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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Essential Tips become an Entrepreneur

become an EntrepreneurWith the financial retreat as yet gazing us in the face, cutbacks turning into a stark reality and openings for work contracting by the day, numerous individuals are thinking about transforming into business visionaries, as opposed to searching for employments in different multinationals. For turning into a business person, there are two vital things that are required, i.e. capital and the right business thought. Taking a gander at the state that most world economies and organizations are in today, it is extremely vital to think of an imaginative business thought, which will be to some degree retreat confirmation and will likewise give predictable returns. Proposed beneath are some of such “more secure” business thoughts.

Entrepreneur Ideas for All

Caterer : Another small business idea which requires a minuscule investment is to offer one’s food catering services. If you are someone who loves to cook and bake, you can start your own catering business, by supplying food for parties, festivals, get together, dinners and even office meetings.

Consultant : One of the best business ideas for both men and women is to become a consultant. This is however possible only if you are proficient in some skills such as marketing, advertising, public relations, etc. Also, for being a consultant, one requires lots of contacts and networking skills. So keep these prerequisites of the job in mind before taking up this venture.

Secretary : Many small businesses need secretarial services, yet they do not have the required funds to hire a professional through an agency. If you have computer skills, and the necessary equipment such as a computer and a printer, you can readily take up such assignments and work from home itself. You would need good communication and organizational skills to become successful in such a business.

Writer : If you have a command over the English language and love to read and write, you can consider becoming a freelance writer for various online publications, websites and local dailies. You may also become a blogger, which by the way has become a multimillion business nowadays.

Tutor : If you love children and are master in any of the subjects taught at school, then you may contact a school or a home school group at the local level to check if they have a requirement for tutors. Tutoring is in fact one of the best businesses for women, considering that it leaves enough time for them to manage both family and work simultaneously. You can consider starting your own tuition classes from home. If you are good at painting, craft-making, singing or dancing, you can take hobby classes for the same as well.

Event Planner
Event planning is one business which anyone can start, irrespective of their qualifications. Whether it is weddings, office meetings or seminars, there is always a need for event planners who can ensure that they are organized effectively and efficiently. To become a successful event planner, one needs to have good networking, communication and organizational skills. Ability to pay attention to detail and handle any crisis which may arise, are the other two main requirements of this business.

Ideas for College Students

Cleaner : Most students do not keep their rooms or dorms clean. So a good way to earn money is to start a business which provides dorm cleaning services to other students. A student can offer services such as cleaning and organizing the room, taking out trash, making the bed and re-stocking the refrigerator. Or alternately, students can offer their cleaning services to households and provide services like carpet and window cleaning.

eBay Seller : Since majority of college students are Internet savvy these days, a useful idea for them would be to become an eBay seller. They can purchase cheap goods from the Internet, garage sales or second hand shops, pack them well and then sell on the Internet with a profit.

Baby/Pet Sitter : Another innovative business idea for college students is to become a baby or a pet sitter. There is a lot of scope to earn in this profession considering these days both the husband and wife work long hours.

These are some business ideas which anybody can make use of. These days, it’s not just adults, but little children too who like to start earning money as early as possible. Some good business ideas for kids are to offer their gardening services, start their own toy rental library, and to provide dog washing services. In the end, it can be said that anyone can become an entrepreneur, whether young or old, male or female, provided they have the skills, confidence and attitude to carry on a business. A sure shot successful recipe for a business is hard work, skills, self-assurance and the ability to face any setbacks that may arise.

Embed Innovation into Family Business Strategy

Creating techniques for a family company is intense work. Executing the techniques is significantly harder. So by what means can a privately-run company be relied upon to take wanting to another level? By imbuing advancement into technique!

On the off chance that yours is one of only a handful few family firms that makes a key marketable strategy, including a component of development into the procedure will eventually be all the more empowering, in this manner expanding the likelihood of more important arrangements that have genuine effect on the privately-run company. Inventive methodologies can likewise be all the more moving to execute. Imbuing advancement into the key arranging procedure resemble the wind in the face of your good faith, lifting and supporting the technique improvement procedure to new statures.

Finding the Right Innovation for Your Business

Before diving into the question of how to infuse innovation into strategy, it is vital to understand the current economic health position of your family business. Determining the growth position will be a key determinant of the type of innovation thinking appropriate to aid in achieving the strategic initiatives you have developed.

On a classic bell curve of profitable growth, the High Growth outlier region indicates those family firms that are growing at double-digit rates, often times doubling every couple years. The Distressed outlier includes the few family firms struggling to make a profit and preserve the family business. The majority of family firms reside in the hump of the bell (the statistical zone of the mean and median) where they typically grow around the pace of the economy or in the single-digit range of 2 to 9 percent.

Innovation at the Extremes

Interestingly, the family firms residing in either extreme of the bell—those in distress or those in high-growth mode—are more apt to infuse innovation into their strategies. The high-growth family businesses, characterized by the need for cash to fund growth elements such as inventory and accounts receivable, often need to be innovative about how to ramp up operations to meet the high-growth demands. They find themselves trying to live up to the proverb “Make hay while the sun shines.” Innovative strategies to increase production become paramount: adding and blending a mix of more labor, more automation and more markets, both domestic and international.

For example, at a recent strategic planning session of a family business, the second-generation family leader celebrated the firm’s third consecutive year of growing more than 20 percent per year. He incentivized his leadership to “make more guesses on labor and capital needs, even if you over-hire or over-purchase capital.” A key strategic initiative emerged to develop a more flexible global production capability where they will be able to quickly shift production from North America, Asia and Latin America. In this high-growth phase, it is more important to build capacity while improving quality and delivery, all of which require more innovative approaches than a lower-growth company.

Family firms in trouble are open to trying new approaches because they know they have to change or potentially lose the business. These firms need rapid decision-making, more experimental tolerance, greater discipline on cost controls, and a shift towards compassion for the whole company, rather than individuals. If payroll reductions are required, there are adjustments that can be made for the benefit of the company without the shock of sudden layoffs. Along with moving people to part-time or temporary positions, a creative approach exercised by one family firm is called “tapping on the brakes.” It is a program that offers a steady wind-down of hours while still allowing time for outgoing employees to pass critical knowledge to others without abruptly departing.

Other firms in distress have infused creative financing into their strategies, engaging private equity firms that are more willing to take a minority ownership position. According to Warren Buffet, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” These families should take advantage of their distressed situation and move from incremental changes in strategy to more radical or innovative changes since there is less to lose.

Innovation in the Midrange Family Business

The most difficult bell-curve position for family firms to embrace innovation in their strategy development is found in the large hump of the bell. Here is often found a mindset of “business as usual.” It is with this majority where the need exists to be more purposeful about looking at innovative ways to develop strategies.

While only a third of family firms are known to develop written strategic plans, those that do often stick to fairly standard approaches to the planning process: Conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis; check trends; review financials; and identify key strategic initiatives and performance indicators. What is often missing is a robust strategy development session forcing the planning team to look at things differently, suggest new approaches, think beyond best practices and try new concepts.

Some of the ways for these stable, status-quo-satisfied family firms to infuse innovation into strategy development are to:

Ask more probing, provocative questions.
Strive to develop best practices in their business or industry instead of copying what others may proclaim are current best practices.
Place a family member on an innovation team either as the leader or member of the team.
Asking the Right Questions

Before diving head-first into a planning session, develop a list of relevant questions to trigger different perspectives and encourage creative thinking about the firm’s strategy.

For instance, when one family continued to lose market share from their traditional direct sales channel, they began to ask:

Why do we continue to market our products the same way when the channels of distribution are rapidly changing?
How can we adapt to the digital world more quickly?
How can we make money or “monetize” in the digital world?
These questions led to the development of a Digitalization Task Force that included millennials working in the business and a young marketing professor to assist the family in creating a multi-pronged approach to the digital world. New service offerings for developing websites, conducting focus group research and forming a digital communication agency have already emerged from this team.

Another family presented the following questions to its strategic planning team during an off-site planning session:

Will our vision and mission help us achieve a long-term family business?
What are 10 ways we can reimagine and package our product offerings in new ways?
What are we doing to reboot our offerings and marketing for the new realities of customers buying in dramatically different ways?
How are we going to take advantage of multimedia channels?
What are we trying to do for our customers? What do our customers really want?
When it comes to customers, how is our organization shifting from a “how many” to “who” focus?
Other family firms follow questions that management gurus like former General Electric chairman Jack Welch have posed to public companies. Welch has a series of competitive questions that could help a family firm trying to break out of their status-quo mentality:

  • What does your competitive environment look like?
  • In the last three years, what have your competitors done?
  • In the same period, what have you done to them?
  • How might they attack you in the future?
  • What are your plans to leapfrog over them?
  • Making Your Own Best Practices Even Better

Meeting current best practices keeps you even with competition. Creating new best practices advances you past the prevailing conventional wisdom.

When Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John’s sandwich company, tried to beat Subway in the marketplace with higher quality ingredients, he learned that the consumer only placed an incremental value on the substantially higher quality meats, cheeses and other ingredients that Jimmy John’s offered. They had already achieved the industry level of best practices in quality, operations and delivery time, so how could they differentiate themselves?

After much strategic discussion with many of their family-owned franchises, Jimmy John’s decided to move past the current best practice for delivery time. This led to their “freaky fast” approach. Liautaud claims this changed everything. By upping their game in this key element to become the quickest sandwich delivery in the business, this strategy led to greater innovative thinking on improving order taking, sandwich making, delivery training and menu adjustments.

Infusing Family into the Process

When a family member is involved in the innovation process, it brings a heightened awareness to the process and forms an advantage for family businesses. A family member typically brings clout and an insider level of persuasion to effectively work through “messy” and often politically dicey development tasks, like securing funds for research and development or building a quick prototype. The presence of such innovation champions in the family leadership is essential for family businesses to grow beyond their core business. Of course, such champions require fundamental management skills to see innovation through. A good idea is almost never enough.

Matt Schad, a fourth-generation member of the family-run Nucraft Furniture Company, is a great example of an innovation champion. The business creates high-end office furniture found in some of the most prestigious law firms and government agencies in the United States. Schad worked as an attorney with a Washington, D.C. law firm before joining Nucraft, where he rose to lead new product development. Though admittedly not a designer himself, he has the family position, business savvy and law experience to maneuver new products through the organization effectively. By combining inside talent and external design support, along with his deep law-firm experience, Schad has created a steady stream of products that have driven revenue growth and won high-profile industry awards.  Schad was recently named Chief Executive Officer, partially because of his success in creating new creative offerings.

It takes multiple approaches to infuse innovation into family business strategy. Asking provocative questions, developing your own best practices and inserting family leaders are just three ways to improve the odds of incorporating creative thinking into strategy development. Adding innovation should not be considered an additional step in the strategic planning process, but rather an integral part of the process.

And as one family leader pointed out: “Innovative thinking is not only critical for advancing the family business, it’s a lot more fun!”