You could sure do a lot if you weren’t doing so much

April 21, 2008 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

As a training and coaching company, Strategies meets and works with leaders seeking solutions and guidance to grow their businesses. They come ready to dig in and absorb all the amazing business solutions we can throw at them. They’re motivated and focused. You can hear their entrepreneurial engines revving up as they prepare to go back and take their business to that amazing next level. And then it happens. Their engines start to sputter. The fire in their eyes fades to deer-in-the-headlights. What happened? Simple, they slammed into their daily routine and work habits. As if shifting into reverse, they blurt out, “I don’t have time to do all this. I’m already working 50-60 hours a week.” They’re stuck.
I totally get it and appreciate the situation. You’re a working owner and you need to generate revenue for your business with your own two hands. Question: If you don’t like your situation and want to take your business to a better place, when are YOU going to change and get yourself unstuck? As long you continue to buy into the thinking that you must continue to generate revenues with your two hands, nothing will change. You have a business. You have employees. Each one has two hands to do the work. It’s time to use their hands and start leading and making money with your head.
Here are some red-hot strategies to get yourself unstuck:
* What does your business need from you? Does it need you as a service provider or a strategic leader? Does it need focus, a clear direction or even a new inspiring vision? Do your employees need your guidance, praise and encouragement? As you can see, your business needs more from you than service revenue.
* Break your routine: It’s your routine that keeps you stuck. Nothing else. Change your routine one day at a time. Commit that day to completing specific projects or tasks. How about this? Schedule one-on-ones with each employee. Find out what they need from you and the business. Listen. Listen really well as there is much to learn.
* Small wins add up: Resist the temptation to embark on that big project you’ve been chomping at the bit to do. Tackle some small but meaningful projects that can be done in short order. Rack up some wins before you climb Mount Everest.
* Get comfortable in your new role: Manage your time carefully by making appointments with yourself to complete tasks. Work through a daily checklist. Be present and engaged with your staff. Communicate and share what you’re working on. You’ll soon discover your leadership stride.
* Leave yesterday behind: It’s so easy to slip back into old behaviors and thinking. Keep looking forward and press on. You’ve got a lot to keep you busy.
Changing your work behaviors and thinking is certainly going to shake up your world. And if shaking things up gets you unstuck, it’s the best thing for you, your company and all who depend on it. So rev up your engine and ignite the fire in your eyes. You’ve got a company to lead and grow. No compromise!
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends They’ll appreciate it.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies Founder & CEO
As a training and coaching company, Strategies meets and works with leaders seeking solutions and guidance to grow their businesses. They come ready to dig in and absorb all the amazing business solutions we can throw at them. They’re motivated and focused. You can hear their entrepreneurial engines revving up as they prepare to go back and take their business to that amazing next level. And then it happens. Their engines start to sputter. The fire in their eyes fades to deer-in-the-headlights. What happened? Simple, they slammed into their daily routine and work habits. As if shifting into reverse, they blurt out, “I don’t have time to do all this. I’m already working 50-60 hours a week.” They’re stuck.
I totally get it and appreciate the situation. You’re a working owner and you need to generate revenue for your business with your own two hands. Question: If you don’t like your situation and want to take your business to a better place, when are YOU going to change and get yourself unstuck? As long you continue to buy into the thinking that you must continue to generate revenues with your two hands, nothing will change. You have a business. You have employees. Each one has two hands to do the work. It’s time to use their hands and start leading and making money with your head. (more…)
As a training and coaching company, Strategies meets and works with leaders seeking solutions and guidance to grow their businesses. They come ready to dig in and absorb all the amazing business solutions we can throw at them. They’re motivated and focused. You can hear their entrepreneurial engines revving up as they prepare to go back and take their business to that amazing next level. And then it happens. Their…
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Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

Build cash reserves to prevent “Owner’s Nights”

April 14, 2008 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

I was 23 when I opened my first business. As I did my research, I kept coming across this one simple statement: “You should keep at least three- to four-months of operating cash in reserve.” As a young entrepreneur, I can’t tell you how many times I thought this cash reserve recommendation was totally absurd. Three- to four-months of cash in reserve – yeah right. But, deep down I knew it was not only dead-on right, it was an etched-in-stone business non-negotiable. It took a couple of tough lessons to learn that you just can’t grow a sustainable and enduring company if its fuel warning light is always on. Cash is the fuel of business.
FACT: Financial stress can wreck you because it keeps you in a constant state of intense worry and high anxiety. How am I going to pay the bills that are due next week? Will I have money to do payroll on Thursday? Where will the money come from if it’s not in the checkbook? How will I ever pay off all those credit cards that I’ve maxed out? I made more money as an employee. How much longer can I work like this? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, there’s a darn good chance that you’re not sleeping good at night. I call them owner’s nights.
Here are some red-hot strategies to build cash reserves and stop your owner’s nights:
* Confront your financial reality: It’s one thing to experience an occasional bind. It’s another to live in a perpetual cash crisis day in and day out. It’s time to pull your head out of the clouds and look in the mirror. Yup… there’s the culprit. It’s your spending and your business decisions that keep you in a cash crisis. You need to change first.
* Build a roadmap to daylight: You’re kidding yourself if you think working harder and bringing in more cash will fix the problem. You must get a handle on exactly how big your problem is and isolate those areas that need to be fixed first. To do this you must create a 12-month cash-flow plan that projects potential revenues to strive for and a budget you will live by. Don’t know how? Call us.
* Make the tough decisions: A cash crisis doesn’t go away by tip-toeing around the elephant in your living room, or by watching “The Secret” every night hoping the law of attraction will bring you prosperity. Get out the meat cleaver and cut expenses that are nice-to-haves – not gotta-haves. And stop looking at that 55% – 65% payroll cost and do something about it. It’s killing your business. Strategies can help you.
* Stop dragging yesterday’s bad decisions: Your business can’t gain speed dragging along yesterday’s debt. Your cash-flow plan must have a credit card and debt reduction plan built in to methodically pay down debt.
* Build your “sleep good at night” account: This isn’t rocket science. Commit to putting at least 5% of total revenues into a cash reserve account every week. Pay the reserve account first. If you can’t put 5% in one week, than put 2% or 3% in. Just put something into the account. View your cash reserve account as a sacred trust that is not to be touched.
I’ve seen it time and time again. A business that operates in a constant state of insolvency continues to make bad decisions out of desperation because the owner is in survival mode. Likewise, a business with cash reserves makes better decisions because they’re made from a position of confidence and financial strength. Three- to four-months operating cash in reserve. That’s sleep good at night money. I sleep good at night. Do you?
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends They’ll appreciate it.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies Founder & CEO

I was 23 when I opened my first business. As I did my research, I kept coming across this one simple statement: “You should keep at least three- to four-months of operating cash in reserve.” As a young entrepreneur, I can’t tell you how many times I thought this cash reserve recommendation was totally absurd. Three- to four-months of cash in reserve – yeah right. But, deep down I knew it was not only dead-on right, it was an etched-in-stone business non-negotiable. It took a couple of tough lessons to learn that you just can’t grow a sustainable and enduring company if its fuel warning light is always on. Cash is the fuel of business.... Read More

I was 23 when I opened my first business. As I did my research, I kept coming across this one simple statement: “You should keep at least three- to four-months of operating cash in reserve.” As a young entrepreneur, I can’t tell you how many times I thought this cash reserve recommendation was totally absurd. Three- to four-months of cash in reserve – yeah right. But, deep down I knew…
Read More

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