Business Strategy

The Foundation For A Successful Business

What would successful business owners do differently when they launched their business – if they knew then what they know now? This is the question we asked 500 business owners in a recent Business Pulse Survey. This webinar presented by David Scarola, Chief Marketing Technologist for TAB, will take you through the fascinating findings of this survey. No matter what stage you are in with your business, this session has insights and advice for everyone.

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Making Love Work Online… For Business

What motivates a consumer to post a rave review about your product online? More importantly, what effect will this have on your business? (hint: a BIG one). It goes without saying that the internet has disrupted the way we do business. But how are you taking advantage of this? Instead of trying to fight the power of the online masses, join us for a panel discussion on how you can harness this power and connect with your customers on a much higher level.

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Linking Your Actions to Financial Impact

The knowledge you need to make more profitable decisions. In business, we make many decisions every day that impact the financial results. To make the best decisions, you need to have the mindset and tools that will enable you to think through facts and alternatives. Join us as we get past the accounting and on to an understanding of earnings, expenses and investments. You will learn to use a valuable tool to improve your financial mindset, so you will recognize financial impact points and make better business decisions. Better decision makers are better business people.

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What's Your Personal Vision

You can't start planning the strategy for your business unless you know where you are. You just can't. Everything starts with your personal vision. Know yourself before you can know your business, or know others.

So you need personal vision. You got it? Then you're golden.

You don’t have one? You're like most of the population. How you going to get it?

To have personal vision, you have to know yourself. Most people spend most of their life trying to know themselves and I'm not going to deprive you of that privilege. It's Maslow's highest level; self actualization. But... I will suggest to you that there is a 'speed version' that will work just fine for our journey right here.

As an entrepreneur, you have the capability to determine what you do at work, how much time you spend doing it, and with whom you do it. Custom-tailoring your job description to focus primarily on activities for which you feel passion, have aptitude and can make a major positive impact upon your company will help greatly in achieving your dreams.

Time away from your business should not provoke guilt. Instead, it should be viewed positively as time for reducing stress and for enjoying your personal life.

So what does a personal vision look like?

I’m a big fan of 7 or 8 bullet points and I’m happy to share mine

·      Maintain controlling interest in my business and grow sales while reducing my work efforts so I do not have to work on Fridays

·      Take $450,000 annual income from business to maintain current lifestyle

·      Be able to take one week off a quarter, of which two of those weeks involve international travel with my wonderful wife

·      Only perform activities in business I enjoy including selling major clients and handling media relations

·      Develop the business so it has sellable / licensable to a third party for $3 million within 8 years

·      Make someone’s day every single day

·      Be part of entrepreneurs success story

OK, now stop. You really need a personal vision, so if you don't have one you have one of two options. Option one, take mine above, change a few words and then add your own name.  Option two (the harder, but I promise you the more satisfying) is to spend the next 30 minutes doing the exercise. Go on. Don't skip ahead until you have a personal vision.

So how do you write your personal vision?

It’s actually quite simple. Ask yourself these 14 questions and write down a few words as notes.

What areas in your Business do you love?

How and where do you want to be involved in your business where you excel and have passion? (Creating new processes, selling big accounts, mentoring family members, developing strategic plans and alliances)

Activities to Delegate

What business activities that you are currently doing would you like to delegate? (bookkeeping activities)

Work Time Commitment

How much time do you want to spend working at your business during a typical week? (full-time consisting of at least 50 hours, three-day work week)

Desired Vacation Time

How many weeks each year do you want for vacation? (5 weeks each year for out-of-town vacations)

Desired Annual Compensation

What is the total annual compensation package desired from your business for you and your family that will provide the financial freedom you desire? ($250,000 annual salary, company car)

Intangible Rewards

What intangible rewards are important to you? (have leading company in industry, possess political influence, create high-paying jobs for employees, be honored by business community for achievements in business)

Spiritual Beliefs

What are the spiritual beliefs that motivate you and bring happiness to your personal life? (being active in a religious congregation, closing business on the Sabbath and religious holidays)

Non-Business Activities

What non-business activities bring you peacefulness or contentment? (family time, hiking, reading, sailing, skiing)

Personal Achievements

What personal achievements that have potential to bring personal fulfillment do you seek? (going back to school to get my MBA, writing a book)

Humanitarian Interests

What humanitarian interests are important to you? (volunteer time at children’s hospital, create charitable trust through business)

Family Involvement

What family involvement is important to you? (home for dinner with family several nights each week)

Retirement Plans

Do you want to eventually retire or do you intend to remain involved in your business in either a part-time or full-time capacity? (never want to retire, always stay involved as CEO, ultimately want to totally disengage from business)

Business Exit Strategy

What is your business exit strategy? (sell or give business to family members, keep ownership and control with son taking over as COO, sell to outsider)


If you plan to sell to non-family, what is the minimum market value amount for which you are willing to sell and what is your time-line for selling? (sell business before I am 60 for minimum of $2,000,000)

OK – now take those few notes you have and write out a 7 to 8 bullet points.

Voilà – your personal vision.

What’s next? A business vision, followed by your values.


Love what you do

Perhaps this seems obvious, but if you don't have passion for what your business is about, you should get out… yesterday. 

Often the problem is that the founder has too much passion, which doesn't always translate to business success - more on that later and how to de-tangle yourself from day-to-day operations. Lets first look at why passion is a necessity.  

As a founder or entrepreneur of a business, you better have more passion than the people who are buying from you.  What's passion?  One of my most favorite restaurants is called The Playground DTSA (Down Town Santa Ana), CA.  Started by the team of people behind The Lime Truck from the Great Food Truck Race, Jason Quinn and his team are so passionate about the culinary journey that they are on together that a lot of them share tattoos that epitomize the passion, views and branding of The Playground and their second restaurant 2.0.

How many of your team would be passionate enough to tattoo your brand on them?

Benjamin Disraeli, the 19th century British Prime Minister, once said, "Man is only great when he acts from passion."

It has to be true that inspiring leaders are obsessed with what they do. First find your passion.

If you don't know what your passion is, then you don't have one.  That said, you may want to test if you are acting on your passion or think with a little help you might be able to discover you passion.  In which case, there are three (if not more) things that you can consider.

Firstly, most passions resonate with people at an early age.  While there are a lot of people that are clever, if you find a student at a university that is studying their passion, you'll find a successful student.  Think back to what resonated with you earlier in your life.

Secondly, think about putting together a 'vision board'. What is a vision board? A group of pictures that means something to you.  OK, I'm guessing you're not the scrap-book kind. Not to worry, this is easily (and quick) on

Third idea.  Look around at the people (alive or dead) that you know or know of - and take interest in the ones that empower you to take action. Do you have a dream?

Don't let your obsession die; it could be your passion.

Of course, as every sensible businessperson will tell you, passion alone is NOT going to make a successful business.

Once you know your passion… we need to capture that allusive being as a vision so you can live it, and as values, so others in your organization can live by your vision.