Business is like basketball: necessary knowledge not a slam-dunk

The problem for most of us is we think we know it all or we believe if we try hard enough we can make ourselves learn it. But it’s not nearly that simple

Business is like basketball: necessary knowledge not a slam-dunkUntil Dave Holmes stepped onto the basketball court, I was unconsciously incompetent. I knew how to yell from the stands and I knew how to tell my kids how to play better. But this year when I took the step to coach my daughter’s school basketball team, I realized how incompetent I really was. I…

Hammer home the truth about business success with the right tools

Without the right tools, people and plans, your business will suffer. You’re going to have to work harder and that will affect your bottom line

Hammer home the truth about business success with the right toolsIt was almost the final straw. I was laying on the ground after falling off the roof of the house and the carpenter, John, was standing over me yelling. He was mad because his sawhorses had been broken in half because of my stupidity, while I was just wondering if I had broken anything in…

Finding the niche that will make your business successful

You can't be all things to all people, but you can be exceptional. Find the market, product and service that suit you and your customers

Finding the niche that will make your business successfulThe line “You can’t be all things to all people” comes from this poem: You can't be all things to all people. You can't do all things at once. You can't do all things equally well. You can't do all things better than everyone else. Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's. So: You…

How to create customer service that works

It’s all about making a connection with your customers and building a relationship by giving them what they need in that moment

How to create customer service that worksI recently gave a customer service session to the employees of a store called Great White Toys. Having seen in the news that Toys ‘R’ Us has filed for bankruptcy protection and that many other retailers are also in trouble as a result of online competition, I was surprised to hear from store owner Cameron…

All talk, no action will leave your business in neutral

Many business owners know exactly what they would like to accomplish in their business. But they lack the necessary plan

All talk, no action will leave your business in neutralWendell is a swell guy with a big heart and a large mouth – and can Wendell ever talk! I worked with Wendell recently at a volunteer project. We were planting a garden and while I was breaking my back, loading dirt in and out of pickup trucks, Wendell would lean on his shovel and…

Five things retailers must do to survive

Exclusive products, niche markets, human contact, offering experiences and developing keen business knowledge can help set you up for success

Five things retailers must do to surviveI recently facilitated a meeting of a group of more than 100 retailers. Seventy per cent of them were either fearful or concerned about the future of their stores. And so they should be. Retailing is changing – you would have to be blind not to see that. When I started in retailing in the…

Five ways small business is taking a tax blow to the head

Wouldn’t it be better to encourage small business ownership than punish it?

Five ways small business is taking a tax blow to the headChris clobbered me on the side of the head and then swam over me. Coughing and sputtering I came up for air and yelled foul. The referee blew his whistle and Chris was sent off to the side of the pool. I laughed and played on. It was all part of the game of water…

How compassion makes businesses money

Companies organized around values such as love, generosity and endearment have significantly greater stock market returns

How compassion makes businesses moneyMichael was my mentor when it comes to compassion. His heart always went out to anyone who was in a tough spot. As a roommate of Michael’s, I saw him reach out to people in the community who were down on their luck and in pain. He would help to mend hearts even after his…

Are you standing on the edge of the cliff with your business?

It’s time to take the plunge: to take a good idea and turn it into a profitable venture, you need to take a risk

Are you standing on the edge of the cliff with your business?Christopher O’Byrne stood on the edge of the cliff, looked down, considered jumping and then stepped back. He repeated the process over and over. He would walk away and then back. His mind told him to jump but his body just wouldn’t do it. Christopher knew he couldn’t take the internal dialogue any more, or…

Business in decline? Start calling your customers back

Reaching out to wayward customers can not only reinvigorate your sales, but allows you to do a lot of market research

Business in decline? Start calling your customers backGrant was on the ground yelling as I came around the corner at high speed on my mountain bike at dusk. He had flown off his bike instead of hitting a moose standing on the trail. I skidded to avoid him. I could still see two moose, a cow and her year-old calf, on the…