Business Strategy

How do I conduct a feasibility study?

“I have an idea I’d like to share with you. I’ve been thinking of ways to grow my company because it is more valuable than one that’s not growing. Well, I am considering two options. Option 1 offers a new service to my existing clients, or option 2, which is expanding into new locations. I’m leaning towards option 2 – a new location. What do you think?  Think that’s a good idea?” As I tell all my clients who ask me this question, the idea might be just fine, but you need to decide if it is feasible – for you at this time. These are the core elements of any feasibility study: What does success look like? Can you validate that there is a market for it? Does this solve a real need? Can you resource it? Is the payoff worth it? Can you be competitive in this space?…


7 Keys for Succession or Sale

A lot of self-employed individuals never give a thought to succession or sale of their business. Often sacrificing resources, personal relationships and health to grow a successful consultancy or practice, the end of the business arrives with little fan fare and, unfortunately, often without their families by their side.  It doesn’t have to be this way! I’m using a parent – child analogy to illustrate the 7 keys.  Even if you are not a parent, at one time in your life, you had parents or caregivers who looked after you and raised you until you become 18. The “coming of age” is a similar process to starting up a business and growing it to the point of “18” – with grown up responsibilities. 7 Keys for Succession or Sale: Prepare for the experience from day 1. Keeping in mind that one day you will not be around, you have a vested…


Going Solo

You feel lied to, deceived, betrayed. They said it would be easy and fast. But making money from consulting or coaching has been anything but easy. Instead, you’re exhausted, discouraged, disillusioned.  You feel like you’ve failed yourself and your family. You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating your programs and courses. Your friends and family said it was a great idea.  Your awards and accolades attested to your expertise in this field. But when you opened your online shopping cart, they didn’t buy. Everyone keeps saying, “Facebook is the place to sell. It’s like printing money.” And so you created your ads. You gave it 3 months and a modest ad budget… only to get just a handful of clients. That was nice. But not enough. Not nearly enough. You’re not quitting your day job yet. Are you ready to start your consulting or coaching business?  Are you ready…


Family holding hands against a sunset

Yes, you ARE in a Family + Business!

What’s a family business? A family business is a commercial organization in which decision-making is influenced by multiple generations of a family—related by blood or marriage. They are closely identified with the firm through leadership or ownership. Owner-manager entrepreneurial firms are not considered to be family businesses because they lack the multi-generational dimension and family influence that create the unique dynamics and relationships of family businesses. … Wikipedia Other definitions are more general, describing a family business as one that is owned OR operated by one’s family.   Business families and family businesses fit into the 3 circle model shown below. Note:  We introduced the 3 circle model in a previous article FAMILY CIRCLE Family / Owner Intersection (4) – these members own shares of the business and are members of the family but are not involved in operating or working in the business.  They may have inherited shares, own shares…


No Time like the Present Avoid Procrastination

Using the The 10 Minute Tidy Strategy to Get Results

When our children were small and coming up with excuse after excuse for why they didn’t have time to clean their rooms, the 10 minute tidy strategy helped us move through procrastination, resistance and get results. Thinking about all the tasks that need to go into accomplishing a significant goal can be daunting.  Just like helping our children engage in the room cleaning project, strategies that help me “just start” on a new project help me get results sooner.  What we discovered was that the 10 minute commitment often stretched into more time invested in tidying the room.  The kitchen timer was always set for 10 minutes with a choice to continue or not past the buzzer. What’s the 10 Minute Tidy Strategy? Rather than asking for a commitment to complete the entire project, we just ask for a 10 minute commitment to START the project.  Because the commitment is small…


Family around a computer with a piggy bank

Chicken & Egg… Family & Business

  We’ve all heard the adage, which comes first, the chicken or the egg? In our family business, our adage is, “Which comes first – the family or the business?”If you’re involved in a family business, you can likely identify with that statement. I know there are many times when I’ve felt the business came first and the family second. I also know that are just as many times when the family came first and the business came second. I don’t know about you, but it seems easier to remember the times the family played “second fiddle” than the times it was the star. My heart remembers those times, but my head remembers both. Jay Hughes has been working in the field of family wealth and family enterprise for many years. I recently watched a video interview series conducted with Jay. His explanation of family wealth was enlightening. His definition…


Are you a One Trick Pony?

The urban dictionary describes a “one trick pony” as someone who has few talents or skills. As a business owner, I’ve fallen into the same trap many of you fall into: thinking I am skilled in all aspects of the operation and in the business. I am not a ONE trick pony, but I’m not an ALL trick pony either.  So now what do I do about it? I am now AWARE of the need to change SOMETHING to grow my business, reduce my stress or save me time. If you’re like me, you mull this idea around in your noggin for a few weeks, months, perhaps years until something spurs your DESIRE to make the change. This catalyst might come from within or from outside yourself. AWARENESS and DESIRE are critical elements that need to be in place before I am motivated to do the work to realize the…


“…. The Chaos is all so Beautiful”

It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful. ― Hiromu Arakawa Do you feel that  you’ve found a way forward with your business when another crisis hits? Are you grappling with ways to respond in a way that is sustainable? If so, you’ve got lots of company! It’s no secret that businesses in Alberta have been struggling with many “whammies”. What gets my goat is the narrow mindedness of those who attribute all the woes to one cause. There are oodles of variables at play that contribute to successful business. Only two of those are the political and economic climate. Even those 2 variables have multiple layers – global, national, provincial and local. Are you ready to stop being a victim and to start focusing on building a predictably profitable business that is healthy enough and resilient enough to withstand the challenges? Join us at our Business Strategy Summit and get…


Another week has passed and my good intentions to work ON our business's "Big Picture" has come and gone. It's so easy to have my day slip away with operational needs, interruptions and otherwise "good" activities.

Good Intentions => No Results

Gosh darn it all!  Another week has passed and my good intentions to work ON our business’s “Big Picture” has come and gone.  It’s so easy to have my day slip away with operational needs, interruptions and otherwise “good” activities.  Does this happen to you too? Are you ready to turn “good intentions” into actions? Are you ready to make a plan for the next 1 – 3 years?  Think beyond “this quarter?” Are you committed to building a more sustainable, secure and profitable business? Do you have great products / services and get great value for customers but you’re lost in the operational whirlwind? Are you so busy being the “manager” that your “investor” hat is gathering dust? Did you say, “Yes” to any of these questions?  If so, you’re ready to make a strategic change in your business.  Get on a clear, simple path to achieve your vision today. Let’s do…


As a business owner, what are your Windsprints?

What are your Wind Sprints?

Serious athletes know that wind sprints are a key tactic for conditioning. A wind sprint occurs when an athlete runs (or skates) a short distance as quickly as possible and repeats the sprint several times. If you’ve played a sport requiring good cardio, chances are you included wind sprints in your training. What makes a wind sprint effective? You give it your all. Sure, you could accomplish the same task by just going through the motions and jogging the distance. You don’t because you know that you wouldn’t be able to execute on game day if you didn’t put the effort into wind sprints. As a business owner, your routines are your wind sprints. Are you working the routines to get the most impact for your business? Are your employees? Are there opportunities to improve routines by finding faster and better ways to accomplish the objective? You get success from…


identify, opportunities, business, profit, margins, clients, idea, dreams, impact, networking, network, miniature, meeting, handshake, figurine, executive, employee, corporation, corporate, connected, conference, concept, circle, chart, businessman, success, business, people

From Idea to Impact

If you’re like me, you have no shortage of ideas for your business but you struggle to move them forward. You know you can’t implement all of them – at least not all at once. You also might not be sure which of the ideas to implement for impact. Without a structured process to take you from problem / issue to execution on a solution, you’ll fall into a repetitive cycle of “putting out fires”. Problem solving, at best, returns your operation to the status quo. Why not leverage the problem as the push or catalyst you need to assess root causes, see the big picture and identify opportunities to take your business to the next level? Common Issues: Shrinking margins New ways to penetrate the market Need to do more than just fixing problems Understanding customers better Differentiating ourselves? What’s our “secret sauce”? Processes that aren’t working very well.…


create, increase, profitability, profit, vision, ideas, priorities

7 Steps – From Great Idea to Results!

Entrepreneurs are known for seeing opportunities and generating business ideas. They’re not all GREAT ideas, but without walking through the steps to evaluate the idea, you’ll just never know. Here’s a simple process to help you identify which ideas will yield the greatest results. Great ideas are evaluated in terms of business impact: Do they create increase profitability or help you achieve your vision? Generate as many raw ideas as possible – brainstorm! Plot the ideas using a matrix or tool such as the one below: Determine “where you want to be” on the map and eliminate ideas that are not aligned with your priorities. Keep them for another time. Take only 6 of the “yes” ideas and use your intuition to evaluate them – they need to be specific, action-oriented and solution focused. These are your “Good” ideas. Remember that the priority is for business results. Further filter your…


Leveraging Your Success