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One of the most important shifts going on in business right now is the change from focusing on transactions to solutions. If you think your business is about what you sell - think again! Your business is always about the value or results - the solutions you provide your customers. And companies are catching on. I recently saw a TV commercial for Sleep Number beds that nailed it. Sleep Number beds have adjustable firmness and used to be sold with mini infomercials starring celebrities. They now...read more
How many times have you heard "You didn't tell me that!" and you know for a fact that you did communicate what they don't remember you saying? Sometimes it is just a minor annoyance, but sometimes a communication gap can have serious business consequences. And who's right? The person who is sure they communicated, or the person who is sure they didn't? Both! Huh? How can both be right? The cornerstone of effective communication is paying attention to whether or not the person you are talking...read more
I see this over and over again - the entrepreneur and team are so focused on the day to day activities they completely miss the #1 thing that impacts their customers' decision the most. What is it? The sign outside your store or office. If you have a service business your most visible sign may be your trucks and technicians. Does your sign reflect and represent your business? Is it attractive, clean and easy to read? If not you may be working twice as hard for half the business because...read more
Have you heard of the book The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss? It is a must read for pretty much anyone but especially for a business owner adapting to the new economy. One of the advantages to living in a connected world is that your team no longer has to be sitting beside you in the same office. I often get asked about this because my team is almost completely virtual. In my mind there are two different types of virtual team. One is outsourcing overseas and the other is setting up to...read more
Every time someone walks through the door of your business (or interacts with one of your team members) you have the opportunity to convert them into a loyal customer, and sometimes a raving fan. (My definition of a loyal customer is someone who chooses your company over and over again. Another way of saying it is a regular repeat customer.) Why is it so important to think this way? Well if you are not seizing the opportunity to convert people who cross your path into loyal customers, not only...read more
Often in the Profit Talk Newsletter I have commented on the shift that is happening in the marketplace from selling products or services to selling solutions. Well the same shift is also happening within companies to positions and personnel. A friend of mine has an Office Administrator role within a successful company. She is experienced with a high level of productivity but she has recently been reduced to a 3 day work week (from 5 days). Why? Well a number of the activities that have...read more