Tag Archives: business opportunities

Security Ideas for Strategic Planning

Was just reading interesting article on protective security measures by Scott Stewart in Stratfor. Turns out there are many similarities to Strategic Planning.

Author was in business of providing protective services to government officials, religious figures, royalty, business executives and ultra luxury individuals.

Professional protective security people certainly understand weapons and self defense. They realize that if they have to rely on these they actually have failed to do their job. True protective service entails anticipating situations and being prepared for them in advance to avoid confrontations. When confrontation is probable, goal is to structure confrontation on terms the protective service experts dictate.

Action is always faster than reaction. Just watch a football game. Proactive approaches involve “excellent situational awareness, thorough logistics planning, good security assessments, careful trip and individual site security advances, liaisons with counterparts and strict operational security. Protection teams can also employ powerful tools such as protective intelligence investigations, threat and psychological assessments of people with an unusual interest in the protectee, and countersurveillance detection teams.”

Leaders use the same approach when doing their strategic planning, whether it’s to address an emergency or a surprise in business, or to do the annual strategic plan, or long term plan based on business outlooks years out.

It’s already June, are you hitting your strategic plan for first half of year? What adjustments are necessary for second half of 2016? What are your plans for 2017 if economy holds strong? Starts to soften? Either nationally or just in your market or,selective market segments?

Quote of the Day-Sept. 6, 2015

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”
Henry Ford

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist the founder of the of Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique for mass production.

New Look to Hotel Industry Impacts Your Career

Hotel News Now, 4/15/15 had excellent panel discussion on how hotel industry has changed and what it means for owners.

The build and hold philosophy rarely works when brands require $2-3 MM in capital every 3-4 years. Owners are forced to turn properties. Likelihood of getting $2-3 MM back plus additional profit is unlikely.

That totally changes how business is managed.

  • Hotels require strategic thinking as well as operational thinking. Exit strategies are now as important as positioning strategy. Of course day-to-day operations are important, but they are only part of the equation to maximize the return on the asset.
  • Strategy is now changing how hotels are built. Why build it to last 100 years if you are going to sell it in 3 years. Strategy is also changing on renovations.  Owners no longer want to do one capital project a year when brands may change rules just after the project is done. Now owners want to wait until they know what the brands are demanding.
  • Guests used to compare hotels to home. Now they are comparing home to hotels. Guests expect hotels to be more technologically efficient than the guest is at home.
  • Owners are now doing better job using the napkin test. If it doesn’t pencil out on back of napkin, based on simple cost analysis, odds are it won’t pencil out using more detailed and sophisticated tools.
What does this mean for your career?

When you are interviewing look carefully at the physical hotel. Is it up to date? Getting tired?

ASK: When is your next pip planned? What importance do you place on keeping the brand? When does your franchise agreement come up for renewal?

If they look at you with a blank stare  talk about the above and mention part of your decision is based on likelihood the brand on the hotel will be downgraded. Good companies will welcome these questions and your perceived value to them will rise. If you get body language that indicates they didn’t like you asking, odds are you have hit the nail on the head. It’s unlikely they will help your career. Think long and hard about any offer they make.

Your interviewing needs to evolve as the industry is evolving.

Next Phase of QE Coming Soon

To listen to the media it appears that Quantitative Easing (QE) is a thing of the past.

According to Jonas Elmerraji that’s not the case at all.

The Fed fears deflation. Turns out the forward inflation is only 18 basis points above the level that started Q1, QE2, and Operation Twist. Forward inflation has not fallen below 2.2% since Post-2008.

When the Fed fears deflation they give the economy another round of QE. Next QE program  could start in 2015, perhaps earlier. The Fed will start talking about it before implementing it. Talk is cheap. Another QE program is expensive. Previous QE’s have not boosted the inflation rate as much as the Fed had hoped, nor as quickly.

What’s the implication for your business?

What’s the message in this? Watch for inflation rate to fall below 2.2%. Then step back and think about businesses that will benefit from another round of QE. How can your business offer more to attract customers from companies/organizations/governmental agencies? What can you implement to get more of that business.

Next how will QE affect your business. Which vendors will it benefit that you need to leverage on price? Which vendors will be adversely affected?  What’s your plan? Would another round of QE help or hurt your prices? If it will hurt what can you offer as inducement to maintain your prices and margins?

What’s the implication to you personally?

QE always increase some prices and decreases others. Historically it seems to increase prices on the basics we all buy. Big ticket items typically don’t increase as much. Likewise, QE has implications for your personal investments. Spend few minutes evaluating your investments to see which will benefit. Be sure the benefits of selling assets will more than offset the tax consequences.

QE isn’t just a Fed program. It has important implications for your company and for your personal finances. Histrorically we know that inflation dropping below 2.2% historically has triggered another round of QE (regardless of what the government calls it.)

This ‘N That 4/24/14

Central Planning Always Fails in the End-Now it’s Yellen’s turn to learn.
Ms. Yellen is strong proponent of central planning. Shortcoming is not using practical rules. She prefers economic models with names like “optimal control” or “communications policy.”  To Yellen, ‘optimal control” equates to abandoning current conditions and substituting a policy to keep rates lower longer. She believes that by communicating the Fed’s intentions individuals will “get the message,” making decisions on investments, spending, and borrowing based on promises of lower rates. That in turn will lead to increased demand, strong economic growth and higher employment. When that occurs the Fed can start to withdraw support so inflation doesn’t occur.

That’s her theory. How about reality? The Fed is trying to change consumer psychology. The trouble occurs if it succeeds. Once consumers change philosophy it’s very hard to get them to change back. Kind of like putting the tooth paste back into the tube. The Fed would like inflation at 3% or so. Fed believes they can control it. But like all central planning that rarely happens.
We live in a bi-polar world. There are practical solutions. This is longer than practical here. Published on SecurEmploy Blog 4/12/14 Just scroll down.
It’s All a Matter of Perspective. We are all aware of self-serving nature that fill politicians minds, and how dysfunctional our government is. But the larger picture is pretty good and we each need to remind the pessimists of the world how good we have it. We have a stable “democracy.” A military power that is the primary defender of the free world. Our economy is still the largest. Our dollar is still involved in 87% of currency transactions. Our financial markets are the freest. Our free enterprise system is still envied. Our economy is expanding. Unemployment just hit a 5 year low. New technologies are driving additional and new manufacturing.
71% of US workers actively looking or open to new opportunities. If 71% are looking for new jobs how come we are making recruiting employees so difficult? Only two things are needed for successful recruitment. First, make sure recruiters are spinning the dial…calling prospects, calling peers in position to ask for leads, etc. Second, Require every manager in your organization to refer at least 4 “A” candidates to your company every year. What’s an “A” candidate? The types of employees you need the most. Recruiting should be the responsibility of the managers who have the direct responsibility for the function. Remember: Every new employee should make a contribution to profits = to at least 5 times their salary the first 12 months on the job. Sales people 10x.
Degenerate Capitalism. What’s implication for our industry? Three thoughts. This one is little longer than fits here. Published on SecurEmploy blog April 23. Just scroll down.
Foreign Investment. Last year, foreigners invested a record $38.7 billion in commercial property, according to real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle. That’s a 44% increase from 2012.

Ask Employees to Tell Their Friends About Your Job Openings We all know the value of employee referrals. Have you asked your employees to tell friends and family about your openings? Or do you just assume they do that? Expand your network of referrals. Be sure to offer an incentive for any referral hired.
French social commenter and political thinker Montesquieu once wrote, “There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”
Why is Russia really interested in Ukraine? Why doesn’t US have a dog in this fight. SecurEmploy blog post 4/21. Just scroll down.
Crimea is resource rich. Rest of Ukraine is resource poor. Crimean resources are very important to Russia. Without Crimea, Ukraine can not continue to exist. Russia can threaten and bluster but starve Ukraine into submission. Inflation in Ukraine is already at 25%. Russia is Ukraine’s largest trading partner making up 70% of Ukraine’s exports. Take away Crimean commodities and Ukraine doesn’t have enough to export to survive.
From Chicago: “In Chicago, armed civilians justifiably killed three times as many violent criminals in past 5 years as did the police.’”Civilians defending themselves captured, wounded, killed or scared off criminals in 75% of confrontations.” Professor Don B Kates Jr, St Louis University law professor, Laissez Faire Today.
China’s trade agreements to use Yuan to replace $. Good or bad?

Already, China has trade agreements with Brazil, Australia, the European Union, and other nations. Most international trade is conducted in dollars

Last year, the yuan surpassed the euro as the second-most-used currency in the world… It made up 8.7% of global trade in October 2013 compared with 6.6% for the euro. In 2012, the yuan only made up 1.9% of trade compared with the euro’s 7.9%.

If the world rejects the dollar in favor of the yuan – or any other standard for trade – it would end US ability to print a limitless number of dollars and issue limitless amounts of debt

OR WOULD IT?American public seems to have no ability to stop government printing presses. Politicians certainly have no reason to stop the presses. Perhaps the only thing that will get US to address our issues is by losing the Dollars position as world currency of choice.
Two numbers the government can’t fudge. Employment-to-population (currently just under 59%) and Participation Rate the actual percentage of the population, of working age, that is working (currently 63%, down from a high of 67% in 2000). US had 118.5 million full time and 26 million part time workers in 2013. That means that 37.5% of residents are working to support the other 62.5%. That’s not sustainable. Only part of that 62.5% are children.
Current Career Opportunities Corporate, Hotel, and Resort opportunities.

Training for Revenue Generation by Ed Iannarella.


It’s All a Matter of Perspective

We are all aware of self-serving nature that fill politicians minds, and how dysfunctional our government is.

But the larger picture is pretty good and we each need to remind ourselves and the pessimists of the world how good we have it.

  • We have a stable “democracy.”
  • A military power that is the primary defender of the free world.
  • Our economy is still the largest.
  • Our dollar is still involved in 87% of currency transactions.
  • Our financial markets are the freest.
  • Our free enterprise system is still envied.
  • Our economy is expanding more than 4%.
  • Unemployment just hit a 5 year low.
  • New technologies are driving additional and new manufacturing.

Turn Every Option into Opportunity

Every day we have opportunities to turn contacts into opportunities. We may be working room at an event or conference, on business appointment, or just create an opportunity for a chance encounter with someone we don’t know.  We never know when an introduction or contact will generate unexpected business.

Laura Schwartz, author and former Director of Events during the Clinton Administration,  described Clinton as excellent multitasker. But when it was time to meet people he totally focused on the people in front of him. He referred to it as “It’s showtime.” She says”We must be present to win. When we’re present, we’re going to learn more and give more and that’s when we will have the moment that will change our lives.

Focus on what you can do for the person you are talking to. Don’t think about what that person can do for you. Until you listen carefully you won’t know what either of you can do for each other. Laura said Larry King used to say “I never learned anything when I was talking.” Listening allows us to gather information. That can fuel ideas and potential working relationships.

Two key points she makes:

  •  “Meetings and events are most effective way to communicate messages.”
  • “We do not host events. We host guests.”


Laura Schwartz was Director of Events during the Clinton Administration.There she was responsible for more than 1,000 White House events. Today she is professional speaker, television commentator, master of ceremonies for non-profit events, and author of Eat, Drink, and Succeed.

Above from cover story in Feb. 2104 Smart Meetings. SmartMeetings.com

Are You a Top 12% HR Organization?

HR Departments in the Top 12% know how to translate and integrate talent challenges to the overall business strategies of the business.

The other 88% of HR organizations? Still spend majority of their time on reactive activities and being bogged down.

Top HR organizations make a point of understanding the business challenges facing each Department. With the help of the management teams in each Department they structure onboarding and retention strategies, training, compensation, coaching and the motivational steps to keep the best employees.

Aberdeen Group ran a survey of 1300 business leaders. 6 of business leaders Top 10 challenges are work force related.

HR organizations at the top not only understand the business challenges of each Department, they also identify how to measure the ROI of all HR initiatives. Measurement drives the performance of any organization.

HR must continually be challenged, and challenge themselves to understand and measure the contributions from their efforts. When it comes to staffing, that means understanding the skill sets the organization is going to need going forward. Often those skills are different than exist now. Then HR needs to anticipate and recruit in advance.

The days of reactive HR Departments is rapidly ending. Reactive HR organizations will find their services sub-contracted out. Pro-active HR organizations that measure the impact of their performance on ROI will be in demand…and those HR people will finally start to get the respect and pay they deserve.

Building a Talent First Culture

People who run companies with a Talent First Culture make more money than their peers. Their businesses also are more successful.

We all know hiring and retaining top talent is the key to solving business challenges and building profits. But how and where to start.

Building a highly talented business culture starts by engaging your employees. Both management and staff level. All can contribute. It’s often amazing the insights various employees have on how to improve your business.

A key to any business is improving the processes used to run the business. The hotel industry is often slow to adopt and develop streamlined/new/better processes. Staff employees are often the key to identifying process improvements. They are familiar with the details of their jobs and departments.Often they have great ideas on how to improve the department while making their jobs easier, and themselves more efficient.

Companies with a Talent First Culture typically are innovative. Because employees are engaged they can be quick to respond. Innovation is concentrated first on improving revenues and profits. You can’t save your way to profitability. Innovate.

Improved processes and innovation lead to improved productivity and profits.

Companies with a ‘Talent First” mentality quickly become known for their agility to take advantage of opportunities. Agility also entails turning challenges to opportunities.

The beauty of a Talent First Culture? It starts with an attitude. Any business person can do it within the frame of their job. Changing a mindset and engaging employees doesn’t require capital or more staff…at least initially.

Economic Fundamentals-Making Them Work for You:Tom’s Take

US became a world power based on our manufacturing prowess. Our world role as a manufacturer of products has greatly decreased.

This recession is the first instance that the government is creating most of the jobs (since the Great Depression.) Their attempt of course is to restart the economy.

Unfortunately, the loose spending policy and stimulus by the Federal Government, and the willingness of State, County, and City Governments to continue overspending does not contribute to a sustainable recovery. Our government continues to deal in microeconomics instead of macroeconomic fundamentals. The governmental policies continue to create asset bubbles. Sooner or later, like all bubbles, they will pop.

How do we protect our businesses?

Understanding the above is the first step. Second step is protecting our companies by minimizing the business we do with asset categories that are bubbles, like commercial backed mortgage securities. If we have to deal with them, then we each need to recognize we are dealing with risky markets and we need to develop alternatives as fast as we can.

There’s nothing wrong with doing business with risky sectors of the market as long as we understand them and don’t depend on them.

How do we protect our businesses? If government at all levels is taking a larger role in all aspects of society, then we need to structure our businesses to attract more government business.

Some of that business will be directly from the government. More business can come from various businesses and organizations that do business with governmental agencies close to you. Identify and market to those companies to encourage them to do business with you when they are in town.

Be proactive identifying business opportunities based on today’s market conditions.