Category Archives: Management

Developing a Co Growth Strategy

Category : Management , Sales Growth

How To Develop A Growth Mindset In A Company

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ~ Lao Tzu

If you launched your company intending to remain in perpetual startup mode, stop reading right now.

As the above quote from the Tao Te Ching (The Way and Its Power) demonstrates, your mindset creates the foundation for your actions and future reality. However, a growth mindset involves more than just unleashing the power of positive thinking.

What is a Growth Mindset?

The term growth mindset was first used by psychologist and motivational researcher Carol Dweck to describe a state of mind that’s expansive and full of potential.

When you see the world through eyes that focus on progress and growth, the way your brain functions changes as well. You become motivated and enthusiastic, you feel more capable, and your overall attitude improves.

Consequently, the way you run your business will benefit as well. Let’s look at some ways a growth mindset can transform your business.

How Cultivating a Culture of Growth Helps Your Business

Everyone wants to feel that they’re part of something vibrant and expansive. People in dead-end jobs or companies that are stale and dated lose interest in their work. They become unproductive and detached.

Tardiness and absenteeism rates rise, and employee churn means positions are left unfilled or manned by a constant stream of trainees.

This, in turn, begins to affect customers. It also affects your bottom line when you’re constantly attracting and training new hires or overworking existing staff to compensate for gaps in leadership, salesforce, or production.

The result is a downward spiral of lackluster performance that seeps into every aspect of your business.

When one’s mind is open and inquisitive, however, problems become new challenges to overcome, and setbacks seem temporary.

They’re opportunities to learn and evolve as circumstances change.

That type of mindset also seeps into every aspect of your business. It’s contagious and exciting, and it inspires the rest of your team to aim for the stars along with you.

Such a mindset allows you to focus more on the process than on outcomes. If the process is enjoyable and productive, results will come.

However, if people feel limited in their potential and uninterested in outcomes, it will adversely influence decisions and performance, and even favorable outcomes are diminished.

Developing a culture of growth and productivity helps reduce staff turnover by making your employees feel engaged in their work and invested in the future of your company. Their success becomes your success.

It all begins with leadership.

Managers with a growth mindset are better able to hone in on fact-based details and information. They have more consistent interactions with staff, are more prone to challenge biases, and make better decisions.

When a leader is closed and static in their attitudes and behaviors, they’re less likely to provide appropriate feedback, spend less time one-on-one coaching and encouraging staff, and are unable to accurately identify and manage potential issues on the job. They tend to view staff members as less competent, which affects their morale and performance.

Nurturing a Growth Mindset at Your Company

Creating a growth mindset at your company should be every bit as much a part of your business strategy as marketing and customer outreach. Companies with high growth potential have teams that are:

  • Motivated to improve by constructive feedback
  • Able to learn and adapt skills in response to challenges and opportunities
  • Inspired by the success of others on their team
  • More willing to share knowledge and work with others to achieve company and team goals

The first step is to develop self-awareness. Develop a level of mindfulness that allows you to understand when you feel challenged and your response.

Are you approaching situations with a closed mindset? How does that affect your response and the outcome? Do you become defensive when you make mistakes, are you open to feedback, even when it’s negative? How do you create learning experiences for yourself? How do those you admire handle such situations?

Now, take that assessment outside of your own actions and apply it to how you lead your team by asking yourself four key questions:

  • How do I behave toward others in my organization?
  • Am I ‘fixed-minded” and focused more on my own power than on my employee’s well-being?
  • Do I affirm my own status by demeaning or marginalizing others?
  • Do I feel threatened by high-performing staff members or the success of others?

These are the kinds of attitudes that hinder growth.

You can turn that around by changing your own attitudes and behaviors, providing opportunities for learning and improvement on the job, and valuing the unique talents and perspectives that each member of your team brings to the table.

Demonstrate The Importance of Continued Learning Over Ready-Made Talent

Few people get it right the first time or every time. Employees should be given the space to fail and encouragement – even courage – to strive for improvement in the face of adversity.

Provide your team with opportunities to learn through continued education, mentoring, workshops, and apprenticeships. Share your own stories of courage or overcoming challenges on the job. Delegate tasks and give your team members more autonomy when it comes to making some decisions. Provide feedback in a way that’s constructive rather than critical.

Promote From Within

In business, stories abound about employees who give up after being passed over for promotion time and again in favor of some outsider. A study conducted by the Global Talent Monitor found that 40 percent of those who left their job cited lack of future career development as the primary motivator for quitting.

If you want a team that’s invested in the success of your company, be willing to invest in their success by promoting from within.

Change the Nature of Goal Setting

Progressive leaders focus more on creating development goals rather than performance goals, which rely more heavily on assessing things that an individual already knows how to do.

Try to establish a balance between assessing performance and encouraging individual and team development. Celebrate successes and find the lesson in setbacks.

Final Thoughts

Growth is necessary for all living organisms to thrive. Cultivating and nurturing a growth mindset at your company will allow you to weather bad times with optimism and action and leverage momentum in times of prosperity.

The result is a happy, engaged staff, higher productivity, improved retention rates, and a thriving, progressive company that can weather almost any storm.

Guest Blogger

Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.

 

 


5 Great Biz Expense Tracker Apps for 2019

Tracking your business expenses is one of the most important things to do of having a business, other than looking for the perfect phone system for your business. Business is a matter of how you play your resources right. You invest in something and if it sells, you earn money, otherwise, charge your losses to experience. But how can you accurately tell how much your business earned, invested, and loss?

In most cases, business owners hire someone to do that for them and that job falls under to an accountant. For businesses who don’t have the budget to hire an accountant, owners rely on software that can track their business expenses and everything that comes in it.

Although, most, if not all, software that is capable of doing such feat doesn’t come around for free. If it does, they either come with annoying ads or limited functionalities. So, if you’re a business owner or someone who just wants to tracker their expenses at all times for free, then you might want to consider an expense tracker app.

Expense Tracker App for Android

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expense tracker apps for Android are applications that you can download and install from the Google Play store. These apps can be used to track all of your expenses or investments for your business. By doing so, owners will be able to keep an accurate presentation of their overall business expenses. Additionally, it will allow business owners to know the exact amount of their earnings and losses up to the very cents.

Business expense tracker apps are also portable since you use it with your Android smartphone that you carry with you all the time. Giving you the convenience and ease of use to use it anywhere anytime.

If you’re looking for a tool that you can use to keep track of your business expenses or generally, your expenses, then look no further. We listed down 5 of the best expense tracker apps for your business or personal use that you can use with your smartphone anywhere anytime.

Expense Tracker Apps Overview and JOA Rankings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Best Expense Tracker Apps Ideal for Business Use

We tested 10 of the most popular and most downloaded financial tracker apps on the Google Play store. Out of the 10, we narrowed our list down to 5. Eliminating those apps that either doesn’t meet our standard, redundant or not ideal for business use.

So without further ado, here are our top 5 expense tracker apps perfect for business use:

  1. Money Manager Expense & Budget – by Realbyte Inc. [Best Overall Business Expense Tracker App]

The Money Manager Expense & Budget by Realbyte Inc. is gonna one of the best expense tracker app available out there. This app offers a comprehensive tracking functionality that’s mostly perfect for all kinds of expenditure. May it be for business, personal, or household purposes, this app has it all.

Other the tracking expenses, you can also use the app to track your income. The app will then generalize your expenditures for daily, weekly, and monthly. By doing so, you will be able to track your expenses on a specific day and your overall expenses either on a weekly basis or monthly.

The app will also generate statistics that will show a graph of your overall expenses. Giving you accurate information about where your money is mostly spent on.

The app supports all currencies making it a worldwide compatible app. Other than simply doing inputs of your income and expenses, the app also allows you to put more specifics to it. Such as, what or where you spent money on, cash or card, and account info.

Among our list, nothing is a more flexible and comprehensive expense tracker app than this one. Additionally, you can continue working on your tracker on your PC which we find very convenient feature to have.

Main Features:

  • Applying double-entry bookkeeping accounting system
  • Budget and expense management function
  • Credit / Debit Card management function
  • Transfer, direct debit and recurrence function
  • Passcode Protection
  • Instant statistics
  • Bookmark function
  • Backup / Restore
  • Change of starting date
  • Calculator function (Amount > upper right button)
  • Sub Category ON-OFF function

If you’re looking for a tracker that’s free and has a comprehensive way of tracking your budget, income, and expenses, then we strongly recommend having a look at this one. The only downside of this app is that the free version is limited to 10 assets only and comes with a few random ads.

 

  1. Wallet – Finance Tracker and Budget Planner – by BudgetBakers.com [Best Alternative Business Expense Tracker App]

Another app that’s quite similar to the first app is the Wallet – Finance Tracker and Budget Planner by BudgetBakers.com. This expense tracker app can be considered as comprehensive as the first one. It is capable of tracking your expenses, income, and keep a note of your budget.

The app will allow you to input your expenses either on a daily basis, weekly, or monthly. If you configure the app to note down your budget for a month, it will send a notification that you’re about to use up all of your budgets as you input your expenses which is a pretty neat feature.

What makes this app set itself apart from the list is its added functionality. The app has a smart reminder, once enabled, the app will remind you to input your expenses and to keep a mind of your budget. Furthermore, one unique feature of this app is being able to configure a Goal.

The Goal section of this app allows you to set a specific goal on your budget. For example, set a goal to save $100 for this month. The app will then remind you of your goal from time to time which is a pretty nice feature.

Other than that, the app is user-friendly and has more things to offer.

Main Features:

  • Automatic Bank Updates
  • Imports or Manual Bank Updates
  • Flexible Budgets
  • Insightful reports
  • Sharing selected accounts
  • Multiple currency support
  • Automatic cloud sync
  • Receipt and warranty tracking
  • Categories and templates
  • geo-mapping transactions
  • hash-tagging
  • Shopping lists
  • Exports to CSV/XLS/PDF
  • Debt management
  • PIN security
  • Standing orders
  • Notifications
  • Money Tracker
  • Statistic Report and more.

The only downside of this app is the limited number of accounts you can store in it as well as no multi-user support for one account.

You can, however, purchase or subscribe to the premium version. The monthly subscription will cost $2.99 a month and the one-time lifetime payment cost $39.99.

  1. Money Lover: Money Manager, Budget Expense Tracker – by Finsify [Best User-Friendly Business Expense Tracker App]

The Money Lover: Money Manager, Budget Expense Tracker by Finsify is another excellent featured pack expense tracker app. It has all the features that you will find on the first 2 apps that we mentioned above. The only thing that sets this app apart from the rest on this list is its support for SMS banking, ATM & Bank Finder, as well as money exchanger finder.

Other than the ability to track your business expenses and earnings, this app offers a more simplistic viewing of your expenses. It’s also far more user-friendly than most of the apps listed in here.

Basically, the app has the same functionality as most apps listed here. What makes this app different is its simplistic viewing and quick to navigate to date. Additionally, it has a quick viewing of your financial reports. Easily giving you an overview of your spending, income by date or group.

Main Features:

  • Money Manager
  • Budget Planner
  • Goal Wallet
  • Linked Wallet
  • Bank Sync
  • Credit Wallet
  • Reporting
  • and more.

If you’re looking for an expense tracker that you can easily work with without the need of a tutorial or guide, then this app is worth checking out for.

The only downside of this app is that it comes with account limitation and ads. You can unlock the full potential of this app that removes the ads, give you the ability to export your data to Microsoft Excel, and removes the account limitation. The premium version will cost you about $12. That’s better pricing compared to the Wallet app.

  1. Monefy – Money Manager – by Aimbity AS [Best Lightweight Business Expense Tracker App]

If you’re looking for an expense tracker that’s lightweight and won’t consume much space on your Android smartphone, then Monefy by Aimbity AS is the perfect app for you. It’s far simpler compared to the rest on this list. The home page is the main user interface while keeping things at its basic.

Monefy is by far the easiest and most user-friendly expense tracker app on this list. Adding your expenses and income is easy in 3 steps. Simply tap Expense, input the amount, select a category, and you’re done. You can also pick the account for your income input.

Main Features:

  • See your spendings distribution on the chart
  • Get detailed information from the transactions list
  • Manage categories
  • Synchronized using your own Google Drive or Dropbox account
  • Handy widgets that could be used on the lock screen
  • Multi-currency support
  • Select the currency
  • Use budget mode
  • Backup and export data in one click
  • Multiple accounts support
  • Passcode, Touch ID and Face ID protection
  • Built-in calculator
  • Dark theme

Despite being free and lightweight, one of the most concerning downsides of this app is the inability to change the currency and a couple of feature limitations. You can unlock all its features, remove the ads, and remove its limitations for $2.

  1. Spendee – Budget and Expense Tracker & Planner – by SPENDEE s.r.o.

 

Spendee by SPENDEE s.r.o. is the last app in our list but definitely not the least. Every expense tracker apps offer different and various unique functionality. Spendee is not one of them. What makes this app worth including in our list is its simple user-interface, ease of use, and has all infographic data as well as your list of expenses and earnings in the app home page. Eliminating a few taps if you want to view your statistics, calendar, and expense info.

Spendee is like a trimmed version of Wallet. The app is free and has a couple of limitations. If you want to fully unlock the features of this app, you need to opt for a monthly subscription that you can pay either monthly or annually. You can opt to either the Premium version ($22.99/Yearly|$2.99/Monthly) or Plus version ($14.99/Yearly | $1.99/Monthly).

Lastly, the basic version, the one that’s free, only has a detailed overview, secured data protection, import/export transactions, and backup & sync. If you’re looking for an expense tracker app that has all the information you want to see without the need to transition to a different UI, then Spendee is worth checking out.

The only downside of this app is that you’re required to opt to a monthly or annual subscription plan if you want to unlock all of its features. Otherwise, the free version is very limited to 1 account.

So that’s our top 5 best expense tracker apps for business or personal use. Although, if there’s one tool that can outshine all of these apps for this specific purpose, we’re gonna have to go with Microsoft Office 365 Excel.

The Best Expense Tracker App 2019 – Microsoft Office 365 (Excel)

If there’s really one tool or software that we can really proclaim as the best Expense Tracker app for personal or business use, it’s going to be Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Office 365 – $89.99

Although Microsoft Excel may not be easy to use, it is a powerful tool that can be set up to track your business expenses. You can also save it online allowing you to work on it either on your phone or on your PC. If you’re not confident enough or not skillful to manage and create a theme for excel, you can download themes online that’s already pre-formatted and pre-configured to work for your tracking needs.

Related Question Most People Ask About

  • What’s the best expense tracker app?
    • The best expense tracker app depends on the ones that fit your choice of preference. For us, the best expense tracker app is Microsoft Excel. For Android smartphone, we prefer to use Money Manager.
  • What is the best expense tracker app for iPhone?
    • According to most iPhone users, the best expense tracker app is XpenseTracker by Silverware Software, LLC.
  • What is the best expense tracker app for Android?
  • How to use an expense tracker app?
    • Depending on the tracker app that you’re using, most expense tracker app simply requires you to input your expenses and income on a daily basis. So you can keep track of your expenses accurately.

Business Expense Tracker App for Android Smartphones

Ultimately, expense tracker apps exist to aid you in keeping in track of your daily expenses. These apps aim to provide you information to have an efficient way of keeping track of your money. So regardless of your choice, all the expense tracking apps included in our list should do the job. Regardless if you need it for your business or personal use, all the apps will be capable enough to do the task.

Guest Blogger:

 

 

 

Original Article: https://joyofandroid.com/best-business-expense-tracker-app/


Retaining Top Talent at Your Business: A Guide

Recruiting the best candidates for a position can be a costly process. Once you have finally found the perfect employee, you won’t want to lose them to a competitor, as they could be integral to the growth and profitability of your business.

To ensure you maintain your staff members’ loyalty throughout the years, you must take the steps to improve their working life, so they are never tempted to abandon your brand. Check out this guide to retaining top talent at your business.

Provide an Attractive Salary

If your company is providing salaries that are below average, you shouldn’t be surprised when your best employees leave the business for a more rewarding employer. If you fail to offer a competitive salary for each role at your company, you’ll likely spend a considerable amount of your profit margin advertising many vacancies. It could, therefore, make financial sense to provide your staff with a more attractive rate of pay, so they will think twice before applying for a position elsewhere.

Offer Various Development Opportunities

It’s likely many of your hardworking staff are filled with ambition and will want to routinely grow their skillset and climb the career ladder. You must allow your employees to grow alongside your business if you want to maintain their loyalty. To do so, you should provide them with various development opportunities, such as:

  • Enrolling on an industry-related degree course
  • Joining a leadership program
  • Taking a software skills course

In addition to making your staff feel valued by the organization, their new skillset could improve your company’s productivity, standards, and profitability. So, it could provide the business with a great return on its investment.

Improve Morale with Innovative Technologies

While training opportunities and an attractive salary could help you to attract the best candidates to your organization, a monotonous working day could convince them to quit their role. Rather than allowing them to become weighed down by boring, manual processes, you should invest in technologies to simplify processes and automate lengthy tasks.

For example, you could transform your human resources department by introducing an HR and payroll solution from peoplexcd.com, which can reduce their time spent on various admin tasks while decreasing the likelihood of errors. As a result, they could enjoy a more strategic HR role that will provide them with greater job satisfaction.

Find the Best Job Perks

Improve your company culture by providing your employees with superb job perks, which will increase their loyalty to the business. Never rely solely on the pull of an attractive salary and offer a variety of job benefits to hold on to your top talent.

For instance, you could provide:

The job perks cannot only attract high caliber candidates to your business, but it could set your business apart from organizations that provide a similar salary and development opportunities. To ensure you provide your staff with the best perks for their job, ask for their advice on the types of benefits they would like to receive from the business.


6 Tools That Will Bring a Digital Transformation to Your Small Business

Photo by Maria Agudo López on Unsplash

When you started your small business, writing out your daily to-do list and using a simple spreadsheet for most tasks was probably fairly simple and expedient. As your business grew, however, and you added staff, it wasn’t enough anymore to do what was easiest for you. Now you had staff, contractors, vendors, clients and suppliers to think about. Customers are also living in a digital world and expect the ease and convenience of digital tools.

There is no doubt of the need for even the smallest of businesses to embrace digital tools, but making the switch is not quite so simple. Just using digital tools is not enough, you need to make sure you have the right tools for your business. Here are 6 digital tools that can help make your business’ digital transformation a smooth one.

1. Trello

Trello is a visual project management app that can help keep your entire team on the same page and allow you to see at a glance where different projects stand. With Trello, you can create lists and quickly move items from list to list. Trello allows you to quickly see where bottlenecks are happing and move tasks to get things moving again.

2. Slack

Slack is a robust team communication and collaboration app that allows you to quickly search for keywords or phrases, create different channels for different projects, teams or conversations. Individuals can be notified of important information on a different channel they may need to be aware of without being bogged down by a lot of details they don’t need. No matter how small or large your team, Slack can keep everyone in the loop.

3. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most robust programs you will find to handle all of your email marketing needs. From newsletters to campaigns, Mailchimp allows you to sort and filter lists to tweak, hone and fine tune your campaigns or set it up once and forget it. Mailchimp is one of the very best tools for busy small business owners.

4. SocialPilot

Social media may be one of the best things to ever happen to small businesses. Even the smallest of businesses can run effective social media marketing campaigns and use their social media accounts to create connection and build a loyal following. But keeping up on social media can be a challenge. Hootsuite is one of the most well-known social media management apps but it can also be prohibitively expensive. SocialPilot can do almost everything Hootsuite can do at a much more pocket friendly cost.

5. Office 365

Not all the best tools are new tools. Some of the best tools you may have been using for years, but don’t fully understand their full capacity. Most people are familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, but Office has expanded to include an entire suite of business tools including OneDrive, Exchange and Microsoft Teams. With low monthly subscription Prices, today’s Office may have all the tools you need at a price you can afford.

6. Zipbooks

Quickbooks has, of course, become one of the biggest names in accounting software, but that doesn’t always make them the best. In fact, many small businesses do not need all the features that Quickbooks has to offer or the price tag that comes with it. Zipbooks is a free accounting program that gives you all the tools and analytics you need to take your business to the next level and it’s made just for small businesses. Not only will Zipbooks help you keep your books, but it will also automatically send invitations to clients to leave reviews and provide smart insights about your most loyal and profitable customers.

One of the challenges of digital transformation is creating a smooth streamlined system from all the many tools that are available. In many cases, there are multiple apps and programs you can use that will accomplish the same thing. The important thing is to find the right one for you. If you use Office 365, you might find it more convenient to use Yammer than Slack, but you may prefer MailChimp over Outlook. You will, of course have to choose between a number of paid and free programs, but ultimately the goal is to find the best solutions for you. In some cases, it might be better to pay a bit more for one program that can accomplish 3 or 4 tasks than to use three different programs to accomplish those same tasks.

BIO: Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about the latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters


Useful Money-Saving Tips for Startups

Useful Money-Saving Tips Suitable for Startup Mode

Getting a business off the ground is an important first step once the planning and fund-raising aspects have been completed. Once you know how much cash is in the bank for business expenses ahead of future sales or another funding round, it’s time to economize to make the funds last. This can be the difference between having to take on debt or give up another 10 percent of the company due to spending too ambitiously in the early weeks and months. Here are some ways that a startup can save money.

Edit Images Using Free Software Apps

You don’t always need an expensive Photoshop software package to edit photos ready for publication on your company’s website. There are plenty of mobile apps on iOS and Android that let mobile users adjust photos to remove red-eye, deal with blurring, handle overexposure, and other teething issues with hastily-taken shots.

Whether you wish to use a free online editor like Pixlr.com or an app where you can process existing photos on the Android OS, it’s easy to do. There are also plenty of iOS apps that offer filtering features to adjust how photos look or to edit them outright. The editing tends to work better on a larger canvas, so an iPad is perhaps a better choice than an iPhone for detailed mobile photo editing. Click Here to learn which apps would be suitable depending on your mobile platform of choice.

Remote vs Office vs Outsourced Staff

When in startup mode, conserving available funds is important to give your business more time between funding rounds and giving away part of the ownership into the bargain. One cost-saving measure is to consider the benefits of using freelancer’s vs remote workers. Freelancers are available per task, if necessary, rather than hired as full-time employees. Remote workers don’t require an office to come to five days a week which can be beneficial too.

Office staff work well and have reasonable productivity levels, but it does force a move to the initial office space earlier than some might prefer. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it must be factored into the financial calculations. For this reason, it’s a good idea to weigh up all staffing options carefully first.

Consider Previously Used, Not New

Most startups want to dazzle visitors with everything being new and fancy. This is an expensive proposition for a company that hasn’t turned a profit yet. Whether looking at office chairs or work desks, cabinets or drawers, there are certainly places where companies can economize on what they need to get the office looking ready.

When you consider how many companies start and later fail, there are plenty of places that receive almost new office furniture and other items at knockdown prices when the failed businesses had their liquidation sale. Avoid overspending in places where potential clients won’t care and respond to anyone questioning the cost-saving move to provide competitive pricing against the competition.

One of the biggest mistakes of new businesses is spending too much in the early days. It can be a mistake if sales fail to materialize as quickly as the financial projections indicated and this will cause hardship as a result. By moderating the cash burn rate, startups can avoid encountering problems later.


Books I recommend by J.R. Atkins, MBA

Every time I do a workshop or presentation I end with a list resources including a list of books. At one of my recent talks, someone asked what other books I would recommend for business owners. I have a long list on my website but here is the short list by category.

Social Mediasocialnomics

  1. Socialnomics, by Erik Qualman

“How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business “

  1. Social Media 2.0 by J.R. Atkins

“A cliff notes version of the Big 5 of Social Media “LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and Video”

  1. Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah

“A guide to increasing online visibility and engagement”

Starting a BusinessJ.R. Atkins recommends a lean start up

  1. Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

“Explains your role as an employee, business owner, self-employed and investor”

  1. eMyth by Michael Gerber

“E is for Entrepreneur. Learn how to work on your business, not just in your business”

  1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

“Before you start your business, know what is important and what is fluff”

Building your BusinessJ.R. Atkins Recommends Blue Ocean Strategy

  1. Crush It by Gary Vanerchuk

“Shows you how to use the power of the Internet and social media to grow your businesses”

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

“How to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant”

  1. Failing Forward by John C Maxwell

“Taught me how to convert past failures into future success”

Personal DevelopmentJ.R. Atkins recommends Elon Musk book

  1. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

“The power of thinking without thinking”

  1. Strength Finder by Tom Wrath

“Discover your strengths, use them and surround yourself with others to cover the gaps”

  1. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

“An inside look at a visionary, entrepreneur and billionaire”

I’d love to hear what your favorite books are and why. Drop me a line sometime at

jratkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com

J.R. Atkins has been working with individuals, executives and small businesses since 1993 and on Social Media since 2008. He has a BA in Marketing from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. J.R. serves as an adjunct professor at Temple College and CTC. He has published 3 books Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Road Map to Success.


The Strategic Planning Process by Michael Mills

My business associate Michael Mills is great at helping companies convert their strategic plans into practical processes that deliver daily results.

Check out his latest blog post:

THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS: CHAPTER #1 – WHY YOU NEED IT & CREATING YOUR VISION

Here is a very short excerpt:

Strategic planning begins with a VISION . If you’re not certain about your future, if you don’t have a clear picture of where you’re going, how do you expect to ever get there?

Studies show, and it’s quite logical, that if you have a clearly defined goal, you communicate that goal and you track your progress towards that goal, you have a 300% better chance of achieving that goal.

We speak to thousands of business owners every year and if I ask any one of them how they see their business 5-7 years from now, I almost always get a vague answer – “I want to get bigger” most will say

Business Design Corporation Blog Post

Stay tuned to hear when we will hold out next webinar on the importance of processes and how to implement them.


Life is a Process

Author J.R. Atkins writes about Sales ProcessDuring my early days as a salesperson I participated in many training programs, yet my favorite was taught by Jim Chandler and was based on his “10 Foundation Statements”.  #7, the Process Statement, is applicable in sales, operations, accounting, manufacturing, marketing, education, theology, construction… and life; I have used it in many ways and now share it with you.

Process Statement: Selling is a process. My job, as a professional salesperson, is to create a personal selling process that is so strong, that the pressure of selling is absorbed by the process and not by me.

Wow, what a relief I felt when I discovered that if I built a strong process, I no longer had to worry about when and where my sales would originate. I could trust the process. My sales actually improved when I applied this philosophy and my sales process. I know my prospects did not feel the pressure of the sale either. They were free to choose to do business with me or not. It was ok. I was no longer emotionally tied to the sales call outcome. I had faith that the sales process that I built would deliver. And if it did not deliver enough results at the right time, it was the process that needed tweaking, not me.

Moving on from sales, I have used the same process statement in building and implementing successful Marketing Plans. I have used it to plan events for work and non-profit organizations. When I relocated, I used a strong moving process to absorb the great pressure and stress of moving. I knew I would not be dead if I did not meet a deadline because I had a predetermined contingency plan.

If you have worked in a well-organized operations environment then you are very familiar with processes and procedures. Yet other parts of the organization may not have a written process. Oh, did I forget to mention that my sales process was a 7 page typed and bound booklet?

A Written Process: When I mention writing down a process in the workshops and classes I lead, people roll their eyes like I asked them to pull their own wisdom teeth. There are two main values in writing your process (1) What you discover in creating a process (2) comparing actual results to your process.

J.R. Atkins uses coffee making as a processs exampleTake a mundane example like making coffee for your office and ask a team to write the process. You will discover many variations on the same theme of making coffee such as only use filtered water, only use true Columbian coffee and make sure the filters are environmentally friendly. Yet, once the process is developed and implemented you can trust that the coffee will taste the same every time it is prepared.

As for comparing the actual to the planned, what do you do when the coffee taste different? You start checking on who made the coffee, did they follow the process, and then discover that the wrong kind of coffee was delivered by your supply chain representative (aka, the person who shops for your break room).

Can you get carried away with having too many or too long a process? Yes. Is there a process for writing a process? Probably. Take the best and forget the rest. My hope is this article will spur you on to make some type of improvement in your personal, volunteer or business life. If so, please let me know ☺


The 5 Stages of Culture from “Tribal Leadership”

“People Tribe, Fish School, Cattle Herd and Birds Flock” and so it goes, says my client and friend Kathy Dudley of Compassion Creates Change. Then she goes on to explain the 5 Stages of Tribes (below). My eyes widen and I frantically begin to take notes as the information and this model of behavior resonates with other ideas bouncing around in my head. So, I share the following resources with you in hopes of helping you and your organization excel in the new year.

This video explains the Tribe concepts as it applies to organizations

 

The Models or Info-graphicsJ.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, here is an excerpt from the book which I highly recommend.

Every company, indeed, every organization, is a tribe, or if it’s large enough, a network of tribes—groups of twenty to 150 people in which everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows of everyone else. Tribes are more powerful than teams, companies, or even CEO’s, and yet their key leverage points have not been mapped—until now. In Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright show leaders how to assess their organization’s tribal culture on a scale from one to five and then implement specific tools to elevate the stage to the next. The result is unprecedented success.

J.R. Atkins MBA Recommends the book Book: Tribal LeadershipIn a rigorous ten-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations, Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright refine and define a common theme: the success of a company depends on its tribes, the strength of its tribes is determined by the tribal culture, and a thriving corporate culture can be established by an effective tribal leader. Tribal Leadership will show leaders how to employ their companies’ tribes to maximize productivity and profit: the authors’ research, backed up with interviews ranging from Brian France (CEO of NASCAR) to “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, shows that more than three quarters of the organizations they’ve  studied have tribal cultures that are merely adequate, no better than the third of five tribal stages.

The authors explain exactly what Tribal Leadership is, and offer a wealth of “technical notes” which explain how to implement the leadership system in any culture. They also offer coaching tips and a “cheat sheet” that provides the key action steps to building great tribes—including how to identify a tribe’s language and customs, how to move yourself forward while moving your people, and how to build a support network. “The goal is to give you the perspective and tools of a Tribal Leader,” the authors write. “The result is more effective workplaces, greater strategic success, less stress, and more fun. In short, the point of this book is for you to build a better organization in which the best people want to work and make an impact.”

TRIBAL LEADERSHIP details each of the five tribal stages and helps readers identify which actions affect it and which strategies will enable the tribe to upgrade to the next level. The authors discuss how each stage has a unique set of leverage points and why it is critical to understand them—more than three quarters of the organizations they studied have tribal cultures that are adequate at best. The five stages include:

• Stage One: The stage most professionals skip, these are tribes whose members are despairingly hostile—they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.

• Stage Two: The dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes, this stage includes members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.

• Stage Three: 49 percent of workplace tribes are in this stage, marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and out-think their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.

• Stage Four: The transition from “I’m great” to “we’re great” comes in this stage where the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.

• Stage Five: Less than 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage when members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.

The authors also offer an in-depth look at Tribal Leadership strategies, and discuss how leaders can identify the tribe’s core values and the noble causes to which they aspire. They then explain how to use those principles along with the tribe’s inherent assets and behaviors to foster success based on the tribe’s goals and objectives. As the authors explain, once the tribe sets its strategy based on these factors, a palpable sense of excitement begins to emerge. “Every member of the tribe knows exactly how to succeed and what each person must do to make the tribe effective,” they write. “That’s the promise of tribal strategy.”

Leaders, managers, and organizations that fail to understand, motivate, and grow their tribes will find it impossible to succeed in an increasingly fragmented world of business. The often counter-intuitive findings of Tribal Leadership will help leaders at today’s major corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits learn how to take the people in their organization from adequate to outstanding, to discover the secrets that have led the highest-level tribes to remarkable heights, and to find new ways to succeed where others have failed.

I look forward to reading your comments, receiving your emails, chatting on the phone or in person about these concepts.

 


How Successful Startups Hire

Check out this short video on “One Minute MBA” on how to hire people for your successful start up. Thanks to Emily Stewart for shaing the content. Please add your comments below.

 


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