Archives for 2012

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Now With a Whisper… | Extraordinary Business

Innovation in Customer Experience

imageIt seems that many times, when we think about innovations, we think in terms of bringing a new product or service to the marketplace and making millions of dollars in the process.  However, innovations can occur in any area of the business with the purpose of helping your company run better, build some strategic advantage, differentiator, reduce costs or become more efficient.

Innovations in customer experience are an excellent way to attract new customers, retain those that you already have and bring positive (or negative) attention to your brand.  If you think about your experience with different companies – some make you feel as though you are interrupting one person’s day, versus the other that cannot seem to get out of your hair once you have made the initial contact – think about the impact that your experiences have made on your purchasing and loyalty decisions.

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The Right Message | Extraordinary Business

Creating a consistent customer experience message in your company

ConfuesedHave you ever been convinced to purchase something, then come to find out that the offering didn’t quite live up to the hype?  I am not just talking about products, but expectations when you go to hotels and restaurants and other businesses.  If you are like me, you’ve probably said to yourself, “they DO want my business, don’t they?”

The perception we get from these inconsistencies often don’t stop at the interaction that we had, but tends to spread across an entire brand and their products.  Furthermore, we tend to be slow to change our opinion and often happily share our experience with anyone who inquires.

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Taking the Long View | Extraordinary Business

Building a positive consumer belief system about your company

imageOne of the difficulties with running and growing a business is that with limited resources, business leaders must evaluate their resources choose the best investments in order to stay in business, or grow beyond current capabilities.  Often, the most likely choices are those things that seem or hope to make immediate impact.  Unfortunately, short-term thinking often yields short-term results.

As business leaders, when we look from the perspective of “slow and steady wins the race,” we are thinking in a way that will allow us to create a sustainable future for the companies we lead.  This doesn’t mean that we do nothing while waiting for this big, magnanimous idea to present itself, or that we truly stand around and wait, but rather, that while we work, we make investments in activities that may not have immediate gratification.

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Not IF…but WHEN | Extraordinary Business

Considerations for when to engage in building a business plan.

imageMany business leaders go into business without having a business plan.  Many successful business owners will say that simply because there are so many unknowns, a business plan isn’t a good use of time.  It is suggested that a simple, one page plan should suffice to open up many types of businesses – especially service based business, and operate profitably.

Perhaps that is true.  But what if we are wrong?

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Ahhhh…Monsters and Other Scary Things!!! | Extraordinary Business

How to avoid getting chased around by a 10 foot, 1800 pound flesh-eating, stress inducing calendar

frankenstiens_monsterDo you have a task list that mounts by the day with new emails, demands and expectations that you feel like you’ve got an 1800 pound monster on your back?

Do you find yourself bouncing around from meeting to phone call to networking event, then find that you are  actually accomplishing much, only to spend the rest of your time answering emails and putting out fires.  Then everything that you were supposed to do piles up until the last minute causing you to begin running around the office trying to get everyone to move as quickly as possible to get the work done at the last minute.

I hate that. 

“Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”

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Ahhhh…Monsters and Other Scary Things!!! | Extraordinary Business

How to avoid getting chased around by a 10 foot, 1800 pound flesh-eating, stress inducing calendar

task listDo you have a task list that mounts by the day with new emails, demands and expectations that you feel like you’ve got an 1800 pound monster on your back?
Do you find yourself bouncing around from meeting to phone call to networking event, then find that you are  actually accomplishing much, only to spend the rest of your time answering emails and putting out fires.  Then everything that you were supposed to do piles up until the last minute causing you to begin running around the office trying to get everyone to move as quickly as possible to get the work done at the last minute.
I hate that.

“Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”

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Ready…Set….Wait!!! | Extraordinary Business

How innovations fit into your company’s plans for growth.

image“Ideas are worth a dime a dozen.” 

“Ideas are no more than dreams if no one acts on them.” 

“If ideas were nickels, there would be a lot more wealthy people on the planet.”

With all that needs to be done over the course of a day, many business leaders are faced with either leaving ideas in the hopper or launching half-baked ideas and justifying it by “doing something.”  Both are a recipe for failure.  Just imagine if the businesses you depend on did this?  Big Pharma spends millions of dollars to bring a new product to market.  What if they got it only half-right? 

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No Room for the Faint Hearted | Extraordinary Business

Get moving or get out of the way.  Business leadership is full of risks.

imageWhen I was in middle and high school, I remember a number of students who found ways to make money; such as selling candy and pencils in the hall, doing other people’s homework or giving people rides home in their cars.  There was always a risk of getting caught, which wasn’t without consequences, but this didn’t stop the people who were really committed to having some money.

Risk is still a very real part of business ownership today, and the consequences could be more devastating, in some cases.  Regardless.  Business leaders, if you want to build a strong business, you have got to learn to eat risk for breakfast.  When you started your company, you had only a 30% chance of being successful.  Do what it takes.  Be tough.

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Is it REALLY a Better Mousetrap? | Extraordinary Business

Successful innovation in today’s marketplace – short sight or long view approach?

image“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” is one of those widely misquoted phrases.  The phrase from Ralph Waldo Emerson actually is

“If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods,”

followed several years later by

“If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor…”

While it might be a great motivational quip – and perhaps a driver for many inventors, you still have to ask yourself:

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