Business Planning

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Plan for Business Growth | Extraordinary Business

Business Growth planning
When your business grows quickly, things don’t “naturally fall into place” like you might hope or think.  Many businesses actually go out of business as a result of growing too fast and not having the infrastructure to support it.  The way to avoid some (and I do mean some) of the surprises that go along with business growth is to have modeling and a process that will help you see and address some of the obstacles.
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Entrepreneurial Motivation: Step Up or Step Out

When you started your company so many years ago, it probably seemed like it was going to be awesome. You see the “enviable” lives of entrepreneurs who build and sell multi-million dollar or even billion-dollar companies, repeatedly. They take vacations whenever they want to, have staff to do everything and “do what they love so they will never have to work a day in their lives.”

It was kind of like that with my older kids when they decided to move out…freedom to do what they wanted, when they wanted, etc., dominated their thinking.

In both cases reality struck one day. While the kids just moved back home (Another story. Oh, Lord. Pray for us!) and enjoy life (I don’t think they will ever leave!), as an entrepreneur, you had two choices: give up or get going.
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Better! | Extraordinary Business

Intentional Steps to Building a Better Brand

As a business owner who has been around for a while, you are good at what you do. No question about it. Your company wouldn’t still be around if you didn’t. Question for you: What makes your company good? What makes it great? What makes it better than the competition?

How many times have you received a marketing message wherein a company or their products claim to be pretty good, adequate or good enough? Probably not too often, or at all. Perhaps there might be the company that claims to be the cheaper (think “knock off!”) version of a very expensive item or brand, but even they describe their products as “just as good without the price tag.”

Question is: What is better? How does a company present itself as truly better? [···]

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Better! | Extraordinary Business

Intentional Steps to Building a Better Brand

Better at delivering products and servicesAs a business owner who has been around for a while, you are good at what you do. No question about it. Your company wouldn’t still be around if you didn’t. Question for you: What makes your company good? What makes it great? What makes it better than the competition?

How many times have you received a marketing message wherein a company or their products claim to be pretty good, adequate or good enough? Probably not too often, or at all. Perhaps there might be the company that claims to be the cheaper (think “knock off!”) version of a very expensive item or brand, but even they describe their products as “just as good without the price tag.”

Question is: What is better? How does a company present itself as truly better? [···]

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Operations Management: Too Complicated? Not Important? Think Again. | Extraordinary Business

The essential role of operations management in small business

imageAs a small business owner, you recognize that there about a million things that you have to do every day, from the things that you have to do, the things that you would like to do and the fires that seem to present themselves at the most inopportune moment. It seems like managing one more thing is just going to put you into overload, or require that you take your eye off the ball.

When a business is in its early stages, typically the first few years, in terms of maximizing a return on investments – time, money, other resources – focusing on refining operations might be like a body builder that only focuses on his upper body…you end up building a top-heavy, inefficient business. (In the early stages of running a company, it is important to learn and be adaptable. Rigid operational policies will get in the way of that and make it more difficult to make changes.) This doesn’t mean that you will complete disregard operational management, but rather, your framework will be “squishy,” whereas a more mature business will have a more rigid framework in order to maintain the rigors of growth. Which is the point.

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Operations Management: Too Complicated? Not Important? Think Again. | Extraordinary Business

The essential role of operations management in small business

imageAs a small business owner, you recognize that there about a million things that you have to do every day, from the things that you have to do, the things that you would like to do and the fires that seem to present themselves at the most inopportune moment. It seems like managing one more thing is just going to put you into overload, or require that you take your eye off the ball.

When a business is in its early stages, typically the first few years, in terms of maximizing a return on investments – time, money, other resources – focusing on refining operations might be like a body builder that only focuses on his upper body…you end up building a top-heavy, inefficient business. (In the early stages of running a company, it is important to learn and be adaptable. Rigid operational policies will get in the way of that and make it more difficult to make changes.) This doesn’t mean that you will complete disregard operational management, but rather, your framework will be “squishy,” whereas a more mature business will have a more rigid framework in order to maintain the rigors of growth. Which is the point.

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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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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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The Countdown

Extraordinary Business: The Countdown

2011 Planning ButtonThe end of this year…the beginning of the next; these are “mile markers” in the growth of any business. As business leaders, we often take this time to compare business successes in prior years versus the year that is rapidly coming to a close.  Savvier business leaders will begin evaluating their goals, determining what could be completed by the end of this year, and what might roll over into next year’s planning. 

The act of looking back and planning for the future – learning from one’s activities, is the wisdom that separates ordinary business leaders from those who are extraordinary.

With that in mind, every business leader must realize that waiting until January 1 is going to be too late to begin your planning sessions.  Your competitors will have beaten you out of the gate by the time you gather all of the information that you need in order to make some sound goals for the next year.  While there will be some business leaders that don’t have their busiest season in the fourth quarter, smart business leaders realize that by beginning the planning the exercise now, they’ll have created a foundation with which to begin the next year strong.image

A recent “Stroke of Brilliance,” provides keys effective business planning.  Please take a look at the free article at . The important thing is to evaluate what you’ve done in the past, whether or not it was successful, what you can take from the activities moving forward and what you would like to accomplish moving forward.  If there are deficits in your business operations, you’ll want to make sure that you plan to address them sooner than later.  Business development activates should be ongoing.  Every change you make should have some measure that indicates growth and success.

Businesses in motion do not remain in motion without action from an outside force.

Your business is completely dependent on you and your leadership team to continue it’s ascent.  Without leadership direction, it will stagnate, and eventually die.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. 

We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. 

If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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