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3 things ANY small business can do to grow
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6 Things to do before you start your own business
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You must know detail about your business
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The Vision Driven Organisation
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5 Steps to make your company Vision tangible

3 things ANY small business can do to grow

There are many small business owners reading this, and they have probably read my earlier posts on business improvement and said “that’s not for me, I’m just a grinder, grinding away day to day in my small business”.

I’m thinking of Dave the floor sander who did the new floorboards at my house. I’m also thinking of Adam the housepainter who did such a good job on my house and Brad the electrician who comes over anytime I call him. These are all hard working small business owners who employ anything from none to 5 people, organising their work procedures, their finances and their people as best as they can, where every day is a busy day just “doing the stuff”.
If you are one of them you are probably thinking that all this “strategy advice stuff” is not for you. And yet, every time I talk to Dave, and Adam and Brad, they are always willing to talk about their latest ideas, about how they improved sales by getting a telephone answering service, about how once a year they take their staff inter-state to watch a football game as a reward and to build team spirit, about how they sit down together to work out priorities during the day. Dave and Adam and Brad are doing this “strategy advice stuff” without realising it because what they are doing is not couched in the language or the texts of Harvard Business School or a suit-wearing consultant like me, out to impress. They are using their experience and their common sense “doing the day to day stuff”.

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6 Things to do before you start your own business

So you want to start your own business?

If you are like all small business people, you have decided to start your small or kitchen table business because of factors such as being your own boss and all that picture entails. Today, this seems even more possible due to the technology that you can use from home or a shared space that allows you to keep costs down in comparison to a bricks and mortar business.

While there are even government websites encouraging you (there’s one that has a header “Open for Business: Simple, Fast, Easy) headlines still exist that shout out nearly 80% of businesses close within 18 months of starting – and you can bet most of these are micro, small, kitchen table businesses. Read More

You must know detail about your business

I have worked with clients on their businesses and when asked about some detail like ” what profit margin do you make on that product” or “how many hours do your people work on average”, they don’t know.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about micromanagement here – I am a firm believer in systems and procedures and a living vision that explain to team members what they do, how they should do it, and why they should do it, leaving you to concentrate on strategic matters that have impact.
However, you do need to know, nay, must know, the detail of your business model and your business functions.
When I was in my thirties, my mother developed terminal cancer and I looked after her palliative care at home because she wanted to die at home. I was assisted by an effective tertiary care medical system – home nurses, oncology visits, medical equipment supplied and so on. Her GP was also mine and once he asked me what medication she was getting and I replied “I don’t know, some large white pills that the oncologist prescribed” thinking that was the affair of professionals whom I had delegated professional care to. My GP looked me in the eye and said:-

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The Vision Driven Organisation

For many years now, I have championed the value of the vision-driven organisation and vision-driven planning. And now, I see more and more examples where the principles of vision-driven planning being used in business affairs, organisational structuring, customer service, team development, and even in day to day personal living.
So what is a vision-driven organisation or business? It is the principle of aligning everything that you do and believe in, your core values, organisational structure, goals and objectives and strategies, towards the ultimate achievement of a vision.
Oprah calls it The Secret at work – I have always maintained it is about creating a corporate culture that takes the hard effort out of any organisation. The principle is based around creating a vision of where you want to be by exploring the picture from different “perspectives”, where, from each perspective you ask the question, “on achievement of my vision, how will the business look from the perspective of….”

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5 Steps to make your company Vision tangible

How many of us have word-smithed a company Vision Statement, perhaps even after a weekend workshop locked up with our senior managers, or we may even have paid big money to have a consultant workshop it with us and create that perfect Vision Statement?

Great, I can see all those hands held up. Now, how many of us use that Vision Statement day by day to assist our companies move in the direction the Vision Statement envisions? Not too many hands up now!

How many of us can honestly say our teams understand the tangible behavioral aspects of our Vision Statements to the extent they use it on a day by day basis to assess their own performance in team-working, customer relationships, objective-achievement, procedural efficiency? Read More

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