Archive for November, 2014
The business market is an ever-changing entity, made up of moving parts and shifting trends. In order to stay on top in an evolving economy, my business has be flexible with it. Any model based on static expectations is doomed to failure, because the requirements of the market shift.
To keep your business moving with the flow of finance and business, learn how to embrace change in important ways like:
• Identify and re-imagine your goals – The purpose of a business changes depending on how consumers are responding to your product or your image. Don’t be afraid to revamp your plans, stay flexible, strike out in a new direction, and follow the trends.
• Embrace social trends – Social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and networking sites have a wealth of information from other businesspersons. Find your peers in the market, create connections, and most importantly, listen to what they have to say. Their experience can help you. Take on new technologies, adapt to trends, use flexible strategies.
• Seek out feedback – When you have a product or a service, the best way to evolve is to listen to your customers and change your programs when your customer base requires it. Expand your offered services and give special attention to your ongoing customers by adding to their services.
• Be flexible – Always be willing to try something new. Every business plan or service has a multitude of applications. Your willingness to embrace variation and new beginnings can be the difference between ongoing business or a crash.
• Remember mistakes – Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but always keep them in the back of your mind so you don’t make the same ones again. Mistakes are how we grow either as individuals or as businesses. The only way you can truly fail is by not learning from them.
• Manage change with sensitivity – Keep your employees and customers at the forefront of your planning, when you look to changing your business. Be respectful of everyone’s time, effort, cultures, family needs, and expectations. Employees and customers who grow with a business will be loyal.
Business is changing. The market shifts and shakes up every day. Therefore, I strive every day to be flexible, earnest, and adventurous in business.
In management accounting (as opposed to financial accounting), operations are broadly categorized as either cost centers or profit centers.
Basically a cost center includes all operations where significant investment is required but profits are minimal. Nonetheless, these operations are still considered critical to long term stability and continued profitability of the business. Profit centers on the other hand are operations from which significant profits are made. Although these operations require investment, their returns per dollar are usually reasonably high.
Both cost centers and profit centers are critical to business success.
In redefining your profit centers you first need to appreciate the significance of the two sides. While you may be tempted to create more profit centers and kill a few cost centers, you must first critically analyze the importance of individual operations to the business.
Operations such as customer service are simply invaluable and can only be bettered rather than done away with. For example, a customer support desk rarely earns direct profits for the business, does it? However, a great customer service desk will help with customer follow-up and technical assistance which can go a long way in improving customer satisfaction. When customers are satisfied they will keep doing business with you and by that you’ll gain increased profit.
Research and development as well as branding are two other areas that are categorized as cost centers but which are too important to tamper with.
Do not treat every department as a cost center.
One mistake most businesses make is to treat every department as a cost center. This is where managers of various departments are simply rewarded for cutting costs. What follows is that they fail to sufficiently reinvest in the business to strategically position operations for future profitability. Hence you end up with outdated facilities and equipment, and soon your customers as well as staff start looking elsewhere because you’re no longer satisfying their needs.
A profit center should blend current needs for cash with the desire to grow profitably in the future. And in doing that you can’t ignore factors such as return on capital, relative returns, efficient use of resources, and opportunity cost.
Have you ever wondered whether we are doing everything in our power to attract the next generation of skilled workers to the manufacturing industry? There is a great German saying: “people with trade have a golden foundation.” Manufacturing is extremely interesting, motivational, challenging and an excellent place to learn and grow. But I have learnt that we, as the manufacturers have to do a better job at marketing this trade. There exist deep rooted, negative perceptions about apprenticeship and careers in the skilled trade, as well as lack of awareness about the opportunities and benefits in a skilled trade. It is our responsibility to go out and initiate collaborations with academia to bring a much-needed transformation to the industry.
How can we get our youth interested?
This can be achieved by:
• Organizing field trips to the manufacturing plants.
• Manufactures visiting schools to give presentations and to answer any questions the students may have.
• Greater promotion of apprenticeship programs.
• Offering internship positions in the manufacturing sector.
Importance of engaging the youth.
There are multiple advantages brought by empowering the youth. To begin with, employers get the opportunity to initiate the process of growing a workforce to suit their needs from the local sources.
• Engaging the youth contributes to a long-term solution to supply and demand of skilled labor.
• By giving the youth work experiences; we are preparing them for the transition to adulthood and a great deal to their personal development.
• They develop an understanding of different occupations that helps them in making informed career choices.
• Young talent comes with fresh ideas. They are flexible and willing to challenge the status-quo and serve as passionate, eager and focused employees. Since they lack experience, they do not perceive similar constraints as their more senior colleagues and often prove that the impossible is quite possible.
• The young generation is quite ambitious, and achievement-oriented; they crave meaningful roles and enter into the industry genuinely wanting to make a difference.
For most youth, landing their first job is a significant milestone to their personal development. They are often eager and want to learn, which can greatly contribute to productivity and quality products. We have to communicate to our kids that manufacturing has a future in this country; it is our responsibility to create and communicate this vision. Let us be more observant on where to find young talent, grow their creative minds and their personal development.