Small Business

Acting on Opportunities 

 

Amanda Setili was interviewed on the Quest for the Best podcast where she shared how to identify and act on opportunities in a fast-changing world for small business leaders.

I would have to say (I was inspired by) my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Tidwell. She grew up on a farm and she’d tell us stories about growing up on a farm and what it was like, and she had a great experiment that she ran with her kids every year, which was to take fertilized chicken eggs and put them in an incubator, and every few days we’d open one, just to see what the state of the growing chick was, and it was just a great example of, kind of running experiments, seeing for yourself, and just getting really immersed in the physical world of how things really work that really helped to foster my lifelong love of science and experimentation. 

…I thought, when I was in college, that I wanted to work in R&D because I thought that was where you’d get to invent things and find new theories and things like that, and so my first job was at Kimberly Clark in R&D, and it did not suit me at all. It was interesting that your interest as a kid doesn’t turn out to be the correct direction to go, so after I had worked in R&D for a year and a half or so, I was just kind of thinking, ‘this is just moving to slowly’ and I’m spending too much time thinking and writing, and I want something more immersive, and luckily at that time there was an opportunity available to work in a production facility, a mill, so I moved there, working in a small town, in a mill for Kimberly Clark, and I just loved it. It was everyday something happening, working with a small team to optimize operations and develop new products, and there was never a boring minute at all.

 

Key points covered in the interview include:

  • Agility as the ability to see what’s going on in the marketplace 
  • How marketplace changes create new opportunities 
  • Finding a way to create something good whatever changes

 

Listen to the full podcast, How to Take Advantage of Marketplace Opportunities, on myquestforthebest.com.

 

The Biggest Myths about Branding

September 24, 2020

 

When interviewed on the P is for Profit podcast, Susan Meier exposes the biggest myths about branding, identifies what a small business can do to establish its brand and create a competitive advantage, and explains how to make your business relevant to your target audience.

A visual artist is just a fancy way of saying, I make art, like, sketching, drawing, sculptures. And that’s what I studied in my undergrad, visual art and making art as well as art history. So it’s a little bit of a zigzag path from there to strategist, isn’t it? But the way I, the path that I took started out with management consulting, which was really just a leap of faith, first job out of college. 

And okay, I’ll try something new that I don’t know anything about, but sounds pretty interesting. The way the company described it, I worked for the Boston Consulting Group which is, you know, a terrific company and they really gave me a great education. And the way they described what they did and the job that I would be having was like solving puzzles, which is something I like to do. 

And in general, I guess I’m a curious person, I like to try new things. And so that was how I jumped off into a completely new world, much of which I was totally unprepared for. But like I said, it was a great learning experience. And where I came out of that, with this really strong interest in branding because I had the opportunity to do a lot of customer research as part of their consumer goods practice. 

And I found it fascinating how people had these really intimate emotional connections with the products or the brands that they were using. And I wanted to learn more about that and get involved in that. And when I discovered that there was this whole discipline or industry called branding, which looked at that connection, that relationship between humans and brands and also have this visual component because, you know, an important component of expressing your brand is design. I thought, wow, that’s for me.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • How Susan defines brand
  • Branding myths busted
  • Small business branding

 

Listen to the full podcast, Susan Meier | Small Business Branding, on the CFO Project website.