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Alignment, the Secret to Modern Business Success

One of the biggest challenges facing modern businesses of all sizes is how to take the business to the next level of success and profit without the cost structure getting out of control. One of the biggest costs on most business’s Profit and Loss Statement is salaries and wages, or in simpler terms, people.

As a business leader, your challenge is to get more out of your people without making them work ridiculous hours or chasing them around barking orders. What would it mean to your business if all the people you employ were passionate about the business, understood and believed fully in the goals and ideals of the business and strived each day to deliver the goals and results their job was designed to deliver?

In the past, business leaders have often resolved growth challenges by employing more people and trying to get them to generate additional sales and improved customer service, only to find out much later that the growth in overhead costs has cancelled out the growth in sales. It has often been said that any business is only as good as the people in it, and today this statement is probably truer than it has ever been.

So how do we as business leaders and managers go about getting more out of the people we employ?

A famous quote states; “A fish rots from the head down” and this is true for any business or organisation. The senior leadership of any organisation is where any strategy to get more from the people must start. The leadership of any business must give clear direction, rules and goals for all members of the business to follow, including the most senior directors.

Being a leader in a business is not just about explaining the goals and rules of the business, but inspiring the team in the business to become passionate about what the business is trying to achieve and why it is so important. Many leaders forget that you can only lead people, not a task or a job, and as such, it is the way the people feel and view their jobs that often makes the difference between a company that slowly moves forward and one that continues to outperform its competitors regularly. True leadership is about inspiring people where they care as much about the results and performance of the business as much as the directors and owners do.

Another key function of leadership that is often overlooked in modern business is that of retaining and developing the key talent currently in the business and to be constantly on the search for new talent to bring into the business to develop. Many of the business owners I speak to in the UK today, tell me that they often get very high numbers of people applying for jobs with them, but finding real talent in the market place is becoming more and more difficult. It is therefore very important that the most senior leaders in any business must align the culture and perception of the business to attract the kind of talent they are looking for and to retain the talent already within the business.

From this the owners must make sure that the structure or organisational chart of the business is aligned to deliver the goals and results the business is looking for.

It is amazing how many businesses have compromised their structure to fit the people in each of the roles which often results in lack of clarity about ownership of each area of the business and also major communication challenges within the business. This is what happens when the structure is not aligned with the results the business is looking for.

Once the structure is in place, it is vital that the job roles are aligned with the structure and results the business is looking for. One of the most common methods of creating a job role is to focus on what you want the person in the role to do, so the job role often becomes a long list of things to do and the overall function of the job role is then lost. A better way to create a job role is to start with the outcomes or results you are looking for from the job role and then define what the role must do in order to deliver those outcomes. Each job role must also have a measurement or set of measurements connected to it so that the person in the role and their leader can quickly and easily measure how the job role is performing.

I was recently working with a business on this very matter in their sales department and all the sales people told me that on average they spent around 10% of their time on sales and the rest on other functions and duties. When I investigated the matter, it turned out that most of their time was spent doing other departments work, the structure and roles were not aligned to deliver increased sales, the very thing the business was looking for!

Once this is all done, look at the structure as a leader and make sure you have the right people in the right roles. This is often a very challenging step for a leader to take as it often comes with the fear of upsetting people or causing disruption to the business. As a leader in a situation like this, take a step back and look at the bigger picture and just ask yourself, how much upset, lack of results and frustrations are being caused to the business and the team with the wrong person in the role. The answer to this can very often be a huge eye opener.

Once this is all aligned, it is important that the marketing strategy of the business is aligned with the key customers in each market sector they are looking to attract. It is interesting to hear how many business leaders complain about the large quantity of potential customers who contact their business and just waste their time. The key factor they are not seeing is that it is their marketing message that is attracting these people to contact them. Know the market place you want to be active in, identify your ideal customer in that sector, understand what your point of difference is in the market against your competitors and then align your market strategy and communication to attract the kinds of customers you really want. Then do this separately for every sector you wish to be active in.

The next step is to make sure that your sales process and all the people who take an active role in it are aligned with the marketing strategy and communication so that a consistent level of profitable success is achieved.

This process can then be applied to every department in your business and also to your supplier agreements and processes.

This may all seem like an article that points out the obvious, but the reason I have written it is because over the many years I have been a business leader and later a coach and consultant, I have very rarely seen it put into place across and entire business and as a conscious strategy.

It is vital that as a leader, you regularly test and check to make sure that each department and your business is truly aligned, the results you will achieve will make the investment in time worth it.

Why A Residential Cleaning Business Is Among the Best Businesses to Start

Residential cleaning business startups are sure to be featured in any list of the best businesses to launch. The common wisdom is that it’s easy to start a house-cleaning business. “All you need are basic cleaning supplies and some clients,” says one fairly well-known newspaper in an article in their business section. The truth is that, while a cleaning business can be easy to start and run, you actually need considerably more than some basic cleaning supplies and a few clients. Depending on where you open your business, you may need a business license, insurance, an employer identification number and a solid understanding of the home cleaning business. In fact, whether you’re planning to start a business activity from scratch or get a head start by buying into a franchise, it’s important to understand all of the factors and requirements to run a successful business.

Learn from the Best

Luckily for those who want to start their own business, other people have been there and done that, and a few have even written books and training courses so that you can learn from their hits and misses. If you’re considering opening a residential cleaning business of your own, take the time to research the subject thoroughly and invest in a solid training course that will teach you everything you need to know.

What You May Not Know About House Cleaning Businesses

1. You May Need a Business License

In most cities and states, you’ll need a business license to operate any type of business, including a home cleaning business. In most cities, the cost of the business license is fairly low, and many charge hefty fines if you operate a business without one. If you’re planning to build a profitable business instead of just making some spare change, you want to do it all legally and above board.

2. You Need Business Insurance

No matter how good you are at cleaning, there’s always the chance that you will damage something in a client’s home. When that happens, you’ll be glad you invested in business insurance. Without it, the cost of replacement or repair will come out of your pocket.

3. You May Need Bonding

While it’s not always required, many prospective clients will feel safer employing you if you and your employees are fully bonded. A bonding company essentially provides an assurance to your customers that if you or one of your employees steals from them, they can recover the value of the stolen goods.

4. Employment Taxes

The IRS has been cracking down on businesses that treat employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying Medicare and Social Security taxes. If you plan to hire employees and pay them an hourly wage, you should consult a business attorney for advice on the regulations you need to follow.

5. Unlimited Earnings Potential

If you manage your business well and provide excellent service, a house cleaning business offers you the opportunity to earn as much money as you want to earn. After all, there will always be people who hate to clean and are willing to pay someone else to do it for them.

If you’re interested in start business opportunities, invest in a good course that will show you the ropes.

Deciding the Perfect Time to Sell a Business

As a business owner, your business is your baby. It might not only be your source of income, but also your identity and your life. The thought of selling your baby is hard to consider especially now and so you wait.

Many business owners will delay the thought of when to sell until it is far too late; leaving them frustrated and felling regret that they didn’t sell when they could have.

Often business owners think that a family member or key employee will take over the business. Sadly we are seeing that many family members do not want the business and the business owners is left considering a plan b.

So, even if you have a family member or key employee that will be buying the business, you still have to decide when you will make the transfer. Often since no formal planning or decision has been made, the decision defaults to when the business owner just does not want to work the business any more. And although this might seem like a logical time, it does guarantee greatest value for the business.

Sadly, waiting until you just can’t do it any more, might actually be at the lowest value of the business. Here’s why. As you start to fall out of love with the business, you are no longer putting everything into the business and the business is no longer operating a peak, the owner is relaxing and the business is as well.

Often sales drop, marketing slows down and the business drops in profit and revenues, hence dropping in value.

So instead of waiting until you can’t do it anymore, plan to exit when the business is at its peak.

For business owners this is a VERY hard time to sell. Image as a business owner you have built your business to almost run itself and the economy takes off and suddenly you are making more money than you have ever made and your business is running at its best.

It is easy to think the curve will continue to go up, but this never happens. As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down. Eventually the business will decline.

Because the value of the business is highly weighed on its revenues and profit, now is the ideal time to sell, but emotionally the hardest time to sell.

When talking to friends and family about selling, they will think you are crazy. Your spouse might question your sanity and you probably still love your business.

If you understand the growth curve of a business you know that after ever good period is a down period and either you can be the one working through the down period or the new owner can.

Sadly many business owners get comfortable and when a growth spurt like this occurs, they hold on and think it will last forever. Then they kick themselves years later when they had an offer to sell (near the peak) and they turned it down.

When you get an offer and the business is growing, now is the time to consult with a business broker or business intermediary. Get the business valued and ask for the market trends to see if there are indications of being towards the top of the peak.

Taking some time prepare yourself now, could save your thousands and maybe even millions in the future.