Wednesday, August 30, 2023

When do you advertise?

before promotion.

You would think this is just common sense. But every other day when we get a brief from a client who says, “I want you to do marketing for my product.” (They actually mean advertising not marketing.) they have hardly got their distribution right.

Are you wasting money?

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Is there a structure?

It is interesting to see how people trained in the professional fields like engineers, doctors and accountants just throw frameworks, structures and processes out the window when it comes to marketing and branding. While less exacting in our standards, there are frameworks, structures and processes in place to safeguard the work in order to increase your chances of success as a client. So, you as the client do not approve or execute a plan or a name based on whether you like it or not. The system is there to protect you the client. Not to make us impressive.

Do you have a framework?

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Monday, August 28, 2023

Should you lead?

If you trust the recruitment system you have created, you would get good employees. If you again trust the training, mentorship, leadership and management you can provide, then it’s time to trust the system. Trust the system that it will mould and develop good managers.

Then let the manager do what they do best, take risks, make mistakes, screw up now and then, do great work occasionally. That’s how they grow and add value back into the organization. The shade that you provide may be well intentioned as protective. But it is stunting their growth. You should get out of their way. Just be ready to jump in to catch them if they do stumble.

Who’s in their way?

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Friday, August 25, 2023

Where should you grow?

Focus on profitability rather than growth. People then to equate growth as being profitable but you can grow and that growth in size could result in a loss. Well-intentioned people will always tell you product categories you should get into, industry you should expand, additional services you should offer. It will make you grow they say. It will make you grow in size. But will profit grow?

Remember, the profit and loss responsibility is yours. Not theirs. They don’t know your company’s core competencies, your raw material costs, your labour costs, your current financial standing. Let good intentions be what they are. Good intentions. Nothing more nothing less.

How should you grow?

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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Can’t wait to grow up?

Learn to be happy when you are small. Small allows you to take risks which you won’t take when you are bigger. Small is practice run for big later. If you can’t deal with these smaller issues now, how will you solve them when you are bigger? It’s a rites of passage for the right or passage.

Small prepares you for being big. Welcome it and savour it while it lasts.

Will you be happier when you are big?

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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

How do you develop company culture?

Company culture
is what you do. You can’t create it unless you act upon it and encourage it. If you trust your people and they start to trust one another, trust becomes a culture. If you take care of your staff and you encourage them to take care of one another and why it is important, caring becomes a culture. Culture is what people do. Culture needs time to develop. Encourage it, nudge it in the right way. But don’t force it. Let the fermentation naturally develop. You actively stirring it may just destroy it.

Is it like a petri dish?

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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Are you short sighted?

Manage the short term but think long term. If you think long term, the decisions you make and how you weigh opportunity costs will be vastly different.

How far can you see?

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Monday, August 21, 2023

Which will you chase?

The challenge for many companies is that every opportunity for growth seems so seductive to them. They want to do everything. If you are one of these people, always remember that there will always be more opportunities than the resources that you have. Hence, selecting which are the ones to pursue and make a priority is important. Prioritize in such a way that you put the corporation’s commitment that translates into action. That is your strategic imperative.

Which is your priority?

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Friday, August 18, 2023

When will you get inspiration?

If you want something to work, don’t wait for inspiration. Inspiration is unreliable. Get committed via a checklist. What does it mean? Do up a checklist with a timeline of what you want done. Then do it. Regardless of weather, mood, inspiration or time. What matters is execution and perspiration.

Do you have a checklist?

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

Why are you hiding?

Share what you know if you want to grow. If you have an abundant mindset, you will attract like-minded people. When a few of these people get together, they help each other fertilize ideas and detox the poison that may have been accumulating while working solo.

Don’t be afraid to share your successes and your disasters. No one will copy your success and make you poorer. The world just doesn’t work that way. Your successes have a little secret. That is you. No one can copy that.

What’s your secret?

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Which ones should live?

All your ideas are good ideas. But you can only work on a few excellent ones at any one time. You have to massacre the good ideas so that the excellent ones may live.

Which ones should die?

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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

What can you change?

Changing your business is hard. But choosing one thing to change a day that will effect a bigger change is easy. If a day is too ambitious, then a week. Choose one important thing you can do for your business that will make the biggest effect for the week. 52 weeks of accumulated effects will give you critical mass to ignite a positive growth explosion.

What should you choose to do?

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Friday, August 11, 2023

Can you accept failure?

If you have big goals then you need to accept that failure in all shapes and sizes is inevitable. If you can accept this, you will increase your chances of achieving something you will be truly proud of. You won’t be afraid to aim big. Accepting failure teaches you humility as well. This tussle between humility, in keeping you grounded and freedom you give yourself to fail propels you to reach greater heights.

Will you be humble?

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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Why do farmers trim their trees?

We worked with a client recently that was making good money for the last two years and this year began to bleed. Turns out they have bred too many products. There were overlaps, it was making consumers confused in choosing the right product for themselves.

We worked hard on trimming the product portfolio and increasing the prices. We did simulations and showed the client how they can with some true hard effort, the year can still be saved. In the same meeting, the client with all good intention came up with some solutions of their own. The solutions are almost all about creating new products.

Sometimes throwing more things at a problem doesn’t solve it. It compounds the problem. Learn to cut. Work with less. It’s easier to polish and make each one shine when you have less to work with.

Should you be trimming some fat?

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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Can you do what it takes?

Some clients do not like the assessments we have done for them. It can feel personal even though it is done with the best of intentions and in the most diplomatic ways. But as consultants we have to do what is required of us based on the challenges at hand. You can’t expect recommendations to make a positive difference in your business unless you can face the truth of your current position. In addition to that, the required remedial action needed to get to your goals.

The cold hard truth is that, nothing magical will happen at the end of the year if you are not prepared to do what is required. You get the results that you work for. If you want great results, then you need to do what is needed to get there. This applies from the quality of staff you have to the investments you are willing to put in for your marketing and branding.
Your actions must support goals. Otherwise, nothing magical will happen at the end of the year. You get what you work for.

Do you know what is required?

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Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Do you want to learn?

Some people say they want to learn but only in thinking. I think I want to learn. But my attitude towards learning is lukewarm and my action to back-up my thinking that I want to learn is cold.

You can’t learn by just thinking that you want to learn. Your attitude and action must match it. When all three are aligned; you will truly learn.

You will learn principles. You will learn from people with opposing views. That broadens your knowledge even more. You are open to different pedagogy. You will become a true student.

Do you act like you want to learn?

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Monday, August 7, 2023

Should we move on?

Decisions promote progress. Deliberations fuel regressions. What you can decide on today do not delay till tomorrow. Decisions are the foundations of progress. You like to deliberate not because you do not have the answer. It is because delay feels safe. It’s as if you owe yourself some time to slowly progress to the decision. It’s a puppet show you stage for yourself in an effort to say, “I have done my job.”

But your job is to decide. Make a decision and your business progresses with it. Create more deliberations and your business decays with them.

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Friday, August 4, 2023

Are you arguing too early?

Details make or break a project. That is true.

Hence arguing over the right details at the right time is crucial. Why do some meetings take forever to finish and yet fail to reach a consensus? Why do some great ideas die an early death?

One reason is because stakeholders argue over the details when they need to agree on the big picture first. Once you agree on that, you figure out how to make it work.

Agree that you want to have kids? Then how many kids? Then when you want to have kids? Not what their names should be and what colour of clothes they should be wearing. You can work out the details later once you agree on the big idea.

Does it matter at this stage?

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Thursday, August 3, 2023

What can you let go?

Getting the sequence of events right is crucial. Some entrepreneurs focus on the wrong thing at the wrong time. For example, at a birth stage of your company; your focus on production and distribution would be key. At this stage is branding important? Yes it is. But not as crucial as the production issues that you have and the distribution network that you need to build. Always ask yourself, what can’t you do without now before getting to the next stage.

What must you have?

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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

How much is better?

Less is more is only true if less is better. It’s not true all the time but from an entrepreneur’s perspective it is a good guideline to help maintain focus. Entrepreneurs are driven people. You tend to want to pursue more. You tend to want to do everything everywhere all at the same time and expect to do all of them well. But even if you have all the time, money and resources you can dream of, you have finite energy.

Keep your focus. Keep your goals (somewhere between 3 to 5 is best) and pursuits to the few key imperatives that you need to tackle every year and go after it.
Are goals distracting you?

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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

How do you do that?

Some people can do what they can do and impress you because they make a commitment. They don’t let constraints limit them. They surely complain less than you do about not having enough of this and that. They make commitments and let discipline take over. They prioritize and because it is a priority, they make time.

There are no big secrets.

Do you want it bad enough?

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