How to plan for and monitor your small business growth stages
Much like a child, the growth of a business takes on a relatively predictable pattern of development. And just like a child going through their terrible twos or fearsome fours, each stage of business growth embodies its own unique challenges. Finally, just as a mother must transition from breast-feeding to bottles and from diapers to potty training, businesses must be prepared to transition from one norm to the next and tackle new challenges head-on.read more
New York Times reports that mergers are making a comeback
In an article posted by the New York Times on February 15, 2013, the “Mega-Merger” is back, meaning that companies are joining forces (rather than one purchasing another) in order to do some sort of specific deal. Examples they include are Warren Buffet and Brazilian investors purchase of Heinz for $23 billion and the merger between American Airlines and US Airways valued at $11 billion.
Mind-boggling numbers, I know. However the concept isn’t far fetched. In the case of the American Airlines and US Airways deal, consider the potential; they will now be the largest airline in the world (big kudos!), the airlines, combined, have a larger customer base, greater reach around the world, they can potentially combine what they have learned in the marketplace and technologies to give them strategic advantage over other airlines, the people, the knowledge and the physical assets. Of course, a merger like this doesn’t come without hiccups or potential issues: as with any business, failure rates can be quite high, but for those that are successful, it can be a bright new day.read more
Technology is not (yet!) a viable replacement for direct interaction
One of the things that has made the 21st century very interesting is the amount of access we have to people, businesses and organizations through wallet size (and smaller) devices! It is amazing what we can do, how much we can accomplish just about anywhere we go, from sending text messages to emails to scheduling appointments…but can it go to far? Does it help or hurt our bottom line?
For example: there are a number of online scheduling solutions that will allow your clients to choose days and times to meet with you or members of your team. They simply need to go to your free/busy calendar and sign up for a time slot or slots that will work best for them. They will receive an email confirmation, your technology, you or someone from your team will probably send a friendly email reminder a day or two before the meeting to remind them of it and you will have your meeting.
Pretty straightforward, right?read more
Figuring out how to plan and budget for small business growth.
As a business consultant, I have worked with many business owners who came to me and said that they wanted to grow their businesses. They are thinking about having a business that is larger, sometimes with employees or strategic partnerships and serve more, larger more sophisticated clients.
Sounds awesome, right?
Well, it depends on the business owner. Growing a business often means that the business is going to be more sophisticated. There is typically more money involved, more people, more customers with increasingly diverse needs and wants. As a result, this more sophisticated business requires more management, will be exposed to more oversight and will gain more attention in the marketplace, for both its successes and failures.read more