Home Based Business – 4 Proactive Measures For Business Development

Home based business owners must develop leadership skills to achieve the desired outcome. Methodical business methods must be replaced with the innovative solutions to bring about output oriented changes.

Effective Solutions for Problems:

Creativity can be used with sales techniques and discount offers for products to enrich the customer interest. Non essential spending must be cut down to have a positive effect on the bottom line.

Quality measures can help determine the appropriateness of a product with respect to client requirements. Primary business operations can be sustained for growth with a critical blend of management and leadership capabilities.

Directed Strategies for Growth:

The following measures can be put to practice to move towards more business development:

·         There should be constant monitoring and measurement of the factors which promote growth to augment movement towards goals and objectives of a home based business.

·         Certain critical success factors of a business have to be identified and communicated with coworkers and partners. This can help bring about strong focus with utilization of resources and available workforce.

·         The identified critical factors for success can act as a mutual point of reference to perform and help achieve targets within the stipulated time frame.

·         The desired customer satisfaction rate, product range and market share values can be increased in tune with the quality of relationship shared with suppliers.

·         Strategic goals and objectives of a company must be examined in relation to the current status of the functional areas.

·         Essential elements of a business strategy are devised from internal business forces, competency plan and entrepreneurial environment conditions.

·         Characteristics adopted to maintain business sustainability against challenges, barriers and external influences must be analyzed in detail.

·         The form of production undertaken, quality of marketing campaigns and volume proposition rendered must be considered.

Management Rationale:

Financial accounting must be paid adequate attention to achieve balanced books. Home based business owners must be aware of critical numbers that indicate operative efficiency. Successful entrepreneurs adopt the management rule “first things first”. Immediate efforts should be dedicated to completion of tasks laid out at the present moment.

An ability to face pragmatic situations and act on them requires non idealistic preference. Necessary changes must be incorporated in the functional business model to bring about prosperity.

Essential Entrepreneurial Actions:

Guidance in functional areas outside expertise can be obtained form third party sources. Essential business operations must be carried out in difficult conditions to work at endurance.

Constant evaluation must be carried out with the status of component factors to move towards desired goals. Problems should be identified and a multi-dimensional approach for a solution must be devised.

Eight Steps To The Next Level – The Business Plan, “The Engine of Small Business Development”

This is the second of a series of articles describing how small business owners and managers can drive their business growth and profitable development through the creation and implementation of a business plan.

I know the prevailing view among many small business people is that “planning” is for the larger, more substantial business and “they are too busy running their business to have time for planning”. Indeed, many small business owners are “too busy” running the business, but they ignore, at their own peril and survival, that “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

I am convinced that the small business owner will benefit from engaging in this business planning process because of the nature of carefully examining and thinking through the way their business competes and operates; – and how that will align with their determination of “what business they want to be in”.

This business planning process yields a stronger, more profitable business which provides real value to its customers and the marketplace.

The business planning process described in this article is the most logical, pragmatic and practical examination possible of the small business. This process is far from arcane or mysterious, but totally focuses on the reality of the small business environments (the business, the economy, competition, customers’ needs, wants and desires) as well as the determination and allocation of the firm’s resources).

Business Planning Process – Eight Major steps

For the past thirty years, I have successfully used the following business and strategic marketing planning process. The following process consists of eight major steps which are sequential and continuous. I will describe the nature and function of each of these steps.

This process applies to all types of organizations; regardless of size, products, services, or industry…. I have even used this process with a national religious organization.

1. DEVELOP MISSION AND POSITIONING STATEMENT
2. SITUATION AUDIT
a. Internal
b. External
3. WOTSUP ANALYSIS
4. MAKING ASSUMPTIONS
5. DEVELOPING OBJECTIVES
6. STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT
7. SPECIFY TACTICS AND ACTIONS
8. PREPARE FORECASTS/BUDGETS/FINANCIALS

1. MISSION AND POSITIONING STATEMENT

With respect to the definition of your businesses’ purpose and mission, there is only one focus, one starting point; it is the customer or user of your products/services. The user defines the mission of any function or business. The question “what is our mission or purpose” “what business do we want to be in?”, can therefore be answered by only looking at your business from the outside, from the point of view of the customer or potential customer. What the user or customer sees, thinks, or believes at any given time must be accepted by your business management as an objective fact to be taken seriously.

By definition, the customer is purchasing the satisfaction of a need or want.

For example, here is a well-known and real example of a business mission which defined the way in which that company conducted its activities.

A drill bit manufacturer defined its mission as determining “what size holes customers need” their focus was directly on customer needs and not on their product specifications. They were customer-focused and very successful.

Once the mission statement has been completed develop the positioning statement for competitive advantage and prepare the USP – your unique selling proposition. “Why the business is able to provide more effective solutions and greater value than the competitors.”

2. THE SITUATION AUDIT- Internal and External

The situation audit is a description and analysis of past, present and future data (information) which provides the basis for pursuing the business planning process. It is an organized method for:

  • collecting pertinent information
  • interpreting its effect on the business’s environments (market conditions)
  • analyzing significant trends
  • projecting all pertinent factors, which could influence company activities.

3. WOTSUP ANALYSIS

The acronym WOTSUP stands for Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats and Strengths Underlying Planning. This step flows naturally from the fact base (Situation Audit). The Weaknesses and Strengths constitute an internal analysis, i.e. “what are we at good and bad at?”-

Opportunities and Threats, on the other hand, form an external analysis. From this analysis, objectives can be formulated with specific action plans designed to overcome weaknesses and threats by exploiting the business strengths and opportunities.

4. MAKING ASSUMPTIONS:

Assumptions make planning possible. Without the use of assumptions, planning would be almost impossible. Since planning deals with the “futurity of current decision-making” and events in the future are almost impossible to predict with unfailing accuracy; – assumptions make planning possible.

5. DEVELOPING OBJECTIVES

Overall objectives are the real crux of the Business and Marketing Planning Process. They deserve every last ounce of time and effort – often frustrating. The objectives form the umbrella under which the balance of the whole planning structure is built. Because of the key role they play they must be thought through and be expressed in the most specific and concrete fashion. In simplest terms an objective is… “what do you want to accomplish?” Objectives are prepared to overcome weaknesses and threats developed in the WOTSUP Analysis and to exploit the opportunities and strengths.

6. STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT:

Once the objectives have been developed, the preparation of strategies is the next step in the process. Strategies, must explain, in a broad sense, how the objectives will be achieved.

7. SPECIFY ACTION PROGRAMS:

After the objectives and strategies have been developed, describe the work to be performed. The actions must be very specific; what work is to be done, by whom, how and when.

8. FORECASTS/BUDGETS/FINANCIALS PREPARED:

The action programs when completed form the basis for budget preparation. The cost of each action and the revenues derived from the detailed actions generate the operating budget and cash flows for the Business Plan.

Many organizations confuse planning with budgeting. One important purpose of the budget is to ensure the business has adequate financial resources to function. Budgeting is about not failing, planning is about what is possible.

Business Development Plan

A business development plan is an essential tool for all prudent entrepreneurs if they wish to remain in business. Just wishing for one, will not get you anywhere. You need to know how it works in order to draft one for your enterprise. A complete business development plan serves three basic purposes: communication, management, and planning.

It communicates the group’s financial strategy and company policy to all outside funding bodies and sponsors. Frequently, it will act as the prospectus of the company to attract investment capital and/or get loans sanctioned. More than a mission statement, the business development plan is a comprehensive explanation of the opportunity. It reveals the profit making potential of the business and helps attract strategic business partners. The plan dwells on all aspects of business activity, anticipates future problems and suggests alternatives as solution.

Company management sees it as an effective administration tool. With the help of the business development plan you can monitor the progress of all the current programs and evaluate the efficacy of your future endeavors. The plan allows you to set timelines and goals. You can compare projected figures with the actual achievements and gauge the progress made. It is a dynamic tool that reflects the growing knowledge and experience of management.

The planning tool is your mentor as you walk through the different phases of your business. A carefully charted plan details all the possible risks and uncertainties, identifying future problems so that you can avoid them with the help of established alternatives. Entrepreneurs today are more inclined to share their business development plan with employees. This leads to a greater employee identification with the stated mission and a better understanding of the goals of the business.

Opportunities Are Endless With Business Development Careers

Careers in the business development area require a good sense of business management. It also requires the ability to think outside of the box and create areas of opportunity for the business that you are managing. If you have the drive to make big changes that will result in much higher revenue then this field may be the right one for you.

The business development jobs require someone that can juggle. They need to be able to juggle a large variety of responsibilities and maintain above average results for a long period of time. Business development is just what it sounds, finding ways to advance the company into higher revenue. This can be done but it does take a strong attention to detail.

To advance a company to this level, the Manager will have to make sometimes aggressive moves in order to be successful. They must be able to manage and motivate the staff to get to the necessary levels of quality and output. This may require making drastic policy and procedure changes and getting the changes in place with no negative impact on quality or quantity of output.

Careers in this field require a person that has extremely strong personal skills and business foresight. Dealing with the employees is a primary function in this position. Jobs like this cannot be filled by someone who is not willing to interact and motivate the employees. Growing a company requires a complete by in by the employees as they will be the ones doing the work.

Tracking progress and steps in the wrong direction is another big part of jobs in this field. Because you are implementing new ideas there may be times that the approaches that you take are not successful. You must have the insight and communication levels with the employees so you can shift directions with the plan quickly if things begin to fail.

Careers in business development are only successful if the person in the position can make quick adjustments. Putting experimental changes in place may require that things are altered. You also must understand the field you are in so you can put realistic changes in place. If the change would devastate the results of the company due to market regulations then you should have enough knowledge to know that the change is not feasible.

Sometimes business development managers are hired by a company with the specific purpose of saving a company. The existing company may be reporting losses quarterly and must being to gain a profit or they will find themselves closing their doors and going under. When they hire someone with this goal in mind they will have high expectations for the position.

In order to meet these expectations, the person that they hire must be aggressive. They must be able to look at the financial information for the company or department and decide quickly which areas are not doing well and what changes need to be made. Sometimes restructuring the departments can lead to a gain in profits. Sometimes it takes more than this, like cutting staff and combining responsibilities.

Either way, to be successful in careers like this you must be comfortable with being the bad guy. People at the business that hires you may resent the fact that you are making changes. Change is a very hard thing to deal with for most people. If there are some very opinionated employees you may find that you have a fight on your hands.

Being familiar with fair disciplinary steps and the policies and procedures of the company that you are hired by is crucial. You do not want to break any policies or procedures in your quest to improve the company. You must work within the guidelines set by the company and find ways to manipulate the business into a very successful position.

If you are considering careers and jobs in business development and feel that you can make a difference in the performance of a company then give it a try. It can be a very challenging position to be in but someone with the right personality and drive to succeed can do a great job and be very successful. While this type of work is not for everyone, having the right abilities and qualities can lead to a very satisfying job and maybe even exciting careers. Many people that are employed in this field decide to do this until they hit retirement age. It feels good to look back at the accomplishments and the successes in a business that were driven by you.