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Hank Moore

The Big Picture of Business – Business Success Checklist

When you own and operate a business you need to have certain procedures for an efficient and seamless function. Sometimes the difficulty of managing your time makes for a haphazard operation. An inefficient operation results in unproductive activities which often miss the point and worse yet, result in wasted time and wasted resources.

One of the ways in which you can optimize your business activities would be the focus and attention to detail that a checklist can stimulate. Here is my own business success checklist that will help you optimize your activities for a more efficient and purpose oriented endeavor. Success is inevitable.

Clearly defined purpose.
Having a clearly defined purpose will focus your activities to a customer-oriented perspective. When a business loses sight of the customer and what they really need they often run into difficulties. Your clearly defined purpose can also center the attention and be a source of inspiration for your employees.

Provide leadership.
A leader’s purpose and job is to give direction and purpose and motivate his people. Leaders must also provide support for the emotional needs of their employees while they are at work and even sometimes when they bring personal concerns to the working place. The business absolutely needs energetic and emotionally mature leaders for it to prosper.

Focus on excellence.
When a company is content with being merely mediocre it may survive but it will never do extremely well. The company must have an emphasis on high standards, a desire to create and give value to customers, accountability to the employers and to your customers, and the drive to learn. If these are incorporated into the culture of your company a culture of excellence in all things will soon be prevalent.

Plan for the future.
When your business has contingency plans for future scenarios you will seldom be caught by surprise. You never know when the next big recession will hit. Most successful businesses have planned responses to most scenarios because they took the time to think “What If”. It is important to identify swings and trends so that innovation can remain a strength of your business.

Instill discipline.
This is often an unpopular issue but this is a critical matter. The sharp focus and direction on your objectives and goals can only be maintained with constant monitoring of your procedures and processes. Whether your focus is on customer service, profits, investing, marketing, or company growth a constant awareness of your current position in relation to where you want to be is essential.

Business Success Checklist

1. The business you’re in

  • Study and refine your own core business characteristics.
  • Understand “The Business You’re In” and how it fits into the core business.
  • Design and re-engineering of products-services.
  • Development of technical abilities, specialties and expertise.
  • Utilization of industry consultants or technical specialists.
  • Development of core business supplier relationships.
  • Make investments toward quality controls.

2. Running the business

  • Objective analysis of how the organization has operated to date.
  • Formalize the organizational structure.
  • Document practices, procedures, operations and structure in writing.
  • Communicate policies and procedures to employees.
  • Physical plant is regularly studied, updated and modified.
  • Distribution standards are documented, practiced and measured.
  • Time management and “just in time” concepts are applied.
  • Plans are in writing to address inventories and reducing surplus.
  • Legal compliance and precautions plan is annually updated, with measurable goals.
  • Outsourcing, privatizing and collaborating plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Purchasing plan (with processes and vendor lists) is in writing.
  • Repair and maintenance contracts are routinely maintained.
  • Purchase and lease of equipment plan is annually updated, with measurable goals.
  • Continuous quality improvement plan is annually updated, with measurable goals.

3. Financial

  • Cost containment is one (but not the only) factor of company operations.
  • Each product-service is budgeted.
  • Long-term investments plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Assets are adequately valued and managed.
  • Cash flow, forecasting and budgeting are consistently monitored.
  • Written, consistent policies with payables and receivables are followed.
  • Strategic Plan includes provisions for refinancing, equity and debt financing.
  • Accounting firm utilization plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Banking and investing plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Payables plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Receivables plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Finance charges are negotiated.
  • Insurance plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Benefits plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.

4. People

  • Corporate culture reflects a formal Visioning Program.
  • Employees know their jobs, are empowered to make decisions and have high morale in carrying the company banner forward.
  • Top management has as a priority the need to develop and practice People development, skills and team building responsibilities.
  • Human Resources program is active, professional and responsive to the organization.
  • Incentives-rewards-bonus plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Personnel Policies and Procedures are written, and distributed to all employees.
  • Each employee has his-her own Position Results Oriented Description plan.
  • Training plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Professional development plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.

5. Business development

  • All members of top management have Business Development responsibilities.
  • Company has and regularly fine-tunes a communications strategy.
  • Sales plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Marketing plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Advertising plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Public relations plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Research plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Marketplace development plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Creative collaborator-vendor plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.

6. Body of Knowledge

  • Consultant plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Performance reviews are conducted annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Company learns how to benefit from changes.
  • Organization predicts and stays ahead of trends.
  • The company leads the industry.
  • Everything that goes on outside our company affects our business.
  • Willingness to invest in research.
  • Commitment toward collaboration and working with other companies.
  • Maintains active government and regulator relations program.
  • Maintains active community relations program.

7. The Big Picture

  • Shared Vision is crafted, articulated and followed.
  • Ongoing emphasis upon updating, fine-tuning and improving the corporate culture.
  • CEO accepts and ideas and philosophies with employees and stakeholders.
  • Creative business practices are most welcome here.
  • Strategic planning is viewed as vital to business survival and future success.
  • Outside-the-box thinking does indeed apply to us and will be sought.
  • The organization maintains and lives by an ethics statement.
  • The organization subscribes to continuous quality improvement ideologies-processes.
  • Maintains active crisis preparedness and prevention program.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

Hank Moore

The Big Picture of Business – The Making of a Classic: Houston Legends. How Entrepreneurs and Business Made City Grow.

My sixth book is Houston Legends, a definitive history of a dynamic global capitol.

Houston was the first word spoken from the moon. It is the hub of the world’s energy industry, headquarters of medical innovation and entrepreneurial phenomena. For 200 years, Houston has been the funnel to international commerce.

Houston Legends contains secrets of CEOs, trail blazers and community impresarios, from superstar Beyoncé to heart transplant pioneer Dr. Michael Debakey, from aviation pioneer and Hollywood movie mogul Howard Hughes to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, from business titan Jesse Jones to community visionary George Mitchell, from oil drilling inventions to NASA space explorers.

I chose representative industries and community service niches as snapshots of a wider photo album. Not every name and fact is in here, but this business focused look gives perspective to modern life. Recurring themes include pioneer spirit, business innovation, community give-back, growth and vision.

I am a business guru at the national and international levels. My other books are about business, save one on Hollywood (which is big business). This book is a nostalgic stroll down memory lane in Houston, with small doses of business advice thrown in. The purpose was to recall and remember our heritage of business, entrepreneurship and the will to achieve even more.

In researching for this book, I studied dozens of others. Most were picture books and dwelled in the old days from community settlement and emerging society perspectives. It was nice to read about the fight for Texas independence and see pictures of all the old homes that used to be located downtown. This book looks at specters of business, commerce, distribution, consumption and opportunity, which typify Houston’s dynamic growth. Hopefully, this history compliments those books full of old pictures.

I started visiting Houston in the early 1950’s. I had an aunt, uncle and cousins that lived here. Houston was so much bigger and more cosmopolitan than the little town that I lived in (Austin). Today, I see Houston as a collection of communities, economic engines and entrepreneurial opportunities. I work all over the world and finally got the opportunity to write a hometown book.

Houston represents many things to many people. This is where we live and work, where we are educated and entertained, where culture and community pride are stimulated and where we learn some lessons in living together with others.

Houston is a growth community. It has seen industries emerge and mature. It boasts generations of healthy families. It encompasses lifestyles, cultures and opportunity that no other world-class city can match.

Yet, when you look at Houston, it is a collection of neighborhoods, business districts and quality lifestyles. Houston embodies many growing communities, the confluence being an international hub for this nation. Creative partnerships account for Houston’s documented growth.

As the city lives the 21st Century, we celebrate the historical, utilize state-of-the art technology and reflect changing social needs will always be at the forefront of the future. With a sense of pride, reflection and optimism for the future, Houston’s business is dedicated to identifying, meeting and serving every need of our community.

Houston is a collection of neighborhoods, cultures and families. Communities which grow and prosper will analyze and serve the needs of present generations. While honoring the heritage, we carefully plan for the future. Whether in the global sense or on the blocks on which we live, layers of generations comprise our essence.

Every community is a collection of lifestyles, inspired through the structures in which they take place are centers of synergy. Houston leaders are contributing to the quality of life and encompass the needs and activities of Houstonians.

Everywhere that you look in Houston, you see the fingerprints of business. This includes downtown, the Medical Center, the universities and colleges, the Galleria, NASA, Greenway Plaza, entertainment and sports facilities, airports, churches, and schools. As business and industry were challenged to perform at their highest standards, the entire community has benefited exponentially. In the minds of innovators and those who have followed, we care, we achieve, and we look for ways to get better at what we do.

As a result, Houston has experienced several eras of planned, sustained growth. We’re more than a boom or a trend. When reading this history of Houston, you will find the legacy of business on almost every page. Orderly growth has been achieved by mastering technology, business standards and adapting to changing community dynamics. Entrepreneurs have embraced innovation, creativity, safety and commitment to quality.

The best indicator of progress made is to periodically re-examine our best work, celebrate the teamwork involved and then re-apply the winning ingredients toward the next phase of growth. Because our community has mastered the fine art of collaboration, we have many great successes to recognize and admire. Houston Legends are symbolic of the mission and actual practices of community leaders, bringing the best minds and resources into successful business partnerships.

Every facet of business plays a part in facilitating orderly community growth. As our communities prosper, so do our member firms. Collectively, we make artistic, technical, procedural and economic differences in the greater Houston area.

As the city progresses through the 21st Century, we celebrate the historical, utilize state-of-the-art technology and continually seek to improve the quality of life. Strategies which address and reflect changing social needs will always be at the forefront of the future.


About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

Hank Moore

The Big Picture of Business – How and When to Collaborate, for Best Business Advantage.

The biggest source of growth and increased opportunities in today’s business climate lie in the way that individuals and companies work together. This article is a follow-up to my last column, “Collaborations, Partnering and Joint-Venturing.”

Situations Which Call for Teams to Collaborate

  1. Business Characteristics. Most industries and core business segments cannot be effectively served by one specialty. It is imperative that multiple disciplines within the core business muster their resources.
  2. Circumstances. People get thrown together by necessity and sometimes by accident. They are not visualized as a team and often start at cross-purposes. Few participants are taught how to best utilize each other’s respective expertise. Through osmosis, a working relationship evolves.
  3. Economics. In today’s downsized business environment, outsourcing, privatization and consortiums are fulfilling the work. Larger percentages of contracts are awarded each year to those who exemplify and justify their team approaches. Those who solve business problems and predict future challenges will be retained. Numerically, collaboration contracts are more likely to be renewed.
  4. Demands of the Marketplace. Savvy business owners know that no one supplier can “do it all.” Accomplished managers want teams that give value-added, create new ideas and work effectively. Consortiums must continually improve, in order to justify investments.
  5. Desire to Create New Products and Services. There are only four ways to grow one’s business: (1) sell more products-services, (2) cross-sell existing customers, (3) create new products-services and (4) joint-venture to create new opportunities. #3 and 4 cannot be accomplished without teaming with others.
  6. Opportunities to Be Created. Once one makes the commitment to collaborate, circumstances will define the exact teaming structures. The best opportunities are created.
  7. Strong Commitment Toward Partnering. Those of us who have collaborated with other professionals and organizations know the value. Once one sees the profitability and creative injections, then one aggressively advocates the teaming processes. It is difficult to work in a vacuum thereafter. Creative partnerships don’t just happen…they are creatively pursued.

What Collaborations, Partnering and Joint-Venturing Are NOT:

  • Shrouds to get business, where subcontractors may later be found to do the work.
  • Where one partner presents the work of others as their own.
  • Where one party misrepresents his-her capabilities… in such a way as to overshadow the promised team approach.
  • Where one partner treats others more like subcontractors or vendors.
  • Where one participant keeps other collaborators away from the client’s view.
  • Ego fiefdoms, where one participant assumes a demeanor that harms the project.
  • Where cost considerations preclude all partners from being utilized.
  • Where one partner steals business from another.
  • Where non-partners are given advantageous position over ground-floor members who paid the dues.
  • Where one or more parties are knowingly used for their knowledge and then dismissed.

Who Wants to Collaborate:

  • Those who have not stopped learning and continue to acquire knowledge.
  • Those who are good and wanting to get progressively better.
  • Those who have captained other teams and, thus, know the value of being a good member of someone else’s team.
  • Those who do their best work in collaboration with others.
  • Those who appreciate creativity and new challenges.
  • Those who have been mentored and who mentor others.
  • Those who don’t want to rest upon their laurels.
  • Those who appreciate fresh ideas, especially from unexpected sources.

Who Does NOT Want to Collaborate:

  • Those who have never had to collaborate, partner or joint-venture before.
  • Those who don’t believe in the concept… and usually give nebulous reasons why.
  • Those who think they’re sufficiently trained and learned to conduct business.
  • Those who want only to be the center of attention.
  • Those who fear being compared to others of stature in their own right.
  • Those who think that the marketplace may not buy the team approach.
  • Those who are afraid that their process or expertise will not stand the test when compared with others.
  • Those who had one or two bad experiences with partnering in the past… usually because they were on the periphery or really weren’t equal partners in the first place.

7 Stages of Relationship Building… Customers, Business Partners

  1. Want to Get Business. Seeking rub-off effect, success by association. Sounds good to the marketplace. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Why not try!
  2. Want to Garner Ideas. Learn more about the customer. Each team member must commit to professional development…taking the program to a higher level. Making sales calls (mandated or voluntarily) does not constitute relationship building.
  3. First Attempts. Conduct programs that get results, praise, requests for more. To succeed, it needs to be more than an advertising and direct marketing campaign.
  4. Mistakes, Successes & Lessons. Competition, marketplace changes or urgent need led the initiative to begin. Customer retention and enhancement program requires a cohesive team approach and multiple talents.
  5. Continued Collaborations. Collaborators truly understand teamwork and had prior successful experiences at customer service. The sophisticated ones are skilled at building and utilizing colleagues and outside experts.
  6. Want and advocate teamwork. Team members want to learn from each other. All share risks equally. Early successes inspire deeper activity. Business relationship building is considered an ongoing process, not a “once in awhile” action or marketing gimmick.
  7. Commitment to the concept and each other. Each team member realizes something of value. Customers recommend and freely refer business to the institution. What benefits one partner benefits all.

Successes with Collaborations and Joint-Ventures…

  • Crisis or urgent need forced the client to hire a consortium.
  • Time deadlines and nature of the project required a cohesive team approach.
  • The work required multiple professional skills.
  • Consortium members were tops in their fields.
  • Consortium members truly understood teamwork and had prior successful experiences in joint-venturing.
  • Consortium members wanted to learn from each other.
  • Early successes spurred future collaborations.
  • Joint-venturing was considered an ongoing process, not a “once in awhile” action.
  • Each team member realized something of value.
  • The client recommended the consortium to others.

Truisms of Collaborations…

  • Whatever measure you give will be the measure that you get back.
  • There are no free lunches in life.
  • The joy is in the journey, not in the final destination.
  • The best destinations are not pre-determined in the beginning, but they evolve out of circumstances.
  • Circumstances can be strategized, for maximum effectiveness.
  • You gotta give to get.
  • Getting and having are not the same thing.
  • One cannot live entirely through work.
  • One doesn’t just work to live.
  • As an integrated process of life skills, career has its place.
  • A body of work doesn’t just happen. It’s the culmination of a thoughtful, dedicated process… carefully strategized from some point forward.
  • The objective is to begin that strategizing point sooner rather than later.

My Own Disappointments with Previous Collaborations…

  • Failure to understand – and thus utilize – each other’s talents.
  • One or more participants have had one or a few bad experiences and tend to over-generalize about the worth of consortiums.
  • One partner puts another down on the basis of academic credentials or some professional designation that sets themselves apart from other team members.
  • Participants exhibit the ‘Lone Ranger’ syndrome… preferring the comfort of trusting the one person they have counted upon.
  • Participants exhibit the “I can do that” syndrome… thinking that they do the same exact things that other consortium members do and, thus, see no value in working together, sharing projects and referring business.
  • Junior associates of consortium members want to hoard the billing dollars in-house, to look good to their superiors, enhance their billable quotas or fulfill other objectives that they are not sophisticated enough to identify.
  • Junior associates of consortium members refuse to recognize seniority and wisdom of other associates… utilizing the power of the budget to control creative thoughts and strategic thinking of subcontractors.

My Suggested Reasons to Give the Concept a Chance…

  • Think of the “ones that got away”… the business opportunities that a team could have created.
  • Think of contracts that were awarded to others who exhibited a team approach.
  • Learn from industries where consortiums are the rule, rather than the exception (space, energy, construction, high-tech, etc.).
  • The marketplace is continually changing.
  • Subcontractor, supplier, support talent and vendor information can be shared.
  • Consortiums are inevitable. If we don’t do it early, others will beat us to it.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

Hank Moore

The Big Picture of Business – Collaborations, Partnering and Joint-Venturing… Priority for Business.

The biggest source of growth and increased opportunities in today’s business climate lie in the way that individuals and companies work together.

It is becoming increasingly rare to find an individual or organization that has not yet been required to team with others. Lone rangers and sole-source providers simply cannot succeed in competitive environments and global economies. Those who benefit from collaborations, rather than become the victim of them, will log the biggest successes in business years ahead.

Just as empowerment, team building and other processes apply to formal organizational structures, then teamings of independents can likewise benefit from the concepts. There are rules of protocol that support and protect partnerships…having a direct relationship to those who profit most from teamings.

Definitions of these three terms will help to differentiate their intended objectives:

  • Collaborations – Parties willingly cooperating together. Working jointly with others, especially in an intellectual pursuit. Cooperation with an instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected.
  • Partnering – A formal relationship between two or more associates. Involves close cooperation among parties, with each having specified and joint rights and responsibilities.
  • Joint-Venturing – Partners come together for specific purposes or projects that may be beyond the scope of individual members. Each retains individual identity. The joint-venture itself has its own identity… reflecting favorably upon work to be done and upon the partners.

Here are some examples of Collaborations:

  • Parties and consultants involved in taking a company public work together as a team.
  • Niche specialists collectively conduct a research study or performance review.
  • Company turnaround situation requires a multi-disciplinary approach.
  • A group of consultants offer their collective talents to clients on a contract basis.
  • The client is opening new locations in new communities and asks its consultants to formulate a plan of action and oversee operating aspects.
  • Professional societies and associations.
  • Teams of health care professionals, as found in clinics and hospitals.
  • Composers and lyricists to write songs.
  • Artists of different media creating festivals, shows and museums.
  • Advocate groups for causes.
  • Communities rallying around certain causes (crime, education, drug abuse, literacy, youth activities, etc.).
  • Libraries and other repositories of information and knowledge.

Here are some examples of Partnering:

  • Non-competing disciplines create a new mousetrap, based upon their unique talents, and collectively pursue new marketplace opportunities.
  • Widget manufacturing companies team with retail management experts to open a string of widget stores.
  • A formal roll-up or corporation to provide full-scope professional service to customers.
  • Non-profit organizations banning resources for programs or fund-raising.
  • Institutions providing start-up or expansion capital.
  • Managing mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
  • Procurement and purchasing capacities.
  • Corporations working with public sector and non-profit organizations to achieve mutual goals in the communities.
  • Private sector companies doing privatized work for public sector entities.
  • Organ donor banks and associations, in consortium with hospitals.
  • Vendors, trainers, computer consultants and other consultants who strategically team with clients to do business. Those who don’t help to develop the business on the front end are just vendors and subcontractors.

Here are some examples of Joint-Venturing:

  • Producers of energy create an independent drilling or marketing entity.
  • An industry alliance creates a lobbying arm or public awareness campaign.
  • Multiple companies find that doing business in a new country is easier when a consortium operates.
  • Hardware, software and component producers revolutionizing the next generation of technology.
  • Scientists, per research program.
  • Educators, in the creation and revision of curriculum materials.
  • Distribution centers and networks for retail products.
  • Aerospace contractors and subcontractors with NASA.
  • Telecommunications industry service providers.
  • Construction industry general contractors, subcontractors and service providers in major building projects.
  • Group marketing programs, such as auto dealer clusters, municipalities for economic development, travel and tourism destinations, trade association and product image upgrades.
  • International trade development, including research, marketing, relocation, negotiations and lobbying.

Characteristics of a Good Collaborator:

  • Already has a sense of self-worth.
  • Has a bona fide track record on their own.
  • Have a commitment toward knowledge enhancement.
  • Walk the Talk by their interactions with others.
  • Supports collaborators in developing their own businesses, offering referrals.
  • Have been on other teams in the past… with case studies of actually collaborations.
  • Have successes and failures to their credit, with an understanding of the causal factors, outcomes and lessons learned.

  • Benefits for participating principals and firms include…

    • Ongoing association and professional exchange with the best in respective fields.
    • Utilize professional synergy to create opportunities that individuals could not.
    • Serve as a beacon for professionalism.
    • Provide access to experts otherwise not known to potential clients.
    • Refer and cross-sell each others’ services.
    • Through demands uncovered, develop programs and materials to meet markets.

    About the Author

    Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

    Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

    Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

Hank Moore

The Big Picture of Business – Business Moving Forward from the Dirty Side of the Recession.

The economy and business climate are now on the dirty side of the recession. Recognizing the damages done results in healthier run companies for the future.

This is comparable to what is called the ‘dirty side’ of a storm, hurricane or other weather created disaster. During those clean-up periods, the infrastructure rebuilds and optimistically moves forward by correcting certain damages done by the storms.

Signs are that our economy has somewhat recovered from the second worst recession in history. Many companies kept their heads in the sand during the economic downturn, fully intending to return to business as usual.

What happened in the recession was that many businesses went under. In my professional opinion, 25% of those that faded away probably should have. A great many frail companies were not on firm foundations and had abdicated their abilities to improve and serve customer bases.

As fallout from the recession, many people were thrown into the workforce. Many fell into jobs for which they were not suited. Many downsized and out-of-work people were forced to reinvent themselves.

Many became ‘consultants’ of one sort or another. Many fell victim to frauds and scams. Services and websites sprung up to capitalize upon the avalanche of new entrepreneurs. Some sites offered the platform to become a consultant with a national firm by paying them subscription fees. The already inflated world of “reputation management” websites lured people into buying advertising in order to create the facade of being a “consultant.”

Distinctions must be drawn into three consulting categories (and percentages of their occurrence in the marketplace):

  1. Vendors selling products which were produced by others. Those who sell their own produced works are designated as subcontractors. (82.99%)
  2. Consultants conduct programs designed by their companies, in repetitive motion. Their work is off-the-shelf, conforms to an established mode of operation, contains original thought and draws precedents from experience. (17%)
  3. High level strategists create all knowledge in their consulting. It is original, customized to the client and contains creativity and insight not available elsewhere. (.01%)

As one distinguishes past vendors and subcontractors, there are six types within the 18% which constitute consultants (with their percentages in the marketplace):

  1. Those who still lead in an industry and have specific niche expertise. (13.5%)
  2. Those who were downsized, out-placed or decided not to stay in the corporate fold and evolved into consulting. (28%)
  3. Out of work people who hang out consulting shingles in between jobs. (32%)
  4. Freelancers and moonlighters, whose consultancy may or may not relate to their day jobs. (16%)
  5. Veteran consultants who were trained for and have a track record in actual consulting. That’s what they have done for most of their careers. (2%)
  6. Sadly, there is another category: opportunists who masquerade as consultants, entrepreneurs who disguise their selling as consulting, people who routinely change niches as the dollars go. (8.5%)

Clients are confused and under-educated, not able to discern the ‘real deal’ consultants from the hype. That is why those of us who are veterans write these articles, speak and advise on best practices. Enlightened clients hire real consultants and get great value, as opposed to companies who fall prey to under-prepared resources.

There are five generations in workforce, more than any time in our history. Each generation has different working styles and must be considered according to their attributes. Age discrimination for workers over 40 is rampant and cruel.

Workplace illiteracy is higher than ever before. 50% of employees in the business world are considered functionally illiterate.

Society must not be lulled into a false sense of security right now,. The recovery phase of the recession has been steady and real. Much of the damage was done and will take years to fix. This could cause the next recession.

I believe that small business is resilient and will try its best to stay on firm grounding. Wise entrepreneurs will bring in qualified mentors, as opposed to wanna-be consultants. Cool heads will prevail, and small business will recover and prosper.

Small business has learned many lessons from the recession. While some will still fight change and adhere to the same processes that got them into trouble, I see great opportunities for forward-focused businesses.

The biggest source of growth and increased opportunities in today’s business climate lie in the way that individuals and companies work together. Those who benefit from collaborations, rather than become the victim of them, will log the biggest successes in business years ahead.


About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.