Steps to Effective Planning Process

For any manager, the essence of success is careful and effective planning. Planning is one of the most crucial management functions. The success of any manager is mostly defined by how good he plans. While managing a roadside assistance services I had to effectively plan to ensure everyone sticks to objectives, guarantee sales, and boost of profits for the business. In simple terms, planning involves determining

  • What is to be done
  • How it should be done
  • When it is to be done
  • Who to do it.

Any good planning needs to be goal-oriented, requires time and actions, must be flexible, must be modifiable, and must result in decision making. There are key steps that should be followed to realize effective planning. This short guide looks at those steps, and they include the following.

 

  1. Establish the opportunities

The first step of any effective planning process starts by being aware of opportunities being pursued, both external and internal. There needs to be a foundation from which plans are based on. It is an awareness stage considered to be a precursor to the actual planning process.

 

  1. Establish objectives

The second stage of the planning process is to identify and establish objectives. It involves determining goals and objectives for an enterprise as well as other tiers. When you are aware of opportunities in terms of strengths and weaknesses, it will help you establish reasonable goals and objectives.

 

  1. Develop premises

The third stage of the planning process is to establish premises or assumptions on which statements and actions are built upon. The success of any planning process will depend on the assumptions being made. Wrong assumptions will lead to poor and unrealistic decisions. The assumptions are based on the environment in which the plan is to be carried out. Forecasting will play an important role in ensuring the premises of assumptions are realistic to plans being made.

 

  1. Determine alternatives

The fourth step is to determine the alternative course of action. Managers must decide how to move forward with their plans, should anything go against original plans. There should be some alternatives set in place, to ensure a plan goes ahead to materialize. However, ensure you narrow out these alternatives to reduce confusion and getting overwhelmed.

 

  1. Setting a course

After you have identified all alternatives and evaluated their merits and demerits, the next step in management is to adopt a plan and select a course of action. A plan is identified at this point and forms the real point of decision making. Planning will not be complete when a decision has been made, and this called for another step, which is formulating derivative plans.

  1. Formulating derivative plan

Managers need to develop one or more supportive plans so as to stand a better chance of meeting objectives and bolstering their initial plan. The derivative plans are essentially needed so as to support the general plan. There are normally two types of derivative plans. The first involves changing the existing supportive plans, and the second is a subsidiary plan that involves creating a new support plan.

How to succeed at everything you do

In life, success means different things to different people, it is whatever you define it. Being successful is not all about being rich and winning a lot of rewards. It is also about fulfilling personal obligations, having a successful family, meeting your goals, and life purpose. I have had a lot of success in meeting sales targets and projects in a towing company and that meant a lot to me.

While success may be defined in different ways, there are key habits and traits shared by highly successful people. Being successful will start by learning these habits and following them keenly. Let’s have a look at these habits.

 

Have a strong passion

If you want to be successful in life, you must possess a high zeal and passion for everything you do. You can’t expect to be successful if you lack passion for things that you do. Passion comes from within and is fueled by things you like. Start by finding your passion first and work towards developing habits that motivate you to follow your passion.

 

Put hard work and resilience

Success is achieved by putting a lot of time, dedication, and hard work on things you love. You must be committed to chasing success. It takes time, resilience, and a lot of dedication to be successful. The road to success is long and rough. Things won’t always go your way and will never be easy.

 

Be good at work you do

For whatever you decide to pursue, ensure you dedicate time and commit 100 percent to be damn good at it. If you want to invest in a certain industry, you must be committed to taking time to learn ins and out of that industry and be good. You must establish what separates you from the rest of the crowd. Find your passion and ensure you put it time and work to learn what works and what doesn’t.

 

Always Stay Focused

In life, you must stay focused on your goals. Life is filled with a lot of distractions and if you are not keen, it is very easy to lose track and sight of your purpose. Keep full attention on what you want and do not allow distractions to come your way. If you keep focus, success will be a byproduct.

 

Push yourself to your limits

You need to ensure you push yourself to your limits every single day. While pushing yourself to your limits, remind yourself why you started and always believe in yourself. Never let self-doubts dominate your mind and have a negative impact on your abilities and motivation. Keep pushing forward even when in doubt, or even when you fail. Failure is part of learning and a vital stage on your journey to success. What separates successful people from unsuccessful ones is the ability to push themselves out of their comfort zones even when all odds are against you.

Ensure you put your ideas into action. Allow yourself to be creative and have an actionable plan for you to achieve your goals.

How to Resolve Workplace Conflict

When employees from different backgrounds, styles, and diversities come to work together, workplace conflict becomes inevitable. While working in a towing service field, we had teams from different diversities, and managing conflict was top on our list to create harmony and a safe working environment. Workplace conflict can occur in different ways. It can be between employees, between supervisors, among entire teams, among others. As difficult as the issue may be, it is very important to manage conflict.

Here are top ways to manage workplace conflict;

Embrace communication

Well established work environments are created by ensuring employees communicate with respect and do not use offensive language. Employees should show tolerance and be open to accepting differences among each other. They should demonstrate respect to each other regardless of the position someone holds in an organization. There is a mechanism to resolve interpersonal issues and resolve tension and conflict most nobly. Such organizations embrace open communication and there are well-set channels to facilitate communication.

 

Capable human resource

The human resource department should be capable, functional, and competent. It should develop and implement workplace conflict policies and procedures that create and manage conflict effectively. Human resource professionals should be involved in settling workplace conflicts especially those between employees and their supervisors. Teams should be encouraged to solve conflict among themselves, and human resources should only be involved when matters escalate.

 

The role of employees

Supervisors and managers have the highest role in managing workplace conflict. However, the first step to solving conflict should always start with the employees themselves. Employees are advised to solve their conflicts internally and an external source must only be called upon when internal teams can’t reach an agreement. Organizations also need to employ rational people who can handle and manage themselves. There should be set guidelines that spell out how the conflict should be managed and handled.

 

Conflict management training

To curb the adverse effects of conflict, managers and human resource professionals are now turning to conflict management training. It is a kind of training that takes many forms and covers a lot of topics. Conducting this training happens through workshops and one-to-one sessions. Human resource specialists select an approach that is based on the type of workplace conflict and needs to be sufficiently addressed.

 

Developing strong employee relationships

When conflict occurs, it must be resolved quickly and satisfactorily. It is always important to try to prevent conflict. This is done by creating a harmonious environment that discourages conflict from happening in the first place. Such an environment is created from interactive communication, trust, and ethical behavior. there should be clear expectations and employees need to know what to expect from their supervisors and managers.

there is no single approach or strategy in creating a positive workplace environment. There are different tools used by human resources and management to foster a better working environment. Employees need to understand how workplace conflicts can be resolved. Organizations should aim at communicating their expectations via human resource policies, employee handbook, and written contracts and agreements.

Tips on How to Negotiate Effectively

Becoming a good negotiator can make a big difference in your life – be it on career or business. It can make you earn more money – when you negotiate better pay or save money -when you negotiate better pricing. I always find my negotiation skills put to test, latest being an incidence where I was negotiating a better deal with my towing service provider, and I ended up saving 20% off the overall cost of services I received.

But how exactly do you become a good negotiator? How do you go about it – Here are some sure tips to follow;

 

Be prepared

Successful negotiations normally start with adequate preparations. if you find yourself caught up in the middle of a conversation, you need to buy time. If you get called upon a meeting that required making crucial decisions, and you were not prepared for the negotiations, request some additional time to think about the whole process. You need time to prepare so that you can out the right issues and pointer on the table. Preparations will be very useful especially when making key decisions about your future.

 

Speak up your mind

You should never be afraid to ask for what you want. Successful negotiators are very assertive and challenge everything thrown on their table. They know that every issue presented on the table is negotiable.  What makes the difference between negotiators and everyone else is negotiation consciousness. Being assertive simply means asking for what you want and refusing to take NO for an answer – that presents the basis of successful negotiation. You should also note there is a huge difference between being assertive and being aggressive. You will be assertive when you take care of your interests while at the same time maintaining respect for the other party.

 

Focus on the other side’s needs

Negotiation is a two-way process. There is more than one party involved. You should not be rigid and selfish only to have your interests heard, as doing so will break the talks. In a negotiation process, there will be one party leading the discussion. You want to take the lead and take advantage by creating the starting point. This means you will put the right issues on the table and be the one framing the rationale.

 

Do your homework

Doing your homework right can be key between getting a deal and walking away empty-handed. If there is one group of people who know how to do their homework is detectives. Gather as much crucial information before the negotiation process as possible.

You will not be able to make accurate decisions without understanding the other side’s story. The more information you have, the more facts you can bring to the take and the easy the negotiation process will be. You should never be in any hurry to make your final decision. Always take your time to evaluate your rationality before you can make the final decision. Aim higher to expect the best outcome and always be ready to walk away when your demands are utterly disrespected.

 

Best Ways to Keep Ahead of Competition

In everything we do, we are living in a world of intense competition. You have to be better than everyone else to survive and succeed. As a business, you need to maintain your market share and stay ahead of the competition. Competition exists in every sector of the market. Even in businesses that have a monopoly, they also have some form of competition they have to deal with.

To stay ahead of the competition, here are simple and powerful ways to go about it.

 

Solve customer pain points

The first step to establishing yourself as a monopoly is to identify and solve your customers’ pain points. The issue here is to provide solutions to your customers and provide them with what they want. You only need to fulfill their needs and not to sell anything. Your products and services will automatically start to sell more the moment you solve your customer problems.

 

Build your niche

You need to build your niche and have more room for your business. Any more crowded market will have less scope for expansion. To build your niche, it is important to offer something unique to your customers. You can create your niche through storytelling around your products. When you tell a story, you become part of your prospects’ lifestyle. Also, focus on specialization as it leads to a scalable and successful business.

 

Get pricing right

A perfect pricing strategy will be based on market psychology. Before you can set your pricing, you must understand the competition. You need to identify who among your competitors is offering the best value for money. The price you set should be standard and have a competitive advantage. Every market will have three segments – which include the lower, middle, and upper classes. It is upon you to position your pricing according to the market you are interested in.

Innovate

You should always make innovation with your best friend. When you innovate, you can create a powerful disruptive force that can send your competition packing. You need to innovate with your products and services and never shy to take risks. Make use of technology to enhance the capabilities of your business. Remind your competitors you are constantly innovating and always be unpredictable.

Offer great customer service

Customers are the life of your business. A happy customer results in more sales and profits for your business. Success in your business will be realized by offering great customer service. People love businesses that offer exceptional customer service. If you can delight your customers with great customer service, you will make them be loyal customers who will be willing to refer your business to your friends and family.

Hire passionate employees and train them to understand your products and services. Ensure your employees are patient, they are good listeners and can satisfy the demands of your customers. Have a customer care team that is always courteous and respectable. They should also be accommodating, and responsive to customer queries. Work toward establishing a brand defined by customer excellence.

How to close sales quickly and effectively

Sales is without a doubt one of the toughest areas in business that anyone can get involved in. It is also one of the biggest skills every self-made millionaire has. On the contrary, it is one of the toughest areas that many entrepreneurs struggle with. It is both an art and a science, and to master it, you must spend a considerable amount of time practicing it.

Today, consumers are changing the way they make purchasing decisions. It is important to keep reevaluating your sales strategy to ensure you remain on top of your game. A good sales strategy takes a lot of careful planning to ensure everything goes per the plan. Here are simple yet very effective tips on how to close sales quickly and effectively.

 

Identify the decision-maker

No matter what industry you want to sell, it is important to know the decision-maker to be able to close a sale quickly. In most cases, the decision-maker will send someone else into the line to collect as much information as possible so that they can know about your service, product, or company. If this is the case, do everything possible to put yourself in the head of the decision-maker and customize your sales pitch accordingly. Your best case would be to sit with the decision-maker and close a sale.

 

Be real, be yourself

During a sales process, clients will know if you are being genuine or not. It is important to show the client that you care about them and business, and that you are not just looking to close a deal. You should never come off too calculated and this may turn off people. However, do your research and be prepared as there is nothing wrong with being prepared.

 

Create a sense of urgency

You need to attach a deadline to your deal to give your clients a reason to commit. Whether it is something free or a discount, make them feel they are the drivers and they have the upper hand. You should never rush a prospect, but instead, give them a little more reason why your products or services are the right ones for them and that the right time to commit is now.

 

Overcome all objections

It is good to have a sales presentation as having one will help you overcome potential objections and speed up a sales process. If there is any question that catches you off guard, take time to find a genuine solution. You should also be very familiar with your product or service and have an outline of anticipated problems to reduce sales objections.

Know your competition

Competition is part of a business and will always be there. You need to know all areas where you have more potential and you are more competitive than your competition. It is all about knowing your product or service well and being prepared. Do your research and ensure you take note of something you are doing better than anyone else, and have these things stand out while closing a deal. Be careful with what you sell so that you don’t over-sale and create doubts to a potential prospect.

Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover Rate

Employee turnover is one of the bad experiences every business experiences on an occasional basis. Employees come and go- they must leave and this affects the flow of your business. It takes a lot of time and money to train and replace talent and that is the reason businesses must do everything possible to minimize turnover rates. If you have a high turnover rate, you must ensure you can bring those rates down.

There are free and inexpensive methods you can use to convince your employees to stay and thus reduce turnover rates. Let’s have a look at these methods.

Hire the right people

Keeping employees starts by ensuring you hire the right people. You need to hire employees who are fit and have the right skills to ensure they can match your positions. Additionally, ensure the talent you bring to a team can fit well with your company culture. You need to hire employees who have the right behavior and culture to fit with the job at hand. Ensure you give your new hires a good orientation about workplace culture and how to conduct themselves.

 

Offer competitive packages

People are attracted and motivated by good compensation. They need to have a package that helps them meet basic needs such as utilities, housing and food. They will need to be compensated in such a way to have extras to meet their other obligations. If you are not ready to pay your employees well, they will find a business that pays them well. Research your market and settle on a good compensation package that takes care of the needs of your employees.

 

Give praise

Your employees will be motivated by sincere encouragement and recognition. When employees do something good, ensure you recognize and give them praise. When they finish a difficult project even before a deadline, recognize the act and congratulate them for their hard work. You don’t have to shower your employees with praise every time they get to a milestone, but ensure you form a habit or recognizing extra ordinary performance and giving praise.

Set a career path

No employee wants to get stuck on the same position and pay scale year in year out. If they dont see any motivation for a clear career path, they will start searching for another job in advance. Ensure you have a plan in place to enable your employees increase their skills and knowledge, and climb a corporate ladder. When you show your employees a projected career path, it will help in giving them a sense of purpose and direction.

 

Work life balance

You should allow your employees to have a flexible work schedule. Flexible working schedule means they can adjust their work time and location. They need to have a work life balance that gives them peace of mind at work, and time to care for their families. They need to pursue other things beyond work, including having a social life.

There will be employees who will always want to leave your business. If that is the case, ensure you have an exit strategy in place and plan adequately on how to bring replacements.

How to Promote Diversity at Work

The act of promoting diversity and inclusiveness at work is one of the best ways organizations can use to foster an inclusive and open-minded culture. Companies that promote workplace diversity employ individuals with different characteristics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, cultural background, political views, among others. In an inclusive and diverse workplace, differences among employees are accommodated and accepted, and all employees are treated equally.

If you are looking forward to promoting diversity in your organization, here are a couple of ways to go about it.

 

Avoid societal stereotypes

In many cases, company executives stand to blame for a lack of diversity in their organizations. They often follow certain stereotypes that prevent them from hiring smart people with skills and competence, in top management positions. One of the most common biases and stereotypes involve lack of equality when it comes to gender distribution in company positions. Some male-founded businesses are less likely to hire women regardless of their competence in executive positions because of trust level biases. The first step to fostering diversity in workplaces is to abolish these types of stereotypes.

 

Be more open when hiring

One of the best and easy ways to promote workplace diversity during the hiring process is to create a team that is involved in decision making. The team should be inclusive of human resources, executives, managers, supervisions, and other competent technical persons. This team can be very effective in helping an organization overcome widespread issues relating to discrimination. Create a culture of respect and ensure everyone is treated equally irrespective of their background. There should be a clear mode of communication and open channels where employees can discuss important and pertinent issues without being reprimanded.

 

Educate and empower employees

It is very important to educate employees on the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. You need to give examples and real-life scenarios where women and other people from minorities perform better than the favored groups. You need to show your employees how diversity in workplaces can have a positive impact on productivity and profit generation. Ensure people occupy positions based on merit and not biases.

Offer diverse opportunities

You need to offer meaningful opportunities for inclusivity and employee engagement. If you have a company with multiple locations, consider allowing employees to work in other locations, cities, and states. Use surveys to find out where your employees are more likely to spend their free time. Go ahead and arrange work-based activities and other external employee engagement activities that foster unity and cooperation.

Create mentorship programs

It important to hire a diverse workforce, but it is also important to have mentorship programs in place that ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to advance. Employees who portray high potential should be offered mentorships regardless of their race, sex, age, and other factors. As an organization, support the professional development of your employees by contributing to their education. Doing so will make them happy and more productive. Ensure leadership teams reflect the diversity and promote candidates to those positions based on their competence.

Best Ways to Communicate with Clarity

Much of the success people face in life rolls back to their ability to communicate well with others. Successful people have mastered the art of communicating and work on improving their communication skills. They possess high social intelligence, which is the ability to interact with others. It is one of the highest paying and respected intelligence one can have. Also, all problems in life come because of poor communication and lack of clarity.

If you are looking forward to improving your communication skills, speak with more authority and clarity, here are some ways to go about it.

 

Be clear in your spoken word

Effective communication often starts by being clear in your mind, having no self-doubt, eliminating double-speak, and knowing what to say. You should also be clear in the way you deliver your message. Say your words slowly and patiently and ensure the other person can hear you out. When you speak, you are sending a message in the air in the form of words. These words are then received by the other person who interprets them accordingly. The other person will then formulate a response that is sent back. You then receive this response and translate it into meaning and significance. This is the basis of communication and it should be articulate.

 

Clarity in written word

To make an impact in your written words, it will take more than just filling your cover letters and emails with keywords. There should be clarity, cohesiveness, and control in what you write. Get your message across and don’t use fluff. Write in a dynamic active voice instead of using a weak passive voice. Highlight key points in your writing and follow a coherent sequence. Combine short and long sentences effectively. There should be comprehensiveness in what you write. Be straight to the point and avoid the use of jargon. Use grammar and spell-checkers to control what you write.

 

Non-verbal communication

There has been enough research to back the fact that the words we speak in a face-to-face situation account for less than 10 percent of the message we convey. This is to mean non-verbal communication account to about 90 percent of your message. To improve your communication skills, it is important to understand the role played by non-verbal communication. Your body language should be a reflection of your positivism and confidence. Smile when delivering your message, make eye contact, and modulate your tone and speaking style. Be natural with your facial expressions and avoid nervous gestures. Always stay calm and composed at all times.

 

Work on your dressing

First impressions last, and for this reason, you should always dress to impress. The moment you walk into a room; the first impression you create can make or break your communication. The way you dress for an interview will portray your precision and professionalism. Dress according to the occasion you are attending. Walk with a clean face and hair and ensure you are tidy. Ensure you avoid any bodily distractions such as excessive fragrances and perfumes, tattoos, body odors, piercings among others. Lastly, you should do a personal hygiene check to ensure you are safe and sure.