Strategy is Saying Yes to Lasting Margin Increases

For years I have said, “Strategy is systematically saying no.” But, while saying no is a discipline that establishes a habit of operational excellence, there is more that must be proactively pursued. You must say yes to something of greater value than your competitors. So, what is that strategy which is worthy of your focus? Read more about Strategy is Saying Yes to Lasting Margin Increases[…]

Succumbing to Customized Software in a SMB

There is a debate among small business owners regarding building your own custom software to run sales or operations versus buying or subscribing to existing tools. Well respected friends of mine argue that it’s wiser to simply buy the SaaS tool that is built for your industry or problem. They’re successful and the proof is Read more about Succumbing to Customized Software in a SMB[…]

When Revenue Outpaces Talent

Do you set annual goals for your business? Update them quarterly? What about seizing opportunity in the moment? Most owner-operators develop a cadence for goal setting. As an entrepreneur turned investor I operated under a continuous flow approach. If they goals needed to change, they changed. Unfortunately, this approach only works in very small teams Read more about When Revenue Outpaces Talent[…]

How to Sell Your Engineer-to-Order Service Business to an Employee

The professional service firm is the classic engineer-to-order service business. Consultants, legal, accounting and technical consultants are people-heavy. Mikel calls these companies, “smart people who can type.” Selling these companies is often quite difficult and rarely produces a large, single payday. The reason? Lack of repeatable processes. However, rather than belabor the problems with the Read more about How to Sell Your Engineer-to-Order Service Business to an Employee[…]

What are your Key Processes?

Written by Daryl Starr. Inspired by @JoshSchultz All profitable businesses have a handful of Key Processes. These processes involve coordinating multiple people in various roles, each doing their own specialized procedures. Years ago –prior to Little Engine Ventures– I documented decision trees, printed and laminated them for my field technicians. This was extremely useful for Read more about What are your Key Processes?[…]

Methods to Develop a Stakeholder Bull’s Eye

Last week I wrote a post entitled, “Benefits of the Bull’s Eye Stakeholder Discipline” in which I outline the benefits of a Bull’s Eye stakeholder (customer, investor, vendor, etc.) In this post, I want to document some methods to develop a bull’s eye definition. There are a minimum of three criteria. This uses the same Read more about Methods to Develop a Stakeholder Bull’s Eye[…]