How to Adapt your Business in Times of Political Uncertainty

How to Adapt your Business in Times of Political Uncertainty

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Social-political situations are challenging when it seeps into the work environment. Whether they are government shutdowns, protests, civil wars, or movements, companies have to face the impacts with these events.

The Impact

The social-political uncertainty has a major effect on the cost of work, cost of resources, and customer behaviour. It threatens business routines and activities and the business may even have to stop their operations due to new foreign importing and exporting laws.

Detailed Analysis of different outcomes is a MUST

To control the scope of uncertainty, it is imperative to evaluate the issues in order to adjust corporate tactics. You have to consider whether there is a big price jump due to the social-political situation, if it jeopardizes the business continuity, or what position it currently is in the market. These analysis can depend on what type of business it is. When it comes to declining markets, entrepreneurs have to be careful with moving the business to a new location since it can be expensive. On the flip side, moving the business might be a good option since it protects the key activities during the crisis. However, if the market is growing then the business has opportunities and resources to be more prepared and ready for uncertainty.

Strategies to deploy in a declining market

There are two strategies that can be used for steady or declining markets. The first strategy is the ‘Hedging Strategy’ in which the activities are reorganized towards the people that can get past the political issues. This is used when firms are faced with uncertainty with economic conditions, such as human resources or internal control. What firms can do is lower the function prices and have a drop in sales. For instance, due to the Brexit, Sony decided to keep all its stores in the UK but moved their EU headquarters to the Netherlands in order to keep their key activities in a safer place.

When there is a high uncertainty due to a decline in the market, the risks and threats to business continuity can be jeopardized if the businesses do not have reserves of cash and a presence in the economy. The strategy in this case should be to salvage as much as possible with saving what you can and lessening the negative effects. To recompense for the drop in profit, you will have to use the reserves of cash and try to dodge selling previous assets that could become handy if the economy rises.

Strategies to deploy in an uncertain market

The first strategy is to rebalance, meaning to relocate strategic and leadership assets to an alternative location that is nearby well-known growth engines. This can be very costly, but it is a practical method that focuses on the resources of the firm to be able to escape the consequences of uncertainty. The other strategy is to shift, which means relocating important parts of activities to another region starting with the functions that can easily be shifted with low costs. This is a thorough method since it is more organized, fast-paced, and its goal is to get rid of the uncertainty in the market.

How Too Much Praise Devalues Appreciation

How Too Much Praise Devalues Appreciation

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One key to success is showing gratitude in the work environment. When a worker is performing well in their workplace, it is important to show that you’ve noticed with a congratulatory shout-out or a tap on the back. Studies have shown that showing gratitude in the workplace makes the worker feel important, gives them confidence with their work performance, and only encourages them to get better.

The Bigger is NOT always the Better

Overdoing how you show gratitude can lose its specialty. For instance, appraisals should not be given to workers for doing simple tasks or duties that is already expected to be done in their job. Appraisals should be given when workers have gone out of their way and have given a lot of effort into the task. When small accomplishments are tackled, a great way to acknowledge them is through email.

A personal touch means a LOT

When big accomplishments are achieved, the thanks would mean a lot more when it is done in person, and even maybe with a public recognition. In order to figure out who is doing an exceptional job in the workplace, regular meetings with discussions on achievements and improvements are an efficient way to do so.

It’s NOT always about the Money

Another way of showing appreciation is through money, but that can get a little tricky. Bonuses means that the workers would receive an unsteady compensation. It would result in the feeling of disappointment when they are not able to go above and beyond for the company and fail at attaining the bonus. Research shows that the odd bonuses offered does not truly improve performance within the workplace. Nonetheless, getting a raise in the job wage is better than surprise bonuses. An alternative way in showing gratitude is through parties and celebrations. Job events, such as holiday parties shows that companies care for their workers. It is vital to thank your workers with a speech at these type of functions and shower them with food.

To sum up, any type of genuine recognition can go a long way. Showing gratitude makes the person receiving it happy and allows them to enjoy their job.

Customer Surveys – Is this actually working?

Customer Surveys – Is this actually working?

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Filling out questionnaires can be time consuming and it can take a lot of effort. For numerous companies, they use surveys as a way to “talk to customers”.

Silly Surveys

Normally after purchases are made, a visit from the hospital or a service obtained, either you are asked to fill out a survey or you get a random phone call. In reality this is not the right approach in getting insightful feedback about your company. What you should be doing is talking to customers face to face. Even though this might be costly and takes up a lot of time, this is the only way to get honest answers. This approach can be done through workshops.

Work For it

Conducting public workshops on strategic planning is an excellent method in figuring out what your customers want. It is about quality not quantity. Your goal is to learn how customers make decisions and how they problem solve. You need to understand their needs and wants and you can’t get any of that from a basic questionnaire. Start off your workshop by asking a question such as, “What makes you choose to go to one convenience store instead of the other?”, since every person has been a customer to a convenience store at least one point in their life. The responses that you would receive would be focused on where the store is located, the quality of their customer service, the variety of options that are available, how reasonable their prices are, and what time the store opens and closes. These factors are the strategic influences that different stores have. You can use these strategies to your advantage to develop more customer strategies and ultimately making your business stand out and have a competitive advantage. It is important to note that not one person can come up with all these factors since every person has their own unique experiences. It takes a group of people to come up with the conclusion of these strategies.

Surveys Are a No-No

A lot of companies think that surveys are enough to understand their customers since it shows percentages of what people like and dislike. However, surveys are unoriginal and does not give you a real insight. Interviews are the best way to get thoughtful customer input.

7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

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No matter how great your business or product is, there is always going to be dissatisfied customers here and there.

The Customer Is Always Right

The customer might be genuinely disappointed or could be displeased with a small issue. Any type of complaint should be handled carefully since every customer is important. If it is not handled carefully, you risk losing a profitable customer and they may leave a negative review on social media where it would influence others to avoid your company.

These are seven ways to effectively handle a customer complaint.

Listen

When a customer is angry with you, it is important to stay calm, not to rebuttal, and listen to what they have to say. Make sure not to admit that something is wrong when in fact it is not. The best to approach this is to recognize their feelings by saying statements such as, “I understand that you are very irritated about that”.

Be Objective

It is natural to feel defensive and offended when someone is attacking you, but try your best to be objective. Do not react emotionally, put your feelings aside and react in a way that is best for your business. The best outcome when it comes to a customer complaint is to wait till they have calmed down and come up with a solution that makes them happy and ensures that they would come back. If anything, use the complaint as feedback and implement it to your business to avoid the same complaint in the future.

Clarify

To understand what has happened, calmly ask the customer open-ended questions. Some examples of these questions are, “Can you explain what happened?” or “When did the problem first occur?”.

Empathise

Even if you think the customer is not right, you have to make them feel that they are validated by empathizing with them. Only when customers feel that they are listened to and understood, then they would open the gate to think about any of the solutions you throw at them.

Take A Break

If you feel that the complaint is stressing you out, you may need to take break from the situation by letting them know that you will look into the situation and get back to them. Breaks allow you to calm down and look at the situation more clearly. A good way to relieve yourself from the stress is to rant about the customer’s complaint to someone else during your break. It is important to remember that you are human and you have emotions too.

Remember its’s Never Too Late to Apologize

When a consumer has sincerely been let down by your product or business, apologize to them by genuinely and respectfully showing you regret what had happened and that you are sorry. This is the chance for you to restate the values of your company and recognizing what happened to them was not okay. An example of an apology would be, “I am truly sorry, you should not have gone through that. This is not the service that we aim to achieve or offer, but I would like to resolve this situation.”

Fix It ASAP

Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has those days. But it all matters on how you fix the mistake. This would be your opportunity to show how dedicated you are to your customers and that you implement your company values. You can do this by addressing the problem, and letting them know that it will never happen again, or solving the problem and rewarding them something for free as an apology.

The 7 Step Guide to take your business to the next level

The 7 Step Guide to take your business to the next level

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More and more successful people are starting up their own businesses every year, and realizing the benefits of being your own boss. Most new entrepreneurs do most of the job themselves so that they are in control of what needs to be done. However, there will be one point in time that you will want to grow business for strategic and financial reasons.

Here is a guide that discusses seven ways to take your business to the next level.

Find Your Product

Success only comes with efficient marketing, passion, an effective team, and an amazing product or service. The business world is highly competitive, which means to be able to get noticed you would have to have an outstanding product that people would want buy again and again. One way you can figure out what the new product should be is to understand and consider what problems people have and how you can solve it. It helps to create a product that you are passionate about since it would give you a comprehension on what is truly needed.

Act Fast

When there is an opportunity in front of you, it is good to act quick and make the most of what you can. Certain entrepreneurs may be scared to accept new opportunities, but being afraid of it is blocking your growth to success.

Grow Your Team

Some people run businesses on their own, but the best way to successfully grow your business is to hire more people. Hiring employees specialized in design, finance, information technology, marketing, and sales would give you more insight and new ideas to make your business grow.

Be the Best Manager

To efficiently run your business, you have to be the best manager you can. This would require you to communicate with your team, set goals for the company, make wise decisions, make time for your workers, recognize achievements, and enjoy your job.

Network, Network, Network

Attend events to network with other people. Events such as business seminars and conferences is a great method to network with other successful businesses and learn strategies from them. You would also have the opportunity to meet possible customers and let others know about your business.

Business to Brand

Turning your business into a brand can spread a good reputation for your company. This can allow it to become highly recognized and result in having customers choose your business out of all the others. Branding requires good marketing and logos that stand out, in order to have your clients remember them. Promoting your brand through social media is also a great way to endorse your business.

Invest Sensibly

There may be times you may have to buy new infrastructure, stocks, or properties to grow your business. This would cost a lot of money in the short term, but it would lead to a high profitability in the future. Another way to invest is to rely on business investors or business crowdfunding. To attain an investment, it is wise to come up with a tactical business plan that has a strong vision of your outcome.



Taking your business forward

Taking your business forward

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The way forward for your business to reach excellence would be definitely to employ a well-planned strategic management process. To begin with, evaluate your company’s vision and long-term goals. Assess the company’s strengths and weaknesses & conduct a detailed market study and competitor analysis. With these inputs, draft a clear-cut strategy that will pave a well-defined path to steer your company growth towards excellence.

Implementing this plan in real-time could be quite a challenge. Whether you are in the managerial board, starting off as an entrepreneur or already are a business owner,  these some simple tips will help you take your business to the next level:

Have a clear vision

Your strategic growth plan should include a well thought-out clear vision. It must serve as a compelling catalyst for the team and inspire them to work towards the goal passionately. It must have clear targets to measure progress and a finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal.

Make sure to convey the Big Picture

Make sure everyone is on the same page. You will not achieve your goals if your team cannot picture where they are going. Make sure that the company and it’s stakeholders get the big picture. This ensures progressive growth in the set direction.

Build the right team

Invest time in the hiring process to select the right candidate. But never hesitate to fire the wrong candidate. One wrong team member wastes the entire team’s time and effort spent on training the candidate and fixing their mess. So never be in a rush to fill a vacant spot.

Keep the team motivated

Any team will be motivated to work if they face interesting challenges along the way. Keep the journey fun and exciting. Set interim targets, encourage healthy competition and offer perks and monetary benefits to keep the team motivated. Invest in team building.

Never compensate integrity

No matter how many challenges or hurdles you face along the way, never compensate the integrity of your company. Don’t ever let greed get in the way. Once you lose your reputation, you can never earn it back. In the end, nothing is worth it.

Have a unique selling point

Strive to be different from your competitors. Build a unique strategy that will stand out. Maintain a personal relationship with your customers and encourage real feedback.

Lead by example

Employees are what make a firm reputable. Inspire your employees to be the best, motivate them, and help them grow. Make sure to provide continuing education too. It is vital for your team members to strengthen skills and gain industry knowledge. Make sure that they are given the right tools and resources to do their job efficiently.