Posts Tagged ‘strategies’

Donna Cox


Written by Donna Moulds, Mantra Training & Development Pty Ltd 

In the training market, training packages are continuously being changed, updated and endorsed. This is related to many factors including continues improvement and also what the industry is saying about the needs of the marketplace and delivery of quality programs. One of the recent changes is the Training & Assessment field is the new cert IV.

We need to be able to assess the change and decide how we feel about it and the set an action plan to make this a positive experience.

Do I have all thew facts to make an informed decision?

Who will be effected b the changes?
What does this change mean for me, business?
Why are these changes necessary?
How will this benefit the industry, the people?
When does this need to be implemented?

New …….Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110)

The new Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110) replaces the superseded Certificate IV qualification (TAA40104) and will become the new ‘entry level qualification required for trainers and assessors of training package qualification as determined by the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF2010).

Program participants will develop skills and knowledge in exceptional training practices, assessment and developing and delivering effective and engaging training programs every time.
Participants achieving this qualification will develop skills and knowledge in:

 The role of training in organisations and the Skills Framework that supports and governs
 The principles of competency based training and assessment
 The training cycle including identifying training needs and promoting training
 Identifying a range of training delivery methods & resources
 Creative and innovative learning strategies and resources
 Planning, designing and delivering effective training sessions incorporating
 Communication skills
 Empower, engage and motivate learners
 Adult learning principles
 The learning environment and how to enhance opportunities for learner’s engagement
 Evaluating the effectiveness of training and making recommendations and implementing continuous improvement practices
 Planning, conducting and reviewing workplace assessments in accordance with the principles of assessment

As times goes on we will experience subtle changes that this qualification will bring and also see evidence of the training industry level of trainers and programs increase to a better standard. In our organisation we have experienced three of our training packages change and also the AQTF2010 being endorsed. This has an impact on our organisation in respect to costs time and professional development.

Here are some easy steps to manage changes in business:
Regular team communication
Prioritising changes
Managing the requirements and allocating teams and timelines
Continuous improvement strategies and documenting progress

Till next time keep productive and embrace change as something that is inevitable.

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Andrew Lawson - Business Coach

Andrew Lawson - Business Coach

 By Andrew Lawson www.bestpracticeconsulting.com.au

Businesses are often complacent about securing new and better quality clients, so that their development activities are minimal, or are not targeted to specific clients. Business development strategies are a key area to get right if you are striving to grow your client base or wish to discover ways to attract better quality clients.

Business development involves taking action so that it is better able to meet the needs of clients. This implies that your business:


  • has assessed the general and specific needs of clients
  • uses targeted business development strategies linked to specific needs
  • has ways of working that make clients feel comfortable and that address their specific needs
  • is open to regular feedback
  • is committed to continuous improvement.

Why use business development strategies?

Most businesses would agree that they primarily undertake business development strategies to grow their client lists and their revenue (= quantitative growth) and/or to get better at what they do (= qualitative growth). The most effective way to achieve both forms of growth is by focusing on meeting the needs of your clients. In a business development sense, meeting client needs is good for business because happy clients will return to your business time and time again. This builds repeat revenue. They will also usually refer people they know to the business, which in turn fuels word-of-mouth marketing and builds revenue further. In addition, feedback from clients continues to raise the bar in terms of quality.

So how do you undertake business development?

To ensure that you get the right clients for your practice the following four-step process is useful to consider.

Step 1: understand client needs 

Generally speaking all clients have four basic needs: to (a) be understood; (b) feel welcome; (c) feel important and (d) feel comfortable. However, there are a multitude of specific needs for people of different ages, sex, ethnicity, etc. Each of these needs must be catered for. The best way to determine your client needs is to ask them via client detail forms, one-on-one discussion and client surveys.  

Step 2: Align services with client needs

Once you fully understand client needs you need to link them to your business products or services using communication strategies, so that in the client’s mind their needs have been addressed. For example, if you run a medical practice a portion of your clients may regularly travel overseas so you could offer a travel vaccine service or a medical assessment service to address this need. The key business development function here is to let clients know about this service that aligns with their need.

Step 3: Provide services and an experience that meet or exceed client expectations

Team members need to be involved, empowered and trained to understand client needs and respond accordingly. Business owners and managers play a vital role in ensuring the team has clear guidance of what to do and why. Standardise the way you work so that you perform at a consistently high level. Make use of an office manual and use this as a resource for facilitating shared understanding. Always work on trying to exceed client expectations as part of your continuous improvement strategy.

Step 4: Determine whether client needs have been met

Ways to determine if client needs have been met include face-to-face meetings, follow-up phone calls or client satisfaction surveys.

Client satisfaction surveys allow for the collection and analysis of a large number of responses. Your survey should have specific questions about their needs, whether these needs are met, areas for improvement, etc. If you run a business which receives referrals, it is essential to survey clients and referrers as it is important understand the needs of both parties and to foster both relationships.

Once you have analysed your results share these with the team for their thoughts and feedback. Clients and staff may come up with a number of areas for action which affect business development, such as introducing new or improved services, changing staff attitudes to be more client focused, or using more effective written and verbal language to communicate with clients.

In conclusion
It is essential that business development focuses on meeting the needs of clients. Business development binds together all aspects of your workplace and is part of everyone’s role within the team. It is something we should all aspire to do on a day-to-day basis.

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Andrew Lawson - Business Coach

Andrew Lawson - Business Coach


By Andrew Lawson www.bestpracticeconsulting.com.au

There are business owners who continue to grow their business and always seem to go from strength to strength. Then there is everyone else who is well intentioned but struggle with the time to manage their business, let alone set goals and then work on achieving them.

It is a proven fact that most small to medium sized organisations do not have a written business plan. No documented business plan means that objectives and strategies are not captured, resulting in a business that lacks direction. In addition, an organisation without a business plan will often lack the confidence to solve their business issues. When business issues remain unresolved they can adversely affect cash flow, revenue and profitability.

The truth is that this lack of formal business planning is one of the major causes of business failure.

A business plan sets out what a business proposes to do and how it proposes to do it. Here are few practical steps to help create a powerful business plan to drive the success of your organisation.

Step 1 – Look at the strength and weaknesses of your competitors. By researching your competitors you are better equipped to understand why clients are attracted to your competitors (i.e. their strengths) and what gaps or niches exist in the market place (i.e. their weaknesses).

Step 2 – Outline the strengths and areas for improvement in your business.

Step 3 – Define the vision for your organisation.

Step 4 – Define your goals. These are areas you want to improve. Typically objectives tend to be financial, operational, business development, staff and IT related. Objectives should be quantifiable by an absolute amount, a percentage and have a specific timeframe for achievement.

Step 5 – Create the strategies which will deliver performance improvements, i.e. how your business will get there.

Step 6 – Identify a timeframe and owner for the achievement of each strategy.

The process of creating a business plan is more important than the document itself.

The process of business planning is beneficial because it gives you:

  • A chance to stop, reflect and learn from past mistakes or wins in your business.
  • An opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with members of the team.
  • A forum to think critically about goals, e.g. revenue and profit, and this results in targets being set which motivates the team to improve.

High-achievers in the small-to-medium size business sector admit that the turning point in their business was when they prepared their business plan.

Once you have created a sound plan, it is then essential to implement the plan with the support of the right process and people resources. In addition, it is essential to identify intervals for the review of performance against all objectives e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually. This will give feedback as to whether your strategies are working and give you an opportunity to change strategies if need be.

A well thought out business plan is the key to the long-term success of any business. Whether you are just starting a business, buying one already established or perhaps in need of extra finance for expansion you will need a business plan.

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Andrew Lawson - Business Coach

Andrew Lawson - Business Coach

Do you want to boost your business performance?
Do you desire greater returns from your business?
Are you open to ways of effectively improving your business?

Business success seems simple enough: you begin with a plan, you have some goals and strategies and you carry them out. However, the reality of operating a business can be very different.

The joy and freedom of running your own business can be clouded when business owners struggle for direction, get swamped by administration, suffer inconsistent cash flow and get stressed about staff or clients. Sound familiar? These problems can distract business owners from growing and taking their business to the next level.

Here are eight tried and tested techniques which focus on boosting your business.

1. “Start with the end in mind” (Dr Stephen Covey). Write down your goals and develop strategies for achieving these goals. Stay focused on things that meet you goals first.

2. Measure your performance. This feedback will let you know whether your strategies are working or not. This allows an opportunity to assess or change strategies.

3. Focus on your ideal clients. Know who are your most profitable clients, understand how to attract them and to convert these leads into sales. This is a big part of growing revenue.

4. Deliver outstanding client service. Ensure that every step of the client experience delivers a client-focused approach. Happy and satisfied clients will do business with you time and time again which builds ongoing revenue. In addition, they are great advocates for your business and they fuel your word-of-mouth promotion (which is FREE).

5. Get feedback from your clients. Find out what they like about you, what they don’t like and why they do business with you. You may also like to conduct client satisfaction surveys in order to make sure your clients’ needs are being met.

6. Invest in staff. Ongoing training programs show staff that the organisation is interested in and responsive to their needs for improvement. You also equip staff with the skills and tools to perform at their best, which is good for business.

7. Streamline and systemise. Create processes and systems that keep your operations running efficiently – and save time, energy and money in the long run. Think of the differences between a business with procedures and systems and one without and then consider what would happen to each business if you were hit by a bus tomorrow. Which would survive?

8. Be committed to continuous improvement. Review your practises, operations and performance regularly. Take time out to reflect on lessons learnt to improve the way you do things.

If you are worried about an aspect of your business or you would like an objective view of how you are performing or you would like to take your business to the next level, contact Andrew Lawson at Best Practice Consulting.

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