I posted a while back on Michael E. Porter's idea that either you can compete on cost or differentiation but not both. How should you make that decision? How will you know if your choice will be profitable? First of all my advice is to NEVER compete on cost as a small company. As Porter … Continue reading Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
As I talk to other business owners I'm often struck by the fact that investment decisions are made by the seat of the pants. "We just invested in a new company car." or "We just paid $5000 for an email list for marketing." While I've made quick decisions like this too (after all I am … Continue reading Tracking Investments in a Small Company
All business want to increase sales, profit and cash, but sometimes increasing sales doesn't seem to lead to more profit or cash. This may have something to do with the time it takes convert leads into cash. This is commonly referred to as the Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC). It is formally defined as resources into … Continue reading Simplified Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)
Just picked up the new business framework book Scaling Up written by Verne Harnish over at Gazelles. It's a great book! The book breaks the challenges down into four areas. People, strategy, execution, cash. Very straightforward and includes concrete behaviors and practical examples. Verne and the team also give you plenty of room to experiment … Continue reading Scaling Up
As a small business owner or a sales manager for a small business you should be able to answer these questions: How big is our sales pipeline both in terms of opportunities and dollars? Given the size of our pipeline what are the chances we are going to hit our monthly sales target? How long … Continue reading Critical Sales Metrics for Small Business
I was again honored by having Steve Jagler of the Milwaukee Biz Times interview me on my customer philosophy. The idea that: ... the damage to our team and our company is too great to stay in relationships with abusive clients May seem absurd, but after you’ve tried everything you can to make thing … Continue reading Don’t be afraid to fire a customer
Having sat through many organization’s strategic planning session witnessing nearly the same amount of SWOT analyses, I’ve come to the concusion that they rarely create value. It’s not that they NEVER are useful, it’s just that they typically get a team looking inward and backward as opposed to outward and forward. Further, SWOT can be disembodied … Continue reading STP over SWOT
I’m honored to have the Milwaukee Business Journal do a write up on my love of Taekwondo. Thanks Barb!
From a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) standpoint my personailty is often described as ENTP or ENTJ. With each letter describing where I stand in the four personality dichotomies, I’m (E)xtraverted, use i(N)tuition to make many decisions, enjoy (T)thinking about problems and am (P)erceptive or (J)udging in many lifestyle choices. The result I get just depends … Continue reading Life as an ENTx Leader
A good discussion by Steven J. Spear on how experimentation is useful when dealing with complex systems like markets and Mustangs. Spear explains how this technique led Toyota to the creation of Lexus.