CategoryEntrepreneurship

Have a Successful Career Working at Home

It is important that at home workers, entrepreneurs and the self-employed are certain to take care of their health, spiritual, mental and physical. Working at home can call for long hours, especially if business is booming. It can be tempting to work late into the night and on weekends. Over time, this can find a person spending large amounts of time indoors.

Successful At Home Workers Taking Regular Breaks and Days Off

A few weeks of sitting in front of the computer for ten or more straight hours a day without venturing outdoors might find one’s mood and energy levels dropping. For this reason, at home workers are strongly encouraged to take regular breaks throughout the day. Get up and walk away from the work area and do something completely relaxing and unrelated to the project that one was working on. At least one hour a day, be certain to get outdoors and soak up the benefits found in the sun.

Vitamin D is one of the key benefits gained from being outdoors beneath the sun. Women’s Health Magazine reports in their “Why You Need More Vitamin D” article that the vitamin helps to balance the body’s calcium levels. It also helps to boosts immunity and helps to regulate blood pressure.

Getting outdoors is also a great way to shift one’s thoughts and take a break from focusing on work. And who knows? One might also meet someone and make a new friend while outdoors walking at the local track and field or while walking or bike riding around the neighborhood.

Importance of Organization and Scheduling for Successful At Home Workers

In addition to taking regular short breaks throughout the day and for at least one to two hours a day, at home workers can find it highly beneficially to schedule and take regular vacations. These are times when at home workers leave their work for five or more consecutive days. Simply step away. Doing this can rebuild and strengthen one’s passion for the art or work that one earns a living doing. It can also hedge off burn out and allow insight and profitable ideas to surface.

Day calendars, Blackberries, Internet provider calendars and Microsoft Outlook are tools entrepreneurs, self-employed and at home workers can use to create their calendars. Retailers and office superstores sale day, week and monthly calendars. The calendars come in various colors including black, brown, pink, green and blue. The calendars also come in an assortment of sizes including pocket size, 8” X 11”, 4-7/8” X 8” to 24” X 37”.

Prices for the calendars and day planners range from $5.99 to over $24.00 per item. Some day planners like the At A Glance desk calendars come with a base stand that allow at home workers to simply buy annual refills to replace the former year’s calendar pages with.

Using Day Planners and Calendars to Stay on Track

Entrepreneurs and self-employed at home workers might find that shopping for the calendars and day planners early in the fourth quarter of the year or in February of the new year might allow them to realize the greatest cost savings. Reason for this is that retailers and office superstores often lower the prices on their calendars and day planners at the times of year when demand for the products is lowest.

At home workers can also purchase office supplies like staplers, staples, pens, desktop computers, laptops, ruled notebooks, erasers, journals, envelopes, shredders, copiers, printers and copy and print paper from office superstores. Be sure to check prices across products online before venturing out to the store. This can save at home workers time and gasoline money.

Also check local newspapers and coupon websites for coupons and rebates on office equipment. These costs saving websites allow users to locate and print coupons and rebates directly from their website. Most major retailers and office superstores accept coupons on manufacturer products that are sold at their store.

Best Blogs for Entrepreneurs

Blogging as a whole has become a very popular venue. Just as with the world wide web, business blogs have exploded with so much information that it would not be feasible to attempt to read it all. The key is to facilitate a means by which to attain the information you need, while sifting out the information you do not need. Below is a list that has been formulated for entrepreneurs.

Some of the blogs have been discontinued, or their activity levels have substantially dropped. It is for this reason that they have been moved and new blogs have been listed to take their place. Please keep this in mind as you try to access any of these blogs online.

There are primarily three main concerns of the entrepreneur. The first is trends and how to deal with their impact on business. Tips to make the business stronger, establish a business, or market the business. Productivity would be number three. Ways to make the employees and staff more productive, means by which to enhance the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, and overall productivity in sales and fabrication.

In terms of trends, there are a few good blogs out there. Anita Campbell on small business.blogspot.com/ takes an informative look at the present trends in the business world. She elucidates the entrepreneur of the trends that impact the business’ ability to enhance productivity and sales. Jeff Cornwall, of Belmont University does an in depth look at business trends and their impact on the small business. His research can be found at forum. Belmont.edu/cornwall/.

The entrepreneur can always use valuable tips from veteran business owners to improve their business. Denise O’Berry runs an informative blog that deals with tips for the entrepreneur. She keeps the discussions light and informative. (http://www.justforsmallbusiness.com). John Jantsch’s blog, duct tape marketing offers multiple tips per week. He keeps the terminology simple, and easy for even the layman to understand. A must read for those who are new to business. (http://www.ducttapemarketing.com).

Finally, in terms of valuable tips for the entrepreneur, Ben Yoskovitz delves in depth with the spirit of business ownership, and the factors that aid the entrepreneur in formulating a successful business. His site; startupspark.com also spotlights some entrepreneurs of notable mention.

Productivity is the pinacle issue for many small business owners. After all, if your marketing plan isn’t working, and your employees do not have the motivation to perform their tasks efficiently and in a timely manner, then how will the business flourish? That is what the final set of blogs deal with. WorkHappy net deals with just this. How to make the tasks you perform more productive, and how to get more out of your work. Carson McComas has developed methods to aid the entrepreneur to perform more intelligently, not to perform yourself to death.

Anthony Cerminaro is an attorney who has also dedicated his time to the functionings of business. His blog, bingbangbuzz.blogspot.com/ looks at the many issues and challenges that confront entrepreneurs everyday. He also explains the legal issue that can destroy a business. Dane Carlson takes this one step farther and relates the advice to actual real life circumstances. He offers insight into business opportunities as well. (http://www.business-opportunities.biz/)

Wil Schroter runs a blog called Gobi network.com/wil. It is on this site that aid is offered to entrepreneurs through the means of networking. He gives contacts to investors, investors, employee agencies and the such to enhance the growth of small businesses. Michael Simmons also deserves a definite read. He wrote the Student Success Manifesto. This is a thoughtful piece of work which offers solid advice for the soon to be entrepreneur. It is a new blog, but the insight and thought put into it leaves the readers vying for more.

6 Hot Online Marketing Strategies: How To Develop Online Business With Internet Marketing

The internet is a rich source of marketing ideas and strategies for any marketer wishing to develop his business online. The main advantages of the internet are that one can reach out to a broad set of people, broadcast the marketing message to a targeted audience, develop and deliver products to customers online and also do it with the minimum effort. Here are six hot strategies for online marketing.

Article Marketing For Creating A Brand

A personal brand goes a long way in attracting prospects and customers to one’s products and services. Therefore, article writing and article marketing have emerged as a popular means to create one’s online reputation. When people see various articles written by the marketer and published in multiple article directories, they immediately develop a sense of trust in the author and start considering him as an expert in the field. Then the prospects naturally seek out the author and know more about his product offerings.

Ebook Writing For Generating Traffic

When there is a lot of competition, a marketer needs to differentiate his services from others and also must use unique methods to attract prospects to his business. One of the popular means is to write an ebook and share it with others. Since the ebook moves from one person to another in a viral manner, it is the best way to promote one’s products. Alternatively, the marketer can also offer the ebook as a gift in return for opting in to the mailing list.

Sales Funnel Development For Selling High Ticket Products

When there are high ticket products to be sold, an elaborate process needs to be followed in the form of a sales funnel. This sales funnel approach prepares the prospect in stages to buy the high ticket item. In the process of setting up a sales funnel, the internet marketer can also sell affiliate products and earn significant revenue. In a sales funnel, the marketer develops trust by sharing useful information with the prospect and then encourages him to buy the products.

List Building For Trust And Relationship

Relationship building with one’s prospects and customers is of primary importance for an internet marketer. Therefore, the first step in this direction is to build a list of email ids. The next step is to supply information which is of relevance and value to the prospects. This will make the prospects want to receive emails from the marketer. As the trust level increases, the marketer can sell many products to his prospects.

Online Coaching For Sharing Expertise

Sharing one’s expertise through an online coaching class is a marvelous strategy to attract prospects for the business. For instance, if one is marketing nutritional supplements, one can start an online class which imparts knowledge of good dietary habits, qualities of food and importance of exercise. All this helps to generate more value to the products one is selling. In addition, these online classes can also become a source of revenue for the marketer.

Social NetworkingFor Making Friends

Social networking is usually a means of making new friends but it can also be used as a platform for promoting one’s online business. Although one must not directly promote one’s business on sites like Facebook and Twitter, one can use these sites to connect with prospects and customers and strengthen the bonds of relationship which is the foundation of any business.

The internet has made it extremely easy for entrepreneurs to start and develop their business online. And the above six strategies can help them to grow their business on a consistent basis.

Married Business Partners: Working with a Spouse

A large percentage of new entrepreneurs are operating a family owned business where a husband and wife team are involved daily in the business management. This might cause a unique set of problems. Often many conflicts arise that are outside the framework of managing the business. These personal conflicts between married partners overpower any business problems and should be addressed at the onset of the business. It’s inevitable, when married partners experience conflict the business will suffer. Without communication there is a total breakdown in the business and marriage.

First, the husband and wife business team should outline a complete business plan before any troubles arises. The following tips are effective in alleviating personal conflicts which might affect the business relationship between spouses.

Discuss Business Plans

Both partners should discuss the business intimately to make sure they both share a passion for the business venture. It would be to the detriment of the business to discover later that the wife initially wanted to open a health food store and the husband wanted to invest in a sports bar. But they both decided on a family restaurant because it’s what they thought the other wanted.

Obligations

Discuss which family obligations might interfere with the business operation and commitments. Decide which is more important, attending your daughters softball game or answering client questions about a new business proposal on the table.

Business Decision Making

Discuss any problems you might encounter in the decision making process concerning the business.

For example:

  • Who will make financial decisions
  • Who will make marketing decisions
  • Who is responsible for sales
  • Which partner will make major purchases
  • Who will work with the clients
  • Who will handle the office work
  • Will both partners have to agree or will one make all decisions

Business Profit Shares

Agree how the profits will be allocated. Decide beforehand who is responsible for bill payments. What are the partners salaries. How much of the business profit shares will be invested back into the business.

Duties

Clearly outline who is responsible for what duties on a daily basis. Write it down in the initial business plans. This will decrease conflicts before they start.

Respect

Always treat each other as professionals and with proper respect, recognizing the others unique contribution to the business.

And finally, married business partners should always remember that their marriage is more important than any business conflict that might arise. And they will discover that the benefits surpass any conflict issues that arise. Following this will lead to long term success in the business world and marriage.

Buying a Home: Step by Step Instructions for Purchasing a New House

The following is a guest post from Nigerian real estate developer Michael Chudi Ejekam.

Buying a new home is an exciting venture whether you’re a first time home buyer or have owned houses before. It can seem overwhelming at first but if you break the process down and follow these step by step suggestions you’re sure to find the home that is right for you and fits your family requirements.

Get Preapproved for a Home Loan

According to realtor Collette McDonald of Collette McDonald & Associates your first step should be arranging your financing, “Know what you can afford and have the financing lined up before you even go online and look at a home.” Knowing your limits will make you an informed buyer and save you a lot of time and stress.

New Home Priority Checklist

McDonald also suggests, “Once you have determined what your price point is, the next step is to determine what is important for your criteria.” Make a couple checklists, one a list of things that are essential and then a list of things you’d like but don’t need. You should also make a checklist that pertains to the neighborhood as well. This will help you instantly narrow your selection and keep your new home priorities in check.

Realtor or Not

You do not need a realtor to buy a home but you may want one, especially if you’ve never purchased a home before. An experienced realtor can ease the entire process, saving you time and money. As McDonald points out, “Many buyers do not understand that hiring and agent, in most cases, will not cost them a dime. The buyer’s agency is covered in the marketing fees that the seller of the home pays.”

Look at New Homes

Now you’re ready to start shopping. If you have a realtor you can let them find homes that fit within your budget and criteria lists, but most people prefer to do a bit of shopping themselves. There are several great online resources for home searches such as Realtor.com.

Make an Offer

Once you’ve found a home that fits your price range and criteria then it’s time to make an offer. Look at the value of houses in the area, how long the home has been on the market, any repairs you may have to make, any extras in the home that make it worth more. You’ll want to make an offer that will be a deal for you but not offend the seller.

Home Inspection

Once your offer is accepted you’ll want to have a home inspection. You don’t need a home inspection but it’s a way to hedge your bets as the offer is usually contingent upon a home inspection. This means that if the inspector finds huge problems you can back out of the offer. It also gives you a bargaining chip to get a discount or have repairs made before you close.

Close on your New Home

When buying a new home the closing is a tricky step filled with expenses and legal paperwork. A real estate attorney is a good idea, especially for first time home buyers, as they can guide you through the process. If you have a realtor they’ll also be able to provide a lot of assistance.

Buying a new home is a wonderful time and should be enjoyed. Eliminate the stresses of buying a home by following the steps above one at a time and not letting the entire process become overwhelming. Remember the key to finding a home you love is sticking within your budget and criteria checklists.

Small Business Selling in a Recession: Entrepreneurs Need to Sell Smarter in this Economy

There are a lot of books and videos, to help sales people sell better. Few, however, tell salespeople how to sell in a recession. That is often handled with a Darwinian approach that eliminates the weak. While survival of the fittest may be a common way to deal with this problem, it is not necessarily the best way to survive – particularly if the small business owner is the prime salesperson.

Understanding the business opportunities available to a small business is necessary to sell successfully. Small business owners should find ways to make more sales by finding solutions to the issues that prevent sales from occurring. During a recession, prospects are reluctant to spend money on anything they do not perceive as absolutely necessary. To make sales to these people, sellers must clearly show the need for their products and services. Additionally, sellers must approach their jobs differently. Here are a few suggestions.

Don’t Reduce the Price

The product has value. If a small business owner reduces prices, it can often lead to the perception that the product was never worth the original price. In an article for bnet.com called Five Strategies for Selling During a Recession, author Christina Salerno quotes HR Chally Group Chairman and CEO, Howard Stevens who said, “Most people think in tough times you have to give a special offer or cut prices. But that ends up devaluing the product – and the salesperson’s reputation.”

Stevens suggests that sellers should offer additional services or stronger guarantees with their products so customers will get added value without paying more.

Work Harder on Fewer Leads

Many sales people will try to accumulate as many leads as possible calling on each lead three or four times. John Asher, chairman and CEO of Asher, a sales training firm, says his firm’s research indicates that it takes 12 contacts to make a sale. Those contacts include emails, voice mails, face-to-face meetings, and phone conversations.

Asher believes the average salesperson will pick 50 prospects and give up on them after three contacts. “Elite salespeople,” says Asher, “will pick their top 10 prospects and give them 15 or 16 contacts.”

Work More Efficiently

During a recession, it is critical for salespeople to use their time wisely. Inefficient practices can cost money.

Most salespeople understand the importance of time management and do whatever they can to consolidate appointments and make all their cold calls in between those scheduled meetings.

Poor planning can result in lost opportunities which are not good for the bottom line.

Philip Mydlach writing for biztimes.com says that employees spend 30 minutes per day looking for misplaced papers and electronic files and are distracted or interrupted every 11 minutes. He suggests that salespeople take some time to determine how distractions are eating away at their work day and find ways to be more efficient. It can make a difference.

Focus on Solutions

Selling business solutions has always been a winning sales pitch, but in a recession, it offers even more opportunities for success. All products and services are designed to solve business problems. During a recession, a good salesperson will find more solutions than the obvious.

For example, a bicycle is not only a solution to transportation; it is an exercise machine, a hobby, a sport, and a faster way to travel in rush hour. An iron is not only a way to press a pair of pants; it is a way to look fresh on a business trip, a technique to apply a decal to a t-shirt, and a good door stop. The benefits are limited only by the imagination.

Don’t Give Up

Every small business owner should not throw up his or her arms and accept poor or low sales as part of the recession. Instead, they should make the effort to overcome the obstacles of this recession.

By maintaining their price and adding more services to their products, business owners will add more value to what they sell.

Working harder on fewer and better leads will increase the salesperson’s productivity and, combined with working more efficiently, will eventually result in more sales.

Lastly, a salesperson should find more solutions to a customer’s problems. Using solutions as a selling technique in a creative way will lead to more sales – even in a recession.

Related Business Strategy: Diversification in Retail Firms

When the economic recession occurred in 2008, many business failed. In spite of this, however, many people saw an opportunity to start a business.

Many people decide on business ideas without careful research into whether there is sufficient demand for the product they plan to market. Dominic Salvatore, author of Managerial Economics in a Global Economy that “the quantity demanded for a commodity is a function of, or depends on the price of the commodity, the consumer’s income, the price of the related commodities,( i.e. the substitutes and complements for the commodity), and the tastes of the consumer.”

Limitation in Cash Flows

The consumer’s income in 2008 has been a major influence in the sale of products and services during his economic recession. Millions of people were laid off from jobs due to the financial difficulties of the automobile industry and other major employers. As a result, consumers were spending less money and became increasingly pessimistic about the economic recovery plan of the United States. Therefore, demand for many products and services declined.

Crisis in Supply Chain Management

As the automobile industry bailout resulted in a reduction in the production of automobiles, their suppliers went out of business because the automobile companies were their largest customer. When consumer income decreases, the businesses must find other uses for the product or increase promotional efforts. Since the products were unique to the automobile industry, the suppliers did not find an alternate market and many were forced out of business.

Action Planning

To avoid this in the future, the business owner must undertake a strategy which will work for him in times of economic decline. One strategy to employ is that of diversification in business. One can either undertake a related business strategy or an unrelated business strategy. Diversifying through related businesses helps the business owner to leverage the power of cross-business relationships which will help them to perform better under one umbrella.

For example, the CIT Bank is involved in factoring loans, leases, vendor finance programs and import and export financing, among other businesses. Its clients include those in the transportation, aerospace and rail, manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, health care and other industries. All of theses clients could utilize more than one of the company’s products.

Recently, when CIT Bank was in danger of filing for bankruptcy, it was able to secure additional financing for its business because it could use the assets of the other businesses as collateral against the loan. The failure of this bank would have put may of its customers at risk, since they are dependent upon CIT Bank for factoring loans.

In conclusion, while there are opportune times to diversify and for some businesses, it may not be a good idea to diversify. Proper and thorough research into the market, after the core business services are established and profitable, will ensure success in diversifying a business.

Managing Business Case Risks: Security Measures Are Important Components in Corporate Systems

Implementing data security measures implies associated business case risks which need to be examined and assessed in conjunction with the proposed security solution.

In every case, the risk to the organization must be reduced to an acceptable level. Here are some of the potential risks:

  • Failure of the security solution to accomplish objectives
  • Presence of residual security risks not addressed by the proposed solution

Risks need to be properly identified, evaluated and addressed. The impact of these risks can be minimized by proper project management and control of the implementation process. It is important to note that risks are events, not issues, and the probability of occurrence and estimated business impact, should be calculated and documented.

Business Case Recommendations

For security solution implementations, business case recommendations must be presented to describe the justification for the recommendations, clearly put forth to enable readers at all levels of the organization to quickly understand the extent of the investment the nature of the product, service or resources which will provide the solution.

As for any business case presentation, an executive summary should be provided to summarize the details to be found in the presentation. Executives authorized with approving the recommendations will need to have this summary presented in a format which will enable them to understand the concepts sufficiently to warrant approval.

In presenting the business case, it is important to state as many positive factors that support the recommendations, in particular, setting out why a particular option is the best. For example, it may deliver the best ROI, it is the most effective solution, or it is the only option that can meet current business needs or regulatory compliance requirements.

Senior executives will be most interested in the option which offers the lowest cost, so other key factors, compliance, operational risk, and business enhancements, need to be emphasized. A major consideration in making a final decision is the support provided to other departments in the organization.

Protecting Corporate Property and Investments

Increasing security risks in the corporate environment, particularly those from targeted intrusions by experienced hackers, emphasize the requirement to implement effective security solutions using database assurance technology. Software security solutions are now available which enable organizations to re-evaluate their corporate systems to determine the best methods for protecting corporate assets, and to incorporate these security solutions in their corporate system structure.

Legacy investments need dynamic protection methods which can adapt with changing security threats, without increasing overhead costs or interfering with business processes.

Digital security in today’s corporate environment is progressing to being much more than an after-thought to functioning as an integral part of a business operation. Risk assessment of security issues has created business cases for security solutions which require a different set of assessment criteria than for traditional and more common business case proposals.

Significant Benefits

Corporate management needs to have a well-presented and well-documented business case, spelling out in detail the key requirements, business considerations and other elements of the proposal to obtain approval for the necessary expenditures for the selected security solution. There are significant benefits to be achieved for an organization which conducts the proper analysis and assessment of the risks and develops an appropriate security solution for database assurance, which takes account of these risks and delivers a positive ROI. These are the steps which have the potential for putting an organization ahead of any intrusion attempt.

Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Businesses: Business Ethics Involves a Concern for Environment and Social Issues

Responsible business practices include dealing fairly with employees and the community, using non-renewable natural resources carefully and avoiding environmental damage.

At a global level, the ethical issues facing businesses include reducing poverty, fighting corruption and adopting sustainable business models while they go about their main role of making money. Institutions like the World Bank are encouraging and equipping the private sector in corporate social responsibility and care for environment and the community.

Why Bother with Responsible Business Practices?

Irresponsible business practices lead to social instability and even damages the prospects of business itself. Businesses prosper when they can sell increasing volumes of products and services. This can happen only if the buyers can afford to buy what is offered.

Irresponsible business practices that lead to reduction of employment opportunities tends to reduce the volume of demand by concentrating wealth in the hands of a few and reducing the purchasing power of the majority.

Unethical business practices such as using bribery to get orders or to get out of trouble lead to distortions. They reduce the competitiveness of industry, lead to lower quality products and services, and also to an environment where rule of law is the exception rather than the rule.

Irresponsible businesses also damage our environment by polluting it and exhausting non-renewable resources. These lead to lower quality life in the present with polluted air, waterways and new kinds of diseases. Indiscriminate exploitation of non-renewable energy and other resources is equivalent to robbing future generations.

The Responsible Business Movement

With increasing awareness about the consequences outlined above, the public is becoming more assertive. They try to punish irresponsible businesses by boycotting their products and refusing to buy their shares. Highly skilled and talented employees, who can find employment where they want, tend to join companies with a reputation for responsible behavior.

The public also constitute the voters and governments have to bow to their wishes. The increasing reach and complexity of government business regulations seek to prevent irresponsible business practices.

In such an environment, businesses that do not adopt responsible practices tend to lose business and also run foul of the law. Instead of running the business, they have to fight the public and government regulators.

Just as working conditions and compensation of workers have improved dramatically over the centuries, responsible and ethical business practices are also likely to be adopted by more and more businesses as time goes along. They will be the winners in the long run because they will get greater public support and business.

This tendency will be strengthened by the increasing levels of public communication in the forms of blogs, social networking and other such forums. Programs like the World Bank’s sustainable and equitable business development campaigns also support this trend.

Businesses that are aware of their social and environmental responsibilities, and implement good governance and accountability, will get increasing public support and their orders. On a global scale, responsibility will also involve poverty reduction and creating health awareness. Gender equality, fighting corruption, job creation and preventing climate change will become part of accepted corporate responsibility.

Business Process Management Aims at Adding Value: BPM Seeks to Optimize Customer Need Fulfillment and Business Costs

Business process management focuses on the basic business objective of survival and prosperity through continuous improvement of the value delivered to the customer.

BPM is a continuing exercise to analyze existing business processes and improve them. The improvements can take different forms such as using technology for better performance and/or quality, removing bottlenecks or reducing costs. Delivering better value at lower costs keeps a business competitive, and this is the basic objective.

What Exactly Are Business Processes?

A business process consists of a series of related, structured activities that achieves a predetermined goal. The goal can be getting a customer order, producing a certain quantity of products meeting required quality standards, or even producing an accounting report. In a typical business, a large number of processes will be taking place at the same time.

There are management processes such as strategy development that focus on governance, operational processes such as production and marketing to execute the core business operations, and supporting processes such as maintenance, accounting and HR that are incidental to the core operations. Managing all the processes to work together to provide customer value at optimal costs is the overall business objective.

Businesses start with a customer need, develop processes and sub processes down to activity level to meet that need, and complete the overall process on fulfilling the customer need. It is this focus on customer needs that helps design and implement best practice processes. In the absence of such a focus, businesses tend to get compartmentalized into ‘functional silos’ with each functional department trying to further its own priorities.

Well-designed business processes eliminate activities that do not add customer value.

Business Process Management in Operation

Systematic BPM involves Designing, Modeling, Implementation, Monitoring and Optimizing.

  • Design: All elements of the existing business process such as process flow, human actions, standard procedures, alerts and handovers are mapped. New designs that seek to improve the process are developed.
  • Model: Alternatives are evaluated by checking how they are likely to operate if implemented. “What if” scenarios are simulated. Tools like graphic flowcharts, data flow diagrams and PERT charts, and computer simulations of complex scenarios are used to help analysis and evaluation.
  • Implement: The trend these days is towards automation. Computer applications use business rules to automate tasks wherever possible. Provisions are made for human input where the task is too complex for automation.
  • Monitor: Monitoring has two dimensions. It checks the current status of a process and generates alerts in real-time or on an ad hoc basis. Secondly, it mines data logs to compare performance against the model and generates reports.
  • Optimize: Performance reports and observations during the implementation and monitoring stages are reviewed to identify bottlenecks and the potential for performance improvement or cost reduction. The findings are used to revise the design and the cycle of value improvement starts again.

BPM and Business Competitiveness

It is the continuing exercise of business process management that keeps a business competitive by creating better performing products, marketing it more effectively or reducing costs of operations. BPM seeks to exploit the potential of new technologies for improving business processes. BPM also seeks to manage continuing changes effectively by attending to the people aspects involved.

Business processes are the groups of activities and tasks that, together, keep the business operating. In typical businesses, numerous processes of managerial, operational and supporting nature will be taking place simultaneously. The task of coordinating all these processes becomes more efficient when the common goal of adding customer value governs all the different processes. Elements that do not add value for customers are eliminated from processes. Business Process Management (or BPM) is an exercise that seeks to improve customer value addition and cost reduction on a continuing basis.