CALL US NOW AT 847-382-0403
Sign Up for Our Newsletter
magnify
Home Archive for category "Best Practices"

“I found success becomes a catalyst for failure because it leads to what Jim Collins called the ‘undisciplined pursuit of more.’ “

Greg McKeown is a leadership and business consultant, public speaker, and author.  His most recent book is, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.”  In that book, he puts forward his very unusual belief that success in business can be its own worst enemy.  In his view, success doesn’t necessarily beget more success.  In fact, an initial success

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

Don’t produce a budget. Map out a Profit Plan. (Part II)

We have been talking about an annual planning process.  It began two postings ago when we talked about laying out three to five strategic initiatives aimed at moving the company forward.  Then with our last posting, we began a 2-part discussion on what some call a “budget,” but what we prefer to call a “profit

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

Don’t produce a budget. Map out a Profit Plan. (Part 1)

In our last posting, we talked about building an annual plan around three to five strategic initiatives.  We also suggested that you open up your planning process to as many of your employees as possible . . . don’t restrict it to only you and your top managers.  Make your planning process as inclusive as

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

“The nicest thing about not planning is that failure always comes as a complete surprise and is not preceded by a period of worry and desperation.”

About this time every year . . . somewhere around the beginning of the 4th quarter . . . is a good time to begin planning for next year.  Unfortunately, planning is not an activity that most small businesses engage in . . . at least, not in any meaningful way.  The owner may have

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

Be the gatekeeper of your company’s culture.

During the Great Recession, hiring was not much of a problem because most companies weren’t doing any of it.  Some imposed a hiring freeze, others laid people off.  Now we have the opposite problem: companies want to hire but can’t find the people they want.  Best-selling business author Jim Collins uses the analogy of a

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

“No person can get very far in this life on a 40-hour week.”

Working more hours does not make us more productive.  That seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true.  This was demonstrated by many studies conducted from the early 1900s to the 1950s.  In fact, Henry Ford, who was an early adopter of working fewer hours, reduced the work day in his plants from 10 hours to eight, and

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

Compensation is an equity issue.

In American business, an individual’s compensation package, particularly among managers and sales people, frequently includes an incentive component.  An example might be a manager who is paid a base salary of $75,000, but is able to earn an additional $25,000 if he or she is able to achieve certain goals or outcomes.  The proposition is,

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

“We really view each (telephone call) as an opportunity to build the Zappos brand.”

Whatever happened to customer service?  Everybody pays lip service to it, but very few actually deliver it.  More and more often, when you go to a company’s website looking for a phone number, you will be disappointed to find there isn’t one.  Apparently, they don’t want to talk to their customers.  Instead, they provide a

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

Work on your business, not in it.

According to the IRS, there are 18.1 million businesses in this country, but only 100,000 that employ 100 or more people.  So of the 18.1 million businesses in this country, 18 million of them are small businesses.  In addition, more than a million businesses are started here each year, but 800,000 of them will be

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn

“Without execution, ‘vision’ is just another word for hallucination.”

“Which is easier, strategy (planning) or execution?”  Ask any chief executive that question, and he or she will always answer, “Execution!”  Putting together a good strategic plan has its own challenges, but the real trick is making that plan happen.  And the reason for that is simple:  executing a strategic plan is important but not

Read More…

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn