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
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…

Categories
Attitude Motivation

Procrastination – THE Success Killer

I was going to write a great article on this, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.

You can tell because it has been weeks since I last came here to write.

Isn’t that the story of procrastination?

No, that is the result.

The story is more complex than that for most of us.

Procrastination is the act of not acting productively.

Procrastination substitutes busyness for action.

Procrastination is a behavior and habit of not doing what needs to be done.

I procrastinate in more ways than I care to list.

Most times because the task at hand isn’t “fun”.

Other times, it’s because I get distracted and chase shiny objects.

And other times, I never get my day started right, and I just react to random inputs instead of focusing on what needs to be done.

I rarely pay attention to my list of things to do. I’m GOOD at procrastinating.

Most deadly is an unacknowledged fear that if I start this project, I will not succeed, so why start? Or, worse, that I WILL succeed. And if I succeed, I’m afraid of the unknown results and consequences.

Those consequences might bring tasks or situations that will be beyond my ability to handle, and it MIGHT end up in me failing after all.

So why start?

I have to convince myself that failure is OK.

Well, I know that!

I’ve failed plenty of times in my life.

Some have been pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. It hasn’t killed me yet.

I know that failure is only a state of mind, not a condition of life. I know that failures teach me things so that I will be less likely to fail in the future. I know that I am not defined by my failures, but by my actions and attitudes as a result of them.

Success brings a new set of problems, and more opportunities for failure.

Falling from a higher ledge only makes the landing that much more painful. Why subject myself to an increase in pain and dejection?

Because from that higher ledge, I can see so much more opportunity for fulfillment and success.

Because success brings good things, too. If my goals are related to helping other people learn and grow, I get the joy of seeing that happen. I get happiness from their joy.

I might even get wealth and respect.

I certainly will get a personal sense of satisfaction and an increased sense of capability.

I am a Winner!

So, procrastination is a mental battle between me and my destiny.

I might like the thrill of working under pressure and deadlines.

I might like the attention it brings when others are reliant on my success.

I might just hate doing what I need to do.

It is boring or I am not good at it or I don’t even know how to do it.

These attitudes and rewards from procrastination are habits that I’ve cultivated over the years.

These are simply mental issues. They are conditions of my mind that I have to wrestle with and overcome. It is I that has the responsibility to manage Me. It is My task to stay on task. It is Me who holds the key to productivity and success.

I have to develop the habits and discipline to get started, to continue, and continue until I reach the end.

And that is the secret to success: Start. Continue. Finish.

Categories
Attitude Customer Service

The Customer Isn’t Always Right!

But, They Are ALWAYS The Customer.

The other night, I watched the Celebrity Apprentice. Gene Simmons, of KISS fame, had just triumphed as Project Manager and was given the opportunity to lead the women. He took the chance.

Their task was to introduce a new printer for Kodak. Gene established that he was in charge, and that their theme was to be “It’s a Kodak World. Welcome…” They did a really good and professional job of presenting the product.

But, they lost.

Gene’s answer to Donald Trump was, “The customer is wrong.”

The problem was that Kodak knew what they were trying to accomplish. They weren’t wrong – this time. AND, they were the Customer.

We have heard, “The Customer Is Always Right” over and over again. The concept is correct, but the statement is not. The Customer isn’t always right. Taking that attitude literally can lead to some interesting consequences.

For example, it can lead to a company Returns policy that accepts tires or anything else NOT SOLD by that store. It leads to a hypocrisy for the salesman who hears that the Customer’s. “NO” is just the beginning of selling – keep closing… It can lead to designing products by poll or focus groups only to have them fail miserably in the marketplace.

The reality is that the Customer is King or Queen is the right attitude. Everything we do needs to be aimed at the customer. We treat every customer with courtesy and respect. We go the extra mile in seeing that their needs are met. We over-deliver so the customer gets a WOW experience every time they come into contact with us.

The Customer isn’t always right, but the Customer is ALWAYS the Customer!

What do you think?

Categories
Attitude Motivation

Keeping Your Mental Attitude Positive

Running your own business is hard, but satisfying work. There is so much freedom of action involved.

  • You get to do whatever your customers want.
  • You can set your own hours.
  • You only have to work half-days.
  • You get to choose which 12 hours that will be.

It really is hard, sometimes, to keep up the pace when confronted with those hard obstacles like fiercely angry customers, vendors with no stock, bankers, the Post Office, taxes, employees (shudder). One of your most important self-activities is to keep your attitude positive. You’ve got to work at it.

A Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is important for several reasons. Without it, you’ll descend into despair when troubles come, and they will. You’ll get farther along with your customers by exuding positive joy instead of negative grouch. You’ll influence others who will mirror back to you what your attitude is.

How do you develop this Positive Mental Attitude?

You can begin by refreshing your memory about your goals and dreams – every day. Make and place visual reminders of what your business is doing for you and your family. Pictures of cars and houses might seem like so much hooey, but they remind you of what’s down the road for you with this business.

You can do affirmations. These simple, as-it-will-be sentences will program your sub-conscience to stay on the lookout for the conditions you describe, and will make it so.

You can journal your way through rough patches to discover how it happened and what you can do to change the outcome should it ever happen again. The answer is rarely, “I’m never going to do business with X-customers again!”

In the end, you will be exercising Discipline to your mind, taking every thought captive and changing it into a positive reflection.

You don ‘t have problems, you have challenges. There are no obstacles, only opportunities. Your brother-in-law is a dork, and cannot kill your dream.

I wake up every morning and say to myself, “It’s GREAT to be alive! Lord, give me a GREAT Day!” And it is.

We see and hear what we expect to see and hear, based on our past experiences. Today will become a past experience, so make it be positive.

How do you maintain a Positive Attitude?