A Business Plan Shortcut?

Dear Ellen,

My friend has a business plan that “passed muster” with her bank and she got a loan.  How about if I just take her plan and customize it for my business?  Sounds like a good short cut.  What do you think?


Dear Vera,

I like and don’t like that idea.  While it can be a short cut, adopting someone else’s plan (or using a fill-in-the-blanks business plan template) is like a color-by-number painting.  It may look OK but it will never inspire you.  So, perhaps you could… […]

By |April 30th, 2014|The Bare Bones Biz Plan, The Challenge|0 Comments

Do You Need a Lifeline?

(View Video on YouTube)
I love April, John and the Watermark Plumbing Team!  I especially love April’s and John’s four daughters.  They are smart and hilarious and their parents totally appreciate them.  (Become April’s FB friend and you’ll see what I mean.)  I appreciate what it takes to manage 4 young girls, and a team of fun-loving plumbers!  Too much to do, too little time…and an avalanche of paperwork. […]

By |April 21st, 2014|Business Makeover, Business Planning, The Challenge|0 Comments

To Build a Rockin’ Culture…Skip the Pep Talk

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.

“If you want to provoke a vigorous debate, start a conversation on organizational culture.”

~ Michale Watkins – Harvard Business Review, May 2013
Maybe it’s like pornography.  We know it when we see it.  Or, when it comes to organizational culture, feel it.

Perhaps culture is to an organization what attitude is to an individual.

Attitude:  a manner, disposition, mental position or feeling with regard to a fact, state, a person or thing.  

Certainly we want employees with good attitudes.  Their energy contributes to a rockin’ company culture.  But when it comes to pro-actively developing a positive, powerful company culture, or improving our employees’ attitudes, we have it backwards. […]

By |August 19th, 2013|Building the Team, Employees, Human Resources|0 Comments

How to Create a Profitable Business Plan

Pull out your business plan and take a look at your mission, your vision and your goals for this year. How’s it going?

What? No plan? No problem. Just consider how last year went and that’s what will probably happen this year. Only a little worse. Or maybe a little better.

This year is moving fast. Your life is flying by! If you want a quantum leap, or at least a major change of momentum… […]

Set a Goal and Go for the Gold

While she was white-knuckle-scared as we walked to the top of the slide, Zoe experienced the pure joy of swooshing down at the speed of light (albeit slowed some by the burlap bag.) Isn’t it a blast to set a goal, face the fear, take the risk and GO?! Yes! From there, you can go on to bigger slides. Or, in Zoe’s case, the merry go round! Our trip to the amusement part was her personal Olympics 2012.

Competition is an essential element of humanity. Tipped too far it leads to war and oppression. Balanced just right and you get the Olympics. It’s the world playground where we get to face off, with ourselves, with others, with the clock, with the equipment. Or we get to watch in awe as others step up to the challenge.

There are so many business lessons, life lessons to be learned at the Olympics (or at the amusement park!) Set a goal. Any goal. Pick something. Then, take aligned action and see what you can do. Discover what it will make of you to commit to the goal. Business is like that. Set a goal. $50K. $1,000,000. 3 locations. 100 locations. Why not? Now, consider what you would have to do…today, tomorrow, next year…to make it happen. […]

By |August 7th, 2012|Business Planning, Setting Sight|0 Comments

Plan or be planned for, Jeffrey…

Jeffrey Gitomer is one of my all time fav business gurus. He unabashedly LOVES sales and his hard-boiled delivery is grounded in goodness and integrity. Scratch the surface of this smart, tough guy and you’ll find mashed potatoes of love.

However, I think Jeffrey is all wet – at least pretty damp – in his latest blog about business planning. If your business – your life – isn’t working for you, a business plan canbe a great tool. You can change your business – and your life. A business plan can […]

A Partnership of Planned Success

Sandi and Peggy were laid off from their executive jobs after 9/11. They had worked together on a few complex projects and dealt with high level stress situations. They liked and respected each other and felt a kinship of shared values. As they considered next moves they discovered they both wanted to a grow a business, not get another job.

So, and this is the amazing part, they put together a business plan. They did this first, before they launched their business. Before they sunk a fortune into a runaway-horse of an ill-conceived idea, they actually planned their success. Perhaps that’s why they grew from start up with an initial $3000 investment in 2003 to $5 million in revenue in 2010. They are revved up and plan-ready for […]

What does it take to make a profitable business?

You dreamed of a profitable business, hoping for more…more money, more time, more options. However, now that you are in it, your ‘ball-and-chain’ of a business may be sucking the life out of you. I’ve lived the nightmare. And, I have used simple business planning to build rockin’ businesses and a fantastic lifestyle.

No matter how many years you have been ‘stuck,’ you can change. It’s a matter of thinking new thoughts and taking aligned action. But you better get going. The older we get, the faster time goes. We are just too old to waste time. Here’s my advice:

Create a plan. Use it to build a lucrative business. You can turn your business – and your life – around in one weekend. All you need is you, a three ring binder and […]

By |December 17th, 2010|Accounting, Business Planning, The Bare Bones Biz Plan|10 Comments

How to Build a Business Plan

Most small businesses SUCK. How about yours?

Maybe you started your business with hope in your heart, dreams of freedom and wealth and a commitment to do right by your customers. And maybe your dreams have faded under the weight of too much to do in too little time for too little money.

There are basically two […]

By |August 17th, 2010|The Bare Bones Biz Plan|0 Comments