Tag Archives: business

Don’t Train with Customer Pain

I have lot of favorite books. In business, they range from cutting edge theory to some of the little “quick reads” that build a single management or behavioral point around an allegory. One of the best in the latter category … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Managing Employees, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Don’t Train with Customer Pain

  1. Brent Lane says:

    You can usually recover from your pain, but not always from your customer’s discomfort – and especially if you do not know about it.
    With my firm, I would call every client every month just to say “How are we doing”? 99% of the time, I was met with appreciation. The other 1% sometimes involved yelling and occasional unpleasant suggestions. My response was always, “Thank you – now that I know about it, I can fix it.” And we always did.
    In 15 years our collection period was always less that an month and I never had a claim for any cause. I attribute it to good will and the ability to solve a problem before it resulted in slow payments, or worse, lost business relationships.

  2. I think they used to call it customer relationship management

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Will Small Business Win in the End?

A few weeks ago Schumpeter, the nom de plume for each current author of the business op-ed column in The Economist, postulated the decline and fall of the Western Corporation. Could small business be the little furry mammals of the 21st … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Economic Trends, Leadership, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Will Small Business Win in the End?

  1. There is innovation which comes from smaller sized organizations. Then they get absorbed by ← larger fish in the food chain. Economic set backs create the groundwork for entrepreneurial growth – starting a business in lieu of not getting a job with bigcorp or the government. it is a cycle. the proven successful small businesses get acquired by larger companies with capital and no innovation. mom and pop video stores were acquired to make Blockbuster but even these have a life cycle and big does not always mean an enconomy of scale. red box in your grocery store lobby seems to be doing just fine as a vending machine operation.
    none of us lead active business lives in the historic perspective of 100’s of years. We have to make payroll or the rent this week, satisfy the customer with good qualty at a market price which is not increasing and do all of the other things required of us by the community we operate in. Small business people are heroes but because we do such a poor job of economic education in our schools their success is viewed as a lucky lottery instead of hard work.
    we will be in trouble when they start saying why bother?!

  2. Hi John,

    I see small businesses growing and playing a bigger part in the US, and heck, around the world, in supporting economies. As more entrepreneurs get the gist that they are making a difference and with the ease of buying a domain and hosting more folks are growing prospering small businesses. Side note; I’m awake and it’s almost 2 😉


  3. Luis says:

    The longer insterest rates remaiin at zero or below zero levels, the more difficult things will be for SMBs and middle classes. Because real zero rates are just for Big corps, banks, etc. in most of the Western world. This means they can almost print money.
    On the other hand, all the rest of us are deeply indepted with them (either through credits or public bonds), and we have no other resources but our working hours to pay them, competing on a global basis to sell them.
    Inequality is absolutely inevitable, and it will get much much worse beacuse politicans and central banks are into this strategy of ‘asymmetrical capitalism’.

  4. Mike Wright says:

    Last night I heard on the presidential debate that they were going to do something for small business in new tax codes. They also said they were going to do something for the middle class and those at of near the poverty level. All of the money of the wealthiest people cant come close to covering the budget. Maybe the politicians have a plan to bleed the dinosaurs. But, in true financial wealth theory we need to grow companies capable of moving large sums of money into our economy. Curious! When might we start focusing on educating future voters on economics and understanding how capitalism works as a whole. Small furry mammals or cockroaches? We must remain nimble to stay out from underfoot of Big Business, Big Government and Big Labor.

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Measurement is Not Management

“The employees respect what the boss inspects.” Since Frederick Winslow Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management in 1911, breaking down tasks into measurable pieces had been the cornerstone for employee training and tracking performance. Why then, do many large organizations with … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Incentives, Leadership, Managing Employees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Measurement is Not Management

  1. David Basri says:

    Could not agree more!

  2. In French the word is Saboteur for throwing you wooden shoe into the mill to stop the work. before Mr. Taylor or you friend experienced in in the bottle factory. That is the real issue. why do we keep reinventing the wheel? people don’t change – the environment in which they work and are surrounded does. They are not guinea pigs to experiment on. The real issue is what knd of employee do you reruit and grow within your organization.

  3. Todd Marquardt says:

    I’m impressed by your awesome insight as usual. I’ll keep your article in mind as we manage by statistics.

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Is There Anything CEOish for Me to Do?

The line is from one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons. It’s being asked by an executive of his secretary. It is also a common question of business owners who have built successful organizations. The need for a CEO is present … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Is There Anything CEOish for Me to Do?

  1. That is right on for a successful company. I continue to stimulate with outside influences and appropriate the time for projections on business needs and direction along with diversification. Good and simple read, but most overlooked in small business. Good job John!

  2. Steve Davies says:

    Well put, as always! When I was running my computer service company we moved to a new building, and I was a little embarrassed at the size of the CEO office that the new office layout had. The thing was huge with a cathedral ceiling, and I always felt that you could play basketball in it! I was talking to a consultant one day who was helping me with strategy, and I mentioned my thoughts to him. His reply has always stuck with me and is germane to your point: “Your job is to sit in your big office and think the big thought.”

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Owners Live in Two Different Worlds

Business owners live in two different worlds. If you are a Baby Boomer, the title of this column might bring memories of any one of the many covers of the song by the same name. (Everyone from Nat King Cole to … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, Entrepreneurship, Exit Planning, Selling a business, Strategy and Planning, Top Blog Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Response to Owners Live in Two Different Worlds

  1. David Basri says:

    There is no question about the difficulty in the Main Street market. Another strategy besides fading into the night is to find someone to pass it on to. That likely means finding someone years in advance, nurturing them and at some point starting to share equity. Having said that, I fully recognize that many small businesses are not in a market where a successor is easy to find. While I own a small software company, it is not so easy to find someone willing to start work at 3 AM so there are fresh bagels ready by 6 AM. Thank goodness there are such folks.

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