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IDiscover Journal

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For Small Business Owners and Leaders

ATTRACTING THAT ONE IDEAL CUSTOMER

Every now and again (hopefully more often than not) you work with a customer or a client and think “This person is the EXACT reason why I went into business!”. For some reason that person or business embodies everything that just seems to “fit”. They like you. You like them. They have a need or a problem. You solve their problem. You also think to yourself “If every customer were just like them I’d be in heaven!”.

Well, here’s the thing. You either consciously or unconsciously created the right environment that threw the two of you together. The key is to figure out how to do it again and again, right? Here are a few thoughts to get you started.

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THIS WEEK’S MUST READS

Hello again everyone! I hope your weekend was a great one. For many it was the beginning of the long-awaited pro football season (and week 2 of the college football season). For me, it’s still baseball season – watching my beloved New York Mets continue our run to the post-season (fingers crossed!). (Oh, and by the way, hockey season starts in exactly one month!)

Anyway……you’re not here for all that. You’re here for great reading for business leaders. So, here you go. Here’s this week’s roundup of great articles.

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THE POWER OF ONLY A FEW

Sometimes when I work with a client things just “feel” wrong. On the surface they seem to have it all together. They are busy. They have money coming in the door. Employees seem reasonably happy. So what could it be? They are just trying to do too many things at once. They lack focus and clarity. When you dig deeper you find that revenue keeps coming in because they are able to keep picking up new customers…but they keep losing them also. Employees “seem” happy…but confused and perhaps frustrated. Typically it helps to simply scale back; get more targeted and focused.

Here are some areas where I’ve seen organizations go in too many directions at once – leading to confusion and less-than-ideal performance.

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THIS WEEK’S MUST READS

Hey guys. Now that the Labor Day holiday is behind us, the rest of the year will feel like a blur. It always does (at least for me). If you haven’t reached all your strategic goals yet, there’s still time. Read my post about how to get your company focused: “Finishing 2016 Strong”.

And as always, here’s a roundup of some of the best stuff I read (and wrote) last week. Enjoy!

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DEVELOPING THE RIGHT BOARD OF ADVISORS

One of the (many) difficult things for a small business is to develop and use an effective board of advisors or board of directors. But it can make a huge impact in a lot of ways. If you lead a small business, I’d certainly encourage you to explore putting together a group of informal advisors or even a more formal board of directors. But as with any business decision, it can come with some drawbacks. So how do you get the benefits of an advisory group while limiting the difficulties that can arise? After this personal experience and having worked with a number of other organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) over the years I have a few tips.

So, how do you arrange for a board that is the right balance between supporting your efforts and challenging you to get better?

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THIS WEEK’S MUST READS

Hey everyone! As you know, I like to start the week with a good roundup of some of the best articles I’ve come across in recent days. I like to look for articles on leadership, marketing, customer relationships, branding, technology, strategy, etc. that will be of interest to business owners and leaders. So, here’s this week’s summary of must-reads:

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FINISHING 2016 STRONG

Does it feel like 2016 is just flying by? Very soon September 1 will be upon us and the year’s 4th quarter will be off and running. I bet you set goals for 2016. When was the last time you looked back at them? How’s it looking? Successful? Disappointing? Somewhere in between? It’s not unusual to still have unachieved goals floating around out there. So, let’s talk about how to end the year strong. Let’s get your company focused on how to make the most of Q4.

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THIS WEEK’S MUST READS

Hello again everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. ups was mostly filled with back-to-school stuff. Fun, right? Anyway, as always let’s start the week with a roundup of the best articles for business leaders I came across recently.

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LETTING YOUR BUSINESS’S PERSONALITY SHINE THROUGH

Sometimes it’s hard for us to ascribe human characteristics to nonhuman entities likeSun shining through a forest businesses. But, you know, often they do have these characteristics – and it makes sense to think about organizations in this way. One of these traits is “personality” – that set of characteristics that often influence the way we see people. A business also has a set of characteristics that make up it’s “personality” and help define how those outside the organization view it, react to its brand, and interact with it.

An organization’s personality is derived from its foundational core values and mission. The organization’s brand is derived from that foundation – and its personality can be thought of as the way the brand interacts with the world around it. Think about “personality” as that layer that sits between the internal and the external and which helps the outside understand the inside (if managed well). And manage it we should.

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THIS WEEK’S MUST READS

Good morning everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend. We sure did here. We celebrated my oldest daughter’s confirmation at church and got to visit with family. Very nice!

Well, as I always like to do, let’s start this week with some of the best articles from the last week or so – and, yes, some tips and insights from me as well. Enjoy!

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