“We obtain brilliant results from average people operating brilliant processes. But we observe that most companies obtain mediocre or worse results from brilliant people working around broken processes.”– JP Womack
When systems or processes are put in place they usually have a purpose. Over time, that purpose may become outmoded and ingrained. Be a nuisance in [Read More]
Are you playing checkers or chess with your staff? If you are playing checkers, you see each and every interaction with your employees as having a few simple moves – single slides or jumps – and each has the same “skill set”. But in chess, part of the strategy is learning how the individual pieces move and interact – a lot more like the average employee. Knowing what makes employees “tick” and also how they can help move the company forward is critical to keeping your company ahead of the competition. As leaders, we want to play games that make sense and grow profits, people and value. What games are you as a leader playing?
In the ocean called business standing out can mean life or death for your business. When people take notice they are more apt to pay attention to your business. If people are paying attention they are more apt to use your business. So I have one question for you. What makes your business different from your competition?
A website is your business’s image to the world. Anyone, no matter what day or time can get on the Internet and view your website. That first impression can either help your business or it can hurt it. Here are 5 reasons your website is hurting your business and what you can do to correct them.
Not knowing your own product/service can damage your company and lose you customers. The simple fact is how can you sell your product/service with confidence and be able to guarantee your customer that your product/service does what you say it can if you don’t know your own product? On top of that, your company can be sued if you tell your customer your product/service can do one thing but it can’t. That is false advertising and can get you in a lot of trouble.
It only takes an extra minute to do it right or fix a problem but it will take a lot longer to fix it if you let it go. That goes for the simplest of tasks. They can easily pile up. But what can you do to combat this?
Lead, follow or get out of the way. Failing to know which to do is probably one of the most annoying and frustrating things I have to deal with on a constant basis. It is usually one person on the project that is suppose to lead, follow or get out of the way that fails to do so and the whole project gets FUBARed. It is mainly due to them not understanding their role or accepting their role on the project.
A while ago I was meeting with Janet, an employee of a client. We were to go over some final details for their website. Janet had been appointed by the owner as my main and only contact. She knew the business inside and out and would be able to get me the information I needed to do my job except for one area. That is where Brad came in. The whole time I had been working with Janet, Brad was there, waiting to push her out of the way. He couldn’t accept that for this project his role was to follow Janet’s lead and give information about his area in the company. At every turn I would get “his version” of information for the website. It was very frustrating to not only me but to Janet too. If she didn’t give him the time of day to say his input he would run to the owner. Wasting everyone’s time.
Last week, I had a discussion with a business owner about the pros and cons of putting all business revenue received on the tax return – this is the error that many business owners make when they don’t record and report all cash payments thinking they are saving taxes when in reality they are short changing their future business value.
I told her the story of a young couple I’d worked with that wanted to buy a local pizza shop that was in a active neighborhood with over a hundred regular customers that had “super pizza ” memberships – think like a loyalty card at a coffee shop. The sale price was three times the gross revenue and the business was barely profitable on paper. When the couple took their dream business plan to the bank for funding, the first, second and third bank all said “NO” because it was overpriced, the cash flow wouldn’t support the loan and it was barely profitable. That was when I met them and they explained to me that the owner told them he always took cash out of the drawer as he needed, “It wasn’t a problem”, well it was.
One of the biggest factors in determining the value of your company is the extent to which an acquirer can see where your sales will come from in the future. There are 6 recurring revenues that get future buyers excited and learn your sellability score here.
“Do or don’t do. There is no try.” said Yoda to the young Luke Skywalker and this is aptly appropriate to small businesses. We use the word “try” because we like the way it sounds. I tried to make the goal, but I missed; I tried to sell the extra service but the customer wasn’t interested; I tried to lose weight, but I just have a weird metabolism. Notice that “tried” is almost always accompanied by “but”.
Most of the time, when someone says “I’m trying” or “I tried”, they may not want to say “I failed when I did what I was asked” or “I started, stopped and never got back” or “I don’t know how to do it”. Who wants to acknowledge failure? Leaders need to allow for failure and use it just like an engineer would to test a product until it fails.
Help your inner Yoda have a great Monday, get off your “but” and “Do or don’t do” today and see what happens. Here are six simple tips for leaders to use to get the “try” and “but” out of their businesses.
This past week I took The 7 Day Business Improvement Challenge. I totally made up the challenge last week but you know what. It was a success! So here is the skinny, for 7 days in a row I did at least 1 thing to help my business. It doesn’t matter how much time was spent each day, the point was to do one thing a day to improve the business. Find out what I did to improve Changing Lanes. You won’t be disappointed.