Finding Clarity with a Line of Sight

Finding Clarity with a Line of Sight

She shifted her weight hastily from one foot to the other, clearly irritated.

I was too. Irritated, that is.

Her, a hundred other travelers in front of me, and I had chosen the wrong line at the airport, and security was moving us through their checkpoint at a snails pace.

The line to my left seemed like a racetrack by comparison. Each of the travelers walked confidently toward the checkpoint faster than American Pharoe to the Triple Crown. They seemed happy, almost cheery (or so my imagination told me).

That’s when this woman in front of me made her break for freedom.

How to Build a Business Strategy Worthy of Olympic Gold

How to Build a Business Strategy Worthy of Olympic Gold

Last weekend, the US Olympic men’s curling team took gold in a knock out battle with Sweden. People were yelling. Stones were flying. And grown men were crying. 

It was an incredible game won by flawless execution and a superior strategy. 

That’s why I harp on having a strategy for your business. 

Not some complex strategy worthy of a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company. No, just a plan to get from point A to point B with consideration for each of those steps along the way. 

How do you do that? How do you build a legitimate roadmap for the purpose-filled growth you desire? Try these steps:

How to Help 93% of Your Employees Feel More Productive

How to Help 93% of Your Employees Feel More Productive

Just recently, Forbes published an article reporting that only 7% of workers feel productive during the workday. 

7 percent!!!

Just think about that for a minute... 93 out of 100 employees don't feel like they can get their work done.

And if they don’t feel like they’re getting their work done… Guess what? Let’s just say they could be doing a lot more.

What do they blame?

    How to Grow Your Business with Strategic Customer Retention

    How to Grow Your Business with Strategic Customer Retention

    The rising power of consumers is perhaps the biggest game-changer in the world of modern business.

    People are well-informed, less tolerant of shabby service, and more specific in their demands. Digital technologies have empowered them and transformed the way businesses perceive and deal with them. Nowadays, attracting customers is just one part of the success equation.

    The real work starts once you need to keep their attention and win their trust. ..

    Want to Grow Your Business? Find These 3 Numbers First...

    Want to Grow Your Business? Find These 3 Numbers First...

    I’m going to use two words that will quickly turn you away.

    Your first reaction will be to close this article and search for greener pastures.

    But you mustn’t…

    Because these two words are going to be the root of your success. If used correctly, these two words are going to help you:

    ·       discover your niche,

    ·       find your ideal customers,

    ·       increase sales,

    ·       grow your business, and

    ·       crush your competition.

    You’ve heard these words before. So has your competition.

    Your competition has already used these two words to get funding, grow their startup, snag away your customers, and start encroaching on your company’s territory.

    That’s because these words aren’t some hidden secret. They are widely used in corporate circles, necessary for business planning, and critical to any company’s success.

    That’s why you’ll want to leave. Because you think you know what these words mean. Because you’re convinced that you’ve already gotten everything you can out of them. Because you believe you are too busy and have more pressing things to learn and bigger problems to solve.

    But you don’t.

    Because while you may have done this before, you haven’t used these two words since you started your business… and you haven’t used these two words to affect growth.

    That’s what we’re going to do today.

    We’re going to make your company stronger. Stronger from within (through a clear understanding of your customers, their buying power, and their problems) and from without (through increased presence, better customer targeting, and growth into new business areas).

    Ready to hear them?

    How to Prioritize Product Features Your Customers Will Pay For

    How to Prioritize Product Features Your Customers Will Pay For

    Half of us were annoyed. The other half were pissed. 

    “We have to let users ‘undo’. Our product is useless without it," I argued (I was on the pissed off team in case you’re wondering).

    “But nobody is going to NOT buy our product just because there’s no undo," came the response.

    We argued far longer than we should have, debating the intricacies of an undo button and whether our engineering team should develop this one feature for our customers.

    After multiple meetings, half a dozen arguments, and hurt feelings all around, a decision was finally made.

    Sort of.

    How to Crush Your Small Business Goals in the New Year

    How to Crush Your Small Business Goals in the New Year

    If you’re heading into 2017 thinking about setting new plans and goals for your business, Modern da Vinci is here to help. In this brief video, we cover:

    1. three big planning mistakes that you must avoid, and
    2. the first step you should take to set the foundation for your planning process.  

    This is the first video in a series where we will lay out a specific approach for creating a simple, clear, and impactful plan to help you set (and reach) your goals in 2017. And beyond.

    Top 7 Small Business Topic Posts of the Year

    Top 7 Small Business Topic Posts of the Year

    I’m a big believer in looking back, reflecting on what has gone well, and building on that in the new year to get closer to my goals.

    When I look at Modern da Vinci, the growth we’ve seen is incredible. It’s a sign that we’re on the right track, but more importantly, it’s a sign that the small business community is as vibrant as ever.

    Here are some incredible statistics from 2016:

    • Average reading time is up 21.45% over last year.
    • Bounce rate is down 35.14%.
    • 521.74% more page views this year over 2015.
    • 850.70% increase in new visitors in 2016!

    These statistics are obviously exciting for Seth and me here at Modern da Vinci. But more so, these statistics should make you proud. Proud to be a small business owner. Proud to be part of an ongoing conversation with owners like yourself, all learning and growing together.

    We’re excited for what’s to come in 2017. We’re looking forward to growing more with you and finding new small business owners like yourself to learn from.

    But before we end 2016, it’s worth reviewing the top posts in each of the five areas for a growing, thriving small business.

    3 Hidden Sticking Points that Plague Small Businesses

    3 Hidden Sticking Points that Plague Small Businesses

    If there’s one thing we’ve learned from building several small businesses and working with small business owners, it’s that running a small business is hard and growing one is even harder.

    There are many reasons why, but at the simplest level, it’s because you’ve got too many problems and too much to do with limited help and resources. Yet, through dedication, skill, and innovation, motivated business owners find a way to get things going. 

    Yet, almost inevitably, most small businesses eventually hit a “sticking point.” Sales may flat-line or even decline. Issues with customers and quality emerge. Conditions in the market change. Cash runs short. Colleagues and employees become frustrated.

    It’s is a critical time in your business. Not time to panic, but time to take quick and decisive action to right the ship.

    The key at this point is taking the right action.

    With that in mind, let’s take a look at three underlying and sometimes hidden factors that can cause your business to hit a sticking point. They exist on a foundational level and can impact the business from the inside out.

    What Is Effective Strategic Planning for Small Business

    What Is Effective Strategic Planning for Small Business

    Having a strategy is vital for any small business. A strategy defines your plan for moving from where you are today to where you want your business to be in the future. On a more tactical level, having a clearly articulated business strategy is essential to being able to prioritize, build consensus, make decisions, and assess progress toward your goals.

    Unfortunately, the “classic” approach to strategic planning doesn’t work very well for small businesses. The traditional methods found in textbooks are designed for large organizations. Small businesses don’t need the same kind of plan that a large corporation does, and they certainly don’t need the types of plans that global corporations produce. Using the wrong methods for strategic planning can cause a lot of frustration for small business owners as well as wasted time, effort, and resources.

    So then, what is the right amount of strategic planning for a small business? What should you focus on? Who should be involved? What should the final plan look like? How much planning is too much?

    This post will give owners of small businesses a simple and effective process for performing strategic planning by taking a look at some common issues small businesses run into with strategic planning, the most important elements of planning that small business should focus on, and concrete steps to tackling strategic planning the right way.

    The Entrepreneurs Guide to New Year's Resolutions

    The Entrepreneurs Guide to New Year's Resolutions

    I'm going to do something that scares the hell out of me. I'm going to share something very personal. Something that took me hours of reflection to create. Something I hesitate to share with friends and family. I'm going to share my new year’s resolution. 

    To be clear, you shouldn't care about my new year’s resolution. Sure, it's deeply personal so may be interesting in much the same way secrets and rumors are interesting. But beyond that, it's not the resolution that's important; it's the process by which this resolution is created that will affect your year for the better. 

    Every successful entrepreneur I know is out there working hard, working long, and trying to work smart. They are thinking and creating and building. They are searching for a meaningful solution to their customer’s problems and purpose in their lives. Every entrepreneur I know has goals, lists, objectives, and to-do’s. But not many have created a yearly resolution for their business. Not one like this at least.

    The new year’s resolution I'm recommending isn't your typical one. It's less of a goal and more of a statement... a guide of sorts. A word or two to live by. Something that, if you get it right, will change yourself and your business for the better in the coming 365 days.