Tagged: Services

Is your Corporation Socially Responsible?

corporate social responsibilityIn the past few years, great emphasis has been given to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, precisely defined in terms of the responsiveness of businesses to stakeholders’ legal, ethical, social, economical and environmental expectations. Over the last decade, there have been number of companies worldwide that have started promoting their business through Corporate Social Responsibility strategies because the customers and the investors expect them to act sustainable as well as responsible.

The concept of Corporate Social responsibility is now becoming a self-regulation integrated into an organizations’ business model. Its regulations generally function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. On a broader level, “corporate social responsibility” or CSR is a mechanism though which an organization can embrace responsibility for its actions and propel a positive impact through its business activities on the consumers, employees, stakeholders, communities, environment and all other members of the public sphere.

ISO 26000 is the recognized international standard for CSR. The standard emphasizes the relationship of a business to the society and environment in which they operate which is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. The ISO 26000 standard is becoming popular these days as it helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally and is meant for all types of organizations regardless of their industry, activity, size or location.

Social responsibility and sustainability have become important marketing strategies for businesses. Corporations are motivated to become more socially responsible because their most important stakeholders expect them to understand and address the social and community issues that are relevant to them. Generally, CSR is related to crisis i.e. whenever a company falls into a social or economical crisis they look towards the concept of corporate social responsibility. It is important that organizations understand the significance of the concept of CRS and integrate it into their business models.

Aligning a business towards a sustainability approach is always helpful in the long run. CSR is an evolving theory and with the coming of the global digital age, the theory is gaining rapid significance among business of all sizes.

The Practice of Management By Objective

Management By ObjectiveMBO – more popularly known as Management By Objective, is a term that was first coined by Peter Drucker in 1954 in his book The Practice of Management. The essence of MBO is to define clear objectives within an enterprise, that helps management and employees work towards a common goal. The process involves setting short term and long term goals, choosing a corrective course of action and making strategic decision.

In any organization, typically all employees should be involved with the goal setting process and should choose the appropriate course of action to be followed. That way they are more likely to fulfill their responsibilities and in-turn achieve organizational goals.

The first step in implementing MBO is to establish long-range company goals in such areas as production, marketing, services, sales, R&D, human resources, finance, information systems etc. A business owner should begin by defining the company’s current business status and looking for emerging market trends that may require adaptation. This is kind of long term planning provides a framework for forecasting the organization’s future staffing levels, marketing approaches, financing needs, product development focus, and facility and equipment usage.

Typically, companies should plan yearly and then break down these long term plans into department wise objectives and eventually as achievable goals for employees. A point to note here is to make sure employees from all departments clearly understand and support the overall goal of the organization. As a manager or business owner, it is important to be involved in such goal setting activities, from the very beginning, as this will increase their commitment to achieving the goals, allow them to communicate the goals clearly to subordinates, and help them to create and align their own goals to support the company goals.

Overall, establishing an MBO system in any organization may be difficult, but it is usually worth it. It is always advisable to introduce MBO slowly into an organization, and all employees should be given the opportunity to set short terms goals to start.

The most difficult aspect of implementing MBO may be simply getting people to think in terms of results rather than activities. Therefore, a formal training program for business owners is always a necessary tool that helps them understand the importance of MBO. Hiring an outside consultant to explain the process of setting an MBO program within an organization is always a good start.

MBO is not a definite theory, but more of a collective goal setting activity. It helps business owners actually analyze their actual goals by looking at the bigger picture.

Can User Experience be designed?

Can User Experience be designedUser experience (UX), in simple definition, involves a person’s emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience is a very blurry concept and many people use the term incorrectly. A lot of designers seem to be talking about user experience (UX) these days and have a strong belief in how they can craft the user experience of their product or website.

Recent research indicates that UX takes a broader approach to communication between computers and humans. UX takes many different aspects into consideration as well, such as emotional, hedonic, aesthetic, affective and experiential variables.

According to the Hassenzahl’s model, each user assigns some attributes to a product or service when using it and these attributes are different for each individual user. UX is the consequences of these attributes plus the situation in which the product is used.

So in a realistic world, you cannot design the user, because some are able to easily use a product, service, or a website to perform their task and others simply cannot! The stimulation that a product or service provides depends on the individual user’s experience with similar products. Also, every user has different goals, and so they use products, services and/or websites in different modes.

The other important point to remember is that you can never design a situation. A user situation goes beyond what can be designed. It can determine why a product is being used, and it can shape a user’s expectations.For example, on some occasions, you may want to explore and take advantage of the wealth of features on Twitter or Facebook. In other situations, the same functions may make things too complex for you. Moreover UX also evolves with time. For example, the first time a user tries an application, they may be confused by it and have a slightly downbeat experience. Later, when they get used to it and discover its wealth of features and learn how to handle it, they might get emotionally attached to it, and the overall UX (user experience) would become more positive.

So while designing a product, service or an application, it is very important to understand the user. Typical methods such as user research with surveys, interviews and observations are very important. Finally, it is important to give users what they want, and perhaps a little bit more! In addition to enabling users to use your service effectively and efficiently, it is important to give them the “WOW” experience. Exceeding their expectation is always preferred.

“Business-Web-Media”

business-web-mediaSmall Business Pool is a business BLOG where entrepreneurs and business owners could find useful information, advice, insights, resources and inspiration for running and growing their businesses.

Small Business Pool also offers project management and business consulting services to Small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The objective is to partner with clients to deliver customized solutions that create a lasting competitive advantage.

The tag line “Business-Web-Media” signifies the core areas of the services i.e. in the field of Business, Web & Media.

Business: Management Consulting & Planning, Strategy & Change Management, Digital Transformation, Human Resource Management, Statistical Analysis, Market Research & Surveys, Sales & Lead Generation, Virtual Assistants, Customer Service & Support.

Web: Web Programming & Design, E-commerce, Online Game Development, Scripts & Utilities, Web Plug-ins, Mobile Apps Development, Application Interface Design, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Online Advertising & PR, Media Analysis, Web Analytics, Website Content Development, Blog & Article Writing.

Media: Graphic Design, Illustration, 3D Modelling, Animation, VFX, Presentations, Corporate Video Production, Bio Videos, Commercials and Viral Marketing Videos.

The art of Email Nurturing

There are times when we are interested in knowing about a service or a product. We get online or go to a store to shop for more information. We eventually get that information or see the product, but are not ready to buy. We think, we take time and then most of the times, forget about it!

Email nurturing is a way to connect with your current and prospective customers. It is like staying in touch with potential leads that are not quite ready to buy. According to a recent survey almost 75 per cent on inbound leads are not ready to make a buying decision. They need time to judge and understand your business or product.

Online marketing is incomplete without appropriate email nurturing campaigns. The reality is that “conversion” is not a quick event. It takes planned and tactical nurturing. No matter how great your service or product is, it is important to recognize the importance of email nurturing.

1. Emails that introduce educate and get you connected: This is one of the most important formats, as you just have one chance to actually catch the attention of your lead. Introducing & educating your prospects is a vital step in closing a sale. It is important to display your value, and tell them about the things they want to know based on their on- and off-site behaviors. Invite them to subscribe to your blog, connect on LinkedIn, follow each other on Twitter etc. The more ways, through which you and your prospect are connected, the better chance you have of closing the sale.

2. Emails that help them improve: Everyone is looking for things that make them better, as a business person, as an employee and also as an individual. It is important to send emails that target these personal choices and goals. Free offers are a great way to promote your brand and help prospects improve. Asserting yourself as someone who can make their lives better makes you their ally and helps establish the trust you need to turn them into a customer.

3. Emails that remind and re-engage: This is by far the most important of them all! It is more like, “out of site, out of mind”. If prospects have fallen off the radar send them something to re-engage them with your company such as a feedback or a survey. Worst case scenario: your prospect either doesn’t respond or opts out of your emails. That way you actually weed out the ones that are actually interested in your offerings.

In the digital marketing world, PPC, SEO and email nurturing go hand in hand. In fact, emails are the most important and effective nurturing mechanism by far. Emails help leads get more information to make better decisions and they need to be nurtured after the initial point of contact to eventually increase the conversion rate.

Business lessons from Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist, philosopher, author, and is perhaps the most influential scientists to ever live. He published many scientific and non-scientific works and is popularly known for his explanations & research on the Quantum theory. He is considered the father of modern physics and has influenced many modern day entrepreneurs. Here are a few business lessons to learn from Einstein:

Curiosity is the key

Ask yourself this question: What piques your curiosity? What makes one business to succeed and the other to fail? Always searching for the right mix or the right answer is what drives a business owner. The pursuit of your curiosity is the secret to your business.

Use the power of Imagination

Imagination is everything. It is more important than knowledge. Are you using your imagination in your business? It is always important to remember that imagination pre-plays your future. Are you exercising your “imagination muscles” daily? Einstein once said, “don’t let something as powerful as your imagination lie dormant”. Imagination gives birth to innovation.

Create Value

It’s simple: Time + creating value = SUCCESS

Don’t waste your time trying to be successful, spend your time creating value: value for your customers, value for people and value for society. If you’re valuable, then you will attract more business and therefore more success.

Determination

Through sheer determination and perseverance you can break all boundaries! Are you willing to persevere until you get to your intended business goal? Are you willing to be focused with a clear cut objective and mission? Do you have the tenacity, courage and will power to sail through tough times? A business built on the core values of determination and perseverance becomes the ultimate gainer in prospective.

Be more present

There is a popular saying: “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

Learn to be present where you are; give your all to whatever you’re currently doing. Multitasking is a killer to productivity and innovation in any business. Focused energy is like burning power, and it’s the difference between success and failure of any business or business owner.

The West Bank “Silicon Wadi”

The West Bank is becoming the budding Palestinian tech sector and though outsourcing contracts are the foundation of the industry there, the business model that the West Bank tech sector looks to is not similar to the Indian outsourcing setup i.e. numbers amplified due to the immense population, but more that of Israel.

Innovation, creativity and being ahead of the curve” is the ultimate goal.

The Palestinian I.T. Association of Companies recently listed 125 members, about three-quarters of them based in the West Bank and the rest in Gaza. Palestinian business owners admit that the industry is still in its nascent stage, with total outsourcing revenue estimated to be not more than $6 million a year. However, they also understand that it can be an attractive opportunity for Israel-based firms because of its proximity, cultural familiarity, the talent of Palestinian engineers and their loyalty to their companies.

Many people here have attributed Cisco’s arrival in 2008 as a turning point for the industry and believe that if compared with other industries, the West Bank information and communications technology sector has an advantage: it is much less affected by impediments to movement, like the barriers, checkpoints and permit requirements that Israel imposes on the territory.

Economic experts and entrepreneurs say that the main asset of Palestinians is their young, well-educated, entrepreneurial-minded population. However, they also understand that there is an immediate need to gain maximum exposure from world business leaders and investors and overcome the image that the world has of the territory as a volatile conflict zone.