Business Process

7 Effective Ways of Automating Internal Business Workflows | Extraordinary Business

For mediocre businesses, automation is simply a buzzword. For market leaders, it’s a tool for boosting efficiency and being the best at what they do. How well you automate internal business workflows will determine your efficiency and success. Streamlining your workflows is not a one-off decision – it’s a continuous effort, one that requires you to be vigilant and proactive. Let’s look at 7 effective ways of automating internal business workflows.

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Don’t Just Stand There! Open the Door! | Extraordinary Business

I was working with a client, over the weekend, at his office in Downtown Atlanta.  He mentioned to me, when we were walking in, that he had gotten a ticket parking in the same location that I did.  However, there was a 2 hr parking sign there, so I felt like I was safe.

As I was returning to the car, after the meeting, I noticed a Parking Nanny  (patrol officer assigned to writing parking tickets) standing at the corner of my street with two other guys.  They were talking about writing parking tickets and were debating on whether or not to have my truck towed.  As they continued their conversation, I walked down to the truck, got in and drove off.  As I drove by them, I saw them staring at me with their eyes bugged and their jaws on the floor.  They had missed an opportunity.

This is what happens with many business leaders and super villains.  They spend so much time evaluating and discussing their opportunity that them miss out altogether.  This is why it is so important to have a plan in place to evaluate and take advantage of opportunities, quickly.  This is why you’ve got to be of the mindset that you are always looking for opportunities.

For example:

  • Business mission and vision statements – How will this opportunity effect my company beliefs?
  • Job Descriptions – I’ve met someone who I think might be a good employee – I just don’t know what I am looking for or how to leverage their capabilities
  • Business modeling – We need to get more space and more vehicles.  Based on our current P&L;, how much can we afford?
  • Idea Champions – We have great ideas – but they just remain ideas.

All of these are typical scenarios and responses are tools that you, as a business leader, need to use in order to take advantage of some opportunities.  Of course, this is the short list.  Yours will be a bit longer, and practical for your line of business.

When opportunity knocks, be ready to be extraordinary.  Don’t just stand there.  Open the door!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Decisions,Opportunities,Making Decisions,Idea Platform,Innovation
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Don’t Just Stand There! Open the Door! | Extraordinary Business

I was working with a client, over the weekend, at his office in Downtown Atlanta.  He mentioned to me, when we were walking in, that he had gotten a ticket parking in the same location that I did.  However, there was a 2 hr parking sign there, so I felt like I was safe.

As I was returning to the car, after the meeting, I noticed a Parking Nanny  (patrol officer assigned to writing parking tickets) standing at the corner of my street with two other guys.  They were talking about writing parking tickets and were debating on whether or not to have my truck towed.  As they continued their conversation, I walked down to the truck, got in and drove off.  As I drove by them, I saw them staring at me with their eyes bugged and their jaws on the floor.  They had missed an opportunity.

This is what happens with many business leaders and super villains.  They spend so much time evaluating and discussing their opportunity that them miss out altogether.  This is why it is so important to have a plan in place to evaluate and take advantage of opportunities, quickly.  This is why you’ve got to be of the mindset that you are always looking for opportunities.

For example:

  • Business mission and vision statements – How will this opportunity effect my company beliefs?
  • Job Descriptions – I’ve met someone who I think might be a good employee – I just don’t know what I am looking for or how to leverage their capabilities
  • Business modeling – We need to get more space and more vehicles.  Based on our current P&L;, how much can we afford?
  • Idea Champions – We have great ideas – but they just remain ideas.

All of these are typical scenarios and responses are tools that you, as a business leader, need to use in order to take advantage of some opportunities.  Of course, this is the short list.  Yours will be a bit longer, and practical for your line of business.

When opportunity knocks, be ready to be extraordinary.  Don’t just stand there.  Open the door!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected]om.


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Decisions,Opportunities,Making Decisions,Idea Platform,Innovation
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Building Relationships: Communications Strategy | Extraordinary Business

Your stakeholders are the MVP’s (Most Valuable Players) to your organization.  Without them, you’d have an interesting hobby rather than an organization that you are running.  When we refer to stakeholders, we are talking about anyone or business that stands to gain as a result of the success of your business, including:
•    Employees
•    Partners
•    Investors
•    Vendors
•    Your community
Keeping them in the loop about what is going on in your business serves to build trust, loyalty, commitment and familiarity with your business.  A communications strategy (not just a sell, sell, sell strategy) is one way to make sure that you do this.
How many emails do you get per day that are trying to sell you something?  How many “free” webinars and tele-calls and partnership offers, disguised as sales tools grace your inbox, even hourly?  Contrast that to the number of value-added items you receive.  Which are better received?
Your stakeholders would be best served by value-ads (things that would be beneficial to that stakeholder), such as those articles, introductions and podcasts that could help them do what they do, better.  Knowing that they can be in regular communication with you without being asked to purchase something helps to build trust, and encourages them to learn more about you.
On the flip side, getting involved with their organizations or them helps to strengthen the growing relationship.  You’ve probably heard those dating or relationship stories where one party spends most of their time talking about and focused on themselves.  In the same story, 99% of the time, you hear that the relationship fizzles.  It will be the same with your stakeholders: if you spend all of your time focused on yourself or your company, they get disinterested, quickly.
A strong communications strategy is balanced; it addresses all of your stakeholders, individually, it gives and receives information about them, it provides value-ads for each of your stakeholders.  It is a combination of a number of different contact methods, from broadcast to personal, and uses a number of different medium, from emails to telephone calls to e-newsletters or print newsletters to meetings to personal cards.
Your communication strategy is one of the tools that will help your business grow, exponentially.  Because it is designed as a strategy, with regular communication and follow-up, you can give yourself goals with respect to how many people you will communicate with over any certain time period, and can measure how effective your campaign is.  Since it focuses on deeper relationships with people an businesses, it will be more effective than advertising, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and a pretty logo.
Be extraordinary.  Build extraordinary relationships.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: communications,employees,vendors,stakeholders,investors,strategy,business strategy,business growth,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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Building Relationships: Communications Strategy | Extraordinary Business

Your stakeholders are the MVP’s (Most Valuable Players) to your organization.  Without them, you’d have an interesting hobby rather than an organization that you are running.  When we refer to stakeholders, we are talking about anyone or business that stands to gain as a result of the success of your business, including:
•    Employees
•    Partners
•    Investors
•    Vendors
•    Your community
Keeping them in the loop about what is going on in your business serves to build trust, loyalty, commitment and familiarity with your business.  A communications strategy (not just a sell, sell, sell strategy) is one way to make sure that you do this.

How many emails do you get per day that are trying to sell you something?  How many “free” webinars and tele-calls and partnership offers, disguised as sales tools grace your inbox, even hourly?  Contrast that to the number of value-added items you receive.  Which are better received?

Your stakeholders would be best served by value-ads (things that would be beneficial to that stakeholder), such as those articles, introductions and podcasts that could help them do what they do, better.  Knowing that they can be in regular communication with you without being asked to purchase something helps to build trust, and encourages them to learn more about you.

On the flip side, getting involved with their organizations or them helps to strengthen the growing relationship.  You’ve probably heard those dating or relationship stories where one party spends most of their time talking about and focused on themselves.  In the same story, 99% of the time, you hear that the relationship fizzles.  It will be the same with your stakeholders: if you spend all of your time focused on yourself or your company, they get disinterested, quickly.

A strong communications strategy is balanced; it addresses all of your stakeholders, individually, it gives and receives information about them, it provides value-ads for each of your stakeholders.  It is a combination of a number of different contact methods, from broadcast to personal, and uses a number of different medium, from emails to telephone calls to e-newsletters or print newsletters to meetings to personal cards.

Your communication strategy is one of the tools that will help your business grow, exponentially.  Because it is designed as a strategy, with regular communication and follow-up, you can give yourself goals with respect to how many people you will communicate with over any certain time period, and can measure how effective your campaign is.  Since it focuses on deeper relationships with people an businesses, it will be more effective than advertising, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and a pretty logo.

Be extraordinary.  Build extraordinary relationships.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: communications,employees,vendors,stakeholders,investors,strategy,business strategy,business growth,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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Muddy Footprints | Extraordinary Business

I have two big labs that love to play out in our backyard, which, thanks to them, has more mud then grass.  When they come in the house, of course, their big paws are usually full of mud, so we (less than) gleefully wipe their paws each time when they come in so that they don’t get mud all over our light-colored carpet.

If you don’t know, mud on the carpet can be grounds for divorce, dismemberment or even death.  Therefore, mud on the carpet is a bad thing.

In the business world, we often meet many, many people.  People most often do business with other people.  Buying decisions often involve some level of emotion, which could mean that if someone doesn’t like you, they will probably not do business with you.  If they like you, they’ll probably make you first choice, and might refer you to others who might need your assistance.

No brainer there.

When you don’t treat people with the respect they

are do, i.e., treat people the way you would want to be treated, you are leaving muddy footprints on their lives.  Just the same, if your employees, partners and processes leave soiled carpets all over the place, the effect is the same as your personal lack of respect toward those people.

While you may have opportunity and the gifts of cleaning up the messes, think about the fact that these faux pas are costing you money – directly or indirectly, meaning that a) people won’t do business with you, which affects your direct revenues, and b) the time you spend cleaning up the messes means that you cannot service another client or otherwise grow the business – again, missing out on revenues.

The remedy, of course, is to make sure that your paws, and those of every member of your business’s, are clean.  While there is an upfront cost to developing, training and monitoring your business’s methods of doing business, the payoffs could be astronomical.

Don’t settle for being ordinary.  The results will be ordinary.  Be extraordinary.  Run an extraordinary business.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Relationships,Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership,Employees,Customers,Messes,Business,Service,Revenue

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Muddy Footprints | Extraordinary Business

I have two big labs that love to play out in our backyard, which, thanks to them, has more mud then grass.  When they come in the house, of course, their big paws are usually full of mud, so we (less than) gleefully wipe their paws each time when they come in so that they don’t get mud all over our light-colored carpet.

If you don’t know, mud on the carpet can be grounds for divorce, dismemberment or even death.  Therefore, mud on the carpet is a bad thing.

In the business world, we often meet many, many people.  People most often do business with other people.  Buying decisions often involve some level of emotion, which could mean that if someone doesn’t like you, they will probably not do business with you.  If they like you, they’ll probably make you first choice, and might refer you to others who might need your assistance.

No brainer there.

When you don’t treat people with the respect they

are do, i.e., treat people the way you would want to be treated, you are leaving muddy footprints on their lives.  Just the same, if your employees, partners and processes leave soiled carpets all over the place, the effect is the same as your personal lack of respect toward those people.

While you may have opportunity and the gifts of cleaning up the messes, think about the fact that these faux pas are costing you money – directly or indirectly, meaning that a) people won’t do business with you, which affects your direct revenues, and b) the time you spend cleaning up the messes means that you cannot service another client or otherwise grow the business – again, missing out on revenues.

The remedy, of course, is to make sure that your paws, and those of every member of your business’s, are clean.  While there is an upfront cost to developing, training and monitoring your business’s methods of doing business, the payoffs could be astronomical.

Don’t settle for being ordinary.  The results will be ordinary.  Be extraordinary.  Run an extraordinary business.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected]iphanni.com.


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Technorati Tags: Relationships,Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership,Employees,Customers,Messes,Business,Service,Revenue

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The People | Extraordinary Business:

Did you ever see a big tough guy moving something large, like a sofa or a washing machine by himself?  Remember watching him struggle with it, if only a little.  Then, when he was ready to set it down, he couldn’t quite set it down as quietly as he might have liked, or when negotiating a doorway, he wasn’t as smooth as it could have been had he been working with another person.
Businesses are like that, as well.  There are lots and lots of business leaders out there that believe day in and day out that they can handle it all by themselves.  They’ll tell you that they can make more money like that they need control of the organization, and that they are the only ones that can do what they do the way that they do.
Have you ever seen a big tough guy…yeah, he is usually strong enough to do it by himself, but does he truly do it better by himself, or would it be better to have someone open the door for him, or help him set it down, or tell him about obstacles in his path, or someone to simply help him carry the load so that they can go further, together.  It’s like multi-tasking.  You work with every intention of getting several things done at once, but how successful are you, really, at getting more done, versus focusing, completely, on one thing for a fixed period of time.
Leaders, you need to realize that you can go further with another than you could ever go by yourself.  I am not talking about joint ventures, although they are helpful.  I am not talking about having your teenager work with you, periodically.  I am talking about working with someone who shares your vision and your excitement.  I am talking about working as a team, with a team that is qualified, shares your core values, “gets” the business mission, vision and values, and is willing to do whatever it takes to live it every day.
Does it take time to find those people?  Donald Trump will tell you in a heartbeat – hire slowly and fire fast.  He is probably saying that the organization can be no stronger than its weakest link.  He is probably saying that one person can make breach the hull of your business and sink the whole ship.  He is also saying that each member of your team is brought onto the team in order to help it accomplish more than it could without that person being on board.  It actually doesn’t work any other way.
Your people are your most valuable asset.  Whether they are your leadership team, your administrative, production, or whomever, they are going to be the ones that make or break your organization.  In order to separate your organization from those the rest of the organization, ensure that you are putting the proper energies into hiring, managing and developing your talent.
Go the extra mile.  Be extraordinary.
Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Leadership,employees,extraordinary business,small business,donald Trump,hiring,firing
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The People | Extraordinary Business:

Did you ever see a big tough guy moving something large, like a sofa or a washing machine by himself?  Remember watching him struggle with it, if only a little.  Then, when he was ready to set it down, he couldn’t quite set it down as quietly as he might have liked, or when negotiating a doorway, he wasn’t as smooth as it could have been had he been working with another person.

Businesses are like that, as well.  There are lots and lots of business leaders out there that believe day in and day out that they can handle it all by themselves.  They’ll tell you that they can make more money like that they need control of the organization, and that they are the only ones that can do what they do the way that they do.

Have you ever seen a big tough guy…yeah, he is usually strong enough to do it by himself, but does he truly do it better by himself, or would it be better to have someone open the door for him, or help him set it down, or tell him about obstacles in his path, or someone to simply help him carry the load so that they can go further, together.  It’s like multi-tasking.  You work with every intention of getting several things done at once, but how successful are you, really, at getting more done, versus focusing, completely, on one thing for a fixed period of time.

Leaders, you need to realize that you can go further with another than you could ever go by yourself.  I am not talking about joint ventures, although they are helpful.  I am not talking about having your teenager work with you, periodically.  I am talking about working with someone who shares your vision and your excitement.  I am talking about working as a team, with a team that is qualified, shares your core values, “gets” the business mission, vision and values, and is willing to do whatever it takes to live it every day.

Does it take time to find those people?  Donald Trump will tell you in a heartbeat – hire slowly and fire fast.  He is probably saying that the organization can be no stronger than its weakest link.  He is probably saying that one person can make breach the hull of your business and sink the whole ship.  He is also saying that each member of your team is brought onto the team in order to help it accomplish more than it could without that person being on board.  It actually doesn’t work any other way.

Your people are your most valuable asset.  Whether they are your leadership team, your administrative, production, or whomever, they are going to be the ones that make or break your organization.  In order to separate your organization from those the rest of the organization, ensure that you are putting the proper energies into hiring, managing and developing your talent.

Go the extra mile.  Be extraordinary.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Leadership,employees,extraordinary business,small business,donald Trump,hiring,firing
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