22
Apr

Is Being Able To Spot A Trend An Important Skill To Succeed In Business?

The only thing permanent in the world is ‘Change’. The person who is capable of adapting to the change is successful. This is true in life and in business. Every day is a new day in business. One should look forward to tomorrow and live in the present. If you want to succeed in business, you have to look into the future and spot trends before others do it. So being able to spot a trend in business is incredibly important.

Spotting Trends

Spotting trends require a lot of practice. This article dwells on certain tips to follow that can enable you to spot the trends before others beat you to it.

Have a sense of anticipation:

There is a difference between novelty and trends. Every trend begins with a novelty, but not every novelty ends into a trend. One of the finest examples of a novelty becoming a trend is the success of Uber. What started as a mere car-pooling service, ended up as one of the fastest growing ‘call taxi service’ in the world. This is because the founders of Uber, Travis Kalanick, and Garrett Camp had the vision to grow a business opportunity from an activity as simple as hailing a cab.

Sense the change:

You can experience novelty on a daily basis. It does not take much time for a novelty to develop into a trend. Keeping your eyes and ears wide-open can help under such circumstances. Every novelty displays certain specific characteristics. The trick is in identifying them and cashing in at the appropriate moment.

Know the difference between a fad and a trend:

Most of the novel ideas end up as fads. They are momentary and hence do not have much value in business. However, certain characteristics last long enough for a fad to become a trend. A successful businessperson is one who has the ability to take note of this fact at the earliest opportunity.

Move fast:

Sensing an opportunity is one thing and cashing in on it is something else. You might not be the only entrepreneur to spot a trend. Many more people might have this ability. It boils down to the fact as to who takes the first step. The first entrant into the field stands to gain the most. By remaining ahead of the others, you capture a chunk of the market before the others move in.

If you do not know how to spot a trend, there are organizations of experts who offer free advice to those who are serious in trying to learn how to do so.

21
Apr

How Much Sales Is Involved With Business Development?

If you ask a group of people what they think business development is, you would most likely get a few different answers. There is even a chance that your own view of business development and sales may be used interchangeably.

Business development involves more of a strategic approach such as strategy, marketing, customer management, and partnerships; these activities encompass about 75%-80% of the approach, and sales about 20%-25%.

When I get asked the question, does business development have something to do with sales? Yes, it does. Is it related to business growth? Most definitely it does. Does it have anything to do with business strategy? There is a good chance it does.

Business development is a culmination of these different activities but most importantly, it’s all about shifting to the point of view of the client. This will provide you with that new perspective and will have you balance your efforts across these key activities that you and your client will both need and address. Whenever you conduct your business development efforts make sure to take the perspective from the client’s point of view and try to develop a deeper understanding of what their problem is. Realize that the client only cares about one thing and that’s their own group or company’s survival and the problem that they are facing. The client is only interested in you if they identify a need/problem or pain point that you can solve and provide a solution for it. It’s the kind of value that you can provide them that will enable them to consider your firm for the project.

If your firm’s approach is strictly from a sales perspective, generally, the economy of scale is to grow as large as you can. The strategy is to sell your product or service with a clear price and value directly to an identifiable individual client.

From a Business development perspective, the economy of scale is much smaller because the approach to your service is more strategic with the intent to create a partnership. It entails cultivating a relationship with the client and provide a service that could be more cyclical by working through existing partner infrastructures.

In my 14+ years of professional experience in management consulting, business development has been stretched to encompass a wider variety of activities with the intent to stay smaller in size. In its most traditional definition it is all about developing partnerships, which often includes some sales. Whereas, strictly sales are more transaction oriented where scalability is the differentiator.

Ernest is a Director for Bradson Consulting. The firm with a unique model, combines client relationships from Fortune 100 and 500 companies like Nike, T-Mobile, AT&T, Microsoft, and Expedia etc. with a deep network of the region’s top consulting talent. This approach provides our clients with senior consultants with the specific expertise and industry experience that is relevant and applicable to their needs. Our clients engage us for both leadership and execution within critical business initiatives.

21
Apr

The Importance Of Custom Reports For Your Business

What are custom reports and why are they so useful?
Custom reports help you to document your business’s progress, provide you with a way of comparing that progress over certain periods and assist you in tracking your history of growth. While your profit margins each year, may give you an idea of how your business is progressing, the data that you can collect in reports can be far more beneficial to you when formulating your budget and making plans for the upcoming year.

These reports can also give an insight as to which products or services have been the most successful, and which markets you may have overlooked. In fact, you’ll find that there are many reasons to check back to the data that you’ve collected as your business grows.

More reasons why a business report can be helpful for your business:
Custom reports can also help you to create a paper trail of your past transactions and business history. These can of course be stored on a computer, and can then be made readily available should you approach a bank for a loan or even make the decision to sell your business. It’s crucial that you let someone other than yourself know where they can find your custom reports, should you be unable to access them for any reason.

Whether your business currently creates custom reports or not, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing so, not only because it can give important insights into your business, but also because you would be required to produce them should you ever take on a corporate label.

Annual reports are especially helpful if you’re trying to market your business or seek new clients, and as they are often made glossy and attractive to look at, they can be a great tool to use when wanting to give others a complete overview of your business. Corporations must produce these annually to comply with legal obligations to stockholders and government agencies, and many larger companies have now begun to appreciate the value of annual reports and are producing them whether obliged to or not.

Who can you turn to if you’ve never created a business report?
There are a good number of companies who specialise in assisting businesses with custom reports, and who can ensure that you make the most of the data available to you. Many tax and accounting firms offer this as part of their bookkeeping packages, and as these reports are a crucial aspect of any successful business, it would be prudent to keep them up to date.

21
Apr

Is Your Business Getting Enough Exercise?

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

This quote from Wayne Dyer highlights one of the big truths of having your own business. Your choices define what happens.

Are you exercising your opportunities to make good choices? Do they serve you and your business?

Those are questions to ask yourself, especially when you’re busy and it’s easy to slip into being reactive.

Exercise your freedom of choice to be responsive instead.

This is especially important when dealing with your customers. Make conscious choices about how you want to respond.

Customer responsiveness doesn’t just mean answering quickly, although that’s an important part of showing them that they matter to you.

Responsiveness is also about really listening, deeply listening. What is the undercurrent of what’s being said? What is at the heart of their request or concern?

Another aspect of customer responsiveness is to treat them the way they wish to be treated, as long as it doesn’t compromise your values. Adapt to their style. A good example of this is Jeffrey’s client Amy.

Jeffrey had been following up with Amy regularly, to define what she was looking for from Jeffrey as a real estate agent. It was not going well. Amy responded with short and often unclear replies.

Jeffrey likes to communicate by email. He finds it fast, easy, and productive.

With Amy’s responses, Jeffrey was getting frustrated, and he found himself firing off responses quickly and without considering the tone behind them.

Amy finds email cumbersome. She’s not a writer by nature, and she prefers to talk on the phone.

Once Jeffrey was able to step back from his own reactivity and consider, “What’s behind this difficulty we’re having?”, he asked Amy how she’d like to communicate.

He found out the phone worked better for her. When he understood what was behind Amy’s uncommunicative email style, he became more conscious of his tone again. Over the phone, they were able to finalize their agreement and get underway.

Setting this kind of example, making a new choice about how they communicated, went a long way to smooth Amy’s ruffled feathers and ease her own frustration around written communication.

And it ended with a hefty commission for Jeffrey when he was able to sell her property.

Exercising choice also comes into play when you’re considering who you’d like to work with. Your “ideal clients” are those that are a great fit for you, where you can co-create an environment that allows you to do your best work.

Those choices can make all the difference in your business income. When my client Kim and I worked on defining and choosing her ideal clients, rather than taking every project that came along, things started to shift.

She began to focus her effort around clients that were a great match for her and her business. In doing so, she found joy in those interactions. Work began to have more ease. She increased her income.

Your business is built one choice at a time. One relationship at a time, one customer at a time. Making good choices about those relationships will help your business grow and increase the impact you have.

You don’t make those choices all at once. You make them one situation at a time.

Is your business getting enough exercise? Exercise choice in your business, conscious choice that serves everyone involved. That will keep your business fit for a long time to come.