More Small Business Discussion

The last post struck a nerve with a few people. Frank Smythe left a great comment about the opportunities for small and large business to work together more. He says that not all big business are bad.

Great, I love discussion!

First of all, I’m not saying all big business is bad. Just that, small business has a different focus and that means it doesn’t make sense to do the same things.

Greg Digneo, master marketer, wanted to make it clear that if you are your brand, that means your business is tied too much to you and that makes it difficult to sell.  Good point! It is important to recognize that your brand starts with you – there is no getting around that, but if your goal is to move out of your business at some point, your brand must grow beyond you. Yes, that means letting go!

Greg also said that leading teams doesn’t mean that we don’t have to manage them, too. Absolutely true. Teams need help in the way they interact and how they do their work.

The last point he made is that for him, operations starts with the creative work, then the process and procedures (p&p) are put in place. I think that’s how it works for all small business. There aren’t p&p in place until the work is happening.

This is where I learn how to write better. I said that it starts with p&p, by that I meant on a day-to-day basis, not ultimately. As Greg says, it has to begin with the work, the creative work.  Once that work has begun, then the p&p help to make the details easier to manage so the creative work can continue.

Thank you to Frank and Greg for engaging here and clarifying these important points.
What else did I miss?
Do you agree? Disagree?

Leave a comment


  1. Recent observations and recent communications with business colleagues confirm that there are far too many violations of good business manners each and every day. Manners are essential to build relationships in today’s business world. People, who present themselves very favorably, will maximize their business potential. I must tell you that I remain very passionate about manners in business and believe very strongly in the results that follow the use of good manners.

  2. Frank Smythe

     /  March 7, 2012

    When owning any business, as the leader of said business, you need to sharply clarify your company (startup) by defining it – positioning it – solving the pain your business addresses in the market place.

    You better have a will and desire to meticulously prepare for your ventures successes. Be a pro and know your industry. You can’t take a callous approach as you seem to have and succeed. Don’t waste your time on bad ideas.

    This bears repeating. What I’ve learned in my 33 years plus years as a business owner that success in any business, small and large comes in a very small prickly package. Whether you choose to accept that package or not is up to you. But once you open that package, it’s what you choose to do with it, the people you choose to surround yourself with, that will help you maintain your success.

    I like to put this way: “we don’t help our clients create customers for their products or services. Instead, we help them create and deliver products or services for their customers”. Ultimately, the new economy is about “being found” by people who can believe in and identify with your products or services. It’s not interruptive – it’s differentiated, receptive and responsive. This is the “long-tail” and it’s permeating every aspect of our lives and its muting interruptive marketing. I’m sure your friend would agree with this.

    In essence Frances, the job of the business owner, marketer, leader & strategist is to understand and cope with competition….Period. This applies to all business owners big and small. Often, however, owners define competition too narrowly, as if it occurred only among today’s direct competitors. This is what your blog fails at addressing. You cannot separate the two and be so absolute.

    I make this statement to all my clients. Great businesses do many things simultaneously. They manage and inspire the human side of their enterprise while developing a vision, sharing and living values, and building a great team. They find ways to get growth and ever better performance out of the business they run today; that is, they make today’s business work. And they have a shrewd sense – both analytic and intuitive – (Steve Jobs greatest asset) of what tomorrow’s business will be, and steer their company into a position to prosper in the future even more than it does in the present.

    1.) Align their business model with the realities of the new economy

    2.) Develop and implement infrastructure and tools to support the model. As an marketing example, TV, live streaming videos, podcasts, vlogs, viral videos, online marketing, web apps, widgets, social media presence, SEO etc.,

    3.) Help your clients to continually improve their ability to connect with and create value for their customers. Or in other words, validate your business.

    For me, its what choices each businesses CEO’s or SMB owners make about how closely to be involved in operations and how to structure and build their teams?

    How can their company – private or publicly – develop the capability to deliver sustained, consistent sustainable growth? With an aging economy that will reshape every industry and redraw the landscape of global demand, what should each business do to respond?

    What factors are in play in the development and implications of the web, cloud technology, artificial intelligence, the mobile and millennial markets in each businesses positioning. And not just for a company’s internal operations but for the ways in which it reaches and interacts with its customers?

    Being mediocre in business isn’t a calling. Impress me. Great leaders of business must be able to impute its value and relevance from the very first impression it makes. Clients demand to work with smart people. They want “Peel the Onion” validation, and not stock talent.


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