Monday, May 18, 2015

Struggling to deal with a crisis management plan?

 Is your organization struggling to deal with a crisis or plans to ensure the business exposure to a crisis is minimized?  It is not uncommon to see this paralysis because managers often prefer not to deal with the situation.

Here are a few steps that can be taken to help build a safety net.

1. Maintain sensitivity for even minor or seemingly insignificant events. Some could have the potential to develop into major issues that could be a blow to the business.

2. Plan ahead with a look to long term strategies as a guide. Work out best and worst case scenarios to help prepare for unseen events.

3. If a crisis arises act quickly; procrastinating rarely improves the situation.

4. Create a crisis management team with a mandate to trouble shoot, identify potential problems and empower them to recommend and enact changes to protect the business.

5. Provide strong and effective training to key employees and take steps to eliminate small issues so they don’t erupt into major problems.

6. Explore optional solutions and look for new ground to operate from if standard solutions prove inadequate. Think outside the box for solutions.

7. Don’t panic in a crisis situation. As the leader employees want strength. Keeping a cool head may facilitate focussing on the issues and getting a solution right.

The key to avoiding or minimizing the impact of crises that may arise is to be proactive ahead of adversity. I hope these tips provide insight into ways to fight through any situation that may arise with minimal damage to your business.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Business Management

Key leadership traits

Are you a leader just because you own and operate a small business? No. Effective business leadership demands a captain of the ship not someone just standing at the helm. Leadership is active, not passive. Leadership is a combination of traits and the ability to think and act like a leader. Leading and directing the activity of others for the overall benefit of the organization.

Here are a few traits of strong leadership:

1. Leaders Plan
The core of business leadership is being proactive rather than reactive. Leaders are good in crises - but that doesn't mean they sit around letting crises develop. Leadership involves identifying potential problems and solving them before they reach crisis proportions. Good leaders analyze and plan and adapt their plans to new circumstances and opportunities.

2. Leaders have Vision
Vision provides direction and without direction, there’s not much point to all that planning; your small business will still flail about. So if you don’t have one already, take your first step towards business leadership by creating a Vision Statement for your business.

3. Leaders Share the Vision and take charge
Sharing your leadership vision helps your vision grow and your business leadership develop. As you share your leadership vision you will strengthen your own belief in your vision and strengthen your determination to make your leadership vision become reality. Other people will start to see you as a person who's "going places". Your business leadership skills will grow as you and staff recognize you as a person with leadership skill.

Whether it's implementing a plan to improve your bottom line or responding to a crisis, you, as the leader, are the one who makes the decisions and sees that the appropriate actions are carried out. You can't just "talk a good game" to be a leader; you need to act and to be seen as taking effective action for the good of your small business.

Learning to be a leader isn't easy because it takes a conscious commitment and consistent effort to develop one's business leadership skills. I hope these tips help develop that skill and contribute to greater business success.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Business Management

Keys for Success with your Business

What Any Organization Needs To Survive and Succeed

Essentially five things or factors are needed by any organization wanting to succeed:
Key Managers  – those who facilitate operations
Vision – a reason d’etre for organization
Processes – activities which the people undertake to fulfill the business purpose
Physical Resources – a place to work, the right equipment, finances to operate and the appropriate staffing.
Customers – people outside the organization who are willing to pay money in return for the products and services the organization.

But it’s not just the existence of these five basic factors that enables success -it’s what you do with them. The 5 Key Success Factors Of Business

1. Managing and developing people:
 People today want some direction and structure, but they also want freedom and encouragement to develop their skills and knowledge. Effectively managing people requires balancing providing direction, structure, organization, with encourage personal growth, development and creativity. Effective managers do not manage all people the same, except for some basic rules. They manage each person according to what he or she needs as motivation to do their best.

2. Strategic focus
 In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s not just enough to have a purpose for existing. Leaders have to focus the organization’s resources on the greatest opportunities to fulfill the company’s vision. Priorities may change from time to time so it’s necessary for leaders to keep focused on the desired end results such as increased sales and profits.

3: Operations:
What the people in your organization do day in and day out to create value for customers, to earn or justify income, strongly determines whether you succeed or fail.  You can’t separate operations from strategic focus which gives direction, people which do the work, customers who pay the money and physical resources to do the work. Effective operations ensure that customers get exactly what they want at the right time, the right price and the right quality. Strategic focus is largely externally oriented, operations largely internally oriented. Both need to be totally in sync with each other – not something that happens automatically but rather requiring constant effort. This is why communication is the true lifeblood of a successful organization – a high flow of information so everyone and everything is connected. Easy to say, hard to do.

4. Resources and Cash Management
Finances, facilities and equipment are the big 3 physical resources. If you don’t have adequate financing you can’t start or sustain the business. A large focus for capital is providing adequate facilities and equipment for people to work in and with. Cash flow is king. It matters little what A/R total, it’s when the money is collected to use it to sustain the organization that matters. Failing to manage cash flow is the No. 1 reason for business failure.

5. Customer relations:
Customers generate money, so in many ways this is the most important success factor. Getting customers involves marketing – indeed this success factor includes all kinds of marketing and sales. The key to successful customer relations is to give them what they need, not just what you want to sell. It is key to develop customer loyalty and thus keep competitors away. Tracking competitor actions, analyzing changes in the market environment, and adapting accordingly will help the business succeed.

Use some of these principles to improve your opportunity of success.