Creativity in Business – Do We really Need It?

Creativity in business - it' makes for good business

I was asked the other day whether there was room for creativity in the business world.

My answer was a resounding, “Yes!”  Creativity is in strong demand in the business world.  There’s a continuous need for it on so many levels:

Think of products and concepts: Steve Jobs (Apple) and Elon Musk (Tesla) are two top-of-mind examples.

Think about creativity in the ability to make a deal (making an acquisition, hiring a star employee, negotiating good terms with a vendor,….).   Creative business people  make the best deals.  

Think finance: accountants who can get creative can save their clients money. Not everything is black and white – the value and savings are often in the grey.

Businesses are inherently full of problems just begging for solutions.

The key is being able to develop practical solutions.

If you’re a creative marketer, sales professional, coach of any kind, lawyer, accountant, doctor, shoemaker, plumber, name any other industry – you can go far.

From an employer’s perspective – ask yourself, “Who is more valuable?”:

Employee #1: Is steady, consistent, and does a good job or,

Employee #2: Is steady, consistent, does a good job, & can solve a problem when one arises?

If you can be a solution provider rather than a problem reporter – you will go far.

Remember, you can handle any given business extremely well.  Likewise, the same issue can be handled very poorly (we’ve all seen countless examples of this).

A business person who is creative (and strategic) will always consider multiple options and then carefully choose the best way of playing the cards they have been dealt.

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Everything is Negotiable in Business

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Graham Acreman
President, Stellacon Business Coaching
graham.acreman@stellacon.com

Everything is Negotiable in Business

Negotiating Terms

Read the Fine Print  and Negotiate.

In business, there is never a shortage of things to negotiate. The key thing to remember is that  EVERYTING is negotiable. This includes:

  • Pricing;
  • Contract terms;
  • Liability clauses;
  • Start dates;
  • Delivery dates;
  • Termination clauses;
  • Etc.

When a vendor asks you to sign their agreement they are starting with the upper hand. The person who supplies the agreement has initial control of the negotiation after all,  the terms and conditions of the agreement have been written with their best interests in mind.

As a business executive, you need to carefully read through any such agreement with your best interests in mind. Frequently, there will be differences in expectations. It is your responsibility as the person planning to sign the agreement to ensure you are comfortable with and fully understand all of the terms and conditions. If not, you need to take steps to understand the agreement and then negotiate the terms and conditions.

Let me ask you a question: If you were going to buy a new car would you consider walking into a dealer, finding the car you liked, and offer to buy it for the MSRP or initial asking price? No way. Well this is exactly what you are doing if you just sign an agreement without  reading through it, understanding it, and pushing back where necessary.

Don’t be swayed by a  sales rep’s response of, “It’s standard industry practice.”  Sometimes standard industry practices are just plain crazy and if you don’t challenge them then by default, you are accepting them.

If you don’t take the time to read and negotiate you may find that:

  • You’ve locked yourself into a 5 year agreement that can’t be changed even if your business needs change;
  • You’ve agreed to unlimited price increases as the vendor sees fit;
  • You’ve agreed to never hire a staffing agency employee directly without paying a substantial fee;
  • You can’t sell certain products/services that compete with a nearby tenant.
  • Your profitability is affected.

The above are just a few select examples of potential ramifications.  There are countless more.

Now whether a vendor wants to negotiate with you or not is up to them but whether you want to accept the deal or not is up to you.  As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.  When it comes to negotiation though, the question is, “Do you want to lead?”

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“I’m Too Busy!!” – The Biggest Obstacle to Success

Graham Acreman
President, Stellacon Solutions
graham.acreman@stellacon.com

“I’m too busy!!” – The Biggest Obstacle to Success

busy business owner

I’m so busy.”  I hear this all the time.  Another version is, ‘I’m too busy“. Both versions are frequently expressed as an excuse for not achieving a desired goal or for not dealing with an issue that requires attention.  As a business coach, I have two different thought processes around this. This week’s article will examine the first one; as it applies to a business owner.

In business, you are not paid to be busy. You are paid for results. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the owner, an executive, a manager, or a front-line employee. Your overall success depends on results.

Being, “Too busy” is often reflective of poor planning or failure to delegate. I meet many busy business owners who feel they need to do everything themselves. The reality is that when a business is small, an owner is often the go-to person for everything. That said, as your business matures and continues to grow, an owner can’t be involved in everything to the same level of detail. You have to lead and manage at a higher level. If you don’t, you will become the bottleneck to progress and continued success. Ironically, these owners/managers often have employees who are looking for something to do.  Use your team.

Being too busy” is also is often a sign of avoidance – putting off a necessary but perhaps undesirable action. The thing is, whatever you are trying to avoid isn’t going to go away or get any better in time.  In fact, it will usually get worse and it will consume mental energy. All this to say, if something important needs be done it’s essential that you take action. It’s your job. Either deal with it right away or schedule a time when you will do it.

If you’re, ‘Too busy” then you probably haven’t taken the time to determine what your key goals really are and how you’re going to achieve them. “Success” means different things to different people but if you want to be successful on any level then it’s essential that you take the time to establish your goals and priorities.

Next Week: Priorities in Your Personal Life

Be in the Know – Get My Latest Content First 

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Graham Acreman
President, Stellacon Solutions
graham.acreman@stellaconsolutions.com