Brainstorming your 2017 Business Roadmap

It’s a hair after five am on January 2nd. 2017 is barely underway. Have you started working through the first task on the detailed 2017 business roadmap that you painstakingly carved out last month? I’m referring to your checklist of all the things you want to get done to grow and improve your business this […]

Focus alone isn’t enough.

If you’re a frequent reader on business improvement, you’ll undoubtedly read something that encourages you to focus. Focus on one niche. Stop multi-tasking and focus. Worry about the numbers – they should be your focus. Focus on the customer or on your employees, or on <insert list of more focus items here>. OK, so what […]

Would a succession plan save your business?

What happens the day after you’re gone or incapacitated? Do you have a succession plan in place for your business? While I suspect that most business owners have taken care of the family side of things – i.e., they have a will and/or a trust, etc. Has the business been taken care of? We’ve talked in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Planning for a strategic trade show

Last week, we discussed why you shouldn’t skip a trade show. During that conversation, I mentioned that you need to work trade shows strategically and with a plan. This week, I’d like to elaborate on what that means. In order to do that, let’s break down what happens at a trade show. Who attends a […]

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 […]

Pricing custom work well is a strategic advantage

How good is your business at pricing custom work? If you don’t have a way of pricing custom work that consistently accounts for your costs and labor, how do you know if you’re making any profit on these deals? How would it feel to find that you’re losing money on half your custom work? Do […]

Choose your market or craft it?

Sometimes you choose your market, and sometimes it chooses you. Today, we get a little of both. A discussion with some software business owners prompted this piece, but you should stick around even if you aren’t in the software business – because these problems are universal no matter what business you’re in. During these discussions, there […]