This Trust Exercise will Drive Results and Focus Your Team


One of the key roles of a business leader is to engender trust amongst their team.   One exercise that we recommend to do this is called Stop/Start/Continue.     Stop/Start/Continue helps to build trust by having each participant communicate what each other needs to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing in order to achieve the business plan.   Instead of seeing this activity as one to judge or criticize other leaders, see it as a way to drive constructive communication and trust. Stop/Start/Continue is used to help everyone be more successful, which will lead to the growth of…

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November 09, 2018

Thinking About Selling Your Business? Read this First.


Why do I want to sell my business?   I asked this question before.   I was a business owner and founder that was consumed by long hours and overwhelmed by demands. For 18 years, I led an aviation company called EMTEQ.  I would get frustrated with the long hours, people issues and lack of instant success.  At times it literally felt like the whole world was on my shoulders. For these reasons, it made me think about selling. Other times it made me wonder about the price where I would get up and walk away from the business.  …

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October 08, 2018

“If I Only Had More Time”


Business owners have many challenges that they face daily.  Some of the challenges include finding new customers, supporting the sales staff on that next killer presentation and proposal, helping to land that next big order or handling a major customer complaint.  Next, they could be trying to keep up with regulatory requirements, company audits, tax laws, or international trade practices.   How can one prioritize when everything seems to be a priority?   Owning and running a business is extremely complicated. From the outside looking in it may seem like maximum freedom and flexibility. After all, you are your own…

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September 18, 2018

Use these Continuous Improvement Principles to Execute Your Plan


It may be difficult to implement continuous improvement into your business. Business is extremely complicated with parts that are always moving. Complexity, layers of management, time constraints, and lack of prioritization are areas that can get in the way of implementing continuous improvement.   Due to this complexity, identifying areas for improvement may be difficult.   Where to start, whom to engage, what to improve, and how to prioritize can lead to a lack of action, a lack of alignment, and utter frustration.   Continuous improvement has been perfected in areas like manufacturing environments.  In real time, different areas in…

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August 08, 2018

How to Manage from the Beach


The life of a small business owner ebbs and flows.     It is very difficult getting out of the day to day when so many people, including your customers, key employees, and suppliers rely on you. After a period of time there actually becomes an adrenaline rush of being the person that can figure things out and make things happen. A traditional firefighting mode sets in.   Something unplanned always happens. A major challenge with delivery, a product failure or a key account leaves. Perhaps a key employee that you cannot live without decides that your place is no…

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July 30, 2018

Let Your Employees Make Your Business Plan Come to Life


People and Process aligned with strategy and how you execute thereof.   This theme became ingrained in my thought process after reading Larry Bossidy’s book: Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done.   A business plan can be the basis of this alignment.   Some companies do not have business plans while others have elaborate plans. These elaborate plans perhaps get shared with only bankers, investors and board members.   Oftentimes when business plans are created, they get dusty, cluttered and not really used.  At least that was what happened to me in the early stages of my career.  …

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July 20, 2018

Consider this When Protecting Intellectual Property


Successful companies are extremely innovative. By listening to market trends, talking with customers and solving problems, they oftentimes come up with products or services that are novel, new, or applied in a manner that has never been done before.  There surely is value in this new concept, product, or service that they are bringing to the market. Therefore, it is proprietary in nature. Protecting your intellectual property, especially for smaller companies, offers some interesting challenges and different points of view as to what to do and how to do it. When considering the different points of view, always make your…

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July 13, 2018

Finding Hidden Inefficiencies Within Your Business


How would you define continuous improvement?   Some might say it’s the seamless flow of small changes within a business. They would be correct.   In any case, it can, and should be your culture.   A culture of continuous improvement diverges from the status quo and the “doing things the way they have always been done” phenomenon.   Continuous improvement is what drives your business from its current state to its future state. You just have to let it take the wheel.     Does your current culture reflect a culture of continuous improvement?   Where it Starts The…

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June 29, 2018
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