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Seven Cutting Edge Strategies to Boost Your Business Profit and Potential

In a contemporary era during which the rise of globalism and the internet has made the world of business increasingly competitive, business owners who want to experience perpetual growth and expansion must be strategic and innovative when they develop plans to sell their goods and products. There are several strategies that business owners can employ to accomplish this objective, and seven of them appear below:

1. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an incredibly effective way for a business to connect with prospective clients and improve its conversion rates. There are a plethora of social media marketing strategies that can be employed to accomplish this objective, including tweeting links to the business’s product pages via Twitter.

2. SEO
Internet marketing is an important and effective way to advertise your business goods and services in the online world. The central component that makes the internet marketing process efficacious is SEO-or search engine optimization. Although broadly defined, SEO is basically the process of implementing strategies that will help a business website or other media forms achieve page one ranking on the results pages of major engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. There are several SEO strategies that can be implemented, including great content creation, link building, keyword analysis, etc.

3. Blend Online/Offline Advertising
Both online and offline advertising are powerful mechanisms through which to advertise your business. To ensure that you make the most of each market sector, you can blend the two. For example, company leaders often take business cards to lectures, conferences, etc for business purposes. The next time you do this, consider the value of placing the url to your website and your e-mail address on the card. By doing this, you’ll be able to connect with prospective clients and/or business partners in multiple ways. As many people who have attained business consultation services know, the key to success in the world of selling products and services is being able to connect with people in more than one setting, and blending your online/offline advertising efforts enables you to accomplish this objective.

4. Volunteer
Volunteering is yet another effective strategy that you can implement to boost your business profits. Oftentimes, individuals who attain business coaching services are taught that some of the most profit-boosting endeavors are those that do not involve the intentional attempt to sell something. When you, your business partners, and your employees volunteer, you show the local community that you are genuinely interested in improving the quality of life for local citizens. In recognizing this reality, members of your local community will oftentimes be much more receptive to doing business with you. In many cases, those individuals who attain business success mentoring services are the most effective in utilizing this strategy because they attain the professional knowledge and wisdom necessary to make the most of this opportunity.

5. Hire A Professional
As many people who have attained business consultation services know, hiring a professional to help your business boost its profit and potential can be incredibly effective. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that business consultation services often incorporate business coaching sessions that involve providing the client with the tools, strategies, etc necessary to engender results such as improved conversion rates or some other form of substantive return on investment. By attaining these types of business success mentoring services, your company can begin to get the highly specific, customized assistance necessary to take you from good to great.

6. Branding
One great key to making your business successful is the implementation of sound marketing principles. In order to attain business marketing success, you can make use of proven strategies such as branding. Although broadly defined, branding is basically the practice of using icons and images to create a singular, distinct image for a business’s goods and services. As many people learn in business coaching sessions, branding is an incredibly effective way to attain business marketing success for several reasons, one of which is that it provides prospective clients with a basic overview of the goods and services that you offer. Thus if you are interested in attaining business marketing success, this is a good strategy to implement. If you want to ensure that you implement this strategy successfully, consider the role that attaining business success mentoring can play in assisting you.

7. Promotional Products
Oftentimes, people who attain business consultation or business coaching services learn that giving away promotional products is one of the most effective strategies that can be utilized to build a business. The use of promotional products is efficient for several reasons, including the fact that the individuals who use the product offer the business owner a form of free advertising each time they do so. If you want to attain business marketing success through the use of this strategy, consider the role that attaining professional business success mentoring courses can play in assisting you.

Effective Business Analysis in the IT Industry: Reduce Project (1) Risks (2) Costs and (3) Duration

A Few Items to Mention

Business Analysis is a discipline based on project planning required for every project, regardless of the size of the project: regardless if a single developer works on a website or an entire team works on a scalable multi-platform system architecture. There is no set limit on how much analysis can be done, and so this can reflect on the size of the project. When no Business Analysis is performed we usually see the following penalties:

  • Project Risks: Unforeseeable circumstances may cause the project to fail
  • Project Costs: The poor management of resources cause additional project costs
  • Project Duration: The poor management of overlapping tasks cause projects to take longer

Business Analysis has a foundation of widely accepted best practices which will be discussed in this article. However, it is not an exact science, and there are some conflicting opinions in regards to some of its practices. Most organizations which rely heavily on Business Analysis may even refine their own practices that work best for their industry.

Business Analysis is an intricate discipline, and cannot be thoroughly covered in a single article. Rather, this article contains several carefully chosen topics aimed for those with little to no experience with the discipline, and aimed for businesses researching whether the practice is right for them (hint: it is).

Who Should Perform Business Analysis?

It is rare that an organization has a person dedicated to Business Analysis. Rather a Business Analyst is someone who can wear many hats, and can include one of the following:

  • Software Engineer
  • Team Leader
  • Project Manager
  • IT Manager

Although a Business Analyst can be almost any member of a project, it is essential that the person has a fair amount of technical knowledge as a technical solution is the end goal of Business Analysis practices. In larger projects, a Business Analyst may not be able to have an understanding of all the technologies involved and may consult with other software engineers involved in the project.

What Tasks does a Business Analyst Perform?

There are many activities performed by a Business Analyst, however the most basic and widely accepted best practices include the following activities:

  • Gathering Project Goals
  • Creating a Project Scope
  • Refining Project Scope into Project Requirements
  • Refining Project Requirements into a Project Technical Specification

These tasks are broken down into more details in the following sections.

Activity 1: Gathering Project Goals

This is the first task a Business Analyst must perform, and unfortunately it seems so simple that its difficulty is oftentimes underestimated. In this activity a Business Analyst must obtain a clear list of project goals that the project will be built upon. The analyst must discover the real business needs in order to eventually propose a solution that satisfies these needs instead of implementing a guess solution.

Here are some common mistakes that novice Business Analysts will make in this step:

  • Talk to the wrong person: Project goals can only be obtained from a person who has the authority to set the scope of the project. The goals should not be obtained from another project team member, but ideally from the client or organization which is funding the project.
  • Ask the wrong questions: At this point in an analyst is focused entirely on obtaining the scope of the project. The Business Analyst should not gather any project goals that are oriented towards a specific solution or technology, unless this is a direct project constraint imposed by the client.
  • Poor organization of project goals: When written down, project goals should be written down in atomic form to be easily referenced (ideally by a numbered list). Business Analysts avoid compound sentences or writing down more than one goal in a sentence.
  • Incomplete project goals: A Business Analyst must double check and triple check that the Project Goals indeed consist of all the goals that the client requires. It is often without exception that the goals are not properly collected which results in the client attempting to introduce them in the project while it is in the development stage.

Activity 2: Creating a Project Scope

In order to fully ensure that the Project Goals are complete a Project Scope document is created, which contains the full scope of what the project solution will contain and what the project solution will not contain. This is the first form of risk management performed by a Business Analyst, as it ensures that the client and project development team are on the same page in regards to the project tasks that must be completed. If the client does not agree with the Project Scope at this stage in the project, then the Project Goals must be refined and a new Project Scope must be created.

Activity 3: Refining Project Goals into Project Requirements

Loosely put, a requirement is a capability to which a specific part of the project should conform. When specifying Project Requirements, a Business Analyst must take the Project Scope and create an enumerable list of specific tasks that the final project solution will be required to perform based on the scope (however the analyst should not specify how to implement these requirements, as that is the next activity). A Project Requirements document allows software engineers to easily translate a requirements specification into a software technical specification (which is actually the next activity discussed).

There are two types of important Project Requirements:

  • Functional Requirement: A requirement that specifies a specific behavior or function. Broadly, it specifies what a system is supposed to do.
  • Non-Functional Requirement: A requirement that specifies criteria that can be used to judge the operation of a system, rather than specific behaviors. Broadly, it specifies what a system is supposed to be.

Requirements are beneficial because they are written in plain English, without technical jargon, and can be understood by higher level management who may not have IT experience. Thus, requirements are the essential cornerstone to communication between business management teams and IT development teams. On top of the list of requirements refined in his activity, a Project Requirements specification may also utilize several techniques and tools that can help facilitate the communication of requirements, such as:

  • Use Case Scenario Modeling
  • Entity Relationship Diagrams
  • Sequence Diagrams
  • UML Modeling

Finally, Project Requirements actually serve as another means of risk analysis because they specify exactly what the final project solution will do in minute details, even though a technological blueprint has not been completed yet. If there is a problem with the project solution, then it is identified early in the project life cycle before system development has begun.

Activity 4: Refining Project Requirements into a Project Technical Specification

In this activity a Business Analyst will (often with the help of other software engineers) specify a thorough technological blueprint for the final project solution. This will include all technologies and business processes involved in the creation of the solution. A substantial amount of software engineering will go into this activity, and so it can also be seen as the first activity of the software development lifecycle, even though nothing has been implemented at this point.

Theoretically, if two qualified Business Analysts performed Activities 1, 2 and 3 for a specific project, then they should obtain similar results. However, the Technical Specification in Activity 4 is a specific solution to the Project Requirements defined in the previous step. The possibilities for this solution are many, and so a Technical Specification should also provide a clear argument for why the specific approach was taken.

This is also the last form of risk management that the analyst will utilize, by guaranteeing that the approach taken is the most optimal solution to satisfy the functional and non-functional requirements. The specific technological implementation for the project solution should guarantee the following:

  • Business processes are improved with maximum efficiency through automatization or other means.
  • The technologies chosen satisfy the functional requirements in such a way that results in: faster development, cheaper software costs, or most reliable solution. At a point some compromises will be made, and those will have to be argued.
  • The software engineering approach provides a unique and efficient solution to the specific problems outlined in the requirements.

3 Things That Will Bust An Online Home Business

Since 2007 there has been a massive shift of people buying goods and services online and this is good news for people who want to start an online business from home. But sadly, statistics show that more than 90% of all online home business ideas end in failure within the first 120 days. These home based entrepreneurs plunge head-first and try to start an online business with no preparation, no knowledge of what they are doing, no training and no hope of success.

Success is, of course, possible. There is that minority of internet businesses that do achieve great results. Success for an online home business does not come about by accident and there are 3 major factors that commonly causes them to fail.

1. Wrong Perceptions about the Internet.

Good results are reached by people who have the right ideas about how an online home business operates. They don’t assume that they will get rich quick or be able to make it big right away. For some strange reason, a lot of people think that when you start an online business you simply build a website and then settle-back and wait for the cash to come rolling in. They couldn’t be more wrong.

A legitimate online home business requires self-discipline and hard work. Some people think that they can make a living by just pushing a few buttons on their computer for a couple of hours each day.

Even though established internet marketing experts don’t have to put in the long hours on their business, it didn’t come about overnight for them and it won’t happen overnight for anyone. You have to be ready for the time and investment required to make your online home based business successful.

2. Not Dealing With It Like A Business.

All businesses have two things in common. They are a business and they must be run like businesses! And this includes an online home business. A college degree in business is not essential for an internet business entrepreneur to be successful but if you have a hard time balancing your personal finances, you may struggle when starting your own online business.

The fact is that all successful businesses operate on sound business principles. Successful businesses aren’t accidents. The proof is in the numbers. It is not even reasonable to expect to make a profit from a new business enterprise for at least a few months.

You must have adequate resources and finance available to launch your online home business and look after your own personal requirements for a reasonable period of time. It’s known as ‘capital’ and there is no escape for the need for enough of it.

3. Having The Wrong Mindset.

Your mindset and attitude is important when you start an online business. A good mindset can’t ensure success but a bad attitude and a bad mindset can certainly guarantee failure.

For instance, you may imagine that you’ll get rich quick. Even though it is possible to generate a very comfortable living via the internet, if anyone ever tells you it is fast or easy, they’re not telling you the truth.

Another poor mindset and attitude is that you don’t need a business plan. A work from home online business is still business. All of the same business principles that apply to brick and mortar businesses also apply to online businesses. It is imperative that you have a plan for success that is based upon sound business principles.

Quick Tips to Improve Your Small Business

Whether you are small one-man business or growing bigger than that, all business owners continually need to look at improving the business. As we say you are always continually trying to build a bigger better stronger ship to sail. No matter how busy you are, you should never leave your business to remain static and there is always room for improvement. Making improvements to make your business better is fun but requires you to work on your business for some time. Often the key to this is to designate some time to work on the business rather than in it as we often do, working in it means just in the business servicing and taking care of normal business or trade and not improving businesses. It is also important to balance your time and put priority into the areas which you think will return the most bang for your time.

Here are some areas which we think will give your business the biggest gains.

1. Keep score, it is important to keep it simple, accurate and cheap to run scoreboard. Just as we watch sport and know the score, and play to the score, so should businesses. If this is hard for you then hire someone who can bundle up your services to include bookkeeping and regular monthly reporting so that you have the accounting information to help grow your business rather than doing what most average businesses do which is to fly blind without current financial performance indicators. A good accountant will help you spend time on a part of the business you may neglect because of your poor understanding.

2. Set goals and keep these alive through your monthly reporting process. For instance, if you wish to succeed in a certain level of sales in your financial year, break this down into a regular monthly budget. You will be surprised how this can motivate you and guide you into reaching your goal. Know where you want to head, then build it with a month by month plan.

3. Learn how to market you and your business properly. Surprisingly many effective marketing techniques are at very low cost.

4. Change your presentations. These may be your sales presentations in which you need to have a structured and successful saws presentation technique. You may want to script and improve how you handle phone enquiries, as improvements of tweaks in this area can dramatically increase your conversions and improve your sales performance and business performance. You might wish to also conduct seminars or business networking presentations which can dramatically improve your sales lead generation. Lastly you may wish to present yourself through social media or YouTube to explain or more distinguish yourself in the market. YouTube is a great way to answer a commonly asked question of your business.

5. Always look at your internal processes and aim to improve your efficiency and know-how. Look at using great resources such as information technology or software. As well as standardising procedures, checklists and processes throughout the business.

6. All good businesses will grow through delegation of duties to capable staff. The business should continually look at what areas are sucking up a lot of his or her time and where possible delegating these to the staff. It is important to invest time developing staff as this activity can save an abundance of time down the track such as them teaching your future staff rather than you. As I like to say, create a monster, who can create more monsters who can handle just about everything for you.

7. Business owners are often neglecting own bodies and can get run down and sick. A business person needs an abundance of energy so they must look after their bodies and have a healthy lifestyle. Keeping yourself alive a lot longer has to be good for your business, don’t you think? Try to keep this perspective throughout your life.

8. A great way to improve your productivity again is to take a holiday. Make that move and book your holiday, make the arrangements for it to work and build the business so that it can live without you even if it’s for a short-term. Remember it’s only a business where it can work without you. If you are short of a holiday idea, ask an agent or just start talking about it for ideas.