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Unstuck: 10 Proven Strategies for Breaking Through the Barriers to Small Business Growth Paperback – August 12, 2017
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From the Author
I (Thom Coats) grew up in a small business in south Mississippi. As things happen, my family ended up with a new and very tough competitor. Dad was given an opportunity to purchase the warehouse next to our office and expand the business to be a regional producer, thereby saving the business.
But he had no one to bounce ideas off of. He had no one to help him and he did not act when he should have. Unfortunately, ten years later the business retired with him with its only value being the property the building sat on. This made my Dad normal.
There is not a magic book that tells business owners what to do or how to handle every situation. There is not a Youtube video to watch or even a Magic Eight Ball to tell you the answer to your questions.
I was there the days when we worked so hard that we could hardly think, and I was there on days when we had nothing to do but think. My Grandfather--who founded the business--said that a small business owner only had two prayers. "Lord, where are all the customers?" and "Lord, how can I take care of all these folks?" Rarely were there days in between.
Growing up in a family-owned business, I learn things other kids do not.
I was too young to help guide Dad when he was alive and owned the family business, but I can help others like him.First, the responsibility may be the heaviest load to carry. You see that you are not only responsible for your own success, but others are dependent on it too.Everyone that works for you--and their families--become your responsibility.
Their bills are your bills; their mortgage is your mortgage; the future of their children is your responsibility. This holds true to the vendors that extend you credit and the customers that depend on you to serve their business.
Second is the worry that comes with business ownership. I learned that business owners worry about four things every day:
- They worry about making money. Are they making sales? Are they the right sales? Are they charging too much or not enough?
- They worry about saving money. Are they spending too much money? Are they paying too much for their goods or services? Did they negotiate the contracts right?
- They worry about being more efficient. Is there a better way to do things? Why does everything take too long? Is there too much waste?
- They worry about the state and federal governments. Is OSHA, EPA, or the IRS coming today? How do I complete this form? Did I meet the deadline for the taxes?
They worry because, in their world, there are only questions. No answers.
The third thing that I learned growing up in a family business was that you work hard and make the best choices you can. Common sense and hard work can fix most problems, but it can not grow your company.You see, that is what good business people do. They go into a line of work that they enjoy and they start their own business. They work hard because of their passion for what they do, and the business grows as a result of that hard work. Along the way, they have to make decisions and use their common sense to make good decisions, but there comes a time when they have gotten their company as far as they can on hard work and common sense.
There are only twenty-four hours in a day and you don't know what you don't know, y'know?
Their business growth pattern looks more like the delta of Arkansas than anything else: bleak and flat. Being "Stuck" is not a growth strategy, but a symptom of a condition.
The cure for the condition is to find "uncommon" wisdom: to seek a voice from outside that is not buried deep in the rut with you.
The UnStuck Business Academy is a way to help business owners like Dad--those who have worked hard and have grown their business as far as they can on their own--to get the help and advice they need to not just stay in business, but be very successful.To get things started I decided to host an event, The UnStuck Nashville Conference 2017. I gathered nine other speakers from various backgrounds to help business owners get "UnStuck." Our speakers understood that we had an amazing message and we decided to do the conference as a fundraiser for the Scott Hamilton C.A.R.E.S. Foundation.
Held on a Saturday morning at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN, the first UnStuck Business Conference had attendees from all over Middle Tennessee--many of whom had to leave well before sunrise to get to the half-day event.
I was honored to MC the event as well as being one of the speakers.
Scott Hamilton attended and had a few words to say at the beginning of the day. He was also there during the break for photo opportunities with the attendees. We received rave reviews from both the sponsors and the attendees.
The UnStuck Business Academy was born because the need of business owners is greater than what an annual conference can do. The Academy supports business owners throughout the year to keep the momentum going that is generated by the UnStuck Business Conference.This Academy and Conference is just a small way for me to remember my Dad. I was too young to help guide him when he was alive and owned the family business, but I can help others like him.
About the Author
Thom is a business developer whose entrepreneurial instincts and clear vision have assisted in the growth of multiple companies.
Thom stands at the forefront of the solutions based technology industry. With 25 plus years of New Business Development serving roles from sales, district manager to Vice President of Sales with corporations such as Century II, Paychex, and NFIB. He is responsible for building new business relationships in the eastern region of the US for mid to large organizations to help them leverage technology in improving their business processes. Thom's passion is to help his clients succeed by implementing solutions that work.
With an array of interests and affiliations, Thom stays connected to the community through investing time and energy on the Advisory Board for Read to Succeed, current Vice President of the Southeast Business Forums, Partner of Accelerent and active in the Walter Hill church of Christ.
As a third generation entrepreneur, Thom has great insight in understanding what clients want and need. He and his wife have three sons and three daughters-in-law. On Thom's desk is the same Bible that set in his father's office and his grandfather's before. This keeps him grounded in remembering who he is and where he came from.
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Bottom line this book paid for itself.
We all live in a very busy world full of "noise" that can distract and overwhelm even the most savvy business owner causing them to slow to a snail's pace. Hence, they aren't sure where to turn or who they can reach out to to get going again. Having found myself there a few times, there's no magic pill or Google search that can solve every situation. However, this book will provide you with tips and strategies to create efficiency and minimize wasted resources while increasing productivity and helping you break through your barriers. The concise writing style gives you 10 strategies along with practical advice to get you moving again quickly without a lot of fluff. Get this book and get Unstuck today!