5 Small Business Management Questions to Help Choose Marketing Programs

As small business managers, we juggle limited resources in a quest for success. To an extent, when we focus on success in one area we forego attention elsewhere. Limited money and time mean we must choose from seemingly endless — and often conflicting — advice and recommendations from marketing service providers; management and marketing consultants; and internal experts. This creates a dilemma. How do you choose which recommendations to embrace and which to pass by?Consultants, marketing service providers, and/or other departments within your company will eagerly give advice from their viewpoints. You will hear the benefits of focusing on “___” (fill in the blank with appropriate specialty). This is not a bad thing; it is their job to sell you on the advantages of their specialties. It is your job to probe for the downsides and tradeoffs.Different PerspectivesBack in my brand management days, it was sometimes frustrating when individual departments could not grasp The Big Picture. The graphics department and the outside ad agency wanted to focus strictly on graphical elements when other aspects of a campaign were just as critical. Manufacturing was worried about throughput and efficiency, never mind what the customer wanted. Each department was doing what it could to optimize its own function, but this did not always work in The Big Picture. A catch 22 of small business management is if all functions are “optimized,” it could be to the detriment of the business. When resources are spread too thin and timelines expand, implementation suffers.In the online world the same Big Picture problems occur. Each specialist knows much about her or his own specialty, but often little about how it affects other areas. Most of the advice makes perfect sense. Toss in a dose of reality, however, and you may stretch your resources too thin if you simultaneously try for perfection in all areas.The Big PictureWhen reality hits, you find it is simply impossible to optimize all areas of your business. The obligations associated with small business management do not allow you to stop ongoing activities while trying to obtain detailed perfection. God may be in the details, but profit is in the implementation. As small business manager or “chief cook and bottle washer,” it is your job to make it work by bundling the advice into a profitable implementation package.Once you accept that some areas are going to be initially less than perfect (providing you with opportunities to improve over time), the challenge is to figure out what makes sense for your business and site. When is it critical to optimize and when is less than perfect acceptable? When considering advice from a marketing consultant or other expert, ask yourself these five questions:1) Does it solve a problem?
One of the best ways to comprehend the importance of an action is to relate it to a problem. If you think strategically – first identifying your major problems, then designing solutions to solve those problems – your business is more likely to thrive.2) What are my alternatives?
There is always more than one solution to a problem. If you evaluate different approaches, you will ultimately make better decisions.3) What are the downsides?
Perfection and optimization are in the eyes of the beholder. What you see as a disadvantage may seem trivial to the specialists. Ask questions and do some research on your own to uncover the downsides.4) Is it likely to be profitable for me?
Larger companies can afford programs that smaller companies and individuals cannot. If you have to go into debt or dramatically reduce other critical activities to implement a program, your cost increases dramatically. In these cases, carefully weigh the resources required against the potential gain.5) What happens if I do not do this?
Some activities are “niceties” and some are necessities. Know the difference. If you are losing customers to other sites or businesses, for example, taking action is critical. Some activities – those you want to do but do not help solve a significant problem – can be pushed to the back burner.Incorporating The Big Picture into your decision-making is critical. When you ask yourself these five questions, you are in a better position to make the right decision. Your small business depends on it.

Business Management – How to Get the Best From Your Employees

Business management is crucial when it comes to motivating your staff. Many offline businesses are dependent on skilled employees who are not only qualified but also exhibit competence in whatever they do. In order to get the best from your workers, you seriously need to inspire them without necessarily incurring any additional cost.Loading your staff with a lot of work so as to achieve maximum production from them is not the best way of growing your business. Managers should be quick to identify overworked staff and remedy the situation immediately. Employees who demonstrate work-life balance tend to apply more dedication towards their duties.Overworked staff are usually in the short run demoralized and do not feel like their efforts are being appreciated. Some of the signs a manager should look at to identify an overworked staff include, working through lunch break, carrying work at home, coming to work even when feeling unwell and always being anxious.As a business owner or a manager, when you notice this signs from one of your employees, deal with them for the sake of the worker and the business. Remedy the situation by reducing the staff work load, sending them home to rest for at least some few days or by hiring more staff to help distribute the work, depending on the business ability to employ new workers.Motivating your staff will give them a chance to be innovative and hence increase your business overall performance. Take action today to bring out the best from each of your employee; get suggestion from them on how to improve their working conditions.

Business Management and Marketing

As any good business owner should know, marketing encompasses a wide variety of actions that can be considered for any type of business. One marketing type is often overlooked by the business management process; network marketing. Network marketing should actually be included into the marketing plan of any business. The key to success when it comes to network marketing is to keep your goals simple but effective.We mention the fact of keeping your goals simple because many managers tend to complicate the issue while they look for the best marketing method and end up not putting any viable plan into action. There are two angles that you can use to look at network marketing. The first are the well-known multilevel marketing strategies that many companies already use. The second involves business and marketing while away from the office, which is within the social environment. Many people consider the social part of network marketing as wasting time since it is done in a non-business environment such as over dinner or while playing golf. Actually, these events need to be viewed as building relationships with others that could pay big dividends in the future.If you focus on networking from the social aspect, it can open up a wide range of opportunities within the local or extended communities. Examples of this type of social networking are to have ads placed in community based venues and events that benefit the view of your business. For instance, having ads for your business at local sporting events, or even sponsoring a local sports team can pay off with huge returns on the investment. Successful networking involves keeping your options open. Building new relationships within the business community is important, as well as thinking “outside of the box” when it comes to getting your company name and your product in front of as many people as possible.