Posts

4 Main ‘PAINS’ Experienced By A Business Owner

All Business Owners Have PAIN’s.   Which one’s do you have?

 For the past 27+ years I have worked for, with or coached business owners / leaders. I recognize that each and every business is different and unique.  The clients I have served range from the single real estate agent to the Executives of a 2000 FTE  manufacturing firm.  Often, our efforts surround finding ways to increase efficiency, reduce time investment on projects or provide new and timely information have been the focused solutions.   This is apparent that they have PAINs that they would like to have eliminated from their lives.
We have recently began a partnership with Lead Forensics, a new and innovative technology solution that can provide real time solutions to many of the challenges clients have experienced.  Lead Forensics is the software that reveals the identity of your anonymous website traffic, and turns them into actionable sales leads.   This tool, can in real-time help to address those 4 pains.
Those 4 PAIN’s are… TIME, TEAM, MONEY and EXIT
time tredmillTIME – the amount of time being invested in the business has taken the owner ‘out of balance’.  Some of the key indicators of business owners with this pain are…
  • The business owner / leader is working 60+ hours a week
  • They will say things like…”my customers come to my business because of me and what I do”; or “if I wasn’t here, my customers would go somewhere else”
  • the owner is having family relationship troubles with spouse and / or children.
  • Health issues are surfacing with the owner – lack of sleep, anxiety, head aches, etc.
  • So much time is being spent cold-calling for prospective clients, with so few results.
TEAM – as a business grows, the only way to scale and grow consistently is to add employees.  But, because you are a good (add any product/service provider here), doesn’t make the owner a good ‘leader’.  Some of things we will hear when this is the pain is…
  • No matter who they hire, no one seems willing to follow directions
  • The person interviewed seems to be different that the person hired after a few weeks
  • When the owner’s not there, nothing ever gets done
  • No one has the same work-ethic as the owner does
  • The owner struggles to find sales and marketing people that can open doors and build relationships with our prospects.
9881157_sMONEY – this can be looked at as revenue, gross profit, net profit, cash-flow or finding the money to buy equipment, expand your facility or to fund a growth plan.  The things you will hear from the owners/leaders with this pain sound like…
  • There is never enough money in the checking account at the end of the month
  • Although we’re busier than we’ve ever been, the check book doesn’t show it
  • By the time I pay all the bills and my employees, there is nothing left for me.
  • I have opportunities to grow the business, but need money to invest and cant get it from the bank.
  • Marketing and Advertising in today’s marketplace is constantly changing.  We don’t seem to be getting a ROI on our investment.
EXIT – this pain is most common for business owners that are in their 50’s+.  They are seeing the potential of retirement, but have just realized that their biggest asset is their business.  You will hear them say things like…
  • How much is my business worth?
  • Who would be interested in buying my business? and how will I make that happen?
  • I’d like to retire, but who will run the business if I’m not here?
  • How do I convert the business I’ve built into cash for my retirement?
  • Making sure that we have a proven system for generating qualified leads will increase the value of my company… now I just need to figure out how to do that.
Advanced Business Coaching offers the principals, practices, tools and techniques to our clients to address all these PAINs.  We recognize that each of our clients are unique and special.   We customize the potential solutions to meet their particular situation and  their prioritized goals.
Over the next few weeks, we will look into each of these ‘PAINs’ in depth and share some potential solutions that have worked for our clients that asked us to help them overcome and remove these “PAINs’ from their lives.
If you’d like to learn more about ways you can remove one, or all of these PAIN’s from your business, contact Michael Stelter @ Advanced Business Coaching at 262.293.3166.  or you can email Michael at Michael@ABCBizCoach.com

5 Tips To Run A Great Meeting

Leadership StylesYou’ve probably read an article in the last year or so that detailed the dark side of meetings – lost time, lowered productivity, wasted effort – the list goes on. And although there’s been much chatter, meetings are still happening in offices and on phones around the globe.  

But if meetings are such a waste of time and effort, why would any smart leader continue to hold them? They probably wouldn’t. The fact is – meetings can be a great use of time and effort when they’re well-run. To make sure your meetings are productive and effective, don’t forget to do these five things.  

1.    Provide Purpose & Agenda

For a meeting to be productive, you must have a purpose – why are you meeting? What is the desired outcome? With your purpose clearly defined, set an agenda that will enable you to produce that outcome. When your attendees understand the purpose of your meeting and how you’ll achieve the goal, it’s much easier to keep everyone focused on the task at hand. 

2.    Define Action Items & Project Owners

Every great meeting produces action items and each attendee should walk away with a clear idea of what they need to do next and when. If someone won’t be walking away with an action item, carefully consider if they need to be in the meeting or not. If they must, you’re probably expecting them to do something – even if it’s just to weigh in with ideas or consider what was discussed for their use. Whatever they are, define your expectations clearly for everyone involved.  

3.    Set an End Time & Keep It

If you don’t set an end time for your meeting, you run the risk of hosting a social hour, complaint tank, or otherwise off-track discussion session. Having an end time (and keeping it) will enable you to keep everyone on-topic. Bonus: it has also been suggested that time constraints have a positive impact on creativity.  

4.    Create the Right Environment

The best meetings create an environment where attendees are free to challenge each other and input creative, blue-sky ideas that won’t be immediately dismissed. Be sure all of your attendees understand that you want them to challenge and get creative so the best results can be produced. Also make it clear that meetings are to discuss and come up with solutions, not dwell on problems.  

5.    Make it Short or Take Breaks

If your meeting runs over a half hour, give attendees regular breaks. Every half hour is best, but if you can’t swing a break that often, provide at least one an hour – even if it’s just a few minutes. This will allow attendees to use the bathroom, stretch, grab a drink or snack, or answer that urgent email. Providing breaks will not only make attendees happier, but it will cut down on distractions during important discussions.  

Bottom Line 

Now that you know the five essentials of a great meeting, continuously fine tune your structure by testing out what works and what doesn’t. Before you know it, you’ll be running highly productive and effective meetings every time. Now get out there and banish the notion that meetings are a waste of time by making them great!
To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://abcgrowthacademy.com/guidedtour
To your success,
Michael Stelter

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our ABC E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.
If you would like learn more about how you can get help learning how to make your meetings more effective, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

The Power Of Different Personalities As Part Of Your Innovation Team

Leadership Styles
The success of Bell Labs illustrates the power of cross-functional collaboration. To innovate effectively companies must create multidisciplinary teams in which colleagues from different departments work together. In most companies, multidisciplinary teams are created using professional disciplines such as finance, technology, operations, sales and marketing. However, beyond this professional collaboration, it is also important to ensure that the teams we create are cross-functional in terms of personalities.
This article focuses on the make-up of Innovation teams for large businesses.  Great stuff for ‘the big guys’ but how can it impact the small business owner.
Most business concepts apply to all business and organizations but you need to filter the messages to make sure you account for the things that are limited to small businesses… time, resources and money.  Using this information to determine the types of people that may be most beneficial to your business can be important.
Tom Kelley of IDEO describes some characters for innovation teams that include the visionary, the troubleshooter, the craftsman, the entrepreneur and the technologist. A cross-functional team must have introverts and extraverts, analytical thinkers and creatives, serious intellectuals and fun-loving disruptors. These individuals, working together with mutual respect, will be more creative than a group of individuals who are highly similar and cohesive. Below is a list of eight personality types that an innovation teams should have:

• Miss Happy Go Lucky: This is the life the party. This individual makes sure the team is having fun while they work. Innovation requires elements of playfulness, especially during ideation. Miss Happy Go Lucky serves the role of resident mess-maker.

• Mr. Visionary Creative: Great ideas are also driven by creative vision. People who can see the world, not as it is, but as they would want it to be. Every team needs its dreamers and visionaries to fight for the creative ideals that underpin the product idea.

 Miss Pragmatic: But all dreams have to be checked against reality. The pragmatist makes sure we review our product idea and identify any risky assumptions. They also make sure we test these assumptions before we take our product to market.

• Mr. Analytical: Innovation is also about figuring out a sustainably profitable business model. Both in financial and operational terms, innovation teams need someone with an analytical mind. We are not only creating cool new things, we are building a business.

 Miss Get Stuff Done: But please! No analysis paralysis! Innovation is also about getting stuff done. A hard-driving team member pushes us to complete a minimum viable version of the product and ship it to the market early. We can figure out the rest as we go!

• Mr. Perfectionist: But let’s not be too hasty. Good quality products also ensure that we deliver value to customers in a manner that gets their loyalty to our brand. As learnings from the market inform our iterations, Mr Perfectionist serves as the quality assurance check for our product.

• Miss Consensus: With this cast of characters working together, team meetings can often become contentious. A team member that helps the team collaborate well is highly useful. As much as we want diverse opinions at the table, in the end we need to make decisions and move forward positively as a team.

• Mr. Supportive: Finally, teams consist of people with different needs. There is an element of innovation teamwork that is about supporting and encouraging each other. For example, failing fast can only work in teams where individuals feel safe to make mistakes.

These eight personalities are important to have in innovation teams. Although the assumption is that you will get these personalities by having people from different professions in the room, this is not inevitably the case. Furthermore, it is not that every team should have exactly eight people with these personalities. It is possible for people to have strengths in more than one of these areas. The point is to make sure we go beyond creating teams based on professional discipline alone and also consider the mix of personalities among the team members.

If you would like learn more about how you can get the right people to work together to create a powerful and effective innovation  plan  for your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.