Category Archives: Ideas and concepts

Business – You are what you say

It has happened to me a lot, and I bet it has happened to you too.

You are what you say, people judge you and build concepts of you from what you said, and maybe even how you acted in certain situations.

The same is true for companies. The way they communicate with you, the channels they use for this (email, phone, twitter), how they say it and when they say it are all relevant things from which you build up the image you have from them.

The only issue here is that you most of the time act and say things in one tone, with one objective and one mind, you are yourself. But the company is not itself. A company has different tones, different objectives, different motivations and different minds working in it, a company has as many minds as employees.

That’s where the importance of communication steps in. Employees have to know that whatever they say, do, even think while on the job, is what the company is saying, doing and thinking. Employees have to know that they are the company in front of the customer.

So a institutionalized communication policy is not only good for a company, it is vital for its success.

Today’s picture does relate to this in some way, focusing on the channels. If you want to be taken seriously as a company, please use a serious logo, serious banners, email address, website, twitter account and so on. And please, don’t be like this tourist transport company: (sadly the image is pretty bad, I took it with my phone while driving behind it)

Advertisements

Culture – Southern Hemisphere Christmas

I want to start this post by saying I’m not a big Christmas fan, I’m not into having a Christmas tree, or giving presents, or spending time with the big family that gets together once a year but really can not stand each other.

I was raised with this culture, and I would sure like to spend a nice evening/night with my family, but I don’t need a religious date as an excuse for it.

But thats not what I’m concerned about right now, no. This post is to make you think about something else.

About this:

Whats wrong with this you ask? Well, for me, almost everything.

Leaving out the fact that “Santa Claus” was not a fat bearded man with a coca cola in his hand (yes, we can talk about that A LOT too), I want to stress the fact that he is in a snowy landscape, with winter clothes and snow boots.

The fact that this image is used AND culturally accepted in the southern hemisphere makes me wonder.

More than half of the world has never seen a white Christmas, and a big part of it does not know what snow feels like. Half the world can not relate to this image, or at least should not relate to it.

We are bombarded with this image since we are kids. And of course, when we are kids we don’t care, we don’t ask why the bearded man walks through that white powder…. we just want the presents he brings.

So I ask myself. How much do (or did) the creators of this image care about the people? Isn’t it time someone creates a “Santa” most of the whole world can relate to?

We were joking with some friends the other day about the caribbean santa, a tall black man, sitting below a coconut tree, giving away free fruit juice drinks and playing music. I know this is not what a global “Santa” would be, but definitely a fun idea to elaborate.

Business Friday – Risk taking

Ill start this post by saying it straight up: I don’t like to take risks.

I’m pretty risk-averse when it comes to my life. I like to have things planned beforehand, and not leave anything to chance. I guess its all part of my controlling nature.

But heres the thing, we need to take risks in life. No one of us is going to have all the effects and results of his/her decisions mapped out, ever. Uncertainty is just a huge part of the game, and will always be.

And of course we could say the same about business. Most business decisions are risky. A lot of them include minor risks, like the chance of lose one sale, or even increasing or reducing sales a little. Other might end up with a labor strike that gets you kicked from the company.

The essence of this post is that I’m trying to say that we all should embrace the fact that, apart from the decisions we have to take that put us at certain risk, we must know that there will be moments when our decisions in life that will put other people at risk. And thats ok, because there will be moments when we will be put at risk by their choices, their way of thinking.

Of course, most of the time, if there are an array of possibilities we can choose from, no one will get the short straw, and either everyone loses or everyone wins… and lets hope for the first.

 

Montivational post – Change it up

Wait… today is Tuesday…. and this does not look like its going to be a post about games….

What am I doing to my Blog? Me? The most structured guy I know…. (well, maybe the second most structured one) Am I changing the order of posts? Am I posting something out of the day it should be posted? You know what? Yes, i am. I´m posting a motivational post on Tuesday. And you know why?….

BECAUSE I CAN… (and also because it supports the whole idea of the post, but mainly because I can…)

Well now, where am i going with this you might ask?. I guess I’m just trying to say that sometimes you need to change things up. If you are a structured person, and need to break your own structure. If you are of the “go along” people, and you need to lay down a plan and act accordingly.

Sounds simple, but it surely is not. I know I feel very unease if I have no plan, if something gets in the way of my plan or even if someone just suggests to change my plan. I like to have it all mapped out in my head.

And then days like today come, and I think I need to change it up a little. See how it feels, see where it takes me. Make me understand things from the other perspective.

Please don’t go out and break a leg or a hand (wink) on purpose now. And don’t make a plan of doing nothing the next few days  just to be able to stick to it. Keep on being you, but take a walk on the other side for once, you might see or understand a few things differently.

 

 

 

 

Business Friday – Do it or buy it

Welcome to “Business Friday – Do it or Buy it” or “The basic concept behind franchising”

So there’s an interesting concept in business planning and development called “do it or buy it”. Its a fairly simple concept really and nevertheless its the cornerstone of the franchising method.

Basically, when you want to build up a company, expand, reach out to new markets or even change some aspects of your business, you can choose between doing it by yourself, meaning you will be creating it from scratch or buying something an already existing, proven to work.

Lets do a quick example to make things clear:

I want to start selling my products in another country. So one aspects i have to make sure work for my expansion plans to be successful is the distribution. I can build it from scratch, buy trucks or planes, get warehouses and hire people, get things arranged to move my products around by myself. Or I can just “buy” some space in another companies distribution network. Let them distribute my products for a fee. Using their trucks, their warehouses, their people, and their knowledge.  (Technically, i could also buy their company, but lets assume i don’t have that amount of money).

Now if the other country is my neighbor country i might be willing to invest and make all the arrangements myself, but what if its far away, or i don’t really have much idea about how things work there, and cultures are very different. The beauty of this is, if i use another company for it, they already have the experience, are used to the countries cultural environment, know the people and how they have to be handled, know how to do business there.

So the franchise concept is built on this idea. I have something that works, I sell you the right to use it, so you save yourself a lot of work in finding stuff out. I give you all my knowledge, experience and findings in this business area, and you just pay me and go do it elsewhere or for someone else, where I would not go anyway. You on the other hand, add you local knowledge to it, your cultural background, your drive and passion for a new venture, and of course, your money.

So thats the way a lot of the big fast-food chains, coffee shops and clothing companies work. They sell you their idea, get a incredibly fast expansion rate and you put your coins into a working business concept.

 

Motivational Mondays – Your life’s checklist

Hey! do you have one?

If you do, I’m glad for you. If not, I highly recommend you do.

If you don’t know what i mean, here’s the deal:

You must surely have an idea of what you want in life, what you need to accomplish in the near future. But do you have a checklist of what you have already accomplished? How about a list of things you always wanted when you were young and now have?

Generally in life we try to look forward, and that is great, its the way to live. But we usually forget about what we have, what we have already accomplished, were we have been and what we have seen. We tend to want a lot of what we don’t have now, and forget that we have a lot of what we used to want.

So I recommend having a life’s checklist. You don’t actually have to write it down, nor do the checks anywhere, but list and mentally cross out things you accomplish and have.

Now whats this good for, you might ask? It helps you realize all you have done and all things you own and/or belong to you in some way. To look at yourself from an outside point of view, to put some perspective in your life.

You may even feel a little successful. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Montivational Mondays – Retake old projects

Todays post is so much a post about motivation as a lesson to myself.

With this “Retake old projects” I mean a few things, but mainly the concept is “don’t let your long term projects be eclipsed by your daily activities”.

Last weeks I have been somewhat exceptionally busy. I turned in the last version of my Thesis at my University, we had a big almost two week long exposition at work, where I was involved almost every day and had small to no access to the web. That added to the fact that my usual work stuff was falling behind.

But enough about that, now im back, i have some time for me again and id like to retake this project. Because in some way, this is what I want to do. This is not a “I want to write something today” kind of blog for me. I try to put heart and brains into it, I take it as a long term commitment with myself.

What Im trying to say is, theres daily life and theres your long term projects. Theres what you do everyday, that will give you daily joy, you can feel good if you accomplish something everyday, and theres the long run, in the long run you need to have had long term projects. Someday, when you look back, if you have endured in your long term projects you will feel you have made something with your life.

Long term projects need commitment, need time, need you to fight through, and they usually are not immediate and don’t need you urgently. Thats why sometimes they are left aside, taken over by the urgency of day to day issues.  Today, the long term project I am retaking is this blog, I left it aside due to other activities, but Im not going to let it die, for some months or years from now I will look back, and see a blog with hundererds of posts, and feel good with myself.

Now you… think about those projects you left behind. Think about which ones you can or want to retake. Make yourself time for them. It might be a pain now, but it will bring you joy some time from now.

Motivational Monday – Tactic and Strategic

What are tactic and strategic plans? These are terms or concepts used a lot for the old time war or combat planing, the all so current business constructing or conceptualizing, or even for game play.

But what about your tactics in life? Or your strategic goals? Do you define your actions or daily decisions by a target, by something you like to archive in life or do you make them based only on your current life state?

Most people will tell you that you need to have your ideas straight, your stuff sorted out, to have all your priorities in order. And thats what these short and long term goals (called tactic and strategic plans) will help you archive.

So, how do you define the tactics and strategies of your life?

Simply do the following exercise: Ask yourself

Tactic: “What do i want to have done by the end of this year?”

Strategic: “Where do i see myself in 5 yeas from now?”

Do it more than once, think about it a few times, maybe with a time lapse of a week or so between them. Write two or three things down every time. After a month you can review the list, clean it up  (hopefully cross out some things already archived) and make a definite list of your short and medium term goals.

You may want to share this list with the closest people around you, so they get to know your motivations and understand your decisions better. This list will be good as a guide in a relationship too.

If you already use this method i hope I refreshed your memory, to review your goals,  if you don’t, i hope it helps you in some way.

Business Friday – Perception

This is going to be short, because it is all summed up in one simple sentence:

Truth is  a myth, perception is reality.

What does this mean? Well, lets say no matter how good your intentions are with your company, how great your product is, whatever the customers say about you will become the truth.

The fact is that customer trust other customers a lot more than what they trust you. So it does not really matter what you tell them, if they tell something else to each other you are in disadvantage.

Take the example from Coca-colas water Dasani, which (at least in Uruguay and Argentina) was called to be unhealthy and dangerous for children to drink. No matter what the company said, how many analyses they did just to show the public it was not true, the sales for dasani would not increase.

Peoples perception is whats dictates what is true and what is not in business terms.

Business Friday – Innovation

Today I heard a some news. Good news specially for our country, but good news for the rest of the world too.

Maldonado, Uruguay has seen the opening of the first School of innovation and business development in South America. Second in Latin America only to the “Universidad Madero” in Puebla, Mexico.

This is good news, because the concept of innovation and development has been taken too lightly for a long time in business schools. Innovation is a fundamental part of growing enterprises and markets around the world.

The university, located in Maldonado, about 120km from Montevideo, Uruguay, is offering a 4 year course that includes some very interesting subjects, like entrepreneurship, creativity and marketing in new environments, all very valuable concepts for a company.

No matter how big or how small, no matter if it deals in products or services, if they are b2b or b2c (business to business or business to customer),  innovation has to be on a companies prime cultural assets.

Heres the link to their site: