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On a Clear Day You Can See Forever: The Importance of Looking Around as a Business Strategy

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever: The Importance of Looking Around as a Business Strategy

“On a clear day,” words from a Broadway musical go, “rise and look around you, and you see who you are.” [On a Clear Day You Can See Forever]. Knowing who you are as a person, a group, or a business, depends not just on an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, but also on an understanding of everything around you and how you relate to it. At Valcort, we encourage businesses to make discovery a key part of their business planning. This will include seeing through your strategic lens to obser...

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Know the Business Partners that Share your Story: 10 Tips for Building Partner Relationships

Know the Business Partners that Share your Story: 10 Tips for Building Partner Relationships

In many, if not most, business situations you rely on others to become part of your product or program design, manufacturing, marketing, distribution or sales. While it is obvious that your relationship to and service of customers is vital to your growth and success, there are many other people in your value chain that can make or break your business. That’s why we urge leaders to “work to establish long term, win-win relationships with those who represent you--in order to become their recommend...

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12 tips for making your vendors partners

12 tips for making your vendors partners

When we look at vendor transactions, the language isn’t particularly warm, and it usually doesn’t describe a relationship in which everyone is valued and comes away whole and satisfied. “Companies use vendors to provide services” “Service providers fill customer orders “ Valcort’s #30 Key to Business Growth calls for a much different kind of relationship:  Work to build strong, long-term partnerships with your vendors to help them reduce their costs, to grow and prosper to serve you even better...

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Leveraging assets for growth

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 leveraging assets for growth

What people believe matters

#2:  Know what customers, distributors, shareholders, vendors and employees believe about your company.

For product success, make what people want 

#9:  Develop only products and services that are high priorities for current and future customers.

7  Steps to employee greatness

#16:  Have a process  to identify each employee’s interests, skills and strengths and then use them effectively to accomplish your company mission.

Questions that help your business grow 

#23: Regularly evaluate your products and services, as well as your company’s strengths and weaknesses, to identify new, faster and better ways to meet the needs of your customers

 12 tips for making vendors partners 

#30: Work to build strong, long-term partnerships with our vendors to help them reduce their costs, to grow and prosper to serve us even better.

Vision and the North Star: Certainty in Uncertain Times

Vision and the North Star: Certainty in Uncertain Times

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...

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Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth: Values and Vision

If you are new to The Valcort Group, you may not know that our consulting strategy is easy to find—it’s our Gold Advice: Values Risesname. Valcort is an acronym for the 7 disciplines that drive, guide, and measure business growth.

V-A-L-C-O-R-T

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. 

The Importance of a Vision Statement

#1. Have a motivating and achievable vision statement that drives critical business decisions.

Reinventing the Mission Statement

#8: Have a mission statement that is easy to understand with clear benefits for employees, customers and vendors.

How Clear Customer Focus Can Prevent a Crash Landing

#15 Have a clear, customer-focused approach to your business that drives important business decisions.

Lift the Fog: Leadership Values as the Key to Growth

#22 Have a clear understanding of your leaders’ values and beliefs, and how they impact relationships with employees, vendors, and customers

Vision and the North Star: The Importance of Certainty in Uncertain Times

#29: Be flexible and make positive and competitive changes whenever needed to achieve your mission and vision.

Conversations on Business Growth

financial graph on technology abstract background

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.

  1. The Importance of a Vision Statement
  2. What People Believe Matters
  3. Listen (to the Voice of Your Customers)   
  4. Why Selling Your Products is a Bad Idea
  5. Making the Best of Customer Touchpoints
  6. An Earful of Change
  7. Do You See a Trend?
  8. Re-inventing the Mission Statement
  9. For Product Success, Make What People Want
  10. Increasing your Margin and Moving Pianos
  11. Wings, Beer, Sports and the Art of Perfecting Your Value Proposition
  12. Executing Mind Shaping Media Campaigns
  13. Building Trust-Oriented Business Relationships at Every Point of Contact
  14. Value Matters. Measure It
  15. How Clear Customer Focus Can Prevent a Crash Landing
  16. 7 Steps to Employee Greatness
  17. Are You a Victim of Organizational Drift?
  18. Get the Message?
  19. Reaching the people most important to your business 
  20. Influencing the Influencers through Communication
  21. What Difference Does It Make: The Importance of Tracking Customer Response
  22. Lift the Fog: Leadership Values as the Key to Growth
  23. Questions That Will Help Your Business Grow
  24. Secret Spy? Conduct Competitor Research
  25. Speaking the Right Language? The Importance of Customer Profiling
  26. Are Your Employees Your Best Advocates?
  27. Answer the Door: Winning the Customer Inquiry Exchange
  28. Pay Attention: The Importance of Tracking Marketing Results
Pay attention:  The importance of tracking marketing results

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...

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Answer the door. Winning the customer inquiry exchange

Answer the door. Winning the customer inquiry exchange

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...

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Are your employees your best advocates?

Are your employees your best advocates?

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...

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