Weekly Review June 26-July 2

Sundays are a time for review at Acceler8Success Cafe. With so much going on at Acceler8Success Cafe I know it’s easy to miss a newsletter or two. Possibly the week flew by without you noticing one our daily newsletter that seemingly got lost amongst the busy news feed.

Just like an experience at your local cafe, I really want Acceler8Success Cafe to be conveniently located when you desire or need to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and catch up on some reading. My goal is for Acceler8Success Cafe to be your virtual cafe. A place where you may frequently visit to enjoy a few minutes to yourself.

I’d like the experience to be memorable by providing learning opportunities, by presenting a different perspective & insight, by spurring thought & reflection, by encouraging interaction, and by spotlighting topics that, frankly, may not be as front and center as they should or need to be.

Acceler8Success Cafe is open for business seven days a week. For the benefit of current & aspiring entrepreneurs, this daily newsletter is delivered each morning. As a way to jumpstart the week ahead, a weekly review is delivered each Sunday morning listing and linking to the articles you might have missed during the previous week. My objective is to provide an opportunity for you to begin the new week informed and with ideas that possibly could accelerate your success.

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Welcome to the Sunday ‘Weekly Review Edition’ of Acceler8Success Cafe!

Networking is essential to success. So, why half-ass it?

Networking is your lifeblood for a long-term success. It’s often been said that one’s net worth is their network. Yet, many give it a half-assed attempt. Why do you think that is the case when effective, diligent networking produces positive results? If not immediately, then at some point, for sure.

Are we headed to the Hotel California… or, have we already arrived and cannot leave?

From the late-60s and through the 70s it was a different time for sure, but not really much different than today. War, drugs protests & riots, and recession made the headlines then as they do now. Is it a cycle, or is just a plethora of unsettled business that has lingered on for the past 50 years, a beast raising its ugly head now and again to keep our attention?

Treating Goals Like Utility Bills

Do your goals have due dates? Firm due dates similar to utility bills complete with a termination date, late fees, and disconnection notices? Could doing so create a sense of urgency? How about accountability?

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Top 5 Stories of Q2 at Acceler8Success Cafe

I’ve developed Acceler8Success Cafe to help current and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. I’m dedicated to entrepreneurial success at all levels. Whether to help others achieve work/life balance or to just be there to help someone pull out of a tailspin, my goal for Acceler8Success Cafe remains… to be a resource, on LinkedIn and across various social media to share information, to educate, and to provide an opportunity for interaction.

Work/Life Balance: Plan Accordingly

A long weekend is the perfect time to reset the clock on work/life balance. It’s a perfect time for some mental health maintenance. It really is a perfect time for new beginnings.

Thinking about investing in a franchise? Do your due diligence!

If you’re thinking about business ownership and considering whether franchising is right for you, the information shared at Acceler8Success Cafe will help you make an informed decision and provide clarity on your entrepreneurial journey.

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Are you ready to own a business?

Are you thinking of business ownership for yourself and learning how the choice of a franchise, startup or acquisition can “jump-start” the process and your earning potential? 

Well, Acceler8Success Group can help. Working with in-house small business professionals you will work one-on-one in determining if you’re right for buying a franchise, starting a new business, or acquiring an established business, and whether business ownership is right for you. 

If you determine that it is a path to consider, you will be introduced to various industry segments and ultimately, brands & companies that could be a “right-fit” option . . . all to help ensure your future success!

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Fear And Consequences of Failure: A True Story Retold Once Again

I’ve been asked time and again to post the following article that I’ve written about in 2011 regarding my own personal experience as a multi-unit franchisee where I succeeded at first, only to crash and burn later on. Over the years, this article has been posted on several of my blogs, picked up by numerous other blogs & online publications, and discussed on various podcasts. I have received numerous comments and inquiries about the article and my experience as well as individuals sharing their own personal experiences and requests for assistance. Although I cringe at the thought of any business failing, I admire and respect the fact that franchisees and franchisors alike (small business owners and individuals & teams running larger organizations as well) know when to put their pride aside and ask for assistance, and I always look forward to providing my experience and expertise to help determine a practical resolve to their problems. 

I’m proud to say this article has been instrumental in helping a number of businesses keep their doors open and work towards recovery. On the other hand, I’m also sad to say several businesses were not as fortunate, but at least the owners were able to exit with dignity and in few cases, with less liability than they previously thought possible. And, in one case, the business owner actually exited in the black when we were able to facilitate the sale of her business when she previously thought about just walking away. Considering the difficulties many small business owners, restaurant operators, franchisees, entrepreneurs and organizations have experienced over the past two years and with challenges continuing, I’m sharing this article once again.

Fear and Consequences of Failure (unedited from 2011)

I can personally relate to the trials and tribulations of owning franchise businesses as I have “been there and done that” and have experiences on both ends of the spectrum from achieving overwhelming success to dealing with bitter failure. I have definitely come to understand the fine line between success and failure in trying to nail down the American Dream.

I know it is sometimes counterproductive to even mention failure which is why the subject is always avoided and never discussed. Yet, it’s out there and it’s real. Once franchisees face the possibility of failure and its very real consequences, they can be motivated to understand that failure is not an option and commit 100% to a plan that addresses immediate problems and provides solutions accordingly. Even if it’s necessary for the plan to be quite drastic or aggressive due to prevailing circumstances, franchisees that unequivocally realize that failure is not an option are prepared for immediate action.

Let me emphasize one point. Franchisees should not view poor sales and disappointing profits as either potential or immediate failure and stick their heads in the sand. I made that mistake in the past and suffered the consequences. Instead, franchisees should build upon the courage it took to become a franchise business owner and recommit to success as they did when they first took the entrepreneurial plunge.

They need to remember their wishes, hopes and dreams that prompted the decision to own their own business. They need to remember the admiration of family and friends when they heard about the new venture. They need to remember the excitement when they actually signed the franchise agreement.

Unfortunately, there’s a very distinct possibility the root of the problem is embedded in the franchisee’s actions, non-conformity to the franchise system and unwillingness to face reality. However, as there was some shining light evident during the franchise award process, it may not be a totally lost cause if the franchisee is made to completely understand the implications and consequences of failure.

As franchisors are faced with the potential of closed units [during this recession] that may be the result of things out of their control, it’s imperative they don’t lose even a single unit just because a franchisee just flat out needs a snap back to reality. It’s worth the effort.

Let me clarify something. I failed as a franchisee. Not because of anything the franchisor did or didn’t do but because I put and kept my head in the sand and did not face reality. I could go on and make excuses about things that happened around me but at the end of the day I could have turned things around if I got my own head out of the sand, made some difficult decisions and took full, immediate responsibility.

Unfortunately, I was scared of failing. I was afraid of what people would think. I was ashamed at what other franchisees, ones I put in business, would think of me. I couldn’t even think of facing my family. All lame excuses for not taking responsibility. Maybe a hard swift kick you-know-where would have helped.

Did I mention that I previously ran the franchise company where I failed as a franchisee? Did I mention I was elected by fellow franchisees, President of the National Advisory Council? Did I mention that I owned and operated five franchise units?

If I had clearly understood the implications and consequences that were looming on the horizon and if I was able to get my big ego out of the way and address things head on, maybe I could have survived. Maybe I could have at least implemented an exit strategy that would have, in some small way, paid back the loyalty and support of my employees, family and friends.

In the end, I may not have survived because it may very well have been too late when and if I finally took action and responsibility. But maybe I could have at least exited with some dignity. Also, I could have saved many innocent people a great deal of hardship, embarrassment, wasted effort and ill-spent resources if I did face reality. This includes my family, my employees and yes, my franchisor; all who believed in me.

Yes, it was a tremendous learning experience but not one I would bestow or wish on anyone. Now, all I can do is to offer my experience to anyone in the franchise industry that needs assistance. As we [prepare to enter 2012] in the realms of economic uncertainty, I’m certain already difficult situations have been compounded but I’m confident a snap back to reality could only help. If just one franchise business is saved from the consequences of failure, then we’ve made progress. Progress we’ll continue to build upon.

What Would Pop Do?

I frequently think about a particular interview when I was asked my opinion about why some Private Equity firms fail in their efforts at operating what was originally considered a successful franchise system, while others take the system to even higher levels of success…

As you’ll see by my response below, I actually started at the end and worked backwards. But in the end, there is a common theme and it’s built around relationships, or lack thereof. Certainly, systems play a big part in the success equation but losing sight of “people” is a sure way to create a disconnect, even within the most perfect systems. My response and theory may be too simple for many to agree, but I do feel it lends towards the foundation of any successful business in one way, shape, fashion or form.

All too often you hear about founders buying out the Private Equity firm. I personally, know of two that have done so recently, and for different reasons. And even though only one was a franchise company, there was a common denominator in the circumstances that had developed within the organizations that led to the founders deciding to buyout the PEs… the “parent” company lost sight of its relationship with its “employees & franchisees” and the end-users, “clients & customers”.

My opinion is that “true” mom & pop operations are typically built upon the foundation of relationships, and it’s the strength of those relationships that build the foundation of a strong organization complete with common beliefs, values and mission. It definitely becomes an interdependent relationship. I have rarely seen that occur when PEs get involved where it’s more numbers, numbers, numbers. Don’t get me wrong, numbers are important. But it’s the lack of balance between driving towards making the numbers and building relationships that is often missing. Ultimately causing rifts in the organization with the customer or client feeling the lingering effect of diminishing service levels.

Let’s look at a similar situation that occurs all too often in a very typical mom and pop setting even without the inclusion of a PE in the equation. Mom and Pop have run a very successful business for 25 years. They have done quite well over the years, building the business very methodically, never taking on too much debt at any one time – but still progressive in growing to meet customer demands. Sure, their product or service stands out as excellent. But it’s the relationships they have fostered over the years that have truly made the business successful.

Looking ahead, Mom and Pop have structured a very strong succession plan. Junior has gotten his MBA and is primed to take over the business. In fact, Pop has insisted that Junior also work five or so years out in the corporate world so he can gain some hands-on experience, and mature. Mom and Pop have met with their attorney and CPA and have everything in place for Junior to take over the family business. What’s next is a situation that occurs all too often when Mom and Pop are no longer in the picture.

Junior, complete with new ideas, a wealth of education, and some successful business experience, begins operating the business. He introduces new technology, replacing the antiquated systems that had been in place since day one. Junior streamlined operations, improved inventory control, and basically tweaked here and there to the point that the business appeared to be transformed to a business that appeared bigger than it was – almost like it was a part of a national chain.

Initially, customers loved the transformation and the buzz within town was full of praise and admiration for the family. But what transpires over the next few years as things begin to change as the business becomes less personal and more structured is actually the beginning of the end.

Strict policies have been put in place for both customers and employees. Product and service lines have become more defined, but at the expense of some customer favorites being eliminated. Customer service, having become more automated has reduced the necessity of a large staff. In-store signage has taken over where courteous employees once stood. Well, the list goes on… to the point of the business losing sight of people and relationships. Employee turnover continues to increase. Customers’ faces are no longer familiar. And, when a true national chain opens on the edge of town, foot-traffic starts to diminish.

You see, with all the great succession planning that Mom and Pop painstakingly put into place, they missed a key component to the success of the business. And when Junior transformed the business, he also lost sight of that key component. It basically comes down to WWPD… “What Would Pop Do?”

WWPD is basically the relationship part of the business. To put it simply, Pop knew when to put his arm around an employee. Pop knew when to come out from behind the counter. Pop knew how to make a customer feel special. Pop knew to carry certain items that some of his “regulars” loved. And, again, the list goes on… Pop knew, but Junior didn’t. It’s the classic example of the disconnect between WWPD and MBA, and it’s a similar disconnect between a founder-run business and a PE-operated business.

Now, I’m not saying that it can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done… meaning the sale of a successful business to a PE. Absolutely, it’s the American Way! Instead, along with the financial and legal succession plan needs to be a visionary succession plan that basically outlines and teaches, “What Would Pop Do?”

So, in addressing the original question, let’s just insert Mom and Pop for the franchise, the employees and customers for the franchisees, and Junior for the PE… and the scenario fittingly plays out.

Acceler8Success Cafe Small Business Weekly

Small Business Weekly

Are You an Entrepreneur? The Answer Might Surprise You! (credit: addicted2success.com)

They don’t wait to be told what to do, or for conditions to be perfect, or to be handed the resources they need on a platter. In the spirit of a famous slogan, they just go out and do it. End of story. Sounds simple, right? But it’s not an easy process by any means.

It’s this kind of spirit that sees success as inevitable after hundreds of failures, rejections and setbacks. It’s this kind of spirit that enables the entrepreneur to pick themselves up off the floor, dust themselves off, and start all over again, even where the outcome is uncertain. It’s this kind of spirit that can hold a dream in perfect suspension in the imagination, believing in it even in the face of all odds, until the day it’s there in solid reality.

And the best part? You don’t even have to be building your own business to have entrepreneurial spirit. You can be working to transform a business – someone else’s business, or even the ‘business’ of a non-profit, university or government. This is called being an intrepreneur.

Admittedly this can be extremely challenging. You often won’t have control over all the resources you need. However, don’t forget our definition! Entrepreneurs progress with determination towards their goals despite not having the resources under their control. That’s the entrepreneurial way.

Read more HERE.

4 Keys to Growing Yourself as an Entrepreneur (credit: startupmindset.com)

If you are considering the entrepreneurial journey, then you may have already weighed many of the pros and cons in taking on this new venture. From the financial aspect and its commitment, to the hours of hard work and personal time sacrificed, to finally the personnel and logistics that goes into a company, the entrepreneur’s path is not an easy one.

However, what’s the fun in taking the easy path in life all the time? Entrepreneurship is a challenge, one that can be daunting due to the weight of its expectations in the final result being a success for both yourself and the people you serve and employ. Regardless of all the scare tactics one can tell themselves when thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, there is so much more this journey offers than just a monetary benefit.

Becoming an entrepreneur is not just about the hard work you put into opening a business, but also about the personal growth one endures as well. The path of entrepreneurship is one that can test an individual in many ways, but ultimately, teaches invaluable life lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom or at a seminar.

Here are some examples where becoming an entrepreneur can grow a person in ways that one never thought possible, and why experience is so crucial in becoming a better leader and boss.

Read more HERE.

Ready or Not: My Experience Launching a Side Hustle in 121 Days (credit: success.com)

The handwritten check arrived in a plain envelope. I signed and deposited it right away. Normally I would have then shredded it. But not this one. I’m saving this one.

It’s from my friend Fred “Honey Pot” Williams, a 61-year-old gastroenterologist and beekeeper, and it’s the first revenue from a side hustle I started with another friend, the first check I’ve gotten since graduating college for producing anything other than words. It feels like the first check of the rest of my life.

That’s certainly an overstatement. But I’m excited to stretch out into something new and for conceiving, planning and executing the first product: an adventure I dreamed up called 50-50-50 in which Honey Pot, eight others and I hiked 50 miles, biked 50 miles and canoed 50 miles, all in one five-day weekend. The 50s were a hook to celebrate my 50th birthday and just happened to form a great marketing shtick for an adventure trip. 

I’ve had a thousand half-baked side hustle ideas; this is the first one I’ve allowed to cook until it was edible. The difference between all those half-baked ideas and this delicious one is simple: passion. I wanted, needed, had to try this one. 

Life’s too short to pursue things you don’t love. If you’ve got that idea—that challenging, exciting, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head-idea—I urge you to stop thinking about it, stop daydreaming about it, and start doing it

Maybe you can learn from my journey. Here’s how it went.

Read more HERE.

Have a great week. Make it happen. Make it count!

Learn about Acceler8Success Group services & resources for current and aspiring entrepreneurs by visiting our website at Acceler8Success.com.

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Franchise

With the Great Resignation still in full swing, a lot of people are choosing to take control of their personal and professional future by exploring entrepreneurship. 

Of those who realize their entrepreneurial potential many choose owning a franchise as the vehicle to take them from employment to entrepreneurship due to the already proven business model and built-in, ongoing support system, among other benefits.

If becoming a franchisee seems like the right path for you, follow the tips below to find the perfect opportunity.

1. Keep an open mind, then focus. No one wakes up and says, “I want to be in the septic tank industry,” but I know someone making a lot of money and meeting his lifestyle goals doing just that. The bottom line is: Don’t rule out a business without learning or seeing what the day-to-day will look like.

It’s important to find a franchise that allows you to reach your desired income, lifestyle, wealth and equity goals. For instance, think about a mom returning to the work force who knows she wants to interact with children on a daily basis. There are hundreds of options that allow her to do just that. Now, she needs to decide if she would like to be hands on as a teacher or if she would rather manage a facility that tutors children in math. Deciding between the two is easy if she considers which day-to-day position she would prefer and how that will impact her other goals.

2. Be proactive with your research. After you’ve determined what role you want in a franchise, it’s important to start scouting different options. Physically visit many different franchise locations to see if there is a void in the marketplace and start thinking strategically about how you could fill it.

Next, browse the web to see what is available in other areas and determine whether or not it will be a fit in your community. For example, if your neighborhood has many well-run restaurants but none dedicated to ethnic food, it may be time to look for Mexican franchise restaurants within your budget. 

3. Make sure the franchisor has experience. Before signing on to a franchise, it is essential to ask the franchisor about the executive team and its past industry experience. A potential franchisee should look for a company that has a corporate store — or better yet several — that have seen success that can be replicated. If this isn’t the case, find out if the company leaders have had significant experience at another franchise and are now applying that knowledge to this concept. 

4. Reach out to other franchisees. When asking other franchisees about their experience, it’s important to take the good with the bad and to examine a large sample size before making a statement about the franchise in general. I call this the “dilution factor.” If one franchisee says they can’t turn a profit at their store, make sure it isn’t because they refuse to clean the bathrooms and their customer service is lacking. By talking to a wide array of people you can get the best feel for the franchise as a whole.

5. Read the franchise disclosure document carefully. The first thing to look at is how much a franchise would cost to purchase. If the money is there, then check out “item 19,” which lays out the financial performance representation. Make sure you have a financial advisor who can look at that item with you and see the type of profit a franchisee can make on average.

Finally, take a look at the post-termination clause in the agreement. I am a big believer in exit strategies, because sometimes you may later find a franchise is not the right fit and sometimes things just happen. In any case, it’s important to protect yourself should there be a situation where you want to disembark from the franchise. 

Author’s Note: If you’ve been thinking about exploring business ownership and live in and around the Orlando area, then you will not want to miss The Great American Franchise Expo March 26-27 at the Orange County Convention Center and April 9-10 in Miami at Miami Airport Convention Center. Learn about future dates at FranExpoUSA.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Small Business Weekly

Small Business Weekly is the weekly edition of Acceler8Success Cafe newsletter on LinkedIn. Moving forward, the newsletter will transition from a weekly to a daily publication. It will then be shared here on Acceler8Success Cafe blog for the benefit of our subscribers. We certainly do not want to leave our loyal followers behind. If you like what you see upon previewing this new content, please take a few minutes to subscribe so the blog will be in your email each morning. If you would, please also share with your friends & colleagues. It’d be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Small Business Weekly

Number of Women in Franchising Has Grown Each Year Since 2016 (credit: 1851franchise.com)

There has never been a better time to be a woman business owner. 

For Women’s History Month, Franchise500’s Jeff Cheatham offered a look at the impressive strides females have made in the franchising industry, which indicates a promising future for women in the industry. 

First, Cheatham looked at how much the rate of women-owned businesses has grown in the last half-century. The U.S. Census Bureau started keeping records of female entrepreneurs in 1972, when just 400,000 companies were women-owned. Today’s statistics show over 13 million businesses owned by women, a staggering 3,150% increase. Women now account for about one-third of small business owners and franchisees, Guidant Financial reports.

When it comes to interest in franchise ownership, women are currently outnumbering men in exploring possible investments, Franchise Insights reports. And that trend shows no sign of slowing; the number of women becoming franchisees has risen steadily for the last five years.

About 33% of all female business owners and franchisees have been running their operations for more than a decade, the Guidant Financial data shows.

As gas prices rise, small business owners slam Biden’s ‘shortsighted’ energy policies: ‘Out of touch’ (credit:foxbusiness.com)

The pressure that the coronavirus pandemic put on small business, coupled with the historic inflation and spiking gas prices as the Russia-Ukraine war wages and relative inaction by the Biden administration, is creating a rapidly deteriorating situation for small business owners and operators.

Gas prices have reached historic levels amid soaring inflation in the wake of the pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine. In an effort to combat soaring gas prices, the Biden administration has already released tens of millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but it has not been enough to have an impact. Meanwhile, the administration’s ban on Russian energy imports further tightened supply.

Some of the hardest hit have been small business across the U.S., who told Fox News Digital that they are struggling to keep their doors open and are demanding the Biden administration take immediate action to help them.

Read more HERE.

Funding Your Business Dreams at Benetrends

Get fast, economical, custom funding and realize your small business or startup dreams with help from Benetrends Financial. Our experts provide an innovative approach to help you achieve the ideal funding you need to get your ideas off the ground for long-term entrepreneurial success!

From unemployment to entrepreneurship (credit: yourstory.com)

Over a million Indians move to the US each year, but finding a job can be a tough task. Priyanka Botny found herself in such a situation. 

Unwilling to give up, she decided on becoming an immigrant entrepreneur and started Playonomics — an online experiential learning platform for employees to improve their emotional intelligence. 

Priyanka says often focusing on IT infrastructure takes away attention from employee wellbeing. “We help in bringing that intelligence to build emotional skills, along with digital transformation at organisations,” Priyanka explains. 

The startup focuses on decision-making and using human emotions to further digital transformation. 

Read more HERE.

Fast Food and Quick Service Restaurant Market Development, Trends, Demand and Forecast Till 2022-2027 (credit: marioniniversitysabre.com)

According to IMARC Group’s latest report, titled “Fast Food and Quick Service Restaurant Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027”, the global market reached a value of US$ 232.3 Billion in 2021. Fast food and quick service restaurants (QSRs) serve fast foods that are cooked and packed in advance. They are commonly a part of a franchise or a food chain, wherein standardized ingredients are available for food preparation. These types of restaurants have minimal table service and generally offer takeaway options. Some of the widely available foods and beverages in these restaurants include pizza, pasta, soft drinks, coffee, tea, juices and burgers.

The global market is primarily driven by significant growth in the food and beverages industry. Along with this, the inflating disposable incomes, changing dietary patterns and the shifting lifestyle preferences of the masses are creating a positive outlook for the market. Additionally, the hectic schedules and busy lifestyles led by the working professionals have resulted in a rise in the consumption of on-the-go food items, thereby providing an impetus to the market growth. Some of the other factors contributing to the market growth include the increasing penetration of social media, easy food availability via online delivery options and innovative marketing strategies adopted by numerous players. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the global fast food and quick service restaurant market to reach US$ 308 Billion by 2027, exhibiting at a CAGR of 4.9% during 2022-2027.

Read more HERE.

Have a great week. Make it happen. Make it count!

Learn about Acceler8Success Group services & resources for current and aspiring entrepreneurs by visiting our website at Acceler8Success.com.

Culture Is A Work In Progress

Work in ProgressI do believe, in many cases, the level of business success contributes to the decision on whether or not a high performer is let go because their style is detrimental to the culture. In the case of a high performer in a business that is barely making it, that high performer probably stays. This situation works for the immediate time being but not for long-term growth. It’s difficult to build a team in this scenario. A high performer with a bad attitude in an environment with other high performers, probably should go. But not without trying to get the person in line first. Bad attitudes are detrimental to team building. However, often times a bad attitude actually develops as a result of how people are treated by management, or by a particular manager. There are various other scenarios as well.

Culture lives and breathes in all organizations. It must be nurtured – fed and taken care of. If sick, the virus causing the sickness must be addressed. In the case of cancer, it must be identified, isolated and removed – making sure to properly treat closely affected areas to be sure of total elimination. If healthy, it must continue to be fortified – an immune system built, and new well-being programs developed.

At the end of the day, Culture is a work in progress! It must be fluid. It must fill in the cracks and gaps and reach its own level. It must be understood by all. It must be allowed to grow. But it must be managed. The key is whether you do so reactively or proactively!

Recently, I read an interesting article about strategy and its effect on culture. Key paragraphs and link to the article follows…

Does strategy matter?

If you do not think that it matters, then you are in good company. There are many who question the value of strategy. And I see many companies where there is no formal strategy; the informal strategy is to keep doing what has worked in the past or to chase what is fashionable today.

Strategy v Execution

When it comes to questioning strategy there are two schools that are particularly prominent. First, there is the school of execution. The execution school which says that strategy is waste of time. Why? Because strategies are generic-obvious and what matters is execution. The ability to turn strategy into the daily live of the organization. Clearly, there is some truth in this school. Strategy which cannot be operationalized is waste of time-resource.

Strategy v Culture

Then there is the school that says, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Yes, culture is powerful. Culture determines what gets done and how it gets done. A strategy that does not take into account the fit with culture will meet lots of resistance. Getting people to enact such a strategy will be like fighting a guerilla war with an enemy who is patient and cunning. What is forgotten is that culture can be and is influenced-shaped-shifted through strategy.

To see strategy and culture as being separate and distinct is a gross misunderstanding. This misunderstanding arises due to our reductionist-analytical thinking. Strategy and culture are interlinked. Put differently, if you change strategy, you will take actions that will influence the culture. And if you change culture, it will eventually influence the strategy.

Read more HERE.

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Consultant’s Friend or Foe?

failureSometimes, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, it just doesn’t work, or work to the level it needs to in order to help turn around a failing business. Not all consulting opportunities leave us smiling even though we gave it our all… and then some.

It’s sad, but we must learn from the experience to be better, even just a little bit better for the next time, for the next person, the next client, the next entrepreneur.

Certainly, we must be better for the next opportunity if we are to make a difference. In the end, we must not second guess. Instead, reflect upon the experience and move forward. It does leave me with a question, Does having an entrepreneur’s mindset help or actually hinder being an effective consultant?

#reflection #entrepreneurship

Organizational Skills All Small Business Owners Should Possess

Organizational skillsWho hasn’t seen the phrase “organizational skills” listed as a requirement of a position? It might seem excessive that this vague term is so in demand, but the possession of organizational skills can make or break your career success.

While this is true for any role, it is even more integral for a small business owner.* Because there are so many tasks to juggle on any given day, keeping everything organized is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your working hours.

Read on for a look at the essential organizational skills to propel your small business toward success:

Scheduling. More than just scheduling shifts and meetings, as a small business owner you’ll be expected to schedule every aspect that goes into running your business. From scheduling progress check-ins for projects to scheduling incentive programs for sales goals, the ability to create a schedule and stick to it is essential to running your business.

Delegation. It’s impossible for one person to handle everything that needs to happen to keep a business running smoothly—that’s why delegation is key. By delegating, you’re lightening the load on your own shoulders while empowering your team to tackle the difficult tasks.

Time Management. In many jobs, your time is managed for you. You’re provided with small goals on the way to larger accomplishments and project timelines are completed at your own manager’s discretion. However, as a small business owner, those project timelines and daily tasks are set by you.

People Management. Managing is commonly regarded as a “people skill,” but it takes organizational savvy as well. Planning evaluations, building a successful team and orchestrating group meetings may not be the leadership tasks that get all the attention, but they’re just as integral to being a respected and regarded manager.

Preparation. Being prepared is the key to staying on top of your business routine. Whether it’s taking notes before a meeting with your staff, franchisor, or banker or jotting down the next to-do list at the end of the day, starting off on the right foot will keep you from playing catch-up when you should be looking ahead.

*Note: Small business owners include small independent business operators (Mom & Pop), franchisees, restaurant operators, professional services providers (law offices, medical offices) and even solopreneurs with staff.

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Crush It!

I’ve recently re-read for the umpteenth time a fascinating book, Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. He has posted, tweeted, and videoed himself, and his business, to unbelievable success in a very short period of time. The book is a relatively short read, so there should be no excuses for not reading it asap, as it can only help you improve yourself and your business. The following is directly from one of the tabs from the book’s original website. Upon reading the book, I’m sure you’ll further explore Crush It!

Crush It!
By Gary Vaynerchuk

Everything has changed. The social media revolution has irreversibly changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. There are billions of dollars in advertising moving online, waiting to be claimed by whoever can build the best content and communities. Despite this change, most people keep working at jobs that don’t make them happy and businesses continue to ignore the major marketing and public relations benefits that can be found online.

crush_it

Myth #1

I’m not passionate about something sexy or popular like wine so these lessons don’t apply to me.

The internet has drastically decreased the costs of building communities around niche subjects, allowing for even the most obscure subjects to draw enough eyeballs to command advertising attention. Starting a video blog about tortilla chips may seem farfetched until Doritos gives you a call and offers $40,000 a year to sponsor and advertise on your blog.

Myth #2

My business already has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, we’re set in the social media department.

This is the equivalent of claiming twenty years ago that just because your business bought a TV spot and a few ads in the newspaper, you didn’t need to pay attention to your advertising department. Social media isn’t about joining in, it’s about being involved.

Myth #3

I’m happy at my job so this book is irrelevant to me.

First of all, congratulations on finding work that makes you happy! However, the lessons in this book are valuable to anyone, regardless of their employment status. Crush It will show you how to utilize high level and platform specific social media and marketing strategies that will improve your work. It will also show you how to build a personal brand so that even if you’re forced to leave your job, a situation that’s especially relevant today, you’ll be able to easily find employment elsewhere in a field you’re passionate about.

Myth #4

I need to quit my job to take advantage of this book’s entrepreneurial lessons.

While the entrepreneurial strategies in this book do take time, it’s completely reasonable to start the effort as an after-work project to build up until you’re able to replace your current income with the income from your online presence. While you may have to fall behind on the current season of Lost or let your Madden 2010 game suffer, because you’ll be doing something you love you won’t mind putting in the extra effort.

In Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk shows how anyone can build a career around what they’re passionate about. He also delivers both high-level and platform specific strategy and analysis, allowing you to take advantage of the current business environment while preparing you to succeed as it changes and evolves.

This book isn’t interested in making unrealistic promises while glossing over the work involved. Making a living by building content around your passion isn’t simple and it doesn’t happen overnight. What it is, however, is fulfilling and in most cases just as profitable, if not more so, than your previous job.

Furthermore, a business can’t just pay lip service to social media and expect it to return results. The transparency and accountability inherent in its structure necessitates a comprehensive and dedicated strategy in order to reap its tremendous benefits.

By combining practical analysis and strategy with the same passion and humor that’s made Gary one of the most in demand keynote speakers in the U.S. as well as network television’s go to wine expert, Crush It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and harness the future of business and work.

Learn: Why social media has evened the playing field, destroying the “gate-keepers” who had previously dictated the distribution of content.

Learn: How to beat unemployment and create wealth-building opportunities by building and maintaining a personal brand.

Learn: Why storytelling is the most important business concept in the current marketplace.

Learn: How you can build an online business around your passion without quitting your day job.

Learn: Why Twitter and Facebook are just tools and not a social media strategy.

Learn: How to take advantage of the half-billion dollars in advertising that are moving to the internet

Learn: Why transparency and being true to yourself are now winning marketing formulas

Learn: How to build and maintain an online community around your passion and brand

Learn: Strategies for turning attention into money

Learn: Why the legacy element of the internet era is so underrated

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Visit Acceler8Success Group website at www.Acceler8Success.com