Business Lessons from Iraq: the Consequence of Disengaging

business lessons from Iraq

image courtesy of PressTV

As of June 2014, the current situation in Iraq is spiraling out of control.  A new, spin-off terrorist faction called ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is committing atrocities and taking ground in north-central Iraq and moving southward toward Baghdad, changing the short-lived democratic face of the region and creating scenarios and military alliances of convenience that one would have thought implausible two weeks ago.  Although the region has always been unstable (and likely always will be), many analysts concur that the United States’ troop draw down to essentially zero has created a power vacuum, with current Iraqi security forces unable to defend territory and a government in disarray.

Folks, there are business lessons to be learned here. Read More…

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Going Vertical: Discovering Target Markets That You Can Succeed In

Vertical markets, going vertical

image courtesy of Feelart @ freedigitalphotos.net

Business leaders are increasingly trading in their shotguns for laser-sited sniper rifles.  You may think I’m talking about a clever way to circumvent new and anticipated gun legislation, but you would be wrong.  Of course, I am referring to targeting markets; more specifically, generalist businesses bringing a focused attack to targeting customers to generate more, deeper and multi-faceted layers of customer relationships and sales revenue.

But how do you succeed in selecting the right target market, or vertical, and early stage execution without total, break-the-bank reinvention of your company? Read More…

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Becoming a Business Chameleon: Adapting to Change Before It Happens

image courtesy Predator, 20th Century Fox

We all remember in science class as kids the theory of Darwinian Evolution: survival of the fittest, or more simply, adapt or die.  Unfortunately, the fear of impending death is usually the case for action for adapting in modern business as well.  That’s what makes it so tough to reinvent business—when the pressure is on with the figurative gun to the head of the chief executive.  But what if you could adapt to change or anticipate the need for it before the hammer was cocked, before the competition?  You’d become a business chameleon, protected for self-preservation and dangerous to competitors, hitting them before they see you.  Heck, you’d be the business Predator. Read More…

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Committing Nicheocide: 3 Signs It’s Time to Kill Your Niche

business niche suicide, nicheocide, dead business niche

image in part by zirconicusso @freedigitalphotos.net

All good business leaders these days know that developing a market niche is critical to growing deep business development roots.  People want to be served by experts, particularly in the consulting or professional service spaces.  If you haven’t made a mark as a thought leader in your specific slice of the market, you’re breathing competitive tailwinds as you lead from behind, and soon you’ll be choking.  Or so says conventional wisdom.  I’m here to tell you that it’s not a one-size-fits-all world, and there are times when, for your own fiscal health, you need to commit Nicheocide and kill your business niche. Read More…

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Developing Your Market Game Changer

 competitive advantage, unique selling proposition, business uniquenessWhen the world is filled with apples, how can your business become an orange?  In the universe of modern business, getting your name out as a recognizable and trusted expert within your industry is the main task facing CEOs, CMOs, and Vice Presidents of Sales or Business Development.  Standing out in a world of sameness means coming up with a true competitive advantage and exploiting it for the favor of your company.  That’s easier said than done, especially in commoditized markets like IT services or 3rd party Logistics, and is one of the most misunderstood aspects of business strategy today.

But what if you could not only stand alone in your industry, but revolutionize it with new product, process or practice that would change the market and set a new standard that others were forced to mimic in order to survive?  That’s creating your market game changer, and it could change your business and your life in ways you never thought possible. Read More…

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Navy Seal Crisis Response: 3 Steps for Your Business

 navy seals, seal training, crisis responseThe United States Navy Seal program develops warriors on the battlefield par excellence.  These are men who are the very best at dealing with crisis situations that most of us can’t begin to contemplate and handling them with crack efficiency.  Unfortunately many of us reading this, myself included, never realize that game excellence until one or more of them make headlines by making the ultimate sacrifice for their cause, their unit, and their country.

But what exactly makes these guys so exceptional at what they do, and can those skills, or variations of them, be developed in people like you and I and used in our daily routines to make us the best in our own respective career universes? Read More…

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Cybercrime and Your Business: 5 Strategies to Protect Yourself

Cybercrime, data theft, data securityWith small business relying more and more on the Web to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace, they are becoming much more vulnerable to various forms of cybercrime activity.  This means you!  Cybercrime can have major impact on your business if you lack the technological infrastructure and staffing resources to ward off and fully recover from cybercrime episodes. You may even unwittingly foster such attacks by using unsecured computers that can easily be compromised by savvy hackers.

So how do you protect yourself? Read More…

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Surviving a Competitive Price War: 5 Best Practices

In the business world, the prices of commodities often change. This usually stems from the unstable market forces as a result of the recent recession slump. The increasing pressure to keep sales high forces business owners to slash their prices in an effort to recoup their losses. This is what instigates price wars.

Price wars generally start as firms are fighting for a larger market share in a declining market. Some firms become so desperate that they initiate aggressive growth strategies. These firms believe that by driving their competitors out of business, they will be able to assert themselves in a dominant position in the market and dictate the prices. In theory, this is one way to get a larger piece of the market pie however, more often than not, they forget to think about how their competitors will respond. There are generally two actions you can take: to respond or to ignore it. The best way to survive a price war is to avoid it; however, there are times when you have to take certain measures to defend your business. So how exactly can you do this? Read More…

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Small Business Cash: 3 Ways to Serve the King

For entrepreneurs starting a new business and seasoned veterans alike, sales feed the business, but sales without cash flow is like bread without water.  Sooner or later the business will dry out and die.  It’s cash that feeds the internal organs of the business that make it go.  Managing your business finances is one of the most important aspects of running a business.  It may be why you spend a boatload of time keeping track of your cash flow, balance, and income statements.  When managing your business finances, cash flow is a paramount metric, especially for start-ups.  Managing your finances will never be easy, but you may be able to make it easier on yourself. Read More…

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Roadblocks to Organizational Change: Are You Guilty?

As a business owner or company big cheese how many times have you tried to make an important change within your company just to see nothing happen any differently then before you started?  You communicated effectively, telling the rank and file just what they needed to know to implement the new initiative, right?  Or did you.   Are you guilty of creating roadblocks to change in your company? Read More…

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