Monthly Archives: May 2016

What Makes a Business Successful

DelightYou might exclaim that it is profit! Certainly that is the object and does indicate whether or not the business is successful. However what all determines if the business even gets to that point? Some of the main components of success beyond the obvious things like a good product are mindset, focus and presentation.

There is really a lot to be said for the ‘spirit’ of things. This has to do with mindset and extends to the environment in the business. Is it bright and shiny? Or is it dark and dubious most days? It is obvious that if the atmosphere is one of positivity and hopefulness that it will carry the business a lot farther than if someone is skeptical and just has a negative attitude. This can be about the time, money or duties required to conduct the business.

A positive mindset is so important that steps should be taken to create a positive atmosphere no matter what is happening or not happening. Remember wherever you are focused, that is where you will likely end up. That is why it is so important that you force yourself to be in ‘a good mood’ about your life in general as well as your business. Do not allow yourself to get off into self-pity or create reasons that you know you will fail.

You can accomplish this positive mindset by doing mental exercises whenever you feel a dark cloud hovering over you. Truly know and believe that you can succeed. Do not look at what you can see, but look at what you might not be able to see YET. Focus on what you HOPE to attain and believe that you can accomplish it. Keep telling yourself about that over and over until you actually believe it.

Here is where it is important to keep your goals realistic. Certainly somebody who tells themselves they know they can make a million by Friday is going to be sorely disappointed. Keep it real. Give yourself goals that you can actually accomplish. Don’t be afraid to under-estimate. You can increase your goal each time you accomplish a benchmark.

Strategy for Successful Merger and Acquisition

bu17In order to make a merger work, it is pertinent to have a sound strategic planning so that maximum benefit is taken out from the merger. Before signing on the dotted lines, the company doing the acquisition must evaluate the performance, market position, cash flows, future opportunities, technology, regulatory issues of the target company to fix the right price for the deal. The management of the company doing the acquisition must have a clear and well-defined strategy for their specific business.

It is always advisable to take lessons from the past deals if the company has done in the past, learn from the experience of peers and look into industry benchmarks. This can help in formulating a sound strategy which will pay off in the long run. One must look into the working environment, employees and other cultural issues of the target company so that all misconceptions are sorted out at the initial stage and employees of both the companies know what is in store for them. As the deal has to make sense for both the target and the acquirer, it is important to identify synergy between the two companies.

Most prominently, the strategy must lay out the business drivers of the merger and factor in all the risks associated with the merger. If any major restructuring is required after the buyout, it must be chalked out and shared with the target company. This will surely ensure that all those involved in the merger process like management of the merger companies, stakeholders, board members, investors, employees agree on the defined strategies set by the acquiring company. If the plan gets consent of all these stakeholders, then it will be easy to go ahead with the merger and complete the integration process without much hassle.

At the time of chalking out the merger and acquisition strategies, one must consider the markets of the intended business, market share that the acquiring company is eyeing for in each market, the products and technologies would be required to achieve the target, the geographic locations where the business will operate and the skills and resources that you would require to make the deal a success.

Once the basic strategy is in place, then the acquiring company must look at the finances. Financing the deal can be done from myriad sources like cash, own accruals, debt, public and private equities, minority investments, etc. One must evaluate the cost of the fund depending on the needs and the amount of returns that the deal can fetch in the medium to long-run. Always build a preliminary valuation model by calculating the estimated cost of acquisition and estimated returns from the merger. It will help you in understanding the relative impacts of the acquisitions. Knowing the value drivers of the deal is the most critical element for success of any M&A. The acquiring company must do all due-diligence earnestly and identify the sources of value like intellectual property, people, markets and brand from the deal.

Lastly, one must remember that employee turnover in target company is usually very high in the initial years after the merger. The acquiring company must put in place an effective retention programmes for the key employees who drive growth and value for the company. As a substantial number of M&As fail, one must keep the acquisition strategy ready at the time of signing the deal and reap the benefits later on. It is naive to think of an acquisition as a panacea. The work of integrating an acquired company can take anywhere from 6 months to couple of years, before you begin to realize any benefits. There will always be complications, hurdles and disappointments, but one must keep the focus on the end result.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction With DevOps

bu16DevOps is one of the latest buzzwords in the market today. At the enterprise level, the leadership team is focusing more on moving their projects to DevOps mode that benefits their customers in providing a quick feedback to the development teams to work on the changes and deliver the desired service/product.

DevOps are on the broader terms is an approach based on lean and agile practices in which development teams, operations and testing teams communicate and collaborate to deliver the product/service in a continuous manner to reach out to the end customer that helps them to seize the market opportunities. This provides a chance to receive timely feedback and incorporate the changes in a quick manner. DevOps as a concept emphasizes communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and IT operations to enable faster and reliable deliverables to the end client in reduced timelines. This way the execution gaps in a project can be controlled and togetherness can be brought in within the groups working on the project.

Unlike traditional software applications, which are designed with massive data and reliability and can satisfy the customer with one or two releases a year, the current web & mobile application demand continuous delivery and required intense focus on user experience, agility and speed that they reach to the market as end users directly use the system. DevOps enables all these, in an organized way with integrated teams and continuous feedback within and between the groups.

DevOps enable faster delivery to the markets, enhanced customer satisfaction and improved capacity to innovate within the teams. Agile environment enables enterprises to build quality into every individual increment of the application delivered where in with DevOps the whole execution process can be streamlined with reliable, fast and quality products to the market.

Principles of DevOps:

In one of the technical forum’s the following principles of DevOps are published by IBM and the list is still evolving based on the learnings and practices set up at the enterprise level.

• Develop and test against production like environments
• Deploy with repeatable, reliable processes
• Monitor and validate operational quality
• Amplify feedback loops

The goal is to allow development and quality assurance (QA) teams to develop and test against systems that behave like the production system, so that they can see how the application behaves and performs well before it’s ready for deployment. In the same note, automation is necessary to create repeatable and reliable processes.

Unlike traditional monitoring applications in a siloed and disconnected manner at the production end, DevOps suggest to push the process earlier in the lifecycle to monitor the quality and functionalities at development and testing phases that provides early warning about operational and quality issues that may occur in production. Quick feedback and rapid learning from the actions enable fast and reliable deliverables with improved communication within the teams and winning the trust factor of the end customer.

DevOps propose the adoption of the plan, develops, test, deploy and operate in a continuous manner to meet the tight deadlines and to rollout the application to the end market for their feedback for continuous improvement.

How the Best Catering Companies Make Your Event Memorable

bu15Organizing any special occasion can be exciting but also stressful, with many different factors to consider and different aspects of the event to coordinate. This includes everything from sending out invitations right through to finding the entertainment for the day or evening in order to keep all guests happy.

With that said, one of the most important things to get right is booking a great caterer, as this can make huge difference in people’s experience of your particular event. Indeed, finding a great caterer can actually mean that the event is memorable in all the right ways; here is how the best catering companies make your event memorable.

The first way that a caterer can make for a memorable event is by serving something that guests do not normally enjoy during their meals at home. This can be a foreign cuisine or a themed dinner, both of which have their advantages and are suitable for different types of events and guests.

Themed catering options can include having a French fry bar, a waffles bar or a crepe bar. Others can include sushi bars or salad bars. In these instances, people can select the flavours that they enjoy to experience a fun, more personalised offering that leaves everyone feeling satisfied.

These can also add to the ambience of the event, with the theme contributing to the atmosphere that is trying to be created. A great example of this is at a baby shower or an engagement party, where a sweets bar is the only thing on offer. This can add a unique touch to the event and make it stand out from the typical party food.

Another way that the best catering companies make your event memorable is – as mentioned above – by offering a type of cuisine that is out of the ordinary for many people. Often this consists of cuisines from specific regions of the world, including French, Italian, Russian or Japanese food, and many more.

This can be an excellent choice for more advanced occasions such as corporate dinners and weddings, especially in the case of luxurious cuisines such as French cuisine. In many cases it is possible to hire a caterer that is professionally trained in the country whose cuisine he or she is preparing and serving.

Typically, fine cuisine is only served at restaurants, which can be out of many people’s budget. For this reason, serving up an exceptionally high quality meal the likes of which are only found in the best restaurants will mean that a lot of guests are going to be walking away very impressed with what they have been treated to.

Of course, offering up exquisite cuisines or themed events are not the only ways that caterers can make a real positive impact at an event. Often these culinary experts are also professionals at providing great service and table decorations, meaning that your guests will be impressed by the quality of service and the aesthetics of the meal too.

This can include an exquisitely laid buffet table that is a feast for the eyes, and attentive and knowledgeable servers who can recommend on each and every dish served. In some instances, a fully trained professional chef will even be preparing dishes from scratch right in front of the eyes of guests.

This can make for some great memories, and is another way that the best catering companies make your event memorable. From delivering the best cuisine right through to ensuring that service is top notch, hiring a caterer can make all the difference at your event, leaving guests walking away fully satisfied and with some great memories of how spectacular the catering was.