Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pulling Value out of Conferences

One of the ways that successful business owners learn to excel - is that of seeing opportunities everywhere.  That sounds easy, doesn't it?  But for most people it is not.

Because business relies on human interactions (purchases, conversations, sales activities, demonstrations, etc), it stands to reason that you would want to seek out places where you can increase your interactions.

Many businesses accomplish this by networking at trade shows, conventions and conferences.  If they are very effective, they will be prepared for power interactions.

The goal of power interactions is to squeeze every bit of value possible from your event attendance.

If you attend a conference and just mill around with the multitude of other people looking at exhibits or attending workshops, you are not extracting the maximum benefit for your business out of that conference.

 Ways to prepare for a conference:

  1.   Research - who will be there?
  2.   Reflect - which attendees/exhibitors can you partner with/sell to?
  3.   Can you improve your supply chain with new connections?
  4.   Categorize the attendees into groups.
  5.   Create a plan/materials for interacting with each group.
  6.   Be sure you look at the interaction from the eyes of your prospects.
  7.   Be sure that you are able to create real value for your prospects.
  8.   Practice your approach.

Things NOT to do:

  1.   Approaching prospects with only your needs in mind.
  2.   Having a 'get this over and move to the next one' attitude.  
  3.   Not focus on your customer's problems and needs.

Remember - this is an opportunity to create long term business relationships!  Maximize your business by building powerful allies, suppliers, and customers.  Take advantage of the large group of people and companies you will be coming into contact with.  

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Until next time!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kaizen in your business

What is it?  How does it relate to your business?

Kaizen is a term that I seldom see any longer.  But it is a powerful term.  A strategic term. A concept.  A way of living and conducting business.

Kaizen is a japanese word - it embodies the entire conception of continuous improvement.  It brings to mind the philosophy of constant adjustment and fine-tuning.  It also helps eliminate stress - and the flurry of disorder that happens for those that make major changes too frequently, without keeping small grains of benefit as they appear.

In a small business, the owner starts out with a huge learning curve - doing anything necessary to  jump-start the delicate enterprise.  It is fairly common to see that enterprise operating in a lop-sided fashion.  Business strengths are fostered at the expense of subtle business components that are vital for the long run.  Eventually the business can topple because of this lop-sided structure.

Kaizen can help a small business remain in balance and grow towards perfection and success.  Think of every fine-tuning instance as a small monthly step.  Examples:

  1. Create a tiny improvement in sales
    - Evaluate and make a small change to a commission plan
    - Put small advertisement cards on restaurant corkboards
    - Give a referral gift
      2. Lower Costs
                    - Change brands of coffee at the office
                    - Review and improve an ad campaign to cut waste
                    - Install an efficient hand dryer and eliminate paper towels

The concept of Kaizen is if you continually evaluate things associated with your enterprise, and tweak them to become the best, you will gradually step to higher levels of success.

This incremental progress should become your STATUS QUO.

Do not be complacent - reach for more sales - fight against waste and failure ... be a person who practices Kaizen in your business!

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Until next time!!!  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Strengthen your greatest asset

What is the greatest asset of your business? 

The greatest asset of a small business should be the owner.  The owner is the nexus point for creativity - the gumption to keep going - the coach and mentor for business contacts, employees and suppliers.  Small business owners in this country provide most of the employment opportunities and take tremendous risks.  They work long hours.  Passion and ideas is their fuel.

 Do you protect your greatest asset?  Do you develop yourself to become the best you can be?

Apart from eating properly, managing stress, exercising and sleeping enough (which are hotly contested subjects) - do you continue to develop the value in yourself?

Three Ways to develop your mind and your abilities: 



One of the best ways to expand your capabilities, your business success, and your life in general is to become an avid reader - a person who studies subjects they do not know well.  Not only will this help you to improve areas you are weak in - but it makes you a more rounded individual and increases the common ground you have with all the contacts around you.  Here are some of my favorite books (all of them have become classics)!

How to win friends and influence people - by Dale Carnegie

Think and Grow Rich - by Napoleon Hill

Don't Shoot the Dog - by Karen Pryor

Getting Things Done - by David Allen

The Richest Man in Babylon - by George S. Clason

Unlimited Power - by Tony Robbins 

There are so many more - but these came to mind instantly - so they must have made the biggest impression on me.   With books, YOU can set the pace - but regular reading will turn you into a much more powerful entrepreneur.  



Be aware of what is going on around you - what is happening in your area - what changes will impact your business (services, deliveries, taxes, employment issues, etc).

If you sit back and are not assessing these things you are just plain not keeping up!
  • your environment
  • your products
  • your opportunities
  • your competitors
  • your financial circumstances
  • your performance in light of your goals



Ouch!  No one wants to change (at least not most of the people I meet!).  How can we all improve ourselves?  By being willing to change - that is the first step in being able to do it!

If you keep old accounting ways - you may have book-keeping errors.

If you don't automate you can't manage a growing product line.

If you cling to old methods, your production might lag.

If you do not look for new markets your sales will dwindle.

If you don't keep changing - you will not grow.

If you Learn, Observe and Change - you WILL see benefits:

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