Editorial Results (free)
1. Last Word: Mud Island Changes, Zoo Parking and Capitol Hill Revolt On UT Board
- Friday, April 13, 2018
This could be your last chance to see the Mississippi River Museum at Mud Island River Park as it has been for about the last 30 years. The park on the southern half of Mud Island opens for the season Saturday. The museum will be open only through July 4 is what is billed as a “limited run” followed by a public engagement process for “reimagining how we tell the story of the Mississippi River in a 21st century way,” according to park general manager Trey Giuntini in a Thursday press release.
2. View From the Hill: Gas Tax Rancor Lingers as Session Coasts to Close
- Thursday, May 11, 2017
Remnants of rancor over Republican leadership roiled the House, a reminder of outrage over roguish behavior as representatives reached the finish line.
Alliteration is probably better suited for poetry. But in a case of what could be considered poetic justice, at least for some, this literary device – goofiness maybe – is suitable for legislative action requiring a score card to keep up with the characters and a bit of history to put it all together.
3. House Approves Education Fund Concept, But Senate Action Put on Hold
- Thursday, May 11, 2017
House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh pushed his K-12 education fund to passage Tuesday, May 9, but the possibility of funding and Senate approval will have to wait until 2018.
Dubbed the “K-12 Block Grant Act,” the measure calls for setting aside $250 million in excess state revenue for interest-generating investment to provide grant money for school systems statewide. Each system could use the funds for state-approved programs such as reading coaches or dual enrollment, items not funded through Tennessee’s Basic Education Program.
4. Message from the DOC
- Thursday, February 28, 2013
The voice mail message on my private office line went like this: “This is (name omitted) at (address omitted). Recycling gave me this number. I’m trying to get a trash barrel for my house. It’s been three months since we had one, and I’m using my neighbor’s. Someone get in touch with me as soon as possible at (phone number omitted).”
- Monday, March 12, 2012
The Memphis chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals will meet Monday, March 12, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Lenny Johnson, an independent consultant, will discuss public speaking. Cost is $22. For reservations, contact Sharon Gardner at email@example.com or 752-6213.
6. Coming Soon: Something Better
- Monday, December 12, 2011
Toothpaste tops tell it all. All of them used to be twist-off. Then came the flip cap, arthritis cap and even a pump if caps stressed you out.
This would all seem trivial if there were not millions of dollars of toothpaste sales at stake. Stay with twist-tops at your peril. “What, you still making me twist off my caps? I‘m walking.”
7. Can't Sell? Become 'Rentrepreneur'
- Monday, December 5, 2011
You may have tried to sell off some of your unused stuff without success or deciding it wasn’t worth it. That does not mean you can’t do better renting out things you are not using much.
8. CEO Bears Business Horsepower
- Monday, November 28, 2011
Too often business owners may be busy about everything but actually doing business. They don’t have bosses and can be time-wasters. Employees can catch that bug, too. Not good. Looking back, I can see that this was never much me and has a lot to do with my longevity.
9. Feet on the Street: The Original Social Media
- Monday, November 21, 2011
I don’t think there is a small business today that could not find more business by plain old cold-call canvassing of a ZIP code. That used to be the only way of doing it, aside from phoning someone. That is, until email, voice mail texting, smartphones, social media and all the rest removed the person from the process.
10. Work Together For Office Harmony
- Monday, November 14, 2011
If you ever heard a group of men singing in church, it sounds pretty good. Deep baritones resonating off the walls in pretty good harmony. That is, if you hear them as a group. Sitting next to some singing individuals may find you wanting to bolt for the door. I suspect it is the same for female groups. And I am one of those individuals to the point my daughter stifles giggles when I sing.
11. 10 Steps to a Fail-Proof Business
- Tuesday, November 8, 2011
As we know, business failures are very high. Some 56 percent fail before four years and 69 percent before seven years. Nothing much sadder except maybe a serious illness. Wealth is lost, jobs, vendor relationships, credit rating and maybe health and marital statuses. A lot of it does not have to be. Here are ways to help you fail-proof.
12. Occupy Our Empty Buildings
- Monday, October 31, 2011
I don’t know that much about real estate, which may be a good thing here, but have leased seven buildings in my career. What I do know is all the empty buildings in Memphis is not a good thing for the owners or the city. The amount of lost rent, tax and building value is staggering.
13. Business Owners Need Workout Routines
- Monday, October 24, 2011
As Americans, we are saps for movie stars and professional athletes. This is why they make all the money. We give it to them. We just throw it at them. Why? One reason is that we admire their discipline.
14. When Illness Impacts Employees
- Monday, October 17, 2011
Some of my employees are approaching middle age, so parents are approaching old age and serious illness. My V.P.’s mother, as well as parts manager, has terminal cancer with months to live. Each day brings maybe little victories, but the larger defeat lingers in the background that nobody can stop. The sadness affects the whole company daily.
15. Yeah, But ...
- Monday, October 10, 2011
You are a small-business owner familiar with the rhetoric of the day. “Businesses would hire but are uncertain of …” You are more likely thinking, “I am certain that if I just had more customers I would be OK.” You like objectives to create jobs. You agree, but think, “If I just had more customers I could create a few jobs.”
16. Why We Buy What We Do
- Monday, October 3, 2011
Do you know the No. 1 reason people buy what they do where they do? There is only one correct answer. It is well-known by most sales professionals. Even though most know this answer, they do not spend the time on it that is called for.
17. Beginning A Sales Position
- Monday, September 26, 2011
One of the better-paying positions in business, big or small, is outside salesperson. It is also one of the scariest. If you get past scary, which takes months, you set yourself on the way to business success and prepare well for ownership and CEO positions.
18. Men Untied About Ties, Revisited
- Monday, September 19, 2011
Few columns of my 75 had the response of “Men Untied About Ties.” I am going to follow it up adding your revelations and mine.
This topic is a touchstone, a divide in our business culture. There is enough here to interest a sociology professor. Some believe a tie is a professional symbol and some feel it confining, non- traditional and “too narrowly defines me.” But the best answer for business people is the debate. This ambiguity may well parallel many an entrepreneur right now struggling with who he is and how he is selling.
19. Know What You Need To Know
- Monday, September 12, 2011
Mission critical to success as a business owner is knowing what you need to know when you need to know it. Better still, know it ahead of time. Budding entrepreneurs today are trying to learn everything in 90 minutes or 90 days and then they can “launch.” There is probably no harm in these things, but they are far from the complete packages needed.
20. Men Untied Over Ties
- Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Seems some businessmen are abandoning ties. I think it is a mistake. The look of no tie and open collar looks unprofessional and reduces confidence. It looks like something is missing – which may be your image.
21. How to Improve Your Economy
- Monday, August 29, 2011
There are small businesses that could use boosting and unemployed talent on the sidelines. Seems like a natural match except nobody knows who can do what and: a) employers don’t have the working capital to experiment with new hires; b) job hunters do not know where the openings are to apply to; or c) both parties are looking but don’t like what they see. And not to mention folks are worn down from job hunting.
22. Litigators, Alligators and Lawyers
- Monday, August 22, 2011
There comes a time in business when you need a courtroom attorney. This may be either to defend yourself or sue. The fun factor ranks right in there with seeing a urologist.
Good attorneys cost $250 to $300 an hour. Using one with his name on the firm costs more. It is not clear why one would be $250 an hour and another even $400 an hour, but the inference is the $400-an-hour one never loses or is married to the judge. A day in court costs $10,000.
23. Startups vs. Stay-Ups
- Monday, August 15, 2011
There are 5,000-plus small businesses in Memphis and millions in the country, so the state of small-business ownership seems good. The problem is not starting up so much as staying up.
New businesses come on line all the time. Good thing – because many go off line, too. Some 50 percent do not last four years. The Small Business Administration says 69 percent are gone by seven years. Thus the more intense issue is staying in business, not starting one.
24. What It Means to Be An Executive
- Monday, August 8, 2011
Steve Jobs meets with new vice presidents and tells them the difference between them and the janitor. He says that if an area is not clean, he will accept an excuse for why it happened. But once you are a vice president, he tells them, excuses are expected but not accepted.
25. Business: It’s About Time
- Monday, August 1, 2011
Time is currency and never more so than in small business. How you and your employees use it may determine success or failure. It is instructive to note Bill Gates and Fred Smith had the same 24 hours in the day as us. They have global businesses. We have certain areas of Shelby County.
26. Mother Teresa as Business Jedi
- Monday, July 25, 2011
Two years before she died, Mother Teresa was in the U.S. for a meeting with lay members of her organization. It took place at a nice hotel. Presenters showed charts and noted donation increases but also expense increases. Mother finally got up and said that she was disbanding the hierarchy present, that they spent too much on unnecessary things.
27. Cook Proposals, Then Let Cool
- Monday, July 18, 2011
Getting up proposals for prospects is usually fun and positive. It somewhat resembles cooking. I am not a cook and I microwave everything, but I like the analogy. Brew up some inventory, bake the price, add in a discount, a dash of free stuff, make some weird hand and facial gestures over it, let cool and deliver in a nice-looking package. Cha-Ching!? One hopes.
28. Hurry, Put Feet on the Street
- Monday, July 11, 2011
As a rookie sales rep for IBM, a company known to sell a ton of business, I recall a learning experience doled out by my manager about qualifying potential new sales reps. I was in his office, and a call came inquiring about openings for a sales rep. “We do not have any openings,” was his response. The caller hung up. But just that week our branch manager said he wanted to hire a few reps and to recommend anyone that may be promising.
29. Letting God Into The Workplace
- Monday, July 4, 2011
I was having a discussion with my wife, going over things good and bad. We have gotten traction against the recession, and I was ticking off what had helped. “What about your faith?” came her question. “You are supposed to write things that help, aren’t you?”
30. Tom Pease Interviews Tom Pease
- Monday, June 27, 2011
How about a dialogue of a strange sort, as I interview myself on small business. The main thing is value points for you, so give me a break. You are a business person, do you want Oprah or Trump? I come bearing business truth serum for good and bad.
31. The Right Way to Start a Business
- Monday, June 20, 2011
Ideas don’t start businesses, business people do. At least the kind of businesses 99 percent of Memphis entrepreneurs work to make successful. Certainly an original, scalable idea can rocket like a Google or Facebook. You have better odds of such success, though, playing blackjack.
32. Approaching Business Burnout
- Monday, June 13, 2011
Somewhere along the way you take a key fork in the road and it is the wrong one. You decide to burn yourself out. Why?
Most who get into business have the idea of “building a business” or “growing big” or fill in the blank. Instead, the decision is made to do everything themselves and even wear this as a badge of honor. “I work 70 hours a week” might be heard. “I have not taken a vacation in years” is another. Poor you, I say. I would also not think much of you as a business person. You are definitely not generating enough gross profit.
33. Military Training: A Business Primer
- Monday, June 6, 2011
As a Navy veteran and having lived on a ship for two years, I learned lessons in discipline and efficiency that were excellent training for being a business owner. I suggest that such a learning experience, and any like it, while not college, seems as valuable as college, if not more so. Academia has no curriculums in discipline and character-building.
34. Only a Few Ways to Grow Business
- Monday, May 23, 2011
There are many books, seminars and advisers spouting how to grow your business. Good for them, but I can give it to you right here for free. It’s not the least bit mysterious nor should it take more than one page to explain. It’s not buying a bag of Miracle-Gro at Lowe’s and sprinkling it either.
35. Beware The X Factors
- Monday, May 16, 2011
You are going along somewhat according to plan, some obstacles being overcome, and there is a chance of making a bit of profit this year. On track. Yeah. Then – are you kidding me?!
For example, if you are the fortunate owner of a Tunica casino, you are not feeling so fortunate because Mother Flood decided to close you for a month, costing you and your employees a bunch. For the same reason, you hopefully do not own a business on the river because it and your bottom line may soon be underwater. Not a thing you can do either. Now that is the ultimate “X” factor. Any act of nature qualifies. Ask a business owner in Japan about a tsunami and its effects on business.
36. A Dog Is Entrepreneur’s Best Mentor
- Monday, May 2, 2011
Is it possible most things we need to learn about business success we can learn from a dog? Not everyone owns a dog but many do. I get it. I have owned a lot of dogs. They can be brilliant business instructors.
37. Addressing Business Killers
- Monday, April 25, 2011
We know half of all businesses do not last even four years. Some 70 percent are gone before seven years. But there is no sense helping these figures along, is there?
It goes on all the time.
38. You Should No Longer Expect a Complete Conversation
- Monday, April 18, 2011
I had a customer come right out and say it: “Hey Tom, don’t try to call me because I don’t answer the phone.” You and about everyone else. We have technology now so it is no longer necessary to talk. No need to spell either; just get with it on the correct mangling of the King’s English and use the appropriate texting symbols. Larynx doctors must have a large drop in business.
39. Flea Market as Business Incubator
- Monday, April 11, 2011
There are MBA programs to make you a business Jedi, business degrees to educate you, incubators to learn from other businesses. And then there is the Tennessee Flea Market. More like the Flea Mall. It opened last week and is the largest indoor flea market in Tennessee.
40. Techy Small Biz Ideas Often Path to the Graveyard
- Monday, April 4, 2011
Upstart entrepreneurs can get enamored about not just starting a business but doing so with a new techy product or service. This may produce a louder reputation at outset, and there is merit in being unique, but also little likelihood of long-term success.
41. Accuracy Trumps Emotion
- Monday, March 28, 2011
I don’t think there could be any better advice given to both new and veteran business owners than to seek accuracy above all else and to do so continually. What is true for a while may not be true after a while in business. So accuracy is a moving target. And margin for error in small business is small.
42. Yes! Reinvent the Wheel!
- Monday, March 21, 2011
If you are trying to invent something already invented, somebody, like my father, will say “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, son.” For instance, when I was younger, I came across a strange-looking screw that wouldn’t work with what I knew to be a screwdriver, so Dad handed me a Phillips to replace mom’s kitchen knife I was trying to make work. “Don’t …….”
43. Born From Passion
- Tuesday, March 8, 2011
You don’t really start a business, it starts you. A business germinates once something you do becomes a passion. Passion starts you up, which compels you to find an outlet for it, which may become a business. Passion is the power plant.
44. Delving into the Mind of a Salesperson
- Monday, February 28, 2011
There is probably no more uncertain business conditions and mental warfare than those surrounding a salesperson’s day compared to, say, technical or administrative workers. I call it mind-ninja-ing. This applies similarly to the small business owner who is a salesperson himself but of a more Jedi level.
45. Does Size Matter in Small Business?
- Monday, February 21, 2011
The biggest of small businesses would be that of a professional athlete or movie star. These may be companies with just one employee but revenues of $20 million-plus. More importantly, the $20 million is net. Compare that with the salary of a CEO, a Fred Smith, who runs a global company with 300,000 employees for a mere $5 million salary.
46. Breeding Confidence In Your Business
- Monday, February 14, 2011
If you completed any business curriculum you surely heard the No. 1 reason a customer buys where he does is because he has the most trust and confidence in that business, its representatives or the brand it sells. Inspiring this confidence is done by the behavior of employees. The company that inspires confidence makes money.
47. Why Salespeople Fade Out
- Monday, February 7, 2011
Salespeople are among the most valuable of employees. They should be; they bring in the money. And then comes a time when they don’t.
The lifespan of an outside sales rep parallels a professional athlete. Both require high levels of physical and mental fitness to be successful and win on game day. That is just the beginning. There must also be strong discipline, a nuclear work ethic of self starting and playing the entire game with intensity.
48. New Words for New Problems
- Monday, January 31, 2011
Small business owners have their own world of pain and problems unique to them. You may not have known it until this column, but new terms have come to describe them. If you have had a hard time finding the right words, check this list and see if it helps.
49. How to Avoid Dreaded ‘Going Out of Business’
- Monday, January 24, 2011
As we saw in last week’s column, staying in business happens less often than going out of business. A business going out is one of the saddest things there is and among the most destructive. What can you do to help prevent this? Here are, in my mind, are 11 absolutes:
50. Walking the Plank?
- Monday, January 17, 2011
One of the best lines about small business ownership comes from friend Jay Myers. I used it on the cover of my book: “Small business is the fight of a lifetime.” Amen to that.
51. The Best Advice from 2010
- Monday, January 10, 2011
It seems readers like lists so I compiled one more to dig out the best print bites of advice I could glean from my column archives. I’ve lived them all personally. Here goes.
Business is a contact sport. You will contact all manner of adversity. Competitors that want to beat you. Economies that want to bury you. Vendors that manipulate you. Bankers that may deny you. But the main thing is to stay in contact.
52. 15 Most Significant Things in 2010
- Monday, January 3, 2011
The year 2010 goes down as one of the worst in history for small businesses. Some 400,000 folded. The rest limped and cut and cut and redid and looked for new revenue. The innovative and coyotes of the bunch survived to earn the right to the G.R.B.O. – Great Recession Business Owner – designation on their business cards. There were events, beautiful and ugly, best and worst, in Small Business Land. Here are some:
53. We’re Making Money But Have No Money
- Monday, December 27, 2010
When a banker asked a business owner about positive cash flow the response was, “Yes, I am positive I have no cash.” Sustaining positive cash flow is the No. 1 problem for small businesses. It has been said the term “undercapitalized small business” is redundant.
54. What Happened to the Rainmakers?
- Monday, December 20, 2010
One reason businesses are stagnant is the decline in “rainmakers.”
This generation of “no, we don’t answer the phone” businesspeople, especially revenue generators, have turned to clicks, tweets , likes, texts, hits, mail, posts and other phone-it-in metrics to define success as well as attain it. Our people skills – our rainmaking skills – decline as we speak because of this. Call it digital distancing. Distancing you from the rain as well.
55. Take Control of the Shades of Gray
- Monday, December 13, 2010
It seems popular for a speaker or author to declare something dramatic that may or may not be true. Some examples include: “Right now is the best time to start a business.” Or, “Cold calling is dead and networking is the way.” “Social media has replaced paper media.” Take your pick from other declarations of “this is dead” or “that is alive.”
56. Nobody Ever Washed a Rental Car
- Monday, December 6, 2010
Management philosophies are debated and written about, but I can tell you which one works best in small business: treating everyone differently.
This is the opposite of the treatment given in America in everything from airport screening to marriage rights. The only goal of that approach is to make sure nobody is slighted, that everything is “fair” for everyone, that everyone is treated the same. The problem is that businesses have a much higher performance bar than that in order to thrive.
57. Hiring is Like A Box of Chocolates
- Monday, November 29, 2010
Hiring the right people is critical to the success of any small business but not far from the box of chocolates Forrest Gump spoke of. You never know what you are going to get. Sometimes it is creamy and smooth. Other times you dig in only to find a nut.
58. Jabba the Hutt and Sumo Wrestlers
- Monday, November 22, 2010
I recently received a phone call and e-mail from CBS News “60 Minutes” producer Julie Holstein. She had seen some stuff I wrote, liked it and wanted to talk to me for background on the effect of Bush tax cuts expiring in December, particularly on small-business owners.
59. Are You Wearing Out Chair or Shoe?
- Monday, November 15, 2010
I was disturbed by an upcoming presentation about the diminished role of salespeople to be taken from the book “Inside Advantage” by Bob Bloom. Local adviser Michael Synk posted to his Facebook public that “salespeople no longer add value to the sales process.” Both cited the Internet as where customers first research and then contact the salesperson and thus are now “in control.” These things have supposedly diminished the salesperson’s role. Really?
60. Good Time to Start A Business in China
- Monday, November 8, 2010
China has become a place where you may increase chances for success.
A non-stop flight to China is 15 hours or “five or six movies” relates John Chen, 36, COO of Sunshine Enterprises of Memphis and a Chinese immigrant. John and partner Wei Chen have 60 workers in the U.S. and 300 in China. He graduated from the University of Memphis and began an import/export business here.
61. Take 25 Percent Off Everything
- Monday, November 1, 2010
My banker called and wanted my annual financial statement. I asked if he still had last year’s, and he did, so I told him take 25 percent off everything on that. This reflects the drop in my business as well as real estate. I feel this is representative of others like me or close.
62. Old School Often Trumps the Latest Tech
- Monday, October 25, 2010
While we crave instant everything, increase ADHD chemicals anticipating new Apple stuff and beef up multi-tasking abilities buying the new GoogleNetFlixSmartphone4G Textmania HotSpotSkype units, some things remain old school useful.
63. Facing Bombardment
- Monday, October 18, 2010
Business owners are bombarded by invitations to join this group or that, attend seminars and buy “bestselling” books. We may feel uneasy because we think we should be participating in all of them lest we miss the latest “secrets of success.” What to do?
64. All About Business Books
- Monday, October 11, 2010
My degree is in journalism but my experience is business ownership. Hopefully, I am a good combination of the two by writing the truth about businesses and business people. That combo is why they let me write my stuff. Writing is a tricky business though, especially if it is books.
65. It Must Be Easy
- Monday, October 4, 2010
Going through IBM sales school 101, emphasis was on being able to demonstrate products were easy to use. It was near the top of reasons why buyers bought. This is true now more than ever. It is safe to say that anything about your business process that is not easy is costing you business and profits. Anything you try to sell that is complicated or difficult will make it complicated and difficult to make a sale.
66. Profit in Solving Problems
- Monday, September 27, 2010
Management that lets salespeople – or even customers – hold sway on the selling prices of its products could well be killing off chances the business has at being profitable.
The lesson from companies, large or small, that have longevity, is that you must get enough gross profit on sales to yield actual net profit. Thomas J. Watson said it well: “Businesses grow through net profit.”
67. Make a List Marked ‘Bold’
- Monday, September 20, 2010
You may be busy being busy these days, but entrepreneurs need to take time to author a category marked “BOLD” in which they place imaginative, creative happenings for the year.
These need not be expensive things, but let’s say they are way outside your usual outside-of-the-box endeavors. They are seedlings, actually, that may become your “Jack and The Beanstalk.” They consist mostly of your time more than money or materials.
68. That Owner Frame Of Mind
- Monday, September 13, 2010
At times we are legends in our own minds. Other days we are the mole in the Whac-a-Mole fair game. These days we may feel no better than an Afghan real estate agent.
A business owner’s mind is highly driven, does a lot of good things and enjoys distinct periods of happiness and satisfaction not found working for someone. It is an originating point for jobs, careers, innovation and wealth creation. It is admired. As a part of the gig, this mind also suffers unique mental traumas and black holes that non-owners do not! Its power switch has only two settings: ON and ON.
69. What Are You Telling Yourself?
- Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Entrepreneurs can get themselves into trouble because they just won’t tell themselves the truth but, rather, an incomplete version that leaves off the reality sentence of the story.
Their first encounter of this is at formation: “ I am going for it. I have always wanted to own my own business. I admire Donald Trump. I have always loved (fill in the blank). I like being my own boss.” OK. A familiar thought line. The lost sentence: “But I really do not have a professional picture of what it takes to run a business and have no experience or education in doing so.”
70. Stop! Buy Local!
- Monday, August 30, 2010
Memphis buying 90 police cars from a dealer in Louisville, Ky., with Memphians’ tax dollars makes this local business owner‘s temperature rise enough to melt icebergs in Greenland. I know I have company.
71. Recession’s Lessons
- Monday, August 23, 2010
The recession is teaching me, or maybe the better term is re-teaching, valuable lessons on running a small business.
While I have looked forward to some recession workdays about as much as Donald Trump does his next haircut, I am feeling a new sense of accomplishment from finding solutions. Normally, a 25 percent drop in business, downsizing, reducing pay, cutting all non-essentials and seeing customers do similar is not the inspiring stuff of best-selling business books, but it is reality. Here are my recession lessons that may be helpful to you:
72. You Don’t Want It All
- Monday, August 16, 2010
Most business people say they want all the business they can get.
They really don’t.
The only business you want is that which makes a true profit. Any other kind is meaningless or worse.
73. Ego Is Expensive
- Monday, August 9, 2010
In business, your greatest competitor is yourself, not the guy across town. A part of beating back yourself as a competitor is containing your ego. This is hardest for men.
We can’t help it. It’s in our DNA. We want to win. We want to be superior. We want to yell, hoot and honk louder than anybody else in the room or on the interstate. Our story must always be more amazing than others.
74. Sell It Or Retire With It?
- Monday, August 2, 2010
Owning the same business for 30 years provides good perspective on whether to sell your business at some point or make it your retirement plan.
I would categorically say that it is more lucrative to keep your business than sell it because the most owners usually get is the equivalent of about five years pay and benefits. What then? That is a good plan if you are 65 years old but we are living longer. Or, if you saved enough to carry you past the five years. Or, if you had something else you really wanted to do and it also provided the necessary income.
75. Following the Business Owner’s Dashboard
- Monday, July 26, 2010
Most people who captain anything, from a piece of equipment to a group of people, have certain instruments they look at to determine the state of things. Pilots have a gazillion dials to work to keep the plane safely in the air, a race car driver has a dashboard of needles providing information as does the operator of an oil rig. As the skipper of a business, you are no different in needing critical data.
76. Managing Trouble
- Monday, July 19, 2010
I have 12 chapters in my book “Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail.”
“Managing Trouble” is my favorite. I feel this is why I’ve lasted 30 years in the same business – because I am good at this. There is plenty of trouble if you own a small business. Plenty.
77. Add to Your Score: Law of the Pinball
- Monday, July 12, 2010
There are still a few around, so hopefully you remember the pinball machine. If you are a business owner or salesperson, you need to live by the Law of the Pinball.
Recall that when you shoot the ball into motion, the idea is to keep it in motion. The longer you do – by all manner of body English, contortions, flippers, and verbal coaching – the better your chances of the ball hitting something for a score. Soon, it bounces off one thing and hits another – hopefully for an even bigger score. And on you go, adding to your score every second longer you stay in play.
78. Fixing the Dryer
- Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The reason I worry that business may never return to pre-recession levels, although the University of Tennessee Business College says it will by 2013, is because I have repaired the clothes dryer.
Normally I would call a repairman and I’m done, after a few hundred bucks, of course.
79. How Big Should Your Business Be?
- Monday, June 28, 2010
How big should your business be? Is a big business more successful than a little one? Aren’t I supposed to grow my business and get bigger?
Your business size will seek its own level. It is nothing you should focus on. It is about like wondering how low your golf score should be or how many square feet your house should have. You have a lot to do with it but these things seek their own satisfaction level along with requisite tradeoffs you are willing to make of time and sacrifice against quality of life and priorities. Your results may vary, is a good answer, too. The average small business in Memphis has less than 10 employees.
80. Business Model To Emulate
- Monday, June 21, 2010
I am a modest wood working enthusiast with a few machines that buzz, cut and grind in my shop. To indulge this hobby I have to buy good, sometimes exotic wood, try to know what I am doing and acquire the aforementioned gear. If I can accomplish this, which takes a bit of cash, I gain satisfaction and, importantly, help ensure the survival of my local woodshop.
81. French Fries And Other Constants
- Monday, June 14, 2010
There are only three industries that guarantee investors and employees a future: women’s cosmetics, toilet paper and French fries. Maybe an Apple I-whatever. The rest have to contend with considerable uncertainty.
82. Self-Realization: Dunderhead
- Monday, June 7, 2010
There is a time in your young life when you realize you are a mechanical dunderhead. One such realization came when I was trying to unscrew a strange screw on my bicycle that I had never seen before. It had no slot. It looked like the point of a knife would turn it, so I proceeded to break a few tips off mom’s steak knives before my dad appeared.
83. Business Owners Must Accept Change
- Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Businesspeople, especially business owners, have to accept more change than a vending machine if they want to last long term – and not only accept the change, but adapt to it.
Change comes so rapidly, for both good and bad, it is one of the reasons people are more stressed. It can be something as simple as adding wheels to luggage, which in turn eliminated skycap jobs. Or, a big one, such as cultural changes and new lingo.
84. Having An Owner’s Eye
- Monday, May 24, 2010
Business owners have their own particular way of viewing things that are different from employees’. As well it should be. Let’s call it The Owner’s Eye.
You can tell experienced business owners/managers by their expression or lack of one. It can be similar to a parent’s watching the kids play happily on the playground but there is still no smile on Dad’s face. No, he is thinking about possible injuries from falling off the monkey bars. Or, maybe the kid getting into a spat with another whipper. Or, a sudden lightning strike from looming clouds.
85. Salespeople Form A Business’ Lifeline
- Monday, May 17, 2010
Regardless of your experiences with salespeople, they are some of the most important people in business. It is true: Nothing happens until somebody sells something.
For there to be a space industry somebody first sold the president on putting a man into orbit. The sale closed and gave us NASA.
86. The Price of Admission
- Monday, May 10, 2010
It is well known that business failure statistics are sobering – some 70 percent of small businesses do not last longer than seven years. Why?
One big reason seems obvious. The price of admission to start a business is practically nothing except about $100 to the city and the will to embark. There is little else.
87. One Recession Down, Many Challenges to Go
- Monday, May 3, 2010
While we didn’t really realize it, prior to the Great Recession businesses were playing softball. The game has changed to hardball, which requires wearing a helmet and sometimes arguing with the ump.
88. Can’t Give What You Don’t Have
- Monday, April 26, 2010
Every businessperson wants more business. Every leader desires more effectiveness. Every employee needs more pay. The way to get more of what you want means you have to give more of what you have.
For example, if you are a salesperson and want more sales you have to give more benefit to customers than competitors. If you are a leader and want more effectiveness you have to give more inspiration than you have been. If you are an employee wanting more advancement, you have to give more contribution to get the advancement. Getting equals giving.
89. Archived Article: Back
- Monday, May 13, 1996
back filler Southeastern Telecom moves to Nonconnah Corporate Center Southeastern Telecom Inc., a telecommunications company specializing in business communications systems, has announced the relocation of its Memphis office to a new 7,000-square-fo...