Business Ownership Blog

Stimulating Growth in Your Business

Posted 3:06 PM by

BOI completed our first two FastTrac® seminars this summer.  As a certified FastTrac facilitator for BOI, it was my distinct pleasure to be a part of the GrowthVenture™ series and to watch seasoned entrepreneurs and business owners revisit their dreams and visions and start to think strategically about growth.  As we prepare for the next courses to begin in September 2013 (click here for more information) I found this great article by Matt Brooks about creating better business processes to stimulate growth, one of the key points we address in the GrowthVenture™ course. 

I have put the entire article below, but if you would rather go to the original article, here it is.

 

Create Better Business Processes To Stimulate Growth

Business processes are the lifeblood of a business. They can help create sustainability, encourage growth through scalability, and increase the productivity of your entire operation. Without sound processes, business owners limit their ability to reproduce results on a consistent basis, and spread themselves too thin while juggling tasks and clients. Does any of that sound familiar? You may need to take a look at implementing better business operations and processes.

As a business owner, especially in the first few years, you tend to be a "jack of all trades" within your new company. You are the expert, and as such you probably spend your time touching all aspects of the business from providing services, attracting new business and keeping up with the financials. The question is - how long can you continue to maintain current operations while bringing in new customers? There is a drop-off point where you just can't keep providing the same level of service to your customers unless you expand your operational capacity, and you usually don't find out what that limit is until it is too late. Realizing that too late can damage your reputation and even destroy your business.

There are a few ways to overcome the obstacles of growth for a new business, and they all involve creating new and better processes for managing operations. First, you can employ technology to improve communication, record keeping, and streamline daily operations and tasks. Part of the problem arises from just keeping up with customers and data. You have to track new leads, current customer accounts, costs and revenues, marketing, and so much more. Then, you have to actually provide your service. All of these tasks can be overwhelming if not tracked accordingly and managed.

A popular solution to employing technology is to find a software as a service solution that fits your business. There are a lot or products out there that can help with accounting, lead tracking, project management, and internal communication. Getting these systems in place reduces stress and frees up time to put into other important things, like providing better service, developing talent (if you have employees), and creating direction for your company.

Another solution to is to outsource tasks that bog down operations. There are some unique solutions available for completing business tasks, such as using freelancers or using a workforce service for tedious and repetitive tasks. There are a lot of outsourcing options depending on the type of work, and having a process to manage the outsourced work will also reduce errors, speed up tasks and processes, and save you money in the long run. This outsourced workflow can become a part of your overall operational process if it works effectively.

If neither of these solutions work, you can contract or hire employees. Much like outsourcing, you need to first identify the tasks that don't require your immediate attention or expertise, and create a process for it. Then train your help to do that process. Training someone to do a task is different than training them on a process. Your employees should be empowered to make decisions within the process by understanding the effect their decisions will have on the outcome. Developing talent is a difficult process at first, but the end result is someone that can fill your shoes in an area of the business.

Processes outline the who, what, when, and how of completing tasks, and putting those answers into a system creates the guidelines to follow. When you figure out what works for your business, write it down and repeat it for successful outcomes. Then, you will start creating sustainability, efficiency, and happier customers.

(Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matt_Brooks)

 

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From The BlogView All

1. Fail spectacularly

2. Success spectacularly

3. Change the economic climate of their neighborhood, city, country or world

4. Dream and act outrageously

5. As Teddy Roosevelt would say: "..knows great enthusiasms, great devotions"

6. Rise every morning with a belief that today can be the day. (See the Entrepreneur's Christmas Pony Story.)

 

(from HeWhoEnters.PBWorks.com)
 
Kim Brand
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www.FileEngine.com
www.ComputerExpertsIndy.com

 

Written by Kelly Young, president, Baise Communications

 

Earlier this month, I found myself sitting around the table with some very smart, creative and talented women as part of the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC) Support Circles. This yearlong program is designed to serve as a forum for women to discuss issues that affect women in business – a program for women, led by women. The Indy Chamber best describes it as “a year-long program of women supporting women for leadership and growth.” I’ve offered to write about our monthly sessions because I believe the information is going to be worth sharing.

 

Friday’s topic was “authentic communication and getting/receiving feedback.” Some of us in the group are business owners, some are managers and directors, so our approach and examples varied, but what remained the same was our need to communicate effectively and efficiently whether it’s with other employees or clients.

 

My three top takeaways worth sharing:

 

1.     Build relationships: Develop a relationship first with the person/people you are communicating with so you understand and respect their communication styles. Men and women are different, yes; but no matter our gender, we all want to be seen, heard and valued.

2.     Gain awareness: Keep in mind, there’s always something bigger going on. Before communicating, first understand and be aware of what’s going on around you and around the person you’re communicating with, receiving feedback from, or giving feedback to.

3.     Show up: Ask the question “how do I want to show up today?” to help you be a better communicator. It sounds like a simple question to ask, but it may be harder to answer.

 

Our 90 minutes went too fast – and next month seems too long to wait to get together again. Until then though, I look forward to putting into practice what we discussed. Most importantly, I look forward to finding the best way for me to be a more authentic and present communicator – personally and professionally.

 


 

One of the questions we get most often from BOI/CIWBC clients is "What is the best way to fund my idea?"  This is the age old question that has been the challenge of all entrepreneurs since time immemorial.  There are many options:  traditional bank funding, microloans, angel investors, venture capital, and "bootstrapping" your business through slow growth without debt.  In addition, crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way to get the money you need to take your business to the next level.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law in 2012 and changed the rules regarding crowdfunding.  Crowdfunding is defined as "the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet."  Before the law was passed, investors had a long list of rules and regulations that they needed to adhere to in order to protect them from bad investments.  The JOBS Act loosened those regulations so that anyone can invest in the small business or idea that they believe in.

This recently published story from PBS NewsHour answers a lot of questions about crowdfunding.

 

In addition, this blog post from of the Huffington Post asks the important question "Will the JOBS Act Actually Create Any Jobs?" by outlining some of the potential risks of crowdfunding.

What this means to you, the entrepreneur, is this:  Do ALL your homework.  Look at all your options and explore your funding needs from all angles.  The old adage "if something is too good to be true, it probably is" tends to hit home more often than not.  You may be able to get started with less money than you anticipated.  Always seek the advice of someone who is not emotionally or financially invested in your business - like one of BOI's Business Coaches - to help you make these life/business altering decisions.

For help with your business, call: 317.464.2258

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