Become a Market Leader

No company can be successsful today if it tries to be all things to all people.

Rather, the most successful companies – the Market Leaders – select a unique value that they endeavour to deliver to their chosen market segment better than anywone else.

So says Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in their book The Discipline of Market Leaders which I read over summer. If you are really wanting to choose an over-arching strategy to set your company apart in the marketplace, this book might be a good place to start.

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Protect Yourself With a Trust

Do you have your family home in a trust?

The building industry is a risky one. The chances of you getting into financial or legal problems are higher in the building trade than in most other businesses. I am not saying that will happen to you, but in view of the higher risk profile you should take all the necessary steps you can to protect yourself and your family. That includes putting your family home into a trust.

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How successful companies think

No company can be successful today if it attempts to be all things to all consumers. Rather, the most successful companies — the Market Leaders — select a unique value that they alone deliver to their chosen market better than anyone else.
The big question is, “where will you focus your business’s Vision and Value Discipline for the future?” Pick one corner of the Value Discipline triangle and make it your anchor point, then develop your business processes to deliver on it. Read on to find out more about the different value Disciplines.

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Does your business serve you?

Last week I ran a planning and goal setting workshop for clients and other contacts on my database. This time of year is traditionally the time where we as business owners take stock of recent results and direction, and think about what the coming year could look like. At least many do and I hope you are one of them.
So, does your business serve you and your life, or are you more of a slave to the business and you get what energy (and money) is left over?

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What does the future hold for your business?

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they were bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people don’t see it coming.
How will you look to adapt your business to take advantage of the opportunities that will come up?

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Beware labour intensive jobs

Not all jobs are created equal. A decent sized job may look attractive, but it may not necessarily be so. Jobs with a high labour component will keep you busy, but will limit your total gross profit achievable.

The following are 2 extreme examples to illustrate the point, courtesy of John Teder, consultant to the HVAC industry in the US:

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With a lever you can move the world

The lever I am referring to in this instance are well documented SYSTEMS. Systems won’t replace people, but they provide the levers for them to do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively; time and time again, with less interference from you, the business owner.

Great systems without documentation however, are only rumors about the way you do things in your business. A procedure without clear directions is little more than an assumption about the way things should be done.

Without documentation, all your tasks, functions, processes, and procedures – the way that you and your staff habitually do everything – are nothing more than good intentions.

In other words, you need to write it down.

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Cash. The lifeblood of your business

Effective management of cash-flow is a key issue for growing organisations. One of the most common downfalls of growing businesses is unexpectedly high running costs. What is important is not just the size of operating costs, but the cash-flows around it.

In order to stay in business, it’s important to have the fundamentals right. Managing the cash-flow of your business is a critical fundamental. Cash is literally the lifeblood of the business.

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Become Your Own G.A.B.

The wife and I went to the Richie McCaw movie, “Chasing Great” last night with our 17 y.o. son.  I am a huge admirer of what Richie has achieved in his career, but more importantly, how and why he has achieved it. It was interesting to gain a better understanding of what makes him tick. My…

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