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?

Sincerely,
Vera

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?

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