Tag Archives: business strategy

How Much Does that Gorilla Weigh?

How much does that (fill in your preferred number here) pound gorilla weigh? I always refer to an 800 pound gorilla, but I’ve heard others use everything from a 400 pound gorilla (which is pretty close to their real size) to … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing, Marketing and Sales, Sales, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to How Much Does that Gorilla Weigh?

  1. Eric Taylor says:

    This is a great post John.

    I think it’s fair to say that most of us in the small business community have had to deal with gorillas in our respective industries. They are usually customers, but can also be competitors or vendors.

    In the past year, we have dealt with many issues in which we have been dictated to by gorilla customers. One very large pharma company changed their terms to Net 90, another required us to pay a $2000 fee to order to do business with them, and another required us to pay for a system that they implemented that tracks their/our safety program.

    In all three cases, the outcome could have hurt us as a small business. Net 90 terms could crush us on large projects, the $2000 fee was more than the profit we would have made on the project, and the safety program requires considerable time and effort on our part in order to maintain compliance.

    In all three examples, we prevailed. Our relationship with the customers in all three cases was so strong, that all it took was a conversation with the local decision makers. They were sympathetic to our situation, and worked with us to come up with solution. In one case, they agreed to allow us to invoice them for all of the parts at the start of the project, giving us an extra 30 days, ultimately reducing the net 90 terms to net 45. In the other two cases, our local contacts allowed us to add the costs we incurred to the project.

    In my experience, when you explain the hardship the gorillas policies place on our business; reason prevails and an acceptable solution is the result.

    Happy Holidays,
    Eric

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The Entrepreneurship Meritocracy

For those of us who compete in the entrepreneurship meritocracy, listening to the complaints of those who are employed can sometimes be irksome. I recently sat at an open table for an event. One of the other guests there was … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Managing Employees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to The Entrepreneurship Meritocracy

  1. Ray Cha says:

    Thanks John … always thought provoking.

  2. Doug Roof says:

    John,
    You always stimulate my thinking about my own business and career, as well as about the business owner clients I’ve known over the years. In this case, you flushed out an idea that is not unique, but probably underutilized across this country. There is much to be gained in understanding by having a mechanism whereby the entreprenuer can spend a day in the classroom with the teacher and, less often offered, the opportunity for the teacher to spend a day in the business with the entrepreneur. A widespread use of this practice might result in creative ideas for incremental improvements to our education system, as well as creative ideas for incremental improvements to the cultures of small businesses.

  3. John,
    Well said and I share your views. Living here in California I hear the same conversations and sometimes want to jump up and scream. I appreciate the article.

  4. Ron B. says:

    Another excellent article, John. You should consider publishing a compilation of these articles, and perhaps a subscription that yearly would provide updates, like “pocket parts” for legal publications. They are indeed thought provoking and succinct with each one providing a memorable “take away.” Thank you.

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Exit Timing and the Global Economy

How much will your exit timing be affected by the global economy? Most small businesses serve local markets. Their owners, if they have thought about it, plan to sell to a local individual. If the local market is healthy, why … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, Entrepreneurship, Exit Planning, Exit Strategies, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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Millennial Employees: Why Their Opinion Counts

A couple of months ago I followed Jabez Le Bret‘s presentation about Millennial Employees on a national meeting agenda. He is an entertaining speaker and an excellent story teller. As every speaker hopes, one of his stories stuck with me. When Jabez (a Millennial … Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Managing Employees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Millennial Employees: Why Their Opinion Counts

  1. Will Carter says:

    Two excellent blogs in consecutive weeks – wow – you are on a roll John!

    The motto for our drilling company is, “one team, one fight”. I have learned everyone can contribute in a positive way, if the culture is such in a company that encourages employees to think, no matter their season in life.

  2. Great message. Listening is one of several key ways to connect with Millennials. After working with about 10,000 of these early career employees, they definitely appreciate being heard.

  3. John Meetz says:

    Good one John and not even mention the Millennials are soon to be if not already the biggest segment of the workforce and along with that our biggest segment of customers and suppliers. I think we have no choice but to pay attention.

  4. Ray Champney says:

    Thought provoking John. It is important to keep in mind that while a millennial may be an employee they are also a reflection of what is trending in the marketplace. Opinions can result in exploring how a business might make adjustments to remain contemporary and position themselves as leaders in their field.

  5. Blair Koch says:

    Totally agree John. They want to participate and contribute.

  6. Mike Havel says:

    John, Totally agree. Listening is so important. We start all our meeting with a ” Good Things Report” and get a lot of good feed back from the new employees, that see our organization with an entirely new vision.

  7. Mike Wright says:

    John. It is interesting that the study of millennial is exposing truths that have always been there. For the last 50years, I have observed that you can build much stronger and better aligned teams if you listen to everyone. Some very great things come from observations of the new employee who sees things differently. If they are slightly off, then it provides you an opportunity to teach them something. They are more inclined to be open if they have initiated the conversation. Never miss a teaching opportunity or a learning opportunity.

  8. Mark Mehling says:

    Every group can contribute- but under the same rules as everyone else. The 2 ears/1 mouth rule of listen more than talking applies equally no matter your birthday. And every employee, no matter their hire date, should demonstrate the willingness to show up on time, work and contribute to a team, and work effectively without having to be babysat. That’s what builds up the respect that allows you to be critical. While millennials have issues, turns out we all do. Just don’t show up, knowing everything, not listening, performing poorly, and expect that you will get the other’s ear.

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Dear President Elect Trump

Dear President Elect Trump; Congratulations on your election. Clearly there is a strong sentiment for change in the United States, and it appears that you are the beneficiary. I hope that supporting small business, the engine of job creation and innovation … Continue reading

Posted in John's Opinions, Leadership, Managing Employees, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

19 Responses to Dear President Elect Trump

  1. Right to the point!!! Perfectly stated of a perfectly chosen subject.

  2. Beth says:

    I would agree that he may not have suffered the same as the “typical” small business owner. Not fair to disqualify him as a business owner though. I would definitely qualify him as different. History will probably suggest the same.

    • Ron B. says:

      I agree with you that indeed he is a business owner, though not a “typical” small guy, and definitely of a “different” breed. He grew up as part of the “privileged” society rather than “typical.” Was sent to military school for discipline training by his father, likely an impatient man, where he thrived rather than succumb to being under control. During an interview on a national morning news program prior to the election, his son boldly proclaimed his father’s diminished poll numbers only made him more determined because he was always the ultimate “winner.”

  3. David Cunningham says:

    Well meaning politicians often ask me, “What does small business need?” My replies have always been about specifics for Colorado. Your letter paints a broader, better, picture. Could you send a copy of the letter to every member of Congress?

  4. Beth says:

    It is a great letter minus politics, well done.

  5. Carl Strobel says:

    Superb and thoughtful reasoning.

  6. Will Carter says:

    Excellent! Could not agree more about the solution to immigration – we need a work force, just make it legal.

  7. Geoff says:

    Great letter, John! Nothing but truth, and straight to the point. Although many small business owners are not adversely affected by estate tax due to current exemptions, it would be nice if a lifetime of work and wealth accumulation faced no penalty due to the certain eventuality of death.

  8. Tom Letourneau says:

    John,
    You wrote what we’re all thinking. I just hope our Representatives in Washington (and at the state level) can understand the simplicity of success: let business do business and don’t hamstring us with undue regulation!

  9. Tracey Cheek says:

    Love this so much, I posted to LinkedIn. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Rodney Fischer says:

    In your letter to Trump, you say that he “is no different” than those in Washington who have never actually been business owners. I am wondering if this was a mistake. He may not have “started from scratch” but he has employees. He has financial statements and budgets. He has had the stress of failed businesses, dealings with employees, and over-regulated development hurdles. He has unbelievable financial risks with every “Tower” he develops. I am pretty certain he has people suing him daily considering the number of employees and customers he has.

    As a second-generation business owner, I have had a lot set in my lap (not nearly as much as Trump, though!) with which to continue running a business. I will tell you I get idiots telling me I had everything handed to me. And I want to kick their ass! When the banker calls a special meeting to discuss financial ratios, there are no hand-outs. When the employee you trained and nurtured works their way up the ladder to become a manager…..and then steals from you, there is nothing easy about terminating the person and affecting their family’s income source. When a new competitor comes to town that will drastically affect business, there is no sleep. It is true that starting with a pile of $$ makes it easier to keep things running INITIALLY, but in the end, incompetent leadership will result in the same ending. In the end, maintaining the legacy of your father has it’s own pressure!

    So, for all of his personality flaws, let’s not insult the man more by grouping him in with the people in Washington that do not have a clue how to balance a budget, who fail to acknowledge that tighter border control would make our families safer, and who refuse to live by the same rules and regulations as the rest of the country. He is better equipped intellectually and experientially than any of those people. And, quite honestly, their characters are probably not much better – they just don’t have the entire liberal media probing the depths of the closet in which their skeletons reside.

    • John F. Dini says:

      Good point, Rodney. Just because someone had a hand up doesn’t mean he/she isn’t a business owner. Pardon my myopia about the glories of no resources. Hard Knocks is a school, but it’s not the only school.

  11. Mike Wright says:

    The Greatest thing about America is that it has been the land of opportunity, not the land of give aways. Several of these point are severely important in this regard. We should focus on how to give people back opportunities, and support them. The disintegration of the middle can and must be checked. A society that is divided into givers and takers does not fulfill one of our most important rights ” the pursuit of happiness “.

  12. Daniel Kearns says:

    Well said John!

  13. Carl Grimes says:

    Excellent! Thanks for your thoughts.

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