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How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 7
In our previous posts, we've talked about three tectonic shifts that define our current context; two insights based upon rigorous analysis of what happens before, during, and after a recession; the stresses in our current recession, the winning strategy; a strategic framework we...
 
 
How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 6
In our previous posts, we've talked about three tectonic shifts that define our current context, two insights based upon rigorous analysis of what happens before, during, and after a recession, the stresses in our current recession, the winning strategy,...
 
 
How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 5
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at three tectonic shifts that define our current context, in Part 2 we looked at two insights based upon rigorous analysis of what happens before, during, and after a recession, Part 3 we looked at the stresses in our current recession...
 
 
How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 4
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at three tectonic shifts that define our current context, in Part 2, we looked at two insights based upon rigorous analysis of what happens before, during, and after a recession, and in Part 3 we looked at the stresses in our current recession to get a...
 
 
How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 3
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at three tectonic shifts that define our current context and in Part 2 of this series, we looked at two insights based upon rigorous analysis of what happens before, during, and after a recession. In this post, we will look at the...
 
 
How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 2
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at three tectonic shifts that define our current context. In this post, we will look at two insights based upon rigorous analysis of what happens before, during, and after a recession.Insight #1 – According to analysis by the Boston Consulting Group,...
 
 
How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 1
In order for us to fully understand the state of the “new normal” for business and how that impacts how we can grow our companies in a downturn I’d like to start out this blog series by looking at the current context, then we will look at some stunning insights into what happens before,...
 
 
Uncertain Times for Sure...
Very well written and sobering..."We have entered a prolonged period of unprecedented turbulence and uncertainty. It isn’t simply fallout from the great recession— which is only the most recent symptom of a broader, more fundamental shift in the environment. The forces that have been sweeping...
 
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Zip Campaign: Groupon Fast Follower and Potential Groupon Killer
You've probably heard that Groupon is planning an IPO at an unheard of value of $15 billion and the company is barely three years old. You've probably also heard that there are now tons of Groupon "copy cats" that are "just like" Groupon. Entrepreneurs and venture capital investors can...
 
 
New Profile: Veterinarian Creates a Low-Cost, High-Margin Practice Using a Unique Business Model
Check out our latest entrepreneur profile of Ben Character and his creative approach to designing his own successful and highly-profitable veterinarian practice after working for -- and studying -- the operational issues with typical veterinarian practices...  ...
 
 
Strategies for Exceptional Business Growth
What entrepreneur does not want more growth for his business?  Sometimes we need to change our thinking and our strategy to spur growth.  This article extract from the Harvard Business Review examines a few different strategic frameworks for doing just that.The IdeaYou can’t outperform rivals...
 
 
How to Sell Services More Profitably
Have you ever noticed how value tends to migrate from products to services over time?  Product costs tend to get pushed lower and lower and manufacturing goes offshore in search of the lowest-cost region of the world.  Successful companies mitigate this normal trend by adding...
 
 
Making the Decision (or not) to Franchise
Multi-unit organizations often turn to franchising as a way of growing their enterprise.  If you've ever considered franchising, you will no doubt glean some nuggets of wisdom from the research by two Harvard Business School professors after looking at how 420 convenience store chains...
 
 
Leveraged Growth: Expanding Sales Without Sacrificing Profits
One of my maxims is to never invest in infrastructure that already exists in order to launch your business.  The concept goes like this: got a great product idea?  Good.  Have someone else manufacture it for you, rather than build the plant yourself.  This brief article extract...
 
 
Re-Define the Market and Win the Battle: Serial Startup CEOs Do That To Win
There are many strategies for startups to carve out a niche when they enter a market, but all of them agree on the same thing: do not try to take on the large industry competitor in a face-to-face battle, because you will end up losing if you do.  Some strategies describe the need to...
 
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Building Your Company's Vision
Starting a new company?  Be sure to spend time developing your vision for your company.   This brief abstract is a good summary of the power of a solid and compelling company vision: The Idea Hewlett-Packard. 3M. Sony. Companies with exceptionally durable visions that are...
 
 
Riding the Age Wave
Another trend to bet on is services for the aging because of the general graying of America.  And in that general industry category, in-home health care services appears to be one of the most appealing because it enables seniors to remain independent in familiar surroundings for...
 
 
What Is Strategy?
Michael Porter is one of the most famous Harvard Business School professors that I had the privilege of studying under and is perhaps best know for his "Five Forces" model of competitive strategy.  He is a brilliant strategist and the excerpt below is a concise overview of market positioning...
 
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Create New Markets That Render Your Rivals Irrelevant
Do you find yourself wrangling with competitors as you fight for market share?  As you look over the strategic chessboard of your industry and your market, you need to look for strategic high ground that is as of yet uncontested.  The following excerpt of a Harvard Business...
 
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The Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right
If you are running a services company or thinking about starting one, this article is a must read... As the world’s major economies have matured, they have become dominated by service-focused businesses. But many of the management tools and techniques that service managers use were designed...
 
 
How Strategists Really Think: Tapping the Power of Analogy
When I worked as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, one of our methods of developing strategies for our Fortune 500 clients was through the use of analogy by looking at analogous firms or industries, usually calling them "just likes" as in "the strategy for new product...
 
 
Industry Consolidation Patterns
Industry consolidation is the process when a few companies start buying up other companies in the same industry and the number of competitors in an industry shrink dramatically.  The main goal for the consolidators is to grab market share, cut costs, boost productivity and improve investment...
 
 
Selling Your Invention
As discussed in previous Q&A posts, one viable option for the creative type is to sell your invention to someone else rather than try to manufacture it and take it to market.  Not only does this keep you in your sweet spot, but it is in keeping with my rule of never investing in...
 
 
Marketing Strategy: The Awards and Recognition Strategy
An interesting marketing strategy that I had all but forgotten about until fairly recently (when I was on the receiving end once again of one of these types of mailings), is what I’ll call “the awards and recognition strategy.”  This is not a marketing strategy that I fully endorse...
 
 
Acquisition vs. Organic Growth
When I started my property management company, I got things rolling by acquiring three firms and combined them into one and then began focusing on organic growth off of that launch platform.  The shift from an acquisition growth strategy to an organic growth strategy was not my original...
 
 

Q&A

Pastor Looking to Coach CEOs
I am a pastor looking to launch a CEO coaching service to help them with the development and implementation of a vision for how to transform their companies into a Christian-led, Biblically-operated company. I have developed a process that includes discipleship and setting the tone of the company....
 
 
Product Licensing Business Plan Template?
I love your site. I am working with an inventor who has a production-ready patented product. We are looking to license it to a large marketer/distributor who has complementary products. Do you have a business plan template that fits a licensing business model? ...
 
 
Looking for Industries with the Best Opportunities
How do you anticipate which industries are set to change and provide the most opportunities in the next fear years? ...
 
 
Starting a Small Manufacturing Business
Is it possible for our kids to have a small manufacturing business (like sewing small stuffed animal toys for a specialized tourist shop) and complete with Chinese labor or is this a lost cause from the start?  Can they try just making some items or do you want an LLC before trying to sell any...
 
 
Building an IT Managed Services Business
I have just started managing an IT Service company a couple months ago.  Where is the best place to start implementing some of these concepts of how to think like an entrepreneur?  I'd like to take our company to IT Managed Services, but we are so small that just servicing the help desk...
 
 
Is Custom Software Development a Good Business Idea?
Would you recommend someone start a business that is "custom" i.e., offering programming or software, for each customer, and not as scalable?  And, if so, does this mean a consulting company would not be as profitable a business model? ...
 
 
Making Opportunistic Decisions
Thanks for all you do! During the CMR case study discussion in Venture Academy DVD Training Series one of the points you had mentioned was making "strategic" rather than "opportunistic" business decisions.  Yesterday I heard something interesting along those lines, so I'll describe the...
 
 
Civil Engineer Seeks to Reposition His Company
I heard your talk at the CHEC conference recently.  Thanks for your personal choices coupled with God's Grace!  My business can most definitely use the help New Venture Lab provides.  I own a Civil Engineering business (3.5 years old) and Land Survey Business (just starting).  I...
 
 
Disruptive Business Models
Regarding your post on Web-based Tutoring, this concept of "disruption" is very interesting. Can anyone explain this in more detail? Many of these ideas are new to me....
 
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Taking an Invention to Market
I am a 48-year old man with no business experience in terms of starting a company, raising capital or running a company, but I've invented a product that I feel would be very useful for every bathroom in the U.S. and I believe it would be a huge hit.  Any recommendations on what I should do...
 
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Strategy for Starting a Specialty Food Company
I have an idea for a specialty food product that I'd like to start with my family, but I have no idea how to get started or how much money may be needed to create the infrastructure to produce the product.  What advice would you offer someone in my position?...
 
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Growing a One Product Company
How should I think about the strategic options to grow my one product company beyond my initial product?...
 
 
Industry Dynamics
What are the key considerations when researching and analyzing industry dynamics? ...
 
 
Assembling a Team of Advisors
What is the best way to enlist a team of advisors to be my thought partners and to help me strategically guide my business?...
 
 

Quotes

General Norman Schwarzkoph on Strategy
Leadership is a combination of strategy and character.  If you must be without one, be without the strategy. - General Norman Schwarzkopf, American Army General and commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1991...
 
 
Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (KJV)...
 
 
Jeff Bezos on Strategy
A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well. If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful. There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and...
 
 
Andrew Carnegie on Strategy
Here is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it....
 
 


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Family Works: Inspiring Profiles of Family Business - Volume One

Family Works: Inspirting Profiles of Family Business - Volume Two

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Startup Financial Model Website

The Startup Financial Model a detailed, multi-sheet, completely integrated, easy-to-configure Excel-based business plan model for those who are planning or running a startup or small business and want an excellent financial model to enhance their business plan and capital-raising efforts. This companion site of ours includes step-by-step video instructions and customers choose what price they pay.