• Why You Should Consider Hiring A Business Consultant For Your Small Business?


    We cannot do it all. Sometimes we need help. Sometimes we just need to look at things in a different way. A business consultant can help you do that and potentially save your company money, improve performance and help you to make changes to achieve success. What Is A Business Consultant? A business consultant is an outside expert that can be hired to solve a business problem. They are an excellent source of knowledge, skills and experience. They understand all aspects of business, everything from business planning, sales, marketing and financing. A business consultant will analyze your problem; help you to develop strategies, goals and an action plan to reach the desired result, b...
  • Why following a sustainability strategy makes good business sense


    The first thing that comes to mind when I think of sustainability is environmentalism and that we should seek to make sure, there are enough resources for future generations. We should maintain the environment and try to reduce our impact. In business, I believe that sustainability is ensuring the long-term survival of the business through effective use of resource management in both financial and human capital. Using research and development to increase efficiencies and use new renewable materials. Ensuring that they have the resources they need by maintaining strong relationships with both supplier and customer. It is in the best interests of organizations to think sustainably. Li...
  • Why Do Small Businesses Fail?


    Running a small business can be difficult and no one wants to fail but many do. New companies have the highest failure rate of all. In fact less than 60% of new business make it past the first two years. What Reasons Do Small Businesses Fail? Poor Planning You need to come up and write down your strategic plan. You need to analyze your competition, forecast sales and plan for a changing environment. Not Enough Capital If you do not have enough cash flow to keep the business operating then you will run into trouble. Small business owners take on lots of personal debt using their credit cards to run the business. Cash is the lifeblood of a business. Ineffective Marketing You always...
  • Who are the biggest players in sustainability?


    I believe that the two biggest players in sustainability are government and consumers. Corporations indeed have a role to play as they have the ability to research and develop new technologies to solve issues but I believe it is the consumer that drive these changes. Corporations can lead the market but if the consumer is not ready to accept new ideas they will fail. Consumers are the ones that vote for corporations, and technologies by buying products and services. Consumers are also the ones that elect their government who both creates new regulations and enforces them upon corporations. The truth is that all three groups influence each other. Corporations hire lobbyists to influe...
  • What influence do shareholders have on sustainability efforts?


    It is important that the investors believe in the company and its management. Shareholders react to gossip, news and rumors. If they feel that a company is being mismanaged or trying a new strategy far outside the element of the company’s core business shareholders will run fast. This means selling the company’s stock. Investors themselves may be interested in companies that work towards sustainability. Any effort to work towards sustainability can be seen very positively to potential investors. It may draw in more investments increasing the share price. Even though the stock price is not really the best indicator of the company’s value especially in the short term the company must ...
  • Waterfall versus Agile methodologies


    With waterfall, the project moves in one direction after each phase is complete it moves onto the next phase. Agile on the other hand focuses on smaller iterations and has a focus on completing a minimum viable product. The best example that I heard of is if a client needs a car you don’t just start trying to build a car the first iteration is a skateboard which is a form of transportation like the car but extremely basic. The next iteration would be to add more features and build a motorcycle. This is much closer to what the client requested in fact the client might be happy with this product as is. Because of its nature waterfall methodology produces tons of documentation including...
  • Theory X and Theory Y management styles compared


    Theory X and Theory Y management theories originated in the 1960s by Douglas McGregor. Theory X and Theory Y management styles make assumptions about human behavior and are essentially opposites of each other. These are among the first theories discussed in business schools, and are fairly easy to understand as they are two completely different viewpoints and most managers are somewhere between the two. Theory X is a very pessimistic view of employees while Theory Y is much more optimistic. These theories seem to try to give to ends of a spectrum and there are other management theories that build upon these. Theory X employees hate work and will do anything to avoid it employees ...
  • What followers want from leaders?


    If we consult Maslow’s hierarchy of needs all individuals want to reach the top of the pyramid and achieve self-actualization. As a leader we can help ourselves and our followers at the same time by helping them to grow personally and professionally. The needs of a follower depend both on the work that the followers do and the personality of the follower. If the work involves repetitive manual tasks then the follower would be motivated for higher salary. If however the work involves higher thinking and creativity the motivation of the follower would be for higher needs. Leaders must ensure that they at least meet the basic needs for followers. It is best to make money a non-issue buy pa...
  • What’s the best strategy for business decision making?


    We make decisions all the time. As a small business owner we have to make decisions on all the daily operation problems. You also need to be to make decisions today that will affect your long term strategy. Let’s take a moment and break apart the decision making process. How does it happen? First, we realize that we have a problem that requires us to make a decision. If it is a situation we have encountered before then we can draw on our own experiences to act. If we don’t know then we gather information. We can ask others, read this blog, etc. Once we have some information we can start to brainstorm some potential solutions. When brainstorming we let the ideas flow. Next we can analyze...
  • Why use prototypes in software development?


    Prototypes are not just about cost savings or catching errors. They help the development team to capture the right requirements from the business areas to build the correct product. Prototypes help the users to get their hands on something so they get a feel if the product will work for them. It increases understanding across all project team. Types of Prototypes There are different types of prototypes. Prototypes can be divided into wither low or high fidelity. Low Fidelity Prototype A low fidelity prototype is pen and paper. I sometimes do this when I meet with my clients and I need to clarify what goes where. I draw out simple doodle in very high abstraction. An image might be...