Categories
Attitude Entrepeneurship Management

I Hope Your Guy Won

I really do.

That means you will have fewer excuses in the future.

What does the result of an election have to do with excuses?

It is easy to point to external circumstances as reasons why failure is inevitable or acceptable. The elected administrations are  seen as the cause or the cure for the economic environment.

That environment is seen as the key factor in business success.

I say, No.

Yes, the macro or big-picture economy is important to business success.

But, unless you are engaged in the collapsing housing and mortgage markets, it isn’t as important as you fear.

Your business has customers and competitors.

Let your competitors cower in fear.

YOU take stock and chart a safe course through the tumult, and expand into their market. While you’re at it, take their customers, too.

You see, everybody makes their economic decisions, not on the general economy, but on their own personal circumstances.

Sure, the news on Wall Street will have impact on those decisions. But it is the bills in the mail, the price of gas, and the boss at work that have more impact.

So, whether your guy won or not should cheer or disappoint you.

But, don’t count on him (or her) to solve your economic problems.

After all. It’s YOUR business, not theirs.

Make your plans with alternatives to counter higher prices.

Decide how to plan for manpower.

Be creative and discover ways to better communicate to your market that you are still there and willing to help them out.

There will always be customers who are above the economics and will continue to darken your door.

You just have to keep finding them.

It is your business.

You have no business letting its success hinge on the decisions and actions of that guy in the Whitehouse – whether you voted for him or not.

Your responsibility is to make it work in SPITE of what goes on in Washington or your Statehouse.

You have commitments to meet, customers to serve, and employees who depend on you.

Don’t let them down.

John L

Categories
Marketing

More on Marketing

I’ve written a bit about Marketing, before, here: 3-Legged Stool of Business Success.

It is a topic I will spend more time on because it is critical to business success.

But, as much as I hate to admit it, there are others with plenty more knowledge and experience you can learn from.

I learn every day.

One of them is Jack Humphrey. He runs a Blog of breaking and important marketing information, focused mostly on using social sites to better advantage.

He is also the force behind the Authority Site Center.

But, he, too, refers to others to become more informed and skilled in marketing.

He posted a list of his Top-7 Marketing Blogs.

You can read it here: The Best Marketing Blogs Right Now.

Some of them you might already read regularly. I found some I had not seen before, and have added them to my reading list.

You should do the same.

John L

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Categories
Entrepeneurship Management

Making the Hard Decisions

The current economic turmoil will have its negative effects on individuals for years to come.

If you are in a position to make the hard choices, this is for you.

.If you are affected by those choices, I hope this helps you understand.

The company requires survival, and that survival requires certain decisions, most of which are distasteful.

On top of that, some decisions automatically eliminate certain future options of pursuit.

When we decide to abandon an operating market, we flush the sunk costs of opening it, and we make it very unlikely we will return.

If we had not opened it in the first place, we could always come in at a later date.

But exiting might be required.

As we choose to restrict capital expenditures, we automatically restrict potential growth.

As markets grow, we require new equipment or expanded facilities to accommodate it. If there is no money, there is no expansion, there is no growth.

This is the difficult choice.

As we address payroll considerations, we make similar restrictions in our future.

We presumably have competent people working in the right positions.

If we lay them off, chances are that they will end up working for another company and not be available to us in the future.

Worse, they may go to work for a competitor – in spite of any covenants they may have signed.

When we need to accomplish the work once again, we will be put in a required position of hiring and training someone to do the job.

Extra expense in the future is always the cost of replacing cost-savings of the past.

But, survival, now, is paramount.

We must make the hard choices that affect our future abilities to respond.

We also must try to minimize that future effect and make our decisions in line with our Mission.

Do not be impulsive in this most critical environment.

So, when survival is the requirement, make the correct decisions swiftly.

Do not hesitate and hope that the circumstances will change – they will, but not likely for the better, or not soon enough to be of any help.

Gauge the consequences, accept the risk, make the decision, take the action.

Categories
Entrepeneurship Management Motivation

What Is Required of an Employee?

This is the crux of the owner-dilemma.

How does the owner be both boss and employee? How is the day divided into boss-things and worker-things? How does the boss-part get the worker-part to do the work?

Good Employee Traits

  • He is expected to show up at work on time, and to work until the shift is over.
  • She is expected to execute the activities of the job requirements with precision and efficiency.
  • He is expected to earn his wage and be a positive contributor to the bottom line.
  • She is not expected to fritter away the day in idle pursuits.
  • He is not expected to cover-over major or minor errors.
  • She is not expected to be a hindrance to company progress.
  • He is not expected to be a negative influence on other employees.

All in all, an employee is a desirable asset to the company, one who is productive and worthwhile.

Are YOU a Good Employee?

How am I a Good employee?

I am not.

I do the minimum required to get the day done. I avoid the repetitive drudge that makes a business go.

I know what needs to be done, but I don’t do it.

I know what I shouldn’t do, but I do it anyway.

I should be let go.

I can’t get over with just my good looks alone, I have to add value to the company by my presence and actions.

That is what I have as my most unproductive attitude.

I don’t work unless pressed into it.

Deadlines get me to do the necessary things.

I avoid the clerical tasks – UNLESS – they keep me from the even harder work of creatively advancing the business agenda.

How hard is it to do the work? How difficult to sit down and grind it out?

When did it become impossible to make time to do the little things that advance business? Why can’t I read and implement simple marketing texts?

What is WRONG with me?

Are you waiting for success to strike from above, or ambush you when you’re not looking?

Do you expect success to be like the lottery. “I don’t need to do anything except buy the ticket.”

How absurd!

I’m you’re an intelligent and capable person who can take on any task and succeed, do you somehow choose to do otherwise.

Are you a self-defeating mechanism.

I don’t think my way into a day, don’t pay attention to any of my priorities, and don’t execute when I am forced to.

I do the minimums.

I should get the minimums.

What the Boss Needs to Do

What I need to do each day is to:

  • KNOW what I need to do.
  • PLAN how I need to do it.
  • WRITE the Plan down so I won’t forget.
  • EXECUTE the Plan.
  • EVALUATE the Execution and the Plan.
  • CHOOSE to do it again.

Every day is my only opportunity to advance.

Tomorrow might never arrive.

Yesterday is gone.

The ONLY time is NOW.

DO IT NOW!

Categories
Attitude Customer Service Entrepeneurship Management Profits

Getting Down to Business

If you want to be in business for yourself — be in business.

Think and Act like this is important to you.

Put your hobbies away and get down to business.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that your business needs to make a profit, or it isn’t a business, but a charity — for your customers.

At the end of the day, Profit needs to be at the end of the Income Statement.

Profit is your goal.

Now, you might think that your goal in business is to improve the lives of your customers.

Well, you might be able to manage to do that. But, without profits, you won’t do it for very long.

Profits are the ultimate goal for any business. Profits are Good. They are essential.

Making the Sale

Profits don’t start with keeping expenses to a minimum. They start with a sale.

Something has to be sold before any profits accrue.

So, your number one goal for any given day is to make sales. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a product, or a service, if someone doesn’t “buy” from you, today, you missed your mark.

Now, you might have other things to do throughout the day.

Activities like production and accounting keep the wheels on.

But, if you ask yourself, “Is this contributing to making a sale?” and say, “No”, then it is time to re-focus.

You make the sale by funneling suspects into qualified prospects, and from there, into paying customers.

If you do business online, this means generating enough targeted traffic to your sales pages so someone will click the “Buy” button.

It also means writing and re-writing your sales pages so your Conversion Rate improves.

If you do business from a store-front, you still have the same operational goal: attract targeted traffic to come in and look at your merchandise or service.

If you do any kind of in-home or in-office sales, then your phone better be burning up with your out-bound prospecting calls in between the inbound inquiries.

Going to Work

As a business owner, you have great freedom and flexibility.

I always loved how flexible my calendar was.

I only had to work half-days, and the Best part was that I got to choose which 12-hours that was.

As the owner, you have to be both the boss AND the employee.

How good are you as a boss? Do you have exciting plans for your business? Do you have plenty of productive work for your employees to do? Are you able to motivate even the most recalcitrant employee? Do you take good care of both customers and employees?

The larger question is:

How good are you as an employee?

Do you show up for work on time and ready to work? Do you get the most important work done first? Do you avoid the productivity sink of online browsing? Do you earn 10-times your salary? Do you take good care of the customers? Do you always seek to be a little bit better than last time? Are you a good role model for the other employees? Do you make the boss look good?

The key is for you to remember that your business success rests solely on YOU.

You have to make it go.

You have to keep it running.

If your business fails, it is probably because you weren’t a good boss, or you weren’t a good employee, or both.

Get Focused

Focus on Bottom Line Profits.

Focus on Making that Sale.

Focus on being the best Boss and best Employee you can be.

Focus…