Strategy vs. Culture in the Small Business

In a newsletter of March 17, 2011, Graham Mitchell, writing in ActionSTEPS, a publication of ActionCOACH, says that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. He went on to elaborate that many times the quest to change a company’s strategy is frustrated by the company’s culture. There is much truth in that. Indeed, it is one of the reasons that very serious managers of change, especially those coming into an organization to implement change, will remove many older employees because they know that the required changes will be resisted. [Read more...]

Perfection vs. High Standards

You should try to set high standards for the service you provide. You need to have high-quality employees. However, you should not aim for perfection.

Perfection has an alter ego: procrastination.

Many times people with good ideas sit around on them, awaiting that perfect time, that perfect product, that perfect person to come along—or that perfect plan.
[Read more...]

Deciding on Ownership/Management Structure

Most people want to own their businesses outright. In fact, many will not entertain the idea of any kind of sharing. If you can own your own business outright, then go ahead.

But you might have constraints, making it a good idea to share. Keep in mind that it might be prudent to own 10 percent of something instead of 100 percent of nothing. Also, due to your risk profile, it might be easier to have someone to lean on for support. That said, if you have to share, pay a great deal of attention to the section on business associates later in this book.
[Read more...]

Decide on Your Survival Plan

So you have decided to leave the stressful nine-to-five. Have you designed a survival plan? Thinking about this a bit before acting can be useful. Not to create anxiety or to procrastinate but to facilitate a strong sense of purpose about your intentions. In discussing with a partner of a banker, it will send a good and positive signal of seriousness and commitment, to know that you have given serious thought to one of the most often overlooked threats to your small business success and its prospects.
[Read more...]

Technology and the Small Business – the Reality Check!

I went into business at the time when email way making its way into the thrust to improve efficiency. This was not an “upgrade” situation, it was a big change. Email has made cables, faxes, telephone calls and such prior scientific advancements in communication dwindle in importance, especially at the minimal cost and fast speed of emailing. Importantly you can communicate with dozens of persons simultaneously. This ease of communication was greatly appreciated by our team because we had very little cash.

So, technology works. [Read more...]