Wolfram Arnold writes:
Here are the points I've transcribed from the meeting today. At some point I lost count as to which one was odd and which one was even and I just recorded them all (touch-typing helped :-):
Jerry Weinberg 8/20, 50 things to improve business
2. back up everything
4. Rule: do nothing, revised with 3 caveats: a) don't do it if there's someone that can do it better; b) don't do it if there's someone that can do it adequately; c) if it makes me really happy, do it anyway; d) if someone can do it 85% as well as I do, let them do it; e) anything not worth doing is not worth doing right; f) if in doubt charge for sales trips
6. make them pay something, with their time, their money -- if they don't pay for it they don't value it
8. if it's not on paper, don't do it
9. listen to what other people are telling you
10. don't communicate to somebody, but communicate with somebody
11. always have an exit strategy
12. make them feel like your client has a part in the final outcome; make sure they have their fingerprints on it
13. listen for what they're not saying
14. listen to the "music", body language, intonation
15. always be ready to sell your product
16. if you find yourself reluctant to sell your product, there's something wrong with it
17. any successful services company has some fixed priced product to sell
18. given them entry points that they can buy
19. recurring revenue model, e.g. via contract maintenance plans, or follow-through
20. have a follow-through clause in contract so you can know how you're doing
21. charge more money if they don't want you to come back after some time, e.g. 3 months
22. if you just build it they probably won't come
23. manage expectations, book: Managing Expectations, by Naomi Karten
24. Time spent in reconnaissance is time well spent
25. You can observe a whole lot just by watching (Yogi Berra)
26. Go hard or go home; fully commit all resources needed, or kill it mercilessly
27. Commit enough to learn what you have to learn to find out whether it's worth pursuing or killing
28. People who work in an Agile/iterative way often fail to do the discovery
29. Ideas by themselves aren't as valuable as you think they are; don't guard them too closely
30. Nothing is as dangerous as an idea, esp. if it's the only idea you have
31. Never rest on your past successes; there is always something more you could be doing; if you're not learning, you're dead
32. Sharing competitive advantages brings 10-fold rewards; give it away, it comes back
33. Being able to say 'no'
34. Research clients as if you were hiring them
35. Recognize that every client is unique.
36. You don't have to remember everything to succeed.
37. It's ok to let a client go if it's not the right fit; you should organize your business such that it's ok to let a client go, i.e. don't be over-dependent on any single client
38. The best way to build a business is to stay in business; stay around, build a reputation and credibility
39. Actively solicit feedback from clients; actively extract the feedback, e.g. watch the audience
40. Don't be alone in your work; have someone to talk to
41. Honor the people who are your sounding board and bring feedback, e.g. life partners, friends, ...
42. Anything that's annoying or repetitive should be automated or stopped
43. Track your budget & cost every month
44. Don't make mistakes over your budget or your cost.
45. Don't spend your money on office decoration, esp. if your clients don't come to your office
46. Always try someone out before you hire them
47. Don't fall for the big lies: "we're just about to get funding" "our data is clean" "your check is in the mail" "we're going to sign it next month, just keep working" "don't worry about the contract" ...
48. Preventing any one of these mistakes will pay for this conference
49. Double your reading speed
50. Choose not to read a lot; don't read stuff that's not worth reading
51. Stay off Facebook & Twitter
52. Sometimes you can save money by spending money; and sometimes the reverse. Learn to tell the difference
- Thanks for the great job, Wolfram
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