Three Top Reasons for Strategic Planning for Your Business

If you’re running a business, there are many priorities that you need to bear in mind and many things that you need to consider daily. However, having an effective strategic plan in place couldn’t be more important. This is key whatever the size of your organization, so even if you’re running a small family operation, a non-profit, or a start-up, you should still devote time to your strategic planning.

Why is it so important? Here are the three top reasons that we find mentioned in our Global Resources LLC reviews.

Giving Clear Direction for The Future

If you don’t know where your business is heading, how can you ever get there? Not knowing where you’re going can only ever lead to failure. That’s why it’s so important to plan. With no clear destination in mind, it’s impossible for any operational activities you undertake to make any difference. Strategic planning, on the other hand, gives you greater clarity about where you’re heading so you’ll avoid going nowhere.

Prioritizing Your Activities

When you have a strategic plan in place, you’ll be able to make sure you do what needs to be done at the most appropriate time. Every day, any business owner has a raft of things that need to be done. However, how do you know which you should be focusing most of your energy on? It’s important to prioritize, and have a strategic plan in place will make sure that this is possible so you get every activity done in the right order to be successful.

Creating Clarity for Your Team

Even if you know where your business is heading, it’s possible that the rest of your team doesn’t. If they’re uncertain of what the ultimate goal for the organization is, how will they ever be able to contribute and ensure the company moves forward? Having a clear strategic plan gives clarity for the whole team, allowing everybody to step up to the plate and play their key role in the company’s success. Without a strategic plan, confusion and uncertainty will be the ultimate result, not to mention wasted valuable resources.

Moving Forward with Your Strategic Plan

No company of any size should be without a strategic plan in place, and this is especially important for SMEs which have limited money, staff and time at their disposal. Strategic planning shouldn’t be optional – it should be a top priority. For any business owner who is determined to see their company move forward, it is never too early to develop an effective strategic business plan that puts the entire team in alignment, moving together in the same direction to achieve the company’s overall goals.

If you’re running a business, it’s imperative to get your strategic plan for all the reasons mentioned here. Contacting a professional team of management consultants like Global Resources LLC is the best way to make sure that your company is heading in the right direction for success, both today and tomorrow.

Working With A Team In Denial When You’re Strategic Planning? Your Top Tips To Overcome The Challenges

Everyone from time to time has denied reality despite all of the evidence to the contrary. However, in business, this level of denial can negatively impact on productivity and getting things done effectively. A recent survey by LeadershipIQ.com showed that almost a quarter of CEOs ended up losing their jobs because they denied reality, refusing to accept the negative facts regarding the performance of their organization.

When a company is engaging actively in the process of strategic planning, you need to take steps to acknowledge reality and use that information to make effective and realistic future plans. The consultants at Global Resources LLC often encounter CEOs who are struggling with this aspect of running their organization. However, as you can see if you check out Global Resources LLC reviews, our team are experts in the field and can offer valuable and experienced advice about how to work with a team that is in denial when working on strategic planning.

Here are some expert tips to help you get started.

Confirmation Bias And The Backfire Effect

There has been extensive research carried out in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience to prove that arguing will rarely change minds on any charged issue. So, even if your colleagues are blatantly wrong in their assertions, no amount of arguing with them will change their beliefs. Confirmation bias makes us naturally seek out and interpret information that conforms to our beliefs rather than changing them, so it makes sense that you’ll make no progress in this way. When we’re confronted with information that shakes our view of the world, we tend to jump into defense mode and hold our beliefs even more strongly. This is known as the backfire effect. Luckily, there are pragmatic strategies that can be adapted to address these errors.

Using Dialogue-Based Strategies

The most effective way of approaching colleagues in denial is to use a dialogue-based strategy. There are five key factors that can be addressed to help people give up their own false beliefs. These are:

  • Emotions
  • Goals
  • Rapport
  • Information
  • Positive Reinforcement

So, how does this work in practice?

Connecting With Emotions

It’s a fact that emotions lie behind many denials of fact. Avoid triggering your colleague’s gut reaction by working first to understand their emotions and work out the emotional blocks that they have.

Establishing Shared Goals

Once your colleague’s position is understood, the next step is to establish a shared goal. This is vital to share knowledge effectively in a professional environment.

Building Rapport

It’s important to listen to your colleague’s concerns then you should rephrase those concerns in your own words. This is known as empathetic listening. It involves listening to others, not to counter their arguments, but to echo their emotions, ease tension and build trust.

Providing Information

Once a rapport has been built up, it’s possible to begin supplying new information while never touching specifically on the pain point. It’s important to wait until this point to provide the key information that is going to change their opinion as, if you introduce it at an earlier stage, the chances of a self-defensive reaction is high.

Providing Positive Reinforcement

After introducing this information and receiving a calm and positive response, it’s time to offer some positive reinforcement to the colleague in question. Offer praise and positivity to raise their morale and make them feel happier about the situation.

Putting These Methods Into Practice

If you have colleagues who are in denial at your next strategic planning meeting, it’s time to put these methods into practice. It’s imperative to work out denials and biases as quickly as possible so you can take action and, thus, enable your organization to move forward on achieving its goals.

 

The Key To Developing A Strong Culture In Your Workplace

The culture of any workplace is the driving factor behind its performance. All over the world, organizations of every type are keen to develop one and it’s not hard to see why. It offers a host of benefits including better teamwork, dedicated employees and more open channels of communication which affect virtually all aspects of the company.

If your organization needs to develop a stronger culture, it’s important to know which steps to take to achieve this goal. Luckily, the experts at Global Resources LLC are on hand to offer expert advice. Here are three key tips to help you to foster a better culture in your own company.

1.Identifying Your Company’s Values

The first step to developing a stronger culture in your workplace is to identify your company’s core values then let the team know how living those values will look in practice. There is some confusion out there about what a workplace culture actually is. Essentially, it’s a way of doing things, and this is usually tied to the company’s values. Therefore, it’s important to determine what those values are in the first place so that you can embody them within your practice. Consider whatever kind of value can contribute to your organization’s long-term success and growth as well as the values that make it a valuable organization for its local community and its customers or clients.

2.Creating An Environment That Promotes Growth

If you imagine bacterial cultures, they require a specific kind of environment to grow and thrive. The environment that the culture finds itself in will cause it to grow either negatively or positively. It’s exactly the same as workplace culture. You need to foster the right environment in your workplace to allow the team to grow, thrive and enjoy success. Fostering an environment in which employees feel appreciated and respected is key to this. When workers feel valued, they can flourish, become more productive and also become ambassadors for your business.

  1. Check-In On Yourself And Your Team Regularly

It’s important to regularly check-in with yourself – your location, your actions, and your leadership style. Are you creating the right kind of space in which your team and, indeed, you yourself, can achieve success and effective growth? Take the time to evaluate the values of your company and its environment on a daily basis so you can stay on the pulse of what needs to be done to boost the environment to promote further growth.

A Positive Workplace Culture

Having a positive workplace culture is a vital part of all organizations. However, a lot of managers fail to realize just how simple it can be. All you need to do is to create the right environment to allow success and growth to shine through. You can start as you mean to go on today by asking what you’re doing at the moment to create the perfect workplace environment that fosters the positivity that allows employees to thrive.

Could Regular Meetings Improve Your Business Strategy Implementation?

For many business leaders, this scenario will be all-too-familiar: You’ve just finished working with the organization’s leadership team drawing up your company’s strategic plan and now you’re aligned on your company’s mission, vision, and strategic action items, goals and priorities. While that’s great, what happens next?

Many organizations find that, despite their best intentions, their strategic initiatives end up being put on a back burner as the day-to-day running of operations takes over. After about a year, the strategic plan rears its head again and suddenly there’s a panic about all the goals that remain unmet.

Does this ring a bell with you?

The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by creating a strategy meeting cadences to allow your company to remain on top of the implementation of its strategic plan.

The Importance of Regular Meetings

You probably already hold regular meetings to discuss projects and operations. However, those aren’t the same as check-ups on your strategic plan. It’s important to arrange regular meetings specifically for this purpose.

In these meetings, a written agenda is required outlining your mission, vision, goals and strategic priorities, and the whole point of the meeting should be to report back on those goals, how well they’re being met and what has been done so far towards achieving them.

What Should Happen At The Meetings?

A meeting once a month with the leadership team is the schedule recommended by the Global Resources LLC consultants and, if you take a look at our Global Resources reviews you’ll see that many business leaders have found that this is something that works perfectly for them.

At the meeting, everyone should either have an assigned strategic priority or a specific action item that they have taken on. During the proceedings, each attendee should discuss the strategic priority that they’re working on, where they’re heading with it and emphasize their current focus. They should also discuss what they did and what was achieved in between meetings and how that relates to the organization’s strategy.

Making Your Company’s Strategic Plan More Successful

Every business leader knows the importance of a successful strategic plan, and you can boost the chances of success of yours by simply creating a cadence of regular meetings that are committed to focusing on the strategic work that needs to be carried out. Although it may feel like an extra chore to plan in more meetings at first, over time, you will begin to get into the habit of holding them and will begin to realize how much easier it has become to work actively towards your goals and achieving your vision for your business.

With regular strategy meetings held on a monthly basis, when the annual strategy review comes around, you and your leadership team will have a clear understanding of where goals have been met and which areas are falling short. That information can then be put to good use, making adaptations and changes that allow for goals to be met more effectively.

Is There A Difference Between Operational Plans And Strategic Plans?

A surprising number of business leaders are unaware of the differences between operational planning and strategic planning. While they have a close connection, it’s vital to have an understanding of their differences and how a company can put both kinds of plans to good use as they work towards their business goals.

The consultants here at GR-US.com regularly find that business leaders mistakenly think that they’ve created a strategic plan when in fact their planning has been operational in nature. Drawing up a list of long-term, medium-term and short-term projects and tasks is vital for the success of any organization, however, doing so does not constitute a strategic plan.

So, what is a strategic plan?

Strategic planning is a macro, high-level activity that will hone in on the priority strategic goals and areas of your organization in the medium to the long-term range. When you have a robust strategic plan, it acts as a map that you can follow from the place where your organization is today, to the place that you want to end up. Operational plans, on the other hand, focus on the weekly, daily or micro-actions that allow your team to achieve the company’s goals.

To put it briefly – operation is working in the business, a strategy is working on the business.

How To Maximize Your Strategic Plan

One of the most effective ways of thinking about your strategic plan is to look at your organization’s big picture. Your strategic plan acts as an outer layer encasing short-term, smaller actions that are your operational plan.

Your strategic plan should ask questions about your business like:

  • What does your business do?
  • Why does it do it?
  • Who do you do it for?
  • What are its weaknesses, strengths, threats, and opportunities?
  • Which roadblocks or obstacles may be encountered?
  • Where does the organization stand right now?
  • Where do you want to take it in the future?
  • Which main areas do you wish to concentrate on?

Select a few key goals and priorities to follow through and put in place a feedback loop so that progress is continually assessed and ongoing changes can be made at regular review meetings.

Although strategic plans are generally led by your company’s leadership team, employees should also be consulted to ensure that they take ownership of the final plan.

How To Maximize Your Operational Plan

Your operational plan will ideally support your strategic plan. While your strategic priorities will focus on just a few key areas that require reviewing on a regular basis, your operational plans may involve more items, including long-term, mid-term, short-term and single to-do projects. Although strategic plans tend to start at the organizational level, your operational plans will hone in on individual teams and departments and can focus on the daily necessities of running your business.

A strong strategic plan is vital for effective operational planning. If your team doesn’t have a clear understanding of where your company is heading, it’s virtually impossible to determine which operational projects and tasks can move the organization forward.

An operational plan will ask questions like:

  • Which projects must we complete to achieve the business’s goals?
  • Which daily tasks must be implemented, continued or stopped to function effectively?
  • Who takes responsibility for which tasks?
  • Will this action or task support the values, vision, and mission of our organization?

If every member of your team understandings the strategic direction of your organization and are all in alignment with where the business is heading, they’ll have a stronger understanding of the ways in which their daily tasks are able to propel the company forward. They’ll also be better equipped to model behaviors and make decisions that will support the values, vision, and mission of the organization.

 

Could Regular Meetings Improve Your Strategic Planning Implementation?

If you’re running a business, developing a strategic plan for your organization is absolutely essential. However, implementing that plan is just as important, if not more so, than coming up with one in the first place. If you’ve already worked with your team to develop an effective strategic plan that aligns with your organization’s mission and vision and that’s clear on action items, goals, and strategic priorities, what is the next step?

Is Your Strategic Plan Pointless?

All-too-often, companies find that, no matter how impressive their strategic plan, once the team has returned to the hustle and bustle of everyday operations, the strategic initiatives end up getting put on a back burner. A year later, when it’s time to review the plan’s effectiveness, those who were supposed to have responsibility for implementing the outlined initiatives and tracking their progress start to panic, realizing they haven’t met their goals. This isn’t just stressful for the individuals involved, it’s also bad news for the business. What’s the point of devising a strategic plan for development and growth if nobody’s going to follow through on the action items and priorities?

To avoid the problem from occurring in your business, there’s something you can put in place – set up regular strategy meetings so the organization as a whole can stay on track with its implementation of the strategic plan.

How Often Should Strategic Plan Review Meetings Take Place?

You probably already hold regular meetings in your organization for team members to report on their progress and raise any issues. Whether these are weekly check-ups or quarterly sessions, they are essential to keeping the business on track. It’s equally important to fit time into the schedule for strategic work too. How frequent those meetings should be will depend on the needs of your company. You may prefer a weekly meeting, or a monthly or even quarterly one will suffice.

What Should Happen In The Meeting?

In a strategic plan review meeting, you should have a clearly written agenda that showcases the mission and vision as well as the goals and strategic priorities that have been set out. During the meeting, you should check back against those goals to see how well things are going and what has been accomplished since the last meeting towards achieving those targets. It’s also important to look forward to what will be done before the next meeting takes place.

Improving The Chance Of Having A Successful Strategic Plan

Increasing the chance of having a successful strategic plan is very important for any business, so creating regular meetings during which the focus will be solely on strategic work couldn’t be more essential. Once you get into the habit of planning these meetings on a regular basis, you’ll find that progress is smoother overall. The team will be able to spot at an early stage where any shortfalls lie and where goals are either being met or exceeded.

Getting Professional Advice

If you need some help and advice in developing or implementing a strategic plan for your organization, visit GR-US.com. Our team of professional consultants and business analysts are at your disposal to help you put in place the most effective strategy to grow your business.

Top Tax Filing Tips For Your Business

It won’t be long before you have to file your taxes again, but rather than it being a dreaded task, you could actually use this as an opportunity to save more money. Filing taxes is never going to be an enjoyable job, however, there are many ways in which you can obtain deductions and help you to make a saving.

With this in mind, here are some top tips that will help to make filing tax for your business easier.

Review Your Documents For Last Year First

Before you do anything else, take a look back through all the documents from the last tax year to ensure everything has been correctly reported. If you spot any issues, you can address them now rather than waiting.

Consider Investments Requirements

When you’re reporting earnings from investments, you need to be well-organized. You’re required by the IRS to report dividend and interest categories separately. You’ll find this information more easily if you keep your earnings statements in a convenient location from each investment account. Annual statements may have all the key information on them, but it’s still a good idea to keep your quarterly or monthly statements within easy reach, just in case.

Remember Charitable Donations

Making charitable donations can be an effective way of reducing your taxable income in any given tax year and, as an added bonus, you’ll be helping others. Charitable contributions have to be made to a qualified organization to receive a tax deduction, and the deductions must also be itemized. You’ll also require a written communication or bank record from the charity including its name, the date and amount of the contribution. If you’ve donated property too, this may also count.

Include Your Medical Expenses

If you have documentation to back up medical expenses claims, you can obtain a tax deduction here. Unreimbursed medical deductions must total over 10% of your adjusted yearly income, however with the right records available you could possibly claim your travel costs from and to your treatments and appointments, insurance payments from any income that has been taxed already, any medically necessary items which have been prescribed by a doctor, costs linked to rehabilitation treatments for controlled substances and medical treatments that are not covered by insurance. It’s essential therefore, to keep a track of those records through the year so everything you require to file your taxes will be in a single location.

File Early

It has been known for fraudsters to file a fake return in an individual’s name before they have had the chance to file their own taxes. This allows the fraudsters to collect the refund. You can protect yourself from fraud by filing your tax return quickly.

Get Professional Help

If you need help with your business strategic tax planning, Global Resources LLC is on hand to offer expert advice and assistance. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you to get as much as possible from your tax return.

Three Steps To Implement And Track A Strategic Plan For Your Business

If you’ve held a strategy meeting and developed a strategic plan for your organization, what should you do next? The process of strategic planning shouldn’t come to an end just because the document has been created. If your strategy is to be executed successfully across your organization you need to pay careful attention to the essential next steps: tracking, monitoring, implementation, and communication.

The Importance Of Communication

If you work in a mid-sized or larger organization, there’s a chance that not every employee could be present when the planning meeting was held. Instead, it’s likely that department leaders were participating, each representing their own section of the company.

Before the meeting, leaders should survey their team and obtain their perspective on the various organizational weaknesses, strengths, directions, and goals which will be addressed during the strategy session. Once the planning session is over and the document has been created, it’s vital for leaders to ensure their whole team has a clear understanding of the organization’s strategy in terms of goals, tactics, and priorities as well as the reasons that lie behind them.

When staff feel heard and are engaged with the pre-planning process, it’s more likely they’ll buy into the organization’s strategy and that they’ll take more ownership over their department’s and their own individual action items.

With the right communication, your team is sure to be better aligned, more accountable and more effectively equipped to make strategic decisions that serve the organization well.

Starting The Cycle Of Implementation

Before the plan can be implemented and before the company can move forward, it’s vital that your priority goals and areas are supporting your business’ vision. It’s also essential that every individual and each department understands clearly which tactics and goals they’ll be responsible for delivery. It’s also very important that they are all aware of the expectations of the project and have a clear vision of what success will look like.

Tracking And Monitoring The Plan

In order to understand where the plan is succeeding and where it’s falling behind, it’s essential to continually monitor it, and track the goals regularly. This will enable you to see rapidly where goals are being met or even exceeded, and where they are falling short. Holding regular strategy reviews every quarter is another excellent way to make strategy adjustments so that the facets which are working well can be maximized while areas of weakness can be effectively addressed rapidly.

Seeking Professional Help

If you need help with putting a strategic plan for your business in place, seeking advice from a team of professional consultants is the best course of action. Take a look at our Global Resources reviews on LinkedIn to see how highly we’re rated by our clients. You can depend on Global Resources LLC for all your professional consulting needs, so contact us today to find out more about how we can help you to implement the most effective strategic planning for your business.

Five Proven Tips For Improving Employee Engagement And Productivity

Productivity in the workplace is the lifeblood of your organization. It keeps your business alive and functioning. However, if your employees aren’t as productive as they should be, your operation can slow down or even come to a complete stop. Making employees as productive as possible is the best way to help your business to grow and thrive, so how can you give this aspect of your organization a boost?

Focusing On Employee Engagement

If your employees are disengaged, they’ll drag your company down. Conversely, engaged workers turn up regularly and on time, with lower absenteeism rates and less staff turnover – two things which can seriously impact on your profits. With only around 34% of workers feeling engaged, it’s no surprise that lost productivity is costing companies in the USA up to $6-5 billion every year. With this in mind, here are some top tips to help make sure that your workforce is fully engaged and ready to dedicate themselves to helping your business to exceed its targets.

1.Invest In The Best Tools

The skills that your team displays are vital to your business’ performance, however, the tools that they use every day to carry out their work are equally important. Selecting the best software makes their work simpler and helps to produce a more streamlined workflow. Tools such as collaboration and communication apps can make a huge difference to employees in terms of saving time and effort and helping them to get more done.

2.Improve Recruiting Practices

The secret to an engaged workforce could lie in choosing the right staff in the first place. Screening future employees for their fit with the core values of your business is a good place to start. If you focus on finding a strong cultural fit before hiring, it’ll save you money and time in the long run. Not only does getting the recruitment process right ensure that new members of your team are dedicated and committed to helping your company achieve success, but those new, positive team members energize your other workers for increased productivity and motivation.

  1. Offer More Training

Once you’ve got your team on board, you need to train them to keep them productive. Training not only benefits employees, but it also offers advantages for employers too since effective training leads to higher productivity and greater efficiency.

  1. Don’t Micromanage

It can be difficult to avoid micromanaging when you’re highly invested in the success of your business, however, one of the best ways to encourage greater productivity is simply to encourage each individual to take greater ownership over the way in which they manage their resources and time. It may sound counterintuitive to manage less yet obtain better results, yet science has backed up the premise. In general, people are more motivated by having greater autonomy than by receiving a financial reward.

5.Seek Professional Advice

If you need more advice about how to improve productivity and employee engagement in your workplace, seeking professional help is the best course of action. Check our Global Resources LLC Reviews to see how we’ve successfully supported businesses like yours to boost their profitability and become more successful.

A Guide to Communicating Changes in Your Organization

The business landscape is constantly fluctuating. Whether there is new legislation to be taken on board, new technology to get to grips with, or an acquisition or merger to deal with, any organization will go through times when change is inevitable.

Nobody likes to change. However, since change is unavoidable, it’s important to learn not only how to cope with it, but how to actually embrace it as an opportunity rather than fear it and see it as a problem.

Change management all too often is overlooked, and often to such an extent that the team’s daily output and, therefore, your company itself suffers. If employers fail to take on board changes and adapt fully to them, the chances are that the workforce will lack the necessary skillset to absorb those changes while also carrying out all of their regular daily duties.

Engagement and Communication with Staff

One of the most important aspects of change management involves engaging and communicating with staff so that everybody understands the process and gets on board with the adjustments. Many individuals in the team may find that their duties and roles are different once the changes have been adopted, and therefore communicating those differences and getting the employees who will be affected to embrace their new potential is essential. So, how can you communicate most effectively with your workforce

Clarity Is Key

When you’re communicating with your team about changes, it’s vital to keep clarity in mind. Your team needs to actually understand what will be happening – they need answers, not more questions. You need to be extremely clear about what needs to be said then work out how you can say it is the most effective and comprehensible way.

There isn’t a single way to deliver communications about changes, however, employees must be given a chance to respond and express their opinions and concerns. Employees also need to stay updated about progress regarding these changes and need to feel involved with the processes. This is why it’s so important to be transparent and upfront with your team. If plans change, or employees are expected to take on significantly different duties, it’s vital to keep them in the loop at as early a stage as possible to avoid ongoing problems.

Surveying Your Team

Even if you think that you’ve done everything possible to keep your team educated and informed about upcoming changes, there’s no more effective way to ascertain the success of your communications than by asking your staff directly. A key way to achieve this is to carry out an employee engagement survey before and after you communicate your changes. The first survey should focus on how your team would prefer to be communicated with and the subsequent survey will assess just how well the change was delivered, and whether your communication style worked well.

When it comes to communicating change within your organization, you may find it helpful to get some advice from a skilled and professional business consultancy firm. Visit GR-US.com to find out more about how we can help you to smooth the way to change within your company.