Category Archives: Management

Don’t Miss those Important Dates

Your business runs like a clock, and uses a calendar. Important dates come and go. When you hit deadlines, all is well, and you probably don’t notice.
But miss one? BAM~ and you are in hot water.
i missed a date just last week. I let THIS Domain expire – without knowing it. Oh man, did that hurt. I had thought I transferred all my domain registration to my main provider. I guess I missed this one.
it took about a week of calling somewhere to get it re-registered, and here we are, back up again
What did it cost us, besides the domain fee?
This direct site isn’t all that active, I’m sorry to say, so there wasn’t much lost here.
However, we host some of our eBay photos on this domain, so those items had no photos. We probably didn’t sell any of those items over the past week. How do you measure what didn’t happen? You don’t. We’ll never know.
What did we learn?
First, we learned that the reason we left that other hosting company was still valid. Their support and front office operations seem to be run offshore. We talked to “Rachael” “Mike” and “Lena”. But, they weren’t. The support response was friendly and polite, but relatively ineffective. I’m glad we left.
Who are they, you say? That’s for another posting when I can do some research on other hosts.
Secondly, I reinforced the need to put automatic ticklers in place for all, and I mean all, my important dates.
I screwed up. We got over it. But, we can prevent future gaffes.
What are some of YOUR important dates? What will you do to keep them in front of you?

I Hope Your Guy Won

I really do. That means you will have fewer excuses in the future. What does the result of an election have to do with excuses?

It is easy to point to external circumstances as reasons why failure is inevitable or acceptable. The elected administrations are  seen as the cause or the cure for the economic environment. That environment is seen as the key factor in business success.

I say, No.

Yes, the macro or big-picture economy is important to business success. But, unless you are engaged in the collapsing housing and mortgage markets, it isn’t as important as you fear.

Your business has customers and competitors. Let your competitors cower in fear. YOU take stock and chart a safe course through the tumult, and expand into their market. While you’re at it, take their customers, too.

You see, everybody makes their economic decisions, not on the general economy, but on their own personal circumstances. Sure, the news on Wall Street will have impact on those decisions. But it is the bills in the mail, the price of gas, and the boss at work that have more impact.

So, whether your guy won or not should cheer or disappoint you. But, don’t count on him to solve your economic problems. After all. It’s YOUR business, not his.

Make your plans with alternatives to counter higher prices. Decide how to plan for manpower. Be creative and discover ways to better communicate to your market that you are still there and willing to help them out. There will always be customers who are above the economics and will continue to darken your door. You just have to keep finding them.

It is your business. You have no business letting its success hinge on the decisions and actions of that guy in the Whitehouse – whether you voted for him or not. Your responsibility is to make it work in SPITE of what goes on in Washington. You have commitments to meet, customers to serve, and employees who depend on you.

Don’t let them down.

Making the Hard Decisions

The current economic turmoil will have its negative effects on individuals for years to come. If you are in a position to make the hard choices, this is for you. If you are affected by those choices, I hope this helps you understand.

The company requires survival, and that survival requires certain decisions, most of which are distasteful. On top of that, some decisions automatically eliminate certain future options of pursuit.

When we decide to abandon an operating market, we flush the sunk costs of opening it, and we make it very unlikely we will return. If we had not opened it in the first place, we could always come in at a later date. But exiting might be required.

As we choose to restrict capital expenditures, we automatically restrict potential growth. As markets grow, we require new equipment or expanded facilities to accommodate it. If there is no money, there is no expansion, there is no growth. This is the difficult choice.

As we address payroll considerations, we make similar restrictions in our future. We presumably have competent people working in the right positions. If we lay them off, chances are that they will end up working for another company and not be available to us in the future. Worse, they may go to work for a competitor – in spite of any covenants they may have signed. When we need to accomplish the work once again, we will be put in a required position of hiring and training someone to do the job. Extra expense in the future is always the cost of replacing cost-savings of the past.

But, survival, now, is paramount. We must make the hard choices that affect our future abilities to respond. We also must try to minimize that future effect and make our decisions in line with our Mission. Do not be impulsive in this most critical environment.

So, when survival is the requirement, make the correct decisions swiftly. Do not hesitate and hope that the circumstances will change – they will, but not likely for the better, or not soon enough to be of any help.

Gauge the consequences, accept the risk, make the decision, take the action.