Improving the Fortunes of Your Business – What You Should Know

Any business owner wants to optimize the fortunes of its operations. In order to do this, they need to monitor different aspects of the business and ensure that they are working to their full potential.

It’s important that this is done effectively as many businesses fail because analysis and improvements are not carried out. Around 50% of small businesses in the US fail within the first 5-years. Many business owners choose to enlist help from Corporate Business Solutions, in order to ensure that their business performance is optimized. There are three main areas where this help can be useful.

Focusing on people

People are the most important asset of any business. The people who work for business help to determine the level of customer satisfaction. They are also responsible for the productivity of a business.

If there is a disconnect between the goals of the business and the actions of employees, this can have an adverse effect on the overall performance of the business. It’s important to reduce the risk of this happening by ensuring that employees are motivated and onboard with the aims of the business.

Examining the brand

Businesses build a brand in order to attract custom and improve sales and profits. This brand should obviously have positive connotations and should reflect the aims and services of the business. However, creating a brand is not the end of the story.

A business brand can start to fail if it’s not analyzed and monitored efficiently. For instance, the attraction of the brand may wane. There could also be an issue with production being able to meet the demands of the brand. These are issues that need to be identified and addressed as soon as possible, in order to improve the fortunes of the business.

Analyzing the performance of operations

If the wheels of a business are not working as well as they should, the fortunes of a business cannot be improved. This is why operational excellence is so important to the overall success of a business.

In order to achieve operational excellence, businesses need to analyze how their processes are performing on an ongoing basis. They then need to use the information that is gathered in order to make beneficial operational improvements.

In summary

No business owner can afford to allow their business to become stagnant. If this happens, the business begins to fail and profits fall. In order to stop this from happening, it’s important to take action to improve the fortunes of a business.

Business owners can enlist professional help in order to do this. Doing so means that they can analyze the effectiveness of vital features of the business such as people, the brand and operational performance. They can then use the information that they gain to make necessary improvements. These improvements can have a positive effect on the fortunes of a business. This gives it a better chance of surviving and thriving.

Why Good Succession Planning is Essential for Your Business

In order for a business to continue being successful, it needs to be prepared for any future gaps in personnel. This applies from ground level to senior management. To have this level of preparation, effective succession planning needs to take place.

This planning helps a business to establish vacancies that may occur. They can then make decisions about how to fill these vacancies. This involves planning aspects such as identifying internal skills and potential, training and external recruitment requirements. Businesses can make use of Corporate Business Solutions Consultants to help with this planning, which provides several vital benefits.

Identifying potential within the business

Succession planning enables a business to identify potential talent within. It helps a business to determine who are the future leaders within the workforce. These people can then be developed with a view to filling gaps that are likely to occur, higher up the ladder.

Making important savings

It’s a lot more expensive to recruit externally than it is to train and support gifted people that are already employed within the business. This means that succession planning helps to save money which the business can allocate to meet other essential expenses.

Identifying potential future weaknesses

While succession planning is a useful tool for identifying potential talent and training requirements; it also has another important role in business planning. It can help to identify future potential weaknesses in the business.

It does this by predicting the loss of essential personnel. For instance, the head of sales could be looking to move on. If this happened, and there was a delay in filling the role, there could be a negative impact on sales. Having this information in advance enables a business to mitigate the potential risks. This helps to preserve the performance and profits of a business.

Establishing if there is a competency gap

Succession planning is not just about filling gaps that may be created by vacancies. It’s also about establishing if there is a gap in competencies required for the current and ongoing success of the business.

For instance, there may be a lack of knowledge at ground level that will enable people to progress to a higher level in the business. There may also be a lack of awareness of skills and expertise that will be needed to meet technical or industry developments.

Identifying these competency gaps means that a business can act accordingly. It can ensure that the gaps are addressed so that the business continues to operate successfully.

In summary

Effective succession planning is a vital tool for any business that wants to maintain its level of success. It enables the business to ensure that any potential personnel or skills gaps are identified and addressed.

This type of planning can help a business to save money by ensuring that it makes the best use of its current workforce. Members of this workforce can be trained and developed so that the business becomes self-sufficient in filling vacancies and does not have the expense of external recruitment.

Help – You Need Somebody

Owning and running a business can be an exhilarating experience. However, it also comes with many challenges, one of which is recognizing potential problems. As a business owner, who is invested in wanting their business to succeed, it’s easy to miss signs that your business is not doing as well as it should.

The problem with this is that issues can get out of hand if they are not dealt with. This is why it’s so important for you to recognize that your business has problems to solve and get the help that you need from experts like the team at CBS-CBS.com. So how do you know when your business needs help, what assistance can you get and how can it benefit your business?

How to tell if you need help

It’s easy to become complacent when you are running a business, but this is a trap that you should attempt to avoid. There are some signs that you should look out for which might indicate that there is a problem including:

  • A lack of customer interest. If your customer base is stagnant this is likely to lead to a decrease in sales and profits. It can also affect your marketing is word of mouth recommendations are likely to decrease.
  • Mistakes have not been rectified. You can tell if mistakes are being repeated by using business analytics and by paying attention to customer feedback. If you identify this type of repetition, it may mean that you need assistance with improving your business processes.
  • Employees leave on a regular basis. A high level of staff turnover is a sure sign that there are issues with the business that you may need assistance to resolve.
  • Bills and other payments are not being addressed on time. This is an obvious sign that the cash flow of the business is not as it should be and that changes need to be made.
  • There is no innovation in the business. When a business fails to innovate, it’s likely to fall behind its competitors. This is why you may need help from experts if your business practices have not changed over the years.

What expert help can you get?

If you notice signs that your business is having problems, it’s often a good idea to seek help from experts who can give you an unbiased view of the current state of your business, as well as providing you with advice and support.

The help that you can get includes:

  • Data collection and analysis.
  • Customer satisfaction analysis.
  • Business and financial reporting support.
  • Business strategy and planning support.

How this help can be beneficial

The most obvious advantage of getting professional help to resolve business issues is that this assistance is independent and is therefore not hampered by pre-existing assumptions.

This advantage leads to others that can result from the information and advice that is provided, including improved employee satisfaction and retention, enhanced customer engagement and improved strategic planning.

Help is not something that a business owner should be ashamed of asking for. It should always be seen as an effective business tool that can help to improve practices and increase profits.

Choosing the Right Corporate Business Solutions Consultant for Your Business

Any business owner knows the value that working with a consultant can have. It provides an independent perspective on the processes and practices of a business and provides potential solutions and improvements.

However, if you are looking to enlist help with corporate business solutions, you need to make sure that you choose the right Corporate Business Solutions Consultants for your needs. Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Know what you are looking for

Before you set about enlisting the services of consultants, you have to understand the needs of your business. This means that you need to have a clear view of what specific help is required.

This enables you to find consultants who have experience in providing the required services. It also means that you can have a more informed conversation with consultancy providers. You can explain exactly what needs to be done and they can tell you precisely what help they can provide.

Speak to the companies you are considering

It’s not a good idea to select a business consultancy provider based simply on what you have read, or recommendations you have received. You need to speak to the provider in order to determine whether they are the right fit for your needs.

Reputable consultants incorporate business solutions should be able to provide you with clear and concise information when you speak to them. You can then use this information when choosing the best options for your business.

Check reviews and recommendations

While you should not make your decision entirely based on reviews of a consultancy provider, you should take them into account. This is because these reviews have been provided by people who have experience of working with the consultants. You can learn about how the consultants can have a positive effect on the performance of your business and you can identify any less than positive aspects.

Understand the culture of your business

It’s important to understand how consultants are likely to fit with the ethos and culture of your business. In order to do this, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your business culture. You should use this information when you are making decisions about how well the ethos and provisions of a consultancy provider will match with this culture.

In summary

Any business can benefit from expert help with corporate business solutions. Seeking this type of help is a way of establishing the current health of a business and identifying means of improvement. However, it’s important that the consultancy provider is the right fit to work with a business.

To establish whether this is the case, a business owner needs to understand the needs of the business, check for reviews of prospective consultancy providers, have a conversation with providers and consider the culture of the business before making any final decisions. If the correct choice is made, the business and provider can work together in order to optimize the performance and profitability of the business. This is a benefit that is invaluable to any business owner.

 

 

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away – Does This Work for Employees?

You have probably heard the apple a day saying. Originating from a Welsh proverb, and reworded by Benjamin Franklin, it’s been around for almost two centuries. So, is there any truth in it and can it work for your employees?

The truth is that there is no medical evidence to suggest that an apple a day results in fewer visits to the doctor. However, eating fruit can form part of a healthy diet which can, in turn, lead to healthier employees. Ask any expert in

Corporate Business Solutions and they will tell you that a healthy workforce is a valuable asset to any business.

Why is a healthy workforce important?

So why is it so important to have healthy employees? There are actually several benefits to be had.

Reduction in sick absence 

An obvious advantage of having employees who are healthy is that they are less likely to be absent due to sickness. This means that if you promote the health of your employees, they are likely to be in work more often, thereby protecting the productivity levels of your business.

Enhanced business performance 

Just because people are in work does not mean that they have an optimum level of health. They could be overtired or suffering from stress. This has an adverse effect on their performance levels. Therefore, taking action to improve the overall health of your workforce helps to improve personal performance and the performance of the business as a whole.

Improved employee engagement 

When people see that their employer is interested in their health and well-being they feel as though they are valued. This means that if you pay attention to the health of the people who work for you, they are more likely to engage with you and be motivated to work towards the ongoing success of the business.

How to keep your workforce healthy

While there is no way to guarantee that your employees will remain healthy, there are things that you can do which make it more likely to happen.

  • Make healthy food available to all employees. Many businesses provide vending machines which contain snacks such as candy and chips. Employees may get a short-term energy boost from eating these items, but they are not healthy in the long term. It makes sense to provide easy access to a selection of fruit instead. While apples may not keep the doctor away, they can help.
  • Encourage employees to exercise. This is an essential aspect of helping to protect the health of your workforce. Employees should be encouraged to move their limbs regularly while seated at their desks. They should also be encouraged to move away from their desks during their lunch break and go for a walk or a run.
  • Provide furniture that is supportive. This type of furniture helps to protect the joints and muscles of employees, making chronic pain issues less likely.

You can see that while giving your employees an apple a day may not keep the doctor away, providing a healthy workplace can make a real difference.

5 Operational Issues That Corporate Business Solutions Can Assist With

If you are running a business your aim is for it to grow and thrive. Over time, you are likely to experience operational issues that can have an adverse effect on growth and success if you let them.

This is when you start to look at Corporate Business Solutions Reviews to find the expert help that you need. So, what are some of the operational issues that your business may encounter and the solutions that you can be assisted with?

The meaning of an operational issue

In order to understand the effect that an operational issue can have on your business, you need to know what operational issues are. In short, this type of issue can have an adverse effect on the profits of a business.

This is because these issues can hamper the execution of business strategy, drain resources and reduce growth. You can see why it’s important to know about these issues and get help when necessary. With this in mind, here are five of the main operational issues your business may encounter.

Management of overheads

Overheads are an important consideration for any business. If they are not managed effectively, they can seriously diminish profitability. There are many reasons why overheads can cause problems, such as an overspend by the business. If this happens to your business, you need to examine your expenditure and remove any unnecessary spending. For instance, you may be able to use video calling instead of paying for business travel.

Monitoring of employee performance

If you fail to monitor employee performance effectively, you also fail to optimize the performance of your business. This is why you need to have a series of KPIs in place; at a business level and an individual level. These KPIs enable performance to be measured accurately and fairly. Initiating an efficient performance appraisal system also helps to alleviate issues with the monitoring of employee performance.

Compliance with regulatory requirements

It can be easy for any business to miss out on knowledge of rules and regulations; especially in a world where technology is advancing all the time. Doing so can be costly, both financially and reputationally. This is because if a business does not comply with regulatory requirements it can be fined and it’s standing with customers can be damaged. One of the easiest ways for a business to avoid this issue is to get help from experts.

Risks to cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a risk that every business needs to be alert to. If you do not pay attention to the cybersecurity of your business, you could face exposure to hacking and data leaks. This can leave your business at risk of financial issues and can lead to distrust from customers and potential customers. Solutions to cybersecurity issues need to be all-encompassing and implemented through all parts of the business.

Employing the right people

There is no doubt that employing the wrong people can be destructive to any business. This is because employees are one of the most important mechanisms when it comes to securing business success. Issues that can occur when the wrong people are engaged to lude:

 

  • Clashes of personal ambition with the ethos of the business.
  • Lack of relevant knowledge and skills.
  • Loss of team structure and effectiveness.

All of these problems can damage the performance and profitability of a business.

In order to ensure that the right people are hired, your business needs to build job descriptions and people profiles that are directly related to the ethos and strategy of the business and to the requirements of each role.

If any of these issues are experienced by your business, you can implement the relevant solutions, with assistance from corporate business solutions specialists when necessary.

Using SMART Goals to Help Your Business Grow

Making goals for business growth can, at times, feel challenging. You may have a vision of what your business’ future success looks like, but you may not have a business plan in place to help your team reach that productive end-point. You’ll need to set goals in order to incrementally pave the way towards success, so why not be SMART about it.

SMART goals are a specialized system of breaking down your business or personal goals into easy-to-evaluate criteria. Through these five components, you’ll be able to create goals that will sow confidence and accountability into your entire team.

Should you need further support, though, the consulting experts at Corporate Business Solutions can help to create customized goals to meet your business’ financial and productivity needs.

Specific

First, your goal must be as specific as possible. While it’s easy to set a broad goal, your business will see more success if your goals are carefully tailored to meet specific end-points. Team members, in particular, will benefit from specificity because it will help them align their role on the team towards your vision for the company’s success.

If you’re struggling to specificity your business’ goals, consider using the traditional “6 W’s” (Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why) approach to verbalizing your goals. You can then use these keywords to create a fully-fledged statement of your goal’s purpose and structure from the outset.

Measurable

Measuring the degree of success in meeting specified business goals is crucial, plain and simple. Without a metric for measuring your business’ success in meeting a goal, your progress will remain largely intangible and difficult to track from quarter to quarter. Measurable criteria can come in several forms, with everything from “dollars” to “number of new clients” included.

One of the best ways to determine if your goal is measurable is to evaluate if it can be broken down into tangible milestones. These waypoints can help guide business operations in the short-term in order to make the larger long-term goal more manageable for each team member.

Attainable

Attainability primarily evaluates the structural changes that may need to take place in order to make your goal into a reality. These changes need not be earth-shaking; in fact, they are often as simple as determining which tools and skills your team will need to acquire to make this goal a reality. Make sure that your evaluation of attainability is focused on motivation (IE “we can attain this goal!) or else your team may not have the drive to overcome potential obstacles.

Relevant

Evaluating relevance can be crucial to ensuring that your individual goals align efficiently with your larger business-wide goals. A relevant goal is able to set a course for a distinct end-point while still optimizing existing resources to enhance the goal’s eventual impact. Often, the best way to evaluate relevance is by meeting with all key team members and breaking down how your new goal aligns with (or potentially breaks free from) their existing goals and objectives.

Timely

Finally, your goal should have a built-in time table in order to keep your fresh objectives on a clear course towards fulfillment. You’ll know your goal is timely when you can continuously evaluate its efficiency based upon how much time has elapsed since its initiation. Such a time table should also be realistic and informed by relevant research into the norms for similar goals within your industry.

3 Tips for Finishing Out the Year Strong

As we move through the second half of the year, you’ve probably begun to turn your attention towards your productivity and revenue goals for the year to see if you are on target. If you’re like most business owners, you could always use a little extra support when it comes to finishing the year strong.  The following field-tested tips will fit that need with precision, with each tip providing insight into an issue or method you can use to optimize your success.

When it comes to staying on track with for your goals, you need not go at it alone, though. Corporate Business Solutions consultants are ready and waiting to meet with you to create a personalized management plan that meets your business’ short- and long-term goals.

Tip #1 – Look at Your Last “To Do” List

Though it may sound obvious, your efforts towards planning should include a full review of your goals. During the course of such a review, you can check off any goals that you have been successfully met as well as make modifications to ongoing goals that reflect their current priority status.

If a previously completed goal has fallen by the wayside, don’t be afraid to add it back in for next year’s “to do” list. This can help emphasize its overall importance, as well as provide a stepping stone for making that company-wide goal or milestone a permeant feature.

Tip #2 – Use SMART Goals

There’s an old saying that the best way to eat an elephant is “one bit at a time.” While you need not go to such carnivorous ends to achieve your goals, you should use a goal-setting method that helps you incrementally break down your goals into easy-to-monitor criteria. SMART goals are just one method of accomplishing this standard.

“SMART” goals are those that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. When creating a new line item for next year’s “to do” list, ask yourself, “Is this goal specific? Is this goal measurable?” and so forth. If not, take time to further pare down your goal until you are able to communicate its qualitative and quantitative components with precision.

Tip #3 – Identify Systematic Problems and Solutions

Finally, while looking at the company-wide “to do” list, take some time to determine if any system-wide barriers to efficient operations stand in your and your employee’s path. Though these hurdles can appear on a variety of fronts, they most often prevent employees from completing their assigned tasks in a timely fashion or communicating with one another with a respectable degree of clarity.

Many companies resolve these systematic problems by implementing new tools to supplement their existing capabilities. App-based messaging programs such as Slack, for example, have helped many small and large businesses streamline their team-based internal communications. Even non-communications problems can be solved by looking at the root cause of the barrier and then implementing a purpose-built tool or plan that helps eliminate that barrier substantially.

Onboarding New Employees with the Teaching EDGE

Onboarding new employees can be a challenge, especially if you expect that they’ll need extensive training using your business’ equipment or require extensive support to slot into your company’s workflow. Regardless of the skill or system, you need to teach to your new employee, you can do so using a method promoted in the Scouting program known as the “Teaching EDGE.”

This four-step cycle is designed to incrementally guide an individual from a position of deficit understanding to a position of fully independent operation. Using this Teaching EDGE can certainly take the edge off of both large and small training scenarios. For additional insights into managing your business, consider checking out CBS-CBS.com and their portfolio of informative consulting services.

E – Explain

Before your new employee ever picks up a tool or receives any projects, you (or a relevant manager) should work one-on-one with the new employee to fully explain what is expected of them with regards to this specific task. After explaining these expectations in detail, you should physically walk through every step in the relevant process. During this walkthrough, be sure to go slowly and make all of your actions deliberately geared towards the stated outcome.

At this stage, the new employee will not engage the new skill on their own. Instead, they will watch while you perform the task to gain a broad understanding of the bigger picture.

D- Demonstrate

Continuing on from the “Explain” stage, this next stage is focused on demonstrating the proper methodology behind completing the desired task, as well as explaining the underlying rationale for those actions. To this extent, you’ll repeat the previously completed process while breaking down each step in language familiar to the new employee. This step should also include an emphasis on intricacies that would not otherwise be obvious to the new employee.

By this time, new employees may possess (or should be prompted for) questions. Answer these questions fully and on their terms. While the new employee won’t work hands-on at this stage, they should be empowered to retain as much information regarding the skill’s successful completion as possible.

G – Guide 

After watching both a broad and in-depth implementation of the desired skill, the new employee is ready to begin attempting the new skill in a low-stakes scenario. As the teacher, you may walk your new employee through the steps on the first several cycles before allowing them to complete the task from memory.

Some mistakes are bound to happen, which is perfectly normal. Reassure your new employee and provide input to support their fundamental understanding of the task. At this stage, the new employee should grow in confidence and be able to complete the desired task with some auxiliary support.

E – Enable

Finally, it is time for you, the teacher, to step away and allow the new employee to apply their new skill in a live or realistic scenario. In other words, it is time for the new employee to act on their own and take responsibility for reinforcing their own mastery.

Some mistakes may still occur at this stage, which is okay. Remember that learning a new skill should be treated as cyclical, requiring occasional reinforcement in order to provide your new employee with an opportunity for skill mastery.

3 Tips for Harnessing Social Media to Meet your Business Goals

Regardless of your professional field, gaining new clients and building your revenue is likely at the core of your business planning efforts. While these plans should always be well-aligned with trends in your specific industry, nearly all business large and small can benefit from harnessing the raw communications potential of contemporary social media platforms.

Like the Yellow Pages of yesteryear, social media is where many consumers today turn to in order to ascertain key business information. It is up to you to meet your clients where they are and create a robust social media presence that meets their expectations.

While the following tips for harnessing social media resources will start you down the path towards success, Corporate Business Solutions reviews will help you further solidify these digital gains.

Tip #1 – Identify Your Audience(s)

First and foremost, you’ll need to know your audience before you can ever hope of reaching out to them on social media. While this may broadly include folks working in or in need of services from your specific industry, you should further pare down your audience based upon specific demographics (such as hierarchical position in a company and geographic region).

In all likelihood, you will end up establishing several “target audiences.” This is perfectly normal and can actually help you draw in clients and customers from several different entry points. For example, a bakery may maintain a social media profile that targets both regular bread-seeking customers as well as potential partners (such as a coffee shop) that could sell their products at a commercial level.

Tip #2 – Choose the Right Channels

With your target audiences in mind, you should begin to select social media platforms that are demographically tailored to engage those audiences with precision. Simply put, not all social media platforms are designed to reach every audience, so these selections may be the difference between striking it rich with your audience and wasting your resources on a fruitless digital venture.

Facebook remains the best social media platform for reaching a broad audience and advertising, though its impact on younger audiences is greatly waning today. Meanwhile, LinkedIn remains a great option for networking with other industry professionals and publicizing your business’ services. Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube each respectively hold potential as well when it comes to digitally communicate with your target audiences.

Tip #3 – Engage and Respond

Unlike other communication platforms of the past, social media revolves around the core concept of “engagement.” When you make a post on a social media platform, your audience can immediately respond (both positively or negatively) to your content through verbal and iconographical indicators. This can change how much visibility and productive reception your business receives online as a whole. Often, social media platforms will include analytical tools to help you make heads or tails of your platform-specific engagement.

Engagement isn’t a one-way street, though. When an audience member engages your social media presence, you can respond with feedback based upon their identified needs. Regardless of the feedback’s content, you should always maintain a professional demeanor in order to project the best possible digital brand voice for your physical business.