Business Process Consulting – Business Development and Risk Management

Succession planning is a critical linchpin in building the bench strength of a business into a positive long-term future, as well as a key element of business risk management. Most of the business literature on this particular subject focuses on succession planning as an exiting strategy. This focus is a strategic blunder.

The emphasis on succession planning as an activity to be considered and implemented toward the end of the business life cycle is wrong-headed. Such emphasis represents a short-sighted perspective, characterized by a significant lack of strategic thought and intent. It is particularly surprising, given the current demographic changes and trends in the market.

Some of these key trends that need to be considered from a corporate team building and strategic perspective, in analysing both the internal and external environment include:

  • an aging population
  • labor and skills shortages
  • the emergence of Generations ‘X’ and ‘MTV’ into management roles, and
  • an increasing number of women assuming management and leadership roles in business.

Business owners and managers need to be open to employing people who are better than they are and different to them. This willingness becomes a crucial attribute in underpinning productive succession planning. Effective business owners and managers regard such planning as an opportunity for ongoing growth and development for themselves and their businesses.

Thinking about succession at the recruitment stage is therefore critical for the ongoing success of the business, as its principals and managers move toward leaving their company for whatever reason.

Successful business owners and effective managers are committed to bringing the next generation of leaders on from the very outset. To that end, the three critical strategic decisions that must be made are to:

  1. recruit learners
  2. create a developmental culture, and
  3. inculcate leadership as a function that delivers results.

One – Recruit Learners

Aligning succession planning in business begins when people are first recruited into the company.

In the employment of new people, demonstrable technical skills or experience, managing with and through others, and verbal and numerical reasoning capabilities are all-important elements to be considered.

But by far, the most critical factor to consider is that the people being recruited into your business must be avid learners and open to ongoing learning and development. No other single attribute will prove as meaningful in their prospects for long term success.

Two – Create a Developmental Culture

The developmental culture that we want to create in our business environment is underpinned and informed by the people at the top. The people at the top, therefore, must themselves be lifelong learners. Furthermore, they must embody the desired development culture of the value based business by being open to new ideas, by listening intently and by incorporating different ways of looking at things into the business environment.

They must model the development that they want to encourage in the people around them.

One of the risks in creating this type of business environment is the loss of good people to other businesses. It happens. People do get “poached,” and they do move on. On the other hand, when engaging in the risk management of adopting this approach, one must ask the following question:

“What would happen if we did not develop our people, and they decide to stay?”

In the end, a developmental culture in a business attracts talent like a magnet, since prospective employees see the business as one that offers more than merely a paycheck. On balance, this capacity to attract good people should more than offset any risk of losing them.

Three – View Leadership as a Function that Delivers Results

Succession planning is reinforced throughout the value based business by the pragmatic philosophy that leadership is taking responsibility for getting things done, not a position that is held.

Organizations are much flatter than in the past, which means that the hierarchy is now created by the alignment of the Mission, Vision and Values of the business, as well as by its strategic business objectives.

Leadership is a function. Leadership is the ability to see a gap between what is and what should be and the willingness to take responsibility for closing it. Leadership can also be the ability to create a gap between what is and what should be, where such a gap is necessary to propel the business forward, and, then, taking responsibility for closing it.

By defining it this way, leadership becomes an activity that can be learned, demonstrated and taught, at any and all levels of your business.

Surefire Tips For Your Online Business Development

Whether you’re putting together an offline or online business, certain things stay the same. You can almost always count on going through “growing pains” as you expand your business enterprise. Most of us can easily remember the steps that a child takes through their early years and into adulthood, and we can draw from this example a very good analogy with the business world. Numerous fundamentals have to be addressed and attention given to each stage of growth before advancement to the next level can occur.

If you’ve got an extraordinary idea for a new business endeavour, don’t even think about rushing into anything before you have a definite plan in mind. If you were building a house, you wouldn’t start without a solid foundation, and the same holds true here.

No amount of experience in the world of business will allow you to take shortcuts with any new project. You should always lean on your marketing and customer relations experience if possible, but remember to take a fresh approach to each new enterprise, and you’ll be pleased you did.

The process of creating your unique angle, also known as a USP, requires you to determine the makeup of your typical client and what sets your service or product offering apart. Preparation is everything at this stage, and you shouldn’t even think about website development just yet. If you don’t thoroughly analyse your operation and break it down accordingly, you’re likely to run into confusion and uncertainty down the road.

A well-planned business enterprise is a good base from which to launch from, and it should help you to ensure that your delivery is consistent and goes beyond what the customer should realistically expect. This will give you the ability to gather exceptional testimonials and referral work right from beginning. It’s good to know that your “baby” is up-and-running, but be sure to continue to provide outstanding high levels of customer service even as you focus on growth.

As you begin to acquire momentum, stay focused and become the very best at what you do before you even think about investigating new directions. Don’t cut yourself too thinly and be tempted to take on too much, as your core business will likely suffer.

Some business owners attempt to micro-manage every element of their operation, and are afraid to delegate. As your business grows, there will come a time when you have to delegate, and as such, there are certain parts of your operation you’ll need to entrust to the care of an expert virtual assistant, and in this instance – just like any other, your choice of qualified team-mates is of the utmost importance.

You’ll know that you have a business based on solid ground if you have loyal customers, a good reputation, a productive referral and marketing system, and built-in safety nets. When your strengths generally overcome your weaknesses and you see more opportunities than threats in the market, then your successful business is destined for stardom!

Business Development Tips For Home Cleaning Business

Home cleaning is no longer restricted to the earlier definition, where it was considered a menial task. Rather, it is now treated on par with other important homely chores and it has in fact gained enough popularity as an important business opportunity. The stream promises a sustained income and requires no specific degree to start a business for you. The idea is to get a few initial contracts and the rest follows. The payment terms are straight and generally entail a higher installment for the first cleaning exercise. The contract could begin when the house is only in the construction stages. This obviously implies slightly better equipment, since the mess is slightly more difficult to manage.

To sustain and grow in this business, it is imperative to sustain a good level of services. Depleting quality can be harmful. You don’t want to be out only after the first contract, right? So provide such services that the clients get addicted to your quality of work. Leave no room for competition. Engage in the idea of frequent feedback, where your existing clients can introduce any required changes during or before the contract.

Flexible working hours could be your selling proposition. Pamper your client. Tell them that you will be available to do the cleaning at the last minute if so desired. This, of course, implies having a workforce working in shifts. If you need to, hire a few temp employees initially and make them permanent as volumes grow.

Networking with the various society members to know if a new cleaning contract is on always helps. Stay updated, also advertise in the local newspapers and get some pamphlets printed for local circulation. The idea is to keep your name in the mind of anybody who is considering an alternate home cleaning service provider. Another way to get the first entry is by providing complimentary cleaning services for the relatives of your existing clients as a special treat. The scope is thus increased. More people know about you, and this is exactly what you need to grow. Leave a good first impression and let them look for you when they need another cleaning.

The right equipment also plays an important part in your offerings package. You might think that manual services can impart the desired results; however, the saved time and increased proficiency can easily cover up for the increased expenses. So next time you shop around for your tools, rate price against quality and do not compromise on the latter. You can of course hire some expensive equipment initially.

Home cleaning is a specialized field in itself, and experience is the best teacher in this domain. So, just work on the above tips and see your self grow.

New Business? Develop a Powerful Business Idea

Are you deciding on a new business? You’re all super charged and ready to begin your business. But do you have the drive, desire and commitment to make it work? Well, you got to have that if you have a REAL business that you want to pursue and if you want longevity. But wait… could there be one thing missing? Yeah, that’s right you lack a powerful business idea.

Never fear, you are not alone there are many successful, experienced business owners who may have difficulty deciding on their next move. Well today there are 6, count ’em 6, 6 steps that you can take to develop a powerful business idea.

1. It’s All About Your Attitude
When you are developing a new business or adding another business, it’s all about your attitude. A positive, optimistic attitude and forecast is the foundation for success. The foundation that you set is the ground work that sets the direction for your idea. Know and understand that research, education, asking questions, plain old creative brainstorming is necessary and worth the effort to achieve your goals.

You must be willing to learn and educate yourself on business and the type of business industry that you want to go in. YOU MUST EDUCATE YOURSELF; I CAN NEVER SAY IT ENOUGH. Just because you are out of school, the learning never stops because the business world changes all the time. Something in the business world could be changing now as you read this. You have to stay on top of the knowledge of what’s going on in business. If you don’t, you’ll fall behind. If you can afford to experiment, then do it. Always use mistakes or failures as learning opportunities.

2. Switch Places
Think about it and put yourself in the place of your customer. If you are the customer, what types of products or services fit best with your business model, what aspects of the product or service you like and dislike and what elements might add value.

3. Get A Sounding Board
Seek out someone with whom you can get some feedback from, good or bad. You can use your family and friends, those are good choices but their experience and emotions may cloud their objectivity. So choose carefully. In addition to family and friends, you should seek out expert advice from a person who will ask the right questions, tell you the upfront truth and not feel guilty about offering criticism.

Many current and budding entrepreneurs have business partners & consultants that are Virtual Assistants. With whom they use their services & utilize as sounding boards that help to offer advice, guide their thinking and alert them to hidden considerations or risks.

4. Research, Education, Research, Education!!
I tend to talk a lot about education because it is a passion of mine, it is very critical to your personal & professional growth. You don’t have to go to college to research, read, study, inform & educate yourself.

So with that said, you must research and educate yourself to be successful in the goals that you are trying to achieve. Get up, get going and learn EVERYTHING that you possibly can about business and the type business that you are going into. Through your research & education, you’ll uncover and discover. The more that you uncover; you’ll discover it will be easier for you to spot a need or trend that your business can fill.

Many times investigating one idea can lead you to another one and another one and another one etc… Then you’ll find that those ideas will lead you to more ideas that may be more promising or easier to implement.

5. Be A Daredevil
In some businesses there is plenty of risk involved and sometimes you have to take some risks. Many, many years ago, in the early days of the airplane, daredevil men and women would perform acrobatic feats on the wings of airplanes while soaring above their amazed spectators. They had a simple rule for survival that’s just as applicable to today’s entrepreneurs: don’t grab for something unless you already have a firm hold on something else.

In other words, conduct your small business exploration and development around your current career skills or responsibilities. Do not be in a rush to make hasty decisions or investments, take some time to think things through. Write down your ideas, keep a journal. That way your mind stays clear, stress-free to think things through and make the right decision.

6. Put Your Research Into A Plan & Your Plan Into Action
Once you have done your research, take what you have and put it on paper. Once you put it on paper (such as a business plan or just write it out) that will help you to see the direction that you want to take your business idea. It will help you to write out milestones, the steps that you need to take to reach your goals. When you incorporate your research and ideas into a business plan, it’s a good exercise that helps you to assess possibilities, contingencies, opportunities and limitations of any business idea, whether you decide to follow through or not.