Timing is everything in investing and business … or is it?

While timing is important, action is more important. From action comes the fundamentals of success

Timing is everything in investing and business … or is it?Peter told me about his latest and greatest idea to improve his business. He was so excited because this new revenue stream was going to ensure his organization had stable income and would thrive again. This particular business seemed to have had its glory days 40 years ago. But this new leader was adamant that…

Seven key areas to focus on to increase profitability

Getting more of your ideal customers is key

Seven key areas to focus on to increase profitabilityJerry reached out to us because he wanted to get out of his business. The business, he said, was “too stressful,” and he “was tired of struggling.” During our discussions with Jerry, we discovered that while the business was doing several million dollars in sales, it was only marginally profitable. Jerry had to work extra…

Playing the game of business to win

Running a business is much like coaching a team

Playing the game of business to winAl Erricson was my basketball coach in 1982 – he’s learned a lot about coaching since then. If only Al knew then what he knows now, we might have won a game or two. What Al knows, and every business owner and manager should know, is that being successful is not all about skills. It…

Five things you should leave your successor

... if you want them to succeed

Five things you should leave your successorThe great resignation is being talked about by people around the world. Not only are baby boomers retiring, but many people who have suffered from pandemic burnout are also changing their positions, selling their businesses and moving on to follow their passions. However, having invested time and energy into our positions, organizations and companies, we…

How to deal with insubordination among your staff

Do nothing? Fire the staff member? Throw in the towel and sell the business?

How to deal with insubordination among your staffGeorge has a small manufacturing plant he bought six months ago because it had good revenue and came with some real estate. However, he didn’t know much, if anything, about the industry. The previous owners kept everything in their heads and had very little documentation. George quickly realized that customer orders were being lost, there…

Are you affected by business traumatic stress disorder?

Many owners are traumatized by insistent bankers, creditors, suppliers and landlords

Are you affected by business traumatic stress disorder?Jim was visibly upset when he sat down for our coaching session. He told me that, the previous day, one of his staff had yelled at him during a meeting with his team members. He, too, lost his cool when the staff member “freaked out at him,” but he eventually walked away. This wasn’t the…

What you can do to attract and hire better candidates

Competitive salaries, fitting benefits, flexible schedule, value-based hiring, and creativity

What you can do to attract and hire better candidates“We just can’t find anybody qualified to do the job for us.” This is a line I hear regularly in working with clients lately. In some parts of the country, there’s a drastic shortage of labour. That’s putting a strain on the ability of many leaders to fill spots in their organizations with qualified staff.…

Seven things most business leaders and entrepreneurs fear

By understanding psychological barriers and working on them, we can achieve things thought impossible

Seven things most business leaders and entrepreneurs fear“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford Take a look at most leaders and you’ll think that they have it all together. When they’re facing outward, many portray a sense of vision, assurance,…

Five ways to get the most from supplier relationships

Your suppliers want you to succeed. When you're doing well, they’re more likely to succeed too

Five ways to get the most from supplier relationshipsThe relationships we have with suppliers are often critical to our success in business. But most business owners and managers don’t understand how to leverage those relationships for better results and increased profitability. Here are five ways to get the most from your suppliers: Invest in the relationship Your suppliers can make or break your…

The costs and benefits of letting your customer service slip

When we don’t care about clients, we create a culture of complacency that infects our whole organization

The costs and benefits of letting your customer service slipOne of my in-laws spent two hours on hold with an airline company last week after his travel agent had spent four hours on hold with the same company. When I asked him about the experience, he said he was happy he didn’t have to wait longer and said the person who answered the phone…

How to turn your next tradeshow appearance into $50,000

The key to success is to have a plan

How to turn your next tradeshow appearance into $50,000Tradeshows are coming back, and while many people are looking at reconnecting with people within their industry, it’s often difficult to identify whether there’s value in going to a tradeshow. Yes, there’s the relationship building, the new products and the parties. But have you ever wondered if it’s worth your while to show up in…

Valuable leadership lessons from 14-year-old boys

Sometimes teenagers are smarter than we give them credit for

Valuable leadership lessons from 14-year-old boysHave you ever wondered what a teenager could teach you? Probably nothing, you might think. But I recently had the opportunity to coach a group of 14-year-old boys through their four-month basketball season. This is what I learned about leadership from them: Angry? Get over it Fourteen-year-old boys are prone to losing their temper when…

Want to sell your business? Here’s what you need to do

It could take a year to sell but if you’ve taken the time to prepare it can be much faster

Want to sell your business? Here’s what you need to doSelling your business can be exciting and scary. Often business owners aren’t sure what to expect. It typically takes much longer to sell a business than it does a house, up to a year in some cases. However, under the right conditions – when you’ve taken the time to prepare your business – the sale…

Eight pricing mistakes you might be making

Small business owners often don’t think about pricing until it’s too late

Eight pricing mistakes you might be makingLast week, you walked into a business or viewed something online and you questioned the price of a product. Something didn’t seem quite right. Perhaps the item or service seemed too high. Perhaps it seemed too low. Leaders make a variety of pricing mistakes over the years of operating their businesses. I’ve made many of…

How your employees can build or destroy your brand

Employees play an integral part in the success or failure of a business

How your employees can build or destroy your brandWe were walking by the Vancouver airport recently and an employee was standing outside of the Plaza Premium Lounge greeting passersby and encouraging them to try the service. More akin to the credit card hawkers you typically find in an airport than a lounge greeter, this woman was engaging and aiming to please. If I…

Five tips to help you sell your rural Canadian business

All it requires is the right mindset, and preparation

Five tips to help you sell your rural Canadian businessSelling a business in Canada can be difficult at the best of times. According to the Exit Planning Institute, only 30 to 40 per cent of businesses listed for sale actually sell. And in rural or remote communities, selling a business is often even more difficult. However, there are a number of ways business owners…

The truckers have a vital message: end all COVID-19 restrictions

The medicine dispensed by the government to protect us has been much worse than the disease

The truckers have a vital message: end all COVID-19 restrictionsTrucks are rolling across Canada to protest federal COVID-19 restrictions, and millions of Canadians of all stripes, colours and political affiliations are supporting them. It’s time! It’s true that some people have been seriously ill with COVID, but most who have died and were hospitalized had serious underlying conditions that are rarely mentioned. For most…

Is your business fishing in the right pond with the right bait?

Why are you in the business you’re in?

Is your business fishing in the right pond with the right bait?My sister Catherine loves fishing and, to be honest, she’s much better at it than I am. Catherine could catch 10 fish to my one because she knows what she’s doing. Before you even go fishing, you need to know why you’re going. Typically, people go fishing because they love fish and like spending time…

Three tips to get better results from your team this year

Setting goals gives us something to motivate and rally our team around

Three tips to get better results from your team this yearIf you’re burned out at the thought of another daunting year and trying to plan, you’re not alone. Trying to figure out what will happen and how it will affect your organization seems like a crapshoot. Yet many leaders who recognize that they need to change still fail to understand how to make the necessary…

These strategies will help make your business profitable

Could improve your performance by 10 per cent and double your profits

These strategies will help make your business profitableImagine slaving away for years in your own business only to find out that it isn’t worth anything. I regularly meet with business owners who ask me how much their business is worth and I have to tell them the disappointing news that it’s actually worth very little. The reason their business isn’t worth anything…

New Year’s resolutions are out, naming the year is in

Naming the year inspires and motivates; a new year's resolution often ends in frustration

New Year’s resolutions are out, naming the year is inAs a child, I remember my parents and their friends gathering on New Year’s Eve and talking about their resolutions for the next year. Some of those resolutions might have been: quit smoking; plant a bigger garden; get the kids to school on time; drink more beer and less hard liquor; have a bigger pile…

What your Christmas tree says about your leadership style

Are you a dominant or conscientious or steady leader, or an influencer?

What your Christmas tree says about your leadership styleThanks to the women’s suffrage movement and their demands for equal work for women, I was at home last week while Margaret was slaving away at the university. Because she’s only in her 11th year at the university, she has to work until Christmas Eve. To make matters worse, Margaret was worried – as she…

What you need to know if you’re selling your business

You need to increase profitability, get the business to run without you, start planning and be creative

What you need to know if you’re selling your businessForty-one per cent of businesses in North America are owned by baby boomers between 55 and 75 years old. These people are actively thinking about retirement and how they will get their money out of the business. Research shows that, in many cases, up to 90 per cent of a business owners’ equity is tied…

Why strategic planning fails and how to make yours succeed

Put as much effort into the implementation as you did into the imagination

Why strategic planning fails and how to make yours succeedImagine spending days in a room with people you may not care to know that well and finding out later it was all a waste of time because the plan you decided upon is never implemented. This happens after many strategic planning sessions. Plans work when they engage your staff and create a framework that…

Five easy ways to increase your sales that don’t cost much money

Focus on existing customers, reach past customers, increase prices, work on conversion rates and change

Five easy ways to increase your sales that don’t cost much moneyJames sat down with us and put his head in his hands. As one of our partners noted later, he seemed like the weight of the world was on his shoulders. His company was doing millions of dollars in business but was struggling to stay open. James said he needed to come up with some…

Surviving threats to your business and returning to profitability

Labour shortages, inflation and supply challenges are forcing businesses to make serious decisions

Surviving threats to your business and returning to profitabilityThe steely blade of the hunting knife at my throat made me swiftly take stock of the seriousness of the situation and my immediate options. At the age of 26, I was selling goods that included hunting knives from an outdoor stall when a patron grabbed a knife and held it to my neck, demanding…

How to deal with the pandemic of quitters

Three reasons your staff might be quitting and what to do about it

How to deal with the pandemic of quittersA pandemic of quitting seems to be rolling across the nation. This has compounded the difficulty many organizations have faced over the past year finding and retaining good staff. Every week I hear a new story of companies losing what they thought were loyal staff and struggling to find quality replacements. There seem to be…
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