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business career entrepreneur success

Presenting a Solution and Reaching an Agreement

Once you’ve diagnosed a customer’s problem and ensured the customer understands its causes, associated costs, and consequences, you need to show the customer how a solution you propose can solve the problem.

As you work with the customer to determine the best solution, you need to ensure the solution you propose provides enough value for the customer and how much the customer will have to invest in the solution. Customers are more likely to support solutions that generate value for them, so it’s vital to focus on the value you can provide.

Viability of a solution

The viability of a solution will depend on two factors: the cost of the problem and the value of the solution. For a solution to be viable and worthy of a customer’s investment, its value must be greater than the cost of the problem. If the value of the solution is less than the cost of the problem, the customer is probably wiser to maintain the status quo.

To determine the cost of a customer’s problem (CoP) you add the direct costs, indirect costs, and costs of missed opportunities associated with that problem.

To calculate the value of the solution ( VoS) you subtract the cost of the solution (CoS) from the expected positive financial impact of the solution ( FoS). The financial impact of the solution refers to the amount of revenue the solution will generate or the decrease in expenses it will cause.

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Effective Meeting Objectives

Have you ever thought you were doing a great job leading a meeting, but the end result was ineffective? This type of unproductive meeting happens more often than you think.

When you write effective objectives as part of a proper agenda, you’ll find that your meetings will become much more successful and productive.

Objectives are a series of specific statements that identify the results to be achieved by holding the meeting. To discover the meeting objectives, think about the concerns of the attendees and what you hope to accomplish by having the meeting.

Stating your objectives in the agenda will help participants know what to expect from the meeting, so they can effectively prepare for it. Effective objectives should be:

  • clear,
  • directional, and
  • measurable.

They should be clear

It is important for your objectives to be clear. Meetings can be held for a number of different reasons. The exact purpose must always be made clear to the participants.

When preparing your objectives, you need to use simple terms, and don’t assume the attendees have prior knowledge. By having clearly written objectives, there will be less confusion on what is being covered.

Here’s an example of a clear objective: “This meeting will explain the new sick-day policies that have been adopted by the company.” This objective clearly states what the meeting will cover.

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Sequencing and Prioritizing Project Tasks

Sequencing Project Tasks

How much of your time is lost to waiting for others to complete their part of the job? Perhaps a more important question is this: how can you predict that your time may be lost and find ways to work around it?

To complete several different tasks, you’re trying to manage the time of a single resource: you.

The majority of tasks will have deadlines or completion dates, and some may also have start dates or dependencies. You may have to wait for someone else to finish her part of the job, or you may not be able to start the job until resources have become available.

Sequencing is a quick solution to planning your time and taking into account start dates. It enables you to quickly review what you need to do and to decide whether there is time available to complete the required tasks. Sequencing works best when you have several relatively large tasks to complete, and when you’re aware of what needs to be done in advance.

Steps to sequencing

There are three primary steps to sequencing:

  1. Distinguishing between sequential and parallel tasks — Sequential tasks are tasks that can’t begin until other activities have been completed. For example, it’s not possible to plan the layout of a meeting room before you decide on where the meeting will be held. Parallel tasks aren’t dependent on anyone or anything for their start dates. Start by finding out about what you need to do. The easiest way to do this is to answer three questions: When can you start and what’s the deadline? Does anyone else have to finish, or do you need anything before you can start? How long will the task take?

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Supportive Onboarding

Onboarding components

The supportive onboarding process brings orientation to the next level. It aims to integrate new employees into the organization so that they understand their role, build good working relationships, and contribute effectively. The key components of supportive onboarding are knowledge, interaction, and feedback.

The onboarding process should provide a new employee with the right knowledge and information on the new employee’s role and function. It should also facilitate interaction. The development of working relationships is an important part of a new employee becoming onboarded. And it should provide feedback to the new employee and support efforts to act on that feedback.

Cultural integration

A key factor in the success of any onboarding program is the level of support. A new employee who’s left to fend alone will have a poor impression of the organization. This negatively affects the employee’s progress and development. To support onboarding, the direct manager should enable cultural integration, set goals and performance expectations, and communicate and give feedback regularly.

Enabling a new employee’s cultural integration is one duty of the manager. This involves several things:

  • describe the organization’s vision, mission, and strategy — It’s important to continually reference the organization’s vision, mission, and strategy, and explain how all this relates to the new employee’s specific role. Helping a new employee to become aligned with the organization’s strategy and goals is one way of creating a sense of being part of the organization.

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