Networking is one of the most vital elements required by individuals planning to venture into or become their own business managers. It helps them acquire the important information required for starting and running a business. The information is obtained through interacting with experts in various business fields. Therefore, as individual planning to venture into new business activity, I decided to seek information from successful business people from two different business fields. The process involved interviewing Ms. Dona Lynn Lebblanc, the owner of the East Coast School of Languages, and Mr. Ahmed Alsaaed, the Executive Director and the founder of the Herf Company. These interviews enabled me to acquire the knowledge and skills required to start and run a business.
The First Interview
The first interview involved Mr. Ahmed Alsaaed, the founder, the second owner, and the Executive Director of the Herf Company. This company is among the biggest restaurants in Saudi Arabia. It is well known due to various attributes such as having a large number of restaurants across the country, many subsidiaries, and personnel from all over the world. Mr. Ahmed has held this position in the company for approximately 33 years. He has been dedicated to quality service provision to meet their consumer needs and demands. To come up with interventions aiming at quality service provision, which meets their consumer needs, Mr. Ahmed likes taking up challenges in his position.
One of the factors which motivated Mr. Ahmed to assume his current position in the company was his desire to become his own time manager. He has an MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in Business administration. His past experiences in the company which includes working as a cashier equipped him with the necessary skills for managing this kind of business. He employs the use of teamwork to ensure that the company and the employees realize their goals and objectives. Due to his contributions and competency, the company has grown to become one of the biggest restaurant companies in Saudi Arabia. His aspiration is to see the company becoming an international company.
His lowest point is working in a very busy environment. This keeps him busy and makes his time pass faster as a result of the multi-tasking he does in the company. He performs various responsibilities including being the head of the Herf Company, finding strategic locations for new upcoming restaurants, handling the admission activities of the company, and managing the financial services of the company. Mr. Ahmed is grateful and appreciates his current position in the company. However, he thinks that more opportunities will facilitate the growth of the foodservice industry and its associated careers in the coming future. Therefore, he advises individuals owning restaurants to take into consideration the value of their customers in order to promote their success.
In addition, Mr. Ahmed believes that the owners of the restaurants should be generous towards their clients. They should also provide their employees with opportunities that would promote knowledge and skills in their respective positions. This gives the employees opportunities to express themselves and enables the owners of the restaurants to recognize their employees’ capabilities. Positive exploitation of the skills will contribute greatly to the performance of their businesses.
The second Interview
The second interview involved one of the three owners of the East Coast School of Languages (ECSL), Ms. Dona Lynn Leblanc. She is the director of the students’ services in this institution. The school is well known in Halifax for being the best institution teaching English as a second language. Furthermore, the institution is well known for providing an environment that offers the students the opportunities to experience the varied Canadian culture alongside helping them learn the English language. Contrary to its popularity, the school has approximately 35 employees consisting of teachers and the administration. It is due to this fact that other cities and countries requested the expansion of this school.
Despite this request, the management of the school decided to maintain this small number so as to uphold its quality teaching which contributes to the success of the institution. Ms. Dona Lynn Leblanc has been in this position since the opening of this school 15 years ago. She likes her job. It has enabled her to have personal experiences with students who come from varied backgrounds and cultural practices. In addition, she enjoys seeing her students grow and develop from the day of admission to the school to their days of departure. These proficiencies make her feel like the mother to them which is a source of her motivation and satisfaction.
One of the factors which facilitated the opening of the ECSL was its pioneers who had past experiences of working in language schools. This made them have the urge to inaugurate a novel English language school in Halifax. The owners of the respective schools, where they had previously taught, had philosophies and goals which were contrary to the students’ needs. Therefore, ECSL pioneers had the objective of establishing a school that would provide caring and oriented services to the students and their families. The success drawn from Ms. Dona’s contribution to the establishment of the school is attributed to her husband, who provided her with both financial and emotional support during the first two years of the school establishment process.
Ms. Dona Lynn benefited from the financial and technical support from being a member of the Self-employment Support Program. This program provided her with technical support through the provision of classes that taught her the methods of running a business. She considers that individuals planning to start new businesses should develop a business plan which is important in giving them realistic measures to detect and improve on the areas of weaknesses. As the director of the students’ services in the institution, Ms. Dona has various responsibilities which include safeguarding the students during their studies and eliminating any barriers which may hinder their success.
Moreover, Ms. Dona Leblanc is responsible for organizing homestays for their students and also their graduation. One of the three challenges experienced by Ms. Dona in her career was the difficulty in returning to her normal responsibility after delivering her firstborn daughter. During her long vacation, various changes occurred in the company which made it difficult for her to adapt to them easily. Secondly, she experienced a strain in creating equilibrium between family life and her job. Thirdly, she experienced a defy in managing the development of the school because she was running many positions in the organization and had to create stability between these positions.
During her career in this school, she has realized that every individual in an organization possesses a variety of different skills. These skills determine their abilities to perform various tasks. Besides, managers should focus on exploiting the strengths of their employees. Partnership in a company should aim at promoting individual job specialization with the purpose of contributing to an increase in the organization’s output. Despite the challenges experienced by the pioneers of this school at its early stages of establishment, Ms. Dona Leblanc appreciates the happiness her job brings in her daily life. She also advises those planning to open language schools in Halifax on the importance of conducting a comprehensive market assessment for the availability of opportunities to invest in.
In conclusion, the interview with Ms. Lynn Leblanc and Mr. Ahmed has been of great importance to me as I plan to open a new business. The interview has enabled me to gain knowledge and skills which are essential for starting and running a business successfully. In addition, the interview allowed me to understand the various challenges I should expect as a new business entrepreneur and the importance of coming up with anticipatory measures to respond to them. The interview assisted me to obtain the dynamic knowledge and skills which should be applied in order to efficiently manage a business. Finally, this interview indorsed me to appreciate the importance of teamwork at the workplace and its contribution to the accomplishment of the organization’s goals and objectives. It also taught me the importance of personal commitment which leads to the realization of the set goals and objectives.