The Art of Managing People

Managing people has always been a challenge everywhere. This is because people are difficult to manage and most managers too lack the skill of effective people management. This is why we are X-raying this book entitled “The Art of Managing People”. It is co-written by Dr. Phillip Hunsaker and Dr.Anthony Alessandra, two brilliant management experts.Hunsaker is a professor of management and director of management programmes, School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego. He is a renowned consultant, speaker and author of many best-selling books on management. As for Alessandra, he is a highly-respected sales, marketing and management consultant as well as an award-winning public speaker. He has written more than 100 articles.According to Hunsaker and Alessandra, the art of managing people productively and effectively is a dynamic process that is ever changing and evolving, and many of the managerial concepts proposed only a few years ago cannot and will not work in today’s environment. These experts ascribe this development to the fact that people, business environment, government and world have changed, while scarcity of resources has worsened, especially the valuable resource of skilled labour.Hunsaker and Alessandra submit that attracting, training, motivating and keeping employees have become much more difficult and expensive, adding that these will even get worse in the future. They submit that this text has been written to overcome many of the traditional manager-employee relationship problems. According to these authors, when a manager establishes a friendly yet productive working atmosphere, the benefits to the whole organisation are substantial.These authors assert that the text offers you practical strategies, guidelines and techniques for developing interpersonal skills critical to the improvement of relations with employees; how to understand differences among people and behave accordingly; assessing and improving current working situations; creating trust between managers and employees, etc.Hunsaker and Alessandra say person-to-person skills are central to the development of an effective team of satisfied and energetic workers. They educate that allowing your workers to express their own personalities and maximise their potential will reduce stress within the workforce, create a positive spirit throughout the company and increase the organisation’s productivity and profitability.This text is segmented into three parts of 19 chapters. Part one has a generic subject matter of building productive managerial relationships, and covers the first five chapters. Chapter one is entitled “Adjusting effectively to personal style differences”. According to Hunsaker and Alessandra here, interactive management is a process of dealing with people as individuals in order to build trust, openness and honesty in the manager-employee relationship, thereby improving productivity in the organisational set-up. In their words, “To treat your employees as unique individuals, you as the manager must understand what makes them different from one another. With this knowledge, you can go about managing your employees as unique individuals with unique personalities, problems, and needs. This ‘custom-tailored’ approach to managing employees in an organisational setting is one of the major thrusts of interactive management.”Chapter two is entitled “Learning how to learn”. These authors say here that successful managers in today’s rapidly-changing world are distinguished not so much by a set of technical skills as by their ability to learn and adapt to the fluctuating demands of their careers. They stress that continuing success requires the ability to explore new opportunities and learn from past successes and failures.Hunsaker and Alessandra say one purpose for studying the learning process is to understand how people go about generating concepts, rules and principles from their experiences as guides for their future behaviour, and how they modify these concepts to improve their effectiveness in new situations.In chapters three to five, these authors discuss concepts such as doing unto others; deciding how to decide; and analysing transactional styles.Part two is summarily woven together as “Interactive communication skills” and contains eight chapters, that is, chapters six to 13. Chapter six is entitled “The art of questioning”. Here, Hunsaker and Alessandra educate that one of the most critical and valuable tools in the manager’s arsenal of communication skills, is the art of questioning.They add that the ability of the manager to ask the right questions at the right time to help his or her employees best is an essential and integral part of interactive management. “Skilful questioning simplifies the manager’s job because it gets employees to ‘open up’. The employee feels free to reveal inner feelings, motives, needs, current situations, goals, and desires. With this knowledge, the manager is in a much better position to guide the employee to the ultimate achievement of personal, professional, and organisational goals,” assert Hunsaker and Alessandra.In chapters seven to 13, they beam their analytical searchlight on concepts such as the power of listening; projecting the appropriate image; communicating through voice tones; using body language effectively; spatial arrangements saying things; how your use of time talks; and making sure with feedback.Part three, the last part has a general subject matter of interactive problem-solving and covers the last six chapters, that is, chapters 14 to 19. Chapter 14 is entitled “Problem-solving together”. Hunsaker and Alessandra educate that when managers are asked how they make decisions and solve problems, the typical response is usually something like “I don’t know. I just do what has to be done”. In the words of these authors, “Although they may not be able to specify what steps they take or what rules they apply, all would probably agree that making ‘good’ decisions and effectively solving problems are the essence of good management.”In chapters 15 to 19, Hunsaker and Alessandra discuss concepts such as defining the problem; developing action plans; implementing action; following through; and what to do with what you have learnt.As far as style is concerned, this text is on the high rung of the ladder. For instance, the language of the text is simple while the organisation of concepts is okay. The authors use graphical embroidery for visual reinforcement of readers’ understanding. What’s more, the title is short but assertive.However, grammatical errors are noticed in the text. One of these is, “Letting your workers express their own personalities and maximise their potentials…” (outside back cover), instead of “Letting your workers express their own personalities and maximise their potential…” Note that “Potential” is an uncountable noun and therefore does not structurally take an “S”). Another error is that of structural redundancy, that is, “Much more difficult and much more expensive” (page xi) instead of the elliptical version “Much more difficult and expensive”.In spite of these errors, this text still passes for a masterpiece. It is a must-read and the tips must-apply for anybody that wants to become well educated in the art of management in the New Year.

Why Inexperience Will Cause Newbie Internet Marketers to Fail

Failure. The one thing all Internet marketers never want to hear. And that is understandable Nobody wants to fail, right?I have researched some of the reasons why most newbie internet marketers fail. In this article, you may identify yourself – or others you know. This article is not meant to be one of condemnation. It is being delivered so you can identify what areas you can improve and avoid the dreaded “F” word!First, let me state up front that I mean nothing derogatory with the term “newbie.” Everyone was a newbie at some point in time. It is kind of like being a called a “rookie” in major league sports. Once you have that first year under your belt, you are no longer a rookie. The same for internet marketing. However, a “newbie” could mean a 5 year marketer if that person continues to make “rookie mistakes.” I am using the term “newbie” simply because most new comers to internet marketing are looking for the “quick buck” and most tend to make the same mistakes – “rookie mistakes.”It is my intention to provide you with the information I have discovered and identified my own shortcoming with as well. I may not have made all of the mistakes I will get into, but I have made more than one of them (I can attest to that)! But I am including a few of the others I have not made (phew!) because I have found there are many people who have made them.The Number 1 Reason Why Newbie Internet Marketers Fail: They Do Not Have the ExperienceThat is pretty clear, right?Most newbies lack the experience of marketing a product in which they never have a face to face interaction with their clients. Most people understand about face-to-face marketing and the art of “smiling, agreeing with the statements made by the customer, etc.” Internet marketing is a completely different environment.Experience in this area is the only way to gain the skill set necessary to be successful. Does that mean the newbie marketer is already destined to fail? No. It means the newbie marketer must make the extra effort to ensure success.By learning the methods needed to capture the attention of the buyer; learning what the potential preferences are of the buyer; learning the reasons why the buyer desires their product; learning how to communicate the advantages of their product to satisfy the buyer’s needs – all without any verbal interaction. Only using the written word (and in audio or video marketing as well – but the newbie will never “see” the client).This means the new internet marketer must make a concentrated effort to study the market; study the products; study the tactics used by the experts. This takes time and dedication. It means admitting you do not know everything. It means admitting you cannot do it on your own (as least not right away). It means accepting the fact that immediate riches will probably not be flooding into your back account right way.Now, there are exceptions to every rule. But those exceptions are few and far between. But most newbie marketers (myself included when I first started out) think “they” will be the exception and will reach financial independence ahead of their peers. This mindset will almost always result in discouragement and failure.What are the ways to overcome this “Inexperience Factor?”Probably the best way to gain experience is by “doing.” That sounds simple enough, right? But let me explain…The worst thing a newbie can do is to enter the highly competitive field of internet marketing and think he or she is going to become rich overnight while competing against some marketers who have been doing this for years. The best solution to this situation is to team up with an experienced marketer who can guide them through the first stages of internet marketing and help the newbie avoid some of the pitfalls that plague newbies and drive them from success straight into failure.There are numerous places to gain that type of experience and information. It would take volumes to write about each one. My intent here is simply to make the newbie marketer aware that “you are not destined to failure.” As a matter of fact, failure in and of itself is also a learning tool. Thomas Edison was quoted as saying, when questioned by a reporter as to why he was not discouraged after failing 10,000 times in making the light bulb, his answer was, “Why should I be discouraged? I found 10,000 ways it would not work!”So it is with gaining experience in internet marketing. You can go the way of 10,000 failures on your own, just so you know not to try it that way again, or you can read about the one or two ways a person who has had success did it and then follow the same path. I’m not talking about “copying” the person (though some advocate that). I’m talking about seeing what your comfort zone is; I’m talking about what “clicks” with your personality, experiences, desires and goals.Not every method works for every person. If you examine successful marketers, almost all of them utilize the fundamentals but then they tend to specialize in certain areas. Take, for example, a football team. You see the players all decked out in their uniforms and you can rationally say about any one individual, “He is a football player.” And that statement would be true.But if you look at the individual players and analyze their strengths and weaknesses, you soon realize that some of them weigh 300+ pounds. That person probably is not a wide receiver or a running back. Most likely, he is a lineman. Another is short and lanky and you see him out kicking field goals all practice long. You see a player throwing balls through tires hung at different levels and different yardages – he is probably a quarterback. Each person has a unique set of skills they bring to the “football team.”So it is with internet marketing. You may not be cut out to be a marketer in the self-help niche. You may be more of a hands on type of person who enjoys working on cars or building houses, making you uniquely qualified to assist others in that niche. People looking for information on “How to fix their car” or “How to remodel their kitchen.” Others may be more uniquely qualified to give “relationship advice.” Others on “How to build a website.”You see, there are 1,001 different ways (actually more than that) to make a living as an online marketer. YOU have a special skill set that somebody needs to know. And you have the opportunity to share the experience you already possess in that area – and be paid for it! You need to sit down and ask yourself (and give an honest answer), “What do I know that other people always ask me about?”It could be anything from repairing a clogged drain to fixing a car engine; from hanging dry wall to installing landscaping. Whatever you enjoy doing; whatever you are always helping someone with; whatever people are always seeking your advice on – these are the areas you need to focus. This is probably going to be your niche market. This is the area you will probably be the most successful.The successful marketers are able to identify what they did wrong and begin to take corrective action to put them on the path to success. Failure to identify weak areas will just mean the marketer is more likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

Let’s Talk Marketing Strategy

You’re a new non-profit and wondering how you’ll come up with money to support your cause, right? You’ve heard the hype about grants and loads of free federal money that are available to anyone willing to lend a helping hand in society, but have you done any serious investigation into the processes that sustain a non-profit in the long haul?Let’s start with a few pieces of common misinformation:Grants are sustainable.This is far from the truth. Grant funding is like a crutch. The whole idea behind setting aside a chunk of money is to help an organization establish a project or keep an impactful project in place when times are tough. Grant money isn’t intended to sustain an organization fully.Grants are available for everyone.Most grant money is available to government entities and non-profit organizations. If an individual or for-profit business, chances are your grant search is going to be grueling. Not to mention, probably spend more resource applying for the money than receive IF you get funded. Therefore, seeking grant money is a largely ineffective marketing approach for almost every non-profit organization.Grants are available for everything.Grant money for specific causes that advance a social mission. Federal money for very specific and foundation money is set aside to advance a specific purpose set forth by that foundation. Although true that a foundation may support minority-owned businesses, the competition is fierce. There are thousands of people just like yourself searching for that same money.So, does that mean you should give up? Absolutely Not.But, you should devise a strategic plan based on this information. Using a transaction cost analysis (TCA) framework, let’s look at some of the most cost-effective forms of marketing for ANY non-profit organization and then we’ll discuss how this all relates to your overall funding search. There are 6 major types of marketing for organizations with social missions:Direct mailMost of us associate direct mail with those little flyers we get stuffed between the newspapers or postcards offering 50% at the next department store sale. direct mail has proved to be valuable in capturing the attention of prospective donors and in following up with people who have previously donated money to a cause. Direct mail is relatively inexpensive but does not yield a huge response.Direct Response MarketingDirect response marketing constitutes a variety of techniques but is commonly associated with practices such as television, magazine, and radio advertisements where consumers are encouraged to take part in a direct call to action. Direct response marketing is expensive and relatively ineffective in reaching targeted audiences.Catalogue MarketingCatalogue marketing is generally an approach used by businesses that sell products or packed services but can be used by non-profit organizations that sell cause-related apparel. Although catalogue marketing has a low return rate, it has been found to increase among use of other marketing techniques.Telephone MarketingWe’re all familiar with telemarketers-primarily the reason telephone marketing gets a bad rep but if can be a very productive means of personal selling if done properly and legally. One of the main problems with telephone marketing is the training required to ensure that all phone calls meet regulatory requirements and that the sales people themselves do a good job at representing your organization.Personal SellingExactly how it sounds, personal selling is any face-to-face encounter that has the potential to turn into an investment in your cause. Face-to-face selling has a high rate of return however it requires the most resources of any marketing tactic because it requires research, scheduling, coordination, and often multiple meetings between executives.Online MarketingThere is no doubt that the internet has changed the marketplace and it is also one of the most cost-effective methods of marketing. The problem is have historically fallen behind with online trends and don’t make investments in online marketing processes, never mind an online marketing plan. For a social venture to be successful in the 21st century, it’s almost impossible to avoid investing in a website and social media.In a recent study published by Direct Marketing: An International Journal, TCA was used to measure the effectiveness of these approaches based on the level of control over direct marketing (DM) resources compared to the cost to implement each approach. Not surprisingly, the most productive forms of marketing were namely personal selling, telephone, direct mail, and online while the least cost-effective forms were direct response and catalogue. However, the findings presented in this study are consistent in that they support the use of multiple forms of marketing as the most effective approach.What does marketing have to do with fundraising?Most non-profits are small, and many of these organizations sustain their projects through donations from the public rather than grant funding. This means that marketing (or fundraising) is one of the most vital metrics that every organization should pay close attention to when planning how they sustain their operations, pay their employees, and build capacity. So, if we take grants off the table, we can first consider other forms of revenue generating pursuits, including:1. Individual Pledges2. Corporate Giving3. Sponsorships4. Fundraising Events5. Products/Services6. Major DonationsReferencesMallin, M. L., & Finkle, T. A. (2007). Social Entrepreneurship and Direct Marketing. Direct Marketing: An International Journal, 1(2), 68-77. doi:10.1108/17505930710756833

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.
70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary marketing activity.
52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.
More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience
The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals
Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium
By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services
Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content
Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar
Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test
Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration
Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI
Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize
There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

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