What type of leadership works best for you?

Stepping into the shoes of a Shed Boss franchise owner is a great way to get up off the ground and begin earning through the installation of custom designed workshops and other industrial strength constructions. However, if you’re new to the concept of being a boss, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the newfound responsibility that comes with running a business.

There are a number of different leadership styles that each have their own pros and cons. Finding out which one works best for you, your personality and the type of business you want to run is an essential factor to consider when establishing yourself as a franchise owner.

Democratic leadership

One way to work the business is to treat it as a small scale democracy, where each person is given the opportunity to voice their opinion and choices are made based on the feelings of the majority. This relies heavily on group participation and having people involve themselves in the running of the operation.

While you have the final say, seeking out ideas and comment from the body of your employees can help keep the business from becoming stale and boring, with innovation coming from different corners of the office at all times.

Authoritarian leadership

The classic “boss” role, running the business through an authoritarian model puts one person in control of the decision-making process. While this may seem like an impersonal style of leadership, it often gets quick results due to its streamlined nature.

However, it could be worth balancing this type of leadership with a more interpersonal approach – such as a democratic role – due to the negative feelings fully authoritarian workplaces tend to produce in employees.


Employment growth over the next 12 months expected across Australian businesses

Shed Boss franchise owners interested in employment trends over the coming year should investigate the latest Hays Salary Guide, which has found that marketing, engineering and operational management are expected to see the largest permanent growth in numbers over the next 12 months. Out of the employers interviewed, 34 per cent intended to increase their staff numbers – which could be something to consider for your own custom designed garage franchise.

Marketing was the clear winner among Australian companies, with 56 per cent of businesses expected to expand their marketing departments. More advertising is a great way to help businesses connect with their customers and could be something to consider moving forward into 2014. Following marketing, IT and sales departments (37 per cent), project management (35 per cent) and human resources (31 per cent) are all expected to undergo expansion.

Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand Nick Deligiannis said that 41 per cent of those interviewed expect a more positive economic outlook to occur over the next 12 months, while 66 per cent are aiming to increase the level of business activity seen over the next year.

“With confidence returning it will be more likely that candidates are going to contemplate a career move in the next few months. This is good news for the businesses that plan to expand their headcount and make strategic hires to bolster their teams,” said Mr Deligiannis in a June 10 statement.

“But the key to attracting these high potential candidates still lies with finding them, engaging with them and making sure that they see the right opportunities at the right time.”

If you’re considering hiring more employees to facilitate the sale of custom designed workshops and other products, the coming 12 months are expected to be fruitful.


Preparing for the financial end of year: Taking the right steps for your franchise

As another financial year comes to a close, now is the time for small and medium sized businesses to begin preparing their tax forms for the end of this work period. However, according to a recent survey released by the Commonwealth Bank, 29 per cent of Australian small and medium businesses have not started to prepare their tax statements – something which could lead to complications further down the track.

Furthermore, 30 per cent of those businesses prepared for the financial year end failed to maximise their tax liability over the last 12 months. Simple things like planning ahead and keeping track of all tax minimisation strategies are just two of the opportunities that many small businesses failed to take into consideration during the last 12 financial months.

Owners of Shed Boss franchises should take heed and create a plan to deal with the end of financial years heading forward into the future. As providers of custom designed sheds – both domestic and commercial – it’s important to keep a close eye on your business finances throughout the year in order to take advantage of the multiple opportunities for savings.

Commonwealth Bank’s Executive General Manager of Local Business Banking Adam Bennett said that while the end of June is often the busiest time for businesses preparing their tax documents, it’s an important and unavoidable aspect of being involved in the operation of a commercial venture.

“Some businesses are spending more than 40 hours preparing for tax time, so we understand this can put undue pressure on internal resources. By taking a number of simple steps and speaking with a professional adviser early, businesses can ensure they are using this time effectively and can potentially improve their financial position for the year ahead,” said Mr Bennett in a June 10 statement.

It’s not too late to get in contact with a financial professional to discuss the end of financial year options available to you and your Shed Boss franchise.


Retaining employee morale: Tips to maintain high productivity all year round

Becoming a Shed Boss franchisee can be a great way to get control of your own business venture and begin working with custom designed sheds. But one thing to remember – especially for inexperienced business people – is the importance of maintaining the morale of your employees.

A recent study released by Australian awareness group beyondblue has found millions of people across the nation are suffering mentally from their workplaces. This fuels a higher number of sick days and an unnaturally large level of people developing workplace-related depression and anxiety –  leading to a drop in productivity and an overall dreary environment in which to spend your days.

To avoid this happening to your Shed Boss franchise, here are some tips to help make your business as engaging and positive as possible.

Make an effort to recognise individual achievement

Nothing makes people feel worse than feeling like part of a nameless mass. Fostering an approach to business that emphasises personal achievement and celebrates good work done by each employee can help staff feel more valued in the business process.

Couple this with an incentive program that gives your staff something to work towards every week, as well as including them in the wider running of the franchise, and you will give your employees a personal stake in the overall success of the venture.

Listen to complaints

There are bound to be complications that arise during work where people feel uncomfortable with something – whether it be the office temperature, technology problems or interpersonal issues. However, simply ignoring these pleas or pushing them back sends the message of disinterest and unimportance.

This can often lead to feelings of anger or frustration among employees, leading to potential issues with productivity and smooth operation in the future. Taking these issues to heart and working with employees to find a workable solution will help maintain – and even mend – bridges, ensuring workers continue to give 100 per cent at all times.

While issues such as slow networks may be unavoidable for some businesses, there's no reason things like fear or ignorance should stop business owners from making the most of the tools they have at hand.

Let modern tech help you succeed

There's no doubt today's technology is capable of some astounding feats. But it's not just advances in social media and cellular phone technology – much of the cutting-edge tech hitting the market is specifically geared to help small business owners.

As a franchisee selling industrial sheds and other products, you can count on the support of Shed Boss. However, you can also make your life easier and improve your business' chances of success by embracing modern technology.

The Grattan Institute recently reported that small and medium enterprises employ two-thirds of private sector workers and are responsible for half of private sector gross domestic  product in Australia.

However, many of these businesses struggle with reduced productivity due to their failure to take advantage of technological innovations.

"Today mobile devices, e-commerce, cloud computing and other online innovations offer opportunities for firms of all sizes," the Grattan Institute said.

"Cloud computing – the delivery of on-demand information technology services over the Internet – is a case study for how online technologies can benefit smaller firms."

Unfortunately, many Australian small businesses do not make use of modern tech like cloud computing.

"Many are not aware of the benefits or believe they lack the skills to capture them. Some are concerned about transition costs, data security and privacy. Networks are too slow or unreliable for cloud services in some areas," the Grattan Institute continued.

While issues such as slow networks may be unavoidable for some businesses, there's no reason things like fear or ignorance should stop business owners from making the most of the tools they have at hand.

In today's market, it's more vital than ever for small business owners to make use of all the gizmos, gadgets and programs at their disposal.

Shed Boss knows this, which is why we provide our franchisees with training and innovative software to help them handle everything from designs and quotes to project management.

The most difficult challenge faced by small business owners when they first attempt to get their enterprise off the ground is obtaining start up capital.

Obtaining start up capital for your business

Becoming a Shed Boss franchisee and selling premium-quality, custom designed sheds can be a lucrative endeavour.

However, as with any small business, it will likely take money to make money, especially in the early stages.

For this reason, the most difficult challenge faced by small business owners when they first attempt to get their enterprise off the ground is obtaining start up capital.

Options available to you

Unless you have sufficient savings put away, chances are you'll need to borrow money in order to start your business.

Borrowing money from family and friends is often the easiest – not to mention cheapest – way to gain start up capital. However, keep in mind that mixing money with personal relationships can lead to complications.

Your best bet will probably be taking out a loan from a local financial institution.

Credit unions and community banks can often be a superior choice to major banking institutions, especially if you've done business with them in the past. It's easier to develop close relationships with smaller banks, and this can work in your favour when it comes time to borrow. 

Whereas a large bank may be strictly focused on your finances, a smaller financial institution you have history with might be more willing to make allowances.

Making your business desirable

At the same time, no matter where you choose to borrow from, it's essential to make yourself an attractive candidate.

A strong credit history can go a long way to help, but even more important is having a detailed business plan in place.

Fortunately, becoming a Shed Boss franchisee comes with a built-in business plan and the support of a large company to back you up. This can make obtaining the funds you need easier than going it alone.

For many business owners who used to be employees, it can be tempting to become more of a friend to your own workers than act like a boss.

New business owner? Avoid these common pitfalls!

If it's your first time running a business, there will be plenty of pitfalls you need to avoid. Then again, some business owners make these mistakes even if they've been their own boss for years.

Selling custom designed sheds as a Shed Boss franchisee gives you plenty of opportunity to succeed, but it still pays to keep common missteps in mind in an attempt to avoid them.

Fend off tunnel vision

With so many spinning plates to keep track of, business owners can be forgiven for letting some things slip through the cracks. However, there's no excuse for devoting so much time to one aspect of your business that another part suffers.

For instance, say sales are booming at your Shed Boss franchise. This may make you think that you can slack off on things like marketing. However, it may not always be so busy in your establishment, and if you find that you haven't developed any kind of advertising strategy to bring in new business, your feast could turn to famine in the blink of an eye.

Every business is a collection of different moving parts. Always try to stay focused on the big picture, giving proper care and attention to all the different aspects of a successful enterprise.

Become the boss

For many business owners who used to be employees, it can be tempting to become more of a friend to your own workers than act like a boss. After all, you likely know what it was like to work under someone and feel hesitant about being viewed in the same way.

Unfortunately, just as children need a parent instead of a friend, employees need a boss instead of a colleague.

The success of your business depends on everyone doing their jobs, and sometimes that means chasing after people and ensuring they stay in line. Discipline may be necessary, and if you want to succeed, you need to come to terms with the responsibilities being a business owner comes with.

Shed Boss is known for its high standards and uncompromising attitude toward quality, from shed designs to the materials used to build them.

Nothing sells easier than quality

Anyone who sells products or services is constantly on the hunt to enhance their business.

While special deals and reduced prices can certainly provide a temporary boost to sales, the ultimate truth is that nothing is easier to market and sell than quality.

Everyone likes to save money and get a good deal, but they also want what they buy to work and last.

Fortunately for Shed Boss franchisees selling custom designed garages, industrial sheds and other buildings, the premium-quality of Shed Boss is a given.

Shed Boss is known for its high standards and uncompromising attitude toward quality, from shed designs to the materials used to build them.

Meeting expectations

If a prospective client feels like you deliver an inferior product, chances are they'll look elsewhere to do business. Not only can the high-quality offered by Shed Boss meet and exceed customer expectations, it can create a sense of contentment and loyalty that results in repeat business.

Best of all, happy clients are much more likely to spread the good word for your business, hopefully resulting in more customers.

Building reputation

By staying focused on quality products and solid customer service, you can build a reputation that will bring in business.

After all, no one wants to give their hard-earned money to a business that has a reputation for shoddy work or poor customer service.

Selling safety

In addition to beautiful buildings that stand the test of time, it's important for Shed Boss franchisees to realise that safety is an important factor when it comes to constructing sheds and other buildings.

People want to know their projects are built to high standards so they can safely use them for personal and business reasons.

Shed Boss' commitment to quality is part of its foundation, and something franchisees can take advantage of.

While you may not be able to prevent some disasters, you can anticipate them and ensure you're prepared.

Plan for the best, prepare for the worst

It's important to be optimistic when running a small business. Life throws you challenges as a business owner, and your attitude will play a large role in how you handle them.

However, being upbeat is no excuse for not planning ahead. Whether it's cash flow issues or potential employee problems, it's a good idea to have a strategy in place for the curveballs the world can send your way.

One key thing to plan for is the chaos Mother Nature can cause. If you're a Shed Boss franchisee selling custom designed sheds, you know how important it is to build something that can withstand the elements and stand the test of time.

Rain, fire and wind, oh my!

There are plenty of obstacles you may face as a business owner, but some are completely out of your control. Case in point: natural disasters.

Whether it's a devastating storm, a fire or whipping winds, the elements can cause severe damage to your premises and business operations.

While you may not be able to prevent some disasters, you can anticipate them and ensure you're prepared.

Make insurance part of your business plan

Having proper business cover in place is essential if you want to get your business back on track following a natural disaster.

Besides insurance to replace and repair your premises, you might also want to consider business interruption cover that will keep you financially solvent even if your operation has to shut down temporarily.

Think about your records

In the case of a natural disaster, you should be concerned with the safety of you and your employees, not saving business records.

At the same time, these records can be invaluable to your enterprise.

With that in mind, why not plan ahead by getting rid of paper documents and replacing your record-keeping system with cloud storage?

This will not only keep your records safe in the event of a disaster, it will also free up space in your premises. 

3 warning signs running a business isn't for you

Everybody's different, and that carries over into their working lives. While some people may be predisposed to running their own business, for others it might not be the right fit.

The following are three warning signs that selling custom designed sheds as a Shed Boss franchisee may not be the right choice for you.

Building isn't your thing

Shed Boss is not a turnkey franchise. We provide our franchisees with the freedom to operate how they see fit. At the same time, this means the best franchisees already have experience in the building industry.

It's one thing to learn about construction from a book or training course, but having your own builders licence is even better.

Of course, not being a builder yourself doesn't have to be a deal breaker. You could always partner up with someone who has a construction background and focus more on the creative and marketing side of the business. But at the end of the day, having a passion for building should be a primary factor.

You have the zeal but not the strategy

Of course, being passionate about something isn't the same has having a plan in place.

Just because you're excited and willing to work doesn't mean you can jump in with your eyes closed and wish for the best.

A successful business requires forethought and smart strategy. If creating a plan for your business and keeping track of all the details doesn't sound like you, being the boss may not be the right fit.

You give up easily

Running a business can definitely be rewarding, but it's also hard work. This is especially true when first getting a business off the ground.

If you're the type of person who is discouraged easily and ready to give up after the first bump in the road, becoming a small business owner probably isn't the right move.