Technology is not (yet!) a viable replacement for direct interaction
One of the things that has made the 21st century very interesting is the amount of access we have to people, businesses and organizations through wallet size (and smaller) devices! It is amazing what we can do, how much we can accomplish just about anywhere we go, from sending text messages to emails to scheduling appointments…but can it go to far? Does it help or hurt our bottom line?
For example: there are a number of online scheduling solutions that will allow your clients to choose days and times to meet with you or members of your team. They simply need to go to your free/busy calendar and sign up for a time slot or slots that will work best for them. They will receive an email confirmation, your technology, you or someone from your team will probably send a friendly email reminder a day or two before the meeting to remind them of it and you will have your meeting.
Pretty straightforward, right?read more
Figuring out how to plan and budget for small business growth.
As a business consultant, I have worked with many business owners who came to me and said that they wanted to grow their businesses. They are thinking about having a business that is larger, sometimes with employees or strategic partnerships and serve more, larger more sophisticated clients.
Sounds awesome, right?
Well, it depends on the business owner. Growing a business often means that the business is going to be more sophisticated. There is typically more money involved, more people, more customers with increasingly diverse needs and wants. As a result, this more sophisticated business requires more management, will be exposed to more oversight and will gain more attention in the marketplace, for both its successes and failures.read more
One of the most difficult challenges I have seen with business owners who want to move their businesses to the next stage is determining what the next stage – or the final stage – should look like. While “take it as big as it will go,” and “I want to be a global organization” sound good, what that might mean to me might mean something different to you.
Many companies find that the people who start the business aren’t equipped with the tools to keep the business operating over time. When looking at running a much larger company than what they currently have, the business owner needs to think in terms of how they might fit into the company. Do they have the experience to manage larger markets, larger production facilities, a larger customer base, more revenue, etc.? Do they have the ability to manage dynamic costs as the business experiences different market and economic conditions?read more
How to maintain highly profitable relationships with your outsourcing partners
Anyone who has purchased anything in the past probably has experienced buyer’s remorse – the sense of regret after making a purchase. When working with your outsourcing partner, that is the last thing you want. Therefore, you must set and manage expectations, and like you would with your employees, review their work, praise them for their accomplishments or take the appropriate action for not meeting your expectations.
Keep in mind – your outsourced partners are to bring their expertise to your business to enable your businesses to achieve some success or factors of success that you could not achieve otherwise. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that they live up to it. Here are five ways to ensure you are managing your partners appropriately.read more