Over the years, I have delved into numerous books on small business success, accumulating a wealth of knowledge on various aspects of the entrepreneurial journey. While I could compile an extensive list of relevant topics, I appreciate the need for brevity and prioritization. In light of this, I have distilled my insights into what I […]
Scaling and replication are two different approaches to organically grow your business. Scaling involves increasing the size and scope of your existing business operations, while replication involves creating a duplicate of your business operations in a new location or market using the same business model, products or services, and branding. Scaling is when you […]
Growth is hard work. For the past 27 years, I’ve worked as an executive coach, Vistage Chair, trainer or management consultant with hundreds of organizations. They have varied in size from just under $1M to well over $1B. Some have grown aggressively while some have grown more methodically, and others have struggled to grow at […]
I am asked all the time if there is a simple CEO success formula that every leader should follow. I believe there is and unfortunately few leaders have the discipline and commitment to consistently stick to it. The first thing you must clearly understand and mange to is your CEO role. Far too many leaders […]
I have been a Charles Handy fan for many years and find that his work only becomes more prescient and meaningful with time. It’s amazing how he could envision the world we would be doing business in before it happened. His thoughts on life, business, and leadership are timeless. I had my son revisit his […]
No matter how far out the tide goes, all waves come crashing back to shore. The same is true with business cycles. We have experienced a particularly good period in business over the past decade or so. After experiencing a difficult recession, our economy roared back to life. Many of us have not only regained […]
Terrific book by Jim Collins worth reading by every business leader – How The Mighty Fall I just wish he published more often… Five Stages of Decline: Hubris Born of Success Undisciplined Pursuit of More Denial of Risk and Peril Grasping for Salvation Capitulation to Irreverence or Death “The concept of hubris is defined as […]
I’ve witnessed a disturbing trend lately amongst many entrepreneurs. They want to work the hours of a successful person without yet attaining actual business success. I think all this talk of work-life balance has people a bit confused. It you want to run a business that supports a flexible lifestyle, you can certainly choose working for yourself as an option, but financial success usually requires very hard work especially at the beginning. You can’t enjoy the experience of having climbed the mountain without having done the hard work to climb it in the first place. You can’t be all things to all people including yourself; you must make some tough choices about how you spend your time.
Here are a few basic truths abut business to help ensure your success: It all starts with simple math. The formula is pretty straightforward: Revenue – Expenses = Profit. You need to sell enough of something and price it properly so that it exceeds your costs of doing business. Knowingly taking work at a loss […]
There is a dark side to our competitive nature as individuals that often begrudges the success of others. I’m not sure why this and there are probably many psychological and neurological explanations. What I do know is that individual success is good for a community. In business this means more people get hired, employees have steady and stable incomes, more vendors get paid, tax revenues go up, charitable giving increases,and more discretionary dollars are spent on other things. The good news with entrepreneuers is that most of the fruits of their success stays local. We should root for as many people to be successful as possible.
Business ownership has never been for the faint of heart. On-going change and adaptability is part of the success equation. Even when things go well there are problems you will have to navigate. As you grow, your company and you should be prepared to experience many if not all of the following issues:
It’s important for everyone to get involved in their community but especially business owners/leaders. No business operates in full isolation from its surroundings. At minimum, you will want a friendly and cooperative relationship with your local public officials and community leaders. You will also want your employees to feel like they live in a place with a good quality of life. It is simple good business sense to be connected to and care about what takes place in your local environment.
Business is hard enough with encumbering it with seasonality issues. I’ve seen many talented and hard working small business owners struggle under the weight of non-seasonal business volume. It’s hard to staff properly, keep good people and manage your cash properly. If you’re not careful it can begin to feel like a “feast or famine” situation which over the years can start to wear you down. Of course there are many people who manage to navigate the “ups and downs” properly, but they are usually pretty disciplined about their business leadership actions. If you are in a seasonal business environment, I encourage you to consider the following:
…the ultimate goal of any business should be to have high quality employees who are focused on providing value-added services to a loyal and growing client base in an efficient and profitable manner.
There is a great benefit to working with a wide variety of clients for a number of years. You start to recognize patterns; seeing what works and what gets organizations in trouble.