Thoughts On Business Leadership By Nunzio Presta

Small Business Canada

Nunzio Presta is an ex pro hockey player turned entrepreneur! He is also the Founder & CEO of BizON, an online marketplace with over 10,000 active users looking to buy, sell and grow businesses or franchises every day.

Nunzio is equipped with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to identifying, building and funding businesses – in addition to being a thought leader on social selling, digital marketing, leadership & entrepreneurship through acquisition. He sits on the board of multiple startups and is part of Startup Canada’s Entrepreneur Success Advisory Council.

Nunzio is a mentor to many entrepreneurs, small business and franchise owners, and is a regular contributor to Thrive Global, a digital resource for individuals and corporations spearheaded by Arianna Huffington.

Nunzio graduated from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce. 

What is your definition of Leadership? 

I don’t believe there is a set definition. Everyone will have something different to say. But to me, leadership is about inspiring people, motivating them, and getting them to do more than they ever thought possible. It’s all about getting the right team, on the right bus, going the right way, at the right time.

What are the most important values and ethics you demonstrate as a leader?

Ipride myself on being reliable, focused, curious and energetic. By working on my craft and by being reliable, focused, curious and energetic, I can move relentlessly decisively forward, taking actions on uncertainty and betting on the future for my business.

How do you encourage the development of your employees? 

First, I find A+ players who are open to developing, learning and excited about what we are trying to accomplish at BizON. With the right people on my side, I then set the strategic direction and tone for the business. For example, I am very curious, therefore, my team is very curious. This curiosity leads to wondering, wandering, questioning, learning, developing and inventing. Even if we fail along the way, we have the openness to take calculated chances to experiment with new things and push the needle forward. Making mistakes is the price of pushing the status quo and developing as people and as a business.

What is your advice to Canadian business owners during the COVID-19 Pandemic? 

My biggest advice is that now is not the time to retreat and think small. You need to stay consistent and pursue business as much as possible while implementing safeguards to protect your community so we can get through this crisis together. You may want to shift some conversations around addressing the crisis – however, you need to do this in an authentic, empathetic and transparent manner. Overall, I would tell business owners to focus on the following:

  1. Do not tarnish your relationships – Avoid short term thinking that will tarnish your relationships with employees, customers, investors, and other stakeholders. How you act in moments like this speaks volumes about who you are and your core personal and business ethics.
  2. S.E.T – Continue to audit the business environment by using my model called S.E.T – social, economic and tech trends. This will help you know how to shift and be agile with business decisions and next steps.
  3. Have a very sharp eye on your cash – Eliminate all unnecessary expenses and use that money to invest in growth at your business.
  4. Double or triple your prospecting efforts – Make more contacts and fill your pipeline, do not let off the gas.
  5.  Create more social media content – It costs you nothing to continue sharing informative and creative content about your business.
  6. Stay healthy – Eat well, sleep well, and exercise so you have the energy to work hard.
  7. Be 100% virtual – All of the ‘social distancing’ requirements and canceled events caused by this virus should be a real eye-opener to the fact that you must be able to operate your business virtually. That’s particularly true of your sales processes. Shift, adjust and move forward.
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