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).
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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.

Local choral group seeks volunteers

Good Vibrations choral group is looking for all voices with some musical experience to sing with the volunteer choir. The season runs from August to November. Genre includes patriotic and inspirational. > Read more.
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It’s a great weekend to get outside! The Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society is offering two events this weekend. Accompany the group to find and document native plants present and blooming in Echo Lake Park on Saturday or take a “Sunday Stroll” at Dorey Park to observe the seasonal changes taking place. Other outdoor events this weekend include the final summer concert at West Broad Village and “Fridays on the Patio” at James River Cellars Winery in Glen Allen. If you’re going to be outside, don’t forget the insect repellent! To learn more about avoiding those pesky mosquitos, check out Henrico County’s “Fight-the-Bite TODAY” event tomorrow. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will celebrate the end of summer and their popular Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks exhibit with a screening of “The Lego Movie” from 8 p.m.… Full text

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