16
Nov

What’s Your Success Question for 2024?

What are your objectives for the coming year? It’s a question I often ask people in business, and it’s not just because I’m curious. That question, and the answers, tell me whether our services might help those people to reach those objectives. That question is especially effective as a conversation starter at networking events because most of us generally like

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24
May

Unstick Your Strategy: Free Up Your Emotions

Research, analysis, number-crunching, decision trees—these are a few of the traditional components of strategic planning. But we’re just now learning about how powerful a little understood, new-kid-on-the-block component can be. Why do some strategic issues stick around too long and how can this new kid on the block help to cut them loose? Usually, key executives and managers know what they

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24
Jan

Are You in a ‘Hidden’ Business? Should You Be?

Sometimes the obvious money-maker isn’t the biggest one. Do you have another business hiding in plain sight? McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was known for asking MBA students what business they thought he was in. Hmmm. Let’s see. Fast food, maybe, or hamburgers? Yes, Kroc explained, but that’s not all. Kroc knew that the real money was the real estate business portion of his

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25
Mar

Founders: Want to Grow Your Young Company Faster?

By Scott Kraege, Guest Columnist To Our Readers: Scott Kraege is managing director of The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars . He’s also a former client whose salespeople participated in our consultative sales training—in fact, winning one of our annual contests—and whose sales processes we helped to develop. We applaud Scott’s work that provides such direct, hands-on support to other high-growth founders.

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26
Jan

Risky Business

Why don’t we talk more about risk? It permeates business every day. But at the hundreds of meetings and events we participate in each year—both in-person and virtually—we’ve noticed that risk is rarely mentioned. Maybe risk is too much on our minds. In an increasingly uncertain world, risk is a constant companion that we just don’t pay much attention to. Maybe it’s fear

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18
Feb

Asking the Right Questions 2020: The Flip Side

Most of us know that better business development means asking prospects and customers the right questions. Who else should we be asking? Short answer: Ourselves. It’s early in the new year, and we all have questions about the future. But let’s try something different and focus on questions from the past—specifically, the ones that didn’t get answered last year. Questions

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20
Nov

CEO Peer Groups: Your New Competitive Advantage?

Owners, presidents, CEOs, COOs, and other senior executives who participate in peer-learning groups frequently credit them with playing an important—even critical—role in achieving business goals. But they’re not for everyone. Ever since its most recent low point in 2008, the U.S. economy has been expanding along a path of successive highs and the concept of CEO peer groups has been

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10
Oct

Will Potential Buyers See Your Business Development Process as an Asset or Liability?

If and when you decide to sell your company, will potential buyers see your current sales and marketing processes as assets or liabilities? In other words, are they processes that new owners can rely on for growth and profit or that they have to fix? Companies and investors looking to buy other companies always do financial due diligence. Those numbers

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16
Apr

Offshoring and the Failure of Selling

The good news is that manufacturing is returning to the U.S. The bad news is that much of it should never have left in the first place. [Note: This post was updated March 10, 2020.] During some 20 years as an owner of a manufacturing company and in charge of business development, I became convinced that a large portion of the

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24
Jan

Want Growth? Think Transition, not Change

Why do so many businesses “drop out”? One always easy answer is that they fail to “change.” But there’s a lot more to it than that.Three things inspired this column: A recent sampling of our readers, America’s high school dropout crisis, and my daughter. First, in a recent sample, a number of our readers told us they want to hear

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