Business Owners Erasmus


Strong determination in pursuing the business goals
Creativity and Innovation
Business vision-Entrepreneurial thinking
Risk assessment
Adaptability to change: external changes
Financial and economic expertise
Ability to assess risk
Problem solving


the heart management concept is to manage, not to be managed (=very conditioned) by things and circumstances. Managing has three hierarchical basic concepts:

  1. Strategy, the most important aspect, which should be some way rigorous, if not really rigid;
  2. Tactics, important but not vital, which should be based on flexibility, while having well clear the strategic aims;
  3. Operations, the daily one, which must be as flexible (by structures) and adaptable (by individuals) as possible,

Management is a practical art, notwithstanding it has some theoretical rules and aspects, but it must be understood as the art of what is possible to do, in view of strongly wanted final (strategic) aims. Today management has a new way to be understood, towards the past times. It has absorbed the basic concept that the business is not only one or several owners family’s property, but it is also a social resource, a public valuable good, a heritage to be kept alive for all people who are involved in the manufacturing and distributing activities.

Some more concepts regarding management can be added.

Both Management and Governance mean to govern and manage things that happen, instead of being conditioned by them.

However, Managing should be considered as another thing from Governing.

Managing can be referred to daily – short-term - activity;

Governance should be referred to middle-term business evolution.

Strong determination in pursuing the business goals

The needed profiles for that are: “Such guys, you can never knock them down”. ”A silent will” can also be a way to define the spirit of entrepreneurs. It is not easy to “weigh” or “measure” such a determination, because it is an intangible aspect. It is however one of the most important assets of whatever business.

On Nanus and Bennis’ opinion, who studied the entrepreneurship and Leadership “anatomy” in depth, this particular skill is one out the 4 basic ones to identify an entrepreneurial (and leadership) spirit, together with being: 1. visionary; 2. effective communicator; 3. effective implementer of goals.

After a yearly edition proposed by the EU Commission, entitled “The Secret of Success” and regarding 1 successful entrepreneur per EU Country each year, it jumps out with evidence the importance of this ”irrational” factor, which is winning versus rational analysis of the business situation different sides.

Creativity and innovation

“Innovation is helping people to do what they would like to do” (Yukka Teras, Finnish knowledge transfer expert).

Creativity is providing a cheap and smart way to get such a joyful achievement. Creativity is also defined: “An attitude to create, which is in whatever person at whatever age”.

When talking about business – and particularly of Business Transfer - one should think about some new ways of satisfying potential clients and customers, by a new way and approach. In practice, rather every product or service – also the simplest and natural one - could be modified (as product) or proposed (as service) in a new design and/or in a new way. This innovation can be appreciated by the customer, who finds in it a “solution” for her/his/their needs and/or desires. This is the basic approach to keep alive the business competitiveness.

This is the base to keep alive the company, and also to safeguard not only the family business owners, heritage, but also all the employees and workers jobs, and their families survival and welfare.

Business vision - Entrepreneurial thinking

Vision is what you would like yourself and your company to BE, tomorrow.

Entrepreneurial thinking is how to get this goal. It has to do with the company Mission.

Since people have become the basic competitiveness factor in today’s world, you cannot think any longer to give them just orders. You need to raise their self-motivation energies. This can be done by offering them a valuable reason for engaging themselves – in other words for a self-motivating approach. To have a Vision is basic for an entrepreneur today.

And the Vision must not just assigned – as it happens regarding the activity objectives - but must be shared with people who give their contribution in order to achieve the business goals. This is why proposing a Vision means proposing people to feel as they would feel in the future.

Regarding the Mission, it should be understood as the way the company satisfies the customer’s wishes.

In other words: which solutions it provides for its customers. In practice, business people should keep in mind that potential customers do not buy products or services: they remunerate some good solutions – as more as possible cheap - for their problems. All the company members should be sensitized about this need and should cooperate in the same spirit in order to achieve such global team result.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment needs a specially focused analysis, which takes into account all the aspects of a specific problem, but also a more general approach to risks.

A particular attention is reserved to ICT connected risks. The general approach to risk assessment is based on a systematic analysis, which should bring to a possible evaluation of some different risk levels, between which to make some choices, often based on some prevention measures.

The basic advice for such an issue is to get to specialist professionals in order to get a qualified and well-focused assistance. For an entrepreneur however, sometimes the risk cannot be exactly weighted and evaluated in advance, because the business goals choice are often the result of a basic entrepreneurial intuition. Today such an intuition - which is the basic factor for numerous successful businesses - should be checked as soon as possible by using the available tools to get market and competitors’ data, in order to be aware of competition risks and of their evolution along the business lifetime.

We should promote activities that help foster this entrepreneurial skill and especially for adapting the family business to the new changes.

It would be necessary to propose the necessity to improve the business, to grow it, to change it with other future visions and to work in the adaptation of all members of the family, as well as all workers.

To value who, in the family business, has the better skills and qualities for growing and to look for the better opportunities for the business.

Methodologies for teaching concepts related to entrepreneurship: Related concepts entrepreneur, businessman, business, entrepreneurial activity can publicize through, in the family environment and look for the member of the family most suitable.

For this reason the teacher will analyze, who into the family business has the following characteristics:

  1. Which member of the family knows how to detect these new opportunities of business.
  2. Which member of the family is able to propose new opportunities.
  3. Which member of the family is able to optimize and look for new resources.
  4. Which member of the family is able to create a good team and integrate the family.
  5. Which member of the family has more knowledge of the different rolls, family values, and could provide and integrate all of the family in the new transition.

Adaptability to change: external changes.

The real company resources must be considered today the external ones - i.e. the availability by the market to remunerate your business propositions: in other words to buy your products and services. Thus, it is basic for you to be aware of how things are changing in the external world: i.e. the general scenario and your specific market.

Today a business can survive only if it is able to propose to the market such valuable solutions that can be continuously bought by the potential users, i.e. actual and potential clients and customers.

Global competition, however, has brought to a situation where everybody is a potential competitor of everybody else.

Thus, it is important not just to change your business products, services, technologies and approaches according to the scenario and market change, but to anticipate as more as possible the market evolution, by “feeling in advance” and pick up as quickly as possible what is changing.

Financial and economic expertise:

Financial and economic expertise is a basic part of business management. Finance is concerning the money dynamics. Economy deals with figures and then how to measure your business performance.

The subject is widespread. Here we are proposing just a couple of quite philosophical suggestions, in order to give some starting ideas.

About the money, let us remind you that money should be the consequence - not the final goal -of good business management.

About economy and business management let us remind a say: “Figures are sincere, and tell the truth, if you want to! Moreover, remember that figures say interesting things, but – if they are put under torture - they also reveal some precious secrets!”

Let us add that finance management has become such a specialized issue, that it is the case to take into account the hypothesis of looking for specialized consultants when you need or want to do any action which goes into depth, dealing with such an issue!

Ability to assess risks:

Risk assessment, as we have already written (point 1.5) needs a specially focused analysis. The basic advice we gave for detailed risk assessment for entrepreneurship is to get to specialists. Sometimes, however, this skill can also be an entrepreneur quality, when s/he is a rigorous market operator.

In this spirit the entrepreneurs – and particular the successor ones - should be aware of the risks they can take not only for themselves and their family, but also for all the family business involved people, when a new path is started to be practiced.

Field experience shows that often, at the transfer stage, Junior leaders who are not aware of the difficulties their parents and predecessors experimented and often hardly bypassed, take some paths without being enough aware of the connected risks, since they are not pushed by daily pressing needs.

In these cases a good advice for them is to start by a pilot-project or by an area-test, in order to avoid risking the entire business heritage in one only game betting.

Problem solving:

Problem solving is a kind of technique with some specific issues, which aims at approaching complex problems by a systematic attitude. Its aim is to avoid improvisation and to take into account as more as possible all the aspects of a specific complex situation.

The problem-solving approach - or philosophy - is based on systematically analysing the whole picture, then to take the responsibility of making a decision, as more as possible by choosing some priorities; and by using creativity, instead of usual standard ways.

It is a wise approach not to be too confident in problem solving techniques, particularly when they are considered as a very rational – then a winning - approach to things.

They are not a panacea for al ills. Let us remind that Herbert Simon got the Nobel prize for his studies showing the importance of such a very rigorous, rational approach. Then he became famous, some years later, when he showed that a human based approach, which includes emotional aspects and does not take into account every aspect of the problem, can be more practical and effective, once used in the competition field.