5 Benefits of Buying a Franchise

Many people would like to start their own business but lack the means and resources to do so. Entrepreneurship is a great way to ensure a profitable career and a solid retirement as well. However, not everyone can afford to build and grow their business from the ground up. Fortunately, you can run your own business even without having to start it on your own.

The best way to achieve that is to buy a franchise. Franchises are supported by brands or a trademark also known as franchisors. In other words, they supply you with whatever you need while you run their franchise. That being said, here are a few benefits of buying a franchise.

Lower costs

For those of you who lack the funds to start a business, buying a franchise may be a good alternative. You only have to pay the fixed costs of buying yourself into a developed business model, i.e. franchise, which can be quite less expensive than developing a business all on your own.

Moreover, the operating costs of running a franchise are also reduced, as the franchisor provides you with marketing strategies, consumer base, brand awareness and training for employees. That way, you don’t have to come up with any strategies on your own or fund them solely from your own pocket as well.

Be your own boss, but not on your own

Running a franchise business is excellent for entrepreneurs who don’t have any previous experience in running a business. If you’re indecisive about going forward because you lack the know-how, then a franchise is the right small business idea but for you.

Simply put, you get to run a franchise business but you get continuous support in form of advice, planning, strategizing and anything similar from a franchisor. They will provide you with the know-how and teach you everything you need to know about running a business.

Help the local community

Franchising business is beneficial for the local community, as well as for the local economy. When a franchise business opens up, it creates more job opportunities. A franchisor will hire local employees instead of bringing them from abroad.

Also, other businesses, such as bookkeepers, lawyers, electricians and others in the area have a tendency to thrive when there’s a franchise nearby. What’s more, franchisors prefer to maintain their good reputation and will not hesitate to participate and donate to local charities.

Source: The UPS Store

Brand’s reputation

As mentioned before, franchises are supported by trademarks or brands, which means that you basically operate under the franchisors name. This elevates your franchise on the local market due to franchisors brand awareness and reputation.

What’s more, consumers are likely to recognize your franchise due to the brand name or trademark and will be more willing to engage with your business. In addition, applying for bank loans or financial support from investors is more likely to go through due to your franchisors established reputation on the market.

Seamless operations

Running a franchise business is much simpler when a franchisor has your back. In other words, stocking your business with inventory, ordering products, categorizing and organizing is quite more efficient. A franchisor has an already developed system in place. That means that they know what and why it works, and you only have to follow through.

Furthermore, you have developed marketing campaigns and strategies you can utilize to promote your franchise. When all activities are combined, they ensure a smooth and seamless operation of your franchise. The only thing you must do is oversee the process and ensure everything is going well.

 

Buying a franchise is more suited for entrepreneurs who lack the resources or the knowledge to start their own business. A franchise business will complement your ambition nicely and allow you to grow in the business world.

 

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10 Most Common Accounting Mistakes of Small Business

Many of us already know how time consuming and also expensive the errors are in accounting, if you make a mistake in the financial statement of your small business. You definitely need to stop making some common accounting errors to protect the small business of yours. Find an Local Accountant in UK, to do the accounting tasks of your small business for you.

As according to Buzz2fone.com, accounting error is very common but one should avoid any mistakes. There many things one can do to avoid this

Here are 10 common mistakes you should be avoiding:

  • Errors in Data Entry

All business transactions you record have to be complete and accurate. With erroneous information entries in account books, an inaccuracy of financial health becomes prominent. You will file government forms incorrectly which can lead to penalties.

  • Omission Errors

If you fail to enter a business transaction it will result in serious accounting mistakes. As you haven’t recorded some business expenses, it can lead to no tax reductions.

  • Too Much Time Spending on Tasks

Wasting too much time in an accounting process is not applicable as that time can be used to generate revenue. As you are small business owner you must focus on how to bring more money to your company.

  • Trashing Receipts

If you throw away any receipts, it destroys the proof of any transaction which might be required in some time. Receipts are required to show consistency in accounting books. To prepare for an audit, receipts are very important.

  • Mixing Business and Personal Funds

You must avoid using same accounts for both personal and business purposes. It can create mess your finances. Confusion of transactions will be big and it will be very difficult to handle.

  • Assuming Profits and Cash Flow as Same

When you are managing your finances you must treat the cash flow and profits differently. Though both cash flow and profit deal with the income and the expenses, measuring of money is different for them. Sometimes international business owners confuse these two and think that they have more money than they actually do.

  • You Haven’t Reconciled Your Financial Books with the Bank Statements

Do not forget to make entries in your account book every time. You must double check your books to ensure their accuracy of data. When you fail to reconcile your Money Visual Personal Finance, finance books and productivity, it could lead towards such errors that might stay unnoticed for a longer period of time. It becomes harder to correct the mistakes if you leave them for long time. You can catch the mistakes earlier with bank statement reconcilation.

  • Failing to Go with the Budget

It is important to plan ahead of time but when it comes to running a business people often overlook that aspect. It is easier to plan your next move if you create a budget. Budget focuses on your goals. It helps to increase profits. With budget you get know where your money is coming from and also where it is going to. Adapting small business seo services to change becomes easier for you if you make a budget.

  • Not Measuring The Progress

Never forget to notice the bigger picture of your business. You must know how you are doing in your business because otherwise you won’t be able to improve it. When you measure your seo business performances, you can spot both weak and strong points in your process.

  • Ignoring Signs of Needing Any Help

You must know when it is time for you to pass your accounting responsibilities to Accountants Services in UK. As your business grows you must delegate your tasks. You don’t earn money from accounting even if you invest time in accounting. Pass your bookkeeping responsibilities to an expert.

 

3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate

Reduce your employee churn rate with these tips.

Replacing an employee can cost as much as 20% of their yearly salary. The higher up their position is, the more expensive it is. That’s because you need to factor in paying recruitment agencies, covering for the vacant position, and the time lost to those responsible for hiring.

A low employee churn rate is key to maximizing your potential and growth.

When you have a lower employee turnover, you can focus your resources on researching and launching new products and services, improving the working environment, and investing in employees’ development instead.

It also boosts your employer brand, which is crucial if you want to win the war for talent. Brands with a strong employer brand lower their cost to hire by 43%.

But how do you reduce your churn rate?

It starts by looking at the employee journey. How can you improve it? What steps can you make to create a more inviting atmosphere for employees whether they’ve been there five weeks or five years?

Let’s take a look at three important parts of an employee’s journey, and how small changes to them can reduce your employee turnover rate.

Plan your onboarding process for early success

Happy employees are loyal employees. To create this sense of loyalty, you need to make them feel valued. This starts from their very first day.

However, not every company manages this – 42% of employees have no computer or device to work from on their first day. Worse, some employees don’t even have a desk on their first day! While this is only part of the onboarding process, it’s an important part of setting your employee up for success, especially when 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days.

Contrast that to the 69% that will still be with a company three years later if they go through a positive onboarding process, and you can see why a good onboarding process is so important.

A negative experience reflects badly on you: it makes you look disorganized, and like you don’t value your employees.

It’s therefore imperative that you you spend time planning the onboarding process for your new employee before they start. Don’t leave it all until the last minute, as you may find that there are some issues – like purchasing new equipment – that will take days, maybe even weeks, to sort.

Also ensure that their company account and logins for any relevant software are set up before they begin. That way, all they need to do on their first day is click to activate their new account. They can then start using the software straight away.

Once they’re all set up, don’t just sit them down and present them with a list of objectives. Include them in the decision-making process. Have some projects ready for them to work on, but listen to them and ask them what they’d most like to work on, too. That way, they immediately feel like their thoughts and opinions are valued.

The objective of an onboarding process is to help the employee get to know the company, its products, and mostly importantly, the culture and their colleagues.

Everyone in the team should be involved in making the new team member feel welcome. This could include scheduling introduction meetings with the new starter, or assigning them a buddy to give them a tour and answer any day-to-day questions.

Group inductions can be intimidating for new starters, so focus on one-to-one sessions instead. This creates more space for the new hire to ask questions.

Efficient scheduling solutions make organizing these one-to-one meetings a breeze, and avoids the risk of two member scheduling a meeting at the same time. Scheduling meetings before someone starts also reduces any awkwardness over the new hire having to approach people to schedule meetings – it’s all there ready for them when they first start.

Invest in training and mentorship

Training and mentorship are crucial parts of an employee’s progress. They can boost their skills and help them to work out which career path is for them.

For mentors and those conducting training, it reinforces their skills. They can even learn from those that they teach. It’s also great networking for everyone – you never know where your next great opportunity will come from.

Despite this, only 44% of companies offer a mentorship scheme.

Mentorship benefits employees at every stage of their journey. Don’t let the fact that someone is already a manager convince you that they already know everything they need to know. No matter how long someone has been managing for, there’s always a new strategy or technique they can try to motivate their team.

Training can be both internal and external, so be open-minded about the best place(s) for employees to build their skills. The best person to train your marketing team may not be someone who’s been there for years – it may be someone who can offer a fresh perspective on your strategy and help you to keep it relevant as algorithms continue to change.

Conduct exit interviews

Exit interviews are an often overlooked but incredibly valuable part of an employee’s journey. They give you the opportunity to examine why employees leave, and identify areas where your company may be failing them. Without this information, you can’t make positive changes to improve the working environment.

Conducting exit interviews using a framework makes it easier for you to quantify results. You can then pick up on reoccurring problems or praise. The more often something is raised, the more important it is to address.

Some questions you could ask include:

  • How employees feel about the working environment
  • What their commute is like
  • What their relationship is like with their manager
  • How well they get on/work with their team

Using this information, you can start discussions with remaining team members about any common threads. You can then make informed decisions about how to better suit employees’ needs and (hopefully) prevent more from leaving for the same or similar reasons.

You can also home in on positive comments that are made, finding ways to further enhance these experiences. For instance, if employees benefit from flexible working hours, you could look into allowing them to work from home if they can’t already. If they like how the team encourages self-development, you could look into courses or events for the team to further develop their skills.

Employees are your business’s biggest – and best – advocates. If they share negative experiences with their social circle it reflects badly on you and may even cause you to lose customers. Leaving them with a positive overall feeling is therefore crucial. Exit interviews are just one part of this. Others include how the rest of the team reacts to their departure, handover periods, and anything else that happens on their final day. While you can’t control all of this, exit interviews help to cement your positive employer brand by showing employees that you care about their wellbeing from the start of their journey with you right through to the end.

When an employee speaks highly of you when they leave, they’re more likely to return for a future position, or even to recommend roles to their friends and family. Since referrals are one of the best ways to hire the right person for the job, this can make a huge difference to your hiring process, and further improving your employer brand.

Conclusion

It’s your responsibility to offer employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be more efficient in their role. Employees will then be more loyal and motivated, and turnover will decrease.

It’s also important to remember that there are many other elements that can impact employee satisfaction. Internal promotions, 360 feedback, and open communications are also key to reducing employee turnover. And don’t forget to make the technology that they need available to them!

These investments and changes to company culture make a big difference. After all, reducing your employee churn rate can be the difference between business growth and stagnation.

Create a better employee experience with calendar sync

Simple, repetitive tasks quickly add up to days wasted every month. This means employees achieve less and businesses don’t grow as quickly as they could.

Discover how automation and calendar sync could save you and your team time (and money!) in our new white paper. Download your copy today!

Source: 3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate | The Cronofy Blog

Highly Effective Tips for Business Success for Startups

Highly Effective Tips for Business Success for Startups

“Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.” – Lindsay Manseau, Photographer and Entrepreneur

According to Problemio, there are over 28 million small businesses in the U.S. However, the problem is almost 50% of startups fail during the first year. And the chances of reaching the end of the road only increase with each year on the market.

But why do so many companies face the risk of failure? The answer is not so simple although it all comes down to the issues entrepreneurs haven’t anticipated. So in order to get acquainted with corporate requirements and preventing possible business threats, we offer you a list of highly effective tips to help you secure the startup success and enhanced growth.

Know Your Goals

One of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail is because they didn’t research market demands. Before anything else, entrepreneurs need to be familiar with the industry, target audience, and competition. Who is your perfect customer? How are your products or services different from the rest? What is the ultimate business objective? And is the time for launching your business right?

Offer People a Deal They Can’t Refuse    

When first starting out, it’s important to offer quality. The business should be built around consumers because they are the backbone of every successful brand. Instead of focusing on sales, research what people need in the moment and then invest and promote deals customers will prefer.

Don’t be Afraid to Outsource     

Outsourcing has become the industry standard. Nowadays, those who wish to reduce costs, enhance customer experiences with the business, increase productivity and improve the quality of products and services in general, turn to outsourcing. Outsourcing back office operations, front office processes and marketing business processes are the main and highly rewarding options startups should definitely include in their business plan once the company begins to gain a broader awareness.

Keep a Close Eye on Cash Flow

The major liability that can ruin both a small business and a large enterprise is cash flow. As according to Nelson, a real estate business owner,  you need to have a clear idea of where the money goes and why. The business expenditure should be aligned with the main objectives while retaining a portion for unplanned situations. In other words, keep in touch with your accountant and have backup cash reserves as a safety cushion in case of shortfalls.   

Surround Yourself with a Motivated Team

The employee expertise is equally important as their motivation to complete tasks on time. Look at your staff as a well-oiled machine working towards a common goal which is, you guessed it, business successes. However, don’t forget that they are also people with hopes and dreams. Meaning you need to treat them with respect, include them in every step of the way, and provide opportunities for further occupational growth.

Share Your Success

It’s crucial to be transparent with your employees and customers. People feel more related and open to entrepreneurs who are not afraid to share their successes stories. Not only that transparency could help you raise productivity, but it can also build the necessary trust between a business and its audience. Plus, exchanging stories and listening to other ideas provides a chance to learn something new and to form loyal relationships along the way.

Leverage Technology into Your Advantage

Automation is the key to optimizing business processes. Digital technology and mighty software solutions can help to prevent human errors, enhance collaboration across departments, and better engage consumers. The good news is that you can take advantage of free online programs and affordable systems specifically designed to support SMBs. Just be sure you are picking the right tool for your business. Identify areas within your company that consume a lot of time and effort and use them as references.     

Learn to Move On

Taking care of every single thing and micromanaging projects can be stressful and damaging for the business. Some mistakes are bound to happen but if you want to overcome bumps on the road, learn to move on and trust your team to efficiently complete tasks. To put it simply, learn from mistakes but don’t fixate on problems.

Meet Your Investors

The majority of startups require investments to kick the business off. If you can relate, it’s recommended to find out what investors prefer and where can you find them. Doing online research is a good start, but still, work your way up in the entrepreneurial community and get involved on social media platforms. But before you contact investors, try finding or getting in touch with your mentors. They can tell you if your idea needs some touch-ups and prep you with the essentials investors expect to get from thriving entrepreneurs.  

 

Final Thoughts

“What I learned from Rockefeller that’s off-the-hook important is: You need to know exactly where you stand in a business at all times. Measure everything, because everything that is measured and watched improves.” – Bob Parson, GoDaddy Founder

All you need to succeed is a strategic head and a passionate heart. You need to be aware of everything that’s going on with your business at every moment. However, that doesn’t mean you should be too controlling and focused on every single detail.

Also, once the company experience successes, try not to become greedy. Remember, if you build your business on knowledge, respect, and a well-designed strategy, you will diminish the risk of becoming just one of the businesses who couldn’t keep up with evolving market requirements. Good luck!

The Stress Factor: What the Online Rhetoric Doesn’t Tell You about Business Growth

Author: Terri Hiskey, Vice President, Product Marketing, Manufacturing Portfolio at Epicor Software

You don’t have to search far on LinkedIn before you come across phrases like ‘I’m a results-driven go-getter’, ‘I thrive in a fast-paced environment’, ‘I’m a best-of-breed strategic thinker’, and ‘I have a track-record for generating business growth’. The list goes on.

But beyond the online show, a lot of people–and the organisations that employ them–actually find business growth rather stressful. And that’s the case even though many organisations are constantly looking to grow their businesses by expanding into new territories, developing new product lines, or boosting their profits.

According to Gideon Neiman and Marius Pretorius in their book Managing Growth, business growth puts a strain on resources. It often requires employees to work harder and faster, and needs managers to make quicker and more accurate decisions. Business growth also involves change–whether that’s integrating new locations, new colleagues or new products into existing processes, and this too can make growth more challenging. As part of its global growth survey, Epicor has looked in more detail at the realities of business growth, in order to better understand how different organisations across the globe cope.

By surveying over 2,000 business professionals across the world, we found something that LinkedIn’s online show of pride doesn’t give away. While one-in-three business professionals find growth rewarding, two-in-five actually find it challenging, one-in-five finds it stressful and one-in-ten even finds it painful. Perhaps these things are easier to admit on an anonymous online survey than on a public LinkedIn profile page!

Stress

The realities of growth are therefore more complex than they may at first seem, with stresses and challenges playing a significant role in employee experiences as the businesses they work for develop. Nevertheless, with businesses generally feeling optimistic about their growth prospects (scoring an average 7.2 out of 10 for optimism), they must come to grips with these realities to make the growth process easier.

While a certain amount of stress can be stimulating, it can also be incapacitating for businesses or employees for whom it is not manageable. For example, in his work on stress in business, Jim Taylor, Ph.D. from the University of San Francisco, explains that growth can put employees under psychological pressure to perform, and that in turn can give people more energy and endurance, sharpening their thinking and focus for the intellectual demands they face. However, as soon as demands begin to exceed capabilities and resources, business growth (and the stress it brings) may become debilitating for workers and the businesses that employ them.

Stress may be a by-product of growth, but businesses want to grow. So, what can they do to help make the journey easier?

Our research shows that businesses turn to a variety of methods to help them keep on top of the stresses and challenges they face while growing, and demonstrates that different members of the workforce have different opinions on how to make business growth a better experience. Not surprisingly, two-in-five (38%) members of staff questioned in our study believe that business growth could be less stressful with better leadership. On the flip side of this, 37% of directors and managers think that the challenges of growth can be largely overcome if employees worked more efficiently.

There are differences too, between different sized organisations–with a quarter of large organisations (with over 1,000 employees) tending to feel that growth would be less stressful if their business model was more flexible, and only 16% of small organisations (with under 100 employees) feeling the same. Smaller businesses, after all, tend to find it easier to adapt, making change less difficult to manage. Larger organisations on the other hand tend to have to work harder at evolving. They have more internal processes to follow, and more stakeholders to involve in strategic decision making, which is an inevitable aspect of growth.

Across the board there is widespread recognition that implementing better technology is key to a business’s ability to cope with the stresses and challenges presented by growth. Making use of the latest technology can help businesses work more efficiently, and even help them expand into new geographies, without having to make huge investments in staff and facilities. This is especially true in the manufacturing sector, where intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are helping organisations to bridge the top floor with the shop floor. By doing this, ERP systems allow for better data flow–for example between sales teams, machines on the production line, shipping partners and customers–as well as automating otherwise manual tasks to cut time to market.

Almost half (47%) of business professionals across the globe agree that technology is an important factor in overcoming the challenges of growth, with those that are in a position of power tending to feel even more strongly about this fact. 54% of CEOs and 52% of directors and managers believe that technology helps them overcome the stresses of growth. However, just 37% of staff who are less senior agree.

It’s possible that more senior staff have a better understanding of the business benefits of technology change, because they have a clearer idea of the business’s growth strategy and the ‘end goal’ that technology will help them to reach. Less senior employees however, tend not to be involved in the decision-making process, making it harder for them to see the value in change. They may also be over-burdened by increasing workloads and have little patience for learning how to use new technology on top of their daily grind.

Technology change can moreover threaten the organisational culture of the workplace–it can change the work environment by transforming tasks and processes, and providing greater visibility of those tasks, something which will understandably make staff nervous if they don’t feel they have a personal and professional stake in the changes being made. Organisations that do chose to embrace digital transformation on their pathway to growth must therefore do this in a manner that will allow all members of the workforce to understand the reason for the business’s investment, to overcome resistance from staff.

While it’s certainly true that some business professionals do thrive under the pressure of growth, beyond the online rhetoric, and the year-on-year increase in output or profits, there’s a deeper, more human experience of business growth too. While some find it rewarding, others find it challenging. The most successful high growth organisations are those that have flexible systems, are able to constantly adapt to new and better business models, and are able to bring their staff onboard with changes along the way. Investing in technology is a good way to meet these three growth requirements and tackle the challenges of growth head on.

Good Accounting: The Base for Any Growing Business

Imposed by internet “experts”, the “get rich” business model trend puts all of its focus on planning, branding, and marketing. Though crucial for any growing organization, these strategies are only as profitable as they are built upon sturdy financial support. Though being the only practice that effectively manages your budget, accounting is greatly overlooked by new-fangled business advisors. Its importance, however, is just as paramount as ever.

In fact, flawless bookkeeping is the most solid foundation an aspiring business can procure. Without it, any kind of ROI, progress, or growth would be impossible. Here’s why.

  • Staying on Top of Your Expenses

Running a business is never an easy feat, nor an inexpensive one. Particularly for those entering the market, the costs of launching a startup and running a small company can be overwhelming. However insignificant it may seem in the greater scale of things, even a single pen comes with a price that needs to be included in the overall calculation and run through the books. You might never lose sight of large expenses, but if not properly managed, pennyworths may widen the gap between how much your business spends and how much it earns.

  • Managing Cash Flow

Most commonly, these financial nuances are what makes or breaks a business. For no other reason but profitability, an ambitious entrepreneur has to be aware of every coin that comes in or goes out of the company. If well-situated, small business runners can choose to button up their numbers and keep their books on their own or outsource this sensitive task to an accounting firm. The choice is entirely yours, but it is the one you’ll have to make. Without accurate and transparent books, cash flow management is not possible, and without proper cash flow management, no business can move forward.

  • Evaluating Performance

Speaking of moving forward, accounting is essential for a reason or two more. Staying on top of your books means being aware of everything that happens under your leadership, which enables you to gauge the effectiveness of your current workflow and predict future performance with greater certainty. When clean, financial books will tell you exactly where you stand and in which direction you can go from there. After all, acquiring that kind of insight is what being business-savvy is all about.

  • Planning Ahead

Despite being overly superficial most of the time, the so-called internet experts are right about one thing: a business decision is only as good as it is data-based. Filled with numbers, your books are the ultimate source of financial information, and they should be leveraged as invaluable intelligence bases. With one glance, you’ll know everything about your future options, and be able to set projections, adjust goals and plan strategically.

  • Investing and Growing

If aspiring from a small-sized to a fully-grown business, the investment is the one word you should never use lightly. Every decision you make along the way, every marketing campaign you start, and every project you plan on developing will leave a noticeable trace on your budget. Before choosing to improve by investing in a new business venture, you need to know if is such an investment even possible and whether or not it will be profitable in the long run. Calculations of this magnitude cannot be done without good accounting.

Ultimately, successful businesses know no difference between small expenses and costly investments, and both are impossible to keep track of without an effective bookkeeping system. Whether it comes to applying for loans and filing for tax returns, hiring new people and expanding to new markets, or simply purchasing office supplies and throwing office parties, good accounting is what makes a small business opportunistic and eligible for further growth.

Unlocking Business Growth through HR and People Science

Unlocking Business Growth through HR and People Science

Written by Adam Hale, EVP of Sage People.

Why fast-growth companies are bounding ahead?

For businesses to sustain growth, be more productive, and attract and retain the best talent in today’s increasingly global and competitive climate, they need to use data intelligently. Data analytics has been happening for a long time in marketing, sales and finance, but now we’re seeing HR wake up to the benefits. Traditionally, HR functions capture information about employees passively in order to meet legislative requirements but organizations are now realizing it has far more potential with data analytics which is also leading to the rise of the Chief People Officer role.

While 83% of HR leaders recognize that all people decisions should be based on data and analytics, the reality in the workplace is very different. Recent research Fairsail (now Sage People) conducted amongst 500 global HR leaders for its report ‘The use of people science in fast growth companies’ showed that only 37% of those surveyed claiming to already use a data-centric approach.

Why fast-growth companies are bounding ahead

However, there is one business group making the most of its people science capabilities: the fast-growing ‘gazelle’ organizations – companies which have increased their revenues by at least 20% annually for four years or more. The research shows that these organizations are far more advanced in HR than the average company. They have full HR automation (80% v 53%) so they can report faster and more easily on a range of influential HR metrics. If asked to report on headcount within a single day, 84% can do it; that’s 16 percentage points better than non-gazelles. They can more easily report on high potential employees (58% v 42%) and on personal growth (58% v 41%).

These gazelle organizations can see what’s working and what needs to change and can take action confidently to make sure they’re supporting employees to achieve their potential. While gazelles are the one’s bounding ahead, all is not lost as almost every organization we spoke to did have an awareness of the potential to use people and HR data to improve their business.

Use Chief People Officers to close the gap

Even if they haven’t yet marshalled it effectively or decided exactly how they’ll use it, a staggering 92% said they’d like to use people science to improve their business. And another 65% said that in the next 12 months they need to achieve greater data visibility.

The research also positively showed a movement across all organizations to make a highly visible change that reflects the shift to a people focus: 17% have appointed a Chief People Officer to put people science at the heart of their business. The gap between the gazelle approach and the non-gazelle approach looks set to narrow in the very near future, as all businesses take action on their ever-growing awareness of the importance of people analytics.

Tap into data to unlock rapid growth

So what can we learn today from these market-leading organizations? Seeking and seizing opportunities and using every lever a company can get its hands on to improve performance is the key to rapid growth. Organizations shouldn’t be afraid to explore the latest people thinking, or adopt the tools that gather data and turn it into business intelligence. The challenge is to put systems and tools in place to collect and analyze it for tangible benefit – as 31% revealed, they don’t currently have the right technology in place to interpret the necessary people science. Automation helps companies move away from old-style HR with its laborious administration and manual processes and spreadsheets. With this, people teams should be able to explore the workforce data to understand what employees want and need. They can take action to provide great workforce experiences that makes the most of talent to fuel productivity and business growth.

To read the full ‘The use of people science in fast growth companies’ report, please visit www.fairsail.com.

About the Author:

Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail

Adam Hale, EVP of Sage People, previously acted as Executive Chairman and Non Executive Director having spent over 30 years in the technology industry. He was formerly Head of Software and European Technology at Russell Reynolds Associates, the leading executive search firm and before that ran large system implementation projects at Accenture. Adam is also a committee member of the Technology Leadership Group (TLG) for the Prince’s Trust.


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From New Technology to ‘Purposeful Innovation’ – Three Trends That Can Help Businesses Innovate & Grow in 2017

Written by Himanshu Palsule, CTO at Epicor Software.

From New Technology to ‘Purposeful Innovation’ – Three Trends That Can Help Businesses Innovate & Grow in 2017

In the current climate, operational efficiency and business agility are more important than ever to support modern business innovation. As global markets combine with competitive pricing pressures to place greater stress on maintaining margins, organisations must seek the efficiencies needed to protect market share.

Himanshu Palsule, CTO at Epicor Software
Himanshu Palsule, CTO at Epicor Software

At the same time, global economic forces are opening up opportunities in new markets and organisations of all sizes are looking to take advantage of the changing economic tide to grow their business. The pressure is now on the CIO and his/her team to drive change and enable this high-growth mode. The challenge for many companies is matching technology investments with the rapidly changing needs of the business.

A solid technology strategy should place the onus on innovation with a purpose and going in to 2017, I see three technology trends that have the power to transform businesses by providing the tools to innovate. These technologies have the potential to be central to business success over the coming years.

  1. Enabling cloud-driven change

For some organisations, adopting cloud computing services can be a simple, tactical exercise to meet some immediate infrastructure needs. But for those looking to drive real technology transformation, it can be the catalyst to embracing an entirely new strategy for IT.

Up until recently cloud computing has, for the most part, been used to speed up existing individual processes while reducing costs. It is only now, as the cloud journey grows more mature, that we can begin to see its full potential to transform business models and working practices.

The cloud opens up exciting new possibilities for CIOs, COOs and CFOs to think differently about their IT infrastructure. Adoption of cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, for example, is on the rise because sharing data quickly and efficiently can dramatically reduce costs and increase the speed of production.

There’s also a growing acceptance that cloud adoption is not just for start-up companies. Large enterprises are transitioning their entire infrastructure and data ecosystems into the cloud because these systems have the advantage of taking the burden of upgrades and management, freeing up valuable resources to focus on innovation and business growth.

  1. Extracting value from big data and IoT

According to a recent report by Machina Research, the total number of IoT connections are estimated to grow 16% annually over the next 10-year period from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025. Total IoT revenue opportunity is projected to grow to $3 trillion in 2025, up from $750 billion in 2015.

If you talk to customers in the manufacturing and retail sectors for example, they’ll say they’ve been collecting and tracking data on machines, production, and inventory for years. In retail, for example, smart supply chains enable applications for tracking goods and real time information exchange about inventory among suppliers and retailers.

The next step for us, and our customers, is to take the data that is available and analyse it in context, to make better and more efficient business decisions. However, the challenge for ERP systems has been around how to transform the onslaught of unstructured data into practical information.

As technology develops we can expect to see more integration between ERP, big data and predictive analytics because data is the business resource of the future—both in terms of optimising processes and services, and as a basis for innovative business models.

  1. Mobility drives greater visibility

Mobile and social technologies are enabling new business models and processes but it’s important to remember that mobility can mean many different things to different organisations. For one company, it might be the ability to set up a remote warehouse. For another, it might be the ability to interact and collaborate on social platforms across borders and time zones.

Mobility should be an essential part of the platforms we build as mobile applications provide greater employee visibility and accuracy of information, enabling companies to respond quickly to changing demands with real-time capabilities.

New utilisations of mobile devices and apps are happening every day and drastically changing the way business gets done.

Summary — keeping up the pace of innovation

As companies become more complex and globally dispersed, the need for increased collaboration, visibility and efficiency will continue to accelerate. The world is getting smaller and supply chains are expected to get faster. Having the right technology in place to underpin operations is key to keeping up, regardless of geographic location or industry.

Technology on its own is not a sufficient strategy. But understanding how cloud, big data, social, mobility, analytics and IoT technologies can underpin business models, what we call ‘purposeful innovation’ is central to achieving business growth.


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The Inconvenient Truth of Hidden Conflict in the C-suite – And What to Do About It

Written by Hesham El Komy, Senior Director, International Channels at Epicor Software. Specially for The HR Tech Weekly®.

The Inconvenient Truth of Hidden Conflict in the C-suite

A little bit of conflict between members of the C-suite is inevitable. When each member has different priorities and business objectives to the rest of the C-suite, it’s possible for this conflict to cause problems. Part of the tension is caused by a lack of consensus on business growth. According to recent research by Epicor, this misalignment of goals could lead to business problems if left unchecked. But if differing viewpoints are channelled positively, using technology and data to inform decision-making, suddenly ideas can foster growth and innovation rather than continue to be a source of conflict.

Hesham El Komy, Senior Director, International Channels at Epicor Software
Hesham El Komy, Senior Director, International Channels at Epicor Software

So what else could be contributing to conflict within the C-suite? One theory is that the CEO occupies a lonely position compared to the rest of the C-suite and has very little insight into the inner-workings of the internal departments within the business. CEOs tend to be more concerned with their “outward selves” – answering to stakeholders and explaining numbers to the board of directors.

Rob Morris, managing director and general manager of intellectual property at leadership consultancy firm YSC believes CEOs may feel the burden of growth more than other members of the C-suite. He refers to the CEO operating “like an island, despite the stereotypical image of a CEO projecting confidence and stability”. A recent study in Harvard Business Review examined how the burden of being responsible for tough business decisions can make a difference. It found that “93% of CEOs require more preparation for the role than they typically get” and are typically unready for the “loneliness and accountability that lies ahead”.

A variety of new technology roles could also be aggravating the tension within the C-suite. As a Wall Street Journal article reports, CIOs and CTOs are struggling to “differentiate their responsibilities”. The article goes on to say, “With so many roles, even other C-levels may not know where to turn to address a particular IT-related issue or problem. And the overlaps and conflicts may well lead to infighting”.

But while it is normal to have differing opinions and views – it is when these conflicts turn unhealthy and start becoming a strain on maintaining strong and healthy business operations that it becomes a problem. As Morris says, “conflict in a healthy team climate can lead to more effectiveness, but when the conflict remains hidden, confined to disagreements between only one or two key stakeholders, it can quickly become dysfunctional”.

So how can disagreements be turned into opportunities for innovation? Ideas and opinions can be shut down if they lack enough clear data to back them up. Having access to real-time information and insight can solve this. This means that key business discussions can be based on detailed metrics rather than simple “hunches” or gut-feelings. Senior business executives can then propose new ideas based on facts in front of them changing the conversation from perceived issues and problems to actionable steps designed to promote business growth.

As the Epicor research reveals, it is natural to have different ideas from other members in the senior team. But it is equally important to be aware that the battles should not be based on biased agendas that can only hinder business growth.

Some CEOs have already noted the positive impact the use of data can bring to ease the burden of managing business growth. The research, which questioned over 1,800 business leaders, revealed that 40% of CEOs agreed that access to information is of very significant importance to them, compared to 34% of CFOs, COOs and CIOs on average. Furthermore, 35% of CEOs agreed that having the right technology has made growth possible. Interestingly, one-in-ten blamed a lack of technology in hindering business growth.

“It’s essential to be able to interpret the data you have, and make good strategic judgements based on that data. But alignment of goals and information is key if the use of data is to be effective. Like rowers in a boat, C-suite members need to work together, if they are to make conflict a force for healthy business growth,” says Morris.

Still, whilst there are many benefits to using data to inform decision-making, challenges remain. A report has found that it’s possible for C-suite members to suffer from an “information overload” when the data cannot be used effectively, because there’s just too much of it and they lack the technology to make sense of it all. C-suite members must foster a culture of “collaboration and transparency”; using relevant information to build trust and tackle business challenges together.

The emergence of technology and the differing opinions within the C-suite are bound to crank up the tension amongst executives. But a failure to see the wider repercussions on the business can be disastrous. That does not mean differing opinions must be stunted. A healthy conflict based on data and facts can turn a tense situation into a positive experience for the business.

The journey from conflict to healthy debates must start with the provision of accurate and relevant data. So how do businesses achieve this?

If it’s important that C-level executives are exposed to the same information, in real time, the provision of up-to-date data via intelligent software becomes invaluable. The latest enterprise resource management systems (ERP), for example, can be accessed anywhere. So, whether it’s the CEO at a stakeholder meeting, or a COO discussing plans with teams, it is possible for them to base their business decisions on the same information. Once they are aligned in this way, they can discuss business priorities and concerns more effectively, changing the conversations in the boardroom and positively impacting the whole business.


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