What does freedom mean to business people?

When you ask business owners why they started their company, you frequently hear these words: Freedom and opportunity. Opportunity tends to have a narrow definition. Someone sees potential in a market and goes after it. Opportunity may also mean the ability to make more than they could make at a job. Freedom’s meaning seems to […]

Quality management’s slow ROI

We talk about numbers, metrics, & dashboards from time to time. One of the more difficult things to measure, much less manage, is quality. Is there a single measure? Some might suggest Net Promoter Score as an ideal single measure. NPS ranges from -100 to 100. It represents the willingness of a company’s customers to […]

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 […]

Are you using comfortable tools?

Almost all work teams use tools. Sometimes these tools change over time, sometimes they don’t. Some tools have a long history and rarely change from their original form – other than perhaps the materials they’re made of. The pocket knife is a good example. While it was once wood, bone or stone, over centuries it […]

The ingredients of effective criticism

Today we’re going to use a common political event (and some football) to discuss the effective delivery of criticism. Recently a new candidate joined a local political race. The new candidate’s campaign has spent plenty of time pointing out things that are broke, need attention, or didn’t go well. That doesn’t mean the candidate has […]

Why your growing company needs to work slower

You might have seen last week’s discussion of automating administrivia and clerical work simply as a systemization of the E-Myth. That’s fair, but remember that the goal was to reduce cognitive load on focus workers. We didn’t eliminate ALL administrivia and clerical work – and you can’t. Discussions on scaling a growing company rarely cover the […]

Raise productivity by lowering cognitive load

Are you trying to figure out how to help your team become more productive? Traditional efforts to raise productivity will help, but are they enough? At some point, you’ll find that the law of diminishing returns will take over. Rather than give up, you & your team need to reassess the team’s workload and how […]

Discarding clients & the math of job security

How often are you discarding clients? When fussy, needy, and/or high-maintenance clients complain repeatedly, there’s significant temptation to simply toss them out with the garbage. Some business owners build “filters” into their marketing designed to repel such clients. When an existing client provokes thoughts of “Life’s too short to deal with this“, who fires them? […]

Is it better to keep a customer or replace them?

“$29 per month… NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY!” Most of us have seen something like this and thought less than pleasant things about a vendor who hangs these new customer offers out in public where existing customers can see them. That bargain basement deal that’s not available to existing customers doesn’t make you feel good about your […]

Training: One cure for sales problems

When having a conversation about sales problems, I might remind you about the folly of only taking cash (depending on the type of business). I might also remind you to eliminate the tedious & annoying out of your buying process. There are cases where that’s useful, but mostly – it isn’t. But not today. Today, […]