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September 2011 Edition   

Founder's Monthly Message

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

At the first glance, Einstein's view seems to be very logical and easy to follow. Yet, within the boundaries of the practical world, experience has proven otherwise.

Specially, when it comes to small and mid-size businesses, many are missing out on the opportunity of abiding by the fundamentals of Einstein's quote and benefiting from it. As a result, to date, many have succumbed to the predicted faith of failure.

Perhaps to shed some light on this issue, let's consider the common challenge of all small and mid-size businesses.

Without a doubt, the most known challenge of a small or mid-size business is the heavy reliance on its key decision maker(s). Although, a business may be structured enough to benefit from an established organizational system, at the end of the day, all important issues must be approved by its key decision maker.

If one could count the number of daily business interactions, just imagine the enormity of the overall burden on a key decision maker for micro managing a business.

So, regardless of the number of people functioning within a business hierarchical system, naturally its key decision maker carries the entire load ranging from managing the daily business activities to devising long term strategic business growth plans.

Traditionally, it is the nature of a small or mid-size business to require more from a decision maker than what he/she may physically and sometimes mentally be able to handle on daily basis.

Now, let's add to the mix, the critical element of a
decision maker's mindset. Naturally, every key decision maker views the best solution to a problem the one of his/her own. Bear in mind that the solution is being introduced using the same type of thinking that he/she possesses. Additionally, he/she relies heavily on the experiences that have gained throughout various processes and previous interactions.

In summary, considering the enormous task on hand, there will be hardly enough time and energy for a key decision maker to drastically re-evaluate one's view regarding the best suited methods of dealing with challenges.

The result; continually striving to solve problems and encounter challenges with the same approaches that originally were used and were deemed to be adequate. Yet, it may be valuable to consider that if those approaches were the most suitable ones, would have the business been experiencing the emergence of the similar troublesome issues over and over?

So, I would sincerely hope that the content of this issue would give you a head start in appreciating the key issues, which are very important to any business. Furthermore, I would hope that this short discussion provides you with enough insight for viewing the critical business matters from a different perspective.

Rahmat Ushaksaraei

t: 416 - 275 - 5543
w: business support initiative

need to brainstorm your business issue with someone, who truly understands?!

As part of a mandate in supporting small and mid-size businesses, we are pleased to furnish the key decision maker(s) of a business with an opportunity for a fully subsidized, one-on-one, private and confidential business chat. Interested? click here

off-site business seminar versus an on-site one!

In an ever shifting global market, inevitably knowledge of existing business best practices is the key factor for the survival and growth of small and mid-size businesses.

Although in the age of information technology, internet has been a great resource, to date, it has not been an alternative for a concise information, which are offered in a focused and interactive business seminar and/or training.

Yet, considering the value of time for small and midsize businesses and specially their key decision makers, it makes it somehow impractical to sometimes travel across a city, sit in a room with strangers and interactively discuss very confidential and internal business matters.

Alternatively, if a business is furnished with an option for complimentary in-house business seminar and/or training for its key people, not only the business will gain the necessary knowledge without compromising the business confidentiality, but also time-wise it will only be investing what is actually necessary.

Now, as a key decision maker, are you in favour of On-Site or and Off-Site business seminar/training?

click here and let us know!

A clever person solves a problem; A wise person avoids it.  - Albert Einstein

It is a well accepted fact that a business may not start without a plan. In case of more serious businesses, a plan takes the form a structured document, namely the business plan. Generally, the volume and number of pages of a business plan grows with the importance of the issue on hand and/or the amount of the funds or the type of the partnership, which is being sought.

Furthermore, in any business there are two views towards the issue of planning; Static and Dynamic. Also, similar to every other things in the world, there are two distinct approaches in any business; Reactive and Proactive.

In a static view, the business itself would not realize the need or value in developing a business plan and keeping it updated at all time. Instead,
a business plan is mostly prepared due to an external influence. In specific, as the result of a special circumstance such as seeking investment, loan, credit or business partnership, etc. the document becomes an item on the agenda. In relation to Einstein's quote, in such circumstance, cleverly a reactive action is taken to temporarily solve the problem that a business is being faced with.

On the contrary, in a dynamic view, a business values the development of a business plan synonymous with establishing the necessary guideline for steering all its internal activities and external conducts  in the most appropriate manner.
Accordingly, a business plan is regarded as a lighthouse on the shore of business success providing direction in both foreseen or unforeseen situations. According to this view, it is a mandate to keep the business plan continually up-to-date throughout the operational lifespan of a business. In comparison to a reactive or clever approach, based on Einstein's quote, this proactive approach may be regarded as a wise one.

Regardless of a static or dynamic view towards a business plan,
realistically, one may appreciate that any logically prepared plan consists of four extremely valuable macro level attributes. In the most simplistic form, these four fundamentals are:

a- What is being done?
b- Why is being done?
c- How is being done?
d- What is the foretasted outcome?

4 elements of a bsuiness plan
In essence:

a- What is being done?

In the context of time and space, this element is to define the macro level collective set of intended activities encompassing the business.

b- Why is being done?

With respect to the target market and competition, if any, this element is to outline the purpose and value of initiating such set of activities, namely the business.

c- How is being done?

With respect to the intended target market and competition, if any, this element is to describe the mechanism that allows such set of activities be conducted. Additionally, it prescribes necessary activities that allow a business to reach its intended goal within a realistically forecasted cost, time and quality framework.

d- What is the foretasted outcome?

With respect to the intended target market and competition, if any, this element is to predict and describe the result of conducting the set of the intended activities, namely the business. This is normally an educated guess based on the facts and not merely assumptions.

Now, it may be obvious that without knowing the responses to these logical questions, initiating a business will be nothing more than a recipe for disaster. If conducted precisely, in initial stages, such one-page summarized document may even replace any lengthy and costly business plan that is normally developed by and/or for small and mid-size businesses. In other words, if one would face difficulty in defining the purpose of a business in one page and forecast its future, how would even a truck load of documents be able to justify its existence?

Although it may be brushed off by some that adhering to this simple business principle contradicts with the "spirit of entrepreneurship", in reality, any seasoned entrepreneur appreciates the difference between ignoring the obvious risks and the ability in foreseeing them.

In reality, identifying this difference is the fine line between cleverness and wisdom in business. In other words, the cleverness allows a key decision maker to continually conduct fire fighting activities and reactively keep the business afloat. In contrast, a wise and proactive decision maker stays above the crowd by adhering to the habit of devising realistic plans and treating them dynamically. In another simple analogy, in a reactive business approach, the key decision makers become expert in managing risks, which are emerging one after the other. On the contrary, the proactivity demands a key decision maker to continually foresee any possible emerging risks and mitigate them before happening. In a nutshell, the fine line between reactivity and proactivity separates respectively the businesses, which continually struggle to survive from
the successful ones!

Now, considering the value of dynamism and proactivity in a business, is there a way in changing one's habits from a reactive and static to a proactive and dynamic one?

Based on my extensive experience in changing this very habit in many businesses of various types, sizes and entities, absolutely YES!

Of course, this cultural change is only possible, if there is a will! i.e., should the key decision maker realize the potential of a dynamic and proactive business philosophy and is sincere about it, he/she may be easily guided through this cultural change. Otherwise, with no true will, although a business may be guided by an expert, without a doubt it bounces back and picks up its old static and reactive habits.

So, as the key decision maker of your business:

1- How updated is the one-page business plan of your business?
2- How realistic is this summary business plan?
3- Is this macro level plan in line with your original and/or current business objectives?

If in doubt, do not worry as there is a solution!

To get you started, prepare a one-page summary of responses to the four fundamental questions, contact me directly and let's have a business chat!

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:

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