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Chutes & Ladders

September 27, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Chutes & Ladders

The other day while meeting with a colleague we got into a discussion about the ups and downs of building a business.  As we spoke, the children’s game of Chutes and Ladders came to mind. If you are unfamiliar with the board game, the basic premise is climbing ladders advances you to higher level toward winning the game and chutes drop you down levels thus having to repeat steps or spaces on the game board to ascend to higher places and win the game. The game board is filled with various sized ladder and chutes.  In most cases, the rise or descend is only a space or level but in some cases, it can move you multiple levels from almost winning to almost losing.  In this game, the advancement on the game board is random via spinning a number wheel.

So what does this have to do with building or running a business?

EVERYTHING!

Although your actions to run your business are not random, they can take on a similar effect if they are not guided by core values, strategic objectives, plans of action etc. During the course of building and operationalizing your business, you have experienced both chutes and ladders.  The ladder may come in the form of finding that special talent that when hired moves your business forward at an accelerated rate. It is not that you skip steps or spaces like in the game, but you enable your business to embrace this resource and allow the energy to flow into the achievement of objectives. Chutes come in the form of setbacks. These can be the loss of a sales opportunity, a change in vendors, cash flow challenges or not enough funding to move the business forward fast enough.

The good news is that just because you slide backward in the game or in building your business, you are not out of the game. You just need to gather yourself together, pick up the pieces and again move forward toward your objectives. In your business, as indicated earlier, your progress is not a random spin of the number wheel.  By applying yourself, understanding your market, the trends, the competition, your customer’s needs, staffing etc. you can put in place specific steps to follow which govern your ascent to greater results.

As we wrap up the end of September, we have 3 remaining months of the calendar year 2018.  It is time to assess where you are at, what else can you do to affect your bottom line and begin to strategize for 2019.  This week take some quiet time to reflect on the ladders you have climbed this year and the chutes you experienced.  How can you plan to use more ladders in the coming days, weeks, months and years while avoiding the chutes which drop you back and cause more time and money to be spent only to return you to a place previously achieved?

Maybe it is time to get a little out of your comfort zone and call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945.  We will bring our ladders truck and assist you in using them in building your business.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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Planning is Good, Action is Better, Results are Critical

September 20, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Planning is Good, Action is Better, Results are Critical

As we head into the final months of the calendar year we reflect on the plans set in motion in late 2017 and begin to plan for 2019. This ongoing action of planning, taking action and then measuring results is key to the success of the business and its’ future.

The question needs to be asked – Are you getting the results you planned and was the action taken the correct steps to get there?

As you start looking to plan for 2019, not only do you need to review the results and determine where and why they were achieved or not, but also were the actions taken the correct ones?  Sometimes the plan is only the goals and not the details on how the goals are to be achieved.  Leadership sets in motion the targets and allows the details to be part of each managers domain.  This can be a good practice if the managers have and demonstrate the ability to translate objectives into action steps.

With football season at hand, the analogy of a football field without yard markers or goal posts would seem rather strange.  The field is laid out for good reason and structure. The goal posts at each end of the field signify the target to score points.  The yard markings allow for a team to measure its forward or backward progress as they move from one position on the field to the next. This is true in your business as well.  If you play your business game on a field without targets and means to measure progress toward or away from them then you are floundering in a field of daisies.

This week as you look at your business, pay close attention to not just the results (+/-) but also the steps taken or not taken to produce them.  Are your managers doing more than just telling people what to do rather than getting them to take ownership in the steps and the results to get to the goals?

As you look at your business, when was the last time you set aside a meaningful strategy day to review and look at the future of your business, your people, your clients, and your products? Now is the time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and put a strategy session on the calendar so your 2019 plans can be flushed out, action taken and results in the form of increased profitability can be measured.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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How do you make decisions?

September 13, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

How do you make decisions?

We all have various behavioral styles that express decisions that we make.  Some of us show a more demanding/control oriented demeanor. Others are more reserved, methodical in their approach to the outward expression of the decision.  Still, others have many others ways to express the decisions they make.

That is just the outward delivery of the decision. What gears are turning on the inside when you are faced with making decisions?  Do you use your gut level instincts?  Do you rely on the gathering of data points and analyzing them? What is your process or method?

Maybe you never stopped and thought about it.  In the day to day interactions with many business owners, I witness a variety of styles and processes for decision making.  Some are very good and some get in the way of the end desired results.  No one way is right for everyone nor even for the same person.

I would always encourage an owner to have and understand the data points related to the decision at hand. This is the metrics side of the business.  Hiring additional staff or making terminations without understanding the financial ramification outlined in numbers, then you are back to guessing. Guessing should never be confused with gut instinct.  Gut instinct absolutely plays a role as it can factor in such subconscious items as attitude or past experiences with situations that either proved good or bad.

The level of impact a decision may have on a business, person, client etc. plays into the process as well.  Where you are going to eat lunch may have little impact on your business that day unless you are meeting a client and then location can either send an intended statement or conform to a particular objective of the conversation to be had at the meeting. The impact a change in employee benefits can affect how you and your business are looked at in the eyes of not just your employees but the families of those employees.

This week as you make decisions take a few moments to capture in your mind the process you take and the level of intensity you are putting into the decision. You will find that your approach differs based on various factors.  Knowing what those factors are can help you when many decisions are at hand and you don’t just move from one to the next using the same process.  This can lead to decisions which others think you put no thought process into and simply went by your gut.

The more strategic the decision is the more intense the energy.  As decisions get more tactical, you may use fewer data points and more gut instinct.  That is not always the best practice.  Sometimes skipping steps on tactical decision leads to having to make greater strategic decisions because the end result of weak tactical decisions now forces a strategic decision in its place.

Wondering how you go about decision making? Give JKL Associates a call and we can explore your process. Call us at 313-527-7945.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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Change VS. Change

September 6, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Change VS. Change

The other day I was doing a little cleanup of loose change in my vehicle and was surprised how quickly it accumulates in those cup holders. This oddly enough started me to reflect on the events which propagated the change to collect and that it was just set aside for me to deal with at a later time as I was doing just then. This intern began to quickly flow into thoughts about both clients and JKL Associates on how certain transactions cause changes which we set aside to deal with at a later time only to not get back around to closing that loop.

In the business environment today, change is inevitable. Sometimes it is caused by the marketplace, customer demands, industry, government and yes, actual constructive improvement. When these changes are planned, we attempt to do a reasonable job of taking into consideration the downstream effects and how one change can lead to a series of changes that initially were not intended but to be complete are required to be addressed. When the changes are thrust upon us our initial action is to bring that event to a point of stability and then return to what we were involved with prior to that change taking place.  Unfortunately, that change which was not well planned out still has downstream reactions that in order to be complete MUST be addressed.

Returning to how this thought chain was started, (loose change in my vehicle) I began to add up the various coins and it added up pretty quickly. The amount was substantial enough to actually pay a toll road excursion I took to a client. It is pretty strange to see how these small and perceived to be insignificant coins actually when combined together amounted to a sum of value which reduced an expense.

Change – both the coins and the shift in the way something is done can have that effect.

At the time when a new way of doing a process or procedure is rolled out to your team, it can sometimes be weakly accepted.  Why does this happen? Well, one reason is that typically the change is rolled out but the backstory and purpose for the change is never fully provided. It is too often assumed that everyone knows the why or purpose for the change. This leaves lots of gaps which create questions which end up like the change in your vehicle – something you will get back to in the future.

This week take some time to clean up the change both in your car and in your company.  Look at the changes which have recently taken place and ask yourself if the “Purpose” or the “Why” was provided in addition to the actual change.  If not, it is time to gather up the loose change and make a buck or more with it by improving your teams’ ability to integrate the changes.

Curious about making change a more fluid and productive part of your business model? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and let’s have a conversation.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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