Summer Picnic | Hanover Association of Businesses and Chamber of Commerce

Join us and members of the Hanover Association of Businesses at the upcoming Hanover summer picnic event.

Start: July 23, 2009, 5:30 pm

End: July 23, 2009, 7:30 pm

The annual summer picnic includes a casual social hour and barbecue dinner, complete with Hanover tomatoes. The event is hosted at James River Winery, rain or shine, where tents and tall trees provide shade. Take a tour of the winery and gift shop, taste the award-winning wines and buy some to enjoy at home.

Location: 11008 Washington Highway (Route 1), north of Atlee-Elmont interchange.

For more information, call the HABCC office at 804-798-8130.

via Summer Picnic | Hanover Association of Businesses and Chamber of Commerce.

Small Business: Getting Back to Business

It’s Never Been More Important and Never was Unimportant

If the last six months have taught us anything about economics and running a business it’s that continuing to ignore fundamentals will have consequences….including dire ones. Consequently as a New Year begins it’s an opportune time to examine the principles and practices that support your business. This article mentions three considerations that are fundamental to running any business. The three considerations are time, team and money. Most businesses can attribute their failure or success to how well they manage their time, their team and money.

Time. Michael Gerber, author of The E Myth, which is a book about why most small businesses fail and what to do about it, notes that business owners spend most of their time working in their business and hardly any working on their business. For example, how many business owners have a time management plan (TMP)? A TMP helps an owner examine how they are spending their time with the goal of assigning routine functions to someone else allowing the owner to concentrate on more important tasks.

Team. The second basic consideration relates to team building. Even if you are the sole proprietor of your business you still have to manage relationships with vendors, customers and other stake holders. Consequently even sole proprietors should have a strategic plan that defines their businesses vision and mission and charts a course for accomplishing goals and objectives. If a business has employees what type of team building or performance incentive plan does it have?

Money. The third basic consideration relates to how a business generates and spends money. There are several fundamental questions that every business owner should be able to answer about their business, particularly during challenging economic times. These questions include: what are my break even numbers? What are my revenue and profit numbers and what are they telling me about my business? Is the time that it takes me to collect my receivable creating a cash flow problem for me? Am I running my business consistent with my business plan?

These are just a few of the basics that every business owner should understand. Those that do and that have developed effective and efficient systems should emerge as stronger and more profitable as the economy improves. Those that do not or don’t have time to develop supportive systems should commit to getting some help. With a New Year just weeks away why not begin it by committing to partner with a professional to grow your business to new and exciting levels.

Author: JC Cancelleri is a business strategist and consultant. JC’s value as a business professional is augmented by being a lawyer, life coach and by having a PhD in Organizational Leadership.

Torus Law, PLC
JC Cancelleri

Email JC
Phone: 804-548-4810

Business Success: Strength Through Planning

When this article publishes another Christmas will have passed and another New Year begun. Some businesses will have done well during this holiday shopping season while others may have struggled. Regardless of how your business did it’s never been more important to develop a strategic plan for how your business will operate during the next 12-18 months. It’s important because projections are that the overall economy may not begin to improve until the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010. If it improves sooner great; if it doesn’t how will that affect your business?

To assess what affect market conditions will have on your business consider doing a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses reflect internal factors while opportunities and threats reflect external factors.

Strengths: Assessing the strengths of your business includes developing or reviewing your strategic plan. Part of the value of developing a strategic plan is it helps to develop a strategy for your business. As Verne Harnish notes in his book, The Rockefeller Habits, a real strategy must pass two tests: 1) what you are doing must matter to your existing and potential customers and 2) what you do must be different from your competition.

Weaknesses: If your sales during the holiday season were not what you anticipated now’s the time to explore why. Did you lack marketing expertise? Were your products or services undifferentiated in relation to your competitor’s? Assessing weaknesses should also include how other internal factors may affect your store or company’s performance during the next 18 months.

Opportunities: If you’re concerned about how your business will perform during 2009 consider developing a different marketing campaign. Are there strategic partnerships and alliances that you could form that would strengthen your business and increase your profits? Are there new markets, including international destinations that will purchase your product or service? Can you take advantage of a competitor who has left the market?

Threats: If the economy does not begin to improve for 18 months exactly how will it affect your business? Is your business subject to price wars among competitors? Do you have a competitor who is offering a new or innovative service or product? How will the new administration affect your business?

These are a few of the questions involved in a SWOT analysis. The value of doing a SWOT review is that it involves assessing both internal and external factors that could affect your business. For more information about conducting a SWOT analysis and how it can improve your business do a Google search. Or call me. I’d be happy to further explore options for strengthening your business despite a struggling economy.

Author: JC Cancelleri is a business strategist and consultant. JC’s value as a business professional is augmented by being a lawyer, life coach and by having a PhD in Organizational Leadership.

Torus Law, PLC
JC Cancelleri

Email JC
Phone: 804-548-4810

Leadership in Times of Uncertainty

During the past thirty days Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac imploded, AIG nearly imploded, and Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers ceased to exist. All of this on top of the housing crisis, the credit crunch and a three billion dollar state budget shortfall. While we can’t change what’s happened or control how the markets may continue to gyrate there is much that can be learned from our current situation.

My take on what’s been happening confirms that leadership, vision and integrity are not mere placards. They are in fact and will remain foundational to meaningful and extended personal, professional and organizational success. In this article I briefly discuss leadership. Specifically I present five practices that every business owner and every business leader should demonstrate. These five practices when consistently performed can distinguish and propel a business even in uncertain times. The five practices are: challenging the process, inspiring a shared vision, enabling others to act, modeling the way and encouraging the heart.

These five practices are identified by James Kouzes and Barry Posner as those that are commitments of exemplary leaders. In their book, The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner define and describe each practice. For example, challenging the process refers to the practice of taking risks and leading in the face of obstacles. Inspiring a shared vision occurs when business owners and business executives integrate the dreams and goals of their employees into those of the organization. Enabling others to act refers to empowering others by building relationships based on trust and confidence. Modeling the way is simply setting an example by what one does. Encouraging the heart occurs when owners and executive recognize individual efforts and celebrate accomplishments.

These five practices may be easier to demonstrate when revenues are growing and profits are increasing and everyone is happy. I would argue that during uncertain times they are even more important to practice. I would further argue that demonstrating these practices during uncertain times can distinguish you among the pack as an exemplary leader and business.

JC Cancelleri is a business strategist and consultant. JC’s value as a business professional is augmented by being a lawyer, life coach and by having a PhD in Organizational Leadership.

Torus Law, PLC
JC Cancelleri

Email JC
Phone: 804-548-4810

Ref: James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. (1995) The Leadership Challenge. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.