What’s your secret?

Has anyone ever asked you what your secret is? It’s kind of like being asked about your superpower. It goes something like this: “Wow. That’s really something. I could never do that. (pause while they work up to asking….) What’s your secret?”  I’m guessing this happens to you right after you’ve done something that you’ve […]

When customer service consumes a business

Recently a software business came to me looking for some help with sales emails. During the initial discussion, they hinted at being a bit overloaded on support. While explaining the big picture situation that provoked their request about the emails, they revealed some details about support tying up development. This was also keeping them from […]

Ever asked WHY you’ve always done it that way?

In the programming world, there’s a term called “technical debt”. Technical debt is refers to work created by existing systems, processes and methods. You might call it maintenance, upkeep, re-work, refactoring, re-design, etc. The term “technical debt” is typically used when discussing programming, but as a friend reminded me a week or so ago – […]

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 […]

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 […]

Are you un-coachable? Drips might help.

Frustrated with the rate of change or accomplishment of new work in your business? I had a conversation recently that might help. Ann: Sometimes I think some of us are un-coachable. Mark: Reminds me of “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” It’s huge for those who teach and/or coach – you have […]

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 […]

If I owned Amtrak

photo credit: Krikit â?¥ Some random thoughts that passed through my head during my recent Amtrak trip – which went fairly well. I don’t warrant that they’ll all be winners, popular or successful. Just some brainstorming. Showers. $5. Real bathrooms, even if it means there are fewer of them. Despite being better than airliner bathrooms, […]

Tweaks that touch the bottom line

photo credit: i t z h a r Yesterday, we talked about a little tiny, totally-free thing that you could do to ensure that someone comes back to your business on a day that you can’t serve them. As you might guess, there are a bunch of these little things. They range from how you […]

The Retail Doctor’s newest book helps you diagnose, treat, cure

photo credit: a.drian Bob Phibbs’ staff recently sent me a review copy of The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business, his newest book for the retailer looking to improve their business’ performance. Or to go from wondering about survival to reaching a state of “thrival”. The Guide’s subtitle, “A step-by-step approach to quickly diagnose, treat, […]