Street Smarts - Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham

Street Smarts - Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham

Learn from the experiences of successful entrepreneurs how to cope and overcome adversity in your business.

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Have you ever wondered why some potential companies end up failing or simply failing while others can grow and prosper?

Entrepreneurs face challenges in their business, and many believe there is a magic formula that helps them solve problems. After all, there must be a secret to big business success, isn't it?

As you read this summary you will find that by changing your mindset and approach to problems, you can enhance your chances and the results you crave with the key lessons from the authors.

Are you curious? Stay with us to find out how!

About the book "Street Smarts"

The book was originally published in 2008 by the authors Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham. The content is spread over 364 pages and divided into seventeen chapters offering four lessons at the end of each.

In this work, the reader will find the actual case reports accompanied by the authors, some problems that entrepreneurs faced that at first seemed unresolved, but with the right analysis and attitude, were resolved and brought positive results for companies.

About the authors Norm Brodsky and Bo Burkingham

Norm Brodsky is a successful North American entrepreneur, founder of eight companies and also a writer and columnist for Inc Magazine in partnership with Bo Burlingham. One of its companies, CitiStorage, which is widely cited in the book, was sold in 2007 for $ 110 million. He currently lives in New York.

Bo Burlingham is an editor of Inc Magazine where he is also a columnist. He has written five books and currently lives between Oakland, in the United States, and Sancerre, in France.

To whom is this book indicated?

This book is indicated to entrepreneurs, managers, salespeople, people who want to start their own business and are curious about the topic. It teaches both those who already have many years of experience and those who are now beginning their journey.

Main ideas of the book "Street Smarts"

  • There is no recipe ready for success;
  • You can learn from both your own experience and the experiences of others;
  • No matter how much experience you have, there is always something new to learn;
  • The first step to success is a change of mindset. The way you lead life reflects on your business;
  • Planning and preparation are extremely important advantages;
  • Advice is very welcome, but beware;
  • Looking at it from another perspective can help you a lot;
  • Acting smart and calm is crucial.

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[Book Summary] Street Smarts - Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham

Overview: How to do well in business

First Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham highlight that it is critical that you find out what motivates you, that is, your real goal.

You should set concrete goals. To do this, understand the reality you live in, if you have enough money to start your business and stay for a while.

Pay attention to the numbers, they will show the viability of your business. Ideally, it should support itself without relying on external sources of capital.

Cash flow is also of utmost importance. Think about your pocket before setting up your strategy. This requires knowing the difference between selling and gross profit, trying to keep your profit as high as possible.

Overview: The right attitude

To have the right attitude, you need to know one important keyword: resilience. Many problems are inevitable, but some are not. This requires that you maintain a close connection with your customers to notice any situation and have time to act on obstacles.

Learn from your own mistakes, understand your share of the blame and not outsource it. Take in every lesson a failure can teach you so as not to repeat it in the future.

A good opportunity is worth more than several advantageous ones. For this, always be willing and focused to seek as much knowledge as you can, analyze and thus, achieve the best result.

But understand that, accorginto the book "Street Smarts", you will not always find the ideal solution in the first moment. It is often improved over time.

So, don't lose your motivation! That's what makes you move on, face all the problems, believing in the final result.

Overview: Why startups fail

Introducing something new is often costly and takes a long time to make a return. But it goes for us: it is the innovative ideas that bring us the most advantage.

A start-up entrepreneur's chances of success are greater when starting his business from scratch than buying an existing one. You don't know the key aspects of business if you weren't there to learn them from the beginning.

Therefore, studying the competition is always good, because this way we know which products or services have already been launched or known.

Your first business plan doesn't have to be overly elaborate. Make it simplified so that all important information about your business is clear to yourself, review and rethink strategies, be flexible to adapt them and do not waste time.

Overview: Where's the Money

The authors say that if you think about asking someone for money, you better make your proposal attractive. Invest in interested investors.

Create a good financial relationship with banks, they are usually a better option than factorings. One factor that facilitates the grant is good credit history.

But beware: some common mistakes undermine your relationship with the bank. Talk to your manager a lot, be aware of rules and deadlines. Also, do not argue when you are aware that you are wrong, don't use money that is not effectively available to you.

Overview: Magic numbers

Some numbers may act as a real-time index type. So, if something is not going well, you can think of a solution without having to wait for the monthly report.

Then, the authors Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham advise you to make your monthly sales tracking manually in detail. Separate into categories to make it easy to evaluate every aspect of your business, understanding the relationship between them. This will undoubtedly give you greater control over your cash flow.

Thus, it is critical that you make calculations and predictions of how much capital will be needed so that you do not miss it in the future.

Many entrepreneurs overestimate or underestimate their business, so it is more than necessary that you know the real value of your business.

Overview: The art of negotiating

Anyone inside knows that negotiation is an art and you should conduct it with mastery. Try to be flexible, listen to proposals, analyze them so as not to lose good opportunities.

After all, listening is as important as speaking.

Know that each negotiation and each client requires different strategies. Draw on your experience and instincts to see beyond. Try to see "out of the box", finding possible advantages and disadvantages that are not evident.

For this, see what is not said, analyze the facial expressions of the person you are dealing with. The secret is the details.

Overview: It all starts with a sale

You may wonder what things will look like when you start your business, but you will only find out effectively once it is working. Only then will you know who your real customers are and which product is the strongest.

From there, you will have to look for your differential to be more successful and escape the losses.

What's more, your relationship with your competitors also says a lot about you. Your image is very valuable. Therefore, do not bad-mouth your competitors.

Sometimes things will not go the way you expected. So know how to lose, be helpful and polite to earn respect, even at not so favorable times.

Overview: Good sales, bad sales and those that escape

Each sale is unique! Some are better than others and a considerable factor is a gross profit, not the size of the sale. Understand that considering the security of your business, multiple small or medium sales are better than few large sales.

But of course, selling is often not easy. According to "Street Smarts" the secret is in showing your differential. Tell the customer what they lose if they don't buy your project, and what they get by buying it. Let them try what you offer.

And most importantly: listen to your customer! Few sellers hear what they have to say, what they are looking for, or how they want a particular product. Always be willing to offer the most appropriate solution for your customers.

Be aware! Selling cheaper may affect the quality or affect business. When making promotions and discounts, consider how long and the conditions that will be offered.

Overview: Customers Forever

Selling is important, but building a solid relationship with your customers is paramount. They are an important factor for the growth and success of your business. Treat them well not only during the sale but before and after as well.

Their loyalty can be a lifelong benefit to your business. The tip of the authors is precisely to make life easier for the clients. Show you the best payment options, products and how to make the most of your new purchase.

Showing concern for their satisfaction gives you loyal customers. And these are as important as future customers. Treat them with the same care and attention, keep in touch, make sure they feel valued.

Overview: How to lose customers

Price increases are almost always inevitable over time and influence directly your relationship as a customer. Try to increase gradually and subtly instead of having a large increase in value. Big increases cause big impacts.

Don't make your customer think he pays dearly on a product just to keep his standard of living high. When charging a higher price, have a compelling argument that justifies why higher values.

But also think: often the price is associated with quality. Therefore, if you keep prices too low, this may reflect your reputation. Take care of your image and your profits.

Overview: The decision to grow

A business plan is important but no more important than your life plan. Your personal life directly influences the decisions you make to conduct your business. Know where you want to go and how you want to realize your plans.

It's natural to want your business to grow, who doesn't, right? But understand that failure is much more easily mapped than success. Something that worked at one time may not work at another. So don't think you already have the triumph formula and plan your steps well based on current analysis.

Overview: Becoming boss

When we idealize the position of leadership, we end up abstracting the responsibilities attached to it. Decision making should be best for the company. To keep your judgment from being shaken, keep your relationship with your employees as professional as possible.

Note that you will not have to play the role of administrator forever. You can, for example, find someone who does the job as well as or even better than you to replace you. That way you can focus on what you really like.

Have someone you trust work with you. And if an employee tries to outwit you, don't spread your distrust on others.

Overview: The only thing you can't delegate

The people who work for you are key in your quest for success. You can determine who are the best employees overtime, and the company culture helps filter them out and create better and more loyal employees.

Creating or recognizing a culture is as important as focusing on it, as it reflects the company's entire way of acting. If you are 100% flexible, "subcultures" will start to emerge.

This ends up creating divergences in decision making and attitudes. So have a well-established corporate culture and encourage your employees to follow the tradition.

Overview: Winning is a team sport

Selling is a collective job and you have to choose wisely who makes up this team. Not always the best resume represents the best employee. Some salespeople, by seeking the best results for themselves, end up creating their own rules for achieving them.

Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham warn: commissions are not a good stimulus option. They can lead to unhealthy competitiveness that will gradually segregate the team.

Since selling is teamwork, each has its role, acting directly or indirectly. If an industry is not doing well, it may reflect the image of the company as a whole.

For example, if the complaints industry doesn't serve the customer well, they are unlikely to want to buy back from your company. Therefore, pay attention to the progress of each sector to attack directly at the weak point.

Overview: Help! I need someone

Problems are inevitable, and the way you deal with them is critical. Sometimes we can't see a way out of a problem and that's when we need a second person.

An outside opinion can help you see it from another perspective and understand what the real problem is. Even by being counseled, we can find an even better way to solve such a hindrance. But you have to know who to order them for.

Each person, each professional has his or her strengths. And you might ask someone for help who has no idea what you're going through or how you can get you out of it. Even more: you may bump into bad people, which is worse.

Overview: When the student is ready, the teacher appears

No matter how experienced you are, there is always something new to learn. There are always lessons to be learned behind advice, experiences and challenges.

When a problem occurs, we must solve its consequences, but the most important thing is to understand its cause so that it does not recur. Palliative solutions do not prevent errors from recurring in the future. It is necessary to prevent it.

Always be able to deal with the "stones in your path". The more prepared you are, the greater your advantage and the less chance of being caught off guard.

Overview: Holding the stones

To know about your salesperson's development, depending on what type of business you have, wait for a sales cycle. Teach it as much as you can so that when you receive the results, you know if it has a return that outweighs your investment in it.

Clear employee learning about your business is essential. This is because, by understanding how your business works, salespeople tend to improve their commitment and increase sales.

Finally, be the biggest enthusiast of your company, believe it to be the most amazing. Your enthusiasm and passion are the biggest factors that will help you overcome any obstacles that arise.

What do other authors say about it?

In the book "How to Sell When Nobody's Buying" the author Dave Lakhani advises: if you are not selling, try to improve your approach. In tough times, bad salespeople give up and open opportunities for the most creative and efficient salespeople.

For Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, authors of "Discover Your Strengths" to increase company productivity, the key is to focus on employees' strengths rather than trying to improve their weaknesses.

Finally, in the book by Flávio Augusto, "Value Generation", he shows how instead of just working for capital, it is important to create value for customers. By generating value in other people's lives, in return, they will create value for you.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Start by changing your mindset;
  • Be clear about your goal;
  • Prepare, study, analyze, inform yourself as much as you can;
  • There is always a lesson to be learned;
  • Make smart choices with money, remembering that numbers are your biggest allies;
  • Understand and become familiar with all aspects of your business.
  • Seek and accept advice from people who understand the subject;
  • Remember that sales are different from gross profit;
  • Your customers are very important! Take care of them!

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Book 'Street Smarts'