How to Make Two Million Bucks

If you see one true buyer a week (50 annually), and convert half of them (25) to clients, and your average project fee is $50,000, that’s an annual income of $1.25 million. And if you are successful doing that the next year, but also expand the original 25 with another $20,000 in business, that’s $1.75 million ($1.25 million plus $500,000). And if you reach back to 25 older clients and do just $10,000 ($250,000), that’s a two million dollar year. …


The Mighty Fall

GE was just removed from the Dow Industrial Index, one of the original members. That’s how quickly weak leadership and poor strategy can ruin even the largest business. This used to be the stomping ground of Jack Welch. The executives who tell you they don’t need your help and they can do things internally are the ones who need your help the most, trust me. I big office on a high floor doesn’t mean there’s a big thinker and a …


Response Time

When you get back to someone rapidly, you start in a very positive manner. If I’m unhappy with a product or service and complain, a fast response encourages me to believe they are concerned and want to make me happy. If they take two days to get back to me, I don’t care what they offer, I’m unhappy. This is why we’re seldom happy with the government.


Please, Please Like Me

If you are concerned about: • Someone unsubscribing from one of your lists. • A critique of your position in social media. • Rejection by a buyer. • Low “click through” rates. • A poor review on Amazon.com. • Low Klout scores • Low amounts of friends, links, and followers. I have the remedy. Get another job where you’ll be liked if not necessarily respected. What immediately comes to mind is “clown.” Oh, wait. The circuses have closed…


Up on the Roof

I usually stay in the high floors or penthouses of hotels. One of the bizarre aspects I love about this is looking down on rooftops. You see things not intended to be seen by the general public, It’s sort of like a private museum tour. Take a different view of your client’s operation. I used to visit the warehouses, talk to secretaries at lunch, and take the stairs instead of the elevators. Your private tour will enable you to offer …


Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

I’ve been approached by two people in the last two days for advice on whether I would coach them. Both seemed very expert in their fields, had been in the business for a decade, and had fine reputations, from what I could determine. And both were making about $250,000 before taxes, which is dreadful. They have poor business models, lousy fee structures, and undervalue their own contributions. It’s a better than fifty percent chance that they’ll both tell me they …


You Don’t Owe the Client Your Time

I was asked an interesting question this morning: “What if you resolve the client’s issue in the first month of what was determined to be a three-month project? What do you do for the next two months with that client?” The answer is: You do nothing. You were not paid for three months, you were paid for your value. The value has been delivered early, which makes it even more valuable! This project is over. (And, presumably, you’ve already been …


The Fallacy of Planning

The problem with a plan is this: If you miss it, even though you’ve done well, you feel like a failure. If you hit it, there odds are you were focused on hitting it and actually could have exceeded it. If you exceed it, you worry if you were just lucky and whether you can replicate it. Otherwise, planning is great. (Just strive to maximize what’s important to you: growth in income, debt reduction, increase in discretionary time, etc.)


Sorry, I Called Someone Else Who Bothered to Show Up

Small businesses are not usually destroyed by poor economies, technological advances, or larger competitors. They are most often destroyed by horrible business judgment. The basic horrors: • Not showing up when promised • Poor customer relationships • Failure to plan (cash flow, inventory, part-time help, etc.) • Poor pricing (usually too low or hourly) • Family interference Right now, in this boom economy, there are good times for nearly all. But small business owners tend to make the above mistakes, …


Confrontation with Buyers

I don’t believe buyers are usually “damaged,” but many of them aren’t terribly good at what they do, though they have the potential. Companies don’t develop their “bench strength” effectively. Don’t be bashful about confronting a buyer who wants to involve others to get consensus, or  (in a non-profit) is worried about what board members might say, or who feels everything is fine (in other words, let’s not make waves). Some useful language: • This is a strategic decision, people …