Why Amazon is Wrong


 

One of Jeff Bezos’ hallmarks in meetings is leaving an empty chair to represent the needs, wants, opinions, whims, and moods of the customer.

But while that strategy might work for a behemoth like Amazon, for the vast majority of “normal” businesses, it is exactly the WRONG strategy

Because somewhere in all of the customer catering and adjusting and customizing and personalizing done by Amazon and the other big online retailers...

Somewhere in the management canon where it reads that the "customer is always right...”

Somewhere in that so firmly held modern sense that customers are entitled to everything...

Somewhere in all this what has been lost is the consideration for the other side of the deal.

For the seller. For the operating business.

Because focusing too much on what customers think and feel can be a sad road to ruin for very many businesses.

Why?

Well, first of it all it can have us attempt the very unpleasant undertaking of morphing who we are and what we do to fit too wide a spectrum of customer types, budgetary capacity, and scope of need.

And it can tempt us to promise solutions and benefits that in our heart of hearts we know are impossible to deliver upon.

It can also cause us to dangerously reduce our prices.

While doing so might work for companies like Amazon with virtually unlimited financial resources and the ability / willingness to make almost zero margin on individual sales, the vast majority of normally sized businesses will almost always be harmed (sometimes severely) by "race to the bottom" price cutting.

And perhaps most profoundly, too much accommodating to customers makes business owners and executives feel bad.

About the value they bring and about the value they feel they deserve.

Now this word “deserve” is a loaded one because no one in modern business deserves anything

So this feeling of “deserving it,” if not channeled properly, can easily result in a lot of very unproductive emotional anguish.

But with just a little re-framing, this feeling can be channeled into powerful fuel and motivation to “solve the riddle” of persuading customers to happily give us what we as entrepreneurs and executives feel we deserve.

Solving the riddle might involve marketing and sales and branding and pricing tricks, techniques, and "hacks."

And solving it certainly will involve providing our customers with SO MUCH fundamental and intrinsic value that they are thrilled to pay for it at a price where we earn a healthy profit.

Of course this is hard to do.

Customers, as is natural, will always try to get the best deal they possibly can so the burden will always be on us to get to true win-win.

Winning via deeply pleasing and serving customers with the value we provide.

And winning via having those same customers be thrilled to pay for and consume that value at the price and on the terms we request.

So enjoy Amazon as well all do as customers.

But don't try to be like them as a business.

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Profitable Change


 

Making profitable business change happen is hard.

Sure, there are treasure troves of books, articles, and seminars, including a lot of recent science - based studies, that we can all access to guide us as to change management best practices.

Much of it is very wise, and it is always good to immerse oneself in quality business thinking - if only to pull that one great idea that inspires new and different business action.

But really, the only essential ingredient for effective and profitable business change is plain and simple: One person who has both the will and the authority to propel and drive it.

This simple truism is easily obvious to anyone that has ever successfully sold anything of any consequence into an organization.

What good sales people intuitively understand is that there is either an individual on the other side with the willingness and ability to commit their organization to a suggested course of action, or there is no deal to be had.

This does not mean that collaboration and discussion and reporting and decision-making structures in organizations are not important, of course they are.

But for any business initiative of real consequence, there needs to be that one guy / that one gal that drives it forward, or nothing will happen.

From this flows a pair of equally simple but profoundly important business insights.

The first is for those in marketing and sales functions, i.e. those with the mandate to reach out to other businesses with the message that we, for a price, can solve your big problem / help you capture your big opportunity.

To these brave and inveterate souls, I kindly say identify that empowered, charismatic, and brave individual on the other side and sell to them and them only.

And its natural corollary, if you aren’t talking to that individual, or more often than most of us want to believe, if no such individual exists on the other side, then...

...you aint making no sale.

The second insight is for those tasked with driving important internal company initiatives.

And it is that the only person within any organization that can effect positive change is...of course you and only you.

No matter your role, your title, your responsibility, your budgetary authority.

Yes, as it was once so famously said, we must be the change we seek in the world.

And in our companies.

There are always excuses of why it can't and shouldn't be you.

Too young. Too old. Too new to the company. Challenges too big. Etc., Etc., Etc.

All the above may be true, but so what?

Let’s just be the change we seek.

And make the magic happen.

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Put me in Coach!


 

My sons Teddy and Jay Jay are sports crazed 9 and 10 year old boys and so springtime means only one thing to them - Little League Baseball.

And a blessing in my life over the years has been coaching their teams.

Let me first note that I started coaching out of a sense of obligation.

I have two boys playing on the same team and folks willing to donate copious amounts of time and energy to manage and lead youth sports teams are always in short supply.

But from the very first practice when my boys were just four and five years old I was hooked.

It is just something about being outside, with kids, celebrating triumphs together, wiping away more than a few tears together, well it’s baseball, it’s life, and it's a heck of a lot of fun too!

Now that my boys are older it's all still in good fun, but score is most certainly being kept and this past weekend the competition and hard desire to win from players, coaches, and parents was palpable.

And without looking hard at all, many on life, on leadership, and on entrepreneurship were there for the taking.

First, this quaint but profound idea that the game is meant to be played right, or not at all. 

Now coaching youth sports has not made me holier than thou, but it has taught me how shallow victories can be when they are attained through bending or clandestinely flouting the rules and spirit of the game.

Then there is Hemingway's beautiful definition of courage as “Grace Under Pressure."

Well, watching a mix of unevenly talented kids try to accomplish that most difficult thing in all of sports - hit a pitched baseball - with usually most of the important people in their young lives watching (and from their perspective - judging) how well they do it...

...well if nothing else it has been for me a profound window into the emotional and philosophical elements that impact being our best selves at those moments that matter most.

What I have seen that works best is a relaxed confidence, a“Zen” place where this game, this at bat, this swing is the most important one of our lives, and...

...means nothing at all.

And finally the wisdom that in the end playing good baseball, like most good things, just comes down to a LOT of practice.

For sure some of us are more talented than others so need to practice less, but in our hyper competitive world any kind of meaningful winning is impossible without a lot of it.

And so the question I ask myself is how much are we, as adults, practicing our craft?

Now this "adult work" practice is of a less defined form than practicing hitting a baseball, but keeping up with and mastering the latest trends, technologies and innovations in our chosen profession is a often overlooked but critical success factor.

And the really great thing about practicing at work like this, unlike the untold thousands of little leaguers who practice every day with the almost impossible dream making it to the major leagues, is that most of the folks that we compete with in business don't practice at all!

Sure, we all send a lot of email and texts, we surf the net pretty well, but how many of us deep in our career really work on getting better at our craft like young athletes do?

It may not be as exciting and life memorable as scoring that winning run in a little league baseball game, but it is always the right thing for our businesses and careers.

Play by the rules, be always in the moment, and practice and prepare with all of your heart.

It works in little league baseball, and in business and life too.

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What to Do When You’re At a Business Crossroads


 

Last week I sat down with the owner of a multi-million dollar, profitable information services company and discussed his business growth and exit plan.

For him, it was the “best of times” in many ways. He was living the American dream. He owned his own business and had an affluent and enviable lifestyle.

But it was also his “worst of times,” with storm clouds gathering that threatened to wash away everything he had worked so hard to build.

For the past 5 years, his business had had flat revenue growth, with a combination of competitive pricing pressures and customer churn creating a frustratingly one step forward, one step back dynamic of no real business progress.

And this late 50s-aged entrepreneur admitted to me that he was suffering from what he described as “creative exhaustion” - finding it near impossible to get excited about new ideas and approaches to grow his business.

And while he didn’t say it, I felt from him an even more perilous exhaustion - a lacking of stamina to implement and “stick with” any of those ideas or approaches no matter how potentially transformative they might be.

Now, there are no “right” answers as to what at this juncture he should do.

Heck, his best choice could be to just “keep on keeping on” - getting older every year for sure, but also making good money without too many obvious headaches or risks as well.

Unfortunately there is that pesky little word “obvious.” Because lurking right beneath the surface are host of business problems ready to pop their ugly heads.

The first of these problems is the natural “entropy” of modern business - i.e. without a significant exertion of ongoing and proper effort, a company’s almost certain future is slowly declining revenues and far more pressingly rapidly deteriorating margins and profits.

The second problem is philosophical, but vexing nonetheless. A do nothing “Waiting for Godot” approach just feels wrong, and does so especially for entrepreneurs whose ambition, competitiveness and unwillingness to accept mediocrity is what makes them first successful in the first place.

And then there is opportunity cost - the huge sums of money that moderately successful small businesses like this one leave on the table by not breaking through and getting to that next level of growth and success.

In the case of this $4 million+ business, because of its flat revenue and profit growth, the high end of its expected value is probably 3-5 times last twelve month’s earnings, valuing the business now in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, as effective innovation is able to drive the business to double digit percentage revenue growth - along with a credible business plan to build on that growth in the years-to-come, a sales price of 2-3 times last 12 month’s revenues is potentially attainable.

Or the difference between a few hundred thousand dollars of exit value and $8-10 million of it.

Now, for sure, "going for it" and trying new and different business things carries risks and causes discomfort. 

Those new things might not work, and almost always require investment of capital and time without any assurance of return.

And, the discomforts are manifest, ranging from facing the “look in the mirror” fears as to whether you still "have it," to the need to clean out organizational "dead wood," oftentimes family and close friends, to give the business the best chance of success.

But almost always, taking these risks and accepting these discomforts are the right business choice.

And most of the entrepreneurs I speak to, feel and know that it is.

It just comes down usually to finding the courage and re-discovering the work ethic to do so.

Nobody will scold you if you don't, but also never will you inspire yourself or others...

And oh yes, there is a LOT of money at stake, too. 

So why not go for it?

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The Economy is Growing at 4.3%. How About Your Business?


 

Did you hear Monday's exciting news?

That the US GDP is forecast to grow 4.3% this quarter.

Unfortunately, most businesses won’t realize this fast growth in Q2.

Why?

Because for too many companies their daily realities are just a series of squeezes:

Pricing squeezes driven by aggressive competition and ever-higher customer demands

Margin squeezes driven by shrinking gaps between employee profitability potential and their pay expectations

and perhaps most vexing, ideas and innovation squeezes between the changes that executives know are needed at their companies....

...and their creative and execution capacity to get them done.

Is your business experiencing one or several of these squeezes?

And if so, do they feel even more frustrating because of all of the growth you see in businesses all around you?

My friend and famed marketing consultant Paul Lemberg talks about four things working together that can transform those tight feelings of being squeezed into elated ones of business progress and success.

They are:

1). One above-average idea that inspires your market and leverages your assets.

I love Paul's use of the phrase "above average" - i.e. that we don't have to wait for that one Einsteinian / Steve Job's-esque world changing idea to transform our business.

No, just pretty good ones will usually suffice.

Like repackaging an existing product or service into a more modern and customer friendly form, such as selling services on a subscription versus a fixed project fee basis...

...Or “extending the day” via serving an adjacent market - like school caregivers (therapists, nurses, etc.) working in home healthcare in the afternoons and evenings...

...Or even something as organizationally simple as starting work 30 minutes earlier and leaving 30 minutes later every day.

These are good, but not world-changing ideas. 

But when properly executed can make meaningful and sustainable differences to the top and bottom lines.

2). Communications so clear prospective customers easily grasp the value.

The guide post word here is simplification.

Say in few words versus many.

Or with a picture better still.

Our modern business world is filled with many amazing role models in this regard.

Apple. Uber. Slack. WeWork.

All of Hollywood.

Yes, simplifying at the level of design elegance and creative excitement as these big boys do is hard.

But my experience is that the branding and marketing of most smaller companies is so bad that even a quick refresh can make a big difference.

3) Pricing so both you and your customers are happy and you earn excess profits.

Hermann Simon, author of Confessions of the Pricing Man How Price: Affects Everything, built a $300 million+, 860 employee consulting firm focused exclusively on advising many of the biggest companies in the world on pricing strategies that maximize profitability and the customer purchase and consumption experience.

He talks about the “Win-Win” duality - that we can charge a profitable price for our products and services and have it be one that our clients and customers feel good about it.

How do we arrive at these right prices?

That word again, innovation.

Odds are high that the prices we charge now are sub-optimal, so it is just a matter of analysis to determine what that optimal pricing should be and then courage to make and stick to these new (usually higher!) prices.

4) Consistent marketing that creates new business at an acceptable cost.

In spite of the constant churn of modern markets, we must have faith that as we increase the value we offer to our customers, and then sell that value at the right price and focused on the right benefits...

...that these changes we make will last and work for a long time.

And 4.3% economic growth makes everything easier.

So what are you waiting for?

Need Feeling Squeezed and want help getting your business moving Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Innovation and Growth Experts.

 

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NASDAQ 6,000 and Your Business


 

Yesterday, the NASDAQ crossed the 6,000 mark, its first breakthrough "round number" since 2000 when the widely followed technology index reached 5,000 for the first time.

For sure, fueling the index's steep recent rise (up 17% since November 7th) has been the solid uptick in business confidence and enthusiasm since the election.  

But this is only a small part of the story. 

The rest of the story is told in the list of the world’s five most valuable companies, as in:

#1. Apple, approaching an all time high value yesterday of $758 billion and the most valuable company in the history of the world (wow). 

#2. Google, valued at $607 billion.

#3, Microsoft, at $596 billion.

#4. Amazon, at $434 billion. 

#5. Facebook, at $425 billion.

Looking at these famous names and these astronomical numbers, our first thought often can be great for them, but what does it have to do with me and my business

Or with the other 99.99% of businesses without the vast financial resources, global brands, and treasure troves of intellectual property like these tech behemoths?

How about everything?

For today and evermore. 

Because, in this NASDAQ 6,000 world of ours, we are all either technology businesses...

...or we are nothing at all.

Because if we can’t face and overcome the intense and business fatal threat of technological obsolescence...

...of machines and code allowing these tech. giants and their ilk, or businesses of a similar size to our own, but nimbler and more innovative... 

...to do the work we do for our clients better, faster, and cheaper that we can with our legacy systems and processes...

...then irreversible business decline is our certain fate.

Now, of course it is not all clouds and rain.

NASDAQ 6,000 also shows us that the counter is true too - that as we do technology right there are billions and trillions of dollars out there and ours for the taking.

Unfortunately, here is where too many of us get stuck.

In spite of dawn-to-dusk work ethics...

In spite of lifetimes of impressive academic and professional achievement...

In spite of deep training and vast real world problem solving experience in our chosen fields, industries and markets...

We don’t think we can do it.

That tech. is "over our head".

Or even worse that our only choice is to hire outsiders to do it for us.

The dreaded "IT guys."

Or, the tattooed, nose-ringed millennial that "knows social media."

Or the overseas firms that will build for us "this stuff" on the cheap.

Sure, these business types all have their value - in my business we work at least one of each of the above.

But if we want to - as the Big Boys do - capture the value for ourselves - as the Big Boys do - we can’t outsource it.

We have to be the technologists. 

All of us - in every business.

Yes I know, it is a long and hard road to build a technologically impressive company.

But the first step is to understand the “Innovate or Die” nature of the challenge.

That should get us out of our bed early to get after it.

And all of the money to be made in a NASDAQ 6,000 world should keep us there. 

To Schedule a complimentary consultation as to your company's technology and innovation strategy Click here.
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The Fall of American Retail: Don’t Let This Happen to Your Business


 

The retail industry's woes have crossed the tipping point...

Already in 2017, we’ve seen these store closing announcements:

JCPenney (138 stores to be shuttered), Radio Shack (552 stores), Payless Shoes (400 stores), Macy's (68 stores), Sears and Kmart (150 stores), The Limited (250 stores), American Apparel (110 stores), BCBG (120 stores), and Staples (70 stores).

This amounts to more than 89,000 retail workers being laid off since October, with sadly many more to come.

The root cause is obvious - the unassailable competitive pressures brought on by the cost, convenience, and customization advantages of e-commerce that builds every passing year (more than $40 billion / year in online cannibalization of retails sales every year since 2013) and now probably has reached the point of no return.

Now let's put aside the cultural implications of a world of hollowed out shopping malls, boarded up down towns, job dislocation and the poignant shift from an in-person commerce model in place since the start of recorded history to us all sitting alone in our underwear and just pressing “click."

Let's put it aside because as business people our jobs are not to engage in wistful sentimentalities, but rather to address economic conditions and technological realities as they are and will be and not as perhaps we would like them to be...

...and plan and act accordingly.

And so the next time we walk by a shuttered store front - especially one of a retailer where perhaps in our youth was a particularly special place (for me it was Radio Shack) it is ok to be sad for a moment but then we must transition quickly to the passionate and even angry feeling that "This will not happen to me and my business!"

That NO our businesses will not be reduced to a statistic, to a misty water-colored memory

Instead, we will learn from the causes of the fall of traditional retail and not do those things. As in:

  • Not get into a position where legacy, high cost structures make it impossible to realistically compete with leaner, more efficient rivals. And if we are in a high cost position now, we will unwind those costs immediately because if we don't do it for ourselves, our customers flocking to lower cost providers will very painfully do it for us.
  • Not think our brands and reputations, no matter how old and sturdy they might be, will save us. Yes, it can be helpful in a trust challenged Internet world to have a known brand and sturdy reputation, but the former can quickly turn to a stodgy liability and the latter can fall apart in an instant (see Airlines, United).
  • And just not think that the particular business model we have now is going to last forever because it won't.

So if the writing on the business wall is such that your particular way of doing things is firmly in the cross hairs of the modern technological onslaught, then sometimes the most honorable and profitable (or loss mitigating) thing to do is to accept your business model as it stands now is truly doomed...

...and either radically change it or shut it down and do something else.

Now, the good news is that in the long run it is far easier to win at something that is aligned with modern progress than to fight to keep alive for “just another day” a flawed and anachronistic business model.

So no matter how stuck or old or frustrated we might be, we just gotta believe that a new and better business thing is right around the corner and is ours for the taking...

...because this is the only right kind of sentimentality for our technological age.

Need Help with Your Innovation and Growth Plan? Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation.
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Tesla Worth More than GM? Why You and Your Business Should Care


 

Earlier this week Tesla became America's most valuable car maker, with a market capitalization at Monday’s close of $50.9 billion, surpassing that of General Motors for the first time.

Last year, Tesla sold 72,285 cars, with revenues totaling $7 billion, and in so doing accrued $674 million in losses.

In that same time General Motors sold 10 million cars, with revenues totaling $166 billion and in so doing made $9.4 billion in profits.

So many found it interesting that sophisticated investors and market observers decided that Tesla was a more valuable company than GM.

But few found it surprising.  Here’s why:

Tesla is led by Elon Musk, one of the most iconic and admired entrepreneurs of the past 50 years. A business leader who has driven fundamental change in two of humankind’s most fundamental technologies - ground and air (through his other company SpaceX) transport.

General Motors is led by Mary Barra, a 37 year veteran insider of GM’s notoriously ponderous bureaucracy.

Tesla's brand, even after just a few short years in business, ranks alongside Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW as one of the most valuable in the world, and its Model S was famously rated as “the best car Consumer Reports had ever tested,” with a perfect 100 score.

And yes Tesla is young (founded 2003) and General Motors is old (founded 1908).

While GM’s age offers some advantages - consumer trust and loyalty, institutional knowledge, assets acquired long ago at low cost basis - these advantages are outweighed by the burdens of age - legacy cost structures, cumbersome decision making, and the challenge of attracting and retaining change and innovation-focused talent to an older organization.

Contrastingly, Tesla’s youth, on balance, is a great advantage.

 What it may lack in organizational maturity and depth of industry talent, it more than makes up for in the "Tabula Rasa" benefits of being organizationally new - simplicity and the ability to more easily put into use the best and newest "business things" - technologies, work processes, culture, etc.

What all this adds up to is in spite of General Motors by any traditional measure being a far weightier company than Tesla, investors believe that as the years roll on Tesla will be the more impactful one and the one with the far brighter future

The future.

In all of the most meaningful and important ways, it is these future prospects that most fundamentally drive business value.

Let us learn from this “Tesla versus GM” comparison and do everything we can to ensure our company’s strategies and tactics are focused more on what might and will happen in our industries and markets as technologies and buyer preferences evolve and far less in what has had and is happening.

Here is an easy shorthand to do so - just ask yourself “What would Tesla do?”

And perhaps even “What would General Motors do?"

The answers that come back will be surprisingly accurate as to what the future forward business decision should and should not be.

Ask and answer this question correctly enough times, and before you know it your company too might be valued as Tesla is...

...on its future prospects and not its past results.

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Times Are Good, What is Your Business Doing About It?


 

Try these latest measures of business and consumer confidence:

  • Last week, the National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturer’s’ Outlook Survey, showing 93 percent of manufacturers feel positive about their economic outlook. This is the highest in the survey’s 20-year history, up from 56.6 percent one year ago and 77.8 percent in December.
  • A report released by the Pew Research Center on Tuesday showed that 58 percent of Americans say that the current economic situation in the country is either “very good or somewhat good,” up from 44% a year ago, the largest one year improvement in the survey’s history, and the most positive assessment of economic conditions since 2007.
  • Gallup’s US Economic Confidence Index, which measures whether Americans feel the economy is improving or getting worse, has remained positive for 20 straight weeks, the longest positive streak since Gallup began tracking the measure in 2008.
  • The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey increased sharply in March to its highest level since December 2000, with “Consumers expressing much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects.”

I'm less interested in the reasons why (political and otherwise) these numbers are so rosy as I am as to how businesses of all types of sizes can benefit because of them.

On this April 5th, here are three of my favorites:

#3. Be a Bearer of Good News. At some point, in large swaths of American Society it stopped being "cool" to outwardly express optimism and confidence in both the economy as a whole, and in one's own business in particular.

To heck with that!

Great business leaders are almost always great business cheerleaders.

A habit I love is to start every business conversation with both concrete statistics and heartfelt enthusiasm as to the unique and sustainable opportunities allowed by current economic conditions.

Tone setting like this is always beneficial, but is especially so now because of all of the political noise that too often spills into business conversation.

The sweet spot here is to pull the business positives from the present political landscape, tax and regulatory reform being at the top of the list, and to offer no opinion on anything else (which, in our role as business people is almost always ineffective to comment upon).

#2. Get Granular. Once our “there are windfalls to be had” point of view is out there, then our focus should turn to the “micro-specifics” of delivering to our customers higher quality at a lower cost so to actually earn these windfalls for ourselves.

Delivering higher quality requires examining our products and services under a harsh and microscopic light and asking - “Do they really deliver “wow” experiences and outcomes?

For far too many businesses, the unfortunate answer is either "not really" or that maybe they once did but have become sadly outdated as technology and more innovative competitors have passed them by.

And then doing something about it.

As in tearing our products and services down to their studs and rebuilding them in line with updated technology and evolving customer needs and demands.

And then let’s use that same microscope on the business cost side -  ruthlessly looking at all of our processes and personnel and finding the fat and waste and inefficiency and just cutting, cutting, cutting, and optimizing, optimizing, optimizing.

Attacking one of the two sides of the “higher quality / lower cost” business coin will yield good results.

Attacking them both, rapidly, in these great markets well...

...you just may need a wheelbarrow for all the money you'll be making. :)

#1. Run Free. When we combine the stance and mindsets of optimism and confidence with the hard, granular work of products, service and business process improvement...

...from this inspired and healthier base, we can let our entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative business minds and spirits run free.

Run free in how we market, how we sell, how we deliver.

In how we build and sustain a vibrant company culture and team.

And run free in the expanse of possibility and accomplishment we dream for ourselves and our businesses.

Not pollyanna dreams, but dreams grounded in the opportunities of today's markets, and dreams possible because we're willing and eager to do the hard, daily work of continuous, business improvement.

And always with a smile and a skip in our step.

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Is Your Business One of the Chosen Few?


 

Is your business healthy and interesting enough to attract an investor and / or buyer to take a “leap of faith" on it?

As in funding / buying it at a price well beyond what its historic “proof” - customers, revenues, cash flows - might reasonably justify?

The hard reality, for most businesses, is that this is just never going to happen.

The equally hard reality is that, again for most businesses, that this is an unfixable problem. Unfixable for reasons including:

  • Lack of scalability to their business models (see most, but by no means all service businesses) or non-existent / de minimis brands, intellectual property, trade secrets, etc.
  • They compete in industries in long-term decline, usually because of technology advances (see retail, newspapers, commercial printing, desktop computing, cable television, et al.).
  • And my overlooked favorite, their management lacks the “right stuff” - talent, training, work ethic - to ever fix the business problems "of consequence."

Now, I'll get to some options for unfixable businesses in a moment.  

But let’s first look at the other side, those “chosen few” companies that opposed to being unfixable have the wind at their backs and oysters at their feet!

These businesses have the "good stuff" going on - growing revenues, healthy margins, next gen technology, cool brands, charismatic leadership - and their main stress is just to decide which of the plentiful, high potential opportunities to pursue.

For these businesses, there are investors and buyers everywhere that are excited to take big leaps of faith and offer them money to grow and / or sell.

And as I talked about on my “Maximizing Business Value in the Trump Economy” webinar last week, with business and consumer confidence soaring now is one of the best times ever to reach out to them. 

With that happy aside, what are those folks at businesses that just feel “unfixable” to do?

Well, the cold truth is that they most likely need to either:

1.  Try to sell themselves to a “strategic” buyer - someone to come in and either a) replace tired management with new blood and / or b) exploit “synergies” such as combining a business with strong marketing with one with great products / services or finding efficiencies through reducing redundancies, admin, etc.

2.  Just accept that the business just can’t be sold
nor fundamentally grown. And then like heck work to just suck as much money out of it as possible before its inevitable demise.

And oh, if there is just not enough money in that unfixable business to make it worth it to keep doing at all?

Well then let's shut it down, cry in our soup for perhaps even more than a little bit, and then move on to that next bigger and far better thing.

So if you are one of the chosen ones, or very much believe that you might be, then go for it full force.

And do so now when conditions are hot like this. Investors and buyers are wanting and waiting to take that chance and leap of faith!

And if you’re not, that is ok too.

Because yes in this 21st Century World of ours, there are a million ways to go.

One of those ways might be to sell the business, another to run it as absolutely best you can as profitably as you can. 

It is just always very good to know what you are - and what you're not.

And to then plan accordingly.

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