January Opportunities: Grow Business Now!

Winter is here; the holidays are over. Some businesses are picking up, slowly or substantially; others are in hibernation, or worse, in the activity deep freeze. Regardless of your business status, don’t miss the opportunities to forge ahead, right now.

  • Take stock of last year’s successes. Who were your big customers? What did you sell to them? How did they find you? What closed the sale? Look for similar customers to repeat success.
  • Take another look at last year’s customers. How can you continue to serve them? What other products can you offer? Can you offer ongoing services? Work continuously to keep their loyalty, because every competitor is constantly seeking to lure them away.
  • Focus your offering. Being everything to everyone is being nothing to anyone. For what specific customer are you the single best choice? Why should they buy from you and not a competitor? If you don’t know the answer neither will they. To make an impact, you must be the best, target the customer and communicate to them.
  • Step back and envision tomorrow; it will be here before you can blink. Where is your market going? What resources do you have? What can  you create to serve the market with a new product that meets their needs better than anything else? Be creative.
  • Get into action. Don’t waste time while your competitors are surging ahead. Get moving. Try something. Invest in your business. The longer you delay, the more likely your competitors will seize the advantage, and  the less time you have to make this year’s profit plan. Get the help you need to move wisely and quickly. Take action, assess results, make adjustments and try again.

The new year poses tremendous opportunities for those who act, and tremendous risks for those who do not. The market belongs to the quick and wise. Step into 2013 and take charge of business growth!


January 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm 3 comments

A Business Tip from the World of Music: Don’t “Dut” a Pianist!

Have you ever seen a marching band perform a  halftime show? For marching on overdrive, check out a Drum Corps International showcase program,  the Cavaliers 2008 clip.  Their goal is to be so perfectly coordinated that everyone playing the same instrument starts a phrase at exactly the same instant.  The drum major’s downbeat isn’t precise enough to accomplish this, so they “dut.”  The section leader barks out “Dut…dut…dut…” to set the beat and coordinate the all-important first note. It’s part of their structure and proud tradition.

Now fast forward your thinking to Orchestra Hall in Chicago, or Carnegie Hall in New York. A violin soloist and piano accompanist are trading impossibly complex musical passages. At the end of a musical phrase there is a long pause. The pianist must start at exactly the same moment as the violin. An almost imperceptible muscle twitch, and the piano and violin sound as one. A “dut” is incomprehensible. You don’t “dut” a pianist.

Those of us in business have much to learn from the world of music. Don’t “dut” a pianist. Know the expectations and traditions of the industries, the cultures,  the businesses and the individuals with whom you are dealing. A proud tradition in one context can be an humiliating gaffe in another. When venturing into new territory, take time to learn and appreciate its traditions. Honor and celebrate the differences, respect the structure. Don’t  “dut” a pianist.

January 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Go for Business Extreme in 2013, and a Happy New Year to All!

It’s barely past the Fourth of July, the weather is sizzling hot, which means it’s time to think of….The New Year!  Happy New Year to All!! Wait, you might be thinking. What about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, not to mention the remaining 150 days, more or less, of 2012? Has the year been that bad that we’re writing off the second half? No way. We’re going to be much too busy to waste even a day.

I firmly believe there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel, and this is the brink of great opportunity. Now is the time to set a vision and a goal for our businesses, create a strategy and make every preparation to capitalize on opportunities. The pace of change is ever accelerating; December of 2012 is too late to be thinking about strategies for 2013.

Where is your business going? What is changing in your market? What are you going to do about it? What do you need to achieve extreme success?  Assess your resources, think strategically and set out a plan for growth. Set aside a portion of your budget as an investment in growth. Make the connections you need, make the investments you need to capitalize on opportunities, because sometimes opportunity does not wait.

July 12, 2012 at 12:51 am Leave a comment

new business horizons

new business horizons

Get ready to grow business in 2013

Continue Reading July 12, 2012 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

Walking on Eggshells

Walking on Eggshells.

April 10, 2012 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Walking on Eggshells

Easter has past and spring is here! We’ve survived the cold of winter, trees are budding, flowers are blooming ahead of schedule. It’s time to reach out, stretch, step forward and seize the energy of the season. Yet after the long business drought it’s hard to step out assertively. A part of our being still feels like we’re walking on eggshells, tiptoeing carefully, afraid to crush the fragile economy. While reckless abandon might not be called for, it might be time for us to breathe a bit easier, reach out a bit farther, seek out and nurture business growth. Like a turtle peeking out of its shell, it might be time to look around at all the world has to offer, and recommit to all we have to offer in return. We still might be walking on eggshells, but we can walk a bit more confidently, taking longer strides, and seeking the opportunities that truly are there for business today.

April 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

You Gotta Have Heart!

In the old movie “Damn Yankees,” the showstopper song is “You Gotta Have Heart.” We don’t hear that song very often today, but if you’re in business you know We All Gotta Have Heart!


A quick synopsis: In “Damn Yankees” the Washington Senators baseball team, (“First in war, first in peace, last in the American League”) is hopelessly outclassed but dream of clinching the pennant from the invincible New York Yankees. The song is the locker room pep talk, and after several plot twists, the Senators finally emerge victorious.


It’s easy to feel like the old Washington Senators – outclassed, discouraged and tired. No one has to remind us that business today is tough. Even when activity is picking up, the sheer effort can be draining. Yet even when things are challenging, opportunities are there.


  • Take stock. What have you sold recently? Even if sales were low, at least someone wanted that product. How can you find more customers like the ones you have had?
  • Invest time. Poll former customers; ask about their current challenges. Consider how you can help them. Explore new product offerings or new strategic relationships.
  • Try something new. Old activities will yield old results. If you’re not satisfied with your old results, experiment with new products, processes and ideas.
  • Explore your passion. What part of your business do you love? What are your interests outside of business? What experiences have you had? You are totally unique. Explore how that uniqueness can set you apart from all your competitors. Explore how you can be the best choice for the clients who are the best fit for you.


Refresh, refocus, renew. Be good to yourself. You have something special to offer your clients and the community.  You might not have the supernatural assistance that the Washington Senators had, but you can do some pretty amazing things.  Keep the faith, keep heart and soar in 2012!

February 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm 2 comments

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