Archive for 'Business'
Leadership mistakes contribute to falling standards around the office due to a lack of motivation or inefficient management.
Here are some leadership mistakes to avoid in the workplace.
Leaders that do not meet the expectations they set will lose the loyalty and respect of their employees. If you require your staff to come in ten minutes early every day or are strict on their lunch break, follow your own rules. Setting a consistent standard will make employees feel they are being treated fairly.
Employers that do not take accountability for their own mistakes and shift blame onto their customer or their employees will lose the support of both. Admitting you are in the wrong is essential for moving forward with the business relationship by making amends.
Your delegation will fail if the task is given to an unsuitable member of staff or a new responsibility is given without the leader providing training and feedback.
Business’ that get involved in community reap financial, workplace and brand image related benefits. Whether your business is new or relatively established in your area, community involvement should be at the forefront of your business strategy. Consider donating services of products to a range of charitable ventures or getting amongst community fundraising initiatives, parades, picnics or festivals.
How community involvement can grow your business are provided below.
Grow your network
Getting your name out there in the community and having a positive association with your brand is a great way to grow your business. If you are partnering with another local business, assisting in a fundraising activity or putting your business out there at a community event, will give you the opportunity of mixing with new customers and forging valuable industry connections. Make sure you keep your business cards on you and display contact information at every opportunity.
Build a loyal customer base
When customers see that your business is supporting a good cause, this appeals to their values and ethics. Your community involvement may be the discriminating factor in your customer’s decision to choose your business over your competitors. Your work in building relationships in the community will reward you with loyalty.
Opportunities for collaboration
You never know whom you will stumble across whilst you are playing your part in the community. The relationships you may forge may be beneficial to your business, and you may find collaboration partners on your marketing or developing new products or a courier service that may be the right fit for your company.
The decision of where the headquarters of your business should be will have a significant hand in determining your profitability and productivity.
Consider the following checklist to ensure you make the right choice.
Will you buy or lease?
First, you need to decide whether you will buy or rent. Entering a lease is less of a financial commitment and perhaps a lower risk option for businesses in their infancy. Buying increases your business value by adding a property to your portfolio but could be a step for businesses with stable finances.
What kind of property will you require?
Picking your location will depend on the needs of your business. Consider whether you need office space or whether a retail space, warehouse or processing plant is necessary. If you require a warehouse, you will want to consider the distance between your suppliers and contractors for ease of convenience.
Who are your customers?
Knowing your customers is vital to understanding whether the location you have chosen is convenient for them if you will need to rely on foot traffic, if there is parking and other amenities nearby to make for a positive experience.
Competition is part of the business. Getting that edge is make or break regarding getting your business up and running and promoting its future growth.
Consider these strategies to implement to come out on top of your business’ rivals:
Establishing your point of difference is vital in business. When executing this strategy, it may not be as easy as it sounds. Consider specialising in a particular niche of your industry and providing the best customer service in that role or offer something that your competitors do not have.
Establish community bonds
By being involving your business in your community, you will establish loyalty for your demographic and promote the visibility of your brand. Consider funding a local initiative or getting involved in helping the local high school or primary school to establish yourself and reputation.
If you are hostile to the competition, you will only worsen your reputation. If you co-exist, you eliminate the risk of retaliation and will not alienate customers of your competitors and your own business.
Rebranding can help you survive in a changing industry or open your business up to new profit-making opportunities. Sometimes it may be difficult to make the call, when there are significant costs associated with redefining your brand.
Consider the signs below that will point you in the right direction.
Your branding is outdated
If you are embarrassed to direct clients to your website or give out your business card, then it is time for a change. Staleness in a business will drive clients will away if they do not think that your business is moving with the times or falls short of your competitors.
You are moving in another direction
Changing your business’ image may help it grow. If you are changing your message or strategy, altering your products or services or trying to capture a new target demographic, rebranding may be necessary to achieve these goals. For example, a rejuvenated image may help you catch a more youthful demographic while keeping your initial loyal client base.
You are recovering from a blunder
If your business has recently been in trouble or made a mistake, rebranding is akin to a rebirth. By changing your brand’s image, you disassociate from past mistakes that have been made and encourage people to speculate about the new possibilities and direction of your business. Rebranding is critical in shifting the focus.
Giving feedback to staff is a key to being a successful manager. Although feedback should be viewed as an opportunity to grow, staff may be sensitive you are criticising their work. That is why feedback should be given in accordance with the tips below.
Never in public
Whether it is praise or constructive criticism, you should be hesitant to single out a worker in the break room or office floor. For advice on improving performance, this should take place in a private one-on-one discussion in person. Emailing can often go wrong because the tone is hard to tell and things can be misconstrued.
Do not wait
Waiting for a quarterly review or team meeting means that the problem is allowed to fester. It is better that any issue is solved promptly to maximise efficiency in the workplace.
Do not make it personal
When giving feedback, it is essential to talk about performance and not personality. By focusing on the current situation rather than the person, there is a higher likelihood of the individual taking the feedback on board positively.
End on a lighter note
By concluding the meeting by emphasising the positive aspects of your staff member’s work and giving praise where it is due, the feedback is softened and much more likely to be perceived well.
Negative gossip in the office is something that is harmful both to your business and to the employees. Whether it encourages individuals to seek work in a less toxic environment, slows down productivity, creates friction between team members or morphs into a legal problem with accusations of bullying and harassment, it is something that managers should put a stop to as soon as possible.
Walk the walk
If you are a manager, employees look to your actions as what expectations of behaviour are in the workplace. If a manager is ever seen engaging in the behaviour, they prohibit this acts to encourage negative gossip as it is seen as acceptable.
Hold a team meeting
If there are issues throughout the team, it should be addressed as a staff issue. A meeting will allow members of staff to voice problems and come up with collaborative solutions to solve them.
Meet with the perpetrators
Having a one-on-one confidential discussion may solve the problem if bad behaviour is being exhibited by individual members of staff. If you assist the person in understanding the damage their actions cause and the potential consequences for their job, this puts the person on the path for creating new helpful habits in their interactions within the workplace.
There is no weakness in a leader who asks for help. Maintaining success in your small business requires you to seek advice from your employees on a range of matters.
However, it is important to ask for help in the right way, so your team does not lose confidence in your leadership ability. You need to communicate that you are asking for input or advice rather than help because you are floundering.
Consider these ways when asking for advice from an employee:
Ask a ‘specific’ question
Avoid asking a vague question and get specific. What exactly do you need from this employee? If you are vague, it will communicate to your staff you are unsure of what you want. When you are specific, they can complete the task quickly and conveys that you are seeking their professional advice, rather than a helping hand.
Offer something in return
When you need help, it might be better to turn it into a negotiation. They advise on a matter, and you do the same in return.
Check you need help
Ensure you have tried to complete the task before asking for help. Asking for help straight away may risk others perceiving you as less competent or even lazy if they point out a simple or obvious way to solve the issue.
Creating a new business is an exciting time for any first-time entrepreneur, but it also comes with making big decisions – one of these will be when you must choose which structure your business will take.
Whether you are looking to form say a company or a partnership, it is important to know that there are varying legal and financial requirements that surround each one. Ask yourself which structure will best help your business to grow and flourish?
For instance, many small businesses are set up as a sole trader. A sole trader is one individual who owns the business.
However, choosing the business structure, you will use will predominantly depend on your situation and the structure that best suits your needs and that of your business.
Always look at what is involved with starting up, operating and closing a structure before making your final decision. You can also choose to change your business structure throughout the life of your business.
If you are unsure which structure will best suit your business, it may be helpful to seek professional advice.
Creating a workplace environment that fosters inclusivity and belonging for all is important for the longevity of your business.
When people feel safe and a sense of community, they are bound to feel happier and thus enjoy being connected to your business. There a number of ways to create this for your workplace:
Appropriate training and orientation
Employees, contractors and customers need to understand from their first encounter with your business that is a safe and inclusive environment. This means appropriate training and orientation must be given to instil specific values. It is much easier to employ individuals who agree with and respect inclusive workplaces than to try and change the workplace ethos later down the track.
Team building is a great tool for breaking down barriers between employees. It allows individuals to bond and connect outside of the everyday work environment. There is a large array of activities that constitute as team building. For example:
– Staff retreats
– Icebreaker games
– Office luncheons
– Create office sport tournament
– Open workplaces
– Group work and problem-solving tasks
Business ethos and values
Creating a workplace with an inclusive vibe is not just about introducing a bunch of team building activities and expecting everyone to feel valued; it has to be embedded in your brand. This means that as the boss, it needs to start with you. You can’t expect your employees to thrive if they don’t feel that their leaders value them.