For many businesses, expenses can become bloated over time. Because we are focused on the day to day operations, we don’t monitor things closely, allowing slow creep upward in costs.
Sometimes cost-cutting is essential to improve margins in the face of a sales slump. But it can also be important to do strategic cost-cutting, a different matter altogether. This process, as Forbes contributor Rodger Howell notes, “helps ensure an organization is ready for growth” with a focus on “aspects of the business that are controllable while freeing up resources” that can lead to future growth. Continue reading
Sooner or later every business loses a valued customer. Needs change, problems occur, personalities differ. But nowhere is it written that a lost customer must stay lost. In fact, the mark of a successful business is its ability to determine why customers stray and to take action that, over time, effectively bringing at least some of them back into the fold. Continue reading
Grit. That is what we often think about when we think of an entrepreneurial success story. We envision someone who persevered through the thousands of obstacles, issues, and fear-inducing challenges along the way. And there is truth in that.
Depending on how you slice the data, there are just over 1 million small businesses operating coast-to-coast, according to the Government of Canada information. That means aside from those million that have reached a level of success and size to be recognized within the data, there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps another million or more, entrepreneurs who are laboring, struggling, and striving toward their dreams. Continue reading
Balancing Act: When Family and Business Intertwine
For most families, spending time together is enjoyable and fulfilling. So in theory, the idea of working with family to build a business is an attractive proposition.
There are examples across the country of successful family-owned and operated businesses – many of them household names. Large and well-known brands like Bombardier, McCain Foods, and Molson Coors are family businesses. In Canada, approximately 80% of all businesses in Canada are family-owned and they are responsible for about 60% of Canada’s GDP per year. Continue reading
Most business owners approach employee incentives with mixed emotions.
They want to get employees performing better, but they are frustrated that the team are not inherently self-motivated simply because they were hired to do a job and they don’t want to give up too much of an already limited bottom line.
This isn’t about greed. It is really about the constant memory of the early days, when they typically worked endless hours for a pittance. Now that some of that effort is finally bearing fruit, he or she is being asked to share a chunk of it to get the workers to do what they should be doing anyway. Continue reading
There are a lot of things you can do to improve your opportunities for success. You can develop your skills, increase your knowledge, foster positive relationships and make connections with your industry peers, and manage your time efficiently. But if you’re doing all those things and still not achieving your goals, there may be one that’s thing holding you back: the fear of failure. If the fear of failure is getting in the way of your progress, there are some steps you can take to overcome your anxiety and increase your self-confidence. Continue reading
Even the most successful CEO can get stuck in the rut of “business as usual.” If you have been in business a long time, if you have been discouraged by challenges with partners or customers, perhaps if you have seen dramatic changes in your industry, you can become wedged in inertia. It is hard to innovate. It is hard to see beyond the challenges. It can be difficult to get redirected and refocused. Continue reading
In today’s digital world, there are all sorts of materials on how to be successful. Some are about visualizing your way to success. Some are about selling your way to success. Some are about the body language of success. Some are about negotiating your way to success. Some are about networking your way to success.
The best entrepreneurs also recognize that time management is key to their success.
Now there are moments when all of us do the equivalent of binge watching Netflix, rather than creating our own awesome story. And there are times when we waste our precious day waiting for someone or standing in line. These moments may be “prime time” that we can never recapture. And we have only ourselves to blame. Continue reading
For many small business owners, the work they do is a passion, a heart project. They recognize they need to make money but it is not their primary priority. And while that is noble and probably very energizing on a day to day basis, the truth is that running a business has inherent risks. And smart entrepreneurs develop strong habits for managing, keeping and growing their money. Continue reading
The late Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
He was talking about your circles of influence. In many cases, the difference between success and failure can come down to who you know. People often say that in regards to the ability to network your way to success by leveraging their connections.
But in truth, it is really referring to how you become a product of who you are around. Because the people you know and hang with will influence your thinking – whether intentionally or not. The more time we spend around people, who work hard, set goals and push forward, the more likely we are to pick up their positive traits. Continue reading