Business Plan Development Services Guarantee Success

For small business owners experiencing the obstacles encountered by newly developed and struggling small businesses, it is important to recognize the advantageous nature of business plan development. For a business to be successful and profitable, the owners and the managing directors must have a clear understanding of the firm’s customers, strengths and competition. They must also have the foresight to plan for future expansion.

Whether yours is a new business or an existing business in the process of expanding, money is often an issue. Taking time to create an extensive business plan provides you with insight into your business This document can serve as a powerful financing proposal.Developing a well thought business plan is an essential management tool. It identifies potential challenges and provides success strategies. It is critical for planning or operating a for-profit or nonprofit business as well as seeking investors, loans, real estate, or partnerships. Business plans can fulfill a variety of roles:

– The process of putting a business plan together forces the person preparing the plan to look at the business in an objective and critical manner.

– It helps the entrepreneur with starting a business to consider all options.

– It helps to focus ideas and serves as a feasibility study of the business’s chances for success and growth.

– It may show the business is not viable and help realize the idea is flawed.

– It is a strategic planning tool that can be shared with the investors, bankers or other funders, partners, and business development professionals.

– It is a strong communication tool for your business It defines your purpose, your competition, your management and personnel. The process of constructing a business plan can be a strong reality check.

However, the process of writing a business plan can sometimes be a painstaking experience. A business plan is very specific to each particular business However, while each business needs a unique plan, the basic elements are the same in all business plans. To complete an effective business plan you must dedicate time to complete the plan. Essential components include:- Executive Summary

– Company Summary

– Products or Services

– Market Analysis

– Strategy and Implementation Summary

– Management Summary

– Financial Plan including Pro Forma Profit and Loss, Cash Flow, and Balance SheetsRealizing that many small business owners are frustrated and overwhelmed by the process, business consultants have created business plan services that are aimed at making the creation of business plans as simple and effortless as possible.

Business development experts consult with entrepreneurs throughout the planning process, offering a variety of tools and resources to ensure the plan will be successful in achieving its goal.A quality finished product incorporates all necessary elements, including financial forecasts, marketing strategies, color charts and graphs, and is created in the Small Business Administration’s preferred format. Whether you’re seeking a business plan to attract investors, get a loan, or simply determine whether your idea is viable, an adequate planning process will focus your thinking and provide an objective and critical view of your business Realizing the vital role small businesses play in our nation’s economy, business consultants offering small business planning and development services are bridging the gap between a person’s dream of being a business owner, and the reality of opening their doors.

Workforce Development is More Than Just Training

“Why should I train employees for my competitors? They’ll just leave after I invest in their training. I’m smarter than that: I focus on hiring people who are already trained for what we need!”

I am sure my jaw hit the table when I heard that executive’s view of training during a break at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. How could he NOT do everything possible to maintain his biggest asset (and expense) – his workforce and their payroll?

I will admit it was very tempting to ask, “What happens if you don’t train them and they stay? Then what will you have?”

But, before I could say anything, he went on to top himself when a manager sitting next to him asked, “But as fast as technology and knowledge is changing, how do they keep up if you don’t train them?”

“I don’t worry about it. I pay them to stay productive. If they want to keep their jobs by being productive, it’s their responsibility to stay current!”

Unfortunately, his attitude of ‘why-train-them-for-my-competitors’ is fairly common when training is viewed as a unique event that disrupts productivity.

That is why workforce development means so much more than just training. ‘Developing the employee’ means that you are going beyond teaching job skills. You are also developing character, emphasizing values, and shaping attitudes about how they view themselves, their employer, their peers, and their future.

If an employer wisely spends money on maintaining equipment, software, buildings, and customer base to protect their investment in those costly categories, why not also invest (not ‘spend’) in maintaining the expensive workforce that is the source of their corporate income?

The old Army recruiting slogan, “Be All You Can Be” was an earlier way of describing workforce development. It is all about encouraging employees to expand their career horizons. It is saying, “Now that we have taught you how to do the basic job, we want you to figure out how do it more efficiently and increase your value to the company.”

‘Workforce development’ in its best sense means:

  • We conduct needs assessments to develop our training curriculum so the employees always support the business mission.
  • We do not conduct a training class if there is not a clear and distinct link to a business reason to do it.
  • We do not conduct training classes without having specific, behavioral, or objective outcomes defined first.
  • We have low tolerance for supervisors who discourage employees from attending valuable training classes.
  • We have taught our leaders how to reinforce the skills taught in any of our courses.
  • We view our training function as a valued business partner, not as a cost center.
  • Before sending employees to a class, we require leaders to tell us first how they will work with the employee to reinforce the application of it AFTER the training event because we know that training without reinforcement is a waste of resources.
  • Before sending employees to a class, we require leaders to review the learning outcomes most associated with the employee’s job, meet with the employee to be sure they learn them, and schedule a post-class opportunity for the employee to share those learning points with other employees in a departmental learning moment. This provides added value to the supervisor for the training.
  • Every department has an orientation and training program that insures new hires (or transfers) become as productive as quickly as possible. It isn’t the same program for all departments but one that is tailored to their unique functions within the organization.
  • Each employee can explain the difference between being ‘productive’ and simply ‘busy.’
  • We have a program to develop leadership skills in our current supervisors and managers as well as a program to identify and develop future leaders.
  • We know how to measure and manage performance in all job function so employees are assured that their work products are measurable and they are fairly compensated.
  • We know how to develop and apply fair and measurable methods for determining “soft skills” performance such as communication, teamwork, and customer service.
  • We have skilled employees sharing their knowledge with peers so that every employee becomes a trainer to some extent.
  • We have a ‘measurement culture’ that is so focused on performance skills that diversity-related issues almost never come up.
  • We teach employees to examine their work processes for opportunities to reduce cycle time, waste, or inefficiency.
  • Each employee can explain how his/her job supports the mission of the employer.
  • We have a performance assessment process that managers use as a tool to manage performance and employees see as a means of managing their self-development.
  • Employees are self-directed because their leaders have done an excellent job of communicating expectations and there are processes to provide performance feedback.
  • Tardiness, absenteeism, and turnover are very low because employees fell they “get to go to work”, not “have to go to work.”.
  • Employees at all levels see real opportunities for self-fulfillment.
  • We teach fundamentals of project management to line employees to teach “big picture’ thinking, process improvement fundamentals, and begin the development of future work leaders.
  • Our employees would be pleased to tell friends about job openings in our organization they could fill.
  • We teach the lowest level of supervisors how to collect and use historic data for measuring production capacity and forecasting potentials for staffing and productivity.
  • We teach the lowest level of supervisors how to collect data to prepare a budget and monitor their group’s expenses.
  • We teach our leaders at all levels how to lead a multi-generational workforce
  • We help our workforce expand their range of skills to broaden their career opportunities instead of just focusing on “moving up”

There are probably many more activities we could add to what “workforce development” means but I am sure you get the sense of how it is so much more than just a training event.

I doubt that executive at the Chamber’s meeting will ever change and I also doubt whether he will be an executive much longer. That kind of thinking drives employees away and creates high (and expensive) turnover ratios. I can visualize him being shown the door muttering how you just can’t find good help any more!

Career Development = Career Advancement

Career Development: A guide for your future!

Today it’s not uncommon for an individual to change their career choice or to move into another career entirely at least once in their working lifetime, and for many they may change careers three or more times. Career development, therefore, is important to know and understand.

Career development is the path an individual travels and the procedures they follow in choosing a career. A career is work an individual does or plans to do, for a considerable length of time, and something they plan on becoming good at.

The career development process is the examining of your basic skills, how well you handle stress, your abilities and interests in working with others, and schooling or training that you complete to enter the career. Career development is the plan you design to assist you in advancing through your career, to be flexible as needed and to be alert to trends and patterns to help further advancing your career.

Equally important is a careful examination of your current job and career situation. Did you jump into the job because you needed the money? Does the job have a future? Are you progressing in your career? Or are you unhappy, not motivated and burdened by stress or other job related problems? This situation may not be productive for the employee and even less so for the employer.

Now may be the time to do some study about the career field they have an interest in. Self-study, on the job training, traditional or online learning may be involved. In addition, the more you know about a particular career the more focused will be your career development plan.

Studying career development you will learn it isn’t just about education. Training and education will always help move you into the right direction and allow you to fine tune your career development plan.

However, you’ll learn through self-examination what your interests are, what you’re good at, how well you have the basic skills to perform at a high level in whatever career you choose.

Many educational institutions offer career development classes or assessment centers to help direct you into the right career. There is a plethora of free career assessment tests on the internet to help you define your interests and career goals.

From this wealth of information, whether you want to advance in your present career or make a career change, career development planning can be an important strategy to guide you in reaching your career goals.

The 5 P’s of Team Design and Development For Managers

Teams are a useful business tool for process and quality improvement, which may lead to higher customer satisfaction or cost reduction. Many managers recognize the benefits teams may bring but do not properly consider what it takes to get a team functioning in the direction management desires. When forming teams, manager should consider the purpose, member participation and placement, as well as team processes and plans. With the 5 P’s of purpose, participation, placement, process, and plan, management can better design teams and determine development needs.

Purpose – Will the team clearly understand why it exists, what it is to do and how it will know they are successful? The team and management must agree to written purpose or mission statement so that they are working together in a common direction towards solutions that meet their overall purpose. Team goals and management deadlines should align with their overall purpose and will serve to guide performance and help them meet challenges.

Participation – Who would be the best people to include on the team and how large should the group be in order to accomplish its purpose? Management needs to consider necessary skill sets, professional attitudes, and process knowledge when selecting team members. In addition, for membership at the formation of team or as personnel needs grow, look for a balance between personality types for both task and people focus to be included so the solutions team may design will be more diverse and innovative to achieve team purpose and required work.

Placement – Where will the team members be physically located and how often should the team plan to have meetings? If the team is to be an intact work group, this may make some things simpler but the group will need a meeting room for complex problem solving. If the team is spread over multiple sites, managers will need to consider costs and possible problems team may have due to culture or time differences, and then determine whether travel for some meetings is required or if any special equipment is needed for members to meet regularly via phone or on-line.

Process – How will the team get to where it needs to go in order to accomplish its purpose? The members should develop and agree to their ground rules, any constraints that management may set related to decision-making authority or functional boundaries. Initial team training should include meeting management with a suggested meeting agenda and record-keeping formats, interpersonal communication, problem solving, and if relevant to team’s work include process mapping.

Plan – Will the team acknowledge when its project or assignment will be complete and know what it needs to accomplish its tasks? If the goals are specific to their purpose and the team agrees these are relevant and achievable goals, then the team needs to agree to a timeline for goals and a way to measure how they are doing towards goals. Not only should the team and their management define work deadlines and expected milestones in its goals and schedules, but it should also include necessary training to acquire cooperation and task related skills.

Considering the 5 P’s of purpose, participation, placement, process, and plan, management can design better teams and plan their development needs accordingly. Recognizing the benefits teams can bring to a business or organization is good, but teams are only effective when management understands what it may take to get their teams moving in the desired direction. Well designed and developed teams only become a useful for process and quality improvement when managers consider member selection for best participation and preferred placement along with the team’s purpose, process and plan.

The Place of Entrepreneurship Competence in Business Success and National Development

The pivotal position occupied by entrepreneurship as a sustainable tool for rapid economic growth and development of a country cannot be over emphasized. This is evident in several available literatures written by scholars on the subject matter but a closer examination of these literatures show tilted emphasis and concentrations on some common areas relating to entrepreneurship.

Increasing competitions, rapid and constant changes in internal and external environment of business activities, and the significant influence of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) on the economy generally have resulted in a growing interest in studying the role of factors stimulating successful entrepreneurship, business success and national development.

Though, entrepreneurship, have played and can play more of these positive roles, is not an easy vocation as it does not always guarantee a hundred per cent triumph. There are several critical areas of knowledge and factors that must be acquired and put in place to enable entrepreneurs achieve a measure of business success and consequently contributing to national development.

Several researches have been conducted in areas of entrepreneurship competency, entrepreneurship success and national development.

Most literatures relating to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship success tend to unquestionably argue that most entrepreneurial fiascos are essentially due to inadequate financial resources (e.g. Adeyemo and Onikoyi, 2012). Such research outcomes have no doubt influenced government policy direction in many developed and developing countries of the world through the creation of financial agencies and provision of financial resources to business units for the sole purpose of boosting and sustaining entrepreneurial development for rapid national development.

The above, policy strategy unfortunately has led to the continuous negligence on the part of the government, scholars and business operators in these countries to considering other vital factors like entrepreneurial competency which equally contributes to successful entrepreneurship, business success and national development.

The current literatures on the subject do not provide sufficient explanations to the role general and/or specific competences play in successful entrepreneurship, business success and national development. This has thus, made the relationship between entrepreneurial competence and entrepreneurship success to be important topic within organizational literatures. The above fact is evident in several available studies done by scholars on the subject matter (e.g Crook, Todd, Combs, Woehr, and Ketchen, 2011; Mitchelmore and Rowley, 2010; Inyang and Enuoh, 2009; Laguna, Wiechetek, and Talik, 2013 e.t.c).

Many of these studies identified entrepreneurship competences like communication competence, financial competence, marketing competence, business ethics competence, social responsibility competence, decision-making competence and leadership competence as catalysts to entrepreneurship success and national development. We shall be duelling on our discussion more on these entrepreneurial competences to see how they individually contribute to successful entrepreneurship, business success and national development.

As said earlier at the beginning, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship success play strategic roles in economic growth, economic transformation and development of the society. These roles are noticeable in the numbers of jobs created, the level of wealth generated and the rate of indigenous entrepreneurship promoted in several countries around the world.

There is no doubt that government of the world have put great efforts in promoting entrepreneurship development, business success and economic development through provision of financial resources directly or otherwise through various agencies and under different terms and conditions, this fact prompt one to ask a question of high concern.

Why are there still high rate of business failure around the world? Without much thinking, the failures are due mainly to entrepreneurial incompetency of those concerned with making the daily business decisions of these businesses. Many business failures can be said to be and are largely attributed to lack of entrepreneurial competence.

Most of the businesses failed unknowingly even before there are started because of lack of one of the required competence; project evaluation and management. This does not therefore; make it surprising while entrepreneurship competence has often been identified as the missing link for successful entrepreneurship, business failure and consequently crawling national development and in some instances stalled economy. What then is entrepreneurship competence?

Before we proceed to defining and explaining entrepreneurship competence and understand the contextual meaning in which it is employed in this writing with simplicity, it will be very imperative to first and foremost comprehend what entrepreneurship is.

Entrepreneurship may be defined as the process through which something new and valuable is created through the dedication and effort of someone who takes on financial, psychological, and social risks and seeks personal satisfaction and monetary rewards (Hisrich & Peters 1986).

European Commission, (2006) defined Entrepreneurship as a dynamic and social process where individuals, alone or in collaboration, identify opportunities for innovation and act upon these by transforming ideas into practical and targeted activities, whether in a social, cultural or economic context.

Critical assessment of the above two definitions summarized the concept of entrepreneurship by stressing creation processes and performance of targeted activities. Entrepreneurship as defined above is not necessarily limited to the roles and characters of entrepreneurship involving creativity, innovation and risk taking, and most importantly, the ability to plan, manage projects and to turn ideas into action in order to achieve set objectives for successful entrepreneurship. But, it requires tact, art and competency to achieve winning edge success.

Entrepreneurship success is a multidimensional phenomenon. It includes multiple criteria of financial characters like profit maximization, revenue maximization, dividend maximization as in the case of shareholders etc., and non-financial characters for example larger share of market, customer satisfaction, perpetual enterprise existence etc. To achieve success in any of the following sections, one must be competent in his/her chosen area of enterprise.

Entrepreneur competence can therefore be defined as the cluster of related knowledge, attitudes, and skills which an entrepreneur must acquire or possess to achieve an outstanding performance and optimize the business objective(s) amidst several constraints. Every job/role has a skill and competency requirement. Every career like entrepreneurship draws on the competence of an individual. For every entrepreneurial undertaking one needs certain competencies. Entrepreneurship competence is simply the skill which an individual needs to do an allotted entrepreneurial job successfully.

Entrepreneurship competence constitutes a cluster of related knowledge, attitudes, and skills, which an individual acquires and uses together, to produce outstanding performance in any given area of entrepreneurial responsibility. Some of these competences may be general and some peculiar to the chosen areas of enterprise. We may describe competences to mean abilities and skills, for a teacher or a performing artist, for example, it is the skill to communicate that plays a decisive role in their effectiveness besides, of course, their knowledge. For a craftsman or an artist, it is the creativity and skill in the chosen craft.

In like manner, entrepreneurial competences are critical success factors required for successful entrepreneurship, business success and of course national development. The subject thus, deserves solemn attention in entrepreneurial discourse and not to be neglected. There is no substitute for entrepreneurship competence for successful entrepreneurship, not even abundant financial resources can. There is no doubt as explained, entrepreneurial competence play important role in any successful entrepreneurial activities.

The following are some of the necessary entrepreneurial competences required for successful entrepreneurship and rapid national development. We shall be discussing below 8 of the basic essential entrepreneurial competence for successful business.

1. Time Management competence: Time is an economic good; it is an economic good worthy of effective and efficient management because of it scarce nature (Dan-Abu, 2015). Time is unique, unlike any other economic resources (input) such that it has no wing but can “fly”. Time is irreplaceable and irreversible. Time lost is lost forever and can never be recovered, and by that I it includes, time lost doing insignificant things. This is why few things are more important to an entrepreneur and for successful entrepreneurship than learning how to save and spend time wisely. One major causes of entrepreneurship failure in relation to time management is doing too many things at the same time in an inefficient manner.

To achieve more and be successful in the day to day running of an enterprise, the entrepreneur must be thoroughly equipped with time management skill. Investing and practicing effective and efficient time management skill is a profitable investment for every entrepreneur, since every efficient business act is a success in itself. It therefore means that, if every single act of entrepreneurial activity is undertaken with consistent efficient one, the enterprise as a whole must be a success.

Time management involve among others practices, commitment to work contract and taking personal pains to complete a task on schedule, this will promote confidence and loyalty on your business/organization and will thus led to winning of more contracts from clients again and again; prioritizing of task based on urgency and importance in relation to a project activities and delegating of task to subordinates.

Some common time consuming activities include slow decision making, inability to delegate, unnecessary interruptions, failed appointments, delays while traveling, poorly conducted meetings, procrastination, etc.

2. Communication competence: Communication is a two-way process characterized by sending and receiving of messages through a channel between sender and receiver. This may be verbal or non-verbal for example, telephone call and procurement proposal respectively. Good communication skill is an indispensable management tool for a successful entrepreneurship. It is through communication that procurements are made, business products/services are sold, business objectives are discussed, employees are recruited etc.

Communication competence is very important to the survival and success of every organization, this is regardless of whether the organization is a profit or non-profit making, private or public enterprise, involved in provision of services or sales of products, online or offline business etc. Communication competence is so vital to successful entrepreneurship that it goes beyond inter-personal communication; of course this too is indispensable to the success of the entrepreneur’s business.

A winning communication competence in an enterprise will help in disseminating circulars, minutes, letters and memos effectively reaching every intending individual, team or unit in an organization. It also facilitates efficiency through the saving of cost involved in sending and receiving the messages on the part of both the organization and the employees. Communication competence in enterprising organizations will facilitate large turn out and compliance when meetings are called or directives are given to be followed respectively.

Communication competence in like manner can speed up the time taken to make merchandize procurement in period of high demand; this can help the concerned firm increase profit during the period of shortages and high demand.

Developing and employing good communication skill in an organization will definitely lead to two fold success; the firm will be able to benefit from internal interactions among persons, departments and units, and externally benefit from interactions between it and the business transacting partners (outside world). We can therefore say in summary that, there is no business without communication.

3. Human Resources Management Competence: The relevance of human resources management competence to successful entrepreneurship, business success and national development cannot be over stressed. Though materials and capital are of equivalent importance to the entrepreneur, they are inanimate and unemotional; they demand no understanding of human requirements and inspirations for their effective utilization unlike human resources which need good and competent human resources management skill by the entrepreneur to successfully utilize it to optimum level in productive activities.

Human resources of some enterprise are the most difficult to obtain, the most expensive to maintain and the hardest to retain. Without the acquisition and practicing of effective and efficient human resource management skills, the capital resources earlier mentioned will not be effectively used. Generally, small and medium scale enterprises often managed by an entrepreneur do not have the luxury of human resource department that can interview, hire and evaluate employees.

Most of these decisions taking regarding the above are the responsibility of the entrepreneur and perhaps one or two other key employees. This is good why human resources management competence is important for successful entrepreneurship and national development. As the firm grows, there will be need to hire new employees; entrepreneur must follow important procedures for interviewing, hiring, evaluating and preparing job description for new employees. Instituting an effective organizational culture is best implemented when an entrepreneur is competent in human resources management.

4. Marketing Management Competence: The success of every enterprise involves selling of products/services; this is largely enabled through good marketing management, it is therefore imperative for an entrepreneur to have good marketing management skills.

Ebitu (2005:196) concord, that marketing is crucial to the survival and growth of any organization. It is through marketing that revenues used for bills settlement, assets acquisition, pursuing of business diversification and expansion objectives, settlement of dividend and tax liabilities and social responsibility projects are generated. The entrepreneur in developing good marketing strategies and marketing management competence must be conversant with and employ the four marketing mix of place, promotion, price and product.

5. Adherence to Business Ethics Competence: Every business has its ethics. Ethics deals with moral ability and obligations. It can be defined as a system of rules and principles that define right and wrong, good and bad conduct and the ordering of values in undertaking business activities in society. Business ethics is sometimes called management ethics, and it is the application of ethical principles to business relationships and activities.

Business ethics is becoming a subject of intense concern for society, which is now demanding that organizations should operate responsibly and uphold very high ethical standards to improve the quality of life of the people. Entrepreneurs, in light of the above, need to be competent in dealing with different public policies, trade union’s established standards and norms and customers’ concerns for high quality work for successful entrepreneurship.

6. Financial Management Competence: Every business enterprise requires capital with which to start and continue with its operations. Capital here means two things; money (finance) needed to start and operate the business and assets representing the resources provided by owners (equity) and creditors of the business (liabilities).

Mbat (2001:3) defines financial management as the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the firm’s financial resources. Finance is the blood at the centre of any successful business enterprise, one of the features common to successful entrepreneurs is their ability to source for funds for their enterprise. The funds mobilized internally or externally have to be properly managed to ensure that at any point in time, there is adequate funds to cater for the day to day running of the enterprise.

Most entrepreneurial failures are due to the inability of the entrepreneurs to effectively distribute and manage funds. For example, an entrepreneur needs to acquire knowledge on financial management issues like anticipation of financial needs for the enterprise, fund raising sources, cost of raising fund from external sources, acquisition of funds, allocation of funds in order to yield optimum result through identification and maintenance of correct proportion of the firm’s finances in areas of savings, insurance and investments policy of the enterprise.

The important of financial management competence to achieving entrepreneurship and business success cannot be over stressed. We have seen many at times when financially buoyant “start-ups” crumble down to pieces after successful take off because of financial management incompetence of the management, caused by tied up funds as they watch helplessly as the business dive into ocean of failure due to lack of reserve funds to successfully execute contracts or perform business operation.

Leadership Competence: leadership can be defined as the ability to influence and motivate other person or group of persons towards achieving a shared a set objective. Leadership competence is also another important single factor determining business success or failure in our competitive, turbulent, fast moving, free global market economy.

According to Ilesanmi, (2000: 187) successful entrepreneurs are successful leaders; they have power and motivate the entrepreneurial venture. The ability to produce the necessary leadership is the key determinant of achievement in all-human activities, the quality of leadership is therefore a decisive strength or weakness of any successful entrepreneurial endeavour.

Successful entrepreneurship requires creative, unique leadership qualities and personal styles. It involve seeking opportunities, initiating projects, gathering the physical, financial and human resources needed to carry out projects, setting goals for self and others, directing and guiding others to accomplish goals. Effective leadership is therefore a powerful tool required for successful entrepreneurship, business success and national development. Good leadership competence helps an entrepreneur to turn his/her business vision into reality.

7. Social Responsibility Competence: The establishment of every business enterprise is backed up by the profit motive. It is the profit that drives entrepreneurs to starting businesses, motivate shareholders into buying shares and private capital owners into investing their capital in a company. The profit motive though leads to the production of goods and services; the entrepreneur’s business venture also has the responsibility to embark on certain projects within and outside its operating environment as part of its social obligations.

Businesses should not only be concerned about the quality of goods and services they produce to generate profit but must also pursue policies that sell their enterprises by contributing to the quality of life in their operational environment. The business operators have responsibility to protect and improve society. Their actions during production and marketing should not in any way endanger the community or society. Entrepreneur can earn more profit by displaying high degree of corporate responsiveness, which is the ability of an organization to relate its operations and policies to the environment in ways that are mutually beneficial to the organization and the society.

The entrepreneur for example needs to make contribution to community development, product safety, employment generation, ethical business practices, and contribution towards educational activities in the community of operation. An enterprise for example can award scholarships to students, create opportunity for apprenticeship training and so on. Undertaking some of these social responsibilities may endear the entrepreneur’s enterprise to its host community; enhance his image and social standing, and consequently contributing significantly to his business success.

8. Decision making Competence: Decision making is very important to the success of an entrepreneur, this skill is at the core of every successful entrepreneurial activities. Decision making is the process of selecting a line of action from available alternatives. This selection process may be very difficult especially when the available alternatives are numerous or the decisions to be made or chosen from are risky ones.

Many potential entrepreneurs have difficulties in bringing their ideas to the market and creating a new business because making a decision is one thing and making the right decision in a given circumstance is another. The actual making of effective entrepreneurial decisions has resulted in several new businesses being started throughout the world by those having this decision making skill necessary for successful entrepreneurship.

An entrepreneur makes decision on a daily basis and therefore has to acquire adequate knowledge and skills in decision making to enable him/her make the right decisions.

Most of the entrepreneurial competences have been studied in isolation and with little effort to recognizing their mutual relationships to entrepreneurship success and business success. In a study aimed at explaining entrepreneurial competences in order to rank them according to the level of their importance to successful entrepreneurship by Edgar, Dirk and Danny, (2005) shows that, entrepreneurs on one hand considered decision making the most important competence while scholars in their different writings are in support of identifying business opportunities competence as the most important when embarking on an entrepreneurial venture.

In another study aimed at explaining how general and specific managerial competencies relate to the business success of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) by Laguna, Wiechetek, and Talik, (2013) proved that general and specific managerial competency is significant predictor of success in running a business. They further stated that specific managerial competency demonstrated to be a mediator between general competence and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) success.

In a similar study conducted by Rosária de Fatima Segger Macri Russo and Roberto Sbragia, (2010) who opined that the operational responsibilities of a project manager (planning and controlling) are in stark contrast to the characteristics of an entrepreneur. In light of the above contradictory viewpoint, their research which was directed at assessing whether managers showing entrepreneurial characteristics are associated with more successful projects or not found within their study sample an empirical evidence supported their hypothesis that the possibility of a given project having a successful outcome increases with the enterprising tendency of its manager.

After critically examining the necessary entrepreneurial competences required for successful entrepreneurship, business success and rapid national development. It will be important to quickly add here that no single or sets of entrepreneurship competence are more important to the other. It is only through the combination of the competences that an entrepreneur can achieve maximum business success.

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Characteristics of Entrepreneur in Business and Socio-Economic Development

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week; but today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s

This is what entrepreneurship is all about. You need to have ‘fire in the belly’ to be a successful entrepreneur; the adamant urge to make your business ideas transform into reality, and successful. According to Peter Drucker, entrepreneurship is “a systematic innovation, which consists in the purposeful and organized search for changes, and it is the systematic analysis of opportunities such changes might offer for economic and social innovation.” It is the inherent ability to build and create something relevant and successful from practically nothing. On a broader outlook, entrepreneurship is an attitude; a quality to seek challenging opportunities, take only calculated risks and drive the benefits in the way of setting up a profitable venture.

There are several roles that come with the quality of entrepreneurship, and most of these are aimed at wider socio-economic development. Discussed herewith are the primary roles of an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur as Risk-Taker.

According to Richard Cantillon, entrepreneurship is all about having the willingness and foresight of assuming risks, while taking calculated actions in making a profit, or loss. According to him, an entrepreneur has to be risk-taking, forward-looking and efficiently alert if not innovative in true sense. The role of an entrepreneur involves two types of risks; measured and unmeasured. However, a successful entrepreneur is one who has the potential to foresee and assume the unmeasured risks in his business, transforming them into business opportunities for growth and profit.

Entrepreneur as Innovator.

Entrepreneurship has a major role in assimilating knowledge, which is not in recent use, and setting up new forms and functions of production to design, produce, and market new and innovative products. Joseph Schumpeter pointed out here that innovation does not mean that it has to be newly discovered. The quality of an entrepreneur lies in utilizing the existing knowledge that has never been used before in production. More from being an inventor, an entrepreneur needs to possess the potential of driving invention into lucrative commercial exploitation.

Entrepreneur as a Leader.

This is one of the primary roles of entrepreneurship. According to Alfred Marshall, an entrepreneur “must be a natural leader of men who can choose assistants wisely but also exercise a general control over everything and preserve order and unity in the main plan of business.” He should be on constant lookout for innovative methods that guarantees to be most effective with respect to the costs presently in use. He should possess the inherent quality of leading the business and work force, towards a better socio-economic scenario in a broader perspective.

Entrepreneur as Restorer or Perceiver.

John Bates Clark views entrepreneurship as the process responsible for maintaining coordination that helps in restoring the socio economy to the position of effective equilibrium. Through a comprehensive “discovery process,” entrepreneurs identify new lucrative opportunities and risks, thus, driving the market towards equilibrium. Role of entrepreneurship lies in being alert to the profitable business opportunities, and for this, the quality of perception is a primary trait of a successful entrepreneur.

Business Development – Be A Smart Investor

I got an email this week from one of my subscribers who in response to a recent question I posed about what you’re doing to keep motivated and growing, said “reading books and information that give me a chance to develop my skills as a business leader. Is this sufficient? And if it is not what are your suggestions?”

In my reply I indicated that this was a good start but in itself was not enough – you need to invest more effort into your development to reap the benefits of your initial reading. It takes a real investment in yourself, a smart investment, for you to really grow.

So what do I mean by a smart investment? I mean investing in more than just accumulating information, investing in changing your paradigms (the way you think of and view the world), and in developing your skills.

As I said, information forms a good starting point, but it needs to be applied for you to get the best possible return. That’s why in my articles and success programmes, as well as giving information, I also encourage you to develop action plans and take action.

However, what I notice with the majority of entrepreneurs and business leaders is that they see these products only in terms of information – as if that’s all that matters. They skim through looking for little gems or pearls of wisdom, and if they don’t find them, go onto the next programme, book or information source.

However if you invest a little more time and effort into actually doing the exercises, answering the questions and taking action, that’s when you’ll get breakthroughs & “ah-ha” moments.

If you think about the amount of information you’ve already gleaned about business success, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development. The books and articles you’ve read; the amount of surfing you do on the internet for information on issues relating to business, success or leadership; the training sessions, seminars or talks you’ve attended; the audio products you’ve listened to. Which of those do you remember? Which do you feel you’ve really learned from?

I’d like to bet it’s the ones where you’ve actually applied the information, where you’ve tried something different, implemented one of their suggestions. When those actions are taken on a consistent and persistent basis, and lead to tangible results, then that’s a smart investment!

So why don’t we all do it? Because even though the concepts and actions are often simple, they’re not easy to implement. If they were, we’d all be fulfilling our potential and stepping into success easily!

So what can you do to help yourself be a smart investor?

  1. Start with the basics – don’t try to run before you can walk. The basics form the foundation on which everything else is built.
  2. Be willing and open to trying something new or different. Don’t allow your scepticism or fear to stop you trying.
  3. Be persistent – don’t give up before you’ve really given something new a chance to work.
  4. Be consistent. Always give out the same messages to prospects, customers and staff – this allows them to start to trust that you mean what you say. And remember, actions speak louder than words – so always do what you say!
  5. Be resilient. You might be lucky and find that some things work almost immediately, but it’s more likely that they won’t; and some things you try might not work at all. Be the type of person who can come back from these knocks, learn from them and try again.

Stephen Covey in his ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ calls this being proactive and it’s no coincidence that this is the first of his 7 habits.

Be a smart investor, pick 1 or 2 things you already know and want to implement, and take action. Make the effort and do it on a regular basis and these small investments will start to give you the returns you want.

The National Entrepreneurship Development

Is SMEDA Working for National Destiny?

SME Baseline survey 2009 may provide a functional start to National Economy.

If we explore the history of National entrepreneurship and its development we shall find that almost every company we know today began as an SME. Europe, United States, China and our neighbour India started developing Microsoft industries with small man power in a rented house or in a small industrial unit.

Vodafone as we know it today was once a little spin-off from Racal; Hewlett-Packard started in a little wood shack; Google was begun by a couple of young kids who thought they had a good idea; even Volkswagen at one point was just a little car maker in Germany.

It is believed that Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as key actors in national development and employment creation.

World trade and manufacturing is now shifting to east. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a very assorted group of businesses usually operating in the service, trade, agri-business, and manufacturing sectors.

The contribution of uplifting National Economy and improving National prosperity the role of Small and medium industries is imperative.

In Pakistan small business and cottage industries hold an important position in rural areas. In 2005 infrastructure in remote areas had improved considerably. Most villages are self sufficient in the basic necessities of life.

They have their own carpenters, blacksmiths, potters, craftsmen and cotton weavers. Many families depend on cottage industries for income.

Due to the tremendous effort of Smeda (Small and medium enterprises Development authority) the concept of small industries have also gained immense importance in cities and towns. Government should encourage cottage and small-scale industries

Government support to this workable Organization with its proven success record both in rural set up, cities and towns is crucial.SME BASELINE SURREY-2009is a tremendous effort done by the team of policy and planning division of Smeda under the dynamic leadership of its chief Shahid Rashid. This survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank is inclusive report and guide line for SMEs policy makers. All the chapters of this survey reports grab the attention of business community as its deals with almost all related aspects that bound with promotion of entrepreneurial culture.

The objective of this survey is;

• To assess the baseline perception of SME’s on various issues and institutions.

• What are the factors causing SME’s in Pakistan not to grow.

• Why people (Entrepreneurs, Men and Women) are reluctant to move ahead to achieve affluence for themselves for Nation as a whole.

Research and Development are important factors of enhancing production and knowing new business techniques. SME Baseline Survey 2009 indicates an alarming picture. It states that 45.2 percent SMEs do not spent any income on R & D. Generally, SMEs are satisfied in producing the stuff traditionally. It is a matter of grave concern. This survey can help the policy maker to devise the future plan for SMEs development.

In a Symposium held at a local hotel under aegis of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) on 18th May,2009, in which renowned economists, policy makers, high ups from business community and professionals from media were invited.

Chief Guest Mr. Sartaj Aziz, former Federal Finance Minister showed his apprehension that concrete step is yet not taken to promote the SME sector despite the facts that government knows the obstacles that messing up mess up Small and Medium entrepreneurs. Neglect of merit, political interference and law and order situation are responsible for present economic condition of Pakistan he added.

Mr. Awais Mazhar Hussain, a prominent business leader said that Small Businesses are the back bone of National economy if properly looked after and backed by the government. Vocational training and improved infrastructure can turn the potential in profit in real sense. Mr. Awais appreciated the valuable role which SMEDA has been playing with commitment and zeal in limited resources since its inception in 1998.

Dr. Salman Shah, former Finance Advisor & renowned economist praised the role of policy and planning division of Smeda for conducting such a useful survey. He was confident that the current survey will be helpful to draw measures for the required support for growing SMEs as well as for the existing SMEs.

SMEDA could not meet the high target of developing the widest sector of economy known as SME sector with its present budget of Rs.150 million per annum only.

Mr. Shahid Rashid, CEO SMEDA thanked for the financial assistance provided by Asian Development Bank for conducting this survey. He also admired the efforts made by policy and planning team for their dedicated efforts for the preparation of survey report.

Time is slipping away. China, Malaysia, India are emerging economy. China has declared New Strategies to capture the world Market under the slogan China’s way of war.

Like Malaysian Government Pakistan Government should place the development of SMEs on a high priority area and this should be reflected in its National development agendas. With the consultation of highly skilled staff of SMEDA the policy makers should prepare the key strategies for SME development in coming years. Like

Malaysia Pakistan Government may constitute National SME Development Council.

The consistent progress and devote work of SMEDA during the last 12 years reveals that SMEDA is a right organization to be trusted. Ministry of industries and production should give maximum incentive to this viable institution.

If we develop industrial infrastructure, make friendly policies for entrepreneurs, give priority to human resource development and more importantly say good-bye to nuisance of fleeting policies, over time these measures will reduce trade dependency to the markets of other countries and decrease its vulnerability to external pressure or shocks.

(By Muhammad Ahmad Sheikh (International Freelance Broadcaster/ journalist / Incharge R & D, the Sheikhupura Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Techniques For Entrepreneurship Development

There is a certain way to carry out entrepreneurship. One has to follow certain fixed guidelines to develop an entrepreneurship of any choice. Designing a clear cut plan is necessary. Following are seven guidelines or techniques on the basis of which any entrepreneurship or business can be developed;

1. Focusing on the key product:

Your business revolves on the key product so focusing on your core product is the first step to create a business opportunity. A certain successful entrepreneur has stated that “Prospects buy when they trust your value is applicable to them and believe your company is stable” suggesting that an entrepreneur should focus on providing value to the customers. This suggestion is the key to the core plan. An entrepreneur of small business needs to differentiate from big business by concentrating on the core products. Specialization is the biggest asset of entrepreneurs.

2. Keeping it simple and short:

One should be able to tell what their business is in few precise and concise words(I.e the patter or pitch) lasting for 30 seconds since any prospect can understand clearly about the business without being confused.

3. Staying true to who you are:

You can reach your goals by knowing who you are and what gets you excited and not. Notably procrastination as human nature is can delay your growth plan so it’s better to not procrastinate and go for a perfect result oriented plan

4. Mapping it:

The best way to determine your service strategy is by mapping your capabilities with your target clients’ needs. Hence the customers who do not need your particular expertise are also avoided. The urge to cast a wide net is one common trait among many entrepreneurs. However a small business flourishes since it has limited service offering. Specializing in distinctive top quality service is the value in having a small business. So in many instances, a small business flourishes. Significantly, while choosing a provider, a list of decision making criteria can be made, from which, your client can choose as per your expectation. Then categorize yourself honestly or evaluate intensely as to where you would be position in each category. After this, make sure that your patter or pitch is still on target.

5. Utilizing the best marketing tools that work for you:

Implement the best marketing strategy that suits your personality and that of customers to be served. Identify the top two marketing tools that have worked for you in the past and then start adding new ideas from a fresh perspective. It’s also important to evaluate the selected marketing tools from cost basis. You have to take a decision as to which marketing tool will yield the best returns on your efforts. In one or another each tool should be result oriented or revenue productive.

6. Implementing a plan of action:

It’s essential to know whether the plan of action made is in progress or not. This can be done by establishing goals at short term say 3 months to long term of 6 months. During short term, you need to check your plan every month. If the plan is not being met you need to ask questions to yourself like did I select the appropriate tools for my target customer? Did I integrate the strategy into the plan? Or did I focus on only one of the marketing tool? Thus there should be a strategy check on a day to day basis so as to know if the plan is in progress as per your plan.

7. Exercising the plan:

The final step is to complete the daily actions and to put n extra efforts to accelerate your plan towards success. Precious time should be not wasted and used for reaching your goal soon.

These are the basic most important techniques for Entrepreneurship development.


Franchising Strategy: Strategic Business Plan Development

As with any business, you must have a solid business plan. Do not think that you can start a franchise without a good plan. The plan is a roadmap to how you will operate, how you will reach new franchisees, how you will market your business and must have solid financials. A mistake of a single percentage point on a franchise royalty can easily cost you millions of dollars. It does not seem like a big mistake, when you have a single franchisee. It simply means that the franchisor will make $5,000 less in royalty revenues. But in franchising, we are talking about continuing growth, and this mistake might be multiplied 100 times or more. Other business decisions that a new franchisor will make that could impact long-term profitability include:

• Advertising fees

• Technology fees

• Product margins

• Type of franchise offered (individual, area development, area representative, etc.)

• Organizational structure

• Compensation structure

• Geographic growth strategy

• Territorial rights provided to franchisees

• Reservations of rights for the franchisor

• Franchise Disclosure Documents

Conflicting or ambiguous communications when a franchise is first sold can form the basis for future franchise litigation. The cost of defending any franchise lawsuit, even an inconsequential one, can be enormous. The cost of prosecuting even a “small” franchise litigation lawsuit can easily exceed $100,000 to $200,000, or more.

You must have a solid, coherent Franchise Disclosure Document. An integrated Franchise Compliance Program that stipulates rules and expectations, manages Franchise Disclosure Documents and controls the publishing of all information is extremely important. It is also one of the best investments a franchise company will ever make.

Understanding a franchise agreement

A Franchise Agreement includes all of the key facets, requirements and principles of the franchise, including the privileges and commitments of both parties, the length of time the agreement will last, the territory (if any) granted to the franchisee, and the costs involved and how they are to be calculated.

A Franchise Agreement is the foundation of your business. You must be certain that you understand it clearly before you start to build on it. The following is an outline of some of the key aspects contained in Franchise Agreements.

Every Franchise Agreement needs to be carefully read and you should therefore have your attorney review the Agreement clause by clause with you, to make certain that you understand all of its terms. Franchisees also need to be aware that, while it can be relatively simple to enter into a Franchise Agreement, it may be far more difficult to remove yourself from one. A standard Franchise Agreement is a long-term commitment to a third party (often of six to ten years in length). The Agreement will include stringent requirements which have to be complied with for the full length of the term. Failure to conform to these requirements may in many situations allow the franchisor to terminate the Agreement.

While the strict stipulations of Franchise Agreements are there to protect the interests of all parties and particularly the franchise system, from time to time Franchise Agreements can include or exclude clauses which aim to protect the franchisor.

A provision that any costs involved in defending the use of the trademark should be paid by the franchisee

Immediate rights for the franchisor to cancel without notice if the franchisee misses or delays payment of royalties

Lack of clauses regarding ongoing support, training and development of the business by the franchisor

Limitation of the franchisor’s liability to the franchisee even if the franchisor breaches their requirements to the franchisee

Widely drafted clauses undermining a franchisee’s ‘exclusive’ territory in unwarranted circumstances.

The presence of these clauses will vary between Franchise Agreements. An experienced franchise lawyer will be able to highlight them for you. Some franchisors will not be willing to make any changes to their agreements especially when there are other franchisees already in operation.

Regardless of what you may dislike about some provisions in a Franchise Agreement, it is nevertheless essential that you understand it fully and the requirements it places on you as a franchisee. Careful attention should also be paid to supplementary documents, as these may contain provisions that, if breached, constitute a breach of the Franchise Agreement.

You should also be certain that any pre-contractual statements regarding turnover or other aspects of the business that may have attracted you to the franchise are carried over into the Franchise Agreement or in some other written form.

Grant of Rights

The Grant of Rights sets out the term of the franchise and its renewal provisions. It is important to make certain that the term of the franchise is adequate to allow you to achieve a realistic return on your investment. Renewal provisions need to be looked at carefully along with any renewal fees. They may contain some or all of the following:

Notice of renewal – this is usually required within strict timeframes. If the renewal notice is not given in time, the right to do so may be lost

Payment of renewal fee

Changes to terms of the Agreement by the franchisor upon renewal

Changes to the franchise territory size by the franchisor where the particular Agreement provides exclusive rights to the franchisee

Changes, alterations and improvements to operating practices to meet competitive and other challenges

First options or first rights of refusal for additional franchises.

It is important that the franchisee understands that, more often than not, the right of renewal may in fact be a right in favor of the franchisor. The franchisor often has the ability to reject the renewal if a franchisee has not been performing to set standards.

Ongoing costs and royalties

Many Franchise Agreements include ongoing payments to the franchisor such as:

• Royalties

• Advertising levies

• Mark-ups or margins on products supplied by the franchisors

• Training fees.

There may also be requirement to attend franchise conferences and other meetings. The Agreement should clearly set out the details of what has to be paid and when, including circumstances relating to any deposits payable before securing the franchise.

For advertising and promotion costs, the Agreement should specify when the payment is to be made and to whom, including details of any special banking arrangements. Back-up assistance and assistance are essential to the operation of a successful franchise. Details of the support and training to be provided by the franchisor should be stated in the Agreement, including both initial and ongoing assistance. As well as having your attorney review the Agreement for these provisions, talk to existing franchisees about the level of support they have received.

Initial costs

The Agreement, or often an ancillary document, should set out in full all beginning costs. These may include the initial franchise fee, equipment costs, working capital requirements, fit-out costs, initial training costs and the cost of opening stock.

Premises, leases and mobiles

Lease provisions usually allow the franchisor to take over the lease at the end of the term, and also if the franchisee defaults during the term

Often the franchisor will lease the property itself and grant a sub-lease to the franchisee. You are responsible for paying the rent, so you should ensure the amount negotiated is a fair market rent

Mobile franchises usually contain terms that set out the sign writing and other décor required by the vehicles from which the business is operated, and possibly for any major items of equipment

One issue that is often overlooked is the need to ensure that the length of the franchise term coincides with the length of the lease term.


Every Agreement should contain clauses setting out the initial and continuing requirements of both franchisor and franchisee

• Examples of franchisee requirements include minimum operating hours, insurance, engagement of staff, and uniform requirements.

• Examples of franchisor’s requirements include maintaining the manuals, providing products, and training

• Records of accounting must be up-to-date, with regular reporting and auditing

• Intending franchisees should pay careful attention to the requirements since breach of any may entitle the franchisor to terminate the franchise.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property is a key element of most Franchise Agreements, specifying legal ownership rights by the franchisor concerning patents, copyright, trademarks, designs and even operating systems. Other relevant laws include the Fair Trading Act and common law rules prohibiting the copying of a business’s identity.

Sale of the franchise

Most Agreements will allow the franchise to be sold during its term, but you should note that as a franchisee your rights to sell the business may be restricted.

• The franchisee may have to give the franchisor the right to buy the business first known as right of first refusal, which in itself can destabilize the value of that business and the goodwill for a selling franchisee

• If the franchisor chooses not to purchase, they may rigorously control the sale process

• The incoming franchisee must be approved by the franchisor

There may be a transfer approval fee, which the franchisee will need to pay to the franchisor when a sale takes place. This is designed to cover the franchisor’s costs involved in training the incoming franchisee.

In some Franchise Agreements, the term of an existing franchise for sales purposes covers only its unexpired remainder, unless the Agreement provides for the franchisor to offer a new Agreement for a full new term.


Franchise Agreements provide for circumstances in which the Agreement may be terminated in advance of the original ending date. These include:

• Bankruptcy, company liquidation or criminal conviction of the franchisee

• Termination of leases to the franchise premises (where premises retention is important).

Termination provisions should be considered carefully as they are often points of disagreement. There are frequent misunderstandings by franchisees as to what happens at the end of a term and procedures vary from one franchise system to another. However, it should also be kept in mind that if the franchise is operating well and the franchise relationship is a good one, it is likely that both franchisee and franchisor will want to renew the Agreement.


Although disagreements between franchisors and franchisees are usually solved through discussion and negotiation, mediation and arbitration are also effective methods for working out disputes and less damaging to franchise relationships than legal proceedings.

Other terms

The Entire Agreement clause is especially important as it usually states that what is contained in the Agreement overrides anything which may previously have been promised unless it is expressly referred to in the Agreement

As a franchisee, you should be certain that anything on which you have relied in selecting your franchise is included in the Agreement in some way

The Definitions section, usually close to the beginning of the Franchise Agreement, contains key definitions. One of the most important is Gross Sales, the figure on which the franchisor’s royalty is usually based. Usually this covers substantially every type of transaction carried out by the business and almost every payment received. Often it will include sales made, whether or not payment has actually been received.

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