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Your Most Important Document by Bill Collier

Feb 5, 2013 by Bill Collier 0 Comments
In a previous column titled Great Expectations, I urged business owners to have realistic expectations for their employees. Now let's build on that message: Define your expectations. In my role as a business coach, most of the issues I hear about are related to employees. And more often than not, a lack of clear expectations is at the root of the problem. We usually let our people know how to do a job. "Open the software. Click the blue icon. Use the menu to find the customer ..."
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Ok, I Made A Profit. Now What?

Dec 10, 2012 by Bill Collier 0 Comments
If you're a business owner, I strongly urge you to budget for a reasonable profit target as a percent of sales, and then make your expenses fit in. The idea is to put profit front and center as a necessary outcome ... to make it happen on purpose, rather than let it happen by accident. Now, let's build on that idea. First, what is a reasonable target for profit before tax? It varies by industry but I suggest that most of us should be able to shoot for 10% of sales, pretax.
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Be a Sleuth. Find the Waste

Aug 16, 2012 by Bill Collier 0 Comments
Be a Sleuth. Find the Waste. Reducing expenses. That has become a business mantra during this prolonged economic malaise. Most small businesses have tightened their belts, scouring every line on the income statement. Switching suppliers or brands. Buying less. Toeing the mark on salaries. Delaying hiring. Reducing headcount. Buying used instead of new. Less travel. Doing more with less.
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Talking About Values is Good Business

Apr 23, 2012 by Bill Collier 0 Comments
What do “values” have to do with business? Everything! This isn’t about “touchy-feely.” I see core values as a hard-nosed business practice, just like reducing costs. It’s simply a way to ensure that everyone on the team knows what is important. As owner, you can – and should – shape your company’s culture. You can let it happen or you can make it happen.
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Transparency and Leadership: Avoid Emily Litella Syndrome

Feb 26, 2012 by Bill Collier 0 Comments
  Emily Litella, in one of her typical on-air rants: “What’s this I hear about computer parking lots? We’re in a recession, people are losing their jobs, and now we have parking lots for computers! It’s an outrageous waste of land and money!”
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What's Your Number?

Feb 5, 2012 by Bill Collier 2 Comments
“What gets measured gets managed.” It’s hard to argue with that piece of wisdom. That said, here’s another old saw to consider: “If everything is important, then nothing is important.” Between these two valuable quotes is a balance and a guideline for business owners. All businesses have certain numbers that define success. Some, like profit, are universal. Every business must take in more than it spends, so an argument could be made that this number – profit - is a definition of success for every business.
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Do A Leadership Checkup

Jan 18, 2012 by Bill Collier 4 Comments
Leadership. What the heck is company leadership anyway? And why should a small business owner care? Some folks use the word “leadership” as a synonym for influence. Let’s expand that definition to include a couple of other important activities:
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Down with the Entitlement Mentality

Nov 28, 2011 by Bill Collier 1 Comment
As I write this in November 2011, the “Occupy Wall Street” protest and all its spin-offs in cities all over the world have been going on for about two months. But cities, businesses and the general public are tiring of their antics. Trash is piling up, legitimate events are being moved to avoid problems, and costs are soaring. Worse, the purportedly peaceful encampments are now producing murder, suicide, sexual attacks and clashes with police. Chances are, they will still be in place by the time this publication hits your desk in December.
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7 Business Resolutions for Your Best Year Ever by Bill Collier

Oct 17, 2011 by Bill Collier 2 Comments
How is 2011 turning out for you? Check one: [ ] Pretty rough [ ] Fair [ ] Great! Even if you chose “Great”, it’s hard to be optimistic when unemployment is high and many of the most powerful people in our government seem determined to punish achievement via the tax code. Until fairly recently, entrepreneurs were celebrated and respected. It was all about the American Dream.
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Find Your Why in Business

Aug 26, 2011 by Bill Collier 1 Comment
We business owners could learn a few things from 3 year old kids. They ask “why.” A lot. “Why do I have to go to bed?” “Why is grandma’s hair that color?” In his book Start with Why, author Simon Sinek makes the case that most businesses can explain what they do and how they do it, but few can clearly articulate why.
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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.