20 Business-Building Practices

Business BuildingYou have nurtured your idea, created a business plan, and secured financing. Now for the make-it or break-it question: How do you continue to grow your business year-after-year?
Building a better “mousetrap” doesn’t guarantee that the world will beat a path to your door. And, contrary to the inspiring message in the movie, “Field of Dreams,” there are no assurances that, “If you build it, they will come.” Increasing demand for your products/services and growing your business is realized by the creation and implementation of well-defined strategies.
Two major factors of marketing are the recruitment of new customers (acquisition) and the retention and expansion of relationships with existing customers (customer relationship management). Once you have converted the prospective buyer, customer relationship management (CRM) takes over. The process for CRM shifts from that of being the marketer, to that of being a builder of relationships. Building customer relationships involves nurturing the links between you and your customer, enhancing the benefits that sold your customer in the first place, and continuously improving the product/service in order to protect your business from competitive advancements.
The marketplace is ever changing; therefore, a marketing strategy that works today does not necessarily mean that the same strategy will work in the future. These changing environments necessitate the need to continually analyze and measure the results of each and every one of your promotional efforts. A system that tracks and monitors incoming sales inquiries, by the lead source, is imperative.
The basis of your business development strategy is the recognition of the concept that marketing is a process and not an event. Building a business is, in fact, building a brand. Building your brand is a process that consistently broadcasts your message through a number of different channels to a targeted audience. The trap in event marketing is that it creates the effect of start and stop marketing and produces gaps in the frequency of your promotional efforts.
The need for a written marketing plan is critical. The American Marketing Association (AMA) states, “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives”. Your marketing plan is your road map that guides you through the marketing process.
There is a variety of ways to generate greater demand for your business. Whether you are starting a new business or jumpstarting an existing one, you need to identify at what stage of the business life-cycle your company is currently in. This information will impact your choice of strategies.
Here are twenty (20) effective business-building practices:
Review your unique selling proposition: The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is your biggest marketing weapon and the key to differentiating your business. What is a USP? In essence, it is a simple statement that sums up the unique features, benefits and value that you provide, that no one else can. You arrive at your USP after you identify the features, benefits, and advantages of your company’s products/services. After you apply the same process to each of your competitors’ products/services, then compare and isolate the elements that distinguish you from your competition.
Establish a marketing communication budget:: Determining and allocating a specific amount of money to fund your marketing strategy cannot be overstated. Whether you use the affordability method, percentage-of-sales method, competitive-parity method, or objective-and-task method to determine the amount of your marketing budget, you must pre-establish an amount of money that you will spend on marketing activities to achieve your sales/revenue projections.
Incorporate integrated marketing communications: A management concept that is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing must work together as a unified force. In practice, the goal of IMC is to create and sustain a single look and message in all elements of your marketing campaign.
Utilize indirect marketing: Needless to say, putting more “boots-on-the-ground” in your sales and marketing activities can pay huge dividends. Some of the more popular indirect marketing methods are networking, strategic alliances, independent sales representatives, affiliate marketers, and dealers/distributors.
Ask for referrals: You know the importance of referrals. But, if you do not continually ask for referrals, you will not generate them. It makes good business sense to always ask for referrals. Just ask your customer if they may know of other companies that could utilize your products/ services. You may be pleasantly surprised by their reply.
Explore different markets: If your products/services are presently being sold to one or two different markets, then it is time to explore the opportunities that may be available to you in other markets. A little brainstorming with your staff about this often produces a good “hit list”. As they say, “think outside the box”.
Consider additional channels of distribution: There are a number channels of distribution that may work for you. For example, selling direct, such as via mail order, Internet and telephone sales. Companies also use sales agents who sell on their behalf and/or
distributors (also called wholesalers) who sell their products to retailers. And finally, there may be possibilities of selling direct to retailers and end users.
Expand your geographic reach: Additional channels of distribution are often needed for you to expand geographically. You may want to consider the possibility of franchising or licensing others to promote and sell your products?
Increase product/service offerings: This is a very common method to increase sales/revenues. Important considerations when evaluating a new product/service offering are: Can the new product/service be sold to your existing customer base? Does the new product/service complement your existing products/services?
Differentiate your business: Differentiating your business means that you define your company in relationship to the competition and that you communicate to your customers the value added benefits of doing business with you, versus doing business with your competition. Differentiating your business also means that you continuously make improvements to sustain a leadership position.
Identify your customers’ competitors: A great source for new prospective customers is your customers’ competition. In most cases, these competing companies have the same or similar needs as that of your existing customers.
Survey your customers: In order to effectively differentiate your business, you need to look at your business from your customers/prospects’ perspectives. A customer survey is a great avenue for your customers to express their opinions, to air their complaints, and to voice their satisfaction with your business. The information collected from a customer survey provides the foundation for your marketing strategy.
Profile your competitors: A competitive analysis lists your leading competitors. It summarizes their products and services, promotional strategies, distribution methods, strengths and weaknesses, locations, offerings, prices, and branding. A competitive analysis also outlines strategies for gaining an edge and defines a course of action to take in order to keep competitors out of your market. The analysis helps you expose the competitor’s weaknesses and areas of vulnerability. With this information, you are better equipped to craft competitive and marketing strategies that you may choose to fine tune your brand and your messaging.
Acquire new customers: This is a given…your business cannot sustain itself without the addition of new customers. New customer acquisition is a process that combines market data with direct marketing tools to identify and reach high-potential prospects and convert those prospects into customers.
Mining your existing customers: It is far less expensive to generate additional business from your existing customer base than it is to generate new business from new customers. A regular review of your customers’ buying history and frequency of purchases can reveal some interesting facts about your customers’ buying habits.
Create customer loyalty programs: As the marketplace continues to be more competitive, more and more businesses are offering loyalty programs. These programs help to transform first-time customers into repeat customers by rewarding them with incentives, coupons, certificates or discounts.
Up-sell: Capitalize on the untapped value of your existing customers by promoting related or more expensive products/services. As an example, your customer who regularly buys golf balls is a strong candidate to purchase golf clubs, apparel and other golf accessories. Make a routine practice of recommending additional items that can be added to your customer’s order.
Merge or acquire a competitor: The benefit of combining your company with another company creates an immediate sales growth opportunity simply from the acquisition of their existing customer base. And everything else being equal, the new “combination business” should have the potential to become even more profitable than the two businesses operating independently. This potential for increased profitability comes as a direct result of both sales increases and operational efficiencies (opportunities to reduce total costs) that accrue from combining the two businesses.
Use SWOT analysis: SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is an assessment technique that paints an accurate picture of how your business stacks up based on those four factors. SWOT can identify your venture’s pros and cons, so that you can align internal strengths and weaknesses with external opportunities and threats. This exercise is essential to sound strategic planning. With SWOT, you can identify and prioritize the issues that will accelerate success.
Revisit lost customers: According to the research in the book, Customer Winback How to Recapture Lost Customers and Keep Them Loyal, written by Jill Griffin and Michael Lowenstein, a firm has a 60% to 70% chance of successfully repeat-selling to an active customer. A 20% to 40% chance of successfully repeat-selling to a lost customer and only a 5% to 20% chance of successfully closing the sale on a brand new customer. These statistics suggest that a key opportunity exists for businesses to increase or maintain a customer base by mining and evaluating their database of defected customers. Bernd Stauss and Christian Friege make this argument even more convincing in a case study entitled, Regaining Service Customers. Their findings show that the net return on investment from a new customer obtained from an external list is 23% compared with a 214% return on investment from the reinstatement of a customer who has defected.
Bonus Item. Dead prospect files: Dig out your old prospect files and make a “hit list” comprised of all of the old prospects that you think may still have life. Contact each one of them. Express your wish to discuss their present-day wants and needs, as well as, the opportunity to explore the possibility of you servicing their needs.
Which of the above business-building practices have you, can you, or will you implement in your business development strategy?

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Writing an Excellent Business Plan

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to start a new company, and several other factors that require quite a bit of effort and hard work. Before a potential business owner actually starts the company, he or she must carefully plan out the basics and specifics of what the company is going to do and how it will do those things. Preparation is the key to starting and maintaining a successful business.
Entrepreneurs who have high ambitions of creating and owning a new company must begin the process by creating a rough business plan. A business plan helps the new owner to sort out all of the details and necessary arrangements of the company. The plan itself covers many different principles of the company’s regulations and inner workings.
The first creation of the plan will not be perfect, but it should include a general outline of what the business is going to accomplish. After some time, however, it should be trimmed, edited, and solidified until it eventually becomes an official business document. With a professionally created business plan, the implementation and creation of the actual company can more effectively take place.
Once they have realized the true importance of having a business plan, new business owners must also learn how to write a business plan and exactly what kind of information to put into it. There are many different things that can be included in the business plan that establish the foundation of success and growth for the company. It must be organized extremely well and should be designed so that anyone can read and understand the specifics of the business.
A plan’s introduction is exactly what it says it is: an introduction to the company. The introduction should carefully outline the goals and objectives of the company and put them into phrases known as mission statements or company slogans. If a business theme or motto can be created and put into the business plan, this will greatly enhance the productivity of the business in the future. Every owner and employee of the company will know, from the very beginning, where the company is headed and what direction that it should go.
The most important part of the company’s business model must also include specific directions on how the company will achieve its goals and objectives. It describes absolutely everything that the company will do, obtain, purchase, and sell in order to grow and be successful. Once again, these specific procedures and information should mainly revolve around the principle idea of the company’s theme that was created and implemented at the beginning of the business plan.
At the very end of a company’s business model it generally describes to people where the company will hopefully be in the next ten to fifteen years. This part of the business plan allows potential owners to express their future dreams and allows others to see what the future potentially holds for this specific business.
When properly written and implemented, the company’s business model will ultimately impact the success of the company and will help sustain it in the future. Organization and compulsiveness are the keys to an effective business plan.

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Reasons That You Should Choose Glossy Business Cards

When you are getting ready to order business cards there are some things that you should think about. First consider what you would do if you were to get two business cards from two of the same types of businesses. One of these business cards is going to be black and white and have the basic information while the other is going to have the same information and be colorful and glossy. It is likely that you are going to be more impressed with the glossy business cards. This is something that you should remember because both of these are going to contain the same basic information like the contact person, website, email address, phone number, and physical address. Plus they are going to announce the business and what the business is known for. If you are more likely to pick the glossy version than that means that a lot of other people are going to be keeping your business cards if this is your choice as well.
Today the glossy business cards are one of the more popular choices because the economy is not doing well and there is so much competition for businesses and jobs. So if you do not have much money to invest in advertising for your business then this is one upgrade that can really help you to improve your business and get your investment back. They are going to get you far more business than the plain or standard versions are and they are going to get you noticed more. In fact it is important to know a few statistics when it comes to business cards like that twenty percent of them are thrown away within twenty four hours of when someone gets them. This can be a problem for your business because it can cost a lot of money for you that is basically being thrown away. When you choose the glossy coated ones they are likely to last longer than the normal version and they are going to be more impressive to those who receive them.
There are two different versions of glossy business cards. Some of these are just regular business cards that have been printed and then covered in a glossy coating making them thicker and causing them to last longer. Others are just printed on glossy paper and these are not going to last as long. In fact the first are going to be resistant to water and sun and will actually keep from aging but the others are going to still have problems with fading and yellowing and will not hold up against water. So if you are going to spend the extra money you should make sure that you are choosing the ones that are coated with the glossy coating.
Finally remember that this is going to help you to be able to get the most color on your cards as well. You will find that this is going to help the colors to be more vibrant and more noticeable. Plus it is going to help you to have the best overall effect for your business so that you will be happiest with the purchase that you have made when you order business cards.

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How To Build A Print Business Without Owning A Print Shop

You can own a legitimate business and make top dollars by becoming a print broker or print specialist. This is a person who sells on behalf of an actual printer or a middle man who locates and serves customers. Print brokers are independent, as they’re not directly employed by the printing companies they represent. Your number one arsenal to being successful as a print broker is customer service. See, you will need repeat customers to grow and build up your business even greater than any single printer who prints for you.
Look at it as printers working for you at their various locations. You hire a printer to print what your customers request, e.g. booklets, catalogs, brochures, business cards, flyers, etc. You may want to focus on specific items as there are so many different products out there to print. With the power of the internet, now you can hire a printer anywhere and sell to customers everywhere.
Ok, here are the basics for becoming a Print Broker:
1.Set up Shop
You will need to set up an office area to operate from. It should include a phone, fax, computer, and a file cabinet. Keep your work area as detailed as possible, this will keep you mind clear and allow you to be on top of your business. Make sure you have a good answering machine to take messages when you are not in office. You can use your same phone line for fax if you cant afford a fax line right now.
2.Find Printers who are willing to sell to you at Wholesale Prices
The easiest way to find these printers may be to search your local phone directory or just search the internet. Call them up and ask if they have a print broker program or if they would be willing to sell their print services to you at a wholesale price  it must be at a 15% discount or more. Most printers who already have a print broker program will have a contract ready for you to sign.
3.Choose the products that you are going to offer for printing and set your own prices.
The most popular products that businesses use are things like business cards, letterheads, envelopes, brochures, flyers, presentation folders, labels, inserts, postcards, etc. You could even get into printing promotional items like bags and pens, but thats a whole new area that you could explore. Remember I told you that customer service will be your number one arsenal in this business. So you dont have to marginalize your profits, just stress value and offer customer service second to none.
4.Promote your Print Broker Business
(a)Print and distribute business cards, flyers and postcards to places that people visit frequently (like restaurants, barber shop and salons, clubs etc.).
(b)Mail postcards to new businesses  you can get the new business listings at your local county court house or search online
(c)Word of mouth  tell everyone you know about your new business venture, friends and families. Give them one of your business cards.
(d)Website  put your website address on everything you use like business cards etc. You can get good advice on how to promote your website at http://www.AboutCityBusiness.com
5.Maintain and keep in touch with your customer base
One of the most effective methods that will build your business is word of mouth  when your satisfied customers tell others about you. So you will want to send your customers holiday cards, specials by mail or e-mail, call them by phone or whatever it takes to remind them about your great service. You could also invite your top customers out for lunch.
Its not unheard of to make 5000 to 20,000 dollars a month just being the middle man or woman. Just remember that you must be dedicated and have a willingness to act. Read, keep up to date with trends and increase your marketing skills.

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How To Use Benchmarking With Balanced Scorecard For Your Business

Business benchmarking is the process wherein you determine which company is the best, the one that sets the standard and identify the standard. Basically, you compare your own processes and the metrics that you use with your competitors. However, benchmarking is not only about concentrating on your rivals. You will actually take a look at the wide industry itself and compare it with the other industries. That is certainly a difficult thing to do and being tasked to do so means that you have to take a look at a wide variety of dimensions including quality, time and price. When you benchmark, you will be able to do things better, quicker and much more cost effective. In this case, business benchmarking is a crucial process for organizations. Even though it is tricky and complex, you can simplify the whole procedure by means of benchmarking with balanced scorecard.
The balanced scorecard is known for being one of the most versatile business tools ever invented. You can measure the efficiency and the performance of the most important factors that affect and may affect the success of your business. Using key performance indicators, you can create performance based management and use that system to monitor the efficacy of various processes. The BSC takes on the customer, the internal processes, staff efficiency and growth and not only the financial capabilities of your company.
Now, how do you use benchmarking with balanced scorecard? The answer here is simple: you will need your company data and use them to compare against your toughest rivals in the industry. Thus, you will have to measure your products, services and practices that are similar with the top firms in the world. This will allow you to determine the reasons as to why those companies are seen as progressive and productive. Knowing such elements and details will also enable you to incorporate your present knowledge about how to run the company better.
Those enterprises that are considered at the top of their game know what they are doing. This is why you also have to know yours. In this case, you have to be fully aware about the standards so that you can compare yourself against them.
Benchmarking with balanced scorecard lets you compare and evaluate your business against the other firms so that you can improve the situation of your business. You can use the information that you have obtained to enhance not only on your profitability but also in attracting new customers, retaining them and in meeting their expectations. In addition, you can also help your staff acquire more knowledge and develop their skills in selling products or performing their jobs. In this case, you are able to manage your company better through the benchmarking with balanced scorecard.
One of the useful things about benchmarking with balanced scorecard is that this permits you to effectively reduce time and expenditures without sacrificing the quality of the project or the product. Lastly, this whole process can aid in making the right decisions. Exploiting the data obtained from the tool, you can determine the right choices and avoid errors in judgment.

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When To Use Embossing, Spot Uv And Foil Stamping On Business Cards

Business card enhancement features like spot UV, embossing, and foil stamping can truly help differentiate your business in the minds of your customers and clients. But which one is the best? Read on to find out.
Embossed Business Cards
Embossing is where certain elements of your business card are raised by virtue of them getting pushed through from the opposite side of the card. The effect is similar to a credit card, where the account number is raised on the front and recessed on the back.
Embossing works well for text or even a water seal type of logo effect, however it does have limitations.
For one, you do not want artwork in the embossed area; you want the embossed areas to be clear of artwork on both sides or else the artwork and embossing will become jumbled and will look awful.
Additionally, most printers are not able to precisely line up embossing with ink. The exact embossed areas could shift 1/16  1/8 during the production process. So for example, if your card has a black background, the embossed areas must be black as well. You would not be able to have, say, white text embossed because it is not feasible for the embossing to line up with the underlying white text perfectly every time.
If you want your business card enhancement feature to allow for color that is different from the cards background color, consider either spot UV or foil stamping.
Spot UV Business Cards
Spot UV is where specific areas of your card are treated with a glossy coating. This effect does not impact the underlying color, it only makes the treated areas slightly raised and shiny relative to the non-glossy business card stock.
Typically, spot UV does not have the same alignment problems as embossing. With todays technology, spot UV can be precisely lined up against any ink-based design element. So here, if you had a black background with white text, you could have the text treated with spot UV so that it is shiny, raised, and white.
Spot UV works only on non-glossy cardstock, as doing spot UV on glossy business cards will not create a visible effect (everything is already glossy). Silk business cards are the best option for spot UV, because they are non-glossy and extremely durable.
Foil Stamped Business Cards
Foil stamping is where specific parts of your card are coated with a layer of metallic foil. It is typically offered in gold, silver, green, red or blue.
The foil stamped areas are not limited to only the cards background color like embossing. However, although color can be utilized, you are limited to the foil colors offered by the printer.
Also, foil stamped business cards are usually subject to the same shifting that could occur with embossed business cards, so it is important not to have any artwork in the stamped areas.
Which One Should You Use?
Generally speaking, none of these enhancements are available on glossy business cards. All 3 are most effective on silk business cards, so if you plan on utilizing a silk cardstock, your options are wide open.
Of the 3 options discussed, embossing is typically the least preferred because of the aforementioned color and artwork limitations. Additionally, embossed business cards are usually the most expensive of the three.
Foil stamping is also relatively expensive, but at least this feature offers more color options. The downside is that the foil can sometimes flake, peel or appear blotchy. Additionally, foil stamped business cards tend to become worn at an accelerated rate as they get pulled in and out of a wallet.
Most often, spot UV business cards provide the best bang for your buck. This option is by far the least expensive of the three, offers the full gamut of color availability, and is not subject to the same flaws as foil and embossing.

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How Can A Seo Consultant Help Your Business

How long will it take me to get a decent SERP on Google for this keyword?
2. Is this business looking viable to you?
3. Do I have a lot of competition in this online business
which I am starting and how can I compete effectively with them?
4. How can I make the most out of my marketing efforts?
Some excellent SEO consultants can even answer these questions:
1. Should I buy a used domain in order to rank high really quick?
2. How is my competitor ranking on the top with half the links that I have?
3. Should I continue this business or start over in a new niche?
The point of the whole article is simply that SEO consultants can save you a lot of time and money in the long-run. So, instead of using trial-and-error in trying to market different things online, it would be much better to make a one-time investment and ask your SEO guy all these questions.
Some established SEO consultants charge upwards of $500 per hour, which might sound like a lot of money, but spending a good amount on SEO consultation can really help you get the facts together for your business.
by SEO Consultancy Services

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Don't Just Look For Jobs, Look For Business Opportunities

There’s an ongoing debate whether it’s better to look for business opportunities or jobs. Well, the benefits of business opportunities are looking brighter than that of jobs.
Nowadays, with the uncontrollable spurt of online jobs and business opportunities alike, people who want to make money online are more confused than ever. If the dilemma used to be just between finding an offline job or an online one, now, the problem has gotten bigger. People who want to make money now have to choose whether it is better to look for jobs, or to look for business opportunities instead. Both options are good prospects, especially with so many online money making opportunities that all pay well, anyway. However, you might want to look closer at business opportunities, because it just might bring more advantages to you than any job can. Here are some reasons why looking for business opportunities pay off better than looking for jobs do.
Control
This is already a given, as I’m sure you will agree. Starting your own business gives you more control over your money making activities. You don’t have to report or answer to anyone. You don’t have a boss, and everything you do for your business will reap direct benefits for you and not for someone else. You can take care of your business the way you want to, and do with it whatever you want. Of course, the challenge is greater, since there will be no one to blame in case your business fails. But, if you just tread carefully, you will certainly reap a lot of benefits from business opportunities than you can from jobs. And of course, you can expect to earn more, since you are your own boss.
Flexibility
Business opportunities give you more flexibility in terms of time, location, nature of business, and earnings. You decide when and where you want to work. If your business is online, you can go wherever you want, as long as there is Internet connection and you have your computer with you. Also, you can decide on the nature of your business. If you want to extend your business this way or that, you are free to do so. Most of all, how much you earn depends on you. You don’t have to work a bit too hard for that elusive promotion, and you can avoid the frustration while you’re waiting for a raise. As long as you manage your business properly, you will certainly make a lot of money from it. And you can increase your earnings anytime you want by adding a little extra effort.
Achievement
Finally, there are also some emotional benefits on these money making opportunities as well. Starting and owning your own business may already be part of your future goals. Now, with the endless stream of business opportunities online, you can start achieving that goal right away. And you can even do so with a minimal capital investment, which is made possible by online wonders.
After running through just some of the benefits of business opportunities, which one would you choose? Jobs, or business opportunities? Well, don’t be an employee forever! There is also no need to hesitate, if you really want to start a business. There are plenty of business opportunities online that you can definitely manage. Break free from the employee label – right now and venture into these money making opportunities!

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Retail Stores And Business Transaction Management

In the fast paced modern retail world, it is imperative that companies stay abreast of the latest technology. This is true in all industries, and retail stores are no exception. One of the first industries to embrace business transaction management (BTM) was in fact the retail industry.
Early Adaption to BTM Solutions
There are many reasons that retail stores quickly jumped on the potential shown by business transaction management. One of the most important and impressive reasons for adopting this technology into IT system’s management was that BTM was and still is very efficient in what it can produce. It makes the running of the complex IT systems behind a retail store much more effective by reducing the MTTR (mean-time-to-repair) and MTBF (mean-time-between-failures) for software problems; thus, keeping operational expenditures lower than would otherwise be possible.
BTM can auto discover and then monitor all the transactions and their dependencies in a retail order process flow. For example, it discovers the applications that check inventory, captures an order, validates the order, calculates shipping and tax, takes payment and the integrations of retail order process with demand management, fulfillment, and ERP. For each of these applications it monitors in real-time the transactions they invoke and their outcomes.
BTM is attractive because it can be tailored specifically for any size of retail store. It can be scaled in terms of the features used to the needs of the business. Then as the business grows the right BTM solution has the ability to grow right with the business. This keeps cost low, as there is no need to continually replace an existing IT system or add new layers of functionality.
Instead, the retail store can activate more complex features, or simply have them added to what they already use. On top of this, BTM software lets its users monitor and reduce the number of business impacting problems from a range of infrastructure as varied as legacy applications with their roots in the 1960s to the latest SOA and cloud-based applications. This lets users attain the highest availability and performance out of their existing IT environments at the lowest cost, instead of forcing redesign, again keeping costs to a minimum and reducing the need for a much larger IT team.
Business Transaction Management and Application Performance Management
Retail stores must be able to monitor various applications and the transactions they invoke in an efficient, timely and professional manner in order to stay competitive and provide a high level of customer service. Stock levels, sales, purchases and other important data are directly related to bottom line profits.
With a high quality BTM solution in place, real time monitoring is a reality within the system. This drastically reduces any potential problems from occurring, and ensures that the response times for any bottlenecks in the system are kept to an absolute minimum.
Application performance management takes BTM one step further. APM monitors the performance of various business processes and the IT transactions that impact the supply chain. Then through the powerful correlation abilities of a complex event processing (CEP) engine, APM turns huge data sets into useable information.
This information could involve anything from supply chain management and raw materials to tracking stock levels and cash transactions. If it involves information, BTM/APM work together to keep a business’ computer connected activities flowing smoothly. As there are multiple applications required inside the IT environment, each one performing a different function, yet needing to interact with the other applications within the system, BTM/APM is the only way to maintain control. Without a BTM/APM solution high performance and constant 24/7 availability just cannot be maintained.
The Nastel AutoPilot BTM/APM Solution for Retail Stores
Nastels AutoPilot BTM/APM solution can deal with all the issues faced by retail stores. AutoPilot’s business transaction management component improves business process execution. The built-in complex event processing engine enables deep-dive diagnostics which find bottlenecks in the system before users are impacted and business processes are disrupted. This enables IT to resolve them before they cause mission critical events that impact profitability.
The application performance management component empowers retail stores with the ability to do more than maintain control of their IT environments. It allows IT to optimize the environment. All in all AutoPilot offers one of the best solutions for resolving real-time issues quickly, cutting IT infrastructure costs and keeping customer’s happyall things that impact the bottom line.

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An Introduction To Japanese Business Culture

When doing business in a foreign country it is always vital to understand differences in culture. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and allows development of positive and long-lasting business relationships. Knowing the differences in business etiquette between British and Japanese culture could be what lands you a lucrative contract or a lucrative new job. While Japanese businesspeople understand that you will not understand all of their culture and business etiquette they will notice and appreciate your genuine efforts.
Relationships
The Japanese generally do business based on personal relationships. Being introduced by a person who has a good relationship with the company is very helpful. You may be given a small trial to prove yourself. Even if this request is non-profitable, completing it quickly and well helps develop a long-term relationship.
Gift Giving
Gifts are very important in Japanese culture. Always give a small gift at the end of a meeting to the most senior member. Consult with a Japanese person on an appropriate gift. Many flowers such as camellias are associated with death and potted plants encourage sickness. If you receive a gift, do not open it in the presence of the giver.
Business Meetings
Meetings should be arranged by telephone well in advance. Punctuality is imperative. Seating is arranged with the most junior member nearest the door and the most senior furthest away. Do not be surprised if meetings contain several people, even if you thought it would be a one-on-one meeting. You will be expected to have a document containing information about your company, testimonials from customers and other companies and newspaper or magazine articles. It is best to come to a meeting with your best offer, as this is what will be expected.
Communication
Consensus and group decision-making is the norm in Japanese culture. Questions should be phrased in such a way that even negative answers can be given with a yes. For example Do you think this is a bad idea? rather than Do you agree?. Japanese businesspeople may be silent while considering issues and may close their eyes while listening carefully. Confrontational negotiation styles such as raised voices or anger will be frowned upon. Contracts are generally broad with room for re-negotiation and flexibility rather than rigid and point-by-point. However, written contracts are always expected.
Business Dress
Japanese business culture is quite conservative and avant-garde fashions will not be appreciated. Conservative business dress is always appropriate in Japan, especially for women. Suits should be dark-coloured without flashy accessories.
Business Cards
Business cards are very important in Japanese culture and you should always have a ready supply. The quality of your business cards and their condition is highly important also. When you receive a business card examine it carefully and treat it with respect. After meetings, place received business cards in a special case. Investing in business cards written in Japanese is a gesture of goodwill that will be appreciated. Give and receive business cards in both your hands and with a small bow.

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