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Advice from Outside the Square

Monthly Archives: May 2018

10 Things Every Small Business Needs To Do To Succeed

As a business advisor and accountant, I am often asked what a small business needs to do in order to succeed. It's a simple enough question but there are so many things small business owners need to know, need to be, and need to do in their businesses. So I asked a number of my most successful clients what they thought about the question, and, using my own experience gained over the last 30-plus years, I have collated the top 10 things that a small business needs to do to succeed. 1. Make sure that you are marketing effectively. From experience, I cannot stress enough how important marketing is to the success of any small business. The problem is that most small business owners are subject matter experts - they are good mechanics, good lawyers, good accountants, good toy retailers, good garment manufacturers - and this means that they try to make their business succeed by being good at what they do. Unfortunately, that is not enough. A business succeeds only if it finds and continues to find customers. Some of these will come from word-of-mouth or reputation but the volume of these new customers will not be enough to grow your business. So, you...
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Revitalize Your Indigenous Corporation’s Board

I have consulted to many Indigenous Corporation Boards on a multitude of matters from governance to decision-making, strategic planning, succession planning and efficient Board processes. One of the challenges I see these Boards face is that many of their members sit on several different Boards at the same time. Apart from potential conflicts of interest that may arise, this means that many Board members are used to bringing the same Board cultures into each different Board meeting. This leads to staleness, and all meetings start to look the same. This has long-term and pervasive negative consequences for the Boards they serve. Sometimes, they become passive through tiredness, being on so many stressful and important Boards. Respectfully, some of these people may have even stopped working hard or conscientiously. Other members don't apply the very different objectives of each Corporation into their separate Board roles. No matter which Corporation meeting they attend, they ask the same questions, they make the same responses, and they make the same decisions. So, how can you make your Board wake up and act and behave and govern differently within your Corporation? First, I believe you need to re-examine your Corporation's vision and mission. I would do this "off" Board meeting, with perhaps...
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