What is Information, and how should you use it?

What makes a small business work?  Information.  Whether it is information about clients, about projects, about people, about jobs, about plans, or about goals, that information has to move throughout the business for everybody to know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  But when is information reliable? Here are…

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Why scaling is better than growth for your business

Growing your business means adding parts. More clients, more employees, more desks, more anything.  Scaling your business means that your revenue increases, but your resources stay about the same.  More clients, but without more of everything else.  Why scaling is better than growing If doubling your client numbers means doubling the resources you need to…

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How To Be (and not be) Innovative in Business

Your clients like what you offer. And you want to keep it that way.  But then, suddenly, your competitor metaphorically drives by in a shiny new vehicle with apps and features you had never considered. And now you also want that metaphorical new car.  How not to be innovative So you start developing your product…

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How to pick the worst clients

If a strategy is about knowing what not to do, then client profiles are about knowing who not to target.  Much of this will happen as a process of exclusion as you build your Customer Profile.  But that is not enough. There are certain traits you want to look out for, that make universally bad…

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Where do you get your best ideas?

A global pandemic is a rare and unusual form of disruption.  Although the whole point is that we never see it coming. Disruption comes from unexpected places, and even hindsight is often short-sighted on learning its lessons. Let’s walk through three lessons from three highly disruptive episodes of recent business generations.  Disruption story one: Uber…

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The Glue Your Business Needs Every Day

What has to happen in your business?  When people think of business functions, they tend to list marketing, sales, finance, human resources, maybe production as well.  However you make your list, there is one fundamental business function that ties all the rest together; the glue that makes it work, if you will.  Management.  Collaborate more…

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How are you hiring?

You have a role; now it’s time to fill it.  Use the work you did to know why you are hiring and who you are hiring to improve how you are hiring.  Hiring skills How important is skill expertise in hiring?  It turns out: not very.  Skill expertise is not to be ignored, of course,…

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The Formula to Balance Your Business

Opportunity & risk.  Gains & losses.  Promotion & Prevention.  These are all ways to describe the balance a business needs to succeed. You can’t avoid risk, and you – hopefully – have plenty of opportunities. Making these two things coexist is important, but one of the hardest things to do.  Business potential Back in 2017,…

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How to plan to be spontaneous

“The last thing I want for my business is a plan or a process. I need my people to be spontaneous and adaptable”.  This is an actual quote from a business owner who is terrified of turning his employees into automatons.  His fear is valid: at what point is too much instruction removing any capability…

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Let’s talk about an entrepreneur’s biggest mistake

What is an entrepreneur’s biggest mistake? I was asked this question just the other day. And as much as I am not a fan of questions that require absolutes, I will still answer a question when it is posed.  And the answer to this one is: thinking they know what their customer wants.  One coin:…

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