Posts tagged ‘People’

Iterations

We are living in a time of flux. Which means, as we start new businesses it is unlikely that we will know what they will be like in the end. We will pivot, head off in other directions, on a regular basis. Sometimes we will hit a dead end and have to retreat a bit before we can make that change.

We started a HUB in my rural community. All other HUBs are in large urban centres. When we started we knew that we wouldn’t nail it the first time out or the second or the third. And we didn’t.

We had the opportunity to rent the church hall. a small gym with stage, commercial kitchen and a couple of classrooms in the back. It was perfect, or so we thought. It was big and it sparked the imagination. People came through and got excited about the possibilities, but they didn’t stay to work. The coffee shop across the street, on the other hand, was full, even with the sketchy internet.

We began began to host gatherings of like-minded people. It emerged that people want to connect. The best way we could help was to facilitate that connection.

As it happens, our month to month lease was not extended one month and we left. We are a HUB without a home for now. We have said from the beginning that half the value of HUB is the connection, not just the space. We will focus for a time on that connection.

Several people have said how sorry they are that it didn’t work out.

Oh, we are only just begun!

We learned 2 important things:
It is working! People want to connect.
Membership fees are not the economic engine.

Both of these are important learnings and we will use these to make our next iteration. Stay tuned.

December 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2 comments

How I did with the 100 Day Project

I started my 100 day project on September 14 so it would end on December 20. Here’s the original post.

My objective was to focus on my businesses; to figure out where they can go and to set it up so they will. I outlined 3 business ideas: Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd, this Business Owners Success Club and Repair-Share.

That’s how I started. How I ended that 100 days is very interesting. Yes, it’s a great idea to stop and look back once in a while.

Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd.

I had 3 full-time people in the summer. My vision has been to build a business with a whole room full of bookkeepers helping lots and lots of business owners. The reality is that the margins aren’t there, meaning, for the cost of paying my bookkeepers a decent wage, continually training them, and paying for non-billed time, I can’t bill enough to do much more than cover overhead.

We also came to the realization about the type of clients we prefer. We work best with people who are actively building their businesses and engaging in the way their business. At the same time, bookkeeping is changing. (see the post here)

So we went back to our core mission: helping Business Owners succeed.

Two things came out of that exercise:

Work less on data entry and more on interpretation and coaching. Working less on data entry has us exploring the world of programing and web development. Cool, in a bumping along in a dark basement kind of way, not really knowing what you are going to run into.

We have enough experience and knowledge with business to offer a more complete way to make business, I don’t know, more Effortless. I spun off a new concept called Your Effortless Business in this blog. I’m really excited about this, mostly because of the response I’m getting. One of the responses is a group of friends who decided to make a publishing platform and they have decided to make Your Effortless Business book their first project. I’ve been writing furiously for the past month or so (which explains why I haven’t posted as much). Fun and exciting!

Business Owners Success Club

As I developed the Your Effortless Business concept, I wrote about it here. Eventually, I realized it needed it’s own platform so I gave it one here. That left me wondering about this. What is this about and why am I doing it?

The BOSC is about you, the Business Owner. YEB is about your business.

One of the keys to an Effortless Business is for the owner to belong to a group of people talking about business and being a business owner. That’s what this will continue to be. I can’t stress how important that is for your success and even peace of mind. Many of you already belong to groups and that is terrific. For those that don’t, I would like this to work for you. How can we make that work? What will give you the best benefit? The technology is available for us to meet in many different ways to have the discussions we need.

I haven’t come to any clear conclusions about what to do with the BOSC. I will continue to post Business Owner type stuff here.

Repair-Share

I haven’t made a lot of progress on this one. It will be an interesting exercise in teams. Have a look here for more information.

Other

I have been asked to join the Board of the Kentville Development Corporation Limited

I belong to an online, international book club and we are exploring the idea of starting a project to help entrepreneurs fail successfully. Failure is inevitable and even a necessary part of reaching in business. We want to help make it a smoother process, by helping people up, dusting them off and helping them understand what happened.

I’ve been invited by TEDx to join them in Doha, Qatar for a TEDxSummit. All paid, but the airfare. Now I have to raise the airfare very soon.

So the project list looked like this when I started:

  • Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd
  • Business Owners Success Club
  • Repair-Share

Now it looks like:

  • Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd.
  • Software Project
  • Business Owners Success Club
  • Your Effortless Business
  • Book
  • Help Develop my Town
  • Failure U
  • TEDx Summit

I don’t know if I am farther ahead or farther behind. I do know I’m excited again.

How about you? What will you do with the first 100 days of 2012? What will your 100 day project be? How can I/we help you with that?

December 29, 2011 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Getting Out

I went to a business event this morning.  I’m going to another one on Wednesday and I’m holding one in my office on Thursday.

I don’t go to 3 events every week, but when there is a good event, I go.

I don’t understand Business Owners who say they are too busy to go to events in their community.  Since when did engaging with your customers become optional?  Since when is improving yourself a luxury to be cut out?

A good friend who has owned her family business for almost 40 years talks about the loneliness and self-recrimination she felt during the really hard times during the 80’s (inflation, interest rates and energy costs went through the roof).  She says that she and other business owners felt that they were doing something wrong because their once-profitable businesses were now not so profitable and they had to let staff go.  That’s a double whammy hit.  You don’t feel like meeting up with other Business Owners if you aren’t doing so well and if you are short staffed, it’s harder to get away.

Having talked to other business owners since then who felt the same way, she goes to every business event she can get to.  She says she will never deny herself the support she could have had.

If you are having tough times in your business, so is everyone else and that’s the time to work together, not hide away.

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you opened an hour later every Wednesday so you could go to the Rotary meeting?  You’d be inspired?  You’ll get to talk to others about what’s new in your business?  You won’t feel like it’s so much your fault?

Our Community Development Coordinator just cancelled a Business Event scheduled for this Wednesday because of lack of interest.  There was even a FREE LUNCH!  I went to this event last year and it was very well attended.

I met 2 new people at an event last week.  One of them is interested in working on a bookkeeping app and I’m interested in making a bookkeeping app.  We’re meeting about it next week.

The other one installs software – the kind of software we train Business Owners to use.  We’re getting together soon, too.

The more I get out to events, the more business comes our way; the more business opportunities I find and the more energy, inspiration and courage I have.

How about you?  Do you get out to events?  What about the Business Owners in your community?  Do you put on events?  What is attendance like where you are?

November 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm 1 comment

What Does it Take to Make an Effortless Business?

It comes down to 4 things:

KNOWN

You know where you are and where you are going.  You know how to do what you want to do.  You know when to ask for help and from whom.

You know your why.  Your Business Model is clear.  You have policies and procedures in place that everyone follows.  You have an effective financial system (mostly automated) giving you the feedback you need to keep you moving forward.

Most surprises are good ones.

AUTOMATED

Your business can run without your direct input for the day-to-day running.  Everything is in place so you can give it your all.

Your information is stored appropriately and in a way that makes retrieval easy.  All repetitive tasks are automated.

TEAM

The people around you support you and the work you do.  Your team can articulate the common goal; they understand how they fit into the big picture, everyone shares similar values.  Everyone brings their own unique value and everyone appreciates the value others bring.  The team is compatible and able to work independently.  You practice effective delegation.  You coach your team to communicate, collaborate and cooperate.

WELL PAID

You offer true value.  You can do the work efficiently and cost-effectively.  You bill appropriately and you make it easy for others to pay you.

You have a marketing system in place that attracts the right customers and makes what you offer clear.  People feel they are getting a great deal when they work with you.

 

What do you think?  Does that sound right to you?  Which of these do you do well?  Which would you like to work on next?

November 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm 1 comment

Favourite Customers

Our favourite business Owners are the ones that engage in their financials as a way to understand their business better.  They use them to make decisions about what’s working what isn’t and where improvements can be made.  Our favourite Business Owners stop and chat with us about how they are doing, about what their plans are and about business ideas.

In other words, our favourite business Owners take advantage of our knowledge.

For a bookkeeper, the job is done when the information is entered, reconciled and the appropriate reports are sent to the government. Phew, that was a lot of work, now where’s the next one?

Bookkeeping looks like this:

  1. Bookkeeping data entry
  2. Reconciliations of accounts to check for missing information and accuracy
  3. Preparation of reports for government and management
  4. Reading and interpretation of those reports
  5. Glean information and apply to business practices
  6. Trial, feedback, tweak, feedback, try something else, feedback, celebration for some success, tweak some more, feedback, rinse, repeat
  7. Tax planning and long-range forecasting

When most people think of bookkeeping they think of those first 3 steps.  Accountants are pros at the last step.  The business people who are growing their businesses are performing steps 4-6.  Our favourite Business Owners use our services to engage in those 3 business building steps.  We’ve assembled a team here with a great depth of business and computer knowledge and experience.  Ready, willing and able to help Our Business Owners.

What we are finding is that for the straight commodity service of plugging in numbers and spitting out appropriate reports, we may not be the best.  There I said it.  We have considerably more skill than that and we focus more on the interesting, fun jobs.  I’m not that great with time, in that counting on me to remember that you have reports due by the 15th, might be optimistic.  That’s why we are looking so deeply into automation.  I shouldn’t have to remember things like that – no one should have to these days.

Looking into the business model and examining our business helps us see our strengths and weaknesses.  We have figured out who we like working with and why.  This helps us tailor our offerings, our marketing and our intake process.

I am writing this post, so far, in one sitting and you are reading it at one time.  This feels like a lie because these ideas have developed over the last 30 days of the 100 Day Challenge.  In fact, they continue to solidify as I am writing this.  I’m trying to say, this stuff takes time – thinking time.  It takes awareness of your business, your strengths and your weaknesses.  It takes truth, courage and wisdom.

Who are you serving?  Who are your favourites?  What do they really want from you?  How can you use your strengths (or your business’s strengths) to help them the most?  How can you attract more of the people who will benefit most from what you offer?

October 18, 2011 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

Conversations in the Social Media Age


Conversation at Caffe Nero

Originally uploaded by ktylerconk

I am so excited to be alive at this time of the world. It is a time of immense change and opportunity. One of the main drivers of that is social media.

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Link’d in, texting and Skype make it easy to have conversations.

We have the tools to carry on conversations with people scattered all over the world. I stop into Facebook and see what my friends are up to. I can make a short comment or even hit the like button, just to let them know I read and enjoyed what’s happening with them. I see my brother in Bulgaria is on Skype and I tap out a quick conversation to catch up. My son texts just to say he saw something that reminded him of the time we….

These are informal, easy on-going ways to stay connected.

Social media is here for deeper conversations, too. I belong to an online, international book club. We get together every Friday afternoon on Skype. We choose one book and talk about a chapter a week for weeks. We get into deep meaningful conversations and we all bring our own perspectives. That’s where the magic is.

The most interesting part is that we have had several of the authors join us. Dan Pink and Mitch Joel so far and we’re talking to Chris Guillebeau and Steven Pressfield to schedule a time. There’s no way this could have happened before.

Social media also offers us contact with the leading thinkers of our time. Have a look at TED, Youtube, Vimeo, Livestream and Youstream. You can see James Cameron talk about why he chooses the movies he produces; Seth Godin talking about how you can be a Linchpin; or Elizabeth Gilbert talk about what it’s like to know that your best book is behind you.

I belong to a group called Triiibes. We are 16,000 strong from all over the world and we are connected around the theme of pushing ourselves and those around us to reach our considerable potentials. It’s the social media tools, specifically Ning, that make this possible. This is a group of amazing people from around the world who I would never have met otherwise.

Social media is changing the way we converse and more importantly, who we are conversing with. It’s making the world more accessible. It allows people to stay connected.

Who do you connect with now that you couldn’t have before?

January 31, 2011 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

Building Tribes


The tribes of Chakeshan in traditional attires

attending the 25th Republic Day Silver Jubilee

of the NSCN (IM) GPRN at Hebron Nangaland on march 22.

Originally uploaded by rajkumar1220

This is a longer post to, hopefully, make up for not posting more this week. I’ll keep trying to post 5 days a week.

What is a tribe?
A tribe is a group of people who like the same things you do. They can be an existing, fully-formed group or you can attract a group of people around something you start.

  • By being here, you are part of the Business Owners Success Club, a BOSCer – a small, self-selecting group.
  • All my bookkeeping clients are part of the Crystal Clear tribe.
  • I belong to the Triiibe that Seth Godin started 2 ½ years ago when he published the book Tribes. I am also part of an international, online bookclub which is a subtribe of Triiibes.

All of these tribes have changed my life, the people in them have shared their ideas, they have encouraged me to grow and take on challenges I would never have dreamt of.

Why bother?
Your tribe are into the same things you are. They speak your language. They all have different viewpoints and lenses. They are the same but different from you. That creates an opportunity for you.

  • You can find out what they want and provide it.
  • You can find out what they like or use and get it, too.
  • You get encouragement and models to do what you and they want to do.

How do you enable a tribe?

  1. There needs to be a theme or reason around which people can gather
  2. There needs to be an outside and an inside
  3. There needs to be a way for people to talk to each other
  4. There needs to be value

A crash course in tribes and their care and feeding:

Seth’s TED talk about Tribes

Tribe Management

Tribe Leadership

The New Marketing

There is no Tribe of Normal

Secret of Great Blogs

I love this video.

January 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


The Three Success Factors

I have worked closely with 100’s of business owners and I have seen too many struggle. I have seen what works and what doesn't.

It takes 3 things to succeed:
1. Hard work - and I know you do that already.
2. Knowledge - domain knowledge: you've got that and continue to learn; and business knowledge: this is where everyone focuses and it's easy to find
3. Mindset - This is the killer app. This is what makes or breaks small business owners.

We work on Mindset here at the Business Owners Success Club: how you think about yourself and your business.

When you focus on a business that gives you what you need to live a Good Life and gives others what they need to solve a problem, everything else falls into place and you have a successful business.

Using that as a framework we work on one aspect of business every month. February is "Your Place in Your Community" month.

In March we will open the doors to our online community. Stay Tuned.

Sign up here to play along.

Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Here’s the short and sweet version

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Here’s what others liked