In a recent article by the Times of San Diego, a recent startup out of San Diego, Crowd Clock was asked five questions about the company and how it was founded. Entrepreneur, Yashar Ahmadpour was tired of making appointments and decided to fix his problem by developing an application that would do it for him. He created his company Crowd Clock as cloud-based, independent appointment setting tool that can actually be integrated into many different applications. He initially started the company when his father, a physician, was complaining about how there is no efficient way for his patients to book times to come into the office. People would call the office, but calls be be lost and the whole process was very disorganized and frustrating for both parties. Because of the problems his father was having, Crowd Clock was born. When asked about how the app “relieves the pain” of setting appointments for its users, Ahmadpour responds by saying that the app not only sets appointment times but takes a more comprehensive look at the schedule of the user, Does the user have any other appointments today? What else do they have going on? The CrowdClock app takes all of these factors into consideration and presents the best times available for you and your schedule. The Crowd Clock team recently did a silent release of the app to the Apple App Store where it served as a sort of case study to see what type of appointments people make on a daily basis. Are they making appointments with businesses or friends? These are the type of questions that the company is asking themselves and from there they are better able to develop the application to work better for everyone. Moving forward the company is working on a new secret project that will be out later one. It will be interesting to see if people use this app and if it will grow in popularity.
In a recent article by, philSTAR.com, the kitchen equipment supplier company, HKR is moving into other business ventures such as business development. Not only is HKR a leader in providing high-quality kitchen equipment, they are also leaders in helping build businesses as well. The HKR company was established in 1993 with the aim to serve quick-service restaurants the necessary kitchen equipment they need in order to run their restaurants.
Today, the company has over 120 employees and has services branches in several cities such as Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and Baguio and other locations in the Philippines. Over time the companies clients have expanded just restaurants to include country clubs, resorts, airports, institutional kitchens and many more. As one could imagine from a kitchen equipment supplier- they have many brands that they supply. Some notable equipment companies include- US brand Henny Penny which supplies pressure fryers, open fryers, rotisseries, and heated displays. Other brands include-Rational and Irinox. HKR has also become innovative in what types of supplies they offer. Recently, the company began offering innovative and energy- efficient equipment such as the Henny Penny Evolution Elite which actually reduces the shortening amount in frying by 40 percent. In addition to sales, HKR’s other services include supply of genuine parts, preventive maintenance installation, testing and commissioning- just to name a few. In addition to all of the roles they play in kitchen supplies, the company has also developed a Planned Maintenance program (PM) aimed at minimizing business downtime by extending care and rehabilitation of equipment no longer covered by warranty.
The company remains hopefully that the future of the hospitality and food service business will continue to expand and grow. It envisions itself to one day grow and expand to other industries, such as industrial equipment lines and service various locations in Asia. HKR is at the top of their game and it will be interesting to see how the company expands and grows as time goes by.
In a blog post written by Alex Taub on the Dwolla Blog, he describes easy steps on how to grown your startup business and your network. Alex goes on to describe that in the business world, you are only as good as the people around you, or as they call it in the business world, your network. This is basic business development 101. There becomes an extra step to fixing your problems if you don’t have at least one degree of separation to a person that can help you with the solution.
Alex goes on to give the reader a couple of ways to help grow your network. The first and easiest way to meet people and network is by attending networking events. In whatever industry you belong to, there will be industry gatherings around your area so that people in the same industry can meet. This is a prime example of how to increase your network base. Sign up for industry event mailing lists and make it a priority to attend a couple times a month. Make sure that you have a contact or someone you’ve already met attending so you can meet people they know and go outward from there. Never be afraid to go up to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself. You can even start an industry event of your own.
The next tip that Alex has for us is to start writing a blog. There is no better way to get your ideas and opinions than to put it out on the Internet. This will help you gain visibility and act as a resource if companies really want to get to know you.
Join your industries online communities. Engaging in your industries social media and blogs will raise your visibility and increase your role as a player in the industry. You will learn new things from others and find out things that you might not have known before by engaging in the online communities.
Alex goes on to talk about one of the most important aspects of networking: compounding introductions. Whenever you meet someone, try and have them introduce you to another person in the industry. Try to have each introduction turn into another and this will help your networking grow exponentially.
Alex ends the article talking about your network as the bottom line to building any business or ascending in any industry. Networking is hard at the begging, but if you keep at it, it will eventually come naturally and your business will be thankful for this in the future.
Here is the blog post done by Alex Taub.
It is a common misconception that the purpose and function of sales and business development are identical. This is partially the fault of the recent trend in switching job titles from salesperson to business development because of the bad stigma that surrounds the title “salesperson.”
When you look at the entire field of business development, you are not only looking at the soft sales skills of qualification and negotiation, you are also looking at it as a marketing function. In business development, it is necessary to have certain sales skills; however, the emphasis is really on marketing skills. Business development is more of a marketing position than it is a sales position.
The typical objectives of a business development position come in new user acquisition, brand placement, market expansion, and market awareness, which are all included in your typical marketing position. The only reason that business development teeters towards a sales position is because you need those sales skills to reach all of the marketing goals.
A sale employee’s function is to directly sell to the end customer. There are no middlemen to go through. One is just pitching the product (Point A) to the consumer (point B). The position of someone in business development is to work through partners in the company to incorporate a sales plan to sell to the customer in a scalable way.
Scalability is the key factor in determining the difference between sales and business development. Scalability allows for a company to use various sales teams they have created and implemented into their business plan to reach new customers. Sales are only part of the equation, but certainly not the whole part. Sales teams tend to grow in numbers as the company continues to grow while business development teams tend to be smaller in size working through their established infrastructure. The art of business development comes from finding partners that fit the mold, while, at the same time, finding a method to deliver value to their partner’s end customer and business as a whole.
This blog post is based off of this article.