Podcasts

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

Read Time: 5 mins

Don’t worry about your competition. Pretty unusual advice to receive for any business owner. To be sure, we need to know some things about our competitors like:

• Who they are
• What products they sell
• Their pricing strategy i.e. cheap or expensive
• Their reputation i.e. after sales service, timeliness, etc.

But this just makes good business sense. Far too often I find small business owners who obsess about every move their competitors make. This obsession often leads to distraction and paralysis as they are not sure whether to match a competitor’s activity or ignore it.

In industries where there is lots of competition, you run the risks of getting serious whiplash as you … Read More

overcoming business failure

Successful entrepreneurs share many things in common. Hard work, focus, belief in themselves, hungry for knowledge and so on. One trait that doesn’t get much mention is the ability to accept and overcome failure. As entrepreneurs, failure can be a daily occurrence, but the worse is when a business fails.

 

To be sure there is a lot of noise made on social media and from the start-up world about “fail fast”. It is often heralded as a badge of honour and a goal in and of itself. The premise being that the sooner I fail, the sooner I’ll become a success. Failure is no guarantee of success. Success requires several skills and a lot of luck. Failure is no … Read More

Training Your Team

Reading Time: 5 mins

We all have our own definitions of training for our team, but in all honesty, most of it sucks. Sure, for customer facing team members, we do the mandatory, how to acknowledge a customer stuff, with all the expected please and thank you’s.

It also goes without saying that we spend time teaching them “the system”, whether that be a retail POS or other software necessary to capture and order or process payment. Add to that the mandatory workplace safety and theft prevention training, we usually feel pretty good about our efforts.

 

This whole area of training, has been a sore point for me for quite some time and two situations minutes apart has made … Read More

Be Visible

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Be visible is really nothing more than the opportunity to get in front of the customer in some meaningful way. Unfortunately, it is proving far more difficult to do so. B to C or B to B businesses are equally challenged in getting through to their customers, because there are just many more roadblocks.

 

In the time before voicemail, a phone call to a customer’s home resulted in one of three outcomes; no answer, a busy signal or someone actually answered, pretty predictable outcomes. Along comes voicemail and call display, so now people could just ignore the call. Voicemail was supposed to be a tool to communicate information in one’s absence, however it morphed into … Read More

Quit Digging

Read Time: 3:58 minutes

I often get approached by entrepreneurs who are facing significant challenges in their businesses. By significant I mean – They’ve dug themselves into a hole so deep that they’re going to go out of business if something doesn’t change! So, my first piece of advice courtesy of Will Rogers , the American humourist is, “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging!

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been the person called upon to help fix a situation. For the less urgent ones, I’m more of a troubleshooter, as I usually had some time to assess the problem or problems and then sketch out a game plan.

 

On the other hand, … Read More