STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? 10 Questions to Consider Before Investing A Dime.

Are you considering starting your own business?  10 Questions to Consider When Starting a new Business

Maybe you are still employed – but very under-employed. Perhaps, you have been laid-off and are thinking about being self-employed.

Would you like a resource Continue reading

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How do you measure YOUR success?

A Thoughtsuccess - how to measure

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”1

 

A Proverb

“If you love money and wealth, you will never be satisfied with what you have.”2

To Ponder

Our units of success measurement are determined by our purpose. Why are we here on earth? Is it to be right about every subject? Is it to be financially successful in every endeavor? What you believe to be true about your purpose Continue reading

Survival. Innovation. 4 Key Questions to Consider.

You may be struggling to keep your head above water. NOW may be the time to innovate – and innovation begins with some reflection.  Get ready toInnovate write. Journal your thoughts over a 10 business days. Think about what you are observing.

1.  What roused you in the first place to start your business?
There was a need, a want, a customer desire that stimulated your interest in providing a better, different, or new business solution. Find that source. Look at it from the perspective of current experience.

2.  What was your original response?
You did something about it. Made a product. Provided a service. Built the infrastructure to support making and providing and the marketplace responded. Maybe the external environment is beyond your control – current customers love you. How do you build on that?

3. What was the former sets of results – how have they changed in character?
Something resulted because you responded. Customers were developed. Needs met. People stimulated others, for whom you provided a compelling response to begin the cycle again and again. What exactly changed over which you have some control. Write it down. Think about it – innovate.

4.  Reflection – Now ask yourself, what have you learned by just taking the time to write those responses?

  • Are your assumptions about customers, needs, wants, desires still valid?
  • Are customers driving you? Or has product and service taken over the driver’s seat?
  • What are the keys to your current foundation and how can you use this keys to build – to innovated – in your value delivery?
  • If you had it to do over, what would change knowing what you know now?

Share the insights you have gained in the COMMENT section below. Become part of the conversation.

Copyright ©2011 by P. Griffith Lindell

Small Business Successes Will Speed Recovery

Small biz and circulatory systemPresident Obama focused part of his State of the Union address on the need to help small businesses survive and thrive in our current economy.  I applaud – and agree with him that the lifeblood of America flows through micro and small business veins.

It’s going to take more than political pronouncements, however, to produce the kind of revenue and profits that will change the rules of the current economic game. It’s going to take some practical business programs — developed, implemented and overseen by those who understand the stresses of meeting a payroll — not by some isolated academics or the political elite with ivory tower views. The major arteries of governmental involvement are needed, but with fewer constrictions.  Until our economic blood flows freely to the small capillaries of small business, the body of the national economy will continue to wither.

Let’s be certain in 2011 that the circulatory system of economic turn-around becomes healthy:  eliminate the stress of uncertainty – which constricts: provide a regular “heart-beat” of money at good rates and terms which “oxygenates” the economic blood.

Getting healthy will demand small business advocates with “hearts” that have been strengthened in the crucible that mixes (1) the stresses of making a payroll (2) with finding and keeping customers (3) while  blending in relief born of opportunities that generate enough revenue to continue to fund the business.

Local, state and national program leadership must come from those who have proven experience — that is, they have developed simple, practical business plans that leveraged resources, managed cash, and returned a profit. Such leaders recognize that resources (like small business loans) must come from all facets of the community and the government can help facilitate that process without being the process.

The demands on the small business person are enormous. Business issues — start-up costs, capital expense, and management of cash — all must be pointed to providing something special for a target group of customers. Whether I’m writing, consulting with business people, speaking, teaching university students, or volunteering at SCORE, I know that this understanding of customers is a game changer.

But it’s not just about customers and cash. There are hidden financial costs that must be tracked:  so also must the costs to relationships. Small business consumes money, time and people. And it has a big appetite. Sometimes, the small business “family” gets devoured by the demands and stresses particular to a small business. The uncertainty of complying with health-care laws continues to provide stress that reaches “inside” the business – it reaches the families involved. Governmental program leaders must comprehend these stresses.

Government has a role:  facilitating access to capital at reasonable rates, encourage entrepreneurship , prevent tax and license burdens from being onerous, and provide clear, consistent regulatory messages that will help small businesses mitigate their risk.

But more is needed: they must provide program overhaul and streamlined processes that have been honed by the  principle – less is more.  Then we all benefit: More jobs. More tax revenue. More services that can meet growing demands. If the President Obama and other governmental leaders provide this, we all will applaud and thank them.