How To Achieve Your Goals and Be Happy Along The Way

Most of us have heard the words to the effect “it is about the journey and not the destination”. That can be really challenging to accept when you can clearly see the destination and it seems to be very distant. Here is the key – one step at a time in the direction of your intended outcome with you being passionate about the outcome.

I have a client who has a retail business. He bought this business and he was comfortable with what to do because he had worked in the business for a number of years before having the opportunity to buy it. My job was to help him advance his skills in running a business. The measurement of project success is higher revenue and profits.

Break Up Goals Into StepsWell into the coaching program, he told me he really didn’t like the products that he sold. With that energy or lack of energy he was not doing the fundamental steps of an owner. I asked him that if he sold or closed down this business what would he do. He said another business selling products or services to customers. I then showed him how everything we were working on was needed to be done in any business. I further advised him that the best exist strategy was to strengthen the business results since that is how he would get the best purchase price for the company.

Today his sales are becoming increasing stronger and he has renewed energy for the business. What happened? First he started tracking key statistics. That alone often will result in business increasing. As business began to pick up he began to see new opportunities for creative display and pricing of product. He started spending more time himself with customers and got more ideas. So instead of continuing to spiraling downward, the trends reversed. Today he installing new systems software and implement several important marketing action plans.

The product line didn’t change. What changed was how he viewed the business and what he was learning about running any business that he decided to go into. Actually he is looking to add a new location and add a new product line that will appeal to his existing customer base.

How did he move to being happy about what he was doing? 1. He began to see the opportunities with the business that he had 2. He began following very clear advice and experienced positive results. Where is he on goal achievement? When we started like I do with every client we agreed on what would be the measure of success for the coaching program. Right now as a rate of sales, he is beating that goal.

Intellectual Understanding Does Not Mean You Will Implement 

Another client told me recently  the number one benefit of my program was keeping them focused on what is important.

In my experience people make a lot of progress during coaching and lose momentum if they interrupt the coaching process. For a Free Coaching Consultation Click Here  

Remember my program is Results Guaranteed Coaching Click Here for more information.

May Your Success Exceed All Your Dreams and Desires

Steve Pohlit, Managing Partner
Steve Pohlit International, LLC
Email
Ph 727-587-7871

Connect on
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Trump What Distinguishes My Business and Real Estate Investment Coaching and Consulting Practice From Nearly All Others and Is The Foundation of My Results Guaranteed Coaching Program

– See more at: http://stevepohlit.com/2014/06/what-distinguishes-my-business-and-real-estate-investment-coaching-and-consulting-practice-from-nearly-all-others-and-is-the-foundation-of-my-results-guaranteed-coaching-program/#sthash.dVABtfzu.dpuf

What Distinguishes My Business and Real Estate Investment Coaching and Consulting Practice From Nearly All Others and Is The Foundation of My Results Guaranteed Coaching Program

Fail Proof System!

There is a fail proof system to organize and manage any business. In fact cities and countries should use the system. Note this does not mean it is cookie cutter. It must me adopted for your company.

Successful Experience

I have extensive experience as an executive, business owner, entrepreneur, consultant and coach in the following industries:

Real Estate Investment – the focus of my business now
Retail
-Restaurants
-Convenience Stores
-Women’s clothing (big international business)
-Auto Parts
-Motorcycle
-Drugstores
Manufacturing
-Heave equipment
-high tech
-Auto Glass
Distribution
Internet
-Service Provider
-Social Media
-Marketing
Long Haul Trucking
Utility Trailers
Excavation
General Contracting/Construction

A number of the businesses are very large. One is more than $15 billion. Others are small to medium size companies and I have helped many independent entrepreneurs. This experience led to fine tune systems for success. Last year I released my first book “Building Business Profits Fast

Enhanced Systems

I have since been coached and mentored on enhanced system which are touched on in the book but not in-depth. The three main parts of the enhanced system are:

1. Organization Development or the Org Board
2. Admin Scale or The Spine
3. Management by Statistics

The scope of what are in these three categories is extensive. If we work together you will know the source and I will guide you step by step on how to implement these major tools. For now here is a brief summary

Org Board

Every company has 7 divisions and this applies to whether you are one person or millions. Knowing how to set up and manage your company within the structure of these divisions literally takes out the guess work in how to succeed. The next two areas actually fall under the umbrella of the org board – or at least that is how I think about it.

Admin Scale

My mentor refers to this as The Spine because like the human spine if one of the parts are damaged or out there is great pain. The Admin Scale consists of

Goals
Purposes
Policy
Plans
Programs
Projects
Orders
Ideal Scenes
Stats
Valuable Final Product

Before I continue with the last part I want you to know that my coaching and consulting work accelerates the implementation of all of this by my attention to what is most important now and the gradually painting the entire picture. My message to you is do not be intimidated by the scope of what I am briefly describing here. Welcome it because you are now learning about the processes that if followed mean you cannot fail. You cannot!

Management by Statistics – There are 6 Basic Statistical Trends

(From a priority point of view capturing the data and running the graphs are just about the top of the list. This specific tool is the  reason I can confidently offer

Results-GuaranteedResults Guaranteed Coaching 

Non- Existence
Danger
Emergency
Normal
Affluence
Power

I am including one example of one graph. Here is the important point: once you know the condition (what graph you are in) for any function, division or overall company performance there is a precise formula you follow for that condition. To follow it effectively the principles of the Org Board and Admin Scale must largely be in place.

affluence stat

Most of the detailed implementation steps that are published on my blogs and in my book are all used depending on the scope of the project. Going into all the details on marketing actions, The Gold Formula tm, Financial modeling, training and development is outside the scope of this article.

Schedule a Free Consultation and let’s see what will have the most value for you and your business. Click Here

 

Intellectual Understanding Does Not Mean You Will Implement 

One of my clients this morning told me the number one benefit of my program was keeping them focused on what is important.

In my experience people make a lot of progress during coaching and lose momentum if they interrupt the coaching process. For a Free Coaching Consultation Click Here  

May Your Success Exceed All Your Dreams and Desires

Steve Pohlit, Managing Partner
Steve Pohlit International, LLC Email Ph 727-587-7871
Connect on
Facebook http://facebook.com/buildprofits
LinkedIn  http://linkedin.com/in/stevepohlit
Twitter  http://twitter.com/stevepohlit

Steve Pohlit, Business and Real Estate Coach, Consultant, Real Estate Investor. Published Author, Professional Speaker
Steve Pohlit, Business and Real Estate Coach, Consultant, Real Estate Investor. Published Author, Professional Speaker

 

Success Mastery: The Basic Structure For Business Success

Success Mastery This Basis Structure Applies To Every Business

Clear Definition of Your Business – I use the phrase Executive Summary. Elevator Pitch is also very common. What is not taught very well is how to structure this for maximum retention by the listener and optimum value for your business. This area is supported by your business name and your domain name. Note: I do not focus on legal structure at this point unless you already have a level of experience with your business.

Why – So you have structured and are able to present your Executive Summary. Great now what is your Why for doing it? If your why is not big and bold enough you are will lose interest and focus. If you Why is because that is how you want to make money and your Why then is all about the money, your focus on what is required will wane and you will not achieve your business goals.

Results-GuaranteedNote: Each of these points for the foundation of my Results Guaranteed Coaching Program

Clearly Defined Outcome – This is always stated in measurable terms meaning revenue and profit if you are marketing products or services. If you are a real estate investor this is defined as business income – what you deposit in the bank from your deals that you can spend. The time line for this measurement varies depending on the business. However is almost always at least a year.

Define The Organization Structure Required When Your Business Is Fully Operational – Yes this is done in the early stages of the coaching program because business owners and entrepreneurs need to have a vision of what they are building plus the “Org Board” serves as a goal for building the team of people including outside resources that will help the owner or CEO achieve the intended results. This step in terms of the scope and detail that I know teach is actually new in the last 18 months.

Are you on my email list? If not – see the subscribe box on the upper right corner of this page. Do it now and start receiving very valuable Build Business Profits information.

Time Phased Income Goals – What this means is we take defined outcome goal which we previously said is normally defined as an annual goal and roll that back until we have agreed upon monthly targets and in many cases weekly and daily targets. We set this up on a proprietary program so you see the numbers and a graph of the numbers. This is the start of the process where you cannot fail if you follow it.

You are invited to connect with my Facebook Page http://facebook.com/buildprofits

Gold FormulaTime Phased Action Plans – Similar in principle to time phased income goals, I am sure you understand that income is an effect, action is the cause. However not every action results in income. So I spend a lot of time with clients on prioritizing actions and measuring the effect of those actions.  We use the same program where we set targets, measure actual statistics against the targets, graph both and use what the graphs are telling us as to the adjustments the actions that need to be made.  This is the implementation of The Gold Formula tm

This is the basic infrastructure of Building Business Profits Fast   the title of my first book. My next book is taking this foundation and going deeper into Building Real Estate Investment Business Profits Fast.  Again if your are on my email list you will be receiving excerpts from my books and more.

Intellectual Understanding Does Not Mean You Will Implement 

One of my clients this morning told me the number one benefit of the coaching program was keeping them focused on what is important.  In my experience people make a lot of progress during coaching and lose momentum if they interrupt the coaching process.

For a Free Coaching Consultation Click Here  

May Your Success Exceed All Your Dreams and Desires

Steve Pohlit, International Business  Turnaround and Real Estate Investment Coach, Real Estate Investor
Steve Pohlit, International Business
Turnaround and Real Estate Investment Coach, Real Estate Investor

Steve Pohlit
727-587-7871
Email 

 

Success Mastery – Simple Actions To Jump Start The Profit Performance of Your Business

Build Business ProfitsOne of the simplest and most valuable things to do is look at your business from the perspective of your customer. If you have a retail store, shop it or hire a mystery shopper. If you have a customer service center, call them. If you develop information products that you sell on line, ask your customers 90 days later how they have benefited from the product and what else they would like to have seen included. If you have a membership program, and someone drops out, stay in touch to find out what it takes to get them back.

Recently I discontinued a membership program where I was paying a lot of money each month – much more than $100. I have not received one call or even one email asking me why. This is really amazing considering how much money it takes to get a person to sign up for the basic plan yet alone the plan I was in.

Here is another very valuable suggestion.   Follow Your Instincts! I have said this before and will be saying it in many articles in the future. Every client I have worked with knew the fundamental solutions to the issues they asked me to help them with. For a whole host of reasons they didn’t act and accepted inertia. In nearly every case the solutions were obvious and intellectually simple.

Right now list the top 3 issues that are holding you back from making breakthrough profits in your business. Then start devoting at least 80% of your time solving those three issues. Once solved, do it again and keep doing it. Simple stuff.

For Your Success!
Steve Pohlit, Managing Partner
Steve Pohlit International LLC

Ph 727-587-7871
Email 

Trump e1345082132859 A Very Surprising Outcome To A 2 Minute Presentation

Steve Pohlit, International Business
Turnaround and Real Estate Investment Coach

PS Be sure to check my Results Guaranteed Coaching program.

Tampa Florida Business and Real Estate Coaching and Consulting Firm – Guaranteed Results!

Hello and thank you for your interest in my Guaranteed Results Coaching Program. Coaching and Consulting services are offered by my firm Steve Pohlit International. Most of the work is delivered by me personally. At times certain details are completed under my direction.

Take This For A Test Drive – FREE Coaching Session Click Here

Guaranteed Results Is A Bold Statement.

Let me be even more clear. We will agree on a financial performance target in the next 3- 12 months and you will hit it. If you don’t then we keep working until you do or you say stop and I will refund your money.

For Example:

You have a business with many employees and while you are working night and day your personal income is shrinking. No Problem
You are an entrepreneur and you want to get off to a fast start – maybe (I know God forbid) you are excited about MLM No Problem
You are an international company with many complex issues. No Problem
You are a real estate investor who has been taught by all of the Gurus and you are having difficulty finding or getting a deal done. I can offer a special program for you in Tampa Bay and Chicago where we guarantee you will do a deal and make money.
You are looking to buy a business or thinking of selling one. You will be well served by talking with me. I have a lot of experience in both sides of the transaction.
Send me an example of your situation and I will confirm I can help you or not.

I Understand The Weak Promises and Guarantees In The Market

They are offered with so many conditions that there is very little chance of you receiving your money back WHEN you are not happy. I have only two conditions:

1. We jointly agree on the daily weekly targets that will absolutely be measured
2. You complete the agreed upon work.

If you do these two things, you cannot fail. To start I need information from you so I can determine if you qualify. Part of the qualification process is a complimentary coaching session. During that session you will receive 1-3 ideas and tools that will instantly mean a huge difference in results. So if we are not a good match, you will still have my most powerful tool for getting results. Please Click Here to start

The Only Thing That Matters Is Your Success

Contact Steve Pohlit
Email
Click Here To Prepare for Complimentary Coaching Session
Phone 727-587-7871

Steve Pohlit, International Business Turnaround, Real Estate Investment and Life Coach
Steve Pohlit, International Business Turnaround, Real Estate Investment and Life Coach

Retailers Do Not Have To Struggle To Win Customers

Mark Albright, staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times published an article in the Sunday paper on retailers struggling to win back customers. He does an excellent job at identifying the key issues customers face when shopping in many stores. In summary, customers know what they want from their shopping experience and they don’t get what they want most of the time.

Two charts were provided in the article. One showed that 68.4% of those responding to a recent poll said knowledgeable, helpful, friendly staff was the most important criteria for a positive shopping experience. The other chart reported that 50% of the people surveyed reported retail service has gotten worse.

Shoppers have always wanted a friendly environment with knowledgeable staff. What is most alarming is how poorly retailers continue to meet the expectations of their customers. With almost 70% of the customers ranking knowledgeable, friendly staff as most important, why is it that so many retailers continue to be obsessed with having compelling price? Studies have consistently shown and Mark points this out in his article as well, that less than 10% of the shoppers name price as the most important reason they shop a store.

Let’s examine pricing and promotion a bit deeper. The paper that Mark Albright writes for has a daily circulation of 1.2 million. On Sunday, like all large metropolitan areas, the paper is thick. Most of it is advertising circulars. Most have between 4 – 20 or more color glossy pages and this format is used by most of the major retail chains. Stores attempt to show items attractive to the largest number of people and offer special buys or sale pricing. The goal is to drive traffic to the stores.

Normally on a store by store basis, retailers are able to tell how effective a particular circular was by measuring customer count (customers that actually buy), average sale and items sold.  Most retailers have these statistics, but there is one critical piece of information they do not have. They do not know who it was that purchased something. They do not know their physical address, they do not know their email address and do not know their customer’s phone number. There are exceptions and I will address those shortly. However, in general, large and small retailers spend huge amounts of money on print advertising to drive customers into their stores and they don’t even know who their customer is. Consequently, they are unable to thank the buyers, hear their comments and suggestions and they are not able to personally invite them back.

Here is a brief summary of the issues so far: consumers want knowledgeable and friendly sales staff and over 90% of them place importance on knowledge and friendliness over price. On the other hand, retailers spend a lot of resources developing promotions based on price to drive traffic to their stores. When the customer gets there, not just the price shopper but the loyal customers as well, the retailer is not properly staffed and the staff that is working is not properly trained and managed. I call this a mismatch in expectations and delivery. The result of that formula is a high rate of retail business failure with stores that fail being replaced by new ones that operate the same way. You know what you get when you keep doing things the same way. What is the solution? Keep reading.

When the subject of price in retailing is mentioned, Wal-Mart’s name always comes up. Here are just a couple of things I noticed about Wal-Mart recently. First they are increasing the number of more upscale items offered. Why are they doing this? It is because they understand that appealing just to the low price crowd long term is a risky business model. No retail chain founded on the low price model has ever survived long term. None.  What else have I noticed? The other day I noticed a Wal-Mart banner on the front page of Yahoo.com This particular ad was what is known in the Internet Marketing circles and Direct Response Marketing circles as a lead generation ad. I followed it through and noticed interesting “bribes” to get you to register for on line information. You could even categorize the information you were interested in receiving. Wal-Mart promised to give you advance notice of their best deals for the store closest to you. Notice I said store closest to you. When you entered your information they asked for your zip code so they could match you with relevant regional promotion.

Wal-Mart is taking the lead again in building their customer data base. I don’t think they have taken this to the store level, which where it really needs to be implemented. But they are headed in the right direction.

Do you need to have Wal-Mart’s system to implement a similar program?  Last September I was testing the implementation of program with a small retailer in a small market. You can review more of the detail of this program at www.localretailmarketing.com We used incentives as a motivator to provide their contact information. This program was hugely successful in a short period of time and confirmed the value of capturing the contact information of your customers and communicating with them.  That is the first step in bridging the gap between what customers want and what retailers deliver. Note: if you are a grocery store, restaurant, nightclub, shoe repair store, dry cleaner or any business that has customers, this applies to you.

If you are a local or regional chain of stores, outsourcing this customer contact program is the most cost effective approach. If you are not sure that is a true statement Email Me and I will prove it to you. National Chains should outsource this program in the test phase and then it is likely that in-house technology will be needed long term. Regardless, it is easy to build your customer list, easy to communicate with them and this communication builds loyalty and value. This communication process is the critical link that breaks down when this process is managed internally. In summary, outsource this entire program initially; bring the technology piece in house if and when that makes sense but keep the communication program outsourced.

Does all of this solve the problem of bridging the gap of what the customer wants and what the retailer delivers? Absolutely not!  All of the fundamentals retailers are paying attention to today must continue. Having the right product in the right place at the right time is a good goal.  Having staff properly trained and managed is a great goal. But this is the planet earth folks. When all the best logistical systems and human resource development processes fail .. and they will from time to time, a strong binding relationship with your customer will overcome any isolated execution failures.

Are there any examples of anyone doing this more right than wrong?  I remember in 1996 when I was in my second year of operating an Internet Service Provider company that I founded. I was focusing on industries likely to benefit a lot quickly from using the tools of the Internet. One of them was mail order.  I knew there would be huge benefits to catalogue retailers from using the internet. Of course when I contacted many of them and they had no idea in 1996 what I was talking about. So I let it slide instead of pursuing that idea along with a number of other billion dollar ideas I had in the early days of the commercial Internet.

Today there are numerous examples of catalogue retailers doing a great job of communicating with their customer base. Now the big gains are coming from the “brick and mortar” companies who are communicating like catalog retailers. Who are they? Well Circuit City gets my number one vote. Circuit City sends me wonderful emails in addition to their weekly print advertising circulars. Wal-Mart is doing a good job now that I am on their list. In the catalog retail business, the best is Fredericks of Hollywood.  Don’t even ask me why I am on their list but they do a great job.  There are other catalogue retailers that have an effective communication program in place. In fact if you order on line from any catalogue company and give them your email address, I would bet you start getting information from them.  Even if you don’t order, sign up for some of these lists to see what they send you.

The biggest mistake made by companies that have you in their data base, is dropping your contact information when you have not purchased for awhile. I know of one very popular retailer with a huge mail order division that sends me tons of catalogues but not one email. When asked about this I was told I no longer receive emails because I am not a current buyer. But they continue sending me expensive to print and mail catalogues. Go figure! Recently I was talking about this issue with an author and speaker on retail industry issues and discovered the huge successes several companies are having by aggressively pursuing customers who have become inactive. However, you need to know your customer and have their contact information in your data base to execute any program including this one.

In summary, study the companies that are doing this well. Look at your own business. If you are not sure what I am advising you to do will work,  call or email me and let’s “kick it around”. Click to email or go to  Retail Profit System for phone contact information. I am so convinced that there is a great need for help in this area I have recently partnered with several business development experts and we have formed a new company that will provide the Internet marketing services retailers and others need.  Look for a major announcement soon on this advanced service for helping your business dramatically improve revenue and profits.

 

Contact me now.

Steve Pohlit

International Business Development Consulting
Real Estate Investment Consulting
Executive Coach

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Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies. Today Steve is an expert business consultant focused on helping companies improve their business performance including growing profits, revenues and customers. For a FREE 6 week mini course where you will receive 10 easy to implement action steps guaranteed to increase business revenue and profits by at least 30% in the next 90 days, please visitwww.StevePohlit.com  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

 


 

 

Most Retailers Miss This Huge Black Friday Opportunity

The ads are prolific for the biggest retail sales day (not profit) of the year…Black Friday. However, most businesses including physical retail store never go the extra step of developing a relationship with their customer.

Black Friday Sales are Brisk and Largely Unprofitable – Should Be Viewed As Lead Generation

Shopping Savvy customers are more often than ever making their list of deals, buying the deals and leaving. Cross over selling is declining. This means that most of the sales on Black Friday are unprofitable or just slightly profitable. Attention: take advantage of Black Friday’s increased traffic and look at it as a great lead generation opportunity.

Why Do Retailers Continue Black Friday Promotion If They Are Not Profitable?

If retailers do not compete on Black Friday someone else will grab that customer and there will be a loss of customer loyalty. Several years ago WalMart moderated their Black Friday and holiday promotion strategy and it was costly. Following that season they vowed never to be out of that game again. Since you are in the game capitalize on the the traffic at a minimum with a name and email capture campaign include text messaging lead capture if it is appropriate for your business.

Most Retailers Continue To Ignore A Great Opportunity When A Customer or Prospect Walks In The Door.

Customer Relationship Marketing is a huge opportunity. People want information and want to know “their store cares”. It is insane to focus on recruiting the store staffing with the right image and customer service attitude then not go the extra step to capture name and email address for a follow-up thank you.

For an increasing number of businesses adding text messaging marketing makes sense. However, it will not replace email marketing anytime soon. Email marketing and text message marketing will not replace the positive feeling someone gets when they receive a physical card. There are many businesses that should Send Out Cards.

I advise every one of my clients to implement a relationship marketing campaign.  There are numerous success stories. A recent very notable one is a company  just beginning to implement a relationship marketing strategy and the results are very positive in less than 60 days.  The winter season is the slowest time for their business. There have been cash flow problems in the past.  This season is shaping up to be very different in a positive way.

Action Steps:

Develop a customer relationship marketing strategy.  Part of the relationship is educating your customer on products, services.  Focus on the value you deliver rather than the latest deal.

Get A Business Coach! If you already have a business with more than 10 employees, Hire A Consultant who is  able to work with you part of the time on-site.

Would you like to be in the next group of very successful companies and entrepreneurs?

Contact me now.

Steve Pohlit

International Business Development Consulting
Real Estate Investment Consulting
Executive Coach

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

Connect With Steve On:

Twitter

Facebook

Linked in

727-587-7871

Email

About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.

Steve offers his  build business profits expertise to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.  Steve incorporates health and wellness plus relationship guidance in his work as they are at the foundation of achieving all goals.

All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

 

Top 7 Steps For Strengthening Sales and Profits In The Restaurant Industry….Actually Applies To Most Businesses:

Top 7 Steps For Strengthen Sales and Profit In The Restaurant Industry….Actually Applies To Most Businesses:

1. Know your customer!  People coming thought the door and buying should be acknowledged with an email or card and possibly more. How do you do this?  You need to have their contact information and specifically an email address and now ideally their cell phone number.

Here is an idea on how you do that: Buy them a drink or a dessert in exchange for their information.  Here is the key: when you identify a particularly important person, the owner comes to the table, welcomes them and offers to buy their dinner in exchange for the cell phone number so they can be alerted for a very special event. Now before you say this ticket could be $200 or more I ask you how worth it is to have the cell phone number for key text messages with VIP’s and I mean people whose net worth is in 8 figures. This is huge

2. Have a plan. Your financial plan should be an annual target that can then be detailed to a weekly plan.

3. Know your numbers. Traffic and sales by time of day. Track your trends. Use this information to market to your list. Invite them to slower times using incentives.

4. Use all proven marketing tools to help grow your business. These include direct mail to targeted zip codes and ads with a “hook” in publications your target customer reads and other venues like radio, participation at key charitable events, local/regional festivals that are for your target audience, on line promotions and more.

5. Have your on line credibility in place meaning a website and social media presence

6. Use a referral marketing system. Reward people for inviting their friends and colleagues.

7. Monitor the variances from plan in all areas of your business. Nothing is excluded: payroll, food costs, utilities….the gold is in the detailed analysis of the variances.

Now You Know…Success Is In The Details.  Failure is almost always a result of not consistently following the steps that have been proven to lead to success.

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

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New Digital Media, Inc.

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About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.  Steve offers his  business building experience to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

Harry Potter, Millenia Mall, Illusions

While working with a coaching client on site in Orlando, Florida I observed packed parking lots, traffic jams around Millenia Mall and filled restaurants. My comment was ” they have not heard there is a world wide recession!”

We discussed why the area seemed particularly crowded. The number one reason seemed to be that the new Harry Potter attraction had just opened at Universal Studios and it seemed be a huge draw.  So now I knew that my observation of the market could be distorted by a special event.

Later that day, I was invited to join a group at a very popular “upscale restaurant”. This place is very near Tiger Wood’s home.  My definition of an upscale restaurant is one where the dinner check for two including tip is in the $200 plus range.

After a marvelous dinner, I met the owner. I had a comment and a question. My comment was about the wonderful dining experienced I just finished. I assured him I really enjoyed it as did the  business people dining with me. My second remark was that his business is  actually an economic indicator…a barometer of how well people are doing.  Given that I asked how his business was doing on a comparable basis with last year.

Comparable analysis in business is where you compare the same period this year with the same period last year. In this example I was asking about business this year to date vs last year. He told me his business was down 30% and that the “upscale restaurant market” was down 40%.  He felt good as he was fairing better than the competition. I was not feeling that good about it considering the economic slide began accelerating in 2008.  This means the numbers in 2009 used as a comparison have already been on a decline so the decline in 2010 is particularly disturbing.

I mentioned to my client  and his key person in Orlando that I would send them a list of what I would recommend this restaurant business owner do to strengthen the business. I decided these 7 Steps could help many other business owners so I am using my blog for the action plan and I will email my friends to let them know about these ideas for their Orlando restaurant owner friend.

Top 7 Steps For Strengthen Sales and Profit In The Restaurant Industry….Actually Applies To Most Businesses:

1. Know your customer!  People coming thought the door and buying should be acknowledged with an email or card and possibly more. How do you do this?  You need to have their contact information and specifically an email address and now ideally their cell phone number.

Here is an idea on how you do that: Buy them a drink or a dessert in exchange for their information.  Here is the key: when you identify a particularly important person, the owner comes to the table, welcomes them and offers to buy their dinner in exchange for the cell phone number so they can be alerted for a very special event. Now before you say this ticket could be $200 or more I ask you how worth it is to have the cell phone number for key text messages with VIP’s and I mean people whose net worth is in 8 figures. This is huge

2. Have a plan. Your financial plan should be an annual target that can then be detailed to a weekly plan.

3. Know your numbers. Traffic and sales by time of day. Track your trends. Use this information to market to your list. Invite them to slower times using incentives.

4. Use all proven marketing tools to help grow your business. These include direct mail to targeted zip codes and ads with a “hook” in publications your target customer reads and other venues like radio, participation at key charitable events, local/regional festivals that are for your target audience, on line promotions and more.

5. Have your on line credibility in place meaning a website and social media presence

6. Use a referral marketing system. Reward people for inviting their friends and colleagues.

7. Monitor the variances from plan in all areas of your business. Nothing is excluded: payroll, food costs, utilities….the gold is in the detailed analysis of the variances.

Now You Know…Success Is In The Details.  Failure is almost always a result of not consistently following the steps that have been proven to lead to success.

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

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About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.  Steve offers his  business building experience to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

The Truth About Retail Sales Reporting

Retail sales during the  Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season are followed by the news media very closely.  This is because consumer spending is a key economic barometer and the annual holiday season accounts for a large  percentage of total annual retail sales. Some estimates are that the fourth quarter retail sales account for more than 30% of total retail sales reported by department stores, specialty stores and mass merchandisers. The percentages can vary widely. For example December sales for jewelry stores account for 23% of the total annual sales.

“This November, (same-store) sales are going to be incredibly important to gauge the state of consumer spending, and thus fourth-quarter earnings and stock trajectory, and it’s also an important statement about the economic recovery,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Dreher.

Comments like this from Bill and others may not be accurate.  I learned how to analyze retail performance from experts responsible for running multi-billion dollar international businesses.  These lessons helped me tremendously in operating my own retail business and in my business consulting work with other retail companies.  Consider the following:

Same Store Sales Can Be Very Misleading

Same store sales are when you compare the sales in one period, for example November, with the sales from that same location the previous year. Seems simple enough but it is not always straight forward. For example, consider one store.  What is your conclusion if the store just opened the first of  November last year or if a major competitor closed a location near you this year?  There are many variables that can affect same store sales and you have to be careful in knowing you have true comparability.

Consider 2009, the same store sales that will be reported this year are being compared to 2008 which is considered one of  the weakest retail sales periods ever. At the company level a moderate increase in same store sales this year may not be a reason to celebrate except that of course it is better than a decline.  Regardless of the results, retailers must go deeper than looking at the aggregate numbers.  They must keep “peeling back  the onion” until the lowest common denominator is evaluated and that is at the item level.

Same Store Sales Are Not A Direct Indicator of Profits

Many retailers promote heavily in the holiday season. This is part of the marketing funnel.  Hot items sold at or below cost  are used as lead generators.  The Internet has educated shoppers on finding the best deals.  This has resulted in  add on sales  dropping which means more of the sales being reported on a monthly basis have lower profit margins.

Keys To Successful Retailing In This Economy

First point is the foundation of  a profitable business in any industry is largely the same.  Companies make money when they offer what people want at a profitable price.  In retail, customers often want a shopping experience that goes beyond price. For example, a recent testimonial from a customers experience on Black Friday demonstrated the success of a much smaller retailer with this customer vs. the major competitor. While having a slightly lower price for the laptop offered, the major retailer did not have any “unallocated laptops”   at 5 in the morning even though the item was heavily promoted. On top of that the crowds there were not pleasant to navigate.  The competing smaller chain, had inventory available and a more pleasant shopping experience.  So you know who got the business and a repeat customer.

Off line, location is increasingly important as well as the overall appearance inside and outside.  Large retailers win the game store by store.  When demographics and traffic patterns change, and they always are, the store needs to change as well.

Customer shopping experience is major for building customer loyalty.  This is mostly how customers are treated by staff when shopping.  This is the one area where many retailers fail.  There are great examples of customer service but they are not the norm.  On line, ease of navigation, speed of checkout and access to customer service are key. Many retailers with web sites pay little attention to the customer service that is needed.  People have questions and at times returns or exchanges may be needed. How this is handled is key.

Have you noticed the most ridiculous new message you get when calling larger customer support lines?  It goes something like this: “Due to heavy call volume, your wait may be longer than normal. Many questions can be answered at our web site.”  I don’t know about you but when I hear that message, which I do with increasing frequency, I think …this company has problems.

At The End of The Day, Profit Must Be Made

As a business consultant and coach, I always look to the profit trends and what is the practical near term strategy for strengthening profits.  Every  business must earn a profit to survive and grow.   There is always an opportunity to improve business performance.  It requires defining the performance targets then establishing  a disciplined process for meeting or exceeding those targets.  That process always works when the process is worked.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.