Simplify: Dig your well before you’re thirsty.

dig your well before thirstySimplify

How would you benefit by knowing, with absolute clarity, who your ideal customers and/or employees are, where they are, how you can reach them and what you need to say to them that sets you apart from your competitors.

Think about this: What would it feel like to have all of these things?
• Less unanticipated problems which will mean less headaches and less stress
• Consistently improving results which will mean consistently improving income and cash flow
• Relationships of trust with every employee, vendor, customer and client.
• Customized Simple Solutions that work for you. Every business and owner is unique.
• Personal 1-on-1 mentoring where you can rely on someone with Competence and Character to help you to ask the right questions, come up with the right solutions, to help you anticipate problems before they happen.

What would your life be like a year from now if you were achieving one of the following:
1. The same results you are now getting but with less time, effort and/or money invested on your part.
2. Better results with the same amount of time, effort and/or money invested on your part.
3. Better results with less time, effort and/or money invested on your part
4. You might choose to spend more in time, effort and/or money and absolutely DOMINATE your competition.

 The best way to accomplish this is to simplify your business – the principle of simplicity or 80/20.

That is not a simple thing to do nor is it easy and almost impossible to do on your own.

If it were easy, everyone would do it and it’s almost impossible to do from the inside. By that I mean it is very difficult to recognize, diagnose and prescribe solutions for yourself.

Simplification always looks obvious after it’s done…but never before.

It’s almost impossible to re-invent from the inside out, because a fish in water can’t see the water for what it is.

Most (ailing) organizations are not suffering because they cannot resolve their problems but because they cannot see their problems.” – John Gardner

Here are 3 Essential Questions you need answers to when creating a Simple Solution:

  1. Since every business, it’s culture and owner is UNIQUE  you need to ask: How do we treat every problem, person or situation as UNIQUE? Solutions, whether created from scratch or swiped from a “Best Practice” approach, have to be made to Fit the Culture and Structure of each individual organization. Solutions need to be tailored to the uniqueness of the problem, people and situation.
  2. To create the desired solution, what forward-thinking, 3rd alternative and purposeful Information do we need in order to create a future living solution?
  3. How can we think Structurally about the Solution?  In other words, how can we make sure that the solution we come up with fits into the current structure of the business – uses the same language, fits the culture, people, systems, worldview, etc…

The attitude that leads to breakthroughs in your business is: You want to become an expert in the solution rather than the in the problem.

A good business coach or consultant will help you to dig your well before you’re thirsty.    

Contact us right now before the fear of disrupting the status quo sets in.

Let us be what your competitors can’t afford on their own – your virtual marketing department.

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Cash Is King

Remember this statement: Cash is King

Here’s an all too familiar scenario.

At the end of the quarter, your accountant calls and says “I have good news and bad news.”

The good news is you made a profit.

The bad news is you owe $50,000 in taxes and you don’t have the cash available to pay.

Now what?  You either borrow money from a bank or you can go to your investors and ask for a cash infusion.

Neither are pleasant nor long-term solutions.

How many small business owners actually understand their financial statements well enough that they can and do make intelligent meaningful decisions so they can make more money?

I would venture to say less than 20%.

Successful businesses do two things

#1 they make money and #2 they generate cash.

How many of you understand the difference?

You can make a profit and still go out of business because you have a negative cash flow.

Cash flow will keep the doors open, long after profitability will.

Making money is about your profitability and cash is about the wealth-generation of your enterprise.

You can’t spend profit; you can only spend cash.

I heard a great analogy from a man named Mike Holly.

In the financial statement story, there are three characters: Vanity, Sanity, and King.

Revenue is Vanity

Profit is Sanity and…

Cash is King

Everyone wants to grow their business but they mistakenly believe growing revenue or sales is the end-game. It is not.

Those that chase growth based on Revenue are on a fools’ errand. It causes you to make bad decisions because you are operating from the notion that everyone is your market and there is nothing further from the truth.

When Revenue is your end-game and everyone-is your-market is your mind-set, you spend money foolishly on things that don’t matter for customers that don’t matter.

Things like inventory for the 80% that are generating little to no profit.

Sanity is looking at the world in black and white. Sanity hates being in the RED.

Sanity manages costs and expenses so that margins are high – both gross and net margins are important to Sanity.

So, here is the short Story-line for the characters:

Vanity goes out and generates sales or revenue. From that revenue, we deduct the cost of the product or service which leaves us with gross profit and that’s where Sanity steps in.

Sanity’s role is to manage those costs and the overhead expenses associated with running the BIZ; things like rent, utilities, wages, employee benefits, insurance, etc, etc, etc. So, we deduct these additional expenses and that brings us to net profit.

But wait, the business then has to pay taxes, and sometimes distributions to investors. What is left is called retained earnings or for this simplified version – cash.

The King hates surprises. The King wants consistent positive cash flow.

Bottom line: You want to be operating from your 80/20 Sweet Spot so that not only are you making a healthy profit but you have a consistent and predictable cash flow month in and month out year-in and year-out.

Implementing our Profit First system will cure this.

Cash is King.

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Seventy to eighty percent of all small businesses are unsaleable on either the terms or timetable the owner wants because they’re not operating from their 80/20 Sweet Spot

80/20 Sweet Spot Rule of Thumb:

If the owner IS the business, it’s worth nothing.
If the owner runs the business, it may be worth something.
If the owner cashes a check from his yacht, and the business is totally independent of him, then it is worth money.

Think back to when you first started your business.  You were driven to create something out of passion or a particular talent. The vision probably included not only providing a good life for you and your family but probably also leaving some sort of legacy for your family, employees or community.

It is unlikely you even thought about your Exit Strategy; about focusing on growing the value of your business as well as making it saleable.

But you should have.

Maybe now you are one of the 6 million-plus baby-boomers who own a business and the thought of saleability is just beginning to loom.

Here are some sobering thoughts: [source: Exit Planning Institute]

One: 70-80% of all small businesses are not saleable for the terms and/or timeline the owner wants because it won’t pass the due diligence test. One of those tests is whether the business is dependent upon a single person or small group of people – lack of systematization.

No sophisticated buyer is going to even want to purchase a business like that.

Two: 80 to 90% of an owners financial wealth is locked up in their businesses.

Three: 63% of the business owners indicated they needed the income from the business to support their lifestyle.

Four: 56% of the business owners indicated they needed to harvest the value of their business to support their lifestyle post-transition

How devastating can these scenarios be to an owner who is planning on the sale of his business to fund his retirement?

How valuable would your business be if you had the following:

  • Great customers who spend 4x’s, 16x’s and even 64x’s the average. Who are a joy to work with. Who refer others just like them. Who pay on time with no hassle. Who fit perfectly into your culture, values and Guiding Principles.
  • Employees who are motivated and engaged.
  • An offering or offerings that are unique enough to differentiate you from your competition.
  • Teachable Processes & Systems – so that the success of your business is not dependent on any single person or team, most specifically, you the owner.
  • Profitability and cash flow far above industry norms.

All of these things happen when you are operating from your 80/20 Sweet Spot and can all happen within a very short period of time.

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What are your Guiding Principles?

Guiding Principles are the core values, laws and rules we each live by. They define who you are, how you make decisions and they define your business.

In business, just as in life, eventually you will come up against a lot of people and situations that challenge your principles and core values. It’s vital to your success and emotional sanity that you never lose sight of who you are.

Guiding Principles are a blend of your personal ethics, core values and the personal rules of success we have defined for ourselves, on what is right and what is wrong. What is acceptable and what is not. What makes you happy, and what doesn’t. Your Guiding Principles hardly ever change. They are the “voice” that guides your every decision for life.

Guiding Principles trigger that nagging voice in your head that punishes you when you break them and give you the reassuring pat on the back when you follow their guidance. It is the conscience that keeps you on the straight-and-narrow path to right decision and becomes the very soul of your business.

If you want to leverage their power, make them part of your daily conscious thought. Start paying attention to your emotions in different situations. Every time something triggers strong negative emotions (like anger), ignore what triggered it for a moment and think about what Guiding Principle of yours has been broken. Similarly, when you feel strong positive emotion (like giddiness) think about why that incident made you feel good. Those inner thoughts and feelings are your Guiding Principles.

Some examples of Guiding Principles are: [note how each is written out and clear to understand; no one word platitudes!]

  • Honor all Commitments – both the spoken and unspoken ones. If you say you are going to do something and 30 seconds later you realize it is going to cost you more in time, effort or money than you thought, tough! Do it anyway. There are few things more valuable than your own reputation and integrity. (Note: One of the easiest ways to Honor every commitment you make is to Under Promise/Over Deliver).
  • Compatible: Do not spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince someone who does not want what you have to offer. Life is all about relationships – the right relationships. Surround yourself with people who support you, support what you are doing, and root for your success.
  • Be Honest and Transparent – Clarify Expectations (make sure everyone fully understands including yourself) Avoid platitudes like the plague.
  • Win-win or No Deal thinking: This is why I implemented One Best Price. Life’s too short to deal with a ding dong. I don’t mind honest negotiators but I have no time for win-lose negotiators.  That is someone who not only feels it’s okay to leave nothing on the table for the other side but thinks they have to take the table as well.
  • Under Promise/Over Deliver: Go the Extra Mile.  Always do more than is expected of you. 

    You want people like you, to like you.  So, create and nourish relationships who have your same “Speed of Trust”.

    Choose to work only with the 20%!!

    Your best customers share your same worldview and Guiding Principles

    Write down your own principles. Over time, as you get to know them better, refine them. Make them concise. Make them conscious. Your Guiding Principles will keep you on track.


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3 Steps to Your 80/20 Sweet Spot

Businesses that operate from their 80/20 Sweet Spot have the best chance to grow and expand.

Here are the three things you must know:

  1. Identify your Ideal/Top Clients
  2. Identify and Articulate your USP [Unique Selling Proposition]
  3. Create Systems to Under-Promise and Over-Deliver to Your Top Clients

If you truly are a business owner who wants to not just get by, not just exist on the flow of the market-but who wants to dominate their market…and when I say dominate, I mean be a recognized leader in all aspects; have great customers, great employees, systems that deliver consistent results under the umbrella of Under-Promise/Over-Deliver and have increasing revenue and cash flow, then you need to read on.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? 

  •  You feel as if you are doing all the right things, but your marketing is falling on deaf ears.
  • You are feeling the pressure from your customers, prospects and competitors to lower your prices.
  • You can’t take on any more business because you have no more hours to give. You are feeling burned out and unsure how to continue to grow and expand.
  • You are always understaffed and/or have the wrong people in the wrong slots.
  • Your cash flow is inconsistent or uncertain.

 If any of these symptoms resonate with you, then you are not operating from your 80/20 Sweet Spot.

Businesses that are operating in their 80/20 Sweet Spot:

  1. Easily attract the ideal target audience for their business – both customers and employees.
  2. Never experience pressure to compete on price. In fact, their customers gladly pay a premium for the value they are receiving.
  3. Can easily grow and expand their business without requiring extra hours of work from the owner/entrepreneur.
  4. Have consistent and certain cash flow – month in and month out.

It’s easy to fall for the “shiny ball” syndrome and get caught up in the latest marketing, selling or time management tactic or trend.

If your business does not have a solid 80/20 Sweet Spot Strategy, at some point, you are going to hit that growth plateau.

Your 80/20 Sweet Spot is where your Top/Ideal customers [the 20%’ers], your Unique Selling Proposition [USP] and your Under-promise/Over-Deliver Systems all intersect.

In order to thrive, grow and expand, you need all three.


  • If you don’t know who your best, easiest to work with, easiest to communicate with, most profitable clients are, and what they need and want from you, then you can’t possibly create marketing that will attract them.
  • If you don’t know or can’t adequately express what makes you different from your competition [in a way your Ideal/Top clients actually care about], then price will be the only thing you have to compete on.
  • If you don’t have the systems and process that deliver Under-Promise/Over-Deliver Results, consistently without you, then you are stuck trading dollars for hours. You will never be able to grow beyond the number of hours, you the owner are willing and able to contribute.

Would you like help identifying and implementing your 80/20 Sweet Spot strategy?

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Symptoms of Working with Everyone or How to Avoid a Slow Miserable Death

The most common symptoms of an ailing company are:

  • Lack of time.
  • Uncertain or inconsistent cash flow.
  • Not enough of the “right” employees.
  • Not enough of the “right” customers.

“Most ailing organizations are not suffering because they cannot resolve their problems but because they cannot see their problems.” – John Gardner

Most struggling entrepreneurs scramble for money and time and almost always it is due to saying “yes” to working with almost everyone.

Inconsistent or inadequate cash flow is the most devastating of the four most common problems most businesses have.

Does this sound familiar?

  • “We’re just one project, one client away. Once I sign this deal, we’ll be good.”
  • Borrowing money to meet payroll.
  • Not paying yourself.
  • Asking a key employee, usually a trusted manager, to hold off cashing his check until “Monday”

The say yes to everyone strategy is not sustainable.

Our 80/20 Assessment Analysis will identify, with absolute “black & white” clarity, who you should be working with and who you need to fire.

80/20 Assessment is about first identifying the customers who you are losing money on, who you are stocking inventory for that you don’t need, who make you cringe when you see their number on caller ID, who demoralize your staff, who pay late, who beat you down to the very last penny, etc. etc. etc.

When you have eliminated the deadwood you now have breathing space.

Could you cut back on staff? With the money you freed up in unnecessary inventory, where could you invest that more wisely?

You now have time to innovate and systematize your business.

Once we’ve helped you clear out the bad, the second step is to identify the very top clients and then implement knock-their-socks-off service and products for these select clients.

Through targeted marketing you now can nurture them and strengthen the relationship.

You can now start serving them so extraordinarily well, that they start to come in more often, purchase more when they do come in and become your private army of outside salespeople and refer more like them.

Every time you clean house you make room for more of your ideal clients.

More clients is not the answer. More of the right clients is the answer.

This is how you grow and expand your business the 80/20 way and eliminate the symptoms of an ailing business.


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