Small Business Consultants Can Help You Grow and Achieve Operational Excellence

Good small business consultants can help business owners and entrepreneurs discover more ways to make profit on a regular basis. A lot of people who seek the help of a small business consultant wind up pleasantly surprised at just how many areas of expertise that consultant actually has.

Outsourcing some of your processes, such as marketing, or getting help coming up with a plan of action to tackle your existing business challenges could make a big difference to the success of your business; and fast, too. Small business consultants can help you go after new business as well as help you to ensure that you can effectively handle a spike in volume. Growth is good but you need to be able to handle that growth and to be able to sustain it as well. Getting help from an expert just makes sense. A consultant has expertise working with many industries and can help you market to expand as well as correct operational deficiencies that could be limiting or potentially dangerous to your reputation and future growth possibilities.

Most business consultants have a wide array of experience and have been entrepreneurs themselves. Their knowledge and experience puts them in a good position to look at businesses with challenges or goals that require direction and action plans and then provide small business owners or entrepreneurs with info that can help them move forward.

Finding New Customers

Most businesses are on the constant lookout for new customers. Why wouldn’t you want to capture more market share than you have today? Your business consultant can help you find customers that don’t know how much value you can add to their lives yet as well as help you position your company’s products or services so that you can take market share from dissatisfied or disloyal customers of your competitors.

Capitalising on Existing Customers

Some businesses have a more loyal customer base than others. But many small businesses who first start out don’t realise the full potential in your first few customers. Not only could they become repeat customers but they could also be case studies that help you demonstrate your capabilities in your industry.

If your business has an existing client base, it makes sense to spend a bit of time marketing to those people. After all, they have already shown that they are confident enough in you to place an initial order. If you have done your job well, subsequent sales should be much easier to achieve and those businesses could prove to be valuable for their testimonials, the business you can begin forecasting for based on trends, and for their word of mouth referral power.

Small business consultants help small businesses capitalise on existing customers while helping them to expand to attract new clients as well. By investing in expertise you can expand quickly and with confidence that you have the infrastructure in place to support new business.

Entrepreneur Consultant: Power of Your Intention

Today we are going to talk about the power of your intention. Every business that is built has a reason for its existence and this reason determines the path the business will take to achieve its goals. Your business can only be as unique as its intention.

What I believe. I believe in your intention to create the kind of consulting business no one has ever seen. Your goal is to create a business that gives advice in a different way to a different audience. You are trying to elevate your art form by being more valuable, not just more intelligent. I understand you’re trying to do consulting differently and I believe in the picture you have created.

Why I believe it. I believe you are an expert. You have the experience and background that gives particular insight into you marketplace. I believe you plan to use your insight for good. I also know that you’re irritated. You have seen so many other experts do the same thing repeatedly and their approach adds little value. You aren’t impressed that the status-quo gets reinforced year after year with no real movement in the marketplace. You know it’s time to shake it up and you know your company can do it.

Being in business means more to you than just the money itself. You could’ve taken a more lucrative path if you wanted, but instead you chose a path that has meaning in it. At the same time, you understand that being a responsible business means making a profit. You plan to continue your profitable ways, but you also understand that there needs to be some substance in your business if you are going to stay excited.

Relevance to you. I realize that you are not a normal consultant. You don’t give normal advice and you don’t work with normal clients. You created your business to have a specific impact on the world. That’s a different kind of intention and as a company we know your kind of intention requires a different kind of care.

At the same time, you understand that the typical business, marketing, and management advice will not satisfy your desire to grow. You know you need something different. Perhaps you already have grasped those basics, but you’re looking for the next level of insight to help your particular kind of business grow. We understand that the support you need is more than just informative resources. Your business needs to be cultivated and that is why we include measures of accountability into our programming. We want to be sure the cultivation process happens. Your business should get a little better quarter after quarter, year after year.

Your intention has the power to make a difference in your chosen path. The more unique the intention you choose, the more unique the care needs to be in order to push your intention forward in the right direction. We accept the responsibility of working with you as you build your awesome consulting business.

IT Consulting Jobs

With the diversification of computer industry and rapid changes in technology, careers related to computer and information technology are one of the fields most people are trying to fill. The competition in this field has doubled every year. However, with the vast array of industries requiring IT experts and other IT consulting jobs, this profession is still viable and profitable.

One of the best positions to consider is being a computer consultant. Computer consulting career is one of the most exciting fields to look at, not only because it offers big compensation but it offers the flexibility in schedules and the freedom to choose the people you want to work with. However, the decision to become consultant should not be taken lightly. It needs proper education, several experience related to this profession as well as skills that you can use during IT consulting jobs. As a computer consultant, your clients trust and recognize you as the expert in this field expecting you to deliver results.

To enter in this profession, you should already have many marketable skills that you can offer to your client. It will be an advantage if you have many years working experience in one of many fields in computer industry. If not, you can partner with qualified consultant and subcontract with them. This technique will help you build the list of possible clients that you can work with in the future. Your client will be your bread and butter in advancing to this profession. It is important to leave a positive impression to every client that you work with. One client may result to another client if you did a good job.

Aside from being technically well verse, there are also other aspects that you should consider like: marketing skills, entrepreneurship skills, planning skills, time management skills and other skills needed for successful IT consulting jobs. Above all, you should be a self motivated individual because it is not always a happy day in this profession. There are times that you will not get a single client especially if you are just starting. The good thing about this profession is once you set your momentum there will be no stopping unless you said so.

Why SEO Consultants Are Needed In Businesses Today

The importance of SEO Consultants…

Now, you might know already what SEO means, but only few know how it really works and do wonders in your business. Having your own website is just a start of marketing your services or products worldwide. You need to make it visible to your potential clients or customers when they search the web. This is where the search engine optimisation experts come in, they are individuals and firms who know just what to do.

Benefits you can get from SEO Consultants:

1. SEO consulting is easier since they can explain to you the process and possible ways to increase the page rank of your website in popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

2. Everything will be clear to you through the reports they submit, so you can definitely monitor the progress of your pages every now and then.

3. You can save time and effort trying to increase the ranks of your pages on your own.

4. Being number 1 ranked in the search engine results means an increase of visitors looking for what you have to offer. More clicks on your website and potentially more clients, which can lead to higher revenues.

5. Visibility of your site and pages to your target market will be maintained which is a great advantage for you towards other competitors in the same category.

6. Assurance that you can contend with whatever problems in your online marketing strategy with the help of your search engine consultant.

7. If the results are unsatisfactory, you have the option to either continue or terminate your contract with that the seo consultant. Thus, finding an excellent professional to do the job for you is critical and must be done wisely.

8. More time for your other marketing strategies since you don’t have to worry about your page rankings.

9. Faster output when it comes to generating human traffic through keyword optimization because every keyword will be utilized properly according to your target URL.

10. All the important pages in your website will be focused and promoted by your SEO Consultant, so all of them will appear in the results list when they are searched.

SEO consultants understand what you need

Search engine optimization is a very broad topic and a complex process. It’s not easy to understand especially if you are new to it, that’s why there are SEO Consultants who help business and company owners kick start their visibility in the search engines. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help and hire someone knowledgeable about the whole SEO process as you will be the one to benefit from it in the long run. Just be sure that you employ someone whom you can trust and is an expert in this field. That person must be reliable enough and can carry out good results in a matter of time. If you have this kind of SEO Consultant then you’re in good hands because that individual will certainly maintain your high page ranking.

The Importance of Needs Assessments in Computer Consulting

Depending on the size of a company and its computer culture, implementing new computer solutions can range from being a quick, hassle free process to a complex process that requires a computer consultant to consider various criteria before proposing solution. In most cases, large companies where multiple employees will access a new computer system require computer consultants to conduct an in depth needs assessment that considers computer solutions form a variety of company angles, including a company’s organizational structure, its human resources, its competition, its customers, its employees at all levels, its staffing and employee turnover, its management and employee reward programs, its sales figures, its marketing strategy and its mission, goals and objectives, among other concerns.

In a needs assessment of this depth, the goal is to provide solutions that increase a company’s effectiveness without first resulting in a learning curve that compromises employee productivity and negatively impact a company’s bottom line. Nevertheless, some managers exhibit an unwillingness to pay for in depth needs assessments and instead prefer that a computer consulting firm implement solutions from a more superficial standpoint. In most cases, a manager’s reluctance to opt for an needs assessment results from the belief that the money would be better invested in specific remedial sessions, which leaves a computer consulting firm with two options: give the company what they want, even if it won’t result in the long-term benefits that the company desires, or insist on the importance of conducting a needs assessment in the face of losing business.

In addition to these two scenarios, some computer consulting firms take the approach that, if they give a client what they want, the client will return for additional consulting after discovering that the consultant was right about a needs assessment. However, the likelihood of a company returning to a consultant that didn’t implement an effective solution the first time is risky at best, even as the poor results came from stubbornness on the part of management. The optimal outcome for implementing complex solutions depends on two things: the consultant’s remaining set on an in depth needs analysis and management’s willingness to balance start up cost against long term cost savings and profits.

When a computer consultant dialogues with a company whose solutions implementation involves a variety of concerns, the consultant becomes a guide and mentor in addition to a technical specialist. Whereas management is usually in the position of asking questions and considering answers, its role is usually reversed in the case of large-scale computer solutions. In addition, because computer consultants are expensive and management’s job is to cut costs, the reluctance to perform an in depth needs analysis is understandable. Nevertheless, having a reputable computer consulting firm perform a thorough needs assessment is one of the most critical investments a company can make.

Managing External IT Consultants Effectively

One of the most commonplace complaints encountered within professional IT Departments working as part of a larger organisation is that they have somehow ‘lost control’ of a group of external consultants originally introduced to assist with a particular project.

The problem

There are many excellent IT Support Consultancies delivering real benefit to organisations.

Yet sometimes someone within the in-house IT Department (or the wider business sponsoring area) designated to ‘manage’ the external consultants’ activities suddenly finds that he or she has been bypassed in the management chain.

The reality becomes that the consultants are now de-facto reporting directly to someone at the top of the organisation on the business management side. This relationship is often at a senior partner level within the consultancy and executive sponsor level of the client organisation. The link is often built by a consultancy under the Trojan Horse auspices of ‘executive level relationship management’.

This can effectively blur accountability and result in nobody really being able to hold the external consultants to account for their activities, decisions, productivity and cost-effectiveness. The reality is that multiple communication channels are opened up to the client’s executive sponsorship level and the in-house project manager has become someone who can be easily bypassed when required.

The result is that the in-house PM becomes not the controller of the external consultants but rather an ‘administrative facilitator’ to assist with their largely independent activities.

Worse, blurring the lines of management accountability is sometimes used intentionally by consultants with a view to providing opportunities for cross-selling their services to other areas of the organisation.

Given that very significant numbers of major IT projects fail and post mortems often cite a contributory cause as being a failure to control and integrate external consultants, it’s imperative that organisations should be aware of this potentially very serious issue and address it accordingly.

What can be done

To ensure that the project remains under tight control and to reduce the chances of failure, the following governance steps should be taken:

1. It should be recognised that many external consultancies will naturally have an unspoken and usually unacknowledged objective to avoid being controlled and held accountable by senior management anywhere in the sponsoring organisation.

Their intention will usually be to secure an executive-level relationship with the sponsoring company whilst notionally recognising the project manager’s authority.

2. The governance structures of the client organisation should understand this to be ‘business as usual’ but also something which is fundamentally in conflict with basic project control disciplines and the need for the project manager to be the focus of communication and REAL total resource management.

3. If a senior partner in the consultancy wishes to have a direct engagement at relationship management level, the sponsoring organisation should insist this is through their appointed project manager. Insisting upon this will typically result in the consultancy’s senior partner rarely, if ever, appearing on the scene.

Removing exclusive project manager control of external consultancy communications and their engagement/relationship management with his or her own company effectively undermines the PM and removes his or her ability to totally control external consultancy resources on a daily basis.

To ensure project success, there should never be any doubt as to who is ‘in charge’ and that person should be at a senior operational management or junior executive level within the sponsoring organization.

Of course, it should also be recognised that controlling highly-professional and very well-qualified external IT consultants demands the highest calibre of internal project management. Asking someone with relatively little experience of managing a major project to deliver it safely and to take control of powerful external provider organisations in doing so, may be unrealistic bordering naïve.

However, even the most experienced and capable project managers must have the full and unqualified support of their executive level if they are going to successfully manage and rein-in those occasionally difficult-to-control major external consultancies.

Five Tips to Choosing the Right Business Consultant

Do you wonder how professional athletes keep in shape? How an actor keeps up on his or her ability to be a consistent entertainer? Have you ever wondered how YOU can become good at something? The answers are practice and coaching. A Business Consultant is a coach for your business, who should be able to help you practice the traits needed to be successful in your business.

How you choose a coach is a matter of personal preference. You can choose an online entity, a company in town, or an individual consultant. It does not matter, as long as you understand the requirements a consultant or business coach should have, prior to making a final decision. The fact is that you cannot accept everyone or every company at face value, especially in today’s volatile business world. This premise is exceptionally true for business consultants and coaches, because the entity you choose could ultimately be holding your livelihood in their hands. So, with this understanding, there are a few things you should know about any potential consultant, coach or firm prior to engaging them within your company.
The very first thing you should measure a coach or consultant on is his credentials. Any true quality consultant or firm will have their credentials available to you at any time. In fact, most reputable firms will already have the permission to use a cross-section of their clients as marketing references, giving you a glimpse of whom has hired them to date. It is very important that you contact a client or two, making sure any information given was accurate.

Second, you need to make sure your consultant has some experience, or is at least managed by someone who does. Many times, firms will introduce new consultants into a business, without letting the clients know they are new. You do not want to pay fees for an inexperienced consultant, to help train someone’s staff. Further, if you are going to allow a less experienced consultant work in your business, you want to know that an experienced mentor is working with them to make sure your company is successful.

Third, accreditations and reputation. Hiring a firm that has a broad experience base and has backed that experience up by joining industry groups, associations, public groups like the Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau; show some integrity in their approach toward their own business. Also, industry specific training, that shows an investment to learn more about an industry or consulting, will always be beneficial to a business.

Fourth, beyond reference checking, meet some of the stakeholders who will be working with you. You can gain a lot of information by having a conversation on the phone, or even an email exchange with your potential consultant or coach. One thing you can ask is if you will be working with more than one person and if you can speak to more than one of them, which creates an opportunity to learn about the team.

Fifth, do they have a structured plan? It is an undeniable truth that organization and communication will make or break any business. Having a consultant that does not approach each client with a plan, will most likely cause a failure in your business. This does not mean your business will fail, but the objective of the consultant is to fix something, this cannot happen without a structured approach. Make sure that each firm or consultant being considered presents a plan that is clear and concise. There are no shortcuts to learning new things in your business.

Choosing a consultant is a big step for any business owner or manager. There are so many areas within a business that can be affected by multiple issues, many of which are third party or seemingly uncontrolled. By engaging a coach or consultant with a structured plan, you and your company will have the practice it needs to react consistently to business issues, over the life of your company.

©YourBizDr.Com 2009

Beckoning All Outdoor Lovers!

When you think of places that have over 100 miles of walking and cycling trails and 1,400 acres of parkland, a city of merely 56,000, located in the northern Midwest state of Minnesota, probably won’t come to the top of your list. Yet it should! It’s no accident that the motto of the city of Lakeville, Minnesota, located only 23 miles or so from Minneapolis-St. Paul, is Where Nature Meets the Twin Cities. It also should be no surprise that this is one of the fastest growing cities in the state, with a 35% increase from the 2000 U.S. Government Census. Given all of the Lakeville, MN, land for sale, it beckons outdoor lovers to come and make this city home.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department maintains 47 parks, 70 ball fields, 30 soccer fields, 26 playgrounds, 3 beaches and 25 miles of pedestrian and bicycle trails, among other public facilities. In addition, the residents of Lakeville participate in the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Committee, a citizen advisory group that deliberates and provides input to the City Council regarding all of these facilities. Lakeville also produces a Comprehensive Parks Open Space Plan, which identifies detailed policies and strategies to “guide recreational development through the year 2030.” Considering the population growth rate of the city, the plan is an important tool in maintaining the community’s quality of life in the face of diminishing open space, resulting from all of the on-going development.

Of the 47 parks in Lakeville, Ritter Farm Park is by far the largest, occupying 340 acres of natural environment and wildlife refuge at the city’s far western edge and bordering on beautiful Lake Marion. Being a bit remote may explain why a park of this size is little visited, even though it offers its residents opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, archery, and horseback riding, among many other activities. Yet, the low visitation by residents can also be seen as a plus for nature lovers looking for a solitary, tranquil experience. Over 130 species of birds have been identified here, including eagles spotted throughout the park, as well as various locations in the city.

Not far from Ritter Farm Park and also on Lake Marion, is Antlers Park Beach, one of three public swimming beaches in Lakeville. Located on 12 acres of parkland at the southeastern tip of the lake, the beach also has a fishing pier, paddle board rentals, and volleyball courts. The park is flush with trees and conveniently borders up to the sand so that one doesn’t have to move back and forth from the beach to the park. In addition to being the most popular beach in the city, the park also has a rich history, having begun as a 40-acre amusement park built by Colonel Marion Savage in 1910 to attract passengers to his Dan Patch Railroad Line, an electric excursion train running from Minneapolis to the amusement park.

Antlers Park soon became one of the most famous amusement parks in the upper Midwest, with a lavish dance pavilion, a large bathing beach, diving tower, and sliding water chute, as well as a boat dock that offered sailboats, rowboats, and canoes. In drawing visitors from all over the Midwest as well as many southern states, it could be said that the amusement park put Lakeville on the map. The lake is named in honor of Colonel Savage. Also, the city just recently agreed to pay $675,000 for six acres of land to expand Antlers Park and add more green space. Interestingly, the park and beach also serve a neighborhood that according to Neighborhood Scout’s analysis is “among the best neighborhoods for families in Minnesota.”

Further analysis indicates that the Antlers Park neighborhood is more family-friendly than 96.8% of neighborhoods in all of Minnesota, based on a combination of quality public schools, low crime rates, and owner-occupied single family homes, thus giving this community a Leave It to Beaver look and feel. With a high number of college-educated parents in a neighborhood that is wealthier than 95.5% of the neighborhoods in the United States, Antler Park is also a great choice for Millennials and urban trendsetters, especially those who want the sophistication of an urban setting in a city with so much open space. The neighborhood, not to mention the City of Lakeville, certainly makes for a great place to live, and with so much Lakeville, MN, land for sale, it’s no wonder this is such a fast-growing community. Outdoor lovers, come quickly!

Choosing the Best Homes for Sale in Texas

So, you’ve been looking around and trying to figure out whether or not you should be getting homes for sale in The Woodlands, TX or homes for sale in Magnolia TX. That being said, how can you make sure that you get the best home that you possibly can? What sorts of things should you be seeking out and trying to get a hold of? Here are some suggestions.
- If you have a family, look for a good school district. You want your children to have a good education and you want to make sure that they are going to be safe at their school. So, do a little bit of research into the school district, how much you have to pay in school district taxes, and whether or not it’s a good idea for you to reside in that area.

- Look for something that you can afford. You shouldn’t have to break the bank in order to make sure that you have a home that you can enjoy and appreciate. With a bit of research and looking around, you can discover that there are actually a lot of properties that will fit within any budget. Look for mortgages that are going to make it easy for you to make the monthly payment, and then go ahead and get in on it when you can.

- Don’t go too big or too small. Some people get a huge home and find that it’s a lot more of a burden in the long run. However, if your home is too small, you may find that you’re a little bit crowded and you don’t have enough space. So, it’s time for you to figure out just how much space that you need and then settle on that. By getting a home that is close to the right size, you can save yourself a lot of grief and stress after you move in. Don’t forget – you could always add onto your home later on if you need to.

- Take your time. A lot of people think that it’s a race to find the best home. If you have the ability to do so, you may want to make sure that you take your time and look carefully at all of your options. There are always new homes for sale in The Woodlands, TX, so you won’t miss out on getting anything. Just take your time and browse until you find that perfect home.

If you think that it may be time for you to look at homes for sale in Magnolia TX, then you want to contact a real estate agent. A professional agent who really knows the area, like Jutta Burden, can help you to determine the best course of action and give you a direction to go in when it comes to finding what you want. Contact a real estate agent today and you can get started on the search for your dream home.

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