Consulting Skills Training Can Improve Your Business

When most people think of consultants, they think of external consultants. However, a variety of roles within organizations require consultative abilities, such as managers, project managers, business analysts, human resource professionals, sales professionals, and more.

Furthermore, a variety of situations require a leader with strong consultative expertise to help teams reach a solution for a problem, to help strategic planning committees set reasonable goals and objectives, to help groups complete a project, and, occasionally, just to help employees reach their potential. Whether you are a private consultant or an internal consultant, training is a great opportunity to take your facilitation talents to the next level and help your clients achieve the results that they want.

So, what can you expect to learn in sessions? The overall goal of any good course should be to help consultants learn to manage client relationships and achieve results for them. To achieve these goals, you will learn to actively listen and to ask the best questions in helping clients identify their true needs:

  • Communication techniques that fit your style
  • Ways to set appropriate expectations and objectives for clients
  • Strategies for addressing issues and challenges
  • How to deal effectively with both reasonable and unreasonable requests

These lessons (and more) will help you build your own confidence while also helping clients build confidence in your abilities. This, in turn, leads to strong, lasting client relationships.

Strategic planning sessions are ideal opportunities to put both your facilitation and consulting skills to the test. These committees, typically comprised of C-level executives and organization stakeholders, often request the assistance of an external professional trainer because a meeting leader who can be as objective as possible throughout such sessions is ideal. Since these meetings are designed to help organizations define their annual and/or long-term business goals and strategies, a confident consultant who can help leaders come to a consensus is not only essential to the process, this person is an invaluable business resource.

As mentioned earlier, strategic planning sessions are not the only environments where expertise in these areas comes in handy. When choosing a professional training course or workshop, consider the abilities that you are looking to gain or improve upon from the workshop. There are countless classes available-from general courses that improve your basic abilities to specialized ones, such as strategic planning facilitation training.

In addition to considering your own talents when choosing a course, consider the abilities and practical experience of your trainer. Consider the difference: you sign up for a course or workshop taught by a seasoned, professional consultant with real-world experience. Or you take a course at a local community college or university taught by a professor of organizational psychology with limited real-world experience. The decision you make could be decisive in your professional career.

The need for consulting skills training can be found at virtually any level of an organization. Choosing solid experienced, professional education for yourself or your employees can make identifying and achieving your business goals a process that is not only manageable but rewarding. Those rewards extend to personal, professional – and financial improvement in your bottom line.

Top 5 Reasons to Use a Franchise Consultant

If you’re seriously considering franchising, perhaps you have a plan of surfing the net or reading some popular franchise magazines in order to find the one best suited for you. Or maybe you try to make this analogy: ”I buy everything else on the internet these days, so I’m sure I can locate the franchise of my dreams there, too”. Sure, the web is clearly a wealth of information on every topic imaginable. But while it’s a great place to shop for a pair of gold earrings or a new cardigan sweater, it’s a lousy place to conduct an effective franchise search.  Trying to find your ideal franchise using this strategy will, at best, completely overwhelm and frustrate you.

Most franchise seekers have absolutely no idea of what is involved in carrying out a thorough franchise investigation on their own. Aside from the financial investment, there is a substantial time commitment to consider. Try conducting this search alone and you’ll see what I mean. 

An experienced franchise consultant can effectively and efficiently streamline the entire search process for you, sparing you all the aggravation and headaches mentioned above. 

A franchise consultant is a recruiter for the franchise industry and a trusted source of solid business opportunities. He helps to clearly identify an appropriate franchise vehicle through the process of effective qualifying, matching, and presenting. 

There are several major advantages and benefits to using the services of a seasoned franchise consultant. Here are just 5:

The entire service is free to you, the candidate. The consultant is paid by the franchisor for referring a qualified individual, both financially and professionally, who ultimately purchases a franchise.

The consultant has pre-screened hundreds of top franchises for you. Only the ones that meet the highest of standards will be presented to you. Top new and established opportunities are added regularly.

A complete professional and personal profile is designed. Your consultant pinpoints the perfect opportunity for you based on your interests, talents, background, and goals. 

Professional introduction to the franchisor. After you are presented with an opportunity that excites you and that you want to pursue, your consultant ‘takes you to the front of the line’ and makes the introduction between you, the candidate, and the franchisor. The franchisor will respect you immediately, knowing that you, the candidate, are both qualified and ready to move forward.

One of the most annoying aspects the franchisor deals with is tire kickers. They despise having to answer phone calls from less than serious, under-qualified people asking stupid questions about their franchise model. It is very welcoming to have a top-notch candidate referred to them by a franchise consultant who asks intelligent, engaging questions.

Thorough education provided on investment options and types of ownership. Most franchise seekers aren’t aware of the costs involved in purchasing a specific franchise, and the consultant offers vast insight into the various types of franchises and their investment requirements. He can also suggest financing options that were never considered.

As you can clearly see, all three parties-the franchise seeker, the franchisor, and the consultant-win in this very productive business relationship. Unless you are absolutely positive about the specific franchise you wish to pursue (and are fully qualified in every way), it would be a big mistake to not utilize the free services of an experienced franchise consultant.

Register for your Free Franchise Consultation  The Franchising Authority will help you find your perfect franchise!

Merger And Acquisition Consulting In The Corporate Arena

Small firms in the corporate world can sometimes benefit from being merged into bigger companies. While some will feel intimidated, this does not necessarily have to be the case. As for that parent company, the owners have a business proposition in mind. They want to grow, and growth is healthy. Merger and acquisition consulting is a service that provides some guidance to help these successful firms know where to direct their interests.

Many companies have been circumspect about growth of late. They wanted to hold on to their patch of the corporate world and not expanding it. As different industries begin to regain confidence, however, the cycle of mergers and acquisitions begins in earnest once more. It can be tempting to write up a plan, call a lawyer, and try to make a deal on your own, but there are several reasons for hiring merger and acquisition consulting firms.

For one thing, the consultant does not control the client and is independent. He comes in when that client is already thinking of expansion, and performs some essential tasks. One of his jobs is to research whatever firm the client is interested in merging with or acquiring. He looks into their reputation, the longevity of their market, the strength of their client base, and other factors. What he comes up with is an evaluation which the client uses to make a decision. Maybe this company is not worth what they are asking for. Perhaps the deal is not a wise one to make and the client should look elsewhere. The consultant has a pretty good idea of where to look next.

This is because the consultant has experience in his field. While the company director knows every detail of his business thoroughly, a consultant understands what steps to take to succeed in acquiring or merging with another company. He can help you to make a successful deal with the right person.

Once a business has been successfully acquired, there are two options. One is to increase the pace of output, but not its range. The other is to widen the scope of your business instead. In either case, there are strategies involved and a certain level of integration to be considered. When two companies merge, there can be some strong feelings – fear possibly uppermost among them. However, it may not necessarily be so all the time, especially when the business deal can be beneficial to everyone. The new parent company, with professional help, approaches the transition in a way which is healthy for all concerned.

Finally, merger and acquisition consulting firms with a long background in these services will also support a client in other ways. Consultants work with a team of corporate advisors with many skills to help you build your company from within. Once a working relationship has been established, and you trust that the people whom you have hired are good at their jobs, find out more about what they can offer. To this end, it is important to select a merger and acquisition consulting firm with a depth of experience and good track record of consulting project references, in order to ensure that you have a successful merger or acquisition.

Tips on selling yoga wear from clothing manufacturers in wholesale

In this day and age when exercising is the daily health and fitness mantra, yoga wear sells like hotcakes. The fact that yoga is practiced almost everywhere in the world adds color to the already good package. And this is a trend that does not seem to end any time soon if the healing power of yoga is anything to go by. Clearly, yoga wear is a thriving business. Here, I will give you a few tidbits on selling yoga wear from clothing manufacturers in wholesale.
1.Do your homework first

You cannot start climbing a tree from its branches. You always start from its base. Thus, you need to know yoga wear trade in and out right from the outset lest your idea gets nipped in the bud. Do a thorough market analysis to identify a niche. Know how to be on the right side of the law as you do this business. Know the fastest moving yoga pants. Know the right places to buy yoga wear in wholesale. I will suggest one place for you here: China. Chinese clothing manufacturers have built a name for themselves in yoga wear. Overall, have the nitty-gritties of this business at your fingertips.

2.Know your competitors

Knowing your competitors is part of your initial homework. Don’t imagine that you will be selling yoga wear alone. There are other established businesses in yoga wear. You need them as much as you need pasta. Remember, a business does not thrive in isolation. It needs other businesses.

3.Choose reputable clothing manufacturers

You now have a good idea of the yoga wear business and you are ready to start. You need to know where to source your yoga wear from. There are several clothing manufacturers out there and you may not know how to choose the best one. Generally, your manufacturer of choice should have been in this business for quite some time. Consider such things as quality of fabrics, the variety of products and processing of orders as well. Look for clothing manufacturers who have a long term relationship with an international shipping company if you want to be a largescale importer of yoga wear.

4.Stock a wide variety of yoga wear

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say. While specialization is generally a plus in business, it is better to have everything in one place when it comes to yoga wear. Make your business a one-stop shop for yoga wear so that there will be something for everyone every time. For instance, stock both female yoga pants with pockets and without pockets. If you have several brands of these same pants, the better.

5.Order in large quantities

Enjoy economies of scale by ordering in large quantities. When goods are ordered in large quantities, the cost per product is greatly reduced. This increases profit margins and returns on invested capital. Be as detailed as possible whenever you place your purchase order to clothing manufacturers. Don’t ignore any information.

6.Be a price setter

If you get your pricing wrong, you will get into murky waters before you go far. Ask yourself a simple question: why will people buy yoga wear from you if they can get it at a cheaper price elsewhere? Pricing of products is a make-break in business. Therefore, set competitive prices for your products. Realize that being a price setter will not happen in one day.

7.Be flexible

It is very important to change with the changing times in business. For instance, if the market demand for custom yoga pants has escalated, go that direction. You will find it easy to beat the competition if you can adapt to the dynamic market of today.

8.Learn from your customers every day

Finally, once everything is set up, spend the rest of your time in your business learning from your customers. The customer is the king. It may take some time to know exactly what your customers want and when they want it. In the beginning, you will be trying your luck and you will soon be a pro in it. A businessman is a patient man.

How to Wholesale Shirts from China

When want to wholesale shirts, you have two options; buy from the wholesalers in your country or import from other countries. The best country to import from is China where there are many manufacturers of shirts. The prices of clothes are more affordable in China and there is a lot of variety. There are many other reasons why you may want to import wholesale shirts from China. No matter what your reasons are, you need to find reliable clothing manufacturers. Here we look at how you can do this. Before we delve into the main topic, here are a few reasons why wholesale shirts are cheaper in China. • Fabric can be easily accessed. • Labor is cheaper. • Mass production has been mastered in China • Clothing manufacturers are organized and refined using the latest technologies.
Now, how to wholesale shirts from China?

1. Research

You need to know what your options are and the only way to do this is through research. Take some time to research and identify some of good clothing manufacturers available in China. The easiest form of research is the one carried out online. Open your preferred search engine and perform a random search with the words “best wholesale shirts suppliers in China”. You will see very many options and from these, you just have to dig deeper to find the right one for you. Look for a good reputation, quality products, affordability, and great customer service in the wholesale shirts suppliers you choose.

2. Talk to Friends and business associates

If you already have friends or family shipping goods from China then you are in luck. Even if they do not deal with shirts suppliers China, you can use the connection they have with China to find a reliable wholesale shirts supplier. They can talk to their contact person on the ground, who can, in turn, connect you with reliable wholesale shirt suppliers. Since they are in the country already and know most of the clothing suppliers, these are the best people to talk to. The information they give is reliable and can be trusted.

3. Trade Shows or Trade Fairs

You need to attend clothing trade shows and trade fairs so you can see clothes businesses at their best. There you will find many wholesale shirts suppliers showing off what they can offer and explaining how they do offer this. If you are just starting clothing business, you will find attending a clothes trade fair to be very useful. Mainly, there are two major trade shows you should have a look at before making your final decision. One is the Canton Fair which is the largest in China and is held twice every year. The Canton Fair is held in Guangzhou which is near HongKong. This trade show is very large with the grounds equivalent to the size of 218 football fields. There are very many clothing vendors and they have samples of their merchandise with them have a feel of this merchandise and talk to them about exporting to your country. Another trade show you should attend is the Global Sources Tradeshow which happens twice a year in Hong Kong. It takes place just before the Canton Fair so you can visit both shows in one visit. There are many exhibitors and you will find many wholesale shirts suppliers and custom made shirts manufacturers to choose from. There are many other clothes trade shows including the East China Fair that happens in Shanghai. No matter what trade show it is that you attend, be ready to walk around and see what different clothing vendors have to offer. Also, be prepared for cultural differences and language barrier. To beat this challenge, hire a friendly translator. These are usually very affordable charging around 15 dollars per day.

4. Trustworthy Sourcing Agencies

If you have no time to go to China and do not know anyone in that country, you need to trust a sourcing agency. There are many sourcing companies that have helped many people buy goods from suppliers in China and import them. When choosing the sourcing agency to trust with your supply, look for transparency in their actions. You should be able to easily track the progress of the goods from the time you order to the time they do get to you. Also look for a good reputation. Do their previous clients trust them? Do they deliver high-quality products? These are very important considerations to bear in mind. Find a good sourcing agency and you will buy wholesale shirts from China without any stress. They will do everything for you and all you need to do is make the payment and let them do all the hard work. You only have to take over when the goods reach your country.

Custom Tee Shirts From Clothing Manufacturers

In the last few years, China has positioned as the leading clothing manufacturers. If you want to custom tee shirts,there are many good tee shirt suppliers in China. when you place tee shirts order to Chinese clothing manufacturers, a number of factors are favoring you. These factors have been part of a deliberate effort on your end to create a conducive climate for your clients.
1.Know your products

This should be the starting point when looking for the right tee shirts suppliers You will know the tee shirts products well if you have conducted thorough market research. This will also help you save on money and time.

The following questions are important when you want to choose the right tee shirts product: what the tastes and preferences of your customers, do the customers have added features that they want to be incorporated and the number of pieces they are placing orders for. The questions will be important as they will form the basis for pricing. Simple designs will likely cost less while complicated ones will be highly priced.

If the client is not sure about what they want or they do not have funds to conduct market research, it is important that they contact clothing manufacturers.

2.Better terms of payment

In any business or industry, cash remains the king. The working capital cycle needs to be shortened as much as possible. Working capital cycle, expressed in days, is the period that it takes to convert inventory, liabilities into cash. From the time of placing an tee shirts order to the point of delivering and subsequent sale should not be too long. This is to avoid starving your business of the crucial cash that is needed to finance the operations.

Secondly, several payment options are available. Wire transfers remain the most common one. We advise our clients to make payments earlier to take care of any time differences in case they are based overseas. For importers, there are also letters of credit (LC). LC has been defined as the commitment payment by the importer’s bank. It is in a way a financing guarantee. Another financing option is the open account arrangement. OA is where documents relating to shipping of the merchandise are given to the importer since the bank has made a commitment to make payments at a future date. In the case of OA, the bank is the remitting agent.

3.Exchange rate fluctuations

We fully understand the impact that the exchange rate can have on the operations of your business. If not well mitigated against, significant the exchange rate fluctuations can seriously eat into your profits. In case you notice that the exchange rate has fallen considerably, we recommend that you revert to us so that we renegotiate the price. In this way, you are able to cushion yourself against the foreign exchange fluctuation.

4.New product designs

Tee shirts is part of the fashion industry and keeping up with the latest trends is important. As the clothing manufacturers, we endeavor to have information that is not only timely but also accurate. We have a strong research and development team that is continuously looking for emerging issues in the fashion industry. Once the latest trends have been identified, we advise our clients to make the necessary changes. In the event that they do not agree with the suggestions that we are putting forward, we stick to their designs.

Another important source of information on product development is a robust customer feedback mechanism that we have put in place. The responses received will essentially be an overview of the market. Recently, we are sending booklets that have information on the products that will be released in the coming quarters. This will help the clients to also give us their feedback.

Five Reasons Craft Beer Continues To Grow In Popularity

Being a beer fan means a lot of things, but to most, it means that you are the kind of person who demands only the finest when it comes to this ancient elixir. It’s this fascination with beer that has made the up-and-comer craft beer such a popularity monster in the last couple of decades or so. Craft beer is often thought of as the essence of beer brewing done right, and for any true fan of beer, indulging in craft offerings means you’re walking the walk and talking the talk.
However, not everyone is a fan of craft beer.

For some, craft beer brewers are sometimes pilfering old, forgotten recipes and claiming them as their own. For others, the odd variety and complexity of these beers makes them an anomaly that deserves no real consideration. In the end, though, it really comes down to folks just being a fan of brands of beer they have been familiar with for years.

As it turns out, though, these naysayers have fallen into a minority as the majority of beer lovers are really becoming quite enamored with the beer revolution that has swept this country. Part of this sweeping change has come from the foodie movement. People have started demanding more from the things they eat and drink, and chefs have demanded greater quality in their products. As such, simple, well-made products “straight from the ground” (farm to table) have become king, and beer brewing has ridden the wave.

So, why is craft beer so popular? It may be because of:

Deep Flavor — Even though there are a number of brewing styles, one quality that they all share is a deep flavor that you can’t find with other bigger brewers trying their hand in a chosen brewing style. People want to enjoy what they drink, not just down it in large quantities.

Seasonal Treats — No matter the holiday or what the calendar says, craft beer brewers are all about making beer that highlights the flavors of the season, as well as works with ingredients that are in season. Sure, it means limited runs, but they turn out to be something else.

Experimentation — We’ve come to love consistency in our beer, but when you taste something truly unique…WOW! Smaller brewers want to get that ‘wow’ factor into all of their beer, and they’re willing to try some crazy things to make it happen.

Requests for Feedback — Big-box beers do what they do & they’re good with that. Craft beer brewers want your input. What did/didn’t you like? Did we miss anything? What about the packaging? This personal contact goes a long way.

Support of Small Business — Everyone wants the little guy to do well, and craft beer brewers are the little guy. Sure, their marketshare and numbers have grown almost exponentially, but it still doesn’t mean that they’re not always trying to compete against Big Beer.

Craft beer has seen its popularity, and profitability, increase over the last twenty years due to greater demand of quality libations from beer fans. No longer is the status quo acceptable, and while some of the big-box brands struggle to keep up, smaller brewers are up for the challenge of giving the beer-loving public the kind of brew they’ve only dreamt about.

It’s Time to Get Serious About Voice Search Optimization

How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy for Your Business Website
Last week I talked about what voice search technology means for your business. It’s such an important topic that I decided to write a second part related to SEO this week.

From Google Assistant to Siri, people are speaking rather than typing to search online more than ever.

According to Location World, more than 40 percent of adults used spoken search on a daily basis in 2016. ComScore estimates that over 50 percent of searches will be voice-based by 2020.

It makes sense: it’s much easier to speak a question than it is to type it. And it allows you to multitask while driving, cooking or walking.

This is not a fad, or something you should ignore – if you want to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition, now’s the time to do it.

Here’s what to focus on:

It’s all about location, location, location

In last week’s blog, I covered the importance of using local keywords to attract visitors and customers. Using these local targeted keywords is a huge part of any SEO strategy for your website.

Mobile voice-related searches are three times more likely to be locally based. People are looking for what’s nearby right now, so the more specific you can get with your keywords and copy the more likely they are to find you.

Use your location with keywords as often as you can, and don’t forget to keep your Google My Business page and Yelp page updated with your current information – these results are served too, not just your web content.

Be more natural

What someone types into a search bar is going to be different from a spoken query. For example, if I want to find a hotel near the airport in Toronto, I’d type something like “hotels near airport Toronto” into the search bar.

However, if I’m speaking my search, it would be more like “what hotels are near the airport in Toronto?”

Google is looking for natural language, so you’re going to have to brainstorm the types of questions people might ask that include your target keywords.

Incorporate conversational, long-tail keyword phrases into your content as much as possible.

Some great ways to create natural content include: • About and FAQ pages • Blogs and articles • Answering questions on your Google My Business Questions and Answers section • Providing as much info as you can to Google My Business and Yelp, including hours of operation, products or services offered, parking, delivery or shipping options and so on.

Aim for featured snippets and People also ask

Both Google Home and Google Assistant read out featured snippets when answering queries, so you want to get to the top!

Featured snippets are selected search results that are found in a box on top of Google’s organic results.

Google wants to give users the best answer so it’s essential you answer questions clearly and update your website with fresh, engaging copy on a regular basis.

Research shows answers in the form of lists have done very well in featured snippets. The more conversational answers your site and online profiles contain, the better your chances of appearing in this coveted spot.

The same goes for “People also ask”. You might have seen this pop up when you type in or speak a question. Check out the example below – I asked, “where are the best boutiques in nyc?”

Below the top few results there is often a “People also ask” section. Each of those dropdown menus answers a related question using content from well-optimized websites or blogs.

Create copy for a 9th grade reading level

No matter what your business offers it’s never a good idea to write overly technical or jargon-filled copy. It doesn’t benefit the user, and it doesn’t benefit your SEO.

Research shows that content written at a 9th grade reading level – or below – appears more often as a voice result. You can use a tool such as the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level to determine what grade your content is at and adjust accordingly.

It’s not about dumbing down your site – it’s about answering questions succinctly and clearly rather than filling your webpages with unnecessary language that will only confuse searchers and search engines.

Focus on adding these strategies to your marketing efforts to increase traffic, leads and sales as adoption of this exciting technology continues to grow. The more you focus on voice search optimization now the better results you’re going to get in the long run.