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Archive for the category “strategic planning”

5 examples why having success in business is the worst case scenario


5 examples why having success in business is the worst case scenario 

In business most of us would think that the worst-case scenario is when you open for business and do not get enough customers. While that can be a huge problem, with a well-executed concept and your “why” in place the diametrically opposite thing can happen to you: The worst case scenario is when you have success and you get all the customers and business that you want.

You do not believe me? Well, let’s go over a few case scenarios then.

  1. Business is so great that you book orders in record numbers. If you have to buy more equipment, need more people, need to make progress payments for long term delivery items, etc you can ran out of cash really quickly. It gets tied up elsewhere and how about those customers that do not believe paying on time or ever?
  2. You are a startup company and with few folks can do the impossible. Ship on time and attract more business. Everyone knows everything and the “why” (the entrepreneurial idea) is well known and applied by all of your folks. Enter rapid growth into this equation and you will need to formalize processes and learn how to hire the best people.
  3. In the event that you have partners and / or investors they can throw major monkey wrenches in your way. What if they all of the sudden want to get out, sell out, or do something completely different with the earnings? Money can change your best friends and definitely family overnight.
  4. Success breeds success. Ideas will start flowing how to refine things, do them differently and perhaps other things should be pursued. While this is great, only a few good concepts and only ones with a tie in to your company’s purpose will get you anywhere – the rest are bunny trails that suck cash and manpower out of your organization.
  5. Your business grew beyond expectations. Now you are putting in more hours than ever. It is no longer fun. Adding people adds overhead costs and it can take a while looking for people. You are stuck in the muck.

Before you even start with a project or a new business make sure to ponder what you and your organization’s purpose is. If at all possible, think and then write about the vision and mission of this endeavor. Yes, that is correct; no eyewash just good pieces of information that will later make it so much easier providing a shared picture with any employee later. Generate goals and flesh them out with strategies and tactics. Implement and execute your plan and follow it with almost ruthless accuracy. It is tough to do that especially when business is fun and you enjoy working in the trenches every day. If you fail to do this you are standing on proverbial railroad tracks and the freight train that will hit you soon is already headed your way.

Ralf

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2 ways of dealing with conversations – brevity is your friend


2 ways of dealing with conversations – brevity is your friend 

People who talk a lot will not give you an order or good service no matter if you are a customer or a sales representative. You are not getting good service or an order when you are speaking with people who talk like waterfalls. Sure it may feel great being around these folks. They make you feel good and the time seems to just fly by. Next thing you know is that you are out of time and under the bottom line there is a whole lot of nothing.

Set yourself a time limit of tolerating the otherwise enjoyable conversation. If you have to get a minimum of progress achieved then stick to getting that done. When should you make an exception? Exceptions are made for folks whom you have met on the account of synchronicity – that is meeting them seemingly coincidently but strangely enough somehow on purpose. One never knows what those conversations lead to. All other conversations you might as well keep as short as you can.

Ralf

4 items that make SMART goals work


4 items that make SMART goals work 

I am going to get a lot of hate mail from life and business coaches about this one, but to me SMART goals are so old school. SMART stands for the goal to have the following characteristics:

  • Specific: Is the goal stated specifically enough that you will know you have reached it?
  • Measurable: Is the goal able to be evaluated, either qualitatively or quantitatively?
  • Attainable: Can the goal be achieved?
  • Relevant: Does the goal align with the goals of your company of function?
  • Timed-based: What, specifically, is the target date for its completion?

They do have a place in business, although they should be used sparingly. What is the problem with them? SMART goals are stupid because they are almost exclusively result based focused and very rarely if ever people-focused. People are the ones working on the goals though.

So here is my peace offer to everybody who staunchly insists SMART goals are a must. Because SMART goals are like a boat with no sail, kick your game up with adding a SAIL component to your goals. I recently read about this in Tasha Eurich’s book “Bankable Leadership. In short you help include the people side of your goals like this:

  • Stretch: Is the goal challenging enough to make the person raise their game?
  • Ability: Does the person completing the goal have the ability (or reasonably learn to accomplish it?
  • Importance: Does the goal feel personally important to the person blessed with this goal?
  • Learning: Does the goal help grow their skills in a way that they want to grow them?

Now we have a really powerful goal set because you made it personal to the folks having to worry about executing them. The business of business is business. That is unlikely to change, but businesses cannot function without people. It cannot be ignored that people do business with people. Humans have needs, wants, desires, dreams, and their own goals. Kick up your SMART goals with blowing some wind into SAIL goals.

Ralf

Making the process of blog writing simpler


Making the process of blog writing simpler 

This is a really useful point to ponder whether you are in the process of starting a blog or you start with a new job: You want to slip under the covers of comfort and routine as soon as possible but that can only come to fruition over some period of time. I call this the chaos period in which you will need to find out the hard way where the borders – perceived and real ones – lie. Once that has happened, you can enjoy a sense of community and your individuality. Ironically, you need each person’s individuality to make it a community and it is the community that allows for you to have your own way of doing and seeing things. You cannot have the one without the other. Realizing that there is a process behind it that will only take a few days to weeks to get into place should make it easier for you to embrace the period of chaos and insecurity. Anticipating change and its unsettling effects is half the bet to surviving and thriving in the process of it.

Where is this helpful again? Let’s say that you are starting a new job. The first 2 to 8 weeks are most likely the scariest as you need to explore the culture of the organization and how you fit and where you can make a contribution. It is unsettling and does not feel natural. Know that what you are feeling is normal and it too shall pass. Unless there is a total incompatibility you will be part of a team soon and can make a contribution and still remain an independent person as well.

Blogging for instance is a great and rewarding thing to do, but it will take some time to find your own tribe that will support and understand you. Knowing that you will go through a sense of chaos first within yourself and then with the first people paying attention to you can be a daunting thought. In order to be successful at it you will need to figure out voice and calling. It is the single most important task of your blogging / writing career right before developing content. One follower at a time will need to get what you want to stand for and the beginning can be awfully rough and chaotic before you start building a solid followership. The more you can make a case for being yourself, the greater the chance you will generate a sustainable followership (community, tribe). All it takes is an unsettling vortex of change and chaos in the beginning that you will need to put up with.

If you want to bake a cake and eat it too you will need to put up with the whole process. Here it is dealing with the sacred geometry of change that will always be your uneasy companion when you want individualism and a sense of community. That applies to the communities that you want to create as well as the ones that you will “just” become part of. Agree? Disagree?

Ralf

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