Podcasts

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

You Might Want to Check

We all spend time, money and other resources making sure we put forth the right professional imagine. Many people limit their definition of image to how we look, dress and speak and for the most part that would have been acceptable once upon a time. But not anymore.

 

In our connected digital world, the tools we use to do business number in the many. What was once a Yellow Pages ad has been replaced by a website and a variety of social media business pages. Where a human being answered the phone, auto attendants and voicemail now do the job. All in all, these are wonderful tools that have increased awareness and productivity and reduced operating costs in the … Read More

Recognition

Recognition is the easiest and most effective way to motivate employees, yet remarkably, one of the least used.¬ Entrepreneurs spend endless hours trying to figure out how to motivate their teams, yet ignore this basic human need.

A little research will show that there are an untold number of studies that rank recognition, or appreciation for their work, in the top 10 qualities that lead to job satisfaction, often placing it as the number one item.

The funny thing is, this is not revolutionary. I remember being a young manager in the pre-digital age and regularly coming across articles stating the exact same thing. A different time, a different generation, yet the very same piece of advice for managers. Tom … Read More