Entrepreneur Small Business Idea – Develop a Management Consulting Firm

This article will show you how you can start your own management consulting firm as an entrepreneur. Management consulting is a growing field, where you come in to a business with outside experience as a manager, survey the business and provide recommendations as to how the business needs to change its management structure. Read on to find out how you can start your own management consultancy.

If you have previous management experience, or you are a very avid student of management, this may be the right business for you to start. There are many businesses out there with fairly “green” managers that have come up through the ranks, but don’t have any formal training.

An organization is at the mercy of its management. If the managers are weak, lack in motivating or empowering employees, or they don’t understand the vision of the company, that organization may be in serious trouble.

As a management consultant, you will perform evaluations, observations of employees, look at overall structures of management, and finally give recommendations in multiple areas that require change.

You may need to tape record interviews with employees so that you can take notes later, and you will need enough management experience of some kind under your belt so that you can provide sound advice.

To get this business started you will need a computer, telephone, basic contracts and non-disclosure agreements. It is recommended that you start locally near your home, but ultimately this will be a business requires extensive travel as you visit businesses all over the world that need advice. As you get more clients you can expand your business to include multiple auditors that provide a company-branded report back to the client.

What Do Leaders of Successful Businesses Do? And 7 Habits of Effective Leaders

What Do Leaders of Successful Businesses Do?

For a business to be successful, it must have a strong leader. Leadership can make or break a company. This is why public companies pay several million dollars for a new chief executive officer. Below are nine characteristics of successful business leaders. It is therefore important to ensure you are equipped to manage the situation in the best way possible.

Guy Kawasaki has given his opinions on how to handle this difficult process in his recently released book; “Reality Check”. We have summarised a few of his key tips below:

1. Have a positive attitude. Believe that your business is the best business in the world. Self-confidence leads to decisiveness and in particular, the ability to back your own judgment and to take risks. Be determined. Be persistent. Be resilient. Overcome setbacks. Do not dwell on past mistakes and learn from your errors.

2. Love what you do. Enjoy your work and the challenge it provides. Work should be fun, not merely something to be tolerated. Enthusiasm generates a hard work ethic and a passion which becomes part of the culture of your business.

3. Seek wealth creation. Aim to maximise your sales by increasing your prices, selling more to your existing customers or obtaining more customers either in your local area, in another state or in another country. Control your costs. Eliminate waste. Sell unproductive assets and discontinue unprofitable products. Know your business. Measure your marketing. Strategic partnerships with suppliers and customers can give your business greater flexibility and enable you to better manage your costs and maintain or increase your margins. Maintain your competitive advantage. Study your competitors’ assets, capabilities, marketing, costs and culture.

4. Delegate. It is impossible to do everything yourself. It is also unwise as it is more productive to get those with the appropriate skills to do appropriate tasks. The ability to get people with different skills to work as a team is a starting point for all successful businesses. Recruit high quality staff with complimentary skills and organise these people in the most efficient way. Motivate your staff and encourage them to think independently. Non-performing staff which don’t fit the culture of your business need to be replaced quickly because they can affect relationships with your customers and other staff members and ultimately the profitability of your business

5. Seek financial, marketing and legal advice. Have a vision and clear goals. These goals should include future income and the achievement of various tasks. A strategy to grow the business and a detailed business plan consisting of marketing and financial plans are important. Manage your growth at a rate that enables your cashflow to remain positive.

6. Concentrate on doing what you do best. Specialise. Focus on single industries rather than diversifying. Maintain your core business. Outsource non-core activities and functions. Dominate a niche market rather than attempt to serve a large number of markets.

7. Have systems in place. You need the business to run efficiently even if you are away from the office for 12 months. The best example of a company with efficient systems is McDonalds. Teenagers can run their outlets profitably and efficiently because appropriate systems are in place.

8. Worksmart. Success does not mean working 100 hours a week. Today, it is more likely to mean working 35 hours a week and spending time with our family and pursuing your leisure interests. Working smart is much more important than working hard. Spend time working ‘on’ your business and not ‘in’ your business. Seek continual improvement. This may mean more efficient procedures, better systems, better marketing or better cashflow.

9. Have a good support base. Hire staff you can rely on for advice. However, use discretion when listening to advice from others. Encourage training. Foster an attitude of continuous learning both for yourself and your staff. Have a mentor. Be a mentor to your senior staff. Read and attend seminars. Notice what others are doing.

7 Habits of Effective Leaders

EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP IS something we need to focus on daily. It’s something that takes practice, questioning how well you’re doing, reassessing and best of all continuing to try!

Like any learning, watching others who are good at leading and following their example (otherwise known as R & D – rip off and duplicate) is a successful strategy to follow. So here are the habits of effective leaders:

Clarity of Vision (and ability to share that vision).
Healthy discontent for the present.
High standards of excellence.
A sense of urgency (operating at pace).
Strong commitment to implement.
Ability to eliminate likely distractions.
Build a strong team.

Successful Home-Based Business Owners Develop a Marketing Plan

I’m always surprised by the people that fail to work with a business or marketing plan. The idea seems to be intimidating to many otherwise fearless entrepreneurs. The plan doesn’t have to be a long drawn-out process to be effective. You can take a few minutes and sketch out something quickly that helps you to formalize your goals, establish a budget and evaluate your expected returns on investment.

It will also serve as a roadmap to help you maintain consistent sales throughout the year. Savvy marketers often develop the entire project around a sales and marketing proposal in order to bring in joint venture partners.

There are many ways to develop a marketing plan. The approach taken here is a simple six step process. If you are really creative you can accomplish all six steps on the back of a napkin.

  1. State your purpose – Dr. Stephen R. Covey is famous for coining the phrase; “Begin with the and in mind.” This simply means to have an idea of what your results should look like before you begin your journey.
  2. Quantify the result – if you are selling glass figurines online, you should know how many units you’ll need to sell in order to make the kind of income that will make the project worthwhile. You must identify what success looks like even before you begin.
  3. Situational Analysis – this simply means you are acknowledging where you are in the process at the moment. You will also want to look back in the past to evaluate the decisions and actions that lead you to the present situation.
  4. Marketing Focus – take a close look at consumers to whom you wish to sell your services or products. Get a clear understanding of your ideal prospect; get to know and relate to the problems they face and recognize how your solutions can benefit them.
  5. Tactical – now we brainstorm to find the various methods to get our message to its intended target. Don’t be afraid to get wild, crazy and creative during brainstorming. There are often a few really good ideas hidden among the off-the-wall stuff. Write them all down and review them later.
  6. Budgets Analysis and Performance Milestones – I saved the bean counting for last because it is usually the part that entrepreneurs don’t like to do. Once you have roughed out your marketing plan of attack, you will want to create a budget for which to work your plan. You will also need to set realistic milestones to monitor your progress along the way.

In the end, a marketing plan is just a road map for your objectives. You can create a formal marketing plan with spreadsheets, graphs and even PowerPoint presentations. You might simply look at your worn out napkin one or twice a year. Whichever technique you choose will be perfect as long as you get it done. When it comes to marketing your business, you need to know where you’re going so that you know when you’ve arrived.

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