Weekly Business Idea

September 15, 2017 – What Can Kill Your Growth?

Posted on | September 15, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Would you be financial wiped out if your business was in South Florida?  What would happen if hackers got into your computer system and stole your customers identities, as well as their credit cards?  Do you have one supplier that you are dependent on?  What would happen if a key employee was in a traffic accident and was unable to work for 6 months?  What would happen if that was you?

Expansion of the Idea:

Last Friday afternoon, I had a client meeting.  I came out of the meeting and checked my phone.  It was lit up with emails and text messages from one of my credit card companies.  Apparently, I had just bought a couple of beds online for someone in Orlando Florida.  The credit card company wanted to know if this was an authentic transaction.  I was glad that they caught it and I of course told them that it wasn’t correct.  They canceled the card and reissued it.  The unusual thing was that earlier that day, I had tried to use the card and it was rejected at a local restaurant.  All my cards were rejected and then one of them worked at another reader at that restaurant.  Could someone have put a card skimmer on the one reader?  I don’t know.  All I know is that my identity has been compromised.

This was on top of the Equifax notification that a huge number of people’s identities have been stolen.  Throw in two huge hurricanes and you have potential for mass disruption of the economy anywhere in the US.  There are a lot of things that can negatively impact your business.  You may not have a direct link to a problem but a key customer or vendor may have been impacted.  Some of the indirect links may actually be worse because you have no idea when they will be fixed.

We need to focus on growth in our businesses.  I firmly believe that we need to be in a growth mindset or else our businesses will die.  Yet, we also need to make sure that as we are growing we have built solid foundations for growth.  Things to consider are:

  • Great systems
  • Great people
  • Training & cross-training
  • Emergency plans
  • Offsite backups of our digital information
  • Risk mitigation
  • Margin in our personal and business lives
  • Financial reserves

You can add other items to the list.  The key takeaway is that you need to evaluate your situation periodically.  For the business, this can be part of a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT) evaluation, focusing on the weaknesses and threats.  On the personal side, this can be done by meeting with your key advisors; normally your financial, insurance and legal advisors.  This is something that frequently gets pushed back.  Yet the events of the last couple of weeks tell us that there are consequences if we push them back too far.

Here are some specific steps to consider:

  1. Consider putting a credit freeze on your accounts with the three main credit bureaus
  2. If you only have one credit card, consider getting a second one.
  3. Meet with your key personal advisors and make sure your financial affairs are set up properly
  4. Meet with your personal and business insurance agents to evaluate your insurance and risk needs.  You don’t need to be insured against everything, but you do need to know what is or is not covered.
  5. Do a Weakness and Threat analysis with your team to evaluate your business.
  6. Evaluate your computer backups and make sure they are working
  7. Evaluate your emergency plans.
  8. Do a cash flow projection assuming something bad happens
  9. Critically analyze your organization chart.  Identify positions that would be a problem if the person quit or was injured.
  10. Do a systems analysis.  Are there recurring issues that are more severe than you think?

September 8, 2017 – Are You Planting Seeds?

Posted on | September 8, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Where do you acquire new customers?  How long is your sales cycle?  More importantly, how long is your marketing cycle?  Do you know where you get new leads from?  Are you intentional about planting seeds to acquire new leads?  How effective are you at planting seeds for the future?

Expansion of the Idea:

I recently received a call regarding providing services to a small business owner.  It was an unusual chain of events that led to the call.  However, it was several different seeds, and a little luck, that caused the small business owner to call.  The conversation started 7 months ago but quickly became dormant.  During that time, there was also a little interaction on social media. The connection was revitalized by some volunteer work I do and hopefully will lead to some new work for my firm.  The point is that it took 7 months just to get to the point of talking about what they need and whether we are a good fit.  That might take another 2 months.  If we start doing work it will be another 3 or 4 months before we are paid for any of the work.  That is close to a year from the beginning of contact to when we start realizing any benefit from a new client.

Most small businesses have a longer customer acquisition cycle than they would like to believe.  They believe that they need new customers so that they can increase sales next month or next quarter.  The reality is that it could be anywhere from 3 to 12 months from the time that their marketing message is converted into business.  And then it might take another 6 months to convert the new customer into a customer for life.  There probably isn’t a standardized time frame for acquiring customers.  However, there could be a normal range for doing so.  The question is whether or not you have identified it.

The first step is to separate two terms, sales and marketing.  Frequently we combine those terms but they really are separate concepts and need to be approached completely different.  Marketing is the process of getting potential customers to raise their hand that they are interested in your product.  This includes identifying the product you are selling, its price, how you will sell it and a strategy for promotion.  The sales process is the system for completing the sale after a potential customer indicates that they may be ready.

The second step is to think through your marketing process.

  • What are you really selling?
  • What services are included?
  • How are you going to price the product or service?  (See July 14, 2017 weekly idea.)
  • How are you going to promote the product or service?
  • Will you advertise or do something different?
  • How many times do your potential customers need to hear from you before they may be willing to talk to you about buying your product?
  • What is the time period?

There is a lot more to a fully developed marketing plan.  The point is that it takes time.   The sales cycle is a separate process that will be discussed in a later weekly idea.  It is more concrete.  It is also irrelevant if you cannot get the right number of new prospects.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.”  We need to plant our marketing seeds now so that our future businesses will be healthy.

Here are a couple of things that I think will help.

  1. If you don’t have one, develop a full marketing plan.  Get outside help if necessary.
  2. Ask your team about the process of acquiring customers.  Plot out a time line.
  3. Define your current marketing activities.
  4. With your team, evaluate your current activities.
  5. Talk to a new customer and learn how they came to be a new customer.  People are normally willing to help you if it is personalized.  I recommend a phone call if possible versus a survey.
  6. Map out the execution of the plan.
  7. Start now to plant that tree.

August 25, 2017 – Can You Be a Creative Person?

Posted on | August 25, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Are you a creative person?  What about your team?  When did you last introduce a new product or service in your business?  Do you follow along with your industry?  Or, do you occasionally lead your industry?  When was the last time you tried something and failed?

Expansion of the Idea:

For those of you who know me pretty well, you would not use the term “creative” to describe me.  As a CPA, you may not want me to be creative.  (Or you might say I am not creative enough.)  I have absolutely zero artistic or musical talent.  I have no fashion sense.  I could keep going but you get the idea.  Yet, I have always felt that I had some creativity.  More importantly, I have always felt that I needed some creativity to run a business, especially one helping small business owners run better businesses.

Two weeks ago, I heard Fredrik Haren speak at the Global Leadership Summit.  His topic was on creativity.  I thought his talk was very good because he defined what an idea was.  It is when a person combines two formally known pieces of information in a new way.  I liked his definition because it meant that all of us could be creative.  All of us were created by God with the ability to be creative.  If you don’t believe me, give a 4 year old a box and see what happens.  The problem is that “creativity” is lost in the process of conforming to society’s standards.  It really is still there inside us but has to be rediscovered.

Is this really important for a business?  If so, how do we rediscover it?

I think it is absolutely critical for creativity to be part of our daily lives, both personally and professionally.  Marshall Goldsmith wrote about the need to do things differently in his book “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There”.   A lot of us build our businesses and then we hope it will just continue to keep working the same as it always has.  With all of the technology discoveries and the global nature of business, we cannot just expect things to stay the same.  Amazon is proving that it is competition to a corner neighborhood grocery store.  It has already closed most of the book stores.

The tricky part is where to start.  How do we start becoming creative?  How do we spur creativity in our teams?

There are no magic bullets that instantly turn on our creativity.  I know that I have been intentional about looking for ideas.  I will never be accused of being the most creative person.  But I can improve.  I don’t need 100 revolutionary ideas.  I may only need one or two “Elegant” ideas as Joe Polish likes to talk about.  It may just be a minor improvement to what we are presently doing.  The key is to start.

Here are a couple of things that I think will help.

  1. Make sure you have whitespace in your life.  (See last week’s idea.)
  2. Explore events that are creative.  Look for local art fairs or musical festivals.
  3. Watch a 4 year old.  (You need to be creative to keep up with them.)
  4. Be inquisitive.
  5. Be observant.
  6. Read articles of interest in magazines outside of your industry.
  7. Go to a marketing conference.
  8. Brainstorm with your team.
  9. Listen to “I Love Marketing” podcasts.

August 18, 2017 – What’s on Your To-Do List?

Posted on | August 18, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Are you overwhelmed right now?  Do you feel like the hamster in the wheel, running around and staying in the same place?  Does your to-do list depress you?  When you get home are you completely drained?  Does your team avoid you because they know you can’t handle one more problem?

Expansion of the Idea:

Last weekend I was cleaning up some things at home.  I came across a notebook from a meeting in Chicago from 3 years ago. It was one of those notebooks that hotels lay out in meeting rooms.  I opened it up and I had written 47 items on a to-do list.  I read through them and all 47 items were important.  I think I put the list together on the plane ride home.  (The reason it was only 47 items was that the flight was a quick 45 minute trip.)  I am guessing this notebook was stuck in a drawer at home because I probably didn’t want to think about all I had to do at the time.  It was too depressing.

All of us have been in that situation at different times in our lives.  Running a business can be all consuming and eat up all of your spare time.  You have new ideas that you want to implement and you add them to the list.  There are things that only you know how to do.  There is always something that doesn’t work.  Sales might not be predictable.  A good customer suddenly develops cash flow problems and you aren’t paid promptly.  A key employee suddenly leaves.   There are an infinite number of ways that your to-do list gets overburdened and you feel overwhelmed.

What should you do?

There are times when you just have to gut it out and work through the problems.  However, there are a couple tricks that can help.  I heard Juliet Funt speak at the Global Leadership Summit last week.  She talked about having whitespace at work.  Basically, it is a strategic pause to gather yourself.  This might be a short walk a couple of times a day to clear your head so you can refocus on the next project.  Of course, while you take a quick walk, five more things are added to your to-do list.  The key is that you take a moment and clear your head so you can focus.

Another trick is to create a special version of a to-do list.  This one has four columns.

  1. Your actual to-do list that needs to be done in the next 4-6 weeks.
  2. A list of good ideas that you want to do but not now.
  3. A list of things that you need to delegate.  You may need to train someone on how to do them but you don’t need to do them.
  4. A list of things that you need to stop doing.

Doing these two tricks will help create some breathing room for you.  By creating a little bit of space, you start making better decisions.  This leads to more effective use of your time and less emergencies.  As I am looking back on my list from 3 years ago, I realize that I have come a long way.  There are a couple of activities that I eliminated and saved me huge amounts of time and didn’t cost much, if any, revenue.  Part of this was getting clarity on what customers I wanted to serve and how I wanted to serve them.  There were some systems and policies that were unnecessary and created work.  You can only spot these problems when you do take the strategic pause.

Even with the savings and business improvement, I look at my current to-do list and I realize I still need a lot of improvement.  For me the biggest area is to keep future ideas separate.  I need to segregate those ideas so that I am not thinking about them right now.  This will allow me to focus on what is really critical.  This is a continual process that constantly needs to be reviewed.

Improvement starts when we come up for air and breathe.  You deserve it and so does your business.  The key is to start.

Places to Start:

  1. Take a moment and go for a walk
  2. Ask yourself if you are overwhelmed.
  3. Ask your team if they are overwhelmed.
  4. Put together the 4-column to-do list.
  5. Discuss it with your team.

August 10, 2017 – What is Your Best Return on Investment?

Posted on | August 9, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Where do you make investments?  What do you look for when you make investments?  What do you expect to earn on the investments?  What is your best investment?  Do you avoid some investments because the return on investment is hard to evaluate?  Do you focus on short term results or long-term investments

Expansion of the Idea:

Thursday and Friday of this week are my two favorite days of the year.  For those of you who know me well, you know that I am referring to the Global Leadership Summit which is simulcast throughout the US to over 450 sites.  I have gone to the Summit for the last 15 years and I hope I will continue to go for the next 15.  These two days are nonnegotiable days in my schedule.  I will be at the Summit unless I physically could not go.  The Summit has benefited me personally and professionally.  It has energized me.  It has helped me spiritually.  I could not tell you the exact dollar benefit of the Summit, but I could start listing a number of specific items that I use with team members, clients, family, and personally.  I am a better person, husband, father, business owner, consultant, etc.  Because I believe in it so much I have volunteered to help promote it.  I am totally invested in it. It may be my most important investment.

When most people think of investments, they think of the stock market, real estate, major equipment or similar types of assets.  However, some of the most valuable investments are not physical assets.  They are things like:

  • Yourself
  • Your people
  • Your customers
  • Computer and other systems
  • Research and development
  • Education
  • Ideas
  • Time
  • Relationships

There are a number of other intangible assets.  The problem is that we don’t focus on the intangibles like we may focus on how the stock market is doing.  The stock market is easy to evaluate.  We made money or we didn’t.  We can compare it to how the Dow Jones Index is doing.

With intangible assets, it is harder to evaluate.  We tend to discount intangible assets because we cannot see the direct relationship between the investment in education and new sales.  Or we can’t see how improved teamwork helps your gross margin.  When you invest in something like the Global Leadership Summit, you don’t know exactly how that will benefit your business or organization.  As a result, some people don’t make the investment.  And that is to their loss.  These intangible investments are actually what differentiate us from our competitors.  If you are focused on learning new things and your competitor is focused on America’s Got Talent, who do you think will be in a better place to serve your customers?

Places to Start:

  1. Are you making investments in the intangibles?
  2. Do you know how much you are investing in people?
  3. What are you spending in education?
  4. Are there items in the list above that need investment?
  5. Discuss this with your team.
  6. See you at the Summit.

August 4, 2017 – Do You Know Where You Are?

Posted on | August 4, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Does your phone know where you are at all times?  Or do you turn off the GPS signal because you are tired of getting the messages from Facebook or Google asking you to rate the restaurant you just came out of?  Do you have your kids phone tracker turned on, so you know where they are and where they have been?

Expansion of the Idea:

In the past few weeks I have seen several situations where small business owners had small and large surprises because their systems were not giving them reliable information.  There were multiple causes for the problems.  They may have outgrown their systems, had poorly designed systems, selected the wrong advisors or just didn’t pay enough attention to the systems.  Frequently it is a combination of reasons.  The problem is that if a business doesn’t know where it is, it is extremely difficult to achieve your goals.  This would be similar to being dropped off in the middle of the Amazon rain forest and you were going to rely on your cell phone for the way out.  You look at your phone to get your coordinates.  You see that it can’t determine which way is north, you are lost and you are almost out of battery.  You might have a tendency to give up hope.

Accounting and information systems can be one of the most useful tools in your possession to achieve your goals.  In an ideal world, the accounting system is working well and you know exactly where you are and how you got there.  You can plot that against the path to achieve your goals.  When you go off course, you can evaluate how to get back on course. It is extremely simple in theory and much more difficult in practice.  Systems require the following to work:

  • Planning
  • Communication
  • Clarity
  • Documentation
  • Testing
  • Maintenance
  • Revisions
  • Inspection
  • Management
  • Escape Valves (When to depart from the system)

There are probably a few more pieces that you could use to describe what is critical to systems.  The point is that you can’t just pull Quickbooks off the retail store shelf, give it to a bookkeeper and say go do it.  The accounting system has to interact with all of the other systems in the business.  The real power of the accounting system is to give you information on your path to achieving your goals.  It can either be a cost or a money maker.  The choice is yours.

Places to Start:

  1. Do you know where you stand financially?
  2. Are you getting key performance indicators that help you manage your business?
  3. Is your accounting system working well?
  4. Are you using the information to making decisions?
  5. Do you have short and long-term goals?
  6. Do you plot where you are and the path to achieving the goals?
  7. This also applies equally to your personal situation.

July 28, 2017 – Is Your Culture Important?

Posted on | July 28, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

When growing up did you play well with others?  Were you able to play with someone else in the 3×3 sandbox?  Do people work together well at your business?  Have you ever walked into your business and people were fighting with each other?  Or worse, what happens when there is a silent sabotage campaign going on?  Did you want to just shut the doors and walk away?

Expansion of the Idea:

This morning, I was reminded of the need for businesses and organizations to create the right culture to grow.  On page 1 of the Wall Street Journal, there is a link to a story about the fight between two senior White House aides.  As I was reading the story, I knew that nothing good is going to come out of Washington, DC until a large number of people figure out how to play in the same sandbox.  It has been that way for a long time and it might be that way for a long time in the future.  It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican.  It is good to disagree and debate ideas.  But until the culture is restored to one of mutual respect, it is pretty likely that very little will be accomplished.  (At least until they reach rock bottom.)

The same is true of our businesses.  Businesses that struggle frequently don’t have alignment between the owners or leaders and the employees.  There might be distrust.  Or, everyone might have their own agenda.  Employees aren’t sure of what they are supposed to do.  They don’t know where the business is going.  They may not know why the business exists.  They just know their little slice of the business.

On the other hand, some businesses have a clear purpose and goals.  These are communicated and communicated and communicated to the whole team.  They work together.  These businesses might struggle but they do so as a team.  When there is clarity and alignment, the odds for success go up significantly.  Team members are looking to improve their performance as well as that of the team.  They are focused on the big picture and are not as worried about their own future.  Alignment is a result of communication which then further aligns the business because the communication becomes two-way.

Creating the right culture is extremely hard.  It requires a significant investment of time in people.  It might mean that you have the wrong people.  Your systems might have to change.  You might have to be more open and vulnerable.  However, the benefits are worth it.

As Patrick Lencioni says in his book, The Advantage – Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business:

“Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.”

Places to Start:

  1. What is your culture?
  2. Does the team work well together?
  3. Are you achieving your goals?
  4. Does everyone know what your goals are?
  5. Is communication open or do people hold things back?
  6. Discuss this with your team.  Even great teams focus on continual improvement.

July 21, 2017 – What’s Wrong with What You Know?

Posted on | July 21, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Have you ever been real sure of something and then find out that you were completely wrong?  Has a system changed in your business and you are not aware of it?  Do you read all of the amendments to contracts?  Could something significant change and you not be aware of it?

Expansion of the Idea:

Yesterday I was finishing the trust return for a client who died a year ago.  I called the trustee to discuss the return.  During the course of the call, I realized that he had made distributions to some heirs that he shouldn’t have.  The problem was that the deceased had explained what was supposed to happen when she died but then she amended the trust.  She didn’t explain the full impact of the change in the trust.  As a result, he had the wrong understanding of her wishes.

I completely understand how it happened.  This type of thing happens all the time with estates.  It seems like there are almost always surprises in the administration of a deceased family member’s estate.  The same is true with our businesses.  It is frequently worse because we know them so well.  When we know something, we don’t double check it.  What we think we know can get us in a lot of trouble.

How does this show up in our businesses?

  • A customer calls with a problem.  We tell them that they could not have had that problem because of our procedures.  Then we find out that the system changed because of some event or an employee just didn’t understand why we were doing something.
  • A line of credit that normally renews every year was changed to 6 months and you didn’t realize it.
  • A long-time employee all of a sudden quits because they are bored.
  • A long-term customer decides to go to a competitor because they have stayed in touch with them.
  • You discover that a trusted employee just stole $100,000 from your firm and did not pay the insurance premium for employee dishonesty.
  • You think you have insurance for cyber liability but you dropped that rider because of rates.
  • A large customer has always paid until they get hit with employee embezzlement.
  • Your computer data is backed up daily until there was an update and the backup has been paused for 6 months.

We can come up with a lot of different scenarios where we can have problems.  To minimize the damages, we must set up systems to periodically check all significant issues that could threaten our survival.  We need to read contracts.  We need to take time to talk to our employees.  We should visit customers and make sure that we are providing value.  We should make sure that we have systems to maximize our business and minimize risk.  We also should inspect those systems.  We should make sure we are getting the right reports and key metrics to make sure something is not going off course.

All of this starts with us admitting that we don’t always know what we think we know.  A perpetual state of curiosity is a good thing to have.

Places to Start:

  1. Do you do an annual risk evaluation assessment?
  2. Do you have a calendar for management duties that only need to be done 2 or 3 times a year?
  3. Have you taken a hard look at your systems to make sure that they are operating the way they were supposed to?
  4. Have you intentionally spent some time with employees to make sure that you are serving them well?
  5. Have you intentionally spent some time with customers to make sure that you are serving them well?

July 14, 2017 – Is Price Controlling Your Business?

Posted on | July 14, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Do you get calls asking what your price is for a particular service or product?  Do they ask anything else besides the price?  When you sell, do you lead with a proposal to save your prospective customer money?  Does everything revolve around the price of your product?

Expansion of the Idea:

I received a call yesterday from a broker selling professional liability insurance.  She asked if I would like a quote.   I told her no and she thanked me and hung up.  She did not ask why I wouldn’t like to explore her company.  It might have been better than what I have.  The part she didn’t understand is that my current professional liability insurance company doesn’t just sell insurance.  They help me handle the risk of being a CPA.  They provide proactive resources and help if I have a hard to solve problem.  I am not going to switch to any company that doesn’t provide those services, even if they can save me a few hundred dollars a year.

This brought up the role of pricing in sales.  Pricing is critical for all of our businesses.  However, we first have to decide what our business model is.  Very few of us set up our businesses to be the lowest cost on the market.  The problem with being the lowest cost is that you do need to be profitable at that level and you need to be able to maintain the lowest cost.  Walmart had occupied the lowest cost portion of the local market until Amazon Prime came along.  Even though Amazon doesn’t have a store in Walmart’s local market, Amazon might be cheaper and as a result Walmart has a strong competitor.

If you are not going to be the low cost, then you have to decide how your business will operate and what price is appropriate for the market as well as what you need to be profitable.  Pricing is an important part of positioning your product or service.  Do you want to be a high price/high service business?  Who is your target customer?  Are you selling to businesses?  Do you want to serve families?  What price are they willing to pay?  There are a lot of different aspects of pricing that you need to go through.  Our prices need to be in a range that our customers will accept.  Beyond that, we need to make sure that we provide value for what we do.  Pricing is a critical component of our overall value proposition.

At the same time, we need to make sure that, to the extent possible, our sales offerings are not decided by price.  If your customers are buying from you just for the price, then you are one phone call away from losing that customer.  The problem with this is that most businesses sell by using price.  They open with it and then try to steer the sale away from it.  We need to make sure that sales calls are scripted to get as much information as possible so that we can decide how best to service the prospective customer.  At that point pricing can be used to cement the relationship.

Unless you are intentional, price starts to dictate how your business operates.  When that happens, margins start declining and owners feel like they have no control over the situation.  That isn’t a good place to be.

Places to Start:

  1. Do you focus on price when you are selling to your customers?
  2. Evaluate your pricing position and value compared to your competitors
  3. Do you need to raise prices or value or both?
  4. Does your current pricing model position you where you want to be in the market?
  5. Read Confessions of the Pricing Man by Hermann Simon

June 30, 2017 – Declare Your Independence

Posted on | June 30, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Do you freely go to work every day with a smile on your face?  Do you love what you do?  Or, do you feel constrained by your situation?  Do you feel like you are a prisoner?

Expansion of the Idea:

I have been recently doing a lot of work on cash flow planning.  I am using a piece of software that is really great and helps me do this efficiently for business planning.  I was planning on using the software for some individual planning.  The problem arose when the software was giving me a false error message for a particular fact pattern.  I have gone back and forth with the software support people and we are still trying to resolve this.  The real issue is that I was trying to finalize a cash flow and tax plan for a client.  I was starting to feel stuck, as if I had no options.  I needed to finish the project but, based on my current systems, I really couldn’t.  This isn’t a good place to be.

I finally decided that I could not be in a place where I had no options.  Even though it was going to take time, I created my own planning file for individuals and their personal planning.  As I started doing it, I realized that I could customize it and create a better outcome than what I was previously going to have.  It was a lot of hard work but I feel much better and I can deliver the project.

Small business owners typically go into business to create more freedom in their lives.  They are energized by getting control of the business.  However, it quickly turns into something completely different.  Most small business owners feel stuck at some point in our careers.  In fact, most of us feel stuck quite frequently.  Our success at identifying the problem early normally determines our long-term success in our business.  Areas that we can feel stuck are:

  • Finances
  • Team members
  • Vendors
  • Customers
  • Systems
  • Economy
  • Advisors
  • Personal situation, including personal finances

When we start to feel a prisoner of our situation, our passion for our work goes away.  We tend to retreat and just accept life as it happens.  We don’t ask others for help because we don’t think the situation can be helped.  We can lose the ability to think creatively and plan for the future.  This can spiral into a real problem if you let it.

As we are approaching July 4, give some thought about what you need to obtain independence from.  If a customer is holding you hostage in a bad situation, brainstorm how to fix the problem, including firing the customer.  If your finances are a problem, take more control and develop a plan for improving them.  There normally aren’t any easy answers.  However, getting the right mindset can make all the difference.  If you can make decisions with a mindset that you are in control of your life, your decisions are completely different than if you are a prisoner in your situation.  When you really address issues in your business and life, you will find more alternatives than you thought possible.  The result will be an improved business and a renewed passion.

I hope you have a great and safe 4th of July.

Places to Start:

  1. Make a list of any problem areas in your business.
  2. Rank the list in order of severity.
  3. Have your team make a list and ranking also.
  4. Discuss the list with your team to see if there are common links and causes.
  5. Decide on one thing to work on that will improve your business.
  6. Go do it.
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    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.