Posts

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business Article

The Big Picture of Business – How Business Advice Turns Into Company Strategy

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleWithin every corporate and organizational structure, there is a stair-step ladder. One enters the ladder at some level and is considered valuable for the category of services for which they have expertise. This ladder holds true for managers and employees within the organization, as well as outside consultants brought in.

Each rung on the ladder is important. At whatever level one enters the ladder, he-she is trained, measured for performance and fits into the organization’s overall Big Picture. One rarely advances more than one rung on the ladder during the course of service to the organization in question.

  1. Resource: equipment, tools, materials, schedules.
  2. Skills and Tasks: duties, activities, tasks, behaviors, attitudes, contracting, project fulfillment.
  3. Role and Job: assignments, responsibilities, functions, relationships, follow-through, accountability.
  4. Systems and Processes: structure, hiring, control, work design, supervision, decisions
  5. Strategy: planning, tactics, organizational development.
  6. Culture and Mission: values, customs, beliefs, goals, objectives, benchmarking.
  7. Philosophy: purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.

7 Levels of Authority Figure

  1. Self Appointed. Flash in the Pan. What they were doing five years ago has no relationship to what they’re now marketing. They reap temporary rewards from momentary trends. They’re here today, weren’t an authority figure yesterday and likely won’t be tomorrow. Yet, today, they’re demanding your complete trust, respect and allegiance.
  2. Temporary Caretakers of an Office. Public officials. Appointed agency heads in a government bureaucracy. Respect is shown to the temporary trust they hold.
  3. Those Who We Think Control Our Destiny… for the Time Being. Caretakers of corporate bureaucracies, departmental supervisors, short-term clients, referral sources for business development and those who dangle carrots under people’s noses.
  4. Those Who Remain Through the Peter Principle. Supervisors and public servants who made fiefdoms by outlasting up-and-comers. Longevity is due to keeping their heads down and noses clean, rather than excelling via special talents-achievements. Still living on past laurels.
  5. Those Who Really Empower People. These are a rare breed… the backbone of well-run organizations. Some do what they do very well in poorly-run organizations. They may not be department heads, but they set exemplary standards and inspire others toward positive accomplishments. Category 2, 3 and 4 authority figures either resent them and try to claim credit for what they do… or are smart enough to place them in effective, visible roles. Some advance into management and encounter similar situations there too.
  6. Have Truly Earned Their Position-Respect. Also a rare breed. Those who excelled at every assignment given and each stage of their career. Never were too busy to set good examples, share ideas with others and help build the teams on which they played.
  7. Never Stop Paying Dues, Learning, Sharing Knowledge. The rarest breed of all. Distance runners who created knowledge, rather than conveyed that of other people. Though they could coast on past laurels, for them, the best is yet to come.

7 Levels of Advice Given

  1. Answers to Questions. There are 7 levels of answers which may be given, depending upon how extensive one wants: Easy and Obvious Ones, Knee-Jerk Reactions, Politically Correct, What People Want to Hear, Factual and Complete Explanations, Answers That Get Them Thinking Further and Deep Wisdom.
  2. Observations on Situations. These take the forms of “When this happened to me, I did X,” or “If this occurred with me, I would Y.” It’s often good to see things through someone else’s perspective.
  3. Subjective Viewpoint. Friends want what is best for you. This level of advice is usually pro-active and is influenced by the advisor’s experiences with comparable situations.
  4. Informed Opinion. Experts have core-business backgrounds upon which to draw. Advisors bring facts, analysis and methodologies of applying their solutions to your case. Niche consultants provide quality viewpoints… as it relates to their talents and skills. Carefully consider the sources.
  5. Researched Options. Investments in research (formal, informal, attitudinal, demographic, sociological) will avert unnecessary band aid surgery expenses later. Research leads to planning, which is the best way to accomplish tasks and benchmark success.
  6. Discussion of Outcomes-Consequences. Most actions and decisions in an organization affect many others. At this level, advisors recommend that sufficient planning be conducted… please take their advice. The more strategic and Big Picture in scope, then planning reaps long-term rewards.
  7. Inspiring Directions. This gets into Visioning. Planning and going to new heights are stimulating. The mannerisms and substance by which any organization achieves its Vision requires sophisticated advice, deep insights and creative ideas.

7 Levels-Tiers of Qualifying Consultants

  1. Wanna-be consultants. Vendors selling services. Subcontractors. Out-of-work people who hang out “consulting” shingles in between jobs. Freelancers and moonlighters, whose consultancy may or may not relate to their day jobs. (26%)
  2. Entry-level consultants. Those who were downsized, out-placed, retired or changed careers, launching a consulting practice. Prior experience in company environment. (19.5%)
  3. Grinders. Those who do the bulk of project work. Conduct programs designed by others. 1-10 years’ consulting experience. (35.49%)
  4. Minders. Mid-level consultants. Those with specific niche or industry expertise, starting to build a track record. 10-20 years’ consulting experience. (13.5%)
  5. Finders. Firms which package and market services. Most claim they have all expertise in-house. The more sophisticated ones are skilled at building and utilizing collaborations of outside experts and joint ventures. (3.5%)
  6. Senior level. Veteran consultants (20 years+) who were trained for and have a track record in consulting. That’s what they have done for most of their careers. (2%)
  7. Beyond the strata of consultant. Senior advisor, routinely producing original knowledge. Strategic overview, vision expeditor. Creativity-insight not available elsewhere.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor Hank Moore

Where Do They Go To Get Business Advice?

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleBusinesses operate at a pace such that they grab for help wherever it is available. More often than not, they reach toward the wrong resources, the untied advisors and sources that send them down rabbit holes.

It is lonely at the top. There are many demands upon entrepreneurs and senior management of companies. Each organization is confronted with challenges and opportunities, both real and perceived. It is tough to tackle all the obstacles and feel that substantial progress is being made.

Businesses spend so much time on momentary pieces of their puzzles that they neglect long-term Strategic Planning and miss potential successes. Costs of band aid surgery and make-good work cost six times that of planning for business on the front end.

The need exists for comprehensive business ideas and growth strategies. The need is ever-present for interfacing with senior executives and updating management skills, to avoid burnout and stimulate the seasoned professionals toward new heights. Top management regularly needs the creative inspiration to take the company to new heights. Cutting-edge executives (the very top and those about to take the mantle) need seasoned advice and inspiration.

Here is where they go to get ideas, strategies and help, in the order where they commonly go. The lower numbers represent introductory resources. The highest numbers are where they should be reaching.

1. Hearsay and third hand

  • Comments heard at parties and networking functions
  • Uninformed sources
  • Friends of friends
  • High participation networkers
  • Research and surveys

2. Special Interests

  • Websites containing educational material as a way to sell services
  • Surveys and their feedback

3. People Selling Stuff

  • Vendors who distract you, using expressions like “funding to grow your business.”
  • Online marketing firms
  • Internet solicitors and sellers
  • Website consulting

4. Internal Management

  • People you work with
  • Mid-managers and supervisors
  • Corporate leadership

5. Niche Experts and Consultants

  • Trainers
  • Freelance consultants, per industry niche
  • Banking, insurance benefits, human resources, etc.
  • Technology consulting firms
  • Researchers

6. Educational Programs

  • Speakers
  • Seminars
  • Panels at forums
  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Material published or broadcast in the media

7. Books

  • Articles excerpted for meetings
  • Blog material posted online
  • Thin self-published books by people seeking to establish a platform
  • Online articles and blogs
  • Serious books in libraries
  • Cutting-edge books with original material

8. Advocacy Groups

  • Business clubs
  • Chambers of commerce
  • People with whom you work in community and charity leadership roles
  • Boards of directors
  • The Better Business Bureau
  • SCORE
  • Small Business Development Center
  • Trade industry groups
  • Associations
  • Political action committees
  • Community alliances
  • Professional alliances
  • Consortiums of business
  • Cross-industry cooperative initiatives

9. Mentors

  • Pier advisory groups such as Vistage, Silver Fox Advisors
  • One-on-one coaching
  • CEO roundtables
  • Corporate heir apparent training
  • Programs such as Shark Tank, Fox Den, Ted Talks
  • Leadership programs

10. Senior Business Advisors

  • Professional service firms, including lawyers, accountants, marketing, public relations, quality management

11. Major Business Gurus

  • Track record experts with many years in advising strategically

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

StrategyDriven Budget Management Article

3 Ways To Spend Less On Your Company Cars

Most business owners will invest in at least one company car as their operations begin to succeed. The issue is that you could end up spending far more than is necessary if you take the incorrect approach. Considering that, three expert strategies on this page should ensure you keep the costs down to a minimum. You can then use your budget to fund additional advertising or the growth of your company. We’ll try to keep things as simple as possible so every reader can benefit from this advice.

Consider a leasing deal

Firstly, you need to consider the fact that you don’t need to purchase the vehicle outright in most instances. That could be a significant business mistake if you don’t have thousands of dollars in your accounts. Nothing is stopping you from taking a look at some of the deals on offer from specialist leasing firms. In many situations, you can gain access to vehicles you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to drive. Also, you don’t have to worry about repairs because the hire company will handle those. For a small payment each month, you can get a suitable car that will get you from A to B and impress your clients. You can swap and change the model at the end of each contract too!

Maintain the vehicle yourself

If you’re going to buy your business car outright, there are lots of ways in which you can reduce the running costs. For example, you might decide to sign up for a servicing arrangement that will ensure mechanics take a look at the automobile every twelve months. However, those who want to save the most amount of cash will need to get used to the idea of performing maintenance jobs without professional assistance. Click here or visit an auto specialist in your hometown to take a look at how much you will need to spend on essentials to keep the vehicle in working order.

Compare commercial insurance packages

It’s sometimes possible to reduce the cost of your business car insurance by getting a policy for your entire company from the same provider. You can learn more about that here or search Google. There are many commercial insurance specialists out there, and some of them offer packages that provide all the protection your operation requires. That might include things like public liability, employer’s insurance, and even car cover. Getting all that from the same brand is the best way to reduce the price you have to pay. Also, you can obtain quotes from multiple firms and use them to drive the cost down with others. Just use some common sense.

Those three strategies should assist all readers when it comes to keeping more cash in their business accounts this year. When all’s said and done, even those with successful brands will need to reduce spending as much as possible. That is the best way to ensure you always have enough funds available to pay for marketing and utilize any new concepts as they appear throughout the year. So, put some of this advice into practice, and you should never end up overspending on the vehicle you use to represent your venture.

Starting Your New Business on a Budget

While many business owners would love to have enough money to start their business the way they want, the reality is that most companies struggle for capital when they first start. That doesn’t mean that you cannot start your business, it just means you will need to be prudent and cautious when it comes to spending. There are many ways that you can get your company up and running, even on a budget.

Don’t Borrow Unless You Must

While there is a big urge just to borrow the money you need and get the things you want; you need to be careful. You want your business to start earning you money, not generating the money to pay another debt. You must also be aware of the fact that your company might not survive. If that’s the case, then you will be saddled with the repayments for your business loan. If you do have to borrow money, only borrow the smallest amount that you need to get started, that way if your company takes off, you will still get some profit.

Start in a Modest Way

Although you might have the dream of a nice shop or a large office, you should avoid such things until you are on the more stable ground. The best thing to do at first is to start from home to keep costs down, or perhaps share office space with another company. If you need to be out there to sell products, start small by going to fairs and markets and going from there. Once your company is making money, you can rent a small store to sell your products.

Think About Refurbished Items

Buying a new printer, computers and other office equipment can become expensive in a short space of time. To cut down on those costs while still getting the equipment you need, why not consider buying refurbished or used items. Many companies offer used office copiers and other electronics that have been refurbished, so they are working perfectly. You can get desks, chairs and other furniture from used office suppliers. They are usually in good condition, just taken from offices that have been refurbished.

Be Smart with Your Services

To run your business effectively, you will need a phone line with the internet, though getting these set up especially with a business rate can be expensive. Do plenty of research into the best deals you can get for your business, and see if there are deals that offer extras such as a business mobile or free web space for a website. To cut costs further, try to develop your website yourself using the many website building sites that are on the internet. It might not be as polished as you want, but it will be free, and it will be a good start until your business takes off.

By trying to plan your spending and by using used or refurbished goods, you can start your new business with minimum capital.

Don’t Leave These Things Out Of Your Business Budget!

People just starting out in the business world will often make mistakes when it comes to creating their budgets. That is a significant problem because it means the entrepreneurs can run out of money before they make a profit. With that in mind, there are some budget essentials listed below that you won’t want to overlook.

Marketing and promotion

Marketing is the single most critical aspect of your operation, and you need to spend a lot of money if you want the best results. These days, it’s possible to lower your promotional spend using digital tools like social media. However, you still need to allocate a substantial amount of funds.

Employment costs

You need to make sure there is always enough money in the bank to pay your employees. At the same time, you also need to think about whether or not you might employ more people in the next twelve months. Be sure you include all those costs in your budget.

Travel and accommodation fees

As the infographic below shows, most business owners have to spend a lot of cash when it comes to travel and accommodation. You never know when you might need to meet a client on the other side of the country, and so it’s vital that you keep enough funds in your accounts.

If you remember to include all those things in your business budget this year; you should find your company on the right track. Still, there is always more to learn, and so you should continue your research after clicking away from this page.


Infographic designed by Jettly