Energize Your Enterprise All Year Long
By Eric Swedlund
Success stories are contagious.
By showcasing some of the local entrepreneurs and businesses that have taken their enterprise ideas to new levels, the organizers behind the second annual Energize Your Enterprise event hope to spur the same sort of successful growth in other Tucson businesses.
BeachFleischman and the University of Arizona Eller Executive Education, in collaboration with BizTucson Magazine, are working on the Oct.16 Energize Your Enterprise luncheon – and are adding a series of workshops to provide a year-round focus on entrepreneurship and business expansion in Tucson.
“For me, it’s really all about seeing if we can contribute in some way to help create jobs in Tucson. We’re setting up a platform to get people enthused about growing their companies and adding jobs – and creating workshops to help them do that,” said Bruce Beach, chairman and CEO of BeachFleischman and founder of Energize Your Enterprise.
“One of the things the participants get out of this is they get to meet some of their peers and trade information,” Beach said. “There are so many successful businesses here. If we can figure out a way to help them move to the next level and add 10 percent to their employment – that’s a lot of jobs.”
The two-and-a-half-hour luncheon, at The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, features guest speakers Harry George of Solstice Capital, Kerstin Block of Buffalo Exchange and Robert Sarver of Western Alliance Bancorporation and owner of the Phoenix Suns.
Topics covered include business lessons and best practices, leadership, collaboration, scaling your business, access to capital, attracting talent, emerging issues, technology, economy, marketing, operations, regulation and more.
“A lot of the businesses we talk to, because of the recession, are still a little bit paralyzed and still a little afraid of pulling the trigger to make the investments to grow their business,” Beach said. “If we follow it up with workshops and other events and have some success stories to build on, we can focus on growth instead of survival.”
The workshops, which begin in November, are designed to be more hands on – with smaller groups and tangible, practical advice in particular areas, said Eric Majchrzak, chief marketing officer for BeachFleischman.
“We want to continue to build on creating an environment of learning for these entrepreneurs. It’s working with the community and making this a forum for entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and help overcome the roadblocks they have in expanding their businesses,” Majchrzak said.
The workshops will be broken into three categories:
• Functional business skills like marketing, operations, IT, finance and accounting
• Issue-driven workshops on emerging trends like healthcare reform and doing business in Mexico
• Industry-specific training in areas like real estate, healthcare, construction and manufacturing
“It’s a free flow of ideas. You get to see the things that are important to the speakers. When they give out their personal stories, they offer their experience. People will have the opportunity to submit questions,” Majchrzak said.
“What we want to be able to do instead of just a one-time event is create that environment of education and instruction on some of these business issues to continue throughout the year. This is a vehicle for people to learn from January to December.”
The UA Eller College of Management is working with BeachFleischman to award entrepreneurial certificates through the workshops, said Stephen Gilliland, Eller’s associate dean of executive education.
“We’re trying to give local businesses the tools they need to really accelerate their growth – to take their enterprise and move it to the next step. Through the faculty we have here and the work we’ve done throughout the years, we have a lot to offer the business community,” Gilliland said.
“What’s so wonderful about this partnership is it gives us a way to reach a far broader group of people than we ever could through our own marketing efforts.”
The workshops are being designed around specific needs in Tucson’s business community – matching experts in the field with companies that can gain some practical, in-depth knowledge to apply to their business.
“A big part of what we’ve done at Eller Executive is customizing the learning to the client. We’re going to collect feedback from people who attend the luncheon. We’re designing a curriculum for these workshops around the needs of our local community,” Gilliland said.
“If you look at the truly great mid-sized cities that have gotten it right – like Austin, Texas – it is because they figured out a way to accelerate the growth of their small and mid-sized businesses. I really feel that Tucson is on the cusp of turning that corner and becoming a great city,” Gilliland said.
“My hope is that we provide the accelerator, the opportunity for our businesses to get the flywheel turning and get the momentum going.”
ENERGIZE YOUR ENTERPRISE
Entrepreneur Forum & Luncheon
Wednesday Oct. 16
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
$50 per person, $450 for table of 10