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Metro Business Thought Leader Uncategorized

Are You the Next Business Person of the Year?

Lisa Dugan, Chair, Vistage International, Inc. – Atlanta

By Lisa Dugan, Chair, Vistage International, Inc. – Atlanta

You’ve been nominated for the Metro Atlanta Chamber Business Person of the Year (BPOTY). Now what? There are many questions you’re probably asking yourself, but these are the two questions you should be asking yourself—Is my company ready to compete and what would it take to win?
Technically, if you are a growing, small to mid-sized business owner, you are ready to compete for BPOTY. Better yet, if you can answer the following questions with relative ease, you are ready to compete.

  • Do I have a clearly articulated vision, mission, values and strategic plan?

While this seems like the oldest criteria in the book, it’s amazing how many companies still don’t have them. Or, they wrote them five years ago but they can’t repeat them, let alone live them.  Done well, these foundational pieces help create and reinforce a company culture that attracts top talent and serve as a rallying force, a company’s true north.

  • Do I have a solid, scalable business model?

Entrepreneurs are often guilty of trying to turn an art, or a single product or an idea into a business, only to find they can’t grow. Sometimes businesses are started without considering the cost and sustainability of growth. Is your model designed for exponential growth?

  • Can I claim and verify that my company has the competitive advantage in our market?

The judges review multiple applications from every industry. If we are reading 100+ applications and eight of them are digital marketing firms, six are IT companies, five are in the healthcare industry and so on, it’s critical that you are able to communicate what makes you different, what makes you the best and what makes people want to buy your product or service.
But here’s where the rubber meets the road. The judges are not looking for just any business to win the BPOTY title. The finalists that will stand on the stage on Friday, June 6, and at the awards luncheon represent the best of the best of Atlanta. You might be in a business that’s been around for 100 years, but if you are doing it perfectly, or if you are doing something innovative or have an innovation, we want to know about it. Metro Atlanta needs to know about it.
Here’s the good news, MAC has coaches to help you win, not just the BPOTY award, but the real game of business. Nancy Whatley, vice president of entrepreneurial development at MAC, has spent the last three years creating resources to help entrepreneurial companies grow. The skills you gain in learning to talk about and sell your business in a way that people want to know more is worth the exercise alone. What you gain in visibility and bragging rights helps put you on the map. That visibility helps the 10 judges, and the larger community, connect you to people you want to do business with — and that is priceless. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the BPOTY. It’s about you and your company thriving, long term and we are here to help you do that.
Lisa Dugan is a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Business Person of the Year judging committee.

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