It is quite appropriate that during this time of reopening the economy post pandemic that NASA and SpaceX have reopened manned space flight from here in the USA. The launch rolled out kind of like reopening the economy. Lots of safety checks. Lots of expectations on the results of the mission. It too even had to be delayed and rescheduled due to conditions not being favorable for the launch. Both the business world and the general community can learn from this event on how we need to approach the future post pandemic.
The first take a way is that of being safe. The deliberateness of the preparation and the launch so that the human cargo was top of mind should resonate with all of us as we emerge back out into the marketplace. If we all do our own individual part to respect each other’s space – no pun intended, being aware of physical distancing and face covering then we can all have a successful launch of the economy. If on the other hand we become self centered and do not respect the virus and its potential then we could have a failure to protect our health. It is a balance between the known risks and taking proper precautions and simply ignoring the knowledge and proceeding with our care.
The second take a way is that of rethinking, reimagining and reworking this world of space travel. Previously the world of space travel existed in a closed governmental system. This new rethought space travel world is now a joint commercial effort which applies new creativity to solve very complex challenges. As we move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not have to look at this time as negative. Sure it has been challenging with both loss of life and many businesses have been impacted. If we use this knowledge and understanding to rethink our own businesses to align with future trends and demands then we too can have a success relaunch into the marketplace.
The third take a way is that of a commitment to upgrading ourselves and the environments we build our businesses and talent from. The ingenuity, creativity, engineering capability demonstrated in this mission have again upped the commitment to the fundamentals of core education – math, science etc. As a nation, we cannot underestimate the importance and need for us to keep our knowledge base top shelf. Not just for space exploration but for many life aspects. The efforts to find cures for the COVID-19 virus is just another example of the need to focus in on the sciences.
There are many more things to glean from this historical event, but for now let’s just keep to what we can do with this momentum to relaunch our businesses and our economy.
This week, if you have not spent some of the most recent weeks rethinking, reimaging and reworking your business for the future it is not too late to get right on this opportunity. The world has changed. The marketplace has changed. Your business has changed, Your people and customers have changed. This happens all the time, but we tend not to have the pause to see the changes as clearly as we are seeing them now. Look at the means by which you must now operate with respect to employee management, physical distancing, customer transactions etc.. Don’t just put in place what needs to be done, but look at this as the opportunity to reshape how it can improve what is being done.
Still trying to sort out how to move from reaction to reimagining? Engage a Promise Guide by calling JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
Another month of pandemic navigating is almost complete. We are beginning to see new ways of businesses beginning to be present in the marketplace. Restaurants around the country are figuring out how they can achieve seating with physical distancing while still providing the environment we all enjoyed prior to the shutdown. They are all pivoting in one way or another to effectively start up a new way to deliver on their promises to their customers.
Each of these pivots to a new way of conducting their business or trade is an extension of reworking their dreams of the past and opening up to new dreams of the future. I’m not a big fan of the over used framing statement of “New Normal.” Yes, things are different. Yes, things are not representative of the past. No, we are not going back to where we were previously so now is an opportunity typically not afforded to most small businesses. A chance to start your dream over and clean up all the things you would have done differently if you only would have known before you did them. A phrase I recently heard is one you may want to use to reformat your thoughts about coming out of this pandemic shutdown – “Reality Revised.”
I never started counting but I can confidently say that I have heard statements like, “I wish I would have not done this or that” or I should have known better” or “I wish I would have listened to…” from almost every client interaction or engagement we have ever started. On one hand, it is good that these statements get verbalized as it reaffirms the “WHY” JKL Associates is there to assist in adding value. On the other hand, these statements are typically never allowed to be reshaped. Lessons learned are not always able to be reworked and put into action for a new beginning.
All that has changed in the past couple of months. Business once thriving on old tired processes and bending and almost busting at the seams were stopped in their tracks. As we move forward in re-opening our economy, we do have a once in a business lifetime opportunity to open up our dreams and re-start up our businesses.
Hopefully you have not been sitting at home watching the TV and all the numbers. Possibly you engaged in one of our prior 3 minute weekly insights and started to rethink your business, its process etc. Maybe you looked at if you are easy to do business with and how to engage new and future cleints. What ever you spent your time on, you can embrace those dreams of reshaping while restarting your business. You still have some time if you did not get focused a few weeks back because the economy is not just tomorrow going to return to past volumes. So now is your time to open up your mind to dream big about your business. What does the next 12 months look like? What does 3-5 years look like? How does all this change factor into the perpetuation of the asset?
This week take a deep breath, relax with a favorite beverage of choice and give yourself permission to dream about your business. Be open to a new beginning as we emerge from the shutdown. You have been given a special wish even if you don’t want to realize it. Very similar to the holiday classic movie – “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George struggles through life and business always fighting the situation only to want to throw in the towel. He gets a second chance on life once he sees all the impact he has had on his town through his business. Take this special opportunity to dream how your business impacts your community, your staff, and you and your family. Take steps to re-start on fresh dreams and make the most of this once in a life time opportunity.
Need a dream weaver and Promise Guide to help you navigate your future? JKL Associates is ready for your call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
This coming Monday is our traditional Memorial Day where as a nation we pause to remember and memorialize those who have gone before us. Giving all to protect our freedoms. We typically associate these heroes with military actions during times of battles and wars. This year, we and those around the world have been in a battle of a new kind. One which is silent. One where the greatest of armies had no equal.
So this Memorial Day, we at JKL Associates, will not only remember those who have lost their lives in the battles of traditional war, but also those who have lost their lives in the battle for our health and welfare through this pandemic. Yes, both traditional wars and this virus war have front lines and sacrifices are made for the sake of humanity.
Take some of your silence this coming Monday – Memorial Day – and pray. Yes, pray for those who lost their lives defending us from what ever affliction had come before them so we would not be harmed. Pray for their families that they too can find peace in their loss. Pray that we do not return to life as normal because this would dishonor those who have given so much. May this history lesson of life not diminish so quickly like those of the past so that we as occupants of this earth can rise up to a better place of human understanding and appreciation for each of our uniqueness and value.
Your Promise Guide remembers all those who have given all.
For the past couple of months numbers have been in our faces every morning, afternoon and night. These numbers were not the ones we wanted to focus on but they did need our attention. There will be many debates, investigations and time spent on the who, what, when, where, why, how come, how much etc. over the coming weeks. These too will produce many numbers. Unfortunately, depending on what is attempting to be accomplished, numbers can be presented or not presented to achieve a desired outcome or objective.
Additionally, during these past few weeks there has been a lot of attention on the internal cash flow numbers in your business. Numbers were the basis of the stimulus packages. Numbers drove decisions about laying off staff, retaining staff, furloughing staff, or closing up shop.
As part of the daily numbers there was time spent on educating the nation on the transfer of this virus from person to person. I recall a press conference where one of the members of the task force gave the multiplication of 1 person infecting 3 people, those three infecting 3 more people in turn those 9 people infecting just three more people and so on goes the spread of the virus resulting in world wide pandemic and economic shutdown. This model was used to illustrate that if we could isolate (stay home) from each other then the spread would eventually reduce and run out of carriers to spread forward.
It is now time to focus on our business numbers in a new light.
Using this same sort of model we need to look at how we get our brands out into the marketplace. It is basically the backbone of marketing using social media and the internet as the carrier to the marketplace. Your business exists and provides goods and services to a given area. Maybe it is locally or nationally and possibly internationally. You need to get people sharing your brand much like the sharing of the virus. No, we DO NOT cough or sneeze on or at each other. No, we don’t presently shake hands. YES, we continue to practice proper hygiene (wash those paws) and distancing (6 feet) for the time being, but we can still communicate both digitally and verbally.
As you roll out your 30/60/90 recovery plan for returning to business operations as they will now be defined, you are going to need to start up again. For some businesses like restaurants the nature of operations will be different. People will have a pent up demand to go out and eat and socialize but will be controlled by how that segment of our world reopens its doors. Distance between tables and entry ways are likely to be different. People will view each other differently, wondering who might still be contagious. The list goes on and will be variable based on where you are at and what you are doing. All of these changes are going to affect your business numbers.
For those of you who prior to going into the shutdown were already numbers junkies and have some solid benchmark and baseline data, you will simply be trending to your prior activity data. You will be able to make more timely judgement calls on returning staff and ordering materials etc. For those of you who were less focused on the forecast of numbers and future pipeline data, maybe this is your wake up call. I hope we do not have to experience another pandemic, but regardless of that global event, you need to know your numbers. Not just what happened but what is about to happen and what to plan for into the future to happen. By knowing your numbers you can make solid strategies based on data and not just your gut or hopes.
This week take some time to get your numbers in order. I hope you took some time over the past couple of shutdown weeks to polish up your finance numbers and can now get onto using them for key decision making strategies as we move forward.
Still floundering in your numbers? At JKL Associates we are not your accountant, your banker or even your CPA. We are about engaging you at your accountability level and being there along the path with you. Give your Promise Guide a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida. Numbers need to be your friend and your Promise Guide is there to keep the relationship with those numbers accountable.
We have all been on various conference calls, video calls, webinars etc. over the past few weeks collecting invaluable insights into the various options we have to navigate the shutdown caused by the pandemic. Some are still in the what happened mode. Others are in the taking some action mode. Yet others are in the how do we capitalize on this situation mode.
On one of these calls, a colleague of mine mentioned a quote from a legendary hockey player – Wayne Gretzky. His quote is “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” This quote started ringing in my ears like a gong. This is exactly the way people need to be thinking right now as we emerge from the shutdown.
Good companies will continue to operate in the same order they were in which at the time was giving them results. They will remain at that pre-shutdown level. For some that might very well be good enough. I would venture to say that the business world just like the real world has changed. Being at a good level prior to the pandemic will be far less than good coming out of it. Everyone will need to up their game. Expectations will have moved on from the past to a new future level of demand. People will be wanting to make up for lost time and therefore their time expectation will be even tighter.
You can always be a great business player as quoted. These are the businesses which are taking this time and pivoting from what were good practices to great practices. They are looking into the future and observing what is taking place and anticipating where the business world is going to be at post pandemic uncertainty. To look into the future and move to where the puck is going is not something you just wake up one morning and say you have it. It takes practice, understanding, data and managed risk. You must be willing to potentially forget what got you success in the past so you can have greater success in the future. This is very counter intuitive for most people. All of the work you put into your business to have it be successful may not be what the marketplace is going to need moving forward. If you keep doing the same thing and expect different results you are just kidding yourself.
This week decide if you and your business are going to be good or great. It is easy to say you will be great, but then you need to make yourself a promise to be great. What does it look like? How will you know you are on the right path? What tangible results will you see along the journey so you can make course corrections if and when needed? Who do you need on your team to make this happen? Are you willing to make the difficult choices to up your game?
It is always easier said than done and this one is even more true. Greatness is attained through hard work and repetitive great actions. You can expect your team to be great if you are not great to begin with and demonstrate your commitment to them daily. Your actions of skating to where the puck is going will be challenging. If you are going to be great then now is the time to make that promise.
Give Your Promise Guide at JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida. Let’s skate together in the right direction.
The last few weeks has been like having earthquakes and aftershocks shake the foundations of both our businesses and personal lives. At first, there were little tremors. Then the shaking got louder and more intense. Businesses were directed by Executive Order to close if they were not essential business related. Then hope happened in the form of government stimulus only to have that balloon pop and not pan out for enough small businesses. The earthquakes and aftershocks continued. Many employees for the first time in their entire career were being laid off. Some were being furloughed. While still others were kept on payroll with substantial reduction in hours and pay. All of these causing a variety of challenges for both the employees and the employers.
These challenges have put stress on your business and you as a person. Some of you reading this are wondering if you will survive. Others are tapping into cash reserves which you never thought you would need to stabilize your business until the faucet of revenues is turned back on. Still others have different challenges with being concerned about the direct loss of talent to the competition who did get loans and now effectively have a disproportionate advantage on your business while you lay off staff. Business owners who are at or near retirement are wondering if they have the stamina to fight this fight or fold and protect what ever leftover cash can be extracted from the business they built and invested in for years. These are all stories I have personally heard from business owners.
I have also heard better news stories as well. Those businesses which are knuckling down and drawing their team even closer. Working on their business from the inside out. Starting with the very foundation by which they exist. Too often these foundational principles are not well known by the team. They originate in the mind and emotional energy of the owner but don’t always get articulated. They do from time to time get exposure by the owners actions. Unfortunately from time to time, because they are not structured, they get applied differently to different people in similar situations. This causes more confusion than desired.
As we are still in various stages of being on pause, now – this week – is the time for you to capture the foundational elements for your business as we emerge from the silence of the pandemic. What is your one core “Purpose?” What three core values will you never break in making decisions? What principle based framework will your team and your clients know bring stability to all present and future relationships? What role does your company culture/environment play in all future relationships?
Right now people are being given time to think about their roles in family, business, society. They too will emerge from the silence with new and different expectations of themselves, their jobs, their community. As leaders in good times and now in uncertain times it is up to you to place people at the center of your future success strategies. Your business foundation will be able to weather the large earthquakes and all the aftershocks the economy can throw at your business, your underpinnings – your culture, is aligned and strong.
Is your foundation shaken right now from the current pandemic? Your Promise Guide at JKL Associates stands with you in your present place and ready to guide you out of this place into the next best place. Call us at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
In case you missed last weeks 3-minute Weekly Insights, here is another option to pick up a critical book resource to help you build your business and what needs your attention right now.
Order from Amazon #ad “Fix This Next” here:
Hard Cover Audio Kindle
This coming Tuesday – April 28, a good colleague of mine, Mike Michalowicz is releasing a new book titled “Fix This Next.” You can grab a copy from your local book store or better yet to practice social distancing order it on line below through commissioned ads. Mike is a great down to earth small business guy who has been on the highest of successes and the lowest of failure in business. He takes his range of experiences and brings them to life to support his mission of eradicating entrepreneur and small business poverty. What is meant by that is that way too many small businesses and entrepreneurs operate without good fundamentals to have a bountiful business which is an asset and not just a job. His prior writing includes “Toilet Paper Entrepreneur,” “Pumpkin Plan” and one of my all time favorites is “Profit First.”
This latest book “Fix This Next” is not a solutions book. No, it is far more important than a “How to” book. Many of his other books provide those types of insights. This book provides the framework – a recurring process and structure so that you are not wasting precious time and dollars on what your gut thinks you should be doing. It moves you to what you actually need to be focused on to enhance your business so that it works for you and not you for it.
Mike transfers the understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy into a Business Hierarchy which walks you through a series of reiterative questions. Each series of questions digging deeper into your present situation so that you look at your real needs through a clearer lens. As you dig deeper, you may find that you don’t really have the necessary details and data to make an informed decision. This is where too many business owners step off the cliff to trusting their gut and not take the time to capture the real numbers to base decisions on.
As a Certified Business Advisor member, Your Promise Guide – Larry Klimek brings his 40+ years of small business expertise into the discovery framework outline in “Fix This Next” so that the resulting focus can propagate what solutions need to be deployed. This allows your business to rise to it’s next higher level of results.
Are you ready to “Fix This Next?” Your Promise Guide at JKL Associates is ready to engage you at what ever level you are at and help you rise to a higher level of success. Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
Order from Amazon #ad “Fix This Next” here:
Life has changed as we knew it. We can either roll with the changes (great REO Speedwagon song from the 70’s) or we can concede to the chaos and fold. Yes, we are going to all take our share of various knock’s, bumps and bruises as we navigate the next few weeks and months. These challenges can make us better, stronger and more agile for dealing with the inevitable changes which typically occur at a different, less radical pace.
We need to look at the current chaos as an opportunity to pivot from the course we have traditionally walked to a new trajectory of future success. We have been given some unique time for silence to reframe our future and allow our sometimes stagnant creative juices to begin to flow free. In fact, I might say that pivoting is mandatory to remain relevant moving forward. The way you interacted in the past might very well be just that – a past way of interacting. As we journey forward we will not be forgetting the past but we will be reworking it, refining it and retooling it based on these events surrounding the pandemic.
For example, with the social distancing directives, people have reached out to colleagues, friends, family and many others via technology platforms such as Zoom, Facetime, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and many more. These are not new tools but have been elevated to greater daily use. You might say Facebook and YouTube were already daily social media platforms but these tools are now being used by a significantly wider range and demographics of the population. As a result of this sudden change, businesses will need to pivot portions of their marketing to provide content and value through various platforms.
All business will be impacted. All to varying degrees but those who elect not to be creative and pivot to new ways of engaging their customers will slowly be pushed out of the marketplace. When change of this magnitude takes place, culture shifts like earthquakes shifting the tectonic plates. The result is the earth is reformatted and the future terrain must be navigated differently.
This week as you sequester to your home office, kitchen table or corner of the living room, take a few minutes each day and give the future layout of the best means to take these changing times and pivot your business. It is this time and place to set up and take advantage of this pause. When we all get the green light to step on the gas to go back into the marketplace, you want to be ready and not still working on your plan.
As you prepare to launch back into full operations coming out of the stay home directive, make sure you have your 30, 60, 90 day roll out plans well defined now so you are running and not just thinking about restarting the economy.
At JKL Associates, your Promise Guide is ready to assist you in making your plan ready for action. Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
Before we were sequestered to our living spaces, I recently spent a few hours out on the golf course with my family enjoying a round of golf. I’m by no means a scratch golfer. I get the enjoyment of seeing all parts of the course, not just those from the middle of the fairway. I don’t share this with you to let you know about my golfing prowess. It is more about the process of each shot on the golf course and how by using this model you may elect to improve not only your golf game (if you play) but more importantly your business.
In golf there is a basic understanding of the object. Take the fewest number of strokes (hits of the ball) to move it from one starting point (the tee) to the hole at the end of each fairway (the putting green). Along the way you encounter various hazards such as trees, water, sand, long and short grass and who knows what else you may just so happen to end up next to or behind. Each of these natural or designed in features of the course require you to think about how you will overcome it with the least amount of additional strokes. Each time you prepare to hit the ball you stop, think through what you are about to try to do. You select a particular club (tool) to affect the best outcome. You then mentally prepare which proceeds the actual doing or hitting of the ball for the shot. Upon the execution of the shot, you then feel either great or disappointed in the outcome of the process. Golf is one of those activities which gives you fairly instantaneous feedback as to how well you took action and executed it for the best outcome.
If we take these same basic concepts and apply them to your business you can begin to see some similarities. The generally understood business concepts is to take your product(s) and or service(s) and move them from where they start in your business into the marketplace to the end point of use. You attempt to do this with the least amount of steps and cost so that your initial investment in raw materials or time is maximized thus generating profit. Along the path of moving your goods to market there are many obstacles which are in your way. Things like financing, staffing, marketing, acquiring clients, and many more. With each of these obstacles you think about the best route to overcome the challenge and then take action to put your decisions into motion. As your actions rollout you begin to get feedback as to how well the choices were as related to the outcome that is taking place. Unlike golf where once you hit the ball you can’t change the trajectory or direction of the ball. In business you can make some subsequent adjustments to your approach and hopefully reduce parts of the negative outcome of your earlier decisions. This by no means suggest to take actions before thinking. In fact you may be able to learn from golf. The better prepared you are prior to taking action, it will be less costly and likely more rewarding. Similar to golf, when you do make the right club choice, focus on the ball, execute the proper swing of the club and the ball ends up exactly where you planned it to be then your inner feelings are over the top. Business works the same way. When you take the time to properly think through a situation and take deliberate action of doing what you planned, you then are rewarded with a great inner feeling of best results and more success.
This week give yourself the time to think through the challenges which are in front of you and select the proper approach to take to overcome them so you can realize the best results. This will give you a rewarding feeling which in turn will bolster your confidence in making the next best shot for your business.
We don’t suggest you call JKL Associates for golf lessons, but we can definitely assist you in getting greater success out of your business. Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
As part of the plan to #flattenthecurve many states have issued Stay Home/Stay Safe Executive Orders. The result is that many organizations are faced with some new territory for their employees working from home. As my commitment to the JKL Associates 3-Minute Weekly Insights readers, my strategic assessment partner and JKL Associates is providing a no cost assessment/questionnaire which will produce a learning tool on behaviors which can be referenced when working from home. You may pass this link along to all of your staff so they can complete the questionnaire and directly receive the report for their use.
Survey Link – https://www.ttisurvey.com/390141YSG
Continue to stay healthy and safe.
This week the insights are short so you can make an investment of time into completing the assessment questionnaire.
Should you need a Promise Guide to assist you during these challenging times, please give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.