Small Business Development – Creating Avenues For New Jobs

In these hard economic times, there is need to be creative in terms of looking for a supplementary source of income to our salaries. Developing a small business may be a good point to start from. By so doing, one will also create job opportunities for the jobless youths. This is especially true if the person setting up the venture is not able to run the enterprise alone.

Small businesses create avenues for new jobs for people who get laid off from the formal employment sector year in year out. The government, having realized this, has even set up an agency; Small Business Administration, that helps individuals develop such enterprises. It does so by extending loan facilities to the entrepreneurs and giving then technical advice on how to run the ventures.

Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) are therefore on the rise today. They fall under many categories and a just to describe a few, there is the survivalist enterprise which operates in the informal sector and is run by the unemployed persons. The income generated is below the poverty line and hence it only meets the basic needs of the operators.

Another example is the Micro enterprise. This one is usually rum by family members, who must not exceed five in total. It also operates informally, meaning that no license is required. Unlike the survivalist enterprise, the micro enterprise requires one to have at least basic skills of running an enterprise. It also holds a great potential of turning into a viable formal small venture.

Small Business Development – It’s Time To Dream!

As I have written in the past, if you build your business around your core values you will attract like-minded people in the form of customers, business partners, and employees.

This month we have the opportunity to reflect on the core values of one Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for so many incredible and positive things, but it is his, “I have a dream!” speech that we think of most.

His speech is the culmination of one man’s wonderful example of understanding what you believe, working towards that end, and attracting like-minded people to support you in your quest to serve the greater good.

There is another lesson here for us to reflect on. Martin Luther King’s life’s work was from the perspective of service, not of sales. In other words, everything he said, thought and accomplished was to “serve” the people he was meant to serve.

His life was not about personal gain (how can I sell more, earn more, grow more, etc.), but rather how much more can I help others (customers, employees, stakeholders, community) live better lives. His “I have a Dream” speech talks about his vision of the future where everyone is better served – not just African-Americans.

To facilitate the transition to wealth, one must stop chasing sales, and customers, but look for more opportunities to serve the people you are meant to serve. Martin Luther King reminded us that our gifts are not for us. the gifts we have are to serve the greater good. In the same light, your business is not for you. It is for the greater good of the people you are meant to serve. You are the conduit that moves your idea into reality for the people you serve, and going forward for the people they serve and ultimately for the greater good of all.

I urge you to spend some time considering the people you are meant to serve, and stop thinking of ways to sell them more, but rather ways to serve them more. If you focus on the many ways you can contribute to their greater good, you will never have to worry about “selling” them more.

Do you have a dream? What is the dream you have for your business? More importantly, what is the dream you have for the people you are meant to serve? (hint: pretend there are no limits to what you can do – because there aren’t.)

Business Process Consulting – Business Development and Risk Management

Succession planning is a critical linchpin in building the bench strength of a business into a positive long-term future, as well as a key element of business risk management. Most of the business literature on this particular subject focuses on succession planning as an exiting strategy. This focus is a strategic blunder.

The emphasis on succession planning as an activity to be considered and implemented toward the end of the business life cycle is wrong-headed. Such emphasis represents a short-sighted perspective, characterized by a significant lack of strategic thought and intent. It is particularly surprising, given the current demographic changes and trends in the market.

Some of these key trends that need to be considered from a corporate team building and strategic perspective, in analysing both the internal and external environment include:

  • an aging population
  • labor and skills shortages
  • the emergence of Generations ‘X’ and ‘MTV’ into management roles, and
  • an increasing number of women assuming management and leadership roles in business.

Business owners and managers need to be open to employing people who are better than they are and different to them. This willingness becomes a crucial attribute in underpinning productive succession planning. Effective business owners and managers regard such planning as an opportunity for ongoing growth and development for themselves and their businesses.

Thinking about succession at the recruitment stage is therefore critical for the ongoing success of the business, as its principals and managers move toward leaving their company for whatever reason.

Successful business owners and effective managers are committed to bringing the next generation of leaders on from the very outset. To that end, the three critical strategic decisions that must be made are to:

  1. recruit learners
  2. create a developmental culture, and
  3. inculcate leadership as a function that delivers results.

One – Recruit Learners

Aligning succession planning in business begins when people are first recruited into the company.

In the employment of new people, demonstrable technical skills or experience, managing with and through others, and verbal and numerical reasoning capabilities are all-important elements to be considered.

But by far, the most critical factor to consider is that the people being recruited into your business must be avid learners and open to ongoing learning and development. No other single attribute will prove as meaningful in their prospects for long term success.

Two – Create a Developmental Culture

The developmental culture that we want to create in our business environment is underpinned and informed by the people at the top. The people at the top, therefore, must themselves be lifelong learners. Furthermore, they must embody the desired development culture of the value based business by being open to new ideas, by listening intently and by incorporating different ways of looking at things into the business environment.

They must model the development that they want to encourage in the people around them.

One of the risks in creating this type of business environment is the loss of good people to other businesses. It happens. People do get “poached,” and they do move on. On the other hand, when engaging in the risk management of adopting this approach, one must ask the following question:

“What would happen if we did not develop our people, and they decide to stay?”

In the end, a developmental culture in a business attracts talent like a magnet, since prospective employees see the business as one that offers more than merely a paycheck. On balance, this capacity to attract good people should more than offset any risk of losing them.

Three – View Leadership as a Function that Delivers Results

Succession planning is reinforced throughout the value based business by the pragmatic philosophy that leadership is taking responsibility for getting things done, not a position that is held.

Organizations are much flatter than in the past, which means that the hierarchy is now created by the alignment of the Mission, Vision and Values of the business, as well as by its strategic business objectives.

Leadership is a function. Leadership is the ability to see a gap between what is and what should be and the willingness to take responsibility for closing it. Leadership can also be the ability to create a gap between what is and what should be, where such a gap is necessary to propel the business forward, and, then, taking responsibility for closing it.

By defining it this way, leadership becomes an activity that can be learned, demonstrated and taught, at any and all levels of your business.

Funding Opportunities – Business, Student and Home Loans

Money is something that impacts every aspect of your life, however, if you know where to turn for funding sources when you need them, you will have a much easier time navigating your way through the obstacles and challenges of your life. The types of funding opportunities that are made available to you will vary by your age and financial situation. The first types of funding that you will probably need to secure are student loans, grants, and credit cards. These initial funding options will be critical to the development of your credit history, which will be a key factor in your ability to secure other forms of credit later on in life. Because of this it is important to keep up with your student loan payments and credit card payments during you first years as an independent adult.
Funding for your small business

After college is over you may want to start your own business. To do this you may need to look for funding options that will help you establish your working capital, buy equipment, and hire a staff. The most commonly used funding sources for these things include small business loans and small business grants. Your ability to qualify for these things will depend a great deal on your credit history, the percentage of capital that you have to invest in your business, as well as your ability to fill out a loan or grant application completely and accurately.

Qualifying for a mortgage

Another important funding situation that many people enter into after college is buying a house. In most cases people will need to secure a mortgage in order to buy a house. To qualify for a mortgage, which is also referred to as a home loan, you will need to find home loan lenders that offer a mortgage program that you qualify for. The types of home loans that you will be able to qualify for will depend on your income level, your FICO score, and the type of income that you earn.

Home improvement loans

After you buy a home you will be able to use the equity in your home to finance home improvements, pay off credit card debt, or to go on a nice vacation. Debt consolidation is a hot lending product right now. There are a couple of ways that you can use your home to pay off your credit card debt. First you can take out a home equity line of credit and secondly you can refinance your home and use the money from the equity portion of the proceeds to pay off your unsecured debts. However, refinancing is the best option to use because it usually offers a lower interest rate and longer terms.

Looking for financing? Whether it’s a mortgage, student loan, auto loan or home equity loan we can provide you with the information and resources to help you find the funding you need. Find information about funding, mortgages, lending, home loan lenders, credit, equity, refinance, small business, debt, grants, student loans, funding opportunities, refinancing, small business loans, and debt consolidation.