Sign & Digital Graphics

December '19

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14 • December 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS talk/not enough action were the over- whelming reasons for their demise. Mark Murphy, CEO of LeadershipIQ, summed it up this way: "Here's the mes- sage to CEOs. If the board has confidence that you understand customers and the market, can manage change and take timely action, even if that means some tough choices, you will keep your job." Board members, generally, understand that stock prices fluctuate, missed earn- ings forecasts occur from time to time, and company growth is not linearly upward every quarter, but they do need to be constantly reassured the executive leadership of the business is going to take the actions necessary to sustain growth and profitability over time. The 10 Commandments of Business Success Now is a good time to fly in the face of what airlines are trying to do to remain solvent. Here are 10 simple tips you may want to incorporate into your day-to-day regimen that you won't see any time soon from an airline: 1) Cater to and care for your cus- tomers. Make it a point to treat every buyer—especially the difficult ones— as if they are your most valuable asset. Without them, you are nothing. 2) Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. Everybody makes them. As a matter of fact, you probably learned more from past mistakes than anything you ever did right the first time. 3) Exhibit passion for your chosen vocation. Invite a mentor, trusted advi- sor or loyal customer to give you brutally candid feedback on how you are per- ceived as an entrepreneur and champion within your industry and community. 4) Focus on your strengths and out- source the rest. You know what must be done to be successful and what you are good at. Don't try to do it all yourself. If you find you are putting off complet- ing vital business functions—such as accounting, marketing and training, to name a few—hire a professional who will do a better job at it and finish it on time. 5) Measure and monitor every aspect of your business. That which is never measured will never be improved. Identify quick indicators—such as cash- conversion cycle, overall gross margin, and current ratio, to name a few—that give you early warning that things may be amiss. 6) Build a strong team. Surround yourself with winners and driven pro- fessionals. Treat them with respect and show your appreciation often. Many a leader has admitted publicly that, if it were not for their key players, the orga- nization would not have achieved half of its accomplishments. 7) Understand the value of what you sell and price it accordingly. Emphasize your unique value proposition every chance you get. When you point out the exclusive benefits of doing business with your company, it's much easier to defend your prices. 8) Attract, build and maintain capital. Even if you don't need money to take the enterprise to the next level, build and maintain a line of equity that gives your business a security cushion should condi- tions worsen. 9) Keep a sound strategic plan up-to- date and refer to it often. If you need to bring in an accomplished, unbiased, outside consultant to facilitate such an initiative, do it. When you have short- and long-term goals for the business and they are acted upon every week, you will keep the ship's course steady and reach your destination sooner. 10) Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. A successful business owner chooses wisely and with confi- dence, regardless if his customers, prod- uct lines, employees, suppliers, locations or jobs. Be willing to walk away from ones that hinder your progress and invest in making the ones worth keeping even better than they are today. Good luck! SDG 10 Simple Tips 1) Cater to and care for your customers. 2) Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. 3) Exhibit passion for your chosen vocation. 4) Focus on your strengths and outsource the rest. 5) Measure and monitor every aspect of your business. 6) Build a strong team. 7) Understand the value of what you sell and price it accordingly. 8) Attract, build and maintain capital. 9) Keep a sound strategic plan up-to-date and refer to it often. 10) Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.

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