Tag Archives: how-to

What Your Small Business Should Learn from Big Business Mistakes

Photo by Alim Mohammed on Flickr

They’d lost seven million dollars in one year…

But after two years of losses, the numbers finally looked better. By the fall of 2010, Starbucks had earned $152 million, compared to that awful loss the year before.

That was a giant shift for a company many thought was dying, and the success was sweet.

But it sure wasn’t easy.

In his book Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, Howard Schultz, Starbucks ceo (they don’t use capitals), tells a story of transformation as they went from hanging-on-by-a-thread to alive-and-thriving through the Great Recession.

It’s a powerful story, and a fascinating read.

“Personally, for the first time in a long time, I felt as if we were winning.” He writes.Not that we had won, because there is never a finish line, but that despite the odds, the brand and our partners were prevailing.”

It was the fall of 2010, and that’s what Schultz thought just before calling investors with long overdue good news.

Schultz, the company’s founder, had stepped away from the CEO role eight years earlier, when everything was going well. Starbucks was opening stores around the globe at an astonishing rate. Profits were steady and always on the increase.

Yet by 2006, he’d begun sensing an intangible change when he visited stores. Something was missing; the customer experience had shifted in ways that he could feel, but not explain. Traffic was down considerably.

Something was just flat off.

And it bothered him.

A lot.
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Income Strategy #12: Turn Your Offers into Packages

Photo Credit: FaceMePLS on Flickr

I couldn’t avoid it any longer.

I was snowed in for the rest of the week, with nowhere to go and no more excuses. My very first coaching client was eager to get started. And I knew I had to get a response to her fast.

That meant I had to create my first-ever coaching program, or ‘package’.

Why?

Because even though I’d never worked that way before, I’d knew that packages were key to building a successful coaching practice, and serving my clients best.

Because packages change EVERYTHING in your business. Continue reading

Keeping Out the Chaos: Using Systems to Manage Events

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart on Flickr

It felt a little weird, I’ll admit.

I recently attended the annual East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit. This event, an all day conference created to inspire, encourage and educate women leaders, has been a huge part of my life since I first started it twelve years ago.

Usually, I spend every waking moment in the final days preparing for that event. Even with systems in place, there was always a lot to do – working with volunteers, managing last minute problems, packing up a zillion supplies and preparing to host 200 women for the day.

But this year, I’ve passed the leadership on to others. For the first time ever, I got to just enjoy the program – and I actually got to eat lunch! :)

Events take a lot of work – whether they involve hundreds of people, or a single client.

And systems are your key to doing events right.

From a planning perspective, systems help prevent wasting money, time, resources and your own precious energy.

From a customer’s perspective, systems help ensure that you provide a top notch experience for them that goes smoothly all the way through.

Think of your event as having three phases: planning and preparation (before),  implementation and delivery (during), and follow-up (after).

What do you need to attend to with each phase? Where would a system make things easier? The answer to those questions varies widely depending on whether your event is live or virtual, large or small.

But let’s take a look at those phases for each key area. Continue reading

Why You Should Be Using Events in Your Business

Photo Credit: Robert Scoble on Flickr

“Mind blowing,” she said, “that’s all I can say.”

“Just mind blowing..”  My client shook her head as she stepped outside for a break.

We’d spent the morning looking at the whole of her business, mapping out a framework that tied it all together, and clarifying options for meeting her income goals. Though we were only half way through our day together, she already saw a clear path to the kind of money she wanted to make – and it was pretty exciting.

“You’ve said all this to me before, but I just couldn’t get it in my head. It really helps to see it in person…”

And that’s just one example of why events matter.   Continue reading

How One Daily Habit Helps Sustain Your Success

I wasn’t at all sure I could still do this.

A friend invited me to join her for an overnight hike to LeConte Lodge, a roundtrip of roughly eleven miles to the top of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It was a very steep, straight up (and straight down), kind of hike. And I hadn’t done anything like that in a very long time.

But I had no intention of missing this opportunity.  So of course I said a big, happy yes.

And then, on the day of the hike, it rained.

And rained.

And rained.

It rained so hard the creeks overflowed, and new waterfalls were born where none had been before. There were times when I felt like I was hiking through a car wash, with a 1,000 foot drop-off at my side.  

And there were times when it was immensely beautiful, with water dancing off the rocks and mist in the trees.

So I slogged along in my own wet little world, tucked under rain gear, singing every rain song I could think of. (Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…)

I tried not to think about how soggy my boots were, how hard it was to breathe, or how much farther I had to climb.

It was steep. Messy.

Intense.

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