My long career in assisting entrepreneurs has helped me create some
observations that hopefully resonate with you. Hopefully, we can examine one or
more of your situations and collaborate to improve your management practices,
creating greater profitability and job satisfaction.
Outlined below are various client situations that you may identify with:
- PAYROLL: A BITTERSWEET EVENT EACH PAY PERIOD
“Tom, the greatest pleasure I received was knowing that my company
paychecks were helping people feed their family and allow them to work in
their beloved vocation. Likewise, the greatest anxiety I experienced was
worrying about having enough money to cover payroll every two weeks.
Cash flow was often inhibited by slow customer payments, lack of
profitability, and not having established a bank line of credit.”
- YOU ARE GOING TO WORK ON MY ACCOUNT, AREN’T YOU?
“Tom, the problem with new business development is new clients want the
presenters to be assigned to their account; as in, “you are going to head my
account, aren’t you?” Our senior staff is equally capable of winning the business, but we always use the Principals. Our staff feels discounted and become discouraged; when, in fact, the Principals are already spread too thin.”
- VERY FEW COMPANIES ADEQUATELY ADJUST THEIR BUSINESS PLANS WHEN
THEIR BUDGETS AND FORECASTS GO AWRY
The only company I have ever worked with that continually adjusted their
short-range and long-range forecasts is General Electric. GE always
emphasized staying attuned to changing circumstances. Action steps need to
be adjusted to changing financial situations.
- YOUNG PEOPLE DON’T SEEM TO BE LIKE THE ENTREPRENEURS THEY WORK
During the last ten years, various entrepreneurs have shared a personal
disillusionment in managing “younger employees.” There seems to be a loss
in passion, commitment to clients and even their own personal
development. Yes, a balanced life is important but the thrill of doing great
work does not appear to be as important as it once was.
- BANKERS ALWAYS SEEM TO FOCUS ON TWO INDICES; The 80/20 Rule
The “80/20 Rule” is almost as old as business itself! Do 20% of your
customers really represent 80% of your business; and, if so, how secure are
those relationships? And, if you were to review the composition of the 20%, how
many represent more than 5% to 8% of your sales?
- “TELL ME, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT IS SIMILAR TO WHAT I NEED?”
When seeking new business or an extended client relationship, do you have
“best case” studies to represent what you have done that a client would
embrace? Are they archived? Can various members tell “the story,” why and
how it was developed, what problem was solved, and if they maintained its
- “WHAT AM I BUYING?”
A client acquires a certain view of an organization, their staff composition,
office setting and financial well-being. “What does the future appear to
be?” How dependent is the company on the owner and key Principals? Are
they the brand? Will the brand exist if they are no longer there? Does the
vibrant spirit extend beyond? “Is your company considered “too old” or
- CLIENTS AND STAFF OFTEN FEEL “IGNORED OR LEFT BEHIND.” EVEN THE
Most often, “endearment programs” are not developed to embrace clients,
employees, great work and the community, even to enjoy life.
Entrepreneurs need to remind themselves that there are at least four
“endearments” that appear critical in a successful business: clients, great
work, employees and the community. One might add that there needs to be
an endearment to joy in life.
- EVER SINCE THE “DOT BOMB OF THE EARLY 2000’S,” ‘ROI’ HAS TAKEN
There is a great emphasis on online marketing and social media, but the
return on the sales and marketing tactics is difficult to measure.