The Entrepreneur’s Corner
Questions for your business
Patrick Henry said, “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. A few years later, Einstein said, “Doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity.”
These two bits of wisdom have guided me for decades. In the last few years, they have proved insufficient. Our world has changed. Cheap energy and currency exchange rates have allowed people on the other side of the world to effectively compete for our next door neighbor’s business.
Businesspeople are constantly on the lookout for ways to systematize our processes so we can achieve maximum efficiency, thereby lower our costs of operation to either offer our services at lower rates or better yet, increase our margins.
We determine our processes by agreeing to sets of assumptions. Assumptions we agree to after thorough examination of our competencies and market opportunities.
Once we establish these efficient processes we loathe changing them. It’s at this point that our agreed upon assumptions become “givens”. They become our culture. They become “the way we do things around here.”
Once solidified into the concrete of unconscious habit, we no longer regularly check to see if our assumptions are still valid. We all know the old adage that when we assume we make an ass of you and me. This truism relates to the unstated assumption. The conscious, shared assumption on the other hand is a powerful tool.
So, if you’re doing what you’ve always done and not getting the results you’ve gotten in the past, let me encourage you to reexamine your assumptions.
Bring then out in the open and ask yourself,
1. “What’s our business?”
2. “What do we do?”
3. “Who are our customers?”
4. “Do these people give us money?”
5. “For what?’
7. “What do they value?”
8. “Are we delivering value they want?”
I’ve a bunch more questions, but having your team candidly revisit the assumptions upon which you’ve based your business to see if they’re still relevant is a great way to come to grips with your current reality. Because in today’s business climate the definition of insanity may be doing the same thing and expecting the same results.
Emily Francis (left) of Richmond Green Drinks and Cary Jamieson of The Steward School checked out the cherry tomato crop Aug. 20 at the school's Bryan Innovation Lab following a visit by members of Green Drinks. Jamieson, director of the Bryan Innovation Lab, was among the speakers who pointed out various sustainable features of the building and its surroundings, including geothermal, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy systems, as well as rain gardens and large storage cisterns (like the one pictured) to minimize groundwater pollution. > Read more.
For the third consecutive year, the Canterbury Recreation Association in Short Pump donated the most meals to the fourth-annual "Dunk Hunger" campaign, which raises money and food donations for FeedMore's Central Virginia Food Bank. Swim teams and community pools throughout the region combined to raise the equivalent of 77,404 meals this year, with the Canterbury group earning the Gold Medal, with 17,454 meals contributed.
CRA will earn a winners’ bash Aug. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. at its pool on Pump Road.
“Our pool has adopted Dunk Hunger into its culture with fun ways to raise food and funds," said Canterbury’s Dunk Hunger chairman Jack McSorley, a Freeman High School junior. > Read more.
Henrico County has a lot to offer this Labor Day weekend! Before summer ends completely, you’ve got to try some Virginia wines at Southern Season’s weekly event, Fridays Uncorked. Check out The Comedy Dad, Alex Scott, at the Richmond Funny Bone or put your thinking caps on and take on The Escape Room. This weekend also features a two-day event at Malvern Hill and Carrington Kay at The Tin Pan. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarThe 18th annual Virginia Volleyball Showcase will take place Sept. 4-5 at the Richmond Volleyball Club, 2921 Byrdhill Rd. The showcase will bring 54 area teams together to compete for… Full text