Business

Faster, Better, Cheaper: Two to Survive, Three to Thrive

Faster. Better. Cheaper.

This was the mantra of our business.

In every customer presentation, every water cooler discussion, and every company memo, our CEO could find a way to weave “faster, better, cheaper” into the conversation.

These three things are, after all, what every customer wants. They are what anyone and everyone wants.

Faster. Better. Cheaper. Three words that perfectly summarize the desire of any modern human.

Faster

We want results, and we want them now. We want revenue immediately. We want products shipped and delivered same-day. We want our goals accomplished, and our visions realized tomorrow.

Better

We want the best. We’ll settle for good, but we want great, and we crave the best. The best price (see below), the best food, the best information that will lead us to the best version of ourselves.

Cheaper

We want it all to be extremely affordable. The best goods available as quickly as possible, and cheap as shit. We want inexpensive products and free shipping. We demand free apps, customer service, and support.

Two Will Survive, Three Will Thrive

Faster. Better. Cheaper. Companies that can deliver two out of the three will survive.

Deliver the best service the quickest (but at a higher cost)? You’ll live. Build inexpensive products quickly (albeit with lower quality)? Your customers will buy. Provide the best coaching cheaper than your competition (but provide slower results), you’ll make a living.

But show your customers how you can be all three and watch your company thrive.

About the Author

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Mike Mehlberg

Business, Productivity, and Organization Writer

Mike Mehlberg helps high-achieving entrepreneurs maximize their time with purpose-driven business, organization, and productivity tools and techniques. Contact him for strategies to transform your vision into goals, goals into action, and action into results.

Minimizing Risks vs. Maximizing Gains in Business

One word.

It’s the most common investment advice you hear.  

You do it with your assets, your wealth, investment types, even investors.  

Diversify.  

Diversifying protects your downside. It prevents massive losses and minimizes risks to your portfolio. Diversifying is arguably one of the most important concepts for wealth management. After all, if all your eggs are in one basket, you can’t afford to drop it. 

But diversifying isn’t the way to maximize growth in business. Quite the opposite. 

In business, you must constantly stay ahead. You must find your unique perspective and use it to claim (and protect) a portion of your market. Then, with that as a foothold, you have to grow your market share and squeeze out the competition, or at least prevent your competitors from encroaching on your territory.  

To do that requires learning — continuous, focused learning.

Take, for example, a “diversified business owner.” He spends one part of his day selling technology, then rushes over to work on marketing for a bakery, finally finishing the day with a trip to his hair salon to manage the books.

Clearly this is not optimal.  

The problem is, this owner can’t apply the lessons he learned in from business to the next. His actions are fragmented and unfocused. He can’t use the experiences from one company to make the next better.  

Entrepreneurship requires focus.  

Focus on learning the right things. Focus on learning the right skills. Focus on applying what you learn to run a more efficient, productive, and profitable business. 

When it comes to your investments, diversify. When it comes to your business, focus.  

About The Author

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Mike Mehlberg

Co-Founder | Focus Master

Mike just crushes focus and productivity in business for entrepreneurs. Right when they feel the weight of too many things to do, Mike can jump in and focus their efforts on achieving their vision and goals. Just don’t ask him about investing... 

Building Happy, Loyal Customers By Closing Open Loops

Building Happy, Loyal Customers By Closing Open Loops

At 35,000 feet, it’s unnerving when your 737 spins sideways like a fighter jet dodging a missile. On a routine flight, you don’t want to feel your commercial airliner shudder, violently, as if the pilot drove you through a field of boulders in a convertible.

But that’s what happened to me on a recent flight, halfway between Washington Dulles and San Diego.

Force in Business is Not a Multiplier

Force in Business is Not a Multiplier

It’s easy to use force to accomplish your objectives. 

  • Go straight for the sale by telling your customer every benefit of your offering.

  • Shout “look-at-me” on social media to get attention.

  • Jump from meeting to email to some other urgent task to feel productive. 

More often than not, you'll find success with this approach. As such, like a pigeon that finds a seed in a pile of rocks, you continue pecking in search of more success using this blunt tool called force. 

Here's the problem.

Force requires energy. Your energy. Moreover, you can only force your will for so long before your energy is depleted.  

There’s a better way.

Top Challenges (and Solutions) of 11 Business Owners Who Have Been Through the Grinder and Come Out On Top

Top Challenges (and Solutions) of 11 Business Owners Who Have Been Through the Grinder and Come Out On Top

The theme on Charles Street was hard to ignore, though most did. Hundreds of locals passed dozens of storefronts by the hour, largely oblivious to the marketing efforts of each business, silently trapped in their own heads. Their feet carried them mindlessly to their destination. Few stopped to shop.

I, on the other hand, couldn't help myself. Every window display captured my attention. Every smell from every bakery turned my head. The very bricks of the sidewalk, now cracked and gnarled and settled from over 200 years of foot traffic, guided me from one store to the next. While others were lost in their thoughts, I was captivated by the intersection of history and modern-day small business... and I wondered of the story for every small business on the street. 

Knowing from experience how difficult it is to start, run, and build and grow a business, I wanted to hear how they did it. How did they get started? What gave them the most success? How did they deal with the daily challenges of keeping their (literal) doors open? 

If only they could tell me, and I could share their experiences, the challenges they've faced and the problems they've solved could help thousands of business owners like themselves. 

The following article is that help. Not from the handful of brick-and-mortar stores in Beacon Hill, Boston, but from business owners running every kind of business throughout the world.

On Systems for Continuous Business Improvement

On Systems for Continuous Business Improvement

I remember the pain of losing my first sale.

I’d spent nearly $1500 on flights and hotels, taken two days out for travel, and spent another two days preparing for what I thought was going to be a slamdunk meeting.

As it turns out, if you want to slam dunk, you have to clear a path to the basket before you jump.

The funny thing was, my meeting went exceptionally well. I had my talking points, I answered all their questions, I was friendly, funny, and otherwise firing on all cylinders.

But in sales, that’s not always enough...

7 Small Business Trends to Prepare For in 2018

7 Small Business Trends to Prepare For in 2018

Let’s keep this simple.

There’s one month left in 2017 and we all know we should be looking ahead to our goals and activities for 2018…

But the end of the year is a busy time for small business owners, and it’s all we can do to survive and thrive. So we wanted to help you think about 2018 by listing some upcoming trends.

These small business trends can hopefully help motivate you to take your operation to the next level in the new year!

The One Thing Business Owners Should Be Doing Every Day

The One Thing Business Owners Should Be Doing Every Day

With my body aching from head to toe and hands covered in fresh blisters, the thing that hurt the most was my pride.

I tried to hide the pain from my two sons. But they could see right through my stiff posture and a fake smile.

Anybody could have. 

When you run out of strength and have to ask for help, it hurts. 

When you hear people laughing at you, it hurts more. 

When you realize that you were rowing a boat with the anchor dropped while dragging 75 pounds of seaweed through the mud, you feel like a complete and total dunce.

3 Hours Earlier…

Dealing with Difficult Customers and Providing Great Customer Service

Dealing with Difficult Customers and Providing Great Customer Service

If you're reading this, you may have dealt with angry and difficult customers too. Maybe you’re dealing with one right now?

These customers seem to suck all your time, energy, and happiness right out of your business. They complain, make demands, and force you to spend an inordinate amount of time fixing their problems so nasty word doesn't spread about your customer service.

It's a firefight. And since you’re the business owner, someone handed you the hose.

Say the wrong thing, and it just adds fuel to the fire. Let it burn too long, and it spreads.

So how do you keep it from spreading? More importantly, how do you keep the next one from starting so you can focus on building a business instead of controlling damage?

That's what we're going to look at today. And it all starts with creating a customer focused organization, from the top down...

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 Succeed at Business When Things Are Looking Bleak

How to Succeed at Business When Things Are Looking Bleak

In this podcast, Modern da Vinci expert and business owner Seth Sinclair talks about how difficult it is for small businesses to succeed, how anxiety and stress build when business plans don’t pan out as expected, and how financial and other pressures can lead business owners to give up.  He shares a personal and recent story about persisting through these challenges over a two-year period to finally achieve a foundation of success. 

How to Uncover the Greatest Threats to Your Small Business

How to Uncover the Greatest Threats to Your Small Business

You need your business to be successful.

If your business fails, you won’t be able to earn a living and provide for yourself, your family, or your employees. If you don’t have money, you can’t buy food and shelter. And if you don’t have food and shelter, you die!

Sound a little extreme?

Maybe, but to a large extent, it’s true. Your business is your livelihood. You can always try to find another job if things go wrong, but that would mean your business failed.

This is the pressure that many small business owners feel each day, and we’re here to help you change that feeling.

Instead of worrying about what the future holds, we want to build your confidence in your business. We want to give you a clear path to achieving your goals. And what we’re about to cover in this post will give you exactly what you need to focus on to make that happen.

4 Ways Cash-Strapped Small Business Owners Can Save Big

4 Ways Cash-Strapped Small Business Owners Can Save Big

For small business owners, finances are nearly always in limbo. If you are running into stressful money moments, there are some steps you can take to make those moments less frequent and taxing on your business and your sanity.

What follows are four tips for small business owners who find themselves strapped for cash a little too often

What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Financial Planning with Blake Fellows

What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Financial Planning with Blake Fellows

Many small and medium-sized business owners kick the can down the road when it comes to financial planning. That’s understandable since business owners are preoccupied with short-term responsibilities and dealing with fires that inevitably pop up daily.

Unfortunately, this leaves the business owner and his or her partners and family members exposed to tremendous risk.

What happens if conditions change and the business fails? How will the business respond if a partner falls ill? What is the business exposed to as the market fluctuates? How can the business be financially responsible while offering competitive compensation and benefits to employees?

In this interview, business finance expert Blake Fellows explains why it is essential for business owners to be proactive about setting goals, determining ranges for spending and saving, ensuring that foundational agreements are in place, and having specialized support in all aspects of financial planning

How to Use Your Customers Fears to Increase Sales

How to Use Your Customers Fears to Increase Sales

Have your past marketing efforts fallen on deaf ears? Have your previous advertisements cost you way too much for far too little gain? You’re not alone. This is a common problem nearly every small business faces.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Growing your business is hard. If you could find just one additional customer today, I know you’d call it a win.

So let’s figure out how to do that, and let’s do it quick. Let’s get to the root of the problem nearly every small business has: finding their customers, adding new customers, and ultimately growing their business.