Monthly Archive for March, 2013

Video - You are a CEO, but are you doing the job

Who is doing the CEO work in your small business? Check out my video about being the CEO of your small business.

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Small business lessons from big business mistakes

Here is a true story from which several business lessons can be learned.

A while back, I needed to reach a friend who worked in the local office of a national company.Searching the phone book and online, I found only a toll-free number that connected to an answering system for the entire company. That’s right – this business didn’t publish a local number anywhere. And incredibly, this automated system did not offer an option to connect to any local branch or person. I’m not making this up!

Lesson 1: Don’t create barriers to customers. Even if you think you don’t have barriers, look anyway, because you might. Ask employees and customers to help you find them.

Undaunted, I finally acquired the local number (yes, they had one), but the person who answered said my friend, who was in sales, had been laid off. It turns out that this publicly-traded corporation was losing money, so in order for the CEO to impress Wall Street analysts, who influence the stock price, almost 2,000 employees across the company were told to hit the bricks.

Never mind how valuable these employees were or if those cuts would hurt the company’s long-term performance; the quickest way to increase profits was to cut payroll.

Lesson 2: Performance goals are important for planning, but customers don’t always buy on your schedule. Don’t let short-term expense pressures cost you sales, and worse – long-term customer relationships.

I learned that my friend had been a top producer, but since he was the last one hired he was the first to go. He’s no longer a payroll drain on his former employer, but one of their competitors quickly snapped up this winner.

Lesson 3: In the 21st century, seniority doesn’t trump performance.

So what if this big business CEO had simply installed a phone system that made sure customers could connect to his local offices? The answer is that my friend and several hundred others may not have been fired.

And who knows? By simply eliminating one customer barrier, this company might have needed to hire more employees to handle all of the business that went elsewhere.

Lesson 4: How you run your business – including people, systems, technology and policies – is not more important than the ever-evolving expectations of prospects and customers.

By the way, that big business that taught us these valuable lessons is no longer in business.

Think you don’t have customer barriers? Neither did that big business CEO.

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Be sure to check out my segments on The Small Business Advocate Show with Ilise Benun. We discussed how to break down barriers and connect with customers through 4 content marketing tools.

Use content marketing to connect with prospects and customers - My interview with Ilise Benun

Use these 4 content marketing tools to connect with customers - My interview with Ilise Benun

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Video - The power of entrepreneurship and liberty

Check out my video about entrepreneurship and liberty in America and how other small business in other countries might not be as fortunate.

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Video - How do you define success and happiness?

Check out my latest video explaining how success is more than just money and stuff within your small business.

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SBA Poll: Sound and fury, signifying nothing

The Question:
Who do you think has the greatest responsibility for the sequester’s automatic budget cuts the president has been talking about?

37% - All of them - Obama and both parties in Congress.

16% - President Obama - it was his idea.

6% - The House Republicans - they won’t negotiate.

41% - Obama and the Democrats - they want more taxes and no cuts.

0% - I don’t understand any of this.

My Comments:
Last week, before the sequester went into effect, I made the same prediction I made in December1999 about Y2K, when some people predicted the world would end because of decades of defects in computer coding. I said the sequester would prove to be a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I was right about Y2K and am being proven right about the sequester.

We wanted to know who small business owners think is the most responsible for this unnecessary, self-imposed, unmitigated lurch of unleadership, so last week in our online poll we asked this question: “Who do you think has the greatest responsibility for the sequester’s automatic budget cuts the president has been talking about?” Here’s what we learned.

The second largest group - 37% - believe “All of them - Obama and both parties in Congress,” should be blamed. Only 6% think the House Republicans are the bad guys, because they “won’t negotiate.” But 16% think we should blame Obama, because the sequester “was his idea,” while the big group, 41%, rope Obama and Democrats together, because they “only want more taxes and not cuts.”

Based on overtures the president is making to the GOP leadership in the last few days, it seems that our poll results - combine 57% against Obama and his party - are consistent with what the White House is seeing in their own polling. Could it be that public pressure is causing the president to change his four-year practice of blame-game campaigning to actual governing and leading?

One can only hope.

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Be sure to check out my interviews on The Small Business Advocate Show with Rich Galen and Karen Kerrigan. We discuss in detail what impact the sequester will have on the economy and small businesses.

How will the sequester impact your small business? with Rich Galen.

What will the impact of the sequester be on the economy? with Karen Kerrigan.

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Video - The power of entrepreneurship and liberty

Check out my video about entrepreneurship and liberty in America and how other small businesses in other countries might not be as fortunate.

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!




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