Thursday, September 27, 2012

Increase Your Net Profit

Confused about why your gross profit is high but your net profit is low?
When the ladies get them they look real. But when guys get spray tans they look like Magda's twin brother from the movie "There's Something About Mary." Spray tans last about 7 to 12 days. So if you are into this stuff, you have to go every 1 to 2 weeks. That's a lot of tanning, and that's a recurring fixed expense for you. Maybe that's where all of your money goes.
Do you ever ask yourself: Where does all of the money go? Why do I feel like I have no money?
You are killing it in your business, right? You are bringing in the business. You think you are making good money. But every month when you look at your net profit then at your business bank account, there isn't much cash in there.
Every business owner spends money in 2 areas:
• The money you spend to produce/provide a service or product, which is costs of goods sold.
• The money you spend to keep your business up and running, which is called overhead.
Stay with me here. You really need to understand this. It's so key to getting a handle on your business money. You will have more clarity. You will feel more in control. You could go to the moon! Seriously.
OK, here is an example...
Let's say you are an event planner and you are planning a business conference for Apple. Your fee is $100,000. You will supply and pay for event production, flowers, tables, chairs, catering, and staff. You plan on all of the expenses costing $70,000. So you plan on making $30,000, or 30% profit. The $30,000 is called your gross profit.
Gross profit = Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold
But the event ends up costing you $85,000. You are over budget. So your gross profit is only $15,000.
You also have overhead to run your business. You have to pay for rent, health insurance, your employee, and telephones for your office. This costs $8000 every month.
Net profit = Gross profit - overhead.
So in this case, your net profit is $15,000 - $8000 = $7000. That's it, you made just $7,000 off of $100,000 in sales! Oy vey. We gotta get this number up.
If we annualize this, your net profit for the year would be $84,000. But the thing is, you left your corporate job where you were making $80,000. So you are basically making the same amount of money. Yes, you have more autonomy, have your own company, and have more flexibility. But you are really making the same amount of money.
So something has to change if you want to increase your net profit. You have 3 choices:
• Raise your prices
• Lower the costs to produce the event such as your service or product, or stay on budget.
• Lower your overhead.
It's that simple. You make the decision. Then run with it. Just not to the tanning salon.

How It Can Give Your Business A Competitive Edge

Hoshin Kanri is one of the many immensely useful management techniques that Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers have given to the corporate world. You don't have to have a large manufacturing company in order to use this technique. Companies of varying sizes and different industries have been using it to get a competitive edge.
The term Hoshin means 'setting an objective' and Kanri means 'management'. Therefore, the two terms when used together loosely mean "the management of objectives or direction". Most people take these terms to mean 'planning'. However, this is more than just planning and it is extremely essential for a company's success.
If you decide to adopt this management technique then you will have to
- Plan your strategy over a three-to-five-year period in order to move your company in a particular direction.
- Devise activities that will help you achieve your long term objective.
- Establish a variety of monitoring processes in order to ensure that you are on track to achieve the long term objective. These monitoring processes will also help you understand if the plan needs to be changed before it becomes too late and resources are wasted.
- Identify an annual plan that helps you achieve short term business goals.
- Give people specific responsibilities to ensure that they meet their individual goals. Each individual goal then helps the company achieve its overall target.
- Put in place a good system of communication so that all people in the organization understand clearly what is expected of them.
What makes this style of management different from conventional planning is that it comprises of both long term and short term goals. Employees have a clear understanding of how their individual performance can help the company succeed in the marketplace. As is to be expected, this has a very beneficial effect on productivity and morale. This is also a very good way of identifying various opportunities for training.
If you are looking for a fail safe way of improving your business then you should adopt various Lean management techniques including Hoshin planning. You will then be able to identify various business opportunities and take good advantage of them. Not only will your productivity increase but wastage will also reduce. You'll need to start by getting the right training, both for management and employees so that they can make good use of this management style. You'll see a dramatic improvement in business within the first year itself.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How To Be A Headhunter

Headhunters, or Executive Recruiters have the toughest job of all recruiting positions. Typically, executive recruiters are paid on commission. If they don't make a placement, they don't get paid. They work without pay until a candidate is hired. There's nothing like a little stress to keep activity in high gear. Headhunters are motivated to continually perfect phrases, strategies, and skill sets. The faster they recruit, the bigger their reward. With quality comes quantity.
There's an art to controlling the placement process and it begins with memorizing the steps both candidate and employer go through before closing a deal. Recruiters are expected to make sure placements are made without any designated authority. They must be able to lead without pushing people around. Their power is subtle yet effective. When one knows how to be a headhunter they become comfortable with speaking less and listening more.
How do recruiters establish trust and credibility? It's not by boasting or rattling off highlights on their resume. Headhunters break the ice and dive into a conversation by asking intelligent questions. They don't waste time with small talk. They don't have time to spare. The best recruiters keep their focus on meeting the requirements of the candidate and the client employer. When those requirements are met, offers are extended and accepted.
We are sales people on a mission. A great deal is expected of us and in return we also have expectations. Headhunters have the luxury of choosing their clients and candidates. Mess with a recruiter's livelihood and you risk being dumped like a sack of flour.
Speak with authority. Talk slowly and enunciate clearly. "Hi. My name is Paul Bunyon. I'm an Executive Recruiter and I do have an opportunity to discuss with you. Your name has come to me on a confidential basis. Can you talk privately?" Silence. Give your candidate a moment to digest what they've just heard. 99% of the time you'll have their undivided attention or schedule a time when they can talk privately.
Keep asking questions. "In order to make a move and feel like you're taking a step up in your career, what would have to be in place?" Recruiters maintain control with questions. When asked a question, answer briefly and ask a new one. Reveal nothing about your client or the position until the candidate shows they qualify and have a sincere motivation to make a move.
Candidates and clients both want to know the answer to, 'What's In It For Me?' Recruiters who keep asking about motivation will be armed with crucial information when the time comes to negotiate and close the deal. What makes Headhunting more challenging than the average sales position is our 'product' (the candidate) has a mind of her own and this complicates the process. Their needs must be met for the placement to be made. Every placement essentially involves two sales!
The secret to being irresistible is to make it your business to let other people do the talking. Hone your ability to ask questions and your income will rise proportionally. Memorize lots of questions. You'll soon discover most people are disarmed easily once they realize you're genuinely interested in what they have to say about themselves. They rarely get this kind of undivided attention.
As a Headhunter you're expected to be an expert about your chosen industry. Listen carefully to everyone. These folks will refer colleagues and new clients to you. Information is power. Information is the currency of the recruiting trade. To be an irresistible Headhunter, follow the placement process. Ask questions and listen for answers that reveal what will ensure both sides, employer and candidate, 'buy' the deal. As you learn how to be a Headhunter and do your job well both sides will love you and your bonus is a generous fee.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Three Top Catering Options for a Wedding

Three of the most popular catering choices for a wedding include the finger buffet, the hot buffet and the sit down meal. Consider the type of reception you are having in trying to decide what type of meal would be best to serve your guests.
A finger buffet is a no-fuss catering option that works very well for many different venues. When selecting finger foods, offer more than one menu choice if you are able to. The place where you are holding the reception may offer you three or four menu choices, but if you are catering for a large group, such as 100 or more, you may wish to provide your guests with more options.
If you are offered a choice of what menu you would like, mixing and matching foods is always a good idea. You can peruse the menu that is provided to you and from there, select the finger food that would be most appetizing for your guests. This will provide everyone in attendance with a larger selection of foods from which to enjoy.
A venue that does not allow you to have a say in the choices for the finger buffet may not be the optimum choice for your reception. It is your wedding and you are paying for it so you want to be able to make the decisions related to it.
A hot buffet is another catering option for a wedding that is popular but will cost you more than the finger buffet. This choice would be a good daytime catering choice as well as an evening one. It would suit any couple on their wedding day because it offers something for everyone.
You can include on the hot buffet anything that suits your fancy and is within your price range. Sweet and sour chicken, lasagna, shepherd's pie or chilli make excellent choices for the main dishes.
The hot buffet would not be complete without an assortment of side dishes. These dishes compliment whatever main dish is the centerpiece for the meal. Some options for side dishes include rice, potatoes, French fries and vegetables (such as pea, carrots and corn). You may also wish to have rolls, biscuits or garlic bread.
In the case of a hot buffet, the guests can get up from their tables and serve themselves. Service time is relatively fast when people have the option of picking out their own food.
The sit down meal is a popular option for wedding catering but not as popular as it was a decade ago. This is a traditional means of serving a meal at a wedding but the potential for errors is great (slow service, cold food) and it can be rather dull.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Consider When Creating Labels For Clothes

Perhaps, you are opening a clothing line business with the help of some friends. One of the details that would need your attention is the creation of labels for clothes. This is one aspect of the business that needs your artistic skills as well. It needs your best efforts as the tags will reflect your business and carry the information by which customers could contact you.
If you are planning to do this on your own, think again. You might want to gather all the members of your creative team to ensure that you get the best ideas for your label. Say, you do not have a creative team. Ask a trusted friend over to brainstorm with you - as the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
Do you have a business logo? Most labels for clothes are patterned after business logos. They are, in fact, simplified forms of these emblems. If you have a complicated emblem, you can just consider the initials of your company name. Observe other popular brands of clothes. Some of their tags just hold the first letter of the creator's first or last name. This is for practicality purposes. Obviously, a complicated design requires much time and thread for stitching.
When choosing the colors and symbols you wish to incorporate, make sure that they are related to your company or the signature design of your clothes. A couple of hues is ideal. Using three shades is maximum; more than that you will have confusion at hand. Inclusion of a border and a symbol is also a great way to decorate your label. Ensure though that you will choose just one. In the case that you need them both, select an image that is small enough to complement your border and your business initials. The same must be observed in the creation of your swing tags.
If you want your clothing line more professional looking, write your business name in cursive and make this the pattern for your label. Just make sure that the way you wrote it is readable and easy to stitch. Instead of your business name, you can also write your name in scrip. It can be your whole name or just your first name or last name. Remember that your signature will be embroidered or printed many times and so make it legible as possible.
Although you want to be unique with your clothing tag, it is best for you to stick with the basic shapes available. Non-traditional shapes of labels for clothes may not be very practical on your end. For one, the designing of the tag could be very challenging if there is uneven space where you would stitch your company name and the image you have chosen. More so, a rectangular or square cloth tag look sophisticated than any other shape you can think of. If you find this chore difficult for you to handle, then, simply hire a printing services company that can do this on your behalf.