The February BSC Wisdom Webinar and Work Session focused on Providers — how to choose, evaluate, and manage them better for both of you. Attendees added some great ideas from their own experiences. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/WisdomWebinar-UpgradeProviders-2-17-22.
101+ Ways to “fund” your business
PPP and EIDL are options to get things done in your business but there are plenty more if you look further than those related to debt or equity. These slides from a presentation to a local chamber of commerce will give you some ideas of what is out there. If you find more, let me know!
What’s better for growth: a partner or a strategic alliance?
Get a partner or set up a strategic alliance — which is better for your business growth? Many business owners want a “partner” to share the load. Partners exert a lot of control no matter how little of the business they own. Use a strategic alliance instead to grow your business and keep more control.
What is a Strategic Alliance?
“If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill
In 2005, companies reported that 18% of their revenue was generated through strategic alliances. The economy has changed but there are still thousands of alliances formed each year and are critical as we re-think business post COVID-19.
According to Ard-Pieter de Man and Dave Luvison, authors of Collaborative Business Models: Aligning and Operationalizing Alliances (from Business Horizons Volume 62, Issue 4, July–August 2019, Pages 473-482), “the big challenge is to align company interests with alliance interests”. This peer-reviewed article is definitely worth reading and thinking about especially for larger organizations.
It pays to know more and think more before deciding that a strategic alliance is right for you.
Inspiring 5-Star Holiday Business-Related Films
You can be entertained and inspired at the same time this holiday season or any time of the year with these business-related films. What a combination.
Even your family and friends will enjoy them.
So will your employees. You might want to have a movie party or film festival instead of what you usually do to celebrate the season.
Some of these holiday films are old and some are new but they have one thing in common: they will leave you with ideas, a smile and maybe a happy tear or two. Best of all none of these are snarky. The people really care about each other, instead of trying to rip each other apart or outdo each other. These are all 5-star!
1. Holiday (1938) is all about vision and sticking to your guns. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn show that money doesn’t mean everything and that being true to your vision — even if it’s unorthodox. We know, and the characters know, that making your vision come true can be painful but rmore rewarding than following the herd and what is expected.
2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947 Maureen O’Hara & John Payne) is what good customer service should be all about — giving people the opportunity to buy if it’s the right choice for them. It’s about believing in yourself when others don’t. Yes, I believe in Santa Claus (or at least what he stands for.)
3. Desk Set (1957 Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn) is a tale of trade secrets and technology that can backfire good intentions. It demonstrates the need to recognize the employee grapevine we all have — even if we only have one employee. Every well-meaning owner should watch it if they are planning major changes to their business. And, remember what they learned!
4. We’re No Angels (1955) Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov become temporary employees and use unusual methods to help out a well-meaning business man. Think about what your employees do for you and be thankful.
5. Other People’s Money (1991) Danny De Vito and Gregory Peck point out the good and bad of corporate takeovers. Darker than the rest of the films listed and not holiday-driven, it is highly relevant today as current businesses struggle with the issue of what is good for employees and what is good for shareholders who are also employees. It’s a thinking movie that lends itself to discussions between employees and management and even other stakeholders.
6. The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017 Dan Stevens & Christopher Plummer) is not just about creatives like Charles Dickens. Most owners go through business blockages from time to time and live with businesses that always don’t cooperate. They can be messy and inefficient. Downright unprofitable and scary. When you go back to your roots and use the resources that you are exposed to, great things can happen.
We hope you will add to the list and watch some of these treasures. Be sure to share them with others.
I love Thanksgiving but it’s got to go. Growing up, it was my favorite time of year — even better than Christmas because it was all about friends. My mother would invite the family but also anyone who was alone and had been granted titles of “uncle” or “aunt”. We dressed up ourselves, the table and the house. There were special dishes I got to make at first with her, then by myself. Conversation was the order of the day and sharing and being thankful for what we have. How wonderful!
I want that BACK! With all the troubles, hate, and anger in the world, I think we need to take time for Thanksgiving for sanity’s sake if nothing else.
Thanksgiving Has Had Options Before
It wasn’t President Abraham Lincoln’s fault. How could he know when he established the 4th Thursday in November in 1863 as Thanksgiving Day and a federal holiday, that we would make All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) as big as Christmas with lights, costumes and parties, etc. and the day after, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year? He was just following in George Washington’s footsteps. Washington was the one who encouraged a national celebration of thanks in 1789. Then, of course there were those pilgrims who regularly celebrated thanksgivings (not just the three-day feast in 1621).
My solution suggested by my friend Anne: let’s move Thanksgiving to a different date. If we do something about it now, there is a full year to get organized.
Potential Consequences of Moving Thanksgiving
Here’s why: time is too short and precious. Do you celebrate Christmas (25th), Hanukkah (starts the 6th), Kwanzaa (starts the 26th), Mawlid un Nabil (23rd) Boxing Day (26th), Winter Solstice (22nd), or other holidays in December? I think there’s not enough time between Thanksgiving, any of the above, and the end of the year. Let’s enjoy Thanksgiving by moving the date; not rush through it to get to some other event.
Moving it may cause retailers some angst or they may rejoice because they can legitimately merchandise and advertise for Christmas. They wouldn’d have to deal with “Nay Sayers” like me who wonder what happened to Thanksgiving. The schools will have to keep kids in class and parents won’t have a couple of days off to shop but they will survive. Football fans can still have their Thanksgiving games, but they will be just Thursday games. Travel should be safer if we don’t have to cram it all in so close together.
Life-Work Choices Owners Make at Thanksgiving
If you’re a business owner, it’s even worse. You have to get ready for everything that’s due this quarter or has to be closed out before or by the end of the year. Do you find yourself agonizing over what to do? What do you do?
- Get work done for pay or get work done to keep connected to friends and family? Shopping, decorating, and card writing is work, too.
- Focus on fun, family and friends, giving donations of time or money or both to causes you support or be professional and concentrate on end of the year business stuff – closing out the books, preparing for next year, making final sales quotas, finishing projects or reports?
What do you say? Would you vote to move Thanksgiving? Let’s do something so we won’t start the new year exhausted, stressed, or burned out.
One Thanksgiving Recommendation You Can Implement Anytime
Look at your city and state. do you know not just its history but those who have made it so special? The Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio Texas reminds us to be thankful to all 26 cultures that came before and are still here and vibrant. If you live in Texas, spend a day or two there. If you live elsewhere visit it or visit your own thanksgiving sites and be grateful.
Photo courtesy of ryanjunell.
Business Owners Hierarchy of Needs
You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”. He identified how a person’s needs dominate motivation and behavior and that there is a specific order in which they should be met.
His theory suggested that the basic needs (physiological, safety, love and belonging) had to be met before the individual will desire and pursue higher levels of needs (esteem, self actualization, and self transcendence).
If a need is not met, the individual will feel tense and anxious. Although people may have several needs at any time, one will dominate their actions. [Read more…]
7 Ways Conflict is Good for Business
Conflict is valuable in the workplace. In fact, it’s actually good for business.
You might not have thought of it as being positive but it can be when people use care with each other and stakeholders. They also have to put something like the BSC’s Fight Fair™ strategy in place.
I just had the opportunity to spend two days working with the staff of an Inc 5000 company on improving their communication. This is a high quality small business but staff members and the owner wanted to make sure they were dealing effectively with the internal and external conflicts that come up in every business. [Read more…]
Federal Contract Opportunities Shrink by 18K+ in October
Are you a small business? Do you provide goods or services to the federal government or want to? Starting October 24, 2012, you will have over 18,000 new competitors for federal contract opportunities with the potential of even more competitors after November.
According to the Small Business Administration Office Of Advocacy, the Small Business Goaling Report, 2012 reported that in fiscal year 2011, 21.7 % of federal government small business eligible purchases went to small businesses.
Now, contractors will have to work even harder because their competitors are larger and stronger. That’s because effective October 1, 2012, Federal agencies and programs must use the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) small business size standards that are based on “NAICS 2012″. These are modifications adopted by the Office of Management and Budget. They include 76 new industries and changes to 11 sectors. Oddly, the public can comment on this “adopted requirement” until October 19, 2012. This has big implications for federal purchasing, loans, etc. [Read more…]