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…

How women can escape the Imposter Syndrome trap

Own your success, take your place at the table and power up your body language

How women can escape the Imposter Syndrome trapSandra was introduced to me as a highly successful business professional with exceptional leadership skills. She was being groomed for a top executive position and she sounded perfect for my favourite kind of coaching assignment: I love working with accomplished women who are looking to become even more effective. It should have come as a…

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 minimize headaches during cloud migration

Addressing the essential considerations that can trip up companies will ensure a smooth migration

How to minimize headaches during cloud migrationIt should be easy to migrate a web-based application from its in-house computing environment to a vendor-managed, cloud computing environment. While migration is not a high-risk, stress-inducing project, there are significant considerations for your cloud migration project plan. Addressing the essential considerations that can trip up companies will ensure you achieve a smooth migration to…

How to stop playing Whac-a-Mole with your information services

Band-aid fixes create a terrible work environment. This happens when IS is viewed simply as a cost

How to stop playing Whac-a-Mole with your information servicesIn too many organizations, the delivery of information services (IS) is best described as a giant, never-ending version of the Whac-a-Mole arcade game. If this situation describes your organization, it is time to take action. As a technology problem pops up, just like the mole in the game, someone in the IS group whacks it…

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…

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…

Helping small businesses succeed in the digital economy

Going digital is “kind of a life-or-death situation for small businesses”

Helping small businesses succeed in the digital economyA group of students led out of the University of Alberta School of Business is helping small businesses get ahead of the pandemic-induced warp-speed retail overhaul that is pushing customers online in droves. The students are at the heart of the new Digital Economy Program (DEP), a free initiative that sees a team of U of…

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…

4 sure-fire ways to reduce productivity in your organization

And watch your business go down the drain

4 sure-fire ways to reduce productivity in your organizationA lack of productivity is a serious concern because the more it costs us to produce something, the less competitive we are in the global marketplace. And the less competitive we are leads directly to fewer jobs, diminished earning power and a lower standard of living. The usual explanations as to why we struggle with…

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…

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…

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…

Are you in a leadership slump? Five things to revive yourself

Focus on being honest and ask for help, consider a sabbatical and trust yourself

Are you in a leadership slump? Five things to revive yourselfI bumped into Julie’s father at the grocery store and asked how his daughter’s business was doing. He told me she was going through a rough patch, so I called Julie. The first thing I noticed was Julie’s voice: the excitement was gone, and her energy seemed depleted. She told me about everything that was…

Five ways to keep your sales campaign from falling short

Don't stumble on the road to success

Five ways to keep your sales campaign from falling shortMike and James had a big plan to sell more of their widgets. The widgets they built were wonderful. They had numerous testimonials that these widgets changed people's lives. Mike wanted to grow this aspect of their business and James agreed. They came up with a plan, built the brochures and sales materials, started down…

How to keep meetings positive and focused on the outcome

Strategies you can use to avoid the swamp of unproductive meetings

How to keep meetings positive and focused on the outcomeDo your days feel like one unproductive meeting after another … and another? Have you noticed how often people get bogged down in the same issues you talked about the last time you got together? You ask yourself: “Why are we going over the same ground again and again?” Somewhere between the positive intentions that people start with and a…

Jumping on the next great idea could cripple your business

Entrepreneurial diarrhea can leave leaders and their teams exhausted, sapping their energy and consuming valuable resources

Jumping on the next great idea could cripple your business“I need your help!” were the first words out of John’s mouth when I walked into his office recently. “We’re starting a new business and I want you to help us figure this out.” As I looked at John, my first thought was: “Oh my god, he hasn’t got this business running properly yet, and…

Four things you can change to improve your bottom line

The list of expenses for business owners sometimes feels never-ending

Four things you can change to improve your bottom lineProfit is one of the most misunderstood and misconstrued words in the English language. Customers often think that profit is anything between a company’s cost for a product or service and the customer’s purchase price. Employees think profit is the difference between the selling price and the cost, less their wages. In reality, profit is…

Hammer home business success with the right tools

Without the right tools, people and plans, your business will suffer. You’re going to have to work harder and that will affect your bottom line

Hammer home business success with the right toolsIt was almost the final straw. I was laying on the ground after falling off the roof of the house and the carpenter, John, was standing over me yelling. He was mad because his sawhorses had been broken in half because of my stupidity, while I was just wondering if I had broken anything in…

How Phil saved her employer a full year’s salary

Hiring and on-boarding new employees is costly. Less staff turnover means your organization will reap considerable rewards

How Phil saved her employer a full year’s salaryLast week, I called my local credit union about my account. The phone was answered by Phil, who I knew as a long-term employee of the credit union. Over the years, I’ve gone into the branch on a regular basis. Phil would always be serving her customers in a caring manner, greeting people by name…

Passionate customer service could save your business

If you give lip service to treating people well and then treat your team poorly, don’t expect your clients to receive anything different

Passionate customer service could save your businessLike most people (at least 62 per cent, according to a 2019 study by Hello Products), I don’t like going to the dentist. However, this was my week for getting a cavity checked and I headed to the dentist’s office. You know the routine: you get questioned and prodded by the dental assistant as she…

Could 2020 still be your best year ever?

Some industries have seen a spike in sales because they seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Others need a new plan

Could 2020 still be your best year ever?At the beginning of each year, I challenge my clients and readers to name the upcoming year. I get a huge response with people naming their year and sharing what they would like to manifest and work on. This year, for example, was named variously the year of vision, clarity, wealth, systems, growth and change.…

Better outcomes require careful planning

If your staff don’t have clarity about what’s expected, they will imagine what you’re looking for. That may not turn out well

Better outcomes require careful planningA professional came from the big city to a small town to build a cabin so he could escape the hustle and bustle of life, and set down roots where he could revive his spirits. His plan was to build a tiny house from the ground up. He asked around for help building his dream…
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