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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Blockchain Is Not Coming, It's Here. Are You Ready?

On May 25, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: business innovation, blockchain

 Photo courtesy of The Roanoke Star

Whether you know all there is to know about blockchain technology, or whether you know nothing about it, this worldwide phenomenon is changing how we do business, conduct commerce, keep our currency secure, even book a hotel. Its influence is growing by leaps and bounds, so if you're not familiar with how it works, you need to get up to speed, fast.

That's the essence of a recent article I wrote for The Roanoke Star, in which I said that people typically think of blockchain only in connection to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and DigiByte. But the blockchain technology is really what people should be paying attention to. (Read the article here.)

Originally created to keep cryptocurrency transactions secure, blockchain now has seemingly limitless applications

As I state in the article, blockchain's value lies in the fact that once data is recorded, it can’t be changed without the approval of a majority of network participants. This creates a (supposedly) fraud-proof system and authenticates the information that’s exchanged.

As examples, here are just a few of the ways blockchain is being used today:

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How To Get Family And Friends To Invest In Your Startup

On May 2, 2018 6:52:19 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, business growth strategies, Start-ups

 

Do you have a brilliant idea for a startup but have little or no capital to bring it to life? Feeling guilty that you’re mentally running through a list of wealthy relatives and financially stable friends whom you can hit up for an investment? Don’t feel bad. Some of the most successful startups were funded by those nearest and dearest to the founder.

Why You Should Pitch to Family and Friends

It’s no secret that when looking for investors for your startup, the first people you should approach are those in your inner circle. In fact, they may even be offended if you don’t. Moreover, if you contact venture capitalists or angel investors first, these “financial types” may question why no one from your family, friends or community are backing you. This may in turn lead them to question your integrity and credibility. 

Yet, it’s understandable why you might be hesitant to involve family and friends. Not everyone has entrepreneurial families (like Walmart) who get excited at the thought of a new business venture. For those people, it’s almost expected of them to either take up the family business or build something of their own, and tapping the relatives is practically a given.

However, some families just aren’t adventurous when it comes to investing in business ideas. Maybe they’re in traditional office jobs and have been employees most of their lives, with little risk involved. Maybe they’ve raised a family and have never worked outside the home. Or maybe they’re just not good at envisioning what could be rather than what already is. These types will be more difficult to convince.

So if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to present your idea in a way that proves you’ve considered all the potential risks and rewards. To get you started, here are some tips on how to approach family and friends to help you launch your new business:

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How Storytelling Can Transform Your Culture And Energize Your Team

On Apr 11, 2018 10:15:46 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture, business culture


What if each of your employees felt really appreciated, an integral part of the team? And what if these positive feelings then translated into better performance, higher output, more idea generation and greater company profit? Wouldn't that be great!

We all want that, right? But these things don't just happen on their own—they're nurtured by a positive culture, one that values and champions every staff member, no matter their position. Many companies already have this kind of culture in place. Do you? If not, do you know how to get it?

For a little guidance, a recent article in Inc.com offers four strategies, all focusing on storytelling, and one of them even comes from me. (You can read the full article here.)

Storytelling is a great way to change your company culture

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Why Is the Buyer's Journey Critical for Successful Entrepreneurs?

On Apr 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Inbound Marketing, business growth strategies, buyers journey

Thanks to the digital revolution, people are not buying things the way they used to—they just aren't. The old sales funnel we knew for decades is long gone. 

As entrepreneurs, this means that you now need to build your business growth strategies differently in order to capture buyers on their journey, not yours. Since the buyer’s journey is an essential framework for any marketing strategy, you must start to think like your buyer and understand the steps he or she is taking to make a purchase decision. 

This new mindset is crucial if you are going build your sales volume fast enough to succeed. 

How Has the Buying Game Changed?

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Entrepreneurs: Focus On Unmet Needs Through Visual Exploration

On Mar 27, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Corporate Anthropology, business growth strategies, anthropology tool kit, change

 

If you are an emerging entrepreneur searching for a big idea or a budding business owner building your new enterprise, you are probably great at seeing things with fresh eyes. You know that people are waiting for new solutions to their recurring problems.

Maybe they are struggling with a problem for which they have still not found the right answer. Maybe your partners and suppliers have pain points dealing with your processes and systems. Or, maybe your own employees might be struggling with company practices that aren’t working. 

Whatever the situation, people need some great entrepreneur to see things with fresh eyesand bring them the help they need! 

It isn't more of the same, cheaper.

Whether it is the needs of a new customer you want to serve, or the challenges of your staff with your business model design, or the irritated supplier who wants you to get it right, you have some work to do.

But before you can solve your customers' and employees' issues and improve the situation, you need to know how they really “feel.” What are their thoughts? Their opinions? What changes do they hope to see? Which of your products or services do they wish were different? How do they solve their problems now? Do they decide to use competitors' products?

To answer all these questions, you need to go to the source. Please don't just ask them! Go Exploring!

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Change: It's Scary But Take The Plunge Anyway!

On Mar 21, 2018 6:45:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Inbound Marketing, business change, change

 

As you already know if you've read any of my blogs, I am a corporate anthropologist who launched Simon Associates Management Consultants almost two decades ago to help organizations change using the theory, methods, and tools of anthropology. Before that, I was a tenured professor and then an executive in banking and healthcare—always focused on change.

My husband, Andrew Simon (Andy), joined SAMC several years ago after many decades as a successful entrepreneur. Since he was not an anthropologist, our positioning was not going to be an easy one to fit him into. And yet, the more we thought about it, he fit the modus operandi perfectly, as I describe in a recent article I wrote for Home Business Magazine, which you can read here.

The challenge for us was: How could Andy take his expertise and apply it in ways that worked within our company’s market positioning? We knew he was a great innovator and knew how to grow businesses at all stages of their development — from start-ups and early-stage companies to mid-market companies ready to expand their scope and shape. And when you think about it, growing is all about change.

SAMC is all about helping businesses change but we realized we had to change, too.

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How To Make Your Startup A Success When You're Over 50 

On Mar 15, 2018 9:44:25 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Start-ups

Can you continue to be a valuable contributor to society after you've passed your 50th (or 60th or even 70th) birthday? Can you still be a startup entrepreneur? Yes! Because guess what? I'm doing it.

In a recent article I wrote for Home Business Magazine, I talk about the exhilaration as well as the pitfalls of re-entering the marketplace after you have retired, or if you never left it in the first place. Below are highlights from the article. To read it in full, click here.

The value of being “over 50”

1. Experience counts

Don’t discount your experiences. While you might not have skills associated with fast-moving new technologies, you do know how to deal with people. These make you very valuable. You just need to know how to sell what you know.

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Do They Hate Guns Or Are They Brilliant Marketers? Both, Actually.

On Mar 4, 2018 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Managing change, social marketing, Corporate Culture, business strategy, social media

 Guns on display at the Dick's Sporting Goods store in Danvers, Mass., on Wednesday. (C.J. Gunther/EPA/Shutterstock, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times)

Here we go again. There's a school shooting, then a lot of tears and hand-wringing, then nothing happens.

But wait, maybe, just maybe, this time is different.

I'm of course referring to the recent mass shooting in Parkland, FL that killed 17 people, including 14 students, a geography teacher, an assistant football coach and the school's athletic director. In response, three major U.S. retailersWalmart (one of America's largest firearm retailers)Dick's Sporting Goods and Kroger—have "voluntarily restricted gun sales to make a policy statement and manage their image with consumers," reports The Los Angeles Times.

According to the article, these retailers "are responding to the national uproar that followed the shooting...especially the feverish debate on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. They are not waiting for legislative action to improve matters."

So are these retailers really anti-guns or are they trying to look good to their customers?

Both. 
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What Are Some of the Best Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs Over 50?

On Mar 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Entrepreneurship isn’t reserved for the 20-something-year-old who quit college to write code in their parent’s garage. In fact, according to Shopify, the highest rate of entrepreneurship in the U.S. has been among 55 to 64 years old with people over 55 twice as likely to launch successful new companies than those in the 20-34 age group.

Fifty years is far from old. It’s a good decade and a half away from retirement age. Did you know that celebrities such as Naomi Watts, Will Smith, Lucy Liu, Ashley Judd, LL Cool J, and Rachel Ray are turning 50 years old this 2018? And when you realize that, you can appreciate that 50 and up may be the ideal age to leave the rat race, start a business, and be your own boss.

Read more: A Powerful Checklist for Entrepreneurial Success

Here are some of the best business ideas for the over 50 aspiring entrepreneur:

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Terrific Websites to Empower Successful Women Entrepreneurs

On Feb 27, 2018 8:40:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Andrea Simon, women entrepreneurs, business innovation, The Simon Initiative

 

Whether you’ve been in business a long time or are an aspiring business owner, you’ll discover how powerful and empowering it is to be supported by your fellow female entrepreneurs as you navigate your way through the complexities of entrepreneurship as a woman in today’s world.

We’ve put together a list of incredible websites with the mission to empower women entrepreneurs on their journey to success. You may be ready to grow an innovative business to reach your pinnacle of success.

The list below shows you the wide range of missions for these leaders. From the stories you will see on She Owns It to the EveryGirl that might just be you looking for the inspiration to live that great life. Take it from two life-long entrepreneurs. It is a great journey. One we love to share.

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