Posts

Want To Create SMART Objectives? Here’s How

StrategyDriven Strategic Planning Article |Business Objectives|Want To Create SMART Objectives? Here's HowNo matter what type of business you have, you’ll need to set clear objectives quarterly or annually. A way of identifying future goals, along with the timeline, they will help you to achieve growth.

Whether your objectives involve increasing business revenue, maximizing your profits, providing better customer service or improving the productivity within your workplace, if you use the right tools you’ll be able to accomplish it.

For these to be successful, you should make them SMART. But what does this mean?

Specific:

You need to ensure that you’re setting very specific objectives. The more specific they are, the more likely it is that you’ll achieve them. An example of an objective which is specific is – increasing sales by 25% by the end of the next quarter through an online marketing campaign. Giving your employees clear guidance, they know what they should be working towards.

Measurable:

When creating your objectives, you should also make them measurable. Identifying exactly what you want to see when you reach your goal, you’ll be able to use the results to showcase their measurability. Breaking it into various elements, it’s a way of refining the steps you will have to take.

Attainable:

Are they attainable? During the process, you need to make sure that you’re not setting goals that are out of reach. To make these achievable and attainable, you need to prepare your staff in advance and have the resources in place.

Realistic:

Can you realistically accomplish these? Are they relevant to your exact needs? These thoughts should be consistent throughout the process to ensure that you’re following the right path.

Timely:

You need to set a deadline – otherwise, you’ll find that there is no hurry to focus on the objectives. This deadline doesn’t have to be rigid, it can be flexible – as long as you or your employees don’t lose sight of what you want to achieve.

So, how do you create them?

Identify The Objective’s Priorities

At the start of the process, you should sit down with your employees and map out what your objectives should be. By setting a concrete vision and conducting a SWOT analysis, you’ll be able to analyze your business’ opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and any potential threats.

Through an open discussion, you should pay attention to key areas within your business, looking at how the objectives can be shaped around them. For example:

  • In the Finance Department, an objective could be to cut spending and improve profit margins.
  • In Operations, you could introduce new technology or update your current software.
  • In Quality – introduce new processes so that all of your products/services are to the highest possible quality.

While identifying priorities and performing a SWOT analysis, you can also review your business’ past performance. Using KPIs as a benchmark, you can create a comparison between your past and future performance.

Evaluate the Market

After identifying priorities, set about evaluating the current market situation. By looking at the market and industry as a whole, you’ll start to notice trends for the upcoming year. Helping you to compete successfully alongside other players within the industry, it will give you a clearer picture of how your company will fit into the landscape.

Keep Your Employees in The Loop

Throughout the course of achieving your business objectives, you should keep your employees up to date with the success of them. By asking for feedback and uncovering the impact that different changes have on your business, you’ll be able to plan your next steps.

A good way of getting your employees involved is through an OKR (Objectives and Key Results spreadsheet). Shared across the company, it will list the steps that each employee will take to achieve the objectives.

Use Sales Playbooks

By utilizing the power of AI Generated Sales Playbooks, you’ll be able to characterize the responsibilities for both you and your sales team. Identifying metrics for measurement and the right approach for successfully closing sales, you’ll be able to establish more concrete objectives.

How to Start a Business with Little to no Capital

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Start a Business|How to Start a Business with Little to no CapitalYou have a great idea for starting your own business, but you’ve got little or no savings. While starting a business when you’re strapped for cash is a challenge, know that this doesn’t mean you can’t go into business. Nor does this mean that people will think less of your new business. There are many firms famous for starting with a few hundred pounds in someone’s garage, and you could be one of them if you take advantage of the resources that are available to you. Let’s look at a few ways you could start your business with little to no capital.

Use Sweat Equity

Don’t buy things when you could rent, and don’t buy new if you can make do with used. The main source of capital will be you and your efforts. Do everything you can yourself before you hire others.

This route isn’t an option if you don’t have the time to work for the business for free or the cost of entering the field is more than you have saved. But, if you are able to start the business on effort alone, recognise that you’ll have a lot of competition and will have to hire people to scale it up.

Leverage Your Day Job for Capital

A common criticism of artists and entrepreneurs is ‘don’t quit your day job’. There are several good reasons to keep your day job while building your small business, too.

First, you can live frugally off your income and funnel the rest of your money into the business. This does mean you’re pressed for time, but you can often build your business if you carefully budget your time outside of work. Your job also improves your credit. You’re eligible for no guarantor loans based on your current income. You don’t have to ask anyone else to co-sign the loan or ask family to loan you money for your business.

A side benefit of starting your business as a side business is that you have margin for error. If you need to tweak the design or change your business model, it won’t hurt the business. You can get feedback from friends, family and referrals.

Find Ways to Generate More Revenue from Your Business Idea

You may have to find new ways to generate revenue from your business. Find ways to generate cash flow from services while designing and selling a product.

Product-based businesses are capital intensive. Try to find ways to make money servicing current owners of the product, such as repairing or appraising the item. If you want to build an app, get started building websites and apps for others. Provide tech support for customers while you’re designing hardware. This will not just generate cash flow you can live on, but it will connect you to potential customers.

You can start a business with little to no cash, and it doesn’t have to involve a ton of debt. Understand your options so that you can find the best solution for funding your start-up.

How To Take Your New Business Idea To The Next Level

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Starting a Business|How To Take Your New Business Idea To The Next LevelWhen you come up with a great business idea and begin to lay the foundations for your dream to become a reality, you might find that you are being held back by certain restraints that can stop your concept from truly flourishing. It’s unlikely that you can be a one man band, and you need so many different contributing features to bring the whole venture together and really make it work. Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes skill, effort and time, but if you are ready to commit yourself and reach your goals then the results that you will achieve will make it all seem more than worth it. So, if you want to know how you can take your business idea to the next level and really hit the ground running, then read on for some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of to start generating a respectable profit in no time at all!

Hiring The Right Support

Though you may want to keep all of the credit and control for your business, at some point you are going to have to let go of some responsibilities in order to allow your organisation to grow into something much bigger. Hiring the right support is such an important step to take, as having some experienced and qualified employees by your side to assist you with every task you complete is going to take a huge weight off your shoulders. Finding the right staff doesn’t have to be difficult, as there are several different ways that you can attract potential candidates – by posting a job application online, approaching a recruitment agency, or networking with others in your industry to spread the word about your vacancies. It’s easy to find more info about where you can hire the best professionals, but it’s up to you to identify which person will suit your own specific company needs.

Sourcing The Best Equipment

Whatever kind of business you are going to run, you will need to source the best equipment to ensure that you and your staff can complete every task to the highest standard. Whether you need computers or laptops, heavy production machinery or general labourer tools, its key that you can collect each necessary item and have it set up and ready for use as soon as you open your doors for business. If you purchase secondhand or poor quality machinery, you’re going to end up with a bad end product that will be worth half of the price of its properly made counterpart. It’s likely that you will need to provide training for some specific items as your staff may require the knowledge in order to operate them safely and securely.

Get Marketing Now

The sooner that you are able to start marketing your business, the more attention and excitement will build for your new idea. You can even start advertising before you open the doors to your company, as you can use your grand opening date as some kind of special day that includes offers or vouchers, therefore attracting more buzz and potential customers. The type of marketing that you use should really depend on your target audience, for example if your business is directed towards young adults and teenagers, you may want to make the most of social media advertising. You simply create a business profile, and update your page with regular posts that can receive constant feedback from actual users, whilst even offering options to purchase items or services straight through the social media platform itself. To reach an older generation, get on board with day time TV advertisements or put up a sign in your local newspaper or relevant magazine subscription to get their attention.

Starting your own business can be a whirlwind adventure, but following the steps above will show you just how simple it can be to take your idea to the next level and make some serious profit. There are so many risks that new business’ face whenever they are released onto the market, but you can reduce these risks dramatically by taking these top tips and tricks on board. Start by sourcing the right group of staff to support you through your venture, that have the necessary qualifications and experience to push your company to grow and evolve. Ensure that you have invested in the best quality equipment your employees need to do their job well, and put a big emphasis on marketing your brand to gain a wider influence.

4 Things to Think About When Starting Your Own Cannabis Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Cannabis|4 Things to Think About When Starting Your Own Cannabis Business

The market for licensed cannabis products is growing at an encouraging rate if that is the line of business that you are thinking of launching into and as is the case with any new venture, you will need to have all the angles covered in order to set off on the right footing.

A good starting point would be to create a checklist of things that you need to organize so that your cannabis business is good to go. This will likely include things such as insurance, and you can find help at charlesriverinsurance.com to guide you on the most affordable options, plus you need to understand all about regulatory and taxation issues.

An industry that lacks clear federal guidance at present

A key point to consider is the fact that the cannabis industry is defined by what can be described as a fragmented regulatory landscape.

The fundamental problem is that federal policy relating to the distribution of cannabis products varies across different state lines. Some states have fully embraced the cannabis industry while others are not so welcoming and regulations reflect that.

It is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the regulations and understand clearly what you can and can’t do within your state and when dealing with customers across state lines.

Get your head around the tax rules

The tax rules surrounding the sale and distribution of cannabis products can be quite punitive and restrictive in terms of what you are able to claim in allowable business expenses.

The bottom line is that you should expect to pay a high proportion of taxes in comparison to what you would pay if you were selling a product that was fully legal according to the current tax rules.

It would be a smart move to get professional guidance on the tax rules.

Business insurance

Every business needs to have adequate protection against potential claims and losses and it is especially relevant when you are running a cannabis business.

Insurance for running a cannabis business can be expensive if you don’t get help from a reputable insurer who has knowledge of the industry and how to provide the cover you need in the most cost-effective way.

Licenses and permits

A major expense that you will have to contend with if you intend to launch a cannabis business is the cost of obtaining the relevant licenses and permits that are required.

It depends on what part of the cannabis industry you are going to be trading in when it comes to what licenses you might need to obtain and the cost of obtaining all the necessary permissions will likely represent a significant percentage of your startup costs.

If you intend to cultivate or dispense cannabis products the cost of obtaining the right licenses may even appear prohibitive at first glance, but you might take the view that the opportunities that await you make that investment more justifiable.

If you cover all of these major bases when evaluating your cannabis business plan it should clear the path to open the doors of your business and allow you to focus on building a successful and profitable venture.

3 Knowledge Gaps That Small Business Owners Need To Fill

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business Owner|3 Knowledge Gaps That Small Business Owners Need To FillThere are a lot of misconceptions about running a business, and the biggest one is that some people are born to be business owners and some aren’t. But the idea that you either have it or you don’t isn’t really true. There are certain qualities that a good business owner needs and some people do have those natural talents. But if you are going to be a successful business owner, there are a lot of skills that you have to learn as well. A lot of new business owners don’t realize this and they think that they are guaranteed to succeed because they are a born business leader. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of new business owners have some serious knowledge gaps, and they run into problems. If you are about to embark on your business journey, it’s important that you fill these skills gaps.

Finances

The most important thing in any business is the finances. If you are an accountant that has experience working for a business, you should be fine. Otherwise, you won’t have a clue what you’re doing when it comes to business finances. Poor money management could sink your business, so it’s vital that you learn about business finances and where to turn for help when you need it. This small business bookkeeping guide will give you more information on how to manage your money and find the right bookkeeping service to help you stay on top of your finances. If you start a business without a good working knowledge of how to handle your money, your chances of success are slim.

The Law

There are a lot of exciting things about starting your own business, like watching your simple idea progress through the development stages until it finally becomes a working product. But it’s not all fun and games and there are some boring bits to deal with as well. One thing that people struggle with the most is the legal aspect. Business laws can get very confusing, and if you make mistakes, it could land you in a lot of trouble. These legal tips can help you out, but it’s important that you spend some time learning about business law and you hire a lawyer when you are out of your depth.

Process Management

Process management really catches people out because it’s not something that you will have to deal with when you first start the business. With a small team of 2 or 3 people and a relatively low number of sales, it’s easy to manage the workflow. But when your sales and marketing team start to grow and your sales volume increases, things get a lot tougher. Productivity will take a big hit if you don’t put processes in place to manage things, but a lot of new business owners don’t know how to run a business on that scale. You can use automation software to help a lot here, but you need to spend some time learning how larger businesses use process management to handle a large workload efficiently.

If you can’t fill these knowledge gaps before you start your new business, you will soon be out of your depth.