Useful Business Lessons can be found everywhere – Most recently from the Horsemeat Scandal

A thorough look at this situation based on available information reveals that there must have been flaws in the supply chain, poor risk management practices and elements of greed. These tendencies must be avoided if you wish to have sustainable growth in business. Note that the suppliers and retailers involved in this chain may end up losing more than they have gained from this scheme.

I am one who strongly believe that lifelong lessons that can be used for improving your business venture can be found in virtually every aspect of life. You just need to be a little more discerning and spot things differently. Sometimes, all you need to do is spot “order” out of a situation that is in complete “disorder”.

Before now, I have written two posts on business lessons from the US Republican Nomination race and the Football Pitch. Now, the Horse-meat scandal across Europe is another area to pick relevant lessons from, especially as the major actors are currently trading blames

The big question for me is:

  • What happened to quality assurance checks at the different points of exchange of these meat products?

If samples were tested from the original butchery through the points until they became meatballs, definitely these external elements (horse meat and pork) must have been detected somewhere along the chain. I am really amazed that this can happen in Europe. What happened to risk management practices along the overall chain?

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Business Lessons from the US Republican Nomination Race – Free E-book attached

Deear Entrepreneurs and 9japreneurs,

This is February, the second month of the year, telling us that January is gone for good. The year has started on an interesting note with the Republican Party in the US holding elections across the country to nominate its Presidential candidate. I have decided to draw business lessons from the current process on the heels of the wins by Rick Santorium and Ron Paul.

These two seem to have been the laggards in this race, always coming in third or fourth, behind the front-runner Mitt Romney and the Challenger, Newt Gingrich. Basically, this is similar to your competitors in the market place. If Rick and Ron had given up before now, they would never have achieved the wins recorded yesterday. Remember “Quitters never win”  and “Winners never quit”.

According to one website, Santorium whom is a devoted conservative stated that “Wow. Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota,” after his wins in these states. He might never have known if he quit. So, in your business practices, stay resilient, try out new products, marketing plans, business pitches and the like with a risk management mindset.

Develop a plan to attack the market challenger and even the market leader. Come up with innovative solutions that will delight your customers and keep them coming back to you.

As I leave you with these few thoughts, my pre-Valentine gift to my readers is the e-book 9 things Successful People do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson

 

 

 

Tips for Managing Risk within your Business Venture

Most often, entrepreneurs and other small business owners think that only large businesses and multi-national corporations should be concerned about the subject of risk management. However, this is a very wrong notion as the impact of a risk exposure can be more fatal to smaller businesses than large ones. Remember that the large businesses have deeper pockets and can afford to write off big amounts as “extraordinary occurrences”.

This week, I wish to share simple tips that can aid with the management of risks faced by small businesses. Generally, risk management refers to the practice of identifying, understanding and mitigating occurrences that can prevent the achievement of business objectives. Thus, the most important thing is to have a clear understanding of what risks your business might face.

Understanding the Risks in your Business

On a general note the key risks faced by most businesses (regardless of size) include operational risks, credit risks, reputational risk and market risk. At a more specific level, this can include employee medical risk, IT risk, travel risks etc. The key to this understanding is to review all possible areas and identify the things that can affect business objectives. This process is referred to risk identification and assessment in the corporate world. “Assessment”, is used here because the business process owners usually go on to assess the identified risk in terms of its possible impact and likelihood of occurrence.

Simple Risk Assessment for Small Businesses

To achieve this in a small business setting, it would help to sit with your overall team, even the janitors and doormen in your employ and go through a structured way to identify all possible risks. Remember, during this process, no risk identified is stupid. After taking down all the possible risks, you can then rate it on a scale of 1-10 via voting to determine the risk impact and its likelihood. Naturally, the high risks will be at the top and vice-versa for the low risks.

Designing Mitigation Strategies

After identification and assessment, the next thing will be to decide which risks (usually the top 5, 10 or 20) to focus on. You cannot focus on all risks and should structure the mitigation process in a way such that the effort to be put in will not be more than the benefits to be derived. This is very key. All members of the team can contribute to suggestions for the mitigation strategies. Though, it is usually helpful if you get an external consultant at this stage, because they are independent and can come up with different and better ways of managing your business risks.

We will be glad to hear your feedback on how this helps and give your further suggestions at a more specific and personal level if you desire.