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Business strategy implementation – workplace disharmony

You have completed your business plan and you have moved to business strategy implementation.  Something is not right.  Your workplace is not the harmonious pit of productivity you expected.

Part of the answer lies in the different goals and motivations of business owner and employee.

Owners are primarily investors and risk takers who seek career independence.  Employees are the opposite.  They tend to be risk-averse income seekers who value security and predictability.

The more ambitious ‘2-3 year stay’ employee will appear to be taking a risk by job-hop for promotion but there is little real risk provided he or she is reasonably competent.

Because owners and employees view the business world from opposite perspectives, their motivation and decision making are always going to be diametrically opposed.

Business owners want a return on investment therefore they want profit results.  The only results that really interest most employees are their continuing job prospects, a good income and security for their family.

Most employees are happy to exchange a good day’s work for their wages.  However, they are not focused on profit results anywhere near as much as the owner is.

Although employees are often judged and rewarded on performance, their performance targets are more likely to be related to sales, gross profit or key performance indicators.  It is only the owner who is really focused on the bottom line.

That makes for a natural divergence of goals between employer and employee.  Owners’ goals are generally tied to their business while an employee’s goals can relate to anything but the business.

Money can encourage goal confluence in the short term. In other words, people are happy to be compliant for money until it suits them to do otherwise.  However, in the longer term, people tend to follow their own path.

I have just released a new guide for any entrepreneur who is starting up a business or even thinking about it.  It’s an investment and a time saver because it is brimming with business ideas and you don’t have to make the mistakes that others do.

Visit http://www.garyweigh.com/

Until next time!

Gary

Starting up your own business – get up close and personal

Lunchtime up close and personal at Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto Japan

If you are starting up your own business, it is not enough to simply open the doors and assume that customers will somehow find out about it and start buying.  Although you may have the best top small business idea, it just doesn’t work that way.

Those who do realize that you exist will often have some concerns about your newness.  They may not take you seriously.  Will you survive?  Will you be around for a long time?  Do you know what you’re doing?  Will you do the job properly?  Are you trustworthy?

Time in the market may speak volumes about your tenacity and long term intentions however you can’t afford to wait months or years before people are happy to give you a go.  You need to short cut that process so that customers develop faith within your time frame and start buying early.

So it is not a time for you to wait for people to come you.  Your business strategy implementation must include ‘customer attracting’ strategies need to be active rather than passive and personal rather than impersonal.

The assumption that all internet marketing strategies are impersonal while all bricks and mortar businesses are personal is a fallacy.  Everyone knows of at least one bricks and mortar business that has less personality and customer interest than the bricks that houses it, just as there are plenty of online businesses with personality that focus on building quality relationships with their customers.

With the incredible growth of online social networking, the internet is fast changing its impersonal image.  So if you want to get up close and personal on the internet, think about sending out your messages in multimedia – words, pictures, video and audio.  For example:

Consider an interactive blog platform instead of the traditional static billboard in cyber space

  • Become an authority site by writing and posting original articles on your site and then distributing them to other relevant sites and article sites that may pick them up
  • Reach out to the vast YouTube audience by making and uploading your own video content.  All you need is a camcorder.
  • Think about imaginative pre-sale promotion, consistent post-sale follow up and account maintenance activity.  It works just as well online.

If you are starting up your own business and you are looking for more top small business ideas then stay tuned.

If you seek startup advice or a powerful online business presence when starting up your own business visit https://garyweigh.com/business-startup

Until next time!

Gary

Top small business ideas – money saving ideas

Chili's restaurant in beautiful Banff, Alberta, Canada

I would like to share with you some more top small business ideas.  These are money saving ideas to keep in mind during your business strategy implementation phase:

  • Negotiate rent free periods on leased premises
  • Buy second hand furniture and equipment to start
  • Prioritise your spending so that you put more into areas that the customer sees and less into areas that they don’t see.
  • Review your need for advertising.  It can take a long time to find out what works and what doesn’t and you can chew through a lot of money in the meantime.  This is an area of enormous waste in many businesses, both small and large.  Small businesses however have much less capacity to get it wrong.
  • Advertising is generally passive and impersonal form of marketing.  Try getting out there and becoming more interactive and personal.
  • Use online printing services (e.g. Vistaprint) for stationary and marketing materials. It is great for testing campaigns because you can get small amounts of material at low cost and some products and services are free.
  • When starting up your own business, shop around on your merchant services because you may find some big savings.  A fraction of a percent on practically every sale will add up over time.  Also make sure that you are charged a flat fee per transaction (rather than a percentage) on debit cards.
  • During business strategy implementation, not everything goes according to plan.  Start a ‘Grow from our Mistakes’ book where everything that goes wrong, that loses time or money, or causes customer inconvenience is recorded.  Write a few lines about what happened and when; the estimated $ loss and how it was fixed.  This serves two purposes.  Mistakes are assigned a dollar value and when recorded, very few mistakes are ever repeated.  The key to a successful Mistake Book is to keep it low key and not make it the subject of an inquisition, otherwise people will cover up mistakes.  Over time, it can become a valuable book of solutions – i.e. this is the way things are done around here.
  • If you are starting up your own business and you are looking for more top small business ideas then stay tuned.

If you seek startup advice or a powerful online business presence when starting up your own business visit https://garyweigh.com/business-startup

Until next time!

Gary

Starting up your own business – a budget is pure gold

lunch on a budget at the world famous Japadog stand in downtown Vancouver

by Gary Weigh Business Coach Mentor

Before you actually start up your own business and embark on your business strategy implementation, I want to talk about the incredible value of creating a budget for your proposed venture.

Let’s say that you sell a line of home-made jewellery at $20 a piece and your gross profit percentage is 45%. That means for every item sold, you will have $9.00 left over after paying the cost price ($11.00) to buy or make that item.

If you sell 20 items in a day, your total sales for the day will be $400. The cost to buy or make those 20 items will be $220 (i.e. $11 x 20), and you will have $180 (i.e. $9 x 20) left over to pay for all your other business costs – i.e. your overheads. In simple terms, your overheads are those expenses that don’t relate directly to the buying or making of your product; but they are necessary to run your business.

If you didn’t have any overheads, then the $180 per day (calculated above) would be your profit. But of course, you will have other expenses to pay. Even if you work from home, you will have telephone, internet and other communication costs. You will probably have some stationary and some promotion / advertising costs. It is also likely that you will incur part of the cost of running a car. And don’t forget that your own time and labour is not free. You must pay yourself just as you pay other people.

These are just a few typical expenses, but if they happen to average out at $180 per day, then you will not make any profit. (Think of profit as your investment or entrepreneurial return for taking a risk). In fact, you will be at your breakeven point – no profit, no loss! From here you can make a profit (or increase profit) by:
• Increasing the number of sales you make each day
• Increasing the price of each item (but that might result in less sales)
• Buying or making the jewellery at a cheaper cost price
• Cutting back on your overhead expenses.

So before you begin starting up your own business, you can gain some idea of revenue, direct product costs, overhead expenses and likely profit. It is called a Business Operating Budget, because it relates to the ongoing business operation.

Before you get to business strategy implementation (the operating stage) you will firstly need to spend some money to set up your business (e.g. fit-out, furniture, equipment and website). You can create a budget for this too. It is called a Business Setup Budget.

Keep your two budgets separate so you don’t mix one-off set up purchases (e.g. office furniture) with regular ongoing operating expenses (e.g. monthly phone bill).

By setting all of this on a spreadsheet (e.g. Microsoft Office Excel), you can change the important variables and test the result (on paper at least). You can try various levels of price, volume, product cost and overheads. This is called ‘What if’ analysis. By doing this, you can create a business with a level of spending and a bottom line to suit your purse. It’s part of planning your own business.

If you seek startup advice or a powerful online business presence when starting up your own business visit https://garyweigh.com/business-startup

Until next time!

Gary

Top small business ideas – business storytelling

Make sure that you're still telling the same business story when it is translated into English

by Gary Weigh Business Coach Mentor

As you plan your business strategy implementation, remember the magic of stories. Business storytelling ranks up there with the top small business ideas. Stories build families and communities. They build emotional connections and it is well known that people buy largely on emotion rather than logic. Stories build faith but only if the story becomes real for the listener personally. Once people make your story their story, you have tapped into the powerful force of faith.

Can you remember when you were a child and one of your parents read you a story at bed time. Remember how it fired your interest and imagination. In business, a good story is more valuable than a thousand words of information and techno-babble.

When Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, was asked why she chose skin care, she replied: “Because it’s storytelling. In every group I have spent time with, women will always corral around a well and tell stories about the body, birth, marriage and death. Men only have conversations or memories about their first shave. But women will always use the body as a canvas, a playground. ”

Traditionally, good stories become better in the retelling. It is the stuff that myth and legend is made of. The Anita Roddick story (below) is a great example. Although she died in 2007, her legend lives on. That is why leaders and successful merchants tell stories. They know that stories captivate attention and allow the listener to connect on an emotional level. Stories are remembered forever, whereas information is largely forgotten by the end of the day.

People, with whom you have made a story connection, become more relaxed, more interested in what you have to say, and have fewer objections. There is a much greater chance that your audience will reach the same conclusions as you and enlist in your cause. In other words, they like you and trust you and have concluded that they will buy from you.

There are many types of stories that you can tell to get your business message across. For example, your business storytelling can be about your self and your journey, the origin of your innovative product line, or you can share your vision and values. Make it an integral part of your business strategy implementation. But please – make it short; make it interesting and, above all, make it honest. Oh and one last thing – don’t let your inner demons tell the story unless you can also tell the story of how you overcame them.

For more top small business ideas visit Gary Weigh, Business Coach Mentor at http://www.garyweigh.com

Until next time!

Gary

Business strategy implementation – to partner or not

This brand new business in Kyoto temporarily partnered up with two Maiko (appentice Geisha) to promote their products

At business strategy implementation time, the question of whether or not to take on a partner can arise for a number of reasons.  The most common include:

  • A shortage of cash at critical times such as startup and expansion
  • Loneliness or lack of confidence
  • A previous relationship that is appropriate to continue into business
  • A strategic need for a long term skill set

When starting up your own business, taking on a business partner is another way of saying that you want to give away or sell ownership of your business, together with a proportionate share of future profit and eventual sale of business proceeds.

It is common to hear of people who consider offering e.g. a web designer a share of their business in return for a website.  This is a big mistake to make.  At the outset your business has little or no value so it appears as if you are trading nothing for a service worth a couple of thousand dollars.

It seems like a good deal at the time.  However, when your business succeeds and grows, it will become the most expensive website on earth and a source of great regret for you.

One of your goals when starting up your own business should be to preserve as much ownership as possible.  If it’s absolutely essential to trade your equity to achieve short term goals, then consider a basic buyback option agreement that you can exercise later at your discretion (talk to your lawyer).

If you set out a valuation method (talk to your accountant) then you effectively put a future price on your equity and it enables you to buy back ownership of your business.  Do the math first because it could cost you more to put the agreement in place than it does for the service cost you are trying to avoid.

Partnerships, including company co-directorships, add another level of complexity to your fledgling business.  A person who knows nothing about your business could suddenly be playing a big part in your business strategy implementation.  They may not share your vision, passion or values.  They may force your business in a totally different direction.

It is for these reasons that partnerships have historically been a major source of conflict in business.  I have seen many businesses fold and disband over the years because the partners couldn’t agree on the time of day, let alone the important direction and management decisions.

If you do enter into a partnership for a strategic purpose, you should seek legal advice in regard to a partnership agreement or a shareholder agreement, whichever is appropriate.  You should also consult an accountant in regards to a valuation formula for buying and selling equity.

The goal of a written agreement is to clearly set out the rights and obligations of each partner and, amongst other things, how to deal with disputes, changing circumstances in the future, new partners, exiting partners, and sale of equity.

For more business strategy implementation tips visit http://www.garyweigh.com

Until next time!

Gary