Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Why most companies hire a Chief Operating Officer to fail?

December 4, 2015

By

Michael Fanghella

Managing Director

Santa Fe Advisory Services/IMS

A while back I put this summary together of how to interview and determine if you are going to select a Chief Operating Officer from a seminar I had put on for mid range business, all looking to make the next step. Its point and purpose was to show owners what the person you are looking to bring in believes and sees as their job going forward and what they as owners/visionaries should be thinking to ask or prepare.  For their (the Potential COO candidates) purposes note their typical skill sets and how they think is shown below by how they rank them and see as their purpose is when coming into a firm:

  •  Change management ranks highest; and
  • Setting and enforcing robust operational controls; and
  • Engaging in strategic board level discussions
  • Implementing the organizational and operational model ;and
  • Extracting operational efficiencies; and
  • Industry & Market knowledge and bringing a multicultural management approach ring last on the criteria  that you should expect this person to have.

Nearly all Chief Operating Officers will, at some point, have to take the lead on these issues: from the basics of ensuring vigorous operations, to creating a new operational structure, through to the change management aspects of execution. Beyond this list are the things you should know when looking for such a person and is why I address getting the organization in place with defined operational procedures and systems prior to hiring a person to fill this role assuming you have truly articulated what that role means in your search. Oft times we are over impressed with the CV of the person in front or us and what they did at a company most likely with systems and processes in place”.  If you don’t have those, then you are hiring someone to mix up the batter with a finger, when they are used to having a high powered blender.  I trust you see what I am addressing here as an important component to addressing your strategic vision of growth.

Key questions for you to present to them:

  • What kind of post-induction/acquisition/growth integration strategies does he know, and which will be most effective?
  • How adept is he at reassuring in-house stakeholders about the change, while still transforming the company’s approach to innovation?
  • How will he balance the conflicting views that will emerge on the best approach to innovation?
  • What is their approach to maintaining morale and retaining key talent?

Rethinking Strategy

  • What other tactical risks and opportunities could emerge from the changeover?
  • How would the new approach fit with the company’s existing resources and capabilities, and where would the gaps lie?
  • What would a roadmap for transforming the business look like?
  • What level of investment would be required to support it?

 Compliance: setting and enforcing vigorous operational controls

Questions the Owner/CEO should be prepared to answer:

  •  How well do you know the area of the business that has been exposed in articulating your searches needs, and what systems and processes do you have in place?
  • To what degree do you think we need to comply with current regulatory guidelines?
  • What are the alternative oversight frameworks that could be more effective for your sector?
  • What are your thoughts as applying good practice and corporate governance in our industry?

Designing and implementing the organization’s operational model

  •  What is their method for handling this?
  • What kind of modeling methods will they rely on?

They should ask

  • How are your competitors dealing with the issue?
  • How can you best determine a most advantageous operational model?

(The issue is do you know why you are hiring someone to solve your everyday problems.)

Performance: proficiency in identifying and extracting efficiencies.

 What is their structured approach for finding new efficiencies within the business?

  • What are the factors that most affect overall costs?
  • Which big data-related tools they intend to use that can help pinpoint the efficiencies in your company’s network that will ensure smoother operations?

Insight: deep industry and market knowledge

  •  How well can this person translate the industry’s dynamics into a strong proposition for how overall industry trends are changing and how he will take advantage of them?
  • What are his/her clear facts to back this up?
  • What is his/her stratagem for broaching sensitive issues in high level meetings, while demonstrating interest for this new strategy?
  • Which approach do they follow for determining who supports your views behind the scenes?

Finding a multicultural management approach

  •  What techniques do they know that can help bridge cultural differences during this process?
  • How can they ensure positive knowledge sharing across cultures and time zones?
  • How attuned is their appreciation of when “yes” might actually mean “no”?

A cross-functional background is a common feature of the career paths followed by today’s leading COOs so to not address this internally is like judging the book solely by its cover.

The corporate assessment for a new COO appointment

  1. Do you have a process in place for reviewing and defining the links between the corporate strategy and the competencies required of the future COO?
  2. Is your board involved in this process?
  3. Is there an appropriate job description that gives a complete picture of the role?
  4. What profile does the individual need to possess, including the academic background, experiences and competencies (KSA)?
  1. Have the relevant key performance indicators been defined?
  2. Have you decided whether you want to hire internally or externally?
  3. Is a competency-based selection process in place?
  4. Is there an overall development framework for the role, including coaching, action learning and mentoring?
  5. Have you created an induction and compensation plan in advance of this process?
  6. Are you prepared for the need to communicate extensively across the business to ensure that key stakeholders are prepared and available to support the new COO?

The one thing I have observed is that people tend to either prejudge candidates from being too impressed by their current status, and or their resume or they don’t really understand what their true needs are.  They will over look someone of age, but who is capable and in place to handle your real needs and hire someone who has neither the experience and or the patience to mentor those around them. As I mention above, owners don’t clearly look at their operations and analyze whether they would be  bringing in a personality that hasn’t gone through that transition in a long time and will adjust purely by change management so it fits his/her comfort zone.  One thing is for sure, unless you spend the time prior to even running a search, you are not prepared to hire anyone.  I handle executive searches, but only if the company hires me to come in and analyze their business, its operational strengths and weaknesses, seeing the functional status of its existing employees.  Only then can I address the potential candidates, which are now sought out in relationship to their KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) and how they would meld into a scenario that to date has been unmanaged by such a personality. Most medium sized companies don’t really need a COO, but they most probably need a Chief Growth Officer, they equate their need to grow with a parallel need to have experienced managers of that growth.  When often as the saying goes, “if you build it they will come” .  To me that means you can attract a better person when you are a successful growth entity rather than when you are a need entity.

To find out more about how to really have a successful executive search experience you can reach us at 858 432 6066 or michael@santafeadvisoryservices.com

Disintermediation – Friend or Foe of Today’s Businesses

November 7, 2012

Disintermediation – Friend or Foe of Today’s Businesses

BY

Michael Fanghella

Managing Director

 For the past 100 of 110 years, business has been extraordinarily focused on the supply chain: building it, perfecting it, defending it. And the modern corporation depends on the supply chain to continually generate profits, because systemic growth has been so hard to bottle. The middle man is at risk in today’s environment unless they adapt.

The great companies of the past have always taken an historic innovation— Ford with autos, AT&T with the telephone ,IBM with computers—and then consolidated control of their markets by defending their distribution arm by all means. But today’s fastest growing companies, such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google, don’t focus nearly as much on distribution channels. Instead, their businesses are built around consumption models, and their single minded focus is on building relationships to their family of consumers to earn their trust, to expand their role in their consumers’ lives, and to enlist them in everything from product design to service to delivery.

Today’s enterprising companies are as focused on constantly improving their levels of trust with their clients as they are on the degrees of efficiency of supply.

And that is only half of the story. Even as this cultural shift is taking place, the nature of distribution itself is undergoing a transformation. Today, most manufacturing business models are still built around the traditional notion of a physical community of towns and roads, warehouses and delivery trucks, advertising and point of sale marketing. Not surprisingly then, most supply chains are also built around local physical stores, factories and the ubiquitous dealers that serve them.

But what happens in a world where one’s neighborhood is as much virtual as physical? When your friends and other key influences are scattered around the world? What happens when a single opinion, via a blog or Web posting, can influence a millions of clients on four continents? For these questions, the traditional supply  business model has few answers that fit today’s models.

From the Industrial Revolution to the brand management system to the virtual corporation, has taken place at the system level. That is, how do you coordinate assets, information, and people? Today, the Internet is the ultimate such system, bigger than any that came before. Can we be surprised then that it reverses that most traditional of business relationships, the one between manufacturer and client? Or that the old supply model is now beginning to seek new solutions in a world in which the consumer, for the first time ever, is enthroned in the driver’s seat of the global economy? If you don’t find your path and you are not controlling the supply you better find a way to draw in the demand or be gone.

We were given an advance warning of this trend more than a decade ago, during the mortgage refinance bubble. Unfortunately, we drew all of the wrong conclusions from that period. Even today, that era, with its creation and destruction of hundreds of new companies, is typically seen as an example of wasteful runaway business growth. But to be sure its effect cut margins razor thin and the companies providing products over reacted to the demand by losing control of them and did not scale back their resources in time or manage supply cycle instead they rode the rapids like an exciting trip down the river until they met the “Falls”.

We should look back on that era as being one of extraordinary importance. The “big idea” in the air in the 1990’s was disintermediation: the notion that business systems, empowered by the new information and communications technologies, would strip out the middleman and grow more efficient in the process. That period of time was essentially this idea of disintermediation, propelled by the Internet, reaching the retail world—replacing traditional bricks and mortar businesses with e-commerce companies.

The fact is that almost all of those e-commerce companies were retail driven enterprises, often driven by old line supply companies. And if you had looked at their business plans, you would have noticed that few of them had any idea exactly who would buy these products or services. All they knew is that their clients were taking the shortest and quickest route they could find direct to the supplier.  In fact, very few had any fulfillment capability or competitive advantage to speak of.

By comparison, those companies that did survive the shakeout— Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Zappos, Google—have proven to be some of the most important and influential companies of recent years. And they in turn set the pattern for the Web 2.0 social media firms such at Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube that have redefined modern life. What did those survivors have in common? Their business was based on what clients wanted, rather than what the suppliers already had. They were the harbingers of the demand driven economy.

The lesson for those who act as the current authorized middle man for the manufacturer to be learned is that in this era of oversupply it is now imperative that you construct a framework in your company that encompasses and aligns everyone toward meeting not just the current but the latent and emerging demand of your highest profit clients and consumers. And before you can do that, you need to understand who those clients and consumers are, where they are, and what “need states” they exhibit as they make their purchasing decisions. The concept of need states is important for developing an in-depth understanding of demand. Need states are the circumstances or the occasions that cause someone to want something and to take action in its pursuit.

The transformation you must make in your company and the reversal you must make in your perspective will be easier than you think. This is not re-orienting  this is rethinking. This is not reorganizing, it’s reshaping dealers, manufacturers, retailers, and the media into a collaborative network that will work to the benefit of all who participate. For a long time, this new model of organizing and collaborating has been intuitively felt, and now it’s real. It’s called the feeding the flow by corralling disintermediation to win in the new demand based economy.

The problem is not that the client can and has found their way to their purchase decision vies a vie this process, it is you haven’t identified it and set a strategy to focus it for your business. Gone may be the traditional sales force and the flow personnel you have had for years as the future challenges you to embrace your client, involve them on a current basis in the decision process and let them see it all as through the project management by giving them heretofore unavailable real time access to their decision online thus cementing your relationship with them. Your marketing should parallel this concept by instead of beating the bushes in an “us” versus “them” mentality, by aliening yourself with their needs through crowd sourcing and knowledge based marketing which make your effort in concert with their needs.

For more information of the effects of disintermediation and your business call Michael Fanghella 619.758.4019 or visit us at www.santafeadvisoryservices.com

 

HOW TO MANAGE A SALES DEPARTMENT

October 13, 2012

HOW TO MANAGE A SALES DEPARTMENT

By

Michael Fanghella

October 13th 2012

My perspective in managing a sales department is from having from as small a sales cadre of 5 sales personnel to over 150 under my direct report that produced results from $10 million in sales to over $1 billion.  The reality is in today’s multi tasking leveraged world is that sales professionals sell and if they are expected to be handling things other than sales you have diluted their time resource and effectively limit their earnings as well as their attention.  So establishing the Desired Results (Goals) that effectively consider what they will earn a living doing is paramount.

I believe that once the desired results (mutual goals defined), as relayed and defined through senior management and accepted by the sales team jointly and severally, are established the following are the issues under the managing control of its leader. They are as follows:

  •  The Procedural Guidelines established to follow to achieve those desired results for in this way when the results aren’t forthcoming you have a understood methodology to analyze the sales persons effort and either get them back on track; and
  • Resource management in that when prior establishment of the desired results were made along with that a clear path of who they can go to for information, aid in knowledge based sales technique, solution selling issues. This includes training sessions and open discussions as to objections and solutions as facilitated by the manager. This allows the team to see and know that if they choose not to utilize these resources (management, tech support, books, web based information services, etc.) they have effectively limited their opportunity to succeed; and
  • Accountability, which is often misunderstood, is where we as a team or an individual take the time to assess performance against the prior stated desired results.  At this time the measuring sticks are if the personnel are following the procedural guidelines as laid out to succeed and if not make corrections and also for the manger to be assessed by his team if he/she is doing what he laid out where his/her procedural guidelines to be the effective voice and manager they need to perform. These meeting occur throughout the time but can be done both as a team and on an individual basis; and

Ultimately this effort constantly is taking their performance issue to hand and allowing for adjustments and improvement that hold both sides of the team accountable to each other. What you find is that your sales personnel know how they are doing well before anyone else and as a manager you can see if they are putting an effort (procedurally) that accomplishes what they themselves outlined they wanted. The natural consequence of this process is defined by those results made by the individual team members. This reduces complaints, and focuses sale managements’ attention on helping not pointing fingers at personnel which makes all sales personnel in the team nervous. Sales personnel can’t be effective if they are looking over their shoulders. As sales manager if you can’t help (mentor) them you are a non event to their desired results and ultimately your authority is diminished.

o How to effectively turn prospects into clients –

  •  All prospects are somewhere in the sales funnel, the question is where, and once understood aids in defining how you handle them. So I have some basic rules to analyze them (prospects) by they are as follows:
  •  If a warm prospect seek first to understand before asking to be listened to-
  1. Who are they, what do they do, how large are they. Often this can be done rather casually ; then
  2. Establish their needs and how that takes them to what they want, then
  3. Qualify them in terms of their resources and expectations, decision making authority and their financial expectations (authority & financial qualification are the determining factors as to whether you proceed aggressively or not;  then
  4. Either move forward and or invite their superior to the next level of discussion to insure a clear line to closing the effort. or
  5. If they are that person and financial consideration are defined and acceptable; then
  6. Take them to a solution sales consideration that identifies how your product/service meets their needs; then
  7. Demo. track to close
  •  While this is a simplistic format and is always subject to the variables that a good sales person will sense, but it is a format that keeps time and expectation in alliance with the desired results to succeed.
  •  If a cold prospect, establish a listening relationship but get to qualifying them and whether they have the decision making capability or not to ascertain whether they move to the next level with you. If qualified see how quickly they want to move toward the next obviously level of discussion and or get their superior involved in the next discussion or demo.

o How to manage 3 projects at once –

I currently manage over 10 projects and attend to past clients who had projects with us but who have residual issues that need to be attended to.  Priorities are often misunderstood.  They are often misdiagnosed as crisis management, but are not.  They are things you do everyday because to effectively manage projects and the key elements as determined prior that are to be attended to each day by design.  The above referenced crisis management is then handled in the course as an adjustment but not as the day to day management.  This means phone management, time and resource management and trust basis a clear understanding of both the talent pool around you for delegation and what management expects and allows you to resolve without having to go one step up the management ladder are clearly understood.

 o How to motivate and inspire employees-

Understanding who you hire and their skill set is foremost. Imagine putting a 150 batting average person in clean up doesn’t make him a great hitter by design. So go back to how I hire and manage my sales teams in that I have a clear and understandable desired results from people who can clearly articulate them to me. If they can’t do that then they are not connected to the process of selling and haven’t thought about that prior other than wanting a job.  Ultimately this is what will pull the team both they and their supervisor into accountability with each other in terms of what they have to do for this effort to be successful.  This is paramount because if they don’t believe in what we are doing you will lose them as their first failure.

But beyond that motivational goals have to be offered in short terms expectations so that someone achieves those goals quickly and others see it as well as its attainability. Making them such that other voluntary stakeholders in this process (Family and maybe significant others) share in its acknowledgement.  While I don’t ascribe to knowing the families of our sales personnel, I do want them to see this as a positive process and are supportive of what we will ask of our sales personnel.

Having certain motivating factors that allow success to occur at different levels so that newer members of the team can execute and succeed also as they build their aptitude and base of knowledge and sales.

Napoleon stated; that soldiers die for honor (medals) as much as to win the battle”. Sales personnel are not much different so open communication, a developed effort to keep them aligned with what they decided in agreement with management to perform and their acknowledgement in the accountably meeting I stated earlier to, is always aided by that which we promised to them we would in turn provide.

Ergo, management above the sales manager never criticizes the team openly or to their face. That is left to their manager with whom they have a defined solution oriented process. Anyone can identify a problem, but a good manager attends to the problem by bringing forth and mentoring a solution.  Senior management above this level are the good guys.  They should never see your fears or even hear them. They (Sales Personnel) will want to be your friend only because if they don’t have this defined management solution process, they will seek that relationship because they believe it will effect their employment stability.

Consistency in the effort, the product/service surviving whatever due diligence the prospect has with it will give confidence and build momentum better than drinks after work or high fives when a sale gets made. The point is they have high expectations of themselves, so motivating them is an adjustment made often and done for their attitude, not their success.

You can comment or contact me directly if you want additional information on this or other subjects or contact me by clicking www.santafeadvisoryservices.com . 858.880.8650.

Starting a New Business Series

June 5, 2012

Starting a New Business Series

By

Michael Fanghella

Managing Director

Step Number 1

If you are starting a new business have a new idea what ever you plan to do next do it like it is “On Purpose” please.

Starting a new business involves many steps.  You may borrow business finance for the purpose of starting a new business or for expending the established one.  Starting a new business is the easy part.  One of the most important things to do when starting a new business is to prepare a written business plan.  Starting a new business can be  exciting and challenging.

That’s what starting a new business is all about.  Quick money is not what lies behind starting a new business overnight.  Starting a new business online is easy and with the right help you will be making money but usually not quickly.

It may be intimidating for some people.  When you are starting a new business be it online or otherwise, you need have a website as it has become the acceptable means of communicating your presence.  When starting a new business there are certain decisions that you need to make.

The reality is that you probably don’t know everything and need the expertise of others.  The fact is you don’t even need a bank to start a business.  If you want to start a business, you need to think it out.  Is it feasible, is it cost efficient and can you reproduce the concept consistently at the profit margins you have projected. Marketing and sales should be a fore thought not an after thought.  Once you have the name  (which I suggest you make a s a working title until sure) which along with other things, you need to really sit down and plan the steps to start the business.  As a rule of thumb, your personal investment will need to approximately 25% to 100%  the total start-up costs of your business.

As a general rule of thumb, you will need $1.50 in quality collateral for every $1 you want to borrow, but that doesn’t mean anyone (bank wise) will lend to you unless you provide significantly more collateral, and experience and personal credit worthiness.

Like I said starting a new business requires   extensive planning and preparation which is quite time consuming.

One of the first steps in starting a new business is adequate research and planning.  Consider starting a new business in the Town you live in first.   IBIS World  recently published a  report  on the top 11 industries for starting a new business in 2012.  www.info.com/IbisworldIndustryReport

Starting a new business can be a little overwhelming in the beginning.  Therefore if you are considering starting a new business at all, then all these things will come up.  But don’t do everything all at once start with the above research on whether the idea will fly and can you produce it profitably.  Too many time fools rush in disguised as entrepreneurs where angles fear to tread and get too far ahead of the curve and crash and burn.  remember at least 50% of a small businesses fail in the first 5 years. Mostly because of either lack of capital resources or lack of business experience.

My next article will be on marketing a new business from a point of view away from the conventional norm.  I can be reached by visiting our website www.santafeadvisoryservices.com or email michael@santafeadvisoryservices.com

Procedural Guidelines in Marketing Business Strategy

April 2, 2012

By Michael Fanghella

This is a topic where we could get lost pretty quickly as the sands shift almost daily and a new idea promotes a new strategy as quickly.  But rather than go there I am going to suggest we look at just taking the issue at hand simply.

You spend lots of money to hire and train if needed sales personnel.  But have you made clear to them what you desire as a result from them and have they done the same with you?  Or has it been a sales effort by you when you were impressed with the candidate in front of you.   Often we get caught up in what we want so much we forget to review what we need.

If you can’t explain to a new hire or a veteran who is anticipating coming on board for employ what your company does in 30 seconds or less, be able in that discussion, explain what the company’s desired results are and allow the candidate to speak freely to see how they can achieve them, how can you expect them to figure it out on their own.  Truly you need to answer the following issues internally before asking your newest employee to charge out there. I find it amazing how many hiring directors hire without making sure of the prospect that everyone is on the same page.  Little things like who does he/she speak to when there are questions, where else in the organization can answers be gotten.  What procedures for pursuing and accomplishing the results so mutually set out are and what means of sitting down to review them by and between both of you to see if results aren’t forth coming have they been followed on both your accounts.  Often I will see the hiring entity explain away the question because honestly they have never thought about it.  They are too worried about “do you have industry contacts or background”.  I have seen more great sales people fail because they went to the next level with a firm that was not connected to the procedure to ensure success concept by having it mapped out.  Without a good process the sales person will in all probability fail.

This may mean that if the employee is off course a few adjustments can have a beneficial effect because when in review either they or you are off the guidelines as to what was originally discussed.  But that those procedures were set out to allow this analysis and correction on a weekly basis.   How often do we hear where a salesperson gets a 30 day probation notice after 60 days being there?  Were any procedures reviewed, did the manager sit down and review as to whether or not he and the company were fulfilling the compact by and between both parties.  You waited 60 days before noticing?  What it really means is that you don’t have a procedural guideline for this sales person to follow.

I have built multiple sales teams successfully because of this basic concept. I have multiple sales efforts fail because of its absence.  Sales people like structure, they want and need feedback, want to understand how they fit in.  Most of the time we hire them and throw them into the that red ocean of competition without a thought or plan as to  how that one person will meet both you and their results by procedure.  It is like golf, you only have to miss the ball by a degree for it to land in the rough.

You see there is this leap of faith that says as an employee, “I will work and give you my best effort on the proposition that you will pay me for that time”.  But it goes much further than that.  It really goes to whether the employer really has their act together, has a strong vision and a result in mind that calls for procedures to be in place so that when hiring someone they can start working immediately on meeting the result driven thought process versus doing what we have all seen in the past spending time building a lead generation system on his/her own, spending as much time branding the company as being able to sell the products or services available and having a mutual respect process that keeps everyone on their game.  As too often the whole result driven paradigm at the moment is on the shoulders of the salesperson to meet expectations that while they may have bought in on they had no say so in the how to get there.

One of the worse things I heard from a marketing person that worked for us was I don’t now what do to make it better, can you tell me.  Well eventually I did it is what spurred my beliefs as you see them today.  I was not going to waste our training expenses just to go out and repeat the mistake.  In doing so this person latterly was transformed over night into being the most successful marketing assistant and from where her territory sales people wanted to get rid of her she was nominated for employee of the year.  It is not rocket science, but you do have to care as much as you say you do.

This concept I speak of and the one utilized with my employee is based upon the book I believe is one of the best guides ever printed and if you get the chance read it and get the CD to listen in your car on the way to work.  Stephen Covey of Franklin Covey has been at the forefront of this thinking for years and his book Principled Centered Leadership is to me at least its bible.

It is much more complicate than just this but….If you have been following this blog you know I started out preaching the need for vision and then a mission statement then once achieved the focus starts getting narrower.

So stop today before you go on Craigslist or LinkedIn to place that ad and ask yourself, “Am I hiring a person to do what?, and am I am hiring them because I know how we want it done?, and am I providing this person with the resources when they have questions to learn? and am I committed to this being a successful hire because we will have accountability sessions where we review the whole process including my effort and what we have promised.

If you do this, your interviews will be much more focused and your hires will understand why they are there and when the process is followed goals and results will not get away from you.  If you would like more information this and other thoughts about your hiring strategy call us at 619 550 1198 or email me at Michael@santafeadvisoryservices.com

The Call for Reputation Management

March 27, 2012

Reputation management is a necessity not only for larger corporations but for small businesses and individuals as well.  It is a relatively new industry that is driven by necessity.  It can be proactive or reactive and anyone can benefit or fail by its implementation or failure to do so also.  It will help you to move out of the first result pages those negative posts.  It will help you quickly respond to negative reviews and thank customers for the positive reviews.  Online is simply just another way people experience us — either directly or through word of mouth with their mouse.

The process will assure that potential customers will have a first excellent impression of your company.  It is the act of crushing negative remark(s) about your company, product, or service.  It can also serve as a way to fight back against otherwise unchecked defamation of character or product.  It is vital to businesses nowadays so do not rush a decision.  It is the first response to reputation damaging information.

This is a process of creating and monitoring multiple online profiles.  Part of the process also involves aggressively publishing useful positive information about yourself and/or your business.  You must create a strong internal process to gain these reviews from your customers. There are really two types of reputation management.  One is reactive and the other is proactive.  The reactive type involves creating new Web content  to suppress the negative blog articles or negative reviews that are hurting your  online reputation .

Proactive means generating positive reviews and that isn’t as easy as it looks, but reputation management by a professional can help you create a program that will help build positive reviews. This can be done by a simple plan who works daily on what your business needs to do to get what it wants so every day it promotes positive aspects, generates articles, writes in blogs, posts, videos and press releases.  Because of the viral nature of the web you do have to have a publicity agent who is watching out for you and your interests.

If you don’t have a program in place to promote positive mentions of your name or business, your reputation could suffer.  Like search engine optimization, this isn’t a one-time deal. In fact, Google typically penalizes Reputation Management companies who try and push too hard too quickly. For the best results, you need a slow drip of positive articles, mentions and press about your business. This is our specialty. Any serious reputation management company will manage this process for you. For more information go to this site  http://www.smallbusinesssem.com  or contact us by visiting us at www.santafeadvisoryservices.com, email us direct by clicking info@santafeadvisoryservices.com or  call us at  619 550 1198 This blog consists of exerpts taken from an article written by Mr.Fanghella and can be found at http://www.articlesbase.com/public-relations-articles/lies-agreed-upon-left-to-fester-the-call-for-reputation-management-5774559.html

Strategic Planning – If you can’t see the future how can you ask your clients or your employees to.

March 21, 2012

Strategic planning in today’s business world is an ongoing process.  The Next wave always looms over us.  It is a seemingly logical, linear, step-by-step process that focuses on analysis.  It is the essential first step to meeting your goals and sustaining the company.  It is a good thing an organization, company, or business can take and execute for success.  .

Strategic planning is a surprisingly simple process for the organization that clearly understands why it exists.  It is a process whereby management makes choices about overall direction.  It is a management tool.  It is a tool to formulate high level business strategy.  It is an essential function of senior management in any business firm.

Strategic planning helps you devise a guide to help you meet your business goals.  It can also help your managing team put new projects into motion to meet larger goals.  It is a team effort, one that draws on the particular skills and expertise of employees in the organization.  It is worth the effort because it helps you run your organization better.

Strategic planning is a multi-layered, multi-frequency process that must be engineered for efficiency. It is a dynamic process of continuously looking at your current situation and plotting your next move.  It is a continuous process that requires constant feedback about how the current strategies are working.  It is about being ready for the future.

Business is all about planning intelligent strategies and wisely implementing them.  Strategy is a tool for the company to find its competitive advantage and place within the environment.  It is widely disseminated throughout the organization and key employees understand the strategy and their role in its execution.  It is not dissimilar to the apparent strategy of competitors.  It is rooted in a realistic market assessment.

Strategy is sometimes called a road map which is the path chosen to plow towards the end vision.  It is formulated, selecting enterprises and activities that lead to accomplishment and fulfillment of goals and objectives.  It is the means or broad approach by which a program will achieve its Annual Objective. It can be considered a plan or map of this process. Where as Mission is defined by a vision

Strategy will produce this atmosphere for you.  It is planning how to get where you want to go.  It can then be defined as a method of achievement. Mission is a brief summary of the drive that focuses the organization to employ to achieve its vision. Vision will also provide an organization with its purpose, values, and operating principles.  It is an image or description of the organization we aspire to become in the future.  Vision is set by one’s values.

Vision is the destination, where you are going.  It is an organization’s long-term focus on what it would like to accomplish in a given time frame. Goals may be revised periodically, but should be directly related to the aspirations of the unit.  It are defined as broad, ideal conditions.  They are specific statements of continuing intended results.  Goals are generally written as verbal statements introduced by an infinitive such as to train, to develop or to win..

Where as goals are statements of the outcomes that the organization intends to achieve at some time in the future.  It can be set for the overall organization, units within the organization, and individuals within the operating units.  It will differ depending on the stated timeline, and of course your organization.

They may sometimes need to be revised during the period covered by the plan because of changing conditions.  It are identified when you create the strategic plan for your program.  Strategies are activities or groups of activities leading to the attainment of goals.  They are the approaches you are likely to adopt, to accomplish each goal.  They are the map that gets you to the vision.

Next, establish a few guideposts – your vision, mission, and values – to lay the foundation for your strategic plan. Your vision describes the benefit your organization provides – your end goal or final accomplishment. Typically, a vision is an object of your imagination and creativity and therefore may be unattainable. Your mission describes what your organization must do to achieve the vision. And your values establish clear boundaries of behavior for pursuing your vision. For example, some common values are  Quality, Respect, Client Satisfaction, and Financial Fulfillment . One could argue that these aren’t required for our continued success, but this is how we choose to operate as we pursue our vision.

For a detailed review of your company’s strategic plan or how to build one email me at michael@sanatafeadvisoryservices.com or call 619 550 1198

Business Plans – Don’t Start Without One

March 20, 2012

Business plans are universally reviled among tech startups, both on the entrepreneur side and among investors. They are not all alike and neither are angel investors, venture capitalists and loans. They are also used when approaching potential lenders or investors that have an interest in a particular business venture. They are almost universally used to secure funding for business ventures. Business plans are used in some primary and secondary programs to teach economic principles.

Business plans can be extremely complex, but for most small businesses, this simplified business plan will be sufficient. They are key decision making tools. They are flexible and offers greater efficiency in the use of minutes by your business. They are not historical documents about a company’s past performance. Business plans may also target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, tax-payer, or larger community.

Business plans aren’t obsolete anymore than letters are. They are essential when starting a business. They are organized to address major concerns and interests of their intended audience. They are written for a variety of purposes and for different intended readers. Business plans are fresh for only 2 or 3 months.

Business plans are the preferred mode of communication between entrepreneurs and potential investors. They are prepared as an integral ingredient of procuring debt capital from potential investors, bankers and other lenders. They are dynamic and can be changed as per your business’s requirements.

Professional business plans are often some of the first things new small business owners consider. You need to know the direction you are going, where to focus, who your customers are or will be. A business development plan will put in writing your goals, budget and ideas. Of course, it may also be a prerequisite for a small business loan. But more important a revised business plan for an existing business is just as important so that you are prepared for the next wave of competition in your industry.

Santa Fe Advisory Services has over 25 years and multiple success stories and can start this process with you just by your contacting us at 619 550 1198, or michael@santafeadvisoryservices.com