The Sure Shot Plan for Better Productivity

The Sure Shot Plan for Better Productivity

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The advent of technology and consumer demands has increased the need for productivity. Businessmen are looking for ways to improve productivity so that they can face the increasing the competition.

Bettering productivity means working smarter. It also includes being efficient in how you convert inputs to the final product. Look for ways and opportunities through which you can improve the overall efficiency of your company.

Here are some areas you can focus on to improve productivity:

Use technology

Using technology is one of the best ways to improve how you run your business. You can easily increase your market share, reduce cost and quickly address customer related problems through the use of technology.

You can purchase required materials from suppliers online. This way you have more access to other suppliers and you can quickly compare the prices.

Using an inventory management system will help you keep track of the inventory levels and also increase profitability. By integrating it with your organization’s purchasing system and accounting software, you can now track all the orders and also check inventory movement.

Always watch out for the latest technological innovation which can drastically improve productivity. Scour the internet or attend trade shows to get acquainted to the newer technologies. Find out what systems or tools other companies in your sector use.

Improve the current setup

Study your current production process while keeping your business vision in mind. Have a clear idea of each process and how the various elements are connected when creating a final product.

Through this technique you will be able to identify unwanted procedures and wasteful methods. You can easily eliminate these steps. Identify ways by which you can reduce the cost of a process while still maintaining the quality of the product. This is a great way to improve the overall efficiency of your company.

Make a continuous improvement plan

Create and implement a continuous improvement plan. First assess your competitions and other companies from your sector and create a benchmark.  Identify your business weakness and strengths. Start slow and focus on one particular goal. Create and assign teams to deal with specific problems.

Always be open to suggestions from employees. Small improvements and changes made here and there can have a huge impact on the business. Measure and re-evaluate your progress and update your plan accordingly.

Outsourcing is one by which you can focus on improving the productivity of your company. Look into your expenditure and other necessary factors before deciding to outsource a particular procedure.

Another way to better productivity is by forming alliance with other companies. The right alliance will help you expand your business without incurring more costs. With proper research and investment you can quickly expand your business.

Team Building – Improve Internal Communication

Team Building – Improve Internal Communication

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Good communication is an important part of leadership and teamwork. Efficient communication will help in team building and employee retention. Becoming a good communicator will require patience, effort and trust.

Since good communication is a fundamental requirement for any business, it is highly important that entrepreneurs and managers focus on improving employee communication within the organization.

Here are a few tips on how you can improve internal communication:

Communicate from the start

It is important to create an environment where employees feel engaged and committed to your vision. Make sure to introduce new members to the team and to entrust them to a mentor who will provide them with the necessary information. Check on them frequently in the beginning.

Conduct regular meetings with employees at least once a day. Discuss how they are completing tasks and clarify any questions.

Have one-on-one meetings to discuss reports, projects and solve problems.

Always listen

Most people believe that communication is simply talking. But communication is a two way process. You must learn to listen to effectively communicate.

Listen to your employees and understand their goals and vision. Integrate their vision into the overall vision of the company.

Listening also helps in diffusing conflicts and prevents miscommunication.

Proper Feedback

Providing effective feedback is important when managing a team. Most employees require feedback to feel encouraged or to properly understand if they are on the right track.

Make sure that your offer both formal and informal feedback on a regular basis. Weekly or daily meetings are a good time to recognize employees for their contributions and achievements.

During formal reviews discuss the performance of the employee and address the action of the employee. It is also an opportunity to understand the employee’s needs. Ask if they require any training or are interested in taking on more responsibility.

Communicate any change

Change can be stressful time for anyone. Be open about any change happening in the business. Whether it’s a change in product, procedure or management, be sure to keep employees in the loop.

Explain the reasons for the change and its necessity. Be honest and straightforward with your employees. Openly communicating such changes will help employees in coping up with the situation.

Imbibe a communal feeling  

Proper communication will induce a sense of community within the employees. Organize company events where employees can meet and spend time together. Celebrate birthdays, weddings and personal achievements. Create opportunities for informal conversations.

Tips to Rise Up Again after a Major Setback in Business

Tips to Rise Up Again after a Major Setback in Business

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A growing business is bound to face a few bumps down the road. Whether is an unexpected disaster or catastrophe or even a sudden setback in the daily business procedure, major problems and setbacks are unavoidable in a working environment.

It is important to push past these disappointments and still strive to regain control. Here are some crucial tips on how you can ensure that your business survives and recovers as fast as possible:

  • Choose clam employees who can easily deal with stressful situations and high priority items. They can communicate important information to other staff members and can handle customer service issues.
  • Be open with your employees and provide them with all the needed information. Contact them as soon as possible and keep them in the loop. Arrange for emergency meetings so that you can quickly manage the problem.
  • Contact your mentor or other people who have faced the same problem. Seek advice from them and understand how they got over these rough spots.
  • Seek new ideas and solutions on dealing with the problem. Brainstorm with your team and advisors and find an innovative solution for the issue.
  • Look for opportunities to grow even in such situations. Think of the setback as a chance to improve your product or service. It is important to grow from the mistakes that you make.
  • Keep an objective view of the setback. Do not let your emotions cloud your judgement. Keep a clear mind and be level-headed. It is easy to blame others or even yourself in such a condition.
  • Study your financial statements and meet with a financial expert. Take a serious look at the situation and find out where you can cut costs and how you can minimize the damage.
  • If your business has been directly affected by a disaster make sure to keep a record of the damaged property and assets. Check with your inventory records and find out the total cost of damage.
  • Contact your insurance company and file for a claim. Delays in filing can often lead to late insurance payouts which will eventually hurt your cash flow.
  • Contact your bank and work out a deal with them to ease the financial load.
  • Check if you are eligible for any other claims or funds.
  • Find out the reason for the setback. Every problem is an opportunity for growth. Learning from your mistakes will ultimately help you improve your business.
  • Plan ahead and be prepared for such unfavourable conditions. Always have a business continuity plan.

It is important to remember that you are still on the path of success. If you have the right mind set any setback can be masterfully handled with ease and speed. Stay determined and strong even in the worst conditions.

Checklist for an Effective Business Strategy

Checklist for an Effective Business Strategy

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A strategy is a long-term plan that you create for your company to reach a desired goal. A strategy includes your company’s goals and objectives, the type of products or services that you plan to build, the customers who you want to sell to and the markets that you serve to make profits.

Why do I need a checklist?

Wherever you are in the strategic planning process, it is worthwhile to run a check to ensure you have done everything you need to do. Strategic planning is not complex. Implementing a strategy might be difficult but the planning is quite simple and easy.

Here are 6 things your checklist should have:                                            

Gathered the facts

To know where you are heading, you have to know where you are right now. So before you start looking ahead, you should review the past performance or the current situation. Study each area of the business and determine what worked well, what could have been better and what opportunities lay ahead.

There are many tools and techniques available to help with this process, such as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. The most important part of this process is involving the right people to make sure you are collecting the most relevant information.

Developed a vision statement

This statement should describe the future direction of the business and the future goals. It’s about describing the organization’s purpose and values. You should develop both the vision and the statement to successfully create a business plan.

Developed a mission statement

Like the vision statement, this defines the organization’s purpose, but it also outlines its primary objectives. This focuses on what needs to be done in the short term to realize the long term vision.

For the mission statement, you’ll want to ask the questions:

  • What do we do?
  • How do we do it?
  • Who do we do it for?
  • What value do we bring?

Identified strategic objectives

At this stage, the aim is to develop a set of high-level objectives for all areas of the business. They need to highlight the priorities and inform the plans that will ensure the delivery of the company’s vision and mission.

Try to incorporate any identified strengths and weaknesses into your objectives. Crucially, your objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related). Your objectives must also include factors such as resource allocation and budget requirements.

Tactical Plans

Convert your strategic objectives into more detailed short-term plans. These plans will contain actions for departments and functions in your organization. You may even want to include suppliers.

You are now focusing on measurable results and communicating to stakeholders what they need to do and when. These tactical plans are short steps towards executing your strategy.

Performance Management

It is vital to continually review all objectives and action plans to make sure that you are still on track to achieve that overall goal. Creating, managing and reviewing a strategy requires you to capture the relevant information, break down large chunks of information, plan, prioritize, capture the relevant information and have a clear strategic vision.

The Art of Work Delegation

The Art of Work Delegation

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It is a leader’s primary responsibility to focus on the success of their people. You retain your top talent by keeping employees engaged, empowered and letting them develop their skills to become leaders.

A major problem for many growing businesses is the owner’s inability to delegate responsibility to employees. This will hinder the growth of the business.

Delegation is a critical skill all leaders must master to be successful. Not only will delegation give you more brain space and time to devote doing what you do best — visionary thought — but you will also empower your team. Being self-aware enough to recognize this is step one.

Here is a guide that will help you to delegate tasks to your employees:

Look objectively at the workload

Analyse the tasks that are to be completed in the following two weeks. Check if you are putting off major plans and operations to focus on the daily workload. Now, consider the tasks that could be delegated so that you can focus on the higher value activities.

Determine where your contribution is needed

Successful entrepreneurs know where their strength lies. If you are great at marketing then focus your attention on marketing and delegate other jobs to employees who are better at it than you.

By stepping back and letting others who are better equipped to manage certain areas take some of the load, you are making your life easier and improving your business’s performance.

Identify the best employees

Look for employees within your organization who are willing to take on more responsibility. When hiring, make sure to take the time to recruit people who have skills that balance your own. Create clear job descriptions, structured evaluation processes, and fair incentives. These will help you achieve your business’s goals.

Focus on employee growth

Lack of trust will only cause more troubles while delegating tasks. Trust your employee and resist the belief that only you can complete the job. Providing employees with training might be time consuming but it will prepare them to handle more complex tasks. Also a sense of making a contribution motivates people and increases their efficiency.

Share your business strategy

Being open to your employees about the business plan and strategy will provide your employees with a sense of direction. This shared vision will motivate them to perform better. It also encourages them to provide new and innovative ideas.

Develop a process

Make your business processes into a plan that is clear, detailed and teachable. This will prove to be highly beneficial when delegating tasks or teaching new recruits.

Focus on the end results

Do not judge people by their working style. Instead focus on the final results and see if they completed the tasks. Each person will have their own unique working style. What matters is the final result.

Through delegation might seem like a daunting and complicated process, it is an important part of a growing business. With proper communication and understanding any leader can easily master the art of work delegation.

How to Convert Your Marketing Spend into Sales

How to Convert Your Marketing Spend into Sales

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Sales and marketing used to be like quarreling classmates drawing imaginary lines across the bench. Sometimes they get along but most of the time they want to keep the other off their territory. Yet this does not work in the digital environment. Marketing builds relationships and loyalty while sales bring success.

Digital marketing today aims at building relationships and helping a company’s brand remain relevant in its industry arena. Emphasis is on personalized content experiences. Yes, these can improve the time spent on site stats. Still, the greater goal is to engage the customer while gathering intentional information that helps the marketer provide an even better experience.

The biggest challenge for marketing and sales teams today is penetrating this web of information, such that you are still able to extend your message to your target audience.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to:

Align Marketing with Sales

Any approach or model that hinges on the transaction or the purchasing decision is bound to miss out on the limitless engagements made possible by digital technology. Content is key to these engagements. In fact, it is of utmost importance during that span of time our market has not reached out to our sales team. It is how we penetrate a web full of information and get our message across. And, further down the buyer’s journey, it is what we need to arm our sales teams with: engaging, useful content.

Sales and marketing must work together closely to share their insights into buyer needs, challenges, interests and to better understand what converts a prospect. So, in choosing a framework through which you can align the efforts of your marketing and sales teams, remember these:

  • The path to purchasing is no longer linear. Our customers follow a web of information and go back and forth before making a purchase. The buyer’s journey can takes months at a time or even a few seconds.
  • There are several dimensions to social influence. It is no longer the sole function of your marketing team to build your brand. Keep track of your online reputation. There are several free and paid tools you can use for this.
  • Do not disregard your advocates. Whether or not they are customers, these advocates have social clout that can be to your advantage. When planning your content and video marketing strategies, keep them in mind.
  • Focus on the relationships that you build with those you engage with through your content and video marketing. Do not put the transaction or the purchasing decision as to your end goal; the digital sales landscape does not work that way.
  • Measure your stat and growth. There will be a need to calibrate and re calibrate your approach until you learn the common paths taken by your customers.