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Posted by on in Improved Business Results
How can you tell if your business is growing? Very simple, you measure it. You may have heard the expression, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” In my consultation with my business owners in Westchester County we work on success through focusing on their vision, their values, and goals. Then they execute their goals and measure results. You need to have a strategic outlook on your business. Another way of saying this is that you look at the whole rather than the parts or you must work ON your business rather than IN your business. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it. For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit. That, however, is a measure of what has happened in the past. It may not predict...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
If your business will not survive when you are not around, then you do not have a business. You have a hobby. I recently had a client company mention to me that the owner had taken some time off and during that time sales dropped off substantially. A business is certainly not sustainable if it collapses as soon as the owner leaves. Such a business will never be able to get passed on or sold. Does this sound familiar? If it does here is the cause of the problem. The business owner wants to have growth and stability but does not trust his or her employees. The solution will lie in the owner becoming a leader who trains, develops, empowers, and delegates with confidence. It is important to have the right people doing the right jobs. Start by having job descriptions for everyone. Make sure that every staff member is qualified...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
We are working with business owners in Westchester County who are working on making their businesses more successful. These businesses define success through their vision, their values, and goals. Then to stay on top of their business they monitor and measure results. Once you set your goals you need to make sure you are on track. You would not take a cross country car trip without using your GPS to make sure you are on track. So similarly, if you want to have a sustainable business you need to have a strategic plan, goals and objectives, and a way to measure your progress. Without these elements you are relying solely on luck. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it. For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit. That, however,...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Another thought this time of year when we are working on our business plans for the next year.  We need to have clear objectives and goals.  You may have heard the expression, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” Well, if you want to have a sustainable business you need to have a strategic plan, which includes those goals and objectives, and a way to measure your progress.  Without these elements you are relying solely on luck. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it.  For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit.  That, however, is a measure of what has happened in the past.  It may not predict what will happen in the future. Using measurements that predict whether you are on the right track and will...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Small business is poised to generate many new jobs in 2018.  We need small business to grow our economy and will need local small business.  I have had the pleasure over seeing many small businesses grow in the last years and expect more in Westchester County New York in 2018. While it is true that today’s business environment can seem somewhat volatile there have also been many more opportunities with the growth in the economy.   While I don’t want to oversimplify I believe that small business owners can leverage success by following the suggestions in the three following steps. Step 1 – Think Strategically then follow through. When you think strategically you work ON your business rather than IN your business.  You are future focused.  You decide where you want to take your business now and in the future whether it is in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Are you ready to take your Westchester County NY business to the next level? Most businesses say yes but do not know what that means.  First, you need to know where your business is now. Then you can see where you want to go.  Businesses like people go through growth stages and many drop off along the way.    Some businesses may survive due to external dynamics and then become stagnant.  The root cause could be a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. For example:  There are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they understand how to create a great meal that, therefore, they would be a natural to open a restaurant.  They open the business and make sales. However, the owner is usually consumed with running the business and catering to every little detail.  There is very little time to step away from the day to day operation.  In most...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
If you are a business owner, you so busy doing little things that you may feel like a hamster on a wheel. You may be spending too much time working in the day to day minutiae you are missing the big picture. Many blame the rapid pace of technology for this dilemma. Technology, while automating things that used to take much more time has also created new pressure. Instant communication on handheld devices gives us the sense of urgency and feeling that we must always be working. Everything seems to go faster, leaving everyone feeling overworked, overloaded, and overwhelmed.   If you are feeling this way it may be time to step back and look at your vision, your goals, and your overall purpose. Here are some tips to help you do that. 1. Know Your Purpose. Know your vision, your goals, and your plans because these help you set priorities. Each...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
If you do not have a business where you can walk away when you want, then you don’t have a business but rather, you have a hobby. This is not a bad thing because this may be your business goal. You may wish to work solo. For the rest of you, you might want to read further. Does your business survive due to external dynamics and timing but will become stagnant when you are not there? In this case you might feel like you are a hamster on a wheel. There is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. As an example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they know how to create a great meal. They decide to open their own restaurant. The restaurant might open and have sales but the owner might be so consumed with the food details that he might...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
HOW TO DEVELOP A LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE Peter Drucker said that the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer. It is really that simple. Creating a customer is done through a clear message and marketing but keeping a customer is based on performance. There are not enough businesses that reason focus on what works to retain a customer. A company that says it separates itself from others by service usually does not know what that really means. As an example it seems that the majority of businesses are focusing on customer satisfaction to determine their customer service measurements. This measurement is flawed and often falls short of actionable expectations. Companies also make a mistake in the method of measuring the voice of their customer. Asking people to write a rating on social media is MARKETING not measurement. Measurement is consistent, private, and asks for the good, the bad,...
Tagged in: Customer Loyalty

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
As a business owner do you sometimes feel like you are a hamster running on a wheel. That is because are working IN your business, chasing every detail and putting out every fire. This is natural because it is what you first did as you started your business. You know how to run the business but that does not mean you are managing it. When you stop working does the business stop? If this is the case, then there is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. For example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they know how to create a great meal that that they should open a restaurant. The restaurant might open and have sales but the owner might be so consumed with the food details that he might neglect other parts of the business. In most cases the business stops when...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. You have heard that statement at the end of most investment advertisements and with good reason. Just because you were successful in the past does not mean you will be successful in the future. I work with business owners in Westchester County New York who define success through their vision, their values, and goals. In addition, they monitor and measure results. You may have heard the expression, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” To begin, you need to have a strategic plan, goals and objectives, and a way to measure your progress. Without these elements you are relying solely on luck. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it. For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit. But that,...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Have you been hitting roadblocks in your business? As I listen to many owners of businesses from restaurants to manufacturing to non-profits they are looking to remove the roadblocks and move forward. If any of these comments sound familiar, then you might have roadblocks in your organization. Our sales are flat. We can’t get our employees motivated We have high staff turnover. We are getting more customer complaints. We have new competition. These are several very key problems and there could be many more. Yet for each of these problems there is a root cause. The problems can be solved by being proactive rather than being reactive. How many people recognize these problems as symptoms? Those who do make the mistake of attacking and treating the symptoms. However, it is a mistake to put all your effort into treating these symptoms. Many reactive business leaders take this approach. For example, the...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Many businesses are started each year. Many don’t last. Michael Gerber, in his book “The E Myth Revisited”, discusses the reasons. The e-myth or the entrepreneurial myth as described by Gerber incorrectly assumes that the desire of the new business owner or entrepreneur, plus capital, plus a profit goal will result in success. But this has not spelled success for business and the lack of the true understanding of what it takes has caused businesses to fail. Some businesses may survive due to external dynamics and timing but they will become stagnant and the owner will feel like a hamster on a wheel. There is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. For example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they know how to create a great meal that that they should open a restaurant. The restaurant might open and have sales but the...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
You need a balanced approach to management in order to obtain great business results. Why? You need it because your organization will have multiple goal categories, goals and action steps. The flawless execution of these action steps will result in a loyal customer base. The end result will be more sales and profits. But how do you keep it all on track? The Balanced Scorecard, in my opinion, is the best way to stay focused on all of the organization’s goals and keep your staff on track too. Very simply a balanced scorecard is an ideal form of performance measurement. The business leaders identify a small number of financial and non-financial measures and attach goals to them. When the results are reviewed it is possible to determine whether current performance 'meets expectations. By alerting managers to areas where performance deviates from expectations, they can be encouraged to focus their attention on...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Most successful business owners cite laser focus on the right things as paramount to their success. Staying focused and staying sharp on the things necessary to grow and change is important. But sometimes business gets lazy and in a rut. The owner stops seeing the big picture. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Since the business is still making money and continuing to operate the reasoning is, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. But recently the business has experienced a decline in sales and profits. In short, there have been changes in the economy and the market. In order to remain successful the business owner must refocus. How are you doing? Take this 5 area checkup: 1. Make sure you know what business you are in. If you make cell phones do you provide smart phones or do you create facilitated mobile communication? If you run...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
It is a fact that small business generates most of the jobs in this country. We need local small business to grow our economy. I had the opportunity today to address a group of small businesses in Westchester County New York. I’m certain you’ll agree that at best, today’s business environment can seem somewhat volatile. Many pressures have been added to small business by competition from larger national organizations such as big box stores.   While I don’t want to oversimplify I believe that small business must pay full attention to the three steps below if they wish to remain sustainable. Step 1 – Strategic thinking – Planning and Deciding Strategic thinking means working ON your business rather than IN your business. It includes planning and deciding where you want to take your business now and in the future whether it is in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or more....

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
If you and your team are not on the same page it could be costing business and could threaten the future of your company. I can find symptoms of this by listening to some of these comments from Westchester County business owners. “I was on vacation last week and nothing got done.” “I need to approve the sales proposals before they go out.” “I can’t trust other with my best clients.” If you have experienced this feeling you are probably running your organization as if you were driving your car with your emergency brake on. You move forward but not with the speed that you want. And after a while you have worn down your brakes. How similar is that to running your organization with a drag on your performance? If you and your team are not on the same page you will not achieve the highest results in your business....

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
I work with numerous business owners in Westchester County who are working on making their businesses more successful. These businesses define success through their vision, their values, and goals. Then to stay on top of their business they monitor and measure results. You may have heard the expression, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” Well, if you want to have a sustainable business you need to have a strategic plan, goals and objectives, and a way to measure your progress. Without these elements you are relying solely on luck. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it. For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit. That, however, is a measure of what has happened in the past. It may not predict what will happen in the future....

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Do you see your Westchester County NY business the way those outside your business do? Many times, when you see something every day you stop noticing. Does that make sense? For example, when you started your business you were focused on how you were going to get customers and what resources you would need to deliver the products and services to those customers. That might have been 2 years ago, 5 years ago or even 10 or more years ago. But you say, “I’m ok now because I have my routine set and it works without me thinking about it.” Here are two questions to ask yourself. Has a new team member joined and pointed out things you didn’t see? Have you had any suggestions or complaints by customers? Sometimes a person with a fresh set of eyes is needed to point out something that will help your business. A fresh...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
“I recently had to take some time off and during my absence the company did not have enough sales to even cover our overhead.” A Westchester County NY business owner relayed this situation to me. She was frustrated. “My business needs to operate when I am not there,” she said, “but at this time I am afraid to take a day off.” If you are a Westchester County NY business owner and this sounds familiar you should know that it is a common problem. As business owner you want sales growth and business stability but don't feel your employees can get it done. Your solution will lie in becoming a leader who trains, develops, empowers, and delegates with confidence. It is important to have the right people doing the right jobs. So start by having job descriptions for everyone. Make sure that every staff member is qualified for the job. Find...

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