In this podcast Tom Stimson explains how to keep setbacks from lowering your goals.
Tom Stimson describes the makings of true success, and the difference between “abundance” and just “enough.”
Over the past decade I have learned a lot about what it means to own a business, how business owners think, and what is most important to them. I have narrowed this down to a list of five recurring themes in the order that they manifest most frequently. Not all owners want the same things in the same order, but the underlying issues seem to be somewhat universal. The five themes are Cash Flow, Profit, Growth, Satisfaction, and Harmony. Cash Flow Of all the themes, cash flow is the most critical. It is emotional and practical. Cash is oxygen and when in short supply, owners become light-headed, then despondent, then desperate. Cash represents success and lack of it, failure. This is the one theme that always goes home with the small business owner. You might leave all other issues behind when you depart the office, but not this one. Check out this Podcast: Seven Tips to Improve Cash Flow: Short Term Expect to get paid. Give customers multiple options to pay including credit cards. Get better terms from suppliers, landlords, and banks. A 90 day reprieve on loan repayments is probably there for the asking. Cut back on discretionary spending […]
One of the benefits of having evaluated and advised so many companies, is that I can quickly see the patterns that connect underlying conditions with overarching needs. I thought it might be helpful to share one of my techniques: The Customer Response Profile. I can use this chart diagnostically or analytically. As a diagnostic tool, I can observe the strength of the company brand and whether the business dialogue is geared towards its customers or its products. The resulting intersect will place the company in one quadrant or another to varying degrees. Conversely I might observe how customers interact with the company, which would also indicate a prevalent quadrant: Quadrant 1: The company is a proposal mill, pursuing any available opportunity and focusing on revenue over strategic growth. A weak brand and product-centric dialogue creates a price-centric relationship. Quadrant 2: Customers are somewhat indifferent. Even when the seller does a good job, buyers resist long-term relationships. Adding better customer service wins more business, but a weak brand undermines customer loyalty. Quadrant 3: When customers seem genuinely pleased with the finished product, but aren’t happy with the journey – they become more demanding. The strong brand of the seller makes the […]
As I scroll through my LinkedIn feed, I am underwhelmed by business and technology trends that are interesting but not important. Social Media experts can tell you exactly what headline to write and more importantly, what pictures to post that will get people to click on your link, thereby validating the expert’s advice. It may be entertaining, but the only beneficiaries are the Social Media experts that have figured out how to get paid for their trendy advice and the platforms we spend our digital days browsing. LinkedIn should ban the self-congratulatory selfie. Who’s with me? There are hundreds of things more important than that trend you just read about on LinkedIn. As a small businessperson, you should care more about the issues that affect your business today. Let the CEOs of mega-corporations worry about what Millennials will wear in virtual meetings ten years from now. Off the top of my head, here are five issues that should matter to you, your customers, and your employees – today. Retention Unemployment is low and that means demand is high. Your skilled workers have more options for switching jobs. It is time you paid attention to reducing their reasons for doing so. Simple […]
The great thing about being in the midst of a strong business cycle is that you can focus on the future instead of dwelling on the present (or worse, the past). The bad part is that we all know that economies cycle up and down. After we have enjoyed a bit of success, we start to worry. I was thinking about this while sitting in traffic the other day. Why do some people weave in and out of traffic to get down the road faster? Is it worth it? There is a Sales analogy in here somewhere. When it comes to business, some of us are conservative and try to stay in one lane most of the time. Some of us look for openings and slip in when no one else is looking. Drivers that can look farther ahead and execute well can take advantage of openings that others may let pass. Some folks are poor drivers and make a mess of trying to push ahead. Others have the wrong car – not enough acceleration, perhaps. We can train people to be better drivers. We can put them in faster cars. Or, we can navigate the less clogged side roads, […]
The skill we need to master for Intentional Anything is progress. How do we stop talking about it? I was in a sales meeting the other day and the company was planning a networking event at their office. They had been talking about it for months but while the idea was getting play, there was no substantive progress. Why, I asked? The reply was that they needed to get the invite list together and to do that they needed to have a meeting to discuss how they would gather and who would do what. And, I asked, how would that be progress? Progress would be to start the list. Period. What would allow that work to begin is an understanding and acceptance that the list will never be perfect or complete. Shoot for 80% if you are perfectionist. But you could also start with the outcome in mind. If you want 100 people to show up, you need to invite 1000. While folks pondered that challenge, we quickly designed the invitation, set the hours, outlined key attractions, and chose a menu. Plus, we assigned responsibilities for all of these items on the spot. The key to Intentional Progress is to […]
Tom shares why not identifying the right goals can set you up for failure.
This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of Entertainment Technology Asia Growing a Rental and Staging business has never actually been easy, but today it seems like anyone can get into the game. Competition is fierce, products and services increasingly commoditized, and getting ahead seems harder. How do you grow, make money, and not collapse under your own weight? There are three key best practices that will keep your rental business vibrant. Learn How to Oversell In order to grow, you must sell more than you did the period prior, consistently. If customers would cooperate by not scheduling their events at the same time, then this task is easy. However, peaks and valleys are the norm for most of us. The trick is to make the busy periods consistently larger without sacrificing quality. This requires a fearless commitment to new business alongside a dynamic operation that can adjust to fluctuations in workload. Growing, profitable rental businesses rely heavily on outsourced staff and equipment in peak periods in conjunction with just-in-time hiring and purchasing to accommodate this type of growth. Transparent Processes As companies grow, the tendency is for the details of a project to reside in the Sales process […]