If you watch or read about current economic news and trends, there is talk about a looming recession. In general terms, a recession is defined as a significant decline in economic activity, typically lasting for several months. While the global economy has been recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are ongoing concerns contributing to the predictions of a recession. Regardless of whether or not these predictions prove true, with the right mindset, business owners and executives can overcome the challenges of a potential recession. In fact, the right mindset and strategy can create opportunities and a competitive advantage when the going gets tough. But before getting into a mindset discussion, let’s take a look at what is driving these predictions.
As entrepreneurs, we should have our exit in mind when we start our companies, but we usually don’t. Regardless, for every business owner, there will come a time to think about and execute an exit strategy, which might be selling your business to your family, partners, or another third party. When the time comes, will you just accept the buyer’s offer? Or will you be able to get a higher valuation for your business because you have a Rembrandt in your attic?
Not sure what I mean by a Rembrandt in the attic? Let me explain.
There is a house for sale with a listing price of $1M.
Buyer #1 does a quick tour of the house. He likes the house’s layout, the yard, the little stream in the back, and more. Therefore, he offers to
Here is a timely message from my friend John Ratliff that really tees up our workshop on Friday. I thank John for letting me share his spot on thoughts.
I love talking about employee culture, and really enjoy dispelling a lot of the myths that surround how to create a great culture.
One of the biggest is “I’ve got to get my people more motivated.” You hear it all the time. I always imagine the same visual when I hear that quote - an overzealous manager trying to be “rah rah!” and give a great speech and high fives. All while the employees are rolling their eyes behind the scenes.
Here is the dirty little secret…
I am happy to announce the 4 Pillar Coach 2023 Workshop Series. Each session is tailored to business owners and CEOs looking to grow their businesses and get back to enjoying life as business owners and get their time back!
February 24 - 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.: Talent Assessment
Successful businesses can only thrive when the organization is full of “A-Players.” This session will discuss the importance of hiring the right A-Players, coaching up B-Players, and phasing out C-Players.
April 19 - 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Where Are We Going and What is Holding Us Back?
In this workshop, we will uncover what drives your company forward by avoiding what is stopping progress a
In this quick Byte, I ask 3 rhetorical questions to help you hone in on particular aspects of your business’s current outlook. If you can’t answer them, or don’t like the answers you’ve given, reach out to me today to see how I can help you in your business, beginning with a complimentary Scaling Up Assessment.
As we enter the holiday season and another new year is on the horizon, is your business ready for 2023? Said differently, what will you do to make 2023 the best year yet for your organization? Or will 2023 be the same as 2022 and previous years? The status quo does not have to be your reality, nor should it be. As a Scaling Up coach, I know the possibilities of taking your business to new heights. It really comes down to defining those priorities and goals and addressing the pain points that are holding you back from reaching them.
At the end of 2023, what would you think if you accomplished the following:
The beauty of the Scaling Up process is that it has an abundance of tools to help business owners reach greater success. In particular, I have several business assessments in my toolbox. These assessments are geared toward any business with revenue between $1 – 500 M per year. They provide you with helpful information that can highlight your business strengths and areas for improvement. They are extremely useful at the beginning of the Scaling Up process for setting priorities and areas of focus. Likewise, they can be used to get some insight into specific areas of your business which enables us to work on the most critical areas first. Currently, we are offering three different business assessments. Let’s take a look at each one.
As a serial entrepreneur who has started and sold 6 technology companies, I have learned a few things over the years. The lessons I learned, and stay with me the most, are from mistakes that I made. For example, I did not have all my ducks in a row and did not have a well-defined exit strategy when I sold one of my companies. As a result, I know I left significant dollars on the table at the closing. These lessons inspired me to start 4 Pillar Coaching so I can pay it forward to other business owners facing similar challenges. The Scaling Up method, which is what I implement for clients, offers great tools to ultimately execute your exit strategy. The exit strategy should be top of mind from the onset of creating the company, even if you plan to shut it down one day or leave it to
Do you work on your business or in your business?
There’s an adage amongst entrepreneurs that business owners should work on their businesses, not in them. That’s the difference between one little letter and one little preposition. This phrase was coined and popularized in the 1986 book E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What
A cornerstone of scaling up is having a solid team in place. It can be difficult for an executive to relinquish some duties and delegate. Still, it just makes better business sense to pass on lower-level tasks because their time is valuable, sometimes even priceless. Like a child suffering growing pains associated with a rapidly developing body, so too can businesses and stakeholders suffer a bit in the process of scaling up.
Once you’ve determined the division of labor and defined job roles, set priorities, it’s time to hire your dream team.
Before taking on any new coaching client, we discuss the process and the level of commitment required for success. After all, Scaling Up takes a commitment from the entire organization’s senior management team. This commitment is not limited to time. Instead, it includes a commitment to my Rules of Engagement. By committing to these rules, I have found that my clients reach their desired outcome through the Scaling Up Process. On the other hand, a lack of commitment will not move the ball forward very much. For these reasons, if a potential client disagrees with the Rules of Engagement, I will not accept the engagement.
I have already mentioned commitment. From my perspective, this means putting the time in, attendin
When meeting with potential clients, I inevitably ask, Do you remember why you started your business? The answer usually contains the themes of making more money and having the freedom to make all decisions. In other words, being the boss and reaping the financial rewards.
My next question is, Are you experiencing what you envisioned? The themes of the answer to this question are quite different. For example, business owners often feel lonely at the top of the business. They are stuck working IN the business and not ON the business. They are frustrated and angry that they cannot trust others or that employees don’t seem to care about the company’s success. And this frustration enters all aspects of their lives. Their spouse is tired of the complaints
Steve Ferman, President of 4 Pillar Coach, was recently a guest on the Jonathan Rivera Results Leader.FM Podcast. In this episode, Ferman discusses how to coach a business’s team members to success and how an organization’s Core Values can drive success.
To listen to the complete podcast, please click here.
4 Pillar Coach works with business leaders, helping them to successfully grow their companies by focusing on four critical areas: people, strategy, execution, and cash. Founded by Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up, Scaling Up Coaches boasts of more
One of the very first things I do when coaching business owners and executives is to identify the organization’s core values. As a major part of the Scaling Up method, the concept of core values is pretty straightforward. Basically, core values are a handful of rules and guidelines defining the culture of the business DNA. These rules are reinforced every day by each employee of the business. This includes the leaders of the organization to the newly hired administrative or support staff. Failure to identify and adopt core values can have several serious negative consequences for your business. One such consequence, that we will discuss in more detail is having a cancel culture as opposed to a vibrant culture.
The pandemic, supply chain issues, the Great Resignation, huge inflation, and rising interest rates are all hot topics – and not in a great way. From these events, the business term “pivot” saw a resurrection. As a business coach, I say pivoting is no way to run a business. Obviously, changing course and adapting is sometimes a business necessity but that type of pivoting is not a good long-term strategy. Rather, and in light of these recent developments, now is the time to make a plan that will allow your business to outperform your competition and thrive – and not simply survive. This is what my upcoming workshop is all about. On June 24, I will be hosting Prohibit
Local strategic business coach, Steve Ferman, was recently named a Certified Scaling Up Coach after completing rigorous coursework, service commitments and a peer review panel. He joins more than 200 fellow coaches who have earned the prestigious certification.
“We’re thrilled to have Steve join the ranks of Scaling Up coaches around the world, each committed to helping business leaders scale their companies,” said John Ratliff, CEO of Scaling Up Coaches. “Steve’s impressive career as a serial entrepreneur, most recently as Founder and CEO of eTegrity, combined with the extensive training required for this certification, make him a huge asset for any company seeking strategic grow
Steve Ferman, President of 4 Pillar Coach, was recently interviewed by Go Solo where he discusses his background and how he helps businesses reach their goals using the Scaling Up Process.
Go Solo is a series of stories about entrepreneurs published by Subkit. Subkit helps regular everyday people to start their own profitable business ventures. Starting with concept ideation, through to sustainable growth, Subkit is the one-stop-shop for solopreneurs looking to expand their knowledge and learn how to build, run and grow a business.
4 Pillar Coach works with business l
On June 24 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Steve Ferman, President of 4 Pillar Coach, is presenting a workshop for business owners and key executives.
Starting with the pandemic, businesses faced unprecedented challenges which gave prominence to the term “pivot.” Then came along the Great Resignation, supply chain issues, and now rising inflation and interest rates – more pivoting for some. The 4 Pillar workshop, Prohibit the Pivot, will uncover the trends impacting your business and industry, discuss your company’s strengths and core competencies, and weaknesses - then take that information and formulate an actionable plan that will be the basis for future growth no matter what life throws at you next.
Ferman says, “As a business coach, I
When speaking to clients and other colleagues, one thing is abundantly clear. Most people hate meetings and wish management meetings were more effective. In researching reasons for such disdain, I discovered these top complaints:
When you look for a lawyer, accountant, or doctor, what is your first step? Do you ask friends or family? Do you do a Google search? How do you know if they are experts in the issues or attention you need? If you need an attorney to prepare business documents for your company, you surely don’t want to meet with a patent lawyer.
Similarly, you don’t need a forensic accountant if you have a tax issue. If you are looking for a podiatrist, a reference to a pediatrician is meaningless. The same holds true for business coaches. Doctors, lawyers, and business coaches have something in common – they all have a unique area of expertise and a personal style of delivering their services.
That’s where man
Sorry for the cheesy title, but I always have a flashback to a particular Seinfeld episode when I think of mentoring. Anyway, I digress. While many people and publications will state the importance of mentoring, not many clearly define it or tell you how to get started. I will.
As a mentee, be prepared for brutally honest, transparent conversations with mentors. Sugarcoating the realities of life won’t benefit anyone. That approach might hurt the mentee’s feelings at the time. But when a self-aware person looks back at the blunt advice, they appreciate the honesty.
What do you need to do before reaching out to potential men
As a Scaling Up coach, I focus on the 4 pillars – people, strategy, execution, and cash. It is no surprise to me that people is the first pillar. Why, because businesses are comprised of people, and people make it all happen. As Patrick Lencioni says in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” As a huge fan of Lencioni, I agree wi
Did you ever look at a competitor and think to yourself, why can’t our business be more like theirs? Or, on the other hand, that company is really good, but we are still beating the pants off of them. Or do you not even think about such things? If not, you should think about it. But not should you only think about it, you should actually do a competitive analysis. While the definition of a competitive analysis seems self-explanatory, entrepreneur.com clearly and concisely sums it up: Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service. Still skeptical of the benefit
As a business owner, you are wrapped up in the day-to-day details of running your business. Depending on the size and structure of the company, you may be the chief cook and bottle washer. And we all know what this means, you do too many tasks and have too many worries. You worry about revenue, supply chain problems, customers, employees, and a host of other important issues. And throughout all the work and worry, you probably, on some level, neglect your own needs, goals, and ambitions. You just don’t have the time.
As a coach, I can assure you that you are not alone. Therefore, one of the first things I do with clients is work with them on a One-Page Personal Plan (OPPP). Basically, the purpose of the OPPP is to ensure that you do not forget about yourself and what
Let’s talk about setting goals.
I know, it’s the new year, we’ve all got our goals.
What if I could teach you a way to actually *achieve* your goals?
It’s really not that hard. Instead of simply stating your resolution or goal without a plan of action to actually achieve it, why don’t you take a look at your goal and set it with a timeline - 1 year, 3-5 years, 10 years.
Make it pretty big, hairy, and audacious. Why not make a BHAG?
Try and look at it as this is the goal you are trying to achieve, with the mindset that you need to do certain things to get to that goal in order to achieve it.
For instance, if I have a 10-year BHAG of making $50 million a year, I probably want to look at where I should be in 5 years and what should be going on, wha
As a Scaling Up coach, obviously I think that the investment is worth it. However, it is important to know the costs and benefits of working with a Scaling Up coach. Because at the end of the day, the business owner must believe in its value.
The Scaling Up methodology is based upon the Rockefeller Habits. Basically, these habits have helped more than 80,000 companies reach and surpass their business goals. In other words, the utilization of a Scaling Up coach is a proven, holistic, and industry agnostic method for scaling your business by 10x or more.
You may be thinking, we have gotten this far without a coach so why hire one. Well, the first thing is that an outside professional can see things that you cannot. A coach gets to know you and every f
In December, Steve Ferman kicked off his first session of the quarterly 4 Pillar Coach Living Legacy workshop series. It was attended by a great group of businesspeople with a lot of interaction who brought great insight.
This may seem like a daunting or perhaps a ridiculous question. More often than not, the answer is shrugged off or completely ignored by business owners. Why? Because you are too busy running your business and being bogged down in the day-to-day minutia. You are working in your business not on it.
I suggest thinking about it a little differently. After all, all your hard work and success should count for something. Therefore, I think the creation of your legacy, that point on the horizon, should be a meaningful goal. In
Growth sucks cash. It’s the first law of entrepreneurial gravity. You may get by with subpar people, strategy, or execution, but you won’t last a day without cash.
Knowing the answers to these questions is the first step of your growth journey! If you don’t know the answers, I will work with you to find them.
Great companies have 3-10x more cash than their competitors. Cash reserves allow companies to weather economic storms and survive the expensive experiments that go into any growth process.
We will work together to figure out how many days it takes for cash to cycle through your entire business model and b
With the right people at your side and a killer strategy to dominate your market, it’s time to make sure you have an execution plan. Of course, this is much easier said than done, especially when you’re trying to scale your company. So how can you tell how well your company is doing? Well, it starts with making the decisions about execution.
The key question to ask yourself is whether all business processes are running without drama and driving industry-leading profitability. To answer this we will work together to identify the principles and habits needed to sustainably grow your company. With a killer strategy and/or heroic employees willing t
The foundation of a successful business scaling strategy is figuring out your company’s competitive advantage. While it can take a bit of work before you find it, I’ll be working with you. It’s usually invisible to customers, and it addresses a huge established choke point in your industry.
Identifying your advantage is something your competitor can’t do or won’t do without great effort or expense. It can take years before you develop it because it would provide little to no competitive advantage if it could be done cheaply, easily, or quickly. However, once you find it, it can be the basis for the vision of your entire organization and your superpower.
Figuring out your differentiators and eventu