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Why Businesses Need Management Consulting

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Why Businesses Need Management ConsultingManagement consulting is something you may want to consider, even if you run a small business. Such professionals can assist a business of any size, however. These are a few of the complex issues that a consultant of this kind can help you with:

Team Leadership

For a business to be successful, all members of the team have to work together harmoniously. The leaders must be well versed and organized in their leadership strategies as well. A management consulting firm can assist you in this area by consulting with your top board members and management staff to develop new strategies for training and leadership. You may need these services if you find that employee retention numbers have plateaued or lessened. You may also find these services helpful if your customer service ratings have declined.

Research and Analysis

A management consulting firm can also conduct research and analysis for you. You may need to know if you should get involved with a possible merger with another business. Perhaps you need to decide which area to expand your business to. Maybe you need someone to gather information about the current market trends so that you can choose how you want to perform a product launch. Management consulting firms can do the legwork in this area so that your leaders can make decisions that profit your establishment.

Growth Strategies

Growth strategies are often complex processes that need more than one person to collaborate on them. Businesses of all sizes need to develop effective growth strategies. A management consulting team can assist you with growth strategies as well. They can help you develop blueprints for the business decisions you’ll make over a stretch of time. You may want to create a strategy for growth over the next five years, for example. Strategic planners will be able to look over the numbers with you and find areas where you can improve your company’s performance. They can also analyze the information and give you tips on how you can cut down on some of your operational costs.

New Process Rollouts

It can be difficult to enforce and implement new processes within your establishment. A management consulting firm could help you with those processes as well. Changing one of your primary processes can be an exciting and helpful move for your business. However, your employees and management staff may not be too keen on the changes. The good news is that a management consulting firm can assist you in that area and many others. You can think of such a firm as an end-all for solidifying your business’s success. Michael Canzian operates a reputable management consulting firm. All you need to succeed is a renowned firm that genuinely wants to see your business blossom.

management consulting firm can be highly beneficial to you if you’re a new entity or a company trying to find your way around the market. You can schedule a consultation with such a firm to see if its services can assist you. You might find that a management consulting firm is exactly what you need.

5 Reasons Why Companies Should Give Back

StrategyDriven Corporate Culture Article | 5 Reasons Why Companies Should Give Back

On the surface, running a business may seem simple. Products are created and sold to customers, expenses are paid, and profits are tallied up. However, the process is much more nuanced than that. While establishing a relationship with the community is not required, it can play an important role in determining how successful a business is. Taking the time to build a positive relationship with the community can be an excellent way to establish a good reputation and promote positive word of mouth. Giving back can also improve employee morale and encourage a positive culture in the workplace.

1. Establish a Positive Workplace Culture

Providing a safe, comfortable work environment is something that many entrepreneurs strive for. However, the management style, personality of the workers, and expectations placed onto staff members also contribute to the workplace culture. Toxic workers, impossible goals, and unfair distribution of work can all create a poor environment. Even if a company has fantastic managers and workers, employees may not feel completely fulfilled. From high-level management experts like Claire Lucas DC who are passionate about equality to entry-level workers who want to foster animals, most people want to do something to help the world.

Inviting staff members to contribute ideas about what causes they care about can help business owners figure out what is important to workers. If many of the workers are ardent environmentalists, then perhaps scheduling everyone to participate in cleaning up a beach once a month could be a big hit. While giving workers a few days off to volunteer may seem counterproductive, there are many studies that show a correlation between employee happiness and an increase in daily productivity.

2. Benefit the Community

While the people who live in a community may want or need certain things, they may be at a loss about how to get them. A company can provide some of the funding and use its large platform to advertise to a wide audience. Even though it may cost the company money to allow workers to volunteer, donate money to a charity event, or organize a fundraiser, the benefit to the community can make the effort worthwhile. Whether the company is able to make a difference on a local level or a global scale, many people will be able to benefit. A business that contributes towards the construction of a public park may not reap profits from the new space, but the employees and community members can use the area to exercise, socialize and play games.

3. Foster Feelings of Public Goodwill

Companies, especially large ones, can sometimes be perceived as uncaring by consumers. Unlike the local shop where the owner is often behind the counter, a large corporation can appear faceless to customers. Giving back is an excellent way to create feelings of warmth, admiration, and appreciation in the general public. A positive reputation can result in an increase in customer loyalty, even if prices go up in the future. A company with a positive reputation can enjoy more sales from happy customers.

4. Promote Brand Awareness

Often, if a company contributes to a cause, the name of the business is featured somewhere. Pamphlets and banners at events may feature the names of any sponsors, while charities may list their donors on a website page. Current and future customers may notice the name of the company, especially if the contribution made is notable, such as a large dollar amount or a flashy, unique prize won at a raffle. Companies that give back also enjoy good word of mouth among consumers. If people are impressed that a business supports a cause they agree with, they are more likely to not only support that company but to share that information with others.

5. Networking Opportunities

Charity events often appeal to local philanthropists, local celebrities, and business owners. Hosting or attending a notable event is an excellent way for business owners to meet other like-minded people. The opportunities for networking are limitless as long as it is done correctly. The business owners should not make it appear as if they are only present to meet people who may benefit them. However, they should be sociable and friendly with everyone they encounter, which will leave a good impression on all of the attendees. Business cards can be handed out and asked for in return in the hopes of sending an email or making a follow-up phone call after the event.

When a business gives back to the community in any way, the benefits are numerous. The charity selected should be as free from scandal as possible and provide a valuable service to the community or the world. As long as the cause and charities are carefully selected and align with the company culture and vision, then the business can provide support through donations and volunteer time while also generating goodwill.

6 Ways to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | 6 Ways to Increase Your Team’s ProductivityLeading a team isn’t simple, no matter the size. Whether you’re in charge of a team of five or a team of 500, there are obstacles you must overcome. Your goal is efficient, hard-working staff that boost the business’ quality and increase profits. To do this, you must be a leader who promotes productivity, and here are six ways you can do that.

1. Communicate Effectively 

A crucial part of leadership is having excellent communication skills. Without them, you run the risk of miscommunication that will lead to errors, frustration, and loss of morale. Provide your staff with constructive feedback, a clearly defined task list, and have an open-door policy. This way, your team will know they can rely on you to be honest and give help where it is needed, which will boost productivity.

2. A Comfortable Environment

Assuming that you and your team work the standard 40-hour week, you are spending a third of your time in the workplace. By creating a bright, comfortable environment, you will cultivate a productive team that enjoys being at work. Add plants, install wide windows, and have an area where your team can hang out and discuss. You could even provide auto sliding doors that use sensors to open, providing your workplace with a brightened, automatic entrance.

3. Give Praise 

Acknowledging a job well done will boost a worker’s productivity. If your team is constantly hearing about where they’ve made errors, they will begin doubting themselves and it will show up in their work. By providing positive feedback, they will feel valued and have pride in their work, and they will carry on doing a great job.

4. Use Incentives 

People work best when they have a goal and a reward. Provide that reward by bringing incentives into the workplace, and you will see a definite uptick in hard work. In study findings written by Harold Stolovich, they found that incentive programs engaged participants, attracted quality employees, and that the employees valued the incentive programs. Some rewards you could employ include lunches out, coupons, and bonuses.

5. Understand Their Strengths

Each team member is an individual with their own strengths and weaknesses. You cannot expect one employee to work in the exact same way as another, so get to know your team and their strengths so that you can take advantage of them. It will benefit both you and the employees, as you get their best work while they are able to enjoy hitting their goals easily.

6. Leave Them to Their Work

Micro-managing results in a quick descent into unhappy employees. You hired them for a reason, so you should trust that they have the business’ best interest at heart and will do a fantastic job each day. Have confidence in your team by showing them freedom in their work and they will show you their appreciation through productivity. Their sense of responsibility will let them shine while allowing you to focus on other areas of the business.

How Managers Fail to Motivate Salespeople – and What They Should Do Instead

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How Managers Fail to Motivate Salespeople - and What They Should Do InsteadHistorically, salespeople have been “given” their goals. Whether we call these goals, targets or quotas, it’s all the same. Sometimes the goal is arbitrary, as in, “I know you can do better, so next year I’m raising your target by 25%.” Other times it’s prescribed. For example: “Whatever you did last year, this year’s target is 10% higher. And, by the way, your bonus will be based on a percentage of quota attained.” Neither of these approaches deliver great results. Here’s why.

We assume that the fact that their bonus, or in some cases their very employment, is contingent upon making quota. We assume that this is motivating. In fact, the very opposite may be the case.

Two immediate (and all-too-common) situations come to mind. Consider the highly likely scenario that they may not buy into the target you’ve come up with. If they’re thinking, “There’s no way I’m going to hit that!” that’s not motivation!

Here’s the second situation: Assume they fall way behind after the first quarter. What will happen? Very often, they simply give up, knowing that the bonus (or whatever incentive you come up with) is lost.

The problem is that these are management’s goals, not the salesperson’s. There are two improvements we may want to consider.

The first is to include them in the process, and negotiate their targets, getting their input. Start by asking them what they think they can do next year or next quarter. Ready for a surprise? They will often give you a higher number than the one you were thinking of. In this case, when you suggest something lower, they love you and will work harder for you. If you need to negotiate the number up, that’s OK too. Just the fact that they were included in the process gets them on board. There’s an old saying: People never argue with their own data.

The second, and best, option is to have a private conversation with each person individually about what’s going on in their world. Forget about your revenue targets for a moment. Ask them about their personal life and their personal goals. What do they want their lives to look like a year from now, five years from now, and in retirement? Here’s the amazing thing: Just by asking, you are implying that you want to help them get there! That’s the magic, although of course it is most powerful when you really mean it. When they believe that you are willing to help them achieve their goals, they will, perhaps for the first time, be truly motivated to help you achieve yours – i.e. quotas and targets.

There’s one other side benefit to using this method. Every once in a while you will come across someone whose personal goal is to be you in a few years. A person who wants to grow in the company. Someone who is looking for a mentor and didn’t know how to ask. Now, how great is that?


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Kevin ShulmanAs a certified Sandler trainer, Kevin Shulman has helped individuals, companies, and professional organizations set and attain important goals for almost 30 years. He specializes in helping business owners, sales leaders, and salespeople grow their base of business and reach their full potential.

For more information, please visit https://www.sandler.com/resources/sandler-books/goal-setting-bootcamp/.

Steps to Effective Business Leadership

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Steps to Effective Business LeadershipIt’s important for business owners to have strong leadership skills first and foremost to ensure that the business succeeds, thrives and is able to remain in business.  Leadership skills help provide a vision for business projects/products/services and are necessary to help motivate employees to be their best.

Leaders often set the tone for morale, motivation and commitment, all of which affect the stakeholders/customers and again in large part determine whether the business will succeed.

Business owners also have to be able to establish an effective organizational structure, while influencing employees and very often the business owner/leader will have the strongest influence on employees and a good leader will be able to inspire and effectively communicate the mission and the vision to the employees so they feel empowered to do their best and be their best.

The business owner/leader has to be strong enough to balance the needs of the company with the needs of the employees; balance the need to get things done with the need to teach and mentor; along with balancing good professional boundaries with the ability to be empathic and accessible all the while balancing the demands of the job with the needs of the people who work for you.

Identify what the priorities are for the leader; you must also include short- and long-term goals, balancing the daily demands with the longer-term vision and mission.  The goals must be objective and clearly defined (SMART Goals are best-Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound) and should include goals related to mentoring and fostering leadership in others, stronger relationships through advocating and support when needed; they should include goals related to active listening; developing increased confidence; time management; accountability and responsibility; cognitive flexibility )able to adapt/pivot when needed); should be able to make smarter and more strategic decisions while still managing, time, tasks and people and these goals should be focused on the development of the individual.

The best leadership goals every leader should have should include, but are not limited to, developing strategic thinking; active listening; coaching and fostering growth in others/employees; delegating… they should focus on self-discipline and personal responsibility; building resilience in self and others; developing multiple areas of expertise/competence over time (as indicated in #2); learning and understanding how to effectively influence and persuade others to follow while also focusing on the big picture while minding the bottom line.

Other important things a business leader should know about leadership development goals include keeping a long term focus; development goals should be few and simple so as not to confuse, overwhelm or detract from the priorities (goals should fit the SMART format/criteria) and it’s important that the achievement of goals be recognized and rewarded relative to the impact the completion of that goals had on the individual or business/organization.  Also, measure/monitor progress toward goals and provide regular feedback and coaching as needed.  Remember, the success of any business or team is dependent on the leader. A good business owner and leader knows how to inspire and motivate, adapt and problem solve and demonstrate personal ownership and accountability and leads by example.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Dr. Aimee Harris-NewonDr. Aimee Harris-Newon Psy.D., DABPS, C.HT. is a double board certified integrative and interventional psychologist, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and master success coach. She’s considered an expert in integrative health and believes in a holistic approach-treating the body and the mind.

She leads a very successful integrative and functional health and wellness practice, serving clients locally and internationally. She and her multidisciplinary team focus on wellness, preventive care and coaching to help people live healthier, happier and more satisfying lives. What makes her truly unique and exceptional is her broad and deep skill set and her approach to health and wellness.

As the founder and director of Dr. Aimee and Associates, and now The Center for Integrative and Functional Health and Wellness, Dr. Aimee Harris-Newon and her team of experts don’t just treat symptoms, they solve health problems, create better outcomes and change lives.

As a coach, Dr. Aimee Harris-Newon has worked with individuals and corporations including FedEx, UPS, McDonald’s, Red Bull and the U.S. Army. She is a frequent speaker at Harvard and regularly appears on television news shows such as ABC, NBC, and FOX. Dr. Aimee Harris-Newon also hosts the popular radio show, Mind Over Matters on AM 820, which airs every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. CST.