Life Observations through the Lens of Business Acumen

By Jim Brodo | Aug 4, 2023 9:39:30 AM

It’s a hot August night…thoughts are unfocused as there is still a lot of summer left. But... there is a nagging feeling in the back of your mind that the fall, the end of Q3, the beginning of Q4, and the new year of 2024 are accelerating around the track faster than we want to think about.

So, as the weekend approaches, what a great time for some everyday reflections through the lens of Business Acumen to keep the mind entertained and refreshed for what will be coming in a few weeks…

  • LinkedIn has an overall of 675 million users from all over the world. Of those, 310 million of them are monthly active users. 165 million users come from the United States while 206 million come from Europe. 62 million come from India, and 50 million come from China. And yet every day in our Strategic Business Selling programs that train sales professionals to build a business network, only 28% of the salespeople in our programs believe there is any value in long-term social selling.
  • My local supermarket is charging for bags. It’s only .10$ a bag but when you think about it, it has a double impact on the financials of the store. They are generating revenues (top line) and eliminating expenses to increase profit (bottom line) simultaneously! Hmmm... 
  • Auto telephone dialers for cold calling are the worst. Companies that use these systems need to rethink their strategy. You may get a few leads here and there, but unprepared telemarketers aimlessly calling the wrong markets and segments will kill your brand. And other brands as well!
  • I spent over $7 for a 30-ounce bottle of Mayonnaise. I looked up the gross margin on Google and the research said the margins were around 14%. Not sure how that is possible. It goes to show you that if one element of the supply chain (eggs) goes out of whack it can hurt an entire product line and category.
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Why Companies May Want to Stay Private

By Robert Brodo | Jul 25, 2023 8:13:13 AM

One of the most enjoyable parts of being in the training and development world is the opportunity to stay in touch with the past participants of our many Business Acumen, Business Leadership, and Strategic Business Selling programs.

I recently had an email from a past participant who asked the following questions:

I hope you are doing well. I have a few questions about a company’s business strategy of staying private instead of going public.

Based on your experience is this due to the CEO/founder keeping control of his/her business? Is it looking for the right opportunity? What would be the benefits of being private instead of public?

Thank you!

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Five Strategic Business Selling Tips to Make You Indispensable

By Robert Brodo | Jul 18, 2023 7:57:59 AM

Part 1 of our Making Yourself Indispensable blog series focused on building an understanding of Business Acumen, while part 2 featured tips on becoming a stronger leader. The last part of the series will discuss the importance of understanding the role of the commercial side (marketing, sales, service) of the business. While this blog post is essentially written for people on the commercial side (Key Account Management, Account Managers, Marketing, Sales Professionals, etc.), in today’s newly evolved business environment everyone sells. The more you can support the sales process, the more indispensable you are to your company.

Strategic Business Selling is defined as the capability of leveraging business acumen into the sales process so that you are seen by your customer as more than “just a salesperson”; you are a trusted strategic advisor, and you are offering a full value proposition.

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Five Business Leadership Tips to Make You Indispensable

By Robert Brodo | Jul 13, 2023 7:42:21 AM

Part one of Advantexe's Making You Indispensable blog series focused on the importance of business acumen. In part two of the series, we will focus on Business Leadership. Business leadership is defined as understanding how to execute your business strategy through people. Important capabilities of business leadership include setting goals, coaching, leading change, creating an environment of psychological safety, and resolving conflicts in an effective and positive manner that leads to success.

1) Set specific and realistic goals and objectives for your teams and projects

Great business leadership starts with setting specific goals and objectives. The mistake that too many leaders make is that the goals and objectives they set – assuming they actually are doing that – aren’t related to the strategy of the business and the expectations of the business, department, and team.

Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.

You may already know this, but it is always a great thing to take a moment and review everything including the goals for your top and not-so-top performers. Too many times they are outdated or worse yet, perceived differently by both parties. Take 15 minutes to do this at your next 1:1 with a direct report, the results will surprise you.

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Five Business Acumen Tips to Make You Indispensable

By Robert Brodo | Jul 11, 2023 9:01:18 AM

Part One of Advantexe’s Making Yourself Indispensable Series

As we enter the second half of 2023, there is a noticeable difference in the domestic and global business ecosystems. A year ago, you probably heard of people being let go from their jobs. Today, you probably know someone directly. It’s been startling.

As we look at the economy, the foundational business indicators are in front of us:

  • The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is slow and decreasing
  • The jobless rate is still low, but the amount of new jobs added is decreasing and the number of layoffs is increasing
  • Consumer spending is decreasing
  • Capital expenditures of businesses looking to grow are decreasing
  • Inflation isn’t going anyplace soon

Based on these data and the research that Advantexe does every day working with more than 60 global clients, we believe that it is safe to forecast the second half of 2023 is going to be challenging and the expectations of businesses in terms of the contributions and productivity of employees is going to go up. There is something you can do to make sure you can do to help... become indispensable to your organization. Indispensable means that your company, business unit, and team simply can’t live without you.

By becoming indispensable, you position yourself as a valuable asset the company cannot afford to lose. This not only enhances job security but also opens doors to numerous opportunities for growth and advancement. When you consistently demonstrate your expertise, reliability, and a strong work ethic, you establish yourself as a trusted resource that colleagues and superiors can rely on.

While there are many skills and capabilities that can make you indispensable, we are providing this three-part blog series which focuses on the core and foundational capabilities of;Business Acumen, Business Leadership, and Strategic Business Selling. These three capabilities make up the majority of the skill sets organizations need to be successful and having them can put you on the path of becoming indispensable.

Part one of our three-part series on making yourself indispensable to your company focuses on the importance of building, at the very least, foundational Business Acumen skills. Business acumen is defined as understanding how a company makes money, how your company makes money, how your customers make money, how your competitors make money, and executing a strategy to win in your chosen markets.

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