Went to the gym once. Didn’t work.

You’ve probably heard about things that didn’t work in someone else’s business. The story probably included an assertion that whatever isn’t working for someone else also wouldn’t so won’t work in yours. The tool itself is generally irrelevant. More often than not, the problem is a lack of consistency. Execution isn’t easy. We do the […]

The premium price lesson taught by craft beer

The craft beer explosion in the US over the last 5 to 10 years is a great lesson in premium price / premium product / premium services and customer ascension. So what is the big lesson to learn from craft beer? Is it that you could make beer that only a certain percentage of the […]

The Pace of Change

If things have seemed a bit frenetic in your business lately, you’re not alone. Many markets are experiencing a rapid rate of change – and in fact, the rate of change is accelerating. As a result, businesses, governments and even National Football League officials are struggling to keep up. For example, if you watched the […]

Defending your business

Business is not easy and we (business owners) make it harder by making what will later seem like silly mistakes. Hopefully, we learn lessons from those mistakes, much less a bit more often. That isn’t necessarily the hard part. Sometimes, business gets tougher because we get the wrong kind of help. The kind of help […]

Focused on the holiday, now or the future?

It’s that time of year when business owners are pulled in many directions. The end of the calendar year has a way of doing that. Some of us are focused on the year we’ve had, some on this month’s performance (which could make or break the year), and some on the future. While all of those […]

Does your business reality match theirs?

If you happen to pay attention to any of the business turnaround reality shows on TV (I see them on rare occasions), you’ll know that the pattern is the same for most of them – regardless of the type of business. Typically, there are some quality and cleanliness problems, a management issue or two (or […]

Big Data, Small Business

Last week, we talked about questions. Questions tend to produce answers and more questions, which can result in a pile of stuff that overwhelms a small business. As a business and client base scales, these questions produce data that you can use for guidance, decision making and to ask even better questions. Again, this can […]

What are your compelling reasons?

This past week, I’ve had several conversations revolving around why people don’t buy, why people stop buying, how we can get them to use what they bought and how we can get them to switch to our product instead of a competitor’s. These conversations all have the same foundation: Giving people a compelling reason to […]

Earning return business

When you make client service decisions, do you weigh the cost of losing the client in your decision? I’m talking about the hard cost of losing that client, not the often fuzzy, sometimes made up, and frequently inaccurate cost of a loss, that usually includes the 10-20 people (on average) that an unhappy client will […]

Accelerated change redefines your market

Last month, Harvard Business Review’s Brad Power wrote a short piece about something software people have known for years, even if they ignore it: The rate of change is accelerating. http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/06/how-the-software-industry-redefines-product-management/ An excerpt from Power’s piece: I spoke with Andy Singleton, CEO of Assembla, a firm that helps software development teams build software faster. He told me […]