Many years ago, I attended a horticulture certification course. The instructor was about as exciting as the shingles on my roof, or so I thought. The class was at night, twice a week. After 2 weeks, I realized why her pace was so purposefully slow. She shared that 75% of the students were small business owners, most having worked a 12 hour day or more before hurrying to class. Katie knew that a slowed down pace would be a much-needed break from our hectic schedules. Not surprisingly, she did not allow cell phone usage during class time. “Trust me,” she would say, “your clients will be fine until you call back in the morning.” [Read more…]
“It’s really not about you,” I said.
“Jennifer” had a look of anger and disbelief the first time I reminded her of this . Even worse, we were less than 45 minutes into our first strategy meeting. As a seasoned businesswoman, she was quite sure that the insurance products she provided to her clientele were exactly what they should be purchasing. With more than 20 years in the insurance industry, she should know, right? To be questioned by her long-time clients was a humiliation she deemed inappropriate. To be “shopped,” when clients check the rates of competing agencies, was downright rude. “After all I did for these people,” she kept repeating. I quickly realized there was a missing link to Jennifer’s sales system – she stopped asking her clients why they would continue to do business with her and not another agent.
We have all heard horror stories describing how and why employees were fired, or as corporate America likes to say, “terminated.” As business owners, we are consistently looking for and interviewing qualified applicants. I always thought it was peculiar that in more than 20 years of interviewing potential employees, no applicant ever stated, “I was terminated, and I deserved it.” Unfortunately, business owners interviewing applicants only hear one side of the story. While there are certainly unfair workplace situations putting employees in a difficult culture or environment, I have often discovered that they weren’t fired by their employer at all; they fired themselves. They left their employer no other choice but to end the employee/employer relationship due to their actions.
850,000. No, that’s not the amount of cars traveling US 19 each morning, but it’s probably close! 850,000 represents the amount of small businesses that closed their doors in 2012, according to the Small Business Administration during the last year that they tracked the number. Furthermore, additional studies over the past three decades show that 50% of all registered business do not survive the first 5 years. A 50/50 fail rate!
Do you feel that you repeat yourself over and over again to your employees, team, or staff? Do you find yourself saying, “We’ve already talked about that.”? Unfortunately, this happens far too often; myself included when I was younger.
As business advisors, the time that we spend face to face with our clients is precious. While we consistently advocate time efficiency, too many times prospective clients seek us out too late. At this point, their list of “bedtime worries” never gets smaller, and continues to grow beyond their capability to manage them. This is when we advocate implementing a “Turnaround Strategy.” [Read more…]
After people read our bios, we typically get asked how the sale of our company actually went. And while we love to tell the story and enjoy reminiscing about the process, we often answer that question with another question: “What makes you ask?” What we want to know is if the person asking is capable of hearing and then implementing what needs to be done. Here’s why:
With the flood of business “coaches” that has swept through in recent years, you may wonder if a “coach” is better than a business consultant or a business advisor. You want help growing or improving your organization, but aren’t quite sure which title you should pursue when searching for the right person. Here are three questions that you should always ask when you are considering who you should trust for your organization: [Read more…]