A business owner's greatest challenges often come after the business is established, and growing pains necessitate the need to introduce change, to ensure ongoing success.
Any business owner who has been down this path, will attest to the problems they encountered from the resistence of staff, towards embracing the changes proposed for the future health of the business.
This excellent article, suggests that leaders need to understand the predictable, universal sources of resistance, and it identifies the 10 most common that need to be strategised around to overcome resistence.
/PRNewswire/ -- In the latest survey data provided by Travel Leaders Group, it appears that "company policy" now has almost as much influence as "cost" in whether or not business travelers will be flying in the "front of the plane." Also new in...
A new Pew Internet report offers a look at the average Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr users. Learn more about the 56 percent of Internet users creating and curating the world’s photo and video content.
What is the difference between content creators and curators? Further, who are the people behind the rise of photos and videos as social currency? Pew Internet set out to answer these questions in a recent project.
Currently 46 percent of Internet users post original photos and video they’ve created themselves online. Forty-one percent of respondents to their recent survey are curators, taking image and video content they find online and posting to sharing sites.
Fifty-six percent of percent identify as either a content creator or curator and 32 percent do both, according to the Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online report. Who are these people and where are they distributing image and video content?...
[Interesting research into photo and videocuration and creation - JD]
A success story for USAID-funded Peanut CRSP in the Philippines.
The Global Peanut Product, Processing and Marketing Team (GP3MT) allows small and medium enterprises to access knowledge and technologies developed by Universities and Government Research Institutions, globally.
An approach developed by Dr. Resurreccion with co-workers in the US and Philippines, involves identification and early engagement of industry partners at the initial stages. The public-private partnerships formed are the key to "fast tracking" the development and commercialization of food products.
GP3MT empowers smallholder farmers through associations/enterprises in value chain activities.
GP3MT has provided capacity building for successful development of women-owned business enterprises in Asia and Africa.
One example is Jennilyn Antonio who was an assembly plant worker involved in micro-scale peanut paste preparation as a source of secondary income for her family. She is currently a successful entrepreneur who produces peanut butter distributed and sold at supermarket and bakery chains, nationwide, in the Philippines.
The GP3M Team is composed of Dr. Anna Resurreccion, Distinguished Research Professor, a food scientist and technologist with a Masters degree in Nutrition; Dr. Manjeet Chinnan, Professor Emeritus, an engineer with expertise in food process development; and Dr. Wojciech Florkowski, Professor, an economist.
GP3MT is based in the University of Georgia.
Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program (Peanut CRSP) is funded through the US agency for International Development (USAID).
Anna Resurreccion can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com
GP3MT can be reached by e-mail at UGA.GP3MT@gmail.com
Small businesses that have some form of a business plan, have been shown to be more successful, than those who operate without any form of business plan.
Often, it is the fear of the perceived complexity and level of skill needed to develop a basic business plan, that stops small business owners from putting a business plan in place.
This excellent article, suggests that it is possible to develop a basic but workable plan in a day, and it outlines 10 steps that you can easily follow to get your business heading along the path to improved profitability.
The UGA GP3M Team has distinguished itself globally for (1) Development and successful transfer of an aflatoxin elimination technology that addresses non-industrialized countries’ food safety needs; (2) Contributions to technological development of local food industries of non-industrialized nations globally, but particularly in Asia, Eastern Europe, Caribbean, Middle East and Africa; while (3) increasing access to safe, nutritious high quality food products in these countries.
Anna V.A. Resurreccion, Distinguished Research Professor of Food Science, obtained the Ph.D. in Food Science from the Univ. of GA. In the last 29 years, she has conducted research on consumer insight and sensory science methods for food product design, development and optimization. IFT awarded her the distinction of Fellow (2000) and the IFT Bor S. Luh International award (2009). Other awards include the Prof. Scientist Award (1995, Southern Region of the IFT); the Gamma Sigma Delta Senior Faculty Award of Merit (1995, UGA Chapter); UGA, D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Research (1996) and D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in International Agriculture (2006). Additionally, the International Award (1998) and Outstanding Professional Scientist Awards (1999, 2010) from the Univ. of the Phil. Alumni Assoc. She is a professional member of IFT, served as Assoc. Scientific Editor of the IFT’s J. of Food Science, Chairman of the IFT Product Dev. Div and Distinguished Lecturer (2002-2004). She received more than $12 million on funded research; has over 600 scientific and technical publications, including 150 peer reviewed journal articles, 7 chapters, 3 books; and 234 proceedings/abstracts.
Manjeet S. Chinnan, Professor Emeritus of Food Engineering, received his doctorate degree in Bio & Agri. Engineering from NC State Univ. For the last 43 years Dr. Chinnan has focused his energies in developing techniques and applying them for optimizing food processes and food products. He was honored as ASABE Distinguished Food Engineer (2009). In IFT he has served in the capacity of chair - Dixie Section (1985); Food Engineering Division (1994); Committee on Sections & Divisions (2002-2003). He also served as Assoc. Scientific Editor of the IFT’s J. of Food Sci. (1999). He has published prolifically with more than 540 publication to his credit (Refereed journal articles-155; Books-1; Book chapters–13; Conf. proceedings–42; Other pubs 330) and has received grants in excess of $9 million dollars to pursue his ideas. He is a recipient of IFT International. Award in 1991 as one of the five team members from the Univ. of Georgia (first time ever given to a team); Bor S. Luh International Award (2007); D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in International Agri. (given by the Univ. of GA, 2000). He is member of IFT (Fellow), ASABE (Fellow), AIChE, ASHS and APRES.
Wojciech J. Florkowski, Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics obtained the Ph. D. degree from University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He was awarded the prestigious Kosciuszko Foundation Award in 1982 and received Commemorative Medals from the Dublany Agricultural University, Ukraine (1999), and the University of Life Sciences in Poznan (2001), Poland. He chaired the American Agricultural Economics Association Committee on Relationships with Economies in Transition (1992-1995) responsible for the development of professional relationships with agricultural economics professionals in Central and Eastern Europe. He was co-founder and the first Vice-President of the Polish Association of Agricultural Economists and Agribusiness (1993-1995) and served as the Secretary of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association (2006-2011) and member of the Council on Agriculture Science and Technology task force on quality of agricultural products. He was the Editor of the Journal of Food Distribution Research (2002-2007) and currently serves of Editorial Boards of several journals including The Poznan University of Economics Review and Scientific Annals of the Association of Polish Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. He has been a Principal or Co-Principal investigator on $1 million funded research from the public and private sectors; published over 400 scientific and technical publications, including 2 books, 11 book chapters, 97 peer reviewed journal articles; 182 papers published as abstracts/proceedings, and 150 articles in the field of agricultural economics and marketing.
Success in business, requires breaking down the mountain of tasks required to be completed, into a series of projects that can be individually managed and fast tracked or slowed down, according to priorities set by the business owner.
Entrepreneurs often lack a good understanding of the discipline of project management, and can often get over-whelmed and become unfocussed, and as a consequence waste time and money, as they try to get traction for their business.
This excellent article, discusses the importance of project management skills for an entrepreneur, and it provides 10 tips to help entrepreneurs to do better in this area.
Far too many business owners baulk at the perceived costs of engaging external advisors to assist them to improve the performance of their businesses.
In the long run, this reluctance to invest in external advice generally proves detrimental, to the profitability and sustainability, of their businesses.
As a questionable but understandable cost saving measure, many owners of established businesses tend to rely on web-based information sites or Government Small Business sites in preference to engaging external advisors.
Whilst accessing free advice from reputable online sites is a step in the right direction, the main problem with this approach is that often, the key link between the advice offered and the skills available in the relevant business to successfully apply the advice, is missing.
Sometimes, less experienced business owners, access information from sites where the business information on offer is not only of poor quality but is often wrong, and acting upon such advice, can create additional problems.
The other aspect which limits the value of free online advice is the assumptions made by the business owners or their managers, as to the actual problem that they are seeking information to help them to resolve.
It is often the case, that a symptom of a problem is being addressed, where a more complete, focussed and analytical investigation by an experienced external advisor, would establish the real underlying problem, one that must be resolved before the business can move forward.
Aligned to the perceived cost of external advisors being a barrier to greater engagement between businesses and external advisors, is a poor understanding by many businesses of the benefits that external advisors bring to any assignment, and the real return on investment that building a short term or ongoing relationship with an external advisor, can provide.
The real benefits that external advisors bring to any business which has the foresight to engage them include;
1) Fresh and different perspectives
External advisors are usually very experienced, well qualified, and through interacting with numerous businesses in a variety of industries over many years, they can look at your business from multiple perspectives, as distinct from your own limited perspective.
2) Unbiased viewpoint
An external advisor is independent, unaligned to prevailing points of view within a business, and can call it exactly as they see it, usually without fear or favour. They are able to resist filtering information via the cultural bias of the prevailing culture, and as such, can readily spot the obvious.
3) Greater and often more up to date expertise
Good external advisors generally hold relevant business related tertiary qualifications, are usually continuous learners, and generally hold memberships of relevant professional bodies that assist them to stay up to date with current business thinking, and relevant technological advances.
4) Broader experience base
External advisors in general, work from a base of extensive experience, often across many industries, and most have held senior positions in listed and unlisted companies, as well as private companies, before becoming business advisors. They also come with an extensive base of contacts that they can draw upon depending on the situations they encounter.
5) Time management
Your time is vital, and the more of it you can spend on areas which utilise your strengths, the better off your business will be for this focus. An external advisor, by focussing on what they do best, will complete assignments much faster that you can, and the results they deliver will usually be time effective in implementation, thereby saving you even more valuable time.
6) Level of analytical skills
To survive in the business world, analytical skills of a high order are a pre-requisite for any professional business advisor. The skill to ask the right questions, of the right people, and analyse the information provided, before making recommendations or assisting to rectify a problem, is a skill not easily, or quickly, attained.
7) Add more weight to management change initiatives
Any management team attempting to introduce change initiatives, will find that support for the changes in the form of well justified recommendations coming from an external advisor, will assist greatly in selling those changes into the rest of the business.
8) Transference of skills and methodologies
External advisors undertaking assignments in any business will interact with key employees, who will observe both the skills displayed by the external advisor, and the methodologies they utilise as they proceed.
9) Stakeholder evidence of your mindset
All businesses have stakeholders and whether they are shareholders, vendors, suppliers, customers, clients or employees, they will notice the engagement of external advisors. The mindset of a business owner or manager who is willing to engage external advisors, is different than that of someone unwilling to do so, and engaging external advisors is a clear and positive mindset indication.
10) Profitability enhancement
To build a successful reputation, leading to future engagements, an external advisor is very conscious of the need to deliver tangible and measurable outcomes. As a consequence, the usual outcome of the involvement of an external advisor, are changes which once bedded down, positively impact on bottom line performance.
Clearly understanding the range of benefits that an external advisor can bring to a business, allows a business owner to conduct a more balanced assessment of the potential return on investment available, from engaging a suitable external advisor.
In most cases, a balanced assessment will establish that the returns on offer will fully justify a business owner’s decision, to advance down the path of engaging an external advisor.
Business success is based upon everyone involved pulling their weight, performing their specific roles as required, and adhering to acceptable behaviour both morally and legally.
Unfortunately, the nature of business itself and the varying levels of experience and expertise of employees, usually means that not everyone is willing or able to perform as expected, and they will need to be given feedback that to them will be more negative than positive.
This excellent article, suggests that providing this type of feedback is needed to improve behaviour to bring out the best in a business, and it provides 10 rules you can follow to ensure the effective delivery of such feedback.
In any business that depends on the ability of the sales team members to consistently deliver new business, the business owner needs to be sure that deals are not left on the table, as a consequence of a lack of closing skills being applied to potential customers or clients.
Unless a business owner is well versed in sales and the key closing techniques that can be applied to convert interest into commitment, they may not know that their sales team lacks the full kit of closing skills, and will therefore be unable to identify their training needs.
This good article, stresses the importance of always asking for an order, and it outlines the five key closing techniques that can be deployed to ensure a high conversion rate from leads to business.
I met Ehje at a training course held as an activity in a USAID funded Peanut Collaborative Research Program (CRSP) project that I led in the Philippines for 11 years until 2007. She attended and brought with her a 4 oz. plastic container of peanut butter, and approached me during a coffee break to ask for an evaluation of her product. Litlle did I know then that her family had difficulty making ends meet, and that a she had scraped whatever means she had to try to attend our course--on peanut processing.
A few years have passed since that fateful day. This tiny, determined lady has, through a vison of success, hard work, some micro-financing, and a ton of common sense, graduated from being a 1 Kg per week casual preparer of peanut paste, to sell to her assembly line co-workers, to a tons per day peanut processor marketing her products to superrmarket and bakery chains nationwide, in the Philippines.
Ehje's peanut butter is one of the highest quality peanut butters being marketed in Manila. She has expanded her operations several times but growth has necessitated a move to a brand new processing plant.
It is the success stories of people like Ehje that make my hard work, the tremendous amount of time and effort worthwhile. I felt a sense of of pride when Ehje and her husband and business partner Boyong came to see me in Makati, to relate the tremendous transformation in their lives. She sends me videoclips, news stories as you read above, eternally grateful for the knowledge and advice she has obtained. I cannot help but smile when out of the blue, Ehje is there chatting with me on Facebook, always with a technical question on peanut processing. Ehje will forever be my student, as I am forever her teacher.
Do you believe in luck? Most people do but many still believe that in order for you to become rich or successful you should be industrious and patient. But still many successful entrepreneurs believe that they also have luck on...