Business leaders are the reason why businesses fail. Here is my example.
But, the question you might ask is, “Why?”
I’m glad you asked.
I meet with business leaders on a regular basis that have been very successful in the past, but with the down turn in the economy, their businesses are really struggling. Sales are down. Revenues are down. Profits are down. Productivity is down.
I am amazed at how many businesses are really having a hard time right now. Especially when my business is up. Business is so great that we just brought on a new employee and are looking for another.
So, how does a business leader ensure the success of the business in any market… whether the market is up or down? continue reading...
If you really want to understand the status of your business and how your employees are doing, you need to get away from relying on scheduled status reports. That doesn't mean to away with them, it means to not rely solely on them.
A scheduled status report is something that you ask for at regular intervals. This might be a sales report or a time sheet. The regularly scheduled status report has an opportunity for an employee to prep only the components that he or she knows you’ll be checking. It is like teaching a student how to prepare for a test. It is good to be done and often necessary, but it doesn’t show you anything beyond a certain predefined knowledge set.
So, how do we get the real pulse on how things are going in our business? continue reading...
Earlier in the year, our van met with an untimely demise. We had just signed up with Farmer’s insurance a week before and they were great. We were very pleased with how they handled it (our insurance rates weren’t too happy, though).
About the same time, we returned our truck on lease end. Both vehicles were leased through Chrysler Financial.
The problem came when Chrysler Financial couldn’t get things right on the final payment. This is an amazing story that anyone should understand if you have to collect on any debt. I am going to tell this story in the form of what lessons should be learned. continue reading...
People complain about the economy. People say that, “because of the economy businesses will fail.”
The evidence used to back this up are the high numbers of layoffs that companies make or lower of stock prices. In some cases, hundreds of people are laid off at a time. In some cases thousands at a time. Sometimes stocks plummet.
I argue that the economy isn’t the problem.
I argue that the real problem is business decisions. Business leaders make poor business decisions because they don’t understand their customers, don’t understand their vendors or just plain don’t understand their own business.
Let me give you an example that supports this. continue reading...
Self-employed has many different meanings to many different people. Usually, people say they are self-employed when they are free lancers or run a very small company (usually with 1 or 2 full-time equivalent employees).
If you are a small business owner, I want you to think for a moment how you define yourself. Think for a moment about the question, “What do you do to earn a living?”
How do you answer that questions? Do you tell people that you are a freelancer, that you are self-employed or that the company you run employs you?
Does it really matter? I think it does.
Let’s first define the terms. I am going to over simplify them because the full definition isn’t what is important, but the marketing message behind them. continue reading...
In our fast paced world, it becomes ever more important for us to get rid of the distractions that prevent us from doing what needs to be done.
One of the most common things that prevents tasks from being completed is the need to talk about every little detail on the task.
So often we feel that the instructions we give in writing aren’t good enough so we want to talk with the person on the phone or in person. I understand that sometimes a face to face or a phone call can communicate effectively, but in order for that person to truly understand what we want, they have to write it down anyway.
When we have simple questions or simple comments that need to be made, do we really need to talk so much? continue reading...