Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why Managers Start Their Own Businesses

My views summarized by Dalibor Dostal from the Czech economical magazine PROFIT, a supplement of Mlada Fronta E15 Daily Newspaper, January 7th, 2013 (photos by Michael Tomes).

 New Beginnings

Dalibor Dostál, Petr Švihel, Martin Zika

It is a wishful thinking for many people to lead a big international company or one of its divisions. For someone who could live this dream, top management role was not the end destination. It has only become a starting point for establishing own business. We bring you now few interesting change management stories from the Czech Republic. 

Jana Budikova: From Coffee to Strategic Management Consulting

Jana Budikova jumped into own business directly from the Managing Director role at Tchibo, where she was responsible for the Czech Republic and Slovakia and for which she obtained in 2009 Best Employer prestigious award. “I needed to fully realize my potential,” explains her motive for the change of her career.

Nowadays she works as an advisor for Company strategies. She helps companies to identify, quantify and seize new opportunities, to increase effectiveness of their marketing and sales activities, as well as organizational structures and processes. She also helps people to manage the change. “I can combine my strategic thinking with my inner need to inspire and charge people with positive energy, to change things for the better, to build something. I like results as well as management challenges and adrenalin from uneasy tasks. Strategic consultancy helps me to stay active in the international field – to work on projects across the European markets,” she says. These topics are also part of her lectures. During the remaining time Jana publishes her views in professional media, she is a regular speaker at conferences and she also passes her knowledge to young generation when she leads a group of Honors Academia students at the Prague School of Economics.

Even though sometimes it seems that everything was already invented and there is no possibility for a successful breakthrough, managers starting up their own business prove there is always something to explore. “New opportunities are popping up continuously, only the clients are more cautious with their investments into innovations. I see that at present the biggest dynamic and thus potential in the area of internet, big data management, mobile communication and social media. Other opportunities appear within the area of top class customer service. My role is to help my clients to innovatively seize these opportunities not just strategically, but also during their implementation and communication,” mentions Jana Budikova.

In her new role Jana´s biggest challenge was to be patient, get used to the fact that some things cannot run as fast, as she would like to.  “First it is necessary to plant the seeds, however it takes time before the flowers blossom, in my case before the company, respectively its boss decides to use my consulting services. In my type of business it is a never ending process of acquisition of new customers and pampering existing or previous clients,” explains Jana Budikova.  Obtaining new business remains the key challenge for start-ups.  While in the big corporations there are specialized teams with a lot of back-up functions in sales and marketing, Jana Budikova had to rely only on her own creativity.

She could also rely on top-class know-how that she has obtained in her previous assignments at the big multinational companies. “I had the opportunity to learn from the best leaders. I have obtained the international bird´s eye view, when I have managed the important German market or when I was responsible for the sales and marketing development of the Eastern European region. I have learned the importance of ethics in business. I have realized that it is a necessity to thrive for win-win solutions. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a trust (for a Company, a brand, or a person), however it could be lost very easily,” says Jana Budikova.  Jana also talks about the importance of putting customers and consumers and their needs into the center of the Companies´ attention.  The key is to master the art of establishing the right priorities and motivation of the staff for putting them successfully into practice.

Jana´s own business helped her to find a new dimension for her professional self-actualization. “I can choose which projects I will spend time on, which people I will meet and which direction and goals I will choose to pursue.  Only now, while running my own business, I have understood what creative freedom means. On top of that I have met a lot of inspiring people who I would never had a chance to get to know during the standard manager´s time pressure. I also have more time now for self education and for my own personal development, as well as for passing my experiences to the younger generation,” concludes Jana Budikova.

Picture text:
Jana Budikova helps managers with strategic planning. Also the top Company leaders need to be inspired and enthused with positive energy. 

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