Around the Bend

 

 Every business leader wants greater organizational involvement to help his or her company grow and prosper. With planning season just around the bend, we have a few suggestions for your consideration. First, get started planning early. Second, build a framework and agenda for your planning activities – one that engages the entire leadership team. Then,

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Develop a Local Contracting “Action Plan”

 

 The landscape of Federal purchasing is awash with opportunities to conduct market research and gather information on potential customers, competitors and prime contractors. If your company’s products or services are more oriented toward local government customers, however, gathering data and finding out who your actual customer is can be tougher. I suggest some key steps

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We Are All Guilty

 

 We all live with a certain amount of stress caused by having to make decisions in an increasingly complex world. Too little time, insufficient data, and shifting priorities all contribute to our reliance on decision-making shortcuts called heuristics. These shortcuts – rules of thumb, educated guess, modeling, common sense — are actually overlearned ways of

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It Depends

 

 Is it true that reducing the cost of support – General and Administrative Expenses (G&A) – improves profits? One response might be “it depends.” In a given industry, it is common for financial benchmarks to show competitors’ G&A expenses, as a percent of sales, varying by a factor of two. Yet, at either extreme, a

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Re-evaluating the Commercialization Process

 

 Successful technology-based companies are always under pressure from competitors offering better, faster, cheaper alternatives. In order for a company to remain competitive, it must be committed to the continuous evolution of its product, whether in terms of technical features or commercial benefits (new markets, pricing, etc.). Companies that successfully survive competitive pressures are those that

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Resonate in a Practical Way

 

 Glenn Llopis , a Forbes contributor, writes: “Remember this: we are transitioning from a knowledge based to a wisdom based economy. It’s no longer about what you know – but what you do with what you know. In the wisdom based economy, it’s always about trust, transparency and collaboration. A client relationship is about adding

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Constant Tension

 

 Some say, every business has three primary directives: 1) optimize the present situation, 2) correct or abandon past practices that are holding the firm back, and 3) change the company’s business model to address future competitive conditions by turning innovative ideas into action. In summary, this is a simple three-step formula for success! As for

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Creating Wealth

 

 The funding landscape has changed dramatically since 2008; however, having sufficient capital to operate and grow a business is vital to its success and survival. The best course of action to having access to capital is to run a business as an entity that creates wealth (value). Creating wealth means making decisions that contribute to

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Don’t Say Strategy

 

 In these complex times we need strategy more than ever to help drive your business toward growth. Martin Reeves starts his TED Talk, “Your Strategy Needs a Strategy, “by telling a story about an initial meeting with a client and being told, on the way into the client’s office, that the client dislikes the word “strategy.”

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Defeat Me With Logic

 

 I worked for a privately held manufacturer here in North Carolina for almost 20 years that was owned by a terrific elderly businessman in Atlanta. So, most of the time it was a telephone relationship and at month end and quarter end we had face-to-face meetings to analyze performance, evaluate strategy, and go. This owner

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From the Library: Free Market Research Tools and Resources

 

 Strategic plans, annual reviews, or applications for loans or grants require a thorough assessment of your market and your industry. As a North Carolina resident or business owner, you have access to NCLIVE, a cooperative-library website providing FREE access to entertainment, education, and business resources. Log in, and bookmark, NCLIVE using your public or college

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