“Business Execution” has been retired!!

In 2009 I decided to brand my fledgling management consulting business as ‘Collaborative Xceleration’ with a focus on helping small business owners with ‘Excellent Execution’.  So, when I started my blog, it was with that same focus on execution in business, hence the blog title ‘Business Execution’.

After over a year without any posts, I am retiring the blog name ‘Business Execution’ and replacing it with ‘Think Plan Execute’ to reflect my broader interest in the full life-cycle of starting and running a small business.

Stay tuned for more information from ‘Think Plan Execute’.

No Time to Develop Process? Think Again!!

A number of years ago a new client responded to my question “can I see last year’s financials?” by handing me the check register for his business checking account.  Ignoring some other issues (many?), this is indicative, to me, of a problem that many individuals have when they start their business – they don’t put processes in place to ensure that what needs to be done is a) being done, and b) being done in a standard and repeatable manner.

So when should you develop and implement processes for your business?

Pivot!! Make Your Decisions Quickly

Those of you that know me, or have been following my Business Execution blog, know that I am a big proponent of planning – both strategic and tactical.  So, how can I now be advising you to make your decisions quickly?  Doesn’t that fly-in-the-face of taking the time to think things through and plan?

Let me explain why I don’t think that it does, and why I believe that the speed of your decision making can be an accelerant to the growth of your business.  After all, I am as big a proponent of execution as I am of planning.

I’m a Square!!

Yes, I admit it … but probably not in the way you are currently thinking.  The Square in my title is the credit card reader/application/service that I use for taking credit card payments – so maybe the title should be “I’m a Square user”!!

Earlier this week I was discussing with someone why I started my business and why my ‘focused market niche’ is in the entrepreneurial and small business space.  Square is an example of one of the market drivers behind my decision to start my own business.

Can money make you stupid?

Last week I talked about the new JOBS Act making “equity-based crowd funding” legal; and how I believe it is a good thing for startup funding.  So this week I thought I would talk about a potential pitfall for the entrepreneur from this “easy money”.  I’m ignoring any pitfalls that may be introduced by the act itself – until we see a draft of the regulations I think it is too soon to comment.

While I don’t have any “real data”, based on my own experience I would say that when you talk to people starting a business at least 80% of them come out with some statement along the lines of “if I can raise [insert number here], then all of our problems will be solved”.  Unfortunately for many of them, raising the amount of money they are targeting – or even twice as much – won’t help them succeed.

Small business – the engine of the US economy?

Politicians and the media like to spout what seems to be conventional wisdom that “small business is the engine of the US economy” and that these businesses create the most jobs.  But is that so?

One of the criteria describing Collaborative Xceleration’s target market niche is “small companies looking for exponential growth”.  So, recently I’ve been doing some research into how many of these companies exist in the U.S., and what their geographic distribution is (this is also input to deciding where we are going live!).  As part of that research, I’ve come across some interesting data that addresses the “engine of the economy” statement which I thought I would share with you.

Lessons from Facebook for Entrepreneurs

So the big financial news this week was that Facebook filed it’s IPO.  On Thursday, if you watched the financial news channels, you might have been forgiven for thinking there was no other financial news that day.

As I listened to the news reports and read the articles in The New York Times, I was struck by the little nuggets behind the news about how to be the founder/CEO of an entrepreneurial endeavor.  Not that any of this is new and hasn’t been said a thousand times before, but it always seems worth repeating.  So, I thought I would share with you what leaped out at me.  Perhaps you saw/heard some different things that could also be “lessons from Facebook for entrepreneurs”.

Building a Better ‘First-Time Entrepreneur’

This week I talked with an entrepreneur (no names; no pack drill!) who isn’t happy with the speed with which their business is progressing (come to think of it I’m not sure I’ve ever met an entrepreneur who was happy with their speed of business progress [superemotions file=”icon_biggrin.gif” title=”Big Grin”]) – and, actually, my conversations were with more than one such entrepreneur.

This got me thinking about weaknesses exhibited in the businesses of first-time entrepreneurs, specifically during the period before they get to revenue.  My conversation with this individual covered most of the topics that I’ve detailed below; they are ones that commonly come up in conversations with first-time entrepreneurs (I’m sure you can come up with others!!).

Isolation vs. collaboration

In The New York Times’ Sunday Review section (January 15th) the front page opinion article was “The Rise Of the New Groupthink” by Susan Cain.  It was subtitled “Collaboration is in.  But it may not be conducive to creativity.”

As someone who believes in the power of collaboration – it’s part of the name of my company, Collaborative Xceleration – I had to read the article to see if my view of collaboration and creativity needed to be revised.

Would You Want a ‘Fool’ Investing in Your Business?

Recently, in one of the LinkedIn Groups I belong to – Business Owners & Entrepreneurs – Sandra Brevett-Dib posted a link to an article on Forbes.com: ‘Early-Stage Startups Need Friends, Family, and Fools’ by Martin Zwilling.

I posted a comment that, when I talk about the 3Fs, I use the term Fanatics not Fools, because:

“I don’t like the term ‘fools’ when applied to people who are investing in your business – because to me it implies that your business is a foolish one to invest in.  Fanatics are people who love your idea so passionately that they are willing to overlook some things that a ‘professional investor’ may see as dealbreakers.”

That inspired me to talk in more detail here about Fools vs. Fanatics.