Last week we held the launch webinar for our ExchangeDefender partners and existing Shockey Monkey clients. If you’d like to take a look at it the recording is here. If I had to sum it up, SM3 is above and beyond what you need to manage an SMB company. Not just an IT business but any business – which is a huge area of opportunity for our IT partners – you can now sell the entire business system complete with the cloud services, management platform and your IT solution management under your brand, your price, your model and deliver a true end-to-end experience. I think that is something that will separate IT businesses that will survive from those that do not as they chase one fad after another and eventually get consumerized. But enough of my babbling, let me introduce you to some features. I have covered Marketing, Sales, Opportunities, Agreements and Proposals.. and now let’s talk about managing the company itself.
The first thing about starting a business is a dream.
Everything you do after that – incorporation, bank accounts, employees, HR policies, hiring employees, issuing equipment, managing open positions, documenting accomplishments and reprimands, managing vendors, managing solutions, managing – is rolling the dice and hoping you’re doing your best given the limited insight and time you have. We’re not reckless but small business is that of limited resources and sometimes you make mistakes.
Shockey Monkey Corporate tab was designed with one goal in mind: deliver consistency and fairness in management over time. It’s simple, most small businesses that succeed initially do so because of a small, talented team that takes great care of it’s clients – but as that business grows making sure that everyone is on the same page all of the time becomes difficult because there are only so many jobs one person can do. While one person can manage things effectively in a startup and everyone can fill out a 1020S or 1140, things change a few million later when you need to be a part time IRS ninja at the same time as trying to motivate your employees to do what you want them to do.
Fair warning: This section of Shockey Monkey is GIANT. I cannot do it justice in one blog post and we’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do. But even this 10% effort we’ve made here will make you 90% better off than most other small businesses out there.
We’ve read tons of business, management, leadership, communications, HR, etc books through the years and we’ve also made enough mistakes over the 15 years in business that we’re probably better off writing a book about about them than software.
That’s the catch – anyone can give you a list of steps and procedures and standards to follow when you hire a new employee – but if there is nothing to keep you accountable then there is no real penalty for not doing your job. And if you can ignore your responsibilities without penalty then the likelyhood that you will “remember to do it” at some point in future “when you have some time” will almost certainly be “never” and that’s something Shockey Monkey makes sure you don’t get the chance to do.
Business.. everyone is involved
Corporate management is much like corporate leadership – someone has to set an example and everyone is expected to document what is going on. I don’t have to ramble on about what happens when employees leave or when new employees come into roles that have never existed before – if you do it, write it down. End of conversation.
Problem is that nobody has a really sophisticated area to write things down when it comes to business process, only techies are good at maintaining somewhat-referenced knowledge bases. Now all SMBs do too – thanks to Shockey Monkey… and it can’t be easier, as a matter of fact it’s the very first tab:
All of my critical stuff is there. My business, my profile, my projects, my schedule (which now syncs both ways with Exchange w/o software installation of any kind and works in the XD cloud with all ActiveSync devices for free – you’re welcome!) – everything I need to get the job done is here.
But what happens when I get my first (or eighty first) employee? How much will I have to manage them? Far less than you would have to without Shockey Monkey. Just add them in:
Then assign the system to manage them for you. Let Shockey Monkey know when to expect them to show up for work, who they report to (and who will be approving their time sheets), their job description, benefits, perks..
Just tell them to punch in and out when they show up for work and when they leave.. couldn’t be simpler, you’re ready to work when you’re in front of your PC with it powered on and you can type in your username and password. Check in!
This is so that every week or every two weeks when their time sheets are due they can document when they showed up and what they did – which they are required to every time they come to work every single day – because Shockey Monkey is also a time punchclock. Oh, you were supposed to be here at 8:00 but showed up at 8:28, go ahead and explain why…
System keeps employees accountable.
Employers and managers as well. Want some time off? Go ahead and make a simple request:
Got equipment or doctor notes or parking violations or other items that we need to track as a part of your career? Fine, let’s upload them to Shockey Monkey, not stick into piles on my desk:
Managers have responsibilities too… track laptops, smartphones, tablets, cars, gym memberships and everything else we’re giving to our employees:
Finally… self management and self motivation.
If I could get away with running the Own Web Now empire by myself in my PJs I totally would. Over the years I’ve become accustomed to certain millionaire luxuries as a small business owner such as 6 hours of sleep almost every day, more than one calendar day per year when I’m not involved in putting out a fire, not being woken up at 2AM in the morning because something blew up in Austrlia.. Just kidding, you’ll never get to sleep before 3AM if you own your own SMB.
So you need employees. But can you only hire and retain the best of the best, or do you just need a few really competent accountable people surrounded by a bunch of assistants? Even better, what is your hit/miss ration when it comes to thinking you hired a go getter and ended up with someone with expectation of bankers hours?
Shockey Monkey let’s you set goals and let people live and die by their effort. If you want to do the bare minimum for your job then you’re quite welcome to keep it so long as you don’t cause problems. Minimum effort = minimum incentives and raises. But show me that you’re capable of doing more and you’ll be rewarded.
How do you manage that? Well, not effectively… but with Shockey Monkey 3 you get to. Set milestones and goals for your employees and write them down in the monkey. Let the employees know what they can have in 6-12-18 months if they become more valuable to you and let them earn it.
As they do – they can document their new experience, education, certifications, etc. Show me.
It’s that simple. I cannot do this system justice in one blog post but I hope that the screenshot onslaught is proving the fact that: It’s there, it’s simple and you have no excuse not to use it!!!
It’s also something that applies to any SMB and all SMBs.. and if you only buy Shockey Monkey for this one thing it will more than pay for itself many times over if it just helps get one employee from riffraff to a star. It’s also something that’s dead simple to present and sell to a client that needs Shockey Monkey because if you can find me a business that has this all figured out you’re either looking at a liar (or maybe HR consultant is less offensive of a term) or someone that’s outright delusional.
Point is, as a small business owner or manager you need to focus on the business but you also need to keep an eye on the operations. You cannot do both effectively without Shockey Monkey and that’s why we’ve built it.
Small business owners, managers and stakeholders largely feel like they need to get a better grip on the accountability of their employees – all while spending more time and money trying to keep the house in order. Overworked, underappreciated and distracted company with poor communication cannot go forward effectively.
We spent more time and money on research and development of the Corporate features in Shockey Monkey because for the past 15 years in business we haven’t had a system or a software solution to manage us all. We had dozens of applications, portal, sites, packages, consulting engagements and audits all of which addressed one limited area of the business while the communications overall suffered… we felt great about every single one of these investments heading into them (because the premise is great) but without a framework to keep the entire company organized the effort is usually a waste.
With Shockey Monkey we have built a system to help you avoid every single management mistake and miscommunication we have made ourselves. We’re giving it to you for free. If there is a legacy to Own Web Now, ExchangeDefender and Shockey Monkey it’s not just that we’ve learned from our mistakes but that we’ve done the one honorable thing in business – helped other businesses avoid mistakes.
We don’t want you to be more successful by putting in more effort, we want you to be more effective at managing your business by simply enjoying your job.
Note: Shockey Monkey 3 will be automatically rolled out to all existing Shockey Monkey portals on Thursday, December 20th, 2012.
We will be holding a Shockey Monkey 3 launch webinar tomorrow at 1PM EST.. Watch us drink Johnnie Walker Blue Label while we walk you through our new product and give you an idea of all the areas we’ll be attacking next: