It's the time of year where we are preparing for filling last year's taxes and should be planning better for this year. Let's do that. Let's start planning now while it is on our mind and we don't forget the lessons learned, as they are still on our minds.
As a 17 year veteran of the New York City Police Department, Craig Cody knows a thing or two about being proactive. He knows what it means to be prepared and to plan ahead. He has taken that ability to think ahead from the force to the business field. As a CPA and Certified Tax Professional, he is prepared to save business owners real hard earned dollars. In our conversation, a few great points surfaced.
As a small business owner, you must also plan ahead and be proactive in so many areas of your business. Not many are as important as the area of your business finances and specifically your tax planning. Being reactive will certainly find you paying substantially more in taxes than you should be....
In this episode, a familiar subject appeared during the conversation. One of my favorite to speak about with business owners, mindset and blind spots. When you listen to Todd's story he learned the way most business owners do , by failing, learning and growing.
What makes the mindset such a tough and burdensome thing to a business owner. First, most business owners have a strong ego and a strong will. That's where they got the drive to start a business to begin with. Secondly, they tend to want to be the one who knows it all. You can hear Todd exclaim that in his story. Hey, if we are honest, we have all been there at one time or another. Third, and the part of Todd's story that will resonate with you, is we don't have someone showing us our blind spots.
So how do we allow our mindset to change and how do we discover our blind spots? Listen to what Todd said he did. That is the way to solve these issues. Albeit, you will always need to work on them. Todd found mentors,...
We hear it everyday from small business owners, "I need to increase my revenue!". While this may be true, we find there are different and deeper meanings to this phrase. Usually what is desired is more income and profit. The majority of the time just increasing revenue is short sighted and may even be even detrimental.
There are so many questions around what it will take to support increased revenue. Does the infrastructure exists to support the new sales? What are the acquisition costs required for the additional revenue? What is the margin for the additional sales of products or services you are offering?
The first two questions are easily addressed by understanding your operations capacity and your marketing/ sales systems. Generally these are straightforward answers that can be calculated and determined with the right team. We will address these in subsequent posts. What we want to focus on in this post is the third question and the all important margin...
If you find yourself with employees that are exhibiting behaviors that do not fit with the culture you are building, this post is for you. You have tried implementing policies and rules to 'help them' see what they should be doing differently. You speak to them from time to time yet nothing changes. You are frustrated!
Let's talk about why you may be hitting the proverbial wall. Why you cannot seem to get through. Why it seems so common sense, yet nothing changes. There are answers.
First, you as a leader or business owner must take ownership of the issue. 'What?!' You say, 'I'm not coming in late. I'm not the one taking a long lunch. I'm not the one who is doing less than my responsibilities. They are!' Maybe you aren't the one doing these things, however have you ever allowed them and not addressed them? If so, you did abdicate your responsibility as the leader.
You must make it clear with your expectations and then with your actions that their behaviors are not accepted. You do...
Reflecting on some conversations I have had the past couple of weeks with different business owners, the idea of 'leading with vulnerability' has re-entered my thoughts. As leaders we are required to be truly vulnerable, and we are all leaders. Read the quote above again. Read it slowly. Break it down. To the listener, our vulnerability builds trust, yet at the same time they feel the courage. Through that strength is grown. And to add to these thoughts, with strength comes respect and admiration.
When we get out of our comfort zone by being vulnerable, we are actually not only adding to the relationship of who we are leading and coaching, we are also allowing ourselves to grow. Admitting things about ourselves is healing, and uplifting. It is scary, however it is a growth factor. You cannot grow if you do not get uncomfortable.
My Vulnerability Story:
When I was in my late twenties I was given the keys to a manufacturing plant to lead. I was technically sound, knew...
As I am about to head out on the farm today I wanted to share something that has been resonating with me all week. This is powerful.
In our roles as leaders and business owners, we each have certain responsibilities. We are responsible for providing value to the clients. We are responsible for bringing together multiple and sometimes opposing personalities. We are responsible to our teammates. We are responsible for the growth and systematization of our business.
What about when something happens that is contrary to what we believe or value? Are we then responsible? Not necessarily. When an outside force, say a customer, does something against our values, we are not responsible. We didn't cause the incident. However, we are “response-able.”
What does it mean to be “response able?” I can tell you, and with many personal examples, that if you have been married for a long while you have had to learn what “response-able” means. To deal with people...
Let's discuss the What, Why and How of Standard Operating Procedures and how they benefit organizations.
What is an SOP (standard operating procedure)? This is defined as: a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output, and uniformity of performance, while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.
1. S stands for Standard - a standard or consistent measurable process is required so it can be repeated. The goal of a standard is to make sure items are handled in the same way, each time, by various people.
2. O stands for Operating - it must be an operational or workable process. In other words, it has a function and can procedure must be understood by those responsible for completing it, and it must be a logical workflow for taking actions.
So in the end an SOP is a set of repeatable, workable actions.
Why use SOP's in business
1. To drive...
I heard something today while traveling in Washington, D.C. that was a great reminder for me. A gentleman spoke about the key and most important balls we juggle in our lives. The balls of work, family, health, spirit, and relationships.
We can all have opinions, and should, about the specific balls in our life. We each must identify what is most important to us, and those things that are most important should receive the most of our attention. However you prioritize these important aspects in your life, the point is the same. One of these balls is rubber. Work is definitely a rubber ball. If we drop it, make a mistake, it can bounce back. We need to treat it as important, however, it can bounce. The other balls are glass. If we drop those they don't bounce, but break.
While our work is important, we cannot forsake our families, health, spirits, or relationships for the sake of the rubber ball. We must take breaks from work and let it bounce while we nurture the glass balls....
One of the things I have learned while experiencing life on this earth is this, the attitude of gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can apply. When we are grateful, truly grateful, for what we have right in front of us, it is hard to 'want' more. Being content is a blessing. Mind you we can be content, and yet not be complacent. Those are two different things. Contentment is being joyful in the present. Complacency is not striving for a future.
So how do we start expressing the attitude of gratitude? First, we choose to make gratitude a part of our perception of life and circumstances. We must believe that this perception is a better way to view life. I often advise my children that we typically get what we are looking for in life and our day to day experiences. If we seek what is good and positive, typically that is what we notice. On the flip side, if we embrace negativity and not experiencing the things we want, well, usually that is what we find. Second, we require...