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Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Where do you see your business going in the next year? If you are a business owner in Westchester County NY you should be giving this serious consideration. Creating an appropriate strategy will be most successful if you look at your business today, look into the future, then make a plan to create your future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my clients with a strategic plan: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, Kodak should have realized that it was not in the film business but in the image and impression sharing business. In real estate are you selling houses or assisting buyers in improving their lives? 2.        Get in front of change.   The best way to this it...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
People debate what makes a good leader. Some feel that there are traits that make good leaders. But when I speak with my Westchester County NY business leaders about traits that make a good leader no one can agree. The only trait that is agreed upon is having empathy. Well then, what do have successful leaders have if they don’t have similar traits? All successful leaders have the ability to set goals and achieve results. This really what is meant by “management by objectives.”     Start with a clear strategic vision—a strategic plan that inspires. Then create goals that support that vision. Next, what are the desired results from your team members? Define them. Align your people and your processes and make sure that everyone understands the goals and the plan. All of your operations should be linked to your plan. Then virtually everything that happens should work toward achieving that...

Posted by on in Vision and Values
Many people start a business and develop a plan to market and sell their product and service.  But if that is all they have, in my opinion, there is a key ingredient missing.  Your need vision if your business is to survive and thrive.  And you also need values.  They should make it perfectly clear what type of company you are.  Surprisingly, many businesses cannot say why they are in business nor can they articulate their basic business foundation and founding principles.  Why you are running the business is more important than how you run it.  If you find that statement hard to believe then read on. Any successful business needs to have vision—that is what the business will look like when it is successful.  Your vision is your dream and as Walt Disney said, you must have a dream if you want to have a dream to come true.  Of...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Small business is poised to generate many new jobs in 2018.  We need small business to grow our economy and will need local small business.  I have had the pleasure over seeing many small businesses grow in the last years and expect more in Westchester County New York in 2018. While it is true that today’s business environment can seem somewhat volatile there have also been many more opportunities with the growth in the economy.   While I don’t want to oversimplify I believe that small business owners can leverage success by following the suggestions in the three following steps. Step 1 – Think Strategically then follow through. When you think strategically you work ON your business rather than IN your business.  You are future focused.  You decide where you want to take your business now and in the future whether it is in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Are you ready to take your Westchester County NY business to the next level? Most businesses say yes but do not know what that means.  First, you need to know where your business is now. Then you can see where you want to go.  Businesses like people go through growth stages and many drop off along the way.    Some businesses may survive due to external dynamics and then become stagnant.  The root cause could be a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. For example:  There are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they understand how to create a great meal that, therefore, they would be a natural to open a restaurant.  They open the business and make sales. However, the owner is usually consumed with running the business and catering to every little detail.  There is very little time to step away from the day to day operation.  In most...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Fear of change is an emotion that can become paralyzing.   But change is inevitable and all businesses must expect it. You have probably heard it said that what you did to get you to where you are now will not get you to where you want to go next. Changing the right things and taking the right action is crucial. Here are 5 beginning steps to take in the process of change for better results: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, Kodak should have realized that it was not in the film business but in the image and impression sharing business. In real estate are you selling houses or assisting buyers in improving their lives? 2.        Get in front of change.   The best...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Fear of change is an emotion that can become paralyzing.   I am reminded of a story relayed to me by a Westchester County NY CEO. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Although the long standing business model had produced great sales and profits, lately there had been a small decline in sales and profits. Since the business was making money the CEO reasoned let’s just see what happens. If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Unfortunately, with this business and others there are constant changes in the economy and market. You can wait for change to force you to do something and then react. But that is not the best option. The best option is to predict and get in front of change. These are some of the things you should you should be doing proactively: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Are you spending so much time working IN your business that you never get around to working ON your business? Michael Gerber discusses this in his book “The E Myth Revisited”, discusses the reasons. The e-myth or the entrepreneurial myth as described by Gerber incorrectly assumes that the desire of the new business owner or entrepreneur, plus capital, plus a profit goal will result in success. But this has not spelled success for business and the lack of the true understanding of what it takes has caused businesses to fail. Some businesses may survive due to external dynamics and timing but they will become stagnant and the owner will feel like a hamster on a wheel. There is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. For example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they know how to create a great meal that that they...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Doing a business plan is more than putting together a document. I needed to point that out recently when a Westchester County NY business owner asked me about the need for a business plan document so that the business could raise cash. But a smart business needs more than a document. It needs a strategic plan. A strategic plan will consider the business today, look into the future, and have the way set out to create the future. In order to remain successful a business must have that plan to be successful now and in the future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my clients with a strategic plan: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, Kodak should have realized...

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
This is an important time of year for you to take stock both personally and professionally to determine whether or not your life is on track. When was the last time you thought about your life goals? Are you on track to achieving those goals? Who should be working on goals and plan for 2016? The answer is everyone; entrepreneurs and business owners, managers and executives, students and other individuals. Right now I am working with businesses and executives in Westchester County New York on their annual goals review. Setting a goal is not like a New Year's resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn't going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there. When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
In management which is more important—Doing things right or doing the right things? The answer may surprise you because it depends on the situation. Both of these behaviors are required to lead a team or manage a business. In Doing Things Right you establish detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, establish structure, monitor results, and execute specific plans. On the other hand, Doing the Right Things includes establishing direction, aligning people, and motivating and inspiring people. In short, management (Doing Things Right) is important but will not succeed without leadership (Doing the Right Things). In the case of an entrepreneurial leader this would be described as the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business. Let’s take an example. There are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they understand how to create a great meal that, therefore, they would be a natural to...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
It is a fact that small business generates most of the jobs in this country. We need local small business to grow our economy. I had the opportunity today to address a group of small businesses in Westchester County New York. I’m certain you’ll agree that at best, today’s business environment can seem somewhat volatile. Many pressures have been added to small business by competition from larger national organizations such as big box stores.   While I don’t want to oversimplify I believe that small business must pay full attention to the three steps below if they wish to remain sustainable. Step 1 – Strategic thinking – Planning and Deciding Strategic thinking means working ON your business rather than IN your business. It includes planning and deciding where you want to take your business now and in the future whether it is in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or more....

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
If someone were to ask you if you have a sustainable business would you know how to answer? There is no clear answer to this question. Sustainability means different things to different companies as well as industries. Sustainability really started with the whole concept of being green, becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability has become a viable business strategy which takes into account the economic considerations for business sustainability, governmental issues, and opinions from customers and stakeholders. Where did the term sustainability come from? The term sustainability actually emerged in the 1987 report by United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development. The report simply defined sustainability as follows: to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. No matter how a business defines sustainability...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
Fear of change is an emotion that can become paralyzing.   Recently, a CEO told me about some things happening in his long operating business.  The business has had years of successful sales and profits.  Since the business was making money the business continue to operate, sell, and market the same way.  The reasoning was, if it’s not broke don’t fix it.  Although the long standing business model had produced great sales and profits, recently the business has experienced a decline in sales and profits.  In short, there have been changes in the economy and the market.  In order to remain successful the business owner knows that he will need to change.  But not just any change will do.  Changing the right things and taking the right action is crucial.  Here are 5 beginning steps to take in the process of change for better results: 1.     Make sure you know what business...

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