SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Everything you need to know about Business Business Tips Justice Mandhla 5/12/2010
What is contained in this report? > Business tips for beginners. > Business tips for business owners >Tips for employees www.businesslearning4life.com
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Everything You Need To Know About Business
My goal with this report is straight forward. To provide you with tips and strategies that you can use whether you‘re an employee, you want to start your own business or you are a business owner. This report will show you how to use different success concepts and adopt them to your own specific situation. It will demonstrate the critical factors necessary as employee, a prospective business owner or a small business owner and how you can effectively control your destiny. The report will sharpen your judgment which is a vitally essential trait necessary to start and grow your business or if you are an employee to remain employed and be promoted while others get retrenched. You will be able to think ―way outside the box‖ and prepare for potential scenarios, which will enable you to find and successfully implement creative, solutions to problems or if you are an employee to get recognition and be handsomely rewarded for your efforts.
Business tips for beginners
Its‘ all good and well to think positively, to focus, to be committed and persistence, all these are good principles and techniques advocated by many successful people and good books. Whether you are looking for a job or you want to start your own business or to boost your business sales these principles always work. However, the truth is, not everyone who employs these principles is always as successful as they would like to be. In fact, many people who apply these principles most often do not succeed. The question is why some people succeed and some fail while they are applying the same principles in their different life situations? Do these principles work in certain situations or to certain people or do they work in all life situations? These are tough questions which most coach‘s brush-off easily as lack of commitment, not being a student for life, negative attitude to life, lack of faith on the part of their clients and so on. But is this really the case? To start off, human beings have been blessed with talents, skills and intellect but these traits have not been equally provided to all and sundry in an equitable way. That is why we have rocket scientist and rubbish collectors, we have our Albert Einstein‘s and our average store clerk. Similarly, when you apply for a job, irrespective of the fact that you may possess a Degree or MBA you cannot always end up being the President of a large Corporation in spite of your best intentions, positive thinking and hard work. You see, it takes different sets of skills and strengths for one to become the CEO of a large conglomerate company. It does not take your 38 years of service nor hard work but it takes certain qualities that run in the veins and fibre of the particular individual. Becoming a student for life by identifying your strengths is the beginning of this journey. If you do not know your strengths you will find it difficult to be successful in your endeavours, be it your health, business or relationship. Forget your weaknesses. You will achieve very little in life, if you will start off identifying and working on your weaknesses. Your weaknesses are your limiting beliefs. You can start
First things first
today working on your limiting beliefs and you will work on them until you are grey. You will be stressed and suffer heartaches and still not achieve your goals. No amount of positive thinking or hard work will help either. However, if you focus on what you already have, your inner strengths, what flows and come naturally to you to do with confidence and in a relaxed and bold way, what you do consistently well and what other people notice in you as impressive when you do, you are well on your way to success. Where you are today in life in terms of your success is the total output of your inner strengths. Take cognizance of reality and know and understand your strengths. There is nothing wrong in trusting your intuition but this should be within reason. Believing in positive thinking in total exclusion of reality is a sure remedy for disaster in your life.
To achieve success in life in all areas of your life take the following principles and apply them to your life: Become a realist with a hopeful nature Count your blessings, spiritually and financially Strive to be debt free – never stop investing even if you are trying to get out of debt. Investigate before you invest Diversify your investments and never put all your eggs in one basket Invest time and effort over and above what is expected Money should do more than simply reproduce itself; you should endeavour to tithe a percentage of your income to your church or favourite charity Always strive to know where your money goes Do not consume more than what you earn Be positive and never give in – stay the course These are but a few principles you can begin to implement today. You need to have an intense and burning desire, a fierce determination, a compulsion as well as unshakeable belief to be successful in life.
Taking a leap of faith is an act faith, but this does not mean blindly putting your life and future at stake with the hope that some divine intervention will catch you on your way down the cliff, you will either land in some mental hospital or hit the ground and perish. Fear is a necessary ingredient in your life that helps you to do all things in a rational and balanced manner. Think about the consequences of your actions and take responsible decisions in a sober and rational way. There is nothing you can succeed in doing properly if you are not prepared. Therefore, plan, do research, ask those who know, identify your strengths, set goals and take action. Then you can apply the principles that are so much talked about – vision, focus, commitment, persistence, taking the leap of faith and never giving in. Successful people don‘t have a success formula, if they had, they would sell it in book stores and we would all buy it and be rich and successful. Instead they have tried numerous things through trial and error and used various personal skills and talents to be where they are. They regarded their efforts as long life learning necessities. That is why when successful people are interviewed they never provide one single method they have used to become successful. It is because such a formula does not exist. Is success therefore a matter of luck? To a very small minority this could be the case, but to most successful people knowing what they want, visualising it, doing it and focusing on it, being committed to it and taking calculated risks and never giving in are some of the principles they applied and which worked for them. They individually took step-by-step approaches, combined and applied different and various strategies and persevered in order to succeed.
Business Building Blocks Guide for Beginners There is no step by step roadmap to business success; but the following factors could guide you in building your business, help you eliminate guess work and start your business on a sound foundation. Decision – You have to make a conscious decision that you want to be an entrepreneur. Making a conscious decision for yourself is very important before you go into business for yourself. If you know you enjoy going to bed early, why would you start a business as a late-night delivery driver? If you know you don‘t like working with kids, why would you start a business as a day care owner? By taking a conscious decision of what you like, you can find a small business for yourself that is much more fun for you to own. The more fun a business is for you, the more you will work at it and the better the business will do. You have to like what you do because you will be spending a lot of time with it. You need to think of it as a joy to do, not a chore to accomplish. Making the right decision can make that happen for you. The single most important success factor for entrepreneurs is choosing the right business. There are three common ways to get into business. You may start a business as an enterprise, you could buy an existing business or you could decide to purchase a franchise. What is the purpose of your business? For most people it‘s to gain financial freedom and have time to do what they want with their lives. Often the best way to identify which type of business to start is to examine where your expertise and passions intersect. Therefore evaluate your expertise and passions. What is your expertise? Your expertise is your level of knowledge and familiarity with a specific subject - your knowledge, education, skills and abilities. What is your passion? Your passions are the pursuits that you find personally inspiring or enriching - your hobbies and interests. Starting a business that combines your expertise and passions is an excellent idea. You will choose the type of business that complements your interests, past experiences and knowledge background. Before you put too much work into your future business, make sure that the area you choose is the right one for you. There’s no right or wrong business – but there are businesses that are right or wrong for you.
Many small business owners fail a few times before they get it right, but if you review your goals, interests, hobbies and skills this will give you an accurate assessment of what kind of business would be a good match for you considering all these factors.
Starting Your Business
To start building a business is not quick and easy. It requires some serious thinking and work. Why do you want to start a business? Do you love the product/service or business you want to start? Do you have passion for this business? Will you have staying power and resilience to hang in there until you succeed? Are you starting a business because you think it is easy to start and affordable? Does it promise to make you lots of money in a short time? What skills do you possess? How will your skills help you to start building a business? If you don‘t have skills, how will you acquire those skills? What makes you think this business is right for you? Why do you think building this business will offer you the best chance of success? Are you really cut out for this business? What makes you tick? If you have answered the questions honestly as mapped out above and wrote down the answers in a note book, you can begin assessing yourself whether you are ready to start your own business. Visit businesses of the type you want to start and talk to people who work there. As an example, say you want to start a business of fixing computers, your ability and skills in electronics will be an essential prerequisite. If you want to paint business premises your prerequisites could be on heights and safety and electronic skills would have no impact on your ability to build and run your business successfully. If you like working outdoors, working in a cubicle will frustrate and make you miserable- why not choose gardening or landscaping instead. Once you have identified a business you would like to start, ask yourself the following questions; Is there an established market for this business? Is the market growing or declining? What will distinguish my business from similar businesses and how will customers see this distinction? Will I make money from this business? Who actually uses this service or product? What is the size of the existing market is it growing, shrinking or stagnating? Answering these questions will clarify your business objectives and help you define your business concept. You will know where your market is and who your customers are. You will have a clear picture of your customers before you start building your business because you would have narrowed your market. The questions will assist you to check the market trends taking note of seasonal businesses and consider implications regarding fluctuations in demand. Choosing a business that is reflective of global trends will have an influence on the success of the business you will eventually start. Choosing and building a business requires different skills sets and the ability to spot clearly defined interest groups and to find a marketable product or service to suit your niche market.
Before you quit your Job! As a small entrepreneur, you learn about your new business while keeping the safe and steady income of your main job. You start small and build your business gradually. This limits your risk in case your new business fails. In exchange for taking less risk, you must work harder. You must be dedicated, willing to come home after a full workday and keep going on your side business. It takes discipline, tenacity, faith, and a very understanding family to manage your business while keeping your day job. It‘s not easy to work all day at the office and then go home at night to work on your own project. The competition for your time can become intense. But if you create a plan and follow it in an orderly fashion, you have a very good chance of eventually succeeding. Mastering the essential skills To succeed in any business, you must know and do certain things very well. For starters, you must master the fundamentals of direct marketing. Direct marketing is by far the most efficient way to sell products and services profitably. It is essential for small entrepreneurs because it allows them to break into their market without losing a fortune on general advertising. You must also learn about the kinds of products the marketplace desires and which price points are ideal. You must know how those first sales are made — the specific marketing techniques to employ to generate a sale without spending too much money acquiring the customer. You must understand the ―back end‖ of the business, too (how to upgrade a new customer into buying higher-margin products). Learning about the market you intend to enter can also be done while you still have your day job. It is relatively easy to take advantage of the Internet or use flea markets to test new product ideas cheaply. And you can learn the backend of the business by becoming a customer of a company selling a product similar to the one you want to sell. Create your backend strategy by seeing the kind of offers you get from them after you make your first purchase. Avoiding the most common start-up mistakes There are several pitfalls in starting any new business. But as a small entrepreneur you can easily avoid them. The most common is dictating to, rather than listening to, the market. New entrepreneurs often waste precious time and effort hoping to bring something brand-new and exciting to the marketplace. But if the product doesn‘t exist, there is usually a good reason for it. It‘s better to start with a better or cheaper version of a product that is already known and in demand.
Master the necessary skills, avoid the pitfalls, and your business will grow. At some point in the future, you may realise that you are making more money from your second income-your side business than you are from your first- your job. That‘s when you may choose to drop your ―day job.‖
The next-biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make is spending too much time and money on nonessentials like business cards, photocopy machines and fax machines. Keep in mind that the fundamental activity of a business is the commercial transaction. Your best chance of success comes when you devote 80 percent of your initial resources to making the first sale.
3 Essential Requisites before Starting Your Business Determine What Are Your Skills? If you are going to be successful at your business, you need to be good at what you are doing. If you are a horrible at sales, would you start a business where you had to be selling a product to strangers every day? By determining what your best skills are, you can begin to determine what small business is going to be right for you. To start, make a list of your top 20 skills. These need to be things that you are good at and it can cover the entire collection of your skills. If you are a good bowler, put it down. If you are good at yard work, put it down. Make your list and when you have completed that list, begin to cut it down to your top 10 and then your top five. Those top five skills are what you should concentrate on for your business. If you can, try and combine skills into one. For example, if you are a good bowler and have training as a manager of businesses, then maybe owning a bowling alley will be right for you because you can put those skills together. Likewise, if you are a people person who has been known to be good at doing yard work, combining those skills can help you start a business where you go to customerâ€˜s houses to work on their yards for them. When you have your list of your best and most important skills, you are ready to move on to the next list; your experience.
If you are a great bowler but have no experience managing a business like a bowling alley, then that may not be the best small business for you. However, if you are a great bowler, have experience working in a bowling alley and have managed a business in a different field or industry (even restaurant experience) then maybe that is a great small business for you, because you can transplant your experiences from one type of business to another. This is known as portability. Portability is the ability to transfer or adapting your skills sets, experiences and knowledge from one career to another. You need to make a good list of your experiences so that you can cross reference that with your skills to determine what fits and what does not. By filtering out skills based on your experiences with each other, you can have a much more solid list. You can choose to apply your experiences to all 20 skills you wrote down, or just the top five if you want. It depends on how many skills you have and how much experience you have associated with each. Any work experience you have will apply here. Also, any volunteer experience you may have can be included. Even hobbies that may apply to a skill can be included. Anything at all that has to do with the skills you have entered, and business in general, can be used as part of your experience list.
Other Abilities – your hobbies and interests Beyond your skills and experiences, what other abilities do you have that can be used to help you choose a business? Most likely, your abilities will be covered in your skills assessment, but not always. For example, you may put down that one of your interests is that you can ride a bike and have for several years. This may not seem like much, but when you factor it in with your skill of knowing all the routes in the city for timesaving, and your experience as a delivery truck driver, you have a possible small business idea of owning your own bike courier business. Another ability to consider may be being able to juggle. This can be listed under skills as well, but this hobby can then be turned into a small business as a children‘s entertainer. Make a list of your hobbies and interests now, as many as you can think of and cross reference them with your education background, knowledge, work experiences and your skills. By doing that, you will have created a comprehensive list of skills; abilities and experiences that will help you choose a small business that works with those.
7 Steps to get any bank to finance you Forget the ads where a happy, smiling team of bankers sing about their friendly service- banks are hard-hearted businessmen who only smile if you‘re making them money or you‘re about to make them money. And right now in today‘s financial uproar, they aren‘t getting any friendlier. They certainly don‘t just finance a business just because you seem honest and friendly and look good. And maybe that‘s what puts most people off when it comes to asking for money. They just assume they‘ll just walk into any bank and the bank manager will gladly give them all the money they want. But if you follow the following steps as set out below, you‘ll increase your chances of walking away with the finance you need, while others walk away empty-handed. Step #1: Use clever, hidden psychology Be clear about what your business is offering. For example, if you want to run a bar you might think you‘re selling beer – but that‘s not really what makes a bar or club a success. After all, all clubs sell beer, so you‘re not going to excite anyone with that idea. Instead, think deeper. What‘s your venture really about? In this example, it‘s about entertainment - People go to bars to satisfy a social need, not simply to booze. They could do that at home for a third of the cost. So sell the idea of what will make people go to your bar rather than the one up the road.
Don‘t be afraid to show expenses. In fact, flag them up loud and clear. Show the set-up costs, show a marketing budget because you‘ll definitely have to advertise, show the direct costs of your product - If you show the costs, you‘ll show you understand your market and what‘s needed to break it. So don‘t go in with wild claims that you can turn $25 of their backing into $1 million overnight. That‘s not realistic.
Step #2: Expenses are more important than profits!
Step #3: Entice them with your ROI Try to tie your costs into return on investment (ROI). Banks like clear figures that show that if $10,000 is invested then it will lead to $100,000 of income, for example. The tighter the link between the investment from the bank and the return – the better this will read to your prospective investor – your bank. Include goals and milestones in your plan that demonstrate how you will be measuring your success along the way. This shows to your bank that you intend keeping your promise, and they know from dealing with many new businesses that monitoring progress is a key factor in business success. Step #4: Use the power of innovation Demonstrate how innovative you and your business can be. Banks like to see creativity and even if your business concept or product does not set the world on fire with excitement, the way that you run your business can. So, introduce new and interesting ways of promoting your business. For example, targeted ads for women-only car insurance now appear on the back of cubicle doors in the ladies loos of many highway service stations! An idea like that is enough to make even a fairly dull business idea sound interesting! Check out the book ―Boost your sales and attract new customers‖ by Justice Mandhla for innovative ways of how you can market and advertise your business cheaply. The book is available in most online bookshops including Amazon.com and Kalahari.net. Step #5: Get rich slow – not quickly! Impress your bank by showing them you‘ve a well thought out strategy for future growth – and that you want them to work with you at every stage. Show your bank a short, medium and long term plan such as your initial set-up, three years and five years. Your bank manager will see that you have thought your way through the issues and how your business is likely to grow long term. And, if you talk about this long-term plan with confidence, the bank manager will actually start to picture your business being around for five years, ten years and longer. Step #6: Use realistic optimism At all stages show your bank you‘re optimistic about your success, but realistic about the constraints along the way. All businesses have ups and downs and to suggest otherwise would show a level of overoptimism that would make your bank distinctly nervous. So, introduce a healthy dose of realism into your plan and show that you are ready to face the challenge!
Managing risk can be the make or break in any venture – and yours will be no different. If you want to make the big bucks, you‘re going to have to take some chances. And you need to show the bank what you‘ll do when things go wrong. And they will. Of course, your ―rights‖ should heavily outweigh your ―wrongs‖. But banks will want to see you have a Plan B in the event that one of your ideas fails. Identify the major risks to your business in your plan and then show how they‘ll be overcome by creativity, monitoring and good management. In other words, you should answer the difficult questions before they ask them! Use the seven points we‘ve run through here and you‘ll have a persuasive package that your bank manager simply can‘t refuse.
Step #7: Show them ‘Plan B’
Business Tips for business owners Take a Fresh Perspective Seeing the gaps in your business Taking a fresh perspective should not be reserved for tough economic times only. To give your business a competitive edge, you do not always have to be relentlessly chasing new opportunities. Sometimes you need to review your plans and change them if necessary. You need to think of better ways of achieving your business goals. Forget the over used phrase ‗if it is not broken don‘t fix it.‘ Irrespective of how great your business is doing, every now and then you need to stand back and assume you are doing it all wrong and think how you are going to do it totally different. Ask yourself the question; what would I do differently from what I am doing right now? Reflect on the valuable lesson you have learned in the past. This will enable you to see the gaps in your business. Pulling away from the pack There are a number of ways of making your customer aware of what you do, but the key is to build awareness that appeal to your target customer base and to stand out from the crowd. Look for instant fix that are inexpensive relative to your current marketing and advertising strategies and immediately implement them. To make a real measurable impact, you must approach problems differently. You need to consider things you have not taken into account in the past. This requires you to venture outside your comfort zone and take some carefully calculated risks and only in this way will you pull away from the pack.
You have to apply your mind to the problem that you want to solve. www.businesslearning4life.com
Brainstorm and conduct a swot analysis, and from the results you will derive from this exercise, the information will help you to analyze your business and create marketing opportunities which are new, different, and unique. The greatest strength you will achieve from successful completion of this exercise is that when you have completed it, you will have a written tool against which you can plan to maximize the strengths in your marketing plan, address the inherent weakness in how you are marketing to your clients or customers, seize upon opportunities which you may not have previously recognized, and formally identified threats—which may not have been apparent to you. In looking at the strengths of your business, you‘ll notice that most of the strengths will also have components which must be addressed as weaknesses, because each strength will probably have a corresponding weakness. Let‘s assume that you are opening a small retail food store. If your business proposition is strength for you—you will have the ability to operate the food store, you will also have a corresponding weakness in that there are many different food stores in the marketplace, and you must recognize that for each strength you must have a plan to address every weakness. The importance of brainstorming and swot analysis cannot be overemphasized, because it forces you to look at many different aspects of your business in a different way. No matter what business you operate, most challenges you will face will be exposed through brainstorming and swot analysis.
Doing it differently
How many times have you read a book that promise to provide you with a formula to do something in an easier, quicker and more efficient way? A book that promise you to make you money, make you a millionaire or help you to lose weight and become healthy and fit. There are hundreds of such books out there. You can read them all or those related to the problem that you want to solve. Some will attempt to provide you with the step-by-step method of doing whatever you want to achieve based on the writer‘s knowledge and experiences. While some will only ramble and provide you with a lot of repackaged and rehashed information that you already know. Which brings me to the answer to the question; is there anything like a blueprint or formula to success? I have to warn you upfront to be wary of any book that purport and advocate that it can provide you with a formula to success. Because there is no such blueprint in real life. What works for one person cannot be replicated by another to achieve the same outcomes and results. I am the first to admit that you can learn from mentors and you can be inspired by and motivated by self development gurus to start projects and achieve your goals. The buck unfortunately stops there. You have to apply your mind to the problem that you want to solve. The path will not be easy; it is full of cliffs, and cul de sacs. The steps that I will describe below will assist anyone who wants to start a project or solve a problem. Clearly identify and define the project or problem you want to solve and construct a foundation upon which your project will be based. This involves; Identifying a problem. Determining what need to be done to solve the problem Understanding the scope of the problem Brainstorm and take into account all the links that may be possible solution to the problem. Analyze the positives and negatives of the ideas to determine the strengths and weaknesses (SWOT Analysis) Decide and choose which ideas will work Combine, connect and piece together the ideas to form the structure for a possible solution to the problem Choose the ideas that are likely to work Conduct Scenario Planning (Risk Management) Test the ideas to determine whether they work Based on the results of your testing implement the solution to your problem Review and evaluate the results Continuously monitor the results Using the above steps will help you to see things holistically and enable you to perceive pieces of ideas and links, even outside of your problem scope and how these can be put together to form the solution to your problem.
Entrepreneur Tips The following are the most important tips for any entrepreneur who wants to succeed in any business: Have a clear goal and pursue it relentlessly. Focus and get the basics right and be disciplined. Be in tune with customers and staff. Ability to recruit the right people for the right roles in the right positions. Recruit people who are passionate about what they do and keep them stimulated, engaged and interested in their work and create reasons for them to stay. Find a way to retain the best of these people. Invest in employee development. Have a reward strategy and philosophy. Ability to make good people decisions. Use this ability as your competitive advantage. Maintain morale and keep employees happy and productive.
Success is all about Perseverance, Determination and Focus. If you've been in business very long, chances are good you've started out spending hours closing sales, processing transactions, fulfilling orders, and finding new leads in an effort to boost your sales. You wasted time on the phone talking to prospects who asked dozens of questions and then never bought anything. You wasted money into your website without seeing the results you expected. You did your best to provide amazing customer service, but you still had to fight tooth and nail for referrals and repeat business. You worked for hours on end without seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. And you long ago, gave up the idea of doing what you love. But you know, nobody starts a business expecting to give up their personal life and spend hours at the office. It's just what happens when there are bills to pay, employees to manage, customers to keep happy and prospects to convert. But what you need to realize is, despite all the things that keep you running day-in and day-out there is a reward at the end. Continue building your business despite all the hardships.
Hang in there! The worthy projects you are involved in are worth fighting for. Success takes strength of mind, courage, moral fiber and drive. It does not come without these traits. But it is worth it in the end. A happy marriage, a successful business, a mature son or daughter, a fulfilling career in your chosen field. These things are the rewards of perseverance and are worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears. Stay the course and finish the race. You can do it!
Success is all about perseverance and determination, not giving up, doing your best, keeping at it focus - when you would rather quit and rid yourself of the business. But when we quit, we can forget about achieving the goal we are working towards. It's like running a long-distance race - a marathon. At the start, you feel strong and full of enthusiasm, but as the miles take their toll on your energy reserves, you think to yourself, 'Why am I doing this? This is tough!' If you decide to quit you are immediately out of the race. You will never be able to finish the race let alone running a business - It's over for you. There is no committee that sits down at the end and decides whether or not you should still get a medal. No one says, she/he tried so hard in the beginning, â€•can't we just give it to him/her?â€– No. There is no vote.
No matter how successful your business performs, it can always be improved. As a business person you need to take a critical look at your business and decide what is working and what is not. Concentrate your efforts on looking for new ways of doing things. Continuous improvement, constant re-evaluation of every aspect of your business to find ways to make it better needs to become part of the culture of your business. To accomplish this situation, here are steps to help you and your team. Responsibilities for Teams 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Support and help the team leader to succeed Provide open, honest, full and accurate information to the team leader and to other team members Always act in a positive and constructive manner ( always act professionally) Understand the difference between personal responsibilities and team roles Accept ownership for team decisions Recognise and respect each team members roles and understand that each serve a purpose in achieving the broader team‘s objectives 7. Show loyalty to the business, the team leader and the team. 8. View criticism as an opportunity to learn 9. Operate within the team rules 10. If in doubt about anything, ask Responsibilities for Team Leaders 1. Communicate openly, honestly and make decisions with input from your team members 2. Provide information your team members need to do their jobs 3. Set goals and emphasis them 4. Keep focused through follow ups 5. Criticising constructively and addressing problems 6. Co-developing plans 7. Be flexibility by exhibiting a willingness to change 8. Accept ownership for the team‘s collective decisions and results-good or bad 9. Set guidelines for how team members are to treat one another 10. Positively confront team members when their behaviour is not helping the team‘s overall goals and objectives
Teach and build your employees into high performing teams Support key personnel by honing their managerial skills Avoid isolating yourself and facilitate increased feedback and growth for new ideas Move out of the urgent operational issues to deal with more strategic issues Encourage interpersonal skills and develop higher emotional intelligence in your teams Teach your Team Leaders how they can increase productivity through time management
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Responsibilities for a Business Owner
7. Find ways to retain your best employees 8. Find ways to increase job satisfaction 9. Encourage stress reduction and adjusting work/life balance 10. Give praise and recognition when warranted Make sure that your business culture is strong, positive and cohesive and that everyone knows where they stand in whatever is going on in the business. The last thing you want is a group of people who come to work to collect checks. A group of people who do not know the purpose of the business and why they have to do certain things in a certain way. So create an atmosphere of growth where everybody is happy to work in, and where all embrace the business endeavours and efforts. Our impatience as business owners is causing us frustration and creating stress in our employees As a business person you probably have a temperament, you like to make things happen and they should happen now. Patience is not one of your natural strengths. You are running a business and looking for energetic and enthusiastic people with the right attitude that can help you boost your sales and attract more customers. You need to remember that +-75% of the people we live and work with, do not work at the same pace that we do. And they do not enjoy being pushed to achieve and meet deadlines. In fact, the harder we push them for results, the slower they work. Not because they are uncooperative, but because the pressure we put on them, causes so much stress, that their level of performance is reduced. They make more mistakes, pay less attention to detail, and become more sullen and almost depressed. Our impatience is causing us frustration and creating stress in our employees, which in turn affect production and make us very unhappy. We need to make a decision moment by moment to be patient. Let people work at the pace they are most efficient at. You have to be considerate because patience is one of the most valuable skills you and I can develop. It will improve the health of the business and our lives.
People need to know and see that we care about them in order for them to grow with their work. The way you treat your employees, is the way they will treat your customers. More often we are not considerate enough to allow people to feel as if they are working for their own company. Encourage people to take ownership of issues that confront them in the running of the business. The more you free your employees to think for themselves, the more they can help you. Most business people often assume itâ€˜s a question of pay. This is not entirely correct! No matter how good people are in their jobs, the longer they stay with the company doing the same mundane chores they tend to become bored and feel stale. It is in this comfort zone where things begin to go wrong for the company and sales begin plummeting down as employees drag their feet. Once you realize this shake things up a little, and see whether cross-fertilisation will not benefit the business. Jobs after all can be learned.
How to Attract and Retain Customers Let's face it--most people are sceptical and will not instantly welcome marketers with open arms. Your prospects are busy, and they don't want to think about you and your products. So, business owners need to learn the tricks of becoming the most popular guest at the party. How do you do that? First, you need to be consistent in your marketing. The majority of small businesses are inconsistent in their follow-up. They might send an email or direct mail piece and then wait months before sending another one. Without consistency, your prospect has no idea who you are. Can you imagine how quickly emails from unknown senders get deleted? Furthermore, inconsistency can cause a perception of ineffectiveness. Nobody wants to buy from a company they don't trust. Second, establish your expertise. Too often entrepreneurs, struggling to survive, send emails and direct mail pieces simply to promote their products. Now, promoting your products is great. But you need to do a lot more than that with your marketing. Your marketing messages should be positioning you as a respected authority in your industry. Be sure to include testimonials, endorsements, and awards your company has won, along with your sales message, to successfully establish yourself as an expert. Third, educate your prospects. Your follow-up must be informative. You need to provide valuable information. If you're showing up with no value, you'll wear out your welcome fast. You need to communicate that you are on their side and deserve to be trusted. You'll accomplish this if you provide them with accurate, insightful information.
Just remember, when your marketing becomes consistent, promotes your expert status, and educates your prospects, you will soon have prospects knocking at your door, rather than you knocking at theirs.
How to Manage Employees.
Good management can sometimes mean the difference between having poor, satisfactory, and phenomenal employees. Here are some ideas for encouraging employee excellence; Build a culture of productivity. From the moment you first interview a candidate, they should understand your expectations. Whether your culture is a high-stress, strict regime, or a laid back, go with the flow atmosphere and be sure your employees truly comprehend that you value and expect productivity. Offer incentives. Even the most dedicated and self-motivated worker needs an external incentive from time to time. Think of an incentive such as ‗Employee of the Month‘, or additional bonuses that you can consistently offer, and this does not always have to be in a form of money. Have employees learn the vision and mission statement. Make sure your staff is aware of the company's reason for existence and its purpose. When the entire staff complement, from the lady cleaning the offices to the CEO is united in a common purpose, more work gets done. Give your employees a chance to grow. Too many organisations do not allow employees to grow. They do not welcome new ideas from the rest of the employees. The only creative ideas entertained are those of management. Communication is stifled and management does not want to relinquish their tight hold on the organisation and give employees a chance to solve problems, try new ideas, and put their own thoughts and ideas to the test. Practice "lavish praise and quick corrections." One of my favourite books is ‗The One-Minute Manager‘. You should read it. The essence of it is to catch people doing well and point it out to them. But you also have to quickly correct and reprimand when you see something outside of what you expect. Unless you are managing a large number of employees, try greeting each one of your employees by name every day and see what difference that will do to the overall atmosphere and mood of your office.
Whether your organisation has 10 employees or 5000, these suggestions will ensure a productive workplace and employee satisfaction.
In these tough economic times experts will tell you to take drastic measures to ensure that you remain in business. They will advise that you to take a complete overhaul on how you run your business. This may be true, but for a small business person this is not always easy, because taking drastic measures may mean cutting costs. It goes without saying that the salary bill for your employees is nonnegotiable. Costs that immediately comes to mind and which are within your power to cut are marketing and advertising. As any business person will tell you, cutting your advertisement budget is detrimental for your business. You are going to experience even more financial challenges if you take this approach. This is the time to use your creativity and employ affordable multiple marketing strategies. If you have been using flyers as your main advertising strategy try and put up a well designed website. The more focused your marketing and advertising strategies are the more budget you will have to throw around and the better the profitability for your business. Knowing exactly what tweaks are needed will carry you through these difficult economic conditions. While you have to be informed as a business person about the economic meltdown, that is not enough, you have to be able to interpret what the economic downturn means for your business, and formulate responses that are relevant to carry your business through these challenging economic conditions. How you respond to these difficult economic conditions will influence how well you are able to edge your way and flow through the storm. It pays to understand the marketing shifts and how you respond will enable you to take advantage of opportunities when the good times returns. The good thing is that your initiatives will continue to benefit your business long after the recession is over. Here are a few things you could do in this economic period; Harness the creative and clever combination of duplication and multiplication. Repositioning what you already have can provide your business with another selling point and change your challenges into opportunities. Diversify and change your product mix by adding clever extra profit sources by breaking up your products into a number of separate products and then reassemble those products into new offers that have a higher perceived value. Repackage and piece together your products and offer them on a number of different formats at a variety of different price ranges. Take care of your staff and ask them to upsell your new range of recycled products to ensure that your sales exceed your expenses. Create a process flow structure and develop an automated system in order to ensure a more seamless means of managing your business to deliver in a faster and more effective way. Develop a sound relationship with your customers by improving the manner your customers are treated. Increase your relationship with your customers by being able to understand what your customers want. Be in tune with your customers and identify simple ideas that can make the customer‘s lives easier by examining any inconveniences facing your customers.
How to respond to difficult economic conditions?
You can beat the recession by pulling away from the pack and following the above strategies. To read more about these unique methods of marketing go to; http://www.businesslearning4life.com.
What are the qualities of good employees Great employees increase business profitability builds excellent customer relationships, and helps move forward your vision. It‘s your responsibility to choose and retain good employees. What qualities do you look for in good employees? You‘ll want to find energetic people who have the physical and mental endurance to complete tasks in a timely manner and contribute to each assignment with enthusiasm. You‘ll want hire people who will take initiative. You don‘t want to baby sit employees who have no sense of what needs to be done or how to do it, or who just wait around to be told what to do. People with initiative find out what needs to be done and find a way to get it done. You‘ll want to hire people with a cooperative attitude. The last thing you want to do is struggle with someone who refuses to do things the way you need it done in conjunction with the rest of the team. While there is nothing wrong with creativity and thinking outside the box, lack of cooperation by even one employee can create serious problems in productivity. Cooperation is not only productive, but is infectious and quickly spreads to other employees and eventually even affects customers in a positive way. Hire people who can be trusted to be dependable or you and your other employees will constantly be compensating for the lack of dependability. Hire people who take ownership of their employment. These employees have a sincere desire to benefit their company beyond what their job description might demand. These are the employees who take pride in their work and in the business. Employees who desire to grow with the company are more easily retainable than employees who are just there to put in their hours and get their pay check.
Choose employees who know the proper boundaries for employer/employee relationships and make sure they can expect the same from you.
It goes without saying that you want employees who are trustworthy and honest. Do your duty and carefully screen employees before hiring them. It‘s better for you to find out that they are dishonest by talking to their previous employer or by doing a background check on them, than by firsthand experience. Dishonest and untrustworthy employees can be a severe liability to your business. Don‘t risk it.
Hire people who are pleasant to be around. No one wants to work with grumpy, negative people. Negative people will affect every employee in your business and also your customers. Every employee will occasionally have a bad day, but for the most part, you should expect your employees to be at least pleasant, if not cheerful, at work.
And by the way, if you expect these qualities and this kind of loyalty from your employees, you need to also demonstrate them and be a good example. Again, you will set the tone and environment of your business. If you want to retain your good employees, you‘ll need to provide them with a safe and pleasant working environment, offer competitive benefits and wages, offer them potential for personal advancement and/or monetary reward, and show them appreciation, consideration and respect. In other words, give them a reason to stay with your company! Don‘t forget to encourage your employees and help them stay positive. Don‘t forget that they are human beings with real feelings and real lives outside of your business. While your business may be one of the most important things in your life, in all fairness, it doesn‘t hold the same regard for your employees. They may appreciate and value their job, but your business isn‘t their baby and you can‘t expect them to make the same sacrifices and spend the same amount of time on it that you do. Don‘t make unfair demands of your employees. Be honest with them and don‘t cheat them out of what you owe them. Don‘t ever develop the attitude that you don‘t owe them anything. Do all that you can do to provide your employees with good benefits, such as health insurance and paid holidays. When you provide these things for your employees, you are showing that you do value them. In return, your employees will provide great customer service and build relationships that result in growth and revenue for your business. They will come to work happy rather than dread another day working in your business.
Entrepreneurs! Nearly every successful entrepreneur I know has grappled with burnout. It makes sense. When you‘ve got your own business you‘ve got more worries. More responsibilities - But also much more freedom and more money! That‘s why when you start to feel like it‘s all becoming ―too much‖ you need to act fast. Here are four tried-and-tested techniques that are guaranteed to keep you from burning out… Here’s how to avoid burnout 1. Truly disconnect. In today‘s business world, we are constantly tethered to our Cell Phones and ―always-on‖ connections. As a result, when we truly disconnect from time to time, the effect is almost magical. By ―disconnecting,‖ I mean being totally out of touch with work. Set up an automatic e-mail response letting your customers know who to contact for help or support while you are gone, and asking them to e-mail you again after your return if they still needed you. Most businesspeople are scared to death to do this, worrying that they might miss something incredibly urgent. Then they come back from vacation and are even more stressed out than they were before they left, because of the number of e-mails sitting in their inbox. If you just kind of disconnect instead of completely disconnect, there‘s always a tiny voice in the back of your head replaying, over and over again: ―Wow! I wonder how much e-mail I‘ll have to catch up on. I wonder what‘s going on back at the office.‖ You‘ve got to totally cut this off to free up more ―Psychic RAM‖ in your head. 2. Refocus on your successes.
Focusing your energy on what‘s wrong only creates an endless spiral of more and more negativity. Instead, take out a piece of paper and start making a list of every ―victory‖ you‘ve had during this year, this quarter, this month, or today. When you do that, selective perception kicks in… and you‘ll see that there is significantly more good than bad going on.
Many times, the feeling of burnout occurs because things are NOT going ―right.‖ Keeping in mind that ―right‖ is a relative term (and I believe everything ends up the way it should be, no matter what), the way to overcome this form of burnout is to change your focus.
3. Set a major goal that you cannot achieve on your own. I admit, I‘ve only just started doing this. But I can already see how it leads to a powerful change of direction, intention, and motivation. And that can get anyone out of a funk. I‘m talking about setting what Jim Collins and Jerry Porras call a ―Big Hairy Audacious Goal‖ or BHAG - a concept they introduced in their book Built to Last. This is the kind of goal that rallies the troops and gets them to transcend what they themselves thought were impossible. One famous example is Microsoft‘s original goal of ―A computer on every desk and in every home.‖ And the ultimate goal is to change the way business is played. To me that mean bringing more fun into business and never doing things the same way they‘ve been done. 4. Get back to the fun. Think back to when you were a kid - to the things that got you really excited. What did you like to do? For me, it was reading and writing. Why? I read a book a month and continue to write non-fiction today. I make sure I incorporate activities into my life that give me enjoyment by making them a priority. How many times have you heard yourself saying, ―I‘d love to ___ BUT I can‘t because I‘m too busy.‖ What you‘re really saying is that you have not made that activity enough of a priority in your life. Or that you feel guilty about having fun. For most entrepreneurs, work is our default setting unless we have something else scheduled. Don‘t settle for enjoying life only when you can squeeze it in between business. Put fun activities, rewarding experiences, and exceptional adventures on your calendar and protect them like you would any other appointment.
Give all four of the above ideas a try when you‘re feeling burned out or when you‘re trying to break free. They‘ve worked for me - and they‘ll work for you too.
Tips for employees
How to get promoted in your current job If there's one thing we could learn as employees, it's going the extra mile in everything we do. Just imagine if you as an employee adopted this philosophy, undoubtedly the company you work for would be better off. Gone would be the days of poor service and inadequate profits. Instead mediocrity is the norm in most business environments. If you want to retrench-proof your job or are looking to get a promotion in your current job, you could benefit from doing that little bit extra. What's that little bit of extra effort compared with the success and prosperity that will follow?
Here are 5 steps to get you going 1) Dress for success. Even the employees with mediocre desk jobs are impeccably dressed every day, usually in crisp, black suits, polished shoes and ties. As soon as you step into your work place you should exude an image of a successful professional. Now I'm not recommending you go over the top with flashy fashion, but if you look the part you'll feel the part and you'll be recognised as the part. 2) Be on time and work extra hours. Great employees are punctual to the second and if a train is scheduled to arrive at 7:30 you can bet your last dollar that's the EXACT time it'll arrive. Great employees are always at least 10 minutes early for work and will rarely leave the workplace before 5 pm. By heeding this advice you'll be showing that you care about your work and job. 3) Learn new skills and ask for training. Great employees receive training and attend workshops to keep abreast of what's going on in their field. Always take advantage of the training carried out by your company. In today's world I would strongly suggest you get computer or e-commerce training if you don't already have these skills. Again it shows you care about your work and that you're taking initiative to get further. Training will immediately put you a step above the rest.
5) Be pleasant to be around. No one wants to work with Grumpy, negative people. Negative people will affect every employee in your business and also your customers. Every employee will occasionally have a bad day, but for the most part, you are expected to be at least pleasant, if not cheerful, at work.
4) Take initiative. Great employees are always willing, happy and available to help. Their work mindset ensures that they will jump at a request or task, even something as simple as changing a light bulb. You should also always be ready and prepared for a challenge. This will earn you respect and trust from your bosses. Your work load could get heavier but you won't be sitting in the back seat going along for the ride.
It's possible to do just enough to put food on the table, yet this mindset will rarely result in success. If you think going the extra mile is pointless or too much effort, just think of these benefits, it: Fosters a sense of direction, Creates a positive mental attitude, Encourages initiative, Creates a pleasant environment for all, Ensures job security, Results in extra compensation, and Decreases procrastination. Start today with just a small step in the direction of extra effort. Do it for yourself, your company and the success you're striving for.
5 Tips to become accountable for your work As a successful entrepreneur you need to ensure that every aspect of your business is in line with your vision, from the way your product is packaged to the way your staff greet your clients. Remember, it‘s all about keeping a close eye on quality, delivery and results every day in your business. Here are 5 tips to help you stay on top in your business;
You see whether you have a boss or are the boss, you will get the best results out of your company if you learn how to manage yourself. You would not only be trying to excel in every aspect of your own business but would also be looking for other ways of refining systems, cutting costs, spotting networking opportunities, generating new revenue streams to make your business stronger.
1. Be detail-oriented –Whether you are answering a phone, sending out a business letter or chairing a meeting, ask yourself whether your behaviour and aims are aligned with your company‘s message especially if it‘s your own. 2. Follow up-Even if it doesn‘t seem necessary, say a quick thank you or check whether a client has received the information they requested. 3. Be solution- oriented –Mistakes and mishaps happen to all of us; it‘s how you deal with them that count. Avoid presenting your manager with problems. Rather offer a clearly thought-out solution. 4. Don‘t consider how your colleagues, mentors or clients can help you, work out how you can help them. Even though you may not see an immediate return, people will soon get the message that you are prepared to put extra effort into all that you do. 5. Be answerable – Don‘t blame a mistake or poor response on someone else, even if it is not technically your fault. Instead, look at the big picture. How could you do things differently to ensure a better result the next time?
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