The key to developing a successful and sustainable business is to maintain a tireless focus on strategically increasing profitability while improving the quality of products or services, and ultimately customer loyalty. To help businesses assess their performance, improve efficiency, and reduce cost, many businesses have shifted focus to running a lean enterprise. If you’ve wondered what Lean is and how it might apply to your business, this introductory article is for you!
Every good business relationship begins with a solid understanding of what the relationship will look like. When evaluating a partnering opportunity, you should carefully consider each partner-to-be. Do you know their character, professionalism, work ethic, capabilities, skills, background, personal disposition and demons? While some of these matters may seem a bit personal for business, they would be fair game for a marriage and should be treated the same when considering a business partner. If you're considering a business partnership, or currently part of one, this article is for you!
One of the most basic, but essential skills for any business owner is developing a robust professional network. While most professionals acknowledge the importance of networking, few actually do it, and even fewer do it well. If you’ve ever wondered how to grow your professional network or how to leverage your network to increase business, this article is for you!
It’s not uncommon for a business, small or large, to discover that operations aren’t exactly where they should be and a change is needed. Unfortunately, the process generally stops there and months, quarters, and even years pass without changing course. Gap Analysis is a tried-and-true approach to designing effective change management strategies to move an organization closer to its stated goals. If you’re looking for better results, this article is for you!
It’s no secret that selling is the lifeblood of business. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs view sales as a mysterious art of high-pressure pushy sales tactics designed to get the buyer to commit, rather than a mutual exchange of value. This natural aversion to selling presents quite the conundrum for an entrepreneur, whose primary mission is to sell. If this sounds familiar, this article is for you!
What do fisherman’s nets and sequoia trees have to do with growing a small business? If you’ve already made the leap of faith and started a business, you surely know how challenging it can be to build from the ground up. As a consultant, advisor, confidant, and general business enthusiast, I’ve seen some great companies, some not-so-great companies, and some companies that could have been great with just a little focus. This article discusses some common ‘focus fallacies’. If your hard work is not getting the results you want, this article is for you!
It should go without saying that a key requirement in selling just about anything is getting in front of the right customers. In the past, understanding where prospective customers might look for your goods or services was a daily challenge, however the rise of the internet has changed all that. When considering the sheer expansiveness of the internet, it’s no wonder that “Search Engines,” such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing have come to play such a central role in our everyday lives. If you’re not sure what SEO is or what it means to your business, this article is for you!
Deciding to add new resources to your staff is never an easy decision. There are many considerations, unknowns, and moving targets - Is the work really there? Will it continue? Do I need or can I afford a full-time employee? If you’re a business owner, chances are pretty good that you’ve walked this tightrope and it stands to reason that you may have considered hiring 1099’s instead of W2’s. If you’re not sure what a 1099 or W2 is, or you’re just not sure about when or how to use which, this article is for you.
You’ve got the idea. You’ve got the talent. You’ve got the drive. All that’s left is to bring it all together in a cohesive package to begin turning your vision into a reality – enter the “Business Plan.” The business plan guides and compels the entrepreneur to consider the many important questions essential to transforming their business idea into a reality. This article will provide a very high-level breakdown of the most common and essential pieces that make up a business plan.
More and more businesses are turning to social media to reach their target audience. If your business is going to compete in this digital age, social media is a must. Learning how to leverage Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn can be the difference between a customer choosing you, or choosing your competitor! If you’re finding yourself lost in the world of social media, this article is for you!
The Art of Effective Communication has been noted as a critical success factor in far too many endeavors to list. In fact, few things may influence your success more than communication - that is to say, your ability to clearly and succinctly articulate a message to your intended audience. The trouble is, we all believe that we know how to communicate - we’ve been doing it our entire lives. However, if you frequently find yourself party to misunderstandings, disputes, unintended outcomes, or just want to improve your communication skills, this article is for you!
Of all the decisions you'll make when starting a business, one of the most important is selecting the type of business entity you'll form for your company. While Uncle Sam recognizes various legal forms, he also imposes very specific (and different) privileges, restrictions and requirements on each. Choosing the ideal legal structure for your industry, operating model, business and risk tolerance and can protect your assets while potentially yielding thousands in tax savings each year.
As a business owner, you can’t ‘fix’ what you don’t know, you can’t improve what you can’t repeat and you can’t repeat what isn’t defined. The process map provides a bird’s-eye view of a company’s operations, department or a task to provide business owners with true insight. Learn how process maps can improve customer service, decrease errors, reduce wait times and boost the bottom line!
With an abundance of information on the internet, business owners can rapidly find answers to most questions with little difficulty. For a list of helpful resources for business owners, click the link below.
Resources for veteran business owners.