Do you know the #1 Killer of businesses? And it is NOT cash-flow.

Red top girl working “4 Strategies to Ignite Growth for Your Business: And The One You MUST Have to Guarantee Your Business The Sales and Cash Flow You Want and Deserve!”

Join us for this live, FREE Webinar on {December, 5th, at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time}!

I am an expert at working with small businesses to ignite sales growth, and drive cash flow.  I hold a franchise record of most sales in a week and my diverse background from serving in the British Army to Sales and Leadership positions with a major national Bank, gives my clients access to a wealth of experience.

During this live presentation, you will learn:

  • The Identity of The #1 Killer Of ALL Small Business … and How To Avoid It
  • What Your Biggest Competitors are Doing that You Aren’t …(Hint: It Isn’t Social Media)
  • How To Grab Market Share from Your Competition Without Spending A Dime on Marketing
  • and Why Christmas is the Perfect Time to Work on Moving Your Business to the Next Level

And more!

Click here to register for this webinar! Or copy and paste the link below:

http://bit.ly/accelerator30

Warm regards – Rupert

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What is your credo? Share to win!

 

Get this book for inspiration on why and how to set a purpose for your company.

I was just reading this awesome book, Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras.  It is incredibly well written and researched and it tells me what I have known for a long time but until now had lacked the data to back me up.

Suffice to say that businesses with a purpose, businesses who look beyond profit and businesses with underlying value do better in the long-run than those without.  I can only assume that they are also much nicer places to work.  All of these stellar businesses make profits, huge ones generally but that is not their raison d’etre, something far more compelling and unifying is at their core.

I have  this fundamental conversation with all of my clients.  Some really struggle to nail what their credo (their statement of intention) is.  We work together to build the business as best we can based on their vision but knowing all along that when the penny drops on why they really get out of bed in the morning their results will rocket.  Some still haven’t found it.

It would be poor coaching for me to suggest my own examples for what might be my clients’ credo so I wanted to ask you, my audience of business owners and successful professionals, to reply to me in private with your written statement of purpose or mission so that I may use those as real-life peer-to-peer examples.  These will spark the thought process in my clients both now and in the future.  Your mission may launch many others.  If you would like to state your occupation or sector and have me omit that example when dealing with your potential competition then I will be happy to oblige.

All respondents will receive a copy of Brian Tracy’s e-book Eat that Frog and the winner with the most compelling “I have to work with/for that person/business” statement will win a month’s free coaching from me valued officially by Mastercard as PRICELESS.

Reasons Why I Think Mark Zuckerberg is Awesome!

Honest, open, purpose driven, in control, different, confident!

I don’t imagine than many of my readers are shareholders in Facebook and if you are then I am sorry for you but this article is excellent.  If you hold shares do you sell or hold (I’m not sure that you’ll want to buy after reading this article)?  I don’t know what to suggest but MZ just went through the roof in my estimation.

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-stock-letter-shareholders

Getting out at the top – Selling your business for top $

Hey, that’s your money that she’s playing with!

One question that eats away at many former business owners is whether or not they let money on the table when they sold the business.  Like any investment there is a huge amount of stress created between fear and greed at the point of sale.  Fear that they won’t ever get to sell it for this much again so sell right now and greed that “if we just make this change or wait for the economy to pick up we’ll get much more”.

How can you avoid such a heavy weight as you enter retirement?  The simple answer is to have an exit strategy.  When you buy a stock or speculate on commodities the experts urge you to know when you will get out before you buy in.  That rule holds for business too.  The trouble is that generally if you are reading this you have already bought but no matter, play the hand you have been dealt.  So the only important  question is when to get out.   That question is much more easily and reliably answered well ahead of decision time, before emotions take hold.

How do you answer the question reliably?  Get a business coach to work with you through the key points of consideration; who will you sell to?; why would they buy?; how do you maximize the value that they see in your business?; when is the best time to start discussions on this?

Call me at 604 339 5369 if you are thinking of selling your business and I guarantee that you will make substantially more money and get out much closer to the top then you would by acting alone.

Achieve more consistent performance – For FREE! Today!

What would happen to your business?

This was the marked increase in the performance of an amateur golfer using visualization over his normal pre-shot routine. How does this apply in your business?

Last Friday I took a highly valued client to the golf driving range to help him learn a valuable business lesson.  One about the power of visualization.

I got him to hit single shots with a 3-wood, 4-iron, 7-iron and wedge in rotation until he had hit 10 shots, scoring himself on each shot on a scale from 1-10 based on how satisfied he was with the result (10 being a very good shot).  The point about single shots was to ensure that muscle memory played as small a part in the results as possible.

After ten shots we paused and all I asked him to do for the next 10 shots was to visualize the flight path of the ball to its intended destination.  Nothing else.  I didn’t change his stance, swing or anything mechanical.  My sole instruction was to use his imagination to create a clear image in his head of the ball’s flight.  I asked him to think of it like those images that you sometimes see on the TV coverage where the ball flight is tracked on the camera.  We gave him as long as he needed to get that image clear in his head and it typically took him 20-30 seconds.

We then repeated the exercise of hitting the different shots in rotation.  The graph we created shows the rolling 5 shot average score for the two exercises.  The red ones being his usual pre-shot routine and the green ones being the shots he made after making a concerted effort to visualize the outcome.  Although they both ended up at the same average point for the final shots (which included the last shot being interrupted by the range staff) you can see the huge improvement in the earlier shots.  Regardless that both sets ended up pretty much in the same place I would take that improvement, wouldn’t you?

So don’t underestimate the power of visualization.  In a business context it is useful in determining the outcome of a meeting, a presentation or any other business event.  In this case the goal was short-ter but it works equally well if not better on longer term goals.  Try it for yourself.

This was a simple, immediate feedback exercise that I’ll be using again and again with clients.

I think that Tim does a nice job here of basically saying “when you know what the end game is there is no such thing as wasted time.”

Sell, Lead, Succeed!

bigstock-thoughtful-businessman-standin-46778863

Tom Petty was right. The waiting is the hardest part!

We always seem to be waiting. On the surface waiting sucks, but why not take advantage of the down time? Waiting can equal learning while you are:

  • Waiting for, or riding public transportation
  • Commuting to work and/or driving to meetings
  • Waiting for an appointment
  • Waiting in line at a store
  • Waiting on a golf course between holes

… You the idea. There are many other examples.

  • When you are on public transportation or waiting anywhere with respect to your role, have some “catalog time” with your company’s literature. It is incredible how much more comfortable I became with catalogs by focusing on them as little as 10 minutes per day.
  • When you are commuting to work in your vehicle, or driving to appointments, listen to podcasts or audio books that will help you with business and/or personal development.
  • When you…

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Improve your chances of succeeding by 23% – Plan your business

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Whether you are a start-up or an established business you should be planning your business on an annual basis.  And by planning I do mean dreaming and visioning and emoting but ALSO writing it down and planning how the figures will work.

Why?  Well did you know that a business that starts with $100,000 or more of capital is 23% more likely to survive 5 years in business than one started with less than $5,000.  This may seem incredibly obvious but why this should be the case is probably not as obvious. It certainly isn’t just that it takes longer to fritter away the $100,000 than the $5,000.

Here’s why.  Many people can start a business on $5,000.  Redundancy packages, savings, gifts or loans from family and friends are all extremely easy ways to raise such a small sum.  So you just start the business right?  Buy some stock and flip it.  Pay yourself to write the App.  WRONG.  Without a clear business plan you will fritter that money away and probably most of your confidence and the trust from your family in the process.  Running a business is FAR more expensive than most people give it credit for.  They set their prices way too low and struggle to make any net profit let alone create the cash-cow they had in mind.  Then they simply wear out and give up – or close down to “refocus efforts on alternative opportunities.”

Imagine now though that you needed to borrow, save or invest $100,000 to start your business.  Maybe the inventory requirements are high in this industry or you simply can’t run it from home so you need high-end office space to make it work.  You don’t jump in quite as quickly do you?  Most of us can’t. Especially if you are financing this start-up through loans, no savvy investor is giving you $100,000 without seeing and testing your business plan. So you need to spend weeks, even months, going over all of the costs, examining your competition, working out your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and other critical elements.  Only then do you gain and earn the confidence of the investors (including your own fearful self) to permit you to move forward.  Most ideas will die on the vine at this stage and that is a good thing.

The same thing goes for an existing business.  At any given moment you have the choice to wind it up or continue operations.  How can you decide confidently without a business plan?  Plan the next few years and of it isn’t worth investing $100,000 in then start to look for the exit NOW!  I’m not saying an additional $100,000 but if you were to start over today to get what you have, if you wouldn’t invest $100,000 then the red flag goes up.

I believe therefore that what makes for a successful start-up or a successful next 5 years for any existing business is the business plan. Of course no-one actually sticks to their plans very closely – I’m not daft – but as Eisenhower said, “Plans are nothing.  Planning is everything!”

So no matter what you have today, an idea or a business, you MUST plan its future.  There are consultants out there who can help you but I don’t think that it is an activity that should be outsourced – if you can’t plan a business properly on paper (due to lack of skills, knowledge, time, inclination) what makes you think that you will run it properly in reality?  By all means seek help and education on this point but DO NOT ….  EVER take someone else’s business plan and use that as your own.  That way lies doom.

So PLEASE plan the next year or two of your business this weekend and increase the chances of survival and even thrival (if that is not a word it should be) by about 25%.

If you would like to discuss where your business could and should be in the next 2-5 years please call me at 604 339 5369 and we can have a free 30-minute review of opportunities and see if I can be of assistance.

Emigrating to Canada?

I have readers all over the world and as such I thought that I should let you know about some recent additions to my network of “Good People to Know”.

If you are emmigrating to Canada or are thinking about it then there are some changes in the process that you should know about.  Particularly if you can bring a reasonable investment with you to buy or start a business.  According to my immigration law friends Canada is lucky in that we can be pretty selective of our new immigrants and the Federal Government recently set out its stall in terms of what it is looking for in certain areas. This includes immigrants with the skills to run businesses and the means to invest in them to grow and protect employment, particularly outside of main metro-areas like Vancouver.

I am fortunate enough to have contacts at a couple of top quality immigration law firms as well as a network of contacts who can source suitable businesses for sale when we know what the potential immigrant is looking for.  So if you are considering a life in Canada, have at least $200,000 CDN to invest in a new or existing business and have a track record of success in some area or business then give me a buzz on (604) 339 5369 and we can discuss how my network can be put to work finding you the easiest, quickest and most profitable route into Canada.

Equally if you know of any businesses that are for sale that might be of interest to an arriving immigrant then put them on my radar, within my network we have hundreds of immigrants looking for the right opportunity.

Revisit your vision

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Sometimes you can “get religion” when something really works for you and I confess that I may be guilty of this this morning but (to slaughter a great Woody Allen line) just because I’m excited to share doesn’t mean it’s not really important.

Yesterday afternoon I went back to rewrite my vision, mission and values statements.  Whereas before the vision was foggy it was now crystal clear.  Where before my mission was wishy washy, it is now strong and where before my values were plentiful and polyanna they are now focussed and meaningful.  It has made a huge difference to the decsions that I have made since and I wish the same for you.

It was about 6 months since I had attempted this exercise and I’ve grown a lot and learned great deal in that time I am sure that the same can be said of you.

You may like to take a couple of hours of total quiet and do this exercise:  Sit down somewhere comfy with a pad and pen to hand.  Sit still.  Think of nothing for an hour (as best you can).  Use the notepad to jot down the to-do’s that inevitably come up in the first few minutes but after five, maybe ten minutes put that to one side and don’t use it again.  You have captured the urgent things,you’ll get to them later.

Now, don’t listen to a word you think for the first 30 minutes or so.  Then after a while you’ll find yourself coming up with great ideas and exciting opportunities.  Don’t write these down either they are just the teasers.

At the end of the first hour get up and write the Heading “MY VISION” then write what comes to mind.  Don’t filter or second guess and for goodness sake don’t judge it as possible from where you are today.  When you are done with that heading then write the heading “MY MISSION” and do the same and then “MY VALUES” and do the same.  Remember, don’t filter just brain dump.  You may refine then later.

When you have done that, sit back and read what you just wrote.  How much more powerful a vision is that for you and your life than you had before?  My bet is that you’ll be blown away.

Let me know how you get on.  I hope it is as powerful for you as it was for me.  Good luck.

If you would like more details on how to complete this exercise then feel free to comment here or email me at rwhiting@focalpointcoaching.com.

7 Lessons that any business can learn from the Vancouver Canucks – Part 7 & Summary

It’s been a week now since we started to poke at the Canucks and take a look at seven actions that they have taken that have directly resulted in a league leading performance on the ice.  These are not the only seven things that they do well but they are areas that any business would do well to emulate.  

We have covered:

1. Clarity of vision for the outcome (Win the Stanley Cup), 

2. Willingness to engage stakeholders outside of the business in this aim, 

3. Finding little edges that they can give their team (e.g. Sleep doctor),  

4. Getting players to commit more than energy to the cause, 

5. Willingness to delegate effectively to a trusted team outside of Exec management,

6. Succession planning that allows smoother transitions as the team changes.

 

And now we’ll look at something that was key last year when they lost in Game 7 of the Cup Final and this year when they were all but swept in the first round of the playoffs.

Number 7.  Let cooler heads prevail.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater when things don’t go your way. In life, sports and business all you can do is put the odds on your side and do everything that you can to win. Sometimes though life gets in the way and you won’t win.

Does that mean that the plan, the team, the management are all wrong?  Far from it.  It means that they just got stronger and wiser and can come back again next year (or tomorrow in business terms) more determined to win.  Of course there will need to be some adjustments made to accommodate a shift in parameters (playoff officiating for one) and that may mean that some people’s roles on the team change or are eliminated but what you haven’t seen and won’t see until their box of tricks is empty is a sacking of the GM or Coach.  The plan was good, the execution could have been better.  As the owner of the Canucks are you really going to be able to find a GM or coach markedly better able to chart the course to the Cup?  No way.  So they stick with the team that they have and have faith.

The same goes for your business.  Remember that point one stated that you set your own goals, well whether you achieved them in your first season or not, it’s up to you to keep in keeping on and improving daily to get there.  As all the good books will tell you it’s not about the destination.   Enjoying the journey and growing along the way is the bigger goal.  Hitting milestones is vital but success comes disguised in many forms.

So if you did achieve your goals in your “first season” then I have two points to make; Firstly, congratulations that was awesome and you must be very happy, go celebrate; Secondly, set bigger goals next time!

Thanks for reading this mini-series.  I truly hope that you have found my points useful in growing your business.  I have deliberately kept each blog as short as possible so please contact me at 604 339 5369 if you would like any more information on any of these points.