It’s Only Common Sense: Goals for 2022—The Courage to Innovate
There is an expression, “Whoever tries the most stuff wins. Whoever fails at the most stuff wins.” This appeals to me because I really hate playing it safe and not trying something instead of risking failure. If you look at all the great ones—the innovators, the creators, the developers, the people who have made significant changes in the world—they were all risk-takers, and probably all a little crazy. And there are the others who will never get there. Speaking of great ones, don't forget the famous words of Wayne Gretzky, who said, “I never made a shot I didn’t take.”
It’s Only Common Sense: ‘A Christmas Carol’ Lesson
Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol" is one of the best and most original business books you can read. It’s full of valuable lessons that apply to all facets of business, even today, more than 180 years after it was written. This time of the year you can watch any version you like, from the 1938 Reginal Owen version to the 1951 Alastair Sim version to Disney, the Muppets and Mr. Magoo. Even Bill Murray has his own version. Given that, I’ll go on the assumption you know the story. Except you’ve probably never thought about it as a business story.
It’s Only Common Sense: ‘The Profit’ Offers 10 Rules for Success
While other people are watching "The Voice" or "Game of Thrones," I am always watching business shows. Call me a nerd, but it’s a passion. One of my favorites is "The Profit," where serial entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis invest his own money into businesses that need his help. I love this show because he deals with companies, mostly small and family owned, as he shows their challenges and how he helps solve them. It is an ultimately relatable, common-sense approach to problem solving.
It’s Only Common Sense: A Little LEGO Story
What do Brad Pitt, Anna Kendrick, Gillian Anderson, Britney Spears, Matthew Perry, Mayim Balik, Mark Hamill, Chris Pratt, Daniel Radcliffe, Robert Pattinson, and David Duchovny all have in common? Think about that for a minute (or a million years) and you will never get it. Okay, give in? They are all AFOLs. No, not awful (my spell checker is working) they are all AFOLs—Adult Fans of LEGO! You’d be surprised how many AFOLs there are in the world. I can add my name to this list, and here's why.
It’s Only Common Sense: How Well Do Your Customers Really Know You?
A friend of mine was disappointed recently when he went to trade show and met one of his customers. As they talked it became evident to my friend that his long-time customer had no idea that his company did flex and rigid flex boards. Talking even further, this customer had no idea that my friend’s company did metal-backed boards either. Alt this customer knew about my friends’ company is what they did for him—simple six- and eight-layer epoxy boards. But customers are not interested in hearing your message–or any other message–until they are ready to listen to that message.
It’s Only Common Sense: Planning for a Great 2022!
Get ready to enter a new year; it’s less than five weeks away. If you haven’t started working on your planning for 2022 you are almost too late. And since I have been in the industry before dust, I know for a fact that most of you have not even thought about it yet, never mind started your prep. So, as always, I’m trying to be helpful in any way that I can. Here is a short checklist of things that you can do so your planning for next year is done by the end of the month.
It’s Only Common Sense: What the Pandemic Taught Us
I think this has been the fastest year in history. People tell me it’s because I’m getting old, and that’s true; but come on, I’m not that old. It feels like we just turned the page on 2019 to 2020, never mind 2020 to 2021. Heck, it feels like only last week we were all worried about Y2K and what that was going to do to our world. That was over 20 years ago.
It’s Only Common Sense: Your Customer is Job #1
A survey I read recently said that 76% of the companies they polled admitted that it is now easier than ever to switch vendors. Yikes! And I believe it. I know that our own industry has become very dynamic. Now, more than ever, our customers are open to making changes. The bad news is that this puts us in jeopardy of losing our own customers; but the good news is that it gives all of us the opportunity to attract and gain new customers as well. It’s the wild west out there when it comes to customer acquisition.
It's Only Common Sense: Together We Can Figure This Out
The supply chain as we know it today is filled with missing links that are frankly screwing everything up. Why don’t we sit down and think about this for a minute? We can overcome many of these delays by actually working together by performing some of these actions concurrently rather than consecutively.
It’s Only Common Sense: Super Service Your Way to Customers for Life
Our goal should be to become so treasured by our customers that when their new accountant shows up and says your customer is paying too much for your products, your customer is so enamored with your work that they tell the accountant, “Shut up and mind your own business,” then list all the reasons they will never move away from you.