Archive for July, 2013

Financial Killers Impact How You Grow Your Business

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

I know business owners who are literally afraid to make a plan. And they are in pain. Right now. Today. The pain comes from the chaos that is driving their decisions. And that chaos is occurring because they don’t have a plan. It’s a vicious cycle.

The good news is the cycle can be broken.

The bad news is those business owners who are afraid to make a plan have to get over it. That is if they want to break the cycle.

Failure to plan properly is just one of the 6 financial killers that affect your ability to make your business successful.

Take a moment to explore these financial killers — are you guilty of any of them?  Could just focusing on one of these improve your ability to make and keep more money?

Financial Killer #1: Failure to plan properly.

Financial Killer #2: Failure to understand how your company makes and keeps money.

Financial Killer #3: Failure to view profit generation as an organizational function.

Financial Killer #4: Failure to understand the relationship between price, volume and costs.

Financial Killer #5: Failure to manage cash flow.

Financial Killer #6: Failure to manage growth.

Not too sexy, right? I’m not giving you great marketing ideas or telling you how to sell better or how to utilize social media.

I’m talking about the foundational concepts that have been serving successful businesses for hundreds of years. Yet too many business owners, caught up in the passion of what they do or the belief that they just have to ‘get the word out’, ignore these basics. They may not pay the price in the short term, but they will pay the price in the long term.

Finding solutions for these 6 financial killers mainly take the one thing a business owner isn’t willing to give. And that’s time.

Time to think about your plan.

Time to think about how you make money and how you will keep the money you make.

Time to set up a profit model and adjust it as your company grows.

Time to understand what it costs you to produce your product or service.

Time to set up a cash flow management system.

Time to proactively plan for growth.

The amazing thing about time, according to Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings is this: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

What are you doing with the time you have every day to run a successful business?

Want to learn to love your financials? Learn the positive side of making a plan that works and drives more profit to your bottom line? My Destination, Greatness program lays the foundation for growth while helping you proactively plan for your success.


3 Surefire Tactics to Making and Implementing Your Business Goals

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Are you frustrated with your attempts at setting business goals and watching them dissolve into the recesses of your file drawers?

Have you resolved not to set any more goals in order to avoid feeling like a failure?

Relax. Goals are good. You just need a system that allows the process to work for you instead of against you.

Surefire Tactic #1:  Start with focusing on your top 3 goals for the year.

What do you want to focus on? What are the 3 biggest areas of profitability? What do you need to get done in the next 12 months? Once you are clear on those top 3 goals, everything you do from that moment on has to be put up against this reality:  is this activity helping me achieve one of my 3 goals? If the answer is no, stop doing that activity.

This process stops what I refer to as ‘scattered thinking’. It’s the precursor to chasing those ‘shiny white objects’ that always sound so promising (read easier) and then aren’t.

As business owners we are challenged with staying focused – there are a lot of distractions and a lot of work that has to get done every day. To set priorities that keep you focused on those top 3 goals remember that your top priority is driving revenue into your business – my mantra is ‘follow the money’. If you are trying to choose between reading your Facebook page or picking up the phone and calling that warm lead, remember to ‘follow the money’.

Surefire Tactic #2:  Create specific initiatives for each goal.

You have your top 3 goals selected now let’s create 3 – 4 initiatives under each one that move you closer to achieving those goals. Start slow. If one of your goals is to build a new website, maybe your first initiative is to research and hire a webmaster. A second initiative could be to find 10 websites you like and use them as models for your own. When you have completed these two initiatives, add other steps that need to be done.

This is taking on those 3 goals in what I call ‘bite-sized pieces’. You don’t have to swallow the entire concept of creating that website overnight. Take it one step at a time and you’ll be amazed at how much work gets done. On top of that, you are also creating behaviors that only increase your efficiency.

Surefire Tactic #3:  Track your success.

Statistics prove that when you track and measure progress, you increase your outcomes by 15-30%!  In the case of creating that website, setting milestones of progress and deadlines is an excellent way of tracking your success. Your 3 goals can all have measurements that tell you where you are at any given time and show your progress. This is the feedback that lets you know something is working and more importantly when something isn’t working.

Find simple ways of tracking your progress every day or every week. You’ll be surprised at how easy it can be and how well it keeps you motivated to see that progress turn into profits.

Strategic planning has its place. However, if you need help in getting traction in your business, staying focused on tactical approaches to completing business goals will ignite your profit-engine today providing you with a business that will around tomorrow.

Want to learn to love your financials? Learn the positive side of making a plan that works and drives more profit to your bottom line? My Destination, Greatness program lays the foundation for growth while helping you proactively plan for your success.


3 Secrets to Profitability in Your Business (and they aren’t about money!)

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

When anyone mentions profit when talking about a business, it’s normal to immediately think financials, margins, pricing — anything to do with numbers. And while numbers are critical, there are other factors that aren’t driven by financials that a business owner has to pay attention to.

Secret #1: Know where you see your business in 18 – 24 months.

The first secret to profitability is being clear about where you are going and how you plan on getting there. What does it look like? Who are you serving? How much are you making? This doesn’t have to require months of strategic planning sessions or downloading business plans from the Internet. This has everything to do with you, the business owner, and what you want your business to become.

Too many business owners come up with an idea, immediately start selling that idea and when sales slowdown, they are left second-guessing their product or service. It happens all the time which is why in certain networking groups you’ll hear business owners lament ‘I don’t know which of my businesses to talk about today’.  Since their first business didn’t succeed, they latched onto that next ‘shiny white object’ because they bought into someone else’s vision. It won’t work.

You need to take the time to SEE your business in the future and then make everything you do, every day, help map that route.

Secret #2:  Make the time to ‘think’ about your business.

The second secret to profitability is taking time away from your business to think about your business. Clarity comes with vision, your vision drives your plan and your plan drives profit.

Business owners should find 8 hours every month to simply explore what’s working and what isn’t. To think about new opportunities, new technologies, new markets, new products/services. This is a time to relax and allow your mind to think what’s possible and to make corrections if needed. Your business can quickly consume you. If you intentionally plan to disconnect at least one day a month and explore new possibilities, a renewed sense of purpose can add money to your bottom line.

Secret #3:  Creating a plan to targeting, capturing and caring for customers.

The third secret to profitability is all about the people you try so hard to impress – your customers. What’s your plan? If you’ve set up your profit plan, you’ve identified how much revenue you need to bring into your business every month.

To achieve those numbers, you need more than just a way of generating leads and landing new customers. You need to make sure you are targeting the right customer, capturing the right customer and have a plan in place to take care of those customers when they say yes.

Too often a prospect becomes a customer and once they have bought or completed the project, they go off our radar screen. It happens. We get busy chasing after the next potential customer. Not a good way to sustain a profitable business. The reality is keeping those customers is critical to your success. One approach is to create a Customer Charter. A ‘hang on the wall’ reminder poster that outlines how you are going to treat those customers in order to keep those customers.

Profitability isn’t all about numbers. Numbers are important but ignoring these 3 secrets to profitability will make getting to those numbers harder.

Want to learn to love your financials? Learn the positive side of making a plan that works and drives more profit to your bottom line?  My Destination, Greatness program lays the foundation for growth while helping you proactively plan for your success.