Taking Stock, and Year-End Inventory

by | Career Advice

Local businessman, Ken Hugins recently penned a thought-provoking article in the local paper on the season of gift giving. Actually Ken’s suggestions are valid any time of year, especially now as we take stock and inventory our personal and professional lives with the forthcoming New Year. The following is an excerpt:

Business Gifts
by Ken Hugins

It is the season for gift giving. As business owners and professionals who should be on your gift giving list? I have some suggestions.

First, of course, are the customers and clients. Give them the gifts of Attention, Clarity and Choices.

1. Attention is listening to what they really want, not what you think they want. What are their needs and problems? What can you change to make your products and services more valuable?
2. Give them an improved Clarity of what you do for them and how you operate.
3. Choices give them an opportunity to select the best match of value. If done well, it also gives you several ways to make money and enjoy the relationship with them.

Next is your family. They want more of you and your time. Give them the gift of Containment of your work. To achieve this you need to work less, work smarter and Delegate. (Not to be confused with “abdicate,” its evil twin.) Delegation is tricky, but critical if you are to develop the balance between work and play that your family wants.

Finally, what should you give yourself? I suggest three things: Vision, Value and Position.

1. Your company needs a clear Vision of what you want from it. Not just money, but all the critical elements of success as you define it. All of your efforts need to be focused on this. It’s so easy to get distracted.
2. The Value proposition that you offer to your customers. Who are your customers and what do you offer that they want?
3. Your Position in relation to your competition. How do you deliver the value that your customers are looking for in a way that is better than their other choices?


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