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Superior Leadership: Hire Smart

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 2

Puzzle piece being set in the puzzle

One of the most important aspects of being a superior leader is hiring people smarter than you.

The difference between good performance and great performance is not just having smart people, but also having the right people in the right positions.

That’s why top leaders spend more time putting the right team in place to accomplish their objectives than they spend on planning, strategizing, or many other components of their job.

Often ineffective leaders have a fear of not knowing the answer to every question.

They personally want to bring all relevant facts to the table every time. That’s not only impossible but also counterproductive.

Superior leaders hire people who can provide the answers that are pertinent to their particular area of expertise.

True leaders also know how to listen to advice and move out of the way to let others do what they do best. Read more

Improving Business Performance: 5 Behaviors You MUST Avoid!

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 0

If we’re not careful, we can become our company’s biggest enemy.

When business is booming it’s easy to get comfortable and rest on our laurels with the status quo.

After all, why not?  The status quo is (or was) working wonders.

But if we’re not careful, complacency sneaks in, and before we know it we’re knee deep in crippling habits that wreak havoc from within.

We all have excuses for not changing and you’d better believe companies are full of them! Do any of the following phrases sound familiar?No Excuses Sign

“We’ve tried that before and it didn’t work.”
“I didn’t make my numbers because . . .”
“Here are all the things that could go wrong.”
“I didn’t know you needed that.”
“I can’t get everything done.”
“It’s not my job. It wasn’t my fault.”
“I wish management would stop changing their minds.”

Excuses signal deeply embedded systemic problems within an organization’s culture. And while you can’t predict or avoid certain hostile economic events, many companies suffer from the same five crippling habits that inhibit change, progress and growth.

Is your small business one of those companies?

Read more

The Do’s & Don’ts of Leadership For Higher Profitability

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 1

Don't Hit the Pause Button on Your Business Up one month, down the next.

Like it or not, this just seems to be our economic reality for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, you can’t just hit PAUSE until things improve. You’ve got a business to run!

Your job as a leader is to make the necessary adjustments to plow ahead and succeed.

So whether gas prices go up or down, the housing market improves or consumer optimism increases is all somewhat irrelevant to the small business owner.

While those factors may change the rules of the game, don’t let them alter your ability to manage a thriving business. You have to be willing to make some tough changes and ADAPT, but it doesn’t mean you can’t turn a profit.

Since it does no good to pretend conditions are better than they are, let’s first uncover the harsh realities of doing business and then look at six tangible leadership tactics to put you on the path to profitability.

With the right leadership skills, profitability for your business is not out of reach!

The Cold, Hard Facts

Along with declining employment, we also face increased gas prices, political uncertainty in Washington, as well as overseas, and overall rising costs for doing business. Oh, yes, and let’s not forget the credit situation which remains extremely tight. For small businesses in particular, the impact is draining.

On top of that, it’s simply becoming harder to compete. New businesses, created by smart, unemployed entrepreneurs, are popping up all over offering lower prices. And large companies (once competing up-market) now have moved down to go after smaller opportunities.

But enough doom and gloom, let’s focus on how you can navigate toward higher profitability by following a few simple leadership “Do’s and Don’ts.”

Read more

Business Turnaround: Returning To A Path of Profitability

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 1

Path to Profitability

Don’t you love it when this happens:

You have a great idea, you gather all the resources needed to make it work, you implement your plan, and it’s a success!

You are a implementation and turnaround rock star!

But as time marches on things shift. And if you’re not completely in tune to those variances, it’s easy to look up and find your business plan completely off track.

But that’s Ok, every company gets off track. It happens.

The key is knowing how to figure out the problem so you can turn your business around quickly.

If you ignore the issues hoping they work themselves out, you can get yourself and the company in dire straits with no “good” way out.  Right now, a number of companies such as Dollar Thrifty Automotive and Radio Shack are seriously off track, and it remains to be seen whether they’ll be able fix their problems.

Returning to a Path of Profitability After You’ve Fallen Off Course: Read more

Boost Profits During Hard Times Through Rational, Cohesive Action

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 1

Wowing your best customers 101If you’re waiting for the current slow market to get better, you’re wasting a golden opportunity to beef up your small business profit strategies through aggressive change management while you have the time.

What do you think your competitors are doing right now?

If they’re smart — and I’ll bet they are — they’re using this time to fine-tune their operations and prepare for the future, not just waiting for it to happen.

You may think you can’t increase profitability in a slow economy, but I’m here to tell you that you can, and you must.

Now, you’ll have to make a real commitment to change if you want to be a front runner when things get better again — and they will get better — but you need to base your planning on a realistic view of your market.

In this post, I’m going to outline EXACTLY what your small business needs to do to increase profits, regardless of what’s going on with the economy. Read more

Top 10 Critical Business Challenges – Survey Results

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 2

Last week I asked more than 1,000 small business leaders across the country to evaluate the importance of Top 10 critical business challengesand over 26% of the people responded! Take a few minutes to find out what leaders identified as their top eight challenges. Do you agree with them?

So what do you think? Did they miss any? Read more

The Customer Connection: Balancing Costs & Customer Quality

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 1

Something’s got to give, right?  Running a small business during this economy is tough, so certainly customers understand you can’t be everything to all people.

I mean, shouldn’t everyone – including customers – expect a little give and take?

Well, yes and no.  While customers understand times are tough, they also recognize the added buying power now available to them.  This doesn’t mean loyalty will fly out the door in search of the lowest bidder, but it also means you can’t ignore the quality of your customer service.

During tough economic times, you can’t dismiss the value of having strong customer connections.

Maintaining quality customer experiences is crucial to the survival of your small business. And getting the right message across to your current and future customers will make or break you.

While it’s essential to aggressively manage costs during the recession, your business will be doomed the moment you… Read more

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