Michael Akbar - Business Advisor


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Small Business University (SM)

This week I will be working on the first in a series of new modules I am putting together for small business university(SM), a series of presentations aimed at helping business owners with practical advice that works.  One of the largest credit unions in our area will be sponsoring and promoting these presentations.  Since these modules are inter-related and build on each other I recommended that we offer them under the umbrella of Small Business University (SBU).


My good friend Larry Rubin of Aronson & Company suggested the title of “Help your business thrive in hard times” for the first module.  Larry will be presenting part of the first module.


These are the titles for all the modules:


Small Business UniversityHelp your business thrive in hard times

Small Business University – Planning

Small Business University – Sales

Small Business University – Marketing

Small Business University – Operations

Small Business University – Technology

Small Business University – Leadership

Small Business University – Financial

Small Business University – Human Capital 

Small Business University – Business Diagnostics Tools

Small Business University – The 7 Stages of Small Business Success


My goal for the first module is that business owners who attend this module should walk away with at least one take away; we have much more control over the outcomes, even in the very hard times.


Tonight I came across this quote which I think worth repeating here:


To realize the value of one minute, ask a person who has missed a train, bus, or plane.

To realize the value of one second, ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.


Just think about this; the monetary rewards that the winner of a gold medal reaps are sometimes ten times or even hundred times more than the silver medal winner, all because of a fraction of a second.


What does that have to do with thriving in business?  Everything.


For those of us who were crazy enough to chase RFPs, we would spend hundreds of hours, thousands of dollars, and there was only one awardee. The second place won nothing, zilch.


I hope the message is pretty clear; we can beat the competition or even dominate the market by being just a tiny bit better than our competition.  Now how difficult could that be?  And this applies to both good times and bad times.  So the trick to thriving in hard times, and in fact any time, is pretty simple, we need to be just a little bit better than those who won’t make it!  When you survive you are stronger and you are left with a larger market share. 

If your excitement on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, is not already at 10, let me emphasis this important point; if we have the right tools and strategies, hard times could be our best ally!  Think about it, in good times you could, and in fact you should, apply exactly the same measures, but your competition is not as weak as you would expect them to be during the hard times. 


OK, So the idea is simple, but how easy is it to implement it, and where would one start?