Monday, February 11, 2019

Business Management

Start-up Challenges in Business





Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges every business faces whether they are large or small.






Here are a few challenges that face many new business ventures.


1. The Market
There is not a compelling enough value proposition to cause a buyer to actually commit to purchasing. Is this product/service “nice to have” or “need to have”.
The market timing is wrong. You could be ahead of your market by a few years, and they are not ready for your particular solution at this stage.
The market size of people that have interest and funds may simply by too small to support a viable business.

2. Starting without a plan:
Enthusiasm over a good idea is over-rated. An idea is only an idea and without a well-developed business plan chances of success are minimal. It is also very difficult if not impossible to raise financing without a plan.

3. Money Problems
The majority of small businesses that fail do so because of lack of cash. Often, this is because owners borrow based on their ideas of a successful business, instead of borrowing for a worst-case scenario. A start-up business owner needs to be optimistic, but often is too optimistic about seeing profits. Without adequate cash flow, slow sales or a downturn in the market can end the business before it has a chance to gain momentum.

4. Fatigue 
The hours, the work and the constant pressure to perform wears on even the most passionate individuals. Many business owners, even successful ones, get stuck working much longer hours than their employees. Moreover, they fear their business will stall in their absence, so they avoid taking any time away from work to recharge. Fatigue can lead to rash decisions about the business, including the desire to abandon it completely. Finding a pace that keeps the business humming without grinding down the owner is a challenge that comes early (and often) in the evolution of a small business.


5.  Trying to Do It Alone
A common problem for most entrepreneurs is the belief that they can handle all of the start-up’s operations by themselves. It may be a cost-effective way to run the business, but operating the entire business on your own may not be a wise decision or the best use of your time. Many small-business start-ups may not require full-time employees. But it's a good idea to have at least two teammates, a lawyer and an accountant, ready to help. With experienced, reliable assistance, you can avoid common business mistakes. When it is time to hire staff, be careful in your choices. Employees are a crucial component in the success of your business.

I hope these thoughts help you plan for a successful venture. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Please let me know your thoughts. gerry@polarisgroupmc.com



Sunday, January 27, 2019

Business Management

Let’s Maximize Profits



Profits are the lifeline of small businesses. As your profits increase and become more predictable, your small business has a greater chance of surviving—and most businesses don't.
Most of the time, small business owners can't afford to wait for the results of long-term, large-scale changes to their business model.
As much as possible, if you want to turn a bigger profit as a small business owner, the quicker you can do it, the better.
The following simple changes can help you maximize your profitability right away.

1. Convert One-Time Clients Into Recurring Clients
There are many reasons why converting your customers into repeat clients can quickly   improve your profitability. Recurring customers tend to spend more and purchase more frequently than new customers.

2. Examine key performance measures 
    Falling sales, shrinking working capital, and rising costs are key indicators to monitor.

3. Manage your costs
    More effective purchasing can improve margins. Eliminate waste of materials and time.

4. Encourage Referrals
    If there's one marketing channel that can maximize your profits, referrals would be it.

5. Review sales to long term customers
   You may find out some customers are not as profitable as you thought.

In most cases, a combination of these measures will give a boost to profitability. Incorporate these measures into your business plan and review frequently.

Be diligent and execute, execute, execute.

I hope these suggestions help you focus on improving results. Please let me have your thoughts: Gerry@polarisgroupmc.com

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Business Management

Want to be Quantum – Safe with Your Cyber security?








Cora Cybersecurity Inc is a company developed by our guest blogger, Joe Latouf.

Here is an interesting brief outline that should attract your interest.


Cora Cyber Security Inc. has pioneered Quantum Safe Cryptography. Current standards of encryption can and have been broken and when Quantum Computers become more commonplace a new standard of security will be needed.

Cora Cyber Security can provide QUANTUM SAFE CRYPTOGRAPHY TODAY. And it is UNBREAKABLE.

Cyber criminals cost the global community  over $700 billion annually.

CORAcsi has developed Quantum Safe Encryption that is:

Fast – cyber hygene is an important consideration. When users do not have to wait for files/data, the temptation to “bypass encryption” is removed.

Central Control – unlike decentralized peer to peer networking technology like “blockchains” Cora is centrally controlled. Ownership of the data/solution is well defined.

Secure – both today and tomorrow. Let potential adversaries spend the time, energy and money to record your transmissions. Even quantum computers, when they mature, will not unCORAFY (decrypt) your information.

These are but a few insights into how you can strengthen your organization’s protection against cyber theft.

For a demonstration on how to secure your business, don’t procrastinate.

Call Joe Latouf, President, Cora Cyber Security Inc. today for a demonstration on this exciting leading edge technology.
Cell: 519-968-1338
Email: jlatouf@coracsi.com

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Business Management

Incentives for Key Managers


As the year ends and goals are set for the new year there may be a key role for incentives in managing and retaining key executives for the company. Rewards and incentives in the workplace have benefits for both employees and employers.


Here are some reasons for and examples of how to structure effective incentive programs for the management group.

1. Monetary Incentives
Monetary incentives reward workers for performance and productivity through money. These incentives include employee stock options, profit sharing plans, paid time off, bonuses and cash awards.

2. Non-Monetary Opportunities
Non-monetary incentives reward employee performance through perks and opportunities. These rewards can include flexible work hours, training opportunities and the ability to work independently. The rewards and incentives are valuable to an employee because they may allow workers to learn new skills and pursue advancement opportunities.

3. Turnover. 
You want to retain key management personnel for a number of reasons. High turnover destabilizes the company and can have severe effects on moral of employees and the bottom line.

4. Enhance Growth.
You want to retain high performing managers to enhance your own company’s growth potential and to keep key people from wanting to look at other opportunities.

5. Setting the Bar
Good managers don’t expect a bonus without achievement but don’t set the bar so high as to be unachievable. That becomes a disincentive to achieve growth.

6. Improve Profits.
Set goals that help improve your bottom line; just achieving new sales records is not a priority if the costs exceed the benefit. Sales executives should be just as concerned about profitable sales as the CFO.

7. Share.
Pay executives for overachieving by sharing profits. As profits goals are exceeded rewards can continue to be major incentives if shared fairly. Reward contribution. Roll plans forward and allow incremental bonuses for achievements in consecutive years. That’s a great way to keep a key person from leaving; that extra bonus for additional achievement may be too juicy to walk away from.

Incentives are important tool to maintain a motivated and dedicated management team and a well-designed plan can bear fruit over the long term. 
I trust these suggestions may help with goal setting in the new year. Please let me have your thoughts. gerry@polarisgroumc.com
   


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Business Management

Are you a Decision Maker or Procrastinator?


Decision-making is the key to moving forward and in doing so the greatest obstacle is procrastination.

Think the time you spend answering e-mail, composing and trolling Twitter doesn’t have an impact? Think again. Procrastinating in making business decisions generates enormous costs from time wasted and decisions delayed.

There are several approaches that may be considered to eliminate this waste.

1. Don’t delay. 
Any time you put something off the problem often gets bigger leading to more stress and possibly more procrastination. Recognize this behavior.

2. Reduce the issue to small tasks. 
Work in short bursts to complete each portion. This focused activity for short periods allows you to get the feel for accomplishment. Concentrate on results, not on being busy.

3. Learn to prioritize. 
You may never get caught up with everything you need to do. To be an effective leader you have to prioritize and decide what’s important and manage your time effectively.

4. Turn off distractions. 
If necessary, turn off email, stop answering the phone; give 100% attention to the task at hand.

5. Create a daily plan. 
At the end of each day spend 3-5 minutes setting up the next day’s schedule. It may save an hour the next day while you try to determine where to start your work activity.

6. Be accountable. 
Make yourself accountable to someone for what you want to accomplish. This could be an associate, friend, or business mentor. 

A task can more easily be tackled if you visualize it completed. Remember the “Law of Expanded Time”. Work will fill the time available to complete it. By making less time available to complete a task, you will spend less time completing it.

JUST DO IT.

I hope these ideas help with your decision-making process. Please let me know your thoughts. Gerry@polarisgroupmc.com

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Business Management

Keys for successful managing




Let’s look at some key factors that contribute to business success. The role management plays is critical and management must focus on and achieve the goals and objectives set for the business. This can be facilitated with effective use of these skills:





1. Effective Interpersonal Relationships
Staff members and colleagues respect managers that demonstrate trust and treat people with dignity and respect. Strong managers keep their word, and show character even under challenging conditions.

2. Leadership
An effective leader has a vision, a drive, and a commitment to achieve beyond that vision. The leader must then also have the skillset to enlist the support of the organization to achieve the stated goals.

3. Communication
An effective manager communicates effectively in person and through all communication channels. That person also is open to feedback and listens well to input from staff and colleagues.

4. Understand the business’ finances
Understand the financial aspects of the business and sets goals and measures and documents staff progress and success. This allows the team to feel a sense of progress, that they are reaching goals and exceeding expectations. Staff want to know how they are performing against expectations and that needs to be openly communicated.


These are just a few characteristics of management success. I trust this outline provides an opportunity to expand opportunities to reach new levels of success in your business.

Please let me know your thoughts. gerry@polarisgroupmc.com

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Business Management

Communication issues in business



Communication is the foundation of every single relationship you have in your personal life; it's no different in business. Without effective communication, there can be misunderstandings, problems and conflicts among your staff, your clients and everyone else you come into contact with. Poor communication can make effective delegation, productivity and an enjoyable work environment virtually impossible.


Here are a few issues that you may want to address:

1. Failure to Listen.
The inability to listen is a huge problem. Often you will see co-workers interrupting speakers or planning what they will say next instead of effectively listening. and still others just forget to pay attention, they are too distracted or have a short attention span. Obviously these all reflect on their failure to listen.
To resolve this stress the need to listen before you start a discussion. Focus on content of discussion and make notes later. Maintain eye contact to facilitate understanding. Turning off cell phones, email, or even closing an office door can help ensure the speaker has your full attention.

2. Culture Differences.
The office has become a melting pot stocked with people of diverse backgrounds and cultural customs. People tend to “hang" with others familiar to their culture or habits. When these individual groups assemble, managers face the challenge of team communications vs small group dynamics.
People often cling to “like-minded" individuals or want to share space with others in their culture. Try to mix them together and make sure that during brainstorming sessions, everyone is contributing—even if you have to walk the floor to listen. If someone is reticent, ask them for feedback. The most important thing however, is to repeat back what you’ve heard. Make sure that your understanding is clear. By reframing your understanding, it allows others to know you are listening and fosters better communication.

3. Ask good Questions
When you want to persuade someone, questions can be more powerful than statements. The reason: you engage another person more strongly. You get him or her thinking about the ideal answer – and the steps necessary to get there.

4. Gender Bias
The battle over which gender makes the best leader is taking the focus away from the real issue. Sometimes workers only want to relate to people of the same gender.
Don’t wait for an invitation to speak. Speak loudly and make sure your viewpoints are expressed; establish eye contact, and own your space. Never issue disclaimers, engage in demeaning yourself—and avoid unwarranted apologies.


Effective communication can be important to your business success. It may be worthwhile taking the time to reinforce practices in your organization to ensure improved results.
I hope these suggestions help. Please let me have your thoughts. gerry@polarisgroupmc.com