The Power of Planning

As many of you know, Business Coaches like to ask a lot of questions. So as we approach the title of this month’s article for Keys to Business Success, I will be asking some questions for you to think about. What determines the success or failure of a business? How many of you believe that the reason that the businesses in our community are closing is because of the economy? How many of those businesses planned for this economic downturn? How many of those businesses had a business plan? How many of those businesses had a budget and volume projections? How many of those businesses depended on the housing segment for a high percentage of their revenue? A recent US Department of Commerce study found that overall only 6% of US business owners said they had a business plan. (My hat off to you if you are in that group that plans!) However, since only 4% of new businesses in the US survive over 10 years, wouldn’t it be great to know what they do differently? According to the Department of Commerce, 80 % of this so called 4% club of business owners said they have a business plan and regularly follow it. The first step of planning is to believe that it will make a difference in your time management. We teach our clients to first start with a realistic daily calendar that has ‘default’ areas to work on various important but not urgent tasks. What are the three core tasks that you could complete today that would drive your business forward? What is the highest and best use of your personal time? Are you still picking up supplies from the office supply store? What is it that only you can accomplish? Do you still believe that there are many things that only you can do? What is it that you do really well and that would make a difference in your business right now? If you are the craftsman or relationship salesperson of your business get out there and do it! Having a plan and executing that plan and measuring the results is the single biggest difference in highly successful businesses. Studies have shown that by having a plan it is easier to overcome procrastination. One minute of planning will save you up to 10 minutes in execution of the plan. Imagine what it would feel like if each day when you arrive at work, you would know exactly what you were supposed to do? So if you spent a minimum of four hours to work on your business say in a Quarterly Planning session with a business professional, you could save 2,400 minutes of your life. That’s 160 hours per year! What would you do with that time away from your business? PJ's New Pic (smaller)ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Workplace Culture

In this article, 6 Essential Aspects of Workplace Culture, David Sturt (an Executive Vice President at O.C. Tanner), shares 6 aspects of culture that people look for in a great place to work:
  • Purpose
  • Opportunity
  • Success
  • Appreciation
  • Well-Being
  • Leadership
These key areas were identified based on extensive research of over 10,000 companies, derived from an employee’s view point of culture.
  1. Purpose means connecting employees to your organization’s reason for being or the difference you make in the world.
  2. Opportunity means providing employees the ability to learn new skills, develop, and contribute.
  3. Success means giving employees the opportunity to innovate, do meaningful work, and be on winning teams.
  4. Appreciation means acknowledging and recognizing employees’ outstanding work and unique contributions.
  5. Well-being means paying attention to and constantly working to improve employees’ physical, social, emotional, and financial health.
  6. Leadership means connecting employees to purpose, empowering them to do great work, and creating a sense of camaraderie.
To read the entire article and learn some staggering improvements associated with companies that focus on the 6 cultural pillars above, click HERE PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Are You Ready to Grow Your Business?

If you’re considering expanding your small business, first make sure you’re actually ready for growth.  Even if you’ve had recent business success, there are other things you should look at. Do you have regular customers? If you have a steady, growing base of customers that demand your product or service, then you may be ready for growth.  Repeat customers are great!  Sales have to be consistent, though.  If you see a sudden spike in customers, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to expand. Wait to see if that increase is temporary or consistent. Do your customers ask you to grow? Do they ask for more products/services?  Do they ask for you to be open longer hours?  Do they have any specific requests that you can’t currently fulfill?  If you know your business growth will satisfy your customers and increase sales, then you might want to invest in expanding. Do you have a consistent net income? If your profits are consistently increasing, then you may be ready for growth.  Don’t focus on short-term success.  If you do have a regular income, invest some of those profits into your business.  Hopefully expanding will also grow your income. How is your industry doing? Do you see a growth in your industry? Have you checked industry trends recently?  Is your market on the rise?  Don’t plan to expand if your industry is fading.  If your industry is not growing, you still might be able to expand your business by offering new products/services. Do you need more workers due to an overflow of business? If your demand is higher than you can handle, then you may want to expand your business by hiring more workers or getting a bigger space. Ask yourself these five questions before you expand your business.  If you feel you need to hash out these concerns with a professional business coach, contact me for a complimentary session. I’d love to help guide you through this process. PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Brainstorming and Idea-Generating

Brainstorming doesn’t have to be done in a roomful of other people.  It doesn’t have to be done in a group, in a fancy setting, or involve a large team of creative individuals.  It can be done on your own, in a familiar and comfortable setting, when you’re ready to generate ideas to enhance your business. First, make sure you are off all your electronics, to avoid distractions, and to give all your attention to your creative project at hand. Physical writing can activate your brain differently than typing does. Second, figure out why you are brainstorming.  Is it to generate ideas, solve a problem, or train your brain? Here are a few brainstorming techniques you might want to try:
  1. Word Bank:  Find the right words to use in a copy or a story.  Do this by finding specific kinds of words on specific topics.
  2. Word Association:  Choose words that say much more than they mean.  This is where context is everything.  This can be how you detail a train-of-thought that has you stuck in a rut.
  3. Questions:  Answer questions you already know and find questions you didn’t realize you had.
  4. Image Association:  Use a visual image to trigger ideas in context.
If one method doesn’t work, try another.  Try a combination of methods if needed.  Or simply make up your own technique.  Your main purpose is to try to reboot the way you’re presently thinking. PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Creating Strategic Partnerships

It’s often important for entrepreneurs to forge a strategic partnership for continued success in a highly competitive environment.  Here are some tips to help guide you through the process: 1 – When we enter into partnerships, we often feel anxious.  Believe that all parties will eventually have their needs met. 2 – Be clear to the value you bring to the table.  Be honest about why you’re wanting to create a partnership. 3 – Make sure you already have a business plan/mission and vision statement put into place.  If you don’t, then you’re not in a position to work with a partner (just yet). 4 – Listen to the other party.  Ask why he/she is seeking to connect and what they are hoping to get out of the partnership. 5 – Make sure you share the same vision and passion.  Partnerships work the best when each person’s values are the same. 6 – Don’t hurry into the partnership.  Set up a follow-up meeting to talk about next steps and to make sure you’re both equally committed. 7 – Be prepared.  Don’t expect everything to come up roses.  There will be some push and pull when hashing out details.  Be clear about where you stand, but be flexible too. 8 – Seal all agreements in writing. This can be a hard conversation to have with a new partner, but it is extremely important. Hopefully you’ll start off your new partnership feeling motivated and ready to grow. And if you follow the above tips, you’ll be on your way to great success. PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Is Your Sleep Affecting Your Business?

If you are a business owner, you are probably routinely running on very little sleep.  Even though many entrepreneurs view this as a normal pattern for themselves, it goes against the fact that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, each night. High-achieving people represent a small portion of society, and this small portion of society is probably sleep deprived.  Maybe they are so driven that they can overcome the effects it has on their body and mind. Whether they admit they’re exhausted or not, the fact is YOU NEED SLEEP. Your entire body pays the price when it isn’t well rested.  Some side effects of not enough sleep are:
  1. Unable to focus
  2. Gain weight
  3. Increased exhaustion (burning out)
  4. Under-performed memory
While some of us don’t think we need a lot of sleep, we need to be reminded that sleep is highly correlated to your mood, weight, concentration, and memory.  Don’t let your productivity decline just because you want extra hours (awake) to yourself at night. Get enough sleep! Your body (and your business) will thank you! PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Improving Cashflow

Cashflow improvement has been made a mystery over time, and has become elusive for many business owners. However, there are just 6 Keys to improving your cashflow in any business. This means you only need to focus on 6 areas of your business to make a massive improvement. So what are these 6 keys to success: improving cash flow? Area 1 – Revenue Improvement: The first step in improving cash flow is revenue improvement via a price increase or an average value of sale increase. Area 2 – Cost of Goods Improvement: A reduction in the Cost of Goods will help to improve the cash flow situation. Area 3 – Accounts Receivable Improvement: Accounts receivable, debtors e.g. money your customers owe you. Area 4 – Inventory Reduction: As with Area 3, it’s a matter of reducing the average number of days your inventory is sitting around. Sell off old stock, buy faster moving stock, get stock on consignment etc. Area 5 – Accounts Payable Increase: Area 5 is different from the rest as we actually want to increase this number. Area 6 – Overhead Reduction: Finally, let’s talk about our last key factor in improving cash flow. Reduction of Overheads / Expenses without reduction of required capabilities. To learn more about these 6 keys to success, contact me for a free coaching session by clicking HERE.
PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Successful Communication for Business

Research shows that in general, in a business setting, both men and women want to know the exit to a conversation BEFORE they feel safe to actually engage in it. 3 Helpful Hints:
  • Let others know if the conversation will be painful.
  • Let others know how long the conversation will take.
  • Let others know the end result you are asking for.
Think about starting a business conversation like this: “I realize how busy you are so I will only need one minute of your time to let you know about __________.” This is especially helpful if you are making phone calls, so the person on the other end can relax and listen, knowing it won’t take long and knowing what the conversation will be about. Plus, they are less likely to make an excuse as to why they can’t talk. Another option (especially for sales teams) is starting a conversation like this: “I realize that your time is very valuable so I will only need two minutes to schedule a time for a second call where I can do a 10-minute demonstration of our ___________.” Here are some other things to consider during communication:
  • Facial expressions
  • Tone of voice
  • Words you say
Be very self-aware of how you are speaking to others.  Even practice these when talking on the phone; it actually does make a difference.   Communicating successfully comes with practice and consistent attention and effort.  It is a skill to learn, and we cannot afford to overlook it.   PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Business Strategy – What Is It?

It’s a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular set of goals in a business.  A business strategy is supposed to strengthen the performance of a business.  To achieve certain goals, a business needs to continue on a specific plan that is used as a road-map to success. Business strategies are a great way to see the whole picture…like a map of the business.  It helps owners adjust activities and align visions so goals are being met.   Here are some examples that may be in a strategy map:
  1. Financial Perspective
  2. Customer Perspective
  3. Process Perspective
  4. Growth Perspective
Plan to update your map frequently, reviewing it against any successes and failures. While the plan is to execute the strategy without failure, a business owner needs to be realistic and know that unforeseen circumstances can arise. Strategies should be built to sustain any downfall, or failure, a business might encounter.  A strategy map should be designed to give the business an advantage, to build up the successes, and to ride out the storms.   For examples of strategy maps, click HERE. PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

How to Develop an Effective Team

When you belong to a team you feel part of something larger than yourself.  You all have one thing in common…the mission of the business you work for. Everyone in the team has a specific job function.  They may even belong to a specific department within the company.  But all the team members work together to accomplish the same goals and objectives.  It’s the bigger picture: improving results for customers. The first step is having the leader define the team they are trying to build. Here are 10 tips to build an effective team:
  1. The leader should clearly communicate all expectations to every member.
  2. Each member should understand how the team fits into the company’s goals.
  3. Each member should be committed and feel they are a valuable part of the team.
  4. Each member should have defined goals, designated tasks, and a clear mission.
  5. Each member should feel they have the right resources and support to accomplish their goals.
  6. Each member should have boundaries and enough freedom to carry out their mission.
  7. Each member should be able to work together effectively and collaboratively.
  8. Each member should be able to communicate clearly and honestly with each other.
  9. Each member should be open to change, give rewards, and take risks responsibly.
  10. Each member should be accountable for others by resolving problems, not blaming or pointing fingers.
Do you think your team is an effective one? PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
YOUR CHALLENGE:  Take these tips to your team members.  Create a more effective team for your business this year. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.