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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Andrew Simon

Partner in Simon Associates Management Consultants
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Recent Posts

Best Practices to Scale Your Business for Growth

On Jun 27, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, business growth strategies, business culture

Not that long ago, we had several clients which had grown to almost $10 million in annual revenues and were netting nice profits. One was selling an innovative travel pillow, and his business was being run mostly by family and friends. Another was in the event marketing business. His challenge was that most of his “product” was in human capital and talent, and there only seemed to be so much to go around.

Both were struggling with limits to growth without scalability. The pillow manufacturer could push more product, but without a better system in place, he was not able to expand into online markets or increase repeat sales. The event marketer could pitch more big accounts, but had trouble getting the talent to get those events completed.

What both of them needed was a new perspective. Growth without scalability was limiting their growth.

Scaling for Growth

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What Can Community Colleges Expect From the US Chamber of Commerce in Terms of Job Skill Creation?

On Apr 30, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Higher Education

To put this article into context, I recently attended a meeting of college presidents. One of the keynote speakers was the senior HR director of a large manufacturing company lamenting the fact that small liberal arts colleges are not necessarily training students for the workplace or providing them with the technical skills necessary for success after graduation.

Times have changed but colleges and universities have not

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Celebrating the Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship

On Dec 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, women in business, women entrepreneurs, The Simon Initiative, advisors for entrepreneurs


A day filled with excitement and insights as women gather to launch the Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship.

It is not every day that you get a chance to do what you really want to do! Andi and I have been fortunate. We have been successful entrepreneurs who grew our businesses and are now sharing our experiences with others to help them do the same.

After I sold my company, Andi and I decided to make a contribution to Washington University in St Louis, something which would have a long-term impact, a multiplier effect, by connecting people throughout the university and even into the surrounding communities.

While it started as just an idea, like other entrepreneurs we knew that if we worked hard enough on it, something exciting would emerge. The Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship came out of a lot of good ideas from the talented people at Washington University.

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Finding Not One But Two Blue Oceans

On Dec 10, 2018 1:30:51 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Blue Ocean Strategy, advisors for entrepreneurs

 

Believer in Blue Ocean Strategy®

Blue Ocean Strategy preaches that finding unmet needs is a critical element to continued organizational success. So, if you are a big believer in Blue Ocean Strategy, like I am, here are two companies that very successfully solve unmet needs.

The first is Warby Parker that provides extensive eyewear selection via the web. I am a user of their website, which lets me select exactly what I want in glasses at a reasonable price point. No longer do I have to settle for whatever my local eyeglass retailer has in stock.

I am also user of Harry’s, an online razor blade and grooming company. Great products that eliminate hassle. Best of all, I don’t have to suffer the inconvenience of shopping at a drug store or supermarket for razors.

The same guy co-founded both companies

Imagine my surprise when I picked up the November 2, 2018 Business Section of the NY Times and found out that the entrepreneur behind both businesses was the same person. Yes, Jeff Raider co-founded both Warby Parker and Harry’s. That’s pretty neat. And while I am not sure if Mr. Raider is a “card carrying” Blue Ocean Strategist, he certainly understands the underlying concept of a finding Blue Oceans.

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Entrepreneurs, Be Smart and Pick the Right People to Help You Grow

On Oct 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, business leadership, advisors for entrepreneurs


 

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted!

It is not easy being an entrepreneur. Starting an entirely new type of business is never easy. If you are in a startup mode, you often must turn out a product or service, make the sales calls, run the books and at the same time ensure that you are following your business plan. Often you don’t have people in the organization to help you reflect on this plan; think about the business, and bounce ideas off.

Getting the right advice is not easy

Where to go to get advice is a tough question? Unless you have a partner or a gifted staff member, where do you go?

Perhaps you like to talk with friends and your significant other. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t. (I have been very fortunate because my wife is a business person and understands what I am saying, how I feel, and helps me sort through issues.)

Even that is not enough.

I was very fortunate to start a company, build it over 20 years and sell it for a lot of money. As successful as it all turned out, there were times where I felt like I was on a high wire without a safety net.

Do you have a safety net, yet?

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What Will It Take To Be An Entrepreneur By Desire?

On Oct 2, 2018 11:46:12 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Start-ups

The New York Times had an article in the September 17, 2018 edition entitled: “Retire? These Graying ‘Encore Entrepreneurs’ Are Just Starting Up.” 

It’s a great article! It focuses on people who have been displaced and find themselves out of work after 50. Their job disappeared because their industry changed or some other factor(s) impacted their company. They are all over 50 but want to—or must—keep on working. 

As The Times notes: “Many entrepreneurs 50 and older said they have no choice but to look for new and creative ways to supplement their savings as they live longer.” These laid-off workers “describe feeling squeezed by rising rents and health care costs, and are facing uncertain job prospects and age discrimination, especially in industries where younger workers are less expensive and are often more fluent in digital and social media skills.” 

People who want to start their own business are far from alone 

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Content is Still King: How to Get Great Google® Results

On Aug 9, 2018 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Inbound Marketing, business growth strategies, content marketing, Google search, SAMC Inbound

Great digital marketing campaigns are based upon, among other things, great content. As you might know, the role of content in SEO power is evolving. No longer are keywords central to the way you write your copy. Rather, Google is now looking for how well you answer the question in someone’s search query.

Changes in SEO are forcing us to adapt how we write content

At SAMC, we try to tell our story to the right audience, regardless of how they come up with their search question. Whether they ask Alexa to find them a great business consulting firm or they type in "how to do a Blue Ocean Strategy," we need to be the first answer. This is getting even more challenging with Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) at the top of the first page of a search.

Furthermore, while great content will always be king, the delivery of that content has changed as well.

How to evaluate your online presence?

Let’s take a look at the SEO changes and how in response, you should look at your online presence with fresh eyes.

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4 Top Ways Technology Is Transforming Accounting Firms

On May 31, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: business growth strategy, business innovation

 

When it comes to adopting new technologies, most people assume that the accounting industry is far behind, stubbornly resisting change. Yet in reality, the opposite is true. Today, the entire accountancy industry is rapidly being transformed, primarily due to productivity optimization brought about by the ever-growing tech revolution. Even at SAMC, we're taking advantage of new technological advances, such as Inbound Marketing.

Gone are the days of accountants being burdened with repetitive, time-sucking tasks. With the dawn of innovative technological solutions like intelligent automation, better predictions and efficient data analysis, today's accountants can now spend more time focusing on helping their clients grow their companies through better business strategies.

And it's not just the accounting industry that's being transformed by highly useful data analytics. Almost every industry these days is affected. Here are just a few of the influences that are revolutionizing the way companies do business today:

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Senior Entrepreneurs: 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Starting a New Business Over 50

On May 29, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Start-up Companies, business growth strategy


You've probably noticed them. Very likely, you're one of them yourself...a baby boomer who is approaching retirement age (or is even well past it). But if you're like many over the age of 50, you may be feeling the itch to start a business and go looking for new opportunities and untapped markets.

And why not? People over 50 have a host of things working in their favor, from decades of work experience to a valuable network of connections to the financial resources needed to start and run a new business successfully. All of these combine to make this a great time to take the leap and try turning your big idea into something big.

Here are two more reasons why the "over 50" age set is an opportune time to start a business: the internet revolution and the explosive growth of technology, both of which have generated important new tools for older entrepreneurs to consider. Running a thriving, modern company today depends on advanced technology capabilities and extensive internet knowledge, both of which you and your company need to have. Here are 5 things to consider as you start to develop a business strategy for these fast-changing times, which I'd like to share here:

5 tips for starting a business over 50

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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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