The Olympics have been a thrill to watch, but have you ever considered the magnitude of the events for the athletes? They train for years to compete in one event that may last 40 seconds. All of their hard work comes down to a minutiae of time compared to the years of preparation. One small misstep and it’s over. They don’t have another inning, period or quarter to come back to redeem themselves. There’s not another game next week or even next season. Four years. The athletes must wait another 4 years. Back to training to prove themselves best in the world.

One future Olympic hopeful is Hannah Miller, a 16 year old luger who spends up to 10 months a year living away from home and family at the training center. She practices 6-8 hours a day and misses birthdays, Christmases and other holidays with family. She trains this intensely even though she knows the difference between making the team or not can come down to 3/1,000ths of a second and if she does make the team, her dreams can be dashed just as quick. Yet she still trains.

What can small business owners learn from Olympic athletes? One thing is that their business is in a competition. There are other janitorial, security, construction, greenhouse and pool companies in the marketplace with a limited number of medals (or customers) to go around.

Likewise, a successful small business owner must constantly be learning and training to stay competitive in her industry. She must seek out and find the best practice tools to maintain her edge. Many small business owners with remote employees have found a valuable tool in our telephone timekeeping system. They are saving precious time and money by using technology to capture accurate shift times for their off-site workers.

We would like to offer 5 helpful training tips (one for each Olympic ring) to these small business warriors who are using our system so that they can maximize their management efforts.

Training tip #1

The cornerstone of our business is accurate time that’s captured by 2 simple phone calls in and out. But occasionally employees will forget to clock out resulting in an open, incomplete time card. However, this can be easily monitored daily. Each morning review the edit time card screen or the daily time card report to look for red flags.  Use the integrated voice mail system to let John know he needs to call when he clocks in the next morning to report his departure time from the day before. Or if you choose to give employees access to view their timecards online they can quickly see the forgotten punch and inform their supervisor of the correct out time.

Training tip #2

Enter employee hourly pay rates to utilize our Job Summary report. This is a great job costing report to keep up with labor costs at each site for any time period you want to review. Counting the costs is important to make sure your client monthly contracts are fair, yet profitable.

Training tip #3

Use our powerful Payroll Snapshot report to accurately calculate expanded overtime hours like used in California. It automatically calculates over 40 hours in a week; over 8 in a day; over 12 in a day and 7 days in one work week for any pay period setting. Easily track vendors who are OT exempt. It also seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks to export each time card to QuickBooks timesheets. This one feature alone will free up several hours of time each pay period that can be spent on acquiring new customers and optimally serving the existing ones.

Training tip #4

Link job site phones to ensure that employees are on-site when clocking in. Nothing kills your ability to compete like over-inflated, unearned hours. John may finish up early and decide to finish his shift at the local bar by clocking out on his cell phone. By linking phones, this can be avoided and you have peace of mind. Now that’s worth its weight in a gold medal.

Training tip #5

To gain full command of the management tools available be sure to refer to the on-line System Guide.  This valuable reference can guide you through the system at your own pace.  Be sure to review the table of contents often for features that you might not be utilizing to the fullest.  Refer to it often.

Hannah Miller won’t make the Olympic Games in 2018 by just wanting it. She will have to work very hard every day doing the right things to improve her skills knowing that she has one shot to succeed. Unlike Olympic athletes, a small business owner who fails may not have another shot in 4 years.

As Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric said, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”  We are your competitive edge. Maximize us. Go for the gold!