|The following books were recommended as must reads by Susan Mealer, a member of The Society of Entrepreneurs sponsored Insights Groups.|
“The Inside Advantage,” Robert Bloom
“Mastering the Rockefeller Habits,” Verne Harnish
Describes things to be done that help grow the business
“The Great Game of Business,” Jack Stack
“Good to Great,” Jim Collins
Must read: pgs 114-116
“The Great Interviewer”
Improve Hiring Process
“Small Giants, Companies that choose to be great instead of big” Bo Burlingham
“5 Dysfunctions of a Team,” Patrick Lencioni
“The Ultimate Question,” Fred Reichheld
|Excellent advice given by George Cates, retired Chairman and CEO of Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc., to our Insight Group members at a recent lunch meeting. |
Customer is not always right
--but is always the customer (see: importance of revenue)
Credit others where possible
--best currency in the world
--could you do it, or have done it, without OTHERS?
Budgets are important, BUT….
--not as important as sound strategy, vision
--never seen one right yet; helpful, not critical
--sound strategy is critical
Revenue should get most (80% ?) of focus
--costs easier, get more attention
--revenues tougher issues – but make greater difference
--before equity (shareholders, owners)
Truth: ALL need win
Get rid of old ideas (review, discard the outmoded, unproductive)
--change isn’t (comfortable)
Most important: values
--true to family and friends, employees and customers
--integrity in dealings (play poker over the phone?)
--respect for others
|Thoughts for Entrepreneurs|
The following are some thoughts for and about entrepreneurs that were written by Walker Uhlhorn, founder of The Society of Entrepreneurs, in the 80's when he was contemplating starting the organization.
Remember first and foremost that everyone is not an entrepreneur and most other people will have goals that are vastly different from yours. Be Thankful for that.
1. Have confidence in yourself. This will not always be easy.
2. Your Mental attitude is just as important as your mental capacity.
3. If you should work for someone, your greatest opportunity for success is to work for the success of your leader.
4. Risks normally go with achievement.
5. There is no such thing as a project without downside potential.
6. Worry creatively. Worry is normal and can lead to creative thinking.
7. Learning will never end. Always have a project that will challenge your mind.
8. Problems should always be viewed as opportunities. Not only must they be solved or resolved, but the fix must be viewed in a broad perspective. You should only have to fix the same or related problems once.
9. Don't wait for everyone or even most people to agree with your course of action or you will never get started. The decision to start a venture is even difficult for most entrepreneurs.
10. Family position and money are not always an asset. This is true if these things cause a person to rely on them and not the effort necessary for achievement.
11. Be resilient and able to come back. Many entrepreneurs got fired or suffered other setbacks at some point in their career.
12. Answers and solutions come more readily in those areas in which you are heavily involved. Don't try to solve significant problems without getting all of the facts or real feel for the situation or problem. When out of your area of expertise, use the best advisors available.
13. Be aware that most decisions are and should be based on economic factors.
14. Take care of your health. Entrepreneurial success will take most of your energy.
15. No one can tell you how to manage. It is like pushing a double handful of marbles up a tilted board that is just a little wider than your hands. You have to keep moving ahead and you can't let anything get out of control. Today’s problems should not be the same as tomorrows.
16. Entrepreneurs tend to become distant when involved in a difficult project. They need supportive people that will understand and support them anyway. This does include a spouse. Supporters do not need to be "yes" people, but they must support a course of action once it has been set. Disruptive or continuing disagreements are not conducive to success. It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to be involved in projects others misevaluate, misjudge or misunderstand.
17. Entrepreneurs may have difficulty giving or receiving praise. They are often their own severest critic and they also know when they are meeting their own expectations. They tend to forget the need for praise in those that are not entrepreneurs.
18. When in the position, always hire good people and pay them well. They will not all or even a significant portion be entrepreneurs. If you want to keep those that are or may be entrepreneurs, give them the opportunity of ownership and listen to their ideas. Their ideas will generally be well thought out and documented and they will demonstrate an aptitude for organization, planning and recognizing and solving problems. Give them the opportunity to try some of their ideas.
19. Though most of your employees will not be entrepreneurs, recognize that they have needs and goals which are every bit as important as yours. You should help them be all that they can and want to be. Do not hesitate to terminate an employee that does not mesh with your organization. Everyone has a place, but it may not be in your organization.
20. Faddish new management plans are very important in that create temporary diversions that are useful in motivation until the next new one comes along.
21. 0ne-of your greatest frustrations, other than people problems, will be dealing with governmental red tape, regulations or policies.
22. Have a belief in a Being with Power greater` than yourself and a sincere caring for your fellow man.
|Ben Ward, a member of The Society of Entrepreneurs since 1993 and a mentor for one of the two Mentoring groups, recommended these books:|
"Bang!" by Linda Thaler and Robin Koval
Ever wonder how someone came up with the AFLAC duck campaign?
"Why Not?" by Barry Nalebuff and Jan Ayers
This book is the basis for a column in Fortune Magazine...makes you think about different ways to get things done.
"The Coming Wellness REvolution" by Paul Zane Pilgner
Why health and healthcare will be a trillion dollar industry in the near future.
|Society of Entrepreneurs member, Jim Phillips, and several members of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable and Insight Groups recommend reading "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman.|
|Greg Pilant, CEO of Greystone Medical Group, recently recommended the following books: |
"Good to Great: Why some Companies make the Leap...and others Don't" by Jim Collins
"CEO Tools: The Nuts-n-Bolts of Business for every Manager's success" by Kraig Kramers.
According to Greg these books are both excellent resources for all business owners.
Presented by the Kauffman Foundation this wonderful website offers "a world of resources for Entrepreneurs.
|Society of Entrepreneurs member, Robert H. Buckman, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Bulab Holdings, Inc., is a well-known expert in the area of Knowledge Management. According to the American and Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), Knowledge Management can be defined as "Systematic approaches to help information and knowledge emerge and flow to the right people at the right time to create value."|
For additional information on Knowledge Management, Bob Buckman recommends
visiting these sites:
AKGroup is the Applied Knowledge Group, a company which Bob Buckman is associated with in Reston, VA, that teaches organizations how to operate virtually. This includes implementing knowledge-sharing programs and how to build effective teams across the organization.
Knowledge-Nurture is a web site that Buckman maintains that attempts to pull together knowledge on these subjects from many sources.
From the Edward Lowe Foundation, this website will assist in "taking your company to the next level."
This helpful and informative site from Entrepreneur Magazine features excerpts from the magazine, How-to-Guides, marketing and management issues and much more.
|How important is an “elevator speech” to your business?|
by Terri Murphy
You finally get the chance to meet that big prospect at a networking event and you know you’ve got a tiny window of opportunity to connect with him to make your introduction. You manage to approach him to introduce yourself, and he says, “Nice meeting you…and what do you do?” You launch into some spontaneous rambling verbiage about your products or services in an unimpressive and in a not very memorable style. Mr. Big smiles weakly and says, “Nice meeting you.”
As he walks off, you realize you have just blown a big opportunity to advance the relationship to get his business. What could you have done differently to maximize those precious seconds to make a compelling impression?
What it takes is a well crafted “elevator speech”. According to business expert and author Jeff Mayer, a brilliant elevator speech will set you apart and sell the benefit of your services to a prospect in a very brief exchange.
In his book “Opening Doors with a Brilliant Elevator Speech”, Jeff explains that to get new business, you have to pass the “so what” test. He says that if you can say “so what” after you tell someone what you do, you are not selling your benefit to the customer. You simply become just another provider vying to sell your products or services. So how can you create a unique introductory statement of your business expertise and present it in a way that creates a real “WOW” for the other person? You need a brilliant elevator speech.
In my interview with Jeff he said, “An elevator speech is a brief description of what you do and who you do it for. It describes how you offer value, benefit and quality to your customer or client” in a way that doesn’t allow them to say “so what” but creates a differentiation in how you do what you do to stimulate conversation and hopefully advance to more business. If you can keep the conversation going, you are on your way to more business.
So exactly how do you craft a dazzling elevator speech? It should be of the length that you could share with someone in an elevator on a three floor ride. Many times 7 to 12 seconds will do it, but remember the shorter the better! Every word counts and the crafting of the message is critical.
Here are a few suggestions from the expert to get you started:
1. Take out a piece of paper and write down all the services you provide for your customers. Think about how you help them save time, money, improve productivity, etc.
2. Brainstorm why people choose to do business with you
3. Write out what you do in such a way that it encourages more conversation
For example, instead of saying I’m in real estate, you might revise it by saying: I specialize in helping people get the most for their money when they buy or sell properties.
4. Break the statement down into two parts: What you do and then how the customer derives the benefits from working with you. To use the example of a financial planner you might say: I help people build wealth by managing their money so that it works better for them.
5. Write out and perfect your elevator speech, and then
6, Practice, Practice and Practice!
You will find that this elevator speech will be used in hundreds of ways, hundreds of times a day. There are several ways you can use it, including telephone calls, voice mail and email just to name a few. If you are using a well crafted elevator speech, introducing yourself and what you do becomes effortless, fun and highly productive.
If you really want to maximize your business opportunities, invest in designing an elevator speech that takes you to the top!
To check out the power point and streaming video of this subject and download the full article, go to: www.fedex.memphis.edu/bizplan) and click on RESOURCES…
For the e-book on crafting a powerful elevator speech, visit http://www.SucceedingInBusiness.com
|Several good books have been recommended at recent meetings of the Insights Groups and Entrepreneurs Roundtable meetings; including:|
"First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently"
by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
"The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell
"Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcolm Gladwell