As a management consultant, I spent much of my consulting time helping clients discover and focus on the most important aspects of their business. They were often overwhelmed with tasks and projects that had little to do with overall success.
That’s where I helped them define their ONE Thing.
A business needs to make a profit, and have positive cashflow. Without both, they will eventually die.
But, the ingredients for these two essentials range all over the map, and depending on the business, might not apply – right now. Customer acquisition, sales process, followup, expense control, inventory control, customer care, vendor relations, banking — just some of the areas of concern.
The management task is to identify the obstacles and bottlenecks to success, and work out plans and procedures to overcome.
Here is how I’ve helped clients. I’ve given them a checklist or roadmap for making progress.
- Of all the things that need to be done, what is that ONE Thing you need to Focus on – right now – for success?
- Can you Define it, Describe it, Picture it?
- What are the obstacles you need to overcome?
- What resources do you have, or need?
- Make a plan. Create Processes and Procedures to support this ONE Thing.
- Focus, Aim, Zero-in, Prioritize, Measure.
- Remove distractions. Shed the minutiae. Focus of the ONE Thing.
- Work, work, work on the ONE Thing until you’ve conquered it. Then move on to the Next ONE Thing.
- Track progress. Reflect. Evaluate. Refine.
I don’t know what your ONE Thing is. I do know you have one, and that it’s probably languishing and begging for attention. If you’re like me, it’s easy to procrastinate on the important stuff – because it might seem too hard.
Buck up! It’s the most important thing you can be working on.
Get. It. Done!
Baby, It’s COLD Outside!
Here in NW Oregon, it rarely gets below freezing, and even more rarely, it snows. Generally, we can expect snow every few years. That’s one reason we get “snow days” with the falling of a single snowflake.
So, we bundle up and light a fire, brew the hot chocolate, and burrow in for the cold fronts.
It’s time to reflect and narrow down our actions for the coming year.
Our Amazon FBA business ended 2016 about 20% ahead of 2015. Pretty darn good. We hope for the same for 2017.
Unfortunately, our best selling category is dwindling in inventory and availability. We found them in closeout and discontinued stock from various brokers. We’ve sold tens of thousands of them for an average NET Profit of $5.
But, we’ve probably found them all, and they’re nearly gone.
We’re contemplating Private Label manufacturing. Sandi found her China importer, and we’ll consult with her to evaluate feasibility.
And, we’ll branch out to find new categories of products we can source and re-sell for a profit. This is the continuing task for an Amazon Seller, or for anyone working in retail ecommerce .
It’s good to have our bundled warmth to give us comfort. The future is unknown. But we can predict with enough data.
Plan our Work. Work our Plan.
I’ve had several businesses. I’ve failed, and I’ve succeeded. Turns out that the difference between success and failure is just some small details. Details that often get overlooked in the crush of daily activities.
You either move towards success, or you move towards failure. You get to choose.
First, The Big Picture
Continue reading Planning for Business Success
It’s trade show time for us, We use trade shows to find merchandise and to make contacts with new vendors. It’s a big deal for us, and we look forward to each trip. But, we just can’t go and hope for the best. We’ve got to plan for success. Continue reading Trade Show! Here We Come!
Every tax time, I have to break out my checklists to be sure I cover off all the tasks needed to prepare an accurate tax return.
You see, as an American and a Christian, I believe that I should render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. But, not a penny more than he deserves. That means I have to accurately account for all sales and all expenses. Continue reading Tax Time Reminders