It amazes me how the debate continues of whether Systems and Processes of a business are important or not. Many business owners will even agree they are important, yet their actions show otherwise. If you truly believe they are critical to your business, and they are, then why aren't they documented? Why aren't they reviewed consistently for continuous improvement? Why do costly errors still occur because people aren't following the processes? Why do you choose to live in chaos and overwhelm day in and day out when you don't have to?
The first explanation is the fact that it takes time and energy to document your processes. The excuse given often is 'we just do not have time'. I agree it does take energy and time to document your processes. However, I submit to you that the wasted time and energy spent man handling the process, the mistakes and the energy spent on cleaning up the dissatisfied customers and the inefficiencies that exist are costing you a lot more time and money than...
Are you ready to grow? Are you ready to take your business to a new level? Maybe you have finally hit the $1 Million mark and now you seek new heights. Maybe your business has been stagnant and you need a shot of energy. If you find yourself needing additional horsepower, so you can take more time to strategically think about your business, we know what you need.
We highly recommend you read the book Rocket Fuel if you are interested in finding the right hand person for your business. It may be that you are the Visionary (V) or the Integrator (I), either one, and need that key person to compliment you in your business. The book is so aptly titled because as this new person enters the business in this role, things can really take off. This is not without some key things that need to be understood however.
Visionary - Ideas, Influences, Strategic Thinker, Passionate, Deal Maker, Opportunist
Integrator - Implements, Communicator, Mentor, Leader, Drives Culture, Skeptic
As a Business Owner, most likely you started your business to find freedom of income, time and purpose. Today we talked with Aaron Muller about exactly how to become a Lifestyle Business Owner. In his book, The Lifestyle Business Owner, he clearly articulates the steps required to do so.
It takes planning, action and some good fortune along the way to find the right business or businesses for you and the lifestyle you desire. It also requires experts that you can plug into as guides and mentors to help you shorten the cycle to success. Aaron is very clear that one of the best decisions he made along the way was to hire a consultant and coach to guide is actions for a business he purchased.
Whether you are business savvy, formally educated or not; business success is possible with hard work, following some timeless principles and with guidance. Finding or hiring a mentor, someone who knows the way, is a powerful way to learn. You will need several key people...
Personal Accountability must start with the Business Owner. As the leader, you are required to set the example that you want your team to emulate. As John G. Miller says so clearly, "It all comes back to the Business Owner. "
When you hear the questions that begin with 'why', 'when' or the all too often 'who', you know that personal accountability is lacking. If you find yourself using these questions, you need to look inward for the reason for the lack of taking responsibility. Reading the book QBQ is a great place to start to change your mindset.
The powerful and personally accountable based questions begin with 'what' or 'how". For example, "what can I do". John clearly outlines the personally accountable formula.
When you find yourself overwhelmed and in chaos as a business owner, it is all too easy to shift into the victim mindset. It's easy to cast blame, look for excuses and explain away why things didn't get accomplished. If you find yourself in...
Business transition is a tough endeavor even for the experienced entrepreneur. It takes deep introspection and a willingness to admit that the original direction you were going may have been good but not great. However it can be exciting and enlightening as well.
Victor Hallock is a great example of someone who, while accomplishing much, has found that he has a burning desire and talent to go in a different direction. In our conversation on the podcast, it would be easy to assume that he made the wrong decision years ago to pursue his first business. That isn't necessarily so. Sometimes just starting and going in any direction is better than waiting. It actually helped Victor get to where he is today.
If you are a business owner that finds yourself in a business you really aren't passionate about or maybe even find you are burned out, don't feel trapped. There is always a way to find the business you were meant to own and love. I actually experienced this myself in my entrepreneur...
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...