Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Outsourcing Initiates New Opportunities for Business Development

There is no question that outsourcing does initiate new opportunities for business development. Any small to medium sized company that feels that they have the needs should seriously consider outsourcing as a means to reach new goals. It can effectively be used as risk diversification and once the defined service levels are met, the determination can be made as to whether to add staff to cover the new area of business, or whether the project has met the potential that was projected. If not, there is no need to continue with it and if so then hiring more staff may be the next move.

This post was written as part of the Nollett Business Solutions blogging program, which provides businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become dynamic engines in an ever-changing world. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Design Business Plans That Promote Export Growth

Business Plans, Export GrowthIn today’s slow moving economy, every company needs to have a business plan designed to keep them moving forward in order to keep up with the competition. This can be accomplished with a little strategic planning and taking the time to design business plans that promote export growth. Firms need to strategically project their plans into the future and plan to be doing business internationally for the long term. Companies that have set plans to increase exports actually succeed far more than businesses who do not export at all. When companies succeed with exports, not only does the business grow, it also stimulates the economy and surrounding business.

While it can be very difficult to gauge how well doing business in another market may be, when the projection is accurate the firm can experience faster growth than companies that only operate in domestic established markets. Because of this difficulty in prediction, many firms are less likely to engage in exporting when they have no idea how profitable it might be. By creating a well-researched business plan, established companies may be more apt to work through the barriers to exporting than to be dismayed when they are presented with them while conducting their business.

There are many positive effects to companies marketing internationally. One of those effects is that those firms who do are more likely to engage in research and development in regards to their products. This can occur because products may need to be customised to fit other countries standards or there may be regulations to meet. This helps expand the knowledge base of the firm and may lead to improvements in the business and its products. As a type of spill over effect, this knowledge may be shared within the business community and benefit the industry as a whole.

Firms that export as part of their strategic planning can also have a positive effect on those companies that do not yet export. When exporting businesses share information with these firms they can actually teach them very important information in regards to exporting. This may encourage non-exporting companies to consider exporting as part of their business plan too. This can lead new firms to design business plans that promote export growth for themselves. As each new firm works its way into the exporting of their goods and manoeuvres the current barriers, it paves the way for the next generation of exporters.

If your firm has not yet contemplated exporting internationally, perhaps the reason may simply be that it has never been researched enough to be considered. There are places that companies can turn to for assistance with learning more about export and international trade. Trade promotion agencies can help any firm with strategic planning in regards to exporting. Before ruling it out, arrange a consult with one of staff in regards to exporting and find out if it might be right for your business.

This post was written as part of the Nollett Business Solutions blogging program, which provides businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become dynamic engines in an ever-changing world. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Management Consultants Provide Training for Board Mentoring

Board MentoringFor many businesses, the training of new board members can take valuable time away from the board meetings themselves. When management consultants are utilised, they can be used to help train other board members to be effective board mentors for the newer members. The key role of a board member is to make informed decisions on company business as effectively and efficiently as possible. Learning to do this can take some time to master and having a mentor to help guide new board members through the first few months can be a huge advantage, provided the mentor knows how to direct the mentee.

An effective management consultant can spend a small amount of time pointing out what areas of business are the most important to highlight to a mentor. The management consultant doesn’t need to know all of the aspects of the business in order to train the mentors what to pass along. However, the mentors need to possess the knowledge of the business in order to pass it on to the mentees. You could say that the management consultants are training the mentors to be trainers themselves. If done in an effective manner, the mentors then possess the training to pass along to the next generation of mentors.

Many consulting firms hire consultants that have expert training capabilities under their belts in order to best assist their clientele. The consultants themselves know how valuable of a tool this is and many will keep their training skills updated so that they are of more value to the company as well. When looking to consulting firms for the right management consultants, make sure to check their skills to see if they have mentor training listed amongst them. If they don’t have it listed, be sure to ask the consulting firm to verify it before hiring them on, if mentor training is one area that you need assistance with. Other areas of expertise can include;

·         Organisational governance.

·         Direction over the creation, administration, and evaluation of company policies.

·         Ensuring the company’s effectiveness in the marketplace.

·         Maintaining the company’s credibility and viability in the marketplace.

While some of the board duties can seem company specific, you must remember that the management consultants will not be doing the actual decision making, they will be training the actual board members on what types of things need to be taught to the mentees. The consultants need not ever see the inside of the company board room if that would be your choice.

By hiring a management consultant specifically for training board mentors, you are ensuring that the next generation of board members are trained on the important factors of being a board member for the company. The frugal business owners might also take advantage of the training time and create a company training manual during the training to ensure that each new board member is trained on the same things in the future. If you are paying for the consultant already, you might as well get the most for your money.

This post was written as part of the Nollett Business Solutions blogging program, which provides businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become dynamic engines in an ever-changing world. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Discover How Outsourcing Stimulates Your Business Development

global outsourcing stimulates growthIf you are considering outsourcing different portions of your business but are still unsure, you should take a look around and discover how outsourcing stimulates your business development. As with every business decision, outsourcing will have both positive and negative effects on your business. The key is to limit the negative effects whilst stimulating your business development at the same time. Some of the many positive effects on your business development may include:- 

·         Maintaining focus – by utilising outsourcing, it allows you and your employees to focus on your core business needs. The consultants handle the portion of business they were hired for and you are left to work on maintaining and building value for your clients.

·         Improving efficiency – when you outsource portions of your business to consultants who have a specific expertise, it can improve the efficiency of the business by allowing you to focus on the portions of the business that you and your employees are best at.

·         Unlimited resources – by utilising outsourcing for the various needs of your business you can spend more time developing the business instead of hiring and training new employees. Consultants are available in nearly every position giving you unlimited resources for business solutions.

·         Gaining the competitive edge – by not spending time learning the various different processes to advance in your market you can gain the competitive edge in your field by being first to innovate new products.

·         Increasing business – by focusing on the core of your business your productivity should increase, increasing the overall business.

While these things may improve the overall development of your business, here are some other aspects of business that need to be considered before you decide whether to outsource:- 

·         Could sensitive data be compromised if you outsource?

·         Will there be hidden costs to outsourcing?

·         Will the customers come into contact with the consultants and if so, how will they be treated?

·         Is the project going to get the attention to detail it should by a consultant?

Of course in every situation there are things that must be considered prior to making a decision. In most cases outsourcing makes a big difference in how quickly a business can move forward with new projects. By outsourcing, it allows businesses to save money over hiring, training and insuring an individual for the same position. For smaller to medium sized businesses that money can be used to further the development of the business. When they outsource, businesses get to pick which positions they hire for and for how long.
When a business makes the decision to outsource, they will usually get a professional that has the highest qualifications in their field. To hire for that positions on a regular basis the company could continue to use professionals that have the most up to date training and only have to pay for the hire, not the training. This is yet another way to cut costs for businesses. So in the end the business gets its expert in the field and also get to reduce their operating expense overall.

This post was written as part of the Nollett Business Solutions blogging program, which provides businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become dynamic engines in an ever-changing world. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Business Planning Creates Positive Results for Success

business planning successWhen you plan to run a business of any kind, you should always create a complete business plan to run your enterprise from, before you ever get started in business. The reason is, that business planning creates positive results for success by giving you a road map to start from. As with all strategic planning, creating a business plan can uncover things that you didn’t know might factor into your business in the beginning. A business plan will change many times as the business operates and other important factors arise. Knowing where you started and where you are projected to end up, can keep you on track to meet your goals.

To complete a business plan, you need to make sure to include the most important aspects of it in order to create a clear picture of the business. You will need to know where the enterprise is aiming to go, how it aims to get there, as well as all of the details in between. Make sure to include the following:-

  • Your vision statement, mission statement and operational goals.
  • Analysis for your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • The short term and long term goals of the business, 3 to 5 years out.
  • Who the target market is and what their wants and needs are.
  • An analysis of the industry to determine whether it is growing.
  • An analysis of the competition, defining who they are, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Marketing planning to determine how to attract the target market.
  • Financial planning in order to project financial needs for the goals set.
Although it seems like a lot to begin with, when you have it spelled out in front of you, it will leave little room for distraction. This can be important as the business starts to grow in new directions throughout the year.

You should expect to create or revise your business plan annually, in order to make changes to better achieve your goals. During your strategic planning, make sure to spell out your goals very specifically, so that you know what you are working towards. Studies have shown that businesses who had clear goals spelled out, came closer to meeting them than businesses who didn’t bother creating a business plan at all.

Many times a business plan is an internal document that is only going to be seen by the organisation itself. However, in some cases, investors and financiers also need to see the business plan prior to approving additional funding for the business. Either way, the business plan should be complete and detailed in order to increase the chances of positive results and to measure the organisations successes.

By planning out the strategies that your business will utilise, you will be able to recognise what the most important wants and needs are for the target market. By doing this it will allow you to concentrate your efforts on meeting and exceeding those wants and needs for your customers. Once you become experienced in determining your target markets’ changing needs, you can aim to satisfy them before the competition does.

This post was written as part of the Nollett Business Solutions blogging program, which provides businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become dynamic engines in an ever-changing world. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Establish Change Management By Hiring Consultants

time for change clockFor many business organisations, establishing change management may not be possible if it is being performed by an internal member of management. The reluctance to actually make the changes that are necessary to improve the areas of concern is greater when the person proposing those changes is close to the situation. For this very reason, it is recommended to establish change management by hiring consultants. This can have both a positive and negative affect on the people within the change. They can, in some instances, view the consultant as a hero if they gain something from the change, or as a villain if they lose something during the change.

Change management consultants know that there are several popular models of change management that are used successfully in business today. Every model has drawn its steps from the same basic principles of change management. Those principles are;

·         Every person who experiences change will react differently as an individual.

·         Everyone seeks to fulfil their own basic needs regardless of what position they hold.

·         In most cases for change to take effect everyone will lose something that is comfortable to them.

·         Individuals have many different ideas about change management efforts, so the plans must be pragmatic.

·         The fear of change is very real and must be dealt with in effective ways.

By taking these principals into consideration with every change, the consultant proposing the change has a higher likelihood of success.

Establishing change management needs to be accepted by all employees in the business in order for it to be successful. Change management can be made less traumatic on the organisation if different levels of peer groups are formed to train employees on the changes and help deal with the changes as they occur. Change should never be delivered quickly without warning. There are steps to implementing change to make it effective with the employees.

·         Inform the employees that there are going to be changes made.

·         Help them to recognise that the changes are necessary for the business to advance.

·         Provide the appropriate training for the employees prior to making the change.

·         Help to meet the employee’s needs during the adjustment period after the change.

·         Gain the approval and support of the employees for a successful implementation.

When a consultant proposes a change management solution, it has been drawn from the facts formed by the data provided by the business. Balancing the steps to migrate the company through the changes successfully is completely the choice of the businesses management. However, if the proposed steps are going to be overlooked, then hiring the consultant would be a waste of time and money. The consultant can direct management on how to sell the proposed changes to the employees by providing best practices in most cases. For a successful migration, management should approve the proposed steps and implement them accordingly.

If your company is serious about making the changes that need to be made to move your business forward in an ever changing marketplace, then hiring a change management consultant is the way to go.

This post was written as part of the Nollett Business Solutions blogging program, which provides businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become dynamic engines in an ever-changing world. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Cash is King; Keep it Flowing

cash crownEvery year, many profitable businesses will learn, very painfully, that cash is king. When people create their business plans prior to starting a business, many underestimate how much positive cash flow they really need in order to keep their business running through difficult periods. It is important to take into consideration, that even the smallest enterprise could experience difficulty unexpectedly. When large businesses use small suppliers, they don’t always pay for their products or services in a timely manner. Many times, this can put small or medium sized enterprises into a financial bind. Regardless of money that is late, or that may be coming in the future, businesses need cash on hand to pay the bills when they are due.

Some small businesses can find themselves stuck in a routine of borrowing money for much longer than anticipated in order to meet cash flow needs for the moment. By failing to anticipate these difficulties, businesses find themselves in a negative cash flow situation and end up spending more and more profits on interest rates, just trying to stay afloat. Not only does it impact their immediate cash flow, but it can cause them to be late with payments because of it. When this happens, it can cost them with higher interest rates in the future as well. It just goes to prove, even more so, that cash is king in any business.

For larger businesses that are usually more established, they use holding out on paying their bills to smaller and medium sized companies for their own benefit. If it will help them to keep their own interest rates low, or give them more cash flow for their own purposes, many will take that advantage. This vicious cycle will play out many times, which may result in the need for the smaller businesses to raise their prices to compensate for the negative cash flow. Often times, this practice can cost smaller suppliers their businesses if they can’t get a handle on it quickly.

Thankfully, there are ways to deal with the slow or late payments. Rather than breaking down and hiring a full time CFO to handle the accounting for the business, which most businesses can’t afford, technology steps up and fills the need. Because cash is king, there are now companies that offer virtual CFO’s for hire. These CFO’s can be hired on an as needed basis and can help any business get their finances back on track in a few short hours per week. They can help any business to set themselves up to maintain a positive cash flow, so they can face the needs of the business as they arise.

As well as virtual CFO’s, there are new smartphone apps that have been created to simplify the billing and payment process for businesses. With the help of these apps, many small businesses can easily keep an eye on their invoices and payments. They not only allow the customer to effortlessly pay in a few seconds, but they allow the smaller companies to stay on top of the late payments as well. Any small or medium sized businesses would be wise to take advantage of these ways to manage their finances before they find themselves in a negative situation.

This post was written as part of the Nollett Business Solutions blogging program, which provides businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become dynamic engines in an ever-changing world. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.