Small Business’ and Microsoft Office 2007

When you start up a small business, one of the questions you need to address is what software is essential to my business? As a small business consultant, I have seen many companies, owner managed businesses and sole traders start up and be faced with this question, invariably linked to very scarce capital resources. The main purpose is to get software that can quickly sort out complex data and unburden the computer with the help of a fast processor in a stable manner.

Although there are other software suites available, available in a number of versions, Microsoft Office provides the essential applications and is the most commonly used. For business purposes, the options open to you are; Office Standard, Small Business, Professional or Ultimate.

Microsoft Office Standard 2007:

The entry level for Office, this version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. These are the basic essentials of most businesses, a word processor (Word) a spreadsheet (Excel) a presentation package (PowerPoint) and a combined email, calendar/ diary, address book function (Outlook).

Microsoft Office Small Business 2007:

The Small Business version includes all the above applications with the addition of Publisher 2007 while the Outlook version includes Business Contact Manager, which helps you to organise all your business contacts, rather like an rudimentary CRM system. Publisher is a desktop publisher package, designed to help you create publications and marketing material. In fact, this can really help you to save money. You can create your own letterhead, business cards and compliment slips and print them off as required, rather than go to the expense buying several hundred from a commercial printer.

Microsoft Office Professional 2007:

This version includes everything above and includes Access 2007. This database is invaluable if you need to handle large volumes of data and want to make it relational, such as contact lists, orders and stock. It includes templates of common applications and is reasonably easy to use.

Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007:

Probably a bit over the top for a start up, comprising as it does, all the above applications with OneNote 2007, Groove 2007 and InfoPath 2007 as well. OneNote is an extremely flexible application that allows you to keep unstructured notes in a series of tabs. For example, if you are researching product lines, you could keep screen shots, URLs, and competitive information, all in the same place. When the business is larger and can justify a server, OneNote is an invaluable area to let your employees keep ideas and brainstorming thoughts.

Groove is another application that is really designed for use by a number of people on a network. It helps you to keep common files in one place and notifies those people who need to access them when there are any changes to those files. InfoPath is an application that allows you to create forms used to gather data which can be used in conjunction with databases or online. As the forms are based on XML, they have extensive applications in Ecommerce.

Of course, every business has different needs, so you will need to choose the version most applicable to your requirements.

1st Step In Starting A Business

As an Entrepreneur whose business enterprise turned 19 years last month, it may be good to share with readers some of the lessons encountered. The recent months I have been receiving queries on the secret for maintaining this business. Well it is no secret at all and I take pride in passing on important matters to those who sincerely want to commence or even those in business to restart the button as they say.

Primary Lesson: Mindset

Oftentimes, there are entrepreneurs who begin a business because of an opportunity. A deal may even begin with a mere restaurant napkin or even over some brown bottles. However getting into the groove of business must begin with having the proper frame of mind. There is a need to cultivate for the seed to germinate.

1st: Define the Purpose

It may be good to ask yourself the purpose of getting into business. I am not referring to identifying the business yet. Rather it will be more into probing the different layers related. One may say, “I want to be My Own Boss”, being your own boss entails several factors such as the ability to make a decision. To help further, it is recommended to be a relax mood and let your heartbeat be in a normal mode. Excitement or depression may not lead to better result

2nd: Start Writing

Letting our thoughts remain in our mind may be affected with other things. In my years till now, I have learned to always have a small pocket notebook. The first thing to do is write in BOLD Letters on top of each page the topic you are focusing. I call this Chapter of My Mind. There jot down things that may flash in your mind. You will be amazed to realize at the end of a week on ideas and perhaps reasons related to the focused topic.

3rd: Visualize The Business

Man has the most advanced computer chip in the universe. The Mind given the proper nurturing can create scenes. If there is a business opportunity, a person may begin to use his power of the mind to visualize how the business will go. This was one powerful tool I used to see for myself the present business I am in. I wanted to see in my mind how it will all work. Without being biased I was able to see both pros and cons.

4th: Instill Faith and Positivism

To be an entrepreneur entails risk. In fact this is what I call the point where it separates a Man from a Boy or a Woman from a Girl. There are no assurances of where and what the business will be. Try getting a copy of the popular song “Que Sera Sera” written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. This was made popular in 1956 as sung by Doris Day. One thing though is developing the ability to think Positive. Yes we keep hearing that word so much so it is deafening. Every waking up hour and even retiring, the entrepreneur brings with him or her business. Correlate the business to being like a Captain of Airbus 380. The responsibility is tremendous to be entrusted not just on the capital investment. It is more of the hundreds of lives. The Captain has operating manuals and a chosen and qualified team. What matter most is for the Captain to have the greater self-confidence of safely reaching the point of destination. Nobody is spared from having fears or sleepless nights thinking of certain situation of the business. What helped me through was the fact my faith became much deeper and stronger. To strengthen my positivism, I began always to think of good things and avoid being a pessimist or talking ill of people. Use your energy and resources wisely. Think that everyday you are getting better and better. Drive all your thoughts in contributing and making this world a happy place for everyone. Blessings come in many fold to those who do good.

Doctor, Are You In Your Career Groove? Three Indicators to Look At

I recently spent a long weekend visiting my parents in Albuquerque and while I was getting ready for my daily morning walk, I heard a familiar voice blaring from their 3 television sets that reminded me how sweet it is to be in your “career groove.”

The clarion call I heard was this: “Come on down!”

The voice was Rod Roddy, side-kick to 83-year old master of MCs, Bob Barker, the 30-year veteran host of “The Price is Right.”

Every time I visit my parents I get my regular dose of Bob Barker (my parents are close to his age and are huge “Bob” fans). Plus I get to marvel at Bob Barker’s authentic energy.

Barker is a vivid and marvelous poster-gentleman for a unique human situation that few people achieve. What is that situation? No, it’s not the money. It’s something more significant:

Bob is a guy who is completely in his “career groove.”

What is a Career Groove and Why Should You Care?

So what exactly does it mean to be in your career groove?

  • For one it means you love your work so much, you can keep on doing it and loving it all the way into retirement and beyond.
  • And it means one more thing: what you’re doing is perfectly aligned with your natural gifts and talents. You bring your WHOLE self to work.

So, what does it matter to you or anyone if you’re NOT in your career groove? It matters foremost to you, and secondarily to your community.

Where are you on the “Joy-Meter?”

From my perspective, a lot of physicians and professionals live their life somewhere between “outwardly successful but not completely content” and “professionally constrained and wanting more.”

Life goes on, years pass, children grow up, you take vacations, you get a new car, you sit on a hospital committee, you go to a continue-ed conference.

I knew a physician once many years ago who at the end of each day would count down: “Only 11 years, 5 months and 3 days to go before I retire.” He took vacations and went skiing, had a nice family remarried . . . and yet he was sadlyresigned to the countdown.

Not being in your career groove doesn’t mean that you are experiencing a career crisis or even burnout—but something important is missing.

That missing element is this:

The opportunity to be MORE COMPLETELY engaged (body, mind, spirit) and more completely OF SERVICE to the world.

It is from that level of engagement that we experience pure joy.

“Career Groove Indicators” – See Where You Are

Here are three indicators to gauge how muchyou are in own Career Groove — and in a future article, I’ll share some thoughts on how to “get your groove back.”

Career Groove Indicator

Scoring: For each Indicator Statement score yourself as follows

  • 3 points: I am completely aligned
  • 2 points: I want to be aligned, and am in the process of taking steps now to be completely aligned
  • 1 point: I want to be aligned, but not sure of the next steps

Career Groove Indicator #1:

I look forward to every day and look ahead to the near horizon with a sense of optimism.

Career Groove Indicator #2:

I am developing mastery in some aspect of my work—mastery based on recognition of my passion, natural talents and gifts.

Note: your mastery can be in a clinical area, a leadership domain, a communication skill , a creative path, or something unrelated to your current work . Career Groove Indicator #3:

I have no regrets about the course my life is taking right at this moment and feel grateful for everything and everyone around me.

Note: One way to answer this is, What if you or a loved one were struck down; are you focusing your energy on what you care about most? What barriers do you want to remove, or conversations do you need to have, or actions would you take in order to feel “no regrets”?

What does your score indicate?

If you scored between 8 and 9: Congratulations! You’re in your career groove or heading fast in that direction. Find someone to mentor!

If you scored between 6 and 7: Your career groove is not far away. You know what to do next, so what is holding you back?

If you scored between 3 and 5: Your desire is strong, but if the “next steps” elude you, it’s time to seek outside help.

You might be asking yourself: But as a doctor, am I not already “being of service” to the world, and isn’t that “groove” enough?

The answer is No, Yes, and Maybe:

  • No, if you’re not spiritually engaged in what you’re doing,
  • Yes, if you are completely engaged, and
  • Maybe, if can bring your total repertoire of natural talents, strengths and gifts to work every day

So why not go for gold and “pure joy”?

In a future issue I will delve deeper into how to find your career groove and ways to get aligned. In the meantime think about what natural strengths, talents or gifts you were meant to share with world. Once you put these to serve, PURE JOY is the natural by-product!