3 Gigantic Signs You’re a Cruel Boss and How to Change It

October 10, 2017

Let me set this straight. It’s not your employees; it’s YOU. The problem is with YOU, the boss!

I bet you swore to yourself that when the time comes where you’re already the boss, you will do things in a different manner. Let’s face it. We have so many things in mind that we want to do when we’re already the one managing people. And luckily, that time came in your life – you’re already the boss.

Of course, no one started their career wanting to be a monstrous boss. You perhaps even planned to reward the set of people who perform well or to rent a whole beach resort for your company’s founding anniversary.

But how can you even make all your plans possible when the phone rings every single minute, emails are popping now and then, and clients are threatening to cancel the deal with you? Can you still maintain your cool even when every single thing that’s happening in the workplace seems to push your buttons?

With all that’s going on, do you even have the energy and most importantly the time to think about implementing all of the plans you have for the company and think about how to be  a compassionate boss?

I know you would probably tell us this: “Imagine how hard it is to balance everything – the success of the company, the employees’ jobs, which includes those that complain about their jobs and those you want to fire, and retaining the clients?”

But if you agree with the things written above, congratulations, you just turned out to be the person you promised yourself you would never be.

A perfect job is not only about a competitive salary package or doing what you’re passionate about, but it also has to have a peaceful working environment and a boss that understands his employees.

However, not all companies have this overall complete package. Whether we admit it or not, this will affect our employees’ attitude towards work and may even make our employees want to quit their jobs.

So, in this article, we gathered three signs of being a horrible boss and how to correct it. Check this out and do a self-assessment afterward.

1. You’re scaring everyone (even the delivery boy from the courier).

You’ve seen these things in the movies or TV. You know, when everyone laughs so much at your joke that even you think it’s stupid. Also, do you notice that whenever you pass through the hallway, everyone stops talking and goes back to their cubicles even if they’re discussing the marketing plan they’ll present to you a little moment from now?

Stop being clueless! If this happens frequently, then you just turned out to be the horrible boss you had despised before you became a person who manages people.

What you have to do is to assure your employees that you’re a very approachable person. There are bad days, for sure, but make them understand that whenever you go through these days, they can still come freely inside your office if they need clarifications or have suggestions.

2. You noticed that the workers in the company are busier whenever you are around.

You’ll surely see this when you’re checking the CCTV. Some employees may be gathering in a circle and laughing, and when you go out to check them, they seem to go back to their desks and pretend that they’re busy. Sometimes, you also notice that they are already making huge decisions without consulting you first.

They don’t think you’re incompetent. Of course, you wouldn’t be a boss without your skills. They are just scared of asking questions since you’re a horrible boss. What do you expect? Do you expect that they would still approach you even if your mood swings are just as horrifying as you are?

What you can do is to try making small talk with your employees. Build relationships with them. If you have time, join them for lunch. Or better yet, treat your whole team to lunch and dinner. Show appreciation for their hard work. Show them that you value everything they’ve done for the entire team.

You can also stage a team building exercise where you can bond with your employees. A team building exercise is a good way to build trust within the team. Another way is to go into a huddle on Monday mornings and check in your employees. Ask them about their weekend activities. It’s a good way to prep them for the grind ahead. Or you could do it on Fridays, after a tiring week of work. Treat your employees to a dinner or night out to unwind and cool down.

By creating such opportunities for interaction, you’re creating a personal connection with them. This makes it easy for them to open up to you and see you as a friendly and approachable manager.

3. You’re threatening your employees, and you think it’s motivation.

Telling your employee that if you lose this client, you’ll fire him, or telling them that if any employee arrives late (for the first time) will merit a 3-day suspension without pay, is not a good way of motivating your employee. If you do these acts, then guess what, you just became “that” boss.

Motivation comes in different forms. It may be either a bonus, commission, paid vacation leave or even a commendation. One concrete example is to give them constant feedback, be it good or encouraging or critical. Either way, an employee will know which aspect of his work he or she needs to improve.

Acknowledging your employee’s achievements is also a potent moral-booster. Don’t hesitate to congratulate your employee whenever he or she does something good that benefits the whole team and the company. Let your employees know that you appreciate and value the things they have done for you, the team and the company.

Related reading: 5 ways to incentivise employees without burning a hole in your pocket

Don’t forget the power of communication. Good communication is everything. It’s the first step towards transparency and a harmonious work relationship with your employees. For instance, you can greet your employees every morning or bid them goodbye after work. It will show that you’re a boss who knows his or her way around people.

What’s best is to use the other forms of motivation just like those mentioned above. Choosing the latter will not only scare your employees. In some instances, it may also damage their passion for their job, and worse, they might quit. Losing people is never good.

Takeaway

Becoming a boss is never easy, and no one said it is. You’ve got a wide array of responsibilities, and you need to play different roles: a boss, a friend, a shock absorber, a HR personnel, and sometimes a guidance counselor.

Aside from that, you also have to think about the future of the company, the jobs of your employees, and the business of your clients. But instead of taking it as an opportunity to scold and scare everyone in the office, why not take it as a challenge to be the boss you’ve always dreamed of becoming?

Be the person who clears away tension in the workplace, not the one starting it.

 

Author Bio

This is a guest post submitted by Patrick Panuncillon, and edited by Dragon Law.

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.

As an entrepreneur, Patrick Panuncillon has years of experience in SEO campaign management and he’s the heart and brain of LinkVista Digital Inc., a digital marketing and online solutions company in the Philippines. He also has an excellent track record in entrepreneurship. Patrick handled several campaigns for local and international companies. He also loves to help and guide young people to become effective leaders in their field.

3 tips for managing your virtual office

October 8, 2017

Once your business establishes itself in one market, your next step as an entrepreneur is to think about expanding your business into new markets. This is important for the survival of your business especially when you hail from a country with a small market. Governments around the world are also realising the importance of supporting businesses in expanding internationally, as evident from the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF) in Hong Kong and the International Partnership Fund in Singapore.

Related reading: International Growth: Getting It Right

Regardless of whether your expansion efforts are supported by government grants, regionalisation can be a costly effort. One way to manage the costs of expansion is to set up a virtual office, instead of renting a physical space in every new country that you enter. A virtual office refers to an office that operates primarily online.  There are various benefits to operating from a virtual office, including reduced operating costs and therefore reduced risk as you test a new market. Giving your employees the flexibility of working remotely can also improve employee happiness.

1. Ensure that your company projects a professional image

While not having a physical office is increasingly common today, it is important to ensure that the lack of physical operations in a country does not compromise your image. For a start, ensure that you have a proper corporate mailing address. As a professional business, you would need to have a mailing address so that you can receive mail and showcase your credibility as a business.

It is also good to get a dedicated local telephone number as well as a live receptionist. Having a live person answer incoming calls, as well as manage appointments and correspondence, demonstrates your commitment to potential clients. Even if you wish to save costs by skipping on a dedicated receptionist, ensure that there is an employee in your new team whose job scope involves managing phone enquiries.

2. Set up strong processes to build communication, coordination & culture

Having a virtual office means that your employees may not have as much face time and opportunities to interact with others in the business. It is therefore important that you put in place platforms and processes that ensure your team members have the opportunities to collaborate when the need arises. While many companies have great tools that allow them to videoconference or collaborate on shared documents, the problem is that many companies focus too much on technology and not enough on process. According to a Harvard Business Review study, three core principles are essential for the success of remote work:

  1. Communication: This refers to the ability to exchange information. As remote teams have less face-to-face interaction, there are less opportunities to read social cues and this may lead to misunderstandings and conflict. The solution is to match the message with the medium. Small, non-urgent requests can be handled via e-mail, instant messaging, or work messaging platforms such as Slack. On the other hand, in order to communicate complex or personal information where it is important to observe body language, a platform like videoconferencing is ideal.
  2. Coordination: This refers to the ability to work toward a common goal. It is all the more important when team members are not physically collocated for managers to clearly articulate shared goals, assign roles and responsibilities, develop detailed project plans, and set performance metrics. These should be documented on easily accessible platforms such as Basecamp or Asana.
  3. Culture: This refers to the shared customs that foster trust and engagement. In order to establish trust between coworkers, it may be beneficial to have new hires spend at least a week at your company’s HQ to develop an understanding of the company’s culture before returning to work remotely. If this is not possible, create online platforms such as a #watercooler channel within your team’s Slack platform for casual conversations or for team members to share little accomplishments.

Adapted from Harvard Business Review

While managing a virtual office can be challenging, keeping a focus on the three core elements of communication, coordination and culture will go a long way in building a cohesive virtual team.

3. Plan a strategy for leveraging the cloud   

Now that you don’t have a physical office space to store your documents, you will have to look into digital storage options. Many businesses have now moved onto cloud storage. The key benefits include increased business agility, more flexible capacity and faster adoption of new technology. Common cloud storage options include Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.

Related reading: Is the cloud safe?

However, companies that take an ad hoc approach to cloud services may miss out on many of the cloud’s benefits. It is thus important for companies to devise a clear strategy for leveraging the cloud. The following three-stage process is a helpful framework for making effective use of the cloud:

  1. Define at the outset how the cloud will support your company. Think about which applications and processes will be moved onto it and which cloud infrastructure will best need your company’s needs.
  2. Migrate your applications onto a cloud environment in a disciplined way. This requires a fundamental understanding of the application itself, what it is supporting and the business services it is delivering.
  3. Embrace the agile approach to project management. The agile approach aims to achieve small goals quickly and is better suited to fast-moving technology projects.

One way to maximise the benefits of the cloud is to enable integrations. Much online software for a range of business processes, such as accounting and legal, also have integrations with cloud storage options. For instance, cloud-based accounting software Xero has a range of apps that connect with Xero. This allows you to use different apps for various parts of your workflow while ensuring that all your online tools are an integrated part of a larger system.

Here at Dragon Law, we have developed a range of integrations to make sure that managing your legal needs is more seamlessly connected to other business processes.  Our Xero Integration allows you to easily generate invoices from certain documents, thus saving you time and reducing data entry. You can enable also the Google Drive Integration and OneDrive Integration in your Dragon Law account.  

Claim your free trial. Start drafting legal documents with Dragon Law today.

Do you have any tips for managing a virtual office?

Share with us in the comments below!

How to Use the Best Cloud Database for Your Business

September 28, 2017

The importance of a database to run your online business platform cannot be gainsaid. There is a big difference between websites that are run on reliable databases and those that are not. From high bounce rates to poor conversion, it easy to tell if your choice of database is costing you valuable business.

The right database choice gives you a competitive edge in your niche by making it possible to leverage the data you are accumulating through analytics.  Your site will also enjoy better server response, which is something users are looking for when browsing. There are many other benefits of using a high-performance database.

Benefits of a Cloud Based Database

To harness the full power of a database, it is highly advisable to go for a cloud based database. You can choose between:

  • Traditional cloud model: In this model, the cloud database is run on your company’s infrastructure. If there are any problems, your staff will shoulder the blame.
  • Database-as-a-service (DBaaS): This model of cloud database runs on the service provider’s infrastructure. The service provider is responsible for any technical issues that arise.

Choosing between the two models and more importantly the service provider to use is tricky for businesses. This is where the input of remote DBA expert services comes in handy by helping you to evaluate your database management needs and helping with ongoing administration.

Related reading: 4 tips for saving time on small business administration

There are several advantages of choosing a cloud database over any other model in the market. These include:

  1. Cost savings: You will not have any need for physical infrastructure as the service provider is in control of everything. This saves you a lot of money, which is crucial in these tough economic times.
  2. Scalability: When starting a business, your objective is to grow and the database you choose should allow for this. Cloud storage is scalable depending on your growing business demands. Cloud-hosted databases can now be scaled quickly without breaking the bank.
  3. Minimizing administrative burden: It is easy to manage your cloud-based database and while self-managed databases still require a DBA, there are many features which are eliminated and they make the work of a DBA easier. These databases allow you to outsource a remote DBA and minimize costs of operations.
  4. New technologies: Your database will benefit from the latest technologies and you will not even have to worry about it. The service provider is responsible for all upgrades to the database infrastructure.
  5. Enhanced security: This is one advantage that runs across all cloud-based services. The cloud company provides the latest security updates to guarantee your business data is safe.

Outstanding Cloud Databases

When choosing cloud database services, you will come across a large number of options. Among the most outstanding cloud database services you will find are:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure DocumentDB
  • Microsoft Azure SQL Database
  • Cloud SQL by Google
  • Oracle Database as a Service
  • Garantia Data
  • EnterpriseDB
  • Xeround

These cloud databases offer different capabilities including flexibility, high-level security encryption, Big Query analysis tool, high-performance solid-state drives, limitless scalability, in-memory caching service and much more. Your DBA will help you analyze your business needs before choosing the best cloud database service.

Author Bio

This is a guest post submitted by Sujain Thomas, and edited by Dragon Law.

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.

Sujain Thomas is a diehard cloud computing evangelist. She is currently offers remote DBA expert services in New York. Jacob is also a renowned IT writer. To learn more about database administration, visit this website.

Fintech solutions for startups & small businesses in New Zealand

September 22, 2017

According to a study by Accenture, fintech investment in Asia-Pacific skyrocketed in 2015, from about USD 880 million in all of 2014 to nearly USD 3.5 billion in just the first nine months of 2015. In New Zealand, experts observe that fintech has grown despite the lack of a clear strategy from the government, with initiatives such as the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator programme launched in late 2016. FinTechNZ, a financial innovation and technology association in New Zealand, was launched earlier this year.

Source: Accenture
As the financial services industry began to embrace the potential of fintech, it is important to remember that the benefits of fintech are not just limited to just that few industries or sectors. Given that fintech redefines the way that we borrow, lend, save, store and transfer money, business owners and startup founders also stand to gain.

Related reading: Navigating The Regulatory Challenges Of #FinTech

Here, we give you the lowdown on key fintech startups in New Zealand that will make the lives of small businesses and startups easier.

For fundraising: Equitise

Founded in 2014 by a team with backgrounds in law, investment banking, financial services and equity capital markets, Equitise is a online equity crowdfunding platform that brings together investors and startups, enabling New Zealand startups to raise capital from the crowd. According to co-founder Chris Gilbert, raising capital through a platform like Equitise often leads to greater after-market support for the stocks, due to the broader base of shareholders.

Now that the Australian government has passed the first wave of crowdfunding legislation to enable companies to raise capital from mum and dad investors under certain conditions, as well as sophisticated investors, the future of Equitise looks bright as it will be launching in Australia.  

Equity crowdfunding is well suited to B2C companies, as such companies can leverage their customer database by inviting them to invest in the offer. This would allow the company to simultaneously use the fundraising process as a marketing campaign.

For insurance: Insurely

Occupying a sub-category of fintech known as insurtech, Insurely is an online platform that helps small to medium businesses to research, choose, and apply for insurance policies. As one of the first batch in the Kiwibank Accelerator programme, Insurely received NZD 20,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6% equity. The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to give users advice and bring clarity and management to small to medium business’ insurance policy management.

For sales: Vend

Source: Vend

Founded in 2009, Vend now has 200 staff in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) and retail platform enables retailers to accept payments, sell in-store and online, manage their inventor, reward customer loyalty, and report on their business in real-time. This allows business owners to coordinate their sales across multiple retail platforms, analyse their sales data and make better data-supported sales decisions.

Vend has integrations with other digital platforms, such as e-commerce platform Shopify and cloud-based accounting software Xero.

For accounting: Xero

Source: Xero

Having been around for more than ten years, cloud-based accounting software Xero can hardly be considered a startup. Founded in 2006 in New Zealand, Xero now leads the New Zealand, Australian and United Kingdom cloud accounting markets. Xero’s software provides business owners with real-time visibility of their financial position.

Xero has racked up an impressive array of accolades, including the Best Overall Fintech award at the Fintech Breakthrough Award 2017. More impressively, Xero has integrations with more than 500 apps acros a range of industries and business functions, including inventory, time tracking, and debtor tracking.

Learn how to manage your legal & accounting needs with Dragon Law’s Xero Integration

Does your company in New Zealand use a fintech solution?

Share with us in the comments below!

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