Business Management Role in Ensuring Sound Business Organization

In every business setup there are numerous activities undertaken on a daily basis that lead to the fulfillment of the objectives of an organization. These activities are the ones that form the core of a business and are carried out by assigning people to perform them. For these activities to be carried out effectively there are various resources that are required.

Business managers undertake the responsibility of deciding how duties will be allocated and what resources will be used to perform the said duties. This is done in order to ensure smooth running of the organization. This procedure of assigning tasks to individuals and allocating of resources to be utilized is what is called organization.

To ensure effective and efficient running of business, managers should have well laid out plans to achieve there objectives which is to make profits. This will involve employing skilled staff and assigning them duties that they are well qualified to do. It therefore calls for a manager to identify his juniors’ capabilities and allocate duties appropriately and also not forgetting to allot resources where they are mostly needed.

Good business organization should create a sound framework within which work is performed. Managers need to ensure that their business operations flow smoothly and harmoniously. This can be achieved by learning how to apportion tasks and resources correctly. Constant check-ups and rectifications are needed for this will ensure smooth running of work.

Sound business management should also be concerned with maintaining good working atmosphere. This can be achieved by deciding what activities need to be carried our, by whom, by what resources and making sure that they are executed in the most organized manner possible. For without this an organization will not be able to achieve its major objective which is to make money.

A Database Driven Business Management System Is Right for All Businesses

A database driven business could be traditional or web-based. A lot of designers are focusing solely on web-based businesses in their advertising and marketing strategies. The message sent to traditional businesses might not be the right one. Here is the correct message.

Regardless of the type of company you own, you can implement the latest technological advancements to reduce costs, generate profits, do research, invent new products and develop new procedures.

You can use computer programs for creating marketing strategies, to find out where your customers are likely to be and how best to reach them. Your system can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Designers working as contractors or subcontractors for your company can evaluate your needs, give advice and develop the programs. They can also help with implementation and train your employees if necessary.

You might need several databases to provide the necessary storage for files. You will definitely need a backup system to prevent loss of information, which is equivalent to lost money.

With all of the industrial espionage going on today, your computer files need to be secured. You need protection from worms and viruses. A good database driven business management system will provide all of those things.

Designers can use a number of different models and languages. XML is a popular model right now. If you are like some owners, you really do not care as long as the system works. But it is a question that your contractors or subcontractors might ask. Even some of your current employees could be interested.

If much of what your employees do every day is computer-related, they will almost certainly be concerned. It is a good idea to discuss the new system with them, as well as any contractors or subcontractors currently working with you. They may have ideas you never thought of.

The language used to create a database driven business management system matters more in terms of future problems than daily use. If you need help with your program in years to come, you may need to know what language was used when the program was developed. A designer that chooses a rarely used language could cause you problems, if he or she does not provide on-going support.

Since designers are contractors or subcontractors, they only work for you until the database driven business management system is installed or up and running. There’s no long-term commitment unless you ask for it.

The 8 C’s of Small Business Management

It’s an unfortunate fact of commercial life that the world of business does not have a unifying theory of everything. Each situation is different and poses different challenges and opportunities for everyone engaged in the business world. Were there to be a template that all small businesses could use then life would be fantastically easy and the rewards bountiful for all. However the economics of the marketplace and human factors dictate that this is an impossible scenario and that those business people that “play the game well” will have heightened success when compared to those that do not.

The purpose of this article is to outline eight basic principles that can be used in every small business during the current economic climate to maximise the chances of current and future commercial success. Each of these principles is discussed in depth in other articles; the key to reading this article is to provide small business owners with a checklist and a brief explanation of why each principle is important. The list is by no means exhaustive but it is this writer’s view that these 8 are fundamental building blocks for success.
I hope you find value in “the 8 C’s of small business management”

(1) Costs.
One of the problems of boom times is that it breeds inefficiencies since unnecessary costs are left unattended as the company focuses on grabbing “the low hanging fruit” that these good times provide. Who wants to spend days looking at the” leaky pipe” when there are so many opportunities of bounty? In leaner economic periods the easy revenue dries up, but the pipe of inefficiency continues to leak. Thus it is key that all small business take a long look at all of their cash outputs and trim where necessary. This is often a painful decision, but it is essential for the future wellbeing of the company. This has to be the base point for all small businesses during hard times. Ask questions like; do I need the company car that I current drive? Am I wasting money on coffees? Do I over-order stationary? These are small details and we haven’t even discussed the big cost drivers yet, but consider Ryanair who famously cut costs by asking employees to stop using company electricity to charge their mobile phones! Excess fat can be found everywhere and in a world where cash is king, costs have to be trimmed (often to allow the money freed up to be spend elsewhere as investment in the business)

(2) Customers
Do you know who your customers are and more importantly do you understand them? Loyal customers are the commodity that everyone is scrambling for at the moment. It is imperative that every small business has a heightened knowledge of their base. Whether you are someone that has long or short buying cycle it is incredibly important that you are viewing your customers as assets to be nurtured and developed rather than simply transactional. There is so much data that can be mined from knowing your customers and you don’t necessarily need sophisticated CRM systems to have a rudimentary yet effective customer data base. Customer relationships can allow you to understand and predict, it allows you to foster emotional ties that are key to the customer lifecycle. If customers are the lifeblood of every business then how you interact with your customers before, during and after the transaction is the oxygen that helps keep the business alive. Your staff, if you have any, are also a key for communication strategy. How much input are you getting from them about what customers are talking about? Do you have a mechanism so that information can be passed upwards? Charles Dunstone of the Carphone Warehouse group famously said that if you’re looking after the customer and looking after the people who look after the customer you should be all right.

(3) Competition
Business is often a zero sum game. If you aren’t winning someone else is. That someone else is your competition. It constantly amazes me that so many businesses (a) don’t know who their competition is and (b) don’t know what their competition is up to. In a world of easy access to information it’s a sin not to be constantly looking at your competitors activities. Your competitors are looking at your business so you must be looking at theirs and be constantly thinking about what you must do to get an edge. If customers are not buying from you, where are they buying from and why? This basic thought has to be at the centre of all strategic decisions that you make. In my business of training the market is ultra competitive so when I am not successful with a pitch I need to understand why. Sometimes I can do nothing about it at the moment, but at worst its valuable information that I can use the next time I am selling. Henry Ford said “Competition is the keen cutting edge of business”, Walt Disney remarked that he “couldn’t operate without competition”. These were men that knew their markets and knew the importance of competitor analysis in order to get better.

(4) Communication
It’s a sad fact of business that if you wait for business to come to you then invariably you will struggle. In the age of mass communication all businesses have to be communicating what they are doing. Don’t wait for the phone to ring, pick it up and call someone. The internet has now provided a relatively cheap medium for all businesses to communicate with the world. Marketing doesn’t have to be hugely expensive, a wise man one said that “advertising is what you do when you can’t go and see all your potential customers yourself”. It’s rare that a product or service sells itself. If people don’t know you exist how can they buy from you? Go back to the costs principle. If you save £500 a year on trimming expensive coffees (or something similar) that’s £500 that you can spend communicating a message, that done right will produce a return on investment for the business. Always be communicating. Even a weekly blog will give you presence and is a cheap but effective communication with your customers. Do you have all your customers email details? Are you talking to them? Do you optimise every touchpoint that you have with your customers?

(5) Cleverness

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing day in and day out hoping for different results then a large proportion of businesses are trading insanely. If you have struggled for the past 12 months and are doing nothing differently then what’s the end result going to be? Use people to brainstorm new ideas. Try new things. Do things that you don’t like doing to get you out of a comfort zone and change the game. It’s incredible the numbers of new avenues that are open to business when they tweak what they are doing and adopt new ideas. For example Don Pepper and Martha Rogers revolutionised business thinking by suggesting that profits could be maximised by selling more things to fewer people. Is that your business? Maybe you want the mass markets as your target? Regardless of what you want to do, you still need to be thinking business in a focused manner with a goal of emerging with clever tactics that will allow you to grow. Scattergun approaches do not work. You must be clever with what you do and run with it.

(6) Closing
If you are not selling you are not trading. Selling is the cornerstone of every business, without it your product or service is just another commodity. Selling brings your offerings to life. It’s a simple fact that those than can sell do better than those that can’t. Selling is a fluid dynamic ongoing process. Every interaction you have outside your company should be about the sale. You don’t have to be hard selling all the time but you must be aware that you are at some stage of the sale process constantly. Always Be Closing, never were truer words written. A lot of small business owners don’t like selling, it’s not the reason they got into business. Some people see selling as a dirty word and view it as beneath them. These businesses will fail unless they have are lucky enough to have something that sells itself. Read any business book, the giants of business all knew the importance of selling and were willing from the start to get their hands dirty. Without the sales there can be none of the trimmings of happiness or success that most business owners aspire to.

(7) Concentration
Business has to have a focus. Business people have to understand that business is simple but that it’s not easy. By this I mean that production of wealth is not overly complicated but it’s something that need time effort and concentration. Hard work i.e. concentrating on your business is essential. If something sounds like easy money it’s probably not, it just means that the person making that money makes it look easy by investing huge amounts of their concentration and focus to it. We all must train ourselves to do better, to be more efficient with our outputs. This requires focus and concentration and it’s often a long process. Malcolm Gladwells theory in his book Outliers is an example of this. To be fantastic requires huge time and effort. The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

(8) Calibre
You must be good at what you do. The offering that you make to the marketplace has to be of sufficient calibre so as to be more desirable to customers than your competitors. This means that small business cannot be all things to all people and has to have a focus. For example it’s almost impossible to compete on all of marketing’s 5 P’S. Selling a blue chip product and competing on price is both difficult and dangerous, if you are a low cost- low margin offering, then aside from price it’s difficult to compete on the other 4. The point here is that it is essential to understand that business leaders find a way of bringing something to market and then tweak it until it’s as close to perfect as they can get it. How often have we read of people who are always scrambling for new ideas that sound great but are in fact taking them away from their core offering? “Big think” is great fun and it’s often the “sexy” side of business however a core fundamental is that big think is useless unless the minute details are managed. The distinctly unsexy side of business is often the implementation and management of ideas, it is this attention to detail that determines the calibre of your offering and will define your success.

There we have it. Eight fundamentals for all small businesses. I firmly believe that there are no small businesses that cannot successfully adopt all of the above. This is not a magic formula for successes. Unlike too many business books out there I do not advance a claim that success is a just “an add water and stir” process. Reading about business is great and understanding business an ongoing necessity. However success comes only from another C word, competent. The above 8 tips are essential for all businesses but they will not remotely guarantee success without being competently applied to your business.

Small Business Management Software Review – AvailSuite Standard and AvailSuite Personal

BusinessWare Technologies has recently completed a significant upgrade to its AvailSuite line of field service software, with comprehensive tax reports, improved user interface, and QuickBooks synchronization. The company also splitted the standard version of AvailSuite, with its lineup now comprised of Standard and Personal. Standard version is appropriate for companies with 5-50 employees because of its networking capabilities. It organizes customer information, manages products and/or services, schedules and dispatches staff, helps to keep expenses under control, handles invoicing, synchronizes data with QuickBooks, and much more. The Personal version is available for micro businesses or one-person companies. It has most features of the Standard version, but with limited number of employees. Pricing for Standard is $299 for a single-user license (with non-limited number of technicians); pricing for Personal is $69.99.

Standard and Personal version are built on the same code base, allowing for instant upgrading or quick migration between them. This supports business growth and allows staying with the same program and avoiding retraining of staff.

Help & Support Options

A new software product requires some time for learning even how to start working with it. AvailSuite quick start wizard provides excellent assistance during the process of setting up company information, adding employees and customers, creating orders and invoices, entering payments, and running reports. You can choose “Show me” tutorial movie or “Do it for me” option. The quick start wizard could be accessed at any time by clicking on “Quick Start” button in the main menu. This built-in assistance feature and traditional Help (press F1 button to access) are very useful. Free unlimited email support is provided for both Personal and Standard versions.

Ease of Use Functionality

Main menu provides seven general areas of work: Sales, Production, Receivables, Payables, Inventory, Reports, and Calendar.

AvailSuite offers several customization features that enable users to set up layouts of navigation panel and pages. You can hide groups of main menu or replace them with a small icon and view only those that are used frequently. All pages can be customizable in the same way – you can add or hide columns, change their places, sorting them, grouping data etc. For instance, Customers view could have 1 or 21 columns.

Sales. This is Customer management module where you can click on a client and immediately view or add new orders, tasks, invoices, payments, service history and next task date, default discount, billing address, notes and so on in a single window. The system provides excellent assistance with a workflow, for instance, if you add an order, you will be asked about creating a task for this order, and then you can schedule your appointments. Recurring Task Wizard will assist you with scheduling recurring appointments. You can set very flexible recurrence pattern, like “every 3rd Friday each month”, or “on Monday and Thursday every 2nd week”.

If you want to work with your customer base, you can view your recurring appointments to be done in the next 7 or 10 days and send reminders for service to your customers by email. View one-time jobs performed within last month to make the list of customers you want to call and schedule next appointment.

All orders have a status, so they could be viewed as Draft orders, Complete Orders, Negotiated Orders, Canceled Orders, and On Hold Orders. Also you can quickly get some statistic data about orders sorted by customers or by month.

Here you can also create invoices. As far as the system keeps info of all your customers, so when you create a new invoice, their billing information is automatically included, and you can specify the tasks they need to pay for from the drop-down list. Invoices could be customized. To include your company logo and set up the text to be printed on the invoices you must fill out company settings form and then all this information will automatically appear in your documents. All documents may be printed or emailed to clients as PDF files directly from the system.

Production. This is a module to manage employees and all expenses you made to provide your services. You can enter/view all information about an employee such as name, address, photo, working days and time, hourly rate and/or monthly wage; add new task or time card – all in one window.
Employees could submit time spent reports using Time Cards functionality. This is very useful feature to track working time so you can always be certain that every employee’s time claim was accurate.
Employees could have various level of access. If you want your technician to view tasks and submit his/her time cards, you must specify his/her login name and password in “System access” tab of employee card.

Receivables and Payables. AvailSuite`s accounting functions are very basic, so for more complicated accounting you need to have additional software like QuickBooks. In account receivables module you can analyze your customers` debts as well as all invoices and payments sorted by customer and by month. On accounts payments screen you will see payments to your vendors and employees and invoices from your vendors grouped by status as Drafts, Negotiated, Completed, Cancelled, and On Hold.

Inventory. AvailSuite Standard now offers support for multiple warehouse locations, with the ability to track vendors, purchase orders and all products you have, their location, warranty information, on-hand quantities, price and so on. Using the Vendors module, you can quickly review your buying history, credit limit and discount offered, and all about vendors – their contact info, grace period, terms, and price list.

This feature is more than tracking your inventory. AvailSuite notifies you on a shortage of items in stock when saving an order. Also you can view a list of products, the quantity of which is less than a given threshold value. You can create and print Purchase Orders, track their status and your payments, view POs grouped by vendor or by month.

Reports. This is one of the things you need business management software for. AvailSuite provides about 40 reports about all aspects of business, allowing owners to have key information at their fingertips. Users have one-click access to Profit & Loss report, P&L comparisons, payables aging, purchase orders or whatever items are needed. A menu groups all available reports by various categories such as Sales reports, Receivables reports, Payables reports, Inventory reports. All reports can be exported into PDF, XML, XTML, Word and Excel for further modification.

Calendar. This is the one of the distinguished AvailSuite`s features, very flexible and easy to use. It allows scheduling appointments directly on the Calendar screen and coordinating technicians` workload, so you can view all tasks of all your technicians in one screen or view only personal schedules. After an appointment is on your calendar, you can set up an alert to remind you when the appointment is approaching.

AvailSuite’s Calendar has all the point-and-click and drag-and-drop capabilities to easy scheduling. You can move tasks from one day to another day with a single mouse movement or re-assign them from one person to another. Resizing task bar will change the task’s duration. Double-clicking on the task bar opens a screen with complete task details. On the same screen you can view all unassigned tasks.
Once the scheduling is done, you can print the daily job lists for employees and get them started.

Expandability

Tiny business should strive to become a large one, so an easy upgrade path is needed. You’ve got it. Starting with one license if AvailSuite Standard, you can buy some additional ones, and AvailSute will work in multi-user mode. Adding new users is just a matter of buying the appropriate number of user licenses.

If you outgrow AvailSuite Personal, moving up to another product requires little effort. So whether or not you’ll stay small, AvailSuite Personal is the best way to start. No other business management software fits so well with micro businesses and start-ups.

Data migration

New users can import existing data (customers, vendors, services, and inventory) from their legacy software using Microsoft Excel files. A wizard makes the tedious setup process palatable. If your software can’t save data in Excel files, try to send an inquiry about migration process to BusinessWare Tech`s support team. Currently they run a promotional campaign and offer data migration for free.

Customization inquiries

One of the most common errors is that software customization and adding new features would be very expensive so it’s useless to ask about it. Have you ever thought that on the other side there is a software product manager who’s thinking about the same new features but he doesn’t add them to software development plan because “No one asked about them”? So please ask all what you want. That manager is waiting for your feedback and she/he will appreciate it.

Information on How Business Phone Systems is an Important Part in Effective Business Management

The type of business management that a boss works on gives him/her just 2 results: excellent and poor. Apparently, effective management are generally handled by managers who have ideas and suggestions in mind that when applied take a while to see outcomes but pay off the wait and the hard work in the long run. On the contrary, there tend to be a ton of poor supervisors who have ideas that they carry it out right away and provide results that may paralyze a company even in just a short period of time. Here is a good illustration that may help you picture out excellent and poor management.

The thing is, a business phone system is an integral component of just about any business organization. The purchase of such system is one of the business’ biggest investments considering that phones today are generally the easiest and most convenient methods of connecting entrepreneurs with their clients. As a manager you’ve got to make certain that your company has this sort of system to continue working the operation efficiently and hassle-free.

The majority of sales, marketing and assistance calls from virtually any business establishment today are generally carried out over the phone. Needless to say, while you do business part of your pledge towards your customers is that the services being offered can be readily access and you can do so by way of a business phone system.

One advantage that a phone business system can provide is that you’re able to program your telephones at the office to ring through your cell phones. This meant that a customer only had to use a single number to call and reach you. So, take for instance, your staff is on service call or didn’t want to be reached on the cellular phone the customer call could possibly be forwarded to reception or to voice mail.

This will likely come to be really hassle-free and simple for the customers and for the workers. The steps to set-up the different choices were very clear and easy-to-follow. Actually, an automated voice will walk you through the steps. When using this system you and your staff can likewise gain access to their messages from their cellular phones or even home phones. This will likely save a lot of time going back to the office and then out to the field again. In general, this can be a competent way of having the projects accomplished.

It is possible to avail of this system nowadays, in a wide range of brands. Panasonic, Toshiba, Nortel, Vodavi, Samsung, TalkSwitch, Nitsuko, Motorola, Atmel, Philips and Meijer are a number of the top brands in business phone systems. This can be purchased from local suppliers or online stores. Whatever be the source of purchase, it is actually recommended to check a phone system before purchasing it. Costs of business phone systems basically fluctuate, and range from tens to 1000s of dollars. With respect to the features, a business phone system will probably cost about $350 to $1000.

One of the keys in choosing the right phone business system for your company is the high quality. This also varies according to the size of your business. For small business establishments, key phone systems and KSU-less phone systems are the best types. This kind of business systems can cater to 5 to 40 extensions. In case your business only needs less than 10 extensions, KSU-less business phone systems are best. However, for more than 40 extensions, a private branch exchange (PBX) business phone system will be the best choice. The most recent advancement in business phone systems is the VoIP. It is actually becoming very popular.