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7 Tips Adaptasi Usaha saat Pandemi

Ketika bisnis kembali dibuka setelah PSBB pandemi Covid-19, saatnya lakukan adaptasi kebutuhan baru pelanggan. Untuk memanfaatkan waktu ini sebaik mungkin, kita mungkin perlu mengubah metode pemasaran atau investasi bisnis. Para pebisnis dari komunitas UMKM memiliki beberapa kiat untuk menavigasi perubahan ini. Baca terus untuk ulasan selengkapnya:

Kenali cara menangani kejenuhan karena Covid-19

Banyak pelanggan yang sudah mulai bosan mendengar bagaimana tanggapan perusahaan, pebisnis atau brand terhadap Covid-19. Jadi, ketika bisnis kembali dibuka oleh pemerintah, Anda perlu mencari cara untuk menyesuaikan bisnis Anda dengan kenyataan tanpa membuat kejenuhan bertambah.

Contoh yang dapat dilihat adalah bagaimana KFC berkontribusi pada kepatuhan protokol Normal Baru dalam menyambut kembalinya bisnis mereka.

Tingkatkan promosi/iklan saat krisis

Meskipun traffic maupun interest pelanggan meningkat pada strategi promosi bisnis yang sudah Anda lakukan sekarang, krisis ekonomi akan pandemik kemungkinan akan berlanjut bahkan jauh setelah bisnis Anda dibuka kembali.  Hal ini menyebabkan beberapa bisnis untuk mengurangi anggaran promosi/iklan mereka untuk menjaga kesehatan arus kas perusahaan agar berhasil melewati krisis ini. Terutama media cetak seperti koran dan majalah yang dapat dilihat dari sangat berkurangnya jumlah iklan yang muncul hingga tutupnya media tersebut.

Namun berlainan dengan hal tersebut, saat ini adalah saat yang tepat untuk meningkatkan investasi bisnis Anda. Bagi pebisnis dan pelaku usaha, iklan adalah jenis investasi berharga yang cermat, bisa dengan cara promosi atau pasang iklan di media yang tepat. Yaitu iklan pada media daring; iklan digital atau online yang dapat dilihat mengalami peningkatan selama krisis ini.

Jenis-jenis iklan online/digital ada beragam, di antaranya ada iklan banner (iklan dengan ilustrasi gambar dan sedikit tulisan) dengan berbagai ukuran dan banyak pilihan posisi iklan, yang mana biasanya ketika pembaca klik iklan banner tersebut akan diarahkan ke website perusahaan atau ke artikel media online, untuk mengetahui lebih jelas tentang apa pesan atau informasi yang ingin disampaikan.

Selain itu juga ada iklan jenis content marketing berupa advertorial, yang mana bisa dikemas secara soft selling maupun hard selling. Jika perusahaan Anda sudah berinvestasi dengan pasang iklan di media online, berarti Anda sudah berada di jalur yang tepat.

Jalankan bisnis Anda lebih efisien dari sebelumnya

Banyak bisnis kehilangan pendapatan dalam beberapa bulan terakhir, sehingga penyesuaian sangat diperlukan saat Anda bersiap meningkatkan operasional bisnis agar dapat buka kembali. Misalnya, meningkatkan efisiensi bisnis dengan bantuan teknologi seperti sistem operasi untuk keuangan dan manajemen bisnis Anda.

Buatlah acara virtual yang sukses

Bahkan dengan banyaknya bisnis yang telah dibuka Kembali, masih aka nada acara berskala besar yang perlu ditunda di masa mendatang. Ini berarti Anda perlu merencanakan kembali bagaimana acara Anda akan dilakukan pada masa sekarang. Hal ini dapat dilakukan dengan menyelenggarakan berbagai acara virtual atau online. Webinar, seminar online, konser virtual maupun campaign kolaborasi online sudah dilakukan oleh banyak brand, baik yang dikelola sendiri maupun bekerjasama dengan mitra.

Cek bagaimana bisnis lain menangani krisis

Ada banyak hal yang perlu dipelajari dalam menavigasi waktu yang tidak pasti ini bagi bisnis dan industri lainnya. Seperti gencar melakukan promosi digital, melakukan program edukasi, maupun kolaborasi.

Membentuk dana darurat

Jika pandemic belum menunjukkan pentingnya menjaga cadangan dana darurat, maka tidak ada yang bisa Anda lakukan. Jika ditanya mengenai ukuran dana darurat yang sesuai, saran umum adalah untuk memiliki dana setidaknya 3-6 bulan biaya operasional dasar sebagai dana darurat. Ini dapat mencakup biaya seperti sewa, utilitas, transportasi dan asuransi.Konsep dana darurat ini sangat penting baik untuk pebisnis maupun perorangan.

Perbaiki konten Brand Anda

Covid-19 telah mengubah hampir segalanya bagi pelanggan. Jadi, jika konten Anda yang dulu sudah tidak berlaku pada situasi saat ini, maka Anda tidak lagi relevan dalam melayani pelanggan maupun melakukan bisnis Anda. Konten atau isi pesan brand yang bersifat berkaitan dan konsisten dapat menarik dan mempertahankan pelanggan atau audiens yang sudah ditetapkan sebagai target pasar bisnis Anda.

Jika Anda memiliki saran bisnis untuk UMKM dan lainnya, silakan kirim tips Anda ke Komunitas FMB Group: sosmedfmb@gmail.com

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How to wrap your business up with a nice little bow for year-end

Ah, the end of the year. It’s time for holiday promotions, boosted sales (hopefully), and year-end preparations. If you don’t prepare for the end of the year and follow a checklist, you’ll probably find yourself burning the candle at both ends.

Coming from an experienced business owner, it’s never too early to start preparing for the year-end. Get a jump start on your year-end checklist and avoid stress by learning how to wrap up your business.

1. Complete End-Of-The-Year Reviews

The end of the year is a great time to review how well your team worked together. But, how can you see that? Cue performance review time.

Year-end is one of the best times of the year to hold performance reviews. You can discuss employees’ accomplishments from the year as well as goals they hope to reach in the new year. Not to mention, performance evaluations give you the opportunity to find out how your employees are feeling. Listen to your employees’ concerns and let them know their opinions matter.

2. Update Your Payroll Records

If you want to start on the right foot in the new year, you need to have all of your employee information organized. So, what does this mean for your business, you ask? Well, this means you need to get your payroll records in order before the year-end.

As an employer, it’s your duty to make sure everything is straight with your payroll records before tax time rolls around. Otherwise, it could cause a plethora of payroll problems for both you and your employees.

You can use payroll software to simplify the process and take the load off of your shoulders. If you opt to handle payroll yourself, be sure to handle tasks like:

  • Verifying employee wages, benefits, and deductions
  • Checking employment tax rates (they tend to change annually)
  • Making sure you recorded all paychecks
  • Recording year-end bonuses and payments.

The sooner you start, the better. When the new year starts, you’ll have even more on your plate, so it’s best that you get a head start on the end-of-the-year payroll process.

3. Tidy Up Your Accounting Books

If you want your accounting books to be in tip-top shape for the new year, take some time to organize your books and business receipts.

Keeping your books nice and tidy is an essential part of staying up-to-date for income tax season. And let’s face it, no business owner wants to be scrambling at the last minute (or maybe that’s just me).

Here are just a few of the things you should be doing at year-end to get your books in order:

  • Gather financial statements
  • Count and cross-check inventory
  • Organize business receipts
  • Reconcile bank accounts

To simplify your year-end accounting process even further, you can organize from the get-go (aka stay organized the entire year) or use accounting software to track financial information.

4. Review Your Business and Marketing Plans

Remember those goals you set at the end of last year in your business and marketing plans (and hopefully looked at throughout the year)? It’s time to revisit those goals you set and see where you stand.

Take a look at your business and marketing plans and review your year. Did you meet the goals you listed in your plans? Or, did you fall short somewhere?

If you didn’t reach your goals, use the end of the year to rethink your strategies and start fresh. Update your plans if you’ve had major changes to your business throughout the course of the year.

Remember, nobody’s perfect. Chances are, you’re going to have a few goals you didn’t reach. And that’s OK! Find out why you didn’t reach certain goals during the year and make it your mission to check it off your list in the new year.

5. Set Goals For The New Year

If you want to grow your business during the new year, you need to have a plan and set reachable business goals.

When the year starts to come to a close, set aside time to think about what goals you want to reach in the upcoming year. Some goals your small business might have for the new year include:

  • Opening a second business location
  • Making X sales in the first quarter
  • Hiring additional employees
  • Expanding your offerings

Your goals can be large (e.g., remodeling your store) or small (e.g., cleaning out your filing cabinet). When thinking about your goals, just make sure they’re attainable. Don’t set goals that you clearly can’t reach within the next year.

Based on your goals, build an action plan and timeline. Your action plan will help you stay on track and give you a timeline to complete said goals.

6. Do A Little Relaxing

Last but not least, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack at year-end. You’re a busy business owner, but that doesn’t mean you have to work your butt off 24/7.

According to one source, a whopping 70% of small business owners do not see a holiday as a vacation from work. Trust me when I say this is one statistic you do not want to fall into.

The best gift you can give yourself (and your family and friends) is your presence. So, attend that holiday party. Bake those cookies with your kids. Hang out with your loved ones. Do whatever you need to do to kick back, relax, and spend some quality time with the people you care about the most.

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Mitigating the Risk of Economic Crimes

In Indonesia, there are many forms of economic crime like smuggling, tax evasion, drug trafficking, human trafficking, violation of copyrights, bank frauds, embezzlement, credit card fraud and fraud of certificates of bills of lading. Indonesia has criminalized money laundering but they are facing many difficulties in implementing the laws. There are laws controlling economic crime relating to banking, copyright, trade and service marks, and there is a provision in Law No. 15 of 2002 which criminalizes money laundering (amended by Law No. 25 of 2003).

Generally, the perception of the type and amount of economic crime which occurs in Indonesia accords with the reported instances of economic crime. The notable exceptions to this statement involve asset misappropriation and money laundering. Only 15.6% of companies in Indonesia perceive asset misappropriation as prevalent economic crime, compared to 31.9% of companies reporting incidents over the past two years. As to money laundering, the perceived risk of occurrence is 16.4% compared to reported incidents of 2.8%.

In general Indonesia companies have realized their exposure to economic crimes by taking some detection and prevention measures. 85.3% of these companies surveyed have more than 5 methods in place, as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1 Mitigating risk of Economic Crime

Methods

Figure.2 on the following page shows that almost half of the economic crime cases detected in Indonesia were initially identified by tipping-mechanisms, including whistle-blower systems, and tip-offs from internal and external sources.

Figure-2 Mitigating risk of Economic Crime

Indonesian companies are increasingly promoting whistle-blowing policies as an integral part of their risk management program. When this detection tool is correctly implemented, it has the strong potential of effectively uncovering fraud–increasingly replacing the chance element of anonymous tip-offs.

Another proven detection method is an internal audit, where detection occurs in 27% cases. There are several detection measures that appear to be effective globally but not been reported as being effective in Indonesia such as corporate security, audit committees, rotation of staff and electronic automated suspicious transaction report systems.


We assist clients with various legal issues that arise in operating business on a daily basis including providing legal advice and creating legal documentation such as contracts. Contact us for corporate practice service at +62 21 5082 0033 or mail to mey@fmbpartner.com

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Who should be on your business money management team?

Don’t think that you have to be a millionaire entrepreneur before you build a business money management team because truthfully, it really helps to start as you mean to go on and upgrade as you go.

Being a good money steward from the start will help you grow your income more rapidly and make you feel really good about your money. So, no matter where you are right now, let’s talk about who should be on your business money team.

Team Member #1: Bookkeeper
The very first hire that we recommend (for your money management team) is a bookkeeper and this is even if you’re in very, very early stages of your business.

Let us tell you why.

For most of us, especially creative entrepreneurs, that kind of thing isn’t really in our zone of genius and it can really stress us out. Let’s say if you started in your business, maybe six months in and you are just looking at receipts all the time, and eventually, it will stressing you out about taxes, you will think about it a lot and it will be just mental clutter that you do not need.

That’s when you remember someone saying, you know, “Hire a bookkeeper.”

We really suggest that bookkeeper is the first person you add to your money team because it will really make you feel quite pro, but also it will save you money come tax time when everything is all organized.

The other thing that’s great about having a bookkeeper is if you get monthly or quarterly reports, it really does help you keep an eye on your income and what you pay attention to will grow.

Team Member #2: Accountant
The number two hire for your money team is an accountant. Now, you can start again just having someone who does your taxes once a year.

And remember, you could do it yourself but is it your zone of genius and is it how it makes you money? Usually, it’s not.

And this is again, just feels like a pro kind of thing in your business to make sure you’re doing things well. It also means that sometimes you get later tax filing deadlines if you’re going through an accountant.

So, you can upgrade, maybe you’ve already got an accountant, then we would suggest to take it to the next level.

Meet your accountant once a quarter. And again it’s just that really good way of paying attention to what’s happening with your money and every quarter you tackle a new project. It’s just having someone there in your corner who can help you.

Team Member #3: Financial Adviser
The next stage on from and accountant could be adding a financial adviser to your money team. So maybe you’re doing really well in your business and it’s time to start looking investment strategies.

If so, a financial adviser could be the next person that you need to add to your business money team.

Team Member #4: Money Mentor
Now the fourth group or person to add to your team is a money mentor, somebody who has done what you want to do and someone who has the results that you want to achieve. And I say it very strongly in that thing right, don’t get a mentor or don’t take business advice from people who haven’t achieved what you want to achieve.

So it’s all well and good too, you know, have your Uncle Bob tell you, you should do this or, you know, whatever. But sometimes you really need to get that advice from somebody who has been where you’ve been.

You can specifically seek out a mentor who had a very similar business model to you, had very similar pricing and very similar products. So you could ask them questions about different stages in their business, different money plateaus they had experienced and it will be incredibly rewarding because they really understood exactly where you are coming from and don’t try and push you into a different direction.

So that’s that fourth person, who is a money mentor who has had the financial results you want.

Team Member #5: Mastermind Group
The fifth group, and this is a group, to add to your money team is great mastermind buddies who again have a great money mindset and are a good mix of people who are at your level and above.

This is incredibly important and has been an incredible addition to the money team. You will really do see them, they don’t know it, they’re not employed by you but they are part of your business money team because every day you can have really honest conversations about money.

Yes, some of them have similar incomes to you and some of them earn four or five times more than you. And, that’s inspiring.

So sometimes you can grow out of mastermind groups. We can grow out of peer groups and you really need to look for that next level because it will stretch you, it will stretch your income and it will stretch what you see as possible.

So there are five groups. If we’ve missed any out, write them down in the comments because we would love to hear, you know, what actions you’ve been taking or what actions you’re inspired to take after reading to this about how to build a great business money management team.

Our bookkeepers are real humans with perfect books. You’re a small business owner with many things to do. FMB Partner has professional bookkeepers that experienced serving entrepreneurs. At this wonderful time of the year, let us take bookkeeping off your hands forever, so you can focus on what matters most. Ask us around at admin@fmbpartner.com or call us (+62)8996 777 879!

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Hati hati Fintech Ilegal

Industri fintech merupakan bagian dari ekonomi digital atau industri 4.0. Transaksi, melakukan pinjaman uang tanpa tatap muka, gerakan non-tunai  adalah hasil dari industri fintech yang berkembang pesat. Namun, di tengah perkembangan fintech Indonesia, tidak sedikit masyarakat yang tidak menyadari apakah penyelenggara fintech yang meminjamkan dana merupakan perusahaan yang legal atau ilegal.

Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) telah mengatur keberadaan penyelenggara fintech berjenis Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2PL) pada Peraturan Otoritas Jasa Keuangan Nomor 77/POJK.01/2016 tentang Layanan Pinjam Meminjam Uang Berbasis Teknologi Informasi (POJK 77/2016). POJK 77/2016 sebagai kerangka hukum fintech berjenis P2PL mewajibkan Penyelenggara/platform fintech lending untuk mengedepankan keterbukaan informasi terhadap calon pemberi pinjaman dan peminjamnya agar dapat menilai tingkat risiko peminjam dan menentukan tingkat bunga.

Menjamurnya penyelenggara fintech ‘nakal’ membuat OJK juga mengeluarkan kebijakan Peraturan Otoritas Jasa Keuangan Nomor 13/POJK.02/2018 tentang Inovasi Keuangan Digital di Sektor Jasa Keuangan (POJK 13/2018) yang memayungi pengawasan dan pengaturan industri fintech. Inovasi Keuangan Digital (IKD) adalah sebutan fintech dari OJK yang didefinisikan sebagai aktivitas pembaruan proses bisnis, model bisnis, dan instrumen keuangan yang memberikan nilai tambah baru di sektor jasa keuangan dengan melibatkan ekosistem digital.

OJK merasa inovasi keuangan digital perlu diarahkan agar menghasilkan inovasi yang bertanggung jawab, aman, mengedepankan perlindungan konsumen dan memiliki risiko yang terkelola dengan baik. Sesuai dengan POJK 77/2016, OJK mengawasi penyelenggara P2PL yang berstatus terdaftar atau berizin dan sampai Februari 2019 sudah ada 99 perusahaan fintech P2PL yang terdaftar dan berizin OJK.

Adapun hingga pertengahan Maret 2019, Satgas Waspada Investasi telah menghentikan 168 entitas fintech ilegal. Satgas juga mengklaim telah mendeteksi 803 entitas fintech ilegal dan meminta Kemkominfo untuk menutup fintech ilegal tersebut.

fintech ilegal data ojk

Sumber: OJK

Maraknya praktik fintech ilegal tentu mengganggu kegiatan industri yang berizin. OJK sudah memastikan bahwa penyelenggara fintech P2PL yang tidak terdaftar atau tidak berizin dari OJK dikategorikan sebagai P2PL ilegal. Pemerintah pun mengimbau masyarakat untuk tidak menggunakan layanan peminjaman online dari fintech P2PL jika tidak terdesak, terlebih lagi layanan/penyelenggara pinjam online ilegal. OJK mengingatkan keberadaan P2PL ilegal tidak dalam pengawasan pihak manapun, sehingga transaksi dengan pihak P2PL ilegal sangat berisiko tinggi bagi para penggunanya.

Salah satu cara mewaspadai fintech P2PL ilegal adalah dengan minimnya syarat atau ketentuan layanan, informasi alamat, telepon dan call center dari kantor fintech tersebut. Otorisasi akses aplikasi saat pemasangan di gawai pun perlu diperhatikan.

Pasalnya, setiap fintech yang telah terdaftar/berizin dari OJK telah dilarang untuk mengakses daftar kontak, berkas gambar dan informasi pribadi dari gawai pengguna fintech lending yang tidak berhubungan langsung dengan pengguna. Hal ini dikuatkan dengan tindakan preventif Asosiasi Fintech Pendanaan Bersama Indonesia (AFPI) yang telah membentuk komite etik untuk mengawasi pelaksanaan kode etik operasional perusahaan fintech.

Hal ini dilakukan untuk memberi perlindungan konsumen. Salah satu isi dari kode perilaku tersebut adalah larangan mengakses kontak, layanan pesan singkat dan penetapan biaya pinjaman maksimal. Sehubungan dengan biaya pinjaman, perusahaan fintech tidak boleh menetapkan biaya pinjaman lebih dari 0,8 persen per hari dengan penagihan maksimal 90 hari. Asosiasi juga bekerja sama dengan perusahaan gerbang pembayaran ataupayment gateway untuk mencegah kehadiran fintech ilegal. Perusahaan payment gateway berkomunikasi dengan asosiasi agar tidak melayani perusahaan fintech ilegal.

Dalam perkembangan industri 4.0, salah satu kebutuhan fintech terhadap pasar modal saat ini adalah kebutuhan pemenuhan perizinan. Pada hal ini, konsultan hukum berperan memastikan rencana investor fintech sesuai dengan aturan dan regulasi di Indonesia. Selain itu, konsultan hukum juga dapat mendampingi pelaku usaha saat berhadapan dengan regulator untuk memperoleh perizinan.

Bingung menentukan perizinan usaha yang Anda butuhkan? Tidak ingin ada kendala dalam menjalankan bisnis Anda? FMB & Partner Lawfirm siap membantu Anda, silakan sapa kami di 02150820033 dan mey@fmbpartner.com

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It’s True, Team Building Is A Waste Of Time–But Trust Is Essential

In his recent Harvard Business Review article,  “Stop Wasting Money on Team Building,” Carlos Valdes-Dapena opens with a stark assertion: “Most corporate team building is a waste of time and money.”

He’s right, of course. At least, he’s right insofar as the absurd and pricey experiences that are often used in corporate organizations to facilitate team building. Ropes courses, trust falls and the assortment of team building games out there all aim to create an environment of uncertainty and stress that build bonds of trust between people. Though well-intentioned, these artificial activities are (at best) thin shadows of the real thing. The adversity is contrived, and so the trust needed to thrive within it is hollow and temporary. As soon as participants return to the natural habitats of their work domains, the suspicious distrust and self-focused motivations of old return, wreaking havoc on the ability of teams to function as a team.

Unfortunately, Valdes-Dapena takes this observation as proof that trust itself is not the necessary starting point for effective teamwork. This confuses the uselessness of silly corporate trust-building efforts with the usefulness of building the real thing. Instead, he proposes that trust is a naturally occurring byproduct of “dedicated people striving together” to achieve their own individual objectives, as clarified and aligned using his proprietary “collaboration framework.”

This is the hope of leaders and managers everywhere: to find a new organizational structure with clear definitions of roles and finely tuned incentives that enable group performance to excel whether people trust each other or not. The thinking goes: once you build that, trust can organically grow as the group’s goals or reached . . . or not. In this model, trust among team members is nice to have, but not a must-have.

The goal of finding a way to manage the trust problem is understandable but misguided. It suffers from the twin problems of misunderstanding what teamwork really is and how it is built.

Understanding teamwork

Teamwork is a much deeper concept than simply group work. In a group work model, such as an assembly-line factory, the group effort is orchestrated by the design of the plan. Not much is required of workers beyond doing their own, individual tasks. While the parts of the whole are connected, they are not interrelated. The group can achieve its objectives with little to no relational coordination. So long as everyone does the task in front of them, the design of the system and its coordination from the authorities above will transform individual contribution into group production.

True teamwork requires more to achieve the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts” payoff. Watch high-performing teams in any domain, and you will see a group of people operating with a shared sense of mission and a feeling of camaraderie. They experience an esprit de corps that unites more than their collective efforts: it unites them. In this unity, members of a team care about more than just their own individual responsibilities and compensation. They care about the team’s mission and are invested in each other’s success as well. This state – colloquially described as “team chemistry” in the sports world – is now becoming the stuff of serious statistically study, as noted by Harvard Business Review four years ago with its article titled “Team Chemistry Is the New Holy Grail of Performance Analytics.”

Beyond chemistry, teamwork requires constant and open communication. This is so for reasons more important than mere sharing to be a “good team player.” As General Stanley McChrystal illustrates beautifully in his book, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, the predictability of the industrial age of complicated machines has now given way to the unpredictability of the information age of complex networks. In this new environment, qualities such as flexibility, agility, and speed are more important than ordered precision and operational efficiency. To achieve the level of coordination needed for teams to thrive in this new paradigm, rapid communication, and transparent information sharing are paramount. As McChrystal put it in Teams:

“Through this combination of dense connectivity – trust – and their understanding of the situation and commitment to an outcome – purpose – teams like the SEALs can tackle threats more complex than any leader can foresee.”

Why trust matters

This requirement of teamwork to quickly and selflessly share information is why trust matters.

As anyone knows who has ever operated in a bureaucratic environment (whether public/government or private/corporate), all too often information is treated like both a currency and a weapon. People hoard information to make themselves more valuable to the organization (in general) and their bosses (in particular) by the ways they choose to share it. At the same time, how information gets shared or not can damage a rival teammate’s chances of success or a rival division’s ability to get a needed piece of the corporate budget. In these types of environments, people don’t freely share information because they don’t trust others not to use that information to their own disadvantage. Without trust, membership on a corporate team ends up resembling a Hobbesian state of nature, only with health insurance and a 401(k) plan.

As communication atrophies among members of teams – whether cross-functional or adjacent in nature (sales teams responsible for different territories or products, for example) – moments of conflict arise to steal the valuable time and attention of all involved. A vicious cycle then ensues: the breakdown in communication triggers conflict and conflict reinforces the lack of trust that results in even more communication problems.

The consequence to the business for this lack of trust is one of the lost opportunity costs. How much more productivity and creativity could be unleashed during the time spent in conflict cycles like this? Better yet, how many new ideas simply don’t get through because of the lack of shared information at the right time for serendipity to do its magical work? No amount of organizational redesign, incentive restructuring or role clarity efforts can overcome the problem at the heart of it all: distrust. For teams to be willing to communicate in the ways needed for true teamwork to occur, a foundation of trust has to be built.

How trust is built

There are no easy shortcuts to building trust. It takes time, intention and the crucible of hard work. In the physical arenas like sports, trust is built through the sweat of practice and the pressure of performance. Talk to any veteran of military service and they say something similar: the rigors of military training forges a bond of trust among fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.

In matters less physical, the formula is still the same. Whether among partners in a marriage or peers in business, building trust requires embracing the hard emotional work of vulnerability.  In his bestselling book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, author Patrick Lencioni zeros in on trust as the foundation of a healthy leadership team. According to Lencioni, the door that leads to that kind of trust is vulnerability:

“When everyone on a team knows … that no one is going to hide his or her weaknesses or mistakes, they develop a deep and uncommon sense of trust. They speak more freely and fearlessly with one another and don’t waste time and energy putting on airs or pretending to be someone they’re not. … At the heart of vulnerability lies the willingness of people to abandon their pride and their fear, to sacrifice their egos for the collective good of the team.”

Yes, it’s true: the expensive off sites and goofy games fail to build the trust that makes teamwork happen. But proving the former are largely useless isn’t the same as proving the latter to be unnecessary. In the rapidly changing environment facing every business now, effective teamwork is needed now more than ever. This means doing the hard work of looking team members in the eye and embracing the vulnerability that starts the process of building trust. And if you’re the leader? It means you get to go first.

There’s no other way.

Source: Forbes.

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7 Instant Solutions on How to Cut Down 90% of Time Used for Social Media Management

Small business owners are always hard-pressed for time and resources. They can’t afford to spend hours on social media management each week. They don’t have the budget or time to have quality content created consistently for multiple social media networks.

The good news for such small business owners is the presence of social media management tools that can help automate much of social media management. This post is a straight-up summary of 7 steps to save time on social media management today.

  1. Create a content calendar

When you plan social media posts for a month, you not only save the effort of having to do it every day but also retain more control over quality and consistency.

Create a detailed social media calendar that covers all the activities you plan to execute over the course of a month. Account for important days – festivals, shopping days and other important dates for your business. Hand over the plan to your content creation team, so they can get to work on creating the content.

  1. Create post templates

Most content created by businesses for social media falls into certain patterns. Social media managers can save a ton of time on content creation by creating templates of these patterns. For instance, if you blog regularly and promote your blog posts on social media, you can create blog promotion templates and save them on your social media management tool like DrumUp.

DrumUp is a social media management tool that lets you store posts in-app in content libraries and schedule posts from those libraries easily.

  1. Curate 25% of your content

Not all of your content has to be a 100% original. In fact, there’s a lot of content that is better curated than created. Examples of these posts are news and trends posts. Why rewrite news risking SEO penalties when you can simply curate them for your social media audience. To curate posts easily, you can use a content curator.

Flipboard is a content curator that lets you curate industry-specific news to share easily on social media.

  1. Use visuals instead of text

Visuals are now easier to create than blog posts. Why spend hours creating a blog post when you can put together an infographic in minutes? Infographics are also more successful on social media because they display important information in a concise and attractive form. Infographics are hard to create from scratch but are very easy to create using templates on infographic makers.

  1. Bookmark content on the go

When curating content, why wait until it’s time to post when you can bookmark interesting posts on the go? As a social media manager or small business owner, you probably spend some time catching up on the news each day. When doing this, you can easily bookmark the interesting posts to share with your social media audience at a later point.

Both DrumUp and Flipboard have bookmarking tools that you can use to save posts for publishing at a later point.

  1. Cross-post across social networks

Why restrict the publishing of posts to one social network when you can easily cross-post to others? Many small business owners limit their social media presence to one or two social networks because they don’t have enough time to manage multiple pages at the same time. However, this need not be the case because you can use a cross-promotion tool to share posts published on one social platform to others.

IFTTT is a cross-promotion tool that lets you set up “recipes” that automatically publish posts you schedule on one social platform (say Facebook) to others (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

  1. Leverage UGC

UGC or User Generated Content is a great alternative to creating your own content. Not only does UGC save you time, but it also has more of an impact on your audience. Over the years, your audience’s trust in companies has been declining. The best source of a recommendation is no more a brand’s social media accounts. Today’s audience is likely to trust more in recommendations provided by other social media users.

The simplest way to collect UGC is by running a contest or listening to your fans on social media.

There’s a lot that social media managers can automate to save time on social media management. The seven tips mentioned in this post, along with scheduling posts in advance (the obvious one) can save you a lot of time.
The article is originally published and written by  business2community.com

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5 Supply Chain Management Trends for 2018

As 2018 winds down, brands need to reshape their business model. Trends demand not just improving the customer experience, but enhancing customer expectations to redefine brand positioning. Forrester’s 2018 predictions confirm that customers and markets are shifting. With the transition to digital and transparent, it’s time for a customer revolution. The future demands the effective evolution of a new supply management blueprint.

Supply management’s future does not solely depend upon logistics care and inventory management. Companies need to rethink supply management strategies, especially when customers have access to unlimited information and choices. For companies wanting an upper hand in 2018, they must do something bold, different and innovative.

The following five emerging supply management trends will provide businesses with an edge over the competition.

1.      Response to innovation and change

A brand must demonstrate the ability to incorporate innovation into its existing strategy. A change or shift in the stereotypical supply chain pattern will benefit them in the long run. Brands must shed redundant methods and continuously develop evolving strategies by responding to changing market dynamics.

Grant Marshbank, COO of VSc Solutions, states, “Supply chain managers are already under huge pressure to adapt to turbulent economies, labor issues, and expansion into global markets. Technology will only deliver the intended positive results if it is implemented with strategy and operations that adhere to best practice in supply chain management.”

Most brands have already incorporated the following into their supply management strategies: live system integration, secure data exchange processes, visibility and traceability among disparate systems across multiple supply chains and industry verticals.

2.      Thinking outside the box with respect to digital strategies

Today, every business is a digital business and the impact of digital strategies on supply chain management is of particular importance. 2018 will be shaped by the success rate of digital transformation efforts.

Many companies have realized that going digital is not the only solution for creating benchmark supply chain management strategies. Brands must get digitally-enhanced to break traditional supply management chains.

Digital technology will create a significant improvement in business outcomes, so long as businesses reinvent their supply chain strategy while concurrently reimagining their supply chain as a digital supply network (DSN) – a combination of talent, information and finance.

In today’s world, brands are becoming more transparent and digital supply chains are being showcased for their innovation and successes. When compared with traditional supply chain management, this new breed is intelligent, scalable and rapid.

Brands must develop a digital strategy that proactively provides them with an edge over their competitors. Digital supply chains provide companies with the capability for extensive information availability and enable superior collaboration and communication across digital platforms, resulting in improved reliability, agility and effectiveness.

3.      Positively exploiting artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is used by several companies as part of their supply management strategies.  These companies include Facebook, Google, Apple and Tesla. This trend will continue to be positively-exploited throughout 2018.

Mark Zuckerberg considers building an AI-powered assistant to help companies deal with supply chain stress to be an innovative idea. In one of his Facebook posts he wrote, “You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man,” referring to the AI assistant used by Tony Stark, the movie’s fictional main character.

Machine vision and robotics have already been put into efficient use for facial recognition in industrial applications like warehouses and law enforcement systems. And still, the technological possibilities are immeasurable because they can be applied to other industrial purposes.

Some of the most exciting work in machine/computer vision, stems from subtle insight into the current deficiencies of CAD,” writes Peter Gasperini. “In order to interact with 3D models, nowadays designers are using clunky peripherals – keyboards, mice and joysticks. Machine vision systems have developed that completely bypass inefficient mechanisms through gesture recognition apparatus. Camera arrays are used to track hand and finger positions dynamically. This system then alters a 3D screen image so that a user can virtually interact with the model, reaching into the design to toggle switches, press buttons and carry operations.”

Empowering supply chain leaders and operators with advanced, predictive technologies that model future scenarios, will place brands in a position to operate their supply chains more productively. They will also develop a deeper understanding of the various driver interactions on supply chain performance.

4.      Agility and the supply chain lean

Lean supply chain fundamentals are still valuable for most companies because Agile methodology is an alternative to traditional project management.  It is typically used in software development. As a result, company associates can respond to unpredictable emergencies through incremental, iterative work cadences – Sprints.

As individualization and complexity grow amongst companies, the Lean concept is no longer a sole, effective strategy. Supply chain processes must be more agile, flexible and interactive to ensure high-quality delivery results.

The Agile supply chain management enables brands to cope with unexpected events using lightning-fast decision-making. Achieving agile leadership skills is a process rather than a 2018 supply chain trend.

5.      The webrooming and showrooming balance

The showroom experience is for the ultimate “deal seekers.” Companies in 2018 will want to offer maximum customer convenience at low prices as part of their marketing strategy. While most businesses will be inclined to find better deals online, consumers will still want the tactile experience of their product.

A research study from EE states, “Around 44% of customers – more than 20 million Brits — visit a physical store while browsing products online in the hope of finding a better deal”.

As showrooming arose as a more-effective strategy for online players, in-store retailers fought back and flipped it on its head. They created a “webrooming” experience for their customers. In-store players can utilize in-store Wi-Fi, exclusive discounts and “click & collect” online orders. This has been effective in driving people from their screens and back into stores.

Brands see showrooming and webrooming to be an upcoming trend combination in 2018. Both are equally-strong sales models not to be ignored. Regardless of whether customers prefer a showroom or webroom experience, it is important for a brand to offer omnichannel options (both offline and online).

These emerging trends will deliver positive results if strategically-implemented within operations adhering to best practices in supply chain management. Businesses will benefit from the efficient and effective operations by ensuring that supply chain entities working together is the smarter way. But the best practices and supply management trends cannot work without support. They require strong procurement practices integrated within other supply chain processes.

This article is originally written and published by CXO Today.

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Company’s Year End Celebration Tips

It’s that time again for companies to bond and have fun at the end of 2017. This means it’s time for companies to start planning their year-end celebrations. Here we offers a few tips.

Leaders can show their staff how much they care about them through celebrations, too, and a good time to do it is usually at the end of the year. “Generally speaking, it is always a good idea to celebrate both individual and organizational accomplishments as a means to acknowledge the time and efforts of those who contributed to the success,” said Edward Yost, manager of employee relations and development at the Society for Human Resource Management. “Doing so helps to answer the question of why we do what we do and why should we continue to make such an effort in the coming year.”

But what’s the best way for organizations to celebrate? The answer, Yost said, depends on the company. “It is important to understand the company’s culture to effectively identify a truly meaningful way to celebrate.” he said. With that in mind, here are a few tips for planning your company’s celebration:

Consider your culture. 

The celebration itself can be simple and inexpensive—like a potluck. It is more important for the celebration to fit the culture of the organization and for it to be perceived as genuine and sincere.

Consider an activity.

Sometimes planning a staff outing is a refreshing change of pace for a company. For a more active employee group, perhaps an outing of some sort would be a good way to celebrate. For example, a day trip to a national park for hiking, trail bike riding, and the like. Also acknowledged that not all staffs would welcome the idea of an outdoor excursion. For those groups, we suggested that company rent out a movie theater, a bowling alley, or a Top Golf-like venue for the end-of-year celebration.

Consider family. 

If your company considers itself to be family-friendly, then the end-of-year celebration could be a good time to live this mantra out by including family in whatever celebration you choose. As we all know, our families sometimes sacrifice time with us, especially when there are significant work projects and changes occurring at the office. So, recognizing their sacrifices can be important.

Consider the timing.

The end of the year is a busy time for just about everybody, so it’s important that company plan their celebrations well in advance to ensure they select a date that works for as many staff members as possible. The closer to the end of the year that an employer begins planning for such a celebration, the more limited the options an employer may have. So, if your planning is running behind and you can’t secure the venue you want, consider holding the celebration in January instead.

Consider liabilities.

Company should also consider the likelihood of injuries—especially if a more physical activity is chosen for the celebration.

The year-end celebration allows the company to reflect upon all that has occurred over the period and to ensure that all staff feel recognized and appreciated for their efforts, contributions, and sometimes their sacrifices, which helped drive the company forward. Research shows that effective employee recognition can result in increased employee engagement, productivity, retention, customer service, and morale. All of these will be important going into the new year.

How does your company celebrate the achievements of your staff at year-end? Please leave your comments below!

This article is originally published by Associations Now.

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“It’s OK to have fun before work”, Science says

Somewhere along the way, most of us learn we have to eat our broccoli before we can dive into the M&Ms. This, we’re told, is the responsible way to do things.

This attitude — that the work, as it were, must always come before the fun stuff — follows us into adulthood, turning us into frantic stress monsters before vacations and shut-ins in the days leading up to a big presentation. It seems a sensible if less-than-joyous way to meet adult responsibilities and keep our leisure time free of looming work worries, but according to a fascinating new study, it all might be based on a lie.

Research suggests people should rethink the idea that they’ll enjoy leisure activities more if they get all their work out of the way first.

You’ll be happy to know that science shows you really don’t do yourself any harm if you sometimes gobble dessert before dinner or leave a pile of work sitting on your desk while you head out to play for a bit. In fact, reversing the usual order of things makes us just as happy and perhaps more productive.

To figure this out, a research team led by Ed O’Brien of the University of Chicago designed a series of experiments in which volunteers did something fun — play a creative music-based iPad game or get a free pedicure at a spa the researchers set up in their lab — and also something onerous, such as enduring a battery of grueling cognitive tests.

Some participants were told to have fun first. Others knuckled down straight away and were only rewarded with the fun activity after.

Who enjoyed themselves more?

Our intuition tells us that those whose minds were unclouded by upcoming tasks should have been more able to relax and enjoy their just rewards. And, in fact, that’s exactly what the study participants themselves predicted; most of them told the researchers that fun before work would be significantly less enjoyable than fun that was earned by first completing a task.

But when O’Brien’s team measured how much participants enjoyed their pedicures and other treats, they discovered our instincts are dead wrong.

Fun is just as much fun if you put off work to enjoy it.

“People have this strong intuition that the good stuff will be better if it comes after these difficult things,” O’Brien told the Wall Street Journal, summing up the findings. But “cashing in now feels just as good. What they’re missing is that they could have it any time and good stuff will be good, regardless.”

In fact, contrary to our more puritanical instincts that work must precede play, O’Brien even suggests that sometimes goofing off first is the wiser choice.

“If I first have fun, I’m now in a good mood, more relaxed; I have energy and work may seem easier,” he said.

These sorts of counter-intuitive findings overturn our basic assumptions about the world. But in a Harvard Business Review blog post laying out his research, O’Brien also wrote that his results have significant real world ramifications.

In the tech-saturated modern workplace, there is always more work to do — more emails to answer, more information to absorb. Waiting until all of it is somehow magically “done” is a surefire recipe for burnout.

Instead, O’Brien suggested in Harvard Business Review that dutiful worker bees rethink their attitude toward work and play in three key ways:

Question your assumptions about work before play

“Ask yourself why you’re hesitant to do something fun or to reward yourself,” O’Brien wrote in HBR. “If you find yourself thinking, ‘It’ll detract from my work,’ you might be right. Some leisure can undermine our ability to work afterward. Nobody is recommending having celebratory beers just before you run your 5k. But if you find yourself thinking, ‘It’ll ruin my fun, and the payoff will be better if I wait,’ you might be wrong.”

Visualize yourself having fun

“If you’re worried about taking time off before finishing a big project, you could list the many things you’ll be doing during some vacation to help you remember the fact that enjoyment is immersive. The experience likely won’t be spoiled by your being distracted,” O’Brien wrote.

Ease into amusement before the serious stuff

Not ready to ditch work right before a major crunch period? Then work up to a healthier attitude toward fun by starting small. “Go have some fun (perhaps a quick trip to the spa) with some work left undone. Pay attention to where your attention is in the moment and how work feels once you return to it. The most effective strategy for shedding our biases is to go through an experience ourselves,” O’Brien said.

Banning yourself from pleasure before you’ve cleared your plate at work isn’t being responsible, according to this latest science; it’s your brain playing tricks on you. Ignore the guilt long enough to start having fun, and this study suggests you really won’t regret it.

Now that he’s focusing on this balance, Dr. O’Brien thinks the boost he can gain from sometimes indulging himself can contribute to work success. “Doing work while you’re happy is just such a more productive way of working.”

 Sources: WSJChicago Tribune

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