4 Areas Your Business Should Be Focusing On This Year

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program Article | Business Performance Improvement | 4 Areas Your Business Should Be Focusing On This YearThe reality is that if you try to take on too much at once with your business, this approach may backfire on you. It’s better to focus in on a few essential initiatives than it is to spread yourself too thin and, in turn, end up accomplishing nothing.

There are four areas in particular that your business should highly consider concentrating on this year if you want to experience more success. Take time to review the following ideas and then think about which areas you’re performing well and which ones could use more of your time and attention so that you can come up with a plan of action for moving forward.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is one area you definitely want to focus on this year if you’re going to run a better business. It’s important to collect feedback and track your customer service performance, so you know exactly how you’re doing. The happier your customers are, the more likely it is that your business will receive positive reviews online and that consumers will start talking about you with each other and spreading the word about why it’s a wise choice to do business with you.

2. Health & Safety Obligations

Additionally, commit to following health and safety protocol and running a safer business this year. You’ll avoid unwanted situations this way and be able to retain your employees because they’ll feel safe and protected coming to work each day. Properly ventilate and extract dust and waste by using products from Integrated Air Systems to help you achieve this goal. This way, you’ll reduce the risk of equipment breaking down or someone getting sick or hurt because of unsafe working conditions.

3. Employee Retention

Another area your business should be focusing on this year has to do with employee retention. The truth is that people are more willing to change jobs these days if they’re unhappy at their current employer. Keep your employees satisfied and motivated by assigning them challenging tasks and rewarding them fairly for their efforts. Be willing to gather feedback from and listen to your employees so you can create an even more attractive work environment.

4. Innovation

Your business should also be concentrating on how to innovate your products or services in the upcoming year. Going along with business as usual might be the easy answer, but it’s not what’s going to help you stay relevant or get ahead of your competitors. Hold brainstorming sessions with your employees and use your creativity to come up with new solutions that are impressive and newsworthy.


Achieve better results with your business this year when you’re focusing on improving in the right areas. Use these tips to help you set more specific goals about what it is you wish to accomplish and what challenges you need to overcome in the future. Start by coming up with a plan of action and then writing down specific details about how you’ll properly execute each objective.

Ethical Viewpoints & Environmental Investments: Helping Your Business Profit Emotionally (Without Wasting Profit)

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Business Management | Ethical Viewpoints & Environmental Investments: Helping Your Business Profit Emotionally (Without Wasting Profit)For every business leader out there, it can feel like stepping into the unknown from time to time, whether we believe we are making wise investments or not. Sometimes we forge a path all of our own, but sometimes we go with the grain. As far as the modern industries are concerned, money is tight, yet we are still expected to comply with numerous rules and regulations. Our carbon footprint is one of those common examples that we have to adhere to by implementing the most environmentally-friendly processes, but these come at a cost. With this in mind, are there any ways for us to embody a more ethical outlook while also keeping our finances down?

Making The Right Investments

We are told to minimize our paper usage, maximize our recycling, and ensure that our digital carbon footprint doesn’t go over a certain amount. In many ways, this is asking you to do contradictory things, but this is where you have to find the lesser of evils. The best place to begin is by looking at your business and how compliant it is from an ethical standpoint. If recycling hasn’t been a priority, and you want to rectify this, it’s a very simple change. You can buy a product like this one, the BearSaver – Mini Depot Recycling Enclosure which has individual compartments for plastic, mixed recycling, glass, or landfill. It’s a fairly simple starting point, but it gets the message across. Because improving your carbon footprint is a long journey, it’s far better for you to start by assessing where you’re falling down and getting the basics right.

Encouraging Employees To Take Responsibility

If we encourage employees to take responsibility for their work, then it’s not a big leap to encourage them to be responsible for their carbon footprint. Of course, we can’t force them to do this, but by providing them with the facts, and giving them the opportunity to realize what their individual impact is, such as by a carbon footprint calculator, it will make them think twice about what they’re doing and how their approach hinders the planet.

Finding The Right Ways To Give Back

And for those employees that believe the message of saving the planet to be “preachy” or that we’re forcing these things upon them unfairly, we have to lead by example. Giving back doesn’t have to be complex. For example, if you are a business that uses a lot of paper, and you are trying desperately to change this, by starting to plant trees, it’s a small gesture that can go a long way. From there, you can start to build up initiatives like cycling to work or encouraging certain employees to use public transport, we can feel more content that we are doing the right thing.

Some are sick to the teeth of rules and regulations, especially when it comes to the environment and carbon footprint, but we still need to push forward with this. For those companies that don’t think about it, you’ll soon see that your customers won’t align with your ethical viewpoints or you may have financial penalties. Either way, maybe it’s time to do your bit?

Keeping Your Business Up And Running

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Managing Your Business |Keeping Your Business Up And RunningPerhaps the most fundamental axiom of business life is that if you hope to generate revenue as a business, you must first be operating. This is so profoundly obvious that we usually don’t even consider it. Sure, your business having to stay open makes perfect sense. But unfortunately, there are little issues that can crop up from time to time to prevent this from happening in the way you might intend. Some might be twists of fate or difficulties that you weren’t expecting. Some downtime might be due to your own large mistake, or a plan gone wrong. Others might be more in how you have decided to run your business, such as what services or utilities you have opted to help your business through its lifespan.

Keeping your business up and running is an important thing to take care of, but perhaps so obvious that we fail to keep all the considerations close to hand in order for it to remain that way. With the following advice, we hope you find a range of methods or potential tips to help adjust certain decisions that might be threatening the temporary closure of your company, even for an unwarranted day or two. After all, time is money. Alternatively you could use this list as a confirmation you are doing everything quite brilliantly. That works too.


It’s essentially important to consider your utility needs as a business. Leaks can cause damage, and electricity downtime can affect your entire operation, particularly if you host your website in-house. Without certain basic utilities, it is impossible for you to call your staff into work. Even something as simple as no bathroom access can legally put you in a grey area when asking your employees to come into work. This is where you need the help of an emergency electrician or tradesman, someone on call most of the time and able to find solid solutions to your problem. When you find one as suggested, you should understand that they are worth their weight in gold. Show them around your entire office and give them a working understanding of your office utilities layout, such as your wiring network or problem plumbing. This can give them a good idea of how to work should they be asked back again for an emergency job.

Pay for complete solutions, rather than quick fixes. Issues must not be allowed to repeat themselves, even if it’s something as simple as a leak in your storage basement. On top of this, be sure to have a competent reporting system in-house to ensure that maintenance requests are taken with the utmost speed and priority. This could potentially help you avoid further office downtime.

Health & Safety Code

Your business might be functioning well to a degree, but it’s not just restaurants that need to hit excellent results when it comes to the health and safety code they follow. An office is a co-habited space, and as such can bring with it all the human worries that usually follow a large group of people, no matter how well behaved and civilized they seem to be. Scheduling bi-yearly health and safety meetings can help your staff continually remain updated with the best practices for personal space tidying, for wearing protective gear in construction environments, and any other regulations you feel important to self-impose. It sounds like a harsh reality, but a business must never be afraid of imposing rules to sustain safety, no matter how arbitrary or small they seem to be. If there’s a brand of soup known for exploding hot liquid in the microwave, it might be a good idea to impose a ban on that particular brand to avoid injuries. It’s often the little things that matter.

But of course, you would also do well to schedule regular pest control maintenance measures with the use of a professional. Any leak, wiring difficulty or other construction failing must result in an evacuation of that area. You must take extra special measures of control if renovating or constructing part of a new building or office. After all, if you take care of your staff, they can continue working in their operational capacity day after day. Be sure to inspect your business often to see where these issues might arise, and to catch them early.

Opening Times

The opening times of your business are important to consider, specifically if running a business that doesn’t need to follow the standard 9-5 structure. You might be running a retail store or a restaurant, for example. Opening times are important to consider. It might be that you don’t enter your salon until 11am every day and open up shop then, which is comfortable for you. It gives you time for a cup of coffee after dropping the children off at school, or might give you an extra hour in bed each morning. But you live in a populated area, an area where anyone could enter from 9am. This way, you might be missing a few worthwhile customers. For a simple convenience, the funding of your business might be missing out.

Sometimes, keeping your business up and running means taking those small personal sacrifices to take opportunity where you can. It might not feel like the nicest thing to do, but can surely help you build the reputation you deserve. This helps you meet the demand and need of the local environment, no matter if you’re a restaurant/bar now serving breakfast, or someone realizing that them always being closed on Tuesdays, no matter how long this has gone on for, makes no real sense when there’s money to be made.

Consider your opening times if you have the freedom to, and don’t be afraid to tweak them around a little. It could open you up to the financial lifeblood your business might be looking for, even if it means staying open an extra hour a day.

With these tips, you’re sure to keep your business up and running successfully.

WorkFlow Optimization Begins with You: 3 Types of Software No Business Owner Should Forget to Implement

Optimize the Workflow of any Business with Software Implementation

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Articles | WorkFlow Optimization | WorkFlow Optimization Begins with You: 3 Types of Software No Business Owner Should Forget to ImplementMost businesses are started because a person or a group of people have a particular passion, and they want to use that passion to drive their work. Bill Gates and Paul Allen shared a passion for computers and technology, and Microsoft is the result of their work. Steve Jobs had an interest in electronics and gadgetry and his vision was to put a computer in the hands of everyday people. While passion may be needed to get a business idea off the ground, there are several other aspects of a business that needs to be managed well for it to succeed. Workflow is something that needs to be organized and efficient, but it might not be the area of passion for most business owners. There are several types of software that can help optimize workflow and put businesses on a path to increase efficiency and overall success.

Project Management Software

The initial stage in a workflow process for most businesses is some sort of consultation, request, or order from a customer. Paper forms are still common in the business world, and these forms can cause a disruption in the workflow process. Paper forms can be misplaced, they can sit on a desk for long periods of time, and they represent a very inefficient way for employees to communicate with each other. Regardless of the size of a business, the communication between employees is critical to how efficient the business will run. Implementing an order management software system as part of an overall workflow solution can be a positive step toward making things run more smoothly. Project management software can create a proposal for a customer which can lead to a purchase order. The purchase leads to an invoice, and many systems have credit card processing built in to complete the transaction.

Accounting Software

Businesses need to manage money coming in as well as money going out. An accounting software like designdocs can help with paying bills, collecting money from customers and payroll for employees. One of the biggest advantages in an accounting software system is the ability to run specific reports that make the overall financial management more effective. Detailed proposals for customers can be generated quickly along with invoicing for those customers. Overall company financial reports and tax reporting documents can also be generated much more quickly and accurately with the help of a software program. The American Payroll Association concluded that companies not using software systems to help with workflow will spend twenty-five percent more time working on accounting tasks.

Communication Software

In the midst of all the work being done, there needs to be an easy to understand the system in place for all employees to know what needs to be completed, and when the work needs to be finished. This is critical when information needs to move between people in different departments that are all working on the same project. When there is a gap in communication between people, that can slow down or disrupt the flow of work. Having a system where everyone can access the same documents, reports and customer notes will encourage teamwork and promote a more cohesive environment.

Optimizing workflow with software has the immediate benefit of organizing the workload for employees in a way that makes it very neat and user-friendly. This puts employees on a path that is going to decrease the frustration and inefficiencies that can come with a paper system. In the long term, workflow optimization can increase inefficiencies and help businesses see more success.

Three Ways to Establish a Baseline for Your Brand-New Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Three Ways to Establish a Baseline for Your Brand-New BusinessIn business terms, a baseline is where you start. It gives you an idea of your bottom-most revenues and ranks, then allows you to improve upon them until you have a new baseline to replace the start-up version. This is super-important for a brand-new business, as you need to know where you’re starting from to grasp where you want to go. Especially important in project management for business, baselines should be included in your initial business concept. Or at least projected and considered. That said, this article gives you more to think about when establishing a baseline for your brand-new business.

1. Establish a Projected Baseline of Your Hopeful Revenues, Ranks, and Business Presence for the First 3 Months

Baselines are your bottom dollar and where you begin in business. It’s the rock-bottom of your company, and it’s rather low to start with because you don’t know exactly what your business will make. However, you can do a projected baseline as a goal for the next three months. Project a hopeful new baseline, and if you accomplish that one, then that will be your new standard until you consistently make more.

2. Compare Your Actual Baseline to Your Projected Baseline AFTER the First 3 Months and Make Note of Things to Do Differently/Similarly

The first three months are crucial to the success of your business, so keep well-documented records of projected baselines and actual revenues and ranks. When the first three months pass and your business is still standing tall, make tangible notes of what you did, what you will keep the same, and what to do differently. This will be your routine for every three months that your business excels. You could even make a tangible office chart on your wall. Make custom stickers to represent your baseline, projected revenues, and current ranking numbers.

3. Build on Your Business Concept Using the Baseline as an Example of What You Can Accomplish—but Update it Every 3 Months

Baselines change, and businesses go through the trial and errors that either lead to big successes or big failures. Look at where your business began and how much you have accomplished every three months. Let these numbers drive you to do better and maintain a standard of success within your business.