Stuck in Survival Mode | Extraordinary Business

Thinking about how to get your business to the next level? Here are a couple of thoughts on how you might do so.

imageIf you are like most small business owners, you have built your business over time, adding different products and services to meet the needs of the changing market, changed, explored different business models, ventured into informal partnerships and a slew of other activities to build your company. As a young business, you may have had a swinging door of employees, vendors and contractors that may or may not have added value to your company.  You may have toyed with ventures, such as hosting networking events, done joint product launches and joined affiliate networks to increase cash flow.

After all of the blood, sweat and tears, you have to ask yourself how your company has actually grown.  Would you say that you have a solid brand that people turn to, regularly, to gain a certain product or service, or are your company still considered “one of many?” Do you find your work time filled with “busyness” or strategically focused activities that will help you move your company toward your vision for it? Do you have a vision for your company…and is it limited?

Are you simply filled with the routine of trying to survive, or have you arrived at the point where you truly have options for what the next phase of your business will look like?

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Get to the Bottom of Things! | Extraordinary Business

Finding out what is really going on in your business rather than treating the symptoms

imageWhen you talk about problems you have in your business, would a conversation sound like this?:.

You:“Man! This really a terrible business to be in.”
Brian: “Why do you say that?“
You:““Well, every time we go to do something to grow the business, we are always stuck.”
Brian: “Why is that?”
You: “Well…cash flow is really poor right now.”
Brian: “Well, that doesn’t tell me much. Why is cash flow poor?”
You:“Well, we have to pay for quarterly taxes and payroll – there was some overtime this time, and then one of the printers went down, so we had to have that fixed. It is out of warranty.”
Brian: “How did you get into this situation?”
You:“Well, we saw that there was a problem with this thing a while back, but thought that we could hang on for a while so that we could build some reserves…”
Brian: “You didn’t have any money in the bank?”
You:“Well…we needed to have a party for one of the employees…”
…and on and on. 

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Irreprehensible| Extraordinary Business

imageThe relationship between ethics and productivity Have you ever had someone do something to you that caused you to view that person in a completely different light?  Did you find that they lied to you?  Cheated you?  Stole from you?  Perhaps something worse? Even if you forgive that person, do you find it easy to restore that relationship and the sense of trust that existed in the relationship prior to event?  Do you find that when that person tells you something or is around, that feeling of doubt creeps in?  Even if you manage to shake it off and step forward, when a similar circumstance arises, do you still have doubts? Have you done this to someone else – perhaps an employee, vendor or customer?  Perhaps you called it, “what he knows won’t hurt him” or “survival of the fittest.”  How did it make you feel?  How do you think it made the people who knew about it feel?  How would you feel if your decision was made public knowledge?

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What?? I Didn’t Plan for That!! | Extraordinary Business

Making sure that the strategy you spent hours and dollars on is paying off!

imageThree months ago, people traditionally created New Years Resolutions.  As business leaders, we talked about what we wanted to do differently this year (2013) and how we were going to get there.  Some of us even ventured to write it down and made a plan, perhaps drawn from an existing or newly minted strategic plan.

The problem with planning, sometimes, is that some of things we plan for don’t happen.  The brilliant assistant or other employees we envisioned hiring haven’t materialized with the proper combination of skills, experiences and compensation needs.  For many business owners, the first quarter didn’t kick off as planned – lots of inquiries, very few people actually pulling the trigger, if you will.  New tax laws and impending changes in the health care industry have created a ripple effect across the country and the globe.

I guess this is a good time to throw out the plan and start over.

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Who's got Your Back?

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like it was going to simply swallow you? As extraordinary business leaders, we can bank on the fact that we are constantly seeking bluer, uncharted waters. I suspect, though, that we aren’t designed to go at it alone.  If you take a look at successful leaders, … Read more

Had an Aepiphanni, Lately? September 2009

From the Desk of Rick Meekins Hello!!  We are approaching the fourth Quarter of 2009!  Question for you:  What obstacles are keeping you from getting where you want to be? Here’s a great story:  The Obstacle in Our Path…In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and … Read more