Better Business Focus – December 2019

You can now download the December issue of Better Business Focus.  Please feel free to share Better Business Focus with your friends or colleagues.

Better Business Focus is the essential key for business owners and managers. It achieves that by focusing on the way in which successful businesses compete and manage their organisations.  It focuses on how people are recruited, coached and developed; on how marketing and selling is undertaken in professional markets as well as in markets with intense competition; on how technology and the Internet is reshaping the face of domestic and home business; and on how people are being equipped with new skills and techniques. In short, it offers expert inspiration for a better business.

This Month’s articles include:

Your next career: Developing self-worth with others? As more and more people live through times of change and insecurity; many find that the roots of self-esteem do not go deep enough. Showing them how to cultivate deeper roots of unconditional self-worth will be a valued service to leaders, independent professionals, universities, colleges and millions of people in career transition. Could this be your next career?

Focus on the problem, not the customer’s request: The best innovations solve real problems. They provide solutions that customers are prepared to pay money for. So, it seems to make sense that we should listen carefully to customer requests.

If you want to get paid to speak – here’s how: There’s all sorts of advice on how to be a better speaker, but advice on how to be a professional speaker is pretty dismal. Here are 8 steps for building a sustainable business as a professional speaker.

How to attract and recruit the right service talent: There is a time-tested maxim: what you think about expands in life, and what you focus on becomes clearer. What you see and say repeatedly will shape the way you live today and who you will become tomorrow.

Creative clarity: Finding focus in the midst of ambiguity: I had the opportunity recently to hear Jon Kolko, Partner, Modernist Studio give a Keynote at the Back End of Innovation (BEI) conference on Creative Clarity: Finding Focus in the Midst of Ambiguity.

Drive out fear for innovation to flow: The primary impediment to innovation is fear, and the prime directive of any innovation system should be to drive out fear.

The secrets to effective, efficient ideation: We all want to win the never-ending race for great, effective, profitable new ideas. We want these ideas without a huge effort, without a huge risk and without a huge investment. We also want ideas with impact, that are rapidly actionable and ideally that utilize mostly existing resources and relationships.

The Gladwell trap: I recently bought a book that I was really excited about. It’s one of those books that’s created a lot of buzz and it was highly recommended by someone I respect. The author’s pedigree included Harvard, Stanford, McKinsey and a career as a successful entrepreneur and CEO.

Looking after your mental health when you work for yourself: Thursday 10th October 2019 was World Mental Health Awareness Day, aiming to educate and raise awareness of mental health issues.

Top Dog: impress and influence everyone you meet: When you speak to important people (“Top Dogs”), how you feel inside impacts how impressive you are on your outside.

Want a viable future? Opportunities abound in the Common Good: What type of board member, CEO or sales leader are you? Are you stuck in the day-to-day looking to meet your monthly and quarterly targets, looking to maximise profit, shareholder return and your bonuses? OR Are you looking into the future to see what lies ahead ensuring there is a viable sustainable path for all to follow and participate in?

It’s much better to be different than it is to be better: This is a rallying cry to accountants and lawyers everywhere – you are in danger of being caught in the headlights and blinded. As business professionals, we think we have a pretty good idea of what it takes to run a successful professional practice. Attention to detail and a close eye on billing recovery rates are the benchmarks in an industry that is sadly still clutching onto the past.

Burst of Innovation – how to get and measure strategic thinking: As leaders, we know that it is critical to today’s changing times to think differently about what’s in front of us. We need to get out of “business as usual” and break through the status quo mindset to push our teams to get more innovation, growth, and new opportunities. That’s where strategic thinking comes in.

Assumptions kill opportunities: I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on a number of QBRs with my clients, and as an outside observer I’m struck by how common it is for salespeople to make untested assumptions that directly affect the accuracy of their sales forecasts and the outcomes of their sales opportunities.

Three rules for better decision making: The primary responsibility of management is to allocate resources in the way that best achieves business objectives. If there are three or four options to allocate resources, which is the best choice? What is the time horizon for the decision? Is it best to hire more people? Why not partner with a contract resource company? Build a new facility or add to the existing one? No right answers, but all require a decision.

Run wildly effective meetings with this one powerful template: Getting the most out of meetings is easy if you know how to effectively design them.

The importance of seeing it coming: In my travels this year, the one comment I’m hearing is “we just didn’t see it coming.”

How to find your work-life balance by following these 8 steps: Anyone who balances a full-time job and a demanding home life knows the challenges and importance of finding time to rest and recharge.

8 ways to differentiate your business: Small businesses have many marketing challenges. One of these challenges is how to determine what makes their business stand out from the competition. Being able to differentiate your business and communicating your unique capabilities that your competition does not have is paramount to attracting your ideal client.

Low cost marketing strategies: Some of the most effective marketing strategies are either free or are low cost. It takes just a little imagination! Here are some examples for you to consider.

Would you have the guts to do this? Maybe you sometimes think I’m talking piffle but are too polite to say so. Thank goodness I do get it right every now and then.