When Things Get Tough Are You Stoic Or Heroic?

By |July 28th, 2015|

Donald Sull, a current management thinker, describes a condition that occurs when large corporations are stuck in a rut. Much like cars, it makes no sense for companies to keep spinning their wheels and much more sense to find a way to get traction or to push the car out of the rut. Dr. Sull calls this, “active inertia.”

What do you do when your business is stuck; do you?

Have your salespeople call on every lapsed […]

Congratulations On Your Business! What Have You Done?

By |July 21st, 2015|

Whether you inherited or bought your business, you’ve turned it around and reignited profitable growth. You’ve broken through to seven figures of annual sales revenue. Are you proud? You should be! Only 10% of all businesses become million-dollar businesses. So where do you stand?

Is your relationship with your bank solid? Or do you still worry that you could lose your line of credit?
Are you still dependent on one or two large customers, and losing either […]

Is your strategy really a strategy?

By |July 17th, 2015|

When I asked most owners, what is your strategy? They answer:

My excellent customer service
My company’s prices are unbeatable
My on-time delivery is faster than anyone else’s
My quality is unbeatable

Are any of these really a strategy?

According to Michael Porter, arguably the best strategic expert alive today, most private businesses confuse operational effectiveness for strategy. Operational effectiveness is just what it means. Your business in terms of how it produces, delivers, and fulfills its product or service […]

If Strategic Planning Doesn’t Work, Why Keep Doing It?

By |July 15th, 2015|

For decades, private businesses have been encouraged to conduct strategic planning, just like the big companies do. After all, how can a business owner expect to generate predictable results if there’s not a plan in place? All this makes total sense on the surface. So why don’t more private businesses have strategic planning processes and strategic plans which are the logical outcomes of such an undertaking?

According to Wikipedia (the poor man’s market research source), strategic […]

Does Your Business Have Six Rearview Mirrors And No Windshield?

By |July 7th, 2015|

When you are out on the road, do you focus more on your windshield or on your rearview mirror? How about when you are driving your business forward?

Most owners spend a majority of their focus duplicating past successes. This is logical, given investments made, lessons learned and instincts to reduce risk. After all, owners have years if not decades of real – world experience and scars to prove it. If nothing were to change, running […]

It’s 2015, Is Your Business Still Suffering From Post-Recession Stress Disorder?

By |July 3rd, 2015|

The recession was tough on all of us.

Sure, your business survived. But are you still suffering from the hell it put you through?

Did you have to lay off your people? Find a new bank? Or even lend more money to your company?

Signs Past Stinkin’ Thinking Affects Your Business

If you did, it’s not surprising that these painful memories still impact your business thinking.

Given the new environment of slow, apparent economic growth, it’s highly unlikely the past […]

Keep Control of Your Firm with Private Equity Thinking – Webinar

By |July 2nd, 2015|

It was a typical hot midsummer day. Bob and Tom were arriving at their college alma mater for their 25th class reunion. Bob was anxious and nervous. He hoped this weekend was a good idea. He needed to find an investor, someone to partner with or out-right buy his family firm. Tom was excited about connecting with classmates he hadn’t seen in years and receiving the honorary doctorate from the business school.

In so many ways, […]

Your Business Is What You Think

By |June 30th, 2015|

As a business owner you have so many assets and resources at your fingertips to create profitable growth, but your most important resource is your brain. Just like you are the chief executive of your firm, your executive functions of your brain need to align with your executive company functions necessary to create profitable growth. Why? Because profitable growth happens when you are thinking strategically. You are constantly thinking about your firm and how to […]

Backroad Lessons for Executives, Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

By |June 24th, 2015|

At my 30th graduate school reunion, much like the previous ones I have attended, I expected to be the lonely private business champion in a cornfield of corporate types. Sure, they were there in great numbers, but much to my surprise and delight, I discovered that there is a remarkable private business resource at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Mike Mazzeo, a star professor, decided to write a book called the Roadside MBA.

In his wonderful book, he […]

10 Ways to Tell Your Business is Failing to Launch Into The 21st Century

By |June 21st, 2015|

The movie, Failure to Launch, starring Matthew McCaughey tells a humorous story of a man so comfortable living with his parents that, despite having a beautiful girlfriend, he is unable to leave his home and begin an adult life.

Are you watching the 21st century and still feeling more at home in the 20th century?

Here are 10 ways to tell:

Your website is a billboard, disconnected from your target market and any communication with customers or prospects.
You […]