SummarySo called “modern management” has been studied seriously for about 100 years. Many of our management practices are rooted in 20th Century thinking. Has common sense been forgotten? • Why Aren’t Senior Managers More Interested In Marketing?CEOs, COOs and Managing Directors are ultimately responsible for the continued success of the business. Yet most of them take only a passing interest in marketing.They’re more interested in planning, financing, ROI, production: all those areas that produce statistics they can read and analyze to death.The reality is, if your marketing’s poor, sooner or later, those figures will be, as they say, “trending downwards”. Discussion will rage about “reversing the trend”, “product mix”, “expense reduction” and all that hard data stuff.The real problem could be poor marketing. Remember, everything isn’t marketing, but marketing is everything. • Why Don’t Masters Degrees In Business Administration Require Business Management Experience?Colleges and universities all over the world bestow MBAs. Few require any proof of business management competence or even extensive actual management experience. And few managers bother to check to see whether the content of an MBA program match the management needs in their business.Doctors, pilots, lawyers and many other professionals must undergo rigorous postgraduate practical training to prove their worthiness to practice. Tradespeople have to be able to prove practical competence before being allowed to “ply their trade”. In most Australian states new car drivers must have at least 2 years incident free driving experience before being granted an unencumbered licence.Why doesn’t the same apply to MBA graduates? And why don’t colleges and universities describe the skills that an employer can reasonably expect an MBA graduate to bring to a postgraduate job?I’ll probably be accused of being anti-intellectual, anti-academic and anti-MBA. But I believe that it’s perfectly reasonable and businesslike to expect MBA graduates to bring proven practical skills to the business that employs them. Shouldn’t managers insist on that? • Why Do Businesses Persist With Rigid Start And Finish Times?When we offer a new hire a job, we usually state start and finish times. Why? It’s 2011. Using modern technology, many people can work readily and easily from almost anywhere.There’s just no need for people at the same meeting to be in the same building to have a successful meeting. Using video conferencing and webinars, they don’t need to be in the same continent.Email means that there’s no need to circulate copious copies of written material. There’s no need for the bureaucratic rigidities we all grew up with.And there’s just no need for all employees to “start at 9 and finish at 5″. • Why Do Managers Confuse Employee Behaviour With Performance?”Behaviour is what you take with you”, Dr Tom Gilbert wrote some years ago. “Performance is what you leave behind”, he continued.Behaviour’s important only where it has a negative effect on performance. We can reasonably expect employees to be polite, civil and courteous with each other. But it’s unreasonable to expect them to be “pleasant” and “emotionally controlled” at all times.Emphasising behaviour has a negative effect on performance. It tells employees that being “nice”, wearing certain clothes, following certain social mores, eating particular food and other peripheral issues are far more important than the results they achieve at work. • Are “Pep Talks” Merely Ego Trips?Maybe we managers have delusions about being very successful sports coaches. What on earth is “a good talking to” or a “verbal rev up” supposed to achieve? The assumption that a manager can cause a definitive and lasting performance improvement merely by talking with employees, insults the employees’ intelligence.There is a place – a small place- for the pep talk. It may feed a manager’s ego. But far greater workplace success will result from role and goal clarity, effective incentive and rewards, system improvement and of course, sound listening skills. • Why Don’t Managers Demand Proof Of Competence Before Offering Jobs To Strangers?Staff selection is a hidebound affair. Business has been using the same basic process for at least 75 years. It starts with a job description. Then follows a job ad, resumes and written applications, shortlisting, interviews, reference checking and eventually a job offer and a new employee.Rarely, except in relatively low level jobs, do we require demonstrable proof of competence from a candidate. We use various tests including psychometric instruments. We have so called “in depth” interviews. We check references thoroughly. But we don’t get the applicant to actually do anything… except talk.Prior to the job ad being placed or the selection consultant being engaged, all candidates were complete strangers. The referees they nominate are usually strangers too. The candidate may even have taken “interview training”.The chances of error are high at any stage of the process. But we don’t seek demonstrable proof that the candidates can do what they claim to be able to do.Our initial decision about who to shortlist was made based on a resume or written application. There’s about 70% chance that it was prepared by a professional writer. Does any of this make sense? • Why Do Managers Spend So Much Time In The Office?Back in the 1970s we called it “management by walking around”. Be seen. Talk to employees. Ask questions. Be available.These days progressive companies don’t even give each manager a separate office. There’s really no need. There’s no need for “management spaces” in the car park or a special management area in the canteen. These things are merely the accoutrements of office. They don’t help anybody do better work. Yet we persist with such trappings. In the 21st Century they can’t be justified. • What About EPC?EPC – Expectation, Perception and Consequences – have a major effect on how we form our opinions.Quite rightly, managers are concerned with “facts”. But that’s easier said than done. In order to “get the facts”, you have to deal with opinions. The opinions that people hold are facts to them. And opinions drive actions.In 1973 Peter Drucker wrote, “Executives who make effective decisions know that one doesn’t start with facts. One starts with opinions.” Mark Twain put it more bluntly years earlier. “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for certain that just ain’t so.”What I’m saying may not fit comfortably with some theories of modern management. But employees and work colleagues are people. Expectation, Perception and Consequences are most important to those who hold them. Managers must work through them in order to reach “the facts”. ConclusionIt’s time to seriously question lots of the so-called “management theory” that’s prevailed for so long. It’s costly and inefficient in the 21st Century. The eight issues I’ve raised are just a start.
Modern Management And Common Sense: 8 Challenges for 2012
Top Influencer Marketing Strategies for the Social Business
Influencer Marketing is a modern marketing technique in which concentration is mainly placed on particular individuals rather than the entire target market. These individuals, termed influencers, are identified as people having a profound influence on the marketing activities of many other potential buyers of a brand. The explosion of social media over the last ten years has remarkably revolutionized communication and is making a similar impact in the business world. This has brought about the emergence of many potential influencers, often people very active on social media (having many followers) with respected opinions due to industry expertise.The concept of influencer marketing is more about positively impacting sales and not just increasing awareness. Therefore, the selection of a productive influencer is very brand and/or brand campaign sensitive. Most present-day consumers do not respond well to billboards, newsletters, digital adverts, commercials and other conventional marketing schemes. They often prefer independent brand research or hearing about it from a trusted person. As a result, the use of influencers in marketing is turning into one of the most successful ways to pull clients and customers for all businesses including social business (Social enterprises, social benefit companies, social initiatives, non-profits etc.).Marketing for non-profits and other social businesses demands meeting the needs of both their donors and the clients they serve. Every social organization, regardless of their source of funding, requires effective marketing to enable them to continuously meet the needs of donors and clients while earning positive value in return.In this modern business era, fundraising consulting, non-profit consulting, and the hiring of profit consulting services uncover and reveal some evolving key marketing techniques including influencer marketing strategies. The strategies of influencer marketing are constantly evolving. However, aligning with the right influencer opens the sales door to their loyal audiences and those of their networks, providing the chance to relate with these audiences non-stop.An essential factor in the establishment of an efficient influencer marketing system is identifying and engaging the most capable and best contextual fitting influencers for the brand. Social entrepreneurs can successfully improve their value in the eyes of donors and at the same time satisfy the clients they serve by effectively making use of these traits for ideal influencer targeting;1. Audience and Reach:Targeting potential influencers with huge followings on various social media platforms is advantageous.2. Relevant Connection:This highlights the importance of targeting people with posts, comments, and messages that possess some degree of cohesion with the brand’s fundamental interests and keywords.3. Quality and Trust:Quality and trusted followers for Influencers provide greater capacities for potential clients. This is measured by taking special notice of audience members who actively interact with influencers in promoting the brand.4. Activity:How frequent an individual posts or comments and their general activity as a whole plays a major role in influencer targeting as it serves to predict potential reach before a campaign is started.Although influencer marketing is typically employed as a tool for consumer brands and their partnerships, these strategies and features best apply to the marketing of social businesses;Authenticity Influencer campaigns won’t achieve their marketing goals if the audience is aware that the influencer is getting paid. Therefore, it’s very important to work with individuals with a true passion for your project. This only emphasizes that the key to a successful influencer campaign is being extremely authentic. Influencer marketing and Social Businesses are a perfect fit with respect to authenticity because potentially targeted influencers are often already outspoken about causes they support. This simplifies their identification, facilitates the establishment of a smoother relationship, and creates a more natural fit for your message.Strategic PlanningIt’s always very important to have a clear vision of what you plan to achieve before engaging with any influencer project- especially for social businesses. Also, the process of achieving these set goals and the scale on which success will be measured is of similar importance. Conducting a strategic analysis results in productive decisions on influencer action issues like; mediums with most relevance to brand audience and whether sharing brand content to as many people as possible is the primary objective or cooperating to generate new content to deeply connect with people. Early engagement with influencers is advisable to seek their opinions on how best the partnership will work.Targeting Relevant AudiencesStatistics and experience have proven that engaging with individuals and personalities with the largest social media following and fan bases as influencers to provide an endorsement for your mission doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best results. Statistics instead suggest that more audience engagement and the highest conversion rates are provided by niche social influencers with generally smaller followings. These individuals often referred to as micro-influencers possess highly targeted and more online interactive audiences. Micro-influencer inspired marketing for non-profits and other social businesses produce impeccable results. These Micro-influencers serve as passionate advocates for their brands, playing major roles in awareness and the driving of valuable action.Measuring ProductivityThe ability to quantify the success of influencer marketing campaigns has always been and remains a great challenge today. It’s anything but difficult for anyone to perceive the reasons why surveys have marketers attesting to the fact that measuring Return on Investment (ROI) for influencer marketing was the greatest challenge they came across in 2017. Tackling this challenge could begin from the initiation of a wide range of metrics like audience engagement, sentiments, and conversions to ensure more is being measured than just fan numbers. Also, the incorporation of hashtags such as #socialgood, #socialenterprise, #socialimpact, #socialchange, #innovation, #entrepreneur, #startup, #impact #nonprofit, #funding, #grantwriting, #charity, etc. into your campaign is easy and encourages people to join the conversation enabling tracking.To aid in this important quest for success measurement in influencer marketing campaigns, fundraising consulting, non-profit consulting, and profit consulting services would more explicitly advise social businesses to create dedicated fundraising pages for each of their influencers. This provides a unique platform through which connections can be established with their networks, depicts the clear dollar value of donations driven by each influencer and conclusively offers a means to assess the productivity of the partnership.Legal BoundariesUnderstanding the laws surrounding the agreements between influencers and companies during partnership is critically important. Although some influencers promote many social business causes without charge, most influencer endorsements involving highly followed individuals often require payments to safeguard official partnerships.Influencer marketing is revolutionizing the business world in general and has the potential of optimizing marketing for social businesses.
Home-Based Business Ideas – Think Big, Act and Grow Rich with Unique Business Ideas
We have all seen the inviting headlines: “Home-based Business Ideas That Can Make You Millions”; “The Hottest Home-Based Business Ideas to Use Now!”; “Launch a Successful Home-Based Business with These 10 Can’t-Miss Business Ideas.” The list of such headlines is endless, followed by articles that galvanize the reader’s interest in starting his/her own enterprise with visions of “happily ever after” outcomes.But the first idea that I must present is that envisioning and dreaming about a home-based business is only a prerequisite towards successful entrepreneurship. Constructive action must follow any home-based business idea!There exist so many entrepreneurial wannabees who remain in a constant state of immobilization. Such individuals often possess intelligence and creativity, even thinking outside of the box, but remain entrapped in the idea that they cannot pursue a home-based venture due to time or financial constraints. Others feel powerless to take action because they don’t know where to start. Indeed, they are uncertain as to what steps to take, going from inspiration and cognition to actual business production. Still, other aspiring entrepreneurs must confront self-imposed limitations, believing that they are incapable, incompetent souls who are not deserving of acquiring good fortune. Fear often predominates their collective mindset as there is much trepidation that the outcome of any home-based business idea will be an unfavorable one.Regardless of the reason, refuse to remain in a state of immobilization. If you have an idea for a home-based business, go forward with it! Of course, any idea for a business venture must be thoroughly researched and evaluated. One needs to consider the competition, costs, labor and time involved, the methods and procedures of the given business, potential return on investment and a host of other issues. The importance of business preparation cannot be underestimated. However, if you determine that the idea is viable and has merit after engaging in exhaustive research (even calling upon experts for advice), you owe it to yourself to implement it.But many people who want to quit their jobs and discover their ideal home-based business may not have a concrete idea as to the type of enterprise to launch. Others may possess a few simmering thoughts as to which direction to go but the primary idea that resides in the cyberspace of their minds is that they are just desperate to work at home!In order for a particular home-based business idea to germinate, perhaps one must first explore one’s own interests. Is it possible for an avocation to become a vocation? If you are passionate about creating jewelry, for example, that may be the underpinning of a home-based startup jewelry business. If you are a photography aficionado, photography may be the means to gain self-employment.Successful Internet marketers always trumpet the importance of finding a niche. Your interest may uncover a niche that proves profitable. If you can tailor your hobby and interest to meet the needs and demands of a particular market, you can quickly prosper.Local markets can even be tapped to develop a money-making enterprise. Consider a home-based entrepreneur who creates a free community newsletter, receiving advertising dollars. Another may find it more creative and profitable to sell a map of the local establishments, designed on a placemat presented by a given restaurant. The businesses listed on the map pay to be highlighted. Think about those who have created local surveys and reviews (comparing restaurants, hotels, etc.) and selling the resource at bookstores. The jeweler and photography, in our example above, may create work that reflects local influences, and thereby, gains local popularity. For example, I have a friend who resides in Alaska who is a sculptor and photographer. He has an inherent love of nature and outdoors, and captures the Alaskan wilderness and myriad forms of wildlife in his work. His creations subsequently capture the attention and dollars of his fellow Alaskan residents.Obviously, an interest or passion in a particular field should be accompanied by a certain amount of competence or skill. It is difficult, for instance, to become a successful artist if one does not know how to draw. Proficiency need not be inherent; it can be developed. But one should have a firm grasp of one’s abilities, talents and, don’t minimize it – potential. As Carol Brady, celebrated TV mother of the Brady Bunch series once wisely declared, “Find out what you do best and do your best with it.”(When developing an entrepreneurial mindset — when you are trying to create and define your home-based business ideas — be open to all resources, including popular cultural influences such as television programs and movies. Indeed, as actress Melanie Griffith said in her role as Tess McGill in the movie, “Working Girl”: “You never know where the big ideas will come from.”)While exploring your interests and aptitudes, as you are open to a plethora of possibilities and opportunities, think about the prevailing winds of societal needs that change from time to time. Are there any national or local trends that you observe? Are there any growing markets? What are some fundamental needs that can be satisfied on a local and/or national level.Unfortunately, for example, consumer debt continues to skyrocket in the United States. Millions of Americans owe more money than they make. So many people merely pay the interest portion, not the principal, of their credit card bills and find it increasingly difficult to pay crucial bills, such as a home mortgage. Any real estate agent can attest to the steady and scary upward climb in the rates of foreclosures. Opportunistic companies are responding to this alarming trend. Home-based businesses relating to the burgeoning consumer debt are proportionately increasing, specializing in credit counseling, debt consolidation and even collection.Consider another trend: While we continue to become more health and fitness-conscious, the rate of obesity remains on an upswing. Certain home-based businesses cater to each demographic and some to both. A self-employed fitness trainer primarily taps into our collective interest to get into better shape. A purveyor of weight loss products gains from our national obsession to lose weight. Those who are designing programs that incorporate an exercise regime with a recommended protocol of dietary modifications may prove to be doubly fortunate.So keep your finger on the pulse of “hot markets” and you may warm up to a very profitable undertaking. But don’t be afraid that your home-based business idea is too common, especially if it relates to tried and true home-based businesses. You may have an idea to add a twist to any business and deliver your own brand of special service.Among the most frequently touted best home-based businesses include computer repair, childcare, coaching (life coach or Internet business coach) and tutoring, distributing and selling tangible goods or information-related services, interior decorating, photography, transcription services, dealing antiques and collectibles, handicrafts, baking, sewing and gardening and farming. The list is not exhaustive but presents fields that have proven profitable for the home-based business owner.Many home-based business entrepreneurs decide not to walk or run on the conventional path. Their home-based business ideas are unique. Look at this creative entrepreneurial venture: Providing surf reports to those who want to “hang 10.” The owners of this business are hanging a lot more zeros when it comes to their bottom line. Another company profits from the absent-minded by offering a “reminder service,” reminding clients about special dates or occasions several days in advance. Many home-based business owners make a living by providing specialized instruction: Stop smoking groups, public speaking courses, women’s empowerment seminars are all variations on the theme of providing direct instruction. Maybe I should start a tutorial center on viable home-based business opportunities … but then again, this field is already saturated.Even absurd home-based business ideas can take off, leading to early retirement for the home-based business owner. The Pet Rock, Designer Dirt, deeds to land that once belonged to famous people (e.g, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley) have all contributed nicely to the financial coffers of their creators. Certain television programs love to highlight the offbeat, out-of the-box home-based business owner who has a unique idea. Think of something unusual and you will get massive publicity, especially if it involves a celebrity. I’m sure there are entrepreneurs right now, for example, who are getting a fat wallet on the coattails of Paris Hilton with their “Free Paris” t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons and posters. They can even cater to the “Anti-Paris” community with their “Don’t Free Paris” paraphernalia.In conclusion, it is crucial to act on the idea of pursuing a home-based business venture. Do the required research and preparation and consider your talents, abilities and potential. Think about any trends in business or growing markets that you can use to your advantage. Learn about businesses that have proven to be profitable for other home-based business owners. And do not, under any circumstances, be afraid or hesitant to think outside the box. In our culture, a crazy idea can very well lead to crazy money.These home-based business ideas may transform your aspirations into action. You deserve to be your own boss – the captain of your own ship. Let your ship come into port!