Image for post
Image for post

Mystery shop your business to discover the holes in your success.

I work with small business owners a lot. When it comes to customer service, staff mistakes and bad reviews … denial rules the day.

When working with a new client I always check reviews, ask about issues, complaints or bad press at the start of the coaching/consulting relationship. Most tell me a version of the same story about ‘isolated’ incidents that initiated a customer complaint, “everyone has a bad day, we apologized and then moved on, it’s not a big deal”.

But it is a big deal. The casual brush off, arguably a bigger deal.

Every business owner should periodically…


Image for post
Image for post

Cannibalize your own business before your competition eats you for lunch.

There I said it…now what are YOU going to do about it? Your competition is already planning ways to take your customers, your earnings and your lifestyle. I know, I’ve lived through the loss of 25% of my business revenue in a single 90 day period, long before COVID-chaos.

You can read about my painful, but awesome, learning experience here: https://medium.com/@bobholdsworth/why-a-loss-of-400k-in-revenue-was-great-for-business-b16bf91ebce5. The great news is that we worked ON the business and came out stronger and more profitable on the other side.

There are only a couple of responses to that simple six-word headline above:

1. Nope, not me we’re…


Image for post
Image for post

Living a simpler, less cluttered life makes room for new opportunities.

During my COVID-captivity I’ve found myself cleaning, clearing and reminiscing. My twins are about to head off to college in the fall, we think, and I found a box of old pictures from when they were about 4 or 5.

The images brought me to a stunning conclusion: kids have the attention spans of gerbils. (Actually, a certain author has the same attention span…could it be connected?)

In the picture, the kids playroom looked like a bomb had gone off in a toy store and I remembered back to…


Image for post
Image for post
Deliver an experience.

Looking at your business from your clients perspective.

Most business owners, including me until recently, don’t know exactly what business they’re really in. Everyone has perfected their ‘elevator pitch’. You know, that 30 second, roll-off-your-tongue verbal commercial that answers the question, “So, what do you do?”

However, if you look at your business from the outside in, from your customer’s perspective, you might be surprised at how you are perceived. For example, I have always answered the question by saying that I’m a small business consultant. Good or bad, the word consultant is a volatile one, but is does conjure up an image in the person’s mind that…


Image for post
Image for post
Clients stay long term when they get great service and they feel protected.

Understanding the process can determine business success or failure.

Think of this article as an investment that can make you millions over your business career if you apply the principles.

The business community is alive with buzzwords, acronyms and lip service…customer relationship management (CRM), total customer satisfaction (TCS), customer focused operations…my reply to this tsunami of theories is an even older acronym…(BS).

In this case it stands for Basic Stuff. However, the other version that popped in your head applies too. …


Image for post
Image for post
Opportunities show up daily … most aren’t worth the time it takes to delete them.

Why every ‘opportunity’ … isn’t. Don’t get distracted.

My in box is full…again. Affiliate offers, joint venture deals, ‘greatest ever’ product reseller programs, credit card rate deals, guaranteed lead generation consultants and of course my daily dose of nine or ten firms from India or Vietnam asking if they can build me a mobile app. Do you ever feel as overwhelmed as I do?

I’m sure that you, just like me, find yourself deleting, turning down, opting out of lots of these offers every day. Many are from people you’ve never heard of and are can’t not easily found by either their email domain or with a Google…


Image for post
Image for post

Keeping your team informed will motivate and engage them.

When you hired the people you work with, was ‘act like mushroom’ one of the lines found in their job description, you know right next to ‘other duties as assigned’? Mushrooms love being kept in relative darkness where they can be fed a constant diet of decomposing material (crap) and hopefully thrive.

This is not the way to build trust, show leadership or build a team of competent professionals. I’m going to go out on limb and assume that you have staff members trained, on your payroll, in your uniforms, on your phones, driving your vehicles, representing your agency to…


Image for post
Image for post

So, you’re an entrepreneur now…welcome! Have you been asking yourself lately, “What the hell was I thinking?”

You are not alone. Actually, with the economy in its current funk, once safe corporate America has opened the floodgates releasing a tsunami of former executives, aged 40 and over, into the wild. Deemed ‘unemployable’, ‘overqualified’, ‘not the right fit’, pick your label; in self defense and because you don’t want to join the ranks of the foreclosed upon, you’re hanging out a shingle and beginning a new career as an entrepreneur. Many however are not properly prepared or even well suited for…


Image for post
Image for post

Successful entrepreneurs know that their business should support their lifestyle, not become it.

A couple of years ago I attended a meeting with a group of 30 fellow entrepreneurs. Everyone in the group was very successful in their careers. In fact the requirement for admission into the event was that you had to have built a business from scratch that grossed at least one million dollars per year and proof was required.

One of the exercises required that we create personal vision/goal boards. Many of us went kicking and screaming into the exercise since the very creation of a vision board involves, markers, crayons, scissors and glue sticks … a very CEO-ish set…


Image for post
Image for post

What a very special lady taught me about life.

Truth be told, this a rewrite and refresh of an article written more than a decade ago but it’s relevance couldn’t be more timely. Funny thing about good habits and good advice, they’re timeless.

As I was thinking about everything going on in the world right now, I found myself looking up at a picture in my office and then wondered what a woman, who taught me a lot about life and probably helped shape many of my perspectives, would have to say about the state of things.

A very important person in my life, my Aunt Mary, who has…

Bob Holdsworth

Entrepreneur | JRNI Coach | Consultant | Author | Speaker | Paramedic. Your life. Your business. Your Terms. TakeTheStrongRoad.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store