Finding new markets for my business
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Finding new markets for my business

It can be really hard for a small business when a large customer or source of customers shuts down. However it doesn't mean that your business can't succeed, you just need to find new markets and be a little innovative in your approach to marketing. This blog has some stories from inspiration business owners who have faced challenges when their biggest source of customers stops but have found ways to keep their business running and stay profitable. I hope it is inspirational for small business owners who are facing their own challenges. Please feel free to share your own stories in the comments.


Finding new markets for my business

How to Improve Your Performance Review Process for Development Plans

Jeff Fleming

performance development plan is mutually beneficial for both your staff. Your staff development targets will grow your employees' skillsets so they can contribute to your business and provide those employees with the foundation to earn higher salaries and feel more accomplished.

Of course, in order to design and implement any performance development plan, your first need to identify areas of employee weakness by conducting regular performance reviews. Since a performance review forms the basis of your plan, it's crucial that you get the most useful possible results out of this process. If you feel like your performance reviews are lacking, here are four ways you can improve them.

Log Specific Metrics

In many companies, managers review employee performance on a numeric scale. For example, they may note down how good they think their employees are at communication on a scale of 1 to 10. While it's always good to try to quantify performance, you need facts and examples to back those numbers up. Without specific metrics underlying those ratings, they're left open to bias and lack the detail they need to be useful.

What you should measure depends on each employee's role. For example, when evaluating a social media manager, the manager could log how many blog posts the employee wrote in a month, and how many of those posts led to click-throughs and resulted in sales. Alongside these key measurements, make sure to note down any examples of exceptionally good or exceptionally poor work — this will help to justify your final ratings.

Review Performance More Frequently

Traditionally, performance reviews have been conducted on a yearly basis. While this is a useful practice you won't want to abandon, it's far better to supplement those end-of-year reviews with more frequent informal reviews.

When you make reviews a regular process, you can address employee issues and give feedback immediately. This gives employees the opportunity to improve their shortcomings on their own, reducing the amount of recommended training you need to include on your final staff development plan.

On top of that, more informal weekly and bi-monthly reviews feel less imposing and employees will dread them less, boosting morale and productivity.

Streamline with Technology

These days, there's no reason why managers shouldn't be using technology during their staff performance reviews. Software and digital tools help make reviews quicker and more effective, allowing managers to go into greater depth where it matters.

There are many useful digital tools out there. Project management tools make it easy to note down employee performance goals, organise them in an easy-to-understand way and mark how well they're doing at each goal on a monthly or weekly basis. Instant feedback apps help you deliver reviews and targets to employees at any time with the click of a button. There are even some staff development platforms that offer all the features you need in one handy software.