As a reminder the popular definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting the different results”. Most companies continue to do business the same way and blame the economy and high gas prices on their declining business results when they should be looking in the mirror. There seems to be a strong undercurrent of “I am waiting for somebody to do something vs. I am responsible.”
The operative word here is most. There are sectors of the economy that have been hit by current conditions. I will leave that analysis to economist and academics. They have a lot more expertise in such matters and enjoy the intellectual debates of cause and effect. I have a laser beam focus on what individual companies can and should be doing to achieve their potential.
I am excluding from this article any company who is in serious cash flow difficulty. When a business gets to that point, crisis management… turnaround expertise is needed. MY firm International Resources does that work and we are very good at it. I always advise if you are in that situation, call me or a firm like mine right now as time is of the essence. My direct line is 727-587-7871.
What are “The 5 Steps To Stop Insane Management From Driving Business Into The Ground?”
1. Have a very clear profit plan at each line item of business performance. Measure actual performance against plan and have clear accountability for achieving the plan line item by line item. To implement this you must have timely, accurate and relevant information. No excuses…must have.
2. When people who are accountable for line item performance consistently fail to meet the stated goals, replace them. Period!
3. The number one function in a business that will be the subject of most of the excuses is sales. These excuses come from people who do not understand how to market to a consumer who places ever increasing importance on relationships. Why do you think the community building sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook are in the top ten most highly visited sites globally? According to Alexa, YouTube is 3 , MySpace is 6 and Facebook is 8 ) Every business must have a relationship driven marketing strategy and then implement it. See Relationship Marketing below.
4. Always be evaluating the market including on line competitors. I wonder if Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL in retrospect would have done anything different when Google first came to market? No company is immune from being seriously weekend by competition. I look at the drugstore landscape. I live in Florida where competition is very active particularly for pharmacy prescriptions. A new format of drugstores was introduced not that long ago by Walgreens, CVS, and others with positioning of buildings with 24 hour drive through pharmacies on high cost real estate. Two things have happened with those changes. Prices skyrocketed to pay for real estate and relationships with the pharmacy customer has almost become extinct. Within this landscape I am aware of several privately held drugstores doing very well because of their attention to customer relationships.
5. Don’t push a boulder up hill. Some companies were never meant to be. People start companies or buy existing companies because they think it is a good idea. The only opinion that matter is the market. If your business was not all that strong in the past and you are basically doing everything right, the best action to stopping the profit leaks may mean closing the doors. If you are not sure Contact Me.
Reality Business: The following examples are taken from just one day’s experiences – today.
1. I was talking with a former client who is now a good friend, who told me they have exposure on a large receivable as it looks like the customer is going out of business. After asking two questions I understood that procedures installed during the consulting project were ignored. Insane management. This happens all the time where people make exceptions to sound business practices and then wonder what went wrong. Follow well founded established policies and procedures without exception. Does that mean nothing will ever go wrong? No, but the surprises will be fewer and far between.
2. During a meeting with a very successful fund manager I asked him if there was any one or two things that he attributes to his success. We were specifically talking about clients who transfer portfolios of $250,000 and higher to him from other firms. He said: “just two things: first I have a “high touch” approach which cements the relationship. The markets have been unforgiving lately. I increase my meetings with clients when competitors are shying away from making calls to people whose portfolios have been hit. Second I have marketing funnel to my target audience that has consistently worked very well.” I am not writing the details as this is proprietary but I will tell you this – you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.
3. I was invited to lunch at a very nice restaurant in Tampa. It has a fairly steep price tag for most of the selections. There were many tables available. Like nearly every other restaurant I have ever dined, regardless of price point, when I left they have no idea who I am and have no way of inviting me back. Insane management.
All in one day!!
I love talking about how easy it is for retail business to install a relationship marketing program. This is actually easy for every company, but most readers can relate to experiences with restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners, specialty shops and other retail stores. Just ask yourself when was the last time you received a thank you note, an incentive to come in for a special on a particularly slow day or a brief questionnaire asking you how they can serve you better? It happens. I listened to a story the other night about a business getting a fax every time it rains near the lunch hour from a nearby restaurant saying “It is raining. Our business will be slow today. Come in for a free Taco.”" Of course, nearly everyone will be buying more than one taco. But isn’t that cool and how hard is that to do?
Visit http://www.localretailmarketing.com for an idea on how you can begin strengthening your customer relationships. The information is free. My firm is not if you want us to do it for you. We get it done now which can be very valuable for you.
Accept The Responsibility and Take Action Starting Now!!
Sending all my readers the energy of wellness, happiness and peace.
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Steve is the President of International Business Consulting Resources. His firm specializes in guiding companies to rapid increases in revenue and profits with a sustainable growth rate. Don’t miss my FREE Report: How To Make More Money With Your Business Now and Long Term I am building my practice and welcome new client inquiries. Call me for a fee consultation at 727-587-7871 Remember many of my business building articles can be found at Steve Reports and my prosperity building tool (best tool ever for helping you manifest your goals and dreams) is The Prosperity Tool Chest and guiding articles posted very often at Prosperity Tip