Created on July 14, 2014
Small businesses that use sustainable business practices as part of their operating and marketing strategy often realize significant economic gains. However, creating market messaging for greening a business operations can be intimidating, or worse, lead a small business owner to think moving to a sustainable business model will require large capital outlays. That is a flawed perception. The challenge for many companies, then, is identifying where the greatest opportunities are for them at the lowest cost to implementation.
A large number of firms start with internal practices, which may include process efficiencies, reducing landfill destined waste, reducing water use and implementing recycling programs. Each of these practices has a direct, measurable financial impact on a company. For example, improving process efficiencies may result in moving products and services to market more quickly. Reducing waste will also reduce the expenses associated with waste removal and disposal. A water bill declines with less water usage. A recycling program contributes to reducing waste removal and other associated expenses.
Small business owners should also look at maximizing economic and sustainability benefits through building and physical structure improvements. Specific types of sustainable business practices that fall into this category include upgrading lighting and windows; installing better or additional insulation; adding building wraps to facility expansions; and cleaning, maintaining, and upgrading HVAC systems.
Created on July 2, 2014
With the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference fast approaching, we wanted to take the time and spotlight a past conference honoree to give an insight into the current state and outlook of a two-time MED Week award winning firm.
Metcon, Inc. is a general contracting and construction management firm headquartered in Pembroke, NC with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Columbia, SC. Metcon is certified by the North Carolina Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses as an American Indian-owned general construction business. Founded in 1999, Metcon received the National Minority Construction Firm of the Year award in 2011 and 2013. Below is our interview with Aaron Thomas, the president of Metcon Inc.
Chang: Congratulations on 15 years in business! What are some of the values that have allowed Metcon to grow rapidly into the successful business it is today?
Thomas: Our core values are on-time delivery, diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, client satisfaction, quality, safety, and innovation. We have continued to live by these principles throughout our growth and hired individuals that also believe and operate in this fashion.
Chang: Speaking of success, Metcon has received a number of awards in the last few years including awards at MBDA’s MED Week. How has this recognition furthered Metcon’s brand image?
Thomas: Our recognition by MBDA as national minority construction firm of the year has been a huge thing for us. It has enhanced our image and created dialogue for future opportunities.
Created on June 30, 2014
Originally posted at SBA.gov Community
“Government contracting.” “Small business certification.” You’ve heard the phrases before, but what do they really mean? And does it really matter for your small business? Maybe – and maybe not. Let’s cut through all the noise and define these phrases in a meaningful way for your entrepreneurial endeavors.
What is government contracting?
Government contracting is the process that lets you sell your goods or services to the government and its various agencies. The government has a contract, or agreement, with you whereby it purchases what you do or make. And U.S. government agencies buy a lot from small businesses – nearly $100 billion worth of goods and services each year! From market research to janitorial services, if you want to make the government your customer, there’s a good chance there’s a need for what you offer.
Created on June 30, 2014
Candace Shiver, Special Advisor to the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency
I recently participated in the 2014 Agribusiness and Food World Forum in Cape Town, South Africa from June 17-19. The forum, hosted by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association and the Corporate Council on Africa, brought together more than 500 business leaders, government officials, industry experts, students, and academia from more than 30 countries.
The forum’s presentations and discussions emphasized the importance of U.S. private sector involvement and investment in the critical agriculture and agribusiness sectors of the region. In sub-Saharan Africa, the industries are projected to collectively grow from $313 billion today to $1 trillion by the year 2030.1 Contributing to Africa’s food systems will help to build capacity in emerging markets, enhance food security, and promote U.S.–Africa relations through the imparting of best practices and technical and business knowledge between farmers and entrepreneurs of all sizes.
Created on April 2, 2014
This article was originally posted on the PNC Business Insights e-news section. Guest blog post by John Lloyd, MANTEC
Every company, large or small, is dependent upon the companies that make up its supply chain. The term “supply chain” encompasses all of the entities on which a business depends to meet its customer expectations. These range from first-, second- and third-tier material sources to service providers to logistics and transportation specialists. Today’s forward-thinking companies have come to understand that their own performance hinges on the success of their supply chain relationships.
Historically, companies viewed their suppliers simply as the instruments to get them the parts they needed on time at the right price. Too often the customer/supplier relationship was very autocratic: Demands were made and it was expected that those demands would be met. In making sourcing decisions, companies traditionally did not look beyond a supplier’s capability, price and delivery. But those who stop there are missing a valuable opportunity to view suppliers strategically as a resource to add customer value and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Suppliers can be a source of critical information to improve product design, quality, performance and cost.