Winning against the chain store

Yesterday, I sat down in a store that’s part of a Montana-based coffee shop chain. I wanted a quick cup and I had about an hour to write before a young man’s Eagle Board that was down the street, so this location was a perfect fit. I drove past Starbucks to reach this place. I try […]

What’s holding you back?

I suspect you’ve heard of the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. In its simplest form, it states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts made. Further studies on the principle have shown that it often extends to far more than efforts made, and frequently describes the results produced by a […]

Desperate for business?

Recently, I drove past a local shop advertising everything they sell at 50% off. While I don’t like to assume, it’s hard not to wonder if such a radical price cut is anything else but a desperate move to make sales that aren’t happening for the “normal” reasons. When an owner is desperate for business, (at […]

Do you value your clientele?

Business demonstrate what they value through their behavior. Some businesses value what they do, those they work with and most of all, those they serve. They work hard for every lead. Every client. Every order. Every payment. They work to improve their craft every day. They learn from the best of their peers, while extracting and […]

Looking to disrupt a market?

2015 is shaping up to be a big year in Montana for Startup Weekend. With the Billings event already under our belt and three more scheduled this year (Great Falls, Bozeman, Butte), lots of people are looking for startup ideas. One place that gets a lot of interest is “stodgy” established markets that are lucrative […]

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 […]

Reinvigorate your business on a budget

While I suspect you’ve already done your strategic business planning for 2015, you might still be wondering what else you could do to “turn the knob” on all or part of your business. It’s a natural thought process at this time of year. In the words of Saturday Night Live… you think your business needs […]

I love companies with slow computers

How much money do you waste by making your staff wait for computers? For slow networks? For slow internet? For slow computers? How hard do you make it for them to get their work done? How many times has a hotel desk clerk apologized to you at check in time because their computer was not […]

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 […]

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 […]