10:1

I’ve always advised showing your clients at least a 10:1 return on any option they choose, so that the value of doing business with you is unarguable. (I’ve worked with consulting firms who told me their own clients were delighted with a 3:1 return. I don’t find that sufficient for six-figure fees.)   Be careful about the return on your own investments.   For example, if you purchase a software assessment instrument for $25,000 for use on a single project, …


Finding David

At the recent Million Dollar Consulting® College I told the (probably apocryphal) story of Michelangelo buying a piece of discarded marble and creating the incredible masterpiece, David. When asked how he could do this from a single piece of stone, he said, “I just carved away everything that didn’t look like David.” I told the participants that their careers should be based on what they love doing and are passionate about, and all else should be “carved away.” Michelangelo didn’t …


Lessons from the Million Dollar Club

These notes courtesy of Matt Kolbusa, from Hamburg, who joined us for the first time and made excellent summary observations of our three days together. The Million Dollar Club comprises no more than ten firms whose principals meet annually in exotic locations to discuss business, life, and the future.   What do I do from January to March 2015 to increase my earnings from last year by 50%? New value to existing clients: what exactly to whom? Make a list! …


Taxi, Anyone?

Taxis in New York (and other cities) require medallions to legally operate, and the medallions, being fixed in number, have often sold for six figures, with taxi fleets sometimes spending millions. However, medallion prices are now declining for the fist time in my memory. Why? Because of industry disruption, AKA: Uber. Whether you use Uber or even like it (I do and I do), it is a disruptive idea that is changing an industry. It’s not even that innovative, since …


The Price of Televisions and the Cost of Lack of Innovation

There are some incredibly good sales deals for large screen TVs these days. The reason is that there has been no new technology introduced over the past year, so there is no competitive edge available to raise prices. In other words, value to the customer has not increased and can’t be created virtually. Hence, the stores are doing the only thing they can to drive sales on these items—lowering prices, decreasing their margins, even using the TVs as loss leaders …


Lessons from The Million Dollar Club

At our seventh annual Million Dollar Club meeting, this one in Sevilla, the ten members considered these issues, which I thought might be of help to everyone. • The best reasons for moving into new geographic markets is to reduce labor intensity. • You can make a million dollars but that doesn’t mean you have a million dollar mindset. You need to move to an abundance mentality. • “Thinking big” means appreciating how various factors interrelate and not trying to “solve” …


Don’t Pay More Than You Should

If you hire a subcontractor, someone who will simply deliver for you (focus groups, workshops, interviews, etc.), don’t be fooled by the claim that they need to be paid extraordinarily well because they represent the quality component. What they do is important, but can be done by a great many people who would love to get the work. These are the people who are excellent at delivery but can’t market and, hence, need work from others. Don’t overpay for delivery, which is …


Staying Too Long At The Fair

I listen to Siriusly Sinatra on satellite radio frequently, and have collected hundreds of his recorded works. I think he is he best interpreter of the Great American Songbook in history, the pivotal point from “big band” to solo vocalist, and the antecedent for Elvis Presley. There is no one who can interpret lyrics as he did, and certain classics (“Without A Song,” “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me,” Night and Day,” etc.) are really his alone. Many of the horn players …


The Doorman

The first and last impression you have in most top-flight hotels is created by the doorman. He greets you, often relays to the desk that you’re approaching for check-in so that you can be welcomed by name, and then packs your bags in a car and wishes you well when you checkout. In the interim he greets you and holds the door every time you depart and return. He has a great deal to do with how you enter and …


Small Minds in Small Business: Dumb Ass Stupid Management

I walk into the local liquor store and ask a woman who’s obviously a manager or part owner to order a very expensive vodka and single malt scotch. I tasted Konik’s Tail Vodka at Scott’s in London and my local cigar club carries Dalmorie King Alexander, which I’ve inexplicably developed a taste for. I want them on hand for when the spirit moves me (pun intended). Well! I just about ruined her day. She couldn’t find the vodka on her …