MMOB Workshops to be offered by Metropolitan State College

The Fremont Group is working with the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State College of Denver to offer their Minding My Own Business Workshops through their curriculum.    The workshops may be offered in their new building or on-line.  “We are very excited with the prospect of brining our workshops to the students of Metro State” stated Dirk Dieters.  Mr. Dieters is the founder and executive director of The Fremont Group and he will be the presenter of the workshops.  He is also the author of “Minding My Own Business” available on this site.

The “Minding My Own Business Workshops” follow the book’s examination of the six responsibilities of a small business owner.  The MSC Center for Innovation has empathies franchise ownership and operation and the workshops will be germane to current and prospective owners and their spouses.  “We are looking forward to helping these students and expanding the outreach of our mission to provide quality management assistance to all small business owners.”

Fremont Workshop/Roundtable Fills

The winter webinar series concludes on Monday, February 27th with the winter “Minding My Own Business Workshop” and Business Roundtable.  Registration for this event went fast—it was filled back in January!  If you missed it—look for next summer’s event.  The all-day event hosted by The Fremont Group includes the 2 1/2 hour workshop covering the six responsibilities of the small business owners tracing the book, “Minding My Own Business” authored by Dirk Dieters our Executive Director.  Following lunch is the roundtable.  Always one of the most popular events, the Fremont Business Roundtable solicits issues from the participants and puts them up for open discussions between the participants and the Fremont Success Partners.  It is always amazing the ideas that come from these discussions.  Due to our budget constraints, we have to limit the participants to 12.  We are looking for ways to expand the number of owners who can take part this summer.  If you have interest, send us an email and get on our pre-registration list for summer!

“Minding My Own Business Workshop Series”

Who is invited: Business Owners and Spouses

What: Series of three Lunch and Learn workshops sponsored by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce and presented by Dirk Dieters, the author of “Minding My Own Business” and the Executive Director of The Fremont Group—a non-profit organization providing services to small business owners.

 

When/Where: Three consecutive Thursday lunches at the Aurora Chamber of Commerce

 

September 8, 2011 11:30 am

“Show me the Money”

Is your company really trying to make money or just trying to work hard? The first responsibility of a small business owner is to produce a minimum-mandatory percentage of profit. During the session we will design your Budget, agree upon the need for a cash forecasting system, and explore ways to manage your cash flow in tough times and good.

 

September 15, 2011 11:30 am

“Are you getting bang for your payroll buck?”

Do you want to own a job or a business? You will learn the owner’s responsibility to build an organizational structure and how to incorporate accountability and incentives into your system that properly deals with your climbers, campers and quitters.

 

September 22, 2001 11:30 am

“Selling—internal and external—in a recession”

Do you really understand your own sales system? During this session we will clarify your sales effort, identify your most valuable sales assets, and create strategies for leveraging your scarce dollars into more sales. Sales is more than a “numbers game.”

 

Cost: Contact the Aurora Chamber

A workbook and a copy of “Minding My Own Business” will also be made available by The Fremont Group at the workshop. Book $15; Workbook $10

Fremont Group invited to Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce

Dirk Dieters, executive director of The Fremont Group has been selected by the Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce (CO) as guest speaker at their September, October and November meetings.  On September 13th Mr. Dieters will speak on Leadership; on October 11th he will speak on Selling in a Recession and the November meeting is tentatively scheduled as a full “Minding My Own Business Workshop” and fundraiser for the chamber.  More details to follow.

RISK—WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED IT

Entrepreneurs like to consider themselves “risk takers” but only up to a point. Ironically, when they think they can stop taking risks is when they create their greatest exposure.

Risk is good. Risk is why your company can be profitable. Risk is why you were able to start your business. Risk is the reason why there are rewards. But just what is “risk?” Risk is the balance between potential positive and negative results of an action. By definition, every action involves risk and therefore even if it were desirable to do so, risk cannot be eliminated. Even the choice of doing nothing is an action that involves risk. Every decision that we make in life involves risks. We weigh the potential gain against the potential loss and determine if the action is justified.

We take risks when we are driving—should you go through the yellow light? Should you pass the car in front of you? Should you drive in this weather? All of these and countless others are decisions that you make that require an action. That action could have positive or negative results and we quickly (and often unconsciously) make a judgment that leads to our chosen action. You don’t have to choose correctly in every decision but you must avoid catastrophic choices and you must also choose correctly the majority of the time. In this context, entrepreneurs clearly understand risk. When they decided to start their business they were facing a future that was not acceptable[1] and chose to start a business that had the potential to create an acceptable future. If you are reading this article you were successful because you are still a business owner—you have survived. But has your successful survival planted roots of eventual failure?

Risk is good because it creates reward. The greater the potential for negative consequence in an action, the greater the reward must be for the positive result. Our free market regulates this return. “If it were easy everyone would do it!” is a phrase that entrepreneurs hear with regularity. What you did was not easy. You overcame tremendous odds in favor of failure to establish your company and have created a successful business—now what?

A major illness of mature businesses is comfort. We all reach a comfort zone in what we do—and small businesses are nothing but extensions of their owners. We have been successful and passed the start-up stage. The owner has made a decent living. We are immersed in the daily morass of fires. And sales get stagnant; the bottom line starts drifting, and competitors start pushing us—but things are good, people are happy. We have reached that comfort zone. We no longer need risk—risk might upset our equilibrium. So we continue to do as we have done. But nothing else stays the same. The reason you were able to enter the market is you were able to do things a little differently and a little better than the existing competition. Now other people are doing that to you. Your market is starting to change, the margins are starting to change, the business environment is starting to change but your company is not. You no longer reward people with new ideas so the new ideas no longer appear. You don’t need growth because you are making enough money but the lack of growth is limiting the opportunities for employees and good people are now starting to leave. You start with denial. You know how your business works and your way works—it is someone else’s fault.

When is the best time to address issues—yesterday, today or tomorrow? If you do not answer yesterday, you are going to fail. Small businesses must be run with a sense of urgency. There used to be a day when poor results were unacceptable—your past success cannot allow poor results to become acceptable today. Issues must be addressed immediately. You do not have the luxury of a Fortune 500 company to withstand significant losses. One bad job and you can be out of business. There was risk when you started—but now you have something to lose. That makes it a bigger risk to do nothing. You must protect that investment and “sweat equity” by recognizing that your must continue to embrace risk. You cannot be stupid or reckless but you must regularly “reinvent” your company while keeping your core principles in tact. Change for the sake of change is not good but it is better than no change for the sake of no change. Unfortunately the greatest improvement that businesses make is when their backs are to the wall—and sometimes that is too late. The owner must create a culture where “the system” is well defined but it is made clear that it will constantly be improved. Therefore not bringing up suggestions to improve the system hurts the company; bringing up suggestions helps the company and is rewarded.

At The Fremont Group we challenge business owners to constantly strive to reach that “next level.” It could be operationally, organizationally, financially or otherwise but an organization that doesn’t grow, dies. Our Minding My Own Business Workshops™ provide you with an examination of your systems, procedures and controls. Our follow-up work challenges the organization themselves to implement meaningful change. The risk of three-hours of time can provide a tremendous reward. The choice to do nothing is your greatest risk.


[1] Unacceptable could be for a number of reasons—possibly even boredom. Businesses are often started for other than pure financial reasons and that is a good thing as few businesses actually provide financial security for their owners.

You can choose to get Bitter or you can choose to get Better

For many the real New Year’s Day is Labor Day.  Summer is over, kids are back to school and we start anew.  January 1st is just another day in the winter but Labor Day is a real transition.  In the economic climate of 2010 a new start should be welcomed but for many we allow the excuses to stifle our lives and our businesses.  The fact is—we have a lot of choices in life and many people make poor choices and blame them on others.  Many poor people are happy and see better days; many sick people are optimistic and see a future; many rich people are distraught and see the world going to pot; and many healthy people are unable to see their good fortune.  A college football player transferred from Oklahoma to Michigan State.  He was a highly regarded quarterback but didn’t see a future in playing time at Oklahoma then competed for a starting position at his new school.  Through a series of events and injuries it turned out that had he stayed in Oklahoma he probably would have been their starting quarterback this year.  At Michigan State he was beaten out for the quarterback job and moved to wide receiver.  When asked if he had regrets he said, “I can be bitter or get better.   I plan to become an All-Big 10 receiver this year.”  As business owners we need to take the same attitude.

The economy has been bad.  You know what—it has been bad for your competitors too.  We can be paralyzed by the economy or we can figure out how to use it to our advantage.  If we increase market share and solidify our customer base we will emerge on top when the economy does turn.  Have you been running your business so poorly that you can only survive in a strong economy?

Washington does nothing to help us.  You know what—they aren’t helping your competition any more.  Is complaining about others getting a bail out or the national debt going to improve your business?  Washington isn’t doing nothing—are we positioning our companies to take advantage of their actions?  Have you run your business so poorly that you can only succeed when the government bails you out?

There are dozens of people chasing the work that I used to get.  You know what—you used to be one of those people chasing the work of others.  Have you solidified your relationships and your processes so that others can’t get your work?  You are not entitled to get work just because you have been in business for 20 years and if you are still running your company like it is 1999 you probably won’t retain your customers.  Are you making the advances that are needed to stay ahead of the curve?

You can choose to get better or you can choose to get bitter.  Your choice.  Take this Labor Day to implement a new beginning and a new attitude.  Do a Minding My Own Business Workshop to examine your company.  Write your business plan and then tear it apart with a professional to make sure you are on course.  Implement a management counsel and get the ideas of your key employees in the open.  Embrace change.  Those afraid of change are doomed—the only constant that you can be assured of is that the pace of change will accelerate even more.

Minding My Own Business Workshops

The Fremont Group sponsors workshops for small business owners who are committed to change.  They are one-on-one sessions with a professional trained in presenting the principles of “Minding My Own Business” by Dirk Dieters.  The book examines the six responsibilities of a small business owner.  At the workshop you and your professional evaluate how well you are performing those six responsibilities.  The workshops are completely confidential.  They may be held upon your premises, in our offices or at a local hotel.  Most people find it best to get out of their offices for the three hours so that they can completely concentrate on the workshop.  Each attendee receives their workshop materials and a copy of “Minding My Own Business.” The results are guaranteed—if you don’t leave the workshop with something that you can implement you don’t pay!

You determine the amount you wish to donate to The Fremont Group.  The recommended donation for the workshop is $250—some people give less; most people give more.  303 338 9300

The Fremont Group – TFG Dallas

The Fremont Group Affiliate, TFG Dallas, under the management of Mr. Tom Stratton will be running their first Minding My Own Business Workshops in the up-coming week.  The location opened just two weeks ago and is completing their start-up marketing.  Business owners in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex can now take advantage of this service.