Grow

Learn to use the tools and technologies that will grow your small business.

Define the Process – Employee Onboarding

This post is a part of a series to help you define processes in your business Defining and documenting processes is critical to the growth of your company. There are many different types of processes you need to be thinking about, but one of the most important is your employee

Define the Process – Overcoming hurdles to documentation

There are quite a few hurdles in getting your team to document processes. Anything you can do to remove these obstacles will help ensure that documents are created and updated regularly. At the start, just getting people to write down the details of a process is a win. At some

Define the Process – Where to store your documents

If you want to grow your business, you have to set up processes and document those processes. As we engage with clients in helping them set up these documents, we always just start by focusing on one process. This first process is usually in a word doc on a local

Taking Risks – How to Overcome Fear (Part 3)

I see myself as having a fairly high-risk tolerance. I like trying new things and trying out creative solutions within my business. What I don’t like is having a project for a client and then not being able to deliver a solution for them. I hate failure. What happens for

Taking Risks – How to Overcome Fear (Part 2)

“Being Safe Is Risky” ~ Seth godin A few years back I was hanging out with my father-in-law and his buddies and they were all talking about their concerns over their children or grandchildren. Even though all their kids were out of the house, they still worried about them. I

Taking Risks – How to Overcome Fear (Part 1)

If you want to make money in business, you can’t just copy what someone else is doing. You need to figure out how to create value. And creating value comes from solving problems. How do you solve a problem? You have try solving it! Analysis will only bring you so

Define the Process – Job to be Done

While I love creating systems for small business owners, there is a real problem with system thinking — the rut. The rut is a mindset where we start to believe that our current systems will always work and will never need to change. What is the issue with this? Your

Define the Process – Understanding Lean

My experience in manufacturing gave me such a vivid view of how to continually improve a system. When you look at a manufacturing floor, everything is just so visible. Many times within seconds you can diagnose the bottleneck that is holding the system back. When you are making something on

Defining the Process – Types of Documents

This post is a part of a series to help you define processes in your business In our process documentation, we have the following types of docs: Team member details. We do have an office, but half our team is remote. This directory puts a name to a face and

Define the Process – Start with One

This post is a part of a series to help you define processes in your business Every couple of years, we have to train in a new level one support rep. When we hire people in this position, they get stressed with all the learning. And frankly, I get overwhelmed

Define the Process – Documentation Before Automation

This post is a part of a series to help you define processes in your business Most small business owners I know want to grow their business, but most don’t take the initiative to build the systems of their business. Your job is to build the system and let the

Defining the Process – Overseeing Systems

This post is a part of a series to help you define processes in your business Hopefully, at this point, you’ve started to glimpse the importance of creating systems in your business and you’ve decided to take ownership of overseeing the development of these systems. We are off to a

Defining the Process – You Can’t Outsource It

This post is a part of a series to help you define processes in your business In order to grow your business, you have to implement processes. These processes make sure your company can run without you. They allow you to scale. While we all want to scale our business,

Define the Process

I’ve written quite a bit on using leverage to grow your business. Leverage has a root word — lever. A lever is a simple machine that relies on a fulcrum to multiply input which increases output. One critical area you can use leverage in your business is in creating processes.

The Limits to Analysis in Better Decision Making

“Most people never pick up the phone. Most people never call and ask. And that’s what separates sometimes the people who do things from those who just dream about them. You gotta act. You gotta be willing to fail. You gotta be willing to crash and burn. With people on

The Next Twenty Years

As small business owners there is always going to be a percentage of tasks that we have to do that we really don’t want to do. But as I’ve aged in years, I’ve started to pay close attention to my energy levels. When I start craving substances like beer or

Turning Limits Into Advantages

“Real Artists Ship”~ Steve Jobs I’ve written here and here and here about the benefits of limits. Learning to leverage limits in our business and life can lead to incredible results. We have a choice about what we believe. When we encounter limits, we can be frustrated about these constraints,

Empathy Over Manipulation

We all want more leads, and so marketing seems like where we should put our time. But marketing should be the byproduct of deep customer knowledge. I argue that this knowledge comes from having empathy for our customers. When we focus on marketing without first having a true understanding of

No More Typewriters

Effective Immediately!! No more typewriters are to be purchased, leased etc., etc. … We believe the typewriter is obsolete. Let’s prove it inside before we try and convince our customers. Michael Scott (Apple President in 1980) Computers are so common today that we forget that at one point, people used

Information vs Knowledge

I’ve heard it said that entrepreneurs work 80 hours for themself so they don’t have to work 40 for someone else. Why do we subject ourselves to this type of torture? Because we want to be in charge of our own destiny, to blaze a new trail. We are always

Strategy of Service – Mercenary vs Missionary Comparison Table

In my previous post, I highlighted a video from John Doer about attributes he looks for in leaders. The concept of mercenary vs missionary in business has had a tremendous impact on me over years. Partly because of my personality and upbringing, I have this desire to serve and make

The Strategy of Service – Missionary vs Mercenary

I believe one of the most beneficial long-term strategies to grow your business is found in trying to serve your customers better. If you continue to get better at serving your customer over time you will continue to ensure that you are learning and growing, which is the key to

Success Conditions – Experiments

It was midnight and I was ready to give up. My son Caleb was in the 4th grade and was participating in his first science fair. As a parent, I was still naive about the time it takes to make your experiment a success. I mean you don’t want to

Success Conditions – Relationships

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” – Warren Buffet After six months of hard coding, my team and I were at the end of a large software development project. I thought things were going great, but as it turned out the customer

What is Small Business Strategy?

strat·e·gy /ˈstradəjē/nouna plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Oxford’s English dictionary Strategy is a very important topic for small businesses. Oxford’s dictionary defines strategy as a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. There are a couple

Success Conditions – Compounding

It was 2008 and I was holding onto my business for dear life.  A few years earlier I had started selling websites and programming services.  We won some larger contracts so we took a risk and hired 3 employees and moved into a nice office space.   Then the recession hit

Dashboards

So far in our small business strategy, we have covered the various forms of intention planning. You have created your missional intent and then have set up your strategic intent by creating 12-month objectives. The next step was to create your implementation intent by establishing your leading activities that are

Implementation Intent

“Never mistake activity for results” John Wooden Business strategy overall is hard to apply in the context of small business. The key to making strategy work for you is all about intention planning, which when done right increases your likelihood of achieving your goals by 100%. The first step of

Strategic Intent

Most business strategy is developed within academia targeted towards large companies. While there can be some good knowledge you can glean from these resources, small business strategy really needs its own approach. The first step for you the owner is to develop a long-term perspective in the form of your

Missional Intent

Sales, employees, profits, procurement, delivery. We all have a long to-do list of things we need to accomplish to make sure the wheels don’t come off. It is a tornado whirling around everything we do and sucking us into its vortex. This vortex is spinning everything and constantly twirling and