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  • Overcoming Decision Fatigue Overcoming Decision Fatigue

    Overcoming Decision Fatigue

Overcoming Decision Fatigue

I was perplexed at the outcome of a recent meeting with a prospective client.  It was with a business owner referred to me from a current client.  This owner clearly was motivated to grow his business but was “stuck in a rut”.  In discussing the terms of engagement, he recognized the value and cost-benefit of my services.  It was a positive meeting resulting in scheduling our first regular client meeting.

Two days later the owner emailed to cancel this next meeting stating he was “just too busy to take the time.”  Needless to say, I was surprised.  Could he have found and hired another consultant?  Or was my fee to steep? My current client who referred this person assured me the owner could afford the fee and had not hired someone else.  My client said this had become a pattern for this owner; identifying potential solutions but never carrying through on them.

This got me thinking (more…)

  • Business Planning vs. The Alternative Business Planning vs. The Alternative

    Business Planning vs. The Alternative

Business Planning vs. The Alternative

When I think of the need for planning, I’m reminded of the husband who volunteered to plan and prepare Thanksgiving dinner for his wife’s extended family.  Following his well-meaning plan, he started preparations the evening before including taking the turkey out of the freezer.  It was still frozen the next morning when he went to start cooking it.  Needless to say, his wife was not happy.  But at least his plan included ample appetizers, side dishes and desserts.  Imagine what it would have been like had there been no plan!

Businesses are a lot like Thanksgiving dinner.  A poorly thought out plan will result in crisis.  Having no plan leads to (more…)

Management 101: Overcoming Frustrations to Reach Goals

Frustration is a common sentiment I hear from owners first seeking my advice. Their frustration stems from not having been able to achieve goals despite their unwavering efforts. Sometimes the owner had a plan but was not able to deploy it effectively. Or, the owner was always finding “great ideas” but ended up barraging his staff with a never ending list of “great ideas” not understanding why nothing got done. The other end of the extreme is the replication trap of being stuck in an endless do-loop, too busy to even consider alternative plans. These owners come to me for a fresh perspective; a different way of looking at their operations.

I was reminded of the benefits offered by a fresh perspective from an unexpected source: A public school district. (more…)

The Small Business Forum: Owners Supporting Owners

In doing research for The Small Business Forum, I found two authors who succinctly describe a major source of frustration for business owners.  The first states: “One of the toughest things about starting a business is the feeling of loneliness and isolation…. The leadership position alone can cause loneliness and disconnectedness, and that sometimes results in self-defeating behaviors.”  I’m sure many owners can relate to this sense of “isolation” as well as the “self-defeating behaviors” listed by both authors:  Conflict avoidance, Procrastination, Intimidation or Subpar feedback to employees.

How can owners overcome this? Both authors point to building and regularly consulting with a trusted team of advisors.  This is perfectly describes the purpose of The Small Business Forum. (more…)

Topics for Year-End Conversations

I recently broke a promise I made to my wife.  I promised I would not bring up politics at our family’s Thanksgiving Day table.  Well the conversation turned to college football and started to get heated. I quickly changed the topic and asked what everyone thought of our presidential candidate choices.  The tone of the conversation immediately calmed down.

It is amazing which conversation topics turn heated and which are seemingly too uncomfortable to bring up. But some conversations need to be had (more…)

  • Business Longevity Insurance: Succession Plans Business Longevity Insurance: Succession Plans

    Business Longevity Insurance: Succession Plans

Business Longevity Insurance: Succession Plans

You have insurance to protect your business in case of fire, theft, and accident. So, why would you leave the future of your business to chance? That is what you are doing if you do not have an up-to-date Succession Plan. I have too often talked to business owners who are ready to cash out but cannot because they do not have anyone prepared to takeover or could not get the price they were expecting for their business. This article shows how a well thought out Succession Plan addresses these issues and much more.

Employee Retention: According to a PricewaterhouseCooper study, voluntary turnover is on the rise and even higher for (more…)