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Just Elementary, Inc. » Business Tips » RIAOC 10-26-2010 Rick Franzi

RIAOC 10-26-2010 Rick Franzi

Today’s RIAOC meeting featured Rick Franzi as the guest speaker.  Rick is the author of CRITICAL MASS: The 10 Explosive Powers of CEO PEER GROUPS.  He spoke about Growth Strategies for small businesses.  He broke it down into four (4) bullet points.  #1: Be Relevant.  #2: Be Authentic.  #3: Be Agile.  #4: Be Innovative. In terms of being relevant, he mentioned that the business must be focused on key customers and markets, and not to get too spread out in ancillary markets, products or services that take away resources (time, money and thought time) from the main breadwinner of the business.  This is a key point that we see with many of our clients.  Some business owners maintain products and/or services that seem to fit, but are not paying off on the bottom line.  People sometimes branch out into these ancillary products and/or services because they don’t know what else to do with the main business.  This brought a key point for Franzi, and that was that business owners should constantly stay in touch with other innovative business owners from their market segment and other market segments to expose themselves to good ideas that they can implement into the CORE of their business.  In a nutshell, staying focused on the Core of one’s business, allows that business to maintain relevance in a competitive business world.  When it comes to Point #2, Authenticity, Franzi mentioned that Brand Authenticity stems from a business being perceived as trustworthy and an authority in the marketplace.  Being an authority in the marketplace means have a core focus to the business, so that customers can clearly and quickly understand what it is the business does.  A business that has its focus spread out to too many places will suffer in authenticity.  Hence, core focus is an important key to growth success.  Trustworthiness is fairly simple, be as honest and open in all communications.   Onto point #3, Being Agile.  For this topic, Franzi mentions that even small organizations need to have systems and controls in place to free up ‘thought time’ for the ownership group.  Having the business operation streamlined with a core focus requires the implementation of systems and controls to minimize the daily guesswork and draining of mental capital.  Delving deeper into this point, a lot business owners are not honest with themselves and what kind of person they are (Skills and strengths).  Running a business is leadership, and managing successful growth take someone who is willing to listen to constructive criticism and implement them.  To summarize, one really needs to be able to ‘See the forest for the Trees.’  Onto point #4, Being Innovative.  For this topic, Franzi mentions that even small organizations need to have systems and controls in place to free up ‘thought time’ for the ownership group.  Meaning, freeing up time for day to day running of the business, to devoting time to working on your business.  An example of this was Thomas Edison, who would barricade himself on a schedule in a plain windowless room to give himself a distraction free place to let his imagination run wild to conjure new ideas and innovations.  This also ties back to networking with other business owners who also demonstrate a streak of innovation and growth.   All in all, this was a great discussion from Franzi who really brought some good humor and energy to the meeting.

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