"You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions that can dramatically increase your income, power, influence and success. The problem is, you just don't see them."
--- Jay Abraham
Problems, problems, problems! That is one of the great "joys" of running a business, isn't it? Well, okay, it's not ranked up there with the fun stuff of running a business, but we must admit that it is simply a part of it that we can't escape. Managing employees, drumming up business, dealing with vendors, and all the rest of it just comes with the package. Finding solutions to the daily problems that arise in business is what separates the successful from the "I'm-going-to-work-for-someone-else" crowd. As the great philosopher Jimmy Buffett sings in Off to See the Lizard, "Answers are the easy part, questions raise the doubt."
"The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential."
--- Steve Ballmer
The potential for solving problems is greater that it has ever been. With the Internet and all of the peripheral that goes with it --- blogs, online magazines, message boards, chat rooms, etc. --- we now have solutions at our fingertips. The keys to solving problems that successful business people use is to know what the problem is, acknowledge the problem (whether you caused it or not), and to embrace the problems.
"There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one's errors. It not only clears up the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error."
--- Dale Carnegie
Defining problems is not as easy as it seems. We often ignore problems, hoping that they go away --- especially if we are the source of the problem. Defining problems includes admitting that they exist and then taking ownership of them. Successful business people don't waste time pointing fingers at who created the mess. Instead, they immediately, with extreme energy and laser precision, go after solutions.
"When you confront a problem you begin to solve it."
--- Rudy Giuliani
Like a soldier protecting the fort, our eyes should always be on spotting any problems affecting our business and then eliminating them as quickly as possible. If left to fester, they will grow like a cancer until they become almost unmanageable.
"When I hear bad news I look at it as another leadership test that will determine how successful Go Daddy will become. So I no longer dread it. Instead, I enjoy the game of finding the very best way to deal with it, and take great satisfaction in having a hand in resolving the issues that come my way."
--- Bob Parsons
Embracing problems in our business helps us, and the business, to mature. It is this constant pulling and stretching of problems then solutions that enables us to weather the storms that will come. By embracing problems as if we enjoy them, we become master problem solvers and our business becomes a fortress protected not by luck or good fortune, but by our intelligent, skillful art of finding solutions.
Begin this week to identify problems in your business. Start with the nagging ones that people have been putting off for some time. Embrace the issue and focus on that one particular problem until you come up with a solution. Use brainstorming sessions, research for answers, or use outside help, but do solve it! Don't give up on it. Once you solve the first one, the solutions for other problems begin to snowball in.
"Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds."
--- Norman Vincent Peale
Digital Technologies and the Apparel Decorator, Part III
By Johnny Shell
In this final of a three-part series, we'll explain the application of heat-set media and direct-to-garment inkjet, giving you a better understanding of how these can enhance the success of your shop.
Read the article...
Stencil Washout Techniques, Part I
By Dawn M. Hohl
Stencil development or washout seems simple and easy, and not a variable worthy of concern or extra time. But washout often becomes an important sub-process that will impact print results. Just like any other variable, it must be controlled and repeated to attain consistent tonal-range reproduction and print quality.
Read the article...
Digital Print Pricing
By Scott St. Cyr
The last article touched on the elements of pricing, primarily pricing will vary based on competition, industry practice, and the skill vs. cost of accuracy in pricing. With digital printing, these basic concepts hold true.
Read the article...
Looking for an article or trying to find an old one? Check out the SignIndustry.com article archive:
View the archive now
As seen on a sign in a Massachusetts parking area reserved for birdwatchers:
Lettering on Wrecker Service tow-truck.in Albertville, Alabama:
"The cheapest hooker in town"
As seen on a sign in a Kokomo, Idaho:
We know those funny signs are out there. Take a moment and send them in to us and we'll share them with the world. Send all hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.