Your Business Really Does Suck — Now What?

Being an entrepreneur or business owner presents its own set of unique challenges. Some of those challenges are good, some bad and some downright suck! However, when you have reached a point where it is not the daily grind, but the business itself that sucks, then it’s time for a change.

Hey, we have all been there. There are days that you just want to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head, but you can’t. However, if you have moved beyond that point and your business really does suck — now what? Then it is time to seriously explore your options. Continue reading…

Business Survival Checklist

All business owners are looking for ways to improve top-line revenues, reduce expenses and increase profits in order to grow their respective businesses. However, the troubling economy and other factors have forced many of these same business owners to replace the word “grow” with the word “survive”.

The business owner’s I have met with in the past 12-18 months all responded with the same answer when I have asked them, “what is the one thing that is critical to your business success”. The simple answer is “more customers”. More customers are the life-blood for any viable business. And every successful business has a universal checklist of things that are central to acquiring new customers, growth and yes, survival.

Here is my list of ten things that should be included on your Business Survival Checklist:

  1. Business/Marketing/Financial Roadmap. What is your existing plan to deliver maximum ROI performance in the next 12 months, 1-5 years, 5-10 years and 10+ years? The roadmap for your business, at a minimum, should address the next two fiscal years. Don’t be too optimistic – it is much better to over-deliver on your projections than to fall short. Continue reading…

Charity: Not Just a Tax Deduction

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a networking luncheon where the subject of charitable event participation came up. One of the attendees, the leader of a non-profit organization, asked the question “how can we obtain greater participation and support from large corporations for our charitable activities and events?” My initial response was, don’t start the conversation with “and it is fully tax-deductible”, it sends the wrong message.

Charity is about the giving of your time, talents and gifts to help others – it should not be about a tax write-off. Charitable contributions should be about active participation and involvement in doing the right things the right way to help others in need. Most of what we need to be charitable and care-givers we learned by the time we were four years old. The Golden Rule principles we were all taught early in life still apply today. The most fundamental of those things we learned – “treat people the way you want to be treated” should be at the center of it all. Continue reading…

How to Get Moving When You’re Stuck

I’m stuck …

It’s more difficult than I expected …

I can’t get over the hump …

Things just aren’t working out …

I’m lost …

Tell me what to do!

These are a few of the typical comments I hear during the initial discovery meetings with many of my new clients. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner is difficult, particularly in the first 1-3 years, and you can get frustrated when things aren’t going your way or there aren’t a lot of people around to turn to for advice and counsel. Continue reading…

Are You Speaking To Me?

Three important elements that lead to success in a typical networking setting when positioning yourself, your business and your value proposition to other group members include:

  1. Preparation and planning,
  2. Tailoring the message to your audience, and
  3. Follow-up.

This article will address #2 “Tailoring the message to your audience”, and I will provide you with some ideas and an example that should help you raise your profile, obtain more quality referrals and effectively promote your business through networking. Continue reading…

What Differentiated Value Is Really About

Recently, I had the privilege to moderate a Focus Small Business Roundtable: Strategies to Achieve Business Success. The Focus Expert Roundtable members included Mirna Bard, Jill Konrath and John Spence who all offered their insights on a variety of relevant subjects that I have summarized into a single topic for the purposes of this 5+ minute video.

 

 

 

I sincerely hope that you find this video to be informative and useful in addressing some of the daily challenges you encounter in successfully growing your business or practice. If so, please feel free to share this information with others.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2011 John Carroll

Networking: Building Intentional Relationships

Networking is an integral part of growing a profitable business for solo entrepreneurs and small business owners alike, particularly in the early stages. However, most small business owners put far too little forethought and planning into determining what is required to build ‘intentional’ relationships that can deliver positive returns to their businesses.

Now what is meant by building intentional relationships?

As its definition depicts, intentional is something that is done by conscious design or purpose, something planned. Likewise in networking, building intentional relationships should by design have an intended purpose that produces positive results. How should you develop intentional relationships that can help you achieve your business goals? Continue reading…

Globalization: The Leadership Difference

How rapidly is the global economy changing? A telecommunications CEO from Brazil predicted “The services that account for 80 percent of our revenue today will only be our second-largest source of revenue in five years.”

The world’s private and public sector leaders believe that rapidly escalating complexity is the biggest challenge confronting them. They are equally clear that their organizations are not equipped to cope effectively with this complexity in the global business environment.

Yet one set of CEO’s and organizations have consistently performed well. How do these “Stand Outs” mitigate complexity and even convert it into opportunity? Continue reading…

The Global Business Challenges

In the previous segment of the Globalization: The Leadership Challenge Ahead article series we addressed the ongoing debate of whether globalization is good or bad for the economy. Now, let’s turn our attention to the global business challenges.

Some 20+ years ago, I first addressed the topic of global business challenges as a part of my speech at a graduate school symposium at the University of Oklahoma. One of the charts in my presentation listed the major challenges of competing in a global marketplace; similar to what is shown below. Continue reading…

Are You Paying Attention to the Signs?

This article is an introduction to a new blog series around “Globalization: The Leadership Challenge Ahead” the topic of my presentation at the Colleyville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on January 6, 2011 to kick-off the new year.

To put things into the proper context, globalization is fast becoming a business imperative for survival and growth, whether you recognize it or not. This is true for both solo entrepreneurs and small local businesses, as well as large multi-national corporations.

Are you paying attention to the signs? Continue reading…