November 9, 2002
Table of Contents
Quote of the Week
Featured Resource - FreeTranslation.com
Staff Article -
CHARACTERISTICS OF STELLAR SMALL BUSINESSES
Guest Article -
GROW YOUR BUSINESS BY BEING VISIBLE
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Don't judge each day by
the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
--Robert Louis Stevenson
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CHARACTERISTICS OF STELLAR SMALL BUSINESSES
by: Cary Christian
We've been examining 15 ways small businesses get into trouble over the past
three weeks. This week, we're looking at the flipside. stellar small
businesses can be identified as NOT making the 15 mistakes we
discussed, but rehashing those 15 mistakes in reverse will not define them.
We're going to look at several common variables stellar small businesses
exhibit that are more intangible, yet seem to make all the difference
between success and failure.
You see, while making those 15 mistakes can kill a business, not making them
does not guarantee success. It only means the business is not likely to kill
itself. For the business to grow and become more and more profitable, more
The business must know the SCORE, how to SCORE, and when to
S - Stellar small businesses have a readily identifiable source of
STRENGTH, and the ability to SELECTIVELY apply that strength with
The strength a small business has can come from many sources: perhaps it's
the owner's vision and experience; maybe it's ownership of a desirable
patent or process; maybe it's a highly trained workforce; or it could be,
and often is, a combination of several different types of strength.
Whatever the source might be, strength, like energy, is not limitless.
Misapplied strength tends to dissipate rapidly and accomplish little. The
stellar small business not only recognizes where their strengths lie, but
they understand that strength must be conserved and applied in a selective
manner. In other words, they pick their battles carefully and choose those
that offer the best opportunity for profit with the least amount of risk.
The stellar small business is also willing to expend resources to increase
their skill level relative to their strengths. Higher skill levels translate
into better usage of strengths.
As a simple example of what I'm talking about in the preceding three
paragraphs, think about a martial arts expert. They are often thin and wiry,
but they can bring down an attacker three times their size with relative
ease. How? They know their strengths, how and when to apply them, and have
developed such skill as to actually turn an opponent's strengths against
C - The stellar small business exudes CHARACTER from top to
bottom, has a deep COMMITMENT to CONSISTENCY, and never
retreats from a CHALLENGE.
The stellar organization treats its vendors with honesty, treats its
employees well and fosters their personal growth, and treats its customers
like gold. Their commitment to these principles is deep, abiding and
consistently applied. Challenges to these principles occur every day, but
the company meets them head on and refuses to back down.
Character flows from the top down. It is rare to find an organization that
exhibits organizational character where the traits are not espoused and
practiced every day by the owners.
O - The stellar small business is ORGANIZED and primed and
ready to take advantage of every OPPORTUNITY.
When you visit one of these stellar companies you will be struck with the
sense of order you feel. Some of these companies may be extremely laid back,
some very formal, and all others somewhere in between. But whether the pace
of the business is lazy or frenetic, it is organized to the point where
every day it moves one step closer to reaching its goals.
Organization might not be the word that comes to mind when you see these
businesses in action. You might even think "chaos" at first. But if you
watch long enough, you'll see that even the frenzy has purpose and the
people working there are highly effective at what they do.
This organization and level of effectiveness make the business ready,
willing and able to take advantage of opportunities as they present
R - The stellar small business has a commitment to RESEARCH in
their market area and is willing to spend whatever it takes to guarantee
they have the RESOURCES available to quickly react to any new trends
These companies always seem to be in the right place, at the right time,
with the proper resources in place to act. It's no accident.
E - The stellar small business demands EFFICIENCY.
There's a hard way to do things and there's a right way to do them. The
right way is always the easiest way that's effective. stellar companies, AND
their employees, are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently.
They fall in love with better and faster, even if it's not cheaper. They
understand that time is money, and efficiency multiplies time.
Is your business one of these stellar small businesses? Check your SCORE
to find out!
Copyright (c) 2002
GROW YOUR BUSINESS
BY BEING VISIBLE
by: Wendy Hearn
What stands in the way of growing your business? The usual response is to do
with external factors and things that are beyond your control, such as the
economy and lack of buyers. This may be true to a degree and yet often
what is required to grow a business is for you to grow as a person. You can
continue to look outside of your business for the reasons that stop it
growing or you can look inside your business and to yourself to see what it
would take to make it grow.
There are many ways that you may need to grow personally in order for your
business to flourish and one of them is being able to truly connect with
potential clients. You can probably list many things that you need to do and
get right before you can start meeting with potential clients.
This list may include a perfect brochure, sales letter, presentation or
website. Yet again these are external and surface things. Yes, all of these
things do need to be right and professional, yet many people hide behind
these things before putting themselves out there and connecting with
You need to be out in the marketplace for people to truly get to experience
you. After all, people buy people and not the glossy brochures. When you put
yourself out there consistently you will be continually learning and
growing. The opportunity to learn about yourself, your market, and
what your potential clients need will enable you and your business to grow
faster. Your marketing materials will
evolve more easily and be reflective of the needs of your market. Instead of
guessing what your market needs, you'll be there in the frontline
Potential clients want the opportunity to connect with you as a person, an
individual rather than just be impressed, which can be very surface. They
want to see what you're really like, what would you be like to work with and
get a sense of what's important to you. There needs to be a connection and
in order for this to happen they need to
experience you. There are many ways for you to put yourself out there rather
than hide behind your desk, brochures or whatever else you justify to
yourself that needs to be done first. You can be visible by:
· Offering free samples
· Meeting for a coffee
· Participating in groups and communities
These are some of the ways you can put yourself out there and most
importantly, it's about spending time with people, listening to them,
discovering their needs and being your true self. Different ways of being
out there work for different people and you're here to discover which ones
work best for you. You'll only know this by experiencing and trying them
Ask yourself, "What do I need in order to put myself out there more?" Listen
to your responses and work out a plan of action in order to have what you
need. Take steps forward each day that enable you to participate more.
Perhaps you need more confidence, and this is built by taking action. Take
an action step that is small enough that you'll do it and enough of a
stretch for you that you'll build some confidence from actually having done
Let them experience the real you, not some impressive person or a perfect
image. Stop hiding and be the person who is willing to connect with others
in a meaningful way. You and your service won't be right for everyone
that you meet and that's okay. "Some will, some won't, so what, who's next".
It's about having an attitude that keeps you moving ahead rather than
What I want for you is to allow potential clients to experience you and your
Personal and Professional Coach
She works with business owners, professionals and executives to
discover and unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly take the actions
required to have the success they desire. To receive Wendy's free
newsletter, send an email to:
Copyright 2002, Wendy Hearn. All rights reserved.
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