Monday, 28 April 2014

The many faces of Procrastination

Stop procratinating, starting tomorrowWhen you are trying to operate a business, getting caught up in procrastination can cost you. There are a number of things that you can lose out on if you procrastinate for too long. You might find that your profits take a nose dive while you procrastinate about various business decisions. As a business owner or CEO you don’t get the luxury of procrastinating for too long. If you don’t get that loan application in on time, or you don’t hire that tax accountant in time, there could be serious consequences to those delayed decisions.
There are so many reasons that someone might procrastinate, and every one of them has been used countless times by someone telling themselves, it’s not a problem. The most common reason for procrastination is that the person doing it feels that they have too many other important tasks to complete to dedicate time to just one task. They may tell themselves this while they take time to dawdle and flit from one small project to another, then when crunch time arrives, they could kick themselves for not concentrating on the main priority first. This person needs to concentrate on one thing at a time. The most important things need to be done first, then, if there is time left, tackle the smaller less important items on the list.
Many times people will just feel overwhelmed with a project or task and put off starting it because they just feel it is too involved for them to complete. These people should break the project up into bite sized pieces and take care of each one until they are all completed. If being overwhelmed is an issue, they may want to talk to the person who gave them the task and see if they could assign it to someone else. If you happen to be in charge and need to complete the project yourself, then you will need to do it one small piece at a time until it is finished. If you can’t do this, either delegate it or hire someone who can do it for you.
While someone may put off a project related task, it may be because something else is required to be done first. This type of procrastination can be caused by poor planning in the beginning of a project. If this seems to be the problem, then go back to the planning stage and set attainable tasks for the people involved. You can also assign different pieces of the project to more people so the tasks get done quicker and are less stressful on each person.
Nearly every business in the world suffers from procrastination at some point in time. There seems to be very different views on procrastination among various business types and while some businesses see it as a form of creativity, many effects of procrastination can be viewed as negative, and can be measured simply by looking at the end results. When everyday tasks are not being completed on time, something has broken down in the process somewhere. When you examine the evidence, it usually ends up being that someone in the process has gotten distracted or feels overwhelmed. Procrastination doesn’t necessarily have to be about laziness, but is often seen like this. Some people put things off for very specific reasons but take too long to get back to them. If this happens too often it can be a serious problem for 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.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Why export is important for growth and essential for the economy

Exports are directly related to economic growth and recovery in the UK. When products are exported, not only do the individual industries increase their sales and profits, the increased income is then fed right into the economy of the country. With a renewed export strategy to both developed markets, and emerging markets, there is a much higher demand for additional workers in the UK to meet the growth in demand for products and services. Not only does this need equate to additional workers in those industries, it will also create an increase in spending by the new workforce. The local shops and other businesses will earn more money from the workers. In turn, the need for more domestic products rises as does the need to spend more for their products. This influx of revenues all helps to further stimulate the growth of the economy.

By making changes to the tariff barriers, and lowering transportation costs, it allows and encourages more companies to export their goods and services worldwide. This makes way for exports to become a greater share of the GDP in the UK. Although the UK has been in a position of deficit in % of GDP for a while, export does help the country to reduce that deficit. With policies in place to encourage new industry export strategies, the hope is that the UK will gain strength in the global marketplace as an exporter of goods and services. This can cause an increase in competitiveness among industries and eventually someone may lose out. However, the hope is that during this shift in industry it will still increase the overall health of the economy.

The UK quickly took aim at increasing export once it realised the impact that it could have on the country’s economy. In 2009, the UK was exporting to the EU countries and non-EU countries at equal rates as it had been doing for some time. By 2012 UK Plc recognised the changes taking place with emerging markets demands for more products and quickly positioned themselves to meet the increased demands. By utilising this export strategy, UK Plc began exporting significantly more to non-EU countries and emerging markets than they did to EU countries. This was a wise move. However, by changing their products to meet the new emerging markets demands it will decrease their ability for growth without exporting.

Growth into the future will require a strategic export strategy between the government and the industries that export. In order to make a greater impact on the UK economy there should be additional incentives in place to encourage growth in exports worldwide. Some incentives could include such things as tax incentives as well as reductions in governmental regulations over exporting. 

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, 17 April 2014

Why You Need an Exit Strategy

Nollett Business Solutions Exit StrategyMost successful businesses start out with a sound business plan that spells out every detail of the endeavour, from how it will operate to where funding will come from, so why don’t all entrepreneurs also include an exit strategy in their business planning? When you undertake any enterprise, you should always include a plan on how and when you will be selling your business, as a matter of course. By doing this, it allows you to set and meet goals that can significantly increase the value of your investment. Whatever you do, you never want to wait until you are in a position that requires you to sell your business quickly, because then there is a very high probability that you will lose out on potential profits that would have been available, had you of worked and sold to a plan. Therefore, it is important to remember that if you don’t keep track of your efforts, it most probably won’t matter in the end anyhow.

By making a plan to pass the business on to new blood, it gives you a goal to work towards for the entire time that you are in operation. Having an exit strategy will also help to motivate you to meet financial goals, as well as performance goals and is great as a measure of success to date. By following the plan, you will know if you are on target to meet the planned exit date, but more importantly, you will know if you are on target to maximise the value of your asset, by leaving some additional growth for a prospective buyer. This way, when you sell, your creation can go on to bigger and better things without you.

Some who go into business for themselves, do it solely for the challenge of creating something from scratch or solving a problem that exists, where they may not have an interest in maintaining the business long term, yet others may do it strictly for financial gain, where their whole plan is to work for themselves and make as much profit as they can within the business. Either way, if you do not have an exit strategy in place, you may not feel the need to challenge yourself to do a good job within the business and you most probably will not maximise the value of the business.

In general, there are three main types of exit strategy that are embraced, situations permitting. Firstly, there are entrepreneurs that will start a business with their family in mind, where they will build up the business and make sure that it is running and established before turning it over to family members. Secondly, there are business owners who prefer the option of selling to the existing management, as they are, and have been, running the place already and deserve the option to receive any additional value that they can create within the business. In this case it would require finding that manager that loves the business as much as you do in order to have them take it over and run it successfully. Finally there is an outright sale to an interested third party, where you may not know what their intention is for the business, and it may not matter, as long as you can come to an agreeable price where it all works to your plan in the end.

The need for an exit strategy exists long before the business ever opens its doors. It needs to spell out exactly what your goals are for the business, from the timescale to the investment and from the profits to a host of other attainable goals. By constantly tracking the progress of the business over time, it will allow you to measure the value of your investment and hopefully get out of it what you have put into it, but all being well, much, much more. In some cases, the effort that you have put into the business far outweighs any price that you are able to realistically ask, but if this is the case, then there should be some valuable lessons that you should take away from the experience, especially if you are planning on doing the whole exercise again.

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, 8 April 2014

Why Businesses Should Train Their People

TrainingTraining your employees is imperative if you wish to improve your company’s growth and in-turn, achieve greater success. It is a strategy that you must employ. Effective training has many benefits, which can include increased productivity and improved quality of work, to name but two. Following their training, staff tend to feel a sense of pride and responsibility for the business, as well as heightened motivation, where increased productivity is often reflected through this. Training also reduces staff turnover and absence, due to a greater sense of belonging and respect that they have for the business. Providing training for employees also gives you a competitive advantage over other businesses and provides staff with an assurance that you are willing to invest both your time and money into them, thus creating a sense of increased job security and job satisfaction.

Before you begin, it is always important to perform a training needs analysis (TNA), essentially assessing the current level of skills or training throughout the business, as this will help you to identify areas of training that your business needs, or any skills that need evolving further, and develop your training from there. Your staff will have much more direct experience with your business and probably already know where some of these areas of weakness are, so ask for their input.

It is also important that you ensure that the training programme you provide is linked to your businesses performance and objectives, as this will give a clearer focus. At this point, you should bear in mind that the objectives that you set for your employees are both measurable and attainable, as this will ensure that staff can measure their successes towards the end goal. A regular analysis or evaluation will also help to monitor changes in developments and help to tailor your training programme to ensure that it remains effective.

All of these things obviously help to increase profits, due to both staff and customer satisfaction, but to ensure that you get the most out of the training that you provide, you really need to consider a few additional factors. These would include an element of mentoring, so that you focus on helping your employees to carry out their existing tasks more efficiently, otherwise the training could prove counterproductive, due to employees not having the time to implement the new skill set that you have given them. It is also worth investing in the right person or team who will be responsible for the planning and implementing of the training to the staff. Essentially, the most effective training will produce the most effective results.

Act now and help your people rise to peak performance and deliver the results that your business deserves.

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.