Does Your Business Need a Retrofit?

Reading through an article today on, we were reminded of how important it is as small businesses to always stay connected to the changing needs of our customers. The article stated, “Small business owners who have worked long and hard to create their businesses and offer customer what they want are often the most resistant to change.” Interestingly enough, the ability to quickly change and adapt to the needs of customers if one of the most important competitive advantages that small business has over large and even medium sized companies. Unfortunately, so many small companies ignore this fact and choose to stay in the comfort zone, rather than seek ways to use their agility to gain advantage in the marketplace. If you are looking for ways to capitalize on your natural competitive advantage, TALAN is here to help. Contact us today for your FREE BIZstrength Profile and find out how you can stand out! Enjoy the article…

Plan Beyond Today

“I think there is a world market for about five computers” Thomas J. Watson, Chairman IBM 1943.

As a small business leader it is essential to not limit your company because of where the organization may be today. Any company that has ever become great started as a vision in an entrepreneurs mind.  That leader knew if the company were to be successful and realize its full potential, they had to think strategically and long term. Successful leadership requires developing a strategic vision, creating a realistic plan for realizing that vision, exciting the team to implement the vision, and overseeing its proper execution. Having a long term vision is essential for small business growth and sustainability. Participating in regular strategic planning sessions with key leadership within your company is the critical path for getting everyone in the organization moving the same direction towards the goal. Planning beyond today allows you to think big and to think beyond where you are, allowing you to plan for what you have the potential to become.

If you want to have a successful strategic planning session with your leadership team, contact Talan SBS today to find out more.

Demote Yourself

It happens far too frequently when we look at a small business; the owner is doing everything. The owner is often the person attempting to drive the company forward, yet is more often than not the same person who is holding the company back. Let’s look at a classic case. No names have been changed to protect the innocent because everyone in business is guilty of this situation. Bobs Widgets has annual gross revenues of about $525,000. They are growing and their target for 2010 is $750,000; an aggressive plan but completely within reason based on past performance. They have 3 full time staff members including the owner Bob himself. Bob has a vision for this year and is truly motivated to achieve his goal. However, when you talk to Bob about what his role is specifically within the organization you get the following answer- “well I wear many hats.” Bob continues “I answer the phones, make sales calls, design the new products, try to manage the other two staff people I have, and manage the books.” Bobs answer is a classic response and is the foundation of what we call The Hero Trap. Little does Bob know that unless he demotes himself from the “guy who does everything” that $750,000 goal is never going to happen. You see, to have healthy and sustainable growth within a company the owner/president cannot do everything and neither can any individual staff member. You cannot be the person who is driving sales while attempting to handle customer relations management as well as the person who is doing all the invoicing, working with vendors, managing payroll for which we recommend this blog post about how to outsource the payroll, etc. This type of environment will create dysfunction and will not allow the company to grow in a healthy and sustainable way. If you are in this situation you may want to know how to get out of it? If you are not in this situation, you may be asking how to avoid it? Warren Buffett had the right idea when he said “The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” It only takes you deeper. The best thing to do is assess your strengths, admit your weaknesses and demote yourself. Stop doing the things that distract you from that which does not move the company forward with the greatest value. Bring in people who have strengths where you are weak, this does not mean hire staff, and get a plan. Developing a plan is required to focus the company in the right direction and get it on the path towards managed growth.

To find out more on this and other principles to manage your business with greater effectiveness, contact Talan today for your FREE BIZstrength Profile.

Run your business using your Cash Flow Schedule, not your bank account!

Whoever coined the phrase “Cash is King” was only partially correct when they published it to business owners nationwide. We would like to argue that “Cash FLOW is King!” It is all too commonplace when small business owners run and manage the entire financial department of their company based on how much money is in the checking account. You cannot run your company based upon how many dollars are in your bank accounts, you must run it based on your cash flow. If you do not have a cash flow schedule and you are not using it daily… get one! You see, having money in your account is like having a well full of water. If you draw out too much water at once and use it up you will never survive through the drought. However, if you manage your water carefully and distribute it on purpose and very deliberately, you can make that water last a long time, getting you through a potential drought and allowing that water to provide the most good. This metaphor is a direct example of how a small business should manage its cash and the only way to manage cash like this is to run the financials of the company from a cash flow schedule. This allows the business to draw off only the most necessary funds to pay bills and employees while giving management a clear picture of how funds will be used across a two or three month period. Furthermore, if the company has an aging payables list, a cash flow schedule will allow the management to make realistic and deliberate commitments to creditors based solely on the cash flow. So remember, “Cash Flow is King” and the cash flow schedule should be your daily guide towards running your business. To find out more on how to manage financial and other key areas of your business with greater effectiveness, contact Talan today for your FREE BIZstrength Profile. And if you would like to make more money on the side, you can look here.

Is Overfunding Holding You Back

The idea that you need to be well funded to succeed in business is a myth. In fact it can be what’s holding your company back. This is specifically true for small business and often is the cause of lethargic behavior on behalf of the leader and the staff. Have you ever seen a successful entrepreneur who has build up a successful company from nothing to a thriving business only to fail at doing to again? This happens more often that you think. It’s like the second album of many bands that flops. It’s based on the misconception that you can shortcut the hard work of building a business. A struggling band puts there heart and soul into compiling a set of songs that reflect their personal struggles and drive for meaning and success. This is intertwined with odd jobs to pay the rent, buy food and pay for studio time. Out of necessity they neglect sleep and stay up all night writing songs, practicing or playing gigs. The struggle enhances the process and the challenge reveals their character. Then when success is achieved they feel they can repeat that process in a few months in the studio without the late nights and odd jobs and other struggles.

In business it’s the same, the late nights and underfunded processes force you and your staff to dig deep and find a way to make it work. This process is the hard work that makes it worthwhile. It gives you that feeling of accomplishment that cant be explained but lifts you up and makes you feel like you can take on the world. This is your character being revealed .

So don’t envy those that are overfunded or don’t seem to work as hard. They are either working just as hard and you don’t see it or they are coasting their company into ruin. You may not be overfunded but the idea that you need more capital in order to succeed or grow can be what’s holding you and your company back from the very success and growth you are looking for.


Talan SBS is excited to be a part of the small business community! We understand the needs and challenges that come with being a small business in a “BIG” business world. That is why we are driven, committed, and passionate to help small businesses and the Heroes that lead them navigate through where you are at today, in an effort to help you realize your vision and dreams for tomorrow. It is our desire to build a relationship with you and your business, not just sell solutions, and one of the best ways to begin that relationship is for you to get connected with us. Join our Blog to get valuable information that can help you in a practical way. Follow us on Twitter to get quick clips of what’s hot in small business. You can even join us on Linkedin and Facebook. We will also have great new videos on our YouTube feed coming soon! There are many ways to get connected so don’t miss out! Again, welcome to Talan!

-Talan SBS
Changing How The World Thinks About Small Business