Are you communicating company goals?

The natural thought process for small business owners at this time of year is often about goals, i.e.: “How can we do better next year?” Before you can answer that, you need to decide what “do better” means. What’s your process for thinking that through? If you decide it’s about increasing a high level focus […]

Work Linear vs. Parallel

This week I traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine for meetings with a software team. The meetings went well and I will be on my way home by the time you read this, however I had some travel issues. It’s worth noting that all of the issues I encountered were either created or they were problems that […]

Is your New Year planning done?

New Year planning for your business is often a mechanical process involving adding x% to various budgets and reducing others or leaving them the same. While financial planning is important, be sure to invest some time at a deeper level so that next year isn’t simply a repeat of this year with a different calendar. […]

Strategic notepad: Small Business Saturday

The Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday rushes are over. If things are going as planned, your sales are on target with no signs of missing your revenue budget for the holiday season. Unless things are going poorly, you might not have started thinking about what you’ll do differently next year – yet […]

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 […]

On the playing field, little things matter

Saturday was a bit of a football day. I attended my first Griz game, watched my Razorbacks disintegrate in the fourth quarter (yes, again) and stayed up late watching a fascinating, action-filled Utah / Cal game. It was a day full of watching highly skilled athletes do little things that have a substantial impact on […]

Filling cracks with automation and metrics

How many emails did you send last Tuesday? How many phone calls did you make last Thursday? How many things fell through the cracks last week or last month? The first two are trivia until you start thinking about the time they consume compared to the return they produce. The last one is the big one: tasks […]

Making good metrics into better metrics

The last two weeks I’ve been dancing around the topic of metrics without getting to the point, which is: How are things? More importantly, how do you know? Most businesses have some metrics. Some are very data-driven, some are barely so and there are plenty in between those two points. One of the differences between the very […]

The importance of performance metrics

Last time, we talked about metrics that answer questions to help you increase sales. Metrics aren’t solely about sales and marketing. Quality and performance metrics drive your business. Can you identify a few that would cause serious concern if they changed by as little as five percent? If there are, how are you monitoring them? Monitoring […]

Shadow Everything

Warning: I’m about to discuss some technology things (yes, again), with good reason: Information Technology (IT) is a leading indicator with parallels in every business niche, including yours. This isn’t about IT. It’s about everything. Control Historically, a company’s staff has had a love / hate relationship with IT. IT’s all powerful control was easy in the mainframe […]