How to Deal With Invisible Problems Sabotaging Your Business

Do you have business blind spots? Don’t ponder too long – we all do. In this article I explain what they are, why we have them and hot to deal with the damage they can cause your business.When you learned driving they told you right away about the car blind spots and how dangerous and potentially fatal they can be. You also learned ( it’s written on most car mirrors as a constant reminder) that the mirror distorts the distance you see.Business blind spots are similar in nature – they are the problems or solutions you can’t see or they are distorted in the way you see them. They can be dangerous to your business, and potentially extending beyond your business to problems in your relationships, health and lifestyle.I defined two general types of business blind spots: Aware and Unaware. Aware blind spots come in two varieties: Problems and Solutions. The Aware blind spots are less dangerous, because you know the problem exists and can take corrective action.The Unaware Business blind spots are the most dangerous because you can’t see them no matter how hard you look or because our view is distorted. The trickiest part of this business blind spot is that if you don’t know you have them or how they distort your vision, you can’t exercise needed caution or take corrective action. I identified four types of Unaware blind spots.Let’s look at the different kinds of blind spots closer.1. Aware Solution Blind SpotThis blind spot is there when you know what the problem is, but don’t know the solution. This is the easiest to address, because once you are aware of the problem and if you can’t solve it by yourself, you can get the expert who can help you find the solution.2. Aware Problem Blind SpotThis blind spot is there when you know that there is a problem, but don’t know what it is and/or how to find it. This one is a bit harder to resolve, but still very doable. There are experts who specialize in diagnosing the problems for a business like yours. You need to find such an expert and your problem will be identified. You can then solve the problem yourself or get someone else to help you do it.The Unaware Business Blind SpotsThese problems are the most difficult ones to resolve since you don’t even realize there is a problem. Why do we have these blind spots and most importantly what can we do about it? I identified four types of Unaware blind spots and different ways we acquire them.3. Adopted blind spotsYou run the business a certain way because you believe it will lead to best results most effectively and efficiently. You wouldn’t run it this way if you knew ahead of time it wouldn’t work or have problems, would you? By running your business, I mean all aspects of it including but not limited to: lead generation, conversion, service delivery, product development, sales, customer service, management, staff hiring and retention, etc. How did you develop the methods for running your business? With the Adopted blind spots there are several possibilities:you copied the model of someone who achieved the results you want and/or
you were taught by someone to uses the particular strategy, practice, vision.After you run your business for a certain lengths of time the adoption becomes internalized. You see it as your own, and lose the distance needed to evaluate and respond to problems objectively, impartially and speedily. You also lose the ability to clearly see the difference between your business and the one you copied. I have seen many business owners “duplicating” someones recipe, or formula, or blueprint without the ability to see why it will not work in their business. This inability to see become more severe the more significant is the investment into the adopted model.4. “Glasses” blind spotsWe all have “glasses” through which we see the business and the world in general. These “glasses” change the reality into your perception of reality which can be very different. This is where the blind spots are created. In neurolinguistic language programming (NLP) this effect is called “brain distortion” – the process which allows us to make shifts in how we experience sensory data.We benefit from this distortion in some ways, but at other times it’s a huge limitation. We acquire these “glasses” in our childhood and the distortions accumulate based on the events and emotions in our business and personal life.Here is the example familiar to many – jury duty. I was recently on the jury where 12 people saw and heard the same testimony and yet everyone had a different idea of what happened. The witnesses saw the same event, yet told different stories about what they saw.This is not limited to sensory perceptions like site and hearing. In cases of alleged financial misconduct the juries look at the numbers – supposedly the more reliable measure then a person’s vision and hearing. Yet still the same phenomenon happens – different people interpret “objective” numbers differently.In many business audits I did for many major corporations, I found intentional fraud perpetrated by an individual only once. No one else in the company saw it, until I pointed it out. Even then it was not easy for management to accept it as reality. They were looking on the situation through their “glasses” and also were too attached (the blind spot I will talk about next).The reasons financial and business audits are done is to assure investors, lenders, management that there is no wrongdoing intentional or otherwise. It is done often done by internal auditors, and also by the outside auditors because they see the problem(s), without the glasses of the business owners, employees, and managers.5. Attachment Blind SpotsWhen building and growing your business the vision, the process, the strategies, are extremely important and give you the basis and the energy to pursue it. The downside id that too often business owners get too attached to them and can’t see that this is where the problem may be.Here is an example most parents (me included) can relate to – not acknowledging issues with their kids for a long time and some never, because of the attachment. We tell ourselves that it’s the age, that it will pass, that other kids have the same issues, while we delay dealing with the issues.Many coaches and consultants start their businesses because they love what they do. They are attached to the idea of doing this work and invest a lot of money into the infrastructure, such as training, web-site, coaches, etc. This attachment is one of the reasons they can’t see if theirs is a viable business or if they are using the right business strategies, even if other coaches and consultants are supposedly “successful”.6. Subconscious Mind Blind SpotsThese blind spots are the most difficult because they operate bellow the level of our consciousness. Our subconscious mind operates based on the evolutionary principals designed to protect us at the time the human species developed, which may in business environment do not serve their purpose.For example, our subconscious mind is is designed to automatically respond to dangers, such as encountering a tiger or an enemy tribe by giving us the ability to fight or flee. Unless you work in the zoo, your business is probably far removed from tigers and warring tribes. Yet your brain reacts in a similar fashion when it perceives what it considers dangerous and will act to prevent you from doing it.Making decisions to do something different in your business takes you out of the comfort zone and familiar to the subconscious and your subconscious mind will try to bring you back to what is familiar, which in reality may not be in your best interest. It will bring into your consciousness all the reasons why you should not make the change.Your subconscious mind also has the ability to selectively delete information. It can be useful in certain circumstances, for example to allow you to cope or to not get overwhelmed. In other situations it’s very limiting.For example, you may be deleting portions of your experience in business, for example in sales conversations, or in marketing, or customer service. Without this knowledge you are not in a position to construct the best way to deal with these areas of your business.5. Unaware Blind Spots Solution PlanThe cost of the blind spots is measured in time, energy, money and even health. All can be huge. Building your business with the blind spots is a huge waste. The car crashes caused by the blind spot can be avoided by practicing safe driving. But there is no such thing as the safe business. How do you avoid the potential business crash caused by the business blind spots? Fortunately, business blind spots are not fatal and can be dealt with. Here is the 7 step plan:Understand that blind spots are normal and do not make you a “bad” business woman.
Have a regular “business physical” by a qualified outside party, just like you would have an annual physical for yourself. The purpose is to review all aspects of your business and determine it’s health or otherwise uncover the blind spot problems.
independent party just like you would yourself.
Develop solutions to remove the blind spots.
Once the problem is identified you are have the first step to taking the steps to correct it. You may need to gather more information to come up with a solution, or you may engage an expert to help you.
Review the solution you came up with with an independent expert to make sure the blind spots effects are not influencing your solution.
Implement – take decisive actions to put the solutions into practice. Test the results and adjust course if necessary.To receive more tips and strategies from the problem solver to the Fortune 500, get your complimentary must read e-book Solve 7 Business Success Myths

Writing a Business Plan for Your Home Business

Are you writing a business plan for you home business? Do you really need one?Why writing a business plan for a home business? A home business like any other needs a road map to a new destination. If you do not use one, you will end up lost before you get to your destination.Every business no matter how small it is, must a have a business plan. You may not need a “formal” business plan document but you definitely need a “business plan” for you home business.A formal business plan is a very long detail document with about 80-100 pages. A home business may not need this kind of elaborate plan, but writing a business plan is not an option. It is critical for your business.Writing a business plan for your home business plan is just your “strategic planning.” You want to cover at least four major elements: 1) Your home business description and elements, 2) Your marketing plan, 3) Your financial plan, 4)) Your operations plan1) Your Home Business Description and Elements: This element covers what kind of business you are doing. Regardless of your home business of choice, at the very minimum, you need to have the following:
Why: What is your main purpose of having home business? If it is just money, you may want to reconsider. Any business has to be driven by some sort of desire besides the financial rewards. This desire will give you the self-motivation that you need to do it; otherwise, you are setting yourself up to fail.
What: What is your home business? What is your product or service? What is your focus?
When: When do you plan to do it? Do you plan to work every day for 2-3 hours or 10 hours a day? Did you notice I said every day?
Where: The location is probably your home, but where in your home. Do you have a designated space for it? Can you have everything you need available in this space?
How: how you are going to execute? Is your business a one-person show? Do you need an assistant or a particular tool? Who is involved in your business?
2) Your Home Business-Marketing Plan: When writing a business plan, marketing is crucial. At the beginning, you can do many things. In addition, there are many that you do not know and you are not familiar with, however, at the very least, plan what you know.
Do you need a website or a blog?
How do you plan to get clients? Do you need word of mouth referrals? Do you need friend’s referrals or other local business referrals?
What is your market? Who is your target audience? Age, gender, and location, are important elements.
What are you customer needs? What problem are you trying to solve for them?
Who is your competition? How can you be better than they can?
3) Your Financial Plan: Although there are many home businesses that do not need a lot of money to start, you do need some capital to start and some to maintain. Do you know how much that is? Can you afford to start a business? Are you banking in your business to produce and maintain itself right away? If the latter is the case, you may want to reconsider. It will be a shame to put many hours of work and count in income you are not sure is going to come.4) Your Operations Plan: This is your initial description on you plan of action
List your priorities
List your short-term items and have a dateline
List your long-term items and have a dateline
List your daily actions
Schedule your daily actions and your priorities
Although many home businesses have started with nothing in place, most have fail for not having something in place from the start. Writing a business plan does not guarantee success but it does guarantee you clarity in what you want to do and how to accomplish it.This plan is necessary to utilize during your road trip. You adjust as you go. You correct and continue. It may be in just 5 pieces of paper, but if you did your homework, may be that is all you need to start and become successful.

Graphic Design Courses – Providing a Multitude of Career Pathways

For the qualified graphic designer, there are numerous career options as a result of the increasing demand for those gifted in the creative spectrum. Business and institutions all over the world are attempting to differentiate themselves, create brand awareness and a loyal following of customers. The development of brand messages, images and logos appears as a clear and proven approach to achieve these goals. With the advent of the internet and increasing demand from consumers to search for, and purchase, products online; as well as utilise the web for entertainment and recreational purposes; consumers are demanding higher levels of interactivity and multimedia content. The services of experienced graphic designers are again in high demand because of this.The term ‘graphic design’ encompasses a range of occupations and specialisations, including art and creative directors, layout artists, logo design, flash designers, illustrators, Photoshop editing, multimedia designer, web designer and brand identity design. As mentioned previously, because of the need for commercial enterprises to create a competitive edge in the marketplace, many are turning to graphic designers, specialising in the creative design of brand identities and logos.Brand identity is primarily concerned with the visual aspects of an organisations brand, which forms the key visual element that provides instant recognition of the business, the range of products and services offered by the company, along with the principles and ethics it incorporates in the course of business practice. An organisations brand identity provides the visual representation of the business through a range of creative principles, images and logo design. These are then communicated to the marketplace through a range of communicative and marketing tools, such as signage, business cards, websites, offline and online advertisements, packaging and promotions. With the competitive nature of the business world encouraging innovation and forward thinking, the application of brand identity messages will continue to evolve.One of the most vital elements of brand identity is the company logo. This is a graphically designed symbol or image, which utilises unique typeface, font, shapes, colours and backgrounds to distinguish the business from others. The logo is often what attracts the customer to your business and keeps them coming back.Even though a career in graphic design provides you with numerous options of specialisation and a secure career pathway, to qualify for the roles requires the acquisition of a specific set of skills; ones that can only be obtained through the completion of a graphic design course. When considering the specific education institution, make sure they have experience in delivering the graphic design course that will allow you to take the next step in your chosen profession.