Category Archives: Marketing

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Join a Small Business Association

Business networking

Business networking can be a valuable tool in your business survival and success. One of the most cost effective ways to build strong relationships with your customers, suppliers and other industry stakeholders is to join the right type of association.

Join associations that your customers, or potential customers, belong to; as well as other industry and business stakeholders (such as suppliers, competitors, your community). Also look at associations where the end customers participate if your customers sell to others. Typically the cost of joining an industry association is not that high; and is, in fact, relatively inexpensive when you consider that you will be able to directly reach customers (and often reach them in a way that is more effective and meaningful in building relationships).

Once you’ve joined, you need to attend association meetings and participate in association events. To be even more effective: join the association board or an association committee.

In addition, you will gain valuable contacts and have better access to business resources for your industry. The benefits to members of joining associations include:

Excellent ability to connect with customers and other stakeholders in your industry;
Association membership will also provide you opportunities for contact with potential customers and with suppliers (who may provide you with referrals to prospective customers).

Industry educational programs:

Access to hard-to-find industry research and statistics (these often include invaluable benchmark studies and business performance metrics).

Industry conferences:

Group discounts on business services (such as cell phone programs, merchant discount programs, gas discounts, courier programs, and more).

Supporting the industry association to act officially or unofficially as lobbyists for the industry they represent to all levels of government.

Some industry associations have certification programs for individuals (such as the certified sales professional program) and for companies (such as programs that certify companies that have achieved a certain professional and/or business level).

And, often membership in an association will give you access to the membership list (your new contacts list) once you become a member.

Other business associations to consider are your local Chamber of Commerce, your Board of Trade, the Small Office Home Office (SoHo) organization and whatever else is available in your area. These business associations provide you with a broader business network and business community; you need to assess whether or not you can build a partnership or alliance with other business owners for concentrated effort and success (for example, a local business improvement initiative could be undertaken with a group you meet through one of the business associations you belong to).

Of those business owners that join associations, many owners will attend association meetings or events, listen to the speaker, and depart as soon as humanly possible. While they will hopefully have learned something from the speaker, they will not have benefited in the most important way – building their own personal business network or business community. When you build a strong personal business network; your business will benefit from it.

In addition to industry and trade associations, you need to consider special interest group associations (such as women in leadership; professional groups – such as certified general accountant, sales executives etc.). Those associations might not include your customers, but they certainly will include competitors (who you need to learn about and understand). Consider interest group associations as your own small business advisory; ask for help, for information, for access to resources.

Joining an industry or small business association is a highly effective small business strategy and needs to be on your list of top marketing tactics. Once you’ve joined, you need to attend association meetings and participate in association events. To be even more effective: join the association board or an association committee. In addition to industry and trade associations, you need to consider special interest group associations (such as women in leadership; professional groups – such as certified general accountant, sales executives etc.). Of those business owners that join associations, many owners will attend association meetings or events, listen to the speaker, and depart as soon as humanly possible.

If you don’t join your industry or small business association, you can be sure that one, or many, of your competitors will. Do you really want your competitors to have access to your customers and to be able to build a strong relationship through association participation?


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Using A Business Process Outsourcing Firm

The business process involves a lot of things – Use a BPO

It will involve every aspect of your company in order to let your company operate smoothly and efficiently. It will involve business tasks, such as marketing, payrolls, help desks, management, human resources and more.

Because of the growing demands in businesses today, you have to consider that it will be difficult for your company to cope up with today’s competitiveness in the business world. In order to save money, you have to outsource this particular business process to companies that accepts outsourcing.

In the past, handling all these can be easy. Because of the growing demands in businesses today, you have to consider that it will be difficult for your company to cope up with today’s competitiveness in the business world. Your company should maximize its resources in order to remain competitive with other companies.

Business process outsourcing is one of the most popular and the most cost-efficient business solution that you can ever make. By contracting other companies to do a specific business task, you will be taking off extra work involved in your company and focus more on important aspects in running your business.

Through business process outsourcing you will be able to cut some operational costs and at the same time, let your company focus more on important factors in running your own business.

The business process involves a lot of things. It will involve business tasks, such as marketing, payrolls, help desks, management, human resources and more.

Today, there are available call center companies that will be able to provide a help desk for you. They will be the one who will answer your calls and generate reports regarding each caller and providing the reports for your company.

These are the reasons why you should consider outsourcing your business process to offshore companies.

By outsourcing your company’s business process or some of your company’s business process, your company will be able to utilize its facilities to its maximum potential.

Always keep in mind that you should first check the quality of an offshore outsourcing company first before you sign the contract in order to be sure that you will be getting your money’s worth. Remember this and it will pave the way to make your company the best in the industry.

Companies regularly outsource their business process offshore, particularly to developing countries filled with qualified and talented individuals, such as China, Philippines, Mexico and India. These countries offer good quality services for your business process and they charge a very cheap rate for these services.

This will only add to the expenses that your company is making. Your target would be to decrease overall expense in your company. In order to save money, you have to outsource this particular business process to companies that accepts outsourcing.

This particular business process is a way to communicate with your clients and know about their feedback in your products and it is also a way to assist your clients in case they encounter difficulty with your product.

If you handle every business process involved, this would be very expensive or impossible. This is why many companies are now considering outsourcing their business process.

Every company that manufactures products needs one. This particular business process is a way to communicate with your clients and know about their feedback in your products and it is also a way to assist your clients in case they encounter difficulty with your product.


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Professional Management Consulting

Professional Management Consulting

Putting Professionalism back in Management Consulting

In the 1980s, things began to change. Application packages quickly replaced custom development. This lowered the cost of a quality system, but it also created a gap between the business and the system.

Consulting firms developed methodologies for system planning, system evaluation and acquisition, and system implementation. The methods were executed by junior consultants, who no longer needed the analytical capabilities and business knowledge of past professionals.

Consultants chased the new business opportunity in packaged system implementation. It started with the big audit consultants, whose approach to consulting tended to parallel the approach to auditing– use junior staff to follow methodologies and produce deliverables.

Much of the professionalism has gone out of management consulting. What do we have to do the bring professionalism back into consulting, particularly for business change and management improvement consulting.

This is one of the issues we have been discussing at the Business Change Forum, in order to define problems with conventional methods and discover breakthroughs in enterprise management.

For consultants, employing the application package to improve the business was risky and difficult. The risk had to be contained, so the approach became system implementation to convert a defined portion of the existing business over the new system.

Integrated applications systems were relabeled as ERP systems and proclaimed to employ industry “best practices” that would automatically solve the problem. Many consultants supported a particular ERP package implementation, so then system planning and system evaluation and acquisition methodologies favored that package to bring in the enormous implementation revenues.

Since he no longer developed the system, the professional, who understood the business, had to dig deep to understand the functionality of the package to apply the advanced features that enabled the business to improve. The professional who understood the package did not understand the business and saw his role as explaining use of system.

In the 1990’s a new wave came in business process re-engineering, producing new business transformation methodologies. These methodologies concentrated on the business, but avoided IT, since business change could be executed quickly, and IT change was notoriously slow.

ERP system implementation employed the same implementation methodologies that concentrated on conversion of existing data, business rules, and practices. Employing industry best practices required strong user effort beyond what the consultants provided.

I have seen many changes in my forty years as a professional management consultant, particularly in the business change and management improvement practices. Much of our value was in helping users define and understand the main results the business had to produce and then in designing the full man-machine solution to produce better results. We did not implement the system, we implemented the procedures and methods to improve results using the system.

In recent years, there have been exposes of the problems with management consulting. Books have been written about the bad practice that also developed within management consulting firms.

We need to employ a new management consulting model that requires change by both the enterprise employing consultants and the management consultants and consulting firms. The enterprise must have the capability to manage its own development and manage the achievement of benefits. The consultants must get away from employing rote methodologies, and return to professionalism to work in partnership with the enterprise.

The new consulting model involves the following elements on the part of the enterprise:

Structure the enterprise to define and manage precisely what the enterprise must do to be successful.

Structure enterprise capital to manage all capital utilized to produce enterprise success.

Install a professional capability to manage enterprise investments and development programs.

The new consulting model involves the following on the part of consultants:

Help the enterprise plan the value and understand to be created by change and improvement to provide the return on the investment.

Work with the enterprise in partnership to create precisely-defined value.

Provide proven professionals with analytical capabilities and specialty experience.

Leverage the enterprise teams to produce enterprise products and improvements. Do not do anything that the enterprise can do itself.

Work with the enterprise through to utilization of improvements for benefit and return on investment.

Do not implement information systems, implement the improved process that incorporates the system.

Do not provide consultant deliverables for review. All documents are accepted enterprise knowledge and records. There is one consultant deliverable, shared enterprise success

In the 1990’s a new wave came in business process re-engineering, producing new business transformation methodologies. These methodologies concentrated on the business, but avoided IT, since business change could be executed quickly, and IT change was notoriously slow.

Management consultants need the new model to eliminate the old problems and risk in gaining benefit from business change and management improvement. Only when we have a way for the enterprise and their consultants to work together in partnership for measured success, will we have a way for consultants to return to the professionalism of old.

This lowered the cost of a quality system, but it also created a gap between the business and the system.

I have seen many changes in my forty years as a professional management consultant, particularly in the business change and management improvement practices. We did not implement the system, we implemented the procedures and methods to improve results using the system.


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Create An Online Business

3 Steps To Create An Online Business Presence

When it comes to promoting a business online, there are many different things that you can do. But the type of business you have may influence what is the best type of promotion. If you are a designer, a Twitter account may not be as helpful as an Instagram account.

If you are just starting to promote your business online, it can be easy to become bogged down in the details. You should start a blog or website to keep all your information in one place. Beyond that, focus on 3 steps to build a strong online presence to get yourself started. If you try to do too much at once, you will get overwhelmed and accomplish nothing. By focusing on three items, you can take some time to really learn about them and how to use them for maximum exposure. Areas to consider are social media, mobile computing and how to make everything work together or cross post to save time.

Utilizing Social Media

Facebook is a great tool and likely one of the first ones you want to look into when it comes to social media. The hard part is figuring out how to make it work for your business and making sure that you are visible to your customers. You will have to start a group or a page, both of which have their benefits and drawbacks. Once you get a channel set up, you can use it to help develop your other media or ask your followers what they would like to see. The great benefit to Facebook is that it is so interactive.

Get Your Web Properties Responsive

Most people will agree that you need a website for your business. However, not only do you need a website to promote your business and show what you do, but this website also needs to be mobile friendly. With more people doing their internet browsing and searching on their phones, this is becoming more important all the time. If you aren’t sure about the truth in this, ask friends and family how much time they spent on their various devices versus their computer. You might be surprised. Ask them how they decide which to use for what purpose.

Give Away Freebies and Content

Giving away free items has always been a popular method for promoting your business and this is still the case. By allowing potential customers to see that you know what you are talking about, you will start to gain their trust. Keep doing this and they will come to you when they require your product. Having a spot on your blog where you take questions and answer them is a great “freebie” as they are getting value at no cost.

No matter what methods you are using for online promoting of your business, it is important that you are consistent with it. If you only post once a month, you probably will not get a lot of results. But if you remember to post every Wednesday, first thing in the morning, your followers will get to know this and come looking for you at that time.


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