Business Relationship

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Extraordinary Business: Just Eat It!!

When someone presents a three year old with fresh vegetables, many times, the child will push it around the plate, play with it and perhaps even mash it up.  But more than likely, it won’t make it down the passageway behind the teeth.  Parents, who (typically) understand the nutritional needs of a three year old, have been known to launch into the battle, ultimately telling that three-year-old, “Just Eat It!!”image

Many business leaders take on the same mentality when dealing with their customers and clients.  This could be in customer service, product or service delivery, branding, marketing, networking, etc..  Whatever process is required is created without consideration for the end user, other than having and understanding (or a feeling) that they should buy it, use it, love it, and tell five people.

Obviously, this is not smart business.  As a matter of fact, just the opposite is true.  J. D. Power III, Consumer Reports and other companies have built successful businesses out of helping consumers choose the best product or service for their money.  While many goods and services do fly below their radar, it often takes one bad review to damage a company brand.

Consider this: typical consumers are not screaming three-year-olds – who many parents often give in to.  No matter how much your tell them to “Just Eat It!!” you are fighting a losing battle.

Build an Extraordinary company: Listen to your consumers.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Customer Satisfaction,Consumers,Listen
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Loving the Unlovable | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, have you ever had an employee or associate that absolutely grates on your nerves?  It’s that associate who gives you a headache as soon as he or she walks into the room.  It’s that person that seems to know that they do get to you and strives to ensure that each day, their personal mission is to push you over the edge.
The impending aneurism would be a blessing right now.
For some reason, though, you don’t feel like you can part company with that person, for whatever reason.  Perhaps that person is the one that seems to pay an essential role in the company, or has an incredible amount of talent.  Perhaps they are a family member or friend or some other association.
There are two schools of thought that immediately come to mind.

  1. In the military, they were quite point blank – “Straighten up or we’ll get rid of you and find two people to take your place who can do the job better.”
  2. Find out what makes them tick…and wind their clock.

Option number 1 requires no investment in the person.  However, you’ve got to be committed to finding the person to replace the initial pain in your behind.  Many business leaders might feel that it isn’t worth the trouble and expense, and will simply continue to endure.  The problem with that mentality is that the problem will continue to exist, moral and productivity will likely be reduced, and you may lose other productive stakeholders – including employees.
Option number two does require investment in the person.  However, the results can be outstanding.  Think about it like this – you will have difficulty putting a round peg in a square hole.  No matter how much you push and pull, the fit will never be quite right.
If, on the other hand, you adjust the hole, suddenly, you have a good fit for the peg, and everyone is happy.  In the same way, finding out what motivates this challenged employee, and learning how to leverage their greatest strengths can be one of the best investment you make in your company.  You’ll be loving the unlovable, and find that you have great commitment and cohesiveness that you could have by trying to put a round peg in a square hole.
This could mean – just to be clear – that the peg might actually be the wrong fit for the company.  In that case, you may still need to help them move on to brighter pastures.  At the same time, however, they may be willing to help with the training and development process for the incumbent.
As a business leader, it is your job to make sure that the organization runs as smoothly as possible.  Being extraordinary means that at times, you will have to love the unlovable.  It means that you are going to have to invest in your employees.  It means making that square hole fit the round peg.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Employees
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Loving the Unlovable | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, have you ever had an employee or associate that absolutely grates on your nerves?  It’s that associate who gives you a headache as soon as he or she walks into the room.  It’s that person that seems to know that they do get to you and strives to ensure that each day, their personal mission is to push you over the edge.

The impending aneurism would be a blessing right now.

For some reason, though, you don’t feel like you can part company with that person, for whatever reason.  Perhaps that person is the one that seems to pay an essential role in the company, or has an incredible amount of talent.  Perhaps they are a family member or friend or some other association.

There are two schools of thought that immediately come to mind.

  1. In the military, they were quite point blank – “Straighten up or we’ll get rid of you and find two people to take your place who can do the job better.”
  2. Find out what makes them tick…and wind their clock.

Option number 1 requires no investment in the person.  However, you’ve got to be committed to finding the person to replace the initial pain in your behind.  Many business leaders might feel that it isn’t worth the trouble and expense, and will simply continue to endure.  The problem with that mentality is that the problem will continue to exist, moral and productivity will likely be reduced, and you may lose other productive stakeholders – including employees.

Option number two does require investment in the person.  However, the results can be outstanding.  Think about it like this – you will have difficulty putting a round peg in a square hole.  No matter how much you push and pull, the fit will never be quite right.

If, on the other hand, you adjust the hole, suddenly, you have a good fit for the peg, and everyone is happy.  In the same way, finding out what motivates this challenged employee, and learning how to leverage their greatest strengths can be one of the best investment you make in your company.  You’ll be loving the unlovable, and find that you have great commitment and cohesiveness that you could have by trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

This could mean – just to be clear – that the peg might actually be the wrong fit for the company.  In that case, you may still need to help them move on to brighter pastures.  At the same time, however, they may be willing to help with the training and development process for the incumbent.

As a business leader, it is your job to make sure that the organization runs as smoothly as possible.  Being extraordinary means that at times, you will have to love the unlovable.  It means that you are going to have to invest in your employees.  It means making that square hole fit the round peg.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Employees
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1+5=25 | Extraordinary Business

In the past, I’ve been a big proponent of doing my taxes myself, but found this year that I wanted to outsource them  Having worked with a number of bookkeepers in the area, I knew what I was looking for – someone who could increase my ability to do what I need to do, without costing more than what makes sense.

I found that while I could go to a “Big Box” tax outfit, I probably know more about that tax code than many of the $10 per hour employees they have, sitting in front of a tax filing program not much different than the ones I would use.  They would request the same information, give me the same output and try to sell me the same add-on services that my online software would give me.  To me, this was a 1+0=1 relationship.  If I give them the wrong info, they may or may not be able to use a critical eye to guide me to the right place.

It goes back to the old adage:  You only know what you know.  There may be things that you don’t even know you don’t know, because you only know what you know.

My tax professional, on the other hand, brings to the table (courtesy of Laura Morton at 10 Key Solutions):

  • Knowledge and understanding of the tax code
  • Trust – while a computer will get the information correct, it might not get the correct information
  • The ability to go through an audit with you
  • Critical thinking when looking at potential deductions
  • Scrutiny to make sure that the information is correct (Garbage in, garbage out!)
  • Responsibility – tax professionals take responsibility for the taxes they file
  • Recommendations based on your personal situation on how you might reduce further tax obligations
  • The ability to create a tax strategy that may span over several years
  • The ability to recommend personally endorsed professionals for your specific needs
  • The ability to work with you in your particular circumstance to help you accomplish your financial goals
  • Competitive pricing – this means that the value I received from her in relation to what she charged was equal or greater than the value I would have received from doing it myself or through a “Big Box” provider

So when I worked with her, the results were far greater than the input, which would be my money for her time.  What I received was:

  • Time to continue building my own company – taxes would have taken me far longer to do than it took her
  • Freedom from responsibility to make sure the taxes were in on time with the right information
  • Knowledge that the taxes are right and that I got the maximum return
  • Recommendations on how I might plan for 2010
  • A trusted advisor

While a tax advisor/bookkeeper/virtual CFO/CFO is one example of how you might outsource services, there are many non-core activities that you can outsource that will give you the same result.  My virtual assistant, my researchers, my IT people, etc,. all help the company go further, faster, than it ever could by itself.  I can focus a great amount of time working on the company and growing it on a continual basis.

Don’t get stuck in the ordinary.  1+0 will always equal 1.  Be extraordinary.  Think 1+1=5

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Taxes,Business Leadership,Strategic Partnerships
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1+5=25 | Extraordinary Business

In the past, I’ve been a big proponent of doing my taxes myself, but found this year that I wanted to outsource them  Having worked with a number of bookkeepers in the area, I knew what I was looking for – someone who could increase my ability to do what I need to do, without costing more than what makes sense.

I found that while I could go to a “Big Box” tax outfit, I probably know more about that tax code than many of the $10 per hour employees they have, sitting in front of a tax filing program not much different than the ones I would use.  They would request the same information, give me the same output and try to sell me the same add-on services that my online software would give me.  To me, this was a 1+0=1 relationship.  If I give them the wrong info, they may or may not be able to use a critical eye to guide me to the right place.

It goes back to the old adage:  You only know what you know.  There may be things that you don’t even know you don’t know, because you only know what you know.

My tax professional, on the other hand, brings to the table (courtesy of Laura Morton at 10 Key Solutions):

  • Knowledge and understanding of the tax code
  • Trust – while a computer will get the information correct, it might not get the correct information
  • The ability to go through an audit with you
  • Critical thinking when looking at potential deductions
  • Scrutiny to make sure that the information is correct (Garbage in, garbage out!)
  • Responsibility – tax professionals take responsibility for the taxes they file
  • Recommendations based on your personal situation on how you might reduce further tax obligations
  • The ability to create a tax strategy that may span over several years
  • The ability to recommend personally endorsed professionals for your specific needs
  • The ability to work with you in your particular circumstance to help you accomplish your financial goals
  • Competitive pricing – this means that the value I received from her in relation to what she charged was equal or greater than the value I would have received from doing it myself or through a “Big Box” provider

So when I worked with her, the results were far greater than the input, which would be my money for her time.  What I received was:

  • Time to continue building my own company – taxes would have taken me far longer to do than it took her
  • Freedom from responsibility to make sure the taxes were in on time with the right information
  • Knowledge that the taxes are right and that I got the maximum return
  • Recommendations on how I might plan for 2010
  • A trusted advisor

While a tax advisor/bookkeeper/virtual CFO/CFO is one example of how you might outsource services, there are many non-core activities that you can outsource that will give you the same result.  My virtual assistant, my researchers, my IT people, etc,. all help the company go further, faster, than it ever could by itself.  I can focus a great amount of time working on the company and growing it on a continual basis.

Don’t get stuck in the ordinary.  1+0 will always equal 1.  Be extraordinary.  Think 1+1=5

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Taxes,Business Leadership,Strategic Partnerships
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Green Eggs and Ham | Extraordinary Business

Dr. Seuss wrote a book called, “Green Eggs and Ham.”  In the first few pages of the book, an elderly gentlebeast is sitting quietly while a younger gentlebeast runs by, quickly, first with a sign that says, “I am Sam.”  Then, he returns with another that says, “Sam I am.”

Now, the elderly gentlebeast does not seem to be pleased by Sam’s youth and energy.  Just as we notice that the expression on his face says, “I do not like that Sam-I-am,”  Sam I am rushes up with a plate of – you guessed it – green eggs and ham.

Now what if Sam had been someone that the elderly gentleman respected.  Do you think he would have been more likely to try the green eggs and ham?  Do you think we would have had such an exciting story?

Of course not.

While watching a commercial on TV for one of those “we can grow it bigger, faster and stronger, making you the envy of the neighborhood,” and noticed, at the end of the commercial that it was sold at several local stores, including one big box retailer.  I thought to myself, “If XYZ Big Box is selling it, it must be a decent product.  I trust their judgment.”

When our clients look at us, our products and delivery, they make certain decisions about our companies, ranging from, “I wouldn’t trust anything they are saying without several references,” to “I’d believe anything he or she would tell me.”  If we want to build an extraordinary business, we need to focus on being on the right or latter end of the spectrum.

As business leaders, we have the choice – we can be ordinary and run ordinary businesses.  If we keep our expectations low, we’ll never make any impact, be forgotten and feel completely satisfied.  However, if we want to say at the end of the day, “I have accomplished a great thing,” then we spend 80% of our waking days working to be extraordinary leaders, and run extraordinary businesses.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Product,Integrity,Trust,Customers,Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership
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Green Eggs and Ham | Extraordinary Business

Dr. Seuss wrote a book called, “Green Eggs and Ham.”  In the first few pages of the book, an elderly gentlebeast is sitting quietly while a younger gentlebeast runs by, quickly, first with a sign that says, “I am Sam.”  Then, he returns with another that says, “Sam I am.”

Now, the elderly gentlebeast does not seem to be pleased by Sam’s youth and energy.  Just as we notice that the expression on his face says, “I do not like that Sam-I-am,”  Sam I am rushes up with a plate of – you guessed it – green eggs and ham.

Now what if Sam had been someone that the elderly gentleman respected.  Do you think he would have been more likely to try the green eggs and ham?  Do you think we would have had such an exciting story?

Of course not.

While watching a commercial on TV for one of those “we can grow it bigger, faster and stronger, making you the envy of the neighborhood,” and noticed, at the end of the commercial that it was sold at several local stores, including one big box retailer.  I thought to myself, “If XYZ Big Box is selling it, it must be a decent product.  I trust their judgment.”

When our clients look at us, our products and delivery, they make certain decisions about our companies, ranging from, “I wouldn’t trust anything they are saying without several references,” to “I’d believe anything he or she would tell me.”  If we want to build an extraordinary business, we need to focus on being on the right or latter end of the spectrum.

As business leaders, we have the choice – we can be ordinary and run ordinary businesses.  If we keep our expectations low, we’ll never make any impact, be forgotten and feel completely satisfied.  However, if we want to say at the end of the day, “I have accomplished a great thing,” then we spend 80% of our waking days working to be extraordinary leaders, and run extraordinary businesses.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Product,Integrity,Trust,Customers,Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership
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Sustainable Communities | Extraordinary Business

One of the mistakes that many business owners make is that they focus most if not all of their energy on the sale. They push and push and push – advertising, newsletters, webinars, talks, etc, down the throats of would be buyers, making the marketplace a virtual cutthroat alley where few dare to enter.
The problem with high-pressure sales is that the sales are often one-time, with little to no loyalty and few if any repeat visitors. While this is the tactic for sharks – consuming whatever scarce resources are available in a short amount of time – it is often not a sustainable business model.
A sustainable business model is one that embraces and participates in the communities in which they serve.  Members of the business community include:

  • The Marketplace – including customers, clients, potential clients and other businesses
  • Vendors – people who we purchase goods and services from who essentially make it easier to do our business
  • Employees – people who work for us and essentially are the driving forces behind our businesses
  • Investors – who have demonstrated and put money behind the foresight that our businesses were going to be extraordinary
  • Community – The community in which we draw all of the other members of our communities from. They might be considered the Macro Community, while the others are a subset of them, or the micro community.

In business communities, all members of the community – essentially stakeholders – are all interested in moving toward a higher level of being.

  • The Marketplace benefits by having its needs met – you provide them with a specific set of goods and services that are the right products or service at the right time for the right price
  • Vendors benefit by having you purchasing goods and services from them that you use, in turn, to provide goods and services to the marketplace
  • Employees benefit by having a job, a steady paycheck, benefits and some stability. They, in turn, help you expand your ability to take the goods and services you have purchased from your vendors, and get them to the marketplace.
  • Investors benefit by getting a return on the time and money they’ve invested. They extend your vision of providing goods and services to the marketplace by providing money to make purchases.
  • Communities benefit by receiving tax revenues as a result of the sale of goods or the payment of employees who are helping you get goods and services to the marketplace.

Without all members of the community, your business would cease to exist. In turn, the community is better off as a result of the existence of each other. As you can look at the many failed communities around you, communities wherein there is no equal exchange, shared beliefs or interests and objectives, are not sustainable communities. Therefore, it would be logical to embrace your communities.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Business growth,Communities,Market,Marketplace,Vendors,employees,investors,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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Sustainable Communities | Extraordinary Business

One of the mistakes that many business owners make is that they focus most if not all of their energy on the sale. They push and push and push – advertising, newsletters, webinars, talks, etc, down the throats of would be buyers, making the marketplace a virtual cutthroat alley where few dare to enter.

The problem with high-pressure sales is that the sales are often one-time, with little to no loyalty and few if any repeat visitors. While this is the tactic for sharks – consuming whatever scarce resources are available in a short amount of time – it is often not a sustainable business model.

A sustainable business model is one that embraces and participates in the communities in which they serve.  Members of the business community include:

  • The Marketplace – including customers, clients, potential clients and other businesses
  • Vendors – people who we purchase goods and services from who essentially make it easier to do our business
  • Employees – people who work for us and essentially are the driving forces behind our businesses
  • Investors – who have demonstrated and put money behind the foresight that our businesses were going to be extraordinary
  • Community – The community in which we draw all of the other members of our communities from. They might be considered the Macro Community, while the others are a subset of them, or the micro community.

In business communities, all members of the community – essentially stakeholders – are all interested in moving toward a higher level of being.

  • The Marketplace benefits by having its needs met – you provide them with a specific set of goods and services that are the right products or service at the right time for the right price
  • Vendors benefit by having you purchasing goods and services from them that you use, in turn, to provide goods and services to the marketplace
  • Employees benefit by having a job, a steady paycheck, benefits and some stability. They, in turn, help you expand your ability to take the goods and services you have purchased from your vendors, and get them to the marketplace.
  • Investors benefit by getting a return on the time and money they’ve invested. They extend your vision of providing goods and services to the marketplace by providing money to make purchases.
  • Communities benefit by receiving tax revenues as a result of the sale of goods or the payment of employees who are helping you get goods and services to the marketplace.

Without all members of the community, your business would cease to exist. In turn, the community is better off as a result of the existence of each other. As you can look at the many failed communities around you, communities wherein there is no equal exchange, shared beliefs or interests and objectives, are not sustainable communities. Therefore, it would be logical to embrace your communities.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. 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 Healthcare 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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Technorati Tags: Business growth,Communities,Market,Marketplace,Vendors,employees,investors,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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