Recently when I was talking to someone about management confidence they asked What difference does confidence make to business performance? Good question. In this article I’m going to answer that question and highlight why management confidence is a critical issue – not just for the business owner or manager, but for the businessLet’s begin with what confident managers actually do. In short, confident managers take actionThey use a planned and structured approach to doing things like;
• Identifying, writing and agreeing performance objectives
• Discussing how the objectives contribute to the business goals
• Monitoring and measuring performance so that they can provide ongoing, regular and specific feedback on performance
• Identifying and acknowledging outstanding performance, and taking action to deal with areas for improvement
• Discussing the employee’s development aspirations and objectives
• Discussing the employee’s job satisfactionBecause confident managers take action, confident managers get resultsSo how does this confidence and action impact business performance? There’s a whole body of research that tells us that employees who are effectively managed are more productive, and teams that are effectively managed are more profitable. Research also shows us that one of the key reasons for lost productivity – and one comprehensive piece of research suggests that in the UK and US at least 18% of time spent at work is unproductive – is because of poor employee supervision. And of course this is not taking into account the negative impact that a lack of effective management has on employee satisfaction and engagement. In short confident managers take action to manage effectively and effective management positively impacts business resultsOf course confidence also impacts the manager themselves
So how does this confidence impact the manager? Let me ask you a question. As a manager, who would you prefer to work with and manage:A) A group of people who are clear on what’s expected of them, who get the feedback they want and need and who are consequently willing and motivated to perform wellOrB) A group of people who don’t know what’s expected of them, who don’t know if they are performing well or not and who consequently just don’t care?I know it’s a stupid question, but I want to illustrate the importance of the management role because effective management of people is both a critical commercial issue – because it’s about the business results – and a satisfaction issue, for both the employee and the manager So, how do managers get to be confident? In any field, in any area, the way we build confidence is by taking action and getting results, reviewing those results and then taking action again. By way of illustration I’d like you to think of something you are confident in. It might be that you’re a confident driver, tap dancer, parent, it may be that you are confident in the technical aspects of your job, for example you might be a confident auditor. Now I would like you to think about how you became confident in that areaI’ll bet my bottom dollar that you built that level of confidence by taking action, by reviewing what you did and then by taking action againAnd of course it’s by taking action that managers sky rocket their management confidence
Let’s say that you are in the weight loss market. It’s a big market, worth some $60 billion per year and is very profitable for a lot of businesses. And that’s the problem. A lot of businesses are involved in this industry.You may have some great products and services but how do you get your business noticed in a crowded marketplace?Segment Your MarketRather than concentrating on a huge market, like weight loss, use a market segmentation system. This where you target your marketing to a smaller sized, specific segment of that large group. For example, your marketing initiatives and tactics are targeted to single women over 40 years old, or another more specific group.Your Customer AvatarTo establish your target market you need a very clear idea of your ideal customer. This potential customer is known as your customer avatar. How old are they, where do they live, what are their likes and dislikes? What are all of the characteristics that make that individual your dream customer.When you focus on a smaller sized target market rather than a general market, it is much easier to connect with an individual. Always remember you are marketing to one individual at a time, not a group. Target your marketing to a smaller subset of a larger group and your marketing efforts have a much better chance of giving you the results you want.Should You Ever Change Your Target Market?If your marketing efforts are not providing results, may need to change the focus or target market of your business.Sometimes, despite the fact that you have done a lot of research, you end up marketing to the wrong group of people. Your target market may not want to spend any money on your product and service and may just be looking for free advice. That’s when you need to refine your market and look for a segment of people who have expressed a serious interest in spending money.Analyze Your Marketing TacticsAnother situation could be that your target market is just fine, and you just need to change your strategy and marketing techniques. For example, your audience may not be responding to your social media messages but may be more responsive to email?At other times, if you’re not achieving the success you’re looking for after a lot of time and effort, it may be your target market that needs changing, and not your marketing itself.
Welcome to your financial independence and freedom. I worked for many years as a slave to my job. I was one of almost 1,000 lawyers in an international law firm. The day I made the transition to have a home based business was a turning point in my life. Today, I exclusively work from home. I work a fraction of the time I used to work. I am much happier and much more financially free. I would like to share with you a few secrets to help you become successful in your home based business.Many people who decide to start a home based business are still working full or part time for their other “job.” You can still succeed and ultimately transition to exclusively working just your home based business if done correctly. Others are ready to focus on their new home based business full time. Either way, there are some secrets to setting up your home based business so that it will be successful and financially rewarding from the get-go.Secret #1: Organize Your OfficeOrganization and success are directly linked. Make sure to select a room in your home specifically designated to your home based business. Setting up a work zone will minimize distractions and establish a boundary for those who know you work from home and feel they can stop by or call you in the middle of the day for personal issues. I also recommend having a separate phone line designated to your business calls and one for your fax machine. It is not costly to set up an additional line or two and it is all deductible as a business expense. You should also start a filing system right away. Letting stacks of paper accumulate and postponing a good organizational filing system will hinder your success. If done correctly and from the very beginning, you can avoid needing to hire a file person or secretary until your businesses growth demands it and can afford it.Secret #2: Get a Website or Internet PresenceSelecting a home based business that has an Internet focus or presence is important in today’s market place. Purchase a domain name and set up your website right away. Web and Internet based home based businesses are the new trend in business. In order to capitalize on this movement and on a very lucrative sector, it is a good idea to have a business or product that can be marketed with a website and on-line. This allows your client base or customers to learn about you and find you easily. It also expands your client base beyond your local market. Gone are the days of opening the Yellow Pages. Most everyone finds what they are looking for today by searching on the Internet. According to Forrester Research, ecommerce will be a $329 Billion industry by 2010. Seize on it with an on-line home based business!Secret #3: Make a ScheduleThe great thing about a home based business is that you do not have to work any set hours or days. However, you should make a schedule of both when you plan to work and what you plan to accomplish in that time frame. Task lists and to do lists are a signature of those with successful home based businesses. Having structure and a schedule helps you to be disciplined. It also teaches others to respect your work time. Creating a somewhat predictable work schedule will go a long way towards your success.Secret #4: Have a Calendar, But Just OneOne of the best things about working from home is the flexibility to break to attend your child’s school play or sports event or take the day off to golf. It is best to merge your personal and business calendar with a home based business so that you do not double book and to keep things simple. No need to check more than one calendar especially now that you don’t have a boss who you need to appear to be working for. Initially, I tried keeping one calendar for my legal events (court dates, depositions, etc.) and one for my personal life. It resulted in a few instances of double booking and the headache and waste of time involved in having to consult and fill in two calendars.Secret #5: Get Help When You Need ItPart of the beauty of working from home is having the flexibility to work when you want. If you get into the habit of working all the time and assuming all the tasks on your own, you will have defeated that purpose. Thus, consider outsourcing much of your work, projects, and errands (bill paying, appointment making, etc). I learned this best from Timothy Ferriss in his book The Four Hour Work Week. Pick up a copy from a local book store or your library. I recommend the CD version so you can listen while you exercise or drive in the car. He is very funny and ever so practical. He will give you great tips on hiring good, inexpensive help in India and other over-seas places. Also, learn to say no. When your plate is full, you are not doing anyone any favors by accepting more work. This is true even if you are being asked to be the room mom, coach your son’s soccer team, chair a community event, or take on another project you can’t possibly take on. Know how much you can handle and learn to say no. If you can only fit ten tasks on your plate and you take on eleven, one will slip. Avoid that from the outset.