Specializing in bringing together all components necessary for long term business growth,
profitability and success; and ensuring
that they are working in harmony.

Posts Tagged ‘business growth’

What is it I do? And, what is it I want to do?

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Recently I conferred with a friend where I suggested areas in her business strategy that I felt I could further advise her.
From issues in business culture to resolving expansion challenges, I shared stories of previous engagements. I then turned our conversation to a business model I had been developing with previous business partners (a model in her sector) that I had always believed that had we continued – would have been immensely successful.

In earlier discussions, we also entertained the idea of utilizing my firm’s services to the benefit of her marketing and funding strategies. Therefore, I confidently assumed that she was already aware of “what I do.” However, as we broadened our discussion to other possible areas of strengths I could offer her she looked at me and simply asked, “What is it you want to do?” “I mean”, she continued, “you have shared stories about what you have done, but you have never told me what you really want to do?”

For a few minutes, I was dumb founded by the question. “Why doesn’t she understand what I do I asked myself?” Who else is there that still doesn’t get it? “Or is the question specific to “what is it I want to do” in the immediate case of the conversation?”

Ironically, later that afternoon I received a call from a respected business colleague who conveyed his own frustration with the same dilemma. “I am good at technology, analytics, problem solving and have a large roller-dx of investors.” But it seems like everybody just wants to put me in a box” he exclaimed.”
To his point, I suggested that he clarify his list of deliverables which are tied in with his love for what he does.

So here is what I want to do:
Bring my specific skills and talents to the benefit of engagements, which allows me to enjoy and profit from using them. Once again, my skills and talents include long and short-term business strategies, which are complemented through marketing and creative advertising.
Building on these attributes include, the capacity to assess employee morale/performance as well as increasing customer retention. (Remember, no advertising or growth strategies are meaningful unless both employees and customers are happy.) Finally, a qualified list of contacts and resources are also available/when required –as part of services provided.

Engagement requirements are not just the amount the financial reward, but that I stand to truly benefit clients objectives from the use of my skills and talents. If not, then I am not interested.
Having multiple business skills does not make me a Jack-Of-All-Trades. I am not. I am not claiming to be a plumber also or software designer too. Nor do I repair cars or build electrical grids. I am however, an expert at taking a full and complete look at a business so that one piece of the flywheel supports the other.

Marketing needs to bring market share. However, when the market share is realized then the company must be ready for the growth that follows – and this is the philosophy I have built my practice on.

As indicated on our website, the mission is:
“Specializing in bringing together all components necessary for long-term business growth, profitability and success; and ensuring that they are working in harmony”.
What part of that do I love? All of it! Because it is all-inclusive for a company’s success!

So what about you? What are the things you are good at? Are their additional services your business can offer which are truly co-complementary? Are you really good at it, or do you need to take some time to further develop it? Whatever you chose to offer, be sure that it diversifies your services in a positive way, which is consistent to providing the best resources available.

AUSTIN HOLDS THE BRASS RING What we do with it – is the question

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

As a Board Member to Austin Independent Business Alliance, I was recently asked to add my comments to a manifesto intended for city leaders to consider, here are my thoughts:

Austin is in the unique position for not only becoming the entrepreneurial capital of America, but also helping to lead the country (by example) – out of the recession.
Consider this:

We have been blessed with an unusual set of circumstances, which positions us for real economic and business growth. This includes a combination of creative thinkers, a predominately-younger energized and well-educated population. Finally, combine these exciting elements with the real can- do philosophy that goes to the very roots of our national origins and Austin is a winner!
Some things are already being done to foster this proposition. Comparatively speaking, Austin has a better reputation for being more business friendly then places like San Francisco, San Jose, Boston and other major hubs for new products, services and innovative thinking.
In addition to hosting two giant festivals annually, have weather that tourists seem to like, a beautiful environment, and a thriving downtown.
So what is missing?
Austin continues to place too many eggs in the Tech basket. Though we have improved our mind-set in recent years, we still place so much emphasis on high tech and high tech related sectors that we ignore other great things like consumer products, new foods, and services.
In addition, we spend our energy and resources on attracting new corporate giants to set up shop so that they will facilitate new job opportunities. In doing so – foolishly attempt to bribe and attract them with “no tax incentives” because in spite of what thousands of newcomers will tell us, our city officials fail to believe that Austin’s attraction for great talent and low taxes is already enough.
But what if the money used or deferred to attract large mega corporations was instead channeled into fostering further growth for our small businesses? Instead of committees seeking ways to bring in big businesses, what about bringing together small and large business leaders with Investor partners to discuss the creation of real seed funding designed to encourage a wide diversification of qualified start-up considerations? Moreover, when I say real, I dare to suggest an approach that considers a start-up considerations based on its merits, not just the founders equity.
Yes, many start-ups and small businesses do fail in the first several months to three years. We know that. Nevertheless, the ones that do succeed go on to create real jobs and livelihoods for millions of people. The recession brought home an urgent point, that big companies can and will create big layoffs when times are lean. Once again, the egg in one basket syndrome.
However, by channeling resources into creation of new business opportunities a percentage of those laid off, with great ideas become self employed and in the process, create more jobs.
We tend to forget that every great idea and business proposition started from something – and then grew. Starbucks, Dell and Ford all started with an idea, and then grew. By the way, notice the diversity in each entity I just mentioned? Not all tech companies are they?

In creating a real program designed to nurture and seed entrepreneurship, Austin can set an example on another exciting proposition – transforming non-conforming students and Youth at Risk (YAR) into tomorrow’s business leaders.
Granted, not all are business leaders, but I am a firm believer into channeling energy into real opportunity. A brief check in business history 101 demonstrates that many of our greatest business creators and leaders did not necessarily fit in to the school curriculums. Many young people who just do not fit into being a good student are bored. Schools teach more about following orders then taking a great idea and leading. We can begin to change that – and in the process set an example for the rest of the country.
Finally, Austin needs to make sure that while it is embracing real and exciting growth in its downtown, it is not doing so at the peril of creating a two-class society. One look at downtowns emerging demographics tell us that the majority of the new condominiums and hotels are for the upwardly mobile who can afford the ever-expensive parking and new restaurants. In addition, not everyone wants a valet parking their car. Many new and small businesses (particularly in their early stages – until they really take off), are not able to pay the kind of salaries either to founders or to their employees, which provides for a nice evening in downtown.
Today for example, many of the small businesses and their owners in San Francisco have over recent years packed up and moved to places like Sacramento where the middle class can still hold promise to opportunity. Workers needed to serve Bay Area businesses frequently commute seventy-five plus miles each way – each day to their jobs. Why? Because many parts of the Bay Area (San Francisco and the surrounding areas) have become a two class economy.
Is this what we want of Austin?
Yes, we hold the brass ring, and if we are open minded and smart enough to learn from other cities that experienced creative growth, then we can seize the opportunity offered to us. Our business and Civic leaders can do remarkable things and in the end, we will have something to be remarkably proud of.

My wish list for the country

Friday, December 17th, 2010

OK, I admit it, it is actually long but here are some of the things I wish for, and would like to share. Consider it my wish list for 2011:

Create a unified national incubator for start-up considerations where candidates are judged on their ideas and likelihood to succeed rather than just their credit scores and current equity. This should not mean that anything goes and candidates should not be vetted. On the contrary.

Nevertheless, it does reflect my own professional experiences from reviewing hundreds of start-up considerations who had retained our services. Yes, their concept was sound and its potential good. Except, they did not have a couple of hundred thousand to seed their idea, and Investors were not interested unless they did. My colleagues and I agree that if just one forth of these start-ups had been funded, then even after the potential for failure rate –thousands of jobs would have been created! And that’s just from the start-up considerations that we reviewed.

Funding for this would also provide for qualified professionals in the areas of strategy, management, branding and advertising to oversee the projects until they become self-sufficient. Imagine how much further, our economy may be if the Stimulus money went into helping qualified start-up considerations instead?

A complete overhaul of our current tax code – to truly differentiate big corporate, from mid-size and small business – not to mention over compensated Wall Street CEOs from small business owners. Now I realize that I really need 10 pages to adequately explain the particulars, (and feel free to call me if you would like to hear more), but let’s just begin with the premise.

While I don’t agree with the Death Tax I certainly feel that the fat cats who got away with destroying the economy should be paying a much higher percentage of taxes for all of their bonuses – particularly when their compensation is so imbalanced with that of their average employees. Small businesses (the true backbone of the economy) should be given the largest breaks so that they can continue long-term sustainable growth.

Moreover, if nobody is aware of it yet, we ARE in big trouble financially and yes, we all need to be prepared for some sacrifices if we are going to have much of a country to left our children. Please refer to the history of great powers of the past. Begin with Spain and follow-up with the collapse of the British Empire.

Adapt total pricing standards to

Give teachers the power to teach by demanding respect and courtesy from not only the students, but from the parents as well. We can throw trillions of dollars at education but if the teachers are not appreciated or respected, then what’s the point? We are falling fast in the area of education. How many teachers in Asian countries are treated with the level of disrespect that our teachers are?

Speaking of: Why aren’t we teaching all middle school students about money management, investment, consumerism and credit? Hmmmmm.

Finally, let’s stop thinking in terms of pro-union, pro-business, Red State, Blue State, but hey, “what’s good for the country?”