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Time to audit your customers?

Do you know which of your customers are profitable for you and which are not?  Yeah, if you look for them, you’ll probably find a few (hopefully only a few) that really aren’t contributing anything to your bottom line.  So how do you identify them?  And once you identify […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

Walking away from a sale is something that is tough for most business people to do . . . particularly in a tight economy when selling opportunities may be few and far between . . . but sometimes it’s the right move.  A business is set up to effectively […] Continue Reading…

 
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“The result of leadership is a group of people working toward a common goal because they want to, not because they have to.”

This is only one quote on leadership among hundreds, or more likely, thousands.  There is probably no other concept in business that’s gotten as much attention as leadership.  But what is it?  Most of us think we know it when we see it, but it shows up in so […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Permitting colleagues to participate in decision-making is not so much a favor to the participants as it is to the executive.”

The days of the boss hurling down lightning bolts while his employees scurry to do his bidding are long gone.  Employees today are better educated, better trained, and have access to more information than ever before.  They have insights as to what’s working well and what’s not.  In short, […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Have your children go work for someone else before they work for you.”

Some small business owners dream of creating a “family business,” that is having one or more other family members actively engaged in running the business.  It’s a romantic notion and very compelling to some . . . Mom keeps the books, Sis and Little Johnny do a variety of […] Continue Reading…

 
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“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
“What gets measured, gets done.”
Those are two complimentary management axioms, and they both happen to be true.
Take the first, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”  It’s pretty hard to argue with that.  For instance, how could we manage our receivables without a […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Goals produce results, not activities.”

Our last posting talked about consistency.  We talked about identifying “critical success factors” . . . operating principles that, when applied consistently, are at the core of a company’s success.  But operating principles are only half the equation.  They are the front end, the input side of things.  They […] Continue Reading…

 
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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”

In his outstanding book, Great by Choice, Jim Collins relates the story of Howard Putnam, a former CEO of Southwest Airlines. Putnam institutionalized the Southwest Airlines’ “recipe” for success. His “recipe” was not a strategic plan or a vision or a mission statement, but a carefully thought-out list of […] Continue Reading…

 
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“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

Many companies that survive an economic downturn do it by cutting everything that doesn’t keep the lights on and the doors open.  In that condition, they are treading water.  They may avoid catastrophe, but they’re not going anywhere.  The company is set on “idle.” 
Allowing the company to idle […] Continue Reading…

 
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Marketing 101e

So far in this series on marketing, we’ve discussed three fundamental marketing questions:
–          What product or service do we want to sell?
–          What “competitive advantage” separates us from our competitors?
–          Who is uniquely suited to buy from us (who is our “prime prospect”)?
Now, to conclude this series on marketing, […] Continue Reading…

 
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