Friday, September 23, 2005

Human Capital: Solving A Recurring Business Problem?

When it comes to entrepreneurial firms growing in the next few years, Andrew Sherman, author and business growth guru, sees human capital as one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face. “This is a real problem,” he said. “Keeping good people, motivating good people and figuring out how to pay them properly is very important.”
Sherman said the real problem is a lack of “old-fashioned loyalty.” “It is not always the employees fault,” he said. “It is a two-way street. Employers need to show a commitment to people. You get what you give. If you treat employees like a true peer, they will probably stick around for a long time.
“Smaller companies need to understand what it is going to take to hold onto good people as they compete with larger companies with bigger benefits in era of reduced loyalty. Our children are growing up in an era where they are watching their parents switch jobs every three years. Small-business owners need to develop a compensation system, a motivation system and a culture that keeps employees. It’s not just about money. Everyone wants money, but people want other things as well. Small companies are in a great position to deliver big on those other things.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Want Business Growth: Look Within

When it comes to growing your small business, entrepreneurs need to look within, which means leveraging intellectual capital, according to business growth guru and author Andrew Sherman.
“Not enough small-business owners and entrepreneurs understand the assets they have developed,” said Sherman, named one of Furtune Small Business’ “Top 10 Minds in Small Business.” Sherman is a recognized author, lecture, lawyer and columnist on legal and strategic issues affecting business growth. He is the author of 14 business strategy books, which have sold almost one billion copies.
“One of my big rallying charges is for small-business owners to recognize the treasures they have and figure out ways to use that to fuel their businesses,” he said. “There are so many wasted opportunities.”
For example, a company that developed an excellent training program for its own employees might be able to leverage that work into opportunities in the training industry. This could create a new revenue stream from an asset already paid for.
“The great thing is you don’t have to be a large company to take advantage of these types of opportunities,” he said.
Sherman believes outsourcing can be another avenue for small business growth. “Big companies don’t want to outsource everything to India and China,” he said. “Many small firms need to get more proactive in this outsourcing issue. Look for opportunities where you can save these companies money by taking over certain tasks. There are dozens of industry categories of outsourcing opportunities for small companies to take advantage of. Outsourcing doesn’t have to be off-shore, but only if the small-business owners are being proactive.”