A common mistake that small business owners make is failing to take the time to invest in themselves and their businesses, prior to startup and during growth of the business. Unfortunately, years later, those same owners may not be ahead in the sense of investments, industry changes, trend shifts, market changes, or business analyses.
What’s 16’ tall, green, smooth and techy, and whose name reminds you of your therapist? It’s a cyc wall, known in the film and advertising communities as a cyclorama wall. And what good is that you ask? The easiest explanation is to use your local TV weather forecaster as an example.
One of the most generous of gestures in our community comes from Jim Long, owner of Heritage Hotels and Resorts, and the Montezuma Ball, through the New Mexico Multi-Cultural Foundation.
A recent chance meeting with one of WESST’s first loan clients (from the early 1990s) provided one of the best testimonials about the amazing effect an experience at WESST can have on our clients.
Like so many other people, Sue hates conflict. However, a problem untreated only grows bigger, and if it does not change, the results will continue to be the same or worse. It is a manager’s responsibility to consider the company (her employer) first.
The term, “Thinking Out of the Box,” is one of the most overused and under-appreciated phrases in modern marketing. In fact, most people would define the term as “a different way, of thinking, from the norm.” However, the problem lies in asking and answering, “What is the norm?”
They say that you shouldn’t invest in an organization in which the participants don’t have “skin in the game”. There was a classic story told in which a group was meeting with an investment company to decide if they should make an investment in that company. The group asked the company where the employees had their own personal money. When told the employees had their money in bonds and other investment vehicles other than the investment company at issue, the group left the meeting. Nothing more needed to be said. Why should outsiders invest if those on the inside aren’t investing?
I had the opportunity this past weekend to hear Al Sacco speak about his journey to space as a payload specialist on board the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1995. Dr. Sacco, who is now the dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University, was chosen for the mission because of his work in chemical engineering. When I listen to amazing experiences like Dr. Sacco’s, I try to think of ways that it relates to my own life, since I can assure you I’m not going to going into space any day soon. And, it came to me that launching a business has the same requirements as a launch into space and that WESST is to our clients like NASA is to its astronauts.
A man stepped into my office seeking business-startup assistance. The frantic look on his face and his uneasy demeanor caused me to label him as ‘desperate’ (the worst position to be in when starting a business). Automatically, I went through a series of questions regarding his business idea: did he have experience, money, and a passion? I also wanted to know about his personal finances – was he expecting to support himself right away from the business or did he have a “day job”?
Setting goals the SMART way can help you reach your goals, whether it’s a short-term goal of losing 15 pounds or a long-term one of saving enough money to start a business. The act of writing goals down forces you (and me) to focus on those goals in a SMART way. So, this year, I resolve to turn my resolutions into SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and within a reasonable Time-frame.