There is an enormous amount of business knowledge and wisdom available to managers.
But there is far too much for a time poor business person to read and digest. Therefore, so much that could advantage our businesses gets left undone.
Smorgasbord will deliver distilled business wisdom to you in 'bite-sized, easily digested, chunks" to speed your learning curve on management topics you want to know more about.
Smorgasbord is a volunteer effort to distill that business wisdom into 'bite sized' morsels that are quickly digested and implemented by owner-operators and by departmental managers running their own business unit in a larger business.
You are probably familiar with the matrix
|I know what I know||I know what I don't know|
|I don't know what I know||I don't know what I don't know|
Smorgasbord has three main goals.
First, when you "know what you don't know" it will help you drill down to the answers to your questions via our Knowledgebase.
Second, when you "don't know what you don't know", it will present a Menu of things you can do that are designed to show you some of the hidden issues that, when addressed, will make your business operate more effectively.
Third, we know that there is plenty of business wisdom available but it is no good at all if you don't implement whatever wisdom you feel is relevant. So our mission goes beyond just showing you what can be done. We want to also show you how to actually do whatever you find valuable.
What's with the name?
Smorgasbord is a buffet of distilled business wisdom presented in a manner that allows managers to quickly review what they do and don't know about a particular issue they are facing and then 'drill down' to solutions to your problem.
The solutions presented are ever evolving distillations of the huge range of business advice confronting, and often overwhelming, managers.
We don't sell any particular "quick fix" solutions. Rather, we aim to give you a taste of the business wisdom on the topics out there so you can decide if you want more of that particular topic - and then point you to further resources you can follow.
We were so taken by the concept of "all the business wisdom you can eat" that we called the website Smorgasbord after the real world dining equivalent.
- Diets are our industry stage equivalent of 'low salt', 'paleo' and 'high carb' food diets: startups, growth & mature businesses and troubled ones.
- Cuisines are the various types of industry like services, manufacturing and professions: the equivalent of 'French', 'Italian' and 'Vegetarian' for example.
- Ingredients are the basic components of knowledge used widely throughout the Recipes. A very profound example is the 80:20 Rule that can improve your operation up to 16 times! Food ingredients are things like bread and meat widely used in many recipes.
- Recipes, in turn, are a distillation of the wisdom on a particular topic that can be applied to improve your business. Examples include website design, inventory management and the sales funnel.
- Menus are collections of recipes arranged into groups equivalent to entrees, mains and dessert. They give a subset of the available recipes that might be useful in a particular activity like Double your Profit in 90 Days!
- Sauces give flavour and zest and are spread all over your meal. Our equivalents are people, information and money.
We have chosen the smorgasbord.global domain name because the problems faced by smaller business operators are worldwide and we would like our offerings to be accessible anywhere. We plan to always offer the service free to managers in developing countries where the need is even greater than the western world and resources are fewer. (Pricing)
How We Guide You
Most business wisdom starts in a book. The problem with books is that they are linear; you have to start at the front and read all the way through to get the information.
They often contain stuff that you already know or that you don't want to know and there is often no easy way to find just the bits you want.
Only a comparatively small part of any book holds the essential wisdom the book provides. The "wheat" if you like. The rest is "straw" necessary to pad it out to book length and to give more detailed explanations.
The main problem with this approach is that the time-poor manager firstly doesn't know what book will solve their problem and second doesn't really have the time to wade through it.
We help with that.
First, we have read the books and have extracted their core wisdom in Smorgasbord so that you can save all that time and go straight to the possible solution.
When you need more information, we provide references to books, videos and web assets to provide a deeper immersion in the item that has caught your attention.
Second, we are not linear. You don't have to read the whole of Smorgasbord to get an understanding. All of our material is 'hot linked' so you can jump around wherever your line of inquiry takes you. So, once you know something about a particular topic, you are not forced to keep re-reading it as you are in a book. You can just jump to the next thing that catches your fancy.
Because of this, there is no real starting point in Smorgasbord and certainly no end.
Every deep dive into our collected business wisdom begins at the "Knowledgebase" menu button. Search for a particular topic or click on any item that takes your fancy and we will direct you down the best path.
Normally you will start in either a Diet (business life stage) relevant to you or a Menu that shows how you can address a particular problem you face. All the relevant Recipes and Ingredients will be presented in the Menus in a suggested order of priority.
Our design is very light weight for rapid download and ease of reading on all devices. We hope its usefulness will be its most elegant feature.
You Govern Our Direction
We are not a top down solution for your business wisdom needs.
There is an endless supply of possible information that might be useful to you.
But, the 80/20 Rule (see The Amazing 80/20 Rule Ingredient) tells us that most of you won't find any pressing need for the majority (80%) of it.
So, we have chosen to take our lead on what should be developed from you.
Smorgasbord operates on a customer-driven, demand-pull strategy. Any manager knows it is futile to push stuff at customers hoping they will use it. Much better to produce what the customer will consume. We "don't know what we don't know" about what you will find useful so, throughout Smorgasbord, you are very strongly encouraged to provide feedback on:
- What you would like more of and less of (thumbs up/thumbs down responses).
- How easy the material is to understand and apply (stars).
- Other wisdom that has worked for you and might therefore work for others.
Don't hold back on this feedback. It is vital to propel Smorgasbord down the most user-friendly path.
If you would like to contribute written material, please see the "Contributing to Smorgasbord" link.
Full access to the Smorgasbord knowledgebase requires registration and a login.
We will not sell or further distribute any information you provide.
What Does It Cost?
Smorgasbord is a volunteer driven operation. And it is presently free to all. (Pricing)
If you live in a western, developed, country, you may be asked in future to contribute the equivalent of the cost of a cup of coffee each week (charged monthly) you elect to keep accessing the distilled business wisdom in Smorgasbord. This helps us build the knowledge-base as quickly as possible.
You can leave at any time and we will stop any monthly charge that may be in force at the time.
One reason we are likely charge in the future is to measure how useful we are to you. If you stay registered, we know we are being helpful. If you leave, maybe we aren't!
At one stage the founder of Smorgasbord worked for the United Nations in developing countries. That drove home to me that the problems managers face are worldwide. If you are in a lesser developed country, your access is free on request. The need for access to business wisdom in our developing countries is probably even more dire than in the western world; and a lot harder to find. So we provide it for free; with financial support from richer countries.
Smorgasbord was founded by Scott Williams after an epiphany at 2 am 18 September 2016 about how a long held ambition to help other managers access valuable business ideas might be structured using the food-equivalents of menus and recipes that we do.
I have a working lifetime starting and managing successful small businesses and a life long passion for distilling wisdom from business books for application in my own businesses.
I have long provided scholarships to university students - some 90 to date. This was on the basis that "you give a person a fish, you feed them for a day. Give them an education and you feed them for life".
Smorgasbord is an attempt to carry that same philosophy over to people who have now left formal education behind them but realize that, as managers and often small business owners, they can still benefit from learning more about the subtleties of management.
I hope you find it useful.