Saturday, December 31, 2011

Set your Goals for 2012...GET SET GO...!

Hi folks,

Have you had a look at your 2011?
Was it fruitful enough?
Did it give you expected accomplishments?
Did you contribute your 100% to achieve your targets?
Did you work at least a bit for your dream?

This is the right time...not too late for sure..
JUST PLAN IT for your 2012...

I can give u some guidelines on the same..Just plan your 2012 on the following categories

  • Spiritual and Ethical
  • Physical and Health
  • Family and Home
  • Mental and Educational
  • Social and Cultural
  • Financial and Career
  • The ultimate Dream

Ask yourself about the achievements in each category in 2011.Write don in a piece of paper.You can realise that we just wasted a year, probably all these years! Thus hope you feel ashamed now..If you don't, no need to continue.Close the page and go to bed! Otherwise continue...

Plan on all these aspects for your 2012.Define goals to achieve specific things.Your goals must be SMART ie Specific,Measurable,Achievable,Relevant,Timebound..

Thus design your goals in a very serious manner.Make it a calendar..If possible a pictorial one and exhibit in your room.Ask somebody to follow up you on the same also.By the end of 2012, you will be a different person.Sure!

For more details on goal setting and its execution call me at 9747714788 or mail me at

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Mullaperiyar Panic!

I hope you had enough of Mullaperiyar! Even a 2nd standard student knows about the history of Mullaperiyar and its evolution! 136 feet and the 999 year lease has already become the hot keywords.The social media has spread this panic even to the most modern IT addicted individuals across the globe. People in the districts of idukki,kottayam and ernakulam have starated praying for their own souls as if the water has started its murderous journey!

Guys, i am sure that Mullaperiyar is a big issue and there should be a rapid action form the concerned people for an alternative.But kindly stop spreading the danger messages and route maps! The explanations even talked about the magnitude of dirt and debris that would accumulate! Let's first wash out the dirt in our minds and the saddistic attitude and fight for a great society..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is FDI in retailing in India a right thing?

If a foreign retailer like Walmart sets up their operations in the major cities of our nation, what can happen? Have you ever imagined it? These stores which sell everything from 'Salt' to 'Robots' at a very cheap price can compete with the local shop owners in price and defeat them most of the times! They can provide better environment and shopping experience too! They will buy everything from the sources and sell it here in the cheapest possible way. Thus a foreigner will buy in bulk from India and sell in bulk in India itself, thus disrupting the way the Indian retailers operate. If a monopoly situation arises out of this, a dangerous phase may occur where buying low and selling high will be the key. Thus this kind of a re orientation can destroy the supply chain mechanisms which are already set up.Hence the foreign retailer will rule both ends of the supply chain. This is how the entry of even one big retailer can destroy the whole Indian economy.

It is definitely true that the consumer has every right to obtain goods at the lowest possible price. But it cannot override the responsibility of any country or society to provide economic balance and security to their people in the long run! So better stop the plan of inducing FDI in retailing in India. Foreign direct Investments can boost the global competitiveness, but it should be introduced after a very strong preparation. Shall we not wait for a while?

Friday, November 25, 2011

The best 10 Malayalam Movies of all times


I am listing my top ten movies.Many may disagree with the list.But i am listing these movies as it touched my heart to the core and those are must see stuff.I f you have missed any of these, don't waste your time..Juss collect it! I rank these analysing it on all aspects like,artistic value, theme, entertainment, technicalities etc...

1. Thoovanathumpikal- Awesome movie picturising the relations of us.Many can relate many things to their life through it and thats why it is an all time favorite!

and Chithram - The Mohanlal starrer is an evergreen theme with lots of real humour and instances. Nedumudi Venu, Sreenivasan etc support the script very well and it gives you some unforgettable moments. A must watch!

2. Moonnampakkam- This Padmarajan movie can haunt you till your end! The feeling it conveys is unimaginable.Through this,Thilakan once again confirmed that he is one of the finest actors available in this country!

3. Sandesam - A different political satire by Sathyan Anthikkad. Hitting the target, most of the dialogues of this film is even used now. If you watch this, you can get a clearer picture of kerala!

4. Koodevide - Another Padmarajan movie which makes you blushed with emotions! Rahman proves himself as an actor and the script makes you sit throughout the movie.Kudos Mr.Padmarajan!

5. Kaazhcha- This Mammooty starrer, Blessy film is a must watch as it deals with a relevant subject.It conveys you a message too. Don't miss it.

6. Pranchiyettan and the Saint- Although Ranjith has done varieties of films, Pranchiyettan will stand at a different level as it deals with the ego levels of human beings. It goes directly into your heart and can be called a satirical stuff too. Even conveys a real good message!

7. Vadakkunokkiyanthram- The Sreenivasan effect in Malayalam industry is visible through this particular one. Awesome scripting and execution makes it one of my favourites.Although remade into many languages, the actor Sreenivasan's performance edged past all others!

8. Namukku paarkkan Munthirithoppukal- The Padmarajan effect makes me list this movie also where he picturises the romance without much glamour or gimmicks. A simple yet strong film.

9. Kutti Sraank- Good stuff by Shaji N Karun. Shot with different styles,seasons,emotions and locations, the film makes you travel through the character's life. A different experience altogether!

10. Kireedom - One of the undebatable hits in malayalam, Kireedom is a realistic story which gives you complete experience of film viewing. The 'Mohanlal Magic' tahes it to a different league!

There are many more films which provide you the best viewing experience. Let me come with that list at some other occassion!Hope you also enjoy these movies..Any comments dears?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why should businessmen from kerala need business consulting?

Although the people in kerala has got the tricks for doing business, often it backfires them. The main reason for this is the lack of system in their businesses.Most of them dont have even a business structure too. They don't feel the need of properly skilled staff.They don't have a proper vision and a strategy or planning to move ahead.
This is the reason Bramma act as a business consultancy in kochi. To address this immediate need of kerala business men, our business consultants have acquired skill and efficiency. Now Bramma is the number one business consultants in kerala and we can deliver whatever service you want.Let it be structuring,systemisation or staffing Bramma business consultants can do it for you. Bramma is the first and last word for business consultancy in kerala.

To reach us dial 9747714788

Monday, November 21, 2011

Who is the worst entrepreneur?

The one who scores 40 out of 40 from the following!
1.   I can do it on my own and only I can do it
2.      I know it all.
3.       I can’t do it until I learn more.
4.       I take on too many tasks.
5.       I have to involve in every minute things
6.       I’m great at starting things, but not completing them.
7.       I don’t prioritize.
8.       I follow shiny objects.
9.       I do the same thing expecting different results.
10.   I don’t analyze my business.
11.   I don’t market my business.
12.   I expect people to find me.
13.   I don’t follow-through or follow-up.
14.   I make promises I can’t keep.
15.   I just can’t seem to say no.
16.   I blame my lack of results on my circumstances and not myself.
17.   I don’t have enough time!
18.   I don’t have enough money to invest in my growth.
19.   I don’t have a business development day.
20.   I think I don’t need a website.
21.   I always go the free route.
22.   I’m constantly looking for shortcuts.
23.   I don’t take consistent action.
24.   I don’t survey my list.
25.   I don’t have a well thought out plan.
26.   I expect others to “get” me.
27.   I pretend to have it all under control.
28.   I think Social Media is a waste of time.
29.   I make the payments delayed unnecessarily
30.   I don’t seek out strategic alliances.
31.   I don’t educate my family and friends on what I’m up to.
32.   I don’t have the right and efficient systems in place.
33.   I don’t believe anyone
34.   I don’t have a mentor.
35.   I don’t keep track of my stats.
36.   It’s all about me!
37.   I don’t know who my target audience is.
38.   I don’t evaluate my monthly and yearly financial goals.
39.   I don’t try to learn accounting as it can be difficult to learn
40.   I don’t plan. Opportunities should come to me

What Santosh Pandit teaches us...!

Santosh Pandit is a name so popular in this part of the county as he has rewritten the equations of making a cinema and marketing it! Let us consider this as a case study at least..and let me tell those people who has abused and bad mouthed Mr.Santosh, i have little or no respect to you!..and the reasons follow!

Reason Number-1
He utilised the opportunity of making money making all malayalees fools, by just pricking at their asses. Thus the Mallu character of 'teasing others' was satirically attacked by him through his cinema. 'Mallus' fell into the trap and they spent Rs.70 per head just to go to theatres, just to throw rotten eggs at the silver screen! I love this tactics! Let the screen receive eggs and tomatoes and Santosh, the perks!

Reason Number-2
Santosh's style made the social media marketing important in Kerala and it revealed the vast opportunity of YouTube and other social networking sites before us.Let the business magnets and consultants study this because, no one has ever dreamt of such a big marketing tool yet. Let this be ambush, guarilla or other marketing technique, he has created a marketing channel which can promote anything(not only self). Kudos to you for making 'Mallus' realize the potential of the media!(Plz try to realize that he gets money from google,youtube etc too!)

Reason Number -3
I never argue about the artistic quality of the film. Although it is relative, i don’t see any artistic value in the movie. But don't miss some of the dialogues.Some of those like 'Nee valiyavanaanennu karuthi....' and 'kozhiyude niram karuthathaanennu...' are some real management quotes which is applicable in today's society.He expresses himself as an ordinary person to the society. Have you guys ever tried to express your emotions so openly??? I am sure that you hide your similar emotions and curse the destiny. Santosh tried to express in his own way.Was that the problem you found in him? Just revisit your thoughts pals..!

Reason Number-4
He involved in 17 areas of the film (if it can be called so!). Its not a very easy task as we think. It requires some effort. Santosh did put some effort to do that and to break the records. Have you guys ever thought breaking any records? (which can be publically spoken!). So please try to respect the effort he has put in and try to learn some positive aspects out of it.
Reason Number-5
He showed us that there is no problem in the film industry, and the films can be done within a small budget also. If some good directors or artists get inspired by this budget, other than just critisising him, go and shoot a movie of good quality. Even if it doesn’t fit in the 5 Lakh category(as Santosh claims) it can be a profitable one. So let’s start a low budget revolution here.
..And of course, Snatosh Pandit never compelled you to see his film. It was you guys promoted it through facebook,orkut and youtube. It was you people(including media) to make him important. It was the ‘Mallu Media’ to invite him for interviews. You only made him famous among the lakhs of housewives in kerala who didn’t use youtube or facebook. Santosh never put any poster in residential colonies!
So it’s the people who made him popular. They can make you also popular. Just find an innovative way!

Monday, November 14, 2011

How to start a business in Kerala?

1. Decide upon the nature of business
2.Find out the target audience and proper location to do the business
3.Find out a good name for your business
4.Trademark your name so that no one will copy it
5.Register your firm(As propreitorship/partnership/LLP/Pvt Ltd)
6.Make a proper business plan with financial projections
7.Get a business loan if needed
8.Start below the line marketing activities(Start making contacts and business opportunities)
9.Get good staff to work with you.
10. Fix a date for the inauguration
11.Start business!

For any kind of doubts in the above areas, kindly feel free to consult me at

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


1. Don't compare with others.Different situations make different individuals.
2. Don't have pessimistic mind on things out of your control.Let it happen.Make it positive through your efforts.
3. Don't over do; keep your limits
4. Don't take yourself so seriously; no one else does
5. Don't waste your precious energy on rumours
6. Dream more while you are awake
7. Dont be envious of other people.Just try to be like it
8. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present
11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
13. Smile and laugh more
14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.You dont lose anything.Plz realise
15. Call your family often. This will make you confident
16. Each day give something good to others.Dont expect returns too.
17. Forgive everyone for everything
18. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
19. Try to make at least five people smile each day.After some years look at your personal account.You will get surprised!
20. What other people think of you is none of your business. JUST DONT CARE.
21. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.
22. Put GOD first in anything and everything that you think, say and do. 

23. GOD heals everything
24. Do the right things
25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
26. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
27. The best is yet to come
28. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful
29. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it 
30. If you know GOD you will always be happy. So, be happy. 

While you practice all of the above, share this knowledge with the people you love, people you school with, people you play with, people you work with and people you live with. Not only will it enrich YOUR life, but also that of those around you.


Monday, October 31, 2011

How should Asianet market Idea Star Singer in Future?

Idea star singer has been a wonderful programme in the kerala television history. It made malayalees realise the potential of a TV channel as well as the talents here.It provided enormous opportunities for the singers here in the God's own country too..!

In 2007, it became a big hit as it was the first attempt to showcase the talents of Kerala singers in a different way.It was projected as a completely different reality show mixed with critical analysis from judges,emotions and all the drama. The elimination episodes created bigger and louder scenes than soap operas! Asianet was successful in branding each of the candidates as they tried to project each one of them.They tactically selected people who have special qualities to the top ten as the programme went into the climax. Thus the audience could feel the anxiety of a mega serial as well as the thrill of a movie! The SMS concept was also a big hit as the audience considered the show genuine and the participants as their own kids! The channel could promote the programme and participants through an interactive blog also.Portals like youtube also accelerated the viewership as NRIs rushed into these kind of sites to see the performances! Last but not the least, the anchor Ranjini Haridas became one of the icons in Kerala television screen as ISS provided a great platform to showcase her 'flexibility'. The quality of singers were also high as most of them became good singers and even celebrities after the programme.

But what happened next?

ISS topped all the television ratings and broke all the records. The channel management team also got surprised with this overwhelming response. They had no two doubts of continuing the programme without much changes.They shuffled judges, the stage etc a bit. But there Asianet faced their first challenge. The controversies that the 2007 season evoked had made malayalees a bit distant from the programme as they thought that there were some gamblings happening in the back stage!(the ever cynical mallus!)..and they had no surprises this time to explore. But some core fans still followed the show. Many common people also followed it as it was still a lot better than the 'mega' serials in other channels.Asianet's same strategy of emotional bonding didn't work that well as many started debating about the genuinity of selection,elimination etc.The quality of singers also had come down and Ranjini had become a monotonous voice in every malayalee home!

Then what?

The 2008 season went without making much waves.But still there were lakhs of ordinary people who followed the show.Asianet just relied on these audience and went on to do the next season. MG and Sarath had become demons in participant's as well as audience's minds. The tone of Ranjini, the mode of the programme, the timings, the style of voting, the confusions in awarding marks, the elimination drama and even the title song made people bored.Still compared to the previous edition, some interesting performances from the participants made it popular when it came to the climax.This again made Asianet to do the act of homicide and its been continued till now!

How to revive the show?

Asianet is trying their level best to revive the show.But Manorama with its 'Mazhavillu' has launched a new reality song based show named 'Indian Voice' which looks slightly better than the existing Idea Star Singer. But again the old wine in a shapeless bottle!

I know that this is not United states of America or United Kingdom to host shows like BigBoss or other adventurous reality shows.Indians,particularly the so called 'Mallus' are inclined towards song based programmes only.This is the reason behind the failure of some good dance based shows in Amrita TV.
Asianet can try a different level of programme including masses utilising the already branded participants from the previous editions. A type of show which is completely innovative, participates the masses, thrilling and at the same time a bit dramatic. Let the creative 'think tanks' bother about it.Lemme pray for all the souls behind the show!

The importance of having a Business Mission!

I find this article really useful for our business people. Most of them don't know the importance of a business mission. Lat's make it clear here..These words are not from me, but the famous author Stephen Covey.

A personal mission statement is based on habit 2 of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People called begin with the end in mind. In ones life, the most effective way to begin with the end in mind is to develop a mission statement one that focuses what you want to be in terms of character and what you want to do in reference to contribution of achievements. Writing a mission statement can be the most important activity an individual can take to truly lead ones life.
Victor Hugo once said there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has finally come, you may call it a credo, a philosophy, you may call it a purpose statement, it's not as important as to what you call it, no it's how you define your definition. That mission and vision statement is more powerful more significant, more influential, than the baggage of the past, or even the accumulated noise of the present.

What is a mission statement you ask? personal mission statements based on correct principles are like a personal constitution, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives.

When we create a mission statement of our own and choose to live by it we can flow with changes. We don't need prejudgement's or prejudices. We don't need to figure out everything else in life, to stereotype and categorize everything and everybody in order to accommodate reality.

In order to write good mission statements, we must first begin at the very center of our Circle of influence, that center comprised of our most basic paradigms, the lens through which we see the world. Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power.

As we go deeply within ourselves, as we understand and realign our basic paradigms to bring them harmony with correct principles, we create both an effective, empowering center and a clear lens through which we can see the world. We can then focus that lens on how we, as unique individuals, relate to that world.

Creating a mission statement is not something you do overnight. It takes deep introspection, careful analysis, thoughtful expression, and often many rewrites to produce it in final form. It may take you several weeks or even months before you feel really comfortable with your mission statement, before you feel it is complete and concise expression of your innermost values and directions. Even then, you will want to review it regularly and make minor changes as the years bring additional insights or changing circumstances.

Your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.

Some suggestions in creating a mission statement may be:
  1. Write down your roles as you now see them. Are you satisfied with the mirror image of your life?
  2. Start a collection of notes, quotes, and ideas you may want to use as resource material in writing your personal mission statement.
  3. Identify a project you will be facing in the near future and apply the principle of mental creation. Write down the results you desire and what steps will lead you to those results.
The Covey Community provides the opportunity to learn more about mission statements through video, audio, self-discovery applications and a multimedia mission statement builder. This multimedia mission statement builder allows you to upload pictures, music, and words to better convey and emotionally connect with your mission. To join for free, click You will also be able to share your mission statement and view others within the community.

The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to delegate works successfully?

1. Know What You Want. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t expect anyone else to. No one can be a “mind reader.”
2. Express What You Want Clearly. It’s important to give people a clear vision of what you want. What are your goals? What do you need done? Providing instructions can be helpful too, but don’t overdo that aspect of it. The most important thing is that you express everything you want very clearly.
3. Set Expectations. It’s not enough that you’ve told someone what you want. Make sure expectations are laid on the table. “This will be successful if X, Y and Z happen.” And, “I need X, Y and Z finished by Friday.”
4. Trust. You need to trust those people you delegate to, otherwise you’ll worry too much, micro-manage and generally make a nuisance of yourself.
5. Let Them Do It Their Way. You do things your way, and everyone else has to do it exactly the same way or else. Right? Wrong. Let people do things their way (remember the trust?) More importantly, provide enough flexibility that they can add their own flavor to the mix. Let them create. Let them add unique touches to what they’re doing.
6. Communicate and Follow-Up. Delegating doesn’t mean abandoning someone to do something until it’s complete. You want to be communicating throughout the process (rinse and repeat steps 1-4) and following-up with people to make sure everything is going smoothly. This isn’t about over-managing, over-analyzing and standing over people’s shoulders staring at their computer screens. At the same time, we don’t want to manage with a Jell-O Fist. Communication is key, setting measurable mini-goals along the way, and carefully but not over-zealously monitoring progress.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How to plan bonuses?

Bonuses can be a great motivation tool, even for employees of the smallest business. They can also be a waste of money. How they are planned and administered makes the difference.
Properly administered bonuses can reinforce behavior that will lead your company to success by rewarding people for making a specific contribution to the organization. Bonuses dolled out improperly will lead to disgruntled employees who expect a bonus, but who may not be happy with what they receive.
Set Goals
To reap the most out of bonuses, tie them to clearly-set goals. A good time to set these goals is at the beginning of the year. These goals should be concrete, attainable, and critical to the growth of your business. The steps below will help you set good bonus goals:
  • Set goals with Employees
    Employees are often the best source for information about what job-specific goals will contribute to overall increased productivity, responsiveness, or other business goal. Involving employees in goal-setting will also do away with resentment that can come from the imposition of goals from senior management.
  • Reevaluate goals frequently
    Do this, at a minimum, halfway through the year to insure that goals still make sense and that employees are on track. Big companies tend to have concrete goals but smaller companies let this information slide.
  • Make goals specific and measurable
    Don't set goals such as "Do a better job," because a general goal does not instruct an employee in what steps to take. An example of a constructive goal is "Increase response time to customer calls by one-third" or "Cut customer complaints by 50%."
  • Set goals that tie employees into the success of your company
    Don't automatically assume that bonuses should be tied to increased sales or even profitability. For example, it may be most important in a given year for your business to cut costs or raise visibility. Tie bonuses into that critical goal rather than one that is traditional.
  • Make sure employee goals are attainable
    Most people tend to set goals that are too high and this leads to employee frustration and demotivation over time, which kills off the value of setting goals.
Other Reasons to Give Bonuses
If you didn't set goals with your employees last January, that doesn't mean that you can't pay bonuses this year. There are a number of reasons that you might want to consider paying year-end bonuses to your workers. According to Ted A. Hagg of Ableman Management Services, a New York City-based financial and management consulting service for individuals and small businesses, you can still make an educated decision at year-end by asking yourself the following questions:
  • Can I afford to give bonuses?
    It is legitimate not to be able to give bonuses every year. If you did not make a profit, for example, bonuses are inappropriate.
  • Do I want to retain the workers I have?
    Bonuses are a tool for attracting and keeping good employees. If you are concerned about losing someone to the competition you should factor that into your decision.
How Much to Pay
There are no hard and fast rules except that you should make bonuses equitable among peer groups and always have performance justification for bonuses. Employees will discuss bonuses, and paying inequitably will generate strife or potentially lawsuits.
When you deliver bonuses, be sure you explain the reasons for them. These reasons should be non-subjective, measurable, and performance-oriented. When you deliver bonuses, make it clear that a bonus is an extra that may not always be available. As nicely as possible, drive home the fact that you are rewarding them for this year's accomplishments and that bonuses are available based on the company's performance this year only.
Bonus Nuances
The end of year is not the only time bonuses can be given out. Some business owners believe that whether you give bonuses or not, you should also provide periodic rewards for jobs well done. Accountants often give them at the end of tax season, other entrepreneurs give them at the end of a large job or busy season to demonstrate appreciation for employees' devotion and hard work.
Even a bonus as small as ₨50 can mean a lot to someone because it demonstrates that you acknowledge their hard work. If you don't have a lot of extra money to spare, a small bonus or a bonus in the form of time-off can work.
Some people believe that giving all bonuses at the end of the year is not a good idea. According to David H. Bangs, Jr. author of "Smart Steps to Smart Choices" (Upstart Publishing Company), end-of-year bonuses can create a mine-is-bigger-than yours syndrome in your company. Bangs recommends providing bonuses for goals attained at the time of the achievement.
When you are doling out bonuses during the year or at the end of the year, don't forget the behind-the-scenes people who have made the big orders, the successful client presentations, and the travel, possible. Clerical staff is instrumental in making all other functions of the company operate smoothly. Reward them for it

Exclusive Tips to Prepare a Production Plan!

What is a production plan?
A production plan is that portion of your intermediate-range business plan that your manufacturing / operations department is responsible for developing. The plan states in general terms the total amount of output that the manufacturing department is responsible to produce for each period in the planning horizon.
The output is usually expressed in terms of pesos or other units of measurement (e.g. tons, liters, kgs.) or units of the aggregate product (this refers to the weighted average of all the products in your company). The production plan is the authorization of your manufacturing department to produce the items at a rate consistent with your company's overall corporate plan.
This production plan needs to be translated into a master production schedule so as to schedule the items for completion promptly, according to promised delivery dates; to avoid the overloading or under loading of the production facility; and so that production capacity is efficiently utilized and low production costs result.
Why is it important to have a carefully developed production plan?
Production planning is one of the planning functions that a firm needs to perform to meet the needs of its customers. It is a medium-range planning activity that follows long-range planning in P/OM such as process planning and strategic capacity planning. Firms need to have an aggregate planning or production planning strategy to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to meet the demand forecast and to determine the best plan to meet this demand.
A carefully developed production plan will allow your company to meet the following objectives:
•  Minimize costs / maximize profits
•  Maximize customer service
•  Minimize inventory investment
•  Minimize changes in production rates
•  Minimize changes in work-force levels
•  Maximize the utilization of plant and equipment

How is a production plan prepared?

Activity 1 Determination of Requirements
The 1 st activity in Production Planning is the determination of the requirements for the planning horizon. Demand forecasting plays an important role in the conduct of these three tasks. Managers thus need to be aware of the various factors that would affect the accuracy of the demand and sales forecast.
Activity 1 involves the conduct of the following tasks:

1Draw up the sales forecast for each product or service over the appropriate planning period
2Combine the individual product / service demands into one aggregate demand
3Transform the aggregate demand for each time period into staff, process, and other elements of productive capacity
There are company factors that could influence the level of demand for the firm's products. These internal factors include the company's marketing effort; the product design itself; the strategies to improve customer service; and the quality and price of the product.
There are also external factors or marketplace factors that significantly affect demand such as the level of competition or possible reaction by competitors to a firm's business strategy; the perception of consumers about the products and the consumer behavior as affected by their socio-demographic profile. Lastly, there are random factors that could affect the accuracy of demand forecasts such as the overall condition of the economy and the occurrence of business cycle.
Activity 2 How to Meet the Requirements
The next major activity involves the identification of the alternatives that the firm may employ to meet production forecasts as well as the constraints and costs involved. Specifically, this activity involves the following tasks:

1Develop alternative resource schemes to meet the cumulative capacity requirements
2Identify the most appropriate plan that meets aggregate demand at the lowest operating cost
Once the most appropriate plan has been selected, then the firm evaluates the plan and later on finalizes it for implementation. For more efficient and effective planning process, the formation of a production planning team composed of managers from manufacturing, marketing, purchasing and finance, is recommended.

What are the inputs to the production planning process?

To be able to perform the aggregate planning process, the following information should be available to this production planning team. These data include the following:
•  Materials / purchasing Information
•  Operations / manufacturing Information
•  Engineering / process Designs
•  Sales, marketing and distribution Information
•  Financial and accounting information
•  Human resources information
How do you address the demand fluctuations?
There are three basic production planning strategies that the company can choose from to address demand fluctuations. These are the (1) Chase Demand strategy, (2) Level Production strategy, and the (3) Mixed Strategy.
Demand Chase StrategyMatches the production rate to the order or demand rate through the hiring and firing of employees as the order rate varies
Level Production StrategyMaintains a stable workforce working at a constant production rate with the shortages and surpluses being absorbed by any of the following: •  Changing the inventory levels •  Allow order backlogs (commit to the customer that you will deliver the product (s) at a much later date) •  Employ marketing strategies (e.g. promotional activities)
Mixed StrategyThe strategies here could include combination of any of the following:   •  Having a stable workforce but employ variable work hours (e.g., increase no. of shifts, flexible work schedules or overtime) •  Subcontracting / outsourcing
•  Changing inventory levels
Source: Dilworth, James B. Production and Operations Management: Manufacturing and Services . Fifth Edition. McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1993
What are the important considerations in selecting the production planning strategy?

Demand Chase Strategy

Specific Methods
Hire additional workers as demand increases
Employment costs for advertising, travel, interviewing, training, and others
Shift premium costs if additional shift is added
Skilled workers may not be available when needed
Layoff workers as demand decreases
Cost of severance pay & increases in unemployment insurance costs
The company must have adequate capital investment in equipment for the peak work force level

Level Production Strategy

Specific Methods
Produce in earlier period and hold until product is needed
Cost of holding inventory
Service operations cannot hold service inventory
Offer to deliver the product or service later, when capacity is available
Delay in receipt of revenue, at minimum; company may lose customers
Manufacturing companies with perishable products often use this method
Exert special marketing efforts to shift the demand to slack period
Advertising costs, discounts, other promotional programs
Exemplifies the inter-relationship
among functions within an organization

Mixed Strategy

Specific Methods
Work additional work hours without changing the workforce size
Overtime premium pay
The time available for maintenance work without interrupting production is reduced
Staff for high production levels so that overtime is not necessary
Excess personnel wages during period of slack demand
Work force may be used for deferred maintenance during periods of low demand
Subcontract work to outside firms
Continuing company overhead; subcontractor's overhead and profits
The capacity of other firms can be utilized, but there is less control of schedules and quality levels
Revise make-or-buy decisions to purchase items when capacity is fully loaded
Waste of company skills, tooling and equipment unutilized in slack periods
These methods require capital investments sufficient for the peak production rate, that will be underutilized in slack periods

How can you monitor effectiveness of your production plans?
The important considerations in monitoring the effectiveness of your production plan are shown below:

Systems and Procedures

(if any)
•  Is there a current documentation of production planning and control systems and procedures? Has this been communicated to all concerned?
•  Does production planning and control have a formal monitoring system to maintain and update master scheduling records?
•  Is there a system of coordination between sales forecasts to be prepared in sufficient detail so that these maybe readily translated to specific production plans?

Production Planning

(if any)
•  Does production planning and control prepare a master production schedule with all the production assignments and time allocation?
•  Do the production schedules permit adequate planning of purchases and inventory levels?
•  Are there signs of significant lost time or low rate of worker productivity? Are the numbers of such orders appear to be significant?

Production Control

(if any)
•  Can the status of any order or work in progress be readily determined?
•  Do actual production levels deviate significantly in comparison with planned schedules?
•  Do actual shipments of orders almost always occur according to schedule?
•  Are essential production control records and reports maintained to cover current and future production loads?

Friday, September 9, 2011

How do you determine the sales targets for your business?

1. Most small and medium businesses do not have sales targets or plans.
2.But, it is important for all businesses to set targets and make a concerted effort to achieve them
3. However if a business wants to earn profits over a long period, it should carry out sales which exceeda a minimum level.
4. Do you know that your business should also have a minimum daily quantity of sales?
5. You should know this specific minimum quantity of sales pertaining to your business and conduct sales over that limit if you want to earn profits from your business
6. The below steps will show you how to find this minimum quantity of sales in your business.
7. First you should understand that there is a specific amount of expenses incurred monthly irrespective of the size and type of business.
8. These specific expenses do not change based on daily sales or operational interventions.
9. These specific expenses are named as fixed costs.
10. Think about your business and find out how much your fixed costs are.
11. As an example if you conduct your business in a rented building, the monthly rent is a fixed cost.
12. Assume that you have one employee. The basic salary or wage of this employee should be added to the fixed costs of the business.
13. If you analyze carefully, there is a fixed cost even in your telephone bill.
14. Thereby, every business has a set of fixed expenses depending upon the size of the business.
15. It is important for an entrepreneur to correctly calculate the fixed expenses in his business.
16. Knowledge on the total monthly fixed costs is essential to determine the minimum sales quantity.
17. Example: Followings are the components of the monthly fixed cost of a business.
Rent for building                                    Rs 4500/- 
Salaries                                                Rs 8,000/-
Telephone fixed rental                            Rs    350/-
Thus, the monthly fixed cost                Rs 12,850/-
18. Let’s us assume that the product of the above business is “X”. If the sale price of X is Rs 100 and it’s purchase price is Rs 90, the gross profit per unit is Rs 10/-
19. Therefore, the business should sell 1,285 units of X over a month to cover the monthly fixed cost of Rs 12850/- .
20. When 1,285 units are sold, it covers only the monthly fixed costs from the gross profit. At this point, the business has not secured any profit but not incurred any loss.
Under this scenario:
Monthly sales revenue                           Rs 128,500/-
Cost of purchasing                                 Rs 115,650/-
Gross profit                                           Rs    12850/-
It is obvious in this scenario that the monthly fixed cost equals to monthly gross profit. This position is called the BREAK-EVEN POINT (BEP) of the business provided that it sells only one product titled X.

Situation 01
Situation 02
Situation 03
Quantity of sales
Sales revenue
Cost of purchasing
Gross profit
Fixed cost
Net profit
-10                            This is a loss situation
21. Any sale below the Break Even Point (BEP level) or break-even quantity will result in a loss to the business.
22. Sales above the BEP level will result in profits.
23. Therefore, businesses should sell more than the relevant Break Even level to earn profits.
24. Hence, sales target should be prepared daily, weekly and monthly in order to make the business profitable.

10 Steps to Effective Collections

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network

An effective collections policy requires some kind of formal system that ensures overdue accounts get paid. Letting late payments languish can disrupt cash flow and harm your company's chances of success.
To keep receivables flowing smoothly, many businesses use a series of letters and phone calls to encourage customers to pay. These communications start out friendly and progressively become more serious and insistent as payments become overdue. How you structure your collections system is an individual matter - you may be more comfortable calling up clients than sending letters, for instance. The important thing is to have a system, and you can use the steps outlined below to create yours.
Step 1: Customer satisfaction phone call
Dissatisfied customers are more likely to pay late. These friendly calls let you inquire about your performance to ensure you met your customers' needs. End these calls by mentioning that a bill will be arriving shortly, and reinforce its due date.
Timing: three days after delivery of your product or service, but before payment is due.
Step 2: First overdue notice
This is a friendly reminder that the due date has passed. You are assuming that the client has forgotten, neglected, or lost the bill and will pay with a gentle prodding. One common method is to send a duplicate invoice with "past due" stamped on it.
Timing: ten days after the invoice due date.
Step 3: Second overdue notice
Another mild nudge reminds the customer that the account needs attention. This can be a short form letter with a duplicate invoice attached. Keep it friendly and non-threatening. For example:
[Name/address of debtor]
Re:Invoice # ____________
Amount due ____________
Date due      ____________
Dear ____________
We recently mailed you a statement showing that your account is past due. Perhaps it has been overlooked. Here is another copy. Please send payment today, so that we can keep your account current.
Thank you.
Timing: 10-15 days after first overdue notice was sent/20+ days after the invoice due date
Step 4: First collection phone call
Follow the overdue notices with a phone call to find out if there is a reason for non-payment. For example, the customer may be dissatisfied with your product or service, or may be experiencing cash flow problems. Be courteous, but also get a commitment to pay. Be prepared to handle excuses. For example, if the debtor says the check was sent, ask when it was mailed and where it was sent so you can determine the day it should arrive.
Timing: 7-10 days after second overdue notice is sent out/27 + days after the invoice due date
Step 5: First collection letter
Keep the tone of this letter consistent with the first phone call - courteous, but direct. Confirm in writing what was said in the call, and remind the debtor of his or her promise to pay. For example:
[Name/address of debtor]
Re:Invoice # ____________
Amount due ____________
Date due      ____________
Dear ____________
This confirms of our conversation on [Date]. As we discussed, you will send us your payment in full. Let us settle this matter now. Please mail in a check today.
Thank you.
Timing: immediately after the first collection phone call/28+ days after the invoice due date
Step 6: Second collection phone call
The account is now 30-40 days past due. Be polite yet firm, and ask for full immediate payment. Work to resolve payment problems. If the debtor cannot pay immediately, get him or her to commit to a payment date.
Timing: ten days after the first collection letter has been sent/38+ days after the invoice due date
Step 7: Second collection letter
Now is the time to communicate the seriousness of the delinquency. This letter should demand immediate payment, and discuss the short-term consequences of failure to pay. Send this letter - and any correspondence that follows - via certified mail or overnight mail to give you a record that it was received. For example:
[Name/address of debtor]
Re:Invoice # ____________
Amount due ____________
Date due      ____________
Dear: ____________
Your account is now seriously past due. If payment is not received within 7 days, we will be forced to suspend your credit privileges with our company. We value you as a customer. Help us continue to serve you by bringing your account up to date immediately. Please mail us a check today.
Thank you.
Timing: ten days after payment is expected from previous collection phone call/50+ days after the invoice due date
Step 8: Third collection phone call
While remaining polite and calm, stress the seriousness of the situation. Use this phone call to explain that this is the last opportunity for the customer to pay before you turn the matter over to a collection agency and possibly take further legal action. Be sure to communicate the benefits of resolving the issue - maintaining good relations or good credit. As with the previous phone call, get the debtor to promise to pay by a certain date.
Timing: 15 days after second collection letter is sent out/65+ days after the invoice due date
Step 9: Final collection letter
The tone is now stern and demanding. Use this letter to confirm what was agreed upon in the last call and demand payment. State that if payment is not received by the agreed-upon date, you will turn the account over to a collection agency. For example:
[Name/address of debtor]
Re:Invoice # ____________
Amount due ____________
Date due      ____________
Dear ____________
This letter confirms our conversation on [Date].
You must take immediate action to make your account current. If we do not receive payment within ten days, we will be forced to turn the matter over to a collection agency, which may adversely affect your credit rating.
Please mail a check to us immediately.
Timing: seven days after third collection phone call/72+ days after the invoice due date
Step 10: Turn over to collection agency
The account is now 90+ days in arrears and may require professional assistance. Receiving a letter from a collection agency often motivates a debtor to pay, but these services can be costly - agencies typically take from a quarter to a half of what they collect. Instead of immediately turning the account over to a collection agency, you might want to enlist your attorney to make a quick phone call to the debtor - this can often motivate payment.
Timing: If payment has not been received by 10-15 days after the final collection letter is sent/90+ days after the invoice due date

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How to do Break Even Analysis?

The break-even analysis is not our favorite analysis because:
  • It is frequently mistaken for the payback period, the time it takes to recover an investment. There are variations on break-even that make some people think we have it wrong. The one we do use is the most common, the most universally accepted, but not the only one possible.

  • It depends on the concept of fixed costs, a hard idea to swallow. Technically, a break-even analysis defines fixed costs as those costs that would continue even if you went broke. Instead, you may want to use your regular running fixed costs, including payroll and normal expenses. This will give you a better insight on financial realities. We call that “burn rate” these post-Internet days. 
  • It depends on averaging your per-unit variable cost and per-unit revenue over the whole business.
However, whether we like it or not, this table is a mainstay of financial analysis. You may choose to leave it out, but really, a business plan would not be complete without it. And, although there are some other ways to do a Break-even Analysis, this is the most standard.
The Break-even Analysis depends on three key assumptions:
  1. Average per-unit sales price (per-unit revenue):This is the price that you receive per unit of sales. Take into account sales discounts and special offers. Get this number from your Sales Forecast. For non-unit based businesses, make the per-unit revenue Rs.1 and enter your costs as a percent of a Rupee. The most common questions about this input relate to averaging many different products into a single estimate. The analysis requires a single number, and if you build your Sales Forecast first, then you will have this number. You are not alone in this, the vast majority of businesses sell more than one item, and have to average for their Break-even Analysis.
  2. Average per-unit cost:This is the incremental cost, or variable cost, of each unit of sales. If you buy goods for resale, this is what you paid, on average, for the goods you sell. If you sell a service, this is what it costs you, per dollar of revenue or unit of service delivered, to deliver that service. If you are using a Units-Based Sales Forecast table (for manufacturing and mixed business types), you can project unit costs from the Sales Forecast table. If you are using the basic Sales Forecast table for retail, service and distribution businesses, use a percentage estimate, e.g., a retail store running a 50% margin would have a per-unit cost of .5, and a per-unit revenue of 1.
  3. Monthly fixed costs:Technically, a break-even analysis defines fixed costs as costs that would continue even if you went broke. Instead, we recommend that you use your regular running fixed costs, including payroll and normal expenses (total monthly Operating Expenses). This will give you a better insight on financial realities. If averaging and estimating is difficult, use your Profit and Loss table to calculate a working fixed cost estimate—it will be a rough estimate, but it will provide a useful input for a conservative Break-even Analysis.
Illustration 2 shows a Break-even chart. As sales increase, the profit line passes through the zero or break-even line at the break-even point.
The illustration shows that the company needs to sell approximately 1,222 units in order to cross the break-even line. This is a classic business chart that helps you consider your bottom-line financial realities. Can you sell enough to make your break-even volume?
The break-even analysis depends on assumptions made for average per-unit revenue, average per-unit cost, and fixed costs. These are rarely exact. We recommend that you do the break-even table twice: first, with educated guesses for assumptions, as part of the initial assessment, and later on, using your detailed Sales Forecast and Profit and Loss numbers. Both are valid uses

10 Common Mistakes Retail Salespeople Make

1. Failing to build a rapport with the customer. From a simple greeting to a little chat about niceties, non-sales directed small talk go along way in developing an easier and more open mood in the customers.
2. Failing to find out customer's requirements.
3. Focusing on their own agenda instead of customer's.
4. Not giving customers the majority of the air time.
5. Confusing "telling" with "selling". Not listening or not hearing what customer is saying.
6. Not knowing the prevailing promotions, specials and regular pricing.
7. Not differentiating the product/service/store/company enough to create additional value in the mind of the customer.
8. Selling too fast, trying to close before the customer is ready to buy.
9. Fail to address objections properly not realizing that satisfactory resolution of the objections is the shortest distance to purchase.
10. Not taking advantage of add-on sales, as soon as the main purchase is done, which is when customer is most ready to entertain them.