You spend all your time working IN the business: dealing with customers, employees, suppliers, lenders, and local officials; resolving issues; and managing cash. How much time do you spend working ON the business? Immediate concerns suck up the time you know you should spend on fundamental change!
If you do find the time to think about how to change your business, you can find zillions of articles and ideas on the Internet. Many are fads. Most are too general to help. You don’t know who or what to trust. You may give up, and go back to solving today’s flare-ups, because at least you can control those.
Two Integrated Solutions: Booklets and Workshops
Veteran consultant Tom Gray now offers the trustworthy help you’ve been looking for.
- Small Business Techniques Booklets: a series of ten booklets explaining practical and proven simple techniques, each focused on a single business growth issue.
- Business Techniques Institute – Chicagoland: A series of twelve half-day workshops for startups and existing small businesses, where personal explanations of these techniques are combined with the opportunity to practice applying them to your own business problem.
Each 60 page booklet gathers 15 or so short articles on a single topic from Gray’s blog and books. Each article explains a technique for solving small business problems encountered in Gray’s 40 years of experience in business, consulting, mentoring, and teaching in-business MBA students.
Many of these articles have appeared in Gray’s two books, along with articles on many other business topics. Now, the Small Business Techniques booklets focus on a single topic, so small business owners can use a single source document to home in on a particular business problem. Reviews show how useful these techniques can be:
- About Business Techniques in Troubled Times
“This detailed book provides tools, techniques, and strategies for every aspect of a small business. There is real content in this book. It isn’t a philosophical diatribe about the theory of small business success. It provides tactical, specific ideas for fixing and improving processes and policies. There’s even a section about family businesses!” -Diane Helbig, Seize This Day Blog
- About Business Techniques for Growth
“Proven Practices for Small Business Growth: Tom knows his stuff. Turnaround specialist Tom Gray’s real world experience shines through. I found at least 10 big ideas in it for any company’s small business toolbox. Ideas like how to start your strategy from a vision, decide if your business is worth doing, choose which growth lever is right for you, and more. What I especially liked about the book is the fact that it covers a lot of ground. Too many books, spend an entire book on one idea. I like the fact that this book takes us through the myriad of challenges and solutions for growing your business. It’s years of experience in a box and I’m surprised to find it all together within a single bound. What a nice surprise!” -JD Meier, Sources of Insight.com
The Small Business Techniques booklet topics are
- Basics: Entrepreneur and Opportunity – Business Planning
- Financing – Marketing
- Sales, Negotiating, and Decision-Making – Managing People
- Improving Operations – Growing Revenue
- Turnarounds – Selling Your Business
For more information and to order, see http://www.businesstechniquesbooks.com/
Workshops: Practice-Oriented and Personal
For many of us, the written word is not enough. We want to be shown, then practice, and then chat in person about how to do it better. To meet these needs, Tom Gray created Business Techniques Institute – Chicagoland, a group of 12 face-to-face half-day workshops, partnering with local organizations like Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and local colleges.
Each workshop provides slides and a workbook to apply the techniques to your own business problem during the workshop, and uses one of the booklets as its text.
Small business owners and managers can attend one workshop or several, depending on the topics they want to explore and the problems they seek to solve. The first series begins in September 10 at the College of DuPage’s Center for Entrepreneurship, 2525 Cabot Drive, Lisle, Illinois. The second series begins two weeks later at the Illinois SBDC at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, Room C3300, University Park, Illinois.
Register in response to an email from a partner, or visit Business Techniques Institute | Get Better @ Business. Workshop summaries and the calendar can be seen there as well.
The BTI-Chicago workshop topics are
- Basics: Entrepreneur and Opportunity - Competitive Analysis and Sales Forecast
- Finding Financing – Marketing
- Sales, Negotiating, and Decision-Making - Leading a Culture of Service
- Positive Communication Techniques - Managing People
- Improving Operations - Growing Revenue
- Turnarounds - Selling Your Business
Sample Session: Attend “Pricing Right” on July 23 and August 20
Get a taste of Tom Gray’s small business techniques and his workshop style by attending “Pricing Right” on July 23 or August 20 at the College of DuPage Center for Entrepreneurship, 2525 Cabot Drive, Lisle, Illinois. Register by calling the Center at 630-942-2600.
The session covers pricing principles, practical techniques for “thinking through” your price decisions, and some pricing techniques such as differentiated pricing, revenue models, shop rates, and promotions. Workbook practice is not provided in this one-hour session, but one-on-one follow-up sessions are available with Tom or the local Small Business Development Center staff.
Why Not Try It Out?
Want to grow your business? Do you know how? Is there something you could learn about marketing, planning, operations, or managing people, or do you know all that already? Why not invest in a booklet and a workshop? For a few dollars and hours, your business could take off to a new level!
Tom Gray helps owners save and grow their companies. He is a management consultant focused on small business, certified as a Turnaround Professional (CTP), Business Development Advisor, and SCORE Mentor. He can be reached at 630-512-0406 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.tom-gray.com. For Tom’s new book Business Techniques for Growth: More Tools for Small Business Success, and its predecessor Business Techniques in Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success, see http://www.businesstechniquesbooks.com/