Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Pilot Pete and Entrepreneur Ed Don’t Make Enough Money

Pete had been an airline pilot for 20 years.

One day Pete was talking to his friend, Ed the Entrepreneur, and noticed that Ed’s business was doing pretty well.   Apparently, Ed had all of the things necessary to “hit it big”:

– A product customers loved, with great “word of mouth” advertising;

– Years of experience “in the industry”;

– An incredible work ethic;

– and a lot of people who really “liked” him.

In fact, Ed was SO busy working in and growing his business; that he never sat down and wrote a “Business Plan” or a developed “Strategy.”  As long as he kept working persistently, Ed told Pete, one day he would achieve everything he dreamed about.

Pete felt this made perfect sense.  After all, when you know what you are doing technically, and people are coming “on board”; if you stop and take the time to Plan, it will just slow down your momentum and cut down on the “freedom” that comes from being your own boss.

So, the day before Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, Pete and several of his pilot friends talked about this and decided that since they knew how to fly, their planes were full of fuel, and people were getting on board the airplanes; it would be a waste of time to file flight plans or listen to the Air Traffic Controllers.    After all, most had been flying for a LONG time; so their Plans were “in their heads.”  What could go wrong?

So they took off together…….

– 2 ran into each other before they left the runway – because they were going so fast that, by the time they saw each other, it was too late;

– 5 got lost and crashed into mountains that were higher than the clouds below the flight path of the planes;

– 7 had to make so many “course corrections” that the fuel they started with was not enough and they ended up crashing;

– 4 had mid-air collisions with other planes that seemed to “come out of nowhere”;

– 5 landed at the wrong airports;

– 2 DID make it to their correct destinations, but it took them twice as long as expected.

Pete was one that made it to the right airport, several hours late; and he was fired.  AND he lost his Pilot’s license; so now he’s a cashier at McDonald’s (pays less than a job as a commercial airline pilot).

What about you?  Are you so convinced in your own abilities, your “experience,” and current “busy-ness” that you don’t think that you need a Plan (or maybe you will get one when things “slow down”)? 

Just because you are moving fast, does not mean that you are going to be successful in the long run:

– The Planes that run into each other on the runway are those businesses that do not do their market research, and run into a competitor to their “unique” offering that they never knew existed;

– The Planes that hit the mountains are those businesses that believe that they have “made it,” but never plan far enough ahead to anticipate surprise obstacles like shifting markets, loss of a big customer, or changing customer requirements;

– The Planes that run out of fuel are the businesses who, because they lack a clear plan, run out of cash before they hit their “tipping point” (happens a LOT);

– The Planes that have mid-air collisions are the businesses who do not plan and forecast continuously and so never see new competitors until it is too late;

– The Planes that land at the wrong airports are those businesses who, while they eventually get “somewhere,” do not achieve what they had hoped for;

– The Planes that DO make it to the right airport are those businesses who eventually succeed, but after a LOT more pain, stress, and time than they should have needed.

Ignore Pete.  This is your ideal time RIGHT NOW to sit down and create a comprehensive plan, WITH accountability; so that your business will take off quickly,  fly with less stress, and land at your goals in the time frame that YOU want.

By the way, Ed’s not doing so well in his business because his “word of mouth” customers do not come frequently enough to support Ed and his family.

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– Roger Boneno, Roger@CoachRogerBoneno.com

A Homeless Mom learns how to convey Value..

As many of you know, I volunteer every Thursday morning at The Star of Hope Homeless Mission; teaching job search, resume-writing, and interview skills to the residents there.  This particular mission is an emergency shelter for women & families; and we have been packed (www.sohmission.org) .

This week, I had a wonderful conversation with a woman who was getting ready for a couple of interviews.    I cannot go into detail, but let’s just say that she has really turned her life around.    The great news is that her husband just landed a temporary job working with computers.  The tough news is that her high-school senior daughter is living with grandma while they are at the homeless mission (not enough room at grandma’s for everyone).

As she was talking, you could clearly see how much this lady wanted a job; so, it was a great opportunity for me to help her with a few lessons:

1.  Consider what your value is; then, believe it.  When she was talking about her interview,  her first thought was to say, “I hope they will pay me $10-12/hour.”    My question to her was: what do you think your skills are WORTH.  For her, as well as many individuals and business owners, you must know exactly what value you can bring to others.   Whatever that number is, believe it!

2.  Once you believe it, then focus on how well you will COMMUNICATE your value.  For this homeless mom; after I asked her what her skills were worth, we worked on how those would be clearly communicated to the interviewer.  One of the biggest things I help both the homeless residents AND business owners with is that your value is not WHAT they can do; it is the benefit others feel they will get from you.  So, instead of saying on your resume’, “I answer phones”; write, “You will find that my Customer Service skills and positive attitude will provide your callers a friendly, helpful voice to serve their needs.” (secret..this also helps with automated screeners and search engines).

3.  PRACTICE with visualization how you will communicate your value.   What I helped this lady understand is that your brain cannot differentiate between vividly imagined experiences and actual experiences (this was a big “a-ha” to her).  And, aren’t we often better when we do something the 5th time versus the first?  So, if you are going into an interview, a sales presentation, or just a networking event; spend some time visualizing the best possible outcome.  Do this when there are no distractions around; and you will be amazed at the power of your mind (and your increased success) when the “real” thing happens.

The fact is: if you are an employee or a business owner, and are not receiving what you believe you are worth; then your next step is to find a way to better define and communicate your value to others.

So, do this simple exercise:

  • Sit down and just start writing down everything you do that has value.
  • When you have done that, then ask yourself how you could communicate each item so that others will see the value in your offering.
  • Finally, spend time visualizing how you will communicate that with those who could benefit from what you offer.

Comment below if you find any “aha’s” between what you have BEEN doing (and perhaps not been getting the results you want); and what you will change going forward.

4 ways to Pick Your Prospects to Power Your Profitability

You probably do not need to be told this: some customers are more profitable than others.  If you can learn to pick the RIGHT prospects to be your customers, you will truly accelerate your profitability.

While this is more challenging to do than to say, there are some things you can do in your marketing to bring yourself more profitable customers.

1.  Target those prospects with a bigger reason, or “Why,” they want your product.  This is not a question of how they will use your product.  It is really about the emotions associated with what you sell.    A good example is a landscaper who markets not to people who just want a nice-looking flowerbed; but to the people who want top win “Yard of the Month.”  So, instead of dropping flyers off at the houses with ugly  lawns; they introduce themselves to the people with the BEST lawns in the neighborhood.

2.  Make your Advertising about your most profitable Customer.   I am sitting here looking at numerous ads that are basically a list of items or services.   When you do this, you are BEGGING people to shop you around.  And those people who are looking to “shop” you are very price sensitive.    A construction company that says they do Patios gets less profitability from their customers than the contractor who offers Backyard Entertainment Areas.

3.  Position yourself as an INVESTMENT instead of a purchase.    Interestingly enough, many businesses strip away features and benefits from their offerings to be able to offer (what THEY think is) the lowest price.  Unfortunately, this moves you closer to becoming a purchase instead of an investment; and, when that happens, you end up targeting prospects who are MORE price sensitive.   Wal-Mart can sell bicycles to children who want to ride them around the neighborhood; you should sell bicycles to people who are looking to ride in triathlons.

4.  Focus your marketing on customers for whom your product is a LOW % of their cash flow.  The smaller the percentage; the easier it is for you to get them to “try it out” if they have never used your product/service before.   The key word in this rule:  FOCUS.    This rule is almost never broken intentionally; but because you think that promoting yourself to “as many people as possible” is the way to go.    Whether you have $1,000 or $100,000 to spend on Marketing;  focus your resources on those who can more easily afford more of your product or services.    As an added benefit, once these prospects become your customers: you can increase your profitability by offering them more opportunities to invest in and benefit from your products and services.

In your business, the more you work you do around making sure you are marketing to the RIGHT prospects; the more likely they will come to YOU, and the less work you will do trying to convince them to buy.

Coach Roger’s Business Growth Excuse “Hall of Fame”

As I boarded my flight to Ft. Lauderdale this morning (heading to our Franchise Conference – no beach for me, because we spend all of our time learning), I was once again impressed by the efficiency and friendliness of the team at Southwest
Airlines.  Sure, it’s not the same as the private jets I flew on when I was working on restaurant turnarounds at KFC and Joe’s Crab Shack; but Southwest reminds me that a “big company” can still provide great personal service.

So that’s my inspiration for today’s post: Coach Roger’s “Business Growth Excuse Hall of Fame.”  These are the top reasons business owners rationalize for not taking massive action to grow their businesses (tip: trying to get more “word of mouth” referrals does NOT count as massive action).   If you recognize any of these in yourself; then my coaching to you today is to take out a piece of paper and write down a one paragraph “action plan” to make a change (you are not making an excuse to avoid this, are you?).

#1 – “I do not want to grow too fast, because that would limit my ability to provide great customer service.”   Sorry, but if Southwest Airlines can get thousands of planes across the country to ferry millions of passengers, while still having friendly flight attendants and on-time performance; this one does not work for you.

#2 – “I do not have any time to work on my business.  There is so much to do.”  I am going to have to call you on that one.  What this REALLY means is that you have prioritized other things in front of growing your business.  (Or, perhaps you need to read my previous post “5 Ways to Free up at least 5 hours/week”)

#3 – “The economy is tough.”  Well, yes it is.  But many of the most successful companies (like FedEx and General Electric) were founded during recessions/depressions.  Those companies were started by people who had VISION, and the COMMITMENT to succeed.

#4 – “I do not have any money to spend on marketing.”   There are hundreds of ways to promote your business without spending tons of money.   All it takes is a little research, the willingness to try new things, and the discipline to measure results to see what works (and walk away from what does not).

#5 – “What I have been doing has worked to get me here; so I am not going to change it.”  That is perfectly fine, as long as the markets/ your competitors/your
prospects do not change.  But, if you wear shorts all Summer when it is 90 degrees outside; is it wise to keep doing that when it falls to freezing just because that worked for you for several months?   Rather than wait until your business is freezing by a surprise “cold front”; take action now to stay ahead of challenges and changes.

#6: “I have tried everything, and nothing seems to work.”  Here is where the wheat is separated from the chaff: how willing are you to persevere; even if nothing seems to work.  Colonel Sanders heard thousands of “no’s” until a Utah businessman named
Pete Harman said yes, and Kentucky Fried Chicken was born.   And Colonel Sanders was not exactly a “spring chicken” (pun intended) when he started out.

I would love to read comments from you if you recognize any of these in yourself, and have
written out your Action Plan to make a change.  Also, feel free to share YOUR favorite
excuses.  Maybe your comments can help others.

Coach Roger’s 9 Question Business Checkup

Just like your body, your business needs to undergo regular checkups to ensure peak performance.  Whether your business is large or small, you must review the overall health of your business at least once every year.

Here are 9 questions you should answer for your “Business Checkup”

  • How do your year-to-date sales compare to those from the last couple of years?  Don’t be satisfied if you managed to match prior years’ sales; because, if sales have stayed the same, then you’ve achieved zero growth.   Given the impact of inflation, this flat growth line is a warning sign for more trouble down the road.
  • What  percentage of your business is from repeat customers? This is important to know because the estimated cost of getting a new customer versus retaining an existing one can be as much as five to one.
  • How long has it been since you offered a new product or service?  Loyal customers like to see you changing and progressing with the times.  If
    you’re stuck for an idea, ask your customers what they need.
  • Have you evaluated your marketing and advertising expenses?  How you look at the money spent in these areas affects your willingness to spend money at all.  Would you look at prescriptions as a waste of money?  Marketing is really about investing in you, your vision, and your company.  The old adage that you must spend money  to make money is true; but you must spend it wisely.  Spend it on ads that are pulling responses and orders; and, if they’re not, maybe you need to change tactics.
  • Do you  know what PR is and how to use it to positively position your business in  the media?  I’ll bet that at least one of your competitors does.
    Nearly every mention of a company or business in the newspapers and magazines is a direct result of publicity efforts.  Being quoted or featured in an article speaks volumes to your clients and readers; who are your potential prospects.  A good PR consultant can do that for you, and show you ways to extend the shelf life of that publicity beyond its publication.
  • Do you do anything special for your regular customers?  You should.  If your customers don’t feel special when coming to you for products of services, why should they remain loyal to you?  Have a customer appreciation day or a special invitation only sale for your regulars.  Create a mailing list of your regulars.  Send occasional post cards or greeting cards for special events or just to keep in touch.  Learn to recognize them on sight and greet them by name when they visit you.
  • How long has it been since you really talked to one of your customers?  Just as you appreciate when your Doctor takes time to talk to you, your customers will appreciate you if you take an interest in their needs.  If you have a service business; have lunch or coffee periodically with some regulars – even if they only contact you once or twice a year.  The personal touch in an impersonal world will be remembered.
  • How is your business doing compared to your competition?  Every company, no matter what the size, has competition – even home-based businesses.  Is their business growing or downsizing? Is their pricing or service better than yours?  If so, what can you tell potential customers about the price difference?  Think about how you can improve your service to meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.
  • Are your employees happy?  Don’t ask them directly; but observe them throughout the day.  Watch, listen and learn.  Employees who like their jobs don’t
    watch the clock for quitting time, aren’t habitually late, don’t have poor body language, don’t spend time on personal phone calls, and don’t look like they never smiled.  Observe how they interact with customers.  Be aware that not everyone is a match for direct contact with the public; so make sure you don’t have an employee who is driving business away.

In the end, you must give your business “regular checkups” to make sure it lives a long, healthy life!

5 Ways to Free up at least 5 hours/week

Lack of Time is probably one of the top excuses reasons people give for why their business is not where they want it to be.  However, I have ALWAYS been able to find at least 5-10 hours that the business owner could re-deploy to build their businesses.

So what are 5 things you can do to get more time:

1.  Make decisions more quickly.    The faster you make decisions; the more action you will be able to take.  I am not saying to make “rash” decisions.  However, the longer you take to make decisions;  the more you are distracted by uncertainty.  And, like any distraction, that will increase the amount of time you take to do other tasks.

2. Stop trying to get everything “Perfect.”  Realize that you will not ever make the PERFECT decision.  So the extra hour (or two, or five) you spend getting everything “just right” often has minimal impact.  Very often, especially in business, the “Perfect” are trumped by the “Quick.”

3.  Let your Calendar be your friend.  If you have something to do, don’t say you need to do it by “end of day tomorrow.”  Instead, schedule it on your calendar as an appointment at 3-4pm tomorrow.  At the beginning of the week; as well as every night; plan your week/day.  By setting appointments with yourself; you actually will find yourself becoming more efficient with your time (instead of saying, “hey, I have all day to do this”).

4.  Set your priorities, and align your activities around them.   Knowing your priorities will make sure that you are not spending a lot of time with unproductive (read as “time-wasting”) activities.  For example, if you are in business, ask yourself if the activities you are doing are geared towards building your business.

5.  Understand when you are creative; vs. when you are task oriented.  This one is really powerful.  Think of when you get your most creative ideas.  If it is in the morning, for example, and you try to do “creative” work in the evening; it will take you twice as long.  That is because you will be working against your tendencies.

If you integrate these 5 tips into your life, I can almost GUARANTEE that you will free up at least 5 hours of your time every week.   I would love for you to comment below and let me know how you do at employing these time-adding tactics!

Avoid this Myth about the Entrepreneur’s Life

This may surprise you, but the #1 reason business owners engage me to Coach them is NOT to do more “marketing” (although we do make that happen). 

The biggest reason is actually because they want to have BOTH a great business AND time for their lives.  It is a complete MYTH that you must work all the time to be a successful entrepreneur. 

So why must you be a better time manager?

Because time management involves everything you do. And managing your time well will give you benefits in every level of your life: physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual.

    1. Physical:  You have less stress and fatigue, which leads to a healthier body.  Besides the fact that stress is proven to cause physical ailments; many people react to stress by overeating or drinking too much alcohol –  both of which can have negative impact on your physical condition.
    2. Intellectual:  You get more time to think through issues, which allows you to generate better ideas in a shorter time frame.  Great time managers are better able to tap into their creative side;
    3. Social:  You can develop better personal or intimate relations and can be an active contributor to society.
    4. Emotional:  With less time pressure, you are able to better manage your emotions, particularly in critical situations. (This also helps your social life 🙂 )
    5. Spiritual:   Managing your time so that you can focus on your spiritual life is essential to a happier life here (and in the next world).  Mother Theresa once said that when she knew the day would be busier, THAT was when she spent more time in prayer.  Great advice for ALL of us.

Thoroughly planning and having a complete list of things to do for each of the key areas may not be very practical; but determining which area in your life is not being giving enough attention is part of time management. Each area creates the whole you; so if you are ignoring one area then you are ignoring an important part of yourself.

Personal time management is not so daunting a task. It is a very sensible and reasonable approach in solving problems big or small.  From the moment you integrate into your life time management skills, you will suddenly find opportunities and growth that you were once too “busy” to see. 

How many of you reading this are “so busy trying to be successful that you’re not able to have positive cash flow AND enjoy what you are working for?”

Call Coach Roger now at 281-937-7196 or email me at Rboneno@AdviCoach.com to see why my clients call me the “best coach ever” (quote from Nubia Casler, President of Credit Recovery Group and CRG-Texas Environmental Services).  

When you subscribe to my BLOG and schedule your Complimentary Coaching Session, you will get a free Time Management Analysis as well as a detailed financial benchmarking analysis that compares YOUR business to your competitors.  It will be the BEST TIME you have spent for your business and your life!

Do Your Employees ask you questions or do they “Wing it”?

Do your employees frustrate you when they “wing it” when dealing with problems, rather than asking you for help.

Or do they come to you for every little issue, making it impossible for you to manage your time?

If they ARE asking you questions; consider yourself lucky!

 According to a survey of British employees conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the British Library, 85 percent of workers would go somewhere else—seemingly anywhere else—before asking their supervisors for help.

 The good news (if there is any): Only 23 percent said they turn elsewhere because they don’t trust their boss’s judgment or ability to help. Instead, 48 percent said they didn’t want to bother their managers, while 30 percent said they were afraid of looking incompetent and 20 percent worried about being negatively judged for not knowing what to do.

In reality, YOUR job as their boss is to help them do THEIR job.  That is how you will get results in less time and with less stress.   So remind employees that you’re there to assist them; and don’t punish them for asking reasonable questions. 

Learn how to get your team to ask JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT of questions, with a Team Building System and Operations and Training Manual System from AdviCoach.    Call Coach Roger now at 281-937-7196 or email me at Rboneno@AdviCoach.comThe first 5 people to email me will get a free PERSONAL consultation with Coach Roger!