SBK024 Prioritize Your Health Before It Prioritizes You!

This remarkable episode takes us on a journey like never before. A journey all about the importance of physical wellbeing and how this is a vital part of your business strategy.

I talk to my good friend, Jon Denoris, founder of “Club 51” London’s exclusive bespoke fitness studio, about the role that good health and physical well-being plays in business. It’s phenomenal, to say the least.

Jon, a trained “Exercise Scientist” who specialises in Exercise Psychology and Behavioural Change, walks us through the striking similarities between a successful health and wellness regime and kaizen!

I found this fascinating and amazingly true.

Jon’s 10 Tips to Get Your Heath Back On Top of the Priorities List.

  1. Create a “Business Plan” for your health, complete with goals , dates and milestones
  2. Write Down your Health and Wellness Goals
  3. Break them up into Smaller Goals
  4. Start Gradually (true kaizen style)
  5. Benefit  from as little as 10 Minutes a Day
  6. Gradually increase this to several 10 Minute Sessions a day
  7. Why not push it to 15 Minutes a Session?
  8. Don’t try and take on Too much, Too soon
  9. Look back at your Original Target
  10. Analyse where you are and look ahead

If this doesn’t inspire into physical action- I don’t know what will !

Why oh why did I put my neck on the block ?

Find out about a massive commitment that I fully intend to live up to, with Jon’s assistance of course. Listen till the end for this “spur of the moment” announcement !

This episode is guaranteed to kick start your new year and get you inspired into prioritising your greatest asset, your good health.

Jon’s Contact Details

Founder, Club 51

Nike Master Trainer

The Harrods Personal Trainer

Kinetica-Sports Fitness Ambassador

http://www.clubfiftyone.co.uk/

Facebook :http://www.facebook.com/Club51

Twitter: @jondenoris

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SBK022 Everybody, Everyday is the true Continuous Improvement Way.

Today’s episode is a special one as I go back to my true Kaizen roots and speak with Bruce Hamilton, the President of the GBMP (Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership), a non-profit provider of lean technology.  Bruce has extensive experience in all forms of Continuous Improvement including TPS, Lean and Kaizen, having worked in manufacturing and administration roles for a number of organisations.

Bruce is an author and actor in the 2004 video, Toast Kaizen (recipient of 2005 Academic Shingo Prize), used world-wide to introduce the basics of lean manufacturing, as well as Toast VSM (recipient of the 2011 Academic Shingo Prize).

We talk about the book he co-authored, a comprehensive multimedia training package, e2 Continuous Improvement System, the famous Toast Kaizen DVD and how this has taken a life of its own.

Bruce acknowledges the importance of having the right environment within an organisation in which ideas can be put into practice and one in which employees are not afraid to take chances.

Check out Bruce’s blog at www.oldleandude.org that covers a wide range of TPS-related anecdotes.

Links :

GBMP

Toast Kaizen DVD

23rd Annual Shingo Prize Conference

Gallery Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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SBK021 Problem Solving for a Better Business

Problem Solving is the essence of any Continuous Improvement effort.  In this episode, I go back to the fundamentals of Kaizen and focus on the art of problem solving as a basic business improvement tool.

I discuss 10 common problem solving tools and techniques that will bring sustainable solutions and show how all of these methods hinge on 3 vital principles of

a)      Measuring the Impact of the Problem

b)      Taking Action

c)      Reviewing and Measuring the Impact of the Action

My Top 10 Problem Solving Tools

  1. Is/Is Not Tool
  2. Pareto’s 80:20 Rule
  3. The 5 Why’s
  4. Brainstorming
  5. Checklists
  6. Poka Yoke
  7. Process Imagineering
  8. Value Stream Mapping
  9. Fishbone / Ishikawa / Cause and Effect
  10. DMAIC

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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19 How to Get Free Business Intelligence

Running any business without the use of Intelligence or Insight is foolhardy. It’s akin to driving a car in pitch darkness, with the headlights turned off ! Although you might start the car, move a few metres, will you reach your destination? I doubt it.

Business Intelligence is what informs the best of business decisions, serving as the headlights for your business by showing where to turn, slow down and avoid obstacles on the journey to achieving your business objectives.

There are many ways to collect business intelligence and fortunately, today the internet provides a vast array of  free methods and tools to gather business intelligence and empower your decisions.

In this episode, I provide practical methods, mostly free and web based, to source for a balanced view of your overall business insight.

In particular, I cover details on how you can collect business insight around the 4 key areas of your business:

Customer Insight – listening to the “Voice of the Customer”
Organisational Insight – a powerful SWOT analysis tool
Competitive Analysis – spark Innovation by analysing your competition
Market Trends – strategies to stay ahead of the game

Enjoy !

References made in the podcast:

Techcrunch

Euromonitor

Nielsen

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

Viral Heat

Action Plan Download Link

Dont forget to send me your questions on any Business Improvement , Kaizen or Continuous Improvement topic or issue.

The first 3 people to send me a question will receive the complete PIMP YOUR BIZ Package, 100% free !

Send an email to brian@smallbizkaizen.com or use the Contact Us Page to pose your question and stand a chance to win this awesome book package prize .

Main Photo Credit

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What Are Your Competitors up To ?

Always stay close and keep a watch on what your competitors are up to. Innovative new products and services could just be the very thing that differentiates your business from your competitors.Remember this works both ways because your competition is not sleeping either.

Be your Competitor’s Customer

This may sound counter intuitive but it’s far from it. This is the best form of Competitive Analysis for use where your business is in direct competition and/or produces similar goods to your competition. It’s one of the simplest yet most informative methods to analyse your competition’s unique selling point. With the information you gather here, you’ll be able to judge how your business compares as well as the magnitude of the gap.

In the event that your business has no competition or is in a very small niche, why not flip this around and start exploring areas or businesses you may want to expand into.

Let’s delve into the type of information you should be after. Remember to always align and customise the following checklist to suit your particular business.

The Purchasing Experience

  • How much did you pay including any discounts / offers?
  • What options were available to purchase via (sales channels)?
  • Speed of delivery (if applicable)
  • What is the returns policy / money back guarantee?
  • If purchased in person, how friendly were the personnel?

The Goods

  • How many variations (if any) were offered?
  • How was the presentation/packaging? (if applicable)
  • What technology was used/ does it use? (if applicable)
  • What are the features and benefits?
  • What was your experience in using / consuming the goods?

The Quality

  • What materials make up the goods? (reverse engineering where applicable)
  • Are the goods fit for the intended purpose ?

Back Up Service

  • How accessible are the Customer Services?
  • How long does it take to get an issue resolved? (make up a small problem with the goods received)
  • Is there a FAQ or Trouble shooting guide?

At the end of this exercise, list all the  attributes and variables where your current offering/performance is below your competition. These become your opportunities for improvement .

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16 Twelve Business Improvement Ideas for Christmas

A brand new 2011 year presents a great opportunity to start something new for your business.

Why not tap into the many, mostly free, productivity and business improvement tools available and unleash the power of web 2.0 business tools for your business.

True to the Christmas spirit, this episode focuses on:

12 Tools to Improve your Business.

  1. Mindmeister – An online mind mapping brainstorming  software for Project Management, Brain Storming, great for innovative people and businesses collaboration in real time.  http://www.mindmeister.com/
  2.  IdeaScale – Idea collection platform where customers submit their ideas and vote for the best ones http://ideascale.com/
  3. Evernote – Capture images, text, audio and video as a means to help you remember everything. http://evernote.com
  4. Viral Heat – Track who is mentioning what in any of the Social Network Platforms. Viralheat covers every corner of the social web from Google Buzz, Facebook, Twitter, Real-time web, to YouTube.  http://www.viralheat.com/?r=8833
  5. Twitter
  6. Google
  7. YouTube
  8. Zune
  9. Yahoo Answers
  10. Mocking Bird  
  11. DropBox
  12. oDesk

Subscribe to the Podcast via Zune

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11 Pimp Your Biz is the title of My Book

Google Presentation at the Ecommerce expoIn this episode I announce an exciting book project that’s been keeping me busy for the past few months but nearing completion. The book is entitled PIMP YOUR BIZA Complete Guide to Improving Your Business under Any Circumstances.

If you want to be one of 10 people to receive a complimentary copy of Pimp Your Biz, simply send me a message via the Contact Us page and mention “Pimp Your Biz” in the subject field.

I also talk about the Google Introduction to Business products video which now available exclusively for Small Biz Kaizen listeners. This episode features a 10 minute teaser extracted from 1 hr. 10 min video.

In the last part, I invite you to take a look at my new studio backdrop intended for shooting videos, a sign of what’s in store for Small Biz Kaizen as we take podcasting to another level.

Links mentioned in the show

Screencast.com

The Studio Setup Video

How to Access the Google Video Page

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08 Geo Social Networks are the New Kid on the Block

The subject of Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media for Small Business is expertly covered in this interview with Chris Lee, founder of Planet Content, an online PR network company made up of freelance UK based tech PR, social media experts, bloggers, podcasters and copywriters. Chris is also behind the free content marketing blog, RunMarketing , a great resource for Small business owners.

Loads of practical tips for the small business are covered in this episode so make the most of social media platforms available today including the latest trends in Geo-Social Networking. The growth in mobile phone surfing will require a different set of blogging rules. If your business is only tweeting, don’t lag behind, get  Geo Social Networking.

My 10 Top Tips for Small Business Social Media Networking (more in this interview)

  1. Blog well and blog often.
  2. Be Creative with content – venture into podcasting and video.
  3. Ensure your audience participates in the platforms you do.
  4. Set out your objectives – exactly what you want to achieve.
  5. On Twitter, write your own tweets – don’t let someone do this for you.
  6. Don’t use the “auto thank you” responder on Tweeter to thank new followers.
  7. Get to know and use Geo Social Networks
  8. Create blogs tailored in length for both search engines and mobile phone browsing (300 -500 words)
  9. Avoid using Flash in your content – will not play on iPhone ( significant smart phone footprint)  .
  10. True to Kaizen principles, with online Marketing and PR, measure, monitor, and take action –  don’t stop improving.

Links to websites discussed in this episode

http://www.planetcontent.co.uk/

http://runmarketing.co.uk/

http://foursquare.com/

http://geomium.com/

http://gowalla.com/

http://www.facebook.com/zipcar?v=wall

http://hootsuite.com/

http://econsultancy.com/uk

Internet Marketing Podcast

 

Immigration Solicitors in Northampton

Immigration Solicitors in Milton Keynes

 

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The A-Z of Kaizen Continuous Improvement.

A is for Action Plan, without this, everything you say in those meetings is just hot air.

B is for Best Practice, a technique, process or activity in your business known to bring the most effective solution or outcome than any other applied in a similar situation.

C is for Coaching, being a mentor to someone and taking them on a personal journey in self-fulfilment and discovery

D is for DMAIC a well-documented problem solving technique based on six-sigma principles and 5 specific: Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and control.

E is for Efficiency is a doing things in the most economical way, and if those things are the right things to be done then this becomes a measure of effectiveness.

F is for FMEA, Failure Mode & Effects Analysis, a fancy term for a tool, typically used in new product development, to identify potential failure modes based on past experience with similar products or processes.

G is for Gantt Chart, the project scheduling tool of choice for managing improvement projects, milestones and responsibilities.

H is for Histogram, also known as skyscraper diagram, or bar chart. It’s a series of data plotted on a bar chart representing frequency or quantity against different intervals.

I is for the Inspiration to Improve – the heart and soul of Continuous Improvement

J is for the Japanese pioneers in Continuous Improvement, Sakichi Toyoda and Ishikawa amongst them, who at the heart of the Japanese industrial revolution were instrumental in embracing the principles of continuous improvement.

K is for Kaizen, the Japanese word that simply means “Change for the Better”. So now you know where we get our name SmallBizKaizen from!

L is for Learning, a continuous need to “sharpen the saw” to ensure your knowledge thirst is never quenched.

M is for Motivation necessary to support improvement efforts. Top Management plays a vital role in motivating everyone in Kaizen.

N is for Novel Ideas, typically the birth of most Continuous Improvement successes.

O is for Opportunity, any gap between a customer expectation and what your business currently delivers. This is the very source of Continuous Improvement

P is for Problem Solving, a discipline and approach to remove obstacles and barriers preventing your organisation from fulfilling customer obligations and expectations.

Q is for Quality as defined in the eyes of the customers. Are your products and services fit for purpose?

R is for Reward and Recognition an essential part of the CI loop. Recognise the stars and the players in your team and always celebrate successes.

S is for Sustainability – The art of ensuring your hard earned improvements don’t slip back to old habits.

T is for Tracking the impact of Actions to check whether the CI has been delivered.

U is for Upper Control Limit, the upper most control limit set in a Statistical Process Control chart to trigger corrective and preventive action.

V is for Value Addition – Efforts put into any product and/or service to improve attributes and is appreciated by your customers is deemed to have added value.

W is for Waste Elimination, basically any non-value adding activities along the value chain are considered to be Waste and ought to be eliminated.

X is a difficult letter to find a word beginning with it so we’ll settle for eXcellence in eXecution wich is the art of ruthless and flawless delivery of agreed objectives.

Y is for Yoke, part of Poka Yoke the Japanese word meaning “fool proofing”, designing a product in such a way it’s virtually impossible to make a mistake using the product.

Z is for Zero Defect, the quest for perfection in everything you and your organisation does.

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Top Free iPhone Apps to Revolutionise your Business, seriously.

Time is Cashflow

As an entrepreneur myself I understand the value of your time.  To help you make the most of your time and increase your productivity and efficiency you need to consider mobile smart phone technology as an essential part of your business arsenal. The decision to use a Smart phone for business is really a no brainer and at the pinnacle of smart phones, in my opinion is the iPhone. In this article we look at 5 iPhone Apps that will revolutionise the way you operate today and free up your time like never before, because at smallbizkaizen, we understand that time is cash.

Dragon Dictation  : Voice to Text transcriptions.

dragon dictation iphone app logoIf you’ve ever written an email on an iPhone you’ll admit, it’s not the easiest task this fantastic gadget can do. It can be a bit challenging but hey, you can’t exactly have it all on an iPhone right? – Wrong ! Dragon Dictation is a really cool App that overcomes this problem with ease. You open the app, press the record button, speak clearly into the microphone and when you stop recording, your dictation is magically transformed into text that you can then copy and paste to send as an email, sms, twitter or Facebook message, saving you loads of time.

Dragon Dictation is brought to you by Nuance Communications

iTalk Recorder – On the Go Recording

iTalk Recorder iPhone App logoRecording audio memos and voice reminders on the go is made extremely simple when you use the iTalk Recorder App from Griffin Technology. The ability to name each audio file gives this app the edge over most similar apps making file management & retrieval easy. Use this app to record meetings, presentations, interviews, random thoughts – in fact just about any sound media can be recorded for future playback in excellent quality. This app ideal for entrepreneurs on the go. Syncing the recorded audio files with your computer is made  possible via a free download available on http://www.italksync.com/download

iTalk Recorder is brought to you by Griffin Technology

Evernote : Remember Everything

evernote iphone app logoIt’s been described as an extension of your brain and true to their motto “Remember Everything”, Evernote allows you to do just that. This App allows you to take notes of virtually anything you want to remember for your business. With Evernote, you can create text, photo and video notes that you then auto synchronize to your Mac PC and Web – how cool is that? By tagging your notes, you create a fully searchable notes database so no excuses for forgetting stuff. The cool feature included with this app is the geo-location feature which allows for mapping and searching possibilities.

Evernote is brought to you by Evernote

WordPress : Mobile Blogging

wordpress mobile iphone app logoMany business owners today are also bloggers and use the WordPress platform to easily publish , edit post and comments. WordPress mobile works with both wordpress.com and wordpress.org self-hosted blogs. As a mobile blogging application users can add text and photos straight from the iPhone camera.  You can carry out pretty much the same tasks as you normally would on your PC or Mac including posting new articles, editing existing posts and comments.

WordPress is brought to you by WordPress

HootSuite Lite for Twitter : Mobile Tweeter

hootsuite lite iphone app logoThis App allows you to keep in touch with the twitter-sphere and join the conversation from anywhere . Desribed as simple, elegant and powerful, HootSuite allows you to send and schedule Twitter and Facebook updates, track click stats, and set up tracking columns to monitor keywords, #hashtags and lists. What more do you need when you are on the go?

Hootsuite is brought to you by Hootsuite Media

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