Thursday, June 11, 2009

New GM CEO: Does Car Experience Matter?

It seems the new head of GM (Government Motors) is making a bit of a splash. Edward Whitacre Jr., the new head honcho is taking heat because he has no (nada, zero) experience in the auto industry. Now that the tax payers own a majority of the auto maker, some seem a bit concerned Whitacre might not be the man to turn the troubled company around.
I think that's a bunch of BS. The new leader SHOULD NOT have any auto experience. GM needs someone with some fresh ideas and new energy, not someone stuck in the past. (By the way, this isn't Whitacre's first rodeo. He led AT&T for more than 43 years.)
Think about your own business. You get so caught up in what used to work, who used to do what, how things have always been done, etc., you get paralyzed. At the end of the day you can't see the forest through the trees and you don't even realize it.
GM needs a new focus and energy. Someone from the outside that can bring a fresh perspective. The ONLY way to get that is to look outside the industry. It's time for a change in the way auto makers do business. That change can only come from outside the industry.
--Ron Ameln, SBM

Monday, June 08, 2009

Social Networking: Will It Really Help Your Business?

After the Super Bowl in February, ESPN interviewed the Pittsburgh Steeler coach after the team's last-minute victory. The reporter asked the coach about the victory. "It all comes down to blocking and tackling," the coach said. "You can implement all the strategy and systems you want, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to blocking and tackling."
The Steelers were one of the few teams that didn't rush out and implement the trends of the day, the "West Coast" offense, the "Four Receiver" format, the "Wild Cat" offense, etc. They stuck with the basics.
How about your business? Are you sticking to the basics and fundamentals that will guarantee business.
I see a lot of business owners, especially sole proprietors, spending a large amount of time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I know all the consultants are telling you to get on board or else, and playing on these social sites is certainly fun. But stop and think for a minute. As a sole proprietor, you only have so many hours of the day. Your focus should be on getting your message out to qualified prospects.
I've got a strange feeling that one of your competitors can do a better job of reaching qualified prospects with a phone book, a phone and a few cold calls. There is only so much time in the day. It boils down to blocking and tackling. Just make sure that's what you are doing.
--Ron Ameln, SBM