Small Business Marketing – Do You Have What it Takes to Explode Your Sales 3 Tips

Small Business owners who do not take advantage of business and marketing strategies that will explode their sales, simply do not know about Joint venture marketing.

In Fact Price Waterhouse Cooper said that 32 percent of the fastest growing businesses use this business strategy to help them with their business goals. Common Wealth Alliance say 25 percent of all revenue or 40 trillion dollars per year is from joint ventures. Shouldn’t your business be benefiting from it too?

If you are a small, medium or large business and are still only using a “Competition marketing model” your business will probably die within 5 years because of the lack of connections and clients. Now, former competitive businesses are teaming up and becoming colleagues, this is replacing the old business model of the “competitive marketing strategy.”

With joint ventures or (JV’s) you are teaming up with a business, group or person in an alliance for the purpose of creating or expanding a market or presence in the market place. You can use a JV to influence or create credibility through an association with others. This helps your business lower risk, lower marketing costs, creates long term alliances, provides better client service, creates massive wealth faster and helps stabilize your business through all economic weather.

Joint ventures are the business trend right now and will be for a long time in the future. Sadly, most entrepreneurs only know one joint venture marketing strategy to explode their success.

Here are 3 reasons learning to do Joint Ventures will explode your business sales.

Build your global business directory

Connections and alliances are key in the new business economy. If you are not utilizing them you are taking the no road or slow road to business success. Joint Ventures are helping companies of all sizes in emerging markets all around the world connect and acquire critical new technology or perhaps new intellectual property or resources that can be hard to obtain any other way. Even if a large company has plenty of cash, joint ventures are the easiest way for them to acquire these new products, expertises and new territories.

Your Network = your net worth.

Everyone who is business savvy right now understand that their network = their net worth. However, the definition has changed. It’s not just your client network that is important to maintaining long term growth and stability in your business. When you understand the Joint Venture formula you will understand the power and profit potential of having a business network too. It is a way for you to grow a stable, economically sound business for the long term. You must develop both networks.

Optimizing the referral market

We all know the strongest form of credibility is a client testimonial. It is big business right now to have them. Yet, when you begin to implement the Joint Venture business strategy you can grow your business overnight by utilizing thousands of referrals now. Gone are the days of someone telling two friends, who tell two friends, who tell two friends. With the internet, blogging and teleseminars one person tells a network of a thousand people who tells another network of a thousand people. This can transform your business overnight when you learn to how to do it properly.

Joint Ventures help companies share the risk and make your business more bullet proof too.
The power of the joint venture is that it enables everyone, who wants to use joint ventures as a business tool, to create a business with, instant access to clients, endorsements, alliances, and low risk. It is inexpensive to use and yet creates massive wealth. We have not yet even begun to scratch the surface of what can be done with joint ventures. In the future, joint ventures will prove to the business standard that is the easiest way to develop your business aspirations.

How To Manage Investment Volatility

When the market is on a bull run, as it was in the earlier part of the year, or during the first half of 2007, investors tend to neglect risks. However recent events (triggered by US subprime and financial meltdown) demonstrated that investing in stock markets isn’t for the faint of heart. A case in point is that for the past few months, wild swings of daily stock market indexes by few percentage points were common. How does one manage his or her portfolio in such volatility? For some, unloading all their stocks and keep all their CASH safely in the bank may sound the safest option. Others may switch part or entire portfolio to other safer instruments such as gold or commodities, or cash instruments.

Getting It Right From The Start

While timing everything right seems impossible, there are better ways to manage one’s portfolio. Essentially, getting it right at the start is important. One will worry less if one’s portfolio is structured right to start off with, that is, maintain an asset allocation strategy based on one’s personal risk profile at the very first place. With asset allocation, diversify one’s portfolio is the key, in order to reduce over dependence of a specific asset class, that is.

Diversify

One such method is to consider various instruments that have low correlation to one another. For example, while directly investing in individual stocks has good direct exposure, consider investing in unit trusts or ETFs, where typically the funds will be invested in a basket of stocks instead of one individual stock. In principal, stocks tend to be a lot more volatile than equity unit trusts for the reason that funds tend to be more diversified because they are invested in multiple stocks.

Other low correlation asset classes include bonds, commodities (gold, metals) and real estate properties. Gold is a perfect case in point, where prices have escalated by around 50% from 2007 to-date due to sky rocketing crude oil prices and perception of safe-heaven characteristic.

Adopt Mid to Long Term Horizon

The longer the time horizon is, the more volatility one can tolerate as one has more time to recover from short term volatility. Putting a mid to long term strategy in place will certainly allow an investor to take into consideration factors that will affect one’s portfolio, such as market cycles, political stability and economic swings.

Stay Objective

While i agree that investing in general should be taken with a long term perspective, it is not a hard and fast rule as it is also important to stay objective and be alert to potential major changes in business or economic environment from both local and global perspective. For example, while investing in China equity at one point (prior to 2007) may be a great idea tapping into the explosive growth of Chinese companies, an investor should consider unloading some or all of the funds invested to else where when Chinese stocks were trading at lofty and unrealistic valuations. Another example is when subprime issues first surfaced, it is wise to find out from the brokers or agents immediately where their property trust funds were invested. It is wise to liquidate such investments when the stakes are high!

Invest Regularly

Invest regularly is also a good way to manage periodic market volatility. For many this could be in the form of monthly investment, directly from their monthly income or retirement fund savings. In essence one will continue to invest a particular sum of money regardless of whether the market rises or falls. This method is also commonly termed as Dollar Cost Averaging.

One may choose to invest more regularly during the bull market and less regularly during the bear market. However, again there is really no hard and fast rule, it all depends on each individual’s risk profile and preference.

What is Business Process Modeling?

Introduction

Before we can say what business process modeling is we need to know what a Business Process is! This may seem like stating the obvious, this is one of the most widely misused and misunderstood terms in business and in business modeling! Analysts and managers alike often use the term when what they are really talking about is a Business Function or a Business Procedure. No wonder there is confusion!!

Definitions

Business Function: “A coherent, discrete activity that a business must perform in order to meet its business objectives and continue in existence.”

Business Process: “Describes the order in which Business Functions need to be carried out in order to achieve a specified objective.”

So, in short, Functions describe what a business needs to do in order to continue in existence and Processes describe the order in which this needs to be done.

From this we can also see that it is not possible to do effective Business Modeling before we have modeled the Functions!!

The Building Blocks of a Process

The essential elements are:

  • Objective
  • Trigger
  • Functions
  • Precedence
  • Outcome

Objective:

Every Business Process must have a clearly defined objective that answers the question “what is this Process meant to achieve?”. If the business does not have a clearly defined (written) view of what is meant to achieve then there is very little chance of it achieving it.

It will not be possible to work out what Functions need to be carried out and in what order in order to arrive at the preferred Outcome.

In fact, without having a defined objective, the business might not be able to define what the preferred outcome actually is. This statement might seem simplistic but it is the primary reason why so many Business Processes are inefficient or fail altogether.

Triggers:

These are events that occur that require the business to respond in some manner – they “trigger” a response in the business. Every Process must begin with at least one Trigger.

Outcomes:

Other events occur as the result of activities carried out by the business itself and these are called “Outcomes”. In every Process the business gets from the Trigger to the Outcome by carrying out Functions in the correct sequence.

Precedence:

Precedence is not, as many analysts mistakenly believe, a definition of how the steps within a Process are triggered. A more effective definition is to say that it is a very specific way of defining what Functions must have been completed before others can begin.

The succeeding Functions can then begin at any time convenient to the business, in accordance with existing business rules. This definition is especially useful as it makes the business ask the question, “before we begin step X what other steps must have been completed?”

More on Outcomes

There are two types of outcome that can occur in a Business Process: Preferred and Non-preferred.

A Preferred Outcome is the result that the business would like to achieve as the result of successfully carrying out the Process and should correspond to the stated objective.

Every Process must have at least one Preferred Outcome.

A Non-preferred Outcome is a valid and controlled outcome other than the Preferred Outcome.

Suppose that we are taking orders from customers. The Preferred Outcome would be “order authorized” but a Non-preferred Outcome could be “bad credit rating: order declined”. A Business Process can have several Non-Preferred Outcomes.

Elementary Business Process

Each step in a Process is a Function, which comes from the Function Catalogue (see the foot of this article for more on this) and ought to be from the bottom level of the Catalogue as it stands at that the moment in time. Ideally, these should be Elementary Business Functions (EBFs). A Process drawn using EBFs is called an Elementary Business Process.

Decomposing Processes

One of the biggest mistakes analysts make when doing Business Process Modeling is to “decompose” (a lovely term!) Processes. This means that they break the Process down into more and more detail.

This is a practice to be avoided AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS as it has two main faults: 1) it requires drawing far more diagrams than are necessary (up to 300% more) 2) it introduces fundamental logic errors.

To avoid these errors all decomposition (somebody will have to think of a nicer word) should be done using the Function Catalogue and each Process model should be drawn using Functions from the bottom level of the Catalogue (preferably EBFs).

Summary

  • Business Functions and Business Processes are NOT the same thing.
  • A Business Function describes what the business ought to do; a Business Process describes the order in which it ought to do it.
  • Business Process Modeling should ALWAYS be preceded by Business Function Modeling
  • Processes must always contain all of the defined elements of Objective, Trigger, Outcome, Functions and Precedence.
  • The objective of a Process should always be clearly sated in writing before the Process can be properly modeled.
  • Business Processes ought NEVER be decomposed – this should be done using the Function Catalogue.

Note: The Function Catalogue is the core model of the Integrated Modeling Method (IMM) a fully integrated business systems modeling method. ### This article is copyright 2009 – John Owens – all rights reserved