Podcasts

Small business owners are faced with a myriad of challenges every single day. If it isn’t sales, then it’s receivables and if it isn’t receivables, it’s operations. Add to this the hundreds of thoughts they are juggling trying to sustain their enterprises. Always at the top of their worry list is how to keep their staff focused and motivated.

Unlike much larger corporations, small business owners usually don’t have the financial resources to implement sophisticated incentive programs. A big part of the problem in smaller organizations is that the employees usually wear more than one hat or have overlapping responsibilities. Of course, we can argue that this isn’t efficient or effective, but it’s the way it is in so many … Read More

the long game

We all learn lesson throughout our working lives. Some are good lessons, some are a little painful. Some of those lessons we remember, some we forget. Hopefully, we learn to apply the good lessons as frequently as possible and not repeat those painful ones too often.

One of those lessons I learned a long time ago, was to play the long game when it comes to sales. So, what do I mean when I say, “the long game”? The long game means understanding that actions today may pay off at some future point with unknown timing.

The long game is understanding that people are different. Whereas some people need to buy immediately, others prefer to do preliminary research before buying. … Read More

The One Thing-Money

In the movie City Slickers, Jack Palance’s character Curly and Billy Crystal’s character Mitch are riding along having a bonding moment, when Curly turns to Mitch and asks,

Curly: Do you know what the secret to life is?
Mitch: No What?
Curly: This! (As he holds up one finger)
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else doesn’t mean (expletive).
Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the one thing?
Curly: That’s what you gotta figure out

 

I’m always reminded of that scene whenever I ask my clients “What’s the number one thing every business needs in order to succeed?” Inevitably, I get a number of different answers that include reputation, a good … Read More

In its heyday, the Kodak company used the following tagline in their advertising: “Make it a Kodak Moment!” This phrase was used when taking a picture of someone at a particular moment that will never be forgotten. It even made its way into everyday use to highlight anything good or embarrassing that happened to an individual, even when it wasn’t captured on film.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced our fair share of Kodak Moments in our lives, so I want to share one of mine that will be forever burned into my memory. It was an expensive sales lesson about being overly confident, that I’ll never forget. This event unfolded when I had my first company, The Sales Support Company. … Read More

Communication

A constant refrain that I hear from business owners is “they should know better!” “They” of course being any or all the employees that screwed up. Naturally, when I hear this statement, I just can’t leave it alone and therefore I need to challenge it. At which point the conversation goes something like this,

Client: They should know better
Me: Really, why is that?
Client: It’s their job
Me: Did you tell them?
Client: No, I shouldn’t have to

Me:
Why shouldn’t you have to?
Client: Because they’re supposed to be adults
Me: That may be true, but you still need to tell them what you expect
Client: I hired them to do a job. If I have to tell … Read More

Discipline Equals Freedom

READING TIME: 5 minutes

Discipline is not always a strong suit when it comes to describing many entrepreneurs, it just goes against their rebel nature. One of the main reasons they went out on their own is because they figured they could do a better job, make more money and have a better life, but to do it their way.

For many, their jack of all trade, get it done, whatever it takes the attitude, helped them launch their business, but this, not an enduring strategy if one wants to create a sustainable business. On second thought, it can be, if you enjoy long days, doing everything yourself and running around like your hair is on fire. Chances are though, … Read More

SBM #67-Demand More from your service providersI have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs helping them to shape their businesses into their vision. One problem that I frequently come across is the quality or I should say, the lack thereof of some 3rd party service providers e.g. bookkeeping, IT specialists, etc.

For the record, I’m all about outsourcing non-core or mission-critical activities to individuals who specialize in a given area. But time and again I find that many of these providers never consider the best interests of their clients.

Most of my entrepreneurial ventures have been as a service provider and one of my key mandates was to always be searching for ways to reduce our costs to our clients. That may sound treasonous, but in fact, … Read More

Someday I’ll be able to slow down. Someday I’ll be able to take more than just a couple of days off. Someday, someday, someday. This refrain is repeated daily by millions of overworked and underpaid entrepreneurs. Some feel trapped in a design of their own making.

Others feel they have traded their soul or some other part of their being for the sake of their company. Still, others are oblivious to what’s happening and just accept, whether it’s right or wrong, that this is what they signed up for.

They kid themselves every day into believing that someday is just around the corner, when in fact, it’s nothing more than just a shimmering mirage far off in the distance.

 … Read More

Decision Making- Engage Your Employees

Why is it that so many owners think they and they alone have all the answers, to every problem in their business?

When you consider that most owners started their companies as the only employee, it’s easy to understand how this attitude got started but why it continues is the question? Granted, there will always be those technical, legal or safety issues that require the owners input, but what about those day-to-day operational, sales and marketing challenges that arise?

Businesses are not democracies

Contrary to all the discussions about managing in the new millennium, businesses are not democracies and the final decision still rests with the owner. However, there are plenty of opportunities to engage employees in the problem solving … Read More

Defining Moments

Reading time: 3 minutes
Many successful entrepreneurs get asked, “What was their defining moment?” or some similar question. Several have never even thought about it, nor can they easily identify that special moment. Those that do, will admit that they didn’t recognize it at the time as a defining moment, because no trumpets blared or some similar event. It was only through hindsight that it became evident.

Defining moments just happen

The point is, nobody, sets out to create defining moments. They aren’t goals in and of themselves, they just happen. What these individuals do though, is they get up every day and work hard to realize their goals and have been doing so long before they became entrepreneurs. What … Read More