Five Skills You Need To Learn To Advance Your Business

Taking your small business and converting it into a successful enterprise needs much more than passion. Success is much more than just hard work, dedication, flexibility and expertise in your field of work.

As the business world is constantly changing, you need to have proficient knowledge about some fundamental business skills that you need to inculcate into your business.

If you want to advance your business and compete in the marketplace you need to master the following five skills

1.     Strategic Planning

Through strategic planning you can define clearly the strategies of your company, along with making decisions about allocation of resources of both people and capital.

A well written business plan will specify operational and financial goals, set priorities, strengthen operations and ensure that employees and other stakeholders are all working towards a common goal. You can adjust business strategies with a change in the environment.

It is basically a focused and disciplined effort to take decisions and actions in order to shape and guide the organization for the future.

2.     Developing A Personal Brand

Create a personal brand to define your company or organization. This involves building a reputation and trust for inspiring confidence in both your employees and customers.

Have an effective social media presence and an email address. Identify your values, strengths and uniqueness that you have built around your business.

Set your priorities right to guide you into taking wise decisions ensuring that you are on track.

3.     Sales & Marketing

To grow your business you need to establish a successful sales and marketing policy ranging from pricing to advertisement to sales techniques.

You should be able to analyze the marketplace, your competitors and other industrial trends to develop your marketing strategy accordingly.

Critical thinking is required to target the right audience spreading a compelling message which will in turn generate new business and profitable revenue streams.

4.     Cash- Flow & Financial Management

Cash flow is the single most important issue of small and medium size businesses.

In fact cash flow is determined by how money moves in and out of your business indicating the credibility of the company.

Furthermore financial management skills are crucial for any business. The proficiency with which you maintain your finances will determine the profitability of your business.

For this timely budgeting and reporting all finances is of utmost importance.

5.     Digital Transformation

One of the most important skills that have an impact on every industry is digital fluency.

The ability to adopt technology and machines is the capability to get your work done. It’s all about adopting new technology tools like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Augmented/Virtual Reality and much more.

This can be done by acquiring new technological advances not only to compete with your competitors but also to survive in this world.

Digital transformation has thus become mandatory for business development.

Besides these five skills to advance your business there are others too that will take your business to greater heights. These are time management, analytic skills, team work, competitive spirit and the capability of getting things done.

Creating The Right Working Environment For Optimal Output

Having a flexible job schedule will save time and money and will be healthier.

An average Individual spends around 9 -10 hours daily at work and the environment they work in has an impact on their productivity and creativity. Apart from their work responsibilities the working environment influences efficiency, motivation and happiness of employees.

Businesses are required to create a healthy work environment to boost the morale of employees, retain their employees, lower absenteeism and best of all create a stress free and healthy environment to work in.

A healthy work environment can be defined as a place that is safe, empowering and provides job satisfaction. It is a positive work place that lets employees return every morning, providing motivation that will sustain them through the day.

The office, people working there, culture of your team, attitude of your boss and seniors along with incentives provided all have a direct influence on your performance.

Below we have listed a few factors that will create a great working environment for maximum output:

Healthy Workplace

Good health not only depends on good nutrition.

Good health not only depends on good nutrition. To keep your employees motivated you should provide them with a healthy workplace and a positive physical working environment that is equipped with correct light and ventilation, right temperature, less noise levels and comfortable office furniture.

This will prevent any back and neck problems, keep your employees comfortable and boost their spirits. The main idea here is to give them a pleasant work space with the minimum of distractions.

Empower Employees

Empower employees with a positive working environment by allowing them to make decisions regarding their work.

A certain amount of freedom should be given to them to plan their work.

By giving them   freedom you are giving an indication that every employee is important for the organization and that you trust them immensely.

This creates a great positive environment eliminating all negativity in the office.

Workplace Organization

A team spirit in office encourages achievement of goals and maintaining them.

Your workplace should be featured with comfortable chairs, an office table, PC, notebooks and stationery for making drafts. To give a more productive atmosphere in office you can place small plants to give a green look and clean the air at your workplace.

You can take advice from experts and organize your workplace with racks full of books and articles that your employees have access to and can read in their free time.

Team Building

A team spirit in office encourages achievement of goals and maintaining them. Team building improves social relations with other staff members creating a cordial working environment.

Task delegation and collaboration will result in more tasks being completed thus increasing productivity.

Some ways to improve team building are office parties, corporate events, tasks done in collaboration and online communication between colleagues. Ensure that your employees know each other and cooperate with them. Respect for the other team members and working cordially and in collaboration helps to build a team spirit.

Promote Communication

Good communication proves to be an important detriment for productive working.

Good communication proves to be an important detriment for productive working. Promoting a two way communication both between peers and also with the management along with an open door policy will make working easier and simpler.

Good communication channels boost productivity and promote new ideas to be generated that are so very necessary for small businesses. The main aim here is to encourage contributions from one and all in the organizations making sure that every contribution is valued.

Recognize And Reward Success

A workplace is bound to be a happier place where policies are clearly defined making sure that employees are regularly acknowledged and praised for good work.

When employees feel that their happiness at work matters to the employers, they will give in their best.

Some forms of recognition rewards that can be periodically given are gift certificates, cash certificates, coupons for restaurants and merchandise.

Provide Work Flexibility

Allow some flexibility to employees as far as working hours is concerned giving them an option to work remotely. Having a flexible job schedule will save time and money and will be healthier. Do not micromanage your employees as it will result in lowering motivation and also their morale.

To conclude a healthy and positive work environment in an organization being a part of the organizational culture tends to attract the best of human resources. The biggest responsibility of an entrepreneur is to create, develop and support the best kind of working environment that will help everyone to work and function well.

Factors To Consider When Expanding Your Business

Expanding a business involves hard work, dedication and a strong capital base. Before you go ahead, contemplate on whether your business is ready for growth and also whether you and your team are committed enough to make the effort and invest time and money to do it.

You should venture into a business after considering all the pros and cons of the project.

Whether it is a small or large business some factors should be considered if you want to expand.  Building a long term strategy will be imperative for the success of any business venture.

Below we have given a few tips to grow your business. In the words of an American entrepreneur James Cash Penny, “Growth is never by mere chance, it is the result of forces working together”.

Personal Considerations

Are you ready to take the risk?

Evaluate extensively your motive for expanding your business and also what impact will it have on your personal life.

Some personal considerations are:

  • Do you possess the required skills and expertise for expansion
  • Consider the short term as well as the long term goals and objectives of the organization and also whether these objectives will interfere with the earlier ones when the business was set up.
  • Time management i.e. will you be able to devote more time for your business?
  • Will your time and effort be worth the return on investment?
  • Do you have personal resources required for expansion?
  • Are you ready to take the risk?
  • In case your business is home based, will it interfere with your personal life?

Operational Considerations

Some operational considerations have to be considered before you consider expansion.

Some operational considerations have to be considered before you consider expansion:

  • Availability of Credit: Credit is a vital tool when it comes to business expansion as more capital will be required apart from profit. Evaluate the cost of credit you can arrange from financial institutions like banks or other lenders. Since credit offered can be for long term or short term and at different rates of interest, a business owner needs to estimate and assess the cheapest credit and the flexibility provided for repaying the loan.
  • Enrolling More Employees: Expansion might require additional labor force. Determine whether the company will be able to bear the salaries and other costs for hiring extra human resources.
  • Increase in Profits: More profit is a motivation for expansion. A stable business if expanded will lead to success and an increase in profits.
  • Legal Obligations: Tax obligations should be considered at the time of expansion in case of a business partnership turning into a limited company. Evaluate whether the business will be able to meet additional costs like registration of the company, certification of products and taxes.
  • Study whether the competition within the Industry is healthy and legally acceptable
  • Study the aspect of space: Expansion might mean requirement of extra space or relocating to another place. Determine the extra cost and also whether it will mean violating environmental conservation rules

Good Customer Service & Communication

It is advisable to build a good rapport with the intended target group.

Organizations initially tend to communicate better with their target audience thus offering good customer services.  But they fail miserably in the expansion phase as they now pay more attention to other crucial aspects of business.

It is advisable to build a good rapport with the intended target group. Win them over with a clear and effective communication strategy thus creating a clear picture in the minds of consumers. Ensure that you are providing the same quality service you did originally.

Planning Ahead

As you continue with expansion conduct market studies and focus on the next phase. Online sales being the need of the hour, you should look for web providers and monitor how online sales are being handled by your competitors.

Keep your attention focused on increasing sales. Consider location based and SEO marketing abilities as these will prove beneficial when you grow your business.

Is Your Team As Passionate About Your Business As You?

Business expansion is better if your team shares the same core values. There will be several obstacles when you expand your business but the key to success is to recognize and accept your limitations. Before you make the decision to expand, research your resources and finances carefully.

Most business owners hope to expand and reach larger number of consumers and earn greater revenue. But it can prove disastrous if you try to expand rapidly. It is vital to plan carefully and then begin the expansion process only when you have the required resources with you.