Key Question: What's the highest and best use of my time?
The Online Workshop - Case Studies
Learn from people like yourself who have had the same problems, failures and successes. First, begin to grasp the importance of Knowledge Management, then the importance of everyone pulling together in the same direction, then...
1. E-culture: Hattie says it is coming, like a category-5 hurricane, like a tsunami, like a magnitude-8 earthquake,whether we like it or not. We have no choice but to become an e-minded company because we now know there are no degrees of separation.
2. Knowledge Management: Miles Corbett's award-winning software company turns a client's complex institutional information into a coherent body of understandable and useful content.
3. WiFi. Brookstone Technologies sells to the companies that want to make it easy for employees to work anytime and from anywhere.
4. Tom Gegax focused on building a team, and his team built a huge business.
6. Staying Power. All nine points are very basic and really should be internalized by everyone in your organization.
7. Pam Rodgers teaches her managers and her managers teach their people; everybody knows how their group is contributing to the bottom-line. She has one of the most successful automobile dealerships in America.
8. Albert Black has a lot to say about sharing information with the employees.
A few key questions within Step 6
1. Do you have a fully functioning e-culture with every employee using the Internet purposefully?
2. What steps can you take now to move your company's raw data into position so all employees can use it to make the best decisions/do the best work for your customers?
3. What product or service can you invent to make your customer's lives easier? What are the trends in your industry? Are you a leader or a follower? Would it help to be out front?
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses with it comes to your communication skills? Which of these four steps do you do well? Which do you do poorly? What can you do to improve?
5. Who in your organization needs to go back to school? Who in your organization has been doing the same thing for several years? Are the people on that list ready to learn more? Are they strong individual performers? Do they have the talent and interest to become a leader?
6. What does your company do for customers? What is your business model and should it change as your customers further embrace the Internet?
7. What financial information should be shared with employees? Do you need to deploy open book management?
8. Who on your payroll now should be given a bigger job and more training?
How do I prioritize?
All of us ask, "Should I finally take some real income or push even more money back into the company?" Your business finally has solid-growth. That makes for a very special small business.
Again, we extend our very sincere, "Congratulations."
You are approaching, or you have made it beyond $1 million in annual revenue; you have broken a special barrier. It seems to be a benchmark. Often it marks the difference between those who are creating jobs for others and those who do not want employees.
For those of you who are building a long-term business, the next benchmark seems to be get over $4M mark consistently, and then move on to the $10M mark.
Our benchmark is sustainability. We also call it, Staying Power. If you have had consistent growth for over five years and your projections are for five more years of consistent growth, you will have moved on to Step 7: Sustainability.
1. The Basics - Looking Within.
You are hiring managers and you are sharing some of your executive roles with others.
This is a time when owners who begin a serious process of self-analysis and business analysis will make choices that will move the business toward sustainability. Your business basics are as important now as when you began. Plus, every person associated with your business -- if you are building a team to carry it forward -- needs to be able to read, understand, interpret, and act on the financials. That monthly report is now a result of their work, too. And though many fail to see it, the business is now taking on a personality and dimensionality that are the results of the work of employees.
Your baby, the business, that was once just an extension of you, is now an extension of many.
In this section of the site, we will constantly bring forward the comments of many owners who have successfully given over responsibilities; then when they "got it," they really began empowering people.
To do this effectively, you will need some kind of knowledge management system. For some, it is the business plan. Everybody contributes to it. Everybody is responsible for a section. For others, it requires even more participation by their people.
2. Your community - Your history
History teaches, and your business has a significant history. How is that information being used by everybody in the business to move it forward?
A sustainable business constantly evaluates the leveragability of its products and services. There is a constant review of history -- "Let's go over that one more time," is the attempt to see something that has not been articulated and it could be just that important detail that begins to make a product or business formula work.
This is a good time to review all those shows that are within your type of business or a similar business type. Here you will learn how all of these people continue to be filled with energy even after many years of diligent work to grow their business.
3. Your time - the present moment - today
We believe there are products and services that we all need and we are out to find the best and to recommend them here to help each of us become sustainable businesses.
How you work the equity in your business becomes a critical. Look at the section about Money. Learn about the Small Corporate Offering Registration. Learn about your your options.
Awards Programs for your business: Many of the people we have profiled have come to our attention because they were recognized by one of their peer groups, their national business association, a national publication or one of the groups that recognizes small business excellence such as the SBA, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year, or the Mass Mutual's Blue Chip Awards.
Awards Programs for your people: A good time to review the work of Marty Edelston and I-Power. Every time your business is recognized, recognize someone within your business!
4. Projecting the day when "the Chairman of the Board" means something.
We all use titles so loosely, yet most people within the business community know when a business is doing well. You, founder/owner, have more time to be more gracious and giving. That is very important. You have become (or are becoming) a role model for others.
This television show is the "anti-Tony Soprano" show. He is the antithesis of good business and the antithesis of a role model.
Though we will be adding and revising this section, consider tracking non-financial ratios.