Numbers (and the magic of measuring the right thing)


Recently I’ve been enjoying some blog posts by Seth Godin and this one got me really thinking (Read the full article here).
As business consultants, Voice of Reason Consulting advises our clients to make every effort to understand what specific numbers and metrics truly drive their business. We call these metrics Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s. These KPI’s are the drivers that propel the business to scale up to the next level. Based on our own experience, we believe that a business owner on the path to becoming a CEO needs to review their Company’s KPI’s regularly and continuously. Examples of KPI’s might include: how many prospects are in one’s sales pipeline; what is the probability of business to be closed based on a forecasting legend with specific criteria; what are the utilization percentages of technician or lawyer hours over the course of a week or month? The business does not need many KPI’s, just the right ones – and of course finding the few good right ones is indeed the challenge! However, we also know that when we find the right KPI’s, good things happen!!

(Read the full article here)

Are We Really Just a Brand?


As you all know by now, I am an information junkie. I read many different blogs and articles on a regular basis, and more often than not, I get to thinking that I need to share what I read. This piece written by Seth Godin (Full article here) really got me thinking.

Are we really just a brand? Do we always have to market ourselves? Why do we always have to sell ourselves?  What really sets us apart from all the same businesses or people we compete with? How do we stay true to ourselves, but continue to market/sell our services?

I think I can make it simple, but not easy. I do my best to do business with people I like. I love the challenge of working with smart, and even arrogant business owners. But, if I don’t feel a connection, I will end the engagement before they do!

In the end, I may be a brand, but as Seth says, I am a first and foremost a person, and I need to make a personal connection to do the work I do!

How Start-Ups Last


Last week, I wrote about the importance of establishing a company’s culture very early on. To continue the conversation once again, I am recapping a recent article from the Harvard Business Review on the other factors that help start-ups last.  So many start-ups that seem to have it all  – customers, cash, and promising opportunities somehow are incapable of sustaining long-term growth and scale.

Start-ups, more often than not, are not well organized, and in the beginning everyone does everything. And yet the need to scale demands professionals and organization on all fronts. Successfully scaling companies that seek growth require the following four critical activities to get to the level of sustainable growth:

  1. Hire functional experts. This allows specialists to work more efficiently and implement best practices in their field.
  2. Add management structure. Just a few people at the top cannot monitor everyone’s increasingly growing day-to-day work. Adding leadership and management keeps employees more engaged and focused.
  3. Build planning and forecasting capabilities and a framework of plans and goals to guide the company’s growth.
  4. Spell out and reinforce the company’s culture. Culture may very well be the most critical element in attracting talented people to join a start-up and stay with it as it achieves sustainable growth.

Scaling and growing a company does not necessarily mean the company should lose all of its start-up mentality, but as my experience has taught me, adhering to the principles noted by the authors of this HBR article are critical for any start-up to achieve scale and sustain long-term growth.


Read the full article here

The Importance of a Company’s Culture


Last week, I posted a piece by Molly Graham that talked about scaling your company. This week, to continue the conversation, I am posting another article by Molly that talks about how important a company’s culture is to its brand and to its very existence. As the number of employees grow, it becomes increasingly vital to define your company’s culture, if indeed the company is not only to grow, but also to survive.

  1. Companies will mirror the image of their founders. A company’s core leaders will define 80% of its culture. If you are a founder, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. The things that set you apart will become your company’s competitive advantages.
  2. Take the words that describe your company’s personality and turn it into a story. In the beginning, products are heavily emphasized but it is important to take the time to write down your story and what you want people to say about you. Your company’s story then becomes the backbone of your growth and your existence in the marketplace.
  3.  The next step is to turn your story into an ongoing conversation. You should continually speak about the culture you want to build in every meeting and email. Most importantly, culture is not fixed but always evolving.

I’ve been fortunate to be part of several start-ups in my career. There is no doubt that a company only grows and survives if it adheres to the bottom line to be profitable. However the road to growth and profitability is being able to define your company’s culture, to be able to tell your story, to create the foundation and backbone from the very beginning, from the very moment a founder or a CEO decides to start a company. Knowing at all times and building your culture as your company continues to grow is the road to success!


Read the full article here