Tag Archives: small business

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diversify

Diversify Sometimes Means Doing More, Getting Less

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The small engine repair shop can fix bicycles if someone asks. A washing machine repairperson can wire a new light switch, and the pizza shop can serve eggs benedict. Should they diversify?

Often the mindset is that if we don’t have it, we can get it. It is tempting to grab some money on the table and run to the next table to see what is desirable there. Also tempting is chocolate cake, sleeping in, and another cocktail at happy hour. None of which may be a good idea.

Doing More

It may seem easy for the restaurant to expand the menu, the mechanic to fix everything that has a bolt, and for the landscaper to paint the porch, stain the deck, or seal the driveway.

If there is time, a need, a question, or what is otherwise believed to be an opportunity, then perhaps it is tempting to take it. The mindset is, when customers ask, we don’t refer, we respond.

This appears to work, that is until you are an expert at nothing. What you become known for is unclear, and how people refer you doesn’t seem to make any sense. Is your small business a group of part-time hobbyist or experts?

Generalized

The general store has general merchandise and this makes sense. A medical doctor knows something about tending to cuts and bruises, and can also take your temperature and diagnose the common cold.

On the other hand, the shoemaker probably shouldn’t get involved with wagon wheels. Both help you go places, but they are a completely different markets and expertise.

Diversify

Getting eggs benedict at the pizza shop is unusual. It typically would not strengthen their business, but distract from it. Making them more noticed is having the best pizza, or the best eggs, but likely not both.

McDonalds tried pizza for a while, but I don’t believe it was a hit. Taco Bell has tested french fries, and Tractor Supply has been known to sell baby chicks and ducks.

Having a wider offering seems logical to pick up some extra cash, or cause a little excitement. Is it really what you want? Does it make sense or is it a distraction?

Most people are trying to remove clutter from their life. It seems to make things easier, better, and more focused. Cluttered businesses typically don’t really get noticed, but the specialty shop is easy to refer.

The idea to diversify may make sense for the general store, not so much for the specialty shop.

Which one are you?

If you say, “both.”

I’ll say, “The small engine repair shop can fix…”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Mission Statement, No Wait That’s a Slogan

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Do you or the place that you work have a mission statement? Do you know the difference between a mission statement, slogan, or tagline?

mission statement appreciative strategies

When I ask people about their mission statement sometimes they’ll try to show me. They’ll pull out a company pen or one of their business cards and they’ll say, “Here it is, on my business card.”

While it may be possible to have one printed on a business card, usually this is a slogan or tagline. The same is true for other advertising materials like promotional flyers, billboards, and anything digitally produced or displayed.

Not sure about what one is? You’re not alone. Even the characters in the hit movie, Jerry Maguire (1996), didn’t seem to understand the difference between a memo and a mission statement.

Not a Slogan or Tagline

Technically a mission statement is a short writing around 150 words or less that represents all that the business or organization is, and all that they do. The length can vary, and I have seen them take up several scrolling pages on a computer screen or represented through just one or two sentences.

At a minimum you should consider:

  • Why. The why of the business or organization. Why is it around? Why does it exist?
  • Customers. Who are the customers, not by name, but by definition or demographic.
  • What. What goods or services does the business produce or deliver.
  • How. How does it deliver? It might be through retail, on-line, or a mixture. It might manufacture, sell, or provide services.

When developing a mission statement you’ll want to think about what the organization means to its customers and partners? What is the core purpose, and why does it continue to exist?

A mission statement is typically not used in marketing or advertising, although it is not uncommon to appear on a website.

It’s often considered to be an integral part of a business or strategic plan. It might be something that a bank or loan officer has some interest in so that they can better understand the business model. Your accountant might be curious and your employees should definitely be acquainted with what it is and where to find it.

There are many variables and much leniency. It’s your slate you write it.

Remember that those short blurts of pizazz on a pen or business card are most likely taglines or slogans. They are not a mission statement.

Importance of a Mission Statement

Smaller businesses or organizations (bigger ones too) might fail to see the relevance of having a mission statement. They don’t understand the need or the connection to business success.

Regardless of the type of business, the sector, or even its size, every employee should have a job that somehow connects to the mission statement.

Businesses that effectively understand and properly use a mission statement will have employees that are more driven, more caring, and certainly much more engaged.

Do you have a mission statement?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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