Failure can be (and often is) the first step to success. Skeptical? Here are 15 examples of how extremely successful people got off to terribly bad starts. Bill Gates Bill Gates is now one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, but he didn’t earn his fortune in a straight line to success. Gates entered the entrepreneurial scene with a company called Traf-O-Data, which aimed to process and analyze the data from traffic tapes.He tried to sell the idea alongside his business partner, Paul Allen,...Read More »
Casting about on the open seas or escaping a hostile force through an unmarked wilderness, your circumstances can change dramatically by the minute. To head confidently in the right direction, you can focus on the North Star for your bearings and to make the decisions that will bring you to safety. It’s similar when you are guiding your business in ever- changing, even perilous, times. Everything may be shifting, and to survive and thrive you may need to change directions or products or personn...Read More »
If you are new to The Valcort Group, you may not know that our consulting strategy is easy to find—it’s our name. Valcort is an acronym for the 7 disciplines that drive, guide, and measure business growth.
V -- Values are the foundation, for the values we hold drive the choices we make
V – Vision is the power of shared values, shared hope for the future, and shared commitment to get there.
A – Assets and associations are the tools to create interest and difference, deliver unique value and leverage for growth
L – Lens of market. A focused lens requires understand of (1) customer values and frustration, (2) competitors and their strategies, and (3) champions and advocates.
C – Vital creative is a compelling, engaging, clear message. It must be true, unique, and it must relieve a frustration.
O – Outreach is the way you push your message and unique value into the market. It includes direct sales and indirect marketing
R – Relationship engagement at every point of contact. Based on share values and shared vision, relationship is a personal connection that fosters interdependence, and creates commitment for mutual benefit.
T – Tracking trending. Measuring delivery on the promises made, tracking and trending is the catalyst for change, innovation, and demonstrating trust.
In these columns over the last few years we have been discussing, one by one, the 35 Keys to Business Growth. There are five of these keys, or practices, in each of the 7 VALCORT disciplines. We are now down to the last 7; one in each of the VALCORT disciplines.
Here are all five of the articles on driving values and vision throughout your organization.
#1. Have a motivating and achievable vision statement that drives critical business decisions.
#8: Have a mission statement that is easy to understand with clear benefits for employees, customers and vendors.
#15 Have a clear, customer-focused approach to your business that drives important business decisions.
#22 Have a clear understanding of your leaders’ values and beliefs, and how they impact relationships with employees, vendors, and customers
#29: Be flexible and make positive and competitive changes whenever needed to achieve your mission and vision.
35 Keys to Business Growth from The Valcort Group
There are many ways to grow a business. And with history as a guide, we’d say there are many more ways to fail. We have ideas on both how to succeed and how to avoid the pitfalls. We start with 35, and you can find links the first 28 below, with the final seven to be featured this year.
We call them the Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth. They represent our comprehensive view of the most important disciplines that companies and organizations will master if they are to consistently succeed.
To help you review the discussions to date, we’ve provided below the links to the articles on the first 28 disciplines.
- The Importance of a Vision Statement
- What People Believe Matters
- Listen (to the Voice of Your Customers)
- Why Selling Your Products is a Bad Idea
- Making the Best of Customer Touchpoints
- An Earful of Change
- Do You See a Trend?
- Re-inventing the Mission Statement
- For Product Success, Make What People Want
- Increasing your Margin and Moving Pianos
- Wings, Beer, Sports and the Art of Perfecting Your Value Proposition
- Executing Mind Shaping Media Campaigns
- Building Trust-Oriented Business Relationships at Every Point of Contact
- Value Matters. Measure It
- How Clear Customer Focus Can Prevent a Crash Landing
- 7 Steps to Employee Greatness
- Are You a Victim of Organizational Drift?
- Get the Message?
- Reaching the people most important to your business
- Influencing the Influencers through Communication
- What Difference Does It Make: The Importance of Tracking Customer Response
- Lift the Fog: Leadership Values as the Key to Growth
- Questions That Will Help Your Business Grow
- Secret Spy? Conduct Competitor Research
- Speaking the Right Language? The Importance of Customer Profiling
- Are Your Employees Your Best Advocates?
- Answer the Door: Winning the Customer Inquiry Exchange
- Pay Attention: The Importance of Tracking Marketing Results
Paying attention is important. In many ways. Identity security, for instance. Identify theft affects a staggering 7 percent of the population annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, and totals more than $25 billion annually in financial losses to the U.S. economy. Due to its emotional impact and resulting behavior changes, identity fraud can have an influence upon the overall health and economy. Many victims report a general loss of trust, and a lack of confidence in a “sys...Read More »
We’ve asked around to find the companies with the best customer service, focus, and relationships. There are many companies that do it well, and just as many that don’t get it. Here’s our list of the best. Amazon.com Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has the highest customer service satisfaction in the country. It used to be an online bookstore, but later diversified to include, well, everything. Apple, Inc. This American multinational corporation focuses on the mar...Read More »
Successful customer impressions begin at the front door of your business. That front door these days is often an email in-box, a Website inquiry, a cell phone call or text, a Tweet, post or comment. Or it might be someone actually at your front door! Don’t miss the opportunity to make that first impression. #27 of Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth reads: Assure that every inquiry that comes into your company receives an appreciative, supportive response and a quick solution that builds trust...Read More »
Business renaissance. If you’re in a seasonal business that benefits from warmth, like landscaping or outdoor dining, it’s time to roll! Temperatures are moderate. Spring marks the end of frigid winter and the transitional period to scorching summer. The earth's axis is angled between its closest and furthest position from the sun, when temperatures are the most extreme. You can finally ditch the winter layers. There are more daylight hours. Following the Spring equinox, when the earth’s horizo...Read More »
Would you recommend that a friend seek employment at your company? This is one of the questions we include in our organizational survey of employee satisfaction and values, conducted as part of our VALCORT strategic study. It’s an important question that can provide a revealing look at an organization’s health. In terms of corporate advocacy, it's the low bar. If your employees wouldn't enthusiastically recommend your company to friends, it's a big, waving red flag. For your team, those who know...Read More »
EVERYONE KNOWS that Americans don’t exactly agree on pronunciations. Regional accents are a major part of what makes American English so interesting as a dialect.
Joshua Katz, a PhD student in statistics at North Carolina State University, just published a group of awesome visualisations of a linguistic survey that looked at how Americans pronounce words.
Check it out.