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How to Manage Your Business and Get Results

The desire of anybody setting up a business is to make profit and sustain the business. But mastering the fundamentals of business success is critical to making any headway in one’s business engagement(s). This is especially so because business is both an art and a science. That is, it is a matter of practical experience, calculation, foresight and fortune.

However, one does not need to be weighed down by the thought of having to master art and science intricacies of business success, because Peter F. Drucker has come to the rescue with his book entitled “How to Manage Your Business and Get Results”. Drucker is a business management consultant of repute who is concerned with the economic tasks that any business needs to perform to be able to achieve enviable results.

He says this book attempts to organise these tasks so that executives can properly organise them so systematically, understandably and reasonably with the possibility of accomplishing tangible results.

Drucker asserts that though practical rather than theoretical, the book has a thesis. He adds that economic performance is the basic function and contribution of any business enterprise, and the major purpose of its establishment. The author stresses that to achieve economic performance and results, a lot of (hard) work is required, and the work has to be thought through and done with direction, method and purpose.

According to him, this book contains secrets of business success, and emphasises the need to focus on opportunities rather than problems in any business engagement.

As regards structure, the book is segmented into three parts of 14 chapters. Part one is eclectically christened “Understanding the business” and contains the first eight chapters. Chapter one is entitled “Business realities”. According to Drucker here, it is a universal complaint that executives give neither sufficient thought to the future. He adds that every executive voices it when he or she talks about his or her own working day and when he or she talks or writes to his or her associates. Drucker stresses that it is a recurrent theme in the articles and management books.

This business management expert says it is a valid complaint and executives should spend more time and thought on many other good things, their social and economic responsibilities for instance. He says both they and their businesses pay a stiff penalty for the neglect. Drucker asserts that to complain that executives spend so little time on the work of tomorrow is futile. He adds that the neglect of the future is only a symptom and an executive slights tomorrow because he or she cannot get ahead of today. Drucker says that too is a symptom and the real disease is the absence of any fountain of knowledge and system for tackling the economic tasks in business.

The business management expert educates that it is a matter of necessity for executives to spend more time and meditation on the future of their businesses. He expatiates that they should also spend more time and thought on their community responsibilities.

Chapter two is based on the subject matter of the result areas. Here, Drucker says the basic business analysis starts with an examination of the business as it is now and the business as it has been bequeathed to us by indecisions, actions and results of the past. He explains that we need to see the hard skeleton, the major stuff that is the economic structure. According to him, we need to see the relationship and interactions of resources and results of efforts and achievements of revenues and costs.

In Drucker’s words, “Specifically we need first to identify and understand those areas in a business for which results can be measured. Such result areas are the businesses within the larger business complex; products and product lines (or services); markets (including customers and end-users); and distributive channels….”

He educates that the analysis of the result areas has to begin with products or services and particularly with a definition of “product”. Drucker says questions regarding product-definition, though not simple, are at least known and understood by every experienced executive. He adds that this alone makes product analysis the best place to start.

Chapter three examines the concept of revenues, resources and prospects. Here, Drucker says every executive today is inundated with figures, and more and more data pour out daily. He educates that many businesses will ask that their financial analyses be based on cost accounting. The author explains that the answer is that it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it, figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs.

Drucker educates that cost accounting has to find a place for every penny spent, and where the cost accountant cannot document what costs are directly incurred in making this or that product, he or she must therefore allocate. The author adds that the cost accountant can only do so by assuming that all non-direct costs are distributed either in proportion to direct costs or in proportion to the sales price of a product.

In chapters four to eight, Drucker examines concepts such as how we are doing; cost centres and cost structure; the customer as the business; knowledge as the business; and the business being ours.

Part two is generically entitled “Focus on opportunity” and covers three chapters, that is, chapters nine to 11. Chapter nine has the thematic focus of building on strength. Here, the author says analysis of the entire business and its basic economics always shows it to be in worse disrepair than anyone expected.

He explains that the products everyone boasts of turn out to be yesterday’s breadwinners or investments in ego. Drucker stresses that activities which no one paid much attention to later turn out to be cost centres and so expensive as to endanger the competitive position of the company. According to him, what everyone in the business believes to be quality turns out to have little meaning to customers.

Important and valuable knowledge either is not applied where it could produce results or produces results no one uses, asserts the author. Drucker says, “I know more than one executive who fervently wished at the end of the analysis that he could forget all he had learned and go back to the old days of the ‘rat race’ when ‘sufficient unto the day was the crisis thereof’.” The author adds that but precisely because there are so many different areas of importance, the day-to-day method of management is inadequate even in the smallest and simplest business. Drucker says because deterioration is what happens normally – that is, unless somebody counteracts it – there is need for a systematic and purposeful programme. He expatiates that there is need to reduce the almost limitless possible tasks to a manageable number. Drucker stresses that there is need to concentrate scarce resources on the greatest opportunities and results.

In chapters 10 and 11, the author X-rays the concepts of finding business potential and making the future today.

Part three, the last part is based on the general subject matter of a programme for performance and contains three chapters, covering chapters twelve to fourteen. Chapter 12 is tagged “The key decisions”. Drucker educates here that decisions are made and actions are taken at every step in the analysis of a business and of its economic dimensions. He adds that insights are “bled off” and converted into tasks and work assignments. At every step of the analysis there should be measurable results, guides the business management expert.

He says but for full effectiveness, all the work needs to be integrated into a united programme for performance. Drucker stresses that making the present business effective, may require one specific course of action. He adds that making the future of the business different may require a different action. “Yet what is done to make the present business effective inevitably commits resources, inevitably molds the future,” educates Drucker.

He expatiates that what is done to anticipate the future inevitably affects the present business in all its policies, expectations, products and knowledge efforts. The author says major actions in every one of the economic dimensions therefore have to be consistent with one another.

The business management expert adds that conflicts between the conclusions of the various analyses have to be reconciled. He submits that there has to be balance between the efforts, otherwise one effort undoes what another has been trying to achieve. Drucker explains that the hard reality of the present must not be obscured by the lure of tomorrow’s promises.

In chapters 13 and 14, Drucker beams his analytical searchlight on the concepts of business strategies and building economic performance into a business.

If there is one thing that makes this book a classic, it is the depth and creativity of the contents. By segmenting the text into three parts of 14 chapters, Drucker is able to make the book easy to read and study. The number of chapters, that is, 14, creates some poetic allusion as it reminds one of the fourteen-line poem technically called “Sonnet”.

The vehicle of communication, that is, language of the book is still contextually simple despite the technicality of the subject matter. What’s more, the “Stylistics” tool of “graphology” is also employed in the design of the title of the book on the outer front cover where keywords such as “Manage”, “Business” and “Results” are put in capital letters to convey their conceptual importance, while other less important words are in small letters. There is also application of separate colours to the keywords and less important words to show interface between visual distinction and conceptual uniqueness.

Also, the book looks like a typical essay in that it has the introduction, body and conclusion. Another of the enviable achievements of Drucker in this book is the combination of specific economic analyses with enviable knowledge of entrepreneurship or business success.

However, one of the errors noticed in the book is “Acknowledgement” instead of “Acknowledgements”. On page 28, omission of a comma immediately before the word “Figures” from the expression “…it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs” seems to make the expression ambiguous”. It is supposed to read “…it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it, figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs”. Also the layout of the book needs to be improved upon to make it (more) eye-friendly.

In a nutshell, this text is a reservoir of effective business management strategies. If you want to run a successful business, then you need to read and digest this book. It is conceptually precious.

The Ultimate Photography Business Management Software?

As a professional photographer, you’re also a small business owner, I know that administration can take up a lot more time than I like.

I’m talking about:

  • scheduling appointments,
  • processing payments,
  • running reports,
  • managing clients,
  • managing staff,
  • dealing with supplies and inventory,
  • marketing, and
  • all the other “background” tasks that keep my business going.

That’s why in recent years I’ve become very interested in embracing technology to automate and centralize as much of these “administrative” activities as possible.

As a photography business owner, you no doubt love doing photography – but in order to do what you love, you must administer your business and get new business through marketing.

For example, how much time do you spend managing your appointment schedule or dealing with payments by cheque or cash, or sending out appointment reminders to minimize no-shows?

These tasks are necessary, but do take up a lot of time.

Of course no software will replace you and your vision, but you can use software to automate some processes to free up your administrative time. The key is getting the right photography business management software that won’t cost you a fortune.

Unless you shoot exclusively in a studio, you’re likely off-site regularly photographing clients. If you spend a lot of time off-site, it’s tough to administer your business – unless you’re able to access your photography business management software.

How You Can Bring Your Office Anywhere With You

The easiest way to bring your office with you is with a mobile computer and using cloud-computing software. The mobile computer is simple – an iPad or laptop will do. It’s the cloud computing software that you need.

What is Cloud Computing Software?

It’s software you can access entirely on the Internet. It’s also called web-based software and it’s growing dramatically in popularity. The days of desk-top software that requires installation on a local computer are disappearing.

Have you ever been on a photo shoot and get a call during down-time for an appointment? If you don’t have your schedule available, you have to call them back – possibly losing the booking. If you have complete access to an online schedule, you can book the appointment right away.

Automate Photography Bookings

If you offer set photography packages, you might want to consider offering clients the ability to book their own time on an online schedule they can access with an Internet connection. You could create a web page explaining your packages and the time required.

Put the control in your clients’ hands and they’ll be delighted they can book a photo shoot without minimal hassle. You’re delighted because you booked a client without getting involved.

Reduce No-Shows

One of the worst money-losers in any business that books appointments – such as a photography business are no-shows. Yet, you’re probably too busy to sit at a phone each day making reminder calls.

What if you could automate reminders? This is ideal, and with top-of-the-line photography business management software this is not a problem.

How it works is your online scheduling software is linked to a powerful e-mail delivery software application that automatically sends out e-mail and text messaging reminders to clients at a time before the appointment you specify. Even if you prevent 2 no-shows in a month, the software will pay for itself.

Running a Photography Business is More than Managing a Schedule

  • Do you hire independent contractors or have staff photographers?
  • Do you offer payment by credit card?
  • Do you have any time left to market to your existing and past clients?

You can certainly get individual photography business software applications to manage each of these 3 types of administrative activities. You can get payroll and staff management software.

It’s not hard to find credit card processors to integrate into your system. And of course there is no shortage of marketing software applications available – especially e-mail and text messaging software services.

But, if you could centralize all these types of administrative activities in one software application, you’ll not only save time learning how to use it all, you’ll save time and hassle integrating it all together… because it already is integrated.

What I’m talking about here is ramping up your administrative efficiency by using an all-in-one photography business software that offers all the systems and processes you need to manage your photography business.

I’m a huge fan of all-in-one software packages because I need only learn one type of software. How much software have you bought only to never really use it fully because you didn’t take the time to learn it.

I’ve got all kinds of software on my computer just sitting there. The software I do use extensively is that which is central to running my business and that basically manages most of my administrative activities.

Here’s the Real Value of All-In-One Photography Business Software

The true asset of your photography business is your database of clients – past and present. Those clients not only provide you work, but refer you to their friends, family, and acquaintances. Your database is your gold and so you must harness that database in order to build your business.

If you have different software applications managing individual tasks, you likely have a mish-mash of contact lists and client profiles scattered in various files and software applications.

When you centralize your entire photography business management software, you’re able to centralize your client database – and then leverage that database in all your business management activities.

An Example:

I’m a huge fan of communicating with my database of clients via e-mail. If you use different software applications for different activities, then when you book an appointment, you must load that contact into each database – perhaps in the scheduling database and then your e-mail marketing database. You end up managing multiple client contact lists.

It’s far more effective and efficient that when you book a client into your schedule, that client is automatically logged into a central database with all their information, from which you can then launch e-mail messages, text messages, and even then generate business reports informing you about how a particular client is contributing to your business.

The key is moving toward a one-step process. That step being once you have a new client scheduling, that client is now part of your entire photography business software platform from which you can completely manage that client.

The same goes for centralizing your independent contractor / employee details into the same system. You can then generate payroll reports showing your payouts to each photographer on your payroll by client.

Take Your Photography Business Software to the Next Level

Do you offer pricing packages? Probably. Is it a hassle managing all those packages? A centralized, all-in-one business management software specifically for photographers lets you create pricing packages that integrates with your credit card processing and your client management.

Not only this, but the right software will also make it easy for you to create gift cards, track your client’s referrals (then send out thank you messages), pricing packages, discounts, etc. – all in an effort to increase your sales and offer your clients more choice.

What About Selling Products on Your Website?

As a professional photographer, you can get great deals on photo-related products and services. You can create another profit center on your website by selling products and services. Because you know the business so well, you can offer only the best to your clients.

Moreover, because you’re a professional, you’ll have instant credibility and trust and could create a profitable e-commerce store that earns revenue with minimal effort and time.

In a nutshell, the best photography business software is web-based and offers the following centralized functions:

  • Scheduling – online, centralized, and self-bookings;
  • Credit card processing;
  • pricing packages and gift cards;
  • E-commerce and online store opportunity;
  • Payroll and staff management;
  • E-mail and text messaging capability – automated reminders and marketing channels;
  • Total client data management totally centralized;
  • Client referral tracking (this alone should be harnessed to the maximum);
  • Financial and performance reporting that uses all the centralized data for comprehensive, up-to-date information.

Why Consider Network Marketing As Our Home-Based Business?

We are not asking that anyone get involved in network marketing and change everything immediately. We are however, suggesting that people consider the addition of the right home-based Network Marketing business starting their journey of financial success in a different direction. Having a home-based business is not a new concept. Network Marketing is not a new concept. Having a home-based Network Marketing business is not a new concept. However, never in the history of our country has the concept been so prevalent and is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception!

The reason is very simple. Our concept is providing American’s with what they want; control of their time and financial opportunities proportionate to their abilities and effort.

With the right home-based Network Marketing business, one has all of the benefits and advantages of a home-based business and unlimited financial opportunity usually associated with a large traditional business.

Employees and Debt
Rather than having several employees working with other employees under one roof for the benefit of someone else’s company, with Network Marketing, we have a bunch of home-based business owners, working under their own roof, networking with other home-based business owners, all working for their own companies. This concept provides an incentive and opportunity of multiplication and duplication for each home-based business owner equal to or greater than that of the owners of traditional businesses with multiple employees and locations, with out all the hassles associated with traditional businesses! It requires no debt, no employees and no complicated administrative procedures. With Network Marketing, we work with and for other people and other people work with and for us.

What is Network Marketing?
When you purchase a product or service, usually over 50% of the retail cost is associated with marketing! That would be any cost associated with getting someone to buy the product plus any cost incurred once it is produced by the factory. With Network Marketing, the products are shipped directly to the consumer from the factory. Those monies normally associated with marketing are paid to several home-based Network Marketing businesses owners which had previous network marketing or internet marketing influence in the referral of the customer!

Are the products less expensive?
Most customers will not buy inferior products and there is limited benefit to paying a little less for a product on the short run. Let’s assume that you sold yourself a product, ordered it from a Network Marketing company and in return the company paid you a 50% commission or rebate. In effect you’ve saved 50% on the products you purchased. That may save you a few dollars. Although saving money is important, the concept of earning money on products that we are already buying is far more exciting.

The concept is to redistribute the marketing dollar!

Imagine having a network of thousands of customers purchasing quality products or services each month where you receive a few dollars per month for each customer! Remember, these are products or services that we are all already buying, or should be, and this is money that is normally paid to others. In essence, the simple process of referring other customers who also refer other customers to a Network Marketing company, presents an opportunity for a redistribution of the wealth to you and I, the consumer!

Traditional Marketing versus Network Marketing
A traditional company would typically have a Vice President of Marketing with several regional managers reporting directly to them. Those regional managers would recruit, hire, train and manage several area managers who, in turn, would each recruit, hire, train and manage several sales representatives. The sales representatives are then responsible for selling the company’s products or services.

Plotted on a piece of paper, the shape of the traditional organization would look like a triangle or pyramid. It’s quite obvious that the higher the level the higher the pay and that there is less room at the top for advancement. It is also evident that it is mathematically impossible for each and every sales representative or employee to rise to the top regardless of how good a job they do!

The Difference
First and foremost, Network Marketing is different. Each individual starts at exactly the same level – at the top of their own organization, has exactly the same opportunity as everyone else and is compensated in directly proportion to the activity or success that they have had an influence in generating. Secondly, one doesn’t need to be a sales person to reap the level of financial benefits normally associated with company owners, sales managers and marketers. Thirdly, in Network Marketing we work with, when and for whom we choose. And last but not least, different than in a traditional company, we only work for ourselves and those whose activity generates income for us! We may also choose to work with those which we are generating income for, because, in most cases, they don’t make money unless we do.

How does it work?
In Network Marketing, there are customers and also independent representatives who operate as a home-based business. The customers may also be independent reps. Independent reps can earn management positions if they so desire. Different than in traditional business, each independent representative is given the opportunity and responsibility of both recruiting customers and other independent representatives. Each independent representative is owner, president, and vice-president of marketing for their own home-based network Marketing business.

Network Marketing is a word of mouth business. By spreading the word, the network marketing marketer identifies others who desire to be customers and or independent representatives (home-based business owners). The independent rep helps those newly recruited independent reps build their own home based business by helping them identify other customers and independent reps who desire to own their own home based network Marketing business. In a mature organization, it is normal for there to be 50-100+ customers for each customer/independent representative that you personally refer! Through this duplication and multiplication process each home based business owner can recruit and sponsor a few customers and/or independent representatives and, as a result, generate a sizable organization of consumers and marketers.

Referring
Does this sound like a foreign and awkward activity to you? How many people have you referred to your favorite restaurant or to your favorite movie. How many more have gone because the people you told enjoyed the restaurant or movie and told someone else who went? How much did you get paid? We are all already referring customers everyday! It is just that most of us don’t get paid for it.

The question is not whether we refer customers, the question is whether we are getting paid for the activity!

In network Marketing, customer/independent reps receive an income for “marketing” the products for the company simply by referring other customers! Normally, we receive compensation through 5 – 10 generations of this duplication activity. In addition, there are usually additional performance and leaderships bonus compensation structures! Assuming an association with the right company: Network Marketing is the one of the very few processes I know of where you will earn in network marketing relation to your ability and effort with virtually unlimited potential! Although most people are looking only for a few hundred or few thousand of supplemental monthly income, I personally know, know of, or have met a substantial number of people who earn several tens of thousands of dollars per month from their home-based network Marketing business!

Choosing a Safe Business Opportunity
Once it has been determined that a home-based business is appropriate, and further determined that a home-based Network Marketing business is even more appropriate, the real difficulty is in determining which network Marketing opportunities to become involved in. Without experience in the industry, unless you’re extremely lucky, it is next to impossible to pick a winner on the first try! Unfortunately, it seems that experience in the industry is not always sufficient for the proper evaluation of a network Marketing opportunity. As is the case with traditional business, there are good opportunities and bad opportunities. As is the case with traditional business, unfortunately many people let their emotions cloud their rational judgement when it comes to evaluating a network Marketing company and/or business opportunity!

Evaluation Process
There are certain criteria which must be used rationally when one does an evaluation. Technically, these could be divided into two categories: absolutely necessary characteristics and desirable characteristics. For me, the desirable characteristics are also necessary, therefore, I will not distinguish between the two and will address them in no particular order.

Competent Company Management Team
Normally it is very difficult for us to know any more about the network Marketing company’s management team than what they tell us themselves. The evaluation of the management team only becomes an issue with a new company! If a company has been in business three to five years with a well documented and stable growth record, we really don’t need to waste our time. New network Marketing companies are starting up at a higher rate than ever before. It seems that every person who has ever been successful at network Marketing wants their own company. Surprise, running a network Marketing company is traditional business and new network Marketing companies fail at near the same rate as traditional businesses!

Age of the Company

The most common mistake made by the masses is getting emotionally tied up in the “ground floor opportunity” pitch which caters to our “greed” and the “fear of loss”! If a person is determined to get involved with a new network Marketing company, they should do so because they understand totally the market for the product(s) and the experience of the management team. Being on the ground floor is usually not best because a majority of new companies will fail. Even if the new company does succeed, there will be many adjustments and changes during the initial growth and there usually is a lack of proven marketing procedures, materials, and training support. The attrition rate is usually much higher during those first years because most individuals are not emotionally flexible enough to accept the changes and turmoil. A network Marketing company experiences four basic phases of growth and market penetration. The risk of the company failing during phase one (usually first 3-5 years) is 10-20 time greater than in phase two. Contrary to popular belief, it usually is far better to be involved with a network Marketing company after they’re entered phase two. The risk of their failure is negligible. Their success indicates that their products are acceptable and that their marketing procedures and materials work! Then, either fortunately or unfortunately, our success depends only on ourselves!

Remember, the Vehicle must never be the limiting element in our success!

No Major investment
With the right network Marketing opportunity, one should be able to start their own home-based business for hundreds of dollars, rather than the normal thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars usually associated with other traditional businesses which have any serious financial potential!

No Inventory, No Receivables, and No Collections
I will not spend time on these. If you have ever experienced them as an owner, they need no explanation.

No Employees
Employees require a tremendous obligation from the business owner; mentally, emotionally and financially. With network Marketing, other independent distributors in our organization, while working their own home-based business, supply the same benefit to us as employees would to a traditional business. We have no payroll, no benefit overhead, no space requirement, and no management duties other than a moral obligation to help others in their business just as others will help us.

Residual Income – Persistency
Unless you have been a successful network marketer, insurance agent or marketer, author or actor, it is really difficult to understand the tremendous benefit of residual income.

Starting on a part- time basis, a sincere person or couple with desire and persistence can, within a three-to- five year period, build a meaningful residual income to last a lifetime and then some.

Building a residual income is a little like flying a big jet. It takes a significant amount of fuel to get it off the ground, but once it has reached altitude, it can throttle back and fly on a fraction of the fuel needed for takeoffs. The big difference is that a residual income can “fly” seemingly forever with a little refueling along the way. The income stream can be passed from generation to generation.

All the other benefits of network Marketing, such as control, opportunity, and flexibility are important, but Residual Income is the essence of network Marketing!

Experience has taught me that many more people propose to have Desire and Persistence than actually demonstrate it. The purpose for this communique is to identify Individuals who sincerely want more Success in their life but don’t seem to have the right Vehicle for their journey. If you are one of the few, then I invite you to investigate a home-based network Marketing business opportunity which would allow me to work with you and for you, in order that we both achieve our Success goals. If any of this makes any sense to you and you would like more information, use if for your success. If you would like a bio on my experience and qualifications, just ask. Thank you for your time, your most valuable asset!