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 […]

Communicate when nature threatens

Last week I said “Allowing perceptions to percolate in our guests’ minds without updates is dangerous not only for this year’s success, but for future years as well.” Part of your job is to set guests’ minds at ease by giving them the advice they need to make considered decisions during situations they’re unaccustomed to. […]

Half of China’s companies do this

Recently, I was reading a story in the New York Times about a Chinese city’s effort to vastly expand their use of industrial robotics. The story’s video hits home 98 seconds in. The official being interviewed indicates that the city’s goal is to reduce the number of employees by half and finishes his sentence by […]

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 […]

Exhibiting at trade shows – Why do it?

“Should we go to every trade show every year? Some of these shows cost us well over $7000. The one show that we want to skip this year is part of an association. They have about 300 members. We know just about all of them and know what they are using. Of course, a bunch […]

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 […]

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 […]