As any business or organization begins to grow, there comes a point where the leadership begins to realize that they cannot do or control everything themselves. They must begin to delegate tasks and responsibilities to others; but of equal importance, is to empower those individuals. Empowerment in the simplest terms means to treat people not as employees, but as partners.… Read the rest
One of the skills necessary for success in any business or nonprofit organization is the ability to chart a course. To properly chart a course, it is important to understand first where you are, than where you want to go, and finally the plan on how to get there. If you have ever been in a new town and wanted to go out to dinner, you might have first looked for a restaurant in a magazine. You then call to find out where they were located. The first question you were asked by the person in the restaurant is where are you now? In fact, you have just taken the first step in charting a course to dinner.… Read the rest
Are you looking to be more successful? Here are ten ways to grow your small business.
Know yourself. Do a SLOT analysis. What are your strengths, your limitations, opportunities, and threats? Examine and understand each. In every strength, there is a limitation and in every limitation there is a strength (e.g. you are small so lack financial clout; the advantage is by necessity you will be more creative). The better you know yourself the more successful you will be. By knowing yourself you not only know your areas of opportunity, you know what areas to avoid.
Peter Drucker tells us that, “Napoleon said there were three things needed to fight a war. The first is money. The second is money. And the third is money. That may be true for war, but it’s not true for non-profit organizations. There you need four things. You need a plan. You need marketing. You need people. Any then you need money.” Let’s start by considering marketing. If your non-profit is funded by an endowment or a wealth donor, this may not be of much interest. For most of us it is an issue which must be addressed in order to sustain our activities.
So many think that they don’t need marketing. In fact, they consider the term unsavory.… Read the rest
In his book, The E-Myth RevisitedMichael Gerber describes the roles played by different personalities within a business. The first is the technician, who actually does the work or delivers the service in the business. The second is the manager, who organizes and controls the business on a daily basis. The third is the entrepreneur who best understand the business environment and leads it though changes necessary for continued success. One might conclude that knowledge of actual working in the business or managing the operation of the business does not always lead to success. What leads to success is knowledge of how a business needs to operate within its competitive market place.… Read the rest
Charles Kettering, famous inventor and founder of Delco, once said, “We should be all concerned about the future because we will spend the rest of our lives there.” The ability to have a vision of what you personally perceive as success is a key element in your business venture and your personal life. Where are you going and what will in look like when you get there? A meaningful vision not only provides direction, but it helps people find meaning in their work and a reason to excel.… Read the rest
A business plan is a working document through which you set your goals and trace progress towards increased success. There may come the opportunity to present that plan to investors or a financial institution. Listed below are a list of tips to make that presentation more effective.… Read the rest
Start Your Year Off Right / Goals for a Successful 2016
This program, originally announced in the Quill last month is also available to organizations and groups. It is ideally suited for groups of six to eight people from one company or organization. It would provide the organizational leadership, such as department heads, an organized forum during which they could review their 2015 accomplishment and set their goals for 2016. Our program for the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce will include representative from a number of diversified business and is described in the last month’s article.… Read the rest
Most businesses invest in marketing and advertising each month but overlook another vital investment that they are already making–that investment is their employees. Your employees can make or break your company, and recently I ran into a very poignant example of that fact.… Read the rest
Start Your Year Off Right / Goals for a Successful 2016
RLS Focused Solutions, in conjunction with the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, is offering an opportunity to help you achieve a more successful 2016. The workshop will be offered on Friday January 15th. They will be held at the Chamber Conference. Room It will begin at 8:00 AM and conclude no later than 2:00 PM. A working lunch from the Purple Onion will be included.… Read the rest
Few people really understand how important taking action is to success. We all know the old saying, Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda, when we see an opportunity slip away. I know I have said, I THOUGHT OF THAT YEARS AGO! about some new gadget I came across. I didn’t take action. I let small problems be excuses for not moving forward with the things I truly want.… Read the rest
I am often asked the same two questions. Do I need a business plan? What should I include in my business plan? I am going to answer these questions when writing this article. Do I require a business plan? For most businesses the answer to this question would be yes. For the majority of new businesses and ones which require investment by way of a loan or a business partner, a business plan is a must.… Read the rest
Many of us have spent countless hours thinking about and documenting plans for either our business or non-profit organization. There is a sense of satisfaction with the completion of the final draft that is shared by all involved. Far too often that document is filed or left in a desk drawer to be revised in a year’s time. Many have even reported that they gave up on the planning process because it just didn’t work. I often remember the president of a very well-managed company once stating that the team had become expert on writing business plans, but not real good on making them a reality.
If you are a small business owner, your role as a leader may be the least of your priorities. Most of your time is consumed by finding customers, supervising employees, watching your cash flow and delivering you services or products. You don’t want to consider leadership because that is what corporate executives and government leaders need to learn about. Not you. We would argue that you are a leader and understanding your leadership role is an important key to success. What are some of the lesson we can learn about leadership in business?… Read the rest
I recently read the book, Boys in the Boat. It was a true story of a sculling team from the University of Washington, who through hard work and discipline became national champs and went on to win the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It’s a great story, set against the dramatic background of the Berlin Olympics hosted by Adolf Hitler. It describes how a rowing team developed into the fastest in the world. Of course, the members of the team need to be strong and fit, but there comes a point when all come together in harmony to maximize their performance. It is said that the team is only as fast as its slowest rower, but once they reach that synchronized harmony, they outpace the rest of the competitors.… Read the rest
Getting good feedback from customers and employees is vital for any business that expects to grow. Without knowledge, business leaders can not make educated decisions. Uneducated decisions lead to a higher rate of failure, which can have detrimental impacts on a business. Without high quality information, a business owner is flying blind.… Read the rest
How Does it Drive Non-Profit Organizational Success?
Having worked with and been a part of a number of non-profit boards of directors, we have observed a range of involvement, producing a wide range of results. Some boards were highly organized and had very little involvement with the day-to-day activities of the organization. Others were more loosely organized but served functional roles, like fund raising, within the non-profit. To better understand the effect boards have on the success of organizations, we joined with Springboard Internationalto conduct interviews the CEOs and Board Chairs. These leaders represented local, regional and national organizations. The complete results of this work is available in a white paper entitled, A Conversation about Board Engagement on our website: http://plangoals.com/offer/.… Read the rest
You may be a member of a civic club or company which has operated in the same way over a long period of time. You may have observed that your club membership is not growing and maybe even shrinking. In the case of a business, sales are not what they once were. You may feel as though you are trapped and need to make some changes but you sense some resistance. To quote Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein, Change is Good… You Go First.
Creating change in any organization is difficult. As that organization grows and becomes more successful, the leadership which made it successful is replaced by management, who intend to maintain that success. That maintenance is the management of the status quo.… Read the rest
It’s no longer enough to be good, you must be exceptional. It is no longer enough to have satisfied customers, you must seek to develop a loyal and delighted customer base. It’s no longer enough to maintain. You must be aggressive, responsive, and quick. Your challenge is getting everyone on your team or in your department committed and focused on achieving organizational success. As an effective team leader, your role is to build the best, strongest, most productive team possible. Your team or department’s results, or lack thereof, will be in direct proportion to the cohesiveness of your team.… Read the rest
“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Fr. Theodore Heshurgh Former President of The University of Notre Dame
A powerful vision provides inspiration, challenge, and purpose. It gives meaning to your work and purpose to your business. Your business gives you a place where you can satisfy your need to achieve. Everyone’s life needs a purpose, something important to strive for. One way to add both meaning and context to your vision is to establish values. Clearly defined values simplify decision making. They also help ensure consistency as well as ethical and behavioral congruence… Read the rest