Team Building for Profitable Businesses

Business Coaching Perth Team Building: Why?

Any business coach in Perth will tell you that team building is vital for business growth and profit. But the question on your mind may be, why? Why is team  building such an important aspect of business performance? Here are a few factors to consider.

 Team Building for Focused Work

When people feel important and needed, they are more likely to perform their best work. An important factor in team building is to help each team member see how they are interconnected. When a person realises that the success of each individual project and business growth for the company as a whole, depends on their performance, this creates a powerful motivating force behind the individual’s work ethic. It’s easy to see why employees who work together as a team, and view themselves as a part of something bigger than just themselves, are more likely to stay focused and on task. That leads to greater productivity, which ultimately improves profits.

Team Building for Accomplishing Objectives

When it comes to accomplishing objectives on time and on budget, team building can be a great influence. No one wants to be the weak link in the team or the one where projects bottleneck. Plus, team players are more likely to help out a coworker who is falling behind if they have some extra time in their schedule. The result of team building is employees who rise to the occasion when you need them to the most. It doesn’t just benefit the team either. Each individual employee becomes more valuable as they contribute to projects and develop skills. That means your company becomes filled with more qualified workers who can get the job done right the first time.

The Bottom Line on Team Building: Profitability

This is always where your business ventures need to end up – making money for the company. If something isn’t contributing to business growth and profit, then there’s no reason to waste time and resources on it. Team building is one such activity that improves overall business performance. Company pride results in products and services that are more beneficial to consumers. Therefore, the result for the company is more positive customer experiences, and that leads to referrals as well as to repeat business and loyal customers.

Not sure where to begin? Talk to a business coach about team building exercises, seminars, and programs that are a good fit for your Perth business.

 

 

 

 

Driving Your Team and Change

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Drive Change Using an 8 Week Project Team Cycle

One of the biggest challenges that project managers face is keeping their team motivated during a long project. That’s why many business coaches from Perth will recommend to you this 8 week cycle to take you from the drawing board to the board room for a presentation. Business growth and profit depend on having motivated employees, and an 8 week time frame is much more reasonable when it comes to keeping everyone on point and working with a sense of urgency. So how do you plan your 8 weeks of preparation? Here’s a rough example that you can base your cycle on if you need a place to start.

 

 

Week 1 can be used to get the project off the ground with a brief that includes the project description, objectives, and KPI’s. Be sure everyone knows who needs to approve various portions of the project. It may seem counterproductive to spend a whole week just gearing up to start, but under defining the project will result in it taking much longer.

Your next few weeks basically consist of working with data analysis. Where is the business currently at, and why does the company need this particular project? Where do you expect to bring things to by the time the project is completed? This will help you to develop a task list which can later be assigned to key personnel. You need to gather all of the necessary data on the project and then go over it with a fine tooth comb.

During weeks 5 and 6 you can begin to come up with a game plan for tackling the problem and start to troubleshooting the best possible solutions. From there you can take the last two weeks to put together the presentation and practice it until you know it forwards and backwards. After 8 weeks of work, you definitely want to sell what your team has put together, otherwise it has been just one long (and expensive) team building exercise. Power Point presentations are great at this stage of a project. Be prepared to keep it under 30 minutes and to field a lot of questions at the end. Make sure it is clear how your project will help boost business performance.

Taking a project from brief to boardroom in just 8 weeks keeps everything moving along at a fast enough pace to keep everyone engaged in the project without setting impossible demands. It’s a great way to drive business change quickly.

 

 

How Great Teams Form

How Team Building Can Contribute To Business Growth And Profitability

Great Teams

 

 

 

 

Essential to any business, large or small, is an effective and dynamic team.  Without a productive team working towards the same end goal, business growth and profitability will be thwarted. It is important, therefore, for any business owner to understand the elements of team building to ensure the creation of a solid team which contributes to the successful growth of your business.

In 1965, psychologist, Bruce Tuckman, coined the term, ‘forming, storming, norming, performing’ to describe his theory of the 4 stages of team development. While other models of team building exist, Tuckman’s is a well known and useful tool to understanding team dynamics in simple terms.

  • Forming – is the initial introduction of individuals. You, as leader, will play a dominant role in answering questions about the team’s purpose and goal(s) and provide clear expectations.
  • Storming – individuals test each other’s position within the group. Challenges may be made to your authority and/or the team’s purpose. Decisions aren’t made easily and they are still reliant on you as leader.
  • Norming – individuals begin to assume their roles within the team and to agree on the team’s goal. They engage more with each other and may even socialise. You become more of a facilitator than leader at this stage.
  • Performing – the team has now formed, and have gained greater autonomy. They are now in agreement as to the steps they will take to achieve the team goal and why achieving it is essential to your overall business strategy.  You will now be in a position to oversee rather than guide and participate.

Without a basic understanding of the theory of team dynamics you could be creating problems for your business.  While your team is going through the first two of the four stages especially, it is imperative that you demonstrate strong leadership skills to instil trust and confidence within the team to ensure they overcome early problems and form a bond.  Henry Ford says:  “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Once established the team should be fully aligned with your business ethos, values and mission.   Members should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them to ensure they achieve the goals laid out in your business plan.  Importantly, high performance levels from individuals and the team should be rewarded; you too will be rewarded with successful business growth and profitability.

Pricing – Get It Right

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One of the most important aspects of running any business is pricing your services at the correct level. There are a number of factors which can contribute to whether or not you have the best price for what you offer.

Getting the price right can make the difference between your business being a success or not. Too high a price and although your margins may be good, the uptake will be poor and profits low. On the other hand, a low price may attract many clients but the margin may be so small that you are hardly making any profit.

To help you work out what the best price is for your service, consider these elements.

1. The Costs Based On Production

Although you may run a service business, there will still be a cost per unit. The more clients you can provide your service in a given time, the lower the unit cost. So the important issue is to know how much it costs to provide your service. This will allow you to work out a minimum.

If you are a partner or sole trader, it might also be beneficial to consider how much you would like to take home as a minimum in this calculation. Otherwise you might find out that you are making a profit, but not significantly high enough to take home adequate money.

2. The Value Perception

Your customers will have a perception of the value of your service. This does not have to correspond to what your competitors or substitute services are offering. If you have better quality then offer more features or generate customer loyalty through your marketing, then your service might be perceived to have a higher value.

Customers are always willing to buy a service at a higher price if they see a benefit. Therefore it is important to sell the benefits of your service at that cost rather than the features.

3. Trending Prices

Sometimes the market is determining that your service needs to be priced higher. This is often the case with newer technology which offers better features and benefits. As the technology becomes more standardised your prices will likely lower as more businesses enter the market.

4. High-low Strategy

Some businesses, typically those in the fast-food, retail and online service industry offer a low priced product with poor margins in order to entice customers. Once customers have been attracted with a good offer they are then sold higher priced items with good margins.

For this strategy it is important that you are aware of how to sell your higher margin services.

Whichever of the above methods you utilise, it is important to remember a few critical elements in your pricing strategy:

  • It is always easier to lower prices than it is to raise them.
  • Benefits sell your services not features.
  • Your pricing strategy should always be under review.

Getting the pricing strategy right is important to guarantee the success of your business. With the right strategy you can enjoy a good level of income while not working too hard because your margins are low. Therefore take the time to look at your pricing strategy and ensure you have the right levels.

7 Waste Areas Your Hidden Profit Lies

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Everyday businesses are losing profit because of waste in their processes. Identifying the aspects of your business which are inefficient can be challenging, even if they are obvious in hindsight. Yet finding ways to streamline your processes is essential to maximise profits.

Here are seven of the most common areas where waste can be identified and how to reduce it.

1. Overproduction

Producing more than you need may sound like a good idea, especially if you think there could be a surge in demand for your product. However, excess stock is a drain on your financial resources. It costs materials and man hours to produce and its storage can also cost you financially.

Over production isn’t  just about a sellable product. It can relate to marketing materials or digital documents. Both still cost time and money to produce and take up storage whether in the real world or on a network.

Therefore look at your business and see where you are over-producing. Limit production to only what you need and then you can save funds for other business activities.

2. Production Waiting

Review your operational processes to see if there are any areas in which there are hold ups in the production. These moments can be costly for your business. Static work is not having value added to it and if your product is event / time sensitive, its value may drop.

When you look at your production processes see which activities are holding them up and ask the question if they are adding value or not. If they are not, then remove them and carry on.

3. Transport

Movement can cost financially and waste man-hours. Therefore reducing the amount of time which people, products or equipment are moving is essential for streamlining your costs.

Look at your production and ask yourself whether transportation is really essential. Be honest in this assessment, there might be times when a meeting could take place over a Skype call. Or for digital documents you can make your files and documents available over a cloud storage system.

4. Having the Right Tools For the Job

Not having the right equipment or the correctly trained person on a job can be a huge waste. The wrong machine or person may take longer to complete tasks or produce lower quality products.

You can change this by ensuring staff have the right raw skills, you are training them properly and the machines you are using are the best for the task. It’s better to have a small initial outlay than significant financial wastage over an extended period of time.

5. Inventory

An inventory can seem a good way of ensuring you always have materials, stock,promotional material, etc. However, that inventory needs to be stored somewhere. Storage areas cost, even if they are in the digital form or in a filing cabinet.

Stored materials can also become lost, degrade, or lose their value over time. Therefore too large an inventory can be more of a hindrance. Calculate the length of time your materials are placed in storage. If this is a significant amount of time, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the amount you keep in your inventory.

6. Motion

This is related to the waste of any action by a worker or machine which does not add value to the end product. Examples of this can include lifting an object from one level to another or searching for a document / file on a computer system.

Businesses can significantly reduce this waste by checking their ergonomics or the design of the workflow with the employee in mind. Ensure that everything they require to do their job is easy to locate.

7. Defects

Having to rework already completed products costs your company money. This is because the re-work earns you no extra money and stops you from completing revenue generating tasks.

You need to have a look to see why the work needs to be re-worked and what can be improved in the future to avoid reoccurrence. This could mean more training for your staff, task reassignment or replacing equipment.

Every business should be constantly reviewing their processes to identify waste and how they reduce it. By implementing a rigorous regime to streamline your business processes, you can reduce your costs and therefore increase your profits, giving your business a better financial outlook.

7 Top Productivity Tools

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Being productive at work is essential if you want to maximize your profit and lower your costs. In this age of the internet there are a number of pressures which can increase the demands on your time. Therefore any tools that can help us to be more productive are most welcome.

Here are seven of the top productivity tools that I use that can help you increase your productivity.

Evernote :

Evernote is an administrative program which allows you to store and share content. The documents can be accessed anywhere, even when you are offline, allowing you to take your work with you even when you are out of the office. I use this in place of MS Word – Evernote allows you to access your documents in a much nicer way and you don’t need to ‘save as’ for any of your documents.

Smartpen :

The smart pan is actually a digital pen and pad. If you host a lot of meetings this can be used to record all the details mentioned and then auto import them into Evernote. This can save you significant time and means anyone who is not present at the meeting can have instant access to the notes to keep up to date. I use this in all client sessions which means I don’t need to rewrite or file client notes, I just upload to my laptop and drag the session notes onto the appropriate client note in Evernote.

Bizcard Scanner:

If you go to a lot of networking meetings or meet many clients face to face you are likely to collect a lot of business cards. It can be time intensive to add these to your CRM. Bizcard Scanner can solve this by automatically scanning the cards and placing the information directly into your CRM. You can also connect directly to LinkedIn – this saves me heaps of time.

Hootsuite:

Hootsuite is a social media manager allowing you to post content to several different networks from one screen. You can perform all the same functions as you would directly on social media from this tool, and you can even schedule messages in advance so you don’t have to log in several times during the day to do so. Hootsuite tells you how much time you can expect to save by using their website.

Flipboard:

This is an online magazine app. It collects the stories from the topics you are most interested in, from the publications and social media networks you input, and compiles them in one place. You can then use this to read articles and share them across your social media profiles making content creation / sharing easy. There is also the ability to create your own Flipboard magazine!

Teambox:

Working with a team can be challenging if you are spread across different locations. However Teambox allows you to assign tasks to staff and track the time they are spending on them. It also allows you to manage projects with the help of Ghantt charts, making your project work more efficient. I use Teambox to manage client projects, we agree on appropriate milestones and tasks and track them within Teambox. Teambox will send reminders and has the ability to upload supporting documentation. It also has a great collaboration component.

Self Restraint:

The internet can be a very useful tool. It can also be a significant distraction which can slow down your production. Self restraint can be used to stop you going online when you don’t need to and therefore keep you focused on the job in hand. Using this program and / or similar programs allows you to specify how long you cannot connect to the internet for i.e. 2 hours – turning off your PC doesn’t help! Great idea.

The above tools all have different uses and can be very helpful in creating a more productive working environment, which in turn will support your business growth, by increasing the revenue you generate without increasing your working hours.

Stress Busting Techniques

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Running your own business can be very stressful. There are many aspects you have to balance and different demands can make you feel stretched and under pressure. This can affect your performance and lower the quality of your work. Poor work will mean your clients will be less happy and it can affect your income.

Therefore you need to find ways in which you can deal with that stress. Here are six common and effective stress busting techniques.

1. Take Regular Breaks

Regular breaks are essential for relaxation. A human mind can only concentrate for a certain amount of time before it slackens and work is compromised. Regular breaks don’t just mean two days at the weekend but regular intervals during the day. Every hour, you should aim to take a five minute break or a change in activity.

It is essential to ensure you have a lunch break. According to research, staff not taking lunch breaks can actually cost companies millions in lost production.  Therefore ensure you have at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour) for lunch. Try to take this away from the desk where temptation is too high to check your emails.

2. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is often cited as been a good reliever of stress. It releases chemicals in the brain which act as an anti-depressant and relaxes your muscles. You don’t need to have a gym membership to help with your exercise routine, three twenty minute brisk walking sessions a week can help you.

Try to exercise in a place with a lot of greenery, such as a park. These environments have been proven to enhance relaxation. To ensure that you stick with your exercise routine don’t do it alone. Find a partner who is going to encourage you and be with you during your exercising. Just ensure that if it is someone from work that the two of you don’t talk about the office!

3. Eat and Drink Right

Eating and drinking right can be a simple way to ensure your stress levels do not spike. Although caffeine is often thought of as a good stimulus, it can also aggravate high levels of stress. Switching to water more regularly can be a way to reduce your heart rate and stress levels.

The food you eat is also important. Having regular snacks of fruit and vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet. Don’t rely on food being available when you get to work, prepare some snack boxes at home and take them to office with you. Research has also shown that fermented foods and high-quality probiotic supplements can help with brain functions and control your mood.

4. Staying Positive

There is nothing more stress busting than being positive in your attitude. A good positive attitude can make you feel better about how your work is going. Even when you have a lot on and clients have been critical; using positive thinking can help you get past testing times.

If you struggle with this it can be beneficial to keep a diary and note down the positive feedback and results you achieve. The human mind tends to remember the negative outcomes rather than the positive, therefore having a physical reminder of the positives can help swing our perceptions of what the situation is really like.

Another aspect of this is to understand there are certain scenarios you simply cannot control. It can be frustrating, but by trying not to focus on difficult situations and instead concentrate on elements which are under your control, you can generate more positive results from your actions.

Being really organised can help with this as well. Keep a diary with not only what you have got on but a time schedule of when work is to be done, when is it due in and what you need to do.

 5. Improve Skills

Stress can build up if we are doing work which we have not learnt or been trained to do. Having the knowledge and understanding of how best to complete the task can be a way to relax us. With the right knowledge you will feel more in control and better equipped to deal with the situation.

Always look for ways in which you can improve your skills in line with the demands of your clients.

6. Learn to Say No

One of the biggest causes of stress is when we have too much work to complete in a limited amount of time. The key to defeating this particular problem is to learn when to say no. If someone asks you to do some work for them and you don’t have the time to give your best performance, politely tell them so.

Don’t leave it at that though. Give them strong reasons why doing the work to their timescales will not benefit them. You could also provide an action plan on what you can do to achieve their goals but on a time schedule which suits both of you.

Decreasing the stress in your work life is important if you want to produce the best quality work and grow your business to the next level. Therefore look at the options above and see what you can do to relieve stress, improve your production and better control your business.

Why are you still working 6 days when you own the business?

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Running a business can be a challenging prospect. There are so many aspects to look after: suppliers, customer services, production, delivery, etc. With all this to do it can sometimes come to the point where you are working long hours, sometimes even longer than you would be by being employed by someone else.

Yet should this really be the case? As a business owner you have control over the time which you put into the business. Working six days a week or long hours can be tiring which can make your production, quality and health suffer.

Therefore you need to find a way in which you can still produce enough to allow you to make a living yet not sacrifice too much time that you become physically and mentally drained.

If you have a number of employees, this can be easy – learning to delegate simple tasks can free up some of your time. Also you should consider the effective training of your staff so you don’t have to worry about the quality of their work.

This might be a tough process to begin with, especially for those who have built up their business from scratch. These individuals tend to find letting go tough. Yet by not micromanaging their staff, business leaders can find they have extra time to reallocate to other jobs and for time away from the business.

However, if you do not have any employees you need to look at other options. Clearing your place of work from distractions is a good start; alongside ensuring your systems and processes are well organised.

Also, consider how much time you spend with your customers. Some time spent with customers will increase revenue, but there is a point where the amount of time spent with customers will not yield any further positive income. Therefore consider reducing the time spent with those who are not giving you sufficient value.

Time management is a crucial element to all of this and mastering your time properly is essential. There are a couple of key processes you can do to help support your time management. First you should keep a time diary to see where your time is being spent. From this you can see what tasks are taking too much time or those which are distracting you.

You should create a daily to do list. Each day, produce a list of everything you have to do by the end of that day and take a look through it to see what is necessary. You might find that you really don’t need to do some of the tasks you set yourself so frequently.  More importantly you should create a Stop Doing List – we tend to spend a lot of time on non important tasks!

By becoming master of your time and more organised, you can really cut down on the time you are working. This will enable you to become a more balanced business leader, which in turn will increase your drive and motivation and give you time to reap the rewards for your hard work.

Personal Mastery: Make it Work for You and Your Business

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Personal Mastery is an excellent concept to get to grips with in your business. It can help you achieve the best from yourself and from your team. Those who have fully embraced and learned the skills of Personal Mastery have several common traits, which include:

  • A strong sense of purpose which supports personal goals and vision
  • The impetus to work with change, rather than against it
  • Ability to connect with co-workers and with the environment.
  • Commitment to continuous learning and  acquiring greater knowledge
  • Developing these traits can help you to become masters of your own personal development and to improve your time-management skills. By managing your time more effectively, Personal Mastery can help you to become more productive and enable you to gain a greater financial return.

    Managers can also help their teams to grow and develop within the business by encouraging full participation in Personal Mastery programmes. Benefits from this include: re-enforcing the business’ commitment to the employees; and the provision of on-the-job training.

    To ensure Personal Mastery is really effective, you should follow these guiding principles:

    • Don’t work on a day-by-day basis – determine what you want to achieve and make short, medium and long term goals to help you obtain the results you want.
    • Don’t be ruled by your fears – your fears can stop you achieving Personal Mastery. Instead of being ruled by them, identify and take steps to overcome them.
    • Don’t ignore change – change is an inevitable force in the global marketplace. Your business will be more likely to succeed if you are prepared to embrace change and adapt accordingly.
    • Don’t give your employees learning plans – this can be very ineffective. Instead, help individuals to identify their own needs and direction and discuss how you can support them.
    • Stop Negativity – Personal Mastery is about being positive in life. When faced with problems, look at them as challenges to be overcome and to be learnt from, which will enhance your growth and development.
    • To support this process within your business, think about adopting learning and development plans for you and your teams. Although these are regularly used within large organisations these days, they are often not implemented effectively.

      Having a balanced outlook on life and maintaining a positive attitude can help you to be more productive and creative within your limited time frame. Consequently, you will achieve greater results and increased success. So, embrace Personal Mastery and reap immense rewards in your personal life and in business.

    Increase Your Sales With SPIN Selling

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    Business Reboot recommends a 10 step sales process when selling. At step five of our process we initiate the SPIN technique. This technique is used by a number of forward thinking businesses to generate more sales by asking the right questions during the sales process.

    Once the right questions have been asked, you can then use their answers to tailor the rest of your sales speech to highlight the benefits of your service, to match the problems consumers are facing.

    SPIN stands for four topics of questioning: Situation, Problem, Implication and Need. If you have the information involved in each aspect, it can make your job to sell a lot easier. So what are the four steps of SPIN selling?

    Step One: Situation

    You need to know the background of your prospect and their needs. The majority of this phase can be conducted before you’ve even connected with your buyer by conducting thorough research. Even then, when talking directly with your potential client, you generally limit the questions to them, with good industry knowledge and anticipation of their probable difficulties. Some of the key questions could be whether they are satisfied with their current staff recruitment model or are they happy with their supplier?

    By getting to know what problems they are having, you can streamline the process allowing you to specifically address their concerns.

    Step Two: Problem

    Now you need to go a little more into the difficulties they are experiencing. By asking a lot of questions you can really dig down deep and get to the root of their problems. For instance, you can ask for specific figures (i.e. how many new staff have left within 6 months?) and you can then take those answers and create links between their problems and your service’s benefits.

    Step Three: Implication

    Sometimes buyers can realise they have a problem, but do not understand the implications which these can have on their business. Other times business leaders can perhaps bury their heads in the sand to avoid acknowledging the further repercussions caused by the primary problem. Therefore by establishing the importance of the client to input sufficient energy to seek a solution, you can give them a reason to listen to what you have to say. The implication questions stress the consequences, and are more likely to be useful with the decision makers of the business.

    Step Four: Need

    By asking the client what they need from the solution, you can enforce the value of your service to solve their problem. An example of this would be – would you like to have your new employee turnover reduced?

    The need questions should lead to the buyer making a commitment and action towards making a purchase of your services.

    SPIN questioning is all about taking the potential clients problems and needs and matching them with your service’s benefits, though the focus should be on the client and their problems and not on your business or service.

    SPIN selling works fantastically when selling anything – from Business Coaching to Photo Copiers!  By integrating this system into your sales process, you will see greater success, as an increase in the number of sales is achieved.