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Fundamentals

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nine out of ten small business owners started their business because they were good at creating or delivering a product or service
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FUNDAMENTALS

 

 

I've learned by trial and error (what my Dad calls the 'school of hard knocks') what works and what doesn't; and just as importantly what is necessary and what isn't. No academic theory here. I simply teach what you need to know and coach you until it becomes second nature.

 

This page is a snapshot of the fundamentals.

 

FIRST

 

There are three basic functions in every business. These are:  

 

1. the creation and delivery of the enterprise's products and services

2. the  sales and marketing efforts that form the lifeline between the business and its customers

3. 'everything else'   administration

 

 

SECOND

 

There are three necessary prerequisites for a successful enterprise: I call them the

Pillars of Profitable Enterprises (TM)

ii.
 
1. goals/vision/mission/leadership
2. measurements: financial & kpi’s
iii3. effective organization/people processes
 
Every troubled business exhibits weakness in at least two of the three Pillars. If you answered 'yes' to four or more of the questions in the self-diagnosis section of this website and yet do not believe you have issues with two or more of the Pillars, you are kidding yourself.   

 

THIRD 

 

Let's face it: it's all about driving results to the bottom line. And the process of deciding how much effort and where to focus it can be overwhelming.

 

TheProfit Pipeline (TM) Is a powerful tool that breaks your business into six discrete pieces so that immediate, specific and measurable actions can be taken to positively impact your bottom line. Because 'driving results' is broken down into discrete pieces it becomes manageable, and measurable.

 

 

From 'prospects' through to 'net profit' I will show you how to leverageincremental improvements into significant gains at the bottom line. Six incremental 1% improvements in different areas of your business can make a 55% improvement in the bottom line.

 

That's what I mean by manageable and measurable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

products & services

 

As important as it is to define exactly what it is you do, my experience indicates it is equally - perhaps more - important to define what it is you do not do. Over time, small businesses accumulate an ever-increasing portfolio of extraneous and energy-sapping products and services that make it difficult for customers and employees to understand the business. Can your employees describe in their own words what it is your company does, and doesn't, do? If they can't, it's a safe bet the general public can't either.

 

In my experience, nine out of ten small business owners started their business because they were good at creating or delivering a product or service. And eight out of those nine owners quickly discovered they knew little or nothing about the other two functions. 

 

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sales and marketing

 

Who are your target customers, and who are not? Who are your competitors, and who are not? What makes your company unique? What initiatives bring in prospects, and in what numbers compared to other initiatives? What sales processes work best, and how do you ensure they are being followed? Are you optimizing your pricing? What is your client lifecycle and how do you get them to come back and spend more - more often? The big question is usually 'how do we build sales?' 

 

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administration 

(everything else)

 

For lack of a better term, I call this 'administration'. These are the systems and processes that 99% of small business owners must learn the hard way.Ignore these processes and the business underperforms, sucking up time and effort that should go toward the first two functions.  

 

How do you recruit, hire, train, motivate and retain good employees? How do you find (and manage) a public accountant, lawyer and banker? What are KPI's and how can they reduce your personal work week? How do you forecast your cash requirements and manage actual cash flows? What do you do when customers don't pay on time? What are the important parts of your financial statements and how do you read them?                 

 

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