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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 3:50 pm on June 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: concepts, , , know how, knowledge, , planning, , ,   

    What Do You Know About Business? 

    You might say:”I know what I know and that’s all that I know”. So do you know a lot or a little bit about business? Depending on your level of business knowledge, sometimes you have to branch out and learn a lot more than what you already know. Developing & improving your business know-how or knowledge can benefit you greatly. The more that you know about business and your niche, the more of a competitive advantage you’ll have. There are many ways to be successful in business. But you need staying power, sustained success and it’s all about the knowledge that you have & how you implement what you know.

    So what do you know about business?

    Take advantage of what you do know, use it to plan better, develop new strategies, set new goals etc… For what you don’t know learn more about it such as strategy, planning, marketing ,your niche, business matrix, change, decision making, six sigma, take a training class, learn from other professionals etc…. Research and education is a continuous process in business. Once you gain the knowledge that you need, don’t stop, learn more. The more that you know the more you grow, especially if you implement what you know.

    Take the knowledge that you have and manage it correctly. Make notes, plan and set goals. You could look at it as knowledge management.  The goal of knowledge management is sustained individual and business performance through ongoing learning, unlearning and adaptation. Knowledge can play a crucial role in gaining competitive advantage. Knowledge Management is a branch of management for achieving breakthrough business performance through the synergy of people, processes, and technology. Its focus is on the management of change, uncertainty and complexity.

    Having an elementary or basic business know-how is very important. Once you have that down packed, then you can build off of that and develop a better business. Knowing about the basics can enable you to better plan and manage your business.  The basics can help you to better manage your finances & budgeting, arrange and run meetings and hopefully make good profits. You should at least have a basic understanding of how business works and the basic concepts of different business strategies. For the life of your business you’ll need to continuously educate yourself.The old saying that knowledge is power is so true in today’s business world.
    Your business acumen or knowledge is a concept pertaining to your knowledge and ability to make profitable business decisions. Developing business acumen is fundamental to your business alignment. It’s a basic understanding of how your  business makes money. Business acumen is gained by knowledge and can be gained by reading, studying & doing. It’s not about working harder, it’s about working smarter. By working smarter and using what you know, the world is yours.
     
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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 9:53 pm on December 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: all, i'm, idea generation, , just, , out, planning, , , ,   

    I’m Just All Out Of Ideas 

    I’ve been sitting here contemplating a lot of things and I’ve just come to the conclusion that I’m just all out of ideas. I just don’t know what to do next. But this business & related projects have to move forward, things have to get going. I just need new ideas. My team and I are waiting on the next “BIG IDEA”.

    We’re not concerned with small ideas, we need the next “BIG THING”. Seems as though we’re just getting little to nowhere with innovation & brainstorming.

    Does this sound like you or you and your team?

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    The recession crisis has had a big impact on businesses of all sizes. It has left many of them with little to no motivation for innovation. In the good or bad times of business you need to have innovation or brainstorm to get some. Instead of waiting for the next “BIG IDEA”, rethink about some old or small ideas. That could get you moving in the right direction.

    Sometimes you have to thoroughly consider what you thought was a small idea, bad idea or old idea and it could be a really good one. Waiting on the next big idea can be good but very short sighted.

    “How often does your company develop ‘big ideas’ and what is their impact?”

    In the area of idea generation, innovation & idea management, many businesses  may seem stuck in a rut. Idea generation & management is an emerging area of knowledge management that hopes to help companies capture good ideas and act on them.

    Whether you’re by yourself or with a team, you need ideas. Sometimes business just can’t be business as usual. Idea management systems and processes can help your company make innovation a discipline. Idea collaboration & innovation helps you to harness your company’s internal insight to save money & time.

    Business is created by ideas first. Developing business strategies involves idea generation. Once you’re in business you need ideas for design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, creative problem solving, customer retention, etc… The difference between success or failure in business could be just one idea.

    Staying competitive means constantly innovating. Great ideas need to be captured and implemented so that they can produce results. Innovation & idea generation is no longer an option, it’s a core business competency to maintain competitive advantage & achieve growth targets. Companies that achieve significant outcomes are using a set of  processes & technology known as idea management systems.

    Your company needs to have a cohesive environment where you all can come together as one. If not, there needs to be room for improvements. Everyone won’t agree on everything but everything should be laid out on the table for review & further study.

    Entrepreneurs and business managers are often so preoccupied with immediate issues that they lose sight of their ultimate objectives. That’s why a business review & preparation of a strategic plan is a virtual necessity. A strategic plan is not a business plan. It’s a way  to organize your thoughts, structure your ideas and compile a short but comprehensive strategic idea plan for any size and type of organization. It helps you with your business management, idea generation, innovation etc…

    Whether you’re trying to come up with a blog post or making improvements to a product or service, sometimes you’re just out of ideas. Many times when you feel stuck you may feel like you’ll be stuck forever. But that’s just not the case, especially if you make time for brainstorming.

    No mater what business that you’re in, there’s always a need for creativity. Consider a few things to help you with your idea generation and innovation, such as:

    • Mind Mapping–the technique of arranging ideas and their interconnections visually on paper or computer. It’s a way to collect & structure ideas. It can be a powerful tool for managing your projects, your goals and even your to-do lists. Utilize mind mapping software, an innovation consultant, try it by yourself etc…
    • Read up on various business topics & your industry, the ins & outs, dos & don’ts, new/ old trends etc…
    • Review some of your latest work or past business operations or processes.
    • Utilize Strategic Planning–it must be flexible and reflect your company’s thoughts, feelings, ideas and shape them to fit your current project at hand or your company’s purpose, mission & regulations.
    • Utilize Virtual Assistance to offload & outsource distractions, outsource tasks that keep you from your core focus.
    • Utilize free or paid online idea management websites/ services, idea generation software or collaboration systems.
    • Think about what you’ve done in the past , rehash some old ideas or talk to others.
    • Improve your decision making skills to help you sort through ideas.

    Ideas come in all shapes & sizes and in depth brainstorming is a big part of it. Sometimes a small idea can develop into a big idea & lead to the next “BIG THING”. So try not to neglect or brush off small ideas, they may be worth your time and effort to investigate for long term success. They can be put on the back burner for later discussion or included in the idea at hand to make it even better. Big ideas are what you add to your marketing campaign or business operations to separate you from your competition.

    It’s a rat race out there and you do need the next “big thing”, but many times the next big thing is short lived. So there is power in small ideas & they can have longevity. Sometimes the impact of small ideas can greatly out shine what you thought was a “big idea”. They may not be earth-shattering or shake the foundation of your corporation, but small ideas, when added together, provide the same market capitalization & advantages as the big ideas.

    Some big ideas may be short lived, but they do provide incredible boosts in brand recognition, customer loyalty, competitive separation, employee morale, and company performance. You can develop sustainable growth though knowledge management, innovation & idea generation. In some companies a big obstacle to innovation is poor internal communication.

    The biggest challenge is to deal with the unknown. Innovation is something that people have grown to believe is a wonderful thing. Since many people believe innovation is a good thing, it becomes harder to manage the unquantifiable elements of the innovation process: the unknown, the unexpected, the failures.

    Sometimes innovation can lead to failure rather than success. When developing new ideas and brainstorming,  the old one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration rule still applies, except that the inspiration is now facilitated by the multidisciplinary nature of innovation.

    Sometimes a lot of inspiration comes from the cross-fertilization of ideas, learning from each other. In many organizations there should be environments, forums and working groups that involve people from different disciplines learning from each other. More than just sharing what you know, but rather learning the things that you think you know. That might be an important aspect when working in a team, in addition to having free dialogue where people can learn from each other and make better decisions.

    Decision-making continues to be one of the most difficult pieces of the innovation process. The current economic downturn has had a huge impact on company innovation & idea generation. In a downturn the key message is to focus on the core business. Innovation should be the most important solution for growth during the bad times. When you have a downturn in the economy, immediately shift your focus to the core part of business.

    Focusing  on the core while yet maintaining the long-term growth strategies can be difficult. In the bad times, brainstorming new ideas for growth and improvements can seem like a big leap, but look at the long term effects. Look at whats going on but don’t let that be your focus, it can be a reminder but not a core focus.

    The important thing is to be able to focus. You should look at eliminating all or the majority of distractions for better brainstorming & collaboration. Develop a long term view of things but at the same time look at other details. Innovation & motivation is very critical and many companies should invest heavily in it.

    But many seem to invest in incremental innovation, which is innovation that is lower risk and more focused on the short-term, as opposed to what is termed ‘breakthrough’ innovation that involves long-term investment and higher risk.

    Coming up with new ideas isn’t always easy but for your business longevity and success it’s well worth the try.~~Clerical Business Solutions

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 3:17 pm on April 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ?, do, planning, , , , , , use, ,   

    Do You Use Your Business Resources Wisely? 

    Through out the life of your business do you feel like you make the best use of your business resources? It doesn’t matter if you are in or out of a recession. Since we are in what the financial experts call a recession, I’msmall-questioning-face-small-webview pretty sure that it has taught many of us some hard lessons.

    Learning lessons as far as making the best use of all of our resources that are within our reach. Some people wait until the hard times hit before they really buckle down, save and make the best use of what they have or try to leverage the resources of others to help them.

    If you want your business to last for a long time then you need to have a pre-planned action plan, a strategy for success & longevity. That’s where strategic planning comes into play.

    To develop and create growth, the wisest thing we can do is to utilize the resources we already have & build on them . It will take courage and real commitment, and the right tools. Do you have a strategy in place to help make the best use of your financial resources, human resources, physical resources, intangible resources, outside support etc…

    Learn to prepare ahead of time and if you haven’t now is a good time to start because in or out of a recession you should want to have a smooth running operation. Yes, you will have problems and challenges throughout the life of your business but how will you handle them?

    Learn to think things through by asking yourself:

    • Do you have a plan or strategy in place?
    • What are the most important needs of your organization?
    • Do you have strong support for your efforts, internally or externally?
    • What is the best strategy for using internal & external resources?

    It’s a smart business move to leverage the resources of others outside of your business such as a Virtual Assistant or Business Consultant. These types of resources can help you to run a smoother operation. Virtual Assistant Services can help you and your staff to prevent burnout and get more things accomplished within your business. Maintain your own resilience, take care of yourself & don’t burnout!

    Look at your company’s long-term goals,  annual goals and workforce profile. Do your business operations, work programs or training programs support those goals? Take a look at all the internal resources available, and build a network to help you identify external resources. Remember, don’t try to do everything by yourself.

    Are your workers computer-savvy? Is the workforce technology-driven, performance-driven, or a mix?

    It all comes down to how you think and your actions. You must always have an action plan. Also you can create business action plans by learning from the mistakes that you make. This too can help you to make better use of your business resources.

    Become offensive & optimistic in your thinking:  “How do I use my resources in the best possible way?” Don’t become defensive and pessimistic in your thinking: “How can I save on resources?” You may not see it now but there is a huge difference in those two thought processes.  While thinking about saving on resources is good but don’t make that your only option. Think about saving then utilizing them in the best possible way.

    You open the door of possibilities for your company if you could make the best use of your resources instead of wasting them. Companies across the world are making huge cuts across the board now. Are you one of them?

    It would be refreshing if more companies thought about & engaged in their potential for development instead. Most of us have the potential to get better at what we do, but some of us know that the possibilities depend on the way that we perceive our situation as well as our options.

    So now ask yourself: Do I Use My Business Resources Wisely?

    ~~~~

    Clerical Business Solutions

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 5:47 pm on March 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , entreprenuer, , planning, , ,   

    Improve Your Strategy & Implementation For Success 

    It is the small business strategy that defines what approach and tactics you are going to adopt in running your company. In the absence of a well-defined and well-developed strategy, your small business is doomed.

    6a00d8341c39e853ef00e5539d4b298834-800wiAccording to Fortune magazine, they estimated recently that about 70 percent of CEO failures are caused primarily not by flawed strategic thinking, but by failure to execute. Successful small business owners will be quick to tell you that it wasn’t dumb luck that allowed them to have a thriving business. In most cases, careful planning and the implementation of a business development strategy was involved.

    Quite simply, strategic management is the act of developing and implementing a plan designed to achieve the objectives of your business. Although everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, poor management of that time keeps your business from reaching its full potential.

    You need to finalize your strategies and tactics before you start your small business. This is the basic step of starting up. Many businesses are unsuccessful because they start without proper planning and strategy. You need a strategy for how you are going to properly operate your business on a daily basis, managing your time, your team, developing a strategy for your marketing efforts, etc…

    Your business strategy should not just be thought of on a annual basis or even just written down on your business plan then put on a shelf. A business needs a strategic plan for every operation in the business. You need a strategic plan for everday/ a “to-do list” for starting & maintaing a business.  It’s not vision that makes a company successful. What sets the top performers apart is the organizational models that they develop to realize their aspirations.

    In addition to having a business strategy, you need to have the drive to implement it, put your plans into action. Your business management strategy can be adjusted over time as your business grows but you really need a sound foundation to start off with. Without a daily or monthly strategic plan:

    How will you know where you are going or if you got there?

    There are many challenges that face every business. In many industries the strategic challenges are relatively clear and well understood by all players. Everyone needs to be involved as well as many other key players that help to keep your business afloat. You need to have all the strategies in place before you start, and you need to have a business strategy plan – an outline of the things you will be doing to ensure the success of your business.

    Some things that you may want to consider in your planning is your marketing strategy, goals, customer service & how to keep those customers coming back. Take time out to review your plans to check your progress. Once you check your progress, you can tell what needs to be worked on or what needs a complete overhaul.

    Many companies develop strategies that often fail to markedly improve market and financial performance. Many of us rarely ask ourselves the needed questions before we take on a project or make decisions. Such as :

    1. Why hasn’t myself or my team members been able to implement the prior strategy successfully? 

    2. And why do we believe the new strategy will be implemented more successfully?

    3.Why has the organization been unable to realize its current aspirations?  

    When you ask these questions, it sends the search for improvement in an entirely different direction (It also requires humility, which some might argue is in short supply among top management). It is usually not the vision or aspirations of a successful company that allow it to stand out. The goals of most companies such as more market share, more innovative new products, lower costs, etc. — are typically pretty similar for most firms in an industry.What sets the top performers apart is the “how” — the way they organize and operate to realize their aspirations.

    Thus the answer to “Why haven’t we been able to do better?” usually lies in the organization itself or, more precisely, in the organizational model. Such as the internal structures, frameworks and operating practices that determine how work actually gets done in a company. Every successful business strategy plan needs goals to succeed. Without tangible goals, you’re just walking in the dark.

    You need to have well-defined goals that can be achieved in a fixed length of time. These goals can be related to your turnover, profit, client base, etc.

    For example, you can have a target of X amount of turnover in Y number of months. Similarly, you can have a target of increasing your customer base by X in Y number of months.

    Having well defined goals & strategic planning, helps you to channel your resources more efficiently.

     
    • Tom Troughton 3:23 am on May 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the good questions to ask before taking on a new task. I was just commenting today to my partner that I need to be better a follow through. This was a helpful post. Thank you
      Tom Troughton

      • Clerical Business Solutions 2:44 pm on May 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Tom,
        You’re welcome, hope it helps. Many people have a struggle with follow through or which steps to take next. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a plan when taking on a new project or working through a current project.

        Taking the time out to think things through, developing your rough draft of a plan and then the final plans can help things to move in the right direction to reach completion for success.

        Clerical Business Solutions
        Business Development Consulting & Project Support
        “Your Single Solution For Total Service!”
        Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net

        http://WWW.CLERICALSOLUTIONSINC.NET

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