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Case studies from design industry professionals, from the smallest of firms to large, global organizations. Click on image - order your copy today!

Being a Solo-preneur Can Be Dangerous! Beware of the Pitfalls.

Do you ever think about how being a solo-preneur can be dangerous?  Maybe you should.  I know that it is hard to consider when you don't have a business in a dangerous industry like manufacturing or construction. If your small business mostly involves working in your office alone, it doesn't seem dangerous at all.   But, there are pitfalls in all types of businesses.  Why else would our states demand workman's compensation donations to cover injuries received on the job? I've been doing some cleaning in my office recently.  No, not just dusting, vacuuming and emptying trash.  That stuff I do on a pretty regular basis.  My design library has been greatly reduced and I am cleaning out files that go back through my interior design [...]

By | November 2nd, 2017|Growth, Strategy, Systems and Processes|0 Comments

Succession and Retirement Planning: Neither Should Be Ignored

How are you doing planning for your own retirement? Do you plan to keep your business alive even after you go away?  Stop putting things off.  Now is the time to address succession and retirement planning for your small business.  Give yourself the time necessary to accumulate a significant cache to fund your golden years.  You should probably started much sooner, but there is no time like the present to catch up. We read all the time about the need to create generous compensation and benefit packages to attract top talent for our small businesses.  Health care, paid holidays, paid personal days, retirement plans.  The menu for benefits has grown and expanded over the years.  It can be tough to compete with big companies with [...]

Strategies for Change: Be Alert, Be Aware, Be Strategic

The world as we know it is coming to an end!  Sounds an awful lot like the childhood story, Chicken Little, doesn’t it?  Remember that story about Henny-Penny running around the barn yard telling everyone the sky is falling after some innocent thing fell on her head?  Definitely not a good strategy for dealing with change.  Unlike every other day, something new and different happened - something changed.  Strategies for change should be top of mind for every small business owner who is passionate about the success of their firm. Notice the key words in that first sentence are "...as we know it..."  The statement can sound scary, some may react with fear and frustration, but in reality, “…as we know it…” really only means [...]

By | June 20th, 2017|Strategic Management, Strategy, Trends|0 Comments

Your Unique Definition of Success – The Foundation of Your Small Business

'Designing Strategies' e-Newsletter Volume 14               Issue 77   Success – what does it mean?  From a quick Google search, Success is defined as either:  the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or the attainment of popularity or profit.  Ask any small business owner or entrepreneur what they want to get from their start-up enterprise and odds are, they will respond with:  "Success.” or "I want to be successful."  Sounds about right, doesn't it? In reality, those answers are simply not enough.  What does success mean to you, as an individual, small business owner?  This isn’t a trick question.  There is no right or wrong answer to this.  It's time to think about your unique definition of success.  What [...]

By | June 2nd, 2017|Newsletter, Strategy, Strategy|0 Comments

Your Company Needs a Blog. Blogging is a Great Marketing Tool

Of course, your company needs a blog.  In our opinion, the answer would be a definite Yes!  Any company needs a blog for a number of reasons.  There are so many benefits to having a company blog.  "What benefits?" you might ask. Glad you asked - here are just a few. Blogs let companies of all types and sizes  connect with potential clients and build relationships. That is what is known as lead generation.  Blogs provide a platform that allows small businesses to 'show their stuff'.  Customers look online for a company to solve their problems.  They can find valuable information about your firm's capabilities and knowledge base through blog content.  You can build and support your company brand too. That said, we'd like to [...]

By | April 17th, 2017|Marketing, Strategy|0 Comments

Grow Your Small Business By Adding and Empowering Employees

'Designing Strategies' eNewsletter Volume 14                     Issue 75   If a typical day at your small business involves staff waiting for you to come into the office so they can get your approval of progress on a project, it's not a good thing. If employees are standing in line to get access to you to answer questions, that's not good either. Odds are your firm is in Stagnant Stalemate mode. Your firm is not growing. It is not expanding. Staff can't accomplish anything because you have a death grip on control over every little minute detail of operations. Give it up! You have become the bottleneck blocking our firm’s progress. It's time to give up some [...]

By | January 28th, 2017|Employees, Growth, Newsletter, Strategy|0 Comments

Trend Hunter’s Megatrends for 2017

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter November – December 2016                      Volume 13 – Issue 74   2016 is coming to its end and 2017 is emerging on the horizon just behind. Out with the old, in with whatever will be new. Baby New Year is trying on his sash for final alterations as Father Time shuffles to his finish line. I started off the day with an exclamation of “Egads, it’s almost December!” Thanksgiving is already behind us and a plethora of year end events and holidays are ahead. On the business side, we rush to get year-end expense reports turned in, collect – or delay – outstanding accounts receivables, put on holiday and year-end sales and get our financial books in order. In what [...]

By | November 28th, 2016|Newsletter, Strategy, Trends|0 Comments

Create a Small Business Bucket List to Get What You Want

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter September - October 2016                      Volume 13 -- Issue 73 Have any of you written a personal bucket list? A bucket list is pretty simple, it is just a list of things you want to do and places you want to see during your lifetime. It’s a matter of putting down in written form those hopes and dreams you don’t want to miss out on. Writing them down improves the likelihood they will actually become a part of your reality. Wait! How about creating a Small Business Bucket List for your firm? Interesting concept, no? Back in 2007, 'The Bucket List' movie came out. Jack Nicholson's character, Edward Cole, was filthy rich, a [...]

Small Business Growth: 5 Important Stages

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter July - Aug 2016                      Volume 13 -- Issue 72 Do you ever think about the stage, or phase, your small business enterprise is in, or has passed through? We are all aware of when our family members and friends birthdays are. We celebrate anniversaries, graduations and other of life's watershed moments. We celebrate in a big way with parties, gifts and major events to celebrate these great moments as we move through different stages of our lives. Small business growth stages aren't much different. It seems that our small businesses, into which we have poured our hearts, souls, time, energy and money, deserve at least the same milestone recognition. After all, it [...]

Strategic Planning According to Dilbert – Dilbert Asks: “Why Bother?”

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter May - June, 2016                      Volume 13 - Issue 71 One of my favorite comic strips is 'Dilbert' by Scott Adams. Day to day, Dilbert represents corporate America in a way that has never been done before in a syndicated comic strip. My take on the strip is Dilbert represents Generation X, dealing with management in a corporate world run by Baby Boomers.  He has all kinds of opinions, most of which are ignored by his supervisors.  Of course he would have an opinion on strategic planning and how effective it is - or isn't. He is frustrated on a daily basis by his superior, Pointy-haired Boss, and coworkers. Dilbert is often drawn [...]