Harbourtime Strategy Talks
By Collin Harbour
A podcast designed to explore a variety of business strategy topics and a place to hear practical tips for building and implementing sound business strategies.
#strategy #business #management #smallbusiness
#strategy #business #management #smallbusiness
29 - Creating Culture and Pivoting to New Services – Serving Clients with Precedent Management
Rob Dewald and Erika Garcia from Precedent Management are this week’s guests. We discuss: Creating strategic differentiators Pivoting to new business opportunities Going above and beyond for clients Creating and maintaining an employee-focused culture. Creating strategic differentiators are key to growing a business. In the age of technology, a differentiator may just be “the human touch.” Technology can be used to provide services, but the human component is a strategic differentiator that is often overlooked. It is important to combine the high touch/human element with other aspects of providing service to clients. Pivoting in business is key. Many individuals and businesses were forced to pivot in 2020. Precedent had the right processes and people in place to handle the unexpected pivot. For instance, they have expanded their services from industry specific to a broader approach of providing services in various markets. When the pandemic hit and the volume dried up in their industry, they made a strategic pivot by provisioning their people, processes and proprietary technology to serve other companies. These services are critical for companies that don’t have the existing people, infrastructure, time or capital. A key lesson from this is that you need to have the right team in processes in place for any unforeseen crises that may come your way. As they provided services to other companies, a key component of the service is the “onshore” aspect. Their people are located in the United States, which can provide benefits to their potential client base. As entrepreneurs, they understand the importance of: Speed: Make sure you have the ability to provide the services quickly when requested by clients. Flexibility: Don’t simply focus on your services agreement. Be ready to go above and beyond for you clients when they make requests outside of your existing scope. Relationships: Both internal (i.e. employees) and external (i.e. clients) relationships are key in growing a healthy business. Show them that you care. Create open environments for both employees and clients. The benefits are immeasurable. https://collinharbour.com/ http://precedentmgmt.com/
May 11, 2021
28 -Kate Bradley Chernis - from Rock N Roll DJ to CEO - Creating Evangelists for your Business
Kate Bradley Chernis is the co-founder and CEO of Lately AI, also known as the only social media management platform that creates content FOR you with the power of A.I. In this week’s session, we discuss her journey from DJ of one of the biggest XM Radio shows to Marketing Agency (managing marketing and social media on spreadsheets), to capital raiser, to Start Up Founder and CEO (and then hopefully to DJ again, when she can afford her own private island!) Focusing on a variety of topics, we discuss overcoming personal roadblocks, taking advice from dad, and always be networking – because you never know when your next lunch might be your seed investor. Marketing any sized business is tough. How do you produce the right content? How do you distribute the content once it is ready? How do you manage the schedule? How do you know which posts have the biggest impact? Kate had some great ideas, and turned them into an incredible business. We also discuss how to turn customers into EVANGELISTS. Imagine that -- your customers selling your business for you!! I, for one, am glad that she did because Lately AI makes my life easier. In case your wondering, she loved being a DJ and wouldn’t mind doing it again. Harbourtime Strategy Talks Podcast https://collinharbour.com/ https://www.lately.ai/
May 4, 2021
Episode 27 - Empowering Prosperity For Every Business with Leslie Hassler of Your Biz Rules
Leslie Hassler of Your Biz Rules yourbizrules.com) speaks with me about her experience guiding women owned service-based businesses into more profits cashflow and success. Leslie applies over 14 years of entrepreneurial experience to help business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the waters when things go “sideways”. Her experiences helps companies overcome the obstacles and continue to thrive and grow. We discuss her “Scaling Rich Personality Quiz” (scalingrich.com), which focuses on personality type and help you achieve the highest level of business for yourself. We take a deep dive into how Leslie came up with her business concept and after a two-year journey and discovering that she did not “love” her business at the time. There are many methods to start, run and grow your business. Leslie’s business focuses on women entrepreneurs because she has been there, done that . . . juggled the roles, raised a family, while running a business! Hey, but don’t worry guys . . . she can help you focus on your business growth, too. As Leslie says, good marketing picks a spot in the sand and plants a flag, but that doesn’t mean that people that are a little difference can’t come into it. Helen Keller’s quote about vision: The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision. A guiding vision is necessary to flourish in business. Vision = Beacon For instance, Leslie’s guiding vision is “empowering prosperity for every business”. So many things are out of our control, but a vision can help stay on track. Regarding strategy, some can be implemented quickly and some can take quite a while. Go for the easy wins first. But, as your business matures, you will need to focus on some longer-term strategies. What the biggest obstacles to success for entrepreneurs in 2021? The Three M’s: Motivation Money Mindset Business owners need to have a Dashboard. Look at the KPIs, cashflow and a strategic plan. This will allow you to measure where you are and where you might have gone off track. Strategic planning is necessary for business growth, and a Dashboard can keep entrepreneurs on track. Always be learning . . . and always be implementing. Take nuggets, ideas, strategies from books, podcasts, videos and implement them. Learning without implementation is useless. collinharbour.com yourbizrules.com
March 24, 2021
Episode 26 - Vulnerability Tour 2021 - Dealing with Communication in 2021.
Vulnerability Tour 2021 – Dealing with Communication Issues in 2021! Can you think of a time or would you even admit to it a time when your, your communication, your words, or your, your style of communication caused damage to you or to someone else? In this session, I discuss overcoming the “communication roadblock,” aka “when you can’t say what you really mean.” Based on the book by Brian Harbour, 17 Roadblocks on the Highway of Life and How to Overcome Them. The “roadblocks” we are covering in the Vulnerability Tour 2021 are: Failure Criticism Communication Anxiety Immobilization Indecisiveness Envy Self-Pity We cannot escape the responsibility of our communications. Our communications have consequences, but we do have the ability to make good choices when it comes to commuting. Great leaders are quoted, including Peter Drucker, Tommy Lasorda, Peter Drucker, Plato, Mark Twain and others. Most of the quotes focus on “listening.” Four Strategies for Overcoming Communication Issues in 2021: Learn how to Listen, and listen with the intent of understanding: Do you really want to understand someone when they're talking to you? You should. And if you, if you listen empathetically, and if you listen with the intent to understand, it's going to improve your ability to communicate. Develop relationships: If you don’t know the person you are trying to communication with, it’s going to be difficult to connect with them. What are we doing right now? Face-to-Face Dialogue is key: in 2021, even if you're ready to go out and have a face-to-face dialogue with someone, they may not be ready. We’re all encountering that right now. But you can gain a different understanding of your communication if you are in person. Be sensitive to Non-verbal clues: Tone. Body Language. Other NVC’s can tell a story. Pay attention to these clues. collinharbour.com
March 17, 2021
Episode 25 - Leadership is Always Relevant - With Tim Kintz, Kintz Group
Leadership is Always Relevant as a Strategy! The speed of the team is all about the speed of the leader. You’re not really a leader if people aren’t following you. In this episode, leadership, motivation, and overcoming your fears to get things done is discussed with Tim Kintz of Kintz Group Buzzwords aren’t necessary for good leaders. Managers are often the least trained people at companies. Even if they are trained, it doesn’t mean you they have what it takes to be a leader. Five years from now. If someone asked your people, who was the person who made a difference in your life, will they remember your name? Leaders should strive to be the one who is remembered as impacting and influencing lives. We discuss Tim’s “Leadership Quadrant”: Lead, Manage, Coach, Train, and how each of these is different based on individual skill sets. We discuss ways to determine which area is your strongest and where your individual skills are on the quadrant. Leading is setting the vision. Managing is the detail side. Training is giving knowledge. Coaching is developing skills. Tim discusses dreaming big and leading big. Leaders leave people better off than before they met. A good leader is in the trenches and focused on the people he or she is leading. Being “fearless” plays an important role in leadership. Fear holds people back. Being fearless is about not being afraid to make mistakes. Stop being afraid. Take Charge. Dream Big. Have a big passion and a big purpose. We also discuss the concept of an “Emotional Bank Account.” As a manager and as a leader, you will eventually have to get tough on people. Great leaders need to earn the right to have tough conversations with people. Do a good job of catching people doing things right. (Based off of a concept from John Maxwell.) Determine where you want to be in 5 years and act on a plan to get there. Have a big vision. Paint a big vision for your followers. Make sure they know how they will fit into that vision Tim also provides steps to take for a great employee one-on-one. https://collinharbour.com/ https://kintzgroup.com/
March 16, 2021
Episode 24 - Personal Branding and Social Selling - Strategy Discussion with Olesija Saue
#strategy #personalbranding #socialselling #brand #smallbusiness Many of us have a strong physical brand, but a weak digital brand. This session of Harbourtime Strategy Talks discusses various strategies to enhance your brand (personal and corporate) and defines social selling. Strategies are presented to help with social selling and personal brand building, with a delineation between a physical brand and digital brand. What are you doing to build your personal brand? Do you even care? Guest on the podcast today is Olesija Saue (olesijasaue.com) “I don't want to be a superstar I just want to do my job is personal branding for me.” Personal Branding and how it is tied to Social Selling Olesija has been in the business world for over 20 years, during which time she has have experienced both very quick high rises, and then also very big lows. It is easy to be in business when everything is thriving, but we really learn our lessons and we evolve when life gets tough as it is right now. We all have experiences that we can use our advantage business and in marketing, and also our unique strengths, our values, our why, and most importantly, our story and story that we have to own and we have to share. People and Social Media combined make for a great passion. The most important part of personal branding is actually your substance: what is inside the story, your strengths, your values, your why, because they really talk to our subconscious mind, which draws on emotions, which is how decisions are made. Personal branding is putting together our uniqueness and packaging it in a way that that our ideal customers can resonate with. Think about Audi or Porsche. These brands actually create certain emotions. Keep in mind that we all have a personal brand from the moment we do anything. In 2021, personal branding is now what other people know about you before you actually enter the room. We have two worlds . . . the physical world and the digital world. We must make sure that our digital and personal brand are at the same level. Make sure your personal brand is telling the story that you want it to tell. Balance growth, fun and achievement for success. Enjoy the process. The process and the end results are equally important. In order to stay relevant in today's environment, we really have to learn not all the time. Make sure that you are balancing work and “life” to make sure you are covering the things that are important to you. Social Selling: Social selling is in our DNA. Now, we build the relationships online. Content Marketing is communicating “one to many,” but social selling is communication “one on one.” Trust is built through digital/online social selling. According to Olesija, Social Selling is like dating. The relationship takes time to develop. Businesses in 2021 can stand out by implementing a social selling/social media strategy by taking care of their social media profiles. Stand out. Be visible. The buyers have to know you exist. Webpage, Articles, Podcasts – online conversations – thought leadership. Olesija co-authored a book, “The Brand Named You”, is to help individuals with social media strategy and exposure. They fight the misconception that personal branding is “bragging.” The also provide a step-by-step process (Roadmap) to help with personal brand strategy. https://collinharbour.com/ https://olesijasaue.com/
March 9, 2021
Episode 23 - Apprentice to Rock 'n Roller to Leader - Lessons on Leadership from a former Rock Star from Liverpool
Leadership as a business strategy or leadership in general is always an important topic. Learning about leadership can help you grow into a better person. My favorite leadership style is “servant leadership.” Servant leaders don’t see themselves as the dictator and that they actually serve others. They lead by example. Tom Lawrence has a YouTube channel, Leadership & Growth. Tom also has a website, highlyeffectiveleader.com. Tom has published a book on leadership. Tom is a former Rock Star who moved from Liverpool, England to the West Coast of the United States Highlyeffectiveleader.com is a website that started off as a blog in January, 2020. The purpose of the book and YouTube Channel, Leadership & Growth, is to help people learn from Tom’s mistakes and resonate with them to become better leaders. Tom intends to inspire others to take the next steps in their leadership journey. Tom has written a book entitled Manager to Leader. It is targeted at managers, supervisors, and team leaders who have the position and job title, but now need to know what to do. Having a job title gives you a certain authority and gives you a certain amount of power, both as a leader. The leader’s job is to serve their people, serve their team. The book is to help them understand what servant leadership is, why we need to save our people and how to save our people. How, how can leaders serve their people? “Serve” is another way of saying “help.” It's a responsibility of the leader to grow and develop others. Develop yourself as a leader. Don’t be exposed. Why is dictatorship why is a deep dictatorial style of leadership and effective in 2021? Dictator-style leaders do not inspire people to give their own ideas, their own solutions, their own recommendations, and they are not inspiring them to implement their own ideas. Servant leadership is the exact opposite. Servant leaders inspire others to come up with their own ideas and solutions. Tom is a former rock star and the leader of the band led by example. She helped others learn their parts and stay focused on the goal. What Tom learned from his Rock Star experience is to follow your dream: Do not give up on your dream. If you have something that you really want to do that you think can make a difference in the world or even will make a difference in other people's lives, don't give up, keep doing it, keep working hard. What is Tom’s vision? What is his just cause? Tom’s just cause is that envisions a world where leaders create environments that focuses on people. https://collinharbour.com/ https://highlyeffectiveleader.com/
March 4, 2021
Episode 22 - Business Coaching - Operational Strategy and Strategic Long-Term Thinking - Pivoting vs. Morphing
Podcast Guest is Business Coach and Author, Warren Coughlin from Toronto. Warren is a dad and business coach to entrepreneurs since 2002. Warren believes “deeply in the core of my being that entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful forces for positive social change.” The first part of the discussion centers around business coaching and operational strategy: Business coaching is not the same as life coaching for business folks. Business coaching is about integrating the organization: All the specific business skills, mindsets, the systems, even the tools to help the owner reach his or her goals. Business Coaching involves some training and consulting as well as that kind of goal setting envisioning and that kind of thing. Business coaching isn't pure coaching, it's a combination of coaching, training and consulting on the strategy piece. Entrepreneurs face many challenges: Don’t confuse symptoms with the problems. Utilize tools (like this one created by Warren Coughlin) to help with strategic planning. In this case, the tool automates the entire front end of the strategic planning process. Once you’ve identified issues, make sure to build out an actionable plan, perhaps monthly, perhaps quarterly. But set real goals and make real changes. As an entrepreneur, don’t play whack-a-mole. Consider the impact you could have on your business if you made two significant improvements per quarter. Business is like poker, particularly when considering long term strategy: Make sure you don’t dwell on short-term thinking. Focus on strategic long-term thinking. Business is similar to poker. Business is a game of skill, but there is much uncertainty and an array of probabilities. In both business and poker, the professionals will when the game, even if they don’t win the hand. This is due to strategic thinking. Are you focusing on winning the hand or the game? Long term thinking will focus your attention on the game. Consider your business a game. Why are you in this game? What game are you playing? What do you want out of the game? If you don’t focus on strategic planning, your business will face danger. Don’t overlook the risks. There will be another pandemic, economic crisis, weather crisis. A downturn is always around the corner. If you're only focused on the short term, you're not going to build for the eventual downturn. And that's just because, so when you, you know, when you say stories like that, hopefully help people go, Oh, maybe I shouldn't just be thinking about the next two or three months. I need to be thinking. Long-Term. It's okay to spend some time on short-term thinking, but your focus should be on strategic long-term thinking. Make sure your decisions are based off of planning rather than off of fear: In the face of an uncertain environment, don’t tortoise. Instead, plan. Don't spend all of our time on short-term results. Make sure to look at the bigger picture. In the face of uncertainty or fear, there is a natural human instinct to go into a protective mode – go into your shell. Focus on the underlying needs of your clients. Even if there is a disruption that changes the way you deliver your service or product, the underlying needs of your clients still exist. Consider pivoting, morphing, adding or modifying your business, your career, your life: Pivot general means, “I’m here and now I’m going there,” which is something totally different. A pivot is a fundamental change for a business. Most businesses don’t necessarily need a "fundamental change." Impact your culture in other ways that can lead to change, morphing, adding.
March 2, 2021
Episode 21 - Vulnerability Tour 2021 - Dealing with Criticism in 2021
Are you your own worst critic? I hate receiving criticism, but I certainly love dishing it out. Or are you like LeBron James in that criticism stimulates you? Lebron said, “I like criticism. It makes you strong.” Everybody's a critic these days. And I mean, literally everybody, social media has made it more harsh, more frequent and more real, like it's a real punch in the face. For instance, on February 5th, 2018, the following was tweeted. Dear KFC. “No one likes your fries, your sincerely, the entire world.” @Upgrade_ music sent that on behalf of the entire world. The bigger point here is that everyone receives criticism and sometimes it's, or at least it seems like it is from the entire world. So how are we going to handle this? How do you handle criticism professionally? How do we handle it personally? How do we handle it from a corporate standpoint? Criticism is generally just in your head. We worry about things. “Remember the only taste of success that some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” Zig Ziglar. “Any fool can criticize condemn and complain. And most fools do.” Benjamin Franklin. Don’t worry about criticism. Move past it. “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” Winston Churchill. Strategy 1: Realization that criticism is inevitable. Strategy 2: Evaluate and Categorize. Category 1: Criticism that has no basis in fact. Category 2: Criticism that is true. Category 3: A little bit of both. Strategy 3: Contemplate. Strategy 4: Activate. How did KFC handle the criticism? They realized that criticism comes, they evaluated it. They categorize it as true. They contemplated a response. It took them nine months to respond and they activated a plan to overcome it. Nine months after the entire world criticize their fries. I hate criticism as much as anybody. I must admit a lot of times I like dishing it out. Criticism hurts. It slows me down. It makes me angry. https://collinharbour.com/
February 24, 2021
Episode 20 - Business Preparedness in 2021 - Diversification and Pivoting - With David Obert of Xactware
Is your business prepared for the next big crisis? The utility companies in Texas are learning about preparedness. 2020 taught us all that we need to be prepared: for global pandemics, for social unrest, for changing economic environments. David Obert is Vice President of Property Technology Solutions at Xactware. Finding a “better way” to provide service is the premise behind this technology company. Here how a company that focused on contracts shifted to new verticals including insurance, remodeling and mortgage default servicing verticals. Preparedness. Why is business preparedness so important, especially in 2021? Enter 2020 . . . that’s why it's so important. Are you ready for all issues that will hit your business? Don’t be surprised by unforeseen issues. Be prepared. Businesses can learn a lesson or two from biology and nature. Biological concepts are important when discussing preparedness. For instance, heterogeneity is a concept that businesses can learn from. Take the cactus: The cactus is just fine during the day as it's built for that, but those flowers, it protects so that when, when the time is right, it can open those flowers back up in the evening. it can be pollinated by bats and things like that. Your business very similarly should be prepared. Consider diversification. We should look at ways to enhance our businesses so that we can be ready with for these harsh times with alternatives. When one side of our business slows down, we should pick up on the other side so that we can maintain some semblance of continuity with our businesses. How do you decide what project to focus on at any given time? Make sure you have a process to focus on specific issues. Can you identify any low-hanging fruit? Where can you make the most impact? How can you get ready (PREPARE) for an influx of business? How can you improve our customers their livelihood? How can you ultimately help them make more money in the long run? Businesses always have time to prepare, with the right process, for things to come. Is business/revenue diversification is more important as a strategy in 2021 than the past? Business/revenue diversification is always important. I think, I think is it, is it more important now than, than in the past? I would say no, just because it should have always been important. What is the biggest challenge you have had with your specific business role in the last few months? And how are you overcoming it? Pivoting a business strategy. Diversifying your business. https://collinharbour.com/
February 24, 2021
Episode 19 - Vulnerability Tour 2021 - Dealing with Failure in 2021
When is the last time you failed, I mean, really failed? I know that you failed and you know that I have failed. I know you're scared of failing again, whether you're a business owner, a successful executive, maybe a solopreneur, someone looking for a job I'm willing to bet money that you've already failed, If not miserably in 2021. How are we going to handle failure in 2021? I'm going to focus on a few key basics of life. I might even refer to this as my vulnerability tour because a lot of these are inward-facing they're things that I need to deal with and, and how I am going to deal with them moving forward. But I hope as we explore these topics, that you'll go on this journey with me and that we can grow together. But this new focus at this stage of my career, where I am life is where I want to focus on some of these topics. One of the roadblocks that stood out to me is failure, the failure roadblock, or how he puts in the book when we blow it, when you blow it, you know, you've blown it. Sometimes you can sense it coming. It can be in your personal life. It can be in your business life. It could be in so many aspects of life, but you know, you've blown it. So how do you deal with that? What we're going to talk about is ways to handle failure. We know we're going to fail. I'm not saying that to be negative. I'm actually saying it and hoping that we're exploring this to set us up for success, because success is going to be defined with how we deal with failure.
February 12, 2021
Is it time to Pivot in 2021 - Motivation - Leadership in 2021 - Justin Rand, Rand Consulting
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If you're listening to this or at least something for you to think about. And I mean it right now, think about this next question. And the question is, is it time for a pivot in 2021? We’re going to talk about pivoting in a little bit. We're almost through with the first month of 2021. The first month is almost over. We also cover leadership, how to stay motivated, and how to stay focused as business leader. Guest = Justin Rand of Rand Consulting, LLC ------- Key traits of a leader in 2021: Three key things: Inspirational: People like to follow someone that’s got a vision, that’s got drive. Empathy: A lot of people are going through hard times these days. Have a vision. You need to have a vision for where your operations, your business, your company is going Leaders can visualize and share that vision with others. How to develop yourself as a leader: Constantly learning! Check out the book, The Road Less Stupid, uh, by Keith Cunningham. Each section of the book can be read independently, so you don't have to start and read from, start to finish. Work on your weaknesses, maximize your strengths! What is driving Justin, as the business leader/entrepreneur to keep moving forward? Family The people that work for him. The people that will work for him in the future. Advice for small business owner, mid-sized business, business leaders just trying to make it through the day or week in 2021. Keep it simple: Keep everything simple, keep your day simple, keep your business simple, as simple as you can make it. And don't try to, to build out, build up beyond, uh, your means. Be a solution: People aren’t going to do business with you unless you solve a problem. Balance your passion with wisdom: which can some in many forms. Pivoting: Are you continuing to spin your wheels on something that isn’t working, not being received in the marketplace? #PIVOT Maybe you have these goals and aspirations and you, and you want to achieve something, but it's just not there yet. Maybe it will be developed in a year from now two years from now, but you need to do something now and pivoting is not bad. So, there is no way that I'm implying anything bad about pivoting. How do you encourage someone to pivot if what they are doing simply isn’t working? You’ve got to find your sweet spot. Getting out there and looking and finding the right thing for you is, is the best option Airbnb is a good example of pivoting: It’s a mobile app? But how did it start? By providing mattresses to overflow trade show participants. It was an idea for extra cash, and pivoted into a major business. Amazon is a good example of a pivot . . . remember when they were mostly (or all) just a platform to buy and sell books? Small and Medium-Sized Business Owners should listen to this episode. So should anyone who leads a team, a department, a company of any size. collinharbour.com
January 27, 2021
Episode 17 - Trent Simmons of Hardeman Company - Business Strategy for Small Businesses - Tips to Prepare Your Company for Acquisition in 2021-2022
Trent Simmons is the CEO of Hardeman Company and has a passion for small family businesses. Trent and his brother took a natural gas marketing company from their father which was the genesis of Hardeman. Trent has a passion for small business. Hardeman seeks to purchase businesses that they can own and operate as owners for the long haul. Not looking for a quick flip. They want businesses that are built the way we are built. We want businesses that ran for the previous 25 years, the way we plan to run them for the next 25 years. Small businesses built through character, work ethic, and relationships Manufacturing, Distribution, and Service-related industries Business owners who want to see their legacy preserved and their employees and customers are taken care of Trent is a business leader - he has acquired several companies over the years. He knows what it takes to be a business strategist, private equity guy, and owner-operator of established businesses. He was also a professional triathlete and we discuss how that experience translates to business strategy. During this part of the podcast, Trent discusses lessons he learned from world class athletes, gold medal winners, and a former Australian boxer! The lessons are great -- everyone can learn from them: Paraphrased: The man on top of the mountain did not fall there. Don't try to swim like Michael Phelps if you are not Michael Phelps. Don't waste your time on comparative analysis -- you're probably not going to be the next Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos . . . but that's okay. Reach the highest level you can. The secret sauce of world class athletes (and CEO's)? Their minds. They put in the work. Most of the time, they put in the work when no one is looking. Day in and Day out. Hard Work, Over And Over Again. What we see are the "medals" the awards, but the hard work is almost never seen. Work on your weaknesses for improvement, but MAXIMIZE your strengths. Questions/Topics are listed below: Referencing Hardeman company’s LinkedIn page, How are you built? Hardeman = Perseverance, Survival Trent, If you had to pick 2, maybe even 3 key traits of the CEO/leaders of these businesses, what stands out? What drives a business leaders/CEO/entrepreneur to build a successful business? Hardeman has a nice portfolio of companies – a good mix of service, manufacturing, and other types of companies. How do you decide your portfolio strategy? Are you looking for a specific mix, or do you look for specific revenue targets, or any combination thereof? You’ve looked at a lot of companies – You’ve acquired some of them, and I’m sure you’ve passed on more than you bought. What strategic advice would you give a business owner who is thinking about selling their company in 2021? What should they be doing to prepare their company for acquisitions? When reviewing a company, you are competing against many factors: Owner Expectations, Family Member expectations, other acquirers, and many other factors. How do you balance seller expectations and other competing factors when you are in trenches of a potential acquisition? What lessons did you learn in training and competing in triathlons teach you that can be translated to business strategy? I know this is a bit vague, but what business lessons did the rigorous training teach you? Who is your favorite business leader and Why?
January 13, 2021
Episode 16 - Shelia Butler - Consultant, Speaker, Business Builder - Effective Strategies for Starting a Business and Finding Your Lane
Our guest this week is Shelia Butler, COO of the Arrangement. Shelia is also a former classmate of mine in the Baylor University Dallas Executive MBA Program, Class 10 (2004) Shelia has experience starting, building and selling companies. She also has experience as a Consultant, Industry Thought Leader and Speaker. Shelia was "Podcasting Before Podcasting Was Cool". We discuss what it used to be like to run a podcast. Some of the most important things about podcasting: There are many ways to get your self out there if you want to be seen as a "thought leader". A podcast can be shared many ways, and it helps create content. A podcast can also help you discover a little more about who you are . . . and can push the theme of "not being afraid to fail". Podcasting can help you take on and overcome various challenges. In Shelia's case, Podcasting helped her speak to people more, which led to speaking opportunities and business consulting opportunities. Tips for entrepreneurs who are starting a business. Be intentional. Everyone thinks it is necessary to be on all social media platforms and be everything to everybody. Shelia suggests that these three things should be the focus: Be clear on your governing values: Hyrum W. Smith (Franklin Quest/Franklin Covey) talks about governing values. Know who you are and what you stand for in life. Have intense clarity on everything else: goals, habits, communication, in every aspect of your life. Know how to grow your business (3 ways): 1. Increase number of clients; 2. Increase the average value transaction of a client; 3. Increase the number of transactions per year. Decide what needs to be done to make these things happen and then determine which social media and marketing platforms can help make this happen. Above all, don't be afraid to fail and try something different. How to focus on Strategic Planning and Leadership. Realize that you don't know everything and learn from others -- it can make a big impact in your business. Don't be afraid to pivot. And pivot quickly. It is okay to learn and grow from your experiences and move on. Shelia's Favorite Book Clarity First by Karen Martin Shelia's Favorite Business Leader Sara Blakely, Spanx -- Bootstrapped her company from day one. Her father told her "don't be afraid to fail." Sara's a mom, down to earth, runs her business and is a philanthropist. sheliabutler.com - Shelia's LinkedIn Profile Shelia can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. collinharbour.com
January 6, 2021
Episode 15 - Effective Strategies - Market Positioning - National Association of Mortgage Field Services
Presented to the National Association of Mortgage Field Services. The third part of a 3 Part Series to provide information to Mortgage Field Services Companies and Inspection Companies in preparation for potentially increased volumes in 2021 and 2022. Rand Consulting and C Harbour Services collaborate to provide useful information for small and mid-sized mortgage field service companies. The information can be useful for small and mid-sized companies in any industry. Market Position – Strategy Decide ·Organize your thoughts ·Write them down ·Consult with others Network Social Media Video Conference Calls The good old-fashioned way (Pick up a phone) Commit Take the first step Remind yourself daily about the commitment Re-evaluate at a previously scheduled time (6 months, 12 months, etc.) Network-Market Your Business Social Media Find a way to get in front of others Just.Make.Contact Commit to Strategy Execute Rest Repeat Track Results Set goals Hold yourself and others accountable Track Results in a CRM #businessstrategy #marketing #strategicgrowth #crm #businessdevelopment
December 29, 2020
Episode 14 - Eric Miller, NAMFS - Business Strategy - Associations and Gaining Mindshare
Eric Miller, Executive Director of National Association of Mortgage Field Services and I discuss business strategy including: Working with a volunteer board Working with volunteer committee members Developing Strategic Plans Focusing on new markets when current volumes are down Reason to aggressively pursue new business "You can’t jump into the deep end, but you also can’t just put your pinky toe in and say I don’t like this. You’ve got to find something to commit to and there has to be a strategy around it. Those are things that have to happen. It has to be mindful. It has to be thought out. It’s not just going to magically happen." #businessstrategy #mortgageservicing #fhaloans #businessdevelopment #strategicthinking #fieldservices #propertypreservation #proppres #singlefamilyrentals #inspections #insuranceloss
December 16, 2020
Episode 13 - Carl Brown from Cavanal Services - Start-Up Strategy - Creating a Bridge for Success
Season 2 kicks off with an episode that focuses on: Business Startup Strategy: Best Start-Up Strategy = "BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU ARE DOING" Focusing on a mission can go a long way to maintain business during trying times. Keys for managing a business during a Global Pandemic Looking at strategic business opportunities in HubZones. Focusing on heritage, in this case the Choctaw Nation, to create meaningful jobs to historically underserved areas.
December 9, 2020
Episode 12 - Season 1 Recap - Lessons Learned - First Season of Podcasting
The Lessons I Learned in my First Season of Podcasting I kicked off my business Podcast (Harbourtime Strategy Talks) and spent 3 months on “Season 1”. These are the lessons learned during my initial venture into Podcasting. A Podcasting Tool is a Necessity Podcasting is Hard Work The Right Tools are Key Atmosphere Matters Add Video When Possible Bandwidth Is Important Podcasts Can Actually Produce Revenue You Must Provide Value
October 23, 2020
Episode 11 - Leadership as a Business Strategy - With Mike Harbour
Are leaders born or made? When you think business strategy, it is difficult to think about how any company could develop or implement a strategy without at least one person taking on some leadership. Leadership is just something that we see all the time - I’m sure we can all think of examples of lack of leadership – how it affected a business plan, a war time plan, a sports game plan. Leadership is a broad topic – we will focus in on Leadership as a Business Strategy. Mike Harbour is President and CEO of Harbour Resources Leadership Consulting. In this episode we will focus on: Why Mike Harbour focuses on Leadership (you might be surprised - it's not the run of the mill answer.): The importance of “leadership” and “leadership development” and where they fit on the strategy ladder. "Great leaders know the way, show the way, and go the way”. This is from Mike's LinkedIn Page -- we will take a deeper look into what this means. Mike's Favorite Business Leader ---- And we will put it to rest and answer whether leader are born or made! collinharbour.com
September 30, 2020
Episode 10 - Vendor Management Strategy with Launa Lawhorn - Impact Leadership Institute
I’ve spent the last 10 years in an industry where the companies outsource many of their non-core functions. I’ve spent it, however, on the “other side” of the equation. That is, I've been the vendor trying to get business from large companies. I’ve been the one calling on sourcing and working with vendor management groups. It’s been a fun ride, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. In this episode, we will focus on how a company can improve its chances of winning big contracts. Launa Lawhorn of Impact Leadership Institute (and former Baylor Executive MBA Classmate of mine) will walk us through the vendor management life cycle from both sides of the equation - the vendor management side and the vendor side. Launa recently posted a series on LinkedIn and she began with, “I am passionate about the vendor management lifecycle because when done right businesses will reduce costs, minimize risks, and improve the quality of services received.” Because of her passion, she will walk us through the following questions: What happens to a company if a company does not have the right vendor management strategies in place? From a strategic standpoint, how can a company maximize its vendor management relationships? What size does the company need to be to have a dedicated “Vendor Management Group”? What should the vendors be doing to firm up their finances, technology, operations and reputation in order to work with companies that outsource and manage the relationships with vendor management groups?
September 23, 2020
Episode 9 - Marketing Strategy - Consumer Consent and Data Privacy - With Jon Davis from BIGtoken
Empowerment can mean a lot of things. “Consumer Empowerment” is something that should be of great interest to all of us. Utilizing personal Data is a way to empower yourself as a consumer. From a marketing strategy standpoint, Data Security and Consumer Consent are two key issues facing all Businesses that have customers . . . well, I guess that means all businesses. A recent HBR Article concluded: “To maintain compliance — as well as consumer trust — companies must invest in automation and analytics tools that safeguard customer privacy.” Businesses must focus on the legal side of data protection and consumer consent, as well as the reputational risk that can occur if consumers lose trust. Both sides of the discussion are covered in this week’s Harbourtime Strategy Talks Podcast. Jon Davis from BIGtoken shows us how the consumer can become empowered . . . but also discusses how this same process can help companies and marketers create more targeted approaches to their customers.
September 9, 2020
Episode 8 - content.content.content. with Fanny Dunagan
In January 1996, Bill Gates published an essay titled “Content is King”, which was published on the Microsoft website. A couple of interesting quotes, especially considering it was 1996: “One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.” “If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.” When I reviewed your LinkedIn profile, you say that you help others “build community and engagement”. What do you mean by “build community an engagement” and why is it important to build community and engagement? a. If "Content is King", "Engagement is Queen". You can post all kinds of content, but if you don’t engage with your audience, through comments, build rapport and relationships then it is not good. Engagement allows you to build relationships and trust. b. Engagement=always commenting on other stuff and commenting on those that comment on your feed. You have to go out and engage in the content. c. It’s a little networking event inside the comments. Let’s talk about what you call the “4 Purposes of Content”: 1. Educational 2. Informational 3. Inspirational 4. Entertainment.
September 2, 2020
Episode 7 - just.make.contact.
Have you ever thought about the baseball concept known as “just make contact”? Before the 2020 Major League Baseball season started, I was watching a Dodgers game from around 2016-ish. A batter (I wish I would have noted who) was at the plate, and the announcers noticed that he had been “struggling at the plate” for quite a while. As the next pitch came in, he hit a dribbler between first and second and the runner on second scored . . . the struggle at the plate had ended. The announcer said, “Sometimes you just need to make contact.” That has stayed with me for a while. I heard that many times playing baseball throughout my life. What is that you literally or metaphorically “just need to make contact” on? If you have a stalled deal right now, it might be literally: Text, Email, Telephone. Just.Make.Contact. If you have other problems, think about what you can do to metaphorically “just make contact” to overcome the issue. I recently started going through old Texts, Emails and LinkedIn messages. I made an enormous list of people that I will literally be contacting in one form or another. A lot of this has to do with “catching up”, but much of it has to do with my new business – and what I can do to grow my business services to others. Out of these contacts, I have two consulting contracts and several more meetings to go – and I have only scratched the surface of the list. Just.Make.Contact.
August 5, 2020
Episode 6 - Client Retention Strategies with Jamie Shibley, The Expressory
In this episode Jamie Shibley, Founder and CEO of the Expressory and I discuss: Client Relationship Building Client Retention Winning the Relationship Battle The importance of the Customer Journey Examples of Successful Retention Strategies The Personal Touch in Client Retention https://www.theexpressory.com/
July 28, 2020
Episode 5 - Solving Business Problems in 2020
While riding my bike yesterday, I listened to a Podcast from Gary Vaynerchuck, also known as Gary Vee. His Podcast is one of many in my regular rotation. I’m not sure exactly when, (I have been off for a few days), but he changed his podcast length to shorter episodes, multiple times per day. (5-6 minutes) The reason for this change is that people’s habits, routines and commute times are changing. This change in Podcast Strategy hit me as another example of a strategic shift to meet the needs of clients. The business (podcast) noticed a shift in behaviors and is adapting to meet the needs. We are seeing an enormous shift in behaviors this year – most of them unanticipated. This micro example can be applied to a larger scale issue/problem. How are your clients needs and habits changing? What and how are they procuring your service? If you notice a trend, make sure you are agile enough to adapt quickly (and if the change doesn’t work, make another change quickly). Most changes are avoided because of fear – fear of cost, fear of acceptance, fear that it will just flat out totally fail. However, if you don’t implement changes, you may lose your clients – how is that for fear? Don’t be afraid to try something new – particularly if data, your gut/intuition, or circumstances suggest it is time. Daily business life – already a relatively complex process – changed overnight a few months ago – and there is no telling when it will get back to “normal”.
July 22, 2020
Episode 4 - Pirating as a Business Strategy - with Chris Baggett, Canyon Creek Lodging
Businesses of every size have been impacted by the Global Pandemic. The crisis wasn't even on most people's radars when the year began. What have you done to change your business strategy? How can you be a pirate (not in a plundering way, but in a strategic way) for your business and your clients? Canyon Creek Lodging is: The Trusted Revenue Management Partner, serving owners and operators throughout the U.S. Highly experienced revenue support, asset based strategies. This week we discuss: How the hospitality industry is handling the Pandemic. How the COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting hotels specifically: All Brands and the Hotel Operators. How Canyon Creek Lodging is handling business, including changing course and executing new strategies. Crisis Management: How will small businesses and hotel operators and hotel franchisors handle the "post-crisis". The pirate theme: How it was developed as a business strategy and how it impacts the industry. Along the way, you can pick up several tips for your business strategy.
July 15, 2020
Episode 3 - A Strategy Conversation with Justin Rand of Rand Consulting, LLC
In this episode, we discuss business ecosystems and ways that companies can strategically join ecosystems and work within these existing ecosystems. Justin Rand is the Principal Consultant and Founder of Rand Consulting, LLC (randconsulting.co). He discusses ways his company is handling the Global Pandemic, and how they are helping others handle. He provides strategic insight for startups, and we talk a little about another venture, Jepr App. Don't forget to visit collinharbour.com or drop by LinkedIn and visit Harbourtime Strategy Talks.
July 8, 2020
Episode 2 - What is your business strategy? - Tips for Creating and Implementing Business Strategies.
This episode is based on an article I published on LinkedIn. 1. It is important to have a reason for developing a busieness strategy: For many companies today, the “reason” for developing a strategy is to: Develop new markets Develop new products Create Brand Awareness How will your company emerge from the Covid crisis? How about – Social Awareness? 2. It is important to organize before developing and implementing a strategy: Who is responsible for strategy development? (Point Person) Is that person the right one to keep things going in the right direction? How involved is the CEO or Owner of the Business? Do you have the resources to hire an outside consultant? 3. It is important to document the strategy as it is developed: It’s okay to be informal at first – could be brainstorming. Make sure the documentation is reviewed regularly. Determine what the final deliverable needs to look like. 4. It is important to develop ways to measure implementation of the strategy: Identify the date the strategic outline needs to be completed. Include the appropriate people. As a part of the strategy, define measurable results and how they will be measured. These are simple points but can be easily overlooked in personal and business when developing a strategy. It is okay to implement multiple strategies at once, or to focus on one strategy or sets of strategies at a time. It is also okay to change strategies when necessary. Just make sure that you go through a regimented process in order to effectively develop and implement the strategy.
June 30, 2020
Episode 1 - A CRM is good for your strategic growth.
I focus on why a CRM is important for a business and a couple of ways it can be used in small or medium sized businesses.
June 22, 2020