Name your year, put new focus on your goals and achievements

We only have a limited number of years in our lives and breaking them down into time frames of intention could make all the difference

Name your year, put new focus on your goals and achievementsI was invited to speak at a conference last January where the hosts encouraged the attendees to “Name their year.” I’d never thought of doing this before and was interested in how people would go about picking the name of the year. As I sat around a table and listened to the conversation, I was…

Five things to do when your business is failing

It’s all about getting a broader perspective, knowing your customers, understanding your financials, marketing properly and asking for help

Five things to do when your business is failing“I told myself I wouldn’t cry,” said the woman on the other end of the phone as I asked her about her business. Patiently I waited for her to dry her eyes and compose herself. She went on to tell me how the summer had been tough, sales were slower than usual and now, months…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Is customer service dead?

When we take the time to engage with our customers and be sincere and interested, the dollars roll in

Is customer service dead?It was a Friday afternoon in Alberta. I’d met with some clients and had time for a walk. I decided to head to the strip mall near where I was staying. My first stop was the Peavey Mart hardware store, since I’d never visited one before and it looked interesting. I entered the store and…

Are great sales people born or trained?

Selling might come naturally to some people, but there’s often more than meets the eye to a truly great salesperson

Are great sales people born or trained?The Gilbert family seem like they were born to sell. Will Gilbert sold 16 cars in June while the average car salesperson in North America sold only 10 vehicles. Will never did work for me, although I did have four other Gilberts employed over the years. Each sibling broke the sales records for departments that…