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There was a time when individuals were encouraged to get out of school and join their area of choice as apprentices to become entrepreneurs. Practical training and on the job education was considered the best way to train a business person.
Today, people spend many years acquiring different degrees in business administration before they even think of starting a business. Which option is the right way out? Should you focus on theoretical and academic knowledge or should you proceed to learn your business by simply doing it?
Well, the world of business is far too complicated to simply hope that you can learn on the job. Even if you do, you will later realize that you spent far too much time reinventing the wheel. What could have been learnt in a classroom in a single day would have probably been learnt over many weeks by committing numerous mistakes. Secondly, businesses will not give you the opportunity to rectify your mistakes very often.
Today, you are not competing with just your fellow citizens in your community. Rather, you are competing with individual at an international level. A businessman sitting halfway across the world is plotting to bring your business down and steal your customers.
Do you think you have the opportunity of learning by making mistakes? However, you should not focus too much on academic knowledge either. Many businesses have failed because they ignored the fundamental rule-the customer is King and the only way to become successful is to please the customer.
Academic knowledge can push you away from your customers and you may end up catering to an imaginary perfect individual when no such persons exist.
Dealing with an employee who gets numerous orders but spends a lot of money as business expenses in the process can be a difficult task. How far should you focus on discipline and financial propriety? Your employee may not be stealing money. Rather, he may just be extravagant.
Or, he may simply be spending more to get the business. There have been numerous instances in the past where people have simply ignored strictures receive from head officers about excessive expenditure. Such persons reasoned that their job was to get more clients for the company and spending money was inevitable to earn more. Smart organizations have recognized this and have encouraged such persons to work harder.
A person who does not mind or bending rules a bit as long as it helps get the job done is very essential for your organization. Of course, you cannot survive if all persons work like this. However, there will be certain persons who will always rebel against the rules. Rather than behaving like a teacher and focusing on the theoretical rules, you should focus on your final goal.
A general should not be bothered whether the soldier drinks or eats as long as he wins the war. This is the same approach that you should take. Of course, you should make sure that basic rules are complied with. An individual who is prepared to offer bribes when you do not tolerate such activities in your organization is certainly a problem. It is one thing to think out of the box and get business. It is another thing to violate ethics to get more business.
You might be an organization with just three or four employees today but may dream of becoming big very quickly. What do you need to do to become big? You have to think big and plan ahead. You may be moderating all business meetings and may be the only person speaking on behalf of your organization in business meetings today.
However, do you think this pattern is going to work out when you are trying to hit a turnover of a million dollars a year in just one or two years? The risks of delegating powers to your employees are always going to be high. Let us face it. Nobody is going to be as interested in your business as you are. However, if you are going to treat your business as nothing more than yours to run, that is how it is going to stay.
It is only when you share and make the other person feel as if he or she has a stake in the organization will you grow. Of course, handing the opportunity to conduct the business meeting in the hands of a dunderhead is obviously not going to work out. You will have to choose your employees carefully.
You will have to be pragmatic and ruthless when assessing the skills and abilities of your employees. Be prepared for mistakes but make it clear that you will not tolerate casual errors. If your employee’s mistake causes you to lose a million dollars, it makes sense to fire that individual only if he or she cannot or will not improve.
On the other hand, if it is a genuine mistake, you will do well to ignore the loss and try to recover the same by improving your employee’s confidence. All this may sound easy to say and read on paper. A smart entrepreneur replicates this in real life and becomes a success.
It is one thing to have a proper and preplanned strategy for your business meeting. However, it is a completely different thing to stick to it as if you have rehearsed it as a speech. If a potential client tells you that he has just received an unbreakable deal from your competitor, you cannot continue with the same old approach of criticizing your competitors. It is obvious that your potential customer has also walked in with a business strategy and your strategy must accommodate the same.
You must have understood by now that the client is not an inanimate object who is just waiting for your marketing pitch. Rather, your client is equally selfish as you are. He or she is more interested in getting maximum value for money just as you are interested in getting maximum money for less work. To convince your client that you are catering to his or her interests but to confirm and enjoy benefits-that is the difficult thing.
One thing that is invaluable when you are conducting business meetings is experience. Experience will teach you when to focus on specific comments of your client and make a point. Experience will also teach when to ignore certain provocative statements if it does not require any answering. As far as the above issue is concerned, you can simply point out that the potential client has just given you a price and has not explained what he or she is going to get from the competitor in exchange of the money paid.
This will put the potential customer on the back foot because he or she will have to disclose all the negotiations that have taken place till date. If such negotiations have indeed taken place, the customer will not be keen on disclosing the same. If no negotiations have taken place, the customer will obviously have nothing to say.
Is it important to have a strategy when you are conducting a business meeting? Well, you need not go to the other extreme of trying to rehearse each and every step of your business meeting as if it is a drama or film. However, there is no harm in anticipating certain points and planning for it in advance. What is the best way to plan business meeting strategy? You must carry out a SWOT analysis.
You should focus on your strengths, downplay your weaknesses, accentuate the opportunities and destroy your threats. Should you do this step by step or should you deal with it all in a mix? Well, a business meeting takes place between two different parties. You cannot take this decision without considering the other party. Focusing more on how you are better than competition will help when dealing with a big shot client.
This is going to grab attention and is going to interest the client when he sees you talking about your competition in such a frivolous and petty tone. Of course, you have to be very good if you intend to be aggressive. If you are going to talk about your competitors without respect, you better be good enough to pull it off. The last thing you want is for the client to leave you thinking that you are just an over confident individual without any real stuff.
In other cases, focusing on your strengths and completely ignoring all other aspects may impress a client who is hesitant about his or her own stature. When you talk about your strengths and how you can help the other party gain from the same, you will come across as a positive and a confident business organization. Your business meeting strategy should depend on the image that you intend to focus on.
Business is about working for other people in order to keep money in our pockets. It basically depends upon the production and distribution of the product to the client and how the client likes it. The client should be kept happy and the ways to achieve client’s happiness brings you money home. The client is your number one priority. Managing your business efficiently can be empowering. Fortunately, there is tailored software available to make managing your company easier. Applications like ecommerce software allow businesses to gain invaluable business intelligence from almost anywhere.
Business cannot be developed by only one person, it is a group work done and success of a business group depends upon all the members. To keep the workers of the business happy, some aid should be provided to them so that they will love to work every day without any laziness. For this reason, business incentives are given to workers as part of the job they do. It might be given when a consignment is completed or on a festival time or even if company wins a contract. The business incentives are a way to motivate and encourage the workers to do their job well than before.
Business incentives are a great way to share profit among workers as well as the company. The incentives given to the workers make them more efficient to work providing in turn more profits for the company. To better serve the clients proper communication facilities can be provided between each worker and between the worker and the client so that the worker may directly come to know what are the clients offering. Designing a fully featured and database driven website will improve your customer satisfaction and retention. Applications, like ecommerce software will allow your company to conduct business from around the world. By utilizing this application, your workers will be well equipped with the most recent information to effectively communicate ideas to current or future clients.
Additionally, a progress report can be arranged in the business firm to check the company’s operations and progress in business. Online training programs can be developed to ensure the clients that the employees know how the things have to be done. These communication programs and training features will attract more clients to the company and clients will bring out more revenue in the business which will keep the growth of the company and thereby providing new business technologies and ideas. Team can make the clients happy and revolve the revenue throughout.
You might have participated in hundreds and thousands of business meetings with your potential and existing clients in your career. However, conducting a business meeting through the internet can be a disconcerting affair. For starters, relying on chat and instant messaging to carry out meetings can seem very odd.
If you are not used to this process, you may find it difficult to guide and control the flow of the meeting. Remember, 70% of all communication takes place through nonverbal gestures. In such a scenario, a business meeting through chat is definitely going to work to your disadvantage.
You cannot know whether your client’s reaction to your price quote was serious, comical, joking or sarcastic. In the same way, you will have to be very careful before you try and lighten up the atmosphere. The last thing you want is for a joke that sounds good to the ear offend your client because it looks very bad when one reads it instead of listening to it.
Does this mean you should completely skip such business meetings? Not necessarily. In some cases, conducting business meeting through virtual medium may be the only cost efficient way of working. If you are planning to diversify and if you are seeking new clients and customers in foreign countries, you cannot be expected to drop everything and fly to a foreign land every single time you see a potential business, right?
Of course, flying over to finalize a deal and put things in stone is a completely different thing. However, getting in touch with clients through virtual medium and carrying out preliminary discussions and negotiations is the most cost effective way.
In a recession, diversifying your approach and focusing on a hitherto unexplored market can help a lot. You will have to boost up the internet technology infrastructure in your office to ensure you never go offline during online meetings.
We live in the world of technology and social networking today. Old rules don’t apply. Things are done differently in business and commercial transactions. This is what we all believe but how much of it is true? Well, just invite your client from another city to your office for a business meeting and try treating them in a churlish and cheap manner.
You will find that, despite improvements in technology, people still want to be taken care of properly when they interact with each other personally. Depending on the size of the client, you should make proper arrangements ranging from stay and accommodation to entertainment and relaxation after the business meeting.
If you are planning on treating your clients on the basis of their potential income, make sure it is less tested completely secret. The last thing you want is for disgruntled ex-employee to upload the list to the internet. We all have our own parameters when entertaining clients.
A million dollar client who can make or break our business will obviously be treated like a King or Queen. On the other hand, a client who is going to give us $100,000 worth of steady income year after year will be treated carefully but not like royalty. If you are the owner of the business, make it a point to treat all your clients equally. This will send a message across that you focus on the relationship with your client and not on the amount of money that you are going to earn.
As far as grading the clients differently and taking care of them differently is concerned, hand this task over to your employees. Opt for a hotel that is good and decent but not necessarily luxurious and fancy for a client who does not contribute a lot to your business.
Of course, if you have a client who has been with you for the past 25 years and has given you business worth a $100,000 every year, you can blow your business sky high by treating such a client cheaply.
If you want to find out whether you are conducting meetings in the organization properly, just pause in the middle of the meeting and request all the persons attending the meeting to clarify why they are here.
If they have a clear idea of their purpose and objective of the meeting, you are doing a good job. However, if the participants have absolutely had no idea why they are in the meeting, it obviously speaks very bad view of your organization skills.
Each and every meeting must have a formal proprietary process. Just because it is formal does not mean it should take a long time. However, there should be certain efforts attached to the initial preparatory process related to business meetings. For starters, each and every person must be informed of the meeting in advance.
The idea is to provide maximum notice to the parties to help them prepare for the meeting. If just one person is going to be prepared on the agenda and if all others are simply going to listen, it is going to be a speech and not a meeting. If you are keen on brainstorming ideas, there is no point in catching your employees off guard.
Try to fix a time which is going to facilitate maximum exchange of ideas. Otherwise, you will simply be wasting your time and time of your employees.
Secondly, you should convey the objective of the meeting in very clear terms. Some managers like to hide this point so that they can control the way the meeting proceeds. Well, that may help you feel satisfied but that is not going to help your organization. Unless you treat your employees like a waste of space, you cannot afford to ignore their views and opinions.
This is particularly important where the employees are the ones who interact with customers and bring ground reality feedback. If used properly, such meetings can become a valuable area for exchange of ideas and information up the chain of command.
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