Big View

 

 Keeping up a competitive advantage based on innovation and change is an imperative, but increasingly difficult to do. Why? Well, it might be because a company’s view of the world is not as clear as it once was. To gain clarity around a company’s strategic options, we suggest revisiting the big picture first. One way

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Fast Learners

 

 A group of 10 Belarusian mid-size business owners, entrepreneurs, economic developers, investors and an attorney left Raleigh, NC more knowledgeable and pumped up after the venture funding and growth strategy training from the SBTDC. We were also energized by the exchange of ideas and experiences. Working with International Focus, a Raleigh-based organization, the SBTDC helped

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Around the Bend

 

 Every business leader wants greater organizational involvement to help his or her company grow and prosper. With planning season just around the bend, we have a few suggestions for your consideration. First, get started planning early. Second, build a framework and agenda for your planning activities – one that engages the entire leadership team. Then,

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Develop a Local Contracting “Action Plan”

 

 The landscape of Federal purchasing is awash with opportunities to conduct market research and gather information on potential customers, competitors and prime contractors. If your company’s products or services are more oriented toward local government customers, however, gathering data and finding out who your actual customer is can be tougher. I suggest some key steps

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We Are All Guilty

 

 We all live with a certain amount of stress caused by having to make decisions in an increasingly complex world. Too little time, insufficient data, and shifting priorities all contribute to our reliance on decision-making shortcuts called heuristics. These shortcuts – rules of thumb, educated guess, modeling, common sense — are actually overlearned ways of

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It Depends

 

 Is it true that reducing the cost of support – General and Administrative Expenses (G&A) – improves profits? One response might be “it depends.” In a given industry, it is common for financial benchmarks to show competitors’ G&A expenses, as a percent of sales, varying by a factor of two. Yet, at either extreme, a

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Re-evaluating the Commercialization Process

 

 Successful technology-based companies are always under pressure from competitors offering better, faster, cheaper alternatives. In order for a company to remain competitive, it must be committed to the continuous evolution of its product, whether in terms of technical features or commercial benefits (new markets, pricing, etc.). Companies that successfully survive competitive pressures are those that

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Resonate in a Practical Way

 

 Glenn Llopis , a Forbes contributor, writes: “Remember this: we are transitioning from a knowledge based to a wisdom based economy. It’s no longer about what you know – but what you do with what you know. In the wisdom based economy, it’s always about trust, transparency and collaboration. A client relationship is about adding

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Constant Tension

 

 Some say, every business has three primary directives: 1) optimize the present situation, 2) correct or abandon past practices that are holding the firm back, and 3) change the company’s business model to address future competitive conditions by turning innovative ideas into action. In summary, this is a simple three-step formula for success! As for

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Creating Wealth

 

 The funding landscape has changed dramatically since 2008; however, having sufficient capital to operate and grow a business is vital to its success and survival. The best course of action to having access to capital is to run a business as an entity that creates wealth (value). Creating wealth means making decisions that contribute to

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Don’t Say Strategy

 

 In these complex times we need strategy more than ever to help drive your business toward growth. Martin Reeves starts his TED Talk, “Your Strategy Needs a Strategy, “by telling a story about an initial meeting with a client and being told, on the way into the client’s office, that the client dislikes the word “strategy.”

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