2017 new challenge again.

Since December last year have been requested to join an big international company. This company is an important manufacturer of wireless Systems and Telco Software Solutions. It’s a challenge without any doubt, I must develop business in those areas where I’ve been working since many years: Italy, Spain and Portugal, Latin America and Mexico. I must enhance its brand awareness, fight against hard competition and give fast results to my board.

You could ask me how could I accept this challenge, so difficult and with a high grade of being unsuccessful. I simply answer: because I believe in myself and I believe in the people who is supporting me.

I’m always trusting people and his capacity to help me. I’m always learning and my attitude is focused on facilitating proactivity. In this way, everywhere I go, I can find high level support and a lot of people willing to help me even in the most difficult activities.

I don’t want to make a long speech about management and managers’ qualities, everything has been discussed many times in my blog. What I can say is that in my work I simply apply what I think is right for me and my colleagues, everything based on an absolute respect but paying attention to establish targets and following up activities aimed to reach our goals.

Today the market asks you to be fast and is asking you to be a killer, avoid errors and straight to the target. Is not easy, I know but is a must if you want to be successful. The “funny” thing is that most of the time, well prepared people able to support you and giving you a high value is just working close to you! Simply they need to be involved deeply and, above all, stimulate them to give their own opinion on how to solve problems, address customers or modify processes to be more effective.

I think that this experience will be very important for me and definitely will make me grow again professionally and as a human being.

Hope to be able to start writing more often about this, because this experience deserves it.

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Last post of the year

Year end is coming. I would like to take the occasion to write my last post of the year. 2015 represented a complicated year for me, due to many reasons related to my family and my job. Sad events, my mother and my mother in law passed away. Happy events like my daughter’s birth.

Dealing with a start-up company in a very tough market is not easy. I had to manage sales worldwide with different problems coming from limited staff, brand awareness, strong and sometimes unfair competition. It took some time but at the end we reached a good customer base that could assure us acceptable revenue for 2016.

I must say that 2015 was a very challenging year. I had to manage different issues trying to avoid being overwhelmed and, above all, oblige myself to focus and keep stress at a certain level. Sometimes I did it well, sometimes not. What I can say is that in those situations where I was so tired and disconsolate, I could recover very fast because my values in which I strongly believe, helped me a lot. Family, obstinacy and dedication to work.

I had to put priority many times and I did it sometimes with ratio, sometimes helped by my instinct, advised by my wife who I endlessly thank for her nearness and love. Without her I couldn’t do what I did.

2015 gave me my 50. A very important birthday isn’t it? A very important achievement too. You are feeling wiser and due to your experience you can argue with a different approach. You are feeling stronger and in some occasions you act like you didn’t before. It seems that your subconscious is telling you that now you don’t have nothing to loose, so if sometimes you must tell your opinion in a very strong way and make people understand that they are a fucking assholes you do it!

It happened to me and you can’t believe how good you are feeling after.

Now I have to think about 2016 and my goals to be reached that are quite important and demanding. Both for my family and my job. I don’t want to spend some words on that because it makes no sense. I have clear ideas in my mind. Not so many but few, quite studied and of course absolutely reachable.

2016 will be a very good year, I’m pretty sure. Of course much will depend on me, something from other events and the help of God.

I would like to wish you all the best for 2016, looking forward to hearing from you very soon.

Ercole

FIGHT! Ingredients to win the market

I’ve been thinking very much about the best recipe to win the market with my company and the conclusion is that you must fight! Yes, fight. Simple isn’t it? It seems very easy and elementary to state something like that but believe me, is not.

Is not when fight means:

Focus, Insistence, Goals, Help, Team

Could you say that something appears to be a little more difficult? I think so and I think that talking about a recipe that must be delicious, all the ingredients must be chosen with care, merged together properly, and when melted, reach the result everybody waits for: something incredibly tasteful.

But let’s come back to the scope of my article and discuss about another recipe, the recipe that I thing is the base for successful business.

 Focus.

We need focus. Select our market sectors and chose the ones most suitable for us and our product portfolio. Once selected, concentrate on the most promising ones, forget to follow up everything with the risk of loosing time, money and effectiveness. We shall not be afraid to change strategy and eventually modify our products in order to be winning in the market. Competition is very strong, especially when we are a start-up, newcomers are in any case enemies to be eliminated. We need also to differentiate. Key differentiator can help to gain customers.

Insistence

Success can’t be reached without insisting. Today is very complicated to find customers, I know. That’s the reason why we need to be very committed, aggressive if necessary, and insist to reach our targets. Nowadays if you want to make business you must never give up!

 Goals

Mandatory to have clear goals and a strategy to reach them. Never do the error to “try” something for collecting some purchase orders. A well structured and professional Business Plan is one of the pillars on which we need to base our commercial actions and again, be realistic, stake holders and bosses like big figures, of course, but at the end you should reach them and here is where problems can come.

Help

Intended as Financial Help. This is a must. Quite often, due to the fact that business plans are made without paying too much attention on the business environment a company is going to present itself, it happens that funds are missing or are delivered in a totally insufficient amount. Why? Good point isn’t it? For example,iIt can happen that sales forecast was too optimistic and revenue consequently not enough, so even if investors are delivering funds, are not enough for a good company cash flow.

Help from investors is very important especially if we are talking about startups. Management shall inform the board of directors and investors in the most accurate way about how business and cash flow are going, clearly communicate if some actions must be taken because of change of strategy and above all , if new funds are needed.

Team

Last important ingredient is the team. Without a strong team, committed to reach success in a company it will be very difficult to gain the market. Many times in my experience I saw very promising projects failing because of a simple reason: no team. Of course is a very important duty of managers promoting team building at each level of the organization and controlling personnel to be sure that people is cooperating but sometimes is also a matter of some employees that are so committed and target oriented that are able to involve all the colleagues. Furthermore, we don’t have to think about a team just related to a department a division or a branch of a company; a very good team must be intra-departmental: sales, R&D, Financial departments, for example, must work together and help each other. At some level information flow is a must. Let’s see an example: Sales must talk to R&D about market requests, R&D must talk to Sales about feasibility of some products, Financial department must collect information from R&D about project financing and investments.

Well, I hope I could give my simple recipe for winning the market. I know that this is simple but not so easy to implement in many organizations. Many reasons: different behaviours and work experiences, different cultures and different nationalities, different “political” interferences that can “affect” every single element I’ve been describing. In any case without this five ingredients I’m firmly convinced that is not possible to reach a complete and durable success in business.

One Year in Youncta

ER Small 2June 2015, just one year ago I started my adventure in Youncta. I think this is the right occasion to make a quick review of what happened. I left my consulting company because I believed in Youncta.

I believed that we could address the market and be winner. After one year I can say that it wasn’t easy. We had to introduce ourselves again to some customers, fighting with a bad legacy and competition spreading a lot of shit on us! Sometimes we won, sometimes we didn’t.

It was very hard to rebuild credibility, acquire new customers and catch new ones but we did it. We had to reshape many times our sales strategy in order to adapt ourselves in an evolving market, sometimes fighting against our board and stakeholders.

Today I can proudly say that we succeeded in consolidating our presence in Italy and Spain, ASEAN Countries, South Africa and Brazil. We signed important Global Partnership Agreements and OEMs that will successfully drive our business in the next years.

We had to learn Logo Youncta2a lot from our competitors and thanks to this “continuous training on the job” we focused a lot and differentiate. Yes we had to think about our key differentiators and be extremely selective in our addressable market. We studied our potential markets and we proposed tailored solutions to our customers.

After one year I can say that I’m very happy about what we reached with Youncta and, above all, about the potential market that today we are able to address thanks to our actual products and the innovation in our future portfolio.

So, Happy Work Anniversary! I wish many happy returns of this day!

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