Books about Business

I was thinking the other day about Business Books.  I have read many as have many of you.  Lots of innovative ideas, tips, and thoughts are in these books.  So, I ask myself:  “Why do businesses still fail?”  I think this is a fair question.  I want to explore this notion over the next several posts and talk about it.

I want to start with my business.   I work with several smaller businesses and meet many more.  When most people talk to me about their business what they want is a different result.  That part I understand.  They want More Revenue, Better Employees, More Time, or a Business Exit.  Pretty simple.  What many of them are unwilling to do is change what they do.  It reminds me of the saying by Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.”

Transformation of results is about Change.  Change is a much scarier prospect than failure it seems.  The good news that Change is a way to make things happen.  You can take control of what you want by planning a Change.  All good Coaches of any sort want to look at what will be achieved and helping people define that.  That is why we all focus on Goals and Vision.  Get a person or a business to define what they want and make it meaningful for them.  Once that is done, we just must help come up with a reasonable plan and ensure that there is progress along that plan.

I think that Sports Coaches are all about that.  What makes one team better than the other?  Talent is a key factor.  But so is motivation and the willingness to work toward a common goal.  We have all seen groups of people be a team.  We have also all seen them be a group of individuals.  That ability to get them to pull in one direction is Leadership.  Helping a group become a team and pull in a common direction is what a Coach does.  This includes Business Coaches like myself.

Have a great day!
Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Leadership Training, Sales Training, Strategic Planning

Change Your Business – Change Your Life!

Advertisements

Time and Process

One of the ways to make a business grow is to make it more efficient.  One method for that is to look at the processes within your business and seeing where the most time (and potentially dollars) are spent.  By optimizing your business processes, you will improve your focus on those items that are most important to your business.

Even the smallest businesses have at least 3 processes:  Attracting Customers, Delivering Products and Services, and Administering the Business.  For most small businesses will spend the vast bulk of their time in the first of those two processes.  They are either landing business or delivering it.  Business Owners spend a lot of time on what they do in their business and the industry that they are in.  I am going to attack the other primary process of all business Attracting Customers.

Attracting Customers really consists of 3 sub-processes:  Marketing (turning the Audience into Prospects), Sales (turning the Prospects into Customers), and Customer Retention (receiving additional Revenue from Existing Customers).  Each of these is somewhat independent of the other but can be improved by ensuring that the processes line up.  But let me focus down simply on the Marketing sub-process.  Are you clear on the channels that you use to market your business and how you expect the audience-at-large to become Prospects?  About how many Prospects per month are you expecting from each Marketing channel?  What is the out-of-pocket cost is there for each prospect?  What is the time required to receive the prospect?  How often does each type of prospect become a customer?

When you examine the results of these questions, you can begin to put numbers on the business.  By doing that, you can direct your time (the most valuable resource that you have) towards Marketing channels that give the best results.  Those efforts can, in turn, be understood in metric terms (How many appointments do I need to set in a week?).  You can see how you can look at your business and understand how the things that you do every day can drive bottom-line results.  Those best activities become those things to focus on for the future.  Lesser activities can be outsourced, re-engineered, or eliminated.

Doing that in your business gives you a head start on doing the most important things in your business.

Have a great day!

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Leadership Training, Sales Training, Strategic Planning

Change Your Business – Change Your Life!

An Announcement

This week in lieu of my regular blog post, I am going to be talking about a new service that I am offering.  This service is called Board Room.  Board Room is a specific kind of Coaching Service aimed at smaller enterprises.  As I have worked with many of them over the years, I have come to understand that they value the Trusted Advisor that I bring to the table when I show up at their door.  Board Room is my way to encapsulate this service.

The core of Board Room is an Advisory Board.  This Advisory Board reviews a standard Board Package each month.  This will include Financial Results, Initiative Updates, and Key Events.  Once per quarter there will be a Strategic Planning add-on to the standard meeting.  These Strategic Updates are Annual Budget, SWOT, Marketing, and Operations.  Each of these sessions will help ensure that the forward-looking portion of the business is being managed efficiently.

My vision for Business owners is that they end up with a Strategic Partner to help them navigate the tough decisions and changing business environment.  By bringing in an outsider perspective, the owner can ensure that they are having a 360-degree view of their business and its state.  This will allow the CEO to make the best possible decisions for the business.

I know that the active Board process is new to many people.  To help businesses down this path, I will provide a Board Ramp-Up Package as a first step.  This will be separate and can be bought and used by businesses on their own.

By putting Strategic Review through Board Room in place, CEOs do not have to go it alone.  They can have a timely, efficient way to review and manage their Business.

I plan to offer this package in both month-to-month as well as annual subscriptions.  If you have any questions or want to get started, contact me at jim@jimsackman.com.

Have a great day!

Jim Sackman

Focal Point Business Coaching

Business Coaching, Leadership Training, Sales Training, Strategic Planning

Change Your Business – Change Your Life!

Inorganic Growth: Go it Alone?

I hope through this series that I have given you some ideas about this notion of inorganic growth.  There is a lot of potential value here.  Business Growth is absolutely attainable.  So why do so many small businesses not go through this path?  The answer is the risk.  There are so many true stories of failed acquisitions that people are gun shy.  And the truth is that this is a risk.

So what is the best way to mitigate the risk?  The best thing to do is get good help.  Let me go over the elements involved in the process to make sure you know where to go.

There is the Strategic Planning Element.  You might have a Board of Directors or Advisors.  Those are great people to talk to first.  If you don’t have this kind of help, you may consider it.  The viewpoint of an external observer can help provide a different perspective on any plan.

There is the Deal Element.  Each transaction is a significant effort in valuing the business and performing due diligence.  Do you really want to read every contract?  Do you have the time or proficiency to go through the Financial Statements?  There are M&A Advisors out there that can help make sure that you are getting the right deal.

There is the Execution Element.  Assuming you have a good plan put together, you might wish to hire a Project Manager with M&A Experience.  This helps keep all the things that have to change on track.  This goes from the large as Communications Plans to the minute like Address Changes.  If you don’t have the extra time, then you might want to consider getting help.

All of these advisors can be built into what are called Deal Costs.  Anytime there is a transaction like this, there are costs incurred.  There is nothing for free.  But the help involved above is well worth the price of getting the deal right.

I am one of those Advisors who can help companies in any of the 3 elements.

Have a great day!

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Leadership Training, Sales Training, Strategic Planning

Change Your Business – Change Your Life!