Tips and Articles

Category: Internal Brand Published on May 19 2015

Are you easily able to describe the soul of your company? You know, those aspects of your company that are authentic to how you and all your employees operate on a daily basis?


The soul of your company is important. It’s the soul that attracts your ideal customers as they see a soul-mate in you and therefore feel compelled to do business with you. Your soul is what you get known for as an employer and makes it easy for you to locate ideal employees, even without advertising. And a powerfully lived soul is what causes those less than ideal employees to willingly opt out and change jobs without you ever having to fire them.


So let me ask again: Are you easily able to describe the soul of your company?


Category: Strategy Published on May 14 2015

In Pixar’s movie “Up” the dogs talk. And regardless of what they are doing, when they see a squirrel, they are completely distracted and say “Squirrel!” while simultaneously looking at or chasing after the squirrel. It’s a recurring theme throughout the movie that always makes me laugh.


Last week my husband was talking to one of his vendors on speaker phone. As they were working through the details of my husband’s requirements, every now and then the vendor would pause and ask about potential future sales. When my husband indicated that if all of his needs were met for the right price, then potential future sales could be significant the vendor would go off on a tangent and talk about this growth. And all I could think of was “Squirrel!”


Category: Strategy Published on May 05 2015

When is the last time that you created a S.W.O.T. analysis? I’m sure you’ve heard the acronym before. Do you know what it stands for? Do you think this is something only large companies need to do?


If your answer to the first question was anything other than sometime within the last 12 months, keep reading.


Category: Strategy Published on Apr 28 2015

I just called a salesperson a shiny bauble. Yup, to her face. I said: “For me, right now, you are a shiny bauble.” Here’s how it all went down.


Salesperson: Hello Karen, how are you doing today?


Me: I’m doing great. How about you?


Category: General Published on Apr 19 2015

Warning: This blog is a soapbox moment.


The speaker told me he had free information. “Just go to my website to access this great free resource.”


It sounded interesting and useful, so I went to his website. Upon arrival, I found out that I couldn’t access the ‘free’ stuff until I signed in and provided my name and contact information.


Category: Internal Brand Published on Apr 13 2015

Perhaps when you see the word ‘values’ your mind instantly envisions moral values or principles like honesty, integrity, compassion, or gratitude. While these moral values are laudable, business values are a little different.


To me, business values are about a business placing a stake in the ground and declaring what the company stands for: Customer Service, Fun, Superior Quality, People First, etc. Business values are:


Category: Strategy Published on Apr 06 2015

My husband and I used to watch the reality TV show, Breaking Amish on TLC. I found the show riveting because it provided a glimpse inside a very strong culture. As the show approached the conclusion, the individuals on the show were required to decide whether they were going to return to the Amish community or create a new life with the “English”.


When I compare the freedoms and fun that they had in NYC to the restrictions and constrictions they face if they return I assumed that this would be an easy decision for them. And then they revealed what the biggest draw pulling them back to the Amish community is: Safety. If they return, they know they will be safe, that their neighbor will literally have their back if something bad should happen. If their barn were to burn down, the community will come together to rebuild it.


Category: Strategy Published on Mar 30 2015

I regularly tell people that a good strategy will propel them and their business forward. And yet, this is a lie.


No, you didn’t misread that last sentence. A strategy, no matter how perfect, is not enough to grow your business into the company of your dreams. A strategy is only effective when it is accompanied by tactics.


Category: Strategy Published on Mar 24 2015

Strategy and strategic planning is not an event that you do once and then check off as completed on your to do list, possibly to revisit it in three to five years. Strategy is a journey that enriches you and your business in a multitude of ways.


Why do I refer to it as a journey? For two reasons.


Category: Internal Brand Published on Mar 16 2015

Having worked with many small business owners to define their internal brand* I am always gratified to see the passion they bring to their business. Small business owners glow when they talk about why they really started their business. And they have an indomitable determination to do whatever it takes to succeed.


However, they also frequently have a blind spot when it comes to clearly defining their internal brand.