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?’

6. “Why?”

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.

Gayle Turner, a member of Henrico Business Leaders, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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The Henrico Education Foundation will present an “Evening with Henry Winkler” from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Glen Allen High School. The evening will include remarks and conversation with Winkler, coffee and dessert, a book sale and signing. Winkler is best known for his role as Fonzie on the popular 1970s sitcom “Happy Days,” and his fictional young adult book series, “Hank Zipzer.” Individual tickets are $25 and tables of eight are $150. For details, call 652-3869 x3 or visit Full text

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