Value

The Price/Value Matrix

Your customers purchase from you, or from anyone or any company for that matter, because they have a need or a want, that is a given. You will hear until the cows come home that you must sell your product or service to help your consumer overcome whatever their pain is. The greater the pain, the greater value they place on overcoming that pain. You can see that every time there is a gas shortage; the prices for gas go up.

When looking at our company, the problem people come to us with is how to overcome their obstacles to growth, whether that is through sales, marketing, changing their business model or creating an expansion plan. The pain they have is the obstacle. However, notice there is another dimension – they want to get to a better place. So it isn’t a single message or single desire that they would have with us. Either approach has been appropriate to win new business.

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Backing it Up | Extraordinary Business

Absolutely Terrible Telecom Co. One of the world’s largest telecom agencies has the habit of boasting about how big they are, how fast they are and that sort of thing.  They tend to buy up competition and technology at what seems to be an alarming rate and have been given leeway to dominate the marketplace.  Interestingly, despite its boasts, it still has one of the highest consumer dissatisfaction rates in the world.  You have to ask yourself: how successful could the company be if they put more effort into lowering the customer service?

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Asleep at the Wheel | Extraordinary Business

Have you ever walked into an establishment and felt like you were interrupting the employees from doing…nothing.  The place might be clean, even sterile, the lights adequate, but not quite bright, and the customers in the place quiet, too quiet.

You can’t help but excuse the place, “Well, I am here just to pick up a widget or two,” knowing that if there was another place you could get it, you would be there in a heartbeat.  Nonetheless, out of curiosity, you begin looking for the management, and you see a slightly disheveled individual, who appears dead on his feet, and moves with all of the intensity of watching paint dry.

Asleep at the wheel.  Nobody is steering the ship.  This phenomenon is a JOB phenomenon.  It is what happens in a business when their is no enthusiasm for what is going on.  There is no vision, nothing to hope for.  Nothing that makes anyone in the place jump out of the bed Monday morning and say, “Gee, I can’t WAIT to get to work!”

How about your organization: are you and your team asleep at the wheel?  What are your stakeholders thinking about your business, your products or your services?  Are you one of those that thinks that you are so good that you don’t have to run a decent business?  Are you so focused on the bottom line that you take the commitment out of the business?

To stand out in the marketplace, to build an extraordinary business, you’ve got to put the time and energy into creating a committed culture in your organization.  Characteristics (and benefits!) of committed cultures include:

  1. A commitment to quality and consistency
  2. Pride in the workplace
  3. Shared commitment to the organization’s success
  4. Shared vision
  5. A unified mission, meaning one that all employees can embrace
  6. Clear and open communication
  7. Free-flowing ideas and growth
  8. Passion for (internal and external) customers
  9. Low turnover
  10. High attraction rates for high quality talent
  11. Trust and openness
  12. Growth

While this is not an overnight change, it is one wherein the benefits far outweigh the costs.  Looking back at organizations that have done exceptionally well, you’ll see leaders that were committed to their employees, their growth and interests, and employees who were committed to growing the organization.  You’ll see teams that are awake at the wheel.

Be committed to your employees.  Grow and extraordinary business.  Be awake at the wheel.

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: Company Culture,Employees,Management and Leadership,Business Growth,Extraordinary Business,Mission,Vision

 

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Asleep at the Wheel | Extraordinary Business

Have you ever walked into an establishment and felt like you were interrupting the employees from doing…nothing.  The place might be clean, even sterile, the lights adequate, but not quite bright, and the customers in the place quiet, too quiet.
You can’t help but excuse the place, “Well, I am here just to pick up a widget or two,” knowing that if there was another place you could get it, you would be there in a heartbeat.  Nonetheless, out of curiosity, you begin looking for the management, and you see a slightly disheveled individual, who appears dead on his feet, and moves with all of the intensity of watching paint dry.
Asleep at the wheel.  Nobody is steering the ship.  This phenomenon is a JOB phenomenon.  It is what happens in a business when their is no enthusiasm for what is going on.  There is no vision, nothing to hope for.  Nothing that makes anyone in the place jump out of the bed Monday morning and say, “Gee, I can’t WAIT to get to work!”
How about your organization: are you and your team asleep at the wheel?  What are your stakeholders thinking about your business, your products or your services?  Are you one of those that thinks that you are so good that you don’t have to run a decent business?  Are you so focused on the bottom line that you take the commitment out of the business?
To stand out in the marketplace, to build an extraordinary business, you’ve got to put the time and energy into creating a committed culture in your organization.  Characteristics (and benefits!) of committed cultures include:

  1. A commitment to quality and consistency
  2. Pride in the workplace
  3. Shared commitment to the organization’s success
  4. Shared vision
  5. A unified mission, meaning one that all employees can embrace
  6. Clear and open communication
  7. Free-flowing ideas and growth
  8. Passion for (internal and external) customers
  9. Low turnover
  10. High attraction rates for high quality talent
  11. Trust and openness
  12. Growth

While this is not an overnight change, it is one wherein the benefits far outweigh the costs.  Looking back at organizations that have done exceptionally well, you’ll see leaders that were committed to their employees, their growth and interests, and employees who were committed to growing the organization.  You’ll see teams that are awake at the wheel.
Be committed to your employees.  Grow and extraordinary business.  Be awake at the wheel.
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: Company Culture,Employees,Management and Leadership,Business Growth,Extraordinary Business,Mission,Vision

 

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Muddy Footprints | Extraordinary Business

I have two big labs that love to play out in our backyard, which, thanks to them, has more mud then grass.  When they come in the house, of course, their big paws are usually full of mud, so we (less than) gleefully wipe their paws each time when they come in so that they don’t get mud all over our light-colored carpet.

If you don’t know, mud on the carpet can be grounds for divorce, dismemberment or even death.  Therefore, mud on the carpet is a bad thing.

In the business world, we often meet many, many people.  People most often do business with other people.  Buying decisions often involve some level of emotion, which could mean that if someone doesn’t like you, they will probably not do business with you.  If they like you, they’ll probably make you first choice, and might refer you to others who might need your assistance.

No brainer there.

When you don’t treat people with the respect they

are do, i.e., treat people the way you would want to be treated, you are leaving muddy footprints on their lives.  Just the same, if your employees, partners and processes leave soiled carpets all over the place, the effect is the same as your personal lack of respect toward those people.

While you may have opportunity and the gifts of cleaning up the messes, think about the fact that these faux pas are costing you money – directly or indirectly, meaning that a) people won’t do business with you, which affects your direct revenues, and b) the time you spend cleaning up the messes means that you cannot service another client or otherwise grow the business – again, missing out on revenues.

The remedy, of course, is to make sure that your paws, and those of every member of your business’s, are clean.  While there is an upfront cost to developing, training and monitoring your business’s methods of doing business, the payoffs could be astronomical.

Don’t settle for being ordinary.  The results will be ordinary.  Be extraordinary.  Run an extraordinary business.

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: Relationships,Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership,Employees,Customers,Messes,Business,Service,Revenue

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Muddy Footprints | Extraordinary Business

I have two big labs that love to play out in our backyard, which, thanks to them, has more mud then grass.  When they come in the house, of course, their big paws are usually full of mud, so we (less than) gleefully wipe their paws each time when they come in so that they don’t get mud all over our light-colored carpet.

If you don’t know, mud on the carpet can be grounds for divorce, dismemberment or even death.  Therefore, mud on the carpet is a bad thing.

In the business world, we often meet many, many people.  People most often do business with other people.  Buying decisions often involve some level of emotion, which could mean that if someone doesn’t like you, they will probably not do business with you.  If they like you, they’ll probably make you first choice, and might refer you to others who might need your assistance.

No brainer there.

When you don’t treat people with the respect they

are do, i.e., treat people the way you would want to be treated, you are leaving muddy footprints on their lives.  Just the same, if your employees, partners and processes leave soiled carpets all over the place, the effect is the same as your personal lack of respect toward those people.

While you may have opportunity and the gifts of cleaning up the messes, think about the fact that these faux pas are costing you money – directly or indirectly, meaning that a) people won’t do business with you, which affects your direct revenues, and b) the time you spend cleaning up the messes means that you cannot service another client or otherwise grow the business – again, missing out on revenues.

The remedy, of course, is to make sure that your paws, and those of every member of your business’s, are clean.  While there is an upfront cost to developing, training and monitoring your business’s methods of doing business, the payoffs could be astronomical.

Don’t settle for being ordinary.  The results will be ordinary.  Be extraordinary.  Run an extraordinary business.

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: Relationships,Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership,Employees,Customers,Messes,Business,Service,Revenue

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Welcome to 2010

Happy New Year!

The title sounds like the ominous beginning to a Science Fiction novel or movie from years gone by.  They probably would have said something about the advances in technology, such as deep space flight, robotics and artificial intelligence and cellular phones.  They would also talk about society – usually in terms of its degradation: World War III, the depletion of the Ozone, the scarcity of fossil fuels or the Greenhouse effect resulting in World Wide flooding.

I suppose this gives us something to be thankful for: we have advanced, tremendously, technologically.  Our lives have many, many comforts that didn’t even exist 20 years ago.  At the same time, our society has not destroyed itself, nor does it appear to being on the brink of doing so.  Are there problems?  Yes, of course.  Are there technologies that we need to have developed in the next 10 years or so in order to avoid more doomsday prophesies?  Of course.  But we live in the present, and can be thankful for what we have.

As a business leader, in both scenarios discussed, we saw two patterns that we need to adapt into our businesses in order to avoid disruption or our own ventures:

1)  Continuous advancements.  We need to continue to find ways to fulfill our mission and reach toward the company vision.  Notice, I did not say that we need to find ways to make more money.  I promise you that done properly, money will be the byproduct of a well-run organization that has clear focus on their mission and vision.  When we talk about advancements, that doesn’t necessarily mean find a bunch of products or services to dump on your target audiences, but rather, through communication and observation, determine what their growing or changing needs are and find ways to address them that make sense for your business.

2)  Environmental awareness.  As a business leader, knowing what is going on in and around your business is fundamental to getting to and remaining at the top of your game.  This is part of what launches us from being ordinary to being extraordinary.  It requires regular business assessments, business analysis and adjustments to your business plan.  It requires understanding what your changing (dynamic) market is in need of, how to connect with them and how to get them to purchase your offerings.  In order for your actions to be most effective, it must be strategic, rather than a hodgepodge of mediocre flailings.

So, extraordinary business leader, as we progress into 2010, take some time to systematically assess your business – where it is in its lifecycle, what its needs are and what goals you have for it for the year.  Look at your market and your industry and try to determine what needs and trends are approaching and how you might meet those new needs or address new trends.  Finally, create a strategic plan.  Knowing where you are going is one thing.  Knowing how to get there is the foundation of success.

Happy New Year!  I wish you the most in 2010!

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: Happy New Year,Business decisions,Business path,business planning,business strategy,extraordinary,management and leadership,mission,strategic planning,values,vision
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Handling the Holidays

Interestingly, over the past five or ten years or so, there has been increased controversy over the holiday season.  People are becoming afraid to offend someone, and thus avoid saying things such as “Merry Christmas,” and the like.  Business leaders seem to have great contention over how to decorate offices, send holiday cards, etc.

As a business leader, this is a decision that you will have to make for your company.  Your team is going to be looking to you to see what type of character you have: Will you make a decision?  Will you stand behind the decision?  How will you address people’s concerns or objections to your decision?  Your strength or weakness at this time will leave an impression on your team.

As you make your decision, I offer these thoughts:Holiday Peace

  1. Remember what is most important.  You may find that taking an opportunity to celebrate your team or your community might be more important goal than emphasizing a holiday. 
  2. Consider your company’s values.  If your company’s values are to embrace individuality and spirituality in the workplace, make sure that your holiday message reflects these values.
  3. Keep in mind that it is important to make a decision, and stick with it. As I mention, this is one of those character building/character assassination opportunities.  Your short term decision could have a long-term impact.
  4. Don’t be insensitive to your team.  If you choose to have a Christmas Party, and present it as such, find a way to celebrate those who do not wish to participate.  Ensure that they know that they are valued members of the team.
  5. Don’t over-do it.  Over emphasizing your beliefs or practices could prove to be disruptive and offensive.  If your company chooses to celebrate Christmas, a tree might be nice.  Forcing everyone to walk around in Elf and Santa costumes might be over-doing it.  Your tea
  6. m will help you determine what is appropriate.  Consider your customers.
  7. Involve the team in the decision-making process.  If you decide to have a celebration of some sort, you’ll want to make sure that they at least have an opportunity to be involved in the decision.  Word of caution: you may wish to narrow down options to several before presenting them to the team.  Otherwise, you may find that they are going in many different directions.
  8. Don’t be afraid to give: give to your team, give to your community, give to your other stakeholders.  Find ways to give memorably.  At this time of year, people have expectations, whether they say it or not.
  9. Don’t be ashamed to receive.  Some of your stakeholders will be giving to you, as well.  Show your appreciation, not just for the gift or the card, but also, for the thought.
  10. Don’t be ashamed to wish people a Merry Christmas, Happy, Hanukah, a Happy Kwanza, Happy New Years, Happy Holidays, or whatever strikes your fancy.  This is your way of showing someone that you care about them.  It is like saying, “thank you for being alive and part of my life.”  There will be those that don’t or cannot appreciate it.you cannot help that, and you cannot change them.  Simply smile and disengage.

So, all said, I wish you a Merry Christmas season, and offer you the kindest thoughts and blessings throughout the new year.  I hope that you will continue to learn and grow to create an extraordinary future for your business.  May God bless you in all that you do.

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: Holidays,Business Decisions,Employees,Christmas,Extraordinary Leadership,Management and Leadership,Transparency,Values,vision
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Value Added: Did You Get What You Came For?

Can you define, specifically, what value your activities bring to yourself and to others?  Can you answer the question of why you do certain things, who it will benefit and what you expect the results to be?  Are you conscious enough to walk away from a time investment or project that detracts from the value you bring?

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