Constant reviewing is the key to a successful business

There are a great many ways to help a business to succeed. Would-be entrepreneurs need to keep an eye on every aspect of the organisation, from the most efficient way to use electricity to the best sanitary bin disposal arrangements. You need to be ticking every box when it comes to establishing commercial services within the workplace. Continue reading “Constant reviewing is the key to a successful business”

How To Make Your Workplace Safer

 All employees have the right to work in a safe environment and, as the business owner, it is your legal and ethical responsibility to ensure their safety. Here are some of the core tactics you’ll need to employ in order to meet regulation and make your workplace a safe one.

Risk Assessment

 A thorough risk assessment is essential, particularly if you’ve recently taken over a building or office. By performing a in-depth check of all potential hazards, you’ll know whether there are some hazards that need looking at in order to make your business a safer place.

Fire Safety

 Every business must have a set of official fire safety procedures, which will be carried out in the event of an emergency. Diagrams of all fire escapes, exit procedures and fire assembly points must be easily viewable around your place of work, with mock fire drills carried out on a regular basis. It is also a very good idea to install some professional smoke ventilation systems from Rocburn, as an added safety precaution.

Ongoing Training

 It is very important that each of your employees feels prepared to deal with emergencies, should they occur. For this reason, having regular training days is a must. Ideally, training should not just cover First Aid and Fire Safety, but things like stress and food hygiene as well. The more informed your staff are, the safer they will feel, and the more prepared they’ll be for dealing with a crisis of any kind.

Suitable Equipment

 What was the last time you checked your fire extinguisher or first aid kit? It’s incredibly important to see that all of your safety equipment is working properly and does not need replacing. Obviously if an accident occurs and you haven’t provided for your staff, your business could become liable.

Safety Co-ordinator

 All of the above should be manageable by yourself. However, if you feel that you do not have time to organise these precautions and perform regular checks, you may want to consider employing a designated safety co-ordinator in order to make sure that you’re complying with all necessary safety precautions.

A Safer Place For Your Staff

Running a business carries more responsibility to your staff than just paying their wages. Safety is paramount. Hopefully, with the advice given here, you’ll know the steps you need to take in order to make your business a safer place.

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Relocating your Business Internationally : How to facilitate your Move

In the pursuit of achieving career goals and long term aspirations, you may well be forced into actions that are as daunting as they are disruptive. Take international relocation as a prominent example of this scenario, as although it is an arduous and emotionally challenging task it may well hold the key to advancing your freelance career or business and boosting your earning potential significantly. It is a process that needs to be managed carefully, however, especially when you consider the logistical and strategic implications of relocating for professional purposes. Continue reading “Relocating your Business Internationally : How to facilitate your Move”

3 Reasons Why Your Business Should Care About The Environment

More and more reputable companies in the private sector are waking up to the fact that sustainability and being environmentally conscious actually pays off in business. Going green is now way past the hippie fad that it once was and is a serious contestable issue. Any company thinking about reaching great, profitable heights needs to think about their environmental policy and carbon footprint before they get pulled up by the government or called out by consumers. Here are three main reasons why your business should start to care. Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Your Business Should Care About The Environment”

Be your best at interview

Make sure you don’t sabotage your chances at the interview stage by following a few simple and well-known tips for creating a good impression which, nonetheless, many people forget. The first basic tip to remember when preparing for an interview is to scout out the location first to ensure you know how to get there. Do the journey at least once and then add on an extra 20 minutes travel time on the day to allow for any traffic jams or other unforeseen problems. Continue reading “Be your best at interview”

Maternity rights and umbrella companies – a guide

Contracting is becoming an increasingly popular way of working for a number of reasons. Many people assume this is primarily because more opportunities are available at a time when employers are less certain of economic conditions and so unwilling to take on full-time salaried workers. However, while this may be true and there are certainly a wealth of options open to contractors, it is the freedom and flexibility afforded by this career path that is most often cited as its major benefit. Continue reading “Maternity rights and umbrella companies – a guide”

Utilizing personal loans to fund your new business venture

For businesses that need a small to moderate amount of funding for start-up costs, getting a personal loan may be easier than getting a small business loan. Because many small business ventures are prone to failure and the assets of the business often secure the loans, most banks have stricter lending policies for small business loans. For example, if you run into trouble and it looks like your business is failing, the bank may ask you to pay back the loan in full whereas that is not as likely with a personal loan. Here are some suggestions on how to obtain a personal loan from sources other than traditional banks and how to use the money to fund your new business. Continue reading “Utilizing personal loans to fund your new business venture”

Top 100 Business Schools of India – 2012 Rankings

Business Today and Nielsen has published the B-School rankings for 2012, in India. One of the interesting things this ranking has attempted to achieve the balance between “perception overlaps” among “chains of B-Schools”… (like IIMs, IMIs, IMTs, IITs, Symbiosis, ICFAI etc).. and estimate the individual B-School’s actual but relative position, somewhat unaffected by the umbrella brands. Indeed a good and novel way to rank institutes. There were two surveys, one to estimate the perceptive performances of institutes, and another to estimate the factual performances of the institutes.

The factual survey was done first, wherein we sent out a detailed questionnaire across multiple parameters to 1,832 B-schools across the country. Subsequently, after the factual data had come in from these schools, the perceptual survey was started. A separate questionnaire was administered to a group of more than 1,200 stakeholders of the B-school ecosystem, including teachers, students, young executives and HR recruiters. Their opinions are taken again on various aspects relating to the five key parameters – Learning Experience, Living Experience, Return On Investment, Future Orientation and Brand Value and finally a sum of products approach was undertaken and scoring of the institutes was achieved.

Check out the rankings below:

 

Making the Right Energy Choices Can Benefit Your Business

Whether you’re looking to benefit your company’s bottom line or your overall image, energy and the choices you make pertaining to its use and generation can make a big impact. There are a lot of things businesses can do to be smart about energy use, especially when you consider that most businesses use a lot of energy in comparison to a single residence.

Everything from embracing green energy solutions to conservation programs can help drive down your expenses each month, and you might get some added PR if you let people know what you’re doing.

Start with a conservative mindset

The easiest way to make an impact on your energy expenses each month is to institute a conservation plan. It can be as simple as leaving lights off in areas of the building that aren’t constantly in use, or as aggressive as keeping the air conditioning system a few degrees warmer in the summer. You don’t want to generate a mutiny from your employees, but a few new policies that are easy to follow won’t create too much of a stir.

This conservation can even spread to other areas of the business. Are you using a lot of paper on a daily basis? Maybe it’s time to switch to an all email system for memos. Are you providing Styrofoam cups in the break room? Encourage your employees to bring in their own ceramic mugs to cut down on waste. No matter how small a conservation project is, it will add up.

Consider pursuing green energy solutions

Is your business in an area with a deregulated energy market? If so, going green is easier than you think. Sites like www.texaselectricityproviders.com make it simple to find energy suppliers that offer green energy options. Even if you aren’t located in a deregulated market, there are ways to embrace green energy solutions.

Thanks in part to how affordable green energy technology is today, there are many businesses across the country that lease green energy infrastructure. Depending on the size of your operation, leasing equipment may be more viable than purchasing your own solar array but either way, having onsite infrastructure is a big step.

Onsite green energy infrastructure means that you’ll be actively reducing your business’ energy bills each month, usually at a rate that will allow your investment in the technology to pay for itself within a few years. In terms of PR, having a solar array visible gives your company a bragging point. It shows that you care about your impact, and you’re smart enough to save yourself money on the energy you know your company is going to use. Just think about it.

Other ways to promote energy conservation

If the majority of your workforce drives each day, consider incentivizing the closest parking spots. Designate the best spots for those who carpool or drive hybrid cars. You could even further encourage carpooling by creating a bulletin board where employees can find rideshare opportunities across the business.

In the end, controlling your business’ energy consumption is one of the easiest ways to make a significant impact on your bottom line, and the public’s perception of your company. Consider implementing some of these suggestions, but know that there are plenty of other ways to achieve the same goal.

Comparison of Business Strategy Frameworks

Strategic management literature has established multiple popular frameworks which are used by decision makers to develop a roadmap for business strategy. Some of the popular frameworks for business strategy are Porter’s 5 forces model, BCG / GE McKinsey MatrixPEST analysis and the Ansoff Matrix. However, all these frameworks focus on factors which are external to the firm. In this article, however, we focus on the frameworks which are a mix of the external view of the macro-environment and the internal view of the strengths and weaknesses existing within the firm, namely the Industry Structure view, the Resource based view and the Relational view of the firm.

The Industrial Structure view is somewhat more macro-industry focused. It postulates that firms operate in an environment of competitive forces of rivalry and forces involving barrier of entry (even exit). In general industry structure refers to the distribution of firms in an industry. The existence of a large number of firms in an industry both reduces and increases opportunities for coordination among firms in the industry. Depending on the degree of consolidation or fragmentation in the industry, the macro-economical dynamics affect the firm’s competency in how it deals with the forces of competition.

In contrast, the Resource based view is somewhat more internal focused. It stresses that the competitive advantage of a firm lies primarily in the application of the bundle of valuable resources at the firm’s disposal. To transform a short-run of competitive advantage for a firm to a sustained competitive advantage is like winning both the battle and the war. It requires creation of resources which are heterogeneous in nature and not perfectly mobile across competing firms. This again translates into the fact that the value of these resources arise from the criticality that they are neither perfectly imitable nor substitutable without great effort.

Similarly, the Relational view is a theory for considering networks and dyads of firms interlinked within the daily intercourse of business transactions, as the unit of analysis to study and frame strategies for sustainable competitive advantage. The relational view argues that idiosyncratic inter-organizational linkages are the sources of competitive advantage, whereby relationships play a major role in development and exploitation of competencies in an industry that is traditionally highly competitive.

In the next diagram, a comparative analysis of these important theories has been presented., which present how these theories are not only different, but also complement each other by taking a different lens to view the competitive landscape for a strategic decision maker.

Do let us know, if you have any query regarding more details on this article. We value the feedback from our readers very highly.

Dealing with rejection and failure

When trying to accomplish any major goal in life, rejection and obstacles are inevitable steps that every professional has to encounter not once but multiple times in life. The key is to learn from your mistakes and persist through it until you succeed. However, this is easier said than done. The critical differentiators between success and failure is the ingredient of the person, who befalls the same. It is not aptitude that creates the difference but attitude, as has been recognized in numerous highly cited research works (Shao et al. 1988, Jennifer et al. 2006; etc).

I have personally encountered numerous professionals who are actually extremely competent but find it hard to deal with failure and perceived rejection from the social and professional network due to the same.  Counseling helps in more ways than is perceived in making or breaking these otherwise highly competent people.

Success of course is the ultimate souvenir and the only testament to your efforts. However, dealing with rejection is critical to avoid burn-out and maintain self poignant efficacy and confidence to go on. Coping strategies include using emotional or instrumental support; self-distraction; denial; religion; venting; substance use; self-blame; and behavioral disengagement.

Of these, using social support (for emotional, instrumental and terminal goals), denial, venting, behavioral disengagement, and self-blame coping had negative effects on individual satisfaction and ends up in boosting sub-lingual dissonance within the mind. As more and more professionals used these coping strategies in dealing with the day’s most bothersome failure, the less satisfied they felt at the end of the day and subsequently their performance felt the effect of a dissonant mind in the long run. This creates job churn or disengagement from organizational citizenship behavior or even group affiliation.

In contrast, positive reframing (i.e. trying to see things in a more positive light, looking for something constructive feedback from first hand experiences), factual acceptance and humor coping had positive effects on satisfaction. It has been observed that professionals using these coping strategies in dealing with failures, became more satisfied and less stressed they felt at the end of the day (Stoeber et al., 2006). The finding that positive reframing of relatively bitter experiences in the professional sphere was helpful for professionals having extremely high perfectionist goals and long term self-improvement commitment is particularly important. This establishes that even people high in perfectionistic concerns will have a tendency to be dissatisfied no matter what they achieve, are able to experience high levels of satisfaction if they use positive reframing while attempting to cope when dealing with perceived failures. The same also applies for all professionals even if they are somewhat in the “cross the fence” stage where they are yet to taste success majorly.

Do let us know, if this helps you in dealing with stress from fears of failure and rejection.

 

BSC – The Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a framework for strategic management, used to monitor and align performance of an organization or a division of the same. It is a semi-standard yet more or less structured report, supported by some established design methods and tools, that can be used by management executives to keep track of the execution of plans / assignments by the staff within their control and to evaluate the possible consequences arising from the execution of these plans. Introduced by Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and popularized by Bain & Company, the Balanced Scorecard has become one of the most popular frameworks for project monitoring and management and align the same to the vision and mission of the organization, be it an industrial, government, or nonprofit organization.

Ref: Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System”, 1996, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 76.

There are 4  major process that needs to be balanced in BSC:

  1. The Learning & Growth process
  2. The Business process
  3. The Customer process
  4. The Financial process

The learning and growth process involves all the plans and programs an organization or a department is undertaking in terms of training and development related to both individual and corporate self-improvement. It extends the concept that in a knowledge based organization,people or the human resource is the most critical resource to organizational development.  This section posits the use of metrics to evaluate performance, progress and development of the human resources of an organization.

The Business Process takes into consideration to develop metrics to measure the performance of the internal processes of an organization. It helps to map development in process efficiencies with incremental changes in internal processes. Process management metrics and workflow management metrics are used in this process to evaluate performance vis-a-vis improvements. Incremental improvements the the processes in terms of meeting targets (say process efficiencies) are measured and how the implementation of plans to meet such targets were conducted, is scrutinized in this process.

The customer process takes into account the philosophy of customer orientation in an organization. In current times, there has been an increasing realization of the importance of customer focus and customer satisfaction in any business. The focus in this process is predominantly Customer Lifetime Value management and in the next stage, harness the Customer’s network value. Incremental improvements in each objectives in terms of meeting targets is measured and how the implementation to meet such targets were planned, is scrutinized in this process.

The financial process is another crucial dimension in the BSC. Although managers using the BSC do not have to rely solely on short-term financial measures as the most important indicators of the division’s performance, financial measures are none the less, extremely relevant and are often recognized as the most critical process by many practitioners. Measures such as financial ratios, total revenue from sales, total cost, cost structure improvements, and indirect sources of revenue are scrutinized against their targets, in this process.

These processes are mapped against each other to check how the organizational vision and mission are being adhered to within a division while implementing ploys and strategies. These help in providing a way to construct a concrete step-by-step path of development for the executives of a division or of an organization.

However, the limitation of the Balanced Scorecard is that it has been severely criticized by scholars  for its inability to link a company’s long-term strategy with its short-term ploy. It has become overused in many organizations, sometime not in the most desirable way, as it was conceived when developed.

industry, government, and nonprofit organizations