Own A Business? You May Need A Wake-Up Call

Many business owners are highly focused on the day-to-day running of their enterprise. That isn’t too surprising – running any company is a challenge that throws up constant issues to be addressed. However, it’s important to remember not to spend all of your time focusing on the here-and-now. Yes, it’s important to forge new networking links, to improve customer service and to grow your bottom line. Yet, it’s also very important to plan an exit strategy for the future.

The Exit Strategy – Important Yet Overlooked

Running a business is, all-too-often, a life-consuming task. If you’ve just launched a start-up, or if you’re a few years down the line into establishing your thriving company, probably the furthest thing from your mind is how you’re eventually going to leave the organization that you’re working so hard to build up. However, this is quite worrisome, considering that, on average, around 80-90% of your net worth could be tied up in your company.  If you’re going to work for decades to create a valuable organization, you need to plan for how that value can be harvested when you’re ready to move on to pastures new.

The Key Statistics

For the average business owner, around 90% of their net worth will be tied up within their business, yet around half have absolutely no plans in place for exiting the company that they’ve built up. This leaves a difficult situation when the times come to move on. Whether you’re keen to retire and enjoy the fruits of your labor or whether you’re ready to embrace a new and exciting challenge, the reality could be that it could be harder to get out of your existing company than you ever imagined.

Over half of all business owners have sold their business in mind as their exit strategy of choice, with over 40% of them considering doing this within the next 5 years. Yet, it’s likely that they could find numerous obstacles in their way when they get around to putting their company on the market, and they’re also very likely to be unhappy when they finally make the sale. Even those who want to keep their business in the family face a host of issues when it comes to sharing out ownership amongst several potential heirs.

In short, it seems that exiting any business can be fraught with difficulties, so there’s never been a better reason to start planning well in advance.

Beginning Exit Planning at An Early Stage

The team at Corporate Business Solutions recommends starting to deliberately consider Exit Planning as early as possible. It may even be best to beginning writing your exit plan before you even set up your company! Bear in mind that, to have the best chance of success, your process of exit planning should take somewhere between 4 and 10 years, so you need to leave enough time.

Why does it take so long? A good exit plan won’t just analyze your business and determine ways of strengthening it with your exit in mind, but it also bears in mind the owner’s financial and personal situation as well as their life plan once they’ve left the business. It takes calibration and time to align these factors.

So, don’t leave it too late to arrange the exit you want. When you’ve spent a lifetime building up a successful company you don’t want to throw it all away at the last hurdle. Seek professional help and start drawing up your plan today.

 

Investing in Onboarding to Benefit Your Business

Running a company involves making a lot of decisions, and one of the most important is where you’ll be making investments to further your business goals. Although it may be challenging to determine where and how money should be spent, it’s certainly worth considering investing it in onboarding your new employees. Evidence shows that employees who enjoy an excellent onboarding experience will be almost 70% more likely to remain with that employer for a minimum of 3 years, so it’s well worth making this investment.

Corporate Training and Its Role

Corporate training could have a vital role in your company’s strategic plan if you want to improve your new employee onboarding experience. Culture development and increased retention are two key areas that organization is usually focus on when drawing up a strategic plan, and implementing corporate training can tackle both of those priorities effectively.

Many businesses choose to train new employees themselves through one-to-one sessions with staff members, managers, and other employees. As an approach, this makes sense, since it creates a more organic transition into the company by learning from those who are already working in it. Yet, there are some shortcomings associated with DIY training too. A more effective approach could be to pair in-house training with professional training services so onboarding plans can be designed that facilitate a successful and smooth professional development for new staff from their very first day.

Introduction to Your Company’s Culture

When introducing new hires into your organization, part of the onboarding process should be an introduction to your company’s culture. Every staff member needs to fully embrace the workplace culture if the business is to thrive. Therefore, part of this early phase of your recruits’ employment should help them to immerse themselves in the cultural experience of your business and introduce them to its goal’s missions and values so that they can align themselves with them.

Communication and Continuation

Communication is central to the success of any workplace, so part of your recruits’ onboarding experience must involve helping them to integrate with the team and to forge strong connections with their new colleagues. It’s also vital to remember that the process of onboarding is an ongoing one – it doesn’t come to an end after the first day or even week. Checking in regularly with new hires is essential to ensure that they are coping and increasing confidence as they settle into their new role.

Seeking Business Consultancy Advice

The onboarding process is essential for any small business that wants to grow its bottom line and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. Corporate Business Solutions reviews show that our clients experience significant benefits when they adopt our advice regarding implementing more effective organizational socialization. New employees enjoy better morale and have a more positive welcoming experience when joining the company, while retention rates increase exponentially.

New employees are an asset to your organization, so ensuring that recently recruited staff members enjoy the best and smoothest transition process into your company is imperative.  By investing in onboarding, you can set your business up for a positive and successful future.

Acquisition Or Acquihire? Which Is Right For Your Business Exit Strategy?

When you’re planning your business exit strategy, you’ll need to determine which approach is right for you. One of the most common options is a merger or acquisition in which your business will be bought by or will merge with another similar organization. There are a few advantages to this, but there are also a few downsides to bear in mind. One alternative is to consider becoming part of an Acquihire. This is a less common option, but it also offers a number of benefits. Here, we compare the two options so you can determine which one, if either, is right for your needs.

The Advantages Of A Merger Or Acquisition

When you opt for an acquisition or merger to exit your business, you could benefit from extra flexibility depending on who you decide to sell the company to. You may be able to have a more flexible involvement in terms of your time, or you may be able to have the freedom you need to walk away from the business.

One excellent thing about adopting this strategy is that you can negotiate how much you will sell your business for, whereas if you sell to the public, your company will be valued relative to others in your industry.

There is a major downside, though. It can be an extremely time-consuming and expensive process to sell your business in this way. In fact, evidence shows that 90% of businesses fail to get bought at all. Even if you achieve a successful sale, your company no longer exists in its original form, and there are numerous consequences linked to this action. It’s therefore always wise to have an alternative plan in place, just in case your dream of a merger or acquisition doesn’t pan out.

Becoming Part Of An Acquihire

An acquihire is different from a standard acquisition. With this exit strategy, a company will buy out your company purely to acquire its skilled or talented employees. While this means that your business legacy won’t endure in terms of its name, your employees will be provided for. You will, however, need to work on negotiating terms with the specific needs of your employees in mind.

One of the advantages of this type of exit strategy is that you’ll have the opportunity to negotiate terms so you’ll increase your profits as well as a positive future for the employees who have been loyal to you. You’ll also benefit from a neat exit from the business with no need to have any concerns about lingering obligations and responsibilities.

Again, however, there is a downside. Just like with a standard acquisition or merger, the process may be expensive, difficult and time-consuming. It may also be harder to find buyers who are interested in acquihire arrangements. Of course, you’ll also lose the business legacy that you have built up over the years.

Which Exit Strategy Is Right For You?

There are many different possible exit strategies for you to consider, and these are just two. If neither is a good choice, Corporate Business Solutions can help you to make a well-informed decision. You can get all the information you need to choose the right type of exit strategy to suit your own needs and the needs of your employees.

Top Tips For Improving Your Business Efficiency

If you’re running a business, you’re no doubt extremely busy. It’s hard to find time to get everything done, but if you can improve the efficiency of your business, you’ll find that you can not only get more done but actually boost your revenue and take your company to a whole new level. With this in mind, here are some top tips to improve your business efficiency.

Adopt Project Management programs

Keeping every member of your team on track couldn’t be more important when you need to improve your efficiency, and that’s why adopting a project management program such as Trello is especially helpful. This will enable you to plan time more effectively and to ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner. You’ll be able to see at a glance whether a specific job has been completed and, if not, it can be chased up rapidly.

Carry Out Weekly Reviews

Each week, it’s well worth planning a half-hour into your schedule to review everything that went well and all the lessons that you have learned that can help you to improve in the future. With a weekly review session, you’ll be able to identify your successes, learn from them, replicate them and celebrate them, as well as analyze everything that went wrong so you can learn how similar mistakes can be avoided in the future.

Plan the Next Week

At the end of every week, it’s important to look over your diary and plan the week to come in advance. What do you require to prepare for upcoming appointments? Which jobs do you need to complete before attending them? Once the week begins, you’ll probably lack sufficient time to think about the things you may be missing or the things you haven’t yet achieved, so plan ahead so that you can be well-prepared.

Process Finances Regularly

Try to make a specific time slot every month or week to process finances and check bank accounts for outgoings and incomings. This will ensure you stay on top of your expenses and expenditures so you don’t have a lot of chasing up to do in 6 months’ time.

Arrange Marketing In Advance

Marketing is an essential task, but it can often be left behind in the rush of day-to-day business management. Create your marketing materials in advance so you can be fully prepared. If you spend a whole day working on all your upcoming newsletters, blogs, and posts, you’ll not only be more efficient but you’ll also be able to create better flow between your posts since you’ll be in the groove.

Reply To Your Emails Once Daily

It can be tempting to keep checking your emails all day long, but actually, this isn’t an efficient strategy. Taking time out to reply to every single email that comes in means that you’ll be constantly distracted. Instead, take time out once per day to respond to everything that has come in. This will keep your inbox manageable without taking up too much of your time.

Bring In Expert Advisors

It can be difficult to know how to use your time to your best advantage, however, when you bring in professional help you can be sure that you’ll have expert assistance at your fingertips to improve your efficiency. Corporate Business Solutions are on hand to offer you expert advice to help boost your company’s efficiency, improve its policies and drive its efficiency so that your business can begin to grow and thrive.

Can Marketing Strategies Impact On Your Exit Strategy?

As a business owner, you’ve probably never put the terms “exit strategy” and “marketing plans” together before. Yet when you combine both of these things, the results can be especially impressive. If you implement one properly, the benefits to the other are significant. For example, marketing strategies have a key role to play in determining the value of your business once you’ve executed your exit strategy. Conversely, having an exit strategy that is well-defined can make it much easier to market and grow your business.

While both require their own unique approach, it’s possible to think about and implement both together. Marketers are able to take an appropriate approach to help the business grow if they already have their exit strategy firmly in mind. Also, strategists and exit planners are able to guide the marketing team with their exit plan in mind.

Therefore, if a business is to be truly successful, both concepts have to co-exist.

The Importance Of Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies are the tactical blueprints which you’ll follow and which perfectly align with your business goals. The best marketing strategies are simple to implement but are also very diverse, using a wide variety of marketing platforms. Every marketing plan goal should be to put the business and brand in the most positive light so leads can be converted into new customers and profitable sales.

The Importance Of An Exit Strategy

All business owners build their business thinking that one day they may sell it onto an investor. Therefore, having an ultimate exit strategy in mind is important for the business to be successful. Focusing on gaining more new clients, increasing sales volumes and growing its bottom line is key. When investors start to look into the business, those figures translate into higher valuations and allow business owners to exit for the greatest possible price.

Planning A Marketing For Exit Strategy

Marketing for an exit strategy must be defined clearly so that the team knows what must happen at every stage. This means that clear goals must be put in place with specific numbers linked to every goal.

There are several questions that must be defined to put together an effective strategy. Who are your business’ ultimate customers? Which services and products do you sell that interest those customers? Why are they interested in those services and products? Are they ready to buy straight away?

The strategy you adopt needs to be tied closely to each lead that enters the sales funnel, and to every qualified lead that is pushed to the sales team. You could even ensure your marketing strategies are tied into your monthly sales figures and ROI. Above all, your team must know which of the goals are most vital and which are destined to have the largest impact on the final goal – executing your exit strategy.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you’re planning an exit strategy for your business, seeking professional advice is always wise. Corporate Business Solutions Consultants are available to offer you the help you seek, and as a team of experts in the field of business, you can depend on us to point you in the right direction for maximum profit.

Is Size Important or Not?

The importance of size obviously depends on the situation. For instance, a business benefits from having a larger customer base. In cases such as this, it’s important for a business to optimize the size of its assets.

One of the best ways to do this is to use analytics. Doing so helps businesses to see where improvements need to be made. The problem is that many businesses struggle to have the time and expertise to make the best use of analytics. If this applies to your business, you may find that getting help from Corporate Business Solutions Consultants is a good idea. Let’s take a closer look at why getting this type of help can be so important.

What is analytics?

Analytics has come to the forefront of the business world in recent years. It’s a field that makes use of data, IT, statistics and quantitative analysis in order to provide detailed information. This information is used by businesses in order to plan and strategize effectively.

Analytics can be applied in many different areas including customer relationship management, management of business finances, HR management and management of the supply chain.

Why is business analytics so important?

Considering the question of the size that was raised earlier in this article, you can start to see why analytics are so important to a business. For instance, how can your business understand the size of its customer base, or its revenue, if it does not have analytics in place? It’s important that your business has this information so that it can make decisions about improvements that need to be made.

The simple fact is that analytics can help your business grow the size of its share of the market and increase the number of customers that it has, and the resulting revenue. This means that your business can remain competitive and continue to grow. Obviously, these are important considerations for any business.

Different types of analytics

Most full analytics processes involve the use of three types of analytics; descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics.

Descriptive analytics

This is the part of the analytics process that deals with the interpretation of historical data. It provides a business with information about what has happened in the business up to that point.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics involves using techniques such as machine learning and predictive modeling to analyze the current and past situation with the business in order to predict future situations.

Prescriptive analytics

This is the stage in business analytics which involves the use of predictive and descriptive analytics to help make informed decisions for the business. This is done using mathematical and computational sciences.

The answer to the question about whether the size is important or not is that it certainly can be. Businesses need to concentrate on the size of their revenue and market share in order to thrive. Using business analytics helps them to do this. If you want to ensure that you use analytics for your business, as effectively as possible, it may be a good idea to seek professional assistance.

 

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.

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.