Getting And Staying On The Same Page

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jan 9, 2017 in

Being on the same page with your partner is a huge advantage to your growth. I explored this on a recent podcast when I interviewed Mark C. Winters, author of Rocket Fuel. Winters says that partnerships are so hard because few are willing to commit to the communication it takes to keep a partnership healthy. He talks a lot about 'Same Page' meetings and making sure that partners are ALWAYS on the same page. This is a key ingredient to a healthy partnership.Getting on the same page and Staying on the same page are two different things. Getting on the same page takes more energy, and typically happens when something out of the ordinary has happened in your business. But Staying on the same page is controlled by a rhythm in your business where you and your partner meeting regularly at the same time to discuss the issues you…

Entrepreneurs with Focus Win

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jan 3, 2017 in

An entrepreneur with a lack of focus is a frustrated entrepreneur. They wonder why they can't gain traction in their business. For entrepreneurs, focus is what helps them win. I coach business owners, and I've noticed that those with a lack of focus struggle to see the way ahead and know which changes to make in their business to move them forward.Before we go further, what are some types of focus?Developing a niche is a type of focus. This is where you are saying no to most of the market and choosing only to serve a select few. This helps an entrepreneur focus on whom to target in their messaging, who to network with, and who to hire in their business to serve their niche. If you are under a million dollars in revenue, you may only be able to handle 1 or 2 niches at a time.Serving fewer…

Can You Do That?

Posted by JasonBlumer on Dec 22, 2016 in

I saw a CPA friend the other day that owns his own firm in my town. He said, "I've been meaning to ask you, do you guys take credit cards?" I explained to him that we package our services, spread the payment over a 12 month contract, and then require a draft from the client monthly with a bank account or credit card. I told him we have been doing that for years. He was taken back a little bit.He said, "can you do that?" That was his mental map - 'will the client allow me to do something?' In many companies, the service professionals believe that we need permission from our clients to make changes to our business models. Or that we need permission to make any changes at all. As the owners, we are in charge of our businesses, and only the business owners fully know what…

Breaking Through Ceilings in Your Business

Posted by JasonBlumer on Dec 13, 2016 in

I'm learning that growing businesses inevitably run into 'growth ceilings.' They hit some mark where they can't push through, or need outside help to get through it. Hitting a ceiling is inevitable if you are growing, and it simply represents a new destination you've reached as a business owner that you don't know how to handle. Don't let it freak you out (like it did me a couple of years ago). You just have to do something different.For me, I realized I needed a partner to move the immense amount of work forward in very strategic and ordered ways. But that won't be everyone's conclusion.Here are some things you can do to get through your ceiling: delegate. A ceiling may represent that you have come to the end of what you are able to do on your own. I've learned that I'm not too good at this.…

The Knowing/Doing Gap

Posted by JasonBlumer on Dec 7, 2016 in

I love how Dr. Jules Goddard describes the very familiar gap of the things we know and the work we do in our businesses:I was referencing this in a recent blog post called What is Strategy, where I explained strategy to be(a) knowing something others don't know, and(b) being willing to do what others are not willing to do.Why is there a difference between what we know and what we do? The gap between the two requires an immense amount of courage. The video above goes on to explain the need for courage in running any business. Visioning ideas is one thing, but executing these ideas is where you win. Gaining courage can come from a team, a partner, or a community. Where do you gain your courage to close the knowing/doing gap?…

Tracking Job/Customer Profitability

Posted by JasonBlumer on Nov 30, 2016 in

Many agencies want to track profitability at a granular level. They choose to track profitability at either the customer or job level, or both. This method of tracking seems to be readily accepted by the agency profession, but I'm not so sure the benefits outweigh the costs or input.Why do we track?We track things to know new things, which then hopefully changes our behavior. Agency professionals often tell me that they want to know what their jobs 'cost' them so that they can price their services better in the future. But I rarely see this behavior play out in practice. Simply tracking customer or job profitability doesn't ensure that the agency pricing professional will price higher next time. Pricing is more a component of selling, education, and value recognition by the client. Because of this, new information rarely makes us better able to price our services. What would…

Perfect Company Positioning is Relative

Posted by JasonBlumer on Nov 22, 2016 in

Blair Enns of Win Without Pitching spoke recently at Thriveal's annual Deeper Weekend Conference. It was amazing content. There were so many takeaways, but I loved his statement about company positioning. "positioning is an exercise in relativity."When positioning your company, you are actually positioning yourself in comparison to the market your clients are comparing you to. The art of positioning is all relative. This is why strong positioning is polarizing. You have to make such a statement that your client can distinguish between you and the other guy. Weak positioning means you look like everyone else, and will then blend into the market. Blending in is death to your growth. Strong positioning also makes your selling job easier. If your positioning is strong, then your clients can show up at your door already convinced of your value, and their need to pay for your expertise. We all know how…

What is Strategy?

Posted by JasonBlumer on Nov 18, 2016 in

Defining strategy is super important but I think it's often misunderstood by those running businesses. It sounds like big goals, missions, and values, but I think it is much simpler.Strategy in business is...- knowing what others don't know, and- being willing to do what others are not.Simple enough, but certainly not easy. Knowing and implementing strategic ideas and activities takes experience and a big pile of courage. Knowing What Others Don't KnowThis alone is hard because you have to be on the search for new ideas that others are not looking for. In his book, Zero to One, Peter Thiel calls this secrets. And he makes a point that business owners aren't going to find these valuable secrets unless they are searching for them. Most don't make the time or margin necessary to search. But searching, and eventually knowing, can give your company huge advantage over those…

What You Really Want From Partnership...

Posted by JasonBlumer on Nov 15, 2016 in partnership

Where is the spiritual value of rowing? The losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew as a whole. -George Yeomans PocockI'm listening to the book,The Boys in the Boat, about the US Olympic Rowing team, and how they won gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It focuses on one young man named Joe Rantz, and how his gloomy past affected how he trusted his teammates while rowing. He struggled to trust his crew - but when he came around and finally gave his trust to the crew around him, they became a rowing team that had never been seen before. They became Olympians.It's true too with partnership. I've had a partner for almost 1.5 years now, and I'm learning the beautiful process of losing myself to the cooperative effort of two people who can do way more than I can do on my own. I…

Profit Is Proof of a Successful Past

Posted by JasonBlumer on Nov 9, 2016 in

Profit can be confusing. Your company's profit says more about what you did in the past than what it says about your future. Though looking at your profit regularly is very smart, it doesn't fully tell you what to do in the future. Profit is a lagging indicator of past successful decisions.Let's use an example. Let's say you decide to implement a new marketing strategy, and you begin spending $5,000/month with a new marketing agency in November. Will you have more profit in November because you made that decisions? Uhm, no. You will actually have $5,000 LESS profit in November than when you made that decision. You are spending money now in hopes of making more money later. Now move forward exactly one year, and you find that your marketing strategy was very successful and that it begins to create brand new profit of $20,000/month by November of next year.…