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

Productivity – 6 Small Steps For a More Productive Day

Strategy Plan One

June 25, 2012 

productivity - photostock Productivity Improvements

Business owners and staff all around encounter busy agendas daily, with most wanting to achieve more productive days.  However, in the complex business world with volumes of work to do, many struggle with getting things done.  It is sometimes common at the end of the day for some to state and ask, “Wow, what a brutal day…Did I get anything done?”

Entrepreneurs, staff, specialists and others feel buried under mountains of tasks and may feel during periods that nothing gets done.

 

 

But through a simple few tweaks, the work force, and you as an entrepreneur, can improve and show marked, increased productivity.

1.  Productive Days – Getting Organized

Individuals and businesses can get through the mountains with careful planning and organization.  Part of getting organized in the volumes of tasks is documenting it out, listing tasks, jobs and projects and to prioritize them.  Many tasks and essential duties fall through the cracks when businesses and individuals are not organized.  To keep focused, a list of prioritized action items can be developed and tracked to be more organized.

productivity - renjith krishnan 2.  Project Management Tools to Improve Productivity 

In developing lists, prioritizing and tracking action items, project management tools, such as Microsoft Project can assist.  These tools make it easier to develop a timeline from first tasks to completion of projects, step by step, milestone by milestone.  In using tools such as Project, a manager can establish tasks, attach time frames and track persons responsible.  With delegating tasks down to operational specialists, you lighten the load for others that are overwhelmed.

3.  Productivity Improvements Through Automation

How much manual labor or duties is your team performing that take up significant amounts of time?  Can any of these duties be automated?  Although you need to be careful around adding a personal touch to communications through email, you may find through evaluation that some of your email broadcasts to client bases or internal staff can be automated.  An example is establishing frequent reminders utilizing tools within email platforms.

In other productivity improvement examples, payment and shipping processes can be automated easily with such platforms as Paypal and others.  In most business operational cases, there may not be a justifiable need for a full-time payment processing clerk.  E-payments could lessen the work load of administrative staff by implementing e-payment systems.   In another valuable example of automation, the Kiva Robot system is revolutionizing the way warehouses work, as automated robots can run around the clock, helping pick orders and move goods.

4.  Behavior and your leadership actions

As an entrepreneur, the way you act and provide leadership can have a dramatic effect on staff.  Leading and managing in a genuine manner, with strength and passion can have an immediate impact on staff productivity.  Leaders that can motivate staff, illustrating the vision and use of positive tones can lead to positive impacts on the floor and higher productivity.

5.  Partnering

Productivity can be improved by bringing on a synergistic partner to the business.  Partnership building can lead to the sharing of projects and duties, but also sharing of the risks and benefits.  You may find that partners and or contracting out will lead to higher productivity and resolution of complex projects in a more timely manner.

6.  Recharging and Health to be Productive

For most, it is not humanly possible to plug through mountains of tasks hour after hour.  Long hours of complicated, tenuous or repetitive tasks can lead to overload of mistakes and burnout.  People’s performance will improve if the body and brain are given a chance to break and recharge.  Ensure you and staff take appropriate breaks frequently as scheduled.  Certain Labor laws and regulations were put into place for a reason … bodies can’t handle longer hours, with very little breaks.  Even though there are laws and regulations regarding this, show adaptability as a leader and allow better working conditions with flexible work-life balance programs.

The health of employees and your own health should be main priorities.  Without healthy individuals, there would be no employees on the floor and no business.  Take the time to promote healthy living, from good rest to eating right to great exercise.  A healthy work force will be a more productive workforce, with less medical issues.  Integrate your programs around healthy living .. you obviously care about your employees.

With a few changes in your organization and the way your lead as a responsible entrepreneur, can lead to higher productivity all around.  Start with practices and actions that will lead to higher productivity with yourself, and then lead by example.  You will note that in small steps productivity will improve across your business.

Relevant blogs and articles:

Productivity:

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Goal Setting – Keeping You Going in the Right Direction

Strategy Plan One

June 7, 2012 

goal settingGoal Setting

In our everyday business and personal lives we need definition.  We need to define what our purpose is, what we will be doing short-term and long-term.  We all live in extremely complex environments, and we need to organized in what we do.

Establishing goals and objectives in our lives provides that direction and definition that drives us forward in achievement.

Many run scattered, unorganized day after day, feeling as they have not accomplished much.  An analysis of their daily lives reveals this lack of organization and establishing and setting priorities.  It all starts with establishing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goals and objectives to get you on the right track and right direction.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s personal, family or business goals, all follow a similar pattern in identifying goals, finding a method to achieve them and to measure progress.

goal settingHere are some of the benefits of Goal Setting:

  • Sets a direction and pathway for you
  • Can be used to help you get organized
  • Helps improve your performance
  • Makes you and your team more effective and efficient
  • Gets you on the right track within your own defining purpose
  • Establishes a starting point and an end point
  • Defines your daily, weekly and annual work plan

Goal Setting Exercises

There are many tools and resources to help you establish your goals and objectives.  Goal setting exercises are one tool to identify and track your progress against your milestone steps and overall goals.  An example of goal setting exercise :  http://tanorthburg.hubpages.com

Mentoring in Goal Setting

Mentoring with professionals, colleagues, friends and family can help you set you goals and objectives in a more objective manner.  Those external sources can provide some valuable feedback on their views of whether the goals are SMART.

Goal Setting Tips

  1. Set relevant, realistic goals
  2. Make sure the goals can be achieved in part or whole; too ambitious of a goal project and you will soon find yourself unmotivated to complete the overall goal
  3. Set up the goals to be measurable so that you can track your progress against milestone and overall goals
  4. Attach a time frame so that the goal can be accomplished by a certain time; don’t leave the goal open ended as it may never get completed
  5. Review you goals and objectives frequently
  6. Have outside parties, mentors, family and friends review you goals and seek honest feedback
  7. Be prepared to revise a goal if circumstances arise or the environment changes
  8. Set new goals once current goals and objectives have been reached

Goal Setting Examples

1.  Personal Weight Loss

In one year I aim to lose 15 lbs by May 31, 2013,  with milestones of 4 lbs off by July 31,  9 lb off by Oct 31, 12 lbs off by Jan 31 and finally 15 lbs off by May 31.  

In this example you will note that the goal is realistic (assumption that there is a track record and advice this can be achieved), measurable with weight loss goals, time factored in for milestone and final goals.

2.  Business Revenue Targets

Our business aims to increase revenue by 12% this fiscal year to a total revenue figure of $560,000 by March 31, 2013.  Through a combination of aggressive local and global marketing, the company sets goals of revenue increases of 12% by quarter.  Any deviations of less than the target will require revisions of the marketing and revenue growth strategies. 

In this business example, revenue growth as been identified and is achievable (based on track record of performance, and growth in the industry).  The goal statement established quarterly tracking and established a statement of contingencies to get back on track.

As noted, goal setting can be used as those essential tools to get organized and set directions.  Ensure you incorporate goals and objectives in your business with strong detailed business planning.

Other Blogs and Articles you may be interested in:

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Strategies to Improve Performance in your Personal Life and Business

Strategy Plan One

April 9, 2012 

improve performanceImprove Performance

One should never be fully satisfied that they have reached their performance peak, that no further improvements to any aspect would be necessary.  With rapidly changing environments, entrepreneurs and successful professionals must constantly seek methods to improve, on a personal and business level.

 

To stay on top on the cutting edge, innovative level, you will need to engage in a systematic process of continuous improvement.

Determine your Performance Goals

There should always be a purpose behind a strategy, plan, or movement to improve performance.  You need to determine why you need or want to improve performance.  This purpose will set the stage to improve performance.  Performance goals can help guide you to an end point, assisting you to keep focused on the objective to improve performance.  Every professional and entrepreneur has differing performance goals, and differing levels to reach.

Ensure that you identify a strong performance goal, that is measurable and linked to a time frame (i.e. :  Personal goal of achieving 5% more income by the end of 8 months, or Business goal of achieving 12% return on marketing investment through the first quarter marketing campaign).

improve performanceIdentification of Performance Issues

To get to the root of all performance issues, one must start with an objective analysis of either your personal or business situation.  Shake that notion that you haven’t been doing anything wrong or could not have been doing anything wrong.

 

You will need to take a serious look at any deficiencies around your professional life and in your organization.  Step two is digging deep and really identifying the issues that create barriers to achieve the next step or improved performance.

Example of personal and business challenges and barriers may include:

  • Financial limitations
  • Time constraints
  • Organization issues
  • Educational or professional limitations
  • Health and wellness, and work-life balance
  • Balancing family responsibilities
  • Location and connectedness
  • Access to resources

Whatever the issue or challenge is, ensure that you objectively list them out as you will be seeking genuine resolution to improve performance.

Pathways to Improve Performance

Once issues have been identified to improve performance, you will need to develop some options to resolve performance issues.  Breakdown larger issues and barriers into micro issues and establish a plan with milestone goals along the way.  Similar to business planning, your personal improvement plan will be your blueprint to improve performance.

If it seems like you have many issues and barriers, don’t be overwhelmed by the overall picture.  Feel assured you can improve performance by breaking the plan down into smaller performance goals and solutions.  The example of personal performance of increasing income by 10% may involve many complex issues.  Break it down into what can be achieved on a micro-step, daily basis.  As part of a detailed plan, you may need to take small steps daily, seeking alternative employment options on a daily basis, or seeking promotional opportunities at work.

Stay on track and be dedicated in meeting your end performance goals.  Stay positive and work hard at this to improve performance.  Performance will not improve if you do not put in the effort.  Your dedication and hard-work ethic will pay off and you will soon observe yourself hitting milestone performance goals.

Achieving Performance Goals

Through your dedication, performance goals will be achieved at milestone stages and at the end goal.  Throughout the whole process, ensure that you continuously review your initial purpose, your initial goals.  As mentioned, your plan to improve performance should be measurable and tied to a time duration.   Measure your actual improvements against your planned performance goals.  If necessary revise and be motivated to achieve the goal or next step.

Motivation, perseverance, dedication, hard-work … grab and use these from your personal toolbox and you will achieve improved performance.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Strategic Tips to Improve Employee Performance

 

Strategy Plan One

January 27, 2012 

 

1.             Frequent and consistent recognition

Employees always want to know that they are appreciated for their efforts.  Recognition is one of those things a leader can do that can have a major impact on employees, and it doesn’t cost a dime.  For some low performing employees, this exercise may be difficult, but tactful handling will provide results.  By noticing and informing an employee of positive small steps, that employee may turn into a star performer.  Communicate with employees frequently and create a positive environment by recognizing all efforts.

 

2.             Empower employees to take the lead on projects

As an employer, you have already taken adequate steps to identify and hire the right people.  As a leader, you will need to let go of some of the hands-on operational projects.  Empower and encourage your employees and subject matter experts to take the lead.  Those employees will feel valued and will take ownership of a project.  Employees will be motivated to meet a company objective along with a personal goal in leading a project from initiation to successful completion.

 

3.            Involve staff in the decision making process

Make employees feel valued by asking them to become involved in the decisions of the company.  Once employees know that their efforts have been recognized and considered in the decision making process, employee behaviour will switch to becoming more involved and participation will increase.

 

4.             Provide constructive, positive tone feedback to employees

It is sometimes difficult to approach an employee about low performance.  Instead of an initial attack or criticism of the performance, a better approach would be to provide constructive feedback.  An example:

 

Bob’s track record on assembly line A was lower than the other employees.  Management approached Bob, recognizing the small efforts first, mentioning performance issues, ending with compliments to him as a valued employee.  Management stated they valued his opinion and asked for his feedback for improvements.  Bob reacted positively and performance increased.

 

5.             Conduct regular employee performance appraisal and development sessions

As part of your regular human resources core functions, structure employee performance appraisals and personal development procedures into your human resources plan.  On a quarterly or semi-annual basis, schedule employee performance appraisals.  Structure those sessions to include mutual feedback between the manager and the employee.  Go over the things that are working well and the elements that need improvement.  In areas that need improvement, a leader must encourage employee development and the manager must dedicate the resources to improve the deficiencies.  The appraisal process should also be an opportunity for the employee to provide feedback on the organization and management.  The manager should embrace an open environment where all constructive feedback is encouraged.  Employees will buy-in to an open appraisal method and performance will improve as the employee develops.

 

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur