A strategic plan is essential to the success of any enterprise. Social enterprises, or those in which one pursues an opportunity to create positive social change, are no exception. The plan articulates the founder’s vision internally and externally with potential funders and customers and describes how the enterprise will fulfill that vision. Undertaking the planning exercise also forces the entrepreneur to think about the best way to handle every aspect of the business from cash flow to distribution, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
A vital component of a social enterprise strategic plan is articulating the vision. According to Jeff Nock Iowa, this section articulates how the world will look when the organization accomplishes what it is setting out to do:
- What is the problem?
- Why is it important?
- How significant is the problem?
- What are its root causes and contributing factors?
- Why is this problem solvable?
- What other approaches have been tried, and what were their results?
- What would the world look like if this problem were solved?
- What is the mission of this enterprise?
A good mission statement is succinct and memorable and describes the purpose of the organization. One social enterprise, Bombas, a sock company, has developed the mission statement to provide a sustainable solution to the most requested clothing item at homeless shelters—socks. After developing the mission, the entrepreneur describes how the enterprise will fulfill the mission, for example, what factors will affect change and how the new business will act to do that, says Jeff Nock Iowa. In the Bombas example, Bombas donates one pair of socks to a homeless person for every sock sold.
After the plan articulates the vision and mission, it covers the external market conditions including competition, the organization’s marketing/sales, operations, leadership team and financials that will enable it to carry out its mission, says Jeff Nock Iowa. Examples of these assets are experienced leadership, specialized skills, and partnerships. Just as with any business, a social enterprise will talk about how its operations or product or service differs from competitors. It will discuss how its approach to solving the social problem is unique and differentiated, as well, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
The last section covers finances. It outlines how much funding is needed to start the venture, what the entrepreneur already has, and if gaps exist, how they will be filled. It includes sales projections, costs, and provides cash flow and income statements for three to five years. It also includes an analysis of funds that might be available for the social cause and whether the enterprise can access that money. Cash flow is essential because, without it, a social enterprise will be unable to affect sustainable change, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
For a social enterprise, profit is not the only success factor. The plan also provides a section on how the enterprise will measure success. The metrics used to measure success should link back to the mission statement and be clearly assigned to specific leaders, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Each section deals with risks — what could go wrong financially, strategically, and programmatically — and how the enterprise will mitigate these risks. A section also describes how the business will scale, including how it will balance the speed of scaling while also optimizing social value creation, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa is CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting LLC, which helps funded early-stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals. Jeff Nock Iowa is an experienced executive, consultant, and leader with a demonstrated history of growing startups, non-profits, and established companies.
Supporting Customers, Keeping Trust Are Critical Now, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
COVID-19 is turning our lives upside down. With the marketplace and economy changing so rapidly, businesses must adapt their marketing strategy to these uncertain times. Marketing plans now need to be sensitive to customer’s changing sentiments and put supporting customers and maintaining their trust above short-term profits, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Check-in With Customer Sentiment, Says Jeff Nock of Iowa
Since the pandemic began, consumers have become distrustful of government and other institutions, including top brands. Savvy marketers listen to their customers so that their messaging and delivery don’t come across as tone-deaf in this new environment. They will cull social media to understand consumer concerns and how they relate to the brand. They will listen to Voice of the Customer programs to understand the sentiment shifts. They will use this information to develop a plan that emphasizes helping customers more than blatantly promoting their product, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Offer Flexibility, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
One way to sell while helping consumers is to partner with Paypal, Affinity, Afterpay, or similar organizations to allow customers who may be facing temporary financial challenges to pay over time. Service companies can consider extending payments over 12 months or longer. Companies can redo policies to allow more flexibility for returns, exchanges, or cancellations.
Deliver on Promises, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Above all, companies should be careful to promise only what they can deliver now. Closed factories and warehouses have disrupted supply chains and likely have affected the company’s operations. To maintain consumer trust, companies should be realistic about delivery times and pull ad campaigns for products they can no longer deliver promptly.
Use Virtual Channels, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
A Google survey shows that people are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented rates during the pandemic. People are viewing informational content on a variety of topics from exercise, to recipes, to entertainment. Consumers also are doing more shopping online. If possible, companies should develop ways to deliver the product virtually. For example, Viking Cruise Lines has developed Viking TV, which allows individuals to virtually explore the world now that they cannot do so physically, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Develop Alternatives to Event Marketing, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Restrictions and safety are limiting events that draw large crowds. Many organizations are switching to virtual conferences or other virtual events that support their brand. Some of these virtual conferences also offer opportunities for other organizations to buy sponsorships.
Show Compassion, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Ensuring content is compassionate and empathetic across all media, including one-on-one interactions, is critical now. Consumers are suffering and need to know that their favorite brand understands and suffers with them. The words companies use in their marketing messages are crucial now.
Give Back, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Companies will offer whatever help they can to the community. They will donate products, where appropriate, and encourage employees to volunteer in their local communities on company time. By being positive, contributing community citizens, companies gain the goodwill of both consumers and staff, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa is CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting LLC, which helps funded early-stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Master of Science in Management from Regis University. He is an experienced executive, consultant, and leader with a demonstrated history of growing established companies, startups, and nonprofits.
Companies Can Scale in a Recession, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
COVID-19 has created economic uncertainty. The National Bureau of Economic Research has announced that the U.S economy is officially in a recession. Although scaling may be easier during boom times, scaling also is possible in a recession, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Scaling is growing revenues at a faster rate than adding costs. For example, a company may increase monthly revenue by $45,000 but only increase costs by $5,000 for a new marketing campaign. People often confuse scaling with growth. A company grows if it increases monthly revenue by $50,000 but also increases costs by $50,000. Profitable scalability is the goal. Companies that act defensively and cut too much in recessions do poorly, as do those companies that are too aggressive, says Jeff Nock Iowa. A good way to scale during a downturn is to balance cost-cutting with investments.
One strategic way to cut costs is to improve operational efficiencies rather than just slashing employees, says Jeff Nock Iowa. For example, a company should examine every aspect of how they do business to determine the most efficient way to organize the company and its supply chains. A recession is a prime time to challenge a long time operational processes and renegotiate contracts with suppliers to gain more favorable rates.
It also is an excellent time to determine if technology, software, and automation can improve efficiency and to look at ways to carry less inventory while still meeting customer needs. A company should determine if some operational aspects could be handled better through an outsourcing partner. These operational changes will lower cash needs during the recession, but will also allow the company to maintain lower costs when the economy improves, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Strategic companies also use economic downturns to invest in technology, software, equipment, and other assets while prices are low, as long as they can do so without adversely affecting their credit rating, says Jeff Nock Iowa. They use some of the money gained from operational efficiencies to invest judiciously in research and development and marketing. For example, the recession may be a great time to add talented salespeople while wages are lower.
It also is a good time to survey customers to be sure the company’s products or services continue to meet needs. A recession also may provide an opportunity to take customers from the competition. For that reason, it also is a good time to survey non-customers to see what products or services they need, as well. The R&D and marketing spending likely will grow revenues only a little during the recession. Still, they will position the company for significant growth afterward, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Companies who hope to scale during a recession should continually find ways to provide better customer service because keeping current customers is critical. Smart executives also will consider if they need additional software and tools, such as CRM, chats, or chatbox apps, to reach their goals, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Consider the difference between how Office Max and Staples operated during the 2000 recession, says Jeff Nock Iowa. Office Max cut its workforce by 6 percent but made few other operations-related cost cuts. Staples increased its workforce in high-end categories and services while containing operating costs and closing underperforming facilities. By 2003, Staples’ sales had doubled, and it was 30 percent more profitable than Office Max, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa is CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting LLC, which helps already funded early-stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals. Jeff Nock Iowa received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Boulder and a Master of Science in Management from Regis University. He is an experienced executive, consultant, and leader with a demonstrated history of growing startups, non-profits, and established companies.
Uncertain Economic Times Make Having A Solid Plan Even More Vital To Success, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Business plans have always been necessary for planning, raising money, and gauging the success of the venture. Companies that develop business plans succeed more often than those who don’t, saysJeff Nock Iowa. The economic uncertainty of COVID-19 has made a strong business plan even more critical to profitability and long-term growth. Startups need solid plans, and companies that have existing plans also will want to rework them based on changing market conditions, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Business plans include several components. These include an executive summary/description of the business, detailed information on the market and competitive environment, how this business will differentiate itself within that environment, what are the financial goals and milestones, and how the business will be operated. The plan also should include how the company is responding or will respond to shifts in demand, such as toward more e-commerce, and remote working that are part of the current business environment, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
In creating or rewriting a business plan, a company should consider carefully who the audience for the plan will be; for example, is the plan to seek funding or a joint venture partner or is it primarily for giving internal direction. The audience will drive the content, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa offers the following tips to develop a solid first business plan or to adjust one for the current context.
- Survey customers. What do they most want and need now? Has the virus changed their needs for your product?
- Consider competitors. What services and products are they offering to meet customer wants and needs? What gaps exist? How can you provide a better product or service or deliver it differently?
- Understand the market. Will the demand for the product and service continue to grow, and how will the market change as it grows? How would the company change as the market changes?
- Develop a sales forecast. Next, determine how to get there based on the current economic environment. For example, suppose an entrepreneur needs to make 100 sales and one-quarter of the leads turn into sales presentations, and half of all presentations result in sales. The company would need 800 leads to sell 100 products. The company then plans on how to obtain 800 leads.
- Develop Scenarios and how the company will adapt to them. For example, a business that a state government has deemed nonessential might adjust by adding an “essential product” to its line or by collaborating with a company that has been considered essential.
- Plan cash flow carefully. Monthly cash flow projections will be vital to ensuring the company can meet obligations. If the sales cycle is long, the plan should include how the business will meet obligations in the meantime.
- Select a strong management team. Every good business plan includes a discussion of the management team and the team members’ backgrounds. The description might include examples of how members have creatively responded to other significant economic changes and their ability to find creative solutions.
Jeff Nock Iowa is the founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting LLC, which has helped more than 250 companies develop and execute effective business plans. Jeff Nock Iowa has considerable experience in managing non-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including President & CEO of Goodwill of the Heartland, CEO of EPX Denver, and AVP of Marketing and Product Development at ACT. Jeff Nock Iowa also has been part of three tech startups.
Poor cash flow management is a common reason why some businesses fail. Jeff Nock Iowa suggests a contributing factor is that too many business owners focus on growing revenue, or the amount of money trickling into a business. Instead, business owners should focus on overseeing revenue and cash flow, which is the money flowing out of a business. Why is it so important to focus on cash flow when revenue is where we see our profits?
Managing cash flow is crucial for any business to grow. Some ways to encourage business growth may require hiring new employees, purchasing more operating equipment, buying more inventory, expanding production output, or entering another geographical region. Without cash on hand, many business owners choose to open more lines of credit, which only burns up more cash over time.
Jeff Nock Iowa – Cash Flow Management Tips
As your business grows, you will need access to more cash. A business line of credit is there to help with cash flow problems, but Jeff Nock Iowa suggests limiting the amount to a percentage of on-hand collateral, such as your accounts receivable, large assets, or sale-able inventory. Here are more options for managing business cash flow suggested by Jeff Nock Iowa:
1. Lease Equipment vs. Buying
Jeff Nock Iowa recommends leasing expensive office technology or manufacturing equipment instead of using large amounts of cash. Often, a business can deduct the cost of lease payments for work-related equipment from their taxes. Other benefits to leasing equipment are lower initial cost, flexible payments, lease-to-own, and the possibility to upgrade to newer technology.
2. Offer Online Payment Methods to Customers
Jeff Nock Iowa suggests using online invoice payment methods that businesses can offer clients, such as electronic payment systems that get you paid faster. Online payments also make it easier for your customers to pay you. Plus, with today’s highly secure platforms, Jeff Nock Iowa believes that offering online payments makes it convenient and safe, while also offering another form of online customer engagement that can later be used for other digital marketing campaigns.
3. Ask for Deposits on Large Contracts
If your business operates on long term financial transactions, Jeff Nock Iowa suggests a system of payment that benefits your cash flow. For example, get a large down payment upon contract approval, then schedule regular payments for each stage of the project. This payment model has been used by software developers for years and could apply to any service provider, such as construction or home improvement trades where a percentage of payment is due at certain stages and final payment is due after the project is completed.
4. Get Control of Your Cash Flow
Always know your cash balance by tracking your cash flow from day-to-day. With today’s automated accounts receivable and accounts payable tools, cash flow can be managed in real time so Jeff Nock Iowa suggests you stay on top of your invoicing after products or services are delivered. As part of your accounting staff duties, make sure they call or email your customers with a gentle reminder, the first day a payment is late.
Jeff Nock Iowa has seen how businesses can fail due to poor cash management skills. By keeping track of your company’s cash flow and reducing your amounts of borrowed cash, your company can grow faster and maximize profits.
The long road to recovery after COVID-19 has started in many different sectors. Lockdowns are easing or are in the process of being adjusted, businesses are creating re-opening plans while also planning for potential second waves, and the battle for various stimulus packages continues around the world.
At this time, Jeff Nock recommends looking ahead and examining key markets that are going to perform the best as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease. What segments will bounce back the fastest? What’s due for the most recovery? Where might investments be the most profitable? Jeff Nock’s market analysis has yielded interesting results, examined in more detail below.
Digital Payment Platforms
Digital payment platforms have already seen a lot of growth during lockdown months as businesses and contractors searched for new ways to make transactions and enable payments. So it’s no surprise that platforms like Paypal have done very well in 2020. However, the digital payment industry isn’t something that companies dabble in and then quickly exit: Once these payment structures are set up as a potential source of revenue for businesses, they don’t go away.
That means good news for all kinds of digital payment vendors as economies begin to reopen and new customers find it easier than ever to pay online and remotely. Jeff Nock Iowa points out that this is an excellent example of an up and coming trend that has been rapidly sped up by unforeseen circumstances.
Mobile Device Creators
Consumers have largely made mobile device purchases a cyclical event. They tend to replace devices according to their own timetables – every year or two for many, every several years for others. In 2020, mobile device purchases are largely being delayed, due in part to lack of availability (manufacturing issues and the inability to personally test the product in-store) as well as lack of income.
Jeff Nock of Iowa believes this is likely to create pent-up demand for new mobile devices that will spill over into next year, leading to a sudden uptick in consumers and companies purchasing updated mobile devices. Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 compatibility will only encourage this trend. With this expected increase in demand, it will likely be a good couple of years for Apple and Google’s hardware divisions!
Jeff Nock Iowa on Why Cleaning Products Will Continue to Grow
Cleaning products may seem an odd fit for future growth as most revenue gains have already occurred with massive purchases of bleach and cleaning products. However, Jeff Nock reminds us of two important points. First, cleaning product companies now have extra revenue to invest in new expansions over the coming years, leading to many new opportunities. Second, Jeff Nock Iowa notes concerns over COVID-19 will persist for at least a year or two into the future, leading to strong cleaner sales even as the danger from the virus eventually fades.
Beverage Companies (Especially Coffee Brands)
Beverage companies are in an interesting place right now, and Jeff Nock Iowa believes that it’s because of remote work situations. Many more people are working from home now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Within this remote situation, employees are discovering a need to get their own beverages that were once available in the break room. Jeff Nock Iowa thinks that’s great news for Keurig, Snapple, Dr. Pepper, and a variety of other beverage companies.
Growth within the fast-food industry is straightforward. As Jeff Nock Iowa explains, consumers of fast food tend to rely on it as a frequent, convenient habit. That habit was constrained during the lockdown as fast food companies were limited in the services they could offer. As fast-food chains open up again, expect their dedicated regulars to come surging back in order to make up for the lost time.
Creativity thinking is a critical factor in the ability of a company to succeed over the long term. An Adobe study shows that companies that foster creativity that results in new and evolving products and services experience faster revenue growth and enjoy greater market share compared with their peers and become recognized as the best companies to work for. At first glance, it might appear that the new environment in which employees work remotely is likely to thwart creativity, especially the innovation that comes from brainstorming within a diverse team. Good leaders, however, can find ways to foster creativity when employees are physically distant from each other, says Jeff Nock Iowa, CEO and president of Prescient Consulting LLC.
Inclusivity is Key, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Creative solutions come through openness to diverse ideas. Leadership, then, encourages creativity and innovation by creating communication forums that encourage everyone to participate and hearing ideas from all team members, each of whom brings a unique blend of culture, background, and experience. Virtual meetings often do not provide the social cues that help team members bond and some team members may be less likely to present ideas if they can’t easily see the reaction of other team members. To combat this tendency, leaders will focus on making their own communication as open as possible. They also will be careful to solicit ideas from all members and reach out individually to those who are hesitant to share in group Zoom environment, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Create Community, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Creating a sense of virtual community is vital in general these days as well in encouraging creativity. This includes creating online social opportunities for work teams rather than just work meetings. What can get lost when working remotely is that sense of connection with co-workers that is created in physical work environments via brief discussions before and after meetings and while getting a cup of coffee in the break room.
The ways leaders share information about the project or challenge being tackled, as well as more subtle types of information, such as social information and contextual information must be done differently online. In addition to sending emails and having project team meetings online, one on one meetings with individual contributors and small group meetings are encouraged.
Sharing information about each person working on a project team helps. Social information includes the personality traits, background, and goals of each team member. Contextual information includes items such as available equipment, holidays, and customs. Social and contextual clues are essential in understanding what a person is trying to say or how that person behaves.
When employees physically work in the same space, they can easily pick up on these social and contextual clues. Yet a virtual team, especially one composed of members from various geographies, may not be able to acquire these clues as easily. To ensure that comments are interpreted properly, virtual team members will take the time to check in with each other socially and to share local context information with each other, says Jeff Nock Iowa. Meeting leaders should also be careful to facilitate this sharing and to create a norm that encourages members to ask clarifying questions. In-person meetings or team-building activities should be held occasionally to allow members to bond. Without adequate communication of social and contextual information, team members may make negative assumptions about each other that can lead to team dysfunction rather than creative brainstorming.
Although virtual platforms offer challenges to team creativity, they also offer some inherent advantages. Virtual platforms have the benefit of allowing for a more geographically and functionally diverse team than would be possible to assemble in person. Employees also may be more committed to the company if they don’t have to relocate every time a new team is formed. Both these factors result in greater creativity, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa is an experienced executive leader who has a demonstrated history of growing startups, non-profits and established companies. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master’s in Management from Regis University. At Prescient, a company that helps funded early-stage and mid-cap companies, Jeff Nock Iowa has helped more than 250 companies grow.
Rising Number of Remote Workers Presents Challenges and Opportunities, Says Jeff Nock of Iowa
The number of employees working from home was on the rise, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of remote workers had increased 44 percent from 2015 to 2020 and totaled 4.7 million people in February 2020, according to FlexJobs. This trend can lead to employees that are more engaged if companies lead remote workers effectively, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Companies can help assure the success of remote workers by establishing clear expectations around working from home, says Jeff Nock. For example, what hours an employee is expected to work to how much flexibility is allowed or encouraged, clear expectations allow employees to establish routines that better ensure their good morale and higher productivity. Expectations can also include security standards, how often an employee should provide updates to management and other team members, and when an employee will be available for team meetings. Companies want to ensure that they don’t have to go looking for an employee to provide a key update but that they also empower employees to have some flexibility with their work time.
Autonomy and Flexibility
Allowing employees to work remotely even when the pandemic is over is a good way to engage some employees who have complex schedules and are motivated by autonomy and flexibility. The key, however, is that managers lead by setting goals and allow these employees to meet the goals in their own ways, rather than by micromanaging, says Jeff Nock Iowa. Not all employees are as motivated by working at home as others, however. A good manager will know which employees will need more structure and support, especially if they will continue to work remotely after the pandemic, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
With everything it does, company leadership will want to build a culture of trust and transparency to keep employees engaged and productive.
Communication is a key factor in employee engagement. Team meetings conducted using an audio/visual platform, such as Zoom and Slack, can help by allowing employees to see and interact with each other as well as managers. Providing some time before and after the meeting for informal chitchat is also a good way to build camaraderie and teamwork. Management also can use technology effectively to communicate goals and evaluation metrics, showing employees how they are performing to those metrics in real-time, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa is the founder, president, and CEO of Prescient Consulting. Jeff Nock and team help funded early-stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals. Prescient does this by offering services that include C-Level mentoring, application development, strategic planning, business planning, business model ideation/evolution, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, operational efficiencies, and brand evolution. Jeff Nock Iowa and his team at Prescient have helped organizations in a variety of industries including software platforms, ed-tech, manufacturing, finance, health care, medical device, retail, hospitality, e-commerce, and nonprofit.
Jeff Nock Iowa has more than 30 years of leadership experience and excels at growing companies and nonprofits. He has served as CEO of Goodwill of the Heartland. He served as an entrepreneur in residence at the University of Iowa, where he oversaw the exponential growth of Student Ventures as part of the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. He also led a struggling traditional forms printer through a turnaround that resulted in the company being sold for twice its worth. He has a Master of Science in Management from Regis University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Jeff Nock Iowa is the father of four children. A Christian, he also gives to charities within his community.
For remote workers, real-time feedback can be used as a coaching tool, which is not only a motivator for productivity, but is also essential to promoting a positive team attitude. As CEO & Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, Jeff Nock of Iowa has spent years consulting with business owners and management teams on ways to create a business model that works for their market sector and employee culture. As workers are facing a new reality that demands working from home, management teams must find new ways to keep these employees motivated and productive.
Traditionally, annual employee reviews were set aside to offer employees the critical feedback employees needed to continue moving upwards within an organization. But, in today’s face-paced and competitive business environments, Jeff Nock of Iowa agrees with corporations that are eliminating annual performance reviews in favor of real-time feedback processes.
Jeff Nock’s Tools to Enhance Remote Worker Communications
A company’s leadership style can be a predictor of the company’s financial success. For many management teams, keeping track of off-site workers may mean pivoting to supervisory practices that are efficient and lean heavily on technology. It’s no secret that some employees are highly self-motivated, while others see working from home as a challenge. For these employees, it is especially incumbent on leadership to explore telecommunications tools such as Zoom and Slack, to keep the line of communication open.
Jeff Nock of Iowa believes that special attention should be given to new team members and those that are working from home for the first time. Make sure they understand the metrics that put in place to monitor or track employee performance and corporate success. When management offers regular employee feedback, it should benefit the employee by strengthening their weak spots and promote their strong points.
Employee Coaching Tips Jeff Nock of Iowa
Jeff Nock Iowa realizes the negative impact of using technology as an easy way to criticize or browbeat employees. Instead, use these tools to coach remote staff and offer solutions to obstacles they may be encountering. Virtual coaching allows you to have face-to-face conversations that can keep employees engaged and motivated. To successfully coach remote teams, Jeff Nock suggests businesses ramp up their video conferencing technology and screen sharing capabilities. This way, a supervisor can have visible access to corporate documentation and/or customer information being discussed with the remote worker.
In coaching sessions, Jeff Nock Iowa suggests that instead of offering performance feedback, management can use remote communication technology to provide clear direction, goals, and expectations. It is also helpful to discuss with at-home workers how to handle the distractions that will be inevitable. Provide clear corporate procedures on how remote workers are expected to perform tasks from home – and that may include avoiding Netflix and other personal activities during work hours.
Real-Time Feedback to Humanize the Remote Work Experience
And finally, remote workers struggle with the disconnect from their colleagues. Video conferencing with team members offers everyone a chance to connect visually and to encourage others through any difficulties. Jeff Nock Iowa has helped many early-stage companies through a successful business launch, and for many companies, moving to a remote worker business model is similar to launch a new business. The benefit of real-time feedback is that employees feel as if they are being heard and that corporate is responsive.
As time goes on, remote workers will feel more comfortable with virtual interactions with supervisory teams because you’ve laid the foundation for a remote work strategy that is inclusive, supportive, and trusting. Jeff Nock Iowa encourages real-time feedback that empowers employees when it is done correctly. The process is meant to create a two-way discussion, unlike the annual employee review that is more of an autocratic, top-down process.
Jeff Nock, Iowa business consultant and CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, discusses the importance of social entrepreneurship (i.e. microfinance/lending, corporate volunteerism, charitable involvement, etc.) in these trying pandemic times. This discussion is more important than ever considering our challenging times.
Jeff Nock, Iowa based consultant has enjoyed successfully helping businesses of all sizes for over 30 years. Whether a leader in an established business or a new startup seeking to gain a foothold in the marketplace, Jeff Nock of Iowa City, Iowa provides custom-tailored solutions designed to have a meaningful impact on your business.
Traditionally, social entrepreneurship, according to the Jeff Nock, Iowa based business consultant, entails efforts by businesses to impact social, cultural, and environmental issues in their community, state, country, or globally. These efforts can include volunteering of employee time for efforts such as helping build a house for Habitat for Humanity, donation of funds through employee payroll to organizations like United Way, or creating an ongoing business model like Toms Shoes where for each pair of shoes they sell they donate a pair of shoes to people in need in Africa.
Today’s pandemic times create a whole new level of need and businesses have the opportunity to not only help people have better lives but can actually help save peoples’ lives. Our frontline healthcare providers are heroes trying to help thousands of people throughout the world. In many cases, they are doing so with the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need. Doctors and nurses are supposed to change masks after every procedure or room visit. Yet some in emergency rooms are having to go the entire day with the same face mask.
Companies have multiple ways they can chip in. Direct financial contributions can help while some manufacturing companies have the capability to repurpose their manufacturing processes to make PPE such as face masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer.
Jeff Nock Iowa CEO explains why social responsibility is more important than ever
Our world and our nation are facing unprecedented challenges with the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Jeff Nock, Iowa based consultant suggests that it is imperative for businesses to join with healthcare providers and government entities to help stop this virus. Now is not the time to hoard products or profits. Look at the virus as a business challenge and strategically contribute people, financials, products, or any other resources possible to help people in need.
Social entrepreneurship has always sought to help address challenges throughout our world. Social entrepreneurship today takes on a whole new meaning. After all, it is the right thing to do and the faster this virus can be eradicated, the faster we can all go back to our business as normal.
Social entrepreneurship is not a new construct. Businesses have always struck a balance between the activities needed to make money and the efforts they engage in to protect the communities in which they do business. This, Jeff Nock, Iowa based business and executive consultant contends, is the way business now has to be done.