A champion is basically a driven and impatient member. These are the members who are not happy to wait to be invited to a Converge Network, they go and start their own.
We encourage these driven, impatient and successful people to give us a call. We provide full training and weekly support for Champions and your time requirements are not as big as you might think. Champions drive the recruitment of members as well as chair / lead the meeting.
If this is you, call or email us today and let’s get started.
Most business owners find themselves juggling multiple balls at the same time. However there is a secret to doing this well.
The secret is to work out which of the balls are made of rubber and which are made of glass.
This insight came from a speech delivered by Brian Dyson the former CEO of Coca Cola;
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.
But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same.”
This is pretty important. Many of us feel overwhelmed at times especially trying to keep all of the balls in the air at the same time.
Let the ones that will bounce back up fall from time to time (and first) and make sure that the important ones, the ones made of glass never get dropped.
Had the opportunity to contribute to this article in the SMH – key issue for many in business.
Freedom of thought and action has always been a key motivator for those starting small businesses. It’s the middle-class dream come true – no boss, no work schedule, no plans other than to make good in your own inimitable style.
And that’s when it all tends to go awry. There is an existential angst at the core of small business, observers say, which begins at self-recognition.
“It’s quite confronting when you tell the self-employed they don’t actually have a business – they have a job,” says Ty Wiggins, principal of Business Converge Networks.
“You can see the blood draining from their face. People put the self-employed and business owners in the same mix. They are totally different.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/what-are-we-working-for-20130814-2rw3y.html#ixzz2ges0zDJw
Which is more important for your business and for your clients?
Some would argue that excellence is expected and that relevance is what your clients want / need / desire. To really deliver value you need to ensure that everything you offer and deliver is relevant.
So what is relevance or being relevant?
Too often we can fall into the trap of talking about and promoting our excellence hoping or expecting that it will be relevant to our clients. Worse still we can get so ‘into’ what we do that we start to assume that we know what is best for all of our clients and what is relevant.
You will know if you have this wrong pretty quickly.
The challenge is how do you consistently stay relevant? The first way is to continuously check in with your clients and ask the questions that you think you already know the answers to so that you are absolutely sure about what they want / need / desire. This will keep you grounded and in touch with your clients and help you to consistently deliver relevance.
Remember it might not be what you need to add to increase your relevance but what you take out?
Innovation is a popular term in business. Many people are talking about either being innovative or needing to be innovative in order to succeed. Whilst this maybe true it is important to understand that there are two types of innovation – push and pull.
Push innovation is where the business refines or designs / creates something and pushes it out to the market. Pull innovation is where the market voices a need (often over and over again) and the business or the industry responds and changes.
A great example of push innovation is the iPad. Prior to releasing the IPad there was no large market crying out that they needed a tablet device that was bigger than a phone but not as big as a laptop that did some of but not all of either. In fact a common comment when they were released was, “I want to buy one but I don’t know exactly what I will use it for?”
That didn’t stop many of us. We bought one and then tried to work out how to use it – some more successful than others.
It is a great case of Apple going, “there is no immediate deman but we reckon’ people will love this”.
An example of pull innovation (old but relevant) is the unbundling of insurance products. There was a time when you had to take the insurance with all the extras included because the insurance companies thought that was what we wanted – yes I will take that overseas windshield protection, thank you.
Customers on mass voiced their dislike and as a result the insurance companies unbundled their products allowing us to purchase only the extras we wanted. Fantastic and yes innovative but pull innovation. We ‘pulled’ you to the party.
In my view most innovation is pull and it is very effective. There are fewer examples of the iPad than the unbundled insurance, and this is ok.
So if you are feeling pressure to innovate please don’t feel that you create the next iPad (it is great if you can), you can be very effective by just tapping into what the market thinks could improve your product or service.
Your value proposition is central to your business success and is at the heart of your business model. It is the direct link to your clients and in fact determines who your clients should be.
Just as your clients wants / needs / desires change and develop over time so to does your value proposition.
There are dramatic changes where something either removes or introduces a significant value proposition. Examples would be the legislative changes around FBT that has removed the novated leasing offering overnight or the ability for mortgage brokers to offer life insurance in addition to home loans.
There can also be subtle changes. A classic example are businesses where one of the core value propositions is the business owner. Take a business coach or a chiropractor – technically every client they work with makes them better so the next client gets a higher level offering or service. The same could be said about finance brokers, web designers, photographers etc etc.
If your skill is one of the value propositions and you get better every year, then your value proposition is constantly changing / improving. This may mean that you can help more or bigger or different clients. It also means that you may outgrow some of your older clients. Or the improved value proposition may result in higher value for certain clients (and higher fees) and lower value for others.
Your value propositions changes and as it is at the centre of your business model you need to review how those changes affect your customer segment, relationships, revenue, costs, key activities etc
I think you should do this at least every six months. Using the business model canvas is a great tool.
We are all using the same words but we mean so many different things.
This comes up frequently in my research, my general discussions about my research and in my consulting work. Whilst I have already written that at the heart of this issue is not the particular jargon but the organisational understanding of the jargon, it is worthwhile to give a simplisitc view as a start point. *What I mean by that comment is that it doesn’t really matter which term you use, what matters is that when you say it that everyone in your organisation associates the same meaning and application as you do. Beware of assuming that your staff or collegeaues have your exact definition.
So here is the simplistic view;
Mission = Why
Vision = What / Where
Strategy = How
Your mission is why the business exists, high level purpose. Usually startes with “to…” Across industries it is common for businesses to have the same or very similar missions. For example in insurance the mission or purpose of the organisation will be something around the protection of the clients wealth, livelihood etc
Your vision is what you want to build or where you want to take the business. These are the goals of the businiess, how big and how great the business is going to be who it is going to serve and what market position you want it to occupy etc
Your strategy is the ‘how’ you are going to achieve your vision and in the business context how you are going to create / maintain a competitive advantage. If your strategy does not explain clearly your ‘how’ then it is not a strategy and more likley a goal. E.g “to be the best in our space” or “to achieve 30% market share” or “to be the number one choice of our clients” – these are visions or goals but not strategies.
The puzzling thing is that I hear people using the word correctly everyday away from the business context, even in my children, “my strategy for winning in Mindcraft is to build the house first and then fight the zombies”. However for some reason when we move into the business arena we lose our understanding of the term and mash it into goals, visions and wish lists.
So next time to hear someone give their strategy, or you give yours – if the how is not immediately clear then you may have missed the mark.
Congrats to the DB group which had 8 new faces to their meeting this week. Great group of business owners and managers – added a lot to the discussion on delegation.
Another rare photo of the elusive Double Bay group. Is that a member of the fairer sex in the shot????
This group is doing a great job working through the big and small business challenges
Converge Newport has started with a great group of members.
They meet every second Friday at the Harvest Cafe in Newport. If this is your area and you would like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We all have good weeks and unfortunately we all have bad weeks. There is some real wisdom in this old UK military slogan – often it best to ‘keep calm and carry on’
Stay the course.
Of course there are times when you need to make significant changes but be sure before you do it. If it was a sound plan last week, is it really that far off the mark this week? What caused the doubt? A bad client call, failed delivery or something else that could have been caused by a number of other factors.
How do you pick yourself up when you are having a bad week? For some it is working through, for others it is taking a break or doing something else. For me it is to exercise. You should know how to change your mood and energy levels in your business.
One of my favourite sayings in business is “this too shall pass”. This applies to both the bad situations and the good situations. For me keeping this top of mind keeps me from getting too down or too excited.
I hope this week is a good one.
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