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.

Strategy to Build an Effective Sales Plan

Strategy to Build an Effective Sales Plan

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The success of any company is hugely depended on the management and implementation of sales. Therefore, having a simple and clear plan for sales activities is essential. 

If you have never written a sales plan before, the task might seem daunting. Fortunately, it is not complicated. If done right, it can help you take a more strategic, big-picture approach to growing your business

A sales plan can be made effective by understanding 4 key points. 

Goals 

Start by deciding what you want to achieve. The targets can be anything, jot down whatever that comes to your mind. Dream big at this stage. 

It is important when writing a sales plan to have a clear image of where you are as an organization and where you would like to be at the end of the year. 

Allocate resources 

With goals and targets in place, you now need to consider what is feasible. Consider various options and choose the best. Also, take stock of your tools and systems. You need to invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system and in other kinds of marketing materials you need to support your sales team. 

Communicating your sales plan 

i)With the sales team 

The success of your sales plan rests on your sales team. Your sales team cannot accomplish your sales plan targets unless they totally understand the plan. Your sales plan ought to describe how you will communicate the plan to your employees and the way you will train them to implement your plan’s actions. 

ii)With the customers and suppliers 

It is also necessary to consider any impacts your tactics can have on your customers or suppliers. Understand the shopping patterns of your customers, supplier’s delivery and production methods and make a plan that helps you in communicating the changes to them.  

Monitoring sales plan 

Your sales plan will assist you to monitor your sales performance and make improvements. List your marketing objectives and establish the results you expect you are promoting to attain. These results are measures will act as indicators of whether you achieved your goals or not. For example: 

After listing your objectives and measures, establish in your sales plan how you’ll monitor sales results, who will record and check results and how frequently. This data will enable you to visualize your sales performance over time and modify your techniques to improve your sales. 

Planning is often an activity that happens on top of regular business. To keep moving forward, spread the planning process across a week or so, focusing on one section of your plan at a time. The key is to just keep working. Start off small and build a concrete plan eventually.  

Tips to Build Good Customer Relationships

Tips to Build Good Customer Relationships

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Building relationships is key to learning your customers’ needs. You can gain more returning customers, referrals and net income in the process. If a business does not know the likes and dislikes of their customers it becomes a tedious task to grow your business. 

Here we will describe a few ways by which you can improve your relationship with your customers

Connect with your customers 

An age-old way of making human contact has been to find a common ground, a shared interest, or anything that shows you can empathize with them in some way. This helps you to build trust with the customers. 

Communicate 

Like any good relationship, communication has a major role in building customer relationships. Communication is not just a series of emails. Try to analyse the customer and understand how you can customize and create a personalized message for your customer. Example: From a bit of analysis from past data you can know what products the customer is interested in and then customize your messages to that. 

Not all of your communication should be about your company trying to sell something. Have communications reminding customers about special features that you have noticed which they are not utilizing. Let them know about developments in your industry. Create a personal relationship. 

Exceed Expectations 

The key to a better and stronger relationship with the customer lies is going above and beyond their expectations. Giving customers more than what they expect will delight them and make them come back to you. Make sure they walk away fully satisfied. Listen to your customers, acknowledge their concerns and resolve any problems they encounter. 

Feedback 

Feedback is a great way to understand your customers. Invite customers for surveys and ask them to share their opinion. You can identify the specific needs of your customer and find the best solutions to their problems.  Offering unique and personalized solutions will ultimately help your business prosper. Always pay attention to the comments and feedback and respond promptly.  

Show appreciation 

Reward loyal customers with special discounts and offers. Retaining customers is the best way to boost revenue. Build a business that offers the best customer service. Make sure that your products and services are always available.  

Customer relationships are more important than ever in today’s digital age. In an era where customers can easily give their views and opinions it becomes highly important that a company maintains a good relationship with its customers. Just like any relationship, strong customer relationships require work but the payoff to your businesses’ bottom line is worth the efforts. 

Effective Business Performance Metrics

Effective Business Performance Metrics

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Every entrepreneur looks at the financial structure of their business. One way to quickly understand the financial health of your organization is to look at the various financial ratios. Financial ratios provide insight into cash, credit and inventory situation. They reveal the stability and health of your business. Businessmen must review these ratios to understand the changing trends in the company.  

There are four basic types of ratios. They are: 

Liquidity ratios 

These ratios measure the amount of liquidity (cash and easily converted assets) that you have to cover your debts. 

Current ratio also called working capital ratio is used to measure your company’s ability to generate cash to meet your short-term financial commitments. Quick ratio measures your ability to access cash quickly to support immediate demands. A ratio of 1.0 or greater is generally acceptable. But this ratio depends on your industry. A low ratio means your company might have difficulties meeting obligations or taking advantage of opportunities. Higher ratio means it’s time for you to invest more of your capital in projects. 

Efficiency ratios 

These ratios are measured over a longer period of time and provide additional insight into different aspects of the business

Inventory turnover looks at how long it takes for inventory to be sold and traded during the year. This ratio will help you in understanding where you can improve in inventory management.  

Inventory to net working capital ratio can determine if you have too much of your working capital tied up in inventory. It is better if this ratio is lower. Evaluating inventory ratios depends on your industry and the type of business. 

Average collection period looks at the average number of days customers take to pay for your products or services. You can improve this ratio by establishing clear cut credit policies and also providing incentives to encourage payment. 

Profitability ratios 

These ratios help in understanding the financial viability of your business. You can also gauge what your position is in the industry.  

Net profit margin measures how much a company earns relative to its sales. Companies with higher profit margin are generally flexible and efficient. 

Operating profit margin or coverage ratio measures earnings before interest and taxes. Through this you can assess your ability to expand your business through additional debt or other investments. 

Return on assets (ROA) ratio tells how well management is utilizing the company’s various resources. Return on equity (ROE) measures how well the business is doing in relation to the investment made by its shareholders. Profitability ratios are also compared with several companies from the same industry to know where you stand. 

Leverage ratios 

These ratios provide an indication of the long-term solvency of a company and extend of your use of long term debt to support your business.  

Debt-to-equity and debt-to-asset ratios are used to see how your assets are financed. It can be financed from creditors or own investment. 

The ratios mentioned above will help you determine your financial position. Closely examine other factors and data to fully understand your business performance.