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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Making Sales a Science: Sales Analytics

sales performance measurement, sales analytics

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan @freedigitalphotos.net

The story of Moneyball, General Manager Billy Bean’s use of analytics to create a continually competitive baseball team in Oakland on a shoestring budget, is famous in business circles as an analogy to explain the fascinating use of big data to drive results. But just what do you measure when it comes to improving your sales, and how exactly do you do it? Read More…

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Economic Recovery or Not?

economic recovery, small business economic condition

Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz @ freedigitalphotos.net

If you read the conventional wisdom in the newspapers and look on most of the traditional media sources, you know that we’re in the midst of an economic recovery, however slow.  The stock market hit record highs in 2012, although many would say that government money printing from the Federal Reserve has created that artificial bubble.

But this isn’t the world of the small and mid-sized business owner, the guys and gals who deal with real customers, real suppliers, and face every day the challenge of selling their goods and services profitably above costs.

Whether it’s rising costs pressuring your margins, extra time at the office, or sales channels that seem to have stagnated or dried up, perceptions vary as to just how REAL this recovery is. Read More…

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Cloud Computing for Small Business: Is It Right for You?

cloud computing, business cloud computingCompanies are switching away from traditional IT departments in vast numbers. Instead, many of these small and medium-sized businesses are transferring the management of their computer systems and networks to the cloud. Cloud service providers can take care of everything from running your network to providing your employees with the highest-quality software available.

However, cloud computing is not right for all businesses and you should put careful thought into the matter before making a drastic change in your tech policy. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not cloud computing is right for your business: Read More…

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Big Data Tactics to Maximize Small Business Profit

The old approach to sales had you pitching to everyone that fogged a mirror. It’s ineffective and annoying. It also kills your morale. How many times can you get the phone slammed down on you before you feel like the floor of a taxi cab? Sure, you’ve grown thick skin, so you don’t mind it quite as much. Still, there must be a better way to spend your time. After all, what’s the profit on a sale you almost make? Smart use of Big Data helps business owners make better decisions and improve the bottom line. Read More…

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