Is Your Business Under Fire?

As a business owner, is your enterprise truly thriving, or are you feeling the pressure from your competitors who are breathing down your neck? If your business is not what you want it to be, what do you think is really going on? Being a business owner is probably one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of life, and at this time of year, we all need a quick business reality check. This article will provide you with a quick assessment of the business behaviors which are contributing to your success or those which might be triggering failure. As you are reading each statement, perform a quick self assessment. Can you answer “yes” to each statement? If not, your business might be under fire, and it’s time to turn it around.

1) I know exactly why I’m in this business to begin with.

Whether it’s a sense of freedom that’s driving you or a need to connect to your customers in a special way with what you have to offer, your business “why” needs to be clear. By knowing the why, your business can gain momentum by having a clear direction and specific measurable outcomes.

2)I understand and have implemented the fundamental principles of business.

This means you have a good working knowledge of business strategy (business planning and marketing) and the systems necessary for business success such as bookkeeping/accounting, legal issues, database management, and entity structuring. Once you have educated yourself about these fundamental principles, the next step is to implement and carefully monitor the systems that will keep your business moving forward.

3)I am taking reasonable risks.

Contrary to popular belief, savvy entrepreneurs do not take wild risks. They balance their sense of adventure and out-of-the-box thinking with common sense, due diligence and research. Taking ongoing reasonable risks will infuse energy and life into your business and will actually challenge you to stretch and grow as both a business owner and a person.

4)I know how to mitigate risk.

Do you have liability insurance, a back-up system for your paper and electronic documents, proper contracts and agreements? If not, you may be setting yourself up for risky business. Get your business in order, and make sure that your goals, methods and protocol are clearly spelled out and that your team is aligned with where you are going.

5)I know how to make decisions quickly.

You’ve heard the cliché “time is money”. There’s definitely some truth to that. As a savvy business owner, you will be called to combine your knowledge and your intuition to make decisions that are quick and smart. In today’s fast-moving, high tech world, the name of the game is “speed to market”, and your ability to make good choices without dragging your feet is critical to your ability to create the momentum necessary to pull your business forward and to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

6)I am developing networks and strong working relationships both inside and outside my industry.

Collaboration is powerful and synergistic, and the possibilities and solutions for your business increase exponentially by having a strong network. Building a network inside your industry will strengthen your expertise, but the real juice in networking happens when you begin to reach out beyond the bound aires of your profession to people who can bring fresh ideas and creative perspectives to your business.

7)I understand that implementing a great strategy is critical to my success.

Having a great strategy is key to creating a sustainable competitive advantage in your industry, and knowing which strategies to implement can be a formidable task. Choosing a strategy is simple, yet the execution of the strategy is where most business owners fall short. With a careful, planned approach to execution, your strategic goals can be attained. Working with a coach who specializes in strategy and execution can support you in moving through the obstacles which will pop up along the way.

8)I effectively implement sales, marketing and customer service strategies which are contributing to my growth and bottom line profits.

You have the avenues in place to let everyone know you’re open. You know your target market inside and out, and you are dedicated to finding new ways to reach them and provide ongoing value each and every day. You fully understand that if you are a business owner, you are not just a technician, you are now fully committed to the business of sales, marketing and delivering outstanding customer service.

9)I stay current with technologies, trends and developments in business.

If your thinking is back in the 70s or 80s, you’re going to get left behind, and you better keep up, or you’re going to get thumped by the competition. Keeping up with technology–particularly as it ties to the information age–is not optional…in today’s fast forward world, it’s a requirement to stay in the game of business.

10)I foster an environment that encourages creativity and development of new ideas.

This means that you’re open to “coincidences”, you listen to feedback, you’re patient and collaborative and you embrace change… Fresh … dynamic is what it’s all about! You are someone who welcomes all ideas–the radical, off-the-beaten-path, the controversial, and the seemingly benign. You suspend all judgment and allow your playful side to participate. Solo or in groups, this is important. Break the rules! Start with a multitude of ideas and then focus on the best solutions for your business.

So how did you do? There is a way to get you there by joining the Business Under Fire Program for 2007. For more information, visit us today online at [http://www.businessunderfire.com/].

Joint Ventures As a Business Strategy: What It Means to Your Company

Joint ventures are a rare strategy used in the business world today. Businesses usually conduct business with a single party. Joint ventures (JV) are distinct and unique from other strategies. Those who are interested in partnering with other businesses or persons, it is essential to know what a JV is and the significance of joint ventures as a business strategy.

Joint venture takes account the partnership and strengths of two companies in order to reach a common objective. This is where businesses or agencies join forces and merge on a temporary basis in order to complete a specific plan. Through agreeing to work as one, these two companies make a new identity, and leverage their resources, knowledge, talents as well as expertise to achieve their objective. JV as a business strategy provide business owners the choice of making powerful connections while keeping a degree of independence.

Joint venture as a business strategy opens lots of possibilities to resources, assets, distribution channels, expertise they would otherwise not have access to nor can afford. Joint ventures creates new business opportunities that can help a business to become successful and possible dominate its market. The pooling of resources and ideas can lead to the expansion and growth of the partner companies. And through sharing resources or funds, the businesses gain access to money without the need of applying loans or get other kinds of company credit. With additional resources, a business can create new products, enhance existing products and services. These resources will allow a company to faster development as well as higher profits and minimizing their risk.

With JV as a business strategy, business can increase their bottom line and add value to their company. Owners can earn a significant amount of money in a quite short span of time and otherwise realize through a well-positioned joint venture. An example of this strategy is leveraging a partners customer’s list. It takes an average communication effort of 6 times to sell to new customers. Once you tried to sell to new customers, it can literally take you a number of years to find out these potential clients and then sell them. On the other hand, with JV, business owners get immediate and instant access to their JV partner’s customer list or client based that they work hard to acquire.

There are lots of advantages of JV’s as a business strategy. As a business using JV’s you can leverage your partner’s resources and build your business and income. Once you can find a way to tap in to this kind of strategy, sooner or later you will reap the success. If you are interesting in implementing joint ventures into your business strategy, go to http://www.strategicjointventure.com and download our free reports: ‘Finding JV Partners” and “The Best Proven JV.”

Which Sales Strategy Wins the Game of Sales – Offense or Defensive?

It doesn’t matter what sport championship we are watching, strategies are being mapped by each team playing. Who do you think will win the championship? My belief is that a good defense always beats the offense. However, if we asked the same question about sales, what would be the answer? Is it better to have a strong offensive strategy? Does a defensive strategy make more sense? These are questions we’ll be looking at in this article.

Why the Defense Sales Strategy Wins

Defensive strategic sales teams win! I have witnessed business growth where there was virtually no proactive marketing, such as promotional mailings and outside sales contact. Yet the business was maintaining sales growth. Certainly there are possible factors helping them like image, reputation, location or very little competition. However, in all cases, my final analysis came back to the defensive strategy applied. Although these businesses didn’t exercise an offensive strategy that appeared to make any real impact, they were creating an army of satisfied clients with their service. They usually had a great follow-up program when a customer engaged them. They thanked their clients so well that the customer base felt like family. They held their customers as cherished possessions and it showed.

Establishing an army of satisfied customers is a good thing. Holding on to them is what the defensive goal should be. What defensive businesses had in common was special. They really knew their customers personally and regularly sent thank you notes. When they finished a project with a client, they always asked for feedback on how they could improve. They were fanatic about getting out quotes and following up on requests.

The results of this defensive posture are that customers rave about them to their friends and associates. This is why a great defensive posture works. You might say this is a defensive and offensive strategy and you are right. The results can be increased significantly when the business asks for referrals. It can skyrocket when the business rewards or recognizes customers for referrals. This strategy only wins when customer service is outstanding and fanatical. This defensive strategy protects the business from losing good clients and the referrals multiply new customers dramatically.

Why the Offense Sales Strategy Wins

Offensive strategic sales teams win! I’ve witnessed outstanding success with sales programs where a strategic sales plan is mapped out and followed with precision and it always wins. The challenge is that these situations are rare. The important factor is that a strategic sales and marketing plan is in place. In these situations, the business knows and understands their marketplace including the competition. They understand their strength and weakness and really understand how and where to find new prospects.

The offensive strategy wins when they follow a proven sales process and don’t let good prospects drop from their pipeline. They steal clients from competitors that don’t have a good defensive strategy. Business statistics indicate that 10% to 15% of business is lost each year to aggressive competitors. The offensive business wins when it gains more yardage than it loses. So, they have to be really aggressive to win.

Why the Balanced Team Always Wins!

When a business applies superior offensive and defensive sales strategy, it always wins! The question to ask ourselves is, do we have a balanced up-to-date, proven, mapped out offense and defensive sales strategy? If your balanced, you will WIN!