Monday, December 15, 2008
To my friends,
As you know, there are a group of guys I meet with each Tuesday morning that sit as a kind of Board of Directors in my life. This morning we made the first of our plans for next year. I wanted to share the first goal with you.
"Next year will be the best year of my life regardless of the circumstances I am in"
Napolean Hill was a famous motivational speaker during the depression and through the war years of the 40's and early fifties. He would always send his positive side of his mind ahead (he called it Norm Hill) to make things happen before he got there. For instance he speaks of a time when he was demonstrating this principle to a friend as he was going to the bank. His friend said, "Napoleon, you know there won't be any parking at the bank at this time of day." Napoleon replied, don't you worry, I sent Norm Hill ahead to make sure we had a spot." As Napoleon recounts as they pulled up, a spot right in front opened up and they pulled right in. I have found this principle to work when I am going to meetings or uncomfortable situations or any circumstance when there is uncertainty to prepare my mind for success regardless of the outcome. It is interesting that when this principle is employed, the outcome is usually better.
So, using this same concept, we have decided that we are going to have a great year and find those things, activities, and perspective that will make it a great year whether or not we are making money, losing money, living high on the hog, or looking for the hog.
Thanks for all of your continued support and friendship.
Source: (Kevin Kragenbrink) Back to Denver Business Advice
Many people are looking at ways in which they can become self-employed as they have had enough of being dictated to and fed up of long and frustrating commutes to work. They want the freedom of being their own boss and to be able to choose their own hours of work.
Leaving a full time career can be quite a scary prospect however. The security of having a regular income and other benefits such as a pension and a share save scheme can seem hard to let go. I am sure many people whether rightly or wrongly have opted to stick with this security and to merely keep their business plan as an idea, which they never see through or use.
Other people are willing and happy to take the risk and see it as a way of getting out of the rat race.
When you have an idea for a new business you then need to think of a name to call it. I would keep this name quite short as it makes it easier to remember for people. It obviously needs to have something to do with the business sector you are entering.
You will now need to work out how much money you will need to set up the business. This can be quite daunting but is essential. In the short term I would advise to keep these start up costs as low as possible, you can always buy or rent better machinery in the future as an example.
Once you are aware of how much money you need, you then have to find it. You may have enough yourself via savings or a redundancy payout, however most people are not in this position. If you do not have enough money, you could try and raise money via the family, by seeking a partner or by releasing the equity from your house. There is also the option of a business loan.
The next stage is to market your product or service. There are many ways of doing this including:
- The internet via a website
- An advert in the newspaper
- Direct marketing in the form of leaflets
- An advert in the yellow pages
- Trade fairs
- I would advise finding out where other people from your industry advertise as they will have tried and tested many of the above options.
- Speak with a Business advisor or business coach in your area to help develop a business plan
You then need to work out how much to charge for your product or service. I always keep these charges fairly low at the outset in order to attract as many people as I can and to get some income in. I then hope that word of mouth will take over and the idea is that after a few months I will be in a position to increase my fees.It is also important to realise that we will make mistakes along the way. When this happens we need to think positive and not to beat ourselves up. It is an experience we can learn from.
Always have belief in yourself. At times any business will go through a rocky period, this is when we need to be strong. In my opinion the more work we put in, the more rewards we are likely to obtain.
Self-discipline is one of the keys to your success. Being able to choose your own hours of work may seem like a dream but it can prove to be many peoples downfall. We have to ensure that we work the required amount of hours. It is far too easy to stay in bed for that extra hour or to arrange yet another game of golf. These things are fine once you are established, but this is a long way off at this stage.
(Source: Steve Hill)
People may start a home-based business for several reasons. Some of these reasons include dissatisfaction with their employment, being jobless, having a wish to be their own boss, or a need to spend more time at home with either their small children or aging parents.
The first thing to remember while starting a home-based business is to be realistic in your expectations from the home based business. There are too many advertisements of home based businesses that boast of making quick money, but in reality, it actually takes between one and three years to make a significant profit from the business.
People who want to make fast money or who think they can start a home based business without spending any money until earning some money should not venture into the small home based business arena. Another piece of advice for home based business entrepreneurs is to spend time as much time possible researching their business idea by making sure there is enough of market for your product or service.
Learn as much as you can about small business by going through the various small home business sites. As with other jobs, it is better to write a business plan and to earnestly stick to it. Seeking the advice of a tax professional is very important in a home-based business. Although this activity may seem a bit expensive in the beginning, you will certainly make up for this expenditure by the different forms of savings you will be taught by the tax professional during the tenure of the home based business.
(Source: Kent Pinkerton) Back to Denver Business Advice
Monday, December 8, 2008
Successful organizations understand that the key to increased productivity and profitability lies in the ongoing professional and personal development of people.
These companies create an environment where people can grow, develop their unique talents and align their values with a corporate vision.
Your answers to the following 10 questions might illuminate some areas for improvement:
- What is your level of commitment to the personal development of your staff?
- Do you know what motivates and inspires your staff and/or employees?
- What are your company’s vision and core values, and how do you communicate them within your organization?
- Are you confident your top people will be with your organization 1 year from now? How do you know?
- If you would be asked to rank your leadership skills on a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rank yourself? How confident are you with your answer?
- How do you empower your staff or employees to help them co-create your company’s culture?
- Does your organization inspire creativity and open dialogue?
- Are you getting the results you want?
- Do your managers and/or employees have the necessary tools, skills and commitment to help others develop their true potential?
- What do you want more of within your organization? What’s missing?
More and more companies hire a business coach to work with individuals or teams within their organization to facilitate changes within the context of the organizations’ culture to achieve extraordinary results.
Business coaching is focused on individuals, not business systems. It allows you to move your organization to the next level by investing in your employees at the highest level: in them as people.
Coaching is about developing the most important aspect in business today: leadership from within. It is only when people can effectively manage themselves that they can effectively manage, inspire, encourage and lead others.
Companies hire a coach to work with individuals or teams within their organization to:
- Improve individual performance and self confidence
- Increase effectiveness and productivity
- Establish open dialogue and creativity
- Improve communication skills (interpersonal and negotiation)
- Retain employees
- Align personal values and beliefs with a corporate vision
- Create a leadership attitude
- Gain clarity to make objective and thoughtful decisions
- Assist in developing measurable goals and taking responsibility
- Improve time management
- Build leadership, management and team building skills
- Manage work related stress
- Increase energy and overall well-being
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Wow, it is hard to imagine that 2008 is almost at its end. It has been an incredible year. An economy in turmoil, a presidential election of historic proportions, and a greater degree of uncertainty than I have seen in the business community in more than a decade of business coaching. Despite all of that, I am optimistic about next year. I have a plan in place that I think will help me reach new heights with my business. Speaking of plans, I wanted to talk with you all about how you are developing yours for next year.
Here is a planning principle I hope all of you have in mind.
Plan from the Vision Back
Over the years we have helped hundreds of businesses develop strategic business plans. Along the way we have seen some of those plans produce tremendous success and some of them fall far short. The difference between success and failure is often where the plan starts.
In my experience, the most successful strategic plans start with the vision and plan backward from there. Those that fail are most often those that start with what happened in the past and try to build on that alone. Here is the problem, if your plan is based only upon what has happened, you are always limited by what you know you can do. You will plan to grow or change only in comparison to your accomplishments in the past. You may indeed grow in this way, but you are not likely to reach your potential.
Think of it like climing a mountain. When you start out you fix your eyes on a distant peak that you want to reach. Along the way your path will take many twists and turns. You will likely find that sometimes you have to down or back before you can continue your climb up and forward. Still, if you keep your sights set on that peak, you will always know where you are headed. If, on the other hand, you turn and look back and try to decide your next move based on where you have been, you will not be able to set a clear path. You may gain a sense of accomplishment and pride from what you have already done, but that will not get you to the top of the mountain.
When you plan from your vision back, you change the process completely. Vision in business is about your potential regardless of obstacles and roadblocks. It is about that future level of accomplishment or success that creates and sustains your passion and gives your team something to work toward. It is that mountian peak that you believe you can reach even though the entire path is not yet clear. When you start your planning with this in mind your plans define a path to that vision and gives you the tools to make the right decisions along the path.
Here’s a tip: As you prepare your next strategic plan, take the time to review your vision. Make sure that everyone on the team has a clear idea of that vision and talk together about the path you will take to make that vision a reality. Now ask the question as you develop each piece of the plan, how will this contribute to accomplishing our vision. If you make every part of the plan meet this standard, your plan is much more likely to be effective and your chances of success will be the highest they can be.
Of course, I also want to encourage you to plan with your business coach alongside. Remember that your business coach is a valuable asset who can help you expand your perspectives and see that mountain peak with greater clarity. They can act as a guide along the path, helping you to avoid pitfalls and wrong turns because of their experience. You don't have to go it alone.