Boots to Business Reboot

In keeping with the its commitment to Veterans, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has sponsored the Boots to Business program. As Veterans transition to civilian life, the Boots to Business program has offered training courses to make their dreams of business ownership a reality.

The widely popular “Boots to Business: From Service to Startup” is a program offered to future entrepreneurs while they’re still in uniform, as a component of the Department of Defense’s redesigned Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum for “Boots to Business: from Service to Startup” was designed to introduce concepts, information and resources about business ownership to transitioning service members. Along with the education, the program also connects service members to crucial resources in their local communities.

The SBA has added an additional curriculum to their program. “Boots to Business: Reboot,” is an entrepreneurship training course for Veterans that is being hosted in twelve locations across the country.

Each session will host up to 100 Veterans for a two-day course, titled Introduction to Entrepreneurship, led by the SBA’s resource partners, as well as industry experts from Syracuse University’s Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF).

“Boots to Business: Reboot” will introduce Veteran entrepreneurs to the basics of business ownership.  The curriculum will lead Veterans through evaluating business concepts and developing a business plan. “Boots to Business: Reboot” will also connect participating Veterans to a network of business support contacts by introducing them to the SBA’s network of Veteran Business Outreach centers, Women’s Business centers, Small Business Development centers and SCORE counselors.

At the conclusion of the two-day training, Veteran entrepreneurs will be eligible to register for an eight-week online course called “Foundations of Entrepreneurship.” This program is led by instructors from IVMF, and offers Veterans in-depth instruction on the elements of a business plan, as well as techniques and advice for starting their own businesses.

After completing “Boots to Business: Reboot,” and “Foundations of Entrepreneurship”  Veteran entrepreneurs will possess the tools and knowledge needed to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local resources, and launch their own small businesses.

The “Boots to Business: Reboot” events run through Aug. 25-26.

July 24 – 25: Dallas- Fort Worth, Texas

July 29- 30: Miami, Florida

July 31 – August 1: Chicago, Illinois

August 1 – 2: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

August 5 – 6: Boston, Massachusetts

August 6 – 7: Albuquerque, New Mexico

August 8 – 9: Kansas City, Missouri

August 13 – 14: Detroit, Michigan

August 15 – 16: Los Angeles, California

August 20 – 21: Seattle, Washington

August 25 – 26: Charlotte, North Carolina

For more information and to register for events Veterans interested in business ownership are encouraged to visit www.boots2businessreboot.org

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: New Boots to Business Program: By Debbie Gregory

CEO’s Compass

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The CEO’s Compass has four strategic steps for monitoring and measuring the tactical business activities for staying ‘On-Course’. The business model serves as an on-going continuous improvement process. The check points / steps are specifically designed  for redefining and refining the business activities.

Steps for Attaining and Sustaining Success:

Step I: (Due North)         Finalizing the Business Activities

Developing a comprehensive business plan / contingency plan, clarifying the vision and mission statements, establishing the strategic plan (long-term) and the tactical activities (short-term)

Step II: (Due East)         Monitoring the business Activities

Defining and refining all the critical business activities and the costs that impact the success of the business plan. To achieve profitability, it is important to develop a method for calculating a return-on-investment as well as the unexpected costs arising from worst case scenarios.

Step III:  (Due South)   Measuring the Business Activities

Designing and implementing a performance tracking system to measure results. The system monitors and measures all the business activities and gathers data on performance, productivity and profitability.

Step IV: (Due West)     Changing the Business Activities

Reviewing and implementing the data gathered (results / information) the business owner can make timely and cost-effective changes to the business plan. Most changes will be made in the areas of staffing, procedures, processes, materials, and technology as well as.

DEFINE AND REFINE

The model is simple. It is designed so the business owner can capitalize on the data gathered and maximize the potential of his people, products /services, customers and company. But, like all systems, it is not the system that fails; it is the individual who fails to use the system. Therefore, real success does lie in the slogan Discipline or Disaster: It’s Your Choice!

 

Nick Callazzo has more than 30 years of experience consulting to banks, insurance companies and financial institutions as well as coaching executives to help them improve their personal and professional performance. In 1985, Mr. Callazzo founded Resource Specialists, a consulting group that focuses primarily on helping companies identify behaviors that impeded either organizational or personal success. A former U.S. Marine, Mr. Callazzo is currently working with FastTrac’s Entrepreneurial program for veterans in order to help them improve their business acumen and, possibly, their profit margins.

If you own a business or thinking about starting one, you are invited to participate in a contemporary, real world entrepreneurial program that focuses on learning both the business practices and the disciplines necessary for attaining and sustaining success in today’s business environment.

The ‘E’ program for business owners, ‘The Entrepreneur’s MBA’ (Managing Business Activities), is a comprehensive approach designed to help business owners / managers   better understand the critical factors that impact business growth. The program is designed to achieve two goals:

1. Educate business owners about the critical business factors that impact success and introduce them to the CEO’s Compass, a performance tracking system for monitoring and measuring the business activities. A system for keeping the business ‘On-Course’.

2. Establish a Forum for business owners, a network of different businesses, that meets quarterly to share best practices, resources and success stories.

The program has evolved as a result of consulting and coaching entrepreneurs for over twenty years and conducting business courses at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School’s (SBDC) for eight years. It was during this time that I began to realize that most entrepreneurs had technical or mechanical backgrounds; therefore, they needed to learn ‘ How’  to implement the business skills necessary to start a business. They all shared one common theme: they were working more hours and making less money. As a result of their feedback, I began to help business owners realize that learning the critical business factors was not the answer.  The answer was establishing a disciplined system that tracked and gathered the results created by applying the business skills and practices learned.

The Entrepreneur’s MBA is the system for succeeding. The program is modulated so business owners can choose to participate in any one of the critical business workshops or attend the entire program. Regardless how one gets involved, the owners will still have the opportunity to participate in the CEOs Forum  and learn how the CEO’s Compass helps  business owners better understand how the independent  critical business functions are interdependent and impact the success of the enterprise.

The Entrepreneurs’ program helps business owner make the transition from ‘working-in the business’ to ‘working-on the business’. In other words, the business owner begins to realize that the business is controlling their life and time, instead of the owner taking control of their life and time. To achieve real success, one must learn how to balance their personal and professional responsibilities. Gaining control of your life and your time(the business) requires establishing a system. The CEO’s Compass is that system that will help owners control (define and refine) their personal goals and professional objectives.

In order for a business to attain and sustain success, it must have not only a comprehensive business plan but a performance tracking system that insures proper implementation of the Plan.  The system monitors business activities, measures the results, and gathers data for making effective changes.

 

Nick Callazzo has more than 30 years of experience consulting to banks, insurance companies and financial institutions as well as coaching executives to help them improve their personal and professional performance. In 1985, Mr. Callazzo founded Resource Specialists, a consulting group that focuses primarily on helping companies identify behaviors that impeded either organizational or personal success. A former U.S. Marine, Mr. Callazzo is currently working with FastTrac’s Entrepreneurial program for veterans in order to help them improve their business acumen and, possibly, their profit margins.

Nine Keys to a Successful Marketing Plan

  1. Quantified Goals
  2. Compatibility  of Professional and Personal Goals
  3. Limited Number of Reasonable Goals
  4. Synergistic, Executable Marketing Strategies & Programs
  5. Adequate Resources
  6. Performance Monitoring System
  7. Contingency Plans
  8. Staff involvement & Commitment to the Plan
  9. High Motivation & Winning Mindset

 

To build long-term relationships, achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction, and sustain success in the market place, small business owners must integrate all nine keys in the marketing plan.

  1. Your marketing goals should be quantified and measurable. Quantify goals in units, dollars, percentages, or time frames.
  2. Your professional and personal goals must be compatible. If they conflict, the result is likely to be your failure to achieve some key professional or personal goals.
  3. Your marketing goals should be limited to an attainable number. It is virtually impossible for the small business to medium sized business to achieve more than three to five marketing goals in just one year.
  4. Marketing strategies and programs should be highly focused, yet synergistic. Your product strategies should complement your pricing, sales, and advertising strategies.
  5. The achievement of marketing goals is dependent on your ability to execute marketing strategies and programs. The successful implementation of marketing plans and programs requires adequate resources. In outlining your plan, make sure that you have allowed adequate time to plan and execute programs. Budget sufficient funds for advertising, equipment, supplies,

compensation and health benefits. DO NOT FORGET TO BUDGET YOUR TIME.

Finally, consider the knowledge and skill required to implement new programs and budget time for continuing education or on-site training.

  1. Once a marketing plan has been implemented, it is critical that results be monitored. When monitored, programs can easily be fine-tuned to maximize sales, customer generation, productivity or profits. The analysis of programs or plan results can contribute the construction of more successful plans and the avoidance of problems in the future.

 

PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED!

 

  1. Have contingency plans outlined. Know how you would adjust your plans or programs. If a competitor aggressively responds to your actions, a new competitor enters the market, or a program yields better or worse results than you expected.
  2. Involve your staff and spouse in your market planning. Ask your staff for suggestions. Perhaps involve them in the planning and implementation of programs. Secure your spouse’s support not only for your goals, but your commitment of funds and time.
  3. The attainment of your marketing goals requires your personal belief in and commitment to ton the marketing plan. The marketing plan and its goals must drive not only your allocation of resources, but your day-to-day critical business activities.

Any article on Marketing would be remiss if it did not include “The Marketing Mix”.

The major elements of a marketing strategy are the four P’s of marketing: product, place, price, and promotion. These four elements are self-reinforcing, and when coordinated, increase the sales appeal of a product or service. Small business owners must integrate these elements to maximize the impact of their product or service. All four P’s must reinforce the image of the product or service.

Stanley Winkelman in Fortune, (May 8, 1998, pp.14-15) stated that “ None of the modern marvels of computerized inventory control and point-of-sale telecommunications have replaced the need for the entrepreneur who understands the customer and can translate that into merchandise mix.”    

In building a successful business, It is imperative that the business owner understand the product life cycle, recognize that any activity involving movement of goods to the point of consumer purchase provides place utility, Price affects both sales volume and profits, and the goals of a small company’s promotional effort are to create a brand image, to persuade customers to buy, and to develop brand loyalty.

REMEMBER: “ MARKETING IS AN INVESTMENT IN THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS.”

 

Nick Callazzo has more than 30 years of experience consulting to banks, insurance companies and financial institutions as well as coaching executives to help them improve their personal and professional performance. In 1985, Mr. Callazzo founded Resource Specialists, a consulting group that focuses primarily on helping companies identify behaviors that impeded either organizational or personal success. A former U.S. Marine, Mr. Callazzo is currently working with FastTrac’s Entrepreneurial program for veterans in order to help them improve their business acumen and, possibly, their profit margins.

What are the critical Success Factors that insure predictable sustainable profits?

They are a series of interrelated business activities. Although each activity is independent, together they position the business so it complies with lending institutions for acquiring financing, sales and marketing strategies for acquiring and retaining customers, operating policies and practices for recruiting and developing a loyal staff, financing strategies for delivering products and / or services and compensating employees. Also, there is a CEO’s Compass for monitoring and measuring all the business activities so timely and effective changes can be made to keep ‘On-Course’.

Where to start?

Like all successful operations, the business has to begin with a vision, an idea and how that idea will satisfy a person’s need or solve a company’s problem. It all begins with writing a business plan and developing that plan so it clearly defines the Strategic Plan (long-term) goals and outlines the Tactical Plan (short-term) goals so the vision and mission statements are aligned and attainable.

Once the business plan has been completed, the CEO’s Compass, a performance tracking system, can be implemented. This compass is an on-going performance improvement process. As the owner monitors and measures the business activities, he/she will not only be gathering data to identify what is working well but recognizing business activities that need improvement.

As a result of this data-gathering process, the owner will gain insight and have information to make changes in any one of the four primary areas that Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, said is crucial for business success: Manpower, Materials, Methods and Machinery (Technology).

After analyzing the data, the owner has the opportunity to evaluate the impact of the information and prioritize what changes to make to the business plan so  the operation stays ‘On-Course’ and the activities stay aligned with the vision / mission insuring continued success. Change is the only thing constant in business.

The System is the Solution.

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do. But, if you know where you want to go (vision), you need a system and a compass to stay ‘On-Course’ and achieve your mission. Therefore, we invite you to review the modules listed below so you can become familiar with the critical success factors that impact personal performance, productivity and profitability and continued success.

 

Nick Callazzo has more than 30 years of experience consulting to banks, insurance companies and financial institutions as well as coaching executives to help them improve their personal and professional performance. In 1985, Mr. Callazzo founded Resource Specialists, a consulting group that focuses primarily on helping companies identify behaviors that impeded either organizational or personal success. A former U.S. Marine, Mr. Callazzo is currently working with FastTrac’s Entrepreneurial program for veterans in order to help them improve their business acumen and, possibly, their profit margins.