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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 8:34 pm on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , anticipate, behaviors, , , , exceptional, habits, provide, , strategy,   

    Your Small Business Should Provide Exceptional Customer Service 

    Providing exceptional customer service should be at the top of your list. Does your company provide great customer service? If not then maybe you should work on it. If you don’t provide great customer service then I’m sure that your competition does. If you value your customers then providing exceptional customer service is highly important. With so much competition around, you wouldn’t want them to steal your customers away.

    Increasing competition is forcing businesses (big & small) to pay more attention to satisfying their customers by providing exceptional customer service. You could start by developing a customer service manual & use it as a guide book on handling your customers. You can edit it as time goes by. Every business should have one. Provide open lines of communication. Be available for your customers in good or bad times. Let your customers know how they can contact you. Be very attentive to their needs, let them know that you are there for them.

    Don’t take forever to respond to your customers requests or inquiries. Answer their calls or emails in a timely manner & provide necessary feedback. Learn to anticipate your customers needs. Look for patterns & observe your customers. When you see that certain customer behaviors match a certain pattern make note of it & take action. How are your customers purchasing habits? Will your customers have the same needs in the future? What do they have to say about your products or services? What are they doing? Etc… Look for cause & effect to see how they react to certain products, services, specials, changes in your business etc….

    Keep track of their comments, questions, suggestions & make note of them in your customer service manual. If they make a suggestions on how to improve things in your business, take this into consideration. You can make note of it, think about it then decide if you’ll follow up on their suggestions. Watch how you interact with them & take steps to improve on your involvement with customers. Do what you need to do to improve your products or service.

    See if  making certain improvements are in the best interest of your company or customers. This could help you to determine if customer suggestions are viable options for your business to pursue. Solve any problems as soon as they arise in order to avoid later complications. When handling a challenging situation or phone call from a customer, remain poised, calm, and confident.

    This allows you to focus on a solution and show the customer that you have the situation under control & that you’re willing to provide a solution. Document, strategize & plan how you will deal with your customers. When you create a customer service manual it could greatly benefit you & your customer. When a situation arises you’ll know what to do & have a handbook to refer to on how your company will deal with customers. Your customer service manual should be: immediate, clear, succinct, and complete. If you have co-workers, keep in mind that other people have to be able to quickly and easily understand your notes. Everyone should follow the same customer service procedures. Take time to improve on your customer service today!

     
    • Deeo 8:30 am on August 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Is there a forum somewhere related to this, or would you be able to answer a few questions

    • WSJ 8:15 pm on August 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      It’s amazing how often big companies get customer service so very wrong. The arrogance of being big, I guess. It’s a mistake I’ll never make.

    • Kowaken 6:01 pm on July 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great post. I agree that Providing exceptional customer service should be at the top of your list inorder to grow your business.

    • Koushal 12:18 pm on October 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing such a nice topic on “Your Small Business Should Provide Exceptional Customer Service” , really helpful for me.

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

    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.
     
    • miguel araujo 4:15 pm on June 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

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    • Software Development Outsourcing 7:59 am on October 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

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    • ups manufacturers in delhi 7:18 am on November 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hello, Really nice Blog awesome keep it up dude,i would like to say that about the blog its very nice and useful thanks for sharing nice blogging.

    • karl 11:28 am on December 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting topic.

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 3:04 pm on May 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , office operations, , , , , , strategy,   

    Outsourcing brings benefits to your small business. If your company is considering outsourcing or you’re already doing this, your business is joining an increasing global trend. There are so many things that are needed in managing and operating a business. Outsourcing can help out a lot with the operation of your business or projects. Many times it is a wise decision to invest in onshore outsourcing. Many small businesses have decided to invest in onshore outsourcing with virtual assistants. Outsourcing helps to improve your efficiency, your productivity and your bottom-line.

    Outsourcing can help you to save money and reduce your over-head cost. It can help to reduce your need to hire additional in-house help. When you make the choice to outsource, you have to learn how to delegate and decide on which functions could be outsourced. Many small businesses have chosen to outsource their administrative office support, marketing, business management, blog posting, social media management, transcription, strategic planning, business planning etc, etc…

    Outsourcing these types of operations and others can help to lighten your load, improve your focus and your business productivity. This helps you to start and finish projects quickly and gives you more time to invest in more business opportunities. Onshore outsourcing can help you to manage and reduce risks. Outsourcing can help your small business look “big” by giving you access and support to the same economies of scale, efficiency, and expertise that large companies enjoy. Get started and outsource today!!!

     
    • JOSIE HICKS 9:51 am on June 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think I’ve seen this described that way before. You actually have clarified this for me. Thank you!

      • Clerical Business Solutions 11:04 pm on June 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, Josie,

        I’m glad that it helped you understand a little more about outsourcing. Outsourcing can help individuals & businesses big & small in so many ways.

    • capcorp 4:29 pm on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree more. As a business coach, this is something I have encouraged my clients to do. That recommendation lead three of my partners to start VirtualEStaff — A US based company located in Wilmington, NC with offshore operations in the Philippines. VirtualEStaff provides virtual assistants / virtual employees @ $5.50/hour.

      http://www.virtualestaff.com

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 1:27 am on May 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , strategy,   

    Your small business needs a vision with … 

    Your small business needs a vision with strategic plans. Most companies and organizations need a vision and strategic plan, but few have it. Many business owners, ceo or management operate a business or project without any type of written plan. You need to ensure that your business has a written business plan and strategic plan. These two types of plans are completely different.

    Your company / organizational vision provides purpose, strategic direction, motivation, inspiration and alignment. Your vision is a short and inspiring statement of what your company intends to become and what to achieve at some point in the future. As long as your plans have been written, then that gives you a road map to follow and a reference guide to look back on. Following a strategic plan can put you on the road to success.

    Most companies and organizations need a vision and strategic plan, but few have one. If you don’t have one get started today!

     
    • business management consultants 4:30 am on May 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      One business manager should know what are those planning method that should be done in getting on the top of the economy. With the help of business management consultants, owners can already seek for their strategic plan to be able to produced its profit and success in the world of business.

    • Arminda Stickrath 5:32 am on January 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Its excellent as your other content : D, regards for posting . “I catnap now and then, but I think while I nap, so it’s not a waste of time.” by Martha Stewart.

    • Jude Vanzant 12:38 am on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I was looking through some of your blog posts on this website and I think this web site is really instructive! Retain posting.

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 5:36 pm on April 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Business Start-up, , , , franchise, maintain, , , , strategy   

    Put Some Fore-Thought Into Starting & Maintaining A Business 

    There’s a lot to starting and maintaining a business. Now you have some pre-thinking & preplanning to do. If it is a business that’s worth pursuing, then it’s going to take everything that you got (as far as energy, some money & time goes) mixed with a lot of innovation, motivation, planning, skills & support. The most important part is research and planning. Yes, it is true that at the beginning you might have setbacks & some failures but initial mistakes are not always fatal. Depending on your situation, sometimes you can recoup.

    To get things back in order & continue with the start-up phase might take  support, extra skill, discipline and hard work. Before just diving right into a new business venture or an additional one, do some preplanning, exploration and evaluation of your business & personal goals. Your preplanned research information can help you to build a comprehensive, well thought-out business plan that will help you reach these goals. A well developed business plan & strategic plan will force you to think through issues that you may not have considered before. It can also save you lots of time, money, setbacks & heartaches.

    Remember when starting out in business do a little strategic thinking, strategic planning, setting up a general business plan & a strategic plan. A strategic plan should not be confused with a business plan.

    A strategic plan is a shorter document defining how you’re going to manage the business that you already have, your business strategy, direction, marketing, decisions, capital, people, S.W.O.T analysis etc… on allocating resources to pursue this strategy.

    A business plan is a more substantial and detailed document about the business that you want to start, how to start it, goals, info on the team or business reaching these goals, why you can achieve these goals and the plan for reaching those goals.

    Your plans will become valuable tools & provide milestones to gauge your success as you embark upon your business adventures.

    ~~For Support With Your Strategic Or Business Planning and Office Management Support contact:

    Clerical Business Solutions: clericalbusinesssolutions@gmail.com

    Clerical Business Solutions (CBS) is a Virtual Business Assistance Company & Office Management Specialist, Providing assistance in overflow work, subcontracting, outsourcing of business office management /support & document creation.

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:57 pm on January 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , financial advice, financial plan, , , , , strategy,   

    Your Business Needs A Financial Budget Plan 

    Some small business people just run their business & may not see a need for a budget, as if everything will just fall into place. For many people, the word “budget” has a negative connotation. The future of your business needs a financial plan & strategy. If you haven’t started one already, the time is now. You should develop a budget & stick to it. Yes, budgets may need to be adjusted as time goes along but it’s a good idea to start out with one & set goals.

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    A financial plan & budget helps you to gage your business and tell the performance of your business at the end of a fiscal year. This helps to tell how well your business has done over the year. If your financial budget is looking bad or starts to look bad, it could be a sign of poor planning and lack of a budget.

    There is a lot to think about when creating a budget and maintaining one. It will most definitely benefit you in the end. You need money to help run your business and you need ample amounts of it. Having a budget and monitoring it on a regular basis can help to keep you from running short. Your finances are a big part of your business and should be taken seriously,  not haphazardly.

    If you are always in the mindset of “i’ll get to it later”, then your already headed for disaster. Just simply having a financial budget isn’t a guarantee of success. You have to follow through with it. Start working on a budget at least one to two months before the arrival of the next fiscal year.

    Having a budget helps to put your money to work for you instead of you being controlled by it or not succeeding in your financial goals. If you need assistance in this area you can invest in financial/ money management software, accountant, bookkeeper, CFO, financial expert etc…. You can also come up with your own strategy for money management.

    You have to set financial goals. Make a list of what you want to achieve with your money & how it’ll benefit your company. You can break them down into short term goals such as, what to accomplish in 3-6 months or less than a year.

    What goals to accomplish in medium-term (1 to 3 years) and long-term (5 years or more). As for personal & business, many experts are now saying that you should have at least 9-12 months worth of money saved. They used to say 3-6 months but when you look at the state of the current economy that has changed.

    Most importantly, I can never say it enough, but educate yourself on all aspects of money management, budgeting for yourself & your business. Always have a plan in place. Read money magazines, articles, talk to financial experts, read about investing etc… Evaluate & review your progress monthly, quarterly, or whenever you choose.

    Try it at least semi-annually, to determine if your strategy is working. If you don’t see any success or satisfactory progress then again, take time out to review your strategy. Make changes where needed or get help from a financial expert, accountant, bookkeeper etc…. You have to get it in gear if you want your business to have longevity.~Clerical Business Solutions

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 8:28 pm on December 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , strategy,   

    There Is A Strategy To Email Management 

    There are strategies to many things that you do in a business and email management should have a strategy also. Sometimes email can be a monster to manage. Many people spend the majority of their day sifting through this madness. Email management is a big part of business communication & customer service, which continues to grow.

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    For most companies there is a steady growth of inbound emails and they have to figure out cost-effective measures to help manage it all.

    It is the first line of communication for some companies. Many times this way of communication is how many companies resolve customer issues. With email, it can be a challenge responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner. Your company has to find a way to utilize this medium to improve customer expectation, external perception & internal communication. It doesn’t have to be as bad as it seems with a little organization and security implementation.

    Email management can be as smooth as pie and it should be taken into consideration with any other type of records management system. It should be addressed similar to the organizational standards of addressing other information and records management.

    A company works with four major types of records which are:

    • Vital
    • Important
    • Useful
    • Nonessential

    Your company needs policies and tools for managing emails, such as:

    • Classification
    • Storage
    • Preservation
    • Management
    • Destruction

    Once you have the proper tools in place, retrieving needed information can be easy and help to keep incoming information on track. Very few companies have implemented solid e-mail management strategies. Having email management and security is very important for all businesses big and small.

    Failure to implement e-mail management strategies of organization, security and dissemination of information can pose some risks to your organization. Some companies haven’t defined e-mail management, and they’ve left it to individuals to delete, manage, classify and save e-mail on their desktop computers. That could be an unorganized way to manage email. Depending on the types of information that you receive and the email address that’s used, there should be someone (or a group) specific to handle them.

    It can pose a big risk if you don’t know who’s doing what and how it’s being done. But when it comes to deciding how long to retain e-mails, how to determine which messages to keep or delete and whether to use encryption, many organizations don’t have a clue.

    Depending on how your company is structured, you can implement different types of email management software or security protection to help.You can also checkout some email organization tips  here.

    It’s a mistake to set policies that address e-mail usage but disregard e-mail content.  Information should be managed according to its value to the organization and according to any regulatory requirements that are in place.

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:31 pm on December 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , strategy, virtual assistant services   

    Don’t Stress Over Email: Manage It! 

    When trying to decipher your email and get on with your day, don’t spend all of your quality time on it. It can be a time waster if you don’t manage it & use it wisely. If you are in business that can be bad for business. Learn to go through your emails in a more proficient & organized way.

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    A. HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CHECK IT ?

    Many of our most important communications are done through email. Many people would say check it only 2 times a day, that’s fine if you are not running a business. In business, that may be impossible, you be the judge. If you can successfully manage your business emails by only checking them twice a day that’s good. For a lot of other people twice a day would mean missed opportunities, so 4-5 times a day may be enough.

    Ponder the purpose of each email & ask yourself “Is this a good use of my time ?” You must have a system in place & allow only specific times of the day to check your email. Go through each one & decide what’s most important to get through your business day. Make notes of the important ones (name of the email, date &/ or time), how soon or when you need to handle that email.

    To have a more productive day don’t spend all of your time or several hours on emails till the point where you can’t finish your business of the day. Make a list of the times or days that you will go through your email & stick to it! Save the none improtant stuff for later times in the day, on the weekend or at the close of business; stuff like saying hello to friends, reading jokes, filtering spam.

    B. IMPLEMENT STEPS TO ORGANIZE & PRIORITIZE EMAILS

    If you get a lot of email, a way to insure that you see the most important emails you can start by having 2 accounts. Use your main or 1st email address for general purposes ( this could be the one that you put on your business cards). The 2nd one could be like an unlisted phone number ( it’s the one that you only give to select people, important clients, special email notices etc….)

    Another option is to use the filter functions on your emails. This automatically routes incoming messages from certain people to their own special folders. You can use filters to seperate business from personal emails. You can even direct different client messages into their own unique folders.  Filters will also sort junk mail. Set your filter to detect incoming messages that have words like “friends”, “make money”, “hot”, “sexy” and so on to the trash bin, junk folder etc…

    C. PROCESS PROMPTLY THEN FILE OR DELETE

    Read each email once or twice then file it or delete it. Take no more than 24-48 hours to decide on deleting or filing each email. The only ones that should linger in your inbox are ones that you haven’t read yet, that require an action or response from you or for others to see. Your email must become a part of your to-do list & by keeping your incoming emails low, it’s a real time saver.

    By using these steps you will know that items in your inbox will require an action or response then messages that you’ve dealt with have been filed, deleted or archived. For emails that you must keep, create folders for clients, projects, special info then drag & drop emails (after you’ve read them) to the right folder. Don’t create too many special folders, this becomes a time waster, you’ll have too many places to look when you are trying to find an old email then you’ll become unorganized yet once again & you’ll have to start over.

    You could also try to file all emails that you’ve read or dealt with into one or two big folders or save them to a disc/cd, then you won’t have to wonder where you filed them. No matter which method that you use, periodically go through all your folders & delete any thing that you no longer need.

    D. DON’T PRINT OUT EMAILS

    If you print out your emails start now to stop this habit. It increases the amount of paper that you have to deal with, it wastes time & causes you to hold on to unnecessary emails. Filing & retrieving is quicker on your computer. You can also use contact management software like ACT, Goldmine (that way each email is linked to the name of the person that sent it to you then emails that you send are linked to the recipients record). The only time to print out an email is when it pertains to a specific project so print it out then file it with the project.

    E. USEFUL SUBJECT HEADERS

    Scrolling through lots of vague subject headers like “FYI”, “Meeting”, “Question” etc.. is a time waster. Put specific subject headers in all the emails that you send, when recipients reply, your header will carry over. Your stored emails will clearer subject lines. Some email programs will allow you to change the subject lines on emails that’s already been received.

    F. FAST REPLIES

    If you get lots of email inquiries about the same issues over & over again, create templates in your email program, for quick routine replies. You can customize them so it’s still faster than writing from scratch.

    G. TO EMAIL OR NOT TO EMAIL

    Email is a great time saving tool when you are sending the same message to several people or if you need a record of exactly what was discussed such as project details. Its more private than faxing, if many people share the same fax machine. You may not want to email urgent messages unless you know that the recipient is in the office & they check their email continually.Try sending a voice mail if they are out. If you need a back-and-forth conversation, try making a phone call or instant messaging. Sometimes emails waste more time than it saves.

    http://www.condron.us
     
    • Au Pair 12:50 pm on March 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      very nice web site. My English is not so good, so I do not understandt it well, but it seems very good. Thanks

    • lenfoster 4:22 pm on December 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Anything that saves time, cuts down on the day to day grind and the sameness of certain tasks always gets my vote. There is a good case for outsourcing some mail management as there is so much time lost sorting through unwanted mail

      You can find out more about the benefits of outsourcing at
      http://easyoutsourcingforprofits.com/

      • Clerical Business Solutions 9:07 pm on December 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Lenfoster,

        There are many ways to manage this madness that’s called email. Sometimes email can seem like a necessary evil, lol. As you stated, many companies and professionals have chosen to outsource their email management for general reasons or success in maintaining their business or projects.

        Email happens but in many cases it’s needed and must be managed.

        Clerical Business Solutions
        Virtual Assistant Company & Business Management Assistance~ Providing outsourcing solutions & business or project assistance. http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • 4 Hour Workweek Project 5:43 pm on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You have really put together a great article here. I have done many of the basic things you suggest but your information has provided me with some other things to think about.

      I am going to try your 2 Account idea…I think this could really work for me.

      Thanks a lot….

      • Clerical Business Solutions 3:26 pm on March 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi 4 Hour,

        I hope this info helps you, cause so many people get stressed out over email. It can ruin your day, till you just can’t get anything done. It’s always good to have a system in place & develop your own system to keep thing organized.

        ~Clerical Business Solutions
        Administrative Business Management Company
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • Len Foster 8:12 am on March 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      As far as reading emails or doing anything on the internet goes I have one golden rule that must be obeyed.

      If I suddenly start reading or looking at junk I turn my head to the left to look at my notice board. There’s a sign there that says
      1 What am I doing right now that will make or save me money?

      2 What can I do right now that will make or save me money?

      3 What is the most important thing I could be doing right now that will make or save me money?

      I look at the sign, look at what I’m doing and that pretty much decides if I carry on or not. Doing this provides focus and saves time as well.

    • 4 Hour Workweek Project 2:35 pm on March 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Len,

      This is a great idea and thanks for sharing – I am going to make up my own sign today and put it up. I’m quite sure it will help me stay right on track in my work-day….

    • Len Foster 8:07 am on March 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      A few more things I do to manage email

      1 Don’t have a sound attached to incoming email

      2 Only look at emails twice a day (max)

      3 Set your ‘out of office’ reply to say something like “Due to my current work load I only read emails from 8.30 to 9.00 a.m. and 4.00 to 4.30 p.m. so my apologies if you don’t get an immediate reply to your email. If it’s important call me on XXXXXXXXX

      People may get a bit upset initially but soon they will realise the value of your time and their own.

    • Len Foster 9:54 am on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      If you use webmail and your inbox has gotten out of control you can type create a folder for a person type in their name in the ‘search mail’ box then when all their emails appear simply move them to the folder. Mass filing done quickly 🙂

      • Clerical Business Solutions 10:37 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Len,

        Good tip, it’s a good idea to find and utilized a system of organization. because being overloaded with emails can be a problem and keep you unorganized.

        Having an efficient way to manage many business operations is very important. That’s why may people or businesses utilize Virtual Business Assistance for their business or projects. A Virtual Business Assistant can help you to streamline your operations, help to take the load off of you so you can focus on other things, help you to keep/ monitor your appointments, help to keep you organized and more.

        When you get a change consider working with a Virtual Business Assistant, http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net ,the services are beneficial, cost-effective & keeps you organized.

        Clerical Business Solutions~
        Virtual Business Assistant Services
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • Tim Sanchez 7:20 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting article. You made a lot of good points. Organization is the key to emails,life,etc. And when you find an organized company, it really makes you happy. For instance, I recently used Auto Shipping Network to ship some cars overseas and was astonished to see how organized they were. Look them up if you ever need to ship a car overseas. Good Stuff!!!

      • Clerical Business Solutions 10:28 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Tim,

        Thanks, I hope it was helpful. Through out the life of your business or personal life many times email is highly important and organization is key. Organization is very important for many of your business operations. And just like you stated, that when you find an organized company it makes you happy, yes, it sure does.

        That’s why may people or businesses utilize Virtual Business Assistance for their business or projects. A Virtual Business Assistant can help you to streamline your operations, help you keep/ monitor your appointments, help to keep you organized and more.

        When you get a change consider working with a Virtual Business Assistant, http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net ,the services are beneficial, cost-effective & keeps you organized.

        Clerical Business Solutions~
        Virtual Business Assistant Services
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 9:53 pm on December 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: all, i'm, idea generation, , just, , out, , strategy, , ,   

    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 4:49 pm on November 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: companies, going green, greener, , , recycle, restructure, revitalize, side, strategy   

    The Greener Side To Strategic Planning 

    There is much to be said about the way that companies operate today. Going green is a must for many and a good way to take your business for the better. Especially in a recession going green is the way to go for improvements that lead to success down the road.

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    When clients look for a company to meet new & emerging needs, they need ways to distinguish your company from the others. If you are best at meeting their needs, its all in your strategic planning.

    It’s about the way that you present your products & services. Making your greener initiatives clearly visible to the customer can work best. Set your greener strategic plans into action & make them more visible through advertising, public relations, certifications, alliances etc….

    Prospective customers need trustworthy ways to distinguish your company from the crowd when determining if you are the best at meeting their new need.

    But how can it all come together without an improved

    strategic plan & implementation?

    When your company determines the new customer needs that you will serve, there is no substitute for good, structured strategic planning. The winning companies will succeed because they made good choices in their strategic planning.

    In the process of your strategic planning, try to focus on more greener initiatives. Going green can be a very useful strategy in today’s markets. Developing more greener strategic planning ahead of time can put you ahead of the competition. Your company’s response to new customer needs/ preferences can tell a lot about how your strategy works.

    Your company and those involved, should do your best at improving your green initiatives in your strategic planning. It can improve your chances of leading in your industry.

     
    • T. Welch 4:58 pm on November 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      You are absolutely right about going green being “a must for many and a good way to take your business for the better.” It is a concern for everyone on this planet to try to improve our processes while staying competive within industries.
      A good strategic plan is extremely important, but equally important is putting your strategy into ACTION. Implementing a good plan, reviewing the results, and being flexible in changing course if a strategy isn’t working will give your company an advantage over slower, less responsive companies.
      Keeping on top of the myriad of responsibilities can be made easier if you have the tools to help you succeed.

      • Clerical Business Solutions 3:48 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi T.Welch,

        You’re right…Action is one of the biggest parts along with staying on course, sticking to the plan. You’ve got to make room for needed change. Thinking a “little greener” & implementing it has helped many companies internally & externally.

        Clerical Business Solutions
        Virtual Assistant Services & Strategic Planning Assistant
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net
        “The Solution For Your Business Needs!”

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