Strategic Partnerships

1+5=25

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+5=25.

Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. We are the trusted advisor to those seeking forward-thinking operational and strategic solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth.

If you are ready to discuss how Aepiphanni can help you with business strategy, overcoming challenges to growth or any number of business solutions for your business, whether a small, growing or established company, contact us directly or submit a request for a complimentary Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD an Extraordinary company.

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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Taxes,Business Leadership,Strategic Partnerships
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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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Building Relationships: Communications Strategy | Extraordinary Business

Your stakeholders are the MVP’s (Most Valuable Players) to your organization.  Without them, you’d have an interesting hobby rather than an organization that you are running.  When we refer to stakeholders, we are talking about anyone or business that stands to gain as a result of the success of your business, including:
•    Employees
•    Partners
•    Investors
•    Vendors
•    Your community
Keeping them in the loop about what is going on in your business serves to build trust, loyalty, commitment and familiarity with your business.  A communications strategy (not just a sell, sell, sell strategy) is one way to make sure that you do this.
How many emails do you get per day that are trying to sell you something?  How many “free” webinars and tele-calls and partnership offers, disguised as sales tools grace your inbox, even hourly?  Contrast that to the number of value-added items you receive.  Which are better received?
Your stakeholders would be best served by value-ads (things that would be beneficial to that stakeholder), such as those articles, introductions and podcasts that could help them do what they do, better.  Knowing that they can be in regular communication with you without being asked to purchase something helps to build trust, and encourages them to learn more about you.
On the flip side, getting involved with their organizations or them helps to strengthen the growing relationship.  You’ve probably heard those dating or relationship stories where one party spends most of their time talking about and focused on themselves.  In the same story, 99% of the time, you hear that the relationship fizzles.  It will be the same with your stakeholders: if you spend all of your time focused on yourself or your company, they get disinterested, quickly.
A strong communications strategy is balanced; it addresses all of your stakeholders, individually, it gives and receives information about them, it provides value-ads for each of your stakeholders.  It is a combination of a number of different contact methods, from broadcast to personal, and uses a number of different medium, from emails to telephone calls to e-newsletters or print newsletters to meetings to personal cards.
Your communication strategy is one of the tools that will help your business grow, exponentially.  Because it is designed as a strategy, with regular communication and follow-up, you can give yourself goals with respect to how many people you will communicate with over any certain time period, and can measure how effective your campaign is.  Since it focuses on deeper relationships with people an businesses, it will be more effective than advertising, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and a pretty logo.
Be extraordinary.  Build extraordinary relationships.
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: communications,employees,vendors,stakeholders,investors,strategy,business strategy,business growth,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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Building Relationships: Communications Strategy | Extraordinary Business

Your stakeholders are the MVP’s (Most Valuable Players) to your organization.  Without them, you’d have an interesting hobby rather than an organization that you are running.  When we refer to stakeholders, we are talking about anyone or business that stands to gain as a result of the success of your business, including:
•    Employees
•    Partners
•    Investors
•    Vendors
•    Your community
Keeping them in the loop about what is going on in your business serves to build trust, loyalty, commitment and familiarity with your business.  A communications strategy (not just a sell, sell, sell strategy) is one way to make sure that you do this.

How many emails do you get per day that are trying to sell you something?  How many “free” webinars and tele-calls and partnership offers, disguised as sales tools grace your inbox, even hourly?  Contrast that to the number of value-added items you receive.  Which are better received?

Your stakeholders would be best served by value-ads (things that would be beneficial to that stakeholder), such as those articles, introductions and podcasts that could help them do what they do, better.  Knowing that they can be in regular communication with you without being asked to purchase something helps to build trust, and encourages them to learn more about you.

On the flip side, getting involved with their organizations or them helps to strengthen the growing relationship.  You’ve probably heard those dating or relationship stories where one party spends most of their time talking about and focused on themselves.  In the same story, 99% of the time, you hear that the relationship fizzles.  It will be the same with your stakeholders: if you spend all of your time focused on yourself or your company, they get disinterested, quickly.

A strong communications strategy is balanced; it addresses all of your stakeholders, individually, it gives and receives information about them, it provides value-ads for each of your stakeholders.  It is a combination of a number of different contact methods, from broadcast to personal, and uses a number of different medium, from emails to telephone calls to e-newsletters or print newsletters to meetings to personal cards.

Your communication strategy is one of the tools that will help your business grow, exponentially.  Because it is designed as a strategy, with regular communication and follow-up, you can give yourself goals with respect to how many people you will communicate with over any certain time period, and can measure how effective your campaign is.  Since it focuses on deeper relationships with people an businesses, it will be more effective than advertising, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and a pretty logo.

Be extraordinary.  Build extraordinary relationships.

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: communications,employees,vendors,stakeholders,investors,strategy,business strategy,business growth,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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Strategic Partnerships | Extraordinary Business

The first time someone mentions the idea of a strategic partner, I would bet you kind of roll it around in your head, but don’t give it much thought – it feels like giving up part of your business, and that is the LAST thing you want to do. A quick segue – don’t let your ego cause your business to fail. By thinking you can do it all yourself, and that everything that has to be done can only be done by yourself will minimize both your capabilities – the abilities to get work done, and your capacity – the amount of work you can complete in a given time period.
Let me define a strategic partner. A strategic partner is a person or organization with similar values and beliefs to your own business, that has a specific complementary expertise that will manage a specific aspect or your business using their expertise for a fee. The short version is this person or organization will be your organization’s spouse. As long as you share a vision, are honest and respectful to each other and meet each other’s expectations (financial or service-related), you may have a long-term relationship.
Some things a partner won’t do would be to take you for granted, do something that would compromise your organization, not communicate with you and look out for its own self interest to the detriment of your organization. What makes it a partnership is that the honor and respect is reciprocal.
The quick and dirty – looking for a partner for your organization:

  • Know your business – start with a business assessment. Make sure you have an understanding of how the role you seek to fill impacts your business – cost, personal service, intimacy with your business, etc.
  • Know the role you wish to fill – qualifications, requirements, industry understanding, education, experience, etc.
  • Know your business beliefs – what does your organization stand for?
  • Know how much you can afford to invest or spend. While measuring the cost/benefit is often rather easy to do – strategic partners often save you much more money than you will spend, measure the actual cost in terms of actual dollars you can spend.
  • When looking for an organization, look for one that you can have a relationship, rather than one that will simply add you in its long list of clients. Remember, while you might like the sales person, most people change jobs every four years or so. The person you started with will probably only be with the organization for so long.
  • Keep your organization’s values in mind, and make sure that your partner’s values are similar.
  • Be clear on exactly what role you want filled. Neither party will benefit if both parties don’t have full understanding of expectations.
  • Have a statement of understanding or contract so that both parties will have clear understanding of what is expected. This is not in lieu of a handshake, if that is your standard operating procedures. The statement of understanding simply spells out what you expect of each other and serves as a point of reference as your organizations grow.
    Try to find an organization that is your “equal.” Remember, you want to be able to serve each other and understand each other’s needs and wants.
  • Understand that barter (trade) and cash are viable assets. Recommending each other’s products and services serve to strengthen relationships and strengthen the relationship. Communication should be often and ongoing. Remember, you are working in each others’ best interest.

Choosing a strategic partner should be taken no less likely then choosing an internal partner for your organization, or a spouse. If you chose wisely, both of your organizations can grow together. As Colin Powell once said, “None of us is as strong as all of us.”
Be extraordinary.  Develop extraordinary partnerships.
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: partners,extraordinary,leadership,management,business
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Strategic Partnerships | Extraordinary Business

The first time someone mentions the idea of a strategic partner, I would bet you kind of roll it around in your head, but don’t give it much thought – it feels like giving up part of your business, and that is the LAST thing you want to do. A quick segue – don’t let your ego cause your business to fail. By thinking you can do it all yourself, and that everything that has to be done can only be done by yourself will minimize both your capabilities – the abilities to get work done, and your capacity – the amount of work you can complete in a given time period.

Let me define a strategic partner. A strategic partner is a person or organization with similar values and beliefs to your own business, that has a specific complementary expertise that will manage a specific aspect or your business using their expertise for a fee. The short version is this person or organization will be your organization’s spouse. As long as you share a vision, are honest and respectful to each other and meet each other’s expectations (financial or service-related), you may have a long-term relationship.

Some things a partner won’t do would be to take you for granted, do something that would compromise your organization, not communicate with you and look out for its own self interest to the detriment of your organization. What makes it a partnership is that the honor and respect is reciprocal.

The quick and dirty – looking for a partner for your organization:

  • Know your business – start with a business assessment. Make sure you have an understanding of how the role you seek to fill impacts your business – cost, personal service, intimacy with your business, etc.
  • Know the role you wish to fill – qualifications, requirements, industry understanding, education, experience, etc.
  • Know your business beliefs – what does your organization stand for?
  • Know how much you can afford to invest or spend. While measuring the cost/benefit is often rather easy to do – strategic partners often save you much more money than you will spend, measure the actual cost in terms of actual dollars you can spend.
  • When looking for an organization, look for one that you can have a relationship, rather than one that will simply add you in its long list of clients. Remember, while you might like the sales person, most people change jobs every four years or so. The person you started with will probably only be with the organization for so long.
  • Keep your organization’s values in mind, and make sure that your partner’s values are similar.
  • Be clear on exactly what role you want filled. Neither party will benefit if both parties don’t have full understanding of expectations.
  • Have a statement of understanding or contract so that both parties will have clear understanding of what is expected. This is not in lieu of a handshake, if that is your standard operating procedures. The statement of understanding simply spells out what you expect of each other and serves as a point of reference as your organizations grow.
    Try to find an organization that is your “equal.” Remember, you want to be able to serve each other and understand each other’s needs and wants.
  • Understand that barter (trade) and cash are viable assets. Recommending each other’s products and services serve to strengthen relationships and strengthen the relationship. Communication should be often and ongoing. Remember, you are working in each others’ best interest.

Choosing a strategic partner should be taken no less likely then choosing an internal partner for your organization, or a spouse. If you chose wisely, both of your organizations can grow together. As Colin Powell once said, “None of us is as strong as all of us.”

Be extraordinary.  Develop extraordinary partnerships.

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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SSDD.and do it All, Again

“Same Stuff Different Day,” or versions of it has been made an infamous response to greetings, made famous by movies featuring employees of “corporate America.”   The people that use this phrase are those who begrudgingly go to work, push their pencils around all day, confuse “hardly working” with “working hard,” take long lunches, call off on sick days, etc.  In a nutshell, you might say they have a bad attitude about their work.

Interestingly, they (or you) could be one of those rotten apples that could spoil the whole bunch.  Think about it – if you were to come to work, each day, complain about everything that is going wrong with you, your spouse and your job, how motivating would those around you feel?  When people come to you with the same type of information, how motivated do YOU feel?Mid-adult businessman in shirt-and-tie looking at camera.

Thinking back to those movies – normally, at the end of the movie, the person who was famous for saying SSDD wasn’t saying it any longer.  Why was that?  If you notice, his or her focus had changed, resulting in a change in attitude.  The change in attitude made them more productive, able to accomplish more and appreciated by those at their workplace.

Is this just a movie phenomenon?  No – absolutely not.  The key is identifying the motivators.  It’s not just a question of doing something different, it’s a question of aligning skills, abilities and interests with a job.  For some, that means starting a new company.  For others, that means getting their business back on the original track it was on.  For others, still, that may look like finding a job that provides them with the motivation and focus they need to be successful.

No one person can tell you how to escape that mentality.  However, as a business leader, for your team to be effective, you’ve got to be effective, yourself.  Essentially, you need to be the C.E.O. of your life – the one that creates the vision, defines the mission, sets the goals, addresses the needs and drives the activities of your life.  If you are a spiritual person, this allows you to be more aligned with your spirituality.  If you are individualistic, you will probably get greater satisfaction out of your accomplishments.

Kris Cavanaugh, one of The Business Strategy People ™ , goes into the CEO mentality, in great detail, on her website – www.begintoshift.com.  Sign up for one of her e-courses or for a free coaching session.  Tell her you want to be the Boss.

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 Effectiveness,Attitude,Business Growth Strategies,Business Path,Employees,Strategic Partnerships,Transparency,Vision
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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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