Today Tom shares why transactional thinking could be killing your goals and potential profits.
I am going to make an important assumption about you and your business. At one time you were very much in love. You started with a great idea and received lots of encouragement from those around you. You dated the idea, maybe tried living together, and finally – without being certain of what all could happen, you took the plunge into a permanent relationship confident that you wanted to find out what would happen next, together. The banker closed the loan book and announced, “’Til death or sale do you part. You may make your first payment.” Then life happens. Having a job is like dating another person. You may be committed and monogamous, but you have to pay attention or you could get dumped. Owning a business is marriage. Once you have committed to your company, you have to keep pouring your heart and soul into it in good times and bad – or else, the love that sparked the journey will fade. However, the biggest difference is that in either case, your relationship plays out in a fishbowl in a room full of watchers. As I write today, I am sitting in a hotel room on a visit […]
I have these great ideas. Books, articles, client questions, TED Talks, observations, or suggestions have all triggered moments of brilliance. Sometimes I am consumed by all the things I could be doing. I have even gone so far as to reduce the time I devote to inquiry in order to stem the tide of ideas. Nothing worked until I experienced a client that did the exact same thing. He was completely and utterly stuck on what to do next because every idea was precious. “That’s a good idea isn’t it? We should do that.” So instead, nothing got done.
Tom discusses seven ways to intentionally grow your business.
Tom shares three steps to restore profits in the new economy.
There are two kinds of top achievers. There are the ones that can focus on the ultimate goal and everything falls into place behind it. Picture the star football player that sets his sight on The Super Bowl. Everyday he reminds himself what all the effort is for, knowing that the pain will lead to the goal. Then there is the rest of us that want to do something better everyday knowing that the amalgamation of continual effort will deliver the desired results. In an athlete, this is the football player that puts all his energy into fundamental techniques knowing that only a master will make it to the big game. Both approaches work. Both require continual technical improvement with unrelenting effort. 99.9% of us can’t pull it off because we are not superhuman. We need structure, training, and small successes. I like to call it, Improving the Odds. I am a fairly average martial artist. Over the past dozen years or so I have overcome my fears, physical limitations, and intense competition to survive class, tournaments, and sparring sessions with really good practitioners. I’ll never be great, but I have survived because I work on improving my odds of […]
I would say that most of my conversations with owners about their businesses will circle back to the need for growth. More revenue, more profit, more customers, more market share, more products, more services… And what is almost sure to follow is plea for growth that doesn’t involve, well…growing. As in, “Our goal is to grow this year, but not in October because we are already busy that month…” The simple truth is that in order to grow, you have to do more business than before. You will have to stress the system one way or another. There are no shortcuts, no tricks to soften the impact. You can’t just call it “organic” growth and slip it past the team. Real, permanent growth requires preparation, marketing, management, and celebration. And stress. There will be surprises. You’ll work late. You’ll spend money you did not plan on. You might give up, but you will still suffer the unexpected ups and downs. Sometimes, companies do grow without forethought, but these are the same companies that shrink unexpectedly, so let’s not embrace that paradigm. You do have an alternative. It’s called Intentional Growth. It involves identifying the steps that will lead to more […]
If the topic of revenue growth comes up in every management meeting, sales meeting, or board meeting – then you need to keep reading. Nine out of ten owners I speak with have companies that are functionally stagnant. That is, whatever growth they do have does not exceed the economic growth of their industry, market, or region. A company with an average revenue growth over time of 5% is barely keeping up with the economy in some sectors and is falling behind in many. Business Owners tell me all the time how important growth is to their future, but when I ask what they are doing about it – I hear crickets. It’s as if setting a goal was the same as achieving it. I want to share with you the five keys to growing intentionally. These keys will provide you both clarity and context in support of the commitment to grow your business. Entrepreneurial Bandwidth In order to grow, small companies need to reserve some “Entrepreneurial Bandwidth” in order for the owner to stay focused on new ideas, new products, and new markets. The best tool for that is a strong management team that responds well to the phrase, […]
Tom shares seven things that you need to do to allow yourself the privilege of working on your business.