Business strategies are often concentrated in one specific direction rather than involving multiple goals. While this tight focus might enable a process that is easier to monitor and facilitate, there can be distinct disadvantages as well. This article will discuss one example that illustrates how combined strategies involving business training and technical business writing can be more cost effective for small businesses than addressing each in isolation.
Cost-effectiveness is a useful tool to serve as a “management umpire” in most situations involving choices and decisions such as those described here. While this might periodically require a small business owner to obtain help from a cost-effectiveness expert, the prudent use of this specialized decision-making tool always deserves serious consideration. For those unfamiliar with the benefits of cost-effective solutions, here is a short summary:
- In simplest terms, the process forces a comparison of costs (which includes both time and money) and what you are getting for your money in both tangible and intangible terms
- Once that comparison is made for each of several possible choices, it is a short step to having a more objective assessment of multiple alternatives
- When evaluating the “effectiveness” or results of an action taken, it is also important to analyze the consequences of not doing something
- Peter Drucker described the concept indirectly when he said, “Effectiveness is doing the right things.”
How does this relate to business training and technical writing? One practical approach is to first look at training and see where it can be the most cost-effective for small businesses. While there are many differences as well as conflicting reports about how effective business training is in actual practice, there is some meaningful consensus that a shortlist of less than ten training activities routinely provides the most cost-effective results. Business writing is on the shortlist.
Most small businesses are regularly striving to increase their sales revenues, and business proposal writing is one viable strategy for achieving this goal. However, advanced and specialized business writing skills needed to produce effective proposals are often lacking within many companies. How do you suppose this critical capability can be added? If training is the answer, why is there any hesitation to move ahead with this dual strategy?
The biggest impediment to using business training and cost-effectiveness is probably that these concepts are simply misunderstood far too often. But with risks and problems to address, small businesses should make the effort to acquire a practical understanding. What are the consequences of not doing this?