“Sink or Swim” is not training

Pentagon Secretary Rumsfeld once said “…you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” He wasn’t referring to the Army personnel, or to their level of training, but to the number of Humvees that were not armored and therefore prepared for […]

How fast can your business go?

Is your business ready to face a no-huddle offense? In case you aren’t a football fan, here’s a quick summary of differences between “regular” and “no-huddle” offenses: A regular offense has 25-30 seconds (depending on the league) to “read” signals (instructions) from coaches on the sideline, swap players in and out from the bench (if […]

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 […]

Ask great questions

I’m always looking for better questions to ask. Good questions educate me about a situation or a mindset someone is in and help me understand where they’re coming from. Great questions can open the mind of the person you ask the question of. They tend to create discussions that create slight momentum shifts toward changes previously […]

Doing ahead, not just thinking ahead

Quite often, I talk with business owners about thinking ahead. Something that happened yesterday tells me that I need to change my terminology to “Doing ahead.” Why the change? Primarily, I’m concerned that small businesses are thinking ahead, but stopping there. Thinking ahead discussions often include strategic thoughts of putting yourself out of business by […]

Start a streak

photo credit: kevin dooley What have you done every day, every week or every month for years? For example, I’ve written a weekly column for the Flathead Beacon since 2006. I don’t get a week off from the column if it’s Christmas or the Fourth of July. It just gets done. Some find that a […]

Business insight from the back of a shampoo bottle

photo credit: thejbird When are you going to get serious about your business? Identify one thing you can do today to attract a new customer, educate a prospect or answer a common question. Do it again tomorrow. If daily is just too much (seriously?), can you do it every couple of days, or at least […]

Why don’t we do what we know must be done?

photo credit: woodleywonderworks Change is hard. We often don’t make a change because just thinking about it tends to be unpleasant, never mind the change itself. We’ll think about it and mull it over and consider our options like we do about stopping for gas. We’ll glance at the pump as we pass by and […]

How Shiny Is Your Robot?

photo credit: Stéfan Have you ever noticed how careful we are as business owners to take good care for our expensive business equipment? Like…robots. Robots get their hydraulic fluid changed, hydraulic lines pressure checked, wear points examined, worn parts replaced, firmware updated, tolerances tested, configurations checked and their overall performance checked. When a robot doesn’t […]

Starting A New Business: Part 5 – Infrastructure

photo credit: kevin dooley Infrastructure is one of those things you don’t necessarily think about as a new business owner. Thing is, strong infrastructure often turns out to be the competitive edge that no one (other than you) notices. Your clientele notices “stuff”: You’re always on top of things and that you rarely, if ever, […]