"I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me."
--- John Cleese
There is a story told about Muhammad Ali, the great heavyweight boxer, when he was traveling on a plane home from a fight in which he won. The airline stewardess, (as they were called then), reminded Ali to fasten his seatbelt in preparation for takeoff. Ali responded, "Superman don't need no seatbelt." Without missing a beat, the stewardess snapped back to Ali, "Superman don't need no plane either. Now fasten your belt!"
We can get like that too. We let the immediate success of our businesses go to our head in a non-productive fashion when it should create a springboard for us to leap to new successes. Instead of riding the crest of the wave, we find ourselves believing we're unbreakable.
"In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield."
--- Warren Buffet
Feeling invincible, we try to make success out of new, untried corners of the industry. We go after the many fuzzy areas in our industry that before appeared untouchable for us. We think that one day we will expand to one of those unknown ventures and make a killing. In an attempt to get there, we jump at shortcuts, fads and fantasies only to later realize that the here and now will get us there if we stick to the basics.
"To freely bloom - that is my definition of success."
--- Gerry Spence
Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers, once ordered his team to the practice field after midnight, after a grueling game, and during temperatures near freezing. He had the team form a circle. He stood in the center holding a football and said, "Gentlemen, this is a football." Mr. Lombardi then proceeded to explain the laces on the football and how to hold it, throw it, catch it and kick it.
The coach was taking the team back to the basics. He was clearing their heads of conceit and bringing them down to a level of humbleness--- back to when the players had a hunger in their hearts to succeed.
"When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder."
---- James H. Boren
Making your business plan clearly known to everyone in your company, (including yourself!), is how to get back to the basics. Leadership has to start with you clearly defining the direction of the company. Make sure that everyone knows what it is you provide or make, who it is that you sell to, how you go about selling, and what it is that waits on the horizon.
"Here is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it."
--- Andrew Carnegie
The basics of your business are your bread and butter. It is there that you will find the foundational roadmap that keeps you on course. Deviation from the course is fine if it produces profit and provides another route to your goals. In the meantime, focus on what you do well and do with it with all of your heart.
"Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction."
--- Al Bernstein
Be sure to stick to the basics, to your plan and to your dream. Avoid the temptation to drift for the sake of keeping up with everyone else. Your plan is solid. Work your plan!
Spreadsheets Works, but when is an Industry Specific Solution Better? You be the judge.
By Danny Tangredi
In the breadth of the sign & graphics industry many methods are used for estimating and job quoting. Some shops are using the correct tool for the job, while others aren’t. Which category does your business fall into?
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Tri-Message on a Truck?
By Jennifer LeClaire
What do you get when you mix motional advertising with mobile billboards? A hot advertising concept. Find out how to tap into a new revenue stream by combining tri-message signage and mobile advertising.
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Sign Designers Benefit from Stock Photography
By Trent Mueller
Photos increase a readers interest in viewing what you or your client is promoting in your signage or ads, and therefore increase the likelihood the information will get read.
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In a grocery store in Dennsiport, MA:
"Snickers, 5 for $1.00(limit 4)"
On a dock in Juneau, Alaska:
"Safety ladder, climb at own risk"
Sign in front of bankrupt store:
Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.