Am I spread too thin?

I keep getting called on to deal with problems that crop up as we try to deliver what’s been promised. Since I know more about how things work and have a broader view of where we are going, it’s a natural request. Besides, I like being in control of the decisions about how and when we commit resources to solve problems. And I’m good at juggling. But I’m sensing a limit to what I can get to. There are a lot of sales opportunities out there that I should focus on, for example, and I can’t be in two places at once.

Thoughts of the day: Unloading the things you know how to do best helps the company grow. Avoid burnout. Know that there will be failures and that while you strive for excellence, sometimes good enough is just that. Recognize that everyone in the company will benefit from gaining experience dealing with issues on the front line — so let them.

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Make your business unique

We need a differentiator; as an industry we’re being commoditized. We won’t be able to stay in business forever unless things change.

Thoughts of the day: Offering something unique boosts profitability and chances for survival in any small business. Avoid price wars. Turn away some buyers in order to create value. Don’t get complacent. Be nimble.

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Can this partnership be saved?

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I have a partner who cuts corners all the time. I want to do things the right way. Seems like we don’t see eye to eye very often. What should I do?

Thoughts of the day: Start with goals to get clear about what each of you expect from the company. Think about how well matched the two of you are. Communicate a lot. Resolve your differences now.

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Buying a building? Think future as well as present

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We’d like to buy a building. We also want to invest in developing more sales. Unfortunately we have limited funds to work with and we’re thinking this building could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How much do we need to buy a building? What is the best decision to make?

Thoughts of the day… Investing in growth is essential to the future health of any business. On the other hand, a building is a tangible asset, something that most service businesses lack. Make sure you have a handle on all anticipated costs. Cash flow is going to be king as you consider taking on new expenses and juggling priorities. Think long term, while you manage through the short term.

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Brace yourselves, growth is coming

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A major referral source for us is gearing up for a big summer push. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they are worried if we can we keep up. This is a great problem to have, but we need to solve it. How do we assure them that we can meet their needs? This will be a big leap forward for us.

Thoughts of the day: First, make sure you want the influx. Assuming you do want the work, build plans to gear up and assign people to implement those plans. Put someone in charge of monitoring workflow and quality. Meet with your staff to fill them in on what’s expected. Build in time to celebrate successes and let off steam.

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