Saturday, June 07, 2008

LNB #053: Help! I Need Someone!

I remember seeing the Beatles' movie, Help! when I was a kid. Love the lyrics, which are so brilliant:

(Help) I need somebody
(Help) Not just anybody
(Help) You know I need someone

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone
I'm not so self assured
Now I find I've changed my mind
I've opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me

In case you don't know the song (like, you're a Namibian goatherd), here it is.

I can almost hear the strains of this song on the phone when prospects call me to ask, sometimes convolutedly, for help ("I really don't need help, but if I did, what could you do for me?").

Where I see businesses get into trouble is knowing when to ask for information and when to pay for it. According to the SBA, businesses fail for several reasons, chief of which are lack of planning, capital and other resources. In this biz environment, operating without the key information needed is almost criminal, given the massive amounts of information available on the Net.

Michael Gerber, author of the The E-Myth Revisited, spoke of "working on your business, not in it," staying out of the tactical weeds and into the strategic mission and vision. To do this, Gerber spoke of the importance of creating systems that tied directly into those strategic aims. Burning daylight poring over website after website, looking for information defies our ability to be strategic and our ability to get the most out of our time. The Wild Hunt for information, particularly when you need it to be right and you need it right now, can be the greatest of all cul de sacs.

This week, we hear from Jim Patton of J Patton Consulting and his Prepaid Legal affiliation. What Jim offers is a business service that, for a monthly fee, allows members to pose real-life problems to legal, accounting and other professionals and get real life answers. One example he gave was the business owner who needed to let an employee go. That owner posted the question in the service and got back a checklist for terminations that allowed him to stay fair, square and legal.

Be sure to grab a copy of a copy of The Dip as well.

Listen Now: 24.40