Business Startup

Life Cycle: Existence | Extraordinary Business

“You can’t get where you want to go unless you know where you are starting!”

Many times, when businesses are started – they just start selling, often missing mundane tasks, such as planning and preparing for growth.  Of course, desperate times call for desperate actions; we work to make money, not to get stuck in, as my friend Ken says, “paralysis of analysis.”

Nevertheless, I would bet that many of the businesses that don’t last very long are those that never fulfill their Existence Level needs.  Those include:

  • Clarity of what your business will do to serve it’s market.  How will your business make its money?  What product, service or feeling do you want people to associate with your business.  This is also known as the mission statement or purpose statement
  • Clarity of what you want people to remember about your business once it’s closed.  While many people have an idea of what they want things to look like “when the business grows up,” that vision often takes some time, and begins to dim as the business grows
  • Understanding of leadership strengths and weaknesses.  You might be a great inventor, but if you aren’t a great business person, and don’t surround yourself with great people, you are no better than a great sales person with poor order fulfillment capability.  It just won’t happen.  Leadership must be balanced out.
  • Understanding of the target market: who are they? what do they need?  how do they buy it? what might they buy instead of what you are sell?  how much will they pay for it?
  • Understanding of what you are selling: is it a product or a service, or a combination?  Your product or service is typically not all that is sold, but rather, the reputation of your company, the box it is sold in, the price point, service outcomes, etc.  Is your product for immediate consumption, or does it have a lasting impact?
  • Understanding of the types of things that could go wrong in your company, and what you can do about it
  • Understanding of company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Relationships with advisors that could advise you on key areas of your business, including legal, accounting, banking and insurances
  • Proper compliances, including certifications, insurances, safety measures, HR and employee issues, etc.

These are foundational to your business.  They don’t actually sell a lick, but they make sure that your business has firm footing for all of the decisions that need to be made.  However, many of these activities are those that are overlooked, and leave many businesses flapping in the wind.

Be extraordinary.  Start your business the right way.  Have a strong foundation.

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: Startups,Existence,Starting a business,Business Leadership,Business Direction,Business Planning
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Life Cycle: Existence | Extraordinary Business

“You can’t get where you want to go unless you know where you are starting!”
Many times, when businesses are started – they just start selling, often missing mundane tasks, such as planning and preparing for growth.  Of course, desperate times call for desperate actions; we work to make money, not to get stuck in, as my friend Ken says, “paralysis of analysis.”
Nevertheless, I would bet that many of the businesses that don’t last very long are those that never fulfill their Existence Level needs.  Those include:

  • Clarity of what your business will do to serve it’s market.  How will your business make its money?  What product, service or feeling do you want people to associate with your business.  This is also known as the mission statement or purpose statement
  • Clarity of what you want people to remember about your business once it’s closed.  While many people have an idea of what they want things to look like “when the business grows up,” that vision often takes some time, and begins to dim as the business grows
  • Understanding of leadership strengths and weaknesses.  You might be a great inventor, but if you aren’t a great business person, and don’t surround yourself with great people, you are no better than a great sales person with poor order fulfillment capability.  It just won’t happen.  Leadership must be balanced out.
  • Understanding of the target market: who are they? what do they need?  how do they buy it? what might they buy instead of what you are sell?  how much will they pay for it?
  • Understanding of what you are selling: is it a product or a service, or a combination?  Your product or service is typically not all that is sold, but rather, the reputation of your company, the box it is sold in, the price point, service outcomes, etc.  Is your product for immediate consumption, or does it have a lasting impact?
  • Understanding of the types of things that could go wrong in your company, and what you can do about it
  • Understanding of company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Relationships with advisors that could advise you on key areas of your business, including legal, accounting, banking and insurances
  • Proper compliances, including certifications, insurances, safety measures, HR and employee issues, etc.

These are foundational to your business.  They don’t actually sell a lick, but they make sure that your business has firm footing for all of the decisions that need to be made.  However, many of these activities are those that are overlooked, and leave many businesses flapping in the wind.
Be extraordinary.  Start your business the right way.  Have a strong foundation.
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: Startups,Existence,Starting a business,Business Leadership,Business Direction,Business Planning
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Be Extraordinary…Mind Your Seeds

Starting and growing a business is a lot like growing crops on a farm.  You will get what you plant, assuming you take care of it and have the resources in place for when it is “harvest time,” or when the fruits of your labor present themselves.

The challenge that many business owners have is going through the process.  Impatience and lack of focus has caused many a business whither and die.

Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Examine, understand and prepare your field.  Your field represents the environment – your industry and your marketplace.  Having a good understanding of where and how you need to start your business is key to growth.  While there are opportunities in every field, every market will not be fertile for your particular opportunity.
  2. When starting your business, keep in mind that it is like planting a garden.  While you can just “scatter seeds,” having a plan for starting your business will ensure that your resources (seeds) are most effectively “planted.”  Seeds represent your products and services.
  3. If you plant more than one type of seed or offer more than one type of service, make sure that you have the ability to nurture the seed while it grows.  Every product or service you offer requires some type of investment, be it time or money.  Value each one.  Otherwise, you could end up loosing more than you have invest.
  4. Be patient.  Nurture and grow your seeds.  Have an understanding of how long it will take to grow any segment of your business.  If your business cannot sustain you from the onset, which is normally the case, ensure that you have enough resources to sustain yourself in the mean time.  That might mean working for or with someone else (not the main thing) so that you have reliable income from the main thing.
  5. Don’t mix seeds.  If your nine-to-five is to sell widgets, sell widgets during that time.  If your night job is to make zups, make zups.  If you make zups while selling widgets, then sell widgets while make zups, you’ll probably end up doing both jobs poorly and making a big mess of things.  Keep your seeds pure.

Keeping these steps in mind should get you off to a good start.  Areas where I see business owners missing the most is in keeping the main thing the main thing, and patiently nurturing it until it is ready to harvest.  This has resulted, more often than not, in lackluster businesses, burnt out business owners and more saturation of sub-par product in the marketplace.

Be extraordinary.  Mind your seeds.

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 startup,business growth,business leadership,extraordinary business,industry,marketplace
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Leading the Organization That Survives: Don't be a STIFFNECK

How do you know you’re a leader? “Well, if you look behind you, you will find people following you!” says author and Dean at Regent University, Bruce Winston, PhD in his CD “Tabletalk”. He goes on to say, ” if nobody is following you, then you aren’t a leader. It’s as simple as that.”

If you want people to follow you, they need to know that you can make GREAT DECISIONS! Does that mean that all of them will be right? No! Must they all make sense? Yes! Does this apply to every leader? Yes! Running a business, no matter the size, requires a great number of decisions to be made, every day, such as:

  • Do we start a new marketing campaign
  • Has this product reached the end of its lifecycle?
  • Should we consider offering this customer a discount?
  • Should we spin off this business unit?

As a business leader, you are the one who must make those decisions. To be successful as a leader, you need to be able to make a lot of decision, effectively – which means that while every single decision may not be the right one, you’ve got plausible tools to be able to make that decision. In our line of work, we’ve discovered four ingredients leaders must have in order to make a good decision for the business:

  1. A passion for what is possibleclip_image002
  2. A commitment to managing priorities
  3. Reliable information or a reliable information source
  4. Courage to assume risk

The alternative, of course, to having the ammo to make the best decisions is to be a STIFFNECK. Let me explain:

Stiffnecks – def.: 1) Leaders that try to make decisions without considering the overall business – the business as a system, and thus, the rippling consequence3s of said decision or decisions on all areas of the business. 2) Leaders who have every opportunity and all of the resources to make good decisions, but allow themselves to get sidetracked before addressing issues that have greater priority for the business.

For example:

If you are trying to expand your business, but don’t have clear understanding off what you are selling or who your target market is, you’re probably a stiffneck.

If you get a shiny new Hummer for the company, but aren’t making the basic operating expenses for your company, you’re probably a stiffneck.

If you jump at every opportunity – every shiny new thing – and never take the time to focus on and fully develop one, you’re probably a stiffneck.

If you do the same things over and over again, but never bother to establish a process for it, you’re probably a stiffneck.

The simplest and most straight-forward remedy for this is – don’t be a stiffneck!!

While this seems straightforward, new candidates for the stiffneck category enter the business world every day, often with catastrophic results. Simply taking the time to go through the decision-making process could often put business leaders in a much better position with their company, and allow them to lead their companies to new heights.

Over the next few blogs, we’ll go through each tool necessary in the decision-making process in order to equip you with the strategy to manage the decisions for your company. We’ll talk about the difference between pipe-dreams and possibilities, what priorities for your business are, how to manage information valuable for your company, how to determine what acceptable risk looks like for you, and the necessity of follow-through.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. 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: decision making,leadership and management,excellence

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It's Time to Fire the Chief Bottle Washer!!!

I come from years and years in the small business end of the restaurant industry, where owners tout the title:

“Chef,Owner and Chief Bottle Washer.”

I decided after very little thought and planning, that I would follow in the tradition as a restaurateur and serial entrepreneur, and don the illustrious title when I opened, in succession, a private catering company, then a larger, full-service catering company, and finally, a full.-service casual fine-dining restaurant. I am sure I schmoozed (Pennsylvania Dutch for mashed, smashed, crammed, etc) 20 years of work hours into about eight years. 80 hour work weeks were not uncommon (at least at work!) but a social life was VERY uncommon (outside of work!)

Sure, I have a notch in my hat, memories and a following and being a local celebrity, a bunch of newspaper clippings and a legacy, but not much else to show from it. There is nothing to brag about. There are no additional revenues coming by direction from it. While the sign for the restaurant is still in place, another restaurant is doing just fine in the location. But for all of the hard work, I have to ask myself: was it worth it?

I actually took away a great deal of knowledge and experience, some of which I have included in my (not) five or so things you’ll want to avoid as a business owner:

  • I went into the business by myself. Even Frank Sinatra – “Old Blue Eyes” as they called him, had the Rat Pack. While partnership is like a marriage, going at it alone is quite like riding a tandem bike from the back seat by yourself. You just can’t make out too well doing it by yourself – and there is only so far you can go.

(“Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my Way.”)

    • I wanted to have the best food at the lowest price! Yeah!! I wanted to be the Wal-Mart or Target of the Restaurant Industry. While it seems to make some sense: if I offer a great product or service at an extremely low price, everyone will want to buy it. I promise you, in most cases, this doesn’t work. Instead, focus on offering a good or great product at an APPROPRIATE price. Everyone cannot be the cost leader!
  • I didn’t know myself! What? Even though I had a great skill as a chef (per my clientele!), that knowledge and experience did not make me a great restaurant owner! Even as a good restaurant owner, and could not run the restaurant and prepare all the meals. I couldn’t even do a great job running the kitchen and preparing all of the meals! I hadn’t considered that! I hadn’t planned for that! I thought I could run a 300 seat restaurant with off site catering and two banquet rooms with one restaurant manager! I am a strategist: I come up with innovative systems, strategies and processes. That doesn’t make me an ADMINISTRAIVE PROFESSIONAL!! Go ask my friend, Walter Akana, at Threshold Consulting, where he talks about identifying strengths in one of his blog posts!
  • I didn’t identify the resources around me that would have helped to fill some of the holes in the business, such as an ACCOUNTANT!! While I had bankers, lawyers and insurance people, I didn’t leverage their great skill and experience. I didn’t take the time to identify potential investors and start the organization with more cash in the bank. I didn’t connect with a great marketer or have a marketing plan for that matter. I thought that my product was so unique that everybody would just come!! Nine times out of ten, it will never happen.
  • I decided to save some money and be the “Chef, Owner and Chief Bottle Washer!” It ended up costing me a lot more this way; I couldn’t adequately monitor the restaurant, I worked long, long hours, I micro-managed the managers that I did hire and frankly, at times I got so tired that I could not produce, and had no backup plan. What would have happened if I’d gotten sick for a couple of weeks??

It all comes down to this. Think about it: when you are planning your business, you want to plan it for success. This means that you need to put the time into the planning stages and get a good understanding, not only of who YOU are and what YOU bring to the table, but what DEFICITS you bring to the table and how to address them. One of the biggest challenges I see for the serial entrepreneur is bookkeeping and payroll. Another challenge I’ve seen with those really smart consultants is the inability to sell their product! If you are a public speaker, you may need to hire an admin person to keep you organized.

My friend and strategic partner, Nicole Greer, gave me a great deal of insight on understanding not only myself, but also, other people. She uses a PEP analysis, which takes about 15 minutes to do, and comes with a brief coaching on individual strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can begin to apply your new knowledge, and find out where you fit into your organization. Don’t you think it’s about time to “FIRE THE CHIEF BOTTLE WASHER?!?!”

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. 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: Leadership,direction,startups,restaurants,management,decision-making,planning
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Keepin' it Movin'!: Motivation to Continue to Strive

I believe in always looking forward.

I believe in sharing goodwill.

I believe that community starts with me.

I believe that my company is here to serve.

I believe.

What do you believe?  What are you doing about it?

Where ever we start out, we start out with an idea or a dream.  We want to do something to serve some purpose.be it open a company or companies to make as much money as possible, or to reach the top of the jungle gym.  It all starts with a dream.

Here’s a video from a dreamer – a dreamer that failed again and again and again.until he became the best:

Technorati Tags: motivation,focus,vision,goals

Now.keep it movin’!

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  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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Focus & Framework: Getting Things Done

According to some reports, the economy is finally beginning to stabilize.  Job losses are slowing, and some companies are beginning to hire, again.  Most businesses have been hurt, some are closed.  Still others are starting.  Why?  People are seeing opportunity.  They identified a need and are willing to fill it.

The Problem:

  • Starting a new business is relatively easy.  Have a product or service and get people to buy it. 
  • Staying in business for the long haul, however, takes focus
  • Growing a business significantly takes even more focus.

The common denominator, of course, is FOCUS – the ability to concentrate on one thing, despite what is going on around you.

Learning to focus on what is important is key to getting anything substantial done in your business in a reasonable amount of time.  Multi-tasking is not focusing.  Getting to it when you can – is not focusing.  Focusing requires laser-like attention on the goal, whatever that might be.

The way I teach people to focus is by helping them understand seven components of focusing, which will help both in business and in personal lives.  They are:

  1. Who are you?  As in What makes you special or UNIQUE? clip_image002
  2. What do you do?  What are your COMPETENCIES?
  3. Why do you exist?  You could call it PURPOSE or MISSION
  4. What do you hope to accomplish?  What is your VISION
  5. What do you stand for?  or What are your VALUES?
  6. Who do you serve or Who is your MARKET?
  7. What roadblocks or OBSTACLES do you face?

Answering these seven questions will provide you with a framework you will want to have in place before taking the next steps.

Yes, they do take time, and no, they don’t make you any money right now.  However, it will pay off, substantially, as you move forward.  They are the first step in the process.  Keep in mind that many people who start this exercise aren’t completely sure of what the answers are the first or second or third time around.  Many people start off with general statements.  However, as time goes by, the answers are further refined. 

For example, when Aepiphanni started, we served small businesses.  All small businesses.  And we did everything possible under the sun.  We learned, over time, that although we were able to do a lot of things and serve a lot of people, there were certain professions with which we resonated very well.  Additionally, we found there were certain types of contributions (organizational planning & structure) that we do really well.  Therefore, the markets we served changed, and were refined.

Keep in mind that while this exercise does take time, this will be the foundation and framework for whatever it is you are doing.  When building anything that will last, you must have a solid foundation.  A good foundation and complementary framework  is what makes anything survive.

What is a framework, you ask?  A framework is like your body’s skeleton, or the framing on a house or a building.  They provide the structure for everything else you will do.  Think about it: if it doesn’t fit within the framework, it doesn’t belong there.  Alternatively, if what you want to add will damage the framework, you need to find another solution.  When we talk about framework, we begin talking about what will keep you in place or on task once you have gotten the foundation down.  Consider this – once the framework is in place, you can begin adding all kinds of accoutrements – walls, floors and ceilings, in the case of a building.  It also provides support for any wires and pipes, windows and doorways.  Keep in mind – it will not be strong without the foundation!

When we discuss the framework for your goal or business, we are talking about identifying anything that could potentially strengthen or weaken the business or goal.  In business, we use a SWOT analysis to identify them.  These refer to internal Strengths, Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats. 

For example: Say we were building a high-speed rail system that runs from Boca Raton to the Grand Bahamas Island.  We have an understanding of our seven focus questions.  Now we are going to look at the SWOT:

Strengths:

  • We like the ideaclip_image002[5]
  • We believe in the idea

Weaknesses:

  • We need money – but we can raise it – lemonade stand?
  • We have no idea how to do it – but we can find people that do!

Opportunities

  • Other people will think it’s cool, too
  • Who  wouldn’t want to go the the Bahamas for the weekend?

Threats

  • Hurricanes and other natural occurrences could slow the building process
  • If we don’t build the tunnel right, it could flood

While this is an over-simplified version of the SWOT, we can see areas that we need to put our efforts into, and areas we need to work around.  Without having an understanding of what we can go really wrong, or what we can take advantage of, we could miss the boat, altogether.  We refer to this step as ensuring we are aware of our safety needs and can make good decisions with respect to how to address them.

Using the principals of focus and framework will help you not only set mission-oriented goals for your organization, but also, to push the boundaries of what you may have previously thought were reasonable.  Have a strong foundation and  framework does take some time and effort, but if done properly the rewards will far outweigh the costs.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, tho
ughts, 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].

� 2009  Aepiphanni Business Solutions

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Focus & Framework: Getting Things Done

According to some reports, the economy is finally beginning to stabilize.  Job losses are slowing, and some companies are beginning to hire, again.  Most businesses have been hurt, some are closed.  Still others are starting.  Why?  People are seeing opportunity.  They identified a need and are willing to fill it.

The Problem:

  • Starting a new business is relatively easy.  Have a product or service and get people to buy it. 
  • Staying in business for the long haul, however, takes focus
  • Growing a business significantly takes even more focus.

The common denominator, of course, is FOCUS – the ability to concentrate on one thing, despite what is going on around you.

Learning to focus on what is important is key to getting anything substantial done in your business in a reasonable amount of time.  Multi-tasking is not focusing.  Getting to it when you can – is not focusing.  Focusing requires laser-like attention on the goal, whatever that might be.

The way I teach people to focus is by helping them understand seven components of focusing, which will help both in business and in personal lives.  They are:

  1. Who are you?  As in What makes you special or UNIQUE? clip_image002
  2. What do you do?  What are your COMPETENCIES?
  3. Why do you exist?  You could call it PURPOSE or MISSION
  4. What do you hope to accomplish?  What is your VISION
  5. What do you stand for?  or What are your VALUES?
  6. Who do you serve or Who is your MARKET?
  7. What roadblocks or OBSTACLES do you face?

Answering these seven questions will provide you with a framework you will want to have in place before taking the next steps.

Yes, they do take time, and no, they don’t make you any money right now.  However, it will pay off, substantially, as you move forward.  They are the first step in the process.  Keep in mind that many people who start this exercise aren’t completely sure of what the answers are the first or second or third time around.  Many people start off with general statements.  However, as time goes by, the answers are further refined. 

For example, when Aepiphanni started, we served small businesses.  All small businesses.  And we did everything possible under the sun.  We learned, over time, that although we were able to do a lot of things and serve a lot of people, there were certain professions with which we resonated very well.  Additionally, we found there were certain types of contributions (organizational planning & structure) that we do really well.  Therefore, the markets we served changed, and were refined.

Keep in mind that while this exercise does take time, this will be the foundation and framework for whatever it is you are doing.  When building anything that will last, you must have a solid foundation.  A good foundation and complementary framework  is what makes anything survive.

What is a framework, you ask?  A framework is like your body’s skeleton, or the framing on a house or a building.  They provide the structure for everything else you will do.  Think about it: if it doesn’t fit within the framework, it doesn’t belong there.  Alternatively, if what you want to add will damage the framework, you need to find another solution.  When we talk about framework, we begin talking about what will keep you in place or on task once you have gotten the foundation down.  Consider this – once the framework is in place, you can begin adding all kinds of accoutrements – walls, floors and ceilings, in the case of a building.  It also provides support for any wires and pipes, windows and doorways.  Keep in mind – it will not be strong without the foundation!

When we discuss the framework for your goal or business, we are talking about identifying anything that could potentially strengthen or weaken the business or goal.  In business, we use a SWOT analysis to identify them.  These refer to internal Strengths, Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats. 

For example: Say we were building a high-speed rail system that runs from Boca Raton to the Grand Bahamas Island.  We have an understanding of our seven focus questions.  Now we are going to look at the SWOT:

Strengths:

  • We like the ideaclip_image002[5]
  • We believe in the idea

Weaknesses:

  • We need money – but we can raise it – lemonade stand?
  • We have no idea how to do it – but we can find people that do!

Opportunities

  • Other people will think it’s cool, too
  • Who  wouldn’t want to go the the Bahamas for the weekend?

Threats

  • Hurricanes and other natural occurrences could slow the building process
  • If we don’t build the tunnel right, it could flood

While this is an over-simplified version of the SWOT, we can see areas that we need to put our efforts into, and areas we need to work around.  Without having an understanding of what we can go really wrong, or what we can take advantage of, we could miss the boat, altogether.  We refer to this step as ensuring we are aware of our safety needs and can make good decisions with respect to how to address them.

Using the principals of focus and framework will help you not only set mission-oriented goals for your organization, but also, to push the boundaries of what you may have previously thought were reasonable.  Have a strong foundation and  framework does take some time and effort, but if done properly the rewards will far outweigh the costs.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, tho
ughts, 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].

� 2009  Aepiphanni Business Solutions

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Systems Thinking for Business: Survival

Whether you are starting your business from the ground up, or looking at strengthening your business, you are thinking about how your business will survive.  While you might say that you are simply going to provide goods and /or services to buyers, you are differentiating yourself from anyone else.  Your likelihood for success is slim to none.

What I always recommend to my clients, before even looking at goods and services is to look at several areas:clip_image002

  1. What type of leader are you?  It takes a leader to build an organization where none was.  It takes a leader to grow and organization.
  2. What is the organization about?  While you might rattle off a list of things that you will or won’t do, realize that the organization’s beliefs will help to dictate its existence.  Cumulatively, these are your belief statements: your company mission, vision and values.
  3. Who does your organization serve?  Originally, many businesses say, “we serve anyone, anywhere at any time.”  Well, think about the airline industry: would it make more sense to spend money accommodating people with heart problems or people who are afraid to fly?  No – they emphasize marketing to people in a certain age bracket who have some indication that they have flown before
  4. What void or need do you hope to fulfill?  This might come in terms of a product or service, or a set of products and or services.  You may also sell an ideal or an experience.  for example, a restaurant might have great food and great service, but some restaurants are actually selling an experience – the food and service are components of this.

This is the most basic needs for your organization, without which the organization will not last, and may as well not exist.  While organizations have moved forward without having well-defined belief statements, or adequate leadership or any of the others, they have suffered as a result, and many or them have had to replace a founder with a leader, reign the company in with a new set of belief statements, re-brand the company or reposition the organization, wasting valuable resources that could have been used to make the overall organization stronger.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you 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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