruitless. Yet, the level of performance in your company directly relates to its ability to tap the potential of your entire team. How then do you bring the best out of them? Easy: Set a boundary, and get out of the way. A funny thing happens when you do that, as explained in Douglas McGregor's classic The Human Side of Enterprise. According to him, two theories about human behaviors exist:

1. Theory X: They hate work, and will avoid it whenever they can.

The first one labeled Theory X, states that because humans loathe work, they must be controlled and directed to do it. The average person hates responsibility, and would prefer your direction in all situations. If you don't threaten them with punishment, you won't get great results. The authoritative approach stands as the most popular management technique, and it's also wrong. Humans need motivations beyond financial rewards.

2. Theory Y: They love work, and relate it to play.

What's right then? Theory Y states that humans desire work. They not only accept but actively seek responsibilities. When given a clear set of objectives they believe in, they'll display self-initiative, and an uncanny determination to do whatever it takes to achieve them. They loathe punishment, and respond only to rewards. If given the right environment, they'll display creativity, ingenuity, and imagination.

At the deeper level, people need a feeling of self-actualization.

This goes beyond any financial rewards, and it's a reason why motivating employees is useless. As Abraham Maslow states, an artist must paint, a poet must write, and a composer must make music. At the top of people's needs, they must make the most of their unique abilities. When you give employees freedom within well-defined objectives, you'll tap their human potential and achieve remarkable results.

Posted on February 21

Here's the unfortunate truth: Whether or not you give benefits for your workers, you'll still get the same results. Employees, especially upper management, aren't motivated by perks -- but more by the culture of the company. Offering benefits for your workers is like hiring them: Its purpose is not to create results, but to get and keep them in the first place. Beyond that, giving benefits to your employees is a moral decision -- and in some cases, a legal responsibility. You probably won't be able to afford benefits when you're just starting your business. The major disadvantage to offering benefits is the associated costs. The less number of employees you have, the more costly it'll be. Once you get further a long the road though and have more employees, it's a good option to seek benefits for your company. It'll give you tax advantages, and help you pay a lower amount than you would if you were to pay on your own. What am I Required to Give? Let's start with what you're not required: You're not required to give benefits such as health, dental, vision, and retirement plans. You also won't need to furnish your employees with life insurance, paid holidays, paid vacations, and paid sick leaves. What you are required to do is to abide by all workers' compensation rules, and allow employees time off to vote, serve on juries, and perform military duties. You're also required to withhold social security tax and Medicare tax from employees, and your company must pay for all employee payroll taxes. Where available, you must also contribute to state disability programs. Giving benefits for workers won't create better results, it's something that we highly encourage you offer.
Posted on February 21

These inspirational business quotes range from a century ago to the contemporary. We love to read quotes because it shows such a sharp distinction from conventional thinking. We truly believe the ones who altered the world defied society's rules, and led them to dream and create the impossible. "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant." Max de Pree "Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops." Thomas J. Watson "I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for - getting paid for doing what you love." Tiger Woods "Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit." Napoleon Hill "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." Dale Carnegie "You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world." Tom Brokaw "The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed." Henry Ford "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business." Henry Ford "Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." Theodore Isaac Rubin "If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been." Robert H. Schuller "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan
Posted on February 18

Thinking about getting technology business equipment? You won't need to go for the latest and greatest product, when a simple basic system usually will do fine for you. Remember, you're only starting out in business, so you must bootstrap as much as possible. That is, use your money wisely--and only when in desperate need. Some of the basic technology business equipment you'll need include:

Computer with proper software

Small business technology planning starts with a computer. It will be your best friend, as you'll be using it constantly. Get good software for it, and your productivity will skyrocket.


You'll find that you'll be using your cell phone a lot, but quality won't always be clear. When you're at the desk, a good cordless phone will give you flawless reception. You might also want to check out cost-effective Voice-Over IP services, such as eBay's Skype.

Fax machine

You want to speed up productivity as best as you can, and fax machines give you a good start. You can send form applications to vendors across the country within a few seconds, instead of shipping the documents which takes time. You'll be saving a bundle on shipping costs also. If you're just starting, you can save costs by getting a free fax service from j2 communications (


It's vital to make copies of all documents you send out to use as proof. It's also good reference material. A good copy machine will come in handy.

Answering machine or voicemail

Clients usually can call at odd hours. A voicemail system can pick up messages when you're eating dinner with the family, or out vacationing in Europe.

Cell phone

You'll be running around a lot, and chances are good that an important customer will want to reach you when you're away from the desk. Here's a tip: Sell your product to a customer first. Don't bother with getting technology business equipment just yet. When you have a customer, you'll find out what you need.
Posted on February 18

Your business technology planning is important, but most entrepreneurs go overboard when purchasing technology business products such as computers, software programs, and ecommerce web sites. The following guide to small business technology planning will help you use tech smartly to build your business.
Posted on February 18

Look to hire a small business computer consultant corporation. Usually when you have a small business, you won't have enough resources to hire a small business IT employee. That's why it's better to outsource this function. A small business IT consultant can be your one source to getting all of you small business technology needs. If you hire a good one, he or she will make your company more productive, and give you a great return on investment. Here are some ways to choose a consultant.

Make sure your consultant is business-oriented.

This will not only save you major bucks in the end, but it will also make you more productive toward your company's goals. When a client started her first company back in the early 90s, she had a tech consultant who would wildly recommend business products she didn't need. Yes, they were the latest and greatest thing to come out, but it hurt her bottom line severely.

Shop around.

Ask for specific rates. Compare service plans and guarantees. If the consultant corporation can't stand behind its services, this should raise a red flag to you. A good consultant will provide a positive ROI to your small business.

Go for value.

You'll find a lot of companies promoting their low prices in the small business computer industry. Usually, these equate to low value as well. Don't skimp on price here. Choose a computer consultant corporation that can offer you good guarantees, great value, and excellent customer service.
Posted on February 18

Small business computer networking equipment lets you and your employees work jointly more efficiently. If you have more than one computer in your office, using USB flash memory cards to transfer and retrieve data from one computer to the next can get cumbersome. This further drains your company's productivity. That's why it's better to network your computers systems.

How Networking Helps You

Networking computer equipment helps you two ways:
  • It helps you share resources.
  • It lets you manage data and equipment.
With networking, you can share small business equipment such as files, printers, and copiers -- a big productivity boost as compared to using USB flash memory sticks or sending info through e-mail between computers. Networking also lets you easily manage your files, where you can store all files in one central location so it's not scattered across separate computers. This makes it easier to retrieve information when you need it. Networking also lets you troubleshoot computer system errors on other computers within the network without leaving your seat.

Consider a Small Business Server

You can store files and other computer equipment in one computer, but if you prefer the more robust way, you can do it on a small business computer server. Servers also act as good safety nets, as it carries extra hard drives to retrieve information if they're ever lost.

Hire a Consultant If You Can

Small business networking is not easy. You'll have to understand how your business will achieve a positive return on investment (ROI) with an IT purchase, such as computer networking equipment. A good IT consultant that's business-minded can help you fully, and tremendously.
Posted on February 18

Ecommerce web site design is for you if you want to sell your products online. Unfortunately for most, many web site designers believe they can build you an effective business web site through their attractive designs. Their sites may be aesthetically appealing, but it doesn't do its purpose: build your business a stronger client base. Focus on Text An effective ecommerce design is based more on content than on gorgeous graphics and layouts. The best websites out there, from Google to Yahoo, revolve their sites around text information as they minimize their graphics as much as possible. Find a Good Contractor If you'll be contracting your ecommerce web site design, which I highly recommend if you don't have any experience with ecommerce, be cautious of web designers that promise big rewards through their work. Check out their clients' web sites, and see if the sites have an information theme to them. These are the sites that score big on search engines, attract repeat customers, which give you a huge marketing advantage. A good approach to see if the clients' web sites are effective is to check their Alexa ( ranking score -- anything below 500,000 is considered good. As you'll see, most of their web sites are ranked above that. Keep on searching for different designers until you find an ecommerce web site design firm that has clients with good Alexa rankings.
Posted on February 18

SEO keywords (i.e. keywords you use in your webpages) determine how high you rank in search engines. Your website may be good, but if it doesn't have a keyword-filled theme to the page, it won't generate a lot of traffic. (Remember, search engines are the best way to bring traffic to your site. It's good marketing to focus on SEs.) To build a page that's friendly to search engines, fill the keyword in your pages with a density between 5-10%. Remember, you're not only building a search-engine-friendly page, but also a user-friendly experience as well. So, make sure your SEO keywords flow well, and if possible, is complemented with other similar keywords that describe the page fully and properly.

Finding SEO Keywords

How do you know which SEO keywords to use? Simply use the set words or phrases that your targeted customer might use in a search engine. Research your industry and your targeted customer. Find out what language and technical words your target customer might use. You can also search for complementary keywords to your site's theme through Google's keyword tool: Another good way to find good SEO keywords to your site is to find out how visitors are coming to your site. You'll want to know what phrases or words they're using to find your pages through search engines. You can do this by using server and statistic logs available on most web hosting servers. Find out what keywords surfers are using to get to your site -- then build pages based off those keywords. Once you have a good set of SEO keywords to use, you can begin building pages around these keywords. Once you achieve this, you'll find customers coming to you through mega search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Jeeves for quite a long time.
Posted on February 18

Make sure you choose the right small business computer because it will be your best friend. You don't need the latest and greatest technology when looking for a small business computer. Unless you absolutely know you need it, it's better to keep a tight budget while not skimping on features. Deciding on a laptop or desktop? Here are some pointers. Why a Laptop Get one if you travel frequently. This is not confined to cross-country trips for client meetings. If you tend to bring your work home from the office, or to your morning coffeehouse, a laptop computer may be for you. The main drawbacks to laptops is that it's a little more expensive than desktops for the same features, and it can be stolen easily if you're not careful. Another drawback is that laptops have sealed parts, limiting you of having the latest computer components. Further if it breaks, your repair prices will be hire than if you had a desktop. A laptop with at least 1.0 GHz Pentium III, 128MB RAM, and 20GB hard drive computer laptop will do just fine. It should come with a good warranty service. Why a Desktop If you don't plan on traveling a lot, a desktop will suit you for its higher power and affordability. A desktop computer is also a good choice if you will be doing intensive graphic design work, or using multiple applications at the same time. A desktop with at least 2.0 GHz Pentium III, 256MB RAM, and 40GB will be fine for most small business entrepreneurs. Be Safe Don't hold back on purchasing extra years of warranty service if you have the budget. The security of having a healthy computer lets you focus fully on your core business without any downtime.
Posted on February 18

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