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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Job Descriptions for Management

 

When hiring a member of your business team, there is probably some sort of onboarding process that involves a Human Resources component where an employee handbook is reviewed, or at least a job description is discussed. A job description is a document listing the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of a specific job. Seems pretty straightforward right?

This fairly simple document seems like a win-win situation. Employees need to know what the job they are applying for entails, including specific duties, education needed, as well as necessary skills and training for the job. Employers use a job description as not only part of the hiring process but also in the evaluation and management of employees. Let’s examine the components and lasting implications of a job description.

 

Components of a Good Job Description:

  • A summary of the job position as well as a detailed list of duties and responsibilities.
  • The name of a supervisor to report to or where to have questions answered.
  • Evaluation criteria that matches with the job responsibilities. The part that answers the question, “how will the person be evaluated at each review?”
  • A description of how the job fits into the larger scheme of the company.
  • Physical surroundings such as work station or area designated for the employee.
  • Compensation details should also be included in this section.

Implications of the Job Description:

Having up-to-date, accurate and professionally written job descriptions is critical to an organization’s ability to attract qualified candidates, orient and train employees, establish job performance standards, develop compensation programs, conduct performance reviews, set goals, and meet legal requirements. Some of the ways that a job description can help a company run smoothly and accomplish it’s short and long term goals include:

 

  • Identifying training and education gaps for the employee so that all gaps can be covered.
  • Motivate employees to move up the corporate ladder.
  • Develop an equitable salary structure.
  • Evaluate job performance and manage bottom performers as well as retain top performers.
  • Protect the company from legal sanctions or employee suits.
  • Evaluate employee productivity and performance.
  • And, finally, job descriptions can help recruit the best employees for your company.

Benefits of Certifying your Company as “Woman Owned”

You had a dream. You made it become a reality in the form of a business venture. In our recent economy this is no small feat! As a woman there are some opportunities and benefits to certifying your company as “Woman Owned.”  Special opportunities and assistance exist for women-owned businesses, which are those with at least 51 percent ownership by a woman or women, including contracts, procurement set-asides and financial and/or business assistance. Not all women-owned businesses choose to pursue these options, but certifying your business as a woman’s business enterprise (WBE) will open certain doors for you. Let’s examine these benefits as well as the certification process.

 

Certification Process:

Two women’s business organizations certify WBEs: the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) and the NWBOC (National Women Business Owners Corporation). To become WBE certified, you must show:

  • At least 51 percent ownership, management and control in the hands of women.
  • Your company must have been in business for at least six months.
  • The owner or owners must be US citizens or legal resident aliens.
  • Evidence is required to show that the contribution of capital from the woman business owner is real and in proportion to her ownership interest in the business.
  • The woman business owner must direct or cause direction of the management, business decisions, and fiscal direction and decisions of the business.
  • The woman business owner must also demonstrate the ability to perform in the area of expertise without reliance on financing or resources from a firm that is not woman-owned.

 

For specific certification process follow this link to the application of National Women Business Owners Corporation.

 

Benefits of being certified as Woman Owned

 

One of the biggest benefits is getting connected with companies looking for women-owned suppliers thus boosting your sales and growth opportunity. They also offer training and other business resources. Other benefits include:

  • Access – Access to a current list of supplier diversity and procurement executives at hundreds of major U.S. corporations and federal, state and local government entities that accept WBENC certification.
  • Development Capacity – Access to mentoring, education, and capacity development.
  • Recognition through various awards and recognition sites.
  • Promotion of your business with marketing materials with women in business logo and promotional sponsorship events.
  • Community support through social media and local chapters.

The Nature of Pop Up Stores and their Benefits

The concept of temporary retail establishments, or “Pop Up” stores, has been around for years. In fact, the idea can be traced all the way back to ancient times when merchants sold their wares on street corners or in an established marketplace. Just a few years ago pop up stores  were fairly common during the holiday season when malls would introduce seasonal products. Fast forward to today’s ecommerce world and pop ups are gaining serious momentum and traction in places like malls, airports, shopping centers, and even inside other retail stores!  Why is this becoming so popular when so many of us shop online with the ease and convenience of our smartphones and tablets? Let’s examine the pop up phenomenon and why they are so beneficial for small businesses.

 

  • According to Storefront, temporary retail, more popularly known as pop-ups, are expected to generate $80 billion on an annual basis.
  • An online directory (www.popuprepublic.com) featured over 7,000 pop-ups in 2014 alone and we are expecting that number to explode in 2016.
  • The following categories are the biggest players in the pop-up market: farmers markets at $8 billion, flea markets at $30 billion, food trucks at $1 billion, yard sales at $1 billion, and pop-up stores, festivals, crafts and classes at close to $10 billion.

 

So what are the benefits that so many small companies are reaping from these pop up stores?

  • Affordability –  For retail stores that want to gain exposure while minimizing its overhead costs, they are able to take advantage of premium space at a fraction of the normal cost. Pop-up shops are often temporary in nature and smaller in size than conventional retail stores, the cost of rent is usually lower.
  • Brand Awareness – One of the primary benefits of pop-up shops is that they help a brand generate buzz. With so many online stores it is hard to rank in high on Google search but fairly easy to gain attention if your “store” seemingly appears out of thin air overnight. People are interested in the sudden existence of a store, especially if they have a unique angle or appearance.
  • Encourages Testing and Trials of New Merchandise – Since there is little money at risk, companies can try out new products that they want to market in the future. A pop up store will give immediate feedback as to the success or failure of a given item or service. An added bonus includes the education of consumers as they try the new merchandise.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about your brand and company.
  • New Revenue Stream – A natural benefit of a pop-up store is increasing sales by taking your store to where your customers are and making it more convenient for them to buy from you. There are significant profits with minimal risk for adding a revenue stream in a local area.

Benefits of Franchising

When people think about franchising they probably think about fast food restaurants or retail shops that spread from one area of the country to another. While this is a common impression, franchising is simply a method for expanding a business and distributing goods and services through a licensing relationship. Specifically, a franchise is an arrangement where one party (the franchiser) grants another party (the franchisee) the right to use its trademark or trade-name, as well as certain business systems and processes, to produce and market a good or service according to certain specifications. Franchising is a business strategy that has many benefits. Let’s examine how franchising can be advantageous for your business.

 

  • Proven Format – franchises use a proven marketing and business plan format. Due to this, franchises have a higher rate of success than start-up businesses.Franchises often have an established reputation and image, proven management and work practices, access to national advertising, and ongoing support.
  • Balance of Independence and Corporate Support – Franchises offer the independence of small business ownership supported by the benefits of a big business network. With the backing of the larger franchise it is easier to get financing and launching the business. The bigger business network gives support for initial training, securing a location and operating under the franchise’s business model. Corporate headquarters of large franchises are ready with advice and expertise for making your business the best it can be. Many companies help franchisees by offering loans to help cover startup expenses, and some (especially larger companies) even offer management and technology training for your employees.
  • Brand Recognition – The biggest benefit of owning a franchise is brand recognition. Most franchises are well-known companies with established customer bases. The logo, slogan and company reputation is many times, recognizable. Owning a franchise instead of starting up a new business saves you the time and effort of building a reputation and attracting customers.

 

If you are considering franchising locally or nationally, check into the requirements of the larger business network and how the support, branding and proven format can help you get started in a new business venture.

Tips for Presenting a Pitch Deck

A Pitch Deck is a brief presentation (sometimes called a slide deck or pitch slide deck) where a business communicates with potential investors. Usually the content of the pitch deck can help the investor to determine whether or not to continue evaluating/financially supporting your business. In addition, these presentations are typically an overview of a company’s business plan with potential investors, customers, partners, and co-founders. Many times these meetings are face-to-face or, possibly, through online meetings. So, how can a company perfect their “pitch”? What are some key points to be sure you cover as well as mistakes to avoid in presenting your Pitch Deck?

Key Points to Include:
Engage your audience right off the bat! Presenters need a hook or story to start their presentation in order to capture the attention of the audience. Tell a short anecdote about the company or your brand. The more you can humanize the business the more the investors will be interested. Make a powerful first impressions because the first 2-3 minutes are the most important in any presentation.
Keep your presentation short. Cover your pitch in broad strokes and insert important details as you go. This includes limiting each slide to one idea at a time. As you go through your presentation avoid reading from notes or directly from the slide. Everyone in the audience knows how to read and wants to hear the words from you instead of being read to.
Know your topics well. Along the same lines as the advice not to read from your slides or from a speech, know your topic inside and out. Understand the metrics and be able to speak to them in depth if necessary, or if questions arise. Anticipate questions that may come up and be prepared to answer them.
Show off the team members. One of the biggest assets of any company are the people that work there. Highlight the specialties of the main team members. Focus on a significant, relevant accomplishment for each person in a team that identifies that person as an asset.
Be clear and precise. During your pitch be sure to hit key points such as: the benefits of your company, why you are unique and special, how your company has the competitive advantage and, of course, your financial projections.
Keep a cohesive presentation look. Believe it or not, your brand will come through with your slides so keep the look, color palette, font and logo consistent on all of your slides. This will also go a long way to make your presentation polished and professional.