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Plaza Centers NV has announced this week their decision of starting the biggest mall project in the center of Timisoara .Development works on the project are planned to start at the end of 2007, with the scheduled opening of the commercial center to mid 2009. The future shopping center, planned according to the city lifestyle's standards, will cover an area of 32.000sqm that will be designed in order to esthetically match and visually enrich the surroundings.

Plaza Centers NV is heading for Timisoara

Plaza Centers NV is heading for TimisoaraPlaza Centers NV is quoted on the London Stock exchange. The company is a member of the Elbit Medical Imaging Ltd, known in the field as one of the most experienced developers of Western style shopping and entertainment centers in the emerging markets. The project PLAZA CENTERS NV will be managed through a local subsidiary to become Timisoara's number one multifunctional complex, together with a shopping and entertainment center, residential and offices. In line with its strategic development in Central and Eastern Europe, PLAZA CENTERS will build a state of the art commercial center, which will include a hypermarket, 12 cinema screens, food court offering - dining facilities ranging from deluxe cuisine to fast food and thematic restaurants (Italian, Romanian, etc), full range fashion - from shoes, clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, sports, etc. "We intend to bring to the city of Timisoara famous international brands, active in all of the group's shopping centers in Europe . Students will also benefit, as there is a special attention upon this market fragment, and will be offered attractive facilities, such as - internet caf's, book shops, club, etc." Said Mr Luc Ronsmans , Country Director of PLAZA CENTERS in Romania . By continuing its tradition, PLAZA CENTERS NV will turn the entertainment and "shopping center" into a place for gathering of families, providing attractions for parents, children and teenagers including playground, Fantasy Park etc. Covering the residential demands, PLAZA CENTERS alone or in cooperation with strategic local partners, is intending to develop around 600 apartments covering the full range of size (one to four rooms) with class A finishing.The office space will be regrouped in a modern style business park atmosphere providing to the proud city of Timisoara class A office facilities, for existing and new entrepreneurs. The PLAZA CENTERS group is mainly focused on the Central and Eastern European region. The group has already developed, let and sold many shopping and entertainment centers of various types and sizes in seven different countries from Central and Eastern European region.PLAZA CENTERS was the first to open a Western type mall in Central and European region. Duna Plaza was build in 1996 in Budapest, Hungary, and in the next 10 years, it has been followed by more than 20 other shopping centers established in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Greece and now Romania. "Casa Radio" is one of the group's recent main acquisitions in Romania , a finalized process at the end of 2006.By establishing their leading position on the Romanian real estate market, PLAZA CENTERS has proven to be a serious player not only in the international but also local investment area.

Zoran against the World - Entrepreneurship in Transition

Zoran against the World - Entrepreneurship in Transition

Technologically, it is probably the most advanced printing facility in the Balkan. It cost almost $2.5 million. It was constructed in less than a year. And it is in dirt-poor and war-torn Macedonia.Behind this incredible tale of entrepreneurship, uncommon in these nether-regions, stands Zoran Rosomanov. A stereotypical visionary - mane, blazing eyes, imposing physique - this man, against nightmarish odds undreamt of by his Western counterparts, constructed, single-handedly, an impressive, star-trek like, factory.Literally single handedly: digging the muddy soil, hoisting bricks onto cranes, driving earth-removal heavy machinery. He begged, cajoled, and persevered. And he made it. His story serves a lesson to all the forlorn dreamers in the sad countries of the East.Thirty-six year old Zoran represents a new breed of "can-do" businessmen in Eastern Europe and the Balkan. His philosophy is the outcome of first-hand exposure to Western management techniques and ideology. He does not rely on the state to provide for him or for his enterprise. He actively seeks foreign inputs - in capital, contacts, and know-how. He is well-traveled, polyglot, affluent, a consumerist. He is enamored with technology and gadgets.Still, he likes to think of himself as a creator, or an artist - rather than a money machine. He emphasizes the design-related portions of his company. He brags of his hobbies: photography, interior design, music. His home and office serve to advertise not his wealth - but his aesthetically-informed talents. He is smartly dressed and well-mannered, indistinguishable from his colleagues in the West. Though he loves Macedonia, his homeland, he is, in essence, a citizen of the world.Zoran started off as a TV music editor in the Macedonian state-owned channel. The highlight of this brief phase in his career was a human rights concert in Budapest. But he soon discovered his true calling: business. He joined a Belgrade-based musical instruments trading firm as a traveling salesman. At the age of 21, he was put in charge of 185 people as head of the Sales Department.But Yugoslavia was disintegrating. Yugoslavs lost their common identity overnight and woke up as Macedonians, Croats, Serbs, or Bosnians. Zoran went back to Skopje, where he opened, with his savings, a chain of 11 stores of electronic consumer goods.But he noticed that how you sell is at least as important as what you sell. He discovered marketing. After a stint of studies in Milan, Italy, he came back to Macedonia and, in 1992 he established "Divajn". "I noticed that everyone in Italy asked me about Macedonia. They were interested. So, I decided to connect people." The company was the first to offer a vertical, marketing campaign-orientated service: from poster ads to sales force, a turnkey solution.He also noticed that, the paperless office notwithstanding, there was a great demand for paper products. In a typical move, Zoran bought an expensive computer and began to design such products for his contacts. "But I noticed that, following a first satisfactory order, they circumvented me and went directly to the printer".So, he decided to become a printer as well - by merging with a print shop. He placed an ad and settled on one of the applicants. They have been inseparable ever since. Their joint company, "Bato and Divajn", owns the new facility and Zoran's partner supervises the daily work there. "Wealth is in people - not in money", says Zoran.His secretary has been with him for 11 years. Miki, the talented head of the pre-press division and quality control, has been working with him for a decade. Zoran values loyalty. He trains his staff personally. Every single one of his 40 workers (soon to increase to 55) has gone through a 6-month period of apprenticeship. Then they are on their own. "I believe in delegating," says Zoran, "though I never lose sight of the details. And I am very demanding".When the combined business expanded, Zoran needed new machines. He tried to find investors, both domestic and foreign, but failed. So, he approached a friend of a friend in Holland. This guy owned an envelope factory and was interested to sell one of the used machines for a mere 400 thousand DM (i.e., c. $180,000).In typical irresistible gall, Zoran offered him $13,000 as an advance payment. "I will pay you the rest over 3 years" - he pledged earnestly. "What is your guarantee?" - asked the shocked seller. "Your trust" - responded Zoran. The stunned Dutchman accepted. Zoran paid him back in two years.This pattern of unmitigated self-confidence, infectious optimism, and non-conformism pervades Zoran's way of doing business. He won an order for a million labels simply by waltzing in and producing samples he scanned off empty beer bottles. He is now the exclusive printer for this brewery.Last April, as he was visiting another client - his firm supplies all the Macedonian blue-chips - he overheard a discussion about problems with a Slovenian supplier. "If I were to establish my own factory here, will you buy from me?" - he enquired. They said yes - and so did many others. "It was my market research" - he grins. Why import from Slovenia if there is a qualitative alternative in one's backyard? Zoran is a great believer in import substitution and buying local. It is not only patriotic - but it makes economic sense.He proceeded forthwith to find land. His firm designed the construction project. All he lacked was the printing presses. He had less than $100,000 in cash. He needed another $2.4 million. Others would have regarded this deficiency as insurmountable. Not Zoran.He decided to get the best equipment money could buy - and that meant "Heidelberg". So, he picked up the phone and called Alexander Hufnagel, Heidelberg's director of East Europe. When he asked to buy on credit, they naturally demanded a bank guarantee. Zoran prepared a business plan and went to Komercijalna Banka, Macedonia's second largest retail bank. He asked for $1 million, partly from IFC funds dedicated to small and medium enterprises.Macedonia's economy has been in dire straits long before its independence in 1992. Nearly one third of the workforce are unemployed. The heavily-politicized and under-capitalized banking system is largely dysfunctional. Lending to business is almost at a standstill. Zoran's was an unprecedented application.When Zoran dug the first foundations in an industrial park at the outskirts of Skopje, a civil war between Macedonians and Albanians has erupted. Fighter planes and helicopters buzzed above head and police and army streamed to the Aracinovo, a besieged village, not far from the site. There was palpable panic in the air.Komercijalna Banka asked for a collateral and Zoran offered the new equipment. "Title will revert to me only when I finish paying you", he explained. Unbeknownst to him he has invented leasing. He then turned around and offered Komercijalna's money to Heidelberg as his equity. After a grueling few days of due diligence, Heidelberg agreed to give him supplier's credit amounting to the rest. They asked to him to guarantee the credit personally. He willingly accepted.Zoran then proceeded to convince them to establish a maintenance center, replete with spare parts, in his new factory. "I don't charge them rent" - he discloses impishly - "My machines must work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is useful to have a maintenance crew and spare parts handy." The next logical step is to become their representative in Macedonia. "I am working on it. But I want them to provide me with revolving credit to be able to offer financing together with the equipment".But this financial wizardry has depleted Zoran's resources. He resorted to an old communist stratagem: the barter ("compensation" in East European argot). He traded print jobs for building materials. It was one of the worst arctic winters in memory with temperatures often dropping to way below the freezing point. But construction continued, the shivering workers spurred on by Zoran's personal example.When the equipment finally arrived, Zoran was presented with a $450,000 bill - for the newly imposed Value Added Tax. In a complex financial somersault, Zoran borrowed against future VAT refunds and overcame this obstacle as well. The NASA-like control panel, the printers, cutters, templates for different cigarette brands - all were finally installed in the half completed structure."This is my country" - Zoran toggles an unlit smoke - "It is beautiful. We just need help. I could never have done it without the help extended to me by Heidelberg, Komercijalna, the IFC, my clients. My wife stood behind me. This network of support is indispensable. There can be no entrepreneurship and initiative without it!""Aren't you afraid to fail?""I have no fear. With all our problems - we still must exist. We must survive. Many say I am crazy - but time will tell who will succeed. You must persevere. If the bank would have said no - I would have gone elsewhere. There is always a solution. My advice: get your suppliers involved. Heidelberg now has a stake and they will refer clients to me. I said to them: you want me as a client? Then give me credit!""Operating in Macedonia is not easy...""A country should be run like a business and politicians should act like CEO's. Macedonia has the potential to be this region's Switzerland, though it must concentrate on exploiting its natural endowments: climate and soil. Agri-business is its future. All we have to do is encourage foreign investments by safeguarding property rights and overhauling the court system and law enforcement. We have to learn from foreign investors and emulate them.""But foreign investors are potentially your competitors..."He tilts his head back and laughs uproariously:"The Slovenians tried to arm-twist my clients, slander me, and spy on my operations. I can now easily compete with them in the Serb market. My transport costs are much lower. My machinery is so advanced that I can work for the strictest multinational anywhere from Switzerland to Turkey. We are getting the ISO quality certificate shortly. So, they are scared. What has been my response? I bought more land for future expansion..."

Computer Consultant Skills: Can You Be Your Own Boss?

Computer Consultant Skills: Can You Be Your Own Boss?

If you're just getting started, what do you need to know about the business aspects of being their own boss? It really boils down to two very straightforward things. You need to have some basic business skills and knowledge and you need the motivation to become a computer consultant.MotivationYou have to really want to become a "computer consultant" badly. Think about anything youve ever really achieved in life. Whether its graduating from school or passing a test. Maybe it was getting your drivers license, getting married, maybe buying your first car or home, maybe becoming a parent.Whatever it is, it took a lot of motivation and determination. Theres always going to be ups and downs, some tough days and some tough weeks, but in most cases its probably going to be well worth it in the end. There are tools and tips you can use, but ultimately the drive and the desire has to come from within. Step By Step PlanThe second part is knowing the key steps that you need to do week by week as you get through your first few months. You need to know what to get for your office, what to have in the car with you, what to do when youre setting up credit policies, what to do to scope out the competition, what to charge, who to network with, whos worth sucking up to and know who youre wasting time with. All these things can be taught.You'll need to figure out your expenses, what you need to bill out at, how to organize everything, what to buy, and probably just as important, what not to buy. You'll need to figure out how to work more efficiently, get paid for your time and get paid well for your time working as a computer consultant. The great part is that these are all very teachable things.You Can Become a Computer ConsultantIf you manage to master various software applications and network operating systems and hardware devices over the years you can definitely get your hands around a handful of important business skills that you need to become a computer consultant.Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Biz Tech Talk. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Business Plan Outlines - The 5 W's

Business Plan Outlines - The 5 W

Business plan outlines are all different. The one common thread is that all business plan outlines help the writer answer the five W questions: who, what, when, where, why.If any of you ever worked in journalism or as reporters, what you want to do when you investigate anything is answer the 5 W's. A business plan outline is a concrete method for investigating a business idea so answering the 5 W's makes sense. Business Plan Outline of the 5 W'sWho are you? Your business plan outline should detail your certifications, industry experience, and credentials. List the business credential that you've already received or those that you're planning on getting in the early stages. This part of the business plan outline also lists the staff you project needing and what their qualifications will be. What do you plan on sell? In your business plan outline you need to include a discussion of what it is you are selling. Are you selling products, services or both? Once you know what you are selling you then need to discuss the revenue and profit associated with your products and/or services. This part of the business plan outline also includes your preliminary sales and marketing plan. What will you be doing to gain your clients and how much time and money will you spend doing so?When did you launch or when do you plan on launching? This information is critical to outside investors and it will also help to keep you on track.Where are you located? Here you will indicate the types of facilities needed to run your business. Will you work out of your home or rent office space? Why is your approach unique? This is a critical question that your business plan outline must address. You need to explain your number one differentiator. Somewhere in your business plan outline you must make space for detailing the proposition that sets you apart from everyone else in the market.The Bottom Line On Business Plan Outlines "Business plan outline" s help you structure your answers to the most important business planning questions. These questions can be summarized as the 5 W's. By answering these questions, your business plan outline will lead you to discover and detail the exact "how" of your overall business operations.Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Biz Tech Talk. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Minority-Owned Franchises Can Help Business Grow

Building minority partnerships through franchising can help grow your business, according to Henryk Strzeletz of Wheels America Advertising.Strzeletz, born in Poland and a 30-year resident of Germany before moving to the U.S., searches out viable markets and recruits potential business people from all walks of life who are interested in growing with his mobile advertising business, which he established in 1995.Philip Mereday, chief executive officer of WAA, shares Strzeletz's vision. Mereday, an African-American with a combined business experience that spans over 30 years, sees franchising as a way to open doors to a multinational work force, giving easy access to government programs such as the Minority Business Development Agency and others. In the end, this greatly benefits Strzeletz's business - helping WAA turn a substantial profit and keeping the company competitive."The challenge for many minorities is that they don't have the resources to take advantage of government programs," said Mereday. "They don't know that you can bid for contracts with the Department of Commerce or get a grant from the Small Business Administration."To get its franchises rolling, WAA is working on team-building - giving seminars and workshops to those interested in opening franchises."We're trying to build a foundation, a bulwark for business people looking for a viable investment in an already proven growth market. Maybe they're building up their portfolio or looking to strengthen their future," said Mereday, who has been an investment banker and writer and has worked overseas in the United Kingdom. "The main benefit of franchising is personal satisfaction from growth."Success is crowning WAA's efforts. A minority business partnership in Detroit has grown from one mobile billboard advertising vehicle to six, which operate daily. A predominately Latino franchise in Miami has been working with clients ranging from Western Union to Spanish-language auction site DeRemate.com.With more than 30 U.S. locations, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas, minority-owned franchises have helped to make WAA a major player in mobile media, with Fortune 500 clients including Toshiba, Fox Sports and Einstein Bros Bagels.

10 Tips for a Successful Entrepreneurial Pitch

One of the hardest presentations to make is the entrepreneurial pitch. You have a great idea for a business and you want someone to give you money to make it happen. The problem is that venture capitalists, angel investors, and even rich uncles are heavily predisposed against you. Why? Because 99% of the pitches they hear sound like sure-fire prescriptions to lose money!If you are pitching investors to give you money for a new venture, you should subscribe to the following rules:1. Explain exactly what your business is within the first thirty seconds. Many entrepreneurs waste valuable time giving loads of data, background and other infoall the while investors are left scratching their heads thinking What does this business actually DO?2. Tell your audience who your customers will be. Paint a vivid, specific picture of these people.3. Explain why your customers going to give you there hard-earned money.4. Explain who your competitors are. (And if you say you have no competitors, that is a certain sign you are unsophisticated and deserve no investment money!)5. Explain why you are the ONE to make this happen.6. Give your presentation with confidence and enthusiasm. Investors want a founder/CEO to be a chief salesperson; they want to see that you can convince the world of your dreamnot just them.7. Explain what star you can hitch a ride to. Has Best Buy or Radio Shack agreed to distribute your new product? Investors feel much more comfortable knowing you have an established player willing to distribute your wares.8. Ask for a specific amount of money. If all you do is ask for money, then you cant complain if an investor gives you $3.25 for a cup of Starbucks coffee.9. Tell prospects exactly what you are going to spend the money on (hint:a trip to Maui for you and your friends will not impress)10. Dress well, act confident, and put on the air that you dont really need their money, but would be willing to accept it if they bring enough to the table to be a strategic partner for you. Sad but true regarding human nature, but people are much more likely to give you money if they feel you dont really need it.Finally, make each pitch presentation serve as a focus group for your next presentation. When one group of investors asks you a series of questions after you pitch, write down all of those questions and make sure most of them are answered in your next pitch so that the next group doesnt have to ask them. Keep pitching and keep improving your pitch and eventually you may get funded.

Summary

Plaza Centers NV has announced this week their decision of starting the biggest mall project in the center of Timisoara .Development works on the project are planned to start at the end of 2007, with the scheduled opening of the commercial center to mid 2009. The future shopping center, planned according to the city lifestyle's standards, will cover an area of 32.000sqm that will be designed in order to esthetically match and visually enrich the surroundings.