Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

Entrepreneurship ? a Leap of Faith

Entrepreneurship is a multifaceted adventure that, without a doubt, closely resembles a roller coaster ride. When you begin an entrepreneurial journey or “ride,” you are aware of the gamut of experiences, both disappointing and rewarding, that you will encounter as you undertake this challenge.

Entrepreneurial challenges are not unlike most challenges in life. Hard work, long hours, and anxious moments are just a few of the characteristics of the journey to most successful outcomes.

Reoccurring questions often roam the business mind, and---although they may be phrased in a variety of ways---are basically centered on these four primary issues: more sales, more cash, more time, and more of the “right” people.

Starting your own business is an undertaking that requires more than vision, inspiration, sweat equity, money and determination. It is a leap of faith that demands that you let go of everything that is safe, comfortable, and proven. It is getting “outside the box” in the biggest way possible.

Beginning a new business venture can be risky, dangerous, and harrowing. However, with the proper preparation, the appropriate knowledge, and the counsel of a mentor or a trusted advisor, it can be a liberating and an extremely rewarding experience.

There’s a reason why many of America’s most successful people are entrepreneurs who started their own business and then saw them take off to unimaginable heights. There’s a reason why the Horatio Algers of the world continue to inspire thousands of entrepreneurs every day. There is a reason why some of America’s greatest companies started with an idea, with meager seed capital, and with an individual who had a maniacal belief in the potential of an idea, and--- along with determination and perseverance--- saw it through to success.

However, for every success, there are hundreds of failures. The statistics are not only sobering, but downright frightening. More than half of all businesses started today will fail. The failure rate is astounding. Take a look at recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and this is what you will discover: After two years, across all sectors, 44 percent of all new businesses are no longer in business. After four years, 66 percent no longer exist. And, these survival rates don’t vary much by industry.

What do the statistics tell us? That most new businesses—whether they’re founded on the most brilliant idea since the theory of relativity or production of a mundane but exquisitely necessary manufacturing component—are making fatal mistakes that will ultimately lead them to bankruptcy. This much is certain. If more than half of all new ventures fail, there are lessons that are not being learned.

An author, speaker, and consultant, Terry H. Hill is the founder and managing partner of Legacy Associates, Inc., a business consulting and advisory services firm based in Sarasota, Florida. A veteran chief executive, Terry works directly with business owners of privately held companies on the issues and challenges that they face in each stage of their business life cycle. Terry is the author of the business desk-reference book, How to Jump Start Your Business. He hosts the Business Insights from Legacy Blog at http://blog.legacyai.com and writes a bi-monthly eNewsletter, "Business Insights from Legacy eZine."


By signing up for Business Insights from Legacy eZine at http://www.legacyai.com/Business_Insights_eZine.html you can keep abreast of the latest tips, tactics, and best business practices. You will, also, receive the free eBook, Jump Start Your Knowledge of Business.


Contact Terry by email at http://www.legacyai.com or telephone him at 941-556-1299.

A Corporate Perspective on Entrepreneurship

Have you ever wondered how those who work within a corporate atmosphere view entrepreneurship?

I sat down with Kim Lariccia who is apart of the senior management team at Progressive Insurance. Kim has practical advice for both budding and seasoned entrepreneurs. This interview was centered on four areas of opportunities for most organizations. These four areas are: leadership, systems, money and business growth. Understanding these four components of an effective enterprise will catapult your business to the next level.

The first section dealt with was leadership. My question to Kim was, “What are the components of a good leader?” Her reply was, “A leader has to be a dynamic thinker.” A competent leader must be able to think on many plateaus; organizational, interpersonal and personal. At the organizational level a leader must think about the creation and articulation of the business’ vision, the culture of the enterprise and the return on human capital. The interpersonal plateau as Kim puts it is “leadership is based on relationship”. The people within your company must trust you, believe in you and in your vision. On a personal level, a leader must build mental and emotional fortitude. Mental fortitude is necessary, because as a leader you must think on many different levels. Emotionally fortitude is required, because ultimately you are responsible for the end result. Therefore your EQ (emotional quotient) must be high for you to have your vision completed through the efforts of your personnel.

The next subject Kim and I talked about was systems. A system is a specific way of doing some thing that brings about a desired result. Entrepreneurs must realize the importance of system development and maintenance if they desire to build an effective organization. Kim indicated that entrepreneurs should use the concept of benchmarking.

Finding the “best practices” of running a business within your specific industry and then mastering those systems is benchmarking. Do you know what your competitors are doing with their processes, policies and procedures? Kim gave a great suggestion for entrepreneurs. Carry an “observation notebook”. You will use this notebook to document the systems you observe within your industry and among your competition. Write down systems, practices, and processes, both good and bad and how they made you feel.

Every experience a customer has at your place of business will affect them on an emotional level. Does this sound familiar, “When I walked into that store no asked me if I needed help. They acted as if they didn’t want my business, so I am going to spend my money where I am appreciated.” The customer’s experience is not logical, it’s emotional. As Kim said, “A great customer experience is what drives success”.

Then naturally, our conversation moved to the topic of money. My question to Kim, “What should entrepreneurs focus on, cash-flow or profitability”. Her reply, “Cash-flow is the reality to stay in business, that is why you need solid backing from the start. Once your cash-flow is consistent, you can position your company to become profitable”. Entrepreneurs must first get the resources they need so their companies can achieve a consistent cash-flow. A resource is not only currency. It’s having a network of trustworthy colleagues that you can bounce ideas off of. It’s also aligning yourself with employees that compliment you abilities. We ended this area with Kim saying, “Don’t panic about the money do your research” This statement transition the interview to our last topic, business growth.

The question that was asked, “How can an entrepreneur grow an organization?” Kim indicated, “It all starts with research, and this is the step most entrepreneurs try to skip”. First, you learn about the opportunity. Is it good, bad or indifferent to you? If it is a good venture, then investigate to find out the type of infrastructure that is needed to capitalize on the opportunity. Finally, do your planning and your forecasting for your new business.

“If possible after the research stage”, Kim said, “pilot your business”. Some call this practice, test marketing. During this process you will find out if your research was accurate. This is also where you will tweak and fine-tune your systems. The piloting stage will give you a glimpse of the capital needed and returns that are possible without a huge upfront investment. Also, while you are piloting your business, make sure you document the best practices for your organization so your future employees can perform their jobs.

At the conclusion for the interview I asked Kim, “What final advice do you have for entrepreneurs?” Her response, “Concern yourself with the ‘what if’s’. What if your company grows twice or four times as fast as you expected? What will you do? What if your business does not grow as fast as you have projected? What will you do?” When entrepreneurs concern themselves with the ‘what if’s’, they will focus on the necessary up front preparation; research, planning and documentation. As a result, they will build and effective organization.

Thank you to Kim Lariccia for your time and needed wisdom. This information will help entrepreneurs on their journey to building an effective organization.

Discovering the Success to Franchising and Entrepreneurship

Singapore, 29th January 2008 – Recognising the entrepreneurs’ needs to unravel the ambiguities of franchising in the local market, Astreem Corporation unwraps this year’s edition of Discovery Day. Discovery Day helps to bring out the entrepreneur in you and matches you with the perfect franchise business.

Discovery Day is organised by Astreem Corporation that has a team of experts in building the business of entrepreneurs. Discovery Day is designed to meet the needs of those who aspire to own a successful businesses “for themselves but not by themselves”, as well as those who want to expand their brand by sharing their successful business model.

About Discovery Day

Discovery Day features a wide selection of successful franchises in the F&B, lifestyle and service industry every quarter of the year. The successful franchisors present proven business formulas and help attendees navigate intricacies in starting up their business and successfully realise their entrepreneurship dream. The franchisors’ experiences and successes will provide guidelines and prepare aspirants in reaching the opportunities ahead. Discovery Day is also a day to get personal with entrepreneurs who want to share their respective paths to success.

Who should attend Discovery Day

Individuals who want to own a successful and established business at lower set up cost

Entrepreneurs who want to start a business at lesser risk

Directors/Managers responsible in diversifying their company’s investment portfolio

Attendees of Discovery Day will learn more about franchising concepts and its advantages and disadvantages. They will have an understanding of the acquisition process of franchise and, know the ‘how’s and ‘why’s of choosing the right franchise. Attendees will also discover the unique business concept of featured franchises and their keys to success.

Astreem held the first Discovery Day of 2008 last Saturday, 26th January at Casa Mediterranea Restaurant & Bar with a feature on the top three franchises below S$100K.

TT Quick Massage, Chippy, and iAremyhair were presented during the event. These three franchisors have successfully established their franchise programs with the support of Astreem. “Through Astreem Discovery Day, we are able to reach out to potential franchisees effectively in a one-on-one approach with the help from Astreem’s team of experts,” says Dennis Yeo, Director of TT Quick Massage.

For more information, visit http://www.astreem.com.

Moumita Sarkar

Astreem Corporation

http://www.astreem.com

Tel: +65 6392 3608

Mobile: +65 9636 2637

moumita@astreem.com

Biblical Entrepreneurship ? Kingdom Influence in the Marketplace

The last section of biblical entrepreneurship we must discuss is influence. Influence is the foundation of power. External power is cultivated by increasing your influence with people and industries. As biblical entrepreneurs, we must use our influence to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom, to encourage ethical practices within our industries, and to promote a righteous lifestyle within individuals.

 

How does a person create influence? It is a by- product of trust. Trust is created when people believe that you have their best interest in mind when you are encouraging, correcting and making decisions. Trust is also developed when others see that you are consistent in your words and deeds. Integrity and having others’ best interest in mind produces trustworthiness.  You must be worthy of receiving people’s trust.

 

Another component of influence is wealth. A person that has wealth and assets has the ability to influence governments, industries, and people. The Bible declares in Ecclesiastes 10:19 that “money answereth all things”. A biblical entrepreneur has the capability to have her wealth to speak for her within the marketplace to promote righteous business practice. Ecclesiastes 7:12 also proclaims that “money is a defense”. Biblical entrepreneurship encourages paying employees descent wages therefore defending the enterprise’s reputation in the eyes of consumers, employees, and government officials.

 

Now let us deal with empowering people to transform their lives in order to become righteous individuals. Biblical entrepreneurs are trailblazers and standard bearers of being holy within their industry. Christians within the global marketplace are to model godly character in all transactions. Their deeds will be able to testify that righteousness is the only way. Biblical entrepreneurs must display a lifestyle of holiness so they can spread the Gospel of the Kingdom to those whom they interact with. As believers in Christ, our characters must line up with our words if we are to be effective in spreading the Gospel. The purpose of creating influence is to promote the good news about King Jesus coming to earth with his kingdom so people’s lives can be changed.

 

Jesus the Christ used His influence to change the religious climate within the Roman empire. Jesus’ ministry changed millions of lives by displaying a new standard known as Kingdom Authority and Righteous. Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom instead of doctrines of traditions. The Gospel of the Kingdom transforms lives and man made doctrines keeps people in bondage. To be a biblical entrepreneur we must use our influence to change the standard within our industries by living Kingdom principles.

www.stephenowens.com Stephen Owens is a man on a mission to impact and empower the lives of striving entrepreneurs and those within the role of leadership. Stephen’s primary goal is to help transform the lives of business leaders around the world and their organizations. Stephen understands the trials and tribulations of starting and operating an enterprise. He is compelled to aid individuals to be effective in the market place.


Stephen was the founder and president of Alpha Lending & Investments, LLC. This Cleveland, Ohio based company focused on securing financing for commercial real estates investors and business expansion. Stephen’s experience is working with entrepreneurs and organizational leaders, has helped him gain an understanding of the obstacles and frustrations that many of them encounter.


In 2006, Stephen released his first book, The Revolutionary Change: Unlock the secret to producing change in your life. This book was birthed out of his experience of transforming his life. He wrote this great work for those individuals that are ready to reposition their lives for outstanding growth and achievement.


Stephen is a sought after Speaker and Seminar Teacher as well. Some of the topics include: The seven laws of entrepreneurship; The effective organization; Unlock the change within you workshop; and The young entrepreneur. The material that Stephen shares fans the fire of the entrepreneurial spirit that is needed to grow an organization to world class status. Website: www.stephenowens.org

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