12 Rules for Family Business Failure

Family Business Failure

Did you know that 80% of the businesses in the United States are family-owned? And did you know family businesses contribute 60% of the gross domestic product to the US economy, and employ 60% of the population?

Yet only 3% of family businesses make it to the fourth generation. That means 97% do not.

What is it about the magic 3%? What are they doing that’s different?

How Do I Know I Have the Right People?

The Right People

PEOPLE. Of all the components of business, people continues to reign as the number one decision for success and growth. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, states adamantly “who first!” Great companies have the right people in their organization before they focus on the “what, where and how” of growth.

But how do we know we have the right people? I continue to get this question from clients, alliances, and many of my relationships. Until you settle your people issues, they will consume a tremendous amount of emotional energy and make it difficult to focus. So I want to share again the principles that Jim Collins teaches about the right people. They are classic, simple and easy to use in your business …

Five Ways to Avoid Commoditization in Your Business

Avoid Commoditization

Decreasing profits and increasing competition characterize commoditization. This is a fact of life in most industries today for many reasons. In the eyes of your buyers, products and services are less and less differentiated.

At the same time, there has been a significant transformation of consumer behavior. They are more informed about the products and services they want to buy; they are armed with comparative data about quality, availability, and price; and they are determined to be successful on their terms.

So, how do you and your company respond? Here are five ways to avoid commoditization in your business.

Who Is Your Enemy?

Know Your Enemy

I had the pleasure of hearing Fred Catona speak recently. Don’t know him? He is the founder of Taste of Philadelphia, which achieved national fame through features in the Wall Street Journal and the Neiman Marcus Catalog. He went on to found Bulldozer Digital and helped launch Priceline.com, FreeCreditReport.com, and Disney On Line. By convincing well-known actor William Shatner to join the venture, Fred helped Priceline rocket to over $1.5 billion dollars in revenue in less than 24 months!

Yes, he has impressive marketing achievements. And while sharing this expertise, Fred asked us all a very insightful question – “Who is your enemy?”

How to Tell When Someone’s Full of $#*

No bull

BS artists. They are more prevalent than ever in our user-generated content-crazy world. And many of us have been burned by them in our business and personal life. The question is how do we detect the BS from good, relevant, honest and congruent communication and interactions?

Steve Tobak, managing partner of Silicon Valley-based Invisor Consulting, notes “All the fads, myths, quick fixes, miracle cures, crazes, pseudoscience, personal branded virtual personas, magical thinking, feel good fluff – I see it all day long and every single time sets off my BS detector.”

Do you have a good built in BS detector?

Steve authors a great blog and writes weekly columns for Fox Business and Entrepreneur Media. And his recent post on BS detecting really resonated with me. I think it is very “right on” and gives us all a few laughs as well. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!