Updates from January, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 4:48 pm on January 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , total,   

    TQM Is For The Small Business 

    Contrary to what many may think TQM is for small businesses. Well what is TQM? For those that don’t know, TQM is total/ top quality management. Many may feel that only larger corporations have to implement or maintain TQM but that’s not the case, it’s for businesses large & small.

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    TQM is a management process used in all kinds of business and public sectors as a means of achieving quality through feedback and awareness of customers’ needs.

    Total = Quality involves everyone and all activities in the company.

    Quality = Meeting Customer Requirements.

    Management = Quality can and must be managed.

    TQM = A process for managing quality; it must be a continuous way of life; a philosophy of perpetual improvement in everything you do.

    You may be looking for new customers & trying to maintain the ones that you have, so in the midst of that: Are your competitors taking your best customers?

    In order for a small business or entrepreneur to compete in this competitive business world, a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction programs are imperative. Think about “post-sale” customer satisfaction (or managing customer “dissatisfaction”) programs as a way to reinforce customers’ buying preferences for your products and services for their current and future purchases.

    Make TQM the foundation for your business practices. It is the foundation for activities such as:

  • Meeting Customer Requirements
  • Reducing Development Cycle Times
  • Just In Time/Demand Flow Manufacturing
  • Improvement Teams
  • Reducing Product and Service Costs
  • Improving Administrative Systems Training
  • A new small business has limited financial, personnel and capital plant/equipment resources and is especially vulnerable to instability brought on by rapid changes in customer behavior. One way to help ensure your business success is to make quality and customer satisfaction the number one priority for all the staff in your company. Make sure your company is providing “customer management,” not just “product management.”

    The Ten Steps to TQM are as follows:

    1. Pursue New Strategic Thinking
    2. Know your Customers
    3. Set True Customer Requirements
    4. Concentrate on Prevention, Not Correction
    5. Reduce Chronic Waste
    6. Pursue a Continuous Improvement Strategy
    7. Use Structured Methodology for Process Improvement
    8. Reduce Variation
    9. Use a Balanced Approach
    10. Apply to All Functions

    The task of implementing TQM in a small busines starts at the top. It is generally taken on by the CEO or top management. There are various aspects to the successful implementation of quality TQM.

    It may require months or years to fully incorporate TQM into your companies value system. There are several keys to a successful TQM program for small businesses:

    • Quality work and customer satisfaction must be a commitment of all staff.
    • Improving quality and customer satisfaction must also be a commitment of everyone in the company.
    • Every company activity must incorporate quality and customer satisfaction, including all communications with customers and suppliers.
    • It doesn’t have to cost more to make quality and customer satisfaction your priority.
    • Significant changes may be required to make quality and customer satisfaction improvements.
    • Small advantages in all company functions can set your quality and customer satisfaction apart from the competition.

    TQM requires rigorous assessment and strategic planning for every aspect of an organization. The CEO, owner or top management should always be looking to achieve top quality. TQM is a method that can help them do just that. However, TQM involves every part of the organization, and has to start at the top, so  head management must set the TQM example.


    (c) 2009 All rights reserved. Clerical Business Solutions~business management co., virtual assistant services & business strategy consulting. http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:46 pm on January 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Improve Your Decision Making Skills For Greater Success 

    There are many skills that you need in order to maintain a healthy & thinkingcapwhoasuccessful business. But the skill of decision making is a very critical one and of utmost importance.  There is an art & science to making or forming the right decisions.

    If you don’t make the right decisions for your business goals, you could crash & burn.  Sometimes you may need help & beneficial support to make the right decisions & accomplish your goals. That’s where strategic planning & business consulting could come in handy. Because every business or project needs a strategic plan & decision making skills.

    Decision making in management is an important skill and making the right decisions is essential. Every ceo, professional, manager or individual should be looking to improve their decision making skills.

    The process of corporate decision making is of the utmost importance for effective management. Your decision making process in management must be informed by expert knowledge and experience. No matter how skilled you may be with creative (and lateral thinking) techniques, if your focus is weak, the results will be weak or even useless.

    Take time to properly define the problem. What is the issue to be covered? What is the problem? What decisions need to be taken?

    You may feel like you have the solution to an obvious problem that you are facing. Then you may feel like there is no need for continued creative thinking.  Well you may be wrong,  there is a real need, because an adequate solution is not necessarily the best solution.

    Too often, the adequate blocks the best. Once we have an adequate solution, we stop any further thinking. Partly, we do this because further thinking efforts would imply some doubts about our first solution, then you tend to accept many decisions as is.  You must be willing to weigh all options and think things through, dig a little deeper.

    Yet there may be a simpler solution, a cheaper solution or even a solution that’s easier to implement. It is not a matter of a school exercise book problem where there is only one right answer and you cannot be more right than right.

    It does require a great deal of discipline and confidence to go on looking for a possible better solution when you have one that would seem to work.  Some people are not disciplined enough to change their thinking or seek out new strategies.

    Take a look at a few key steps in decision making:

    • Improvement
    • Forecasting
    • Decisions & Alternatives
    • Interpretations of Data
    • Habit & Disicipline


    There are so many things that can be done to make improvements and many of those improvements can be simplified. Taking an avenue of creative effort should be obvious for improvements. Many things can be improved because nothing is perfect. The need for making decisions & problem solving can seem like a never ending cycle.

    cycle1Since you can take a look at some of everything to improve on, this makes it difficult to focus on one specific task. You must develop a laser focus and pinpoint one task at a time because too many at once can be overwhelming and cause to you to accept inadequate solutions.

    Many improvements can be made for speed, simplicity and cost, cutting down on waste and wide application; and acceptance. 

    It’s natural that over time, for things to get complicated and you may even hit a few rough spots.  Take a look at  Business Process Improvement (BPI) which is a systematic approach to help any organization optimize its underlying processes to achieve more efficient results.

    BPI focuses on “doing things right” more than it does on “doing the right thing” & remains portable across various industries and functions. You can always learn from others about making improvements to your decision-making, your business & your operations. But develop your own individual creative & simplified approach to things. You need creativity to make your improvements or operations more competitive.


    You will need creativity to look ahead into the future to see what might happen. The field might get very crowded. What are the costs of entry?

    Looking ahead into the future almost always requires creativity. Forecasting is a decision-making skill & the process of estimation in unknown situations. Prediction is a similar, but more general term. Both can refer to estimation of time series, cross-sectional or longitudinal data. Analyze trends and predict by projecting past experience or known data.

    You need to imagine how people and organisations will react to changes. You may have multiple scenarios, there is no one “right” scenario, learn to analyze & look at several. Prior knowledge of past data & situations can help you to dig a little deeper, be more creative & forecast better for the future.

    Decisions &  Alternatives~
    Pay a lot of attention to decision making. When it comes to decision making there may be some obvious alternatives. Then you may need creative thinking to discover the not-so obvious ones.  In an effort to move forward, sometimes you may have to design a way out or for completion in many situations.

    Every decision making process produces a final choice.  The output can be an action or an opinion of choice. In life it can be difficult with so many alternatives & decisions to be made. Sometimes it is necessary to face these challenges to get a significant outcome.

    Interpretation Of Data~

    Many times you may use the interpretation of data to make decisions & design strategies. Steer clear of the danger zone of sticking to just one set of data. Dig deeper to find some alternatives or explanations to your present data.

    Habit & Discipline~
    Creative thinking can help with decision-making &  become a habit of mind so that we are always looking for possibilities. Ask yourself:

    1. How do we do what we want to do?

    2. What do we want to do?

    In addition to the ‘habit’ of creative thinking, there is also the discipline. This involves making a determined effort. We set out to use a creative technique in a deliberate fashion. We can do this to determine a focus. We can do this to find a way of achieving a result. It is important to separate discipline from habit.

    So take some time out to improve on your decision making today!!


    (c) 2009 All rights reserved. Clerical Business Solutions~strategic business planning, consulting & support services. http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net  Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 4:46 pm on January 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , innovative, make over, , , , , year   

    Out With The Old, In With The New: Making Changes 

    Well one year has ended & another one has begun. Do you feel stagnate,  with little to no growth or success? Now is the time to put away the same old ways of doing things, refresh & renew.  Have you done that yet? Are youhome_body_picture embarking on something new for this year, for yourself or your buisness? During last year, did you make any new goals & plans for this year?

    If you didn’t you should have, like 6 months ago. Well depending on how deep you are into your business, it may not be too late to implement something new, make some innovative new changes. Sometimes you may even have to start over, a complete makeover.

    Right now it’s a time to look back, celebrate successes and look forward to new opportunities and challenges ahead. For many, this year will be one of our most challenging.

    Because of the way the world has been lately with finances, debt, war etc… I’ve heard from some of my clients and others that they have this sense of  “we’re all in this together”. Somehow that feeling of  “sharing the pain”  has a way of easing the pain. 

    In the business world you just may get left behind, if you are not innovative & creative with your goals & your business, your competition just may get ahead of you. If you are in business you want longevity, you should want to stand above the crowd, strive for success & greatness. So put your best foot forward and make it happen.

    In order to make things better for yourself & your business you need a strategic plan of action & implementation.  Without it, how will you know where you are going? Every business or project needs a plan & a strategic one at that.

    Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone in order to make things happen. Put it like this your “Comfort Zone” is a “Death Zone”. What I mean is that when you get used to doing something, the same way for a long time & you don’t try to stretch out & try something new, means that you are stagnate, you’re not growing.

    That’s when you enter a “Death Zone”, it could mean death for your business or projects. Yes, you may enjoy doing certain things all the time, just make a little change, it doesn’t have to be huge. You should want to strive for greatness, something that will help you to stand above the crowd & create a better business.

    Look to get out of your comfort zone & think outside of the box. Take on something challenging to better educate yourself & your staff. Yes, sometimes change may hurt, become irritating, it may be time-consuming or even challenging.  Sometimes those are the kind of hurdles that you have to face in order to reach success. You may have to tackle changes kicking & screaming but JUST DO IT! GO FOR THE GUSTO!

    If you can’t go at it alone get someone to help, someone who will be with you for the long haul, through the ups & downs of changes.  Then to see your changes or goals become reality. It can lead to greater success if done correctly. When you break out of that same old way of doing things or add to them, you never know what greatness that you can achieve.

    For myself, in the midst of making & learning about changes, it has become very rewarding & things seem a lot clearer.

    1. I have learned that somethings can stay the same, need a little adjustment or challenge.

    2. What has not worked in the past should be eliminated, adjusted or challenged.

    3. In the midst of changes you will have ups & downs. Sometimes those are the kinds of hurdles that you have to face.

    Take out some time to take a look at your business & your life. Are you growing? Are you succeeding? Does anything need adjusting or a complete over haul? Are you being true in  your business practices & for yourself? If not, consider what things will look like if you just get out of your comfort zone & make significant changes.

    Get out your pen, your pad or your laptop, then jot down somethings that you can improve on or eliminate. Make it a plan, make it a strategic plan, with milestones for you to reach as you go along. Put it where you can see it everyday. Take some action & implement your strategic plan today!


    Clerical Business Solutions is a global strategic business management company.

    Assisting clients with strategic management, growth, development, implementation strategies & administrative assistance for their business or projects.  http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net  .  Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net

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