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Small Business Leadership Academy

Ria Robles: Small Business Leadership Academy Past Participant

Ria Robles discusses how her participation in the Small Business Leadership Academy has benefited her and her business, B2B Delivery, LLC.

Small Business Leadership Academy Past Participant:

Ria Robles, B2B Delivery, LLCRia Robles
B2B Delivery, LLC

Tell us about your business: B2B Delivery specializes in same day, business-to-business deliveries throughout the state of Arizona and Las Vegas, NV. We provide expedited local deliveries, including time critical, hot shots, scheduled route work, mail runs, next-day deliveries, and less than truckload shipments.

Year of participation in SBLA: 2011

What was the most important thing you learned from SBLA? The most important thing I learned is that you should never stop learning!  It was invigorating to get back into the classroom and stimulate my brain again in a way I haven’t done since attending ASU in 1993.

How have you changed the way you do business based on what you learned during SBLA? It was great to learn from all of the other business owners in the class and get their views and opinions on different issues. I am much more open now as a result of the SBLA program and much more likely to seek others opinions and advice before making final decisions.

How has the SBLA alumni community been helpful to you since you went through the program? I still have occasional communication with some of my classmates. We have been able to network and do some business together.

What aspects of SBLA do you consider most valuable for other small business owners in Phoenix? The different topics of each session are truly relevant to us as business owners. The issues discussed are in direct correlation to what we are experiencing in our day-to-day lives running a business. To me, having information that is useful is the most valuable type!

For more information about the program, including admission requirements, please visit SBLA’s website.

Small Business Leadership Academy series

Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part II)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part II)

Students spent time over the last week determining their company’s value proposition. Each student presented their value proposition to the class and fielded questions about it. For a small business owner, taking the time to occasionally review their organization’s strategy — and making necessary changes — can be the difference between staying in business and closing their doors.

As Professor Trevis Certo mentioned last week, “A common strategic mistake that many small businesses make is not understanding how common their product or service is and how easy it would be for another company to imitate.” With that in mind, several students put their value proposition in terms of what was rare about their businesses.

For Robert Lassner, project manager for Photovoltaic Systems Manufacturing, the value proposition isn’t always a product. “One of the rare things we have is experience and knowledge,” he says. “That is our most valuable asset.”

Ria Robles, vice president of B2B Delivery, also detailed the valuable aspects of their same-day courier service, commenting, “None of our competitors have all of these aspects, which is what helps keep us so successful.”

This exercise allowed these company leaders to take a high-level look at their day-to-day activities. What plans are pushed aside to keep the business moving forward? Steve Taverna, president and owner of TAVCO Sales & Service Company, has new accounting software just waiting to be implemented. “As we get bigger, we’re hoping to have more people that will be willing to take the lead on implementation of new technology.”

Going through this exercise created a strong foundation for the students as they move into next week’s topic, competing through services. With a better handle on the value proposition of their organization, these business leaders will no doubt refine their business practices over the next eight weeks.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

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Missed the first part of this series?

Read Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part I).