Back to Business This Fall

Strategy Plan One

September 8, 2012

back to businessFall Business Period

A week has passed in September… families, communities and the education system are all adjusting to the “back to school” phase of the year.  For many students, young and old, back to school represents a period of renewal, of fresh starts, starting up again.

However, this positive energy can be easily transferred over to the business sector, for existing and budding entrepreneurs.

New entrepreneurs can take advantage of the fresh start approach, planning their initial strategies for the Fall, Winter and 2013 periods.  Some fiscal year periods start in the Fall for good reasons related or integrated into the government fiscal years, or corporate fiscal years.   Existing businesses should refresh their business plans to reflect any market or industry changes that have occurred on local, global and international scales.  Building on successes and results from the previous business cycles, businesses should tweak business and marketing plans accordingly.

Establishing Goals this Fall

Get serious about business and personal development this Fall.  Always as a first step, establish some aggressive, achievable goals and objectives.  Without goals and objectives you won’t be able to set some strategic directions for yourself and your business.  Ensure your goals are achievable, measurable, and that you apply flexibility to adapt and revise goals and strategies.

Business Ideas and Hints for the Fall

Here are some helpful hints and ideas to think about some positive steps to take in business and personal development this fall:

  • Planning – Always a great idea as part of your core activities to review, tweak your business and marketing plans
  • Scan your business environment and competitors – develop some products or services that will be a bit different or new to your market
  • Capacity and Skill development – naturally many classes are offered in the Fall schedule; good time to brush up on business skills
  • Product and Service Offerings – review your results to date and revise if necessary heading into the Fall, Winter and 2013 periods
  • Refresh, redesign – Whether you have a store front or website, take a look at your layout and seek feedback from customers for better designs and layout
  • Communications and Outreach – develop new communications to your customers; utilize social media for extended outreach and measure your effectiveness on social media
  • Generate Fall Buzz, Interest – generate new and continued interest in your company, your products and services; offer Fall free or trial offers

Check out these Fall Business Strategies:

More reading on business topics:

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Business Tips – Maximize Performance and Business Development Results

Strategy Plan One

August 1, 2012

business tips Business Tips for the Entrepreneur

As you are midstream through harsh economic times, take the time to reflect on your current business operations.  Think about the small things that could be tweaked that can have the maximum positive impact on your business.  Here are some helpful business tips to maximum the output in your organization and in your business development.

Business Tips – Maximize the Use of Your Time

Time is definitely considered an asset when you are a busy, mult-taking entrepreneur.  Delegate operational tasks to staff and area specialists as much as you possible can.  Free up your time for business management functions, business development, planning and implementation.  Institute shorter, more concise meetings and communications as much needed time savers for all.  Cut the slack time and concentrate efforts in a condensed shorter period.  Incorporate that into individual and team goals.

Establish Priorities

Clutter can occur in many ways from physical bunched up clutter to the mental clutter of massive workloads of relevant and non-relevant tasks.  Take the time to sort this out.  Getting organized on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis should be a standard part of your business and of the action plans across all employees.  Encourage organizing and priority setting as part of the valued added side of your corporate culture.

Business Tips – Create a Constructive Environment

Feedback is necessary on all aspects of your business.  Ensure that you develop a culture of encouraging and valuing input from all levels in the organization.  Constructiveness is essential … when everyone puts on their constructive gear and behavior, everyone is “building” towards a common goal.  Feedback can be critical nature, but as team members put on the constructive hats, criticism turns to positive alternative idea and solution generation.  Problems and issues are better solved when the collective can feed into the solution.

business tips - social Be Social

This business tip is not necessarily focused on spending massive amounts of time on social media.  Being social in business means networking, partnering, collaboration, team work.   Every business, every entrepreneur venture is vastly stronger when you and your team get out there and communicate and network with everyone.  Not all deals, partnerships and customers will automatically fall into your lap … you need to get aggressive and make the moves to communicate and network with others.  Remember that social media is only one form of communication and engagement with other businesses and customers.   Communications, marketing and business development occur in many ways outside of normal office functions and social media.

Business Tips – Be Helpful

As a leader, entrepreneur and community member be helpful to all and it will eventually return to you in spades.  Being a business leader is not a one-way street…. you need to not only receive but to give.  Your valued staff give their efforts and their time to helping you achieve your success.  You need to help your staff become successful through employee development, encouragement, recognition and in your acceptance of their needs professionally and in their personal lives.

When developing products and services for customers, remember this two-way street.  It’s not about just gaining revenue from clients.  You should be developing your business around how your products and services can first help the intended market, and meeting the needs of the consumer.   Revenue then potentially follows after successfully meeting the needs of the customer.

Plan well for maximum benefits and results!

Relevant personal and business development blogs and articles

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

High Performance – Star Qualities to Get You Noticed

Strategy Plan One

July 18, 2012

high performanceHigh Performance

Whether you are an employee in the private or public sector, or into self-employment, you need to set yourself apart from the pack.  To make a significant impact on your organization or industry, there are things you can do to achieve high performance.  Possessing and demonstrating qualities will ensure you stand out from the competition, internally and externally.

 

 

 

For the most part, personalities get noticed, but other characteristics and qualities gained through experience can make you shine through.  Your qualities can assist in your performance, but can also rub off also in the higher performance of employees, teams and business itself around you.

High Performance Qualities and Tips

Here are some qualities and tips to performing at a high level and getting noticed:

  • Demonstrate excellence in everything you do, strive for excellence and encourage all to achieve excellence
  • Set aggressive, achievable goals and demonstrate dedication by hitting them
  • Seek and implement continuous improvements for yourself, for your team, for your business
  • Be genuine, truthful, honest, respectful and fair; uphold strong values and ethics and treat others as you would want to be treated
  • Create an open and transparent environment around you; staff, stakeholders and customers will want to go to as you have gained levels of trust
  • Keep emotions in check
  • Be consistent in your responses, decisions, and in your daily work
  • Be an example of collaboration, partnership building, encouraging team effort
  • Rely on other’s expertise; be noticed for calling upon others for their value-added advice, opinions and recommendations
  • Value everyone’s input and feedback
  • Lead by example
  • Be energetic, enthusiastic, creative and innovative
  • Be loyal to colleagues, staff, customers
  • Hit and make the deadlines, be on time

More on personal and business development:

More business blogs of interest:

Strategy Plan One

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Fathers – Great Dads, Great Mentors

Strategy Plan One

June 17, 2012 

FatherFathers, Our Valuable Mentors

As Father’s Day is upon us, the great things our Fathers have done for us come to mind.

 

Not only do Fathers provided the ongoing, loving support in raising the next generation to be productive member of families and societies, but Fathers have also provided their daughters and sons with the necessary business building blocks.

Here are some examples of the business skills and traits Dads passed on to their kids:

Learning Diverse Operational Skills

Through much experience and learned skills, many Fathers emerged as jack of all trades and in turn, transferred skills and training to the next generations in areas their kids may never have taken in classroom training.  Throwing tools into the hand of a more educated, more schooled generation, leading and demonstrating on particular trades task in the house may have been par for the course.  Fathers would take the time to show us how things worked and some of the very essential life skills we all needed.  Many of us had these relationships where our Fathers promoted a continuous learning environment, whether it was related to school, work or in life skills.

Hard Work Ethic

Fathers demonstrated an unbelievable hard work ethic in the good times and the bad, and never seemed to give up or never let up.  Many of us were so motivated to continue the trend of working hard throughout our generation, supporting our families at all costs.  In most cases, we all wanted to be “just like Dad”.

Working Effectively and Efficiently

Although extreme efforts were experience by Fathers to achieve success, they knew how to effectively and efficiently work through tasks.  Through trial and error, more streamlined processes were developed and transferred on to the next generation.  It was advantageous to experience this continuous improvement, with tasks being completed in a  more timely, streamlined manner.  We all learned this process.

Dedication

We may have all experienced our Fathers working until the job or task was complete.  Whether it was your Father’s career, working on the house, or another specific goal, Dads  never seemed to give up.  In parenting us, Fathers expressed how important it was that we all be dedicated, otherwise goals and objectives would fall apart with uncompleted projects everywhere you looked.

Intuitiveness

Fathers often expressed gut feelings and gut reactions, mostly gaining these feelings and reactions through a series of learned experiences.  This intuitive nature of our Dads was observed by the next generation, and applied to our very own experiences.  With intuitiveness we were able to predict and be pro-active to certain business scenarios.  Fathers taught us to jump on things in advance knowing how some things could play out.

The examples of traits and characteristics could go on and on, with almost every aspect of  entrepreneurship originating in part from things we learned from our Fathers.

This Fathers Day, love and thanks go out to Dads for being loving Fathers, for being great leaders and transferring the necessary business skills that helped us all to be successful.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Best Practices – Encourage, Promote and Share Best Practices

Strategy Plan One

March 1, 2012 

 

Best PracticesBest Practices

In your business or organization, teams and units work to find effective and efficient operations, methods and procedures.  Most of the time through the normal course of business evolution, teams find brilliant solutions.  As a leader it is in your realm to bring teams together to encourage them to share best practices, to bounce great ideas off each other, and to create a constructive learning environment.

 

The sharing of best practices across multi-functional teams is one method of implementing continuous learning and improvement processes.  Success is achieved at many levels when best practices are shared and implemented across business units.

 

Identification of Best Practices

As a leader in your business you may note differential results between units that do the same work.  In your regular meetings and briefings, investigate the methods and successes that are isolated or behind the scenes.  Best practices may be revealed from frequent communications and engagement with individual staff members and with teams.

 

Best PracticesEncourage and Promote Best Practices

Great work and efforts should be recognized.  Incorporate recognition in your organization as a way to illustrate appreciation across colleagues.  Promote an environment where teams can openly share what works well for their units.  Promote an environment where teams can learn.  The combination of sharing best practices and open learning environment spells potential success broadly across the organization.

 

Best Practices Forums

If your organization is large, establish a formal setting for the sharing of information and effective practices.  Forums or working group meetings assist in bringing large groups together to share a broad array of topics.  Structured, these forums can result in improvements to cross-functional units that are not related, such as an administrative efficiency that improves the general operation of all units.

 

Intellectual Property

As a leader ensure you identify any process, product or design that may fall into your business’ intellectual property rights.  Pay close attention to the best practice or method as it may warrant protection of intellectual property.  Investigate whether patents, trademarks and copyrights should be filed with your Federal Patents office.

 

A very effective way to improve your organization across individuals and business units is to share and implement best practices.  Allow your professional teams to help others be successful with results-based best practices.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Reach Success – Obtain Feedback for Continuous Improvement

Strategy Plan One

February 24, 2012 

Feedback for Continuous ImprovementContinuous Improvement through Feedback

If you want to enjoy success year after year as an entrepreneur you need to pay attention to your customers and your operations.  Feedback mechanisms are the best way to gauge objective feedback from clients and from your staff.

Feedback from surveying will shape how you can improve operations to build and retain customers and revenue.  Continuous improvement is a must in this competitive world.

Feedback Mechanisms

Continuous ImprovementWhether customers are satisfied or not with your service or product, ensure you have feedback mechanisms such as surveying as part of your service operation.  You need to analyze a cross-section of feedback from all customers.  Even the happy customers will make note of things that can make the experience, product or service better.  Remember that you should not think your business is at 100% optimization in your product or service delivery.  Don`t fall into the trap of thinking everything is perfect and you never have to change.  Business environments and industries constantly change, and with that, you need to stay competitive with continuous improvements.  Take that valuable information from your customers and revise your operations, customer experience, product or service accordingly.  Ensure that you provide a message around your survey process that they are helping shape better products and services.

Continuous Improvement

Encourage a continuous improvement environment in your business, and empower your staff to take the lead and charge of recommended improvements.  As a leader, engage with your staff and units and survey them for their valued feedback.  Employee buy-in can occur if you make them a part of the valued process, and allow them to take ownership of the piece of action.  It helps as a leader to recognize unit and project leaders for their efforts.  If the improvement recommendations result in significant operational or profitability improvements, compensation incentives may be appropriate.  A whole organization that is engaged in a continuous improvement process will definitely build a continuous competitive firm.

Ensure you pay ultimate attention to your customer base and to your internal members of your business for feedback to make your business better and more competitive.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One