Blog Archives

Wood Warms You Thrice

There is an old saying that wood warms you thrice – first while gathering; next while stacking and splitting; and finally when burning.  Having heated a home in my past with wood, I truly understand this and the work affords the mind time to process issues, plan for the future or solve the problems of  my business. [Read More]

Posted in Business Planning

Looking Forward to 2014

I’m not one for New Year Resolutions. I look at it as if I need a date to start doing something, I probably won’t do it. But this year as I sat at my desk on Jan 1st and reflected back on 2013. I realized that I need, no… want to make a change. 2013 was just a blah year for me. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good. The most I can really say is I work a lot on my business, I’m still doing a lot of things I don’t want to do and I visited two places I don’t care to go to again.  So for 2014 I thought, why not make some goals and changes? Things that I want to do to make my life better.

Posted in Business Improvement, Goals, Personal Improvement

End of the New Year Checklist

The end of 2013 is upon us. Are you ready for the new year?

If you planned ahead you already have a jump start on getting everything right where it should be to make your accountant happy. Good for you but, if your like most samll business owners this time of the year seems to pop up out of nowhere.

If you have no idea where to start I have a made a checklist for you:

Get your books in order

Take a look at your financials

Evaluate last years goals

Brush up on new laws 

Gather your documents

Set new goals

 

Posted in Business Management, Business Planning, Deadlines, Financial, Goals, Uncategorized

Government Shutdown Stifling Small Businesses

With the Government Shutdown still lingering on, I thought it would be better to find information for small business owners. 

This article from the The Huffington Post gives reality to some of the problems small business owners are facing: [More]

Government Shutdown Stifling Small Businesses

Posted in Business Planning, Economics

Business Plans Aren’t Set In Stone

Every business should have a business plan. But chances are it won’t hold up to reality. What? Why have a business plan then? Business Plans are here for one reason, to get you to think through your business by putting your thoughts on paper so you can see the big picture of how your business [Read More]

Posted in Business Planning

Done is Better Than Perfect

I’m a perfectionist that doesn’t have time to be perfect. That drives me bonkers but I’ve realized it is a battle I will never win. It is true that if I’m allowed or allow myself to have unlimited time to complete a project, lets say a web service, I will never complete it. Oh, I [Read More]

Posted in Business Improvement, Business Planning

Crafting Your Vision

Think of your Vision Statement as a picture of your company at some point in the future – maybe 2, 3 or 5 years.  A vision is a way to articulate your dreams and hopes for your business while quantifying the expected results with a realistic “on or before date”.  It reminds us of what [Read More]

Posted in Business Culture, Business Planning, Organization

What IS Your Mission?

Just imagine you are at a Chamber Luncheon and someone asks you “What is your mission?”  If you can’t answer that question immediately and succulently all the fairy dust in the world won’t motivate people to follow you.  Being the capitalist that I am, the unwritten ending to any for-profit business mission will be “and make money”.  But what comes before needs to inspire and NOT rely on the charisma of the leader.  A good mission will speak to employees, customers and stakeholders.  Furthermore, I’m partial to mission statements that every employee can repeat easily.  That means often less than 20 words. 

Remember, your mission is what gets you excited and energized each and every day.  If it excites you, your staff will see your excitement and most will join in the adventure. 

Here are some for companies that I know and use:

Starbucks:  to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. 

Toyota:  To sustain profitable growth by providing the best customer experience and dealer support. 

DuPont:  Sustainable Growth: Increasing shareholder and societal value while reducing our environmental footprint. 

St Luke’s Hospital in Maumee: Improve your health and well-being by promising to put our Patients first. Always.

The Andersons:  We channel our time, talent and energy in pursuit of fundamental goal of serving God by service others.

Ebay:  global, social, and entrepreneurial trading that is enabled by eBay’s Internet ecommerce systems and services.

Amazon:  Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Facebook:  Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

What is your Mission?  Read [More] and share your mission. 

Posted in Business Management, Business Planning, Customer Service & Culture, Image & Marketing

How Much Time Do You Spend on Your Financials?

Last week, I was reading the agenda for the mastermind group I attend and listed in the informational section was “15 minutes–social media; 5 minutes–financial”.  Thats all, just that cryptic statement.  So I started thinking what my business or some of my clients businesses might look like if we spent 15 minutes each day on social media and 5 minutes a day on their studying their financial information. 

Right now, I know some of you are saying “I spend way more than 15 minutes on social media everyday, to compete I have to spend hours on that stuff“.  And that is my point, if you are spending hours on social media and only look at the financial side of your business irregularly or less than monthly, you may be spending time on something (social media) that your financial data will not prove are useful. 

If I spend 5 minutes everyday on my financial side of my business, I wonder what it will look like at the end of a month, a year?

Posted in Business Improvement, Business Planning, Financial

Have you Fallen into The Mile Wide Trap?

If your company’s revenue has stalled after a period of rapid growth, you may have fallen into The Mile Wide Trap.  The Mile Wide Trap ensnares you when you do an excellent job serving a small number of great customers and they ask you to handle more of their work. You keep delivering, and they keep broadening the list of products and services they want you to supply.

Your company is wildly profitable serving the expanding needs of this small list of “great customers” so you keep falling deeper and deeper into the trap.

Pretty soon, you’re an inch deep and a mile wide in offerings and the only person in your company with the depth of industry experience to deliver all of the services is you. But you’re trapped because your expenses have crept up as your revenue has exploded – leaving you dependent on the sales you get from a small group of demanding customers.

Posted in Business Planning, Buying a Business
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