Advice for Business Leaders

Throughout the history of doing business, there will be always some forces that add shock to the way we conduct businesses. As we face a new reality we find a new way of working fuelled by the technological revolution. Many companies experienced such a scenario when the COVID-19 crisis shut down large swaths of the world economy. As volatile and uncertain as the world has become, it has created enormous opportunities for organizations to build a new form of advantage. Let us examine what a Business Leader needs to do to navigate the uncertain times, imagine new possibilities, and building a lasting company.

To compete and win in volatile, rapidly evolving business environments companies must adept at pursuing multiple transformations on an ongoing basis. It should be an essential part of operating your business. Not just one change, but one change after another change on an ongoing basis. It is like they are always in transformation. Change has to be part of the DNA of your firm. To excel at always-on transformation, Business Leaders should envision the firm’s desired future and how to get there, inspire and empower the workforce by building capability to execute the vision. It is no longer enough to articulate an operational goal like, cut cost by 20%, improve quality by 15%, or any other measures.

Success depends on your ability to get people inspired and empowered to make the change real. Employees will become more enthused in transformation if they understand at a deep level why they are doing it. They need purpose, clarity, energy, and guidance in a way that is logical to them. Not just understand, they must feel it each and every day as they do their work. Employees have to live the purpose in their daily work, which in turn means that the culture must change to evoke and support it. You have to define what the company stands for, something that meaningful.

You cannot simply articulate the purpose in words and expect it to stick. Dedicate your organization to making a change as an integral part of your operating model, and you will dramatically fasten your firm’s ability to compete, grow, and win in the years ahead. As you provide clarity of direction, you must motivate and inspire teams to behave more confidently and perform at their best, demonstrate care and empathy, actively listen, coach, and empower everyone.

Finally you must mobilize your team to the agile way of working to work in more open and collaboratively with daily stand up meetings, and less directive way. Agile has the power to transform the work. Breakdown the change process into manageable parts and connect with the operating model, inspire employees by connecting these changes with company reason for being, build a self-managing team,  lastly cutaway bureaucracy, and make work far more productive and collaborative. Remember, agile is a tool, not a strategy.

So, what are you waiting for? What legacy will you leave? Pick your priorities and get started re-inventing your company to sail through the uncertain times. And become a transformational leader.


Manage your Business like Messi and Ronaldo plays football

Uncertainty is a defining character in any business management in today’s highly volatile market. You get blown from any angle in the market ground. As they fight their way through the turbulence market, Business Leaders can learn much from the way, two legends, Messi and Ronaldo, plays football in the battleground. These two champions have the talents to sustain in the long run. Let us examine what we can learn and adopt from them.

Messi is highly agile and can score goals in any small opportunities though Ronaldo lacks Messi’s agility but because of his sheer bulk, physical strength, and toughness he can surpass any opponents. Similarly, companies can employ agility to spot and exploit any changes in the market, and meanwhile, they can stay strong for any changes. In tough times, cultivating both capabilities in combination can help companies not only survive but emerge as true leaders in the market.

The Messi Way
Messi’s agility helps him to spot any small opportunity and shoot off before anybody can defend it. Please watch Messi’s amazing first goal during in Copa Del Ray final in 2015 against Athletic Bilbao where he demonstrated his skills. Organizational agility is a company’s ability to consistently identify and capture opportunities more quickly then its rival does. It will help them enter a faster time in the market, increase market share, and higher revenues. They should maintain a culture of operational agility across the organization.
To be agile, firms should have detailed and reliable market data. Organizational objectives should be clear to all employees and they should have a shared understanding of the situation across the department by maintaining the same sense of urgency. Crucial factors here are speed and execution. Meanwhile, Business Leader should exhibit the courage to seize the opportunity and reallocate cash systematically.

The Ronaldo Way
Agility is just not enough to win in the market. Ronaldo relies on his physical stamina, power shot and technical abilities to withstand any opponent come across him. Ronaldo can score with his head, left or right-footed. As Maradona says he is an animal. In a business context, firms can adopt strength in multiple ways including huge cash reserve, low fixed cost, top talents, and organizational structure, robust systems, power brands, huge customer base, etc to weather uncertain times.

Strong organizations will have a strong balance sheet and more cash. And their Business Leaders exhibit strong leadership capabilities. The firm’s customers will be hooked with their products, others can not easily enter their market segment.

When they both play together
Agility help companies to enter the market early and their sheer strength helps them to sustain in the new position. Both abilities complement each other. Business leaders should be getting the mix right by actively balancing over time, rather than relying on one element to survive in the challenging markets. Companies that apply both approaches emerge as true leaders.

Thank You and Good Luck.

Connect with our Transformation practice: www.missionmeans.com/transformation



Businesses preparing for an economic recovery will face challenges in the years ahead. When the economy slows and recessions hit, strategic cost-cutting is critical for business survival and its growth.

I wrote this article for my clients to help them during this difficult time to give a toolkit to approach the challenging time ahead, to help business leaders keep their companies alive, and to prepare them for better times beyond the recession.

The recent business, economic, social, and public health challenges have been significant. There has been widespread disruption of the economy and businesses — as well as massive job losses. And the economic and business road to recovery may not be a quick and easy one. The biggest challenges for businesses in a recession are to keep the cash flowing, remain profitable, and hold on to as many resources as possible to ensure upside during and after the economy recovers. It’s about staying in the game long enough to see the benefits of economic recovery and expansion.

The importance of strategic cost-cutting—

It’s not just enough to plan to cut costs when the going gets tough. Cuts have to be strategic—they need to be deliberate, intentional, and effective.

Every time costs are cut, there may be consequences. Cuts could adversely affect vendor relationships, staff morale, future competitiveness, and future readiness for recovery. In short, the best strategy when looking at cost-cutting, is to make sure that the juice is always worth the squeeze. Because each cut will come at a cost. And it’s important that cuts aren’t so deep that a company can’t recover from them.

Companies only go out of business for one reason: They run out of money. During a recession or other economic or business slowdown, sales often fall. Sometimes sales stall altogether, as they did for many companies during the lockdown period. Since increasing sales is tough—but cash flow and profitability are critical—business leaders will often turn their focus on cost cutting, as the only other way to support profitability. The trick is to keep the money flowing. Cash flow is life of a business.


Breaking down expenses and putting spend in the right categories are critical to ensuring the highest probability of successfully identifying cost-cutting opportunities.

When trying to cut costs, you begin with spend analysis. And in a spend analysis you should check: Where do I find the excess spend that I can cut to boost profitability?

Where do I find the most complete collection of accounting, purchase order, operating expenses, maintenance expenses, and administrative expense data available for my company? I will outlines the steps involved in conducting Spend Analysis in the following part of the article.

STEP ONE – Collect Data:

Only after asking the more specific question  as above you really move on to beginning to collect the data. As you begin the next step to collect data, you need to think about where your data is coming from. When you are using internal data, you need to make sure that the data is appropriate. If the company data you find doesn’t answer the question, then you will need to keep on digging. During the data collection, you need to watch out for inconsistencies in the data. It should be is appropriate, reliable, and trustworthy. After all, if the data sets don’t match up and you do analyses, the implications could be misleading and worthless.

One of the most important parts of data collection is often interviews of key personnel. This may include the executive team, the finance team, procurement, human resources, and other leaders. Often these interviews provide you with information on where to find data for your analysis—and they provide you with context and content that you might otherwise miss.

STEP TWO – Breaking Down Costs

It is best to break down costs into as many subcategories as possible.

Example 1: Employee costs:

​—​Salaries for employees ​

—​​Overtime wages for employees

​—​Part-time wages for employees

​—​​ wages for contractors

​—​Payroll taxes

​—​Healthcare benefits

—​Other labor costs

Example 2 : Equipment Costs:

 ​—​Purchase costs

​—​Finance costs

 ​—​Rental costs

​—​Service costs

—​Maintenance costs


Now you will need to prioritize your spend categories to identify which buckets of expenses are part of the core business (ie essential)—and which categories of spend are nonessential.

The first place to look at spend is in nonessential spending. If your top areas of spend are not related to your core business then you should go for deeper analysis. In a service business, some overhead expenses—like fancy offices or company cars—may be completely unnecessary.

It is very common for companies to own more equipment than they need. But the value of these expenses should be evaluated if there is less revenue, less business, and generally less work that needs to be done—all of which is common in a slowdown.

There are some areas where cutting costs is much more difficult. Some of the most common sensitive topics include: ​

—​Executive Compensation

​—​Shareholder Dividends

​—​Raw Inputs for production

​—​Layoffs . 

My advice is to leave off-limits topics alone and Instead, just focus on the areas where cost-cutting is allowed.


It’s also important to see the comparative levels of spending of your company against the costs in certain categories across your entire industry. This kind of comparative analysis in industry standards can be made for any number of categories, including overall operating expenses, capital expenses, fixed costs, marginal costs, labor costs (including overtime), etc. The goal is to have some of the lowest costs in an industry.


Before negotiating and cutting costs, it’s important to prioritize your vendors. Cost should be a consideration. But so should quality and reliability. In short, you are looking for vendor value—not just the lowest-cost vendors.

Vendor Scorecards One way to evaluate vendors and rank them in a number of ways.

Scorecard Criteria Some of the criteria often included on a vendor scorecard include the following: —​Vendor Importance ​

—​Vendor Reliability ​

—​Vendor Consistency ​

—​Vendor Speed

​—​Vendor Payment Terms ​

—​Vendor Cost


One critical way to reduce company costs is to reduce unnecessary overhead. This includes reducing office space, inventory space, warehouse space, retail space, and any other square footage that is not absolutely necessary for your business.

Being judicious in overhead can greatly improve company profitability. After all, every rupees in spending that gets cut goes right to the bottom line. This means that cutting costs can actually boost profit more than increasing sales.


Here we identify our asset that can be reduce, reuse, and recycle. It is a hunt for hidden value in assets a company owns and may not be fully optimizing.

First, some of the goods may not be in use. This would make it possible to repurpose the goods so they could be used. The best strategy here would be to use them or sell them.

Second, some goods might be needed, but they do not work. These could be repaired or sold. Or if they are in really bad shape, they could potentially just be recycled.

Third, some goods might not be in use and not working—but they may be rented. In this case, the company is paying for a rental agreement on broken equipment. That’s a big waste! Reviewing the rental agreement is critical. And exiting the rental contract may likely make the most sense.

 Fourth, some goods might be not in use, not working, rented, and with a maintenance or service agreement. That’s an even bigger waste. The rental, maintenance, and service agreements should all be reviewed—and potentially exited in part or in total.

Fifth, some goods may be not in use, not working, owned, and with a maintenance or service agreement. As in the case of rentals, the maintenance and service agreements for this owned equipment should be reviewed and very potentially exited.

Sixth, some goods may be not in use, not working, owned with a maintenance or service agreement, and paying for insurance on them. These costs should all be reevaluated, and agreements should be reviewed and potentially exited. Once excess equipment is disposed of, insurance agreement terms should be renegotiated.

As with physical assets, excess inventory, inventory that is no longer useful, and inventory that no longer has value can all be considered for selling out.


In truth, there are many reasons to get rid of assets. Let’s look at a few key reasons you might want to get rid of an asset

Unprofitable: It is an unprofitable asset or part of your business.

Low ROI: The asset or part of your business has a lower rate of return or lower ROI than other parts of your business.

Expensive: It is an unnecessary asset or part of your business. Risky: It is too risky an asset or part of your business.

Distraction: The asset or part of your business detracts from your core competencies.

Unnecessary: It is an unnecessary asset or part of your business.

Useless: It is a useless asset or part of your business.

Unenjoyable: You don’t like the asset or part of your business.


With all the information at your hand now, you can initiate cost cutting process. The idea is you do not run out of money and to make sure your company doesn’t die.


As you consider potential costs to cut, it’s important to make sure that you don’t cut anything essential that could hurt your company during a recovery phase. For each business, there will be some cuts that are essential to avoid.

At the top of this list are audit expenses, accounting expenses, and software that makes the accounting, bookkeeping, audit, and financial operations of your company functional.

It’s also important to try and keep from cutting any core workers until the very end. After all, without them, it might be impossible to restart your business.


The big idea in writing this article was to share actionable strategies to help you improve the profitability of your company by strategically approaching the problem of costs and profitability during an economic downturn. Hopefully, the analytical frameworks and actionable strategies and tactics I have laid out in this article will help you get there.

Your Next Steps The most important thing is to try and keep yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way. But the second most important thing is to keep your company out of harm’s way—and cut costs! Recovery will come. And if you look for opportunities to help your organization improve in the wake of this tragedy, you may be able to hasten the speed recovery.

Good luck and be well!



Who will survive the Recession?

Past research says that only a few companies come out of a recession stronger than they were before. Rest of them either went closed/bankrupt or it took them a minimum three years to get into their pre-recession sales and profit.

Inaction is a riskier response to a crisis, however, a firm that aggressively cut costs had only a little chance to overcome the recession. The same for who went boldly invest to seize all opportunities. And for the companies that flourished during the recession, couldn’t regain the momentum after the recession.

What went wrong with them? Let us examine.

When a recession comes to them, business owners believe that their first priority is to reduce the operating cost to survive the slump. However, focussing only on reducing cost numerous problems. First, it is sending a pessimism signal across the organisation. Second, they try to do more with fewer resources, it will reduce the overall quality. Later they must spend far more than they saved in order to recover.

Some cash-rich business leaders try to reach more close to customers by aggressive investment. They try to create an aura of optimism. They didn’t notice that even customer has budget cuts due to shrinking cash reserves with them. They are looking for lower-priced products and services with value for money.

What’s the right way to move forward?

A combination of both, a little cut and a little investment. Companies that following the combination are doing well after the recession. You should cut to improve operational efficiency rather than reducing the number of employees. And similarly, you should invest in R&D to improve your product and service offerings. Employees at these companies appreciate top management and they try to be more creative in reducing the costs.

This approach helps to fight the recession and also can path a strong foundation for continued success after the recession ends.

Thank you and Good luck.

(Mohammed Nizam: Principal Consultant – Mission Means Consulting)


My Wedding and Project Management

People usually relate the word project management to the huge projects that most of the large companies run. I am sure you better know about project management with regards to companies or businesses. However, few of us know that Project Management can apply in our Everyday Life. Here I am giving you an example, how the project management helped in my wedding.

By profession I am a project management professional, and I do feel that my Project Management background has served me very well in planning my wedding.

The wedding bell ringed while I was working in Middle East few years ago, and you know how many days of vacation we get in every years. I got hardly 22 days and even the girl has not being finalized. The very next day I landed in home town from abroad, I went to see ‘the would be girl’. It was on a Saturday. And the next day, ie, Sunday, my family held the engagement function and decided, to my surprise, to held Wedding function on next Sunday. I got just six days to prepare for my wedding. 

Wedding is one of the most cherished occasions in a person’s life. But to make these occasions larger than life, one needs to put a lot of effort. Planning begins quite early if you are looking to make the most of your wedding event. There were so much things to do before the big day. Right from jotting down the list of guests, shopping, house renovation, food items to the hall you need to book for the event and lot more. And managing all that can lead to a situation of complete chaos. But, I didn’t get scared, I took it has project.

On the same day night, I took a pocket diary and started writing my project management wedding plan, each and every activities to be done from Monday to Saturday and then on Big Day. (But not what to do on First Night, in fact, I didn’t know what to do.! ☹ . Now, I know, If I get a chance again, I would 😊). Set estimated number of hours that each task will consume, and the only constraints were time and quality, not budget. Failover plans were made covering every type of known risk. My hope is that by putting in a little extra up front, the wedding day will proceed without a hitch and I will be prepared to handle all the challenges along the way.

I started executing my project management plan from Monday onwards, I ticked all checklists one by one till the milestone event day. The day of marriage finally arrived, I was happy, everything started falling in place as designed and per expectations, and were accomplished beautifully. It was the seventh marriage function in our family. (I have six brothers and two sisters.). I believe this one was the best held marriage without any hassle and bustle, despite having short period for the preparation. My younger sister certified that.

This is an end of one Project with the wish for next project in the life and so on.

For you readers out there: project management isn’t rocket science; it just requires a lot of planning and dedication. There’s a project manager in all of us! SO, learn project management and apply in your everyday life. I hope you will find this writing helpful.


Why should you appoint a Personal Project Manager?

Let’s say you have a project that you want to get done well and in a timely fashion. Would you feel better if you had someone you could hire to help you through the entire process? Someone with experience in the field of Project Management, a certified Project Management Professional, someone that can help you and support you till the completion of your project? This would be someone who works directly for you as your representative throughout the project. What projects you would require them to manage, or what pieces of work you would want them to oversee will be dependent on what your business is.

Consider their use for:

  1. Workforce coordination – If your business employs a lot of different people: full-time employees, contractors, vendors, the Personal Project Manager will manage everything on your behalf.
  2. Project Monitoring & Execution The Personal Project Manager will monitor that the day to day management of your project till the completion.
  3. Focal Point of Contact – The Personal Project Manager will be the focal point for the implementation for process, system, and/or software that fit the company’s project needs.
  4. Representation– The Personal Project Manager will work with you directly as your representative through the lifetime of the project with YOU being the final decision – making authority.

Owner’s Representative for the Residential Construction Management?

Building a home can be one of the most rewarding accomplishments of your life. But getting exactly what you want from your Architect/Builder can be an enormous challenge, fraught with risks, frustration, delays and lasting disappointments. Many Architects/Builders advertise project management as a keystone of their organization. However, because the site engineer/manager works for the Architect/Builder rather than the homeowner, I recommend homeowners retain a Representative who can be exclusively dedicated to representing and protecting their best interests and, at the same time, hold the Architect/Builder accountable to established budgets, acceptable quality levels and schedules.

Why should you appoint a Representative?

There are many different reasons that make an Owner’s Representative valuable. For example, You may far too busy with your jobs in abroad, no time to visit the site, just may not have enough knowledge of construction and no real way of know if the Architect/Contractor is doing the right thing, charging the right price, selecting the professional contractors and the appropriate materials, or if the architect is designing within budget. While you are fully committed to the final outcome of your dream home project, you are at a severe disadvantage without residential construction project management in place. While it may appear simple, residential construction requires the expert coordination of designer, multitude of contractors, materials, and important decisions.

The Benefits of appointing an Owner’s Representative.

Acting on behalf of the owner is by no means a substitute for an architect, site engineer or contractor, however, the representative assume ownership of the work on behalf of the client, and manage the day-to-day details of the project while the owner retains all final decision making authority. He/She will make sure all of the administrative tasks are managed, insulating you from the day-to-day record keeping, document processing and task tracking, so that you can rest assured that the project will run smoothly and your interests will be protected, keeping you free to focus on your core business or regular full time job.


Right way to train your staff

Most small companies hire people with potential and then let them learn on their own by watching others. But most Fortune 500 companies have training systems to ensure they maximize their return on employees.
These companies invest in each employee, on average, forty hours of formalized training per year. How much training do you provide? You can spend 2% of their annual payroll.
Now, how to train, you can follow the following steps,
1. Tell them what to do
2. Show them how to do it
3. Let them do it
4. Watch them do it
5. Coach them through it
6. Recognize them
7. Follow up and give feedback

To build an excellent company, training must be ongoing and continuous for everyone. Connect with us: https://www.missionmeans.com/academy



Earn the credential MISSION MEANS CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL to prove you have the specific skills employers seek. It will distinguish you in the job market and enhance your credibility by undergoing one month intensive training on the job skills you need at the work place success .

The credential holders demonstrate their skills in multiple business functions like Finance, Project Management, Operations, Sales, Logistics, Report Generation, and Client Service along with most sought after soft skills such as Leadership, Creativity, Team Work, Conduct Meeting, Problem solving, Professionalism, Decision Making and Executive Body Language.

For an employer, having the credential holder as a staff is a strategic asset. It is a reliable benchmark for their staff performance and reduce their time on-boarding process.

The one month (50 hours) intensive Campus to Corporate training program is primarily targeted at final year post graduate/graduate students to help them to perform better in the recruitment process and prepare for the corporate world.

To ensure that our program suits the requirements of most of the industries at large, the training will be conducted using the blended pedagogy using experiential learning, role plays and real-life experiences shared by experienced facilitators.

We are using Psychometric Tools to identify the participants ideal job preference and to know the inborn, innate potential, intelligence and personality.

The comprehensive coverage includes sessions on:
• Business English Communication
• Professional Body Language & Office Etiquette
• Developing Interpersonal Skills
• Developing Executive Presence
• Self-Leadership
• Resume Preparation
• Delivering impacting Interviews
• Professional Mindsets
• Skills you need for Workplace Success
• Working in a Team
• How to resolve Conflict with the Colleague
• Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint & Outlook)
• Business Operations
• Project Management

Contact us to get to know more about our programs: +91-9400384440 or visit our website www.missionmeans.com/academy


How to Systemise your Business

There are three steps to systemise your business:
A picture explains a thousand words, so together we will build a visual process map of your whole business operation. This is one of the major benefits of business process mapping it provides you full visibility of your end to end processes. Giving you clarity of how your business operates in its simplest form.
When all parts of your business have been defined, joined up and its processes are mapped and in sync. We’ll then identify the supporting documentation required to create the systems.
Once your business systems are documented, the final part of the journey is to simplify further and automate those laborious non-income generating or non value-add tasks.

At Mission Means, we help Business Owners to systemise their business.