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Small Business Wisdom from Five Business Visionaries

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Small Business Wisdom from Five Business Visionaries


In today’s world of instant gratification and ‘seeming’ overnight success it can be very tempting to get caught up in the hype and hyperbole. Truly successful businesses have been built over time.

Take Wal Mart for example, whether you love them or hate them, it was a slow and steady process of twenty years, yes, twenty years before Wal Mart really took off. Today they are the world’s largest retailer and Sam Walton would be twice as rich as Bill Gates.

The Facebooks and Twitters of this world have experienced phenomenal growth and success in very few short years. Twitter has now reached 50 million tweets per day up from 3.5 million in 2009.

For most business owners, that’s not usually how it works though. Solid and successful businesses take time to build and the people behind them work diligently and persevere until they reach the tipping point.

Here I present the nuggets of wisdom of some of the world’s foremost business visionaries and thinkers.

1. Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Billionaire

It’s one of his famous sound bites he says you must be ‘fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful’.
It’s very easy to be fearful these days. The business climate is still shaky and the world’s most powerful economies still not out of the woods. I believe though and history has proven it that many successful businesses were born in times of recession, depression and even repression. Many have thrived because when the competitors zigged they zagged.
I’ve said it many times, but it’s bears repeating. Smart businesses should become more aggressive with their marketing efforts in times like these. Now is not the time to eliminate yourself from the game by being absent. Now is the time to tackle the game head on and get greedy.
If Warren Buffet says it, then it must be so. After all he has the goods to prove it. Therefore, go get greedy when others are fearful.

2. Jim Collins, Author, Built to Last and Good to Great. Management Consultant

In one of my recent readings I was struck by an answer Jim Collins gave to the question of what was the one single philosophy he swore by more than any other – in business, life or both. His response was a nice reminder, when he said ‘ “Don’t be interesting – be interested”.

A lesson he said that changed his life in literally 30 seconds in one of his encounters with John Gardner, the great civic leader. He goes on to say ‘if you want interesting things to write about, be interested. If you want to meet interesting people, be interested in the people you meet – their lives, their history, their story. Where are they from? How did they get here? What have they learned? By practicing the art of being interested, the majority of people can become fascinating teachers; nearly everyone has an interesting story to tell.”

When was the last time you were truly interested in your customers and prospects? Not interested in selling you’re your product or service to them.

3. Simon Cooper, President and CEO, Ritz Carlton

Under Simon Cooper’s leadership the Ritz Carlton Hotel has won many accolades and awards including Best Luxury Hotel Company and Most Prestigious Luxury Brand. In 2007 and 2008, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won #1 ranking in the J. D. Power and Associates North America Hotel Guests Satisfaction Index Survey.

Simon Cooper believes ‘He Who Says It, Does It’. He goes on to say that execution and commitment are absolutely essential to any strategy or initiative in an era of plans, processes and procrastination. He Who Says It, Does It. Small businesses are you listening?

4. Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and former CEO, Xerox

Mulcahy believed in ‘face time with the customer’. During her tenure as CEO at Xerox, Mulcahy says the mantra around Xerox was to ensure that the customer was connected to everything they did. So every senior leader, from the head of human resources to the general counsel was assigned a customer account to cover. She, herself made hundreds of customer calls each year so she could hear firsthand from customers about their relationship with Xerox.

5. Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo!
Her wisdom is simple – you’ve heard it many times over. Bartz has a core belief that says – if you think you can’t you’re right. She feels you can do anything if you try, sometimes you just don’t know, so the goal is to learn how.

Sounds simple enough – right? Simple isn’t always easy. As small business owners, we tend to talk ourselves in and out of why we can’t be as innovative or creative as our medium to large size brethrens. I agree with Bartz, it’s all in the mind. Anything is possible for the small business.

Do you have any small business wisdom you’d like to share?

By: Dorothy Vernon Brownsmallbusinesswisdom2

Posted in Small Business MarketingComments (1)

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