The Engine Of Business: Forging A Cohesive Team

Running a business is a dream that so many people hold. It’s one of those things that makes society great to be able to follow your dreams and be your own boss. Being a valuable asset to the economy is also a title of prestige that we want to hold. This can cause us to think of a business as some kind of machine that somehow works together to bring us forward to this place in life.

The truth is that businesses are like living organisms; they all functions due to one component that is more complex than anything else inside the moving internals. The human being behind the desk, behind the paperwork, behind the different levels of research, production, testing, sales and future plans is what keeps a business afloat and prosperous.

Small business owners around the world think about meeting deadlines and targets, pushing their employees to work harder, faster and for longer and longer hours. We don’t often realize that by showing leadership that actually treated employee growth, the business would automatically grow itself; you may even fire up the afterburners if done correctly. This is why forging a cohesive team is so vital to becoming adaptable and strong.

 

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Realizing Individual Strengths

When hiring an employee, the basic criteria is to meet the required qualifications, experience, expertise, and possibly possessing that spark of genius that only be described as raw talent. Of course, this is how you should be hiring because these are the foundational aspects of each employee. Staff have to be competent, and at the interview process, you can only judge this by how successful they have been in the past, how their character and skills have developed, and it goes without saying their professional standard qualifications.

However, when it comes to employees in the workspace, soon you’ll realize that despite their brilliance on paper, they have a lot of growing to do. Every single business is different, so you should be making your own standards or which the people you hire should adhere to. It’s vital to, therefore, assess each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. You should know who can do what, who has more of a positive attitude, their time management skills, their ability to think on their feet, and also their individual leadership skills—to name a few.

When you can form an employee profile based on this, you have started the ball rolling for creating a team that has both yin and yang; a team that has members that can close the gap of each other’s shortfalls.

 

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Forming A Hierarchy

Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do in business is to able to read people. It’s not quite on the same level as national politics, but politics do play a part in how you form a hierarchy. Every business needs one; there can be no uncertainty about who is doing what, and who is reporting to who. Otherwise, it’s just chaos with no clear direction.

Usually, when this kind of decision-making conundrum is figuratively at your front door, and suddenly you hear the knock of firm but fair leadership calling your name; it’s at the beginning of a business’ life. However, this can and should be done whenever you feel as if things aren’t moving in the right direction or how fast you would like them to.

Alway, always create the hierarchy of superiors based on two things alone. One, the ability of the person regardless of race, gender or age. Two, their thought process and how much in tune they are with your mindset, your vision of what the business should be. You must violently shun any emotional responses that come into your mind.

Promoting friends who have less ability and vision than a stranger will almost always end in disaster. Put the best person for the job in the role of a manager, who will lead a section of employees in the various departments of your business. This person will not only lead, but will transfer your orders and wishes to the team, and have the responsibility to then meet targets.

 

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Helping Everyone to Stay on Board

The world of business is head-spinning, always moving quickly. This is no more so in the world of small businesses, enterprises and entrepreneurship. It’s vital that each employee has modern tools at their disposal, coinciding with your wishes, to keep up with whatever is going on. Just think about the many memos, invoices, updates, notifications, reminders, briefs, tasks, guidelines, and other documentation you will constantly be giving your employees.

On top of this, organizing events, meetups, conferences etc. keeps the schedule of you and your employees packed all year round. Running a smooth ship is by far one of the most overlooked aspects, so many small business owners are guilty of. But, with modern technology right at everyone’s fingertips, there is no excuse why you shouldn’t be able to keep all your employees reading from the same page and attending meetings on time and at the right place.

Think about employing free scheduling software that is easy to use as an administrator, and even easier to distribute among your staff. So much communication happens on the cloud, i.e. online storage servers, and it’s easy to see why. By each of your employees setting up an account on these various websites, they can access documents that have been shared to them by the managers on the floor whom you are distributing your orders and target ambitions through.

Of course, there will be different software for different tasks, with some more oriented toward numbers, figures and statistics like Microsoft Excel, and others like Sling that can create timetables. It’s up to you how you use them, but one thing is for sure: because they’re online, every employee who adheres to your documents is therefore in sync. This allows the team to move forward in one united front.

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Allow Creativity and Individuality to Sparkle

The silent and invisible binding glue that keeps the lowest ranking employee to not conjure a resentment toward his or her superiors is the ability to inject their own creativity at work. We’ve all been there, where you’re the lowest on the totem pole either because of skills and need, or holding an entry-level position and you feel unappreciated. A good business person will acknowledge the fact that leaders in their business are few, and followers are plenty in number.

In order to get the best out of your employees who act as the day-to-day workers in their departments, it’s important to allow their individuality to shine. Of course, it’s a little awkward because you don’t want them to be totally free to do whatever they like, so you must choose the right time and set the correct parameters for this to occur.

For example, if someone in your marketing department, or sales, or research has an idea that is not detrimental either in derailing the main goals of your business or in the eating up of resources, then allow them to explore further. Don’t forget that small businesses are where innovation beams the brightest, so don’t be afraid to accept new ideas.

When there are meetings that are either departmental or as a whole business, there should be a section for questions and answers. Don’t just bark orders at your team and think of yourself as so high and mighty that you expect them to shut up and do as they’re told. Lead with a firm hand, but not as a tyrant dictator. Allow junior staff to explain their ideas and how they think the processes could be improved.

Every department has their own modus operandi, and it’s just how people of different natures, expertise, and sub-group professional cultures are. Don’t repress this and try to turn everyone into a bland robot.

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Playing by the Same Rules

One of the lesser areas that small businesses should also be looking at is fairness regardless of rank. One of your company ethos should be rules or codes of conduct guidelines. All staff members should have a copy available to them, so they know what is and isn’t permissible, along with what is expected of them in the workplace.

As the leader and owner of the business, you should be wary and watchful of who is not abiding by these rules. More often than not, junior staff will be more likely to keep within the boundaries of operations and be more ethically aware. It’s unfortunate to admit sometimes, but power does corrupt.

This is why you should openly exert an attitude of holding managers, board members, and junior staff all to the same standard. If anyone breaks a rule or does something that is provocative that you do not agree with, it’s wise to punish that individual in a way that lets everyone else know that you are not afraid to lay down the law no matter what seat you sit on in the hierarchy.

Forging a cohesive team will unlock the power your business needs to succeed and champion your competitors. People are the engine of business. Being able to command respect and wield authority over your employees is incredibly important and must not ever be overlooked or underestimated.

However, with this in mind, you should allow creativity to be expressed from junior staff, form a hierarchy based on skill rather than personal relationships, help everyone stay up-to-date with online software, and realize the strengths and weaknesses of your employees.

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Making a Difference and Running a Business: A Simple Guide

If you have been dreaming about having a job caring for people or supporting vulnerable individuals, you should be looking out for opportunities that fulfill your personal mission and help the community. You might be a caring and compassionate person, and build your business around what you really care about. The below guide will tell you how to find a business opportunity that will make you content, happy, and feeling like you have a purpose in life.

Do What You Love Doing

If you already have a passion in life, you can turn it into a business. You might already volunteer at your local community center giving people free advice. You could do the same as a business, and provide confidential and affordable legal advice for the community.

This type of business can be profitable and very rewarding. You will feel like you are making a difference while earning a living. You already know a lot of things about the service you are about to provide, so it will be easier to get started than with something new.  

Look Out for Social Enterprise Projects

You might want to set up a social enterprise, instead of a profitable business. You will still be able to make a profit, but your business will be focused around one social issue and provide solutions for people who face the same difficulties. When starting a social enterprise, you can get government funding and investment from large organizations.

Engage with Your Community

To find out which services are in demand in your area, engage with the public. Go to local meetings, and find out more about the issues people in your neighborhood are facing. If elderly people are facing challenges in your city, you can start a senior care franchise to make their life easier. Engage with industry leaders and researchers who can give you more insight about the area you are about to get started in.

“ACM – Alliance for Community Media 2013” by FS1 – Community TV Salzburg is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Set Up Your Own Charity

You can run a profitable business, and create a charity on the site, so you can give back to the community. Creating a charity can be beneficial for building a strong corporate culture, and bring your workers together. It will also help you create a great working environment and define a corporate vision and mission.

“Generic charity” by Sascha Pohflepp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Donate a Percentage of Your Business Profits

If you decide to have a profit-oriented business, you can still give back to the community. Create a pricing and business model that automatically allocates a percentage of your profits to different charities. Let your colleagues and customers choose which organizations you support each year, and you can do some good, while earning a living and providing employment for people.

Having a personal mission and building a business can go hand in hand. You can choose a profession that you feel strongly about and give back to the community at the same time. Look out for social issues and problems you can build a strong business model around, or set up a social enterprise to create a better future for your community.

Rising In The Ranks As An Author

If you’re a writer, you’re probably keen to get your name out there and start to make your work known. If you’ve been writing for quite some time, you might have perfected your craft, but that is only half the battle.

The truth is that you also need to think about the business side of writing if you want to succeed. This is something a lot of perfectly talented writers completely forget about, and it can be frustrating to see. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the aspects of the business side of things to consider in order to rise in the ranks as an author.

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Build An Online Presence

These days, you can’t get very far at all without building up some kind of an online presence. This, in itself, can be very difficult to do, but is almost likely to be one of the most powerful, and is definitely worth your time. You should at least be on social media, and use it daily in interaction with people who might become your readers, as well as any existing fans you might have.

You also want to make sure that you have built a website – get a developer if you don’t know what you’re doing – and that you have thought a little about how to draw as many people in to that site as possible. You’ll find that getting an SEO specialist agency on board will help here, as will keeping the website plain and simple.

 

Networking

You can only achieve a certain amount behind the computer screen. As an author, you are probably used to spending a lot of time in seclusion and isolation, but to some degree, you need to put that aside if you want to succeed in your career.

You need to get out there and start speaking to the right people. This means other writers, editors, publishers, and pretty much anyone in the publishing or writing business who you think might help. Rising in the ranks means being aware of who is up in the ranks, and getting close to them in a way which will benefit you personally and professionally.

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Building Your Portfolio

No matter what, aim to never stop writing, as this is ultimately what you are selling. If you spend too much time on the rest and not enough on actually sitting down to write, it might mean that you end up without anything to give people to look at.

Aim to build your portfolio as well as you can, as this is one of the most vital acts of all in being a writer. Spend whatever time you can on this, and you will find that it makes an enormous difference in how successful you become. You will then have something that you can be proud of to give to potential publishers and even other writers for the sake of criticism.

The Benefits Of Streamlining Business Efficiency

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Businesses only work so long as they get better. The developmental cycle is never finished in a business worth its salt. It constantly has to refine, update, and optimize its ability to meet the changing demand of the times. Becoming adaptive to change is often the most important priority you can have for your business, but that’s something which is nice to think about and harder to implement.

Think about a large ship like the Titanic. Heading towards the iceberg was inevitable because after the problem had been identified, turning a ship of that weight and freight was something which needed time. The bulk of the craft prevented a quick turn.

Businesses function in the same way. There are many structural foundations that make a business work, and for this reason, they can become complex and stuffy over time. We all know how frustrating it is when governments can’t react to issues, thanks to bureaucracy and red tape, so why should our businesses be the same?

It’s important to understand exactly how you can keep your business adaptable. In short, it’s all about streamlining your business efficiency.

 

IT Suites

 

There are good forms of efficiency and there are bad forms of efficiency. Meeting higher sales goals and targets is considered a promising result, but if you have to force your employees to work overtime, it’s certainly not worth the added cost.

Efficiency is something which should be considered from a ratio perspective. Is the cost of achievement worthwhile? When it comes to your IT solutions, luckily there is plenty of wiggle room here.

Giving your employees the best IT equipment and app tools to complete their job is wonderful, but if they have to grapple with multiple levels of software and the compatibility between them all, the cost of installing these wonderful tools can provide hollow efficiency. Sometimes, the cost outweighs the benefits.

When it comes to applying an IT suite, it’s important to centralize everything in one location. This way, you have support, access, installation ease and complete ease of comprehension by every employee who uses the toolkit.

Finding a vast and spanning IT suite that can take care of your office, payroll, cloud storage, and encryption needs such as those offered online here can help you streamline your entire IT process, effectively making the bedrock of whole departments more streamlined. It’s not often you get that potential, so it’s important to make the most of it as a discerning business leader.

 

Live “In The Present”

 

While many businesses thrive on scheduled payment dates and general dates of relevance, it’s important to (as much as you can,) become a firm which is well versed in the present. That means clearing out business debts as soon as you can. It means staying on schedule. It means hiring skillful employees now, and when you have that valuable employee base, working towards taking on apprentices and interns. It means tightening your supply chain and building strong relationships with suppliers that you continually maintain.

Always think about what is good for your firm today, because that will compound, and over time will help you eschew the fat of the past while applying the most updated methods. It keeps you reactive, adaptable, and worthwhile. It helps you develop your small firm and run things with a small, flexible crew.

With these tips, you can be sure that your business efficiency will be as streamlined as can be.

Fashion Fail: Why People Are Leaving Your Store Empty-Handed

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It is a fashion store’s worst nightmare. The bell above your door dings gently as a customer walks into your shop, you pretend to be busy as you watch them walk up and down the aisles for a long few minutes, looking at the items on your racks positively, only for them to then ask you that generic question of, “What time do you close?” before they leave empty-handed, never to be seen again.

They must have come into your store for a reason. Surely. However, they must have left for a reason too. And that is exactly what we are going to focus on: why they left empty-handed.

After all, making sales is the not-so secret of financial success. So, without further ado, here are the top reasons for you to consider:

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No Sign Of A Price

 

People are too embarrassed and shy to ask what the price of something is. They don’t want to pick a gorgeous item off the rack, walk up to the cashier and ask what the cost of such and such is just so they can offer up a deflated nod at the fact they can’t afford it. Chances are, they could have afforded it, but they don’t want to run the risk. So, price everything and make that price easy to find.

 

No Help Is Offered

 

We’ve all been there. We’ve all walked into a shop in the hope of finding a very specific item but then got lost, unable to locate the very thing we went in there to walk out with. Letting these customers go is the worst because they came in with the intention of spending their money.

So, make sure you always have someone available that can help them locate what they are looking for and, if you don’t have any stock left, let them know when it will be restocked or tell them you can send it out the moment it arrives. Anything to ensure you get a sale.

 

Certain Payment Options Aren’t Offered

 

Is there anything more gut-wrenching or heart-twisting than having a customer heave a selection of items they want to buy from you – hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth – and then going through the tagging and bagging process, only for them to find out you don’t take credit cards?

According to merchants.services this accounts for a big chunk of customers that leave stores empty-handed. Yes, credit card processing comes with a fee, but it is far better to offer the option and take a sale than to see the back of a customer waltz out of your door with zero bags in her hands.

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Everything Is Out Of Their Price Range

 

This is probably the biggest reason why people dance in and then skulk out. They want to be able to buy from your store, to become a part of your brand, but they can’t afford to. It’s a situation that produces absolutely no winners.

You may very well be a luxury brand, like Fairfax & Favor, which means there is a premium to pay. But in order to get aspirational purchasers on board, we recommend you add one or two entry-level pieces to your collection as a way of preventing any more people from leaving without anything to show for their efforts.