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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

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

On Oct 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: business leadership, Entrepreneurs, 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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How to Energize Retailer Hopes as Startups Compete with Amazon

On Jul 26, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: women entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs, business innovation, business growth strategies, innovation, Andrea Simon

Although it's becoming harder and harder to make serious financial returns in today’s retail world in the age of Amazon, there's still room for entrepreneurs to excel at retail and e-commerce. So how are some succeeding when so many are failing? By driving change. But to drive changei.e., sustain growth in changing timestakes courage, stamina and ingenuity. And, dedication, persistence and a lot of hard work.

But even in today's harsh market demands and strong competitors, can young businesses still make it big and maybe even transform the world of retail? Yes!

As proof, take a look at this list of retail startups led by successful entrepreneurs that broke out of the pack in recent years, either through smart marketing, unique services or highly specific target markets. 

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How to Convert a Great Idea into a Successful Innovation

On Jul 24, 2018 7:10:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: The Simon Initiative, women entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs

How many times has someone said to you, “That’s a great idea, you should really run with it and make it a reality”? And how many times have you successfully converted a brilliant idea into a successful innovation? If the answer to the second question is zero, you're not alone. Unfortunately, most potentially great ideas remain dormant. Why? Most people don’t have the resources, courage, time and/or money to take action.

As entrepreneurs, we at SAMC have been through the journey of discovery enough times to know the pain and the joy that comes with having a big idea and making it happen. 

But bringing an idea to life is really hard. As the saying goes, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” It's mostly a battle against time (competitors with the same idea are often right on your heels), so in the beginning, the crucial parts of your business strategy should be planning and research.

More like a marathon than a sprint, the process of converting an idea into something real is an ongoing one. To help you on your journey, here are a few things every entrepreneur should know.

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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, business growth strategy, Start-up Companies


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: business growth strategies, Entrepreneurs, 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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Why Is the Buyer's Journey Critical for Successful Entrepreneurs?

On Apr 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

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

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

 

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, change, business change, Inbound Marketing

 

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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