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.

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.  

Why you should never stop learning

Why you should never stop learning

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Education and learning is something that most people discard once they graduate school or university. But learning is a continuous process. It is an essential part of our existence. Continuous learning is important to for both personal and professional growth. Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning. They update themselves constantly and adapt to the situation. This in turn helps them in building a profitable business. Here are some more reasons on why you should never stop learning.

To stay updated

The only constant thing in life is change. Minor changes in the industry can vastly affect the business. It is important for businessmen to constantly monitor the changes and be up-to-date with the latest trends and needed skills. To keep up with the technological changes you need to learn new things and offer new products to stay relevant.

Being prepared

Sudden changes in the work environment can bring forth unexpected setbacks or failures. By learning new skills you can quickly adapt yourself to the change. Being knowledgeable about the industry will help you predict the changes and be prepared for the worst.

Personal and professional growth

Lifelong learning leads to personal and professional development. You will be able to switch jobs easily or even land promotions faster because of your vast skill set and area of expertise. New skills will prepare you for better opportunities.

Prevents stagnation

Most people stop their formal education once they start a job. Continuing your formal education will help you reach further up your career and even help you switch your position to the administrative or managerial side. The methods and procedures that you follow might become obsolete after a point of time. Identify the areas you are weak in and overcome these hurdles.

Innovative ideas

Learning new things and acquiring more knowledge can help you identify opportunities and come up with new products and solutions. Present problems can be dealt with in a more innovative and unique way that will eventually help the business in the long run. New products can boost sales and increase revenue.

Different perspectives

Continuous learning and new experiences will open up your mind to new possibilities. You will gain a deeper understanding of life and other people. This will help you view problems from different angles and perspectives. You will be able to negotiate better and come up with the ideal solution that will satisfy all sides.

Forward vision

Continuous learning is a process of preparing for the future while making you better in the present. It’s a lifelong process that makes you a better person and also helps in developing leadership qualities. When followed with the at most dedication and interest it can inspire other employees and foster in them the need to pursue education.

Lifelong learning is a basic requirement for long term success. With the sudden social, economic, political and technological changes happening in the world, it’s highly important for aspiring entrepreneurs to be fully prepared to take on the challenging world.

Tips to Effectively Manage a Virtual Team

Tips to Effectively Manage a Virtual Team

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The rise of technology has helped businesses to create teams that cross physical boundaries. Virtual teams offer great flexibility and potential. But working in a globalized work space has its own unique set of challenges.

Given below are a few tips on how to effectively manage and guide a virtual team:

Encourage communication

Proper and adequate communication is necessary for the success of a team. Ensure that there is a free flow of information. Schedule regular meetings and discussions to clear doubts and define goals. Define a proper mode of communication that removes ambiguity and language and time barriers. Informal conversations and socialization can build trust among the team members.

Recruit the right people

Hire people who have the required communication skills and share similar interests. People who had previously worked on similar projects and undergone the same training activities are ideal candidates. Conduct proper interviews that help in identifying the candidate’s communication skills. The aim is to bring in diversity into the team while still ensuring that members can build trust.

Establish a goal

It is important to establish a common goal that is understood by all team members. These goals can be decided based on the broader business goals. Setting goals also helps in measuring the progress of the team. The entire team should have a meeting and work through a strategic planning process. Having a proper goal will make the team members’ more accountable.

Well defined tasks and roles

It is important that the team members understand their role within the team and the tasks that they are required to complete. Give the members a detailed description of the final goal. The best way to manage the productivity of the team is to set clear expectations for role and to conduct regular check-ins to measure the progress.

Choose the right tools

Choose the right software and tools that greatly benefit the team. Virtual teams depend of the latest technological devices for easier communication and management. When picking new software have a small trail period. Provide training to all the members on how to use the tool. Using multiple communication tools will ultimately benefit the team. The right project management tools help in tracking deadlines and provide an overview of the project.

Create a professional work space

Having a team that is spread globally makes it difficult in having a proper professional work environment. Nonetheless, try having a fixed time period daily where most of the team members are online to discuss problems. Being online at the same time encourages team collaboration.  All team members should be aware of the cultural differences within the team. Being aware of the cultural differences within the team will prevent future misunderstanding.

Virtual teams are the future of the modern world. The team leader must modify his methods to suit the needs of the team.

Strategies for Growth in a Sluggish Market

Strategies for Growth in a Sluggish Market

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It is extremely difficult to keep up in a changing economy. Business trends and markets are changing slowly. People are becoming more frugal and are changing their lifestyle and spending habits. How do you survive in such a market?

Given below are some strategies on how to thrive and grow even in a sluggish market:

Stand apart

When there is a diminishing customer base it is highly important to find ways through which you can distinguish yourself from your competitors. Make sure that you offer unique products and service. Consider your competition’s products and ensure that you are better than them. To stand apart from your competition make sure that your product is better, marketing is better and your customer service is the best that you can offer.

Marketing

Usually when things get tight most businessmen immediately reduce their marketing expenditure. This is a wrong move. The best way to survive in a bad economy is to invest more in marketing. The idea is to attract more customers. Spend more money on advertising and evaluate how you can improve your current marketing plan. This way you can attract more customers.

Introduce new products

Most businesses derive 80% of their profits from the sales of a main product. During hard times this dependency on a single product can make your business vulnerable. It is necessary to branch out and create stability. Here are some ways you can expand your business:

  • Entering a new market through a new product.
  • Offering a new product related to the old one and persuading customers to buy it.
  • Making a plan to build continuity revenue.
  • Taking on clients who are from a different market base.

Customer loyalty

During hard times it is easy to fall into quick fix schemes. Remember that these remedies are only temporary solutions. To stay strong in a market it’s important to have a strong customer base. Focus on building customer loyalty and trust. Offer the best possible customer services. Provide innovative and affordable solutions and products. Always keep your clients’ best interests in mind. This will greatly benefit the business in the long run.

Leverage

There are three primary forms of leverage available to entrepreneurs: automation, systems, and people. The key to success is to apply leverage on the well-established business processes. Consider how well you can utilize the available resources and how you will benefit from it. Leverage correctly applied can work miracles for almost any business. So determine how you can use leverage to get more results out of business processes that are already working well.

It might seem scary and hopeless surviving in a sluggish market. By applying these strategies any business can grow and proposer even in the most unsure market conditions.