10 Ways to Realize Hidden Opportunities


"Great moments are born from great opportunities," said the late Herb Brooks, one of the world's most famous hockey coaches.Brooks certainly seized opportunity during his career. He agreed to coach the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that beat the "unbeatable" Soviet Union in Lake Placid, New York during the famous "Miracle on Ice" game on the way to winning the gold medal. It was a modern-day "David vs. Goliath" matchup. Many coaches would refuse such an overwhelmingly difficult job. In fact, several did.But Brooks saw opportunity in the monumental challenge of leading a bunch of young, amateur, college all-stars against the essentially professional players of the Soviet Union and other European hockey powers.That opportunity paid off, to say the least.Whether you're talking about sports, business or any other subject matter, seeking, finding and capitalizing on opportunity are among the most important things a professional must do.There's one big problem with opportunity, however. It is often hard to find and even harder to harness."We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations," said Charles Swindoll, an American religious author.

I agree wholeheartedly with Swindoll's characterization. The best opportunities are often hidden. They are often located in places we least expect to find them and are presented by people we least expect to provide them.That reminds me of the old story that sales managers like to share with their young trainees: "On his way back from a three-day fishing trip, a multi-millionaire visits the showroom of an upscale, luxury car dealer. The salespersons, seeing an unshaven, disheveled, poorly dressed man, essentially ignore him. Offended, the multi-millionaire buys a top-of-the-line model the next day from a direct competitor." There are a lot of ways to tell that classic missed-sales-opportunity story, but they all sound something like that.If opportunity is so important to our success, and so difficult to find and recognize, we need to focus more of our energy on it. Unless you're naturally good at it, finding and capitalizing on opportunity needs to be a deliberate focus:Open your eyes and ears - we can no longer afford to be indifferent, or even worse, oblivious to the world around us. Be on the lookout for ideas that could lead to new opportunities.

Even more important than eyes and ears, keep your mind open too. Many of us miss opportunities, because they don't fit into our pre-existing paradigms.Remember that all people count - sometimes we get so obsessed with the "right" people, we miss out on valuable opportunities from people, who on the surface, can do seemingly nothing for us.Fight through the fear - one of the biggest reasons we miss out on extraordinary opportunities is because we are too afraid to leap. Herb Brooks wasn't too afraid to leap; we shouldn't be either.Let your creative juices flow - the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Albert Szent-Gyorgi once said, "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." The more creative you are, the more opportunity you will discover. See the world in a different way, and doing things like nobody else, and just watch the opportunities that manifest.Take risks - As the old saying goes, "nothing risked, nothing gained." Unless you take a chance and do something new, you'll keep running into the same old opportunities.Work really hard - "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work," said the great inventor Thomas Edison.Set meaningful goals - make those goals specific too. The more you clarify what you really want, the quicker you will recognize it when it shows up.Find quiet time - many people have found great opportunities, because they prayed for them or spent time meditating about them. Such activity creates focus in your mind, and a focused mind is a powerful mind.Believe - visualize success and tell yourself that good things will come. A positive mind is more receptive to hidden opportunity.Prepare - as the old Boy Scout motto says, "be prepared." You never know when the perfect opportunity will open up. If you're not prepared, you might not act on it quickly enough. In his autobiography, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he believes in "relentless preparation." He constantly prepares for crisis, so he will perform properly. Same thing applies to opportunity.

Business Continuity Planning BCP – The Show Must Go On


Business Continuity Planning prepares an organization for the internal interruptions like power failure, technical problems - and external threats like natural calamities, supply chain problems and more.BCP ensure that your organization has the backup of both hard and soft assets to prevent or recover from a crisis situation. It allows you to continuously deliver your products or services even under adverse conditions.Vital steps of BCPExpect the UnexpectedYour business can get interrupted from a number of possible scenarios. Downtime resulting from natural calamities, like hurricane, fire or flood, or from internal issues like power outage, hardware failure, or any kind of human error, leads to decreased productivity and hence loss to the revenue.While a CEO develops his disaster recovery strategy in advance, he should consider all possible downtime and disaster scenarios and should chalk out preventive measures for each.For example, there should be a fire alarm system in the building along with sprinklers and other fire fighting equipments. There should be a timely checking and maintenance of the equipment to make sure they are working fine.Conduct a Business Impact AnalysisBusiness impact analysis will help you develop the action plan you need to follow at the time of any structural or natural disaster. It involves three steps:You should know about your key product and services that bring you highest these particular product and services, you should decide the duration you can stop delivering them.Identify your critical inputs so that you can continue to offer your products and services.

Educate Your Manpower About BCPBeing the CEO of the company, you should ensure all your employees are aware of Business Continuity Planning. They should know exactly how to act in any kind of crisis situation. For example, conduct regular training sessions on BCP for your employees. Organize fire drills on fortnightly or monthly basis to help your staff stay proactive.If you are running an IT company, maintain a reliable data storage system and encourage your staff to store the data in that system in order to prevent loss of data due to any technical problem.Plan to Keep Your Manpower, Systems, and Information interconnectedThe business continuity plans and strategies must cover information , systems hardware and software, manpower, and processes, operations and services along with their connectivity with each other. If the connectivity between workforce, and systems & data disrupts, there will be no business.As part of thought and planning process, you should look for the best strategy to manage critical systems and components during bad times.

Be Ready With Continuity StrategiesYou can continue to run your business effectively after disruption, if you give some forethought and develop efficient continuity strategies. These strategies may include:Review Your PlanThe needs of business keep on changing with the market. Review your business continuity plan every six months and make the necessary changes. Keep an extra copy of the plan at some other site.You can also seek assistance in developing business continuity planning at executive business coaching. At CEO coaching, you will get to meet like-minded professionals from non-competitive organization who will share their good and bad business experiences.Knowledge sharing at a CEO peer group will help you define your strategies in a better way so that the show goes on in any condition.

Pricing Strategy


While developing your pricing strategy, it is important to remember that there is an implicit relationship between price and value. We expect to pay more for gourmet food than for fast food and for a luxury car than for an economy model. At the same time, value is a matter of opinion, not fact.In order to get this information, you need to use a research tool that will give you the data in a clear, concise, objective manner. Because if you are researching eBay pricing and sell-through rate data by "eye-balling it" on eBay, you're very likely going to miss something.Product line pricing strategies can be further complicated by competitive activity by product, not exclusively by line. If you have five competitors for one of your products in the line, and then only two competitors for the other products in the line, you might use a different price strategy for the product with lots of competition, than the other line products.The challenge for businesses with this strategy will come from having too many competitors in the market. If there are too many competitors, each with a full line of products in the varying stages of the product life cycle, buyers will find it difficult to make decisions based on quality or service or value for the price.For new product in a new market, the cost mark-up is the most popular method. There is no need to think about pricing at all, just simply add an amount of profit on top of the cost and that is the final price.

At first, the method may seem attractive but eventually the sellers will find out that their profit is not up to their expectation, and the customers are suspicious of the attractive price.Pricing your product or service is one of the most important issues that you need to tackle. You must be wondering as to what is the procedure to follow to develop the best pricing strategy for your company. While there is no particular approach that you must adopt, definitely, there are some important things that you should bear in mind while creating one.Other factors that affect your pricing strategy are the economics of your business. Depending on the current situation of your business's performance, your mark-on has to ensure sufficient profits to sustain your business. Sometimes, to increase your sales volume, you can lower your mark-on to price selected merchandise.Today's buyers prefer to waiting for the 1st price reduction before they come in - to see some flexibility on the part of the seller.

The bigger the "hair cut" the more assured the buyer feels about getting a deal. A steal, even! Exactly the same way one feels at the mall when a $400 jacket is on sale for 75% off!Businesses using market penetration pricing are usually trying to penetrate the market by growing their share of the market. They assume that the lowest price will win market share. Make sure that if you use this pricing strategy that you test your market, your price sensitivity and your price elasticity or in-elasticity first.This pricing strategy is also used in product line pricing. This strategy bundles, and usually packages, like products together to be priced as companions (for example, a mixer and a mixing bowl) and as captives (for example, pens that have to have a specific refill (not generic), razors that can only use a specific blade, etc.).

Business Continuity Planning BCP – The Show Must Go On


Business Continuity Planning prepares an organization for the internal interruptions like power failure, technical problems - and external threats like natural calamities, supply chain problems and more.BCP ensure that your organization has the backup of both hard and soft assets to prevent or recover from a crisis situation. It allows you to continuously deliver your products or services even under adverse conditions.Vital steps of BCPExpect the UnexpectedYour business can get interrupted from a number of possible scenarios. Downtime resulting from natural calamities, like hurricane, fire or flood, or from internal issues like power outage, hardware failure, or any kind of human error, leads to decreased productivity and hence loss to the revenue.While a CEO develops his disaster recovery strategy in advance, he should consider all possible downtime and disaster scenarios and should chalk out preventive measures for each.For example, there should be a fire alarm system in the building along with sprinklers and other fire fighting equipments.

There should be a timely checking and maintenance of the equipment to make sure they are working fine.Conduct a Business Impact AnalysisBusiness impact analysis will help you develop the action plan you need to follow at the time of any structural or natural disaster. It involves three steps:You should know about your key product and services that bring you highest these particular product and services, you should decide the duration you can stop delivering them.Identify your critical inputs so that you can continue to offer your products and services.Educate Your Manpower About BCPBeing the CEO of the company, you should ensure all your employees are aware of Business Continuity Planning. They should know exactly how to act in any kind of crisis situation. For example, conduct regular training sessions on BCP for your employees.

Organize fire drills on fortnightly or monthly basis to help your staff stay proactive.If you are running an IT company, maintain a reliable data storage system and encourage your staff to store the data in that system in order to prevent loss of data due to any technical problem.Plan to Keep Your Manpower, Systems, and Information interconnectedThe business continuity plans and strategies must cover information , systems hardware and software, manpower, and processes, operations and services along with their connectivity with each other. If the connectivity between workforce, and systems & data disrupts, there will be no business.As part of thought and planning process, you should look for the best strategy to manage critical systems and components during bad times.Be Ready With Continuity StrategiesYou can continue to run your business effectively after disruption, if you give some forethought and develop efficient continuity strategies. These strategies may include:Review Your PlanThe needs of business keep on changing with the market. Review your business continuity plan every six months and make the necessary changes. Keep an extra copy of the plan at some other site.You can also seek assistance in developing business continuity planning at executive business coaching. At CEO coaching, you will get to meet like-minded professionals from non-competitive organization who will share their good and bad business experiences.Knowledge sharing at a CEO peer group will help you define your strategies in a better way so that the show goes on in any condition.

Services And Trends of Trade Service Solutions


Trade services are soon emerging as one of the crucial areas for research and policymaking in terms of the global trade scenario. A General Agreement of Trade-in-Service (GATS) was implemented back in 1995. However, it was only recently that there was the realization of close link ups between goods and service exports, and the development of an improved information system, that researchers have given greater significance to trade certain aspects for instance "Comparative Advantage" and "Trade Liberalization".

However, since efficient research on this same lagged, the negotiations and policy analysis have to supplement whatever assessment can be gained on the service sector.An essential cause for the lack of systematized structured facts and data concerning services exports is due to the diverse nature of the industries that constitutes it. The World Trade Organization clearly defines 12 service industries, where every industry segment highlights a distinguished trait, measurement concerns and economic incidence. Furthermore, each service industry section has four trade modes in it and that trade in services comprise of imports and exports as well.Recently, there has been a rise in the trade servicesorganizations providing a shared data platform, over multiple vertical markets to enable the trading members interact with others and operate their regular business.

The features and functions of trade and service companies are built on this aspect. At the same time, constituents in every market need the appropriate business information on which certain time-sensitive and critical decisions depend. Essential information generally source from incongruent sources and hence, organizations need to come up with a procedure to efficiently interpret and manage it. Eminent trade in service enterprises specializes in the following sections:-These services help them in gaining a competitive advantage over the other market players.Recently, numerous service providers in trade services offering in the product and pricing data to the electrical industry have come with up innovative pricing solutions. To elucidate, solutions that offer an internet base user data system thereby providing end consumers and users with an advanced and detailed outlook on every manufacturer price as well as product developments in the future years. The admission to these systems in customized for every single distributor available via a secure username and password. To share few names would be the electrical pricingand copper pricing.

Answer These Business Plan Questions Before Presenting


Rather than presenting your business plan to funders only to hear difficult questions for the first time, why not think ahead of the questions funders will ask and incorporate those answers into the plan ahead of time? Here are some key questions and how you should go about answering them in your business plan.Why Are Your Chosen Managers Qualified?Funders are looking to see not just that the founders want to start the business in question, but that they have the qualifications to launch and run the business. They must at least have the qualifications to be hired to run a similar existing business.

Furthermore, some entrepreneurial skill from launching other businesses, products, services, or programs will be helpful. It should also be clear that each manager has functional experience in the areas which they will have responsibility for (such as operations, sales, marketing, finance, etc).Can This Business Scale Up?Investors will be especially interested in your business using its initial operations to create a foundation for much greater growth.

Wherever possible, explain how the business can add additional locations, products, services, or customer markets in the coming years, spreading the startup costs over more and more revenue. Investors will not be as attentive if your plan describes a small business which is created more or less to stay small.When Will The Business Break Even?Know when the business will reach break even from a cash flow standpoint (when monthly cash inflows begin to exceed cash outflows and the company no longer has to dig into cash reserves) and from the perspective of covering all of the initial startup costs and earning profit on top of that. Cash flow break even should occur within the first year if possible, while break even over startup costs may be in the first or second years generally. Funders want to see that your break even point is realistic, but that you are acting aggressively enough that it will not take too long.

Strategic Realignment to Affordable Care Organization Model Providers Perspective


"While physicians embark on such transformational healthcare model, their quantum of Medicare reimbursement, and its amicable distribution among themselves is sure going to be complex issue. Given such complex calculation on Medicare reimbursements and qualifying incentives, an external medical billing services that is best acquainted with Medicare environment becomes more pronounced."Browse all: physician medical billingAs time closes in on the Accountable Care Organization model of healthcare under Medicare, physicians across the US are busy realigning their practice models and alliances in congruence with the mandate of Section 3022 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Commencing with January 2012, physician networks intending to participate in the program will be required to enter into an agreement with the Secretary to participate in the program for not less than a 3-year period, and be accountable for quality healthcare to at least 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries.

Coupled with the mandatory agreement with the Program Secretary, physicians also have an ominous task of setting up of mutually complimentary alliances among themselves that can efficiently enable division of diagnosis, treatment, and supervision of their target group of patients. Yet, incentives for keeping Medicare expenditure as minimum as possible will not be guaranteed until and unless the participation physicians:Commit themselves for evaluation vis-a-vis their ACO's patients' health needs Therefore, amidst such governing principles, the intending physicians need to realign their practices in a way that best meets the Accountable Care concept. While physicians embark on such transformational healthcare model, their quantum of Medicare reimbursement, and its amicable distribution among themselves is sure going to be complex issue.

Given such complex calculation on Medicare reimbursements and qualifying incentives, an external medical billing services that is best acquainted with Medicare environment becomes more pronounced.About - known for a healthy rapport with Medicare for more than a decade, and self-sufficient in the requisite qualification and competence, such as certification from American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC); expertise in advanced technology interface for medical billing and coding; proficiency in applying standard CPT, HCPCS procedure and supply codes, and ICD diagnosis coding as per CMS guidelines and HIPAA compliant medical reporting - should be a preferential recourse to physicians on the verge of forming Accountable Care Organization model.Browse all: medical billing companies, medical billing outsourcing

Using Social Media to Build Viral Customer Trust


As the Wall Street Journal reported recently, sixty-five percent of all U.S. adults now use social-networking sites, up from 61% a year ago and just 5% in 2005. This is no big surprise for those of us who use social media for business, but it does underline the fact that social media is here to stay and that we would all be wise to explore the uniquely personal customer interactions it makes possible.As a marketing tool, social media is invaluable. It's free, millions of potential customers use it, and it's designed for SEO. While this is also probably old news, what many business owners are failing to recognize is the potential social media has to affect a business' reputation-and not always in a good way.Public interactions with customers happen every day online. On a business' website, customers post comments or questions. On a forum, customers discuss a business' products or services. But on a social network, those same sorts of customer comments reach a much wider audience-an audience of your customers, their friends and families and your competition.

Social networks are designed to encourage participation and conversation. This is wonderful for friends and families trying to keep in touch, but, if not managed carefully, it can become a huge problem for businesses.Many (maybe even most) businesses are built around customer service. Without solid customer care, a good business can go bad, and fast. Reputation has always mattered for business and now word-of-mouth is word-of-status-a single unhappy status update can do more damage than an in-person conversation ever could. On social networks social interaction isn't just public, it's virally public and in real time. Everyone sees a complaint when it appears and, more importantly, they see your response to that complaint. If you haven't thought through your social networking etiquette, you might just post something you'll regret.

The best way to handle this social animal is to develop an internal social media customer service policy. Discuss best practices with staff and quiz them on how to handle different sorts of customer feedback. Provide a script with a list of appropriate responses to some of your most common requests. Make sure to tell your staff when they can offer discounts or specials and remember the gum analogy: if you give it to one customer, you better be prepared to give it to the entire class.If you don't feel that you can trust your staff to follow your strict social media customer service policy, you can easily restrict access to your company account so that only the best customer representatives can post. Remind them often that every single interaction has a large audience.The good side of all this is that you can quickly build an excellent online reputation by making the most of social media. Customers can tell when another customer is being unreasonable just as easily as you can, and that helps your case considerably. If you handle your social media interactions well, you will build a powerful network of trust. This network may be more robust than any traditional network you could hope to build. As our technology provides us with tools that blur the line between personal and public, we will all be well advised to think carefully about how we play the field.

A Corporate Image is All in The Eye of The Beholder


For a company which is nearly 30 years old and which has over 30,000 employees spread across the globe, it is a source of continual interest to see how the organisation is perceived by both its staff and clients around the world.Founded in 1983, Marcus Evans is one of the world's leading providers of business intelligence events and global summits. As a company which is in regular contact with top business leaders in every continent, it is vital that it constantly monitors its image.It therefore makes a point of searching for all relevant reviews whether they be from staff or client companies. These comments are generally favourable with Richmond Fiduciary Group, for example, observing that the quality of delegates at Marcus Evans events is very high and that the events themselves are very professionally organized and meet the expectations of most business powerhouses. Meanwhile, Siemens has detected a pleasant but professional working ambience within the company which is a reflection of a satisfied workforce performing well.Indeed, the company's employees seem to be, by and large, a pretty happy bunch even though their remuneration structure is highly related to performance.

Only a relatively small proportion of employees work on the actual planning and organisation of conferences, with the rest busy on the phones detailing forthcoming events and selling delegate places.The end result is that successful employees can earn substantial sums and are more than happy to speak and write about their employer in glowing terms. By contrast, any negative comment from employees past and present is usually attributable to the fact that those individuals, for whatever reason, simply could not hack the work and put enough bums on seats. There is nothing worse that jealousy of one's more successful colleagues and you can imagine a number of failed employees taking it out on the company itself. Not many people are prepared to admit their own shortcomings.From an employer's perspective employee mental health should also be important.

A Kansas State University researcher says employers should be concerned about the well-being of their employees because it could be the underlying factor to success."The benefits of a psychologically well work force are quite consequential to employers, especially so in our highly troubled economic environment," Wright said. "Simply put, psychologically well employees are better performers. Since higher employee performance is inextricably tied to an organization's bottom line, employee well-being can play a key role in establishing a competitive advantage."

Disregarding Need of Business Plans


Many owners are in habit of preferring research reports instead of making strategic business plans. In this, dozens of pages are written about the market, competition, SWOT analysis, financial projections, etc. but the projections do not help in getting funds from the markets or attract any new businesses. They do not guarantee results. So is it of any use?Any incomplete plan is good for nothing. It must cover at least the major three area without which it will be of nil use. Or even the ultimate power will lead to lesser results.

The first thing it should contain is sound strategic foundation which sets vision and goals for the business. Secondly, it identifies the set of priorities that's helps to make strategic foundation a reality. Finally, all the elements are put together for action and accountability plan detailing what is to be done by whom and when to finish those set goals.Some impatient businessmen try to jump directly into strategic business plans or skip any of these elements in between. The result will definitely leads to ambiguous flow of plan in an unnatural way loosing all consistent strategic vision.

A strategic business plan holds a different prospective from a plan whose goal is to lift money from investors or lenders. For answers to investors you need to look into what are your opportunities and what is your management's ability to take benefit of those opportunities. You need to look into your sources to execute plans effectively. Also one need to consider facts that will persuade investors of your risks in which they are investing.So a business plan for investors is what able to take advantage of the opportunity in order to seek significant rewards for everyone involved. Business plan is what keeps all strategies on track. It should only be designed to help you achieve your numbers. Do only what you can achieve. Failures will only de-grade your reputation and goodwill in the market. Set targets that you can achieve and accept projects that you can complete. Passion is small gateway to reach targets of success but desperation will lead to losses.