Determining Areas Inside Your Business Where You Need Immediate Change

Determining Areas Inside Your Business Where You Need Immediate Change

As from the baby different person can grow up (by the behaviour) – depending on how child has been fostered, what surrounding is, education, relationships and personality type, – same for the business – it can grow differently depending on the activities and problem solving techniques. From the idea something big can be grown , valuable and important – depending on efforts, treatment, attention to details and other factors.

In fact, you’ll get what you’ll put in. So many examples of tiny ideas grown to big businesses simply because of owners’ persistence, obstinacy and strong desire to make it work. Even most crazy ideas and ‘me too’ businesses with precise attention to details, correct strategy formation and specific development can be grown to big sustainable business.

To grow a business you need to establish and control a lot of processes. And even when the structure, principles and procedures developed and working well, business owner still need to control everything precisely to be ready for change, innovation when time will came up.

The need of change is too often missed, or not even recognized. And as a consequence, it leads to much bigger problems.

This summary will help you to identify where the change is needed. And it will be done two ways:

  1. Summarizing most common obstacles for the business and signals that you’re possibly in same situation

and

  1. Providing simple instruments of diagnostics for your business to get signals on problematic areas

Most common obstacles list could be also observed from two perspectives: from business owner or CEO and from external consultants’ overview. Summing up the biggest business obstacles we’ve discussed and reviewed with KLCGroup Industry research 2016. The top problems from the business owners’ perspective  are:

#1 Weak sales&marketing processes

#2 Weak management

#3 Lack of qualified employee

#4 Overbudgeting

Same time from the external consultant overview:

#1 Incorrect internal processes and structure

#2 Incorrectly built customer care service + sales & marketing

#3 Weak leadership/team management

#4 Overbudgeting/lack of expense optimization

As you can see points are quite same, but perspective is different. The most common trend for modern businesses: I would like to sell more and earn more, but without precise attention to the internal processes and management. This is one of the biggest mistakes of most entrepreneurs-beginners, because any tiny detail can lead to terrific result.

To be frank there’s no precise recipe: ‘do this, you’ll make success’, –  but there’re many strategies, processes and details inside your business that allow your business function right way and grow from the ground. Even when business owner doesn’t have experience needed it’s important to attract employee or consultant with needed expertise .

Let’s consider these points and signals inside your business that should help you identify the problem area.

Of course it’s better to track all the processes with precise planning, evaluation tools and techniques, but not every business use these techniques and implementation takes time . We’ll go back to evaluation later at this article, and now we’ll just focus on simple signals.

#1 Incorrect internal processes and structure

Typically company’s structure is an important start-point for every business to organize processes. But sometimes, especially considering modern technologies, business owners don’t recognize  the necessity of correct company structure in time, relying on ‘it works when people take their part of job’, ‘other companies work with horizontal management system and it doesn’t  have any structure’…

The truth is…it does have a structure and set of instruments to control processes…And you need to have it too.

The consequence is lack of structure or incorrect structure. It leads to the incorrect, insufficient internal process or processes. Because when structure undefined there’s a mess in the information share, tasks, delegation, and it all reflects on the final result, temp and quality.

Same time it may cause different HR problems as low motivation, in-satisfaction, ineffectiveness.

So what are the signals of incorrect structure and internal processes?

Here’re some…

  • Failed deadlines
  • Low motivation, your employee relaxed and nervous next moment
  • ‘I didn’t get that task’ messages
  • ‘We didn’t agree on that scenario’ message
  • ‘Nobody told that’ and so on, when reporting, control and entire process not documented and tracked
  • ‘I have these data, where should I send/attach/use it?’ when it’s a mess with the entire strategic vision and daily tasks
  • When your customer care service doesn’t have updated information in time and customer receive incorrect answer for request
  • And many other misunderstandings, mistakes, failures…

Even this short list shows what disaster can you  get without correct structure and internal processes, without documentation, formalization and planning/reporting. And all this mess stops your business from the effective development. Constantly dealing with these mistakes actually the way to destroy your business day-by-day.

When you recognized at least one of the problems above and any additional related you need to pay attention to the structure itself and processes in details to find correct and cost effective solutions right for your case.

#2 Incorrectly built customer care service + sales & marketing

Most modern businesses and startups considering marketing as a magic for the business, thinking that its only one thing (which is mysterious to these business owners) that runs the business. In fact customers care as much important as precise marketing&sales strategy. But it’s mostly forgotten by business owners as a ‘process that goes by itself’. That’s the most common problem and that’s why I put these points in one.

Doesn’t matter how good your marketing&sales strategy, when you failed with customer care – you’re losing all.

Here’re some signals that you need to pay more attention to your customer care, sales&marketing:

  • Incorrect, delayed answers to your customers and prospects
  • Incorrect personnel behaviour with your customers
  • Lack of new customers
  • Low client lifetime value (average as a rule)
  • Desperately fighting for the customers you have (competing by price, etc)
  • Bad feedbacks/lack of feedbacks
  • And many other problems that directly reflected on your business’ bottom line

It’s actually the point that can’t be underestimated. And it’s the one point that moves your business up and down and this relates to all: customer care, marketing and sales. None of these points is less important than others.

#3 Weak leadership/team management

This point is also referred as ‘weak management’ in our industry report. What ‘weak management’ actually means? It means that your processes, strategies, resources are managed incorrectly and it leads to ineffectiveness, overbudgeting, gaps between strategy, vision and actions, low employee motivation and low result as well.

When something is weak system will absorb this result and general result will be also not as strong as you want/need it to be.

Here’re some signals of weak management, team management, leadership:

  • Failed team and single employee results, deadlines
  • Low motivation – which also affect final result
  • Lack of corporate culture
  • Weak team work
  • Misunderstood or unshared company’s vision
  • Low effectiveness of change/ inability to implement any innovation to the process
  • And many other factors…

From the top down, system will be functioning well when it’s led correctly. You can’t expect better result than the result you project to the system. You can imagine but it wouldn’t work unless you project right behaviour.

#4 Overbudgeting/lack of expense optimization

The earlier overbudgeting issue business met when it’s no strategy for business development from the early start. This way with incorrect marketing strategies and tactics business wastes huge amount of money for simple trials.

For every project, product or service marketing strategy should be developed based on the precise analysis and research, but business owner decide not to spend time and money for these activities too often and simply working by ‘guess how’. This way month-by-month business wastes unforgivable amount of resources and sometimes even building ‘incorrect brand’, – something recognizable, but to the wrong market/target/channel…

Here’re some obvious signals you’re going through overbudgeting:

  • Your marketing budget doesn’t return to you as customer
  • Your marketing budget is higher than you can afford
  • Your administrative expenses higher than you can afford
  • Your bottom line is negative or close to zero after the six months of operations
  • After set up and successful operations you’re experiencing stable significant decrease in bottom line
  • And many other

This point is more obvious than others considered above.

Because when it comes to money – it’s the first thing business owner will look at and will at least try to find the problem and solve it.

Sometimes whole process must be rebuilt to solve the problem and an innovation acquired. But it’s highly recommended to look at optimization techniques and search for possible innovations, additional options even through the times of positive business growth. This way you’ll give your business longer and more sufficient life.

We’ve covered four biggest areas and points when the change will more likely be needed and signals that it’s needed immediately inside your business. But let’s also talk about the instruments to control, manage, track, and evaluate all the processes.

Here I’ll suggest you to focus on the:

  1. KPI – track departments, teams and individuals effectiveness by the key indicators constantly
  2. SWOT, TOWS, USP analysis, strategy review. It’s recommended to reassess your business strategy every 6 months in general and even more often when it’s necessity. SWOT here will help you identify the way for improvement
  3. For modern business there’re many tools to manage many processes using software: project, workflow management soft, CRMs and other. Make sure you’re up-to-date and using most useful and cost effective software (do not forget about expense optimization here too)
  4. Planning, reporting, structure, culture. Planning and reporting is easy today with software mentioned at point 3. But you should also remember about the internal processes and how it’s built.
  5. Human resource management. It’s not only about how you pay, it’s all about teamwork, leadership, talent development, training, motivation and others. Negative spirit inside can hurt your business a lot; make sure you’re doing your best.

It’s just a fraction, but most important points you need to remember. And for sure external help of qualified coach or consultant is always a key to the successful change when it comes to business obstacle. Especially when it affects your business financial results. You shouldn’t learn from your mistakes one-by-one, you can walk this way easier with correct support.

I wish you’ll find your problem by the signals from the lists above and form solution to it.

Remember: change begins inside your mind – think and act!

2016Summary & 2017Strategy

2016Summary & 2017Strategy

This post is aimed to summarize tendencies we’ve got through the StartUp community, SME community related to business consulting, sales processes and strategic development. As well as I’ll summarize the list of ‘know-how’ and ‘never-do-this’ points, thus if you’re entrepreneur, SME or StartUp and you really want to succeed, follow this list and you’ll get what you want and need.

Even with our latest Industry Research recovering the reasons of StartUps and SME failure, from our consulting side we’ve found some very hazard reasons why are you doomed to fail… Let’s make it clear – to give you an opportunity to avoid these mistakes next year.

2016...The year of ‘ Whohooo! We’re StartUp, we’re cool! – Yes, it’s still actual, it’s still about huge percentage of our community.

About 5% of StarTups I’ve a pleasure to communicate to this year has own vision, process understanding and ready to implement correct processes…Other 95% – has minimum one problem from the list below.

2016…One more year of ‘I want to run my own business’ – and I believe that sole entrepreneurs and SME is our future. And the tendency here is much better than with StartUps. Business owners and entrepreneur more likely are ready to correct strategic processes rather than ambitious trials because of ‘I’m the owner and I know better’.

2016 Failures  in StartUps &SME:

  • Business Development misunderstood. Many business owners tending to accept business development as sales, marketing as sales, but not many understand the system itself and how it works. This way I think it’s good to simplify the structure especially because its easily and successfully adopted by many our customers. But it’s hardly criticized by many ‘old-fashioned’ business consultants;
  • Customer care service missing or low quality. Even with growing tendency of customer oriented businesses, about 90% of them has no correct customer care service. What to say… even big corporations fail on this part…
  • Business by stereotype…It’s nothing else to add to these words i.e ‘if you know what I mean’ LOL
  • Sell it for me I’ll give you commission, – one of the most common mistakes. The point is you can’t offer affiliate marketing opportunity as a job elsewhere and not every product/service can be sold out with affiliate marketing. Thus, think strategically;
  • Sales managers – commission only position. You can’t really get good sales manager paying commission only. You’ll get newbies, trials and constant failures. Remember this;
  • No strategy, no marketing, incorrect positioning – is a common mistake;
  • Hiring employee or consultant you shouldn’t look for ‘dog to make every step as you said’ but you need to look for individual/company who’ll deliver best result to your business. That’s another one common mistake. If you’re looking for satisfaction from hierarchy as ‘I said – you do’ – you’ve forgotten the most important part of the deal – result;
  • You should change processes but never compromise on quality or final result, – general rule!

 

Thus, acknowledging and fixing mistakes from the list above we can form the 2017 Strategy by the steps:

  1. Analyse your current situation, assess current results
  2. Conduct industry, market and competitors research or order this service
  3. Order or conduct by own resources target customer profile development
  4. Define niche and positioning, form USP or get help on this
  5. Finalize your winning strategy and form a plan on its’ basis, get help on this
  6. Fix your customer care serviceform the right change project
  7. and Finally – earn more&spend less, – this is how KLCGroup helps businesses

 

That’s your roadmap to start today!

Yes, you can spend New Year night correct way – forming successful strategy for your business. And our limited pricing offer is valid till Dec 31st 2016, GET HELP TODAY

Best Wishes to You & Your Business for New 2017 Year!

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Online Support Rules: What Should you Teach Your Operators to Make it Outstanding

Online Support Rules: What Should you Teach Your Operators to Make it Outstanding

There’re general rules of successful customer care service and support team setup and management. The rules we don’t really have to discuss, but that still missed by many businesses.

We can see reports of incorrect customer care service in different businesses too often: HoReCa, retail,  e-commerce and product/service delivered online… In every type of business, any management type, structure, size, industry…too many cases of wrong customer care, support built.

As for the offline: retail, HoReCa some steps for the effective customer care service are obvious, for online businesses it’s mostly misunderstood.

Looks like entrepreneurs hiding themselves and businesses behind the site and ‘some answers is already ok’…but it’s not ok, to be frank.

Hiding, practising poor communication standards you’re not moving your business up, because clients’ satisfaction is a huge argument for or against your business.

There’re many resources on correct customer care service building, many books, but the main principles are quite simple and we could summarize it in 5 points:

  1. Timing
  2. Active listening
  3. Precise guidance
  4. Personalization
  5. Offering sweets:)

Looks easy,…but check it out for your business…

  1. Timing. Make sure that every inquiry answered in-time, – in 24 hours (faster-better). Yes, for business communication it’s possible to answer in three business days, but when communicate to client, you need to speed-up, otherwise client can choose someone else or get feeling that noone needs him/her in this company…as client…
  2. Active listening. Yes, sometimes it’s difficult to make your client feel comfortable, feel friendly atmosphere in conversation through email, chat…That’s why your operators should adopt active listening skill and know how to apply it in these types of communication. Client wants to be heard, problems to be solved, service to be perfect.
  3. Precise guidance. Make sure your operators, client managers, account managers know what to do, when and how they should respond and how to solve any prospective problem. When your final operator – the face of your business gets business updates later than client – it’s a problem. Remember – you need to inform customer care service teamlead first – operators shouldn’t get updates from weekly news officially released on site, they need to be prepared upfront.
  4. Personalization. Make sure that all the online communication has been (and will be) personalized. It’s much better when your final operator makes friends with client than when he afraid to said something else because ‘company doesn’t allow personal communication’. Let them discuss the favourite taste of wine to build a cosy environment.
  5. Offering sweets. Your final operator should always have something additional to offer to client (especially when solving problems). Bonus makes your client loyal! Remember that and develop types of bonuses and other offerings you may have. You shouldn’t pay for Rolls-Royce, but some bonus service/product or event invitation  – is always good solution.

 

As you can see – nothing difficult, but any point is easy to miss and mess-up with. Don’t be the one with bad service, be the one whom client will remember for years…and stay with you for years!

Find out more of most-common problems from

Top 7 Secrets of How to Improve Business Operations


Contact Should You Have Any Questions!

‘Innocent Operator’ Why your customer care service can ruin your business?

‘Innocent Operator’ Why your customer care service can ruin your business?

Client-oriented, friendly, user-friendly, what other good words can be used to describe successful customer care service operation? Many and it’s pleasure when you can say so.

But what if it’s not so successful?

The answer is – it’s disaster! The reason why it’s, – because it’s just the way to ruin your business.

When you have call-centre operator, manager who’s working with client, seller and any other employee who can use improper communication style, words, intonation, timing…and simply share bad mood…you’re just too close to get unsatisfied client or loose this client at all.

What it should look like?

 There’re simple rules to build an outstanding customer care service. And every entrepreneur and business owner should remember these rules and apply every single day:

  1. Your employees should be motivated. Lack of motivation – bad service. This way your customer will always happily communicate to happy person and your company will be associated with friendly smile as a minimum
  2. Your customer care service should be properly and in-time informed on any promo-offers, problems (public announcements), changes, etc. This way your customer wouldn’t get incorrect answer and your operator wouldn’t feel like an alien – who’s not familiar with change
  3. People who represent your company and communicate to your clients face-to-face should look properly. This way your company wouldn’t be mentioned by ‘I’ve met such a guy in crazy shoes’ or ‘Girl with pink hair just calculated price for me’. For sure it’s memorable experience, but it’s not a part of your business image (if you’re not running tattoo saloon or comics store, etc).
  4. Maintain internal communications and culture on the high level. Your employees are a part of your business, they shouldn’t feel apart just because they spent all the time answering clients’ requests. Make sure it’s a team work. This will help to keep motivation, which leads to happy employee and as a consequence good job and happy clients.

 

For sure it’s not a full list and sequence could differ from case to case, but the most important you’ve got:

create and maintain friendly atmosphere,

build an extraordinary experience!

 

Find out more about how to improve business operations by fixing customer care service and other top problems from

Top 7 Secrets: How to Improve Your Business Operations

7 Ways to Make Your #Startup Immensely Successful #Business #SMB

jim-woods-leadership-speakers-leadership-speaker-jim-woods-management-consultant3

An entrepreneur’s biggest concern is probably how to make his or her company a success. There are some fundamentals that every startup needs to possess in order to survive: a good business model, a great product, a viable market and a flexible plan.

But to exceed the path of many would be entrepreneurs where nine out of every 10 startups go out of business, it takes more than the basics for a new company to stay afloat.

Take a look at these ways to beat the odds .. profitably:

  1. Be Slightly Delusional and Crazy Passionate
  2. Be a learning and humble leader. You don’t levitate nor are you a know it all. You need your people.
  3. Build trust.
  4. Social skills matter. Network and then network again.
  5. Master time.
  6. Execution is what matters.
  7. Keep the end in mind.

Expect supporters to flee when your persistence extends beyond their comfort zone. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes Now, bear in mind that it is possible for entrepreneurs t not recognize the warning signs of bad timing. Sometimes you also need t know when to stop. off against the wind, not with it.

Pay no attention to the Naysayers

Fear of judgement is one of the great fears of the human existence. All entrepreneurs have been judged by the naysayers and the critics at some point in their journey. Often these people judge you because your success can highlight their failures and so in turn, they want to see you fail. Understand that this is the dark side of humanity and that it’s normal. You can’t be in control of this you just have to be in control of what you do.

Even if you’re onto your third failed startup you should keep going as long as the desire is still there. The average millionaire has gone through eleven different failures, so if you really want it and it’s in your blood, you should go for it! The only real question though is how long do you keep going on the same venture until you move onto the next one? Only you will know when the time is right but don’t quit too early because a lot of entrepreneurs quit just before they are about to hit momentum and then they never get the reward.

Once you’re an entrepreneur there is no going back. For you to go from being an entrepreneur, back to a day job, would be like prison on earth, so keep persisting.

via Addicted 2 Success.

Jim Woods is a partner with the Business Coaching Group and President of the Jim Woods Consulting Group. He has 30 years experience in helping organizations improve the quality of their leadership, build competitive advantage and engage their employees.  

Follow Business Coaching Group on Twitter 

What Great Leaders Stay Focused #Leadership #SMB

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Staying focus is a matter of overcoming fear, guilt and unworthiness. A lack of focus can be the result of overwhelming yourself subconsciously with more than one can handle. Implicitly making the plate perpetually full. Here are just a few tips on how you can overcome this form of procrastination.

How do you like to learn?

It’s important to build up your personal work space in a way that best suits you. If you learn best by reading, then ensure you keep a strong to do list within reach to close out the things you need done by that day. If you work better when things are within sight, then compliment that by using color coded tabs and clear containers to stay organized. If you’re like me, and learn best by listening and conversing, then before you go into that interview or meeting, say out loud some of the points you will be raising to yourself so you’re prepared in a way that best suits you. via 3 Tips To Stay Focused.

 

 

Here are 15 tips that scientists have found that enhance focus.

1. Minimize multitasking

 

2. Meditate

 

3. Exercise regularly

 

4. Establish a to-do list

 

5. Try a small amount of caffeine

 

6. Take breaks

Jim Woods is a partner with the Business Coaching Group and President of the Jim Woods Consulting Group. He has 30 years experience in helping organizations improve the quality of their leadership, build competitive advantage and engage their employees.  

Follow Business Coaching Group on Twitter 

 

How to Become an Entrepreneurial Leader #Smallbusiness #SMB

employee-engagement-leadership-speakers-ken-blanchard-john-c-maxwell-james-a-woods-jim-woods-leadership-speakers-conference-speakers-team-building-4Entrepreneurship is leadership with a flexible strategy, a culture of trust and engagement between leaders, employees and customers. It is the discomfort of “good enough” in pursuit of great individually and organizationally.

Writes Randel Carlock for Insead:

I would posit that entrepreneurial leadership will (and should) define the next era of management theory. Entrepreneurs have always existed to improve society by spotting gaps and filling them. Henry Ford’s mass market automobile made travel exponentially more efficient and comfortable. The iPhone put a portable computer in our pockets, giving us information on demand. Entrepreneurs today are going one step further, from addressing market opportunities to addressing market failures. James Chen’s new venture, Adlens, which aims to provide adjustable and affordable spectacles to the sight challenged, with goals of eventual profitability, is one such example. It has a related social venture, Vision for a Nation, that aims to make the glasses available in the developing world.

Source: The Need for Entrepreneurial Leadership | INSEAD Knowledge

Here are quick steps to get started:

  1. Organize your employees to achieve a common goal using proactive entrepreneurial behavior by optimising risk.
  2. Teach them to innovate to take advantage of opportunities.
  3. Take personal responsibility.
  4. Manage change and use complexity and uncertain as competitive advantage.
  5. Stay nimble.

As an entrepreneurial leader your task is to embolden your employees in a culture of trust and respect where people act out of desire not control. Build a culture where you and your employees have a defined dissatisfaction with the present, a well articulated vision for how things should be, and an idea of the steps that need to be taken.

Jim Woods is a partner with the Business Coaching Group and President of the Jim Woods Consulting Group. He has 30 years experience in helping organizations improve the quality of their leadership, build competitive advantage and engage their employees.  

Follow Business Coaching Group on Twitter