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  • September 09, 2012 6:30 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

        

        

    Strategy Plan One

    September 9, 2012

    Creativity

    We have all been there.  Planning, writing, blogging, tipping and then we hit the wall with no creativity left to continue.  Seems to happen frequently with some, while others never seem to have a problem cranking out volumes of interesting, valuable information.

    As an entrepreneur, executive or specialized staff working in an organization, you need to keep up with your creative edge.  Creativity helps you and your business stay on the leading edge as it is applicable to so many facets of business.  Business plans, marketing plans, product and service offerings, campaigns, projects, methods, processes … all require a significant degree of creativity to make things stand out.  Creativity takes plans, products, and processes to the next innovative level, sometimes leading to a competitive advantage over the competition’s standards.


    Here is a brilliant infographic from Copyblogger, that illustrates some major creative blocks and how to bust out of them to maintaining your high level of creativity.

    Creativity

    Source:  Copyblogger

    Summarizing some tips to bring out your best creativity:

    • Maintain creativity as a priority in your business and personal development
    • Take a breather – writers can face exhaustion; take a break mentally and physically and watch creativity come back
    • Jump on some ideas after researching, reading and analyzing others’ work
    • Take mental notes of objects, scenarios and people in your environment and how it relates to your topic (you will be surprised at the content you can create from this)
    • Diet – the brain needs nutrients; many studies have show that healthy diets fuel the brain
    • Ask a colleague for input, ideas, co-authoring (will generate ideas and content that you would add on to others)
    • Colors can activate creativity; tune into, focus on colors
    • Sound can create a response in you
    • Confidence – high level of confidence and you will be always ready to go
    • Don’t get stuck in perfection; no one is perfect
    • Don’t feel your work isn’t valuable as your work can have a significant impact on 1 person, 100 people, or a massive crowd
    • General rule – quality is always best; don’t feel pressured to pump out massive volumes of material
    • Set up a schedule of focused time; distractions and not getting organized can cause stress which causes mental blocks

    More on creativity:

    More on business and entrepreneurship:

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One

    SPO Documents for Business


  • September 08, 2012 10:19 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

      

        

    Strategy Plan One

    September 8, 2012

    back to businessFall Business Period

    A week has passed in September… families, communities and the education system are all adjusting to the “back to school” phase of the year.  For many students, young and old, back to school represents a period of renewal, of fresh starts, starting up again.


    However, this positive energy can be easily transferred over to the business sector, for existing and budding entrepreneurs.

    New entrepreneurs can take advantage of the fresh start approach, planning their initial strategies for the Fall, Winter and 2013 periods.  Some fiscal year periods start in the Fall for good reasons related or integrated into the government fiscal years, or corporate fiscal years.   Existing businesses should refresh their business plans to reflect any market or industry changes that have occurred on local, global and international scales.  Building on successes and results from the previous business cycles, businesses should tweak business and marketing plans accordingly.

    Establishing Goals this Fall

    Get serious about business and personal development this Fall.  Always as a first step, establish some aggressive, achievable goals and objectives.  Without goals and objectives you won’t be able to set some strategic directions for yourself and your business.  Ensure your goals are achievable, measurable, and that you apply flexibility to adapt and revise goals and strategies.

    Business Ideas and Hints for the Fall

    Here are some helpful hints and ideas to think about some positive steps to take in business and personal development this fall:

    • Planning – Always a great idea as part of your core activities to review, tweak your business and marketing plans
    • Scan your business environment and competitors - develop some products or services that will be a bit different or new to your market
    • Capacity and Skill development – naturally many classes are offered in the Fall schedule; good time to brush up on business skills
    • Product and Service Offerings – review your results to date and revise if necessary heading into the Fall, Winter and 2013 periods
    • Refresh, redesign – Whether you have a store front or website, take a look at your layout and seek feedback from customers for better designs and layout
    • Communications and Outreach – develop new communications to your customers; utilize social media for extended outreach and measure your effectiveness on social media
    • Generate Fall Buzz, Interest – generate new and continued interest in your company, your products and services; offer Fall free or trial offers

    Check out these Fall Business Strategies:

    More reading on business topics:

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One




  • August 18, 2012 9:38 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    August 18, 2012

    Employee Satisfaction

    Oh no, we could all see the coming.  We could all feel the tensions in the office.  Everyone, every worker has been on edge.  With poor global economic conditions how could anyone feel great about their workplace and about their future employment.

    The past few years, businesses have experienced troubling times, and that is an understatement.  At the very core of every operation is the workers.  A business cannot function without its’ valued workforce, and keeping them happy in these times is challenging.


    However, there are significant signs that employees who are engaged and happy lead to greater success, productivity and profitability.  When efforts are made by management, productivity improvements can occur even in these tough economic times.

    This infographic from Social Cast highlights this linkage of employee satisfaction with success.

    Employee Satisfaction – Top 5 Factors

    • Job security (63%)
    • Benefits (60%)
    • Compensation and pay (57%)
    • Opportunity to use skills (55%)
    • Feeling safe in the workplace (54%)

    Engagement:

    • 86% of engaged employees express happiness in the workplace
    • Highly engaged organizations experienced 87% less turnover and 20% productivity improvement

    Check out more interesting facts and statistics in this infographic.

    Employee Satisfaction

    Source: Social Cast


    More on Management, Employees, and HR:

    More business blogs of interest:

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One


    Business Documents

  • August 14, 2012 12:11 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    August 14, 2012

    Employee Recognition and Feedback

    Gathering feedback from staff and customers is essential to moving forward with your continuous improvement processes.  It is always best to seek internal and external objective input into your business operations.  However, in certain business environments, management and employees may not necessarily be connected, leading to a lack of feedback and recognition.

    Here, in this infographic from Rypple, statistics and impacts of management-employee communications highlight:

    • 65% feel they don’t receive enough feedback in the workplace 
    • 34% of managers want to engage staff and provide more feedback
    • The larger the company and the higher the status of the executive, the feedback gap widens
    •  Veteran managers want to provide more input to staff


    Key messages on feedback and recognition:

    • Feedback and recognition improves morale, less costly mechanisms to achieve performance improvements
    • Employees are more engaged in operations, the business and objectives when recognized by management for their efforts

    employee recognition and feedback

    Source: Rypple

    It is clear that there is a correlation between constructive management feedback and employee job satisfaction, performance and morale.  It’s in your best interest to ensure you implement strong feedback mechanisms and employee-management performance appraisals to help build capacities in your organization.

    More on Management, Employees, and HR:

    More business blogs of interest:

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One



  • August 11, 2012 11:15 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    August 11, 2012

    Social Media – Task List

    Do you have a new or existing business and feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with all the activities you feel you need to accomplish, on the multitude of social mediaplatforms?  You may not be alone as there are endless activities you could complete, in a swirling universe of social media, all for different reasons and objectives.


    Here in this infographic is an example of what The Whole Brain Group classifies as a “Sensible Social Media Checklist” of activities.

    social media - task list

     

    Source:  The Whole Brain Group 

    Social Media Marketing

    So what’s in your social media strategy?  What do you plan to tackle on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  The above infographic gives us a glimpse of something that may work for one company.  Ensure you plan out your social media strategy and activities.  Test out and measure your efforts.  Constantly be looking to improve and revise your strategy and activities for better results.  Make it applicable to your business and to the way you engage and communicate with your customers.

    In developing your social media plan:

    1. Establish your objectives
    2. Investigate methods to communicate and engage your customers
    3. Develop some options for marketing activities
    4. Determine social media platforms that would be applicable 
    5. Develop a plan of social media activities  (social media task list)
    6. Estimate the marketing budget
    7. Implement, test, measure, analyze
    8. Revision and continuous improvement for better results

     

    Here are some additional Social Media articles, blogs and infographics:

    More business blogs of interest:

     

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One


    Documents for Business

  • August 08, 2012 1:17 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    August 8, 2012

    Travel Site – MapQuest Usage Statistics

    There are a few sites most go to for travel assistance.  Whether you are looking for maps, places of interest or to map out a travel itinerary, travel sites and their accompanying mobile apps come in handy.

    To give an example of how utilized some of these map websites are, here is a look at visitor usage of MapQuest from 2011 in this infographic MapQuest.  Staggering numbers and trends presented include:

    • Over 330 Billion miles routed / logged
    • Concentrated tourism activity along both US coasts
    • Over 14 Million visitors to MapQuest each month
    • Ave 2.4 visits on MapQuest per month per user
    • Ave 2.6 minutes per visit
    • Impressive 7.2 Million MapQuest App downloads

    Travel Site

    It is interesting to note the popularity of their mobile app, mirroring travel or mapping services for users on mobile devices.  It would be obvious that travel apps need to be more user-friendly while users are “mobile”.  If an app can mirror the services provided on your site, and works well on mobile devices, your strategies and plans should incorporate the development of mobile apps that would be beneficial to your customers.

    From Frogloop, here are some helpful tips in planning out a mobile app that meets consumer needs:

    • Establish objectives for the mobile app
    • Define users and market for the app
    • Research, test and measure
    • Define and plan technical development issues
    • Read more tips here from Frogloop


    More reading on travel, business and apps:

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One


    Documents for business

  • August 07, 2012 2:51 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    August 7, 2012

    government jobsGovernment Jobs

    Whether you are an employee in the private or public sector, or self-employed, we all take in the angst from the client groups we serve.

     

     

    However, with extremely high expectations of government services, taxpayers and clients of government programs vent a bit more, show more frustration and sometimes treat government workers differently.

    Government employees work on all levels, assisting entrepreneurs to assisting citizens in every government program under the sun.  They are there, employed to serve the public.  However, the perception and behavior towards public servants is quite shocking, and sometimes to the point of being disrespectful.  This occurs despite the fact that on the other end of that kiosk or government counter is a very valuable, highly educated individual who can really help you if you tap into these resources and programs.

    When you hear public servants, much negativity exudes from the critics. Common comments include, “they are lazy”, “overpaid”, “cushy jobs”, “useless”, and “uneducated”, “biased”, “never helpful”, and on and on.  Yes, very harsh terms for dedicated employees who serve the public on a daily basis.

    Government Employees

    Obviously these comments are furthest from the truth.  The deepest job cuts in this recent economic climate, have occurred with public servants in the US and Canadian governments.  This comes after much human resources investment and years of corrective public employment processes, in some cases hiring the best and brightest work force.  Government institutions have implemented “employment appointments based on merit“… meaning the candidate must pass the highest scrutiny of meeting the job criteria.  It’s not easy getting into the public service.


    The modern public service is a very educated and experienced work force, due to job criteria and the abundance of applicants for government jobs.  This highly competitive employment process results in the highest qualified, ranked candidates out of the bunch of applicants.  It is sometimes common, especially in these economic circumstances, to find that government employees are heavily over qualified.

    government jobsGovernment Jobs – Pay and Benefits

    Depending on jurisdiction, pay isn’t always the greatest in the public service, especially when the majority of positions are classified as administrative or in program delivery.  Specialized areas may pay better.  Some government sectors provide ample benefits which improve the compensation package, but not to the extent of what compensation a similar position may receive in the private sector.   While some senior executive level public service jobs may include a small annual bonus, the majority of the public service does not receive bonuses or incremental pay based on performance.

    The human resource strategy in recent years in the public service has been to find cuts, implement efficiencies through automation and offer the public online features.  Gone are the days where getting a government position was a guaranteed long-term career move.  Job security in the public service seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs.  Public servants are constantly on edge, not knowing if in the next fiscal year their jobs will be cut.  It’s also a scary scenario when certain States or other jurisdictions announce that they are not sure they can pay for the next payroll.

    Government Jobs – Highest Scrutiny

    The work of the public service and their employees are held to the highest scrutiny, evolved around implementing the highest ethical standards and upholding good values.  With government programming and staffing costs funded by the taxpayer, the public service is carefully watched, carefully analyzed.  This sometimes leads to stressful environments, however, once acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of a government job, one comes to realize this as the norm.

    In the modern public service, government jobs are attractive to candidates.  The public service often calls for qualified candidates to take on challenging, interesting work in this global environment.  The jobs can be rewarding, and can lay the groundwork for building better personal and professional capacities … applicable across the board in the private sector and in self-employment.  If considering advancement in the public service, many government sectors see the value in the development and retention of valued internal employees.  It is definitely worthwhile to tap into these public service employment development programs.

    Remember that when you apply for government grants and programs, these public servants work hard to provide the services and products that you are requesting.  Give them the time they need to complete their work in a stressed work environment.  Give them the respect that all should expect.  Be receptive to their ideas, feedback and recommendations to strengthen your applications and your dealings with government.  Remember that these public servants have families, strive for a stress free environment and need to survive like the rest of us.


    For more information on government jobs check out:

    Relevant personal and business development blogs and articles

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One



  • August 04, 2012 11:08 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    August 4, 2012

    Social Media and Small Business

    Small businesses face a significant uphill battle in these economic times to engage and communicate with consumers.  Marketing and communications have vastly changed over the past few years, and with the add-on of social media as a tool, measurable benefits and trends are occurring with the small business sector.


    This informative graphic from Bolt Insurance highlights the following small business and social media statistics and trends:

    • 81% of small business use social media to get their message out and engage with customers
    • 95% use email marketing
    • 98% of small business engage in website marketing
    • 62% of businesses not using social media will plan to in the next year
    • 81% that currently use social media will step up efforts in the next year

    Top challenges small businesses face according to this survey:

    • 80% claim attracting new customers are the biggest challenge
    • 52% state obtaining referrals as the greatest issue
    • 41% of small business would like to squeeze and maximize results with marketing dollars 

    Social media effectiveness:

    • 82% state Facebook as the most effective social media platform
    • 73% of respondents say YouTube most effective
    • 47%  LinkedIn 
    • 47% claim Twitter is the most effective social media site

    View some more interesting statistics in the infographic below.

    small business marketing

     

    Courtesy: Bolt Insurance

    As an entrepreneur / small business, it is advantageous to stay on track with developing trends and to design products and services that not only meets current customer demand, but also future consumer needs.  Review and analyze marketing conditions and trends, and plan accordingly.


    Here are some additional Social Media articles, blogs and infographics:

    More business blogs of interest:

     

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One


    Documents for Business


  • August 01, 2012 10:37 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    August 1, 2012

    business tips Business Tips for the Entrepreneur

    As you are midstream through harsh economic times, take the time to reflect on your current business operations.  Think about the small things that could be tweaked that can have the maximum positive impact on your business.  Here are some helpful business tips to maximum the output in your organization and in your business development.


    Business Tips – Maximize the Use of Your Time

    Time is definitely considered an asset when you are a busy, mult-taking entrepreneur. Delegate operational tasks to staff and area specialists as much as you possible can.  Free up your time for business management functions, business development, planning and implementation.  Institute shorter, more concise meetings and communications as much needed time savers for all.  Cut the slack time and concentrate efforts in a condensed shorter period.  Incorporate that into individual and team goals.


    Establish Priorities

    Clutter can occur in many ways from physical bunched up clutter to the mental clutter of massive workloads of relevant and non-relevant tasks.  Take the time to sort this out.  Getting organized on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis should be a standard part of your business and of the action plans across all employees.  Encourage organizing and priority setting as part of the valued added side of your corporate culture.

    Business Tips – Create a Constructive Environment

    Feedback is necessary on all aspects of your business.  Ensure that you develop a culture of encouraging and valuing input from all levels in the organization.  Constructiveness is essential … when everyone puts on their constructive gear and behavior, everyone is “building” towards a common goal.  Feedback can be critical nature, but as team members put on the constructive hats, criticism turns to positive alternative idea and solution generation.  Problems and issues are better solved when the collective can feed into the solution.

    business tips - social Be Social

    This business tip is not necessarily focused on spending massive amounts of time on social media.  Being social in business means networking, partnering, collaboration, team work.   Every business, every entrepreneur venture is vastly stronger when you and your team get out there and communicate and network with everyone.  Not all deals, partnerships and customers will automatically fall into your lap … you need to get aggressive and make the moves to communicate and network with others.  Remember that social media is only one form of communication and engagement with other businesses and customers.   Communications, marketing and business development occur in many ways outside of normal office functions and social media.

    Business Tips – Be Helpful

    As a leader, entrepreneur and community member be helpful to all and it will eventually return to you in spades.  Being a business leader is not a one-way street…. you need to not only receive but to give.  Your valued staff give their efforts and their time to helping you achieve your success.  You need to help your staff become successful through employee development, encouragement, recognition and in your acceptance of their needs professionally and in their personal lives.

    When developing products and services for customers, remember this two-way street.  It’s not about just gaining revenue from clients.  You should be developing your business around how your products and services can first help the intended market, and meeting the needs of the consumer.   Revenue then potentially follows after successfully meeting the needs of the customer.

    Plan well for maximum benefits and results!


    Relevant personal and business development blogs and articles

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One


    SPO Documents for Business

  • July 29, 2012 11:30 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)


    Strategy Plan One

    July 29, 2012

    Olympic Games

    Ever wonder what impacts the Olympic Games will have on business, the host country,  infrastructure and citizens?  Here is a graphic by ClickSoftware highlighting:

    • Final Bill : 9.3 Billion pounds; 6.5 Billion on Transportation infrastructure
    • Military: Over 18,000 troops & 20,000 private guards
    • Transportation: Up to 800,000 passengers / day; 100 trains added daily
    • Heathrow: Up to 217,000 passengers / day ; additional 650K during the games


    See additional statistics below.

    Olympic Games - impacts

    Source: Click Software

     

    More business blogs of interest:

     

    Strategy Plan One

    http://strategyplanone.com

    Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

    © 2012 Strategy Plan One


    SPO Documents for Business

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