Do you have any ideas or thoughts on how to better run a business? This is the place for these blogs.

The Roman Business Juggernaut

Heading back home after vacation.

It’s good to be back from ICANN and a couple of weeks’ vacation in the south of France. I must admit that there’s nothing quite like taking some time out to refresh yourself and get a new perspective on our incredible industry.

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As a co-founder of ParkLogic, while away,I found myself reflecting upon each of our service offerings and asking two questions:
1.    What problem does it solve?
2.    What business is it in?

These two questions force me to focus on what value are we adding to the target market. It’s really big picture stuff but during a time of vacation I find it’s a unique opportunity to work on the business rather than in the business.

So while I was looking an aqueduct built by the Romains in Pont Du Garde I began pondering about business structures that are built to last. In fact, I find that I can’t help but consider this when staring up at an amazing feat of engineering that was built over 2,000 years ago.

After visiting the musuem I found out that business was the main reason why the aqueduct was built. The Romans invested in serious architecture to move water fifty miles and then sold access to the water to make a massive profit. In fact, in Rome they had a ministry of water that was one of the more prestigious civil services because of the money it generated.

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Wolftalker
Who'd da thought, the Romans as Water Ripoff Merchants!
12 November 2018
mgilmour
It surprised the heck out of me as well....!
12 November 2018
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The 3 Keys to Business Success!

The 3 keys to business success.

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day and he asked me a question that in many respects stopped me in my tracks. “What are the keys to business success?” I paused before answering and I thought that it would be worthwhile sharing my answer with readers.

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Vision
Having a vision is fundamental to providing a direction for your business. Without a vision you may be successful for a time but eventually you won’t know what problem your solving or even why customers keep returning.

A vision is less about having some grandiose statement that is pinned to a wall and more about the DNA of your company. It’s tackling the why you are in business more than what you are doing. If you can answer the why then customers will be drawn to your philosophy as much as your products.

Talent
Whatever your business is you will require some skills to become successful. You may not have all of the skills you need right now but over time you must be open to personal growth and acknowledge the fact that you don’t know everything.

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Why Big Deals Suck!

I’m going to say something pretty controversial, you can’t build a business off big deals. Don’t get me wrong, I love a big deal but to build a business off them is next to impossible.

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I’ve talked to so many entrepreneurs that espouse the next big deal that’s just about to land. In fact, just the other day I was speaking to a person not in the domain industry that told me they had a million dollar deal they were about to get commission on. The problem was they’d been working on the deal for the past two years….

Whenever I hear someone talk to me about a big deal I immediately give it about a 1% chance coming off. Big deals are like that. They take a huge amount of time and resources and have a slim to no chance of actually coming through.

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My Business is Failing….What Now?

Have you ever had a time when you feel like your helpless? No matter what you do nothing seems to work and yet, those around you seem to be doing incredibly well. This is what it’s like to be in the grip of a business failing.

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Running a failing business is a scary proposition. There isn’t enough cash to pay all the bills and creditors start hounding you for money. You never know whether you should answer the phone or not because you’re not sure if it’s someone about to bring some business in or someone chasing you for an outstanding debt.

The stress levels at work increase dramatically and this often impacts loved ones as the days disasters spill over into home life. Is running a business supposed to be like this? Isn’t the reason why you’re working so hard is to provide a better life for your family?

If the business completely fails, then what is the outcome? Many people (especially males) tie their self-worth to their businesses and they end up getting more and more depressed as they scramble to save what is often unsaveable.

The first thing a business owner needs to realise is their self-worth has NOTHING to do with their business but has a LOT to do with their personal integrity while going through the tough time. The measure of a person is how they behave during adversity not how they act when things are going well.

Over the years I’ve helped a lot of business owners out and without exception they believe either;
1. A big deal that’s just on the horizon will solve their problems OR
2. If that investor just put a lot of money in then all will be good.

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Wolftalker
Good advice.
14 July 2018
Rawgi
I will agree Good advice. Can't ever feel too good to eat some humble pie and roll back to square 1. It actually makes you stron... Read More
14 July 2018
mgilmour
Robin, great to hear from you. I hope your colleagues come through their troubles and that I was able to help out in some small wa... Read More
15 July 2018
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Getting the Right Advice

I recently said to a person, “Would you rather I cheered as you leap over the edge of a cliff or say something to stop you from jumping?” As I’m sure you can appreciate, it was a tough conversation.

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A true friend is a person that says something to you when they think you’re in danger of losing your shirt in a business deal. A Facebook friend is a person that clicks “like” at the stupid idea just before you lose your house.

The silly thing is that we often get disgruntled by the friend who is trying to provide some guidance….and in our exuberance, we don’t listen to what they are trying to say to us. After all, who are they to pour a bucket of cold water on the brilliant new venture we’re just about to invest in?

The other night, I found myself in these exact circumstances but on the other side of the fence. A few friends were trying to provide me with some good advice about a new project I was about to embark upon.

In my arrogance, all I could think about was saying to them, “So what’s the view like from the cheap seats?” Gratefully, I didn’t say the words aloud but rest assured, I was thinking them.

It took me about half an hour to calm down and realise what they were suggesting had wisdom and despite my emotions they weren’t against me. In the end, after careful consideration I decided to adopt many of their suggestions. BTW, the project I’m working upon revolves around helping a group of young people reach their full potential.

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