Saturday, August 16, 2014

Who is on Your Team?

 

            Mark Twain once said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.”  During most of our waking hours we are surrounded by people.  In business, many of these individuals are people who we choose to invite into our lives.  Two types of people exist in the world.  There are people who give us energy, and there are people who take it away from us.  

            The smart entrepreneur needs to surround him or herself with a team of people who provide a consistent positive energy charge to take you to the next level.  Look at the people around you.  Who gives you energy?  Who absolutely sucks it out of you on a regular basis?  Be honest with yourself.  Disregard who has been on your team the longest.  No extra points should be given for the client or customer who generates high profits.  Be brutally honest here.  If you were stuck in a life boat or stranded on a desert island, who would you want with you?

            Now the challenge, set a goal and make a plan for eliminating the energy suckers from your life.  Don’t just passively try to ignore them and hope they will change or go away.  They won’t.  Once an energy sucker finds a host from which to drain energy they rarely go away voluntarily.  If the energy drainer is a team member, plot a plan to find a replacement.  If it is a client or customer, be proactive and creative about finding replacement revenue.  Eliminating the energy thieves from our lives is a sure way to build a stronger business and a more productive future.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Doing An Internet Start-up? Don't forget to plan (Part 2)



Many business plans include a section about Strategies, describing how the start up will address particulars like funding, market penetration, customer relations, cost control, pricing and competition. Other sections could be included in the plan, depending on the type of business. A section discussing suppliers and product costs would be critical for retail or manufacturing businesses, but is probably unnecessary in service-type businesses.

In its final section, the comprehensive business plan provides financial forecasts (usually in the form of a spreadsheet or table) in sufficient detail to reveal any particular short-term problems such as cash flow, seasonal variations in sales, and projected growth. It may be advisable to project the financial results on a month-to-month basis the first year of operation, then quarterly for the second year, and annually for the third through fifth year. When complete the plan will be an easy-to-understand logically-organized narrative fully describing the scope, strategy, and projected operating results of the proposed business.

Banks invariably ask for a written business plan when the entrepreneur applies for a business loan. Usually, they receive an unorganized assortment of spreadsheets and a short, one page, ill-conceived narrative. The bank loan officer will give much more consideration to the professional entrepreneur who presents a well-organized, comprehensive business plan.

When completed the business plan should never be tossed into a file cabinet to be forgotten. The plan is a living document, kept on the entrepreneur’s desk for day-to-day reference. The entrepreneur writes notes in the margins, adjusts strategies, updates information on the competition. Periodically the business plan is reprinted with the changes incorporated. It becomes the foremost document guiding the startup business toward its eventual success.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Entrepreneurship 101: The Importance of a Business Plan




Here’s a sobering fact: More than half of small businesses fail within 18 months. Only about 10-20 percent will be in operation after five years. Entrepreneurs who successfully navigate the startup phase will credit their success to varied reasons—including passion, long hours, or superior customer service. However, detailed planning is one of the most commonly cited reasons for small business success.

A well-written comprehensive business plan is simply a must for any reasonable chance of success. In developing the plan, the entrepreneur must discipline herself to consider (and mathematically prove in the financial forecast section) the assumptions underlying the business model. Too many small businesses have a great idea but allow themselves to grow too quickly, thus draining themselves of necessary operating cash. Others do not properly plan for contingencies. Still others may not fully consider the impact of competition or governmental regulation. Writing an in-depth business plan forces the entrepreneur to consider the proposed operation from every possible perspective, discovering weaknesses, contingencies and strengths in the most improbable places.

Business plans may be organized in several ways, but they commonly begin with an Executive Summary (which is the final part written). The second section could contain a narrative showing how the entrepreneur is especially suited to operating this company. That second section might also contain short biographies of other principals or advisers (for example, the CPA or an outside consultant). One early section will include a narrative about the business itself—the legal structure, where the business will be conducted, what the business will sell,  and, perhaps, the amount of investment the entrepreneur has made into the business.

The core of the narrative will be a detailed market analysis, preferably illustrated with charts, tables and graphs proving the demand and projecting sales of the product or service being offered. The Analysis of Competition, usually given its own section of the plan, follows the market analysis.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Some Important Tools To Give You The Edge



Important Social media Tools that can help in Company Reputation Management

To maintain a company's reputation, agents should be trained and educated in a manner so that they can understand the benefit of utilizing social media correctly. A reward system will always encourage company personnel to establish a responsible online interaction. To encourage a better understanding, examples of successful online interaction can be cited to the sales associates. The idea of recruiting social media director can also work well for this purpose. An alert system can be initiated. This alert system will send a notification email every time a search word is identified by the search engines.


 
For example, alerts.yahoo.com and google.com/alerts can be used. The help of twitter search.twitter.com and tweetbeep.com can also be taken. There are also others like myfrontsteps.com and yelp.com. Few recognized reputation management tools are Privacy Gurus and Quality Service Certified. They can take responsibility of the maximum amount of work by charging a particular fee.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

If You Fail To Plan... Plan To Fail



An Excellent Plan to Protect the Company Reputation

There are ways to stop these activities. The best approach can be building a task force with people who have an understanding of the policy and a few others, who prefer to use social media responsibly. This task force should be trained and provided with an outlined company policy that clearly specifies company's perspective toward social networking. Consumers and licensees prefer a system or protocol that promises successful result. They need assurance of their real estate transactions. A company's social networking strategy should reflect the company objective. It is important to ensure that employees of the company, who are involved in the protocol, are also well-aware of the company's mission and commitments made to the consumers.


The Most Important Things The Managers Should Make a Note of are -
 
Tracking agent's activities on the Web.
Top management should know the location where agents place their listings and also the different types of listings placed by them.
Should know about the Dos and Don'ts of copyrights.
Whether sales associates are generating leads through the discussion thread.

They should if people are putting company's reputation and license at risk.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Social Media Can Make or Break Your Business




When it comes to making successful business relations and promoting organization's products and services, almost everyone understands how important is the role of social networking. LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook offers a huge platform, based on which many companies try to enhance their social image. After all, these are the best ways to reach the maximum number of people in a very efficient and cost effective way. But it is also important to keep in mind that social media can also be used to hurt a business’s reputation.

At present, both small and big organizations add social networking activities to their marketing and sales strategies. Top managers now like to see their sales associates participating in the forums. Moreover, sales associates are also encouraged to blog, tweet or post product updates in order to encourage brand awareness and increase sale. So, business owners now know that social networking can become a remarkable business tool if used properly. But unfortunately, a few dishonest people can use the same platforms to hurt the reputation of a business. Blocking the websites can't restrict the unauthentic use of these networking sites. A person can publish unfavorable posts at home or from anywhere outside a company. As a result, it becomes very important to supervise or monitor the online conversations. And this can be done by designing and implementing an efficient social media policy. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Business Building Can Be Strategic & Fun



A Well Defined Role 

A hiring process should clearly define the job responsibilities and make sure applicant’s get that. Replacing an employee is a much more time consuming job. A start up specially can’t afford to waste time and money on employee replacement. This is why the hiring authority should clearly define the job role during the interview and make all conditions clear so that only applicants, who are interested in the specified role, move further.  
  
Try to Analyze the Vision of the Aspirants

What matters more for a newly build company? Growth in terms of revenue and reputation, right? Therefore, it’s very important for a startup that it finds candidates with similar aspirations and passion for growth. A company can grow when its employees dream of growth and progress. Because, its only then they work hard to meet the overall goal of the organization. It’s the hiring professional’s job to analyze how ambitious a candidate is.      

It’s Best If a Company Can Explore All Possible Talent Search Sources

When trying to find the best talent pool for the organization, higher authority should never rely only on personal references. Instead, they should explore all possible resources and contacts to find out the gems. For example, LinkedIn contacts can be of great help in this case. Recruitment adds on the social media sites can help a start up find a really good match to a position effortlessly.  Even a person with good contacts on social media channels can be easily evaluated to find out whether he/she should be a perfect match for the organization’s work culture.    


A company’s work culture, goodwill and long term sustainability depend on its employees. Employees are kind of the backbone of an organization. A good team can be powerful enough to take a department’s revenue to a sky-high level. On the contrary, a mistake in employee selection can cost a fortune.