Updates from August, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 5:44 pm on August 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business location, , , location, proximity, real estate, ,   

    Location, Location, Location: Your Business Proximity Matters 

    Out of all of the many business decisions that you’ll make, your business location & proximity should be at the top of your list. It’s a big part of the strategic planning of your business. When you strategically plan, do your research and talk to business development professionals then that could help you to better Ebook: Gain Business Success In A Recessiondecide on your business location and proximity of your needed resources or customers.

    You can gain more clients/ customers by showing them that you can meet their location needs. Whether you’re online, offline or both. The proximity of your business is not a guarantee of success but it’s good enough insurance against real quality problems. If you are trying to sell your business, then location & proximity of your business plays a big part in your success.

    Identifying the needs of your business is very important. When you know and understand how your services or products affect your customers/ clients, it helps to avoid bigger problems down the road. Choosing the right location for your business is a balancing act.

    • Are you in the right location for the right people?
    • Is it time to relocate or expand?
    • Should I be online, offline or both?

    Cost can be a concern but it’s not the only concern. When it comes to the location of your business weigh your options carefully. Sometimes you may have to commute and get outside of your area. The type of business that you operate will determine if you need a business online, offline or both.

    Many times, the location of your brick n’ mortar operation can make or break your business. Checking out the demographics of your business can be as simple or complex as you make it. Get a demographic overview of the area that you may be looking into; such as age, households, income etc… When you know the type of customers that you want to sell to then you need to select locations centered on that.

    Doing your research and the strategic planning of your business can help you to determine if you need a business in the city downtown area, a place out in the suburbs or the country. Include in your research & strategic planning a competitive analysis. Doing a competitive analysis before opening a business location can give you an idea as to whether or not you should be near your competitors.

    Sometimes being near your competitor can have its advantages. For example just take a look at your local mall, many of them have similar stores all in one building and many of them do quite well. On the other hand being too close to your competitors can be deadly for your business. For example if you have a cake shop in the same neighborhood as other cake shops, you may have a hard time bringing in business. But if you have top quality services & products you can bring in a lot of business in the same neighborhood.

    You need to size up the demographics and get the help that you need. Don’t go at it alone, ‘cause you want to avoid costly mistakes at the beginning & during your business.

    So talk to some professionals in business development, business consulting, business real estate etc… Once you’ve made your plans, you have them down packed and you’ve talked to a professional then you just may be ready to begin business.

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 5:59 pm on August 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: benefits, communications, , for, , important, ,   

    Superior Customer Service Is Important For Your Business 

    Developing and maintaining effective customer service is highly important for your business. Many companies seem to lack in that area. Is your company lacking in that area? Many companies or organizations have a Virtual Assistant Services OF Clerical Business Solutionsdesire to generate a more customer oriented culture or business vision.

    Your customer service is a big part of your business communications. There’s a little more to superior customer service than being nice. It’s all about effective communication skills, which include:

    • CRM (customer relationship management)
    • providing top quality services/ products that they need/ want or developing ways to achieve them
    • respecting your customers & being there for them in their time of need

    Satisfying your customers should be a main goal of your business & customer service, not money. The money will follow. Don’t sacrifice your integrity for the sake of greed.

    Just simply having a certain tactic, technology or mission statement isn’t the key to effective customer service. But it’s helpful to periodically evaluate how your organization receives and manages it’s CRM (customer relationship management), how you make phone contact and how you identify opportunities to improve the quality and accuracy of your communications. Effective communication skills lead to superior customer service & a better business.

    Effective customer service delivery should be company specific. Services should be designed around the targeted customers’ desires and the front-line employees or partners delivering the services. Different customers have different needs and your strategies should vary and be tailored to the targeted customer.

    Develop processes and strategies that focus on your customer, not you and your business. Focus more on what you can do for them, what bothers them, ask about them, provide ideas for them and communicate in terms of them. Don’t try to engage your customers by talking about your company, your products or your reputation. Sometimes you can slip those items into the conversation BUT you have to know how and when.

    You should motivate your team or partners to improve on your company’s CRM & customer service in general. Providing outstanding customer service is one of the most rewarding yet challenging activities within the organization.  Successful companies or organizations that implement effective customer service strategies will reap many benefits.

    Some of the benefits include:

    • increased customer satisfaction
    • increased revenues/ profits
    • reduced costs associated with long term informed customers
    • increased repeat customers and referral customer traffic
    • less employee turnover/ more retention
    • improved information exchange and streamlined service delivery

    A sound strategy for superior customer service should be an outside-in strategy instead of an inside-out strategy.

    To implement effective customer service strategies and reap the benefits of superior customer service, you will need to implement the PROCESS of developing effective customer service. Creating an extraordinary customer service environment helps you to retain and build your customer base which increases the long-term viability of your company.

    Superior customer service is about forming relationships, personal contact between the buyer & the seller. The kind that customers want to preserve & it’s key in achieving company goals. Customers seek a positive experience when they make a purchase.

    Surround yourself with a like-minded and highly goal motivated customer service team. When you have effective team collaboration you can go far.

    Producing an effective customer service delivery entails appropriately identifying and targeting the ideal customer, establishing a customer-focus vision that is consistent with the prioritized desires of the target customers, establishing the operational procedures and internal infrastructure that support customer service, continuously measuring customer and employee satisfaction, embracing change and striving continuously to improve.

    Few companies have become innovative-enough to achieve a truly customer-centric business system. Such a system starts with the customer, reworks all processes back from the customer, and aims them towards achieving excellence in the customer’s eyes.

    The object of such a customer-centric system is to deeply understand the customers. Marketing won’t make up for failures on these key strategic elements. Not only must the technology support the service, and the product support the promise, but quality must support the value proposition, and HR policies must support the customer focus. Your business may be doing just fine now but don’t get comfortable with the status quo, cause there is always something that you can do better.

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 7:22 pm on August 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , concern, , expect, fear, hardships, in, , , uncertain, unexpected, unsure   

    In Business, Expect The Unexpected 

    In business you have to be cautious & ready to expect the unexpected. The business world just won’t be smooth sailing all the time and things won’t always be just business as usual. Sometimes there’s problems & last minute items on the horizon. So you have to look ahead, think ahead & plan ahead. Many times you have to make sure that every ” i ” is dotted and every ” t ” is crossed, to protect your financial concerns, family, associates and business.

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    Strategic Planning Services OF Clerical Business Solutions

    Many times throughout life and business, challenges & changes will occur, whether you want them to or not. This is where strategic planning and crisis management comes into play. With the many changes that will take place, you must make sure that the protection of your business or personal affairs are up to date. You must prepare for unexpected events. Have precautions in place, then you can better handle the unexpected.

    Strategic planning and crisis management can help you plan ahead and make you more capable of handling the unexpected. Many business owners think it won’t happen to them. They seem to put preparing for the unexpected on the back burner, to never think about it again.

    Don’t do that, you need to plan ahead. Not saying that planning ahead will always keep you out of trouble or get you out of every jam. But Strategic pre-planning & crisis management is what you can lean on in your time of need. It will allow you to pull from various resources to help you out in a jam or help your business to thrive in your absence.

    First of all, always, always have an operations manual. Having a clearly defined, organized and properly prepared business operations manual is highly important. That is something that many business owners take for granted and state that they don’t need one “I’m just a small operation, I don’t need that”. I beg to differ, your business needs a sound operations manual no matter the size, big, small or in between.

    In the event of your absence, even for a little while could mean big problems for your business. In your business operations manual you should have important contact info, bank info, passwords, the websites that you use, policies, procedures etc, etc….. If you do this, then someone can step in your shoes and run the business the way that you want them to or at least the way that they should run things in the event of your demise or until you are able to return to your business again.

    If you encounter a situation like the death of a family member, if you end up in the hospital, take a trip and get stuck overseas or in another state, etc…  That can put you out of commission for many days. So if you don’t have things set up before hand then you may have to deal with lost sales , angry, neglected customers, ended relationships and a bad name in the business world. If you could just have someone or several people to step in on your behalf to access your operations manual, check on your clients and other aspects of your business, it can mean the difference between a lost customer and a loyal one.

    Get Proper Insurance. There are many different types of insurance out there, from different states and countries. You should speak to an insurance professional about which ones fit your needs. Make sure that you have insurance that really takes care of your needs in your absence or bad times in business. This is one of the main reasons why you should speak to a professional in the insurance industry. They can give you the advice that you need. Even if you are in the early stages of your business there are ways to protect yourself. You need protection from liability to financial.

    Make sure that your will is up to date ’cause you just never know when your time is up. That’s just a fact of life. By investing some of your time and money, you could protect your business, your associates or your loved ones in the event of your passing.  If you don’t take into consideration this step, then you could end up leaving your loved ones, associates or family destitute or in lawsuits. Then what your family thought was your family business may no longer be a family business. But there’s not much that you can do in your passing but your family, associates or loved ones can. That’s why you need sound business strategies.

    Many long term strategic action steps only require a small investment of your time & money for long term success, protection from failure or hardships.


    Clerical Business Solutions~


  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:48 pm on August 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: essence, , it, manage, , , , , ,   

    Time Is Of The Essence: Manage It Wisely 

    There is a lot that can be said about the way that you do things in addition to why and when they get done. What does & doesn’t get done in relation to performance & time management, can be critical in business. Performance, productivity & time management go hand in hand, which equates to “time is of the essence”. Your performance stems from your motivation, productivity, time management and behavior. Many times performance n’ time management determine how well your operations are run.

    In dealing with time management; you and/or your team, should strategically plan your time and activities throughout your organization. It’s not just what you’re doing for today. It’s also for the days, weeks and months ahead.

    You do have a strategic plan don’t you?

    Strategic planning & implementation helps to get the job done, improve your performance, your productivity and maintain a better business. Proper performance is imperative in relation to organizational outcomes and success.

    Depending on how you define effective performance; your job or business performance can be a poorly defined term. Your performance and your business performance are two different variables. What you do with your time & how you manage it, can be important towards what you want to achieve. It has a lot to do with how well you strategically plan your activities. What you do within an organization leads to better business performance. Sometimes how well you or your team strategically plan and implement your activities, determines what will and won’t get done and your level of success. Which can lead to the failure or success of a business or project.

    Performance management isn’t just for employees; it’s for managers, supervisors, ceo’s, entrepreneurs etc… You need to have yourself in check before you correct others. Many times your performance stems from your behavior & motivation. Which leads to proper or improper performance and time management of your daily activities which determines your outcomes/ results.

    Outcomes are the results of an individual’s performance & influences. There are more factors that determine outcomes than just behaviors and actions. Performance is more than the observable actions of an individual. It can consist of mental productions such as answers or decisions.

    First of all, you need to lay out a strategic plan for the daily,weekly or monthly activities. You can plan this with your team, co-workers or an outside strategy consultant.

    Once you have your plans laid out, then there’s the implementation. Within an organization there needs to be effective collaboration to help proceed with effective implementation of your set strategic plans. If you are working by yourself then you have to hold yourself accountable or seek a partner for support. If not, your plans may fall through with little to nothing getting accomplished which leads to little to no success in your business or projects.

    If a business or project succeeds or fails, it can be determined by a lot of factors. But your performance and time management plays a big part in the outcomes. But how effective is your performance? First you have performance and second effectiveness; effectiveness of that performance.

    Effectiveness is the ratio of outputs to inputs- those inputs being effort, monetary costs, resources, etc… You get what you put in. Your performance should be goal relevant, kept on schedule and directed towards overall business or project goals.~Clerical Business Solutions

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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:01 pm on August 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: affect, compensation, , employer, federal, information, minimum, , payment, , wages,   

    Will The Minimum Wage Increase Affect Your Business? 

    There was a big push for an increase in the federal minimum wage and it was officially implemented on July 24,09. Many small businesses now have to face the challenges of dealing with and complying with the federally mandated minimum wage increase.

    For the those that don’t know: the federal minimum wage is the legal lowest amount that an employer can pay an employee. The minimum wage was increased from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour. With the installation of the federal minimum wage that was implemented on July 24,09, how will it affect your buisness? If you are a business that employs many employees do you see this as a big problem?

    It can be somewhat of a boost to the working poor or people who work for minimum wage in addition to other incomes, but it’s not great, considering all of the taxes that will be taken out of an employees paycheck. The increase in the minimum wage will have a big impact on some companies & they will see financial changes in the coming years.

    Many states & companies already pay wages at or above the new minimum wage, so this increase may have little impact on them. Depending on the industry that you’re in, the impact of the minimum wage might not hurt so bad. It may really hit hard in the fast-food industry, retail industries etc…

    If you are like many small companies, then you’d need to plan for and compensate for the growing labor costs. When you take a look at the minimum wage and how it will affect your business, you have to consider your labor costs and redevelop your day-to-day business operations. You have to look at ways to increase efficiency in your workplace and find creative solutions to reduce your overhead.

    Many small companies deal with this by increasing prices for products, services or even firing employees. To help minimize increases in pricing & labor costs, many small companies have chosen a creative solution and that’s to implement onshore outsourcing.

    In using onshore outsourcing, many of them are outsourcing and utilizing Virtual Assistant services. Virtual Assistant services (also known as VA’s), help to lighten your load, reduce labor costs, you’re  able to maintain business as usual more efficiently, more effectively & increase business productivity.

    That’s one of the many ways that companies get ahead of their competition, maintain a successful business. When working with a VA, you reduce your overhead, you maximize your efficiency, your productivity and your bottomline.

    For most small companies there is an upside to the minimum wage increase, and it’s knowing that it can stimulate the economy. Usually when people make more money, sometimes they make lifestyle changes and they buy more which generates more revenue in the economy.

    The increase in the federal minimum wage doesn’t have to be looked at as a negative it can be a positive for your business. As a business owner you need to have a strategic plan of action for times like these.  Don’t wait till the last minute or wait till bad things happen to develop a strategic plan of action for the bad times in business. Plan ahead. With a strategic action plan, you’ll be able to attack problems head on, then there will be less problems for you.


    Clerical Business Solutions~


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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 10:39 pm on August 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , e-book, , , , , , , ,   

    Is Your Business Surviving The Recession? 

    There are many things that contribute to the downfall of a business.  Many times dealing with a recession can mean the downfall for many companies if they don’t have the right strategies for survival.  With the rise & duration of a recession you should have sound survival strategies that will keep your business operations running in top shape and successfully.

    Develop strategies that will make your business a success & put your business on top during a recession and at the end of a recession.

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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 8:26 pm on August 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , mbo, , thinker, ,   

    MBO: Management By Objectives And You 

    MBO has changed a lot over the yrs and it’s a good approach to management. It may look simple at first, but it requires experience and skill to make it work effectively. When you prepare goals on observable, measurable terms,Clerical Business Solutions~Virtual Assistant & Business Strategy Consulting then the goals become objectives. Then the objectives become the stated measurable targets of how to achieve business aims.

    They help to give the business a clearly defined target. For example, you could say that XYZ corporation wants to achieve 3 million in asian markets by 2015.

    MBO is focused on accomplishment of company objectives, it stresses achieving results with planning as the dominant function; like plan your work & work your plan. It does take patients, organization, work, follow-through & tracking to be successful.

    When implementing mbo, start with yourself.  Have yourself in check before correcting others. Know what to do, how to do it & get it done. Self control is a tool for effectiveness.  Better self management of your time, establish prioritizes by putting first things first, such as the work & decisions that you can handle. Leverage the resources of others by delegating & outsourcing non-core functions to a Virtual Assistant.

    Management by objectives can be utilized in a business to help focus on goal planning, moving an organization forward & improving your business culture. It may not be so outdated as some like to think. Dealing with the complexities of business management is inevitable.

    Strive to do better than your current contribution, be able to adapt to change. build on opportunities to enhance your abilities and performance further.

    There are pros and cons to mbo as well as challenges and benefits.  Among some organizations it’s become a fad; they try it, drop it then move on to the next “big” thing. A performance improvement program can contribute to the overall business performance, which can help with mbo.

    To utilize mbo effectively, managers need to identify and set objectives both for themselves, their units, and their organizations. When writing business objectives; do it the S.M.A.R.T way:

    Specific – state exactly what is to be achieved.

    Measurable – what gets measured, gets done. An objective should be measurable; like being able to track what you’ve done so far to see if you’re moving in the right direction.

    Achievable – the objective should be realistic given the circumstances in which it is set and the resources available to the business.

    Relevant – objectives should be relevant to the people responsible for achieving them

    Time Bound – have realistic time-frames/ deadlines in mind and written.

    When you set a clear objective, you and/ or others are able to focus attention and energy on a concrete aim, anything from a small task to a career ambition. No matter how small or large the objective is, ensure that the decisions you make and the activities you undertake all support the achievement of your chosen goal.

    MBO programs should include commitment and participation in the process at all levels, from top management to the lowest position in the organization.~Clerical Business Solutions

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 4:03 pm on August 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , download, , , , , , , , ,   

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