Monthly Archives: February 2017

Important Functions of a Business Plan

Today all entrepreneurs or small business owners know and respect the importance of a business plan. But to most of them the benefit it has for their company after it has been used for an investment remains hidden. Therefore, it is important as it plays an important part in the growth and development of your business.

Business plans are documents that clearly describe the goals of the company along with all major and minor details regarding it. It is almost like a blue print of how you plan to build your company or organization. At the same time it plays the role of a medium to communicate through for investors and banks.

Not only does it guide your company towards its goals and accordingly the strategies are thought of, but even the management of your business relies on the business plan. Before you have written a plan you only have faint idea about what you plan to achieve and the milestones you wish to conquer. After the plan is written, the aims are clarified and you set up a plan of action. It describes everything about your organization.

Its position in the market and your products or services , a brief background story, your target customers, your budgets, your finances, strategies etc. it contains all details regarding the amount of money you need for starting up or carrying on. It is a financial tool.

The final, ready business plan can provide guidance to entrepreneurs for organizing and creating ideas to move forward. It would also contain details of where your company stands now, where it is going and where it plans to go. You can break down the goals into milestones to be achieved in a year.

Insight To SMO Services

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is one of the methods in website optimization which involves a set of activities which are implemented by the business houses to attract new visitors by driving traffic to the websites from other sources, other than search engines. The word of mouth in social media optimization is spread through social networking, blogging, video marketing and social bookmarking sites whereby the businesses can improve their online presence, reach to the targeted network and market their brands and products in the most effective ways.

With the evolvement and popularity of the social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter etc, SMO has been a blessing for the small business in the truest sense of term. Not only, SMO services lead to measureable outcome and the progress can be tracked and assessed, but also the cost of service associated with SMO services is very low in comparison to the traditional marketing methods. Hence, it has become much easier for the small scale online businesses to reach out to their potential client base easily and connect with them while spreading the brand awareness. Social media optimization also facilitates fine lines of communication and when implemented in the right way, SMO services can surely yield productive results.

SMO services include content submission (article submission and press release distribution), classified ad posting, video submissions, PPT submissions, social bookmarking, RSS feed submission blogging, forum posting, social network marketing etc. An online business wishing to promote its brands and services through social media platforms seeks to refer to a professional SMO company. On the client’s behalf, the SMM Company formulates the righteous strategies and implements various methods and techniques to promote the brands in the social media arena.

A professional social media optimization company incorporates social bookmarking as an integral part of SMO campaign. By adding bookmark to the social bookmarking sites and optimizing the tags of the business page, the SMO executives seek to give comprehensive exposure to the client’s business page.

Blogging is another crucial aspect in SMO services. A professional SMO company emphasizes on maintaining and upgrading blogs with fresh and engaging content to drive visitors. Publishing regular updates in blogs are ways of informing the target audience about the latest news about the company. Blogs are also good podiums for accumulating where visitor’s feedback. The SMO executives hence try to make the blogs as engaging as possible. They upload images, videos and play with the words intelligently to make the blog interesting for the readers.

The SMO executives, on behalf of their clients, engage themselves in the ongoing discussions in the online forums. Participating in the discussion forums and posting the views on a relevant topic is one of the most effective options of interacting with a pool of target audience. The social media experts thus utilize the discussion forums with the aim to communicate with the targeted audience at an inter-personal level.

A small sized business can get the best out of the social media platform provided they utilize the right techniques. There should be winning strategy and planning that will give the businesses an upper hand in the competitive domain. SMO services do not mean blatant promotion in the social media platform, rather through cognitive approach, communication and collaboration a business can get the best outcome and generate good amount of web traffic for their website.

Know When Your Business Needs IT Consulting Services

Businesses must ensure that only the latest technologies and software are deployed at the workplace, in order to provide quality solutions to their clients, and to be ahead of the competition. With the ever-changing technological trends in the industry, businesses find it cumbersome to adopt these technologies. Instead they can hand the entire function over to a sound IT consulting services company – who in turn will tap into their global pool of highly skilled IT professionals, who have the advantage of working in various IT environments, and have extensive experience across sectors. By providing assistance to business, IT consulting services providers free up existing resources; ensure IT transitions are smooth and problem-free; optimise key business processes; identify areas that benefit with further cost saving; build competitive advantage through IT; reduce IT complexities; provide IT strategy consultancy services, IT project management services and provide specialised programme management solutions – all of which, help the organisation achieve significant business efficiencies and cost benefits.

Choosing to work with an IT firm definitely boosts a company’s overall efficiency, which in turn decreases costs. Firms tend to look for a flexible and bespoke solution to address the client’s IT needs, thereby delivering solutions that are in tandem with the client’s goals.

The advantages listed above necessitate hiring an IT company. But how will a business know that it needs IT consultancy services?

A business may function with its existing IT architecture without knowing the benefits of such services. In order to discern the need for IT consulting services, businesses must first understand the details of their services. According to Wikipedia, ‘IT consulting is a field that focuses on advising businesses on how best to use IT to meet their business objectives. In addition to providing advice, IT consultancies often estimate, manage, implement, deploy, and administer IT systems on businesses’ behalf, known as Outsourcing’. IT consulting services firms thereby help businesses strategise and evaluate their IT functions as a whole and take the necessary steps to implement and/or deploy and then administer effective and robust IT systems in place. Businesses can seek the services of an IT firm when:

  1. IT investments regularly overshoot the set budget. Fast-paced technologies and trends warrant proper planning. When making strategic use of the allocated budget seems difficult, seeking the advice of IT consultancy services providers is imperative.
  2. A business decides to relocate or reduce staff.
  3. Projects regularly miss deadlines. Lack of specialists, complex projects and shoestring budgets lead to inefficient project management. A sound IT consulting services company designs bespoke, safe and cost-effective solutions, either full time or part time.
  4. Challenges of globalization, technical and regulatory changes arise. Business and technology management when integrated help the business survive, and therefore IT strategy consultancy is important.
  5. Programmes and projects eat into the budget. A business needs specialised programme management solutions to achieve significant cost savings. A robust IT services company provides either the co-sourcing or the outsourcing model to help businesses remain ahead of the competition, by providing tailored solutions.
  6. There is a need to change networks or when the need to shift to a new IT architecture arises.
  7. The company is in need of a robust disaster recovery plan.
  8. There are no data storage systems in place.

Availing the services of the right IT consulting services company may be a challenge. A business must choose a provider before the problems stated above get worse – and must choose a provider who is able to set in place a sound IT system in place. Therefore, a business must choose a provider who provides flexible solutions. Businesses must also remember that though they think they are able to fix small issues, the reality is that these issues must be treated at the root, and they can be properly tackled only with strategic IT solutions – only provided by an effective IT consulting services company.

Management Styles – The Unorthodox

You can’t always define right and wrong when it comes to management styles. You have to find your own style that’s right for business. Sometimes this means trial and error – and heresy. There are times when heresy and an unorthodox management style can pay off – as shown by a Brazilian engineering company called Semco.

If you have your own business then it is your prerogative to run it any way you see fit. Your management style might be considered eccentric but no one can prevent you putting it into practice.

The unorthodox management of Ricardo Semler of Semco certainly paid off. As he reveals in his book Maverick! his off-the-wall management ideas have worked for Semco, with unusual business practices such as subordinates giving their managers twice-yearly appraisals. If a boss scores low, he can even lose his job!

The manager is referred to as ‘the subject’ in a multiple choice questionnaire. The first among the 36 questions is: ‘If an employee makes a small mistake, the subject:

1) Is irritated and unwilling to talk about the error

2) Is irritated but willing to discuss the error

3) Identifies the mistake and discusses it in a constructive manner

4) Ignores the error and pays attention only to more important matters.

It’s not rocket science to spot the correct answer and you can tell Semler has a good understanding of management behavior. He expects his managers to be fair and relaxed, secure and friendly, innovative and competent, trustworthy and participant.

So do unorthodox management styles help with the above?

In all businesses and all processes, there is room for improvement and you have to listen when someone comes up with an idea that has the potential to realise that improvement. You have to look at the benefits before dismissing the idea. You should be prepared to embark on challenges and change in order to create an organisation where people are happy with the management style – and that goes for the people managing and those being managed.

Semler has found success with an unorthodox management style and built a company that has the power to create effective new ideas, and continues to do so.

Waste Management Solutions: Five Crafty Ways To Reuse Plastic

Every year there is approximately 333,557 tons of plastic waste tossed into the ocean. Plastic pollution is a toxic hazard that threatens the habitats of ocean and land wildlife. In addition, the mass production of plastic contributes to the dilution of natural resources and increases the burning of fossil fuels.

Waste management companies across the globe are seeing an uptick in plastic pollution-and most are encouraging people to avoid it. Sometimes, plastic is unavoidable-however reusing it can minimize production which is important for the environment. Here’s a look at five crafty ways to reuse plastic materials.

1. Refill Plastic Jugs

Milk jugs, plastic orange juice cartons, and gallon water jugs are great for lemonades and punches. Although it’s encouraged not to use them for drinking too long, it doesn’t mean you have to throw them right in the recycling bin. Fill them with non-consumable items such as glue, dishwashing detergent, or an anti-freeze mix.

2. Make Plastic Bags Useful

One of the biggest headaches for a waste management company is plastic bags. Most of these bags aren’t biodegradable and eventually will end up in oceans or streams. Plastic bags can be used for a variety of projects, including:

– Carrying school lunches

– Making fashionable purses and bags

– Worn as booties over shoes

– Piping bags for cake decoration

The most damaging type of plastic bags come from the grocery store. Avoid using them by purchasing reusable shopping bags or asking the cashier for a paper option.

3. Turn Water Bottles Into Wire

Every day, people throw away thousands of plastic water bottles that end up in a waste management facility or landfill. Water and small plastic soda bottles are comprised of a thicker plastic and are perfect for making wire. Use industrialized scissors, wire cutters, or a utility knife to cut thick or thin strips of plastic. These makeshift wires are great and prevent purchasing and using plastic zip ties.

4. Keep the Bottle Caps

Caps from soda bottles and plastic jugs are hard to recycle-however, they can be used for an assortment of projects. Conserving bottle caps can be useful for things such as:

– Creating a push cushion ring for sewing

– Decorative art projects

– Making jewelry such as earrings, rings, and necklaces

– Fusing them together to make pill holders

Most bottle caps aren’t biodegradable and linger in a waste management facility for awhile. Large bottle caps can also be used as a buffer between furniture legs and flooring-especially fine grain wood and carpets.

5. Turn Two-Liter Bottles Into Planters

Two-liter bottles have an array of uses. A popular option is cutting it in half and using the top piece as a funnel. However, the bottom half of a two-liter bottle can be used to create a planter. Plastic planters are great for small plants such as herbs and succulents.

Alternatives to Reducing Plastic Waste

Waste management companies, scientists, and environmentalists can agree that plastic waste is a growing problem for Mother Earth. Reusing plastic materials isn’t always a viable option, however, there are alternative means such as recycling, using glass and ceramics, and avoiding the purchase of non-recyclable plastic items.

An Introduction to the Scientific Theory of Management

Scientific management theory was proposed by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the first decade of the 20th century, is the first coherent theory of administration. According to this theory the same principles of management can be applied to all social entities. The governing policies for our homes, farms, state, business, and church, have the same underlying principles. It emphasized on improvements in the lower level of the company rather than at top management. It aimed at studying the relationship between the physical nature of work and the physiological nature of the workmen. It stressed upon specialization, predictability, technical competence and rationality for improving the organizational efficiency and economy.

PRINCIPLES

Taylor gave the following four principles which according to him can be used universally:

-Construct a science for each element of a man’s work.

-Scientifically select, train, teach and develop workmen.

-Management should fully cooperate with workers.

-The division of work and responsibility between management and the workers must be shared equally.

Scientific management, according to Taylor, involves a complete mental revolution on the part of workers towards their duties, work, fellow men and their employers; and on the part of managers, towards their employees and their problems.

TECHNIQUES

The techniques of scientific management facilitate the application of principles of scientific management mentioned below:

FUNCTIONAL FOREMANSHIP: Under this, a worker is supervised and guided by eight functional foremen. Four of these are responsible for planning viz. Order-of-work-and-route-clerk, Instruction-card clerk, Time-and-cost clerk, Shop Clerk. The other four are responsible for execution and serve on shop floor namely, Gang boss, speed boss, inspector and Repair boss.

MOTION STUDY: It involves the observation of all the motions comprised in a particular job and then determination of best set of motions.

TIME STUDY: It is used to determine the standard time for completion of work.

DIFFRENTIAL PIECE RATE PLAN: Under this plan, a worker is paid a low piece rate up to a standard, a large bonus at the standard and a higher piece rate above the standard.

EXCEPTION PRINCIPLE: It involves setting up a large daily task by the management, with reward for achieving targets and penalty for not meeting it.

CRITICISM/OPPOSITION

Scientific management came to be criticized and opposed by various sections for the following reasons:

-It was concentrated on the shop floor. It did not stress on the higher levels of management.

-It was criticized as a mechanistic theory of organization as it neglected the human side of the organization. It treated worker as a machine and sought to make it as efficient as machine itself.

-It was criticized on the ground that it underestimated and oversimplified human motivation by explaining human motivation in terms of monetary aspects only.

-It was also opposed by the managers due to two reasons. First, they would lose their judgment and discretion due to the adoption of scientific methods. Second, their work and responsibilities increases under Taylorism.