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Research Triangle Business Advisors

April 2013 Newsletter


This month’s newsletter has two related topics. The first is “What Would I Do Differently in a New Business."  The input for this topic came from multiple successful business owners. Although the title is new business, everything applies to existing businesses, because the topic is really about getting back to basics.  The second is “What Great Leaders Do.”  The input for this topic is from multiple studies on successful leaders.  Very similar to Do Differently, this topic makes the point that great leaders focus their business direction and are focused at managing all aspects of the business.

Bob De Contreras




What Would I Do Differently in a New Business?

  1. I would have avoided my involvement in every sale. I have no doubt, if I had things to do over again, I would have created more automated and group-centric sources of income from the very start.  This means find ways to “make money while I sleep.”  It means leveraging my sales force so that each of their efforts generates multiple sales and I minimize my involvement.

  2. I would have found a balance between creating content around “my voice” and “guest voices.”  This means trading my involvement for work done by my staff, vendors and customers.  It means leveraging the talent of others freeing me to work on the business rather than in the business.

  3. I would have set some boundaries for myself and my business.  This means finding my “sweet spot” and focusing on it.  It also means focus on less than a handful of items and avoid three pages of goals, objectives, to-dos, products, services, etc.

  4. I would have worried more about passion than profit (knowing now that the money will follow).  This means focus on a skilled and capable staff, quality products and services, the best customer service and support, and industry competitiveness.  Doing these things will differentiate me in the marketplace, build customer allegiance and drive my long term profits.

  5. I would get specific. When I set a goal, I will be as specific as possible. "Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight." Also, I would avoid goals with wimpy words like “try,” “should,” “maybe,” etc.

  6. I would eliminate the wrong things. – The true price of anything I do is the amount of time I exchange for it.  There are more demands on my time than there are hours in a day.  This means that the only way to be effective in a normal work day is to avoid things I really don’t need to do. 


What Great Leaders Do

  1. They maintain a realistic picture.  That means that they have a realistic picture of themselves and of their organizations.  They don’t try to accomplish things that are beyond the ability of themselves or their employees.  They don’t ignore their experience and they drive decisions with a dose of wisdom.

  2. They think of people before strategy.  If you have great people, you can execute all kinds of strategies and changes in strategy. But strategy without great people is the formula for disaster.

  3. They rehearse mentally.  They imagine what things are likely to happen. They play "what if?"  They don’t only think of what good will come from a decision, they also think about what hurdles will have to be overcome or what roadblocks may exist.  They know that cost vs. benefit is always part of choosing the right direction.

  4. They work hard to assure understanding.  They aggressively follow up to assure understanding.  They actively pursue feedback to validate understanding.  They take time to stop what they are doing and have conversations with detailed content.

  5. They manage with consequences of performance.  You cannot manage people's behavior, you can manage the consequences that come from their behavior, and that's what great leaders do.  They motivate and lead through the use of both positive and negative consequences.  They recognize good performance publicly and provide private coaching when performance is not as expected.

  6. They take every opportunity to communicate their key message.  They work to get their key message down to something that's short and memorable. Then, they take every opportunity to communicate it.  They communicate it exactly the same way with the same words every time.  They don’t leave any room for lack of understanding.

When you put “What Would I Do Differently in a New Business” together with “What Great Leaders Do” You get a very important bottom line picture.  Business success is not measured by revenue or profit alone, it’s the result of leadership who focus on all aspects of the business – every day.

Cary | Raleigh | Research Triangle Park | Greensboro | North Carolina
Contents © Copyright Research Triangle Business Advisors ( RTBA ) 2012, All rights reserved.