I have read a lot of books and met with several successful and unsuccessful business owners and what I have learned is that all of the business concepts for success are very simple.
Please watch my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w01LlO7TKHs
Coming up…..How to determine the Story your business is telling ..
I mention in my video how I performed a Strategic Planning Session for my business, so stay tuned.
I am going to walk you thru performing a strategic analysis on your business.
Of course it is better to consult with a professional, however I am a certified Blackbelt in Lean Six Sigma and I promise to keep it so simple so that even a caveman could do it…lol.
Things to prepare for next week….yes you have homework…gather the following data no matter if your business delivers products or services.
1. Production/ Service Expenses (for services this will be your expenses to deliver the service)- this is how much you spend per product or each time you deliver a service
2. Capital or Income (this is the money coming in) if you are a start-up and do not have capital coming in that’s OK. Categorize if you can so there is a 1-to-1 ratio for service/ product expense to capital or income
3. Overall Business Expenses (Marketing, Website, Telephone, etc.)
I will tell you what to do with this information, next Tuesday.
When starting a business we are told to check out the competition. You want to make sure no one is doing what you are doing, and if they are, how you will differentiate yourself. While there is some merit to this thinking, I do believe that sometimes we get caught up in comparing ourselves to our competition a little too much and lose focus of who really matters the most, our customers.
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to analyze the competition. After all you can learn a lot from their failures and successes, but when choosing how to market, produce, and strategize your product, I think it’s at this time best to not focus on what has worked for your competitors, but rather focus on the needs and desires of your target customers.
I like to compare this to parenting. There might be a child who is a star athlete or a star student, and you think, this child must have an amazing parent. What could they be doing that I should be doing so my child can excel as well? This is the wrong way to think because each child (your customer) is unique and you should parent your child in a way that suits their special talents and needs. Sure, maybe Suzy Star Parent can teach you a great flashcard method, but you just might have to put a spin on it that will work for your child. Maybe instead of all words, you have to draw pictures, or maybe it has to be more interactive. This is the same way when producing products for your customers. What is it they need? How can you add value to their life? How can you help them be more successful?
Just like in everyday life, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others, and start focusing on how we can be our best self for the ones who matter, and when you focus on generating products and ideas that suit your customer, I guarantee they will love you!
Ladies, lately I’ve been very spiritual and self-reflective on where I’d like to go with my business and self as a leader. We all have to make choices and from them our paths unfold and shape. This Tuesday, I put in an application for a leadership program that I know will shape and mold me further as a leader in general and in my industry. Its an accelerated program that pairs two mid-career rising leaders together and puts them on a fast track to leadership with programs on cutting edge technologies, focused dinners, and networking activities over six months. If I get in, I know intuitively that this may lead me down a certain business path that I’ve been considering. And if I don’t get in, there are other options that I am looking at and direction to move towards. What will remain the same is my talents and how I execute my business; what may not is the path that I take!
A friend shared with me a deeply spiritual symbol with me today which is the labyrinth. A labyrinth is used in religion for spiritual reflection. It mirrors the convoluted meandering path of finding one’s self. She shared the image to help me with one aspect of my life, but I know this is really about the big kahuna; about me as an individual overall – my voice, my spirit, my path.
My video maker is going wacky again, so sorry I can’t share with you my worried looking face. I tell you, my eyebrows have a mind of their own!
I apologize for missing last week’s entry. I’ve had some personal issues that seem to be taking a bite out of my stress levels, but they do say the mark of a true leader is one who tackles and prevails through adversity, so although I hate that I must deal with these things, I know it will only make me a stronger leader.
One of the biggest elements of my Business Plan that I’m over thinking is my Business Model. Do I just focus online? Do I try for food speciality stores, spas, salons, and/or restaurants? Do I do up a food truck? Do I even create another Tastefully Simple type business? I’ve researched and toss and turned on all these avenues realizing for sake of a Business Plan, I just have to put something down, understanding that it’s not set in stone. Still feeling uncomfortable not having a for certain plan, the pages of a business book let me feel at ease.
I finally rented out a copy of the very popular Good To Great book. I’m only in the early readings of it, but I feel as if it has already taken a huge weight off my sun kissed shoulders.
The book places a big emphasis on putting together your bus first then let the team decide on the best path for success. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to what I felt like was someone giving me permission to let go of some responsibilities!
See, it is my nature to feel as if I have to do EVERYTHING. I hate asking favors of others, and I have to admit, my history of asking people to do things has always returned me with mediocre results. But just like I have a tendency to under-date, I believe I just haven’t realized what I have to offer to a business partner, therefore I haven’t aligned myself with the most caliber people. However that is changing.
The deeper I dive into my company, the greater I’m realizing its potential, and most importantly, the greater I’m appreciating myself. I deserve a stellar bus, just like I deserve a stellar mate, and I look forward to the day I invite someone to take the drive with me.