Businesses have three primary resources or forms of Capital: Human Capital (people relationships); Temporal Capital (time management); and Financial Capital (liquid/illiquid assets). Each of these is interconnected adds or detracts from the value of a business.
People (Human Capital) sell their time (Temporal Capital) for money (Financial Capital) to business owners (Human capital) for 8 +/- hours a day (Temporal Capital) to build/deliver products and services which can be converted to cash (Financial Capital) through a marketplace (Human Capital) transaction occurring over time (Temporal Capital) for some measure of value, usually money (Financial Capital).
A blip anywhere along the line alters the outcome.
As you get ready for 2010, here are a few ideas to keep in mind that will help you grow each of these forms of capital:
Take steps to insure that people, your employees, enjoy trading their time for your money. Three of the most effective and least expensive investments you can make in your people are:
Honest and sincere praise from the immediate supervisor or manager;
Leadership attention – one on one conversations; and,
Special project, task force assignments.
Look for ways to improve processes and procedures. Make it easier for people to perform their responsibilities. Suspend disbelief in what appear to be off the wall suggestions and look for ways to make production/delivery changes that reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and add perceived value to your products/services.
Reframe your pricing strategies. Instead of thinking “how much can I make on this?” start thinking in terms of “how little can I sell this for and increase my overall market penetration?”
Recognize that the market shifts that began in 2003 +/- and solidified in 2008 are part of a 40 year cycle that will impact how your business functions for the next four decades.
Investigate and learn the language(s) that will be spoken in the new market place. Short term, you do not have to twitter, tweet, link-in, face off, or do anything completely different from what you’ve always done. Longer term, you need to believe that communications, for the second time within the last 100 hundred years, has shifted from silent films to talkies.
Expect to be surprised. Loyalties shift based on the perceived value of the relationship. That’s human nature. If you want to keep long standing relationships with a well established client or customer, look for subtle or obvious changes in the cast of characters and respond accordingly.
Stay loyal to your own internal and corporate value system. Adapting to change doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to “sell out”. There’s a huge difference between changing your strategies and abandoning your values.
Enjoy 2010. It has tremendous promise for all of us. Happy New Year!
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