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  • Aspire » Uncategorized

    22 Nov

      photo by aussiegall

    There’s a popular business saying that “What gets measured gets done” – it’s attributed to Peter Drucker, Tom Peters and other business management experts.

    On the surface, it’s a common sense kind of statement – obviously if you aren’t measuring specific results, you can’t manage the outcome…picture playing a fast-paced basketball game where score isn’t kept, at the end of the game should you hold onto the ball and work the clock?  Or should you foul the other team and try to score as quickly as possible?  Without a score there’s no way to tell.

    However there is an implication there’s a clear answer of what needs to be measured.  I would suggest that for many small business owners, what should be measured may not be obvious.

    Read More…

    26 Sep

      photo by Alan Cleaver

    Business growth can be a scary proposition…obviously it’s better than business failure, but there are a whole set of fears centered around business growth and success that plague a lot of business owners.

    When your business starts succeeding beyond where you’ve been for a while, you leave your comfort zone…you head into new territory (which is scary).  Maybe it’s a situation you haven’t faced before (also scary).  Maybe it will require you to do some things you haven’t had to do before…hire more people, find a new location, spend more money (on people, stuff, rent, etc.).  And maybe it will force you, as the business owner, to do things differently…not do as much hands on work and to do more strategic leadership and planning.

    All of that can be scary stuff – but I would propose there’s a better way to look at it.

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    19 Sep

       photo by Rhett Maxwell

    When was the last time you took a few minutes…or better yet a few hours and really thought through what you wanted to get out of your business and what your exit strategy might be?  Have you looked at the end of the rainbow at all?

    Even if you have no plans of selling or getting out in the foreseeable future, it’s still worthwhile to think about it in terms of someday…maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years…whatever that timeframe is, having a long term vision can only help you.

    Anita Lieser – a broker with Apex Business Advisors just wrote a great article breaking down a very successful transaction.  I don’t know any of the details behind this particular deal, but there are several critical things you can take away from the article as you think about the long term outcome of your business.

    Read More…

    17 Jul

      photo by Paul Kehrer

    Running a business is a uphill climb, even in the best of times (although the views from the top make it worthwhile).  Regardless of the kind of business you have and how far along you are in that business – there’s some kind of challenge facing you.  It could be something significant, if you don’t take the right path you could fall off a cliff or it could be the kind of challenge that just wears you down over time.

    I had a great opportunity the other night to take an informal poll and discussion with about 20 small business owners here in Kansas City and get some great feedback on the types of challenges they’re facing.  I was holding a demonstration ‘event’ for the Peer Group Advisory boards that I run – looking for potential members for a new board and it gave me a great excuse to ask everyone to share a big challenge that they’re facing in their business today.

    And we got some great answers…

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    10 May

    thinker   photo by Brian Hillegas

    It’s cool when you get to learn new things!

    I sent out a challenge the other day for one of the Peer Group Advisory Boards that I run.  I’m looking for the members of the group to go a bit deeper and get into an issue that they’re struggling with (for the group to discuss).

    As part of that challenge my friend Terry from Powercore offered up a variation…a deep thoughts way of looking at things.  It was answering three questions based on the work of Simon Sinek – the author of Start With Why.

    Read More…