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

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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Recent Comments
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
1756 Hits
4 Comments

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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Marketing Values Not Just Value

Last night I watched an interesting video which really challenged the whole notion of the way I’d thought about marketing. For me, marketing had always been about informing people about the benefits of a product/service and explaining how it’s awesome! What I’d missed in my thinking was the reason “why” a business behaves the way it does and how this concept impacts customers.

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The below circle diagram illustrates how most marketers think about their marketing activities. They proceed from the outside of “What” they do and move inwards towards “How” they do it and finally some get to the “Why” they do what they do.


Values

Pause to think about this for a second. Brochures inevitably espouse the “What” is great about a product and “How” it’s going to benefit you. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach other than the “Why” you made the product has been left out.

In the video, the presenter encouraged the group of entrepreneurs he was sharing with to work from the inside of the circle to the outside. Talk about the “Why” and work your way out to the “How” and “What”.

He then highlighted that both “Apple” and “Harley-Davidson” use this approach in all their marketing communications. When customers understand the “Why” they then begin to associate with the company’s values.

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Recent comment in this post
mgilmour
Yes it was a Simon Sinek video. I'm not sure at this stage how valid his position is but it is definitely thought provoking. I kno... Read More
09 June 2018
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