A business coach can help you revitalise your business, introducing new concepts and business growth strategies. Find out below how a coach that constructively challenges your business strategy and approach could be a key factor in your business growth.Business Coach Tip #1 Working In the Business or Working On the Business Strategies?A business leaders energy, ideas and strategies are bound to lag or go stale at times – this is a harsh fact of business life. Senior management can easily fall into the habit of working too much “in the business” and too little “on the business”. Appropriate external input can help them strike a better balance.The day-to-day operational demands of a business often appear more pressing than devoting time to working on your business growth strategies. However future business success will suffer if insufficient time and energy is devoted to strategy development. Strategic prioritisation is a discipline that defies many.It’s always tempting to put off things that appear to be less urgent. However if we continue to do so we will never see to those things that are important to the business but perhaps less urgent. High growth companies strike a viable balance between logical business reactivity and strategic business proactivity.It can be difficult for company leaders (especially company founders) to seek and embrace external challenge or input, however those that do so have a far better chance of taking their company into thrive mode. A good business coach will help you generate and execute effective business growth strategies.Business Coach Tip #2 Vision, Culture & Purpose to Improve Business PerformanceWhere do you want to take your business and what will it take to get it there? A question that many business leaders might find difficult to answer well. Are you driving your business or are you allowing your business to drive you? Are you firmly in the driving seat or being driven by day-to-day circumstances.A company without a compelling, well communicated business vision lacks a true sense of purpose or direction both for the business leaders and for the employees. Yet many companies pay insufficient attention to this key area, letting everyday business demands dominate over strategic quality time.A company without a true sense of purpose or direction severely limits itself. The staff culture may become more about individual self-interest than about the business, unhealthy silos may be created and customer best interests overlooked. This is a vicious cycle and often the start of the downward spiral.The above scenario is obviously to be avoided if you want your business to thrive. However as companies grow, the culture challenges become greater and the more negative sides of human nature can kick-in. A good business coach can help you avoid or address this to improve business performance.Business Coach Tip #3 Attract & Retain Talent to Feed Your Business Growth StrategiesWhat makes your company one that talented people would be drawn to work for? Intelligent talented people want to work for management they can respect and learn from in companies they can be proud to work for. Get this right and your company should have no problem attracting the right people.Not everyone is prepared to make a positive contribution and any successful leader knows that they must not only add talented contributors, but also remove non-contributors. A good philosophy is to lead by preference and manage by necessity (sometimes even managing people out of the business).It’s people that make a company and they can make it successful or unsuccessful. Good people are a company’s most valuable asset and those business leaders that recognise and leverage this grow more successful and lasting businesses. Your business coach can help you create the right culture.Business Coach Tip #4 Business Growth Strategies to Improve Business PerformanceMost companies lose their way at one time or another. Some manage to renew themselves going on to even greater things (thrive mode), whilst many others struggle on (survive mode). What differentiates those that thrive from those that struggle to survive? Receptivity to experienced external input is one key.Let’s consider the factors that cause companies to falter. These may include a solution set out of step with market demand, a sales approach that fails to gain enough customer traction or a business vision or culture that is no longer inspiring. An external eye can help you identify and address the core issues.Successful business growth strategies are not easily devised, demanding considerable thought and input from multiple sources. Why restrict your potential by denying yourself a catalyst that brings structure and inspires fresh thinking and approaches based on relevant skills and direct experience?An effective business coach constructively challenges your ideas and approach and may sometimes take you out of your comfort zone. This pragmatic coaching style is essential to drive the changes needed to execute the business growth strategies that will progressively improve your business performance.
Online businesses have become a well-accepted business model these days. Long gone are the days when products and services can only be sold in brick and mortar stores. In other words, people do not buy solely from physical and concrete stores anymore. We already have thousands, if not millions, of enterprises selling both products and services in the Internet.Despite this development, a business should never do away with having a business office. Offices are a must-have for any business. Having an office brings forth many advantages to the entrepreneur. Here are the top 5 reasons why having a virtual business office is good for the enterprise.1. It provides a business address for business correspondence purposes. Every business, at some point and it may be often, needs to send business letters to clients, suppliers, government offices, media, and many other entities that the business needs to formally communicate to. Although emails nowadays are highly acceptable, businesses still need to send the usual business letters – in hard copies. That is why a business address is very important.2. It complies with the legal requirements inherent in doing business. A business address is needed when applying for permits to operate in a locale. It is also required when drawing up memorandum of agreements or contracts with clients.3. It helps the business build credibility and trust. An entrepreneur always needs to meet with clients, especially those within its proximity to establish credibility and trust. Although the number of pure online businesses has ballooned to an incredibly large number, not being able to provide a business address raises doubts and questions in the minds of our clients. Putting it in another manner, not being able to give business address information will cast a cloud of suspicion upon us. Suppliers and financial institutions will have second thoughts in dealing with us, especially when we are seeking for credit arrangements, because of the lack of this extremely important aspect of a business enterprise. What is worse, customers may hesitate to entrust us their hard-earned money and buy from us because they will think that we are simply a fly-by-night business and they would not have any idea where to find us in case they have concerns.4. It reinforces the business’s brand. Being able to maintain an office that is well – kept and modern will convince prospective clients that the business values quality and therefore can be relied upon when it comes to business commitments. In other words, it reflects the high quality the business promises its customers.5. It offers flexibility and cost – effectiveness. A virtual business office services is an innovative business idea that exactly satisfies the needs of online businesses. It allows its members to use their office facilities only when they need it. Hence, it can easily be shared with many other entrepreneurs who are looking for the same business office arrangements. This makes the fees very affordable bringing us to the next benefit we can enjoy from these virtual offices – that is, cost-effectiveness. The usual arrangement is through membership where members are only asked of very reasonable fees for the shared use of the facilities.Hence, every enterprise – regardless whether an online or offline business – must have a business office.
Most people aspire to own their own businesses without clearly identifying the best way to do it. The ever-changing needs of consumers makes it even more complicated for entrepreneurs to select the right business to own. Most people already know that there’s a world of possibilities out there for anyone who wants to start a business. The question is: how can you possibly narrow the possibilities down to find the type of business that’s right for you? Business success research proves that most businesses do not survive for more than three years after inception due to poor business selections at the outset. It’s paramount to choose a business which you understand from an operational standpoint or for which you have a particular passion.Types of Business StructuresThere are different business structures to choose from: sole trader, partnership, limited liability, trust, proprietary limited company, incorporated association and co-operative. There are also a few complex structures like a joint-venture (JV). You may want to contact me personally to discuss the most appropriate structure for your situation. For the purpose of this business guide, I will concentrate on sole trader, partnership and limited liability. You will need to decide on which business structure best suits your business and personal needs.Business categoriesBusinesses are mainly categorised as either product or service type. If you are a trained professional, such as an accountant, architect, or a specialist on any ailment, your business is naturally going to revolve around the professional services that you provide. However, there are many professionals who also have the opportunity to offer related products if they choose to do so. For example, if you’re an Information Technology (IT) specialist, you may decide to sell computers, software and hardware.For untrained professionals, the key to deciding whether to focus on products or services when thinking about starting a business is in determining where your true talents lie and what you most enjoy doing. When making a decision, do not base it simply on whether or not you enjoy selling or are good at it. You will be involved with sales no matter what type of business you start.Once you have identified the business to own, you will then have to make an informed decision whether to start one from scratch or buy an existing business.How to Write a Business PlanA business plan is a road map which will stipulate how you shall steer your company to achieve the goals and objectives which you have set. Most people, especially those starting a sole proprietorship business, do not prepare a business plan. For those who have done so, most of them are sub-standard. Preparation of a standard business plan will help make your business successful.A business plan is quite often the entry-level requirement to getting government money, investor capital or bank loans. Although you may have a complete picture of the business in your mind, investors and bankers need to see if you really have an understanding of the business. The business plan also provides you with a blueprint to succeeding in business. It provides you with the direction of your company and also serves as a guidepost for your employees.The business owner’s primary job is to manage and run the business. The term “manage” implies planning and execution. The very process of business planning helps reduce risk. Successful entrepreneurship is often the ability to build a business by taking calculated risks. If you’re putting your life savings on the line or borrowing other people’s money, it is your responsibility as a business owner to not take foolish risks. The business planning process does not guarantee success, but it surely decreases the odds of failure.The business plan has different sections which I will discuss in greater detail.Executive Summary and Introduction
Write the name of the business, its principal operating address, and any other information which would inform people where your business is located
Identify the business ownership. Is it a sole proprietor type or is it owned by a number of directors? Include percentage of ownership for each of the directors if it is a limited liability company
Briefly explain the goods or services which you offer
Specify the market which you intend to reach and service
Vision, Mission, Objectives & ValuesVision: This is the broad goal which you want to achieve, a statement of your strategic intent – a picture of the future. For example, if your company is to provide Cloud-based internet services in Bangkok, your vision could be: “To provide the cheapest and fastest Cloud internet connectivity in Bangkok.”Mission: A mission statement should identify the core values to which the business is committed, the core purpose of the firm, and visionary goals which the business will pursue to fulfil its mission. The mission should mirror the vision, and elaborate on what shall be done to realise the vision. Using the example above, an appropriate mission would be, “Strive to offer cheap and first quality internet connectivity by investing in the latest technology and innovation.”Objectives: These are the pre-set goals which the company should achieve. The objectives are grouped into two categories.I.) Short term objectives: These are the goals which the business should achieve within the first year following business commencement; andII.) Long term objectives: These are goals which the business should achieve within five years after business commencement.Values: These are the principles, morals and ethics which the business strives to uphold. For example, how the business is committed to customer satisfaction and how it practices a culture of excellence.Evaluate your business statement by answering the following questions:· Is it longer term, but still time-defined?· Is it clear on the major benefit(s) that you seek to achieve?· Does it provide for some method of measuring success?· Does it omit specific references to “how” things will be done?A good mission statement will contain the following components:· Specify target market/s and potential customers· Identify principal products and services· Specify the geographic domain· Identify core technologies· Contain an expression of commitment to survival, growth and profitability· State the key elements of the owner’s business philosophy· List the company’s core values· Identify the desired public imageAn effective values statement will include:· Approximately 5-7 core values· Values that can be demonstrated as actions or behaviours· Values that are aligned with business processes or peopleProducts & Services
Identify in detail all the products and services which the business offers
Explain how each and every product or service shall be composed and made available to the intended customers
Explain the use and benefits of your key products and services
Revenue GenerationThis section will identify all the revenue generation activities on which the business shall capitalise to generate revenue that will sustain the business. This is evident when a professional decides to work as a freelance expert. This section is customised based on the specific products you sell or the particular services you provide. For example, a photographer who owns a studio and sells photographic materials, might list the following:
Picture frame sales
Camera memory card sales
Photograph/Video coverage charges
Capital CostCapital is defined as the initial investment which you shall put into the business before you commence operation. It is also defined as assets available for use in the production of further assets, wealth in the form of money, or property owned by a person or business, and human resources of economic value.This section includes some basic accounting, but you don’t need an accounting degree to write this. It has simple arithmetic which is easy to understand. Just list all the expenses which you expect to incur before you commence operations.Research & DevelopmentAll businesses need to continually improve their products, services and business processes in order to anticipate and respond to the ever-changing needs of customers, especially in line with today’s technology boom. This means investing time and money into researching these needs, then developing products and services to meet them. Research and development together with the design of new and modified services will form an essential part of making your business more profitable and productive. Then you can be sure that your career as a freelancer will be successful.