Thursday, December 31, 2009
With 2009 coming to a close, you will receive plenty of advice from business advisors around the province to reflect on your business performance over the past year and plan ahead for the next 12 months.
I want to send a more concrete message to my readers to finish of the year and prepare for the forthcoming months.
As a business owner, consider one thing most of all, do you want your business to deliver real value to your customers or are you in the game for the numbers only?
This will be the most important factor when going into the New Year. If you are all about increasing volume only, you will loose the number one key ingredient for loyal, long-term customer relationships. If you think your clients don’t feel the ‘conveyor belt philosophy’ that some businesses offer, think again. Each customer is highly informed and has more choice then ever to take their business elsewhere.
So the pressure is on, to offer high quality deliverables such as your products and services AS WELL AS outstanding value and customer care. Only then will you stand a chance to retain your good clients and build a solid foundation with a first class business methodology.
To all your customers out there: Do not put up with half hearted efforts, poor service and time pressured delivery! If you have doubts about the value of a certain service, ditch the unsatisfactory expense and replace it with the value you deserve. You are worth it!
Happy Prosperous New Year to you all!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Business relationships can quickly change in a blink of an eye! From employers to associates to suppliers, something happens that can turn a favorable connection into a bad one.
This may be caused by a change in professional compatibility, conflicting aspirations or even personal circumstances that lead to one or both parties wanting to part.
How do you deal with your top performing employee or associate leaving your business? Do you wish them a heartfelt good luck in their future endeavors? Looking at what you could have done differently to retain such key people and to make sure you understand what made them go in the first place so you can improve for others? Or do you take it personally, turning the cold shoulder and maybe even looking to destroy their reputation?
The latter sounds pretty childish and unnessecary and not terribly professional. Maybe that was the reason for the person to leave in the first place?!
There are indeed business owners who take the loss of their star top performer or clients very personally and feel they can only get past this by actively sabotaging the ‘deserter’ either by misrepresenting the actual facts of this person leaving or even worse, spreading negative and maybe even untrue gossip within the business and industry to get back at them.
I have come across such people over and over during my career and am tired of witnessing such Godfather like behavior, where you have to be afraid they may come after you and ‘kneecap’ your business in order to seek revenge.
So to all of those terrible losers and bullies - your unprofessional, shortsighted and immature behavior will trip you up in the long run. It will cost you your reputation within a potentially powerful network and might cut you out of valuable business opportunities in the future.
Godfathers beware - top performers will always come out on top!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I have just learned that one of my former clients has decided to give up on her quest to battle through entrepreneurism. She contacted me to apologize for not being able to ‘stick it out’ and for thanking me to help her try to give it a proper shot.
This made me think that people who try themselves at setting up their own business, perceive their retreat back to the security of the corporate world as some kind of defeat or failure. I want to take this opportunity to put the record straight!
Firstly, it takes a whole lot of guts to take the step into the unknown, leaving a steady pay check, benefits and the support network of an existing company to try and go it alone. Finding the determination and the drive to continuously press on with little or no guidance or outside help, is not only daunting but can be very weary on the most passionate individual.
Add to that the pressure of competition, negative outside influences or connections and maybe even active saboteurs who do not wish to see you become successful, the task to stay on track and find the positive focus to remain optimistic about the success of your business, can become insurmountable!
A whole number of key elements are at play to ensure, you stand the chance to persevere through hurdles and challenges. You will need an indestructible self belief, unshakable persistence, a very thick skin and most of all unconditional support.
The support needs to be in the form of professional help with tasks that do not play to your strength or require expert advice. A further prerequisite is ongoing accountability to ensure steady progress and growth but most importantly support from your family and loved ones. Physically would be great, financially could certainly help and emotionally to keep you believing in your abilities and chance of success.
A great big CHEERS to all of you trying to realize your dreams. You’ll never know the possibilities until you have thoroughly checked out the options!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Lots of things have been happening since I last posted my blog contribution. A personal tragedy caused me to put things on hold for a while. This has led me to ponder over the facts of life and business for a little.
There are two camps when it comes to personal circumstances impacting your business - one side says:" The show must go on regardless of personal situations!" whilst the other side thinks, there are things larger in life than business. I chose to join the latter and take some time to re-group and reconsider my priorities.
Interesting things happen when you allow yourself to stop for a bit and take stock on what has happened, what is presently going on and what you want your future to look like! E. Tolle in his book 'The Power of Now" made for an interesting and educating read during my time of reflection and contemplation.
Now I have cut out what did not work, focussing on what I want to do and not what I think other people expect me to do and replacing some connections that were more draining then beneficial.
So for the mompreneurs out there who feel they need to be super women to fulfill all the expectations of all key stakeholders in life and business - STOP! and take the time to carefully consider your priorities and how they will evolve in the future. Only then can you set yourself personal and professional goals in line with YOUR order of importance.