You can discover powerful business tips in the unlikeliest places!
Initially I wondered what in the world this book, written in and about scenarios during this country’s greatest economic crisis could offer in the way of business tips. However, comparing it to our nation’s dilemmas today, it appears to offer several reminders, at least five. Reflecting on an overview of the story set in California in the late 1930s, we find a country of haves and have-nots. Migrant workers, or drifters, like the two main characters, were prevalent; few of them had many skills or resources, but all had hopes and dreams. Practically speaking, the most they had was the clothes on their back and, if they were as fortunate as George and Lennie, had each other. These were desperate times; people were trying anything to make a living.
1. Establish Realistic Goals
My first quandary centered on contemplating what work these two were doing before the economy sunk so low. George’s character seems to be the sort that might have had gainful employment, able to provide for himself. While maybe Lennie would have possibly had a blue collar job, and living in a group home. Jobs not like what they dreamed of, but surviving. To set up a business, partners need to establish realistic goals. According to business schools classes, the goals you must set should be achievable, actionable, and inspiring.
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2. Purpose of the Business; Financial Arrangements
Next you must assess what the purpose of the business will be, and what product or service it will provide. By doing this, you discover what employees you need to fulfill a timely outcome, i.e. how many people you need to pay to produce the best quality work. It is probably at this point you convene with your partner, and go over what budget is necessary to start the business and keep it operating in a healthy black.
In addition, you should discuss meeting with a financial advisor at a lending institution for their recommendations. If you have no collateral, as in the case of George and Lennie, the advisor may require funds for a sizeable operating reserve. At that point their role is to ask the bank advisor for help finding work so they can indeed earn the money needed. By being attentive to the dubiously sincere desires of the men and even trying to help them find work, the bank advisor indicates he wants them to be able to realize their dream. He also wants to instill careful, deliberate saving, and conscientious behavior, all qualities needed in the business world.
3. Job Descriptions
For each employee you will need a clear and concise job description so everyone knows what the company’s expectations are when they come to work. Of course it also helps to know what bearing on the total outcome your specific job has. This confirms the importance of each employee’s position. In our story it seemed the personalities acted off one another instead of having a particular purpose.
4. Understandable Policies and Procedures
Another way to ensure order in the workplace is to establish clear policies and procedures. It is important to identify requirements on how to accomplish various tasks, as well as how to relate to individuals in certain situations; how to handle grievances. Knowing when and how to ask for a day off in order to take care of the soft things in your life is part of those policies and procedures. Lennie would appreciate this as long as he kept his distance from Curley’s wife.
5. Work Environment
Employees thrive in an environment that nurtures trust and creativity. When an atmosphere of encouragement and possibility occur, all these will spill over into dealings with customers and clients. On the flip side, there is no room in a business for any type of put-downs, snobbery, or ridicule. In our story, unfortunately the economic times had contributed to magnifying these selfish qualities in the characters and brought out the worst in them. I really do not think this would have been an amicable team in a business venture; everyone was out for his own dream without considering the needs of the whole company.
Though the goal to achieve independence and realize your dreams is not a bad one, during economically fragile times, everyone considering a position with a company should be of the same mindset. In Of Mice and Men, I am not convinced any of the characters had what it takes to establish a successful business, but, indeed, we had a timely spring board from which to gain a few tips. It appears positive attributes for any business include realistic goals; purpose and financial arrangements; job descriptions; policies and procedures; and a healthy workplace environment.
What key business tips did you take away from this post?
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