“Doing more, with less”

“Doing more, with less” is a phrase most small business owners can relate to. This phrase refers to reaching goals and standards with reduced or limited resources compared to other organizations. This limitation of resources creates obstacles in various aspects in an organization, particularly project management. Having firsthand experience in a small business for the past 10 years I can attest to the phrase “doing more, with less”. Small businesses face many challenges, but by utilizing the following tools effective project management can still be delivered


Maintaining a schedule is important in all businesses, particularly small businesses. Many projects in a small business context are limited in time and resources but also need to meet a high standard. As a result, utilization of PERT or Gantt charts can effectively manage the progress of a particular project. I have personally have not used these charts in my small business, but understand the benefit in doing so. By having a Work Breakdown Structure, each project can have more specific deliverables and evaluation of these deliverables is more easily done.


“Doing more, with less” is often times speaking to financial resource limitations. In a small business setting, financial resources are almost always a challenge. There are various programs and software used in the business world to track costs, but in my organization we utilize a budget system. The budget allows us to see what we estimated for a project and what we have paid for that project. By comparing the estimated and actual cost we can determine if we are on track to meet the budget for a given project or if we need to re-evaluate the estimations and/or find other cost effective ways to meet the budget.


Controlling costs and scheduling is pivotal to successful project management. For example, if you do not control employees who are purchasing products for the project or you do not have control measures in place for scheduling then there will be a greater variation from the mean timeline and budget you have set forth to begin with. Generally, this issue has not been a problem in my organization particularly because I have been solely in charge of developing projects, estimating costs, scheduling, and carrying out the projects. This article sheds light on the areas of improvement that my small business can achieve.


Effective communication and developing a work culture where collaboration is valued and sought after is an important aspect for evaluations. Individuals must understand that their input is valued and there will not be blame or punishment for voicing their opinions. This environment is conducive to learning from previous projects and as a result improves project management processes for future projects.


I aim to further develop and improve on my project management by utilizing the tools discussed above. As a result I will be more effective at “doing more, with less”. Have you had a time in your organization or life where you had to “do more, with less?”


URL: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effective-project-management-small-business-organization-41274.html


Markgraf, B. (n.d.). Effective Project Management in the Small Business Organization. Retrieved August 10, 2015, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effective-project-management-small-business-organization-41274.html

Goodbye Small Business?

Small businesses in the United States have it bad. This is true because of too much regulation, high taxes, and now an increase in minimum wage.

So many rules and regulations exist its hard to keep up with the sheer volume of it all. With over 160,000 pages of rules, small businesses are having a hard time making sense of what is right and wrong. Alison Fraser, Director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, says this is “a regulatory assault on our system of free enterprise and on our job creators” and I have to agree (1). The only people who will be able to withstand and flourish alongside more regulation are big businesses. This is because they have the capital, resources, and power to manage operations according to any new rule the government spits out. In comparison, small businesses will be scrambling to make ends meet.

What’s worse is that the United States also has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. At a rate of 35%, corporations of all sizes are suffering. Corporate taxes consume the part of revenue that  could otherwise be spent on research and development, more efficient technology, and on job creation. In direct relation to operations management, Laura Tyson, a contributer to Business Insider, says that “corporate-tax expenditures narrow the base, raise the cost of tax compliance, and distort decisions about investment projects, how to finance them, what form of business organization to adopt, and where to produce” (2). And when project costs go up, the burden indirectly falls on consumers and shareholders: “American workers, consumers and shareholders bear the greatest part of the cost of higher corporate rates and a complex tax system because it ultimately can raise product prices and lower investment and growth in the United States” (3).

Finally, on February 12, 2013, President Obama asked Congress to increase minimum wage to $9. This proposal sparked negative outcries from all across the country because at a time when people are asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ why would you want to make it harder for small employers to hire people? (4). Raising the minimum wage simply reduces the availability of entry-level positions across all industries. “The minimum wage is a learning wage, the first rung on many workers’ career ladders. A higher minimum wage saws off this rung” (4). By raising the minimum wage, high school students, college students, and disadvantaged adults will suffer not only monetarily, but also they will have less chances of learning valuable disciplines like getting to work on time and  interacting with customers. This can only negatively impact future business environments.

All in all, we can conclude that our current government is slow at trying to build a better foundation for small businesses. If they cannot act more quickly, the economy’s recovery will stall and there will be increasingly less work and productivity in America.


Works Cited

(1) http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/28/too-many-rules-are-killing-america/

(2) http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-05-04/markets/31567901_1_corporate-tax-rate-tax-code-special-tax-provisions#ixzz2QVMBZqrl

(3) http://money.cnn.com/2007/07/26/pf/taxes/business_tax_conference/

(4) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/obama-minimum-wage-republicans_n_2680397.html

It’s About Quality, Not Quantity

During the 1980s and early 90s, fitness became a widely-popular trend in American culture. Many Americans started taking their health seriously, so they began to exercising regularly and eating healthy. In 1991, my dad and a couple of his friends decided to invest in this fitness trend and create a partnership; thus, Festhalten was born.

Festhalten is a San Francisco-based fitness accessories company that specializes in grip enhancement technology. Festhalten is derived from the German word that means “to hold on to”. Festhalten’s first product was the Festhalten Multipurpose Grip. The grips are designed to offer the user a cushioned grip that will not slip under most conditions.

In 1992, the partnership was dissolved. Over twenty years later, Festhalten was reborn, thanks to my dad giving me the company to rebuild. I am the Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pan American Airways System, the parent company of Festhalten. One of the challenges I face is ensuring that Festhalten finds good suppliers that are able to provide high-quality raw materials and manufacture high-quality products.

In MGT 322, I learned that there are several definitions and dimensions of quality. Quality can be defined as “the degree of excellence” or the “conformance to requirements or specifications.” Quality also has different dimensions: transcendent (excellence), product-based (quantities of product attributes), user-based (fitness for intended use), value-based (quality versus price), and manufacturing-based (conformance to specifications). Given the definitions and dimensions of quality, it is important to create a quality program. After all, it’s about quality, not quantity. The program consists of the following components: (1) marketing; (2) design engineering; (3) procurement; (4) process design; (5) production; (6) inspection and test); (7) packaging and storage; and (8) service.

Finding a good supplier is a very time-consuming process. I remember when I used to travel to San Antonio every month to meet with a prospective supplier. They marked up their prices because they thought that they were the only supplier on our list. Negotiating for a low price is one thing; making sure they have the capacity to manufacture a high-quality product is another.

When starting a manufacturing company, always remember that “it’s about quality, not quantity.” I cannot stress enough the importance of finding good suppliers. Before you manufacture anything, make sure you create a list of potential suppliers. Never have just one supplier. In addition, make sure you are using high-quality raw materials. You can have the best manufacturing in the world, but if you have low-quality raw materials, you will manufacture low-quality products. Last but not least, when it comes to manufacturing, make sure you create standards and implement a quality program that you constantly reassess. Without measurements, there is no way of knowing whether or not you are producing a high-quality product.

Are you an entrepreneur? If so, what steps are you taking to ensure that you are creating a high-quality product/service?