Monthly Archives: September 2016

Tips to Make a Business Introduction

A business organization is made up of several different parties, and it is essential for all these parties to interact with each other on a recurring basis. As a result of this, it is necessary for all of these various parties to know each other well, and get introduced as and when the time arises. The various parties that are involved in this continuous process are employers and employees from a business organization, the suppliers and vendors of this organization, the clients and customers of this organization, and people from other business organizations that are in synergy or close contact with this particular company as well.

Each different scenario will require different people to interact with each other, and hence they will all need to be introduced to one another at some point in time. There are many rules and guidelines that need to be adhered to when these introductions are being made, and the manner in which these introductions are made will determine the nature of the relationship between the different parties. For instance, introducing two prospective clients to each other will be a very different process as compared to introducing an individual’s secretary to another person in the organization.

Rules for Making Business Introductions

As a result of these differences, it is impossible to state how each introduction must take place. There are also instances when an individual from an organization will be making a presentation to a large gathering, and in this scenario, he will need to introduce himself and his business to everyone that is present there at that moment. In certain other cases, one party may have to write an introduction letter to another party, and in this letter / email, he will have to introduce his business in the right manner as well. Here are some general rules that should be followed.

  • One should always start by stating the name of the organization first and then giving a brief insight into the history of the company.
  • If the company has recently won a prestigious award or title, that fact should be stated as well.
  • One should not delve too much into the financials of the company, but a small piece of information about a healthy financial state may prove beneficial.
  • The major sectors where the company functions must also be mentioned.
  • The primary focus is to inform the people gathered what the company does and how well it is doing it, and the person making the introduction should provide basic details about the same.
  • Lastly, all the people who are gathered must be thanked for their presence and they should be reassured that their relationship with the company will be fruitful.

These tips will come in handy when the business is being introduced to a single person, or to a group of people. Another instance when business introductions and effective business communication comes into play, is when two people are being introduced to each other. Here are some general rules and guidelines to follow in such a scenario.

  • The name and the title of each individual is first made known to each other.
  • Then further information is exchanged about both the business organizations and the relationship that they share.
  • Subsequently, the purpose of the introduction is revealed, and the mutual benefits that both the parties will receive with this interaction, are then stressed upon.
  • This introduction must be simple and brief, and delving into unnecessary details should be avoided.
  • Both the parties should then be allowed to strike a conversation and take it from there, and the person who made the introduction should only speak when spoken to.

In cases when a business letter is being transcribed, certain other things also come into the picture. Effective written business communication is an art that is picked up over time and with experience, since there are many subtle things that the writer needs to pay attention to. At the end of the day, successful business introductions are the first step towards fostering positive business relationships, and this is something that needs to be paid close attention to.

Successful Business Intelligence Strategy

Business intelligence, per se, is information collected by a business in order to increase its understanding of itself. A little odd? Why would a business want to understand itself? Well, the business needs to understand itself, so that the business can perform better and can use its resources optimally.

So how does a business go about acquainting itself with itself? It generates a warehouse of information regarding its performance and policies in the past. This helps the business to perform better in the future. Like, in case of a certain market shift, the company can refer to its database and find out how it performed, the last time, a similar shift occurred. This may provide added support for the planning.

Business Performance Management
BPM is another extremely important strategy that almost all companies follow for BIS. BPM consists of a basic module. All the activities and policies of the company are based on this module. It is the foundation of the business framework and as such it is also like the pillar of the business practices. BPM of the business is often responsible for a company’s reputation. This is because, the BPM, ordinarily, remains constant for fairly long periods of time. It also helps the employees have a certain level of confidence and feeling of stability.

OLAP
Online Analytical Processing basically stores all the information about the company. Then, it analyzes it and when a certain query is fed in to it, it provides as accurate an answer as possible. It can provide pure facts about the past, and can make plausible predictions about the future. OLAP has been of massive help to organizations in times of sudden market inflations. It has also helped many organizations prepare for times of recession to a certain extent. The vital aspects of OLAP are, data mining, text mining, analytics and predictive analytics.

Benchmarking
In this system, the cost, cycle time, productivity, or quality of a specific process or method is compared to that of another organization that is similar in industry and universally accepted as best practice standard. Like, any IT company would, probably, benchmark Microsoft. In case the disparity of scale is too high, proportional ratings can be used. It is more like having an ambition to perform like a certain “big brother” of the industry. In order to achieve that, you need to have certain practices that need to match it as well. Benchmarking is a concept that individuals use in all walks of life. Not a very difficult concept to follow, right?

Organizations have to basically depend on their own resources in order to sustain market changes and internal instabilities, if any. The main corporate social responsibility of any organization is employee compensation. As such, it is essential to have sustainable and consistent growth, so that all the employees stay motivated enough to help any strategy of the organization to work well and to its capacity’s fullest!

Tips for Effective Meetings

Businesses and firms are replete with business deals and transactions. In fact, this is something that makes a business such an interesting and dynamic entity. Most of these deals, as we all know, are not accomplished without meetings; it could be very primary or a very high-profile one, involving business tycoons in a merger. Regardless of the nature of the meeting, the key is to be impeccably prepared for it. Even though meetings are a part of routine for innumerable professionals, sometimes, a lack of application ruins their effectiveness. Hence, here is an elucidation of some effective meeting guidelines that will surely help you out.

Effective Techniques for Business Meetings

To Meet or Not to Meet
Prioritizing is a fundamental aspect of having meetings. If you can communicate an issue or information through a report, or via an e-mail, you might not even require conducting a meeting. Ask yourself, whether the issue or information to be shared, is worth the meeting. Reserve it for an extremely critical issue. If at all you are skeptical about whether the meeting would be a smooth sail and how to go about it, hire a professional meeting facilitator. He/she would make it certain that the meeting goes well.

Do your Homework
Before you have a meeting, decide upon the aim and the purpose of it. You should be absolutely clear about the things you want to achieve at the end of it. Write down specifically about your goals and have no scope for ambiguity. Make it a point to keep it so crystal clear and simple that even if another person reads it and does the talking, he/she should be able to understand it.

Take Charge
Once you are at the helm of affairs, there is no way out. You have to stick to your task and ensure that the things go well. It could happen that you go for the meeting, and you have absolutely no idea about what you are going to say, or have no written agenda. But you have to face it; you cannot walk away. Make an agenda while the meeting progresses. Make a note of the important issues and determine the most important of them.

No Mission Impossible
After you take charge, do not let the issue go unresolved. Finish the issue at hand and then proceed to the other. Do not just discuss on an issue and leave it at that; plan a course of action. Till you do that, pursue the task. This is basic business etiquette.

Agendas and All
After you have set goals, you have to set an effective agenda. You cannot just go there and be blank, right? So, it is essential to prepare if you want it to go smoothly; otherwise, you will get stuck thinking about what all are you going to speak about. Having a meeting without an agenda is similar to cooking a dish without knowing the ingredients. Agendas are an inevitable aspect of any kind of business communication. After you have prepared the agenda, make sure that you send it to all those who are going to be a part of the meeting.

The Agenda Reigns Supreme
Once you are in a meeting, focusing on it and planning the agenda are very important. Avoid diverting from the agenda and dabbling into useless topics. It is always better to concentrate on the business at hand; it will save yours and the others’ time, as well.

The Good, Bad and the Ugly
Determine upfront who are going to prove valuable for your meeting. Invite only those who can contribute constructively to it. You do not want drowsy, non-contributing people to spoil it. Therefore, ask only those to come, who can help you achieve what you want from that meeting.

Time is Money
If a crucial issue has to be decided upon, allot a specific time for that. Do not let the decision hang around for ages. Decide upon a time frame for the final decision on an issue, corresponding to its importance. Unnecessary rambling on an inconsequential issue will create boredom and disinterest.

Out With It
Finally, give others a chance to speak out their mind. Pass on the gavel – give the participants an opportunity to reflect and express their views.

Finally, a very crucial thing in a meeting is to stay calm and put the point across clearly. For that, it goes without saying that you need to be confident; it is all about confidence and how you present your views.

How to Effective Business Communication

Effective business communication can be defined as a well-organized and schemed process of sharing business ideas, proposals, information, facts and/or reports within an organization or outside it to achieve a predetermined goal. In other words, it is the flow of messages within a business house among its employees and with its customers, clients, etc., ensuring its smooth running.

Why Do We Need It

Many of us have faced the situation where our families and friends applaud and encourage our ideas, but fail to sell them to corporate houses or professional organizations. They just don’t seem to be as enthusiastic and sure of it as us. It is just not enough to breed a brilliant business proposal in our minds, but to be able to express it in words or writing that would make people ponder over it and convince them to accept and buy it.

The Purpose

The purpose of an effective information transmission is summarized below.

  • To express one’s thoughts better so that it is well-conceived by others
  • To create a positive rapport among colleagues and seniors that imparts a good impression
  • To communicate better with subordinates which helps to motivate and guide them and extract maximum output
  • To maintain good relations with suppliers, vendors, financiers and other organizations, etc. that prove advantageous in future
  • To reach out to the customers effectively which in turn churns profit

The Types

Before we further get to enhancing one’s communication skills, it is important to understand its types which are as follows:

Internal Form of Communication
Communication within the organizational structure of a corporate company is called internal communication. It is a factor that cannot be compromised upon if you want to ensure a successful business.

Modes to achieve it
Print: Memos, in-house newsletters, fliers, magazines or leaflets can be used according to the business needs.
Electronic: PowerPoint presentations, video conferences, telephone, fax, emails or even Internet messengers can be used for in-house communication.

Personal Communication: Regular meetings, conferences, brainstorming sessions or even informal chats can be considered as effective communication tools at a workplace.

It can be further classified into three categories:

  • Upward Communication: It is defined as communication within the organization that flows from a lower hierarchy to the higher. Subordinates passing information to their senior is an example of upward communication.
  • Downward Communication: It is defined as communication that flows from the higher hierarchy to the lower.
  • Seniors sharing information with their subordinates is an example of downward communication.
  • Horizontal Communication: Communication within peer groups or employees of the same rank/designation can be termed as horizontal communication.

External Form of Communication
Exchange of information with the people outside the organization can be termed as external form of communication. It involves transmission of messages to clients, investors, or any other organization, which is directly or indirectly related to the performance of your business.

Some Skills/Techniques Required

For a business to run successfully and maintain its growth, it is important to emphasize on the way it communicates to its customers as well as within its organizational structure. Some of the skills required for an effective expression of business ideas are:

  • Understanding the target audience: This is the first step towards communicating in a business environment where the information, mode and tone, language etc., of communicating varies with the people it has to be done with.
  • Listening: It is important to understand that communication is a bidirectional process that not only requires one to talk but listen to the ideas, thoughts, queries of others which can generate inputs that enhance the business.
  • Time management: In today’s world, time is the most precious thing which once lost cannot be retrieved; hence, we should respect others’ time and give and take useful information in an effective manner within the stipulated time.
  • Preparation: One should understand the target audience and make sure that he/she is well prepared for a business or client meeting which imparts a positive impact on the listeners and they tend to take the speaker more seriously.
  • Innovativeness: A person should try various new formats and innovative ways to communicate with their customers or subordinates to keep them enthusiastic and coming back for more.
  • Effective research: Before an important meeting or presentation it is mandatory to check the facts, figures, statistics and other details to be talked about, and keep oneself updated about the current trends and reports.
  • Responsiveness: It is important to be responsive to problems and complaints that your clients, customers and financiers face, and cater to their needs and issues effectively and on time.

Modes to achieve it

  • Advertising: Advertising is perhaps a very crucial mode of communication as far as the clients of the company are concerned. It could be in any form – prints, video or audio and are used effectively to communicate messages to the clients/customers. Advertising your products/services can help you to reassure your existing clients as well as give you a chance to attract new customers.
  • Official Website: Maintaining an official website has become mandatory for business houses which pass information on current happenings, history, contact details and other vital details to the general masses.
  • Press Release and Interviews: Mass media plays an important role in projecting a company’s image to the public. Business houses can make best use of mass media to make important announcements or share their business growth for increasing their popularity.

Quick Tips

Here are few tips that would surely help you to communicate better in your professional setup.

  • Be well-informed about the venue and time of a business meeting and check for the schedule again before the main event.
  • Be confident while addressing the listeners, as for them to have faith in your ideas, you should have it too and present them without any doubts or confusion.
  • Be concise and precise while communicating as it ensures you are to-the-point and brief, because no one has the patience to read 100 lines of information which could have been dealt in just 30.
  • Avoid jargon as it hampers the flow of communication between people who are new or unaware of specific and typical business terms.
  • Be polite while facing questions and interruptions rather than responding with a rude or angry gesture which can put off people.
  • Make an eye contact with your listeners and make them feel comfortable while communicating with them, so they pay attention to you happily.
  • Use real life examples and personal experiences so that listeners can relate to your ideas and thoughts better.
  • When communicating in writing, make sure the matter written is free of errors like spellings, grammar, punctuation, etc., and is clear and easily readable.
  • And finally, keep it simple and professional, be it any form of communication so that the customers, clients, financiers, etc., feel that your services is worth their money and take you and your work seriously.

Feel free to share your good/bad experiences in a professional environment where good or poor expression of thoughts made the difference.