Thursday, July 30, 2015

Change Management In Practice: Why Does Change Fail? | UHY Dawgen Chartered Accountants Blog

“Resistance to change may be active or passive, overt or covert, individual or organised, aggressive or timid……… and on occasions totally justified.”
Sadly most significant change fails to meet the expectations and targets of the proposers. The failure is given the catchall name “resistance”, yet resistance can be principled and creative as well as from vested interest. Top management is frequently unreasonable in its expectations and time scale, forgetting the process it went through when it decided to make the change.
An effective change manager will prepare an organisation for change in the early stages of project definition and stakeholder review, by taking managers through a similar sales process and responding to their apparent resistance: the “creative conflict.”
This process is likely to improve the project definition and buy in. It will also ensure that it is clear the moment resistance becomes “vested interest.”
It is unrealistic to expect an independent change manager to tackle vested interest resistance but the change director can use his or her intervention as a signal to the organisation – such interventions should be few but telling.
An independent change manager is a cross between a foil and a lightning conductor – the foil ensuring that positive energy is deflected to the right place, the lightening conductor removing negative energy from the organisation.
Avoiding failure: managing resistance
Resistance is a key element in why change fails.
A past informal UK survey of 120 government transformation programmes identified that:
• 15% achieved their objectives
• A further 20% failed to achieve their objectives but were nevertheless regarded as satisfactory
• 65% were unsatisfactory.
A subsequent discussion forum on ecademy.com identified 7 key reasons why change fails. (The list is virtually identical to one made by Kotter at Harvard 15 years ago).
1. The organisation had not been clear about the reasons for the change and the overall objectives. This plays into the hands of any vested interests.
2. They had failed to move from talking to action quickly enough. This leads to mixed messages and gives resistance a better opportunity to focus.
3. The leaders had not been prepared for the change of management style required to manage a changed business or one where change is the norm. “Change programmes” fail in that they are seen as just that: “programmers”. The mentality of “now we’re going to do change and then we’ll get back to normal” causes the failure. Change as the cliché goes is a constant; so a one off programme, which presumably has a start and a finish, doesn’t address the long-term change in management style.
4. They had chosen a change methodology or approach that did not suit the business. Or worse still had piled methodology upon methodology, programme upon programme. One organisation had 6 sigma, balanced scorecard and IIP methodology all at the same time.
5. The organisation had not been prepared and the internal culture had ‘pushed back’ against the change.
6. The business had ‘ram raided’ certain functions with little regard to the overall business (i.e. they had changed one part of the process and not considered the impact up or downstream) In short they had panicked and were looking for a quick win or to declare victory too soon.
7. They had set the strategic direction for the change and then the leaders had remained remote from the change (sometimes called ‘Distance Transformation’) leaving the actual change to less motivated people. Success has many parents; failure is an orphan.
Very few organisations will manage all 7! However any one in isolation will make the change programme inconsistent and aggravate resistance. Advance planning and stakeholder management will avoid some of these pitfalls. Furthermore the list is an invaluable diagnostic tool for identifying why (and where) resistance is taking place, giving an opportunity to defuse resistance by correcting the mistake.
Conclusion
• Resistance can be healthy (a pearl can result)
• Unknown, unanticipated, unquantified, unaddressed resistance will always be dangerous.
• A badly thought out process and implementation will always result in resistance
• An independent change manager can bring the independence, experience, and objectivity to manage resistance.
• A successful change is essential in creating a change culture

Sunday, July 26, 2015

How is accounting used in business? | UHY Dawgen Chartered Accountants Blog





It might seem obvious, but in managing a business, it's important to understand how the business makes a profit. A company needs a good business model and a good profit model.  A business sells products or services and earns a certain amount of margin on each unit sold. The number of units sold is the sales volume during the reporting period. The business subtracts the amount of fixed expenses for the period, which gives them the operating profit before interest and income tax.



It's important not to confuse profit with cash flow. Profit equals sales revenue minus expenses. A business manager shouldn't assume that sales revenue equals cash inflow and that expenses equal cash outflows. In recording sales revenue, cash or another asset is increased. The asset accounts receivable is increased in recording revenue for sales made on credit. Many expenses are recorded by decreasing an asset other than cash. For example, cost of goods sold is recorded with a decrease to the inventory asset and depreciation expense is recorded with a decrease to the book value of fixed assets. Also, some expenses are recorded with an increase in the accounts payable liability or an increase in the accrued expenses payable liability.



Remember that some budgeting is better than none. Budgeting provides important advantages, like understanding the profit dynamics and the financial structure of the business. It also helps for planning for changes in the upcoming reporting period. Budgeting forces a business manager to focus on the factors that need to be improved to increase profit.  A well-designed management profit and loss report provides the essential framework for budgeting profit. It's always a good idea to look ahead to the coming year. If nothing else, at least plug the numbers in your profit report for sales volume, sales prices, product costs and other expense and see how your projected profit looks for the coming year.

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Managing A Small Business Can Be Tough | Dawkins Brown FCCA,CA,ACFE | LinkedIn

Running a small business is tough because the buck stops at you for absolutely everything. The difference between success and failure can be a fine line. A small mistake in the first two years can knock a small business owner for six whilst a large new customer can propel you very quickly to new horizons.
Small business owners need to deal with all aspects of the business from book keeping, marketing, innovation, distribution, finance and customers that refuse to pay. Large companies have a separate department for each of the above tasks.
If you make a mistake in your record keeping the Inland Revenue comes knocking on your door. They work on the rule that you have read all their pamphlets and do not class ignorance as a defence. What a bunch of losers!
Countless sleepless nights, arguments with bank managers, disputes with suppliers and angry customers can all lead to stress overload.
And this is just the start, especially if you have gone into business with a friend! Make sure that everything you have agreed on is in writing so that further down the road there are no disputes about what was agreed. Better still do not go into business with a friend! Your Friend should be your Bank!
The first couple of years are the hardest as most banks have very tough lending criteria for small businesses. Do not hesitate to change your bank manager or even your bank if you are not getting a sympathetic response. Not all banks are the same. Some even offer free banking services for the first couple of years!
Having a good accountant who will not start billing you the second you call, can help a lot. If you have friend who also happens to be an accountant then this could prove invaluable. Do not be scared to change your accountant or lawyer at the start. Building the right relationships at the beginning is critical.
Another problem small business face is absenteeism. If one member of staff is of ill it can reduce the entire workforce by fifty percent! It's a great idea to have someone you can rely on as a backup. Another great idea is to possibly take on two part timers rather than one employee. They can both act as back ups for each other.
It's important that you plan your growth. Obviously we would all like to see really good growth but if a business grows too fast it can lead to disaster. In some cases you might have to rein it until cash flows allow for another spurt.
Factoring your debts - where a finance company pays you upfront 80% of any outstanding invoices and then does the job of chasing payments can really help here.
Never be afraid to change tracks if the something is not working. If you are selling products that are not making you money - change direction. If you have a customer who takes up too much time for very little profit - dump him. If you have a supplier who keeps letting you down - find a new one. If you have an obnoxious employee - find someone else now before you waste too much time training the wrong person.
Be creative and always on the lookout for that special idea, promotion material or something different to get your customers talking about you.
Once you have run your own company successfully and got used to making your own decisions, it can be very exhilarating & chances are that you will never work for someone again. Need Help? Call us at UHY Dawgen 908-4007 or email:info@uhy-ja.com

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Small Business Marketing: Boosting The Profitability Of Your Business



Are you always looking for small business marketing help that will allow you to not only have a successful enterprise but one that is capable of growth now and in the future? This should be the hope of most entrepreneurs, but many are simply trying to keep the doors of their institution open. Far too many companies fail because the focus is always on the wrong thing. Marketing is important, but only if it is done in a way that will increase the profitability of the company instead of exposing it to more and more market risks.

What they need for the best small business marketing is a great business plan. A good business plan takes into account not only the type of business, but who your target client or consumer is, what your growth potential is, and what your market risks are. It can be difficult to adequately market a business if the owner doesn't have a plan as to what they want to do with it, or if they don't know where their company is going. A plan will help direct an owner and business in every way, from the processes followed every day to how the enterprise is marketed."



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Marketing to Generation X and Y

If you're trying to market to adults who were born between 1965 and 1994, then you need to understand the best method for reaching generation X and generation Y.
Who is Generation X? Gen Xers were born between 1965 – 1976 and make up about 17% of the U.S. population. As a whole, this group is both independent and skeptical, existing in the shadow of Baby Boomers. As this group moves into their 30s and 40s, Gen Xers are establishing themselves as consumers who are starting families and buying homes.
Who is Generation Y? Individuals born between 1977 – 1994 are considered Gen Yers and make up about 25% of the U.S. population. This group is generally idealistic, optimistic, and patriotic. They consume media in extremely fragmented ways, representing the next big wave in our demographic makeup.
Gen Xers and Gen Yers have a number of things in common. Both groups grew up with recessions, single-parent households, cable TV, the Internet and other personal technology. Consequently, these groups consume media differently than earlier generations. Communicating with them through traditional marketing channels can be difficult. So, how can you reach these groups, communicate your message, and get them to take action?
The answer is more traditional than you think. In combination with online marketing, direct mail is one of the most powerful ways to market to both Gen X and Y. According to a recent study conducted by InnoMedia, NuStats, and Vertis, 87% of Gen Y and 86% of Gen X bring in the mail the day it's delivered. 73% of Gen Y and 68% of Gen X retail direct mail readers have used coupons received in the mail. Gen X and Y consumers rate 75% of the mail they receive as valuable.
To reach Gen X and Y with direct mail, there are number of basic marketing practices you should keep in mind. Before discussing these tips, keep in mind that your direct mail efforts can be supplemented with online marketing in the form of targeted site advertising, key word buys, or perhaps giving consumers a reason to visit you online via email (contests, sweepstakes, discounts, etc.).
Direct Mail is most effective when you understand your audience, time your campaign appropriately, provide a compelling offer, and develop a relevant message.
· Audience. Knowing your audience is essential for the success of any direct marketing campaign. Having information about Gen Xers or Yers in general terms is a place start, but you need to dig deeper and develop a fuller understanding of the segment. You should know what motivates them, what there greatest pains are, their latent needs, and what products or solutions they currently use. Once you've gotten to know your audience, other marketing criteria can fall into place.
· Timing. Communicating your message at the right time can make all the difference in your marketing results. Selling tax software immediately after April 15th won't produce the results you're looking for. Therefore, you need to have an understanding of your audience's timeline and when they are in the market to buy your product or service. Be sure to reach them with enough time to respond to your offer, but don't leave it open ended.
· Offer. Many consumers need a reason to buy, especially Gen Xers who are normally skeptical. Your offer should provide some benefit to the buyer as well as provide some level of comfort in moving forward with a purchase. This can be in the form of a satisfaction guarantee or something similar. One great technique is to place your offer on the outside of the envelope that contains your marketing materials. This can help to differentiate your mail and get your envelope opened by prospects.
· Message. Your message needs to resonate with prospective buyers. Do you understand their needs? Have you communicated benefits as well as features? Are you solving a problem for them? Have you provided a simple, yet compelling message? Many direct marketers talk about the "long" letter versus the "short" letter. There are a number of studies that validate the use of both long a short letters in a direct marketing pieces. As long as your message resonates with buyers, it doesn't matter how long it is. Be sure to test your messages on an ongoing basis.
If you're marketing to either Generation X, Y, or both, use direct mail in your marketing mix. Individuals in these groups respond to direct mail. Keep in mind however, that a direct marketing piece should be supplemented with other forms of marketing – Internet marketing, search engine optimization, advertising, etc. Direct mail is your key to success with Generations X and Y when used as the main vehicle of your marketing campaign.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Marketing to Generation X and Y | Dawkins Brown FCCA,CA,ACFE | LinkedIn

If you're trying to market to adults who were born between 1965 and 1994, then you need to understand the best method for reaching generation X and generation Y.
Who is Generation X? Gen Xers were born between 1965 – 1976 and make up about 17% of the U.S. population. As a whole, this group is both independent and skeptical, existing in the shadow of Baby Boomers. As this group moves into their 30s and 40s, Gen Xers are establishing themselves as consumers who are starting families and buying homes.
Who is Generation Y? Individuals born between 1977 – 1994 are considered Gen Yers and make up about 25% of the U.S. population. This group is generally idealistic, optimistic, and patriotic. They consume media in extremely fragmented ways, representing the next big wave in our demographic makeup.
Gen Xers and Gen Yers have a number of things in common. Both groups grew up with recessions, single-parent households, cable TV, the Internet and other personal technology. Consequently, these groups consume media differently than earlier generations. Communicating with them through traditional marketing channels can be difficult. So, how can you reach these groups, communicate your message, and get them to take action?
The answer is more traditional than you think. In combination with online marketing, direct mail is one of the most powerful ways to market to both Gen X and Y. According to a recent study conducted by InnoMedia, NuStats, and Vertis, 87% of Gen Y and 86% of Gen X bring in the mail the day it's delivered. 73% of Gen Y and 68% of Gen X retail direct mail readers have used coupons received in the mail. Gen X and Y consumers rate 75% of the mail they receive as valuable.
To reach Gen X and Y with direct mail, there are number of basic marketing practices you should keep in mind. Before discussing these tips, keep in mind that your direct mail efforts can be supplemented with online marketing in the form of targeted site advertising, key word buys, or perhaps giving consumers a reason to visit you online via email (contests, sweepstakes, discounts, etc.).
Direct Mail is most effective when you understand your audience, time your campaign appropriately, provide a compelling offer, and develop a relevant message.
· Audience. Knowing your audience is essential for the success of any direct marketing campaign. Having information about Gen Xers or Yers in general terms is a place start, but you need to dig deeper and develop a fuller understanding of the segment. You should know what motivates them, what there greatest pains are, their latent needs, and what products or solutions they currently use. Once you've gotten to know your audience, other marketing criteria can fall into place.
· Timing. Communicating your message at the right time can make all the difference in your marketing results. Selling tax software immediately after April 15th won't produce the results you're looking for. Therefore, you need to have an understanding of your audience's timeline and when they are in the market to buy your product or service. Be sure to reach them with enough time to respond to your offer, but don't leave it open ended.
· Offer. Many consumers need a reason to buy, especially Gen Xers who are normally skeptical. Your offer should provide some benefit to the buyer as well as provide some level of comfort in moving forward with a purchase. This can be in the form of a satisfaction guarantee or something similar. One great technique is to place your offer on the outside of the envelope that contains your marketing materials. This can help to differentiate your mail and get your envelope opened by prospects.
· Message. Your message needs to resonate with prospective buyers. Do you understand their needs? Have you communicated benefits as well as features? Are you solving a problem for them? Have you provided a simple, yet compelling message? Many direct marketers talk about the "long" letter versus the "short" letter. There are a number of studies that validate the use of both long a short letters in a direct marketing pieces. As long as your message resonates with buyers, it doesn't matter how long it is. Be sure to test your messages on an ongoing basis.
If you're marketing to either Generation X, Y, or both, use direct mail in your marketing mix. Individuals in these groups respond to direct mail. Keep in mind however, that a direct marketing piece should be supplemented with other forms of marketing – Internet marketing, search engine optimization, advertising, etc. Direct mail is your key to success with Generations X and Y when used as the main vehicle of your marketing campaign.