Paul Lemberg Profile and Articles
1). 10 Questions To Consider When Growing Your Business
Here's a provocation for the coming year, decade, century or millennium.
By now, you've set a working direction for the year, established clear-cut objectives. Your first-iteration plan to reach them should be in place. This now seems like an ideal time to rethink the whole thing, doesn't it? After all, one of the effects of internet t...
2). 5 Ways To Beef Up Sales...Immediately
Last week, one of my clientsówe'll call him Rickóhad a demo scheduled with a prospect. The standard "show up and throw up" they typically did early in the sales cycle.
Trying to shorten the sales cycle, I asked naively, "Why does the customer want to buy? What are they trying to accomplish?" Rick couldn't tell me. I asked if he thought...
3). 7 Ways To Be Unreasonable
First decide what you really want to do. What would make work worth working at and life worth living. Then figure out how to do it.
Most people look to what they know they CAN do as a guide to what they WILL do; I think to get anything important done in the world, you have to look towards what you WANT to do, and then figure out how t...
4). Attracting (And Keeping) Top Performers
Good people are hard to find, the saying goes. For example, by the year 2000 over 190,000 computer programmer and other information technology jobs will be vacant, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. (This is now a bit out of date, and although the dot-com bustups and the 2000-2001 recession has eased things a bit, it is still difficu...
5). Creating Breakthroughs
"The world we've made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking" - Albert Einstein
Runaway success is never based on incremental improvement. I know this is a very bold statement, but bold statements and even bolder results are what breakthroughs are all ...
6). Customer Advisory Boards
Customer Advisory Boards are a great source of information about your market and your business. Their advice is more valuable than any management consultant's. They provide real world counsel on what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and most important -how to stay competitive. After all, they're the customer. They're the one's who buy...
7). Equity: The Golden Handcuffs
Last month, I wrote about positioning your company to attract and keep top performers. One very effective way to do both is to compensate your key employees with equity.
Performance pay has become a critical factor in keeping top talent; combine it with a sense of ownership and a stake in the future of the business, and you've got a po...
8). How To Communicate Value Proposition And Return On Investment
As part of my continuing series on Value and Pricing, the following article shows you how to position your company's value contribution to support the highest value-for-value exchange.
Too many business owners, when asked about the value or ROI of their product or service, shrug their shoulders and say, "I can't really put a value on i...
9). How To Delegate: One Key Step Towards Leadership
You've made an unusual discovery - there's not enough time left at the end of the day. The corollary, of course, is your list of important things to do never gets smaller. In any company, the CEO's to-do list has the potential to grow infinitely.
What's a senior executive to do?
This is not simply a personal problem. Your ...
10). How To Get Things Done: A Guide To Strategic Planning
A step-by-step program for creating a strategic plan and tactical plan guaranteed to help you get more of what you want done.
You are pursuing a strategy en route to your vision. Whether it is revolutionary or evolutionary, it does not matter. You are on the road, committedly driving your business in a direction of your own choosing. T...
11). How To Make Mistakes
Promoting risk taking and eliminating fear of failure.
It would be a mistake to try to avoid all mistakes. Indeed, it would be a colossal blunder to attempt doing things right the first time, every time. In todays light speed economy, ("new" economy and "old" economy) if you don't fall on your face both regularly and painfully, you are...
12). Marketing Brain Trust
Rest assured that no matter how smart you are, you do not know everything about marketing. You don't even know anything about marketing your product! You can't figure everything out yourself, or see all the angles, or provide every bit of critical thinking.
The solution? Create a marketing brain trust.
Use the mastermind p...
13). Never Enough Time
It's a cliche of executive life: you don't have time to do everything. Whether you use little slips of paper, a planner, scheduling software or a Palm Pilot, all attempts at time management fail. Rather than throwing in the towel, I suggest that you need a new frame of reference. Change your focus from time management to priority management. ...
14). New Year's Planning - Critical Success Factors
Whatever time of the year it is, you have probably set a working direction for the rest of the year, including clear-cut objectives. Your first-iteration plan to reach them should be in place. This now (whatever time it is - if you are thinking about it) seems like an ideal time to rethink the whole thing, doesn't it? In our sped-up 21st century wo...
15). Next Years Planning
I'm amazed at how each year slips by just a little more quickly.
Only a few weeks ago I was running the San Juan River in Utah - blazing sunshine and ninety degrees in the shade. Now it's Fall already. And hey, I live in Southern California - in some places it's almost winter. Friends of mine back East are talking about 30 degree tempe...
16). Seven Keys To Get Out Of A Rut
Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way of life that has become uninteresting and tiresome... And not surprisingly, unprofitable.
They say a rut is a shallow grave with two open ends. The good news (good news?!) is that the ends ARE still open, which means if you act fast, you just might out of it. How do we get into these ruts a...
17). Strategic Philanthropy
Strategic philanthropy is a unique and powerful way to combine your company's marketing goals with a your desire to increase the well-being of mankind.
We call it strategic philanthropy. Two of the more popular names are cause -related marketing or community partnering. No matter what you call it, strategic philanthropy is a positionin...
18). Strategy As Invention
Rather than view strategy as a selection of options, here is another approach: creation or invention.
Strategic planning is not strategy
Strategic Planning, often synonymous with Annual Planning, details how you are going to get where you have decided to go. It is a description of how you will achieve your goals -- those ...
19). Ten Entrepreneurial Mistakes
It's hard to avoid certain mistakes, especially when you face a situation for the first time. In fact, many of the following mistakes are hard to avoid even if you're an old hand. Of course, these are not the only mistakes CEOs make, but they sure are common enough. Take the following self assessment: give yourself ten points for each of these entr...
20). The Secrets Of Strategy - Part 1 Of 2
A step-by-step guide to creating a growth strategy based on your current situation and future possibilities.
I'll bet you think you already have a strategy.
And well you may, but strategy as a concept is just like love: much used and little understood. Many businesses (and that includes small entrepreneurs, large corpora...
21). The Secrets Of Strategy - Part 2 Of 2
Of course you've heard that when you do what you've always done, you'll likely get what you've always got. In this case that means playing the tactical game: coming up with acceptable--or worse--comfortable options and executing them as time permits. Likely, what you'll get is business as usual, and things will be... well, they'll be fine.
22). The Vital Few
Back in the 19th century, an Italian economist quantified the general relationship between a minority of producers and a majority of output. Sound familiar? The simplified version of Vilfredo Pareto's ratio, known as the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle, says that in most cases, 80% of production comes from 20% of producers.
23). Thinking About More Business
What does an old Russian joke have to do with getting new business?
Did you increase your business in the past 12 months? Don't discriminate between more new clients or old clients spending more money -- count the increase either way. If you didn't, you really should be asking yourself why not.
Yes, I know -- it all start...
24). Thinking About Thinking - Part 1of 2
How much time do you spend just thinking? Take a guess - how much during any given day, week or month? I'm don't mean the kind of thinking you do while driving in your car, commuting on the train, during your morning run, or even in the shower. I'm referring to the kind of thinking you do ensconced in your office, or your den, or perhaps your garde...
25). Thinking About Thinking - Part 2 Of 2
Like many of my clients, I am always looking for ways to speed things up - to produce more results with the same or even fewer resources. We probably agree on this. The key is certainly not about working harder; it may not even be about working smarter. But there are definitely ideas which work, and those ideas need to be uncovered. Often you can f...
26). Tracking For Profits
If you can't track it, don't do it.
Every high-performance venture needs a tracking system. A tracking system with well-designed metrics lets everyone know how well they are doing relative to their commitments. It is a guide to whether additional or extraordinary actions need to be taken.
It is one of the first things I se...
27). Unreasonable Requests
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists
It is probably the number two task of leadership -- asking. You ask people to do things, and when they do -- ...
28). What Not To Do And How Not To Do It
How can you get more done?
Can you really do more than you already do? Is there still room left on your plate for even one more thing? The truth is I don't know anyone (successful) who has too little to do. Not one of my many clients--nor any of my friends, acquaintances, or people I meet on planes--none of them has ever said they hav...
29). What One Thing?
A few weeks ago I asked my readers what the most important issue was in their business. Hundreds responded with a variety of answers, but one of the most common was, "How do I get everything that needs doing done?"
Happily, I have an answer for this question, but like many things in life, it carries both good news and bad news. The go...
30). What Stops You?
Have you ever had a terrific idea which you didn't act on? Of course you have. I don't mean anything fancy either. Nothing earth-shattering. Just a plain old-fashioned good idea which would have made you more money. But you didn't get moving on it.
I have a friend I'll call James. James is an independent managemen...
31). Why Predict The Future?
Do you ever try to predict the future? Are you usually right, or wrong? If so, then read on.
Can you predict the future of your industry? Can you predict the future of your business? No one can say with certainty what will happen next week much less one year from now. And five years? Not a chance.
Yogi Berra reportedly sa...