Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sink, Swim, or Float...The Business Lessons

Entrepreneurship is an area of business unlike any other. Why do I say that?

No resume, CV or whatever you chose to call it is going to prepare you for what lies ahead when you decide to embark on business. No government support / lack of it is going to ensure / deny you success. When it comes down to it, it is how you take the "limes" life gives you and make it into something more palatable.

This economic environment is quite dynamic - forcing you to draw on creativity that you previous may not have known to even exist. Experience gained comes daily, since it is on these occasions that we are constantly faced with challenges which we've never really confronted before; and they are not going anywhere soon unless addressed by us.

So what do we do when faced with these challenges. Our approaches will determine if our business ventures survive or perish, whether we remain stagnant or gain traction. In short, what progress will we make?

Will we sink, swim, or float?

Guess what? Your attitude makes all the difference. It determines if you'll just "tread water" or succeed / fail. So how are you going to look at the situations you face? Will you seek solutions or dwell on the problems? Will you be negative / positive about the challenges you face?

You may believe that you have to face your challenges yourselves; while you are responsible, remember you are not alone.

Richie B. is a Business Consultant & Trainer with Blades & Blades Consultancy Services.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Whose fault is it?

I'm often amazed that when preparing for training, the leadership of the organization are always saying what problems they have with the staff / support personnel of the said organization. We get to hear all the "leaks" in the organization that's hindering the progress of the entity at the rate that was previously determined. [There have been times when the organization didn't have their progress way-points clearly defined.]

As a trainer, it is necessary to constantly draw on one's experience and not go in with any slant / biases based on the "management meetings"; should you take that approach you will be in for a rude awakening.

When in sessions with the team, we then are exposed to the ground level reasons why certain objectives aren't realized. Thing is, these team members have been constantly ignored. Only to have their feedback put into to the reports which management then adopts. So here are a couple lessons:

  • Your own people never listen to you. This is the fault of both management and line staff. 
  • The contributors to the organization need to learn how to be friendly without being familiar. There's no need to be hostile / indifferent to staff / management. 
  • Everyone should be on the same page trying to grow the business; which is difficult enough as it is without the internal resistance / negative dynamics. 
  • It is necessary, more than ever, to function as a team to ensure sustainability of the entity. 
  • Create the environment that everyone would want to associate within. 
  • Stop passing blame, begin accepting responsibility. 
If you function well within your organization, it can be the best training you ever receive. You will move from job security to employment security. Everyone will want to hire you once they have been exposed to your positive side within the work place  and these attributes override your negative tendencies. 

I hope that within the near future, we can move from "Whose fault's this?" to "Who's responsible for this excellent work?". 

Our website's here. Feel free to leave comments. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's time to get serious...Customer Service

Observing the recent state of business development, one thing is clear. There is a uniform lack of customer service being given by Barbadian businesses. The thing is, we are quick to complain about other businesses with whom we interact, but seldom cast the eye on the operations within which we have control.

This article which shows Where to Get the World's Best Customer Service speaks volumes of where we need to go, if we are to even enter the map of the customer service grid. We have no end of people doing hospitality, tourism and hotel studies; they are not absorbed into the industry, yet there is a constant decline in customer service.

Programs of training speak to how we must address our internal customers, an arena where we can practice offering good service but is often ignored / neglected. There are even programs that have been developed which show clearly how to establish competence in customer service in your respective careers; yet customer service receives little more than "lip service".

You will notice from the article that the countries listed among the best in customer service don't even seem to focus on tourism. They just function on doing business under circumstances where their "customers" / clients are embraced in a welcoming environment and feel a degree of comfort wanting to do business repeatedly with them. They understand that the key ingredient in gaining business' market share is in fact the offering of the best customer service.

Customer service has to be tops in face to face contact, on the telephone, in your correspondence, in every aspect of interaction regardless of whether the person is perceived to be a high value customer or not.

Keep tuned in as we will over the next couple of weeks be looking at customer service and its impact - on businesses and the beneficial spin-offs on entire economies.

N.B. Kudos for the image. We don't know who produced it, but we wanted to say thanks for allowing its use.

Really men?!? Haven't we been tokenised enough?

International Men's Day [IMD] passed recently and I was ONLY made aware when i received the greetings via social media from well meaning...