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May 2012 Edition   

Founder's Monthly Message

Rahmat Ushaksaraei

There is not a single day goes by that I would not come across small and mid-size businesses, which pass or miss great opportunities. This is often coupled with conversing with the key decision makers of businesses that undermine their high potentials for business success.

It is well understood that realistically it will be almost impossible for every business opportunity to be materialized or all business potentials be converted to business successes. Yet,
all successful businesses know that in some cases even spending more than a minute in grabbing the right opportunity is often considered too long and such hesitation may alter the destiny of a business forever.

Now, considering the outcomes of missing on a great opportunity or undervaluing the ability of a business, the important questions are:

- What criteria or systems are used may be used to either accept or dismiss an opportunity? Also, what are the basic principles in exploiting a potential or undermining it?
- Does the evaluation process need to adhere to
a methodological system and employ a coherent approach?
- How is such evaluation process qualified? Also, how often is it required to be examined to ensure applicability?

In searching for pragmatic responses, one may attribute such business decision to the personal view of a key decision maker of the business. Alternatively, some believe that the decision is based on an business instinct or intuition, which comes with experience. Alternatively, in some cases, the degree of risk-taking ability of a business is considered as the determining attribute.

In any case, the significance and importance of evaluating this issue is in the impact that a missed or gained opportunity may have in changing the direction of a business.

In other words, without a doubt, if these questions are scientifically evaluated and responded to, at the very least they will provide us with a road map to success.

So, I would certainly hope that the contents of this article will be a practical exercise in evaluating some of our understanding and steering us in the right direction in taking advantage of the emerging opportunities and inherent business potentials.
 
Sincerely,

Rahmat Ushaksaraei

t: 416 - 275 - 5543
e:
Rahmat.Ushaksaraei@accrete.ca
w: business support initiative



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If one could grant you three business wishes, what would they be?

1- In an ever evolving and competitive market, what are the primary short/long term objectives and their related challenges in your business?
2- Nationally and/or internationally, how would you reach the potential market and establish business alliance, and how would you maintain the business balance and ensure its competitiveness?
3- Considering the Book Value versus Market Value Reality Check, what is the true value of your business in the market?
4- To exit your business in a foreseen or an unforeseen future, transfer it to someone, or simply limit your scope of involvement, when is the right time to start planning, where would you start from, and what are the critical elements that you would be required to consider?

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Disregard of the nature of a business, its three building blocks are People, Process and Bi-directional Information flow between People and Process. Also, these building blocks impact the three fundamentals of CSA (Cash/Finance - Sales/Marketing - Administration) within a business.

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Converting Business Opportunity & Potential into Business Success!

Unless a business is continually searching for opportunities, its progress remains flat.

It is a well known and understood fact that in a small or mid-size business no matter how many functional supporting roles exist, at the end of the day, ceasing a business opportunity remains the sole responsibility of its key decision maker(s). Furthermore, beyond the point of discovering an opportunity, it is expected that a key decision maker acts quickly to secure it and lay the foundation for materializing the opportunity into a tangible success.

From above, when dealing with a business opportunity, 
the three key phrase to keep in mind are:

- Searching for opportunity
- Ceasing the opportunity
- Materializing the opportunity

Pictorially, these key elements are:

Searching Ceasing Materializing Business Opportunity
To perhaps be bale to put a pragmatic business twist on these three intangible business parameters, let's review their relations to the everyday business matters:

Searching for opportunity: As it has been discussed in many of the previous issues of the business couch, due to the fact that a business is based on the fundamental of People-Process-Information™, it is needed to be considered a live and dynamic entity and not a static one.

Believing in business dynamism is the first step in realizing the need for a business in looking for new opportunities. Thereafter, the goal of searching for opportunities is achieved by designing, maintaining and nurturing a realistic market presence via the most appropriate method suited for the business. As one may appreciate, the goal will not only fundamentally be different from simple marketing activities, but also it will involve developing an extensive and executive level network of influential contacts in the related industries. Also, a delicate point to consider is that the process of devising a systematic and practical method of continually searching for suitable business opportunities is unique to every business, where one solution may not be suitable for everyone.

Additionally, depending on the geographical business boundaries, such network may be needed to be developed and maintained at both national and international levels. Since the network encompasses the element of People, it increases the dynamism of the business interactions exponentially and therefore it functions as the most advance business tool in searching and hunting for opportunities. One sensitive issue is for us to distinguish an influential business network from a rolodex of business contacts.

Considering this essential point, how would you go about and develop such network at both national and international levels? Think about it!

Ceasing the opportunity: Although recognizing and taking advantage of a business opportunity is considered an art by many, in reality, it is a combination of art and science. In specific, the ability in recognizing an opportunity as a viable one is directly related to:

- Degree of familiarity of a person with the market at both national and international levels
- Level of previous exposure to similar cases
- Degree of risk taking

Evaluating these key parameters from an art versus science point of view, clearly shows that familiarity with the market is a scientific element and it describes the proactivity of a key decision maker in broadening his/her knowledge regarding an industry and other ones related to it. Also, as a scientific element, in depth knowledge of the business is main aspect in defining how susceptive a business may be towards surprises, otherwise known as risks.

Moreover, the developed experience resulted from previous exposure to similar cases is echoing that recognizing an opportunity is an art. Additionally, the natural intuition regrading the potentials beyond the risk taking aspect, referred by many as entrepreneurship, may be recognized as art.

Regardless, considering both scientific and artistic aspects, ceasing an opportunity and continually having an appetite for exploiting the new ones are undoubtedly the major elements of business success.

Other important aspect of ceasing an opportunity is Time. Although without a doubt, some opportunities may require ample time for evaluation, in the era of high speed information technology, allocated time for considering and ceasing an opportunity is becoming shorter than ever. Specially for interactions at both cross-border and international levels, it may be a mind boggling exercise for many small and mid-size businesses to decide upon engaging in an agreement in less than a minute; yet whether we will be comfortable with it or not, this is an emerging reality.

So, what steps a small or mid-size business is required to put in place to shorten the decision making process? Think about it!

Materializing the opportunity: Ceasing a business opportunity is merely the first step and equal to dreaming a business idea. In specific, materializing an opportunity involves many steps, which starts from developing a pragmatic plan and continues with devising and developing all pragmatic internal and external business nodes and connecting them one step at a time via series of activities actions.

As one may appreciate, during this process and similar to a business, planning and necessary activities resulted by it may be attended either in series or via parallel activities.

In any case, understanding the basic fundamentals of
People-Process-Information™ phenomenon is a prominent contributor in securely reaching the goal of creating a business success. In reality, regardless of size and nature of any business, to ensure success, the basic building blocks of People-Process-Information™ are intertwined with all aspects of every business and are required to be identified, evaluated, connected and nurtured both statically and dynamically.

It goes without saying that during the process of materializing an opportunity, developing and designing phases and gates are an absolute mandate. This will allow the business to continually evaluate the value of the opportunity and its applicability in furthering the business towards success.
 
Now, considering the above macro level discussion about converting business opportunity and potential into success:

- On an annual basis, what is the number of business opportunities that your business come across and what is the success rate of your business in converting them to success stories?
- How many of opportunities are local, national, cross-border or international?
- What criteria or systems are used to either accept or dismiss an opportunity?
- On an average, how long would it take for your business to evaluate an opportunity?
- How would you identify and measure the potential of your business?
- What is the success rate of your business in identifying its inherent potentials and exploiting them?
- What are the basic principles in your business for exploiting a potential or undermining it?
- Does the evaluation process adhere to a methodological system and employ a coherent approach?
- How is such evaluation process qualified and how often is it examined to ensure applicability?

If in doubt, contact me directly and let's have a business chat!

People-Process-Information methodology has been developed by Rahmat Ushaksaraei - All Rights Reserved.


About the author: Rahmat Ushaksaraei is an Accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent Business (IIB), Founder of GeBTL, Global executive Business & Trade Links, the only global top level executives' business platform, Founder of Bio Wood Pellet, representing the North American producers of the wood pellet in the global market, President of the accrete, The Business Excellence Realization , an author, presenter, Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Project Management Professional (PMP), renowned expert in Concept, Project, Process, Quality and Communication Management,  business executive and leadership coach to large corporations, business mentor and advisor to small and mid-size businesses, pioneer of Diamond Total Management (DTM)business excellence model and Human Intelligence Management (HIM)and Human Emotion Realization (HER)methodologies and architect of the valuator™ and evaluator™ business evaluation tools for small and mid-size businesses. Rahmat Ushaksaraei may be reached at: Rahmat.Ushaksaraei@accrete.ca Rahmat Ushaksaraei




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