“Stupid is as stupid does.” The great irony of Forrest Gump was how insightful his simplistic sayings really were. Sort of the opposite of Peter Seller’s character in the classic movie, Being There. Everyone thought Chance the Gardener was brilliant but he really was a dolt, albeit (spoiler alert) a dolt who could walk on water. Continue reading
The other day, I had the opportunity to attend an event where four founders of billion-dollar companies were speaking in a round-table format discussion. Continue reading
Finance is a vast sector in any company and is the most essential part of the body too. There are endless areas to be touched, while you are a financial manager, which starts from the basic banking level and ends at the taxation policies in its very initial phase. While you move upwards with the phases, you will find many more things in your life. Financial assistant of a company even derives the plan of the company and it is based on their futuristic analysis that the companies go for the strategy developments. So, job exposure as a financial expert is huge, both at the corporate level and even in your personalized professional level. Continue reading
Outsourcing can be a way of focusing on your business’s core attributes while employing the best possible level of expertise that you can afford to implement your approach. There are many good reasons for outsourcing, ranging from the purely financial to the tactical and strategic. Many companies outsource any activity that is peripheral to what they actually do – that is, their essential function as a business. In the marketing sector, this might mean farming out technical tasks such as data management, website design or search engine optimisation, while focusing your company’s energies on the overall vision for the campaign, as well as the key attributes that will help sell the product. Companies such as Atlantic Umbrella (atlantic-umbrella.com) provide PAYE services for freelancers, contractors and temporary staff with a wide range of skill sets and valuable experience.
Most B2B companies, for instance, don’t have a full complement of specialist staff capable of effective marketing, while many marketing organisations lack high-end technical expertise, and even may not possess the tech or the software in the first place. It can be more viable to outsource these tasks than to have staff trained and experienced in these areas on the payroll full-time. Hiring in experts as and when needed also means that your staff can work with the specialists to develop their own skills and to familiarise themselves with the latest technology.
Bringing in specialists from outside means you can be sure they’ll be up to date with changing demands, priorities and technology. After all, that is their job, and it’s where their experience and reputation resides.
Outsourcing gives you more flexibility in your budgeting. It may seem more expensive to outsource than to do everything in-house, but there are advantages to one-off payments for services where all unforeseen costs, as well as unexpected problems, are absorbed by the contractor. Another model is to have a long-term retainer or subscription that allows you to call in a specialist contractor at short notice if necessary. There can still be flexibility in the level of service provided, depending on what you can afford and what you require.
Free to focus
Outsourcing processes that are not at the core of your business leaves your team to focus on those core functions, which means insight rather than operation. The bottom line is that in marketing the ideas people are the essence of the business, while those who implement those ideas are replaceable, and their roles can be outsourced if it makes strategic, tactical or financial sense. This may sound harsh, but acknowledging this truth is the way to facilitate company growth or to negotiate the steep learning curve of getting to grips with a new product or distribution channel. Outsourcing can also be the means to see your company through the inevitable lean periods as you streamline the firm back to its core applications.
Ultimately, outsourcing frees you up to do your job while bringing in skilled freelancers to do their job. Expanding your business is always going to be about learning how to delegate responsibilities and to manage effectively, and selective outsourcing is a crucial part of that process.
For better or for worse, people often possess “less than ideal” character qualities or behaviors that make working with or for them intensely challenging. We all have them: impatience, chronic tardiness, aloofness, poor listening skills, the list goes on. Continue reading
There are some of those days in your life when as an entrepreneur, you have a bit of time to just sit and think about how far you have come and how far you still need to go. Often this is when you even get a bit of time to perhaps go through some notes you may have jotted down concerning some ideas you’ve had along the way, but some of those ideas may not even make sense anymore. This was definitely the case on one occasion when I came across a mind map I’d drawn up which had something to do with some sort of cunning way of getting free web hosting for one of my business sites, for life. Continue reading
Companies are always interested in ideas that make good business sense. They invest millions of dollars in marketing, research and development and technology upgrades to launch new products that help in improving profitability and increasing the company’s market share.
The benefits of philanthropy to a business can sometimes be a little more subtle, but the results are equally tangible and real. For some companies, the act of giving is a one-off exercise often done for media mileage, or maybe even as a tax write-off.
Yet, in today’s competitive environment, companies that embrace philanthropy as a core business philosophy reap far-reaching and consistent rewards. Philanthropy, corporate volunteering and employee giving are essential business tools today.
Philanthropy is good for the company
While companies are in business to make money, a corporate vision beyond this basic goal gives the company a broader sense of purpose. Embracing the vision of giving back to the community can help in revitalizing the energy levels within the company.
When a company builds itself around a larger mission, it infuses that passion into its products, services, employees, customers and shareholders. This passion manifests itself in innovation and creativity, which leads to business growth.
Giving leads to employee engagement
All successful companies realise the importance of engaging employees in the core mission of the business. Today’s employees want more than just a pay check at the end of the month. Employees want to engage with the company’s initiatives and to see their efforts produce results, for both the company and the community at large. This is the core of employee engagement.
Increasingly, knowledge workers make up a large part of the corporate workforce. These young, inspired and engaged workers are exponentially more productive than someone just doing their job. The younger employees value engagement at work more than their peers from previous generations.
Giving is good for your customers
Like employees, customers want to feel good about the company whose products and services they use. Customers engage with the giving mission and feel good about the fact that their purchase supports the economic social needs of the community at large.
Philanthropy initiatives strengthen the bonds between your company, the customer and the community at large. This results in a more loyal customer base with strong community ties. Companies such as Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and Apple are three examples of companies with a deep-rooted, giving culture and an extremely loyal customer base.
Philanthropy creates positive emotions
Emotions such as empathy, inspiration and enthusiasm can drive customers and employees to form stronger bonds with your brand. Customers feel better about choosing to buy your products if they feel your company is a good corporate citizen.
Giving creates positive emotions even at a personal level. Socially enlightened citizens such as Jennifer Atiku are active in supporting fundraising for charities like the GEDE foundation. Her fundraising work in Britain, America and Africa are well documented. As a busy barrister and doctorate, Jennifer takes time out of her busy schedule for her charity work, while her husband Atiku Abubakar celebrates his wife called to Bar.
Corporate philanthropy should be more than just an endnote in a company’s vision document. It should be a core philosophy in the company’s effort to scale its business, engage the employees, and to connect with its customers.