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Mary Ann Elliott President & CEO MAE-LLC Web site: www.maelliott.com Building A Business UNCP September 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Mary Ann Elliott President & CEO MAE-LLC Web site: www.maelliott.com Building A Business UNCP September 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mary Ann Elliott President & CEO MAE-LLC Web site: Building A Business UNCP September 2009

2 Can a Small Business Prosper in the Current Environment?  “Business will change more in the next ten years than in the past 50.”  Bill Gates  “Understand with great clarity what creates value for your consumer, and don’t be afraid to deliver.”  Readers Digest Oct. 09 2

3 What Can I Tell You ?  First-hand experiences.  Understand the roles and responsibilities of being a small business owner.  There’s a LOT more to being successful than --- getting a business started. 3

4 Small Businesses Drive the Economy  Plus Factors  Small Business Account for:  94% of all businesses  93% of employees  83% of GNP  Known for innovation, responsiveness, and low overhead  Negative Factors  Lack of infrastructure  Lack of Capital  Entrepreneurial spirit leads firms to take on more than can be achieved in a quality and profitable manner 4

5 The Ingredients The basic ingredients required in a successful business:  People  Business Plan  Line of Credit  Process and Procedures  Listening Skills 5

6 1. People  Founders Commitment and Expertise  Solid Management Team  Benefits Package  Without a solid benefits package it is difficult to retain staff 6

7 2. Business Plan  What is the strategic direction for the firm? If the founder has not developed a business plan or not articulate a Corporate Business vision --- you do not have a viable business.  Proverbs  An old Indian quote “When you don’t know where you are going any path will take you there.”  Biblical Proverb “For waging war you need guidance and for victory many advisors.”  A ship without a rudder runs in circles, unknown. 7

8  Today’s web page is the equivalent of yesterday's storefront window.  Spend $ to develop professional web site  Keep it maintained and up to date  Does it convey the firms products, values, management team, and support the business objectives?  Feature on your business cards E-Commerce Business Plan 8

9 3. Line of Credit  Firms must have a LOC to support:  Current work  First 90 days of any new projects or contracts  Inventory or facilities build out  Commercial endeavors – factor in bad debts / collection time / delivery issues  Customers / Government nor Prime is responsible for being the Small Business’s banker 9

10 Marketing to Revenue Cycle  Contract won - time line  Pre RFP stage: 1 year  Proposal draft and final: 6 months  Proposal submitted: Nov.  Award: June – work started in 30 days  First invoice: 60 days later, Aug  First payment received: days – Dec payment arrives, if no invoice problems.  Time line 2-years - based on award.  Cost in B&P $ k 10

11 4. Process and Procedures  In-place roles and responsibilities for key personnel. ISSO for mature firms.  Documented work flow for HOW the work will be accomplished, Ex:  Program Management  Help Desk and Trouble Tickets  Software QC 11

12 Impact of Failure  When a business fails it has far-reaching implications.  Commercial Entities  Local vendors and employees  Personal reputation  Government Contracts  Government agency and program office  The entire Small Business community (SBC)  The specific Small Business  Failure of a small business to perform is long remembered.  Hurts the next generation of SB firms. 12

13 5 Tenets of Building a Business 13

14 Small is Beautiful  Small firms actually have advantages:  Less capital invested in obsolete equipment.  Fewer organizational levels for fast decision process.  Greater commitment to meet clients expectations. 14

15 Conclusions  It has never been easier to go into business.  A good computer costs less than $1000  The web reaches the far corners of the earth;  Long-term successes depends on;  Management team  Targeted marketing  Sufficient LOC to stay afloat  Commercial:  Keeping customers pleased  Government:  Getting along with the Contract Officers and Client Program Managers 15

16  1991 Small subcontract from Navy  1992 Sub to Loral on CSCI Study  1994/1995 Sub to AT&T on CSCI project (full and open, lost bid, monitored contract)  1999 Battle Plans implemented for small business set-aside Pre-RFP  2000 RFP stage – 1 YEAR  2001 Award – VICTORY!  Value $2.1B – 10 yrs Multi-Year Marketing - DSTS-G 16


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