- Last Updated on 16 April 2013
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1. To help with strategic and business planning
Planning is an essential function in the running of any business and is the driving force behind competitive workplace change. Any planning activity, e.g. business, marketing, strategic, financial, operational, etc. should take into consideration certain factors, such as your competitors, your resources and your company's strengths and weaknesses. Consultants can help you identify your strategic advantages, using the latest management techniques, to realise the full potential of your business.
2. To help instigate and manage change
Change for your company has to = improvement.
The business and management environments are in a constant state of change and only those on the alert for constructive opportunities will stay ahead of the pack. Because change can be threatening to many people, the change process has to be planned and managed carefully. A consultant can help.
3. To help resolve issues
Business and management issues can be very complex. Often a whole range of diverse but interrelated factors are involved in an issue, and the maze of connections may not be readily apparent to the untrained person. Similar circumstances in different companies can demand different strategies.
Consultants can help you deal with questions such as these:
- How do you turn around a decline in sales?
- How do you overcome our cash-flow crisis?
- How do you build staff morale?
- How do you overcome behavioural problems to work?
- What computer system is needed to support the business?
- How do you introduce quality assurance programmes?
- Why has there been a decline in productivity?
- What strategic direction should your information systems take?
4. To identify opportunities
Management Consultants can help identify favourable opportunities for your business:
- What new product lines should you adopt?
- What is the best way to improve your productivity?
- What new production techniques should you adopt?
- How do you maximise the benefits of the effective integration of people and technology?
- How do you identify key success factors for penetrating overseas markets?
- How can you become internationally competitive?
5. Special projects
Consultants can provide you with an objective and independent opinion.
- An impartial appraisal of a proposal by a consultant with no vested interest in your organisation can lend credibility to a proposal or, conversely, demonstrate the difficulties likely to eventuate.
- A consultant can be employed to investigate sensitive issues which, if handled internally, could cause tension between staff.
The main aim of any business is to earn profits and also to remain solvent, i.e., it should have enough resources to pay its employees, creditors and to carry on with the day-to-day activities of the business. The main purpose of an accounting system is to prepare financial statements, that will help the various external and internal parties of the business to appraise the profitability as well as the solvency of the business. The three main financial statements that are prepared for the purpose of accounting information are Profit and Loss statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement.
Without good accounting practices, it can be very easy to lose track of the finances of even a one person business. Keeping an accurate set of accounts is a fundamental part of running even the most basic of small businesses. Even with automated record keeping software that reduces the work load involved in accounting, it is important for any managers or business owners to be at least versed in the basic principles of accounting.
The purpose of accounting can be summarised in the following manner:
- Ascertain the results of operations during a period, e.g. a month or a year.
- Determine the financial position.
- Maintaining a control over assets and liabilities.
- Planning in respect of cash and funding.
- Providing information to revenue authorities and other government agencies, e.g. CRO.
Management and staff training can be essential to the success of a business. Managers have extensive responsibilities in a company, from handling employee relations to making sure the business remains profitable. Since management responsibilities are complicated, and not exactly self-explanatory, management training can be very important to keeping a company on the right track.
Overall, staff training impacts on organisational competitiveness, revenue and performance. Unfortunately, when the economy slows or when profits decline, many organisations first seek cuts in their training budgets. Don't get caught in this trap and sacrifice the long-term value of your company.
It is essential for employers to maintain the training necessary to compete. The costs of training can be reduced and controlled through the development of a comprehensive training plan. Additionally, the cost can further be reduced by training employees in-house if you have the numbers or on external courses if you don’t. One-2-one training can otherwise be called mentoring or coaching.
A good training plan will answer the following questions:
- Is there a need for training?
- Who needs to be trained?
- Is the training aligned with the organisation's needs, strategies and objectives?
- What form of training is best?
- How will the knowledge and skills learned be transferred to the job?
- How will the training be monitored and evaluated?
For your program to be successful, training must be both desired by the employee and beneficial to the company. It is also critical that employers follow up on training to ensure it produces value for the company.
Purpose of Training and Development
Reasons for emphasising the growth and development of personnel include Creating a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for personnel who may leave or move up in the organisation.
Enhancing the company's ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a sufficiently knowledgeable staff.
Building a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the company's competitive position and improves employee morale.
Ensuring adequate human resources for expansion into new programs. Research has shown specific benefits that a small business receives from training and developing its workers, including: Increased productivity.
Reduced employee turnover.
Increased efficiency resulting in financial gains.
Decreased need for supervision. Employees frequently develop a greater sense of self-worth, dignity and well-being as they become more valuable to the firm and to society. Generally they will receive a greater share of the material gains that result from their increased productivity. These factors give them a sense of satisfaction through the achievement of personal and company goals.