Tag Archives: Team Building

Jackie and her Ladder – A Business Story

Once upon a time there was a very nice lady named Jackie.  Jackie sold cupcakes and cookies from her cozy little home in the suburbs that she built herself.

Now, Jackie made great cupcakes…and cookies.   And Jackie was even pretty skilled at building houses. 

But..she was missing one small skill:  she did not know how to cut out and put in a door.

So, Jackie bought a ladder and put it up her Chimney. 

Every day, Jackie climbed up the Chimney with her cupcakes and cookies, sold them in the marketplace, and went back home through the Chimney.  It was an OK life.  And, since she was pretty good at going up and down the Chimney every day, Jackie lived a nice life.

That is, until Louise moved into the neighborhood.

Louise DID know how to build a door.  And she could fit not just cupcakes and cookies through the door, but Cakes and Coolers of Ice Cream.

And, if Louise did not have a specific item, she could go back easily into her house and get it.    As fast as Jackie was able to climb up and down the ladder; Louise’s door was still faster.

So, Jackie HAD gotten better at what she was doing.  But, because she was missing a crucial skill, her sales started falling. 

Everyone still agreed that Jackie had great cupcakes and cookies; but Jackie eventually went out of business. 

All because Jackie was convinced that her 20 years of ladder-climbing and cupcake/cookie selling experience were going to continue to sustain her.  She never saw Louise and her door coming until it was too late.

How many of you out there keep saying that you DON’T need help; because what you do has been working?

Well, THIS is what I help you do with a PLAN.  We’ll not just determine how you get from where you are now to where you want to be; but we’ll find out:

– Do you need a Door (a different marketing approach, new team members or better recruiting/hiring/team motivation plans)?

– How do you even ANTICIPATE a potential door-building competitor (there are simple financial indicators that will reveal problems long before they become catastrophes)?

– How do you build the door, or get the bank to lend you money to purchase one (having helped companies obtain millions of dollars in funding, I’ll teach you how you can get the bank to loan you more money at a lower rate)?

– Do you need to have Cakes and Ice Cream (new products or services)?

– How could you get your Cakes and Ice-Cream to market quickly and profitably?

It’s time, RIGHT NOW, for you to get that Plan. 

A Strategic Plan helps you now AND will provide you a way to see the signals if something is going wrong.  Plus, you learn how to be agile enough to respond to changing markets and customer desires.  AND MAKE MORE PROFIT. 

While I’m not Bob Villa with a tool chest building a house; I AM like a Bob Villa of Business Plan building.  Check out this LinkedIn Profile (at last check, 29 Strategic Planning endorsements and 35 Written Recommendations).

When we are finished you will have, IN WRITING, a LIVING DOCUMENT FOR YOU!

Engage Now for a Very Special Year-end rate.  CLICK HERE and reserve your spot!  On Saturday night,  November 17, 2012,  the $997 rate becomes the regular, $2,500 rate.

Remember:    It is OK for you to say “No” and keep going up and down your ladder without a Professional plan.  Just make sure that you DECIDED to do that; instead of letting it happen to you like it did to Jackie..by default.

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4 Ways that you Block your Potential Customers from Buying

“Sales cures all ills.”

Most people have heard that saying before.   Now, it’s not ALWAYS true (since I have seen a lot of business owners who do not understand that they are selling at a loss  – many of my Restaurant clients sell a lot of things at a loss, until I help them see why their profit is almost zero).

That said, if you have SOME margin control, increasing Sales DOES help quite a bit, wouldn’t you agree?

So, here’s the strange part:  many business owners – Restaurants, retail, even B2B – put up giant obstacles to getting sales from eager prospects.

What are the Top 4 ways you Block your Customers from Buying?

1.  You make it hard for your best prospects to hear or see you:  When I was working on marketing campaigns for Joe’s Crab Shack; one time we were doing a coupon as part of a “Welcome to our Email Club” campaign.  When Tilman Fertitta, our CEO, was asked about the coupon, he responded with “Do you think I use coupons?”

Somewhat of a humorous note; but an excellent point for you:  unless you have actually defined SPECIFICALLY who your best prospects are, you will not be able to create marketing that actually talks directly to those prospects.   Your prospect WANTS your product; NEEDS your product; will PAY for your product; but you create such generic messages that they never can hear you above the 10,000 other messages they get every day.  Your message of how you “have the best product, service and prices” makes you just another black and white penguin on an icecap filled with penguins.

2.  You get your prospect excited, then Ignore him.   Many of you have prospects out there who have heard of you and actually like what you have to offer.  They are ready to buy,  But, you do not answer the phone when they call to find out your hours.  Or, they call and leave a message, but no one ever calls them back.  Or, worse, they call and you transfer them to another line that never answers.

Maybe you have called them when they are busy themselves; but you forget to call them back, so they buy your product from someone else.

Yes, you are busy.  Maybe your restaurant is having a busy lunch, or you have back-to-back sales appointments; but, without a strong SYSTEM to ensure prospect contacts get answered. your customer will feel ignored.  And, just to be clear, ignored prospects rarely buy.

3.   You speak German when your prospect speaks French – I am not really talking about languages in the literal sense.  I AM talking about all of the advertising out there that is based on the business owner’s perspective, instead of the customer’s perspective.  Your lunch menu says that you have $8 lunches; but your customer really wants 30 minute lunches.  Or, you talk about the beauty of your landscaping designs, when your customer wants to know if what you plant will last more than 6 months.

Do some research, talk to current customers as well as people who do not buy from you; and find out the language they want to hear.  You may be surprised to find out that just a few tweaks in HOW you talk to potential customers can have a massive impact on how MUCH they buy from you.

4.  You “bring him the check before he sees the Dessert Menu” – One of my rules when we go to a restaurant is that, if the server brings me the check before I see the Dessert Tray or Menu, we do not order dessert at the restaurant.  That’s a lost sale for the restaurant, and lower tip for the server.

But, even B2B businesses do this: you find something your customer wants and you are so excited to get a sale; that you do not ask follow-up questions to see if there are more ways for you to serve them.  In your mind, you are yelling “Hooray,” while your customer is thinking, “I sure wish they would do this also, because I wanted it.”  You DO have that extra product or service, but the prospects don’t find out until they have bought that from someone else (when it’s too late for you).

To wrap up, how many of you have said or thought that you wished you had more sales?   Before you just throw more money at marketing, or offer more discounts; see what you might be doing to block the sales that are already waiting to come to you.  You may find that just a few simple adjustments can make a massive difference in your sales growth!

I really would like your feedback on this.  Is there anything else that you have found “blocking” customers from buying from you?  

Comment below, or email me at Roger@CoachRogerBoneno.com.

How to Implement Stevie Wonder’s Best Business Building Tip

No April rain

No flowers bloom

No wedding Saturday within the month of June

(If you are feeling a little romantic, or WANT to feel that way 🙂 , watch here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwOU3bnuU0k)

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I am probably revealing how old I am, but this was a very popular song when I was in High School.  So, why am I bringing this up in a Business Blog?

Because, while many business owners believe that “word of mouth” is a great way to build their businesses with less  effort; very often they believe that just having a great product and service is how to get referrals.    But, realistically, how many of you have received great service from someone, and MEANT to tell everyone about it, but never did?   You get busy, so you never do.   Or, maybe there was just this one thing…

This is where Stevie Wonder comes in.  His advice?  “Just [Call] to say I love you…just [call] to say how much I care.”   And Stevie says to do it not because of an occasion, but “just because.”   Here are some ways for you to do that:

1.  Send physical (NOT email) Thank You notes;

2.  Send them a little gift (or, if it is a BIG contract, a BIG gift…assuming you are not in a regulated field);

3.  Actually CALL them, and say how much you appreciate their business;

4.  Actively seek out a referral for them, or make a strategic connection that might help THEM;

5.  Provide a little unexpected bonus service.

Again…don’t just do these right after they give you money or because of a holiday; but do it when they might not expect it.  Perhaps you send them something midway through the contract period.  Or maybe a month after they bought something.  You CAN schedule it on your calendar, but just do not do it around any specific event.

And do NOT..I repeat..do NOT ask for more business or try to sell them something else at the same time that you do one of these.  Otherwise, it does not really feel like love.

The fact is, loving your customers and telling them (in words or unexpected actions) is a fantastic way to get more referrals AND more business.     Plus, when there is love, they will overlook minor faults,  forgive errors, and are loyal based on more than price.

PS.   This assumes that you really DO love your customers.  If you do not, then you are just a “Con Man” and need to be in a different business (or jail).

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 Schedule a 15 minute call with me – Marketing Guru, Financial Wizard, and Team Motivation Expert – and we’ll make you Love what your business can do for you:    https://my.timedriver.com/191CR  The Call is free, unless you don’t schedule it…then, your opportunity cost is expensive!

Which Little Pig is YOUR Business Like?

Which Pig are you?

No, I am not asking you how much you eat.  Or what you weigh.  That is your personal business. 🙂

However, based on my experience with many business owners; every business is similar to one of the houses in “The Three Little Pigs.”  How do you know which one of these you are?

1.  You have built your business from “Straw” – This business has minimal start-up costs and begins easily.  You have some skill, and perhaps people who love your work; and so you decide to be your own boss.  However, it lacks a strong strategic foundation, structure, or any clearly defined goals.

Interestingly enough, this is one that can “trap” a business owner the easiest, because it seems to start quickly.   If the economy is doing well, or you get a few early customers, it looks like you are “done.”  Unfortunately, because it seems to be doing “OK” so quickly, you do not solidify its structure; and do not have a plan to deal with challenges like:  losing a major customer or an important strategic partner.  Then, when the “Wolf” comes along in the guise of a challenge or setback, your lack of a solid foundation or clearly defined goals makes your business easy to “blow away.”

And, by the way, the ORIGINAL story does not have this pig escaping.  No.  He gets eaten (which is what challenges do to many of these business owners).

2.  You have built your business out of “sticks” – You are a little more advanced than the “straw business owner.”  Maybe you have “Free” business plan help from SCORE, or the Small Business Development Center at the University.  Or, perhaps your Uncle, Cousin, Nephew, Sister-in-Law, or other friend has given you some advice.  So, clearly, you are smart enough to know that your business needs some foundation and structure.  These are good things.

That said, these businesses FEEL solid; but lack the fortitude to withstand issues like marketplace shifts, or new competitors.   This is because the “plan” was based on what “once worked,” the marketplace at a point in time, or a generic “one size fits all” system.    The worst part about this is that your “Plan” may actually have been successful for a while.  So, when sales start to fall suddenly or you find yourself working more for the same profits, you have what the Organizational Behavior theorists call “Escalation of Commitment.”  You try harder; you work longer; but you refuse to change even when the “sticks” all around you are falling down.    This can not only be exhausting; but your hard work and persistence alone are not enough to keep you from getting “gobbled up” when the rest of the building caves in.

3.  You build your business with Bricks – You are the one who does not get “eaten.”  Your business is made of:

– “Bricks” that include solid strategies around your Time Management; your Team Development; your Marketing Strategy & Tactics; and your Financial Strategies, Performance Metrics; and Success Indicators;

– The “Mortar” of good people who will help you execute that strategy; including your staff, your leadership team, as well as your advisors and coaches (who may be paid by you, but do NOT work for your company directly).

– Plus, you have the advance consideration to know how to build the “fire” of ACTION that will keep you one step ahead of the “wolves” of business challenges.  So, when you find that you have new competitors who are underpricing you, or offering better service; you respond quickly and powerfully (and NOT by lowering prices).

So, it is YOUR choice:

1. Have a Business that gets “blown over” easily (or WILL get blown over easily);

2.  Build a solid Business plumped up with fat profits, happy customers, amazing cash flow, and an incredible future.

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Learn how to build a SOLID business that both makes you comfortable AND protects you from the “Wolves” trying to knock your business down.  Use my online calendar to schedule a 15 minute call to learn more.   https://my.timedriver.com/191CR

The 5 Diseases of Business Owners that Cripple their Success

After working with dozens and dozens of businesses, from billion $ public companies to startups, I see many very smart and very nice business leaders suffering from disorders that are crippling their chances for achieving amazing success.  Based on my experiences, here are the top 5 diseases afflicting business owners:

1.   Independitis – The feeling that, because they need to be “independent,” no one else can help them.  The problem with this is that, if your expertise is in AC Repair; you would be much better off if you spent your time repairing AC’s while getting expert help to work on your Marketing and Sales tactics or coordinating your schedule;

2.  Blamethemenia – The belief that, when sales go down, it is because of “the economy,” “dumb prospects,” or “unfair competition”; when the real issue is an uncoordinated marketing plan (or no plan at all).  This is often an outgrowth of a previous case of “Igetallmybusinessfromwordofmouthia.”

3.  Denialopathy – When what “used to work” is not delivering results; you refuse to believe that you need to make a change.    You keep denying anything is wrong; even as your bank account dwindles rapidly.  Or, when employees perform poorly, you believe it is because of their lack of motivation or laziness; when YOU hired them and do not have a well-designed team building plan, training system, or job description manual.

4.  Putitoffinoma – When you delay doing what you KNOW you should; because you have rationalized that you can just do it “later.”  Sadly, all those “little” items eventually pile up and spread, so that your business dies a painful death; even though you HAD the knowledge to make yourself successful.

5.  Flybytheseatofmypantsology – You have no Plan; no strategy; you do not know what numbers you should know to track the health of your business; and you have not set a goal for the next month, the next quarter, or the year.  The biggest symptom of this is a business owner who is working 14 or 16 hour days, and keeps hoping that things will “get better” if they just “persist” and “persevere.”  Unfortunately, days, weeks, months, and years pass and nothing gets any better.

Other symptoms are:

-you cannot take much time off without worrying about your business; you have to tell your employees OVER and OVER AGAIN how to do something that seems so simple to you;

– your final profit margins are a lot lower than you expected, based on what you charge for your product;

– if someone asked you what your average sales were over the last few months, or what your most profitable products are, and why, you do not know;

– and, if someone offered to buy your business right now and pay you to not work, you know in your heart that the business just will not run as smoothly without you managing all of the details.  This disease actually is often accompanied by “Youownajobia.”

The fact is, many business owners suffer from more than one of these maladies.  And, even though these are “curable” with the right prescription and ACTIONS, how many of YOU still continue to suffer and hope it gets better on its own?

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Everyone knows that early detection of any disease greatly enhances your chance of a cure.   Waiting is just allowing the disease to become more entrenched.   Let us give your business a thorough “Exam.”   Just like a Doctor, I will ask you some questions about your business; and then we’ll work on the “cure.”  Use my online calendar to schedule a 15 minute call to learn more.   https://my.timedriver.com/191CR

Sales Lessons You Can Learn From Scooby-Doo

How many of you would like a 100% “Capture Rate” in turning prospects into customers?

Well, Scooby-Doo and the “meddling kids” DID capture 100% of “prospects.”

Yes, I know it was a cartoon.  But, if you watched closely, you could take away some lessons that might just increase YOUR ability to convert prospects to customers.

Lesson #1:  Have a Strategy to bring the prospect to YOU, even if you feel a little intimidated.    The kids never really caught these “scary monsters” by chasing them.  Instead, the team created a strategy to get the creature to fall into a trap they had set.  Now, I am not saying that you need to “trap” your customers.  But, I am telling you that you are far more likely to get a sale if you LEAD them to you based on a defined plan.  Will it work perfectly every time?  No.  However, you have a much greater chance of success if you have a strategy for them to want to chase YOU.

Make yourself interesting; ask a lot of questions; and create more compelling marketing than “we have provided great service at reasonable prices for thousands of years” (see Why Most Marketing Copy is Terrible).

Lesson #2:    Your prospect is not a Monster; they are just a person.  You do not have to be afraid to prospect.    Interestingly enough, even though EVERY time the “monster” turned out to be some crook in a costume; these kids acted like it was real the next time it happened.    The kids in the “Mystery Machine” never seemed to connect the dots.  But…YOU CAN.  Many of YOU will not prospect because you have mentally put your prospect into a monster costume.   You are afraid of the terrible consequence if they say “No.”  But, as a former VP I worked with once said, “They can’t eat you.”

Lesson #3:   Find out what your “Scooby Snack” is; then use it.  I do not know what was in those things, but they must have been amazing for a dog AND a person to be willing to face mortal danger in exchange for a couple of bites.   Of course, most of you are not facing mortal danger; but, you DO face the unknown.  So, maybe you need to listen to a favorite song, a motivational CD, speak some affirmations to yourself; read some previous customer testimonials, or get someone to “pump you up” before making your sales calls.  Whatever you need to do, it it perfectly OK, and even recommended (although, I cannot recommend that you eat dog treats for strength..unless it works for you 🙂 ).

Lesson #4:   Watch for clues, and then be open to information and inspiration from those clues.    If you watched Scooby-Doo, there was always some point at which Velma would say “Jinkies”; because, suddenly the clues added up.  Not only would she have an idea of the “who,” but also the “why.”  For many of you, if you do your research, your customer will leave you clues as to whether they are the ideal candidate for you.   Also, with the proliferation of Social Media, websites, and online reviews, and the expertise of companies who can do research for you; you can discover specific factors that will help you create more targeted marketing, as well as be far better prepared when you are prospecting and presenting.

Many companies spend very little time researching their markets’ and their customers’ specific needs; then wonder why their marketing is ineffective and their prospects are “shopping” them and then negotiating on price.

As a side note, CONTINUOUS research is essential.  Just because your product/menu/service were the perfect solution 6 months ago does not mean they are still appropriate. 

Lesson 4.5:  Relax and watch some Scooby-Doo this week.  Give your brain a break. 🙂

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Are the “Monsters” of the Economy, unmotivated team members, and/or cash flow stresses chasing you and your business?   Take the Mystery out of having a business that makes you more money with less stress.    Contact me for an initial consultation, business analysis, and ideation session.  Use my online calendar to schedule a 15 minute call to learn more.   https://my.timedriver.com/191CR

Business Lessons I Learned Caddying for my Grandfather

When I was young, I used to get up very early in the morning to caddy for my Grandfather.    We used to head down to City Park in New Orleans, meet up with some of his friends, and I would get to ride in his cart and hand him whatever club he asked for.

And, my Grandfather was an EXCELLENT golfer. When he was much younger, he had been invited to be a Pro Golfer; but he chose to work in the Post Office  (he eventually had 8 children, and golfers did not quite make the money in those days that they do now.  🙂 ). In his 60’s, he could shoot in the 60’s or low 70’s.  I would watch him hit straight drives, chip in shots from bunkers, and make long putts.

So…I thought golfing was easy.  All I had to do was watch what he did, and then imitate it.   How hard can it be?

Well, when I played my first round of golf, I did score an 81..ON THE FRONT NINE.  That’s only because I got to stop at 9 shots for each hole.

And that’s where we get Lesson #1: Just because someone else makes it look simple; does not mean you can just pick it by “role modeling.”   Yet, in many businesses, both the manager and the managed tend to believe that skills are learned by osmosis.  “Just watch how I do it and learn.”  All this results in is frustration when the team member does not perform as well as expected:  the manager thinks the team member is not paying attention, unmotivated, or incompetent; while the team member feels like the manager is unrealistic.

Have YOU ever wondered why your team does not work like you think they should?  Have you ever said, “My team is not motivated” or “My boss does not listen to me”?   Maybe it is because your training process is not well structured and systematic.  There is art AND science to team building (which is why the smartest companies PAY people to help them do it right).

Back to my caddying…

I always wanted to drive my Grandfather’s cart.  After all, what could be more fun than driving a slow, electric-powered vehicle on a pebbly path?

Finally, after I had asked for months, my Grandfather gave me a chance.  And……..the first time he let me have the controls, I drove it into the mud and we had to push it out.

So comes Lesson #2:  Pay attention to where you are going.  So many people in business are just trying to go as fast as they can; but are not watching where they are going.    They have no goal, but believe that all they need to do is “press the accelerator” of marketing and everything will turn out OK.  However, in reality, they do not have an idea of where they want to go; and so get “stuck.”     Many of my clients are very smart business people who have built million dollar businesses; but have gotten stuck.  When I ask them their goals, even for the current year, many lack a specific target as well as any specific plan to move forward.

Once we help them set goals, and begin following specific success paths, the results we see are rapid and extraordinary.   It’s like their wheels were turning; but they just needed me to help them push the cart out of the mud.

As for me, once I got stuck; it was a lot harder for me to get to drive the cart again.

Which leads me to Lesson #3:  When people (your customers OR your employees) put their trust in you; it is essential that you deliver.  It took me months to get the opportunity to drive the cart, and about 30 seconds to break trust.  It’s not like my grandfather stopped loving me.  But, all he had to go on were the results I produced.  That’s like many of your businesses.  You market, you follow-up, you negotiate, and you finally get that client.  But, without a plan, flawless operational execution, and a crystal clear customer satisfaction strategy; all of your efforts can go for nothing.  They may still LIKE you; but will not do business with you easily because you have broken their trust.

Worse yet, since unhappy customers spread the word these days so easily with online reviews and social media; great marketing with poor execution can do incredible damage to the health of your business.

Unfortunately, most business owners spend a lot of effort and dollars on marketing; but very little on team training and development, strategic planning, or execution process development.     Really great companies – those that survive recessions, and provide lasting benefits for their owners, their communities, their customers, and their employees – are those who realize the importance of doing these things.

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Are you trying to just “role model” success, and driving your business “cart” without a plan?  Get your business unstuck, or avoid the “mud” in the first place.   Contact me for an initial consultation, business analysis, and ideation session.  Use my online calendar to schedule a 15 minute call to learn more.   https://my.timedriver.com/191CR

Why You’re Not Really THAT Busy, You’re Just Inefficient (and how to change that)

Does that headline bother you a little?  Well, it should.  But let me ask you this:  why is Bill Gates able to run a BILLION dollar organization with THOUSANDS of employees; yet most business people can barely have time to run their $200,000 or $1M Revenue organization with 2 or 10 people?  Before you answer that this is because he is rich or has people working for him; this was not ALWAYS the case, even for him.  Read on…..

The MOST popular speech I get asked to give to companies and organizations is called “Turn Your Torrent of To-Do’s into a Deluge of Done’s.”  I hear all the time how “everyone needs help with Time Management.”

Sadly, for most business people, it’s almost never because they REALLY have too much to do.  It’s often because they are incredibly inefficient with their time.

Here is what I want you to do: sit down with a big posterboard or paper and put your days at the top and hours down the side.  Then, being COMPLETELY honest with yourself, at the end of the day for the next week, list out EVERY task you do EVERY day in 15 minute increments.  Why 15 minute increments?  Because my experience is that most business owners lose hours every day from all the little things that they allow to distract them.  Here are a several common time-wasters, and how you can minimize their impacts:

1.  Spending 15 Minutes updating your Facebook Status (LinkedIn/Twitter) every couple of hours (or every hour).    TIP:  Realize that it is fairly rare that people will post emergencies on Facebook (as in, they need your product/service in the next 10 minutes; or, you have just won $1,000,000, but have to comment in the next 15 minutes to get it).

2.  Reading every e-mail the minute it comes in, or personally answering every call.  TIP – Turn off the E-Mail pop-up notification/noise, and your ringer on the phone.  Then, depending on your business, schedule 2 – 4 specific times/day to read and reply to e-mails or answer phone calls.   Or, better yet, get an assistant and take some time to teach them how to screen your emails/calls  for you.  Assuming you can make more than $10-$20/hour focusing on your business, the time and dollars you invest in this help will more than pay for itself.

And, if you are saying that you are the only person who can answer customer calls or emails, please go back to the Bill Gates example.  🙂

3.  Not spending time to learn to use Tools & Technology that increase your efficiency.  TIP – Take a class, or spend a few minutes with some of your peers (or your Consultant/Coach) and learn what works for them.  There are a multitude of time-saving software programs and hardware devices.   Success rewards speed; and if you are not using the right tools, your  competitor just might be.

4.   Having an “Open Door” policy, but never defining with your team the rules around how often they can come to you with a “Got a minute?”  TIP – Yes, you want to be accessible to your team; but they can become dependent on you for every little decision, which will only add to your distractions.  In addition, your ideal focus should be to have a business that runs without YOU; so learn to trust the talent you have (if you cannot trust your team, then you should not have hired them – a topic for another BLOG).

5.   Having the belief that you can “multi-task.”  TIP – This is a tough pill to swallow, but scientific research has shown that all you can do is “Serial Task.” Moving from one task to the next to the next is costing you time when you have to re-focus yourself.  Yes, you can walk and chew gum at the same time; but have you ever seen an Olympic sprinter chewing gum during a race?  Of course not, because he or she knows that SINGLE-MINDED FOCUS is what is required to be the best during that time.  Champions learn to FOCUS on tasks so that they can create the best possible result just about every time.  Run now, chew gum later.

I welcome your comments and feedback on this; especially AFTER you have started the time-tracking exercise.  Give it a shot…even if it gives you back just a couple of hours/day to focus on more value-added tasks and/or enjoy with your family, wouldn’t that be amazing?

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Besides helping business owners create businesses that work on their own, without enormous time and stress for the owner; we work with clients to create unique strategies and tactics that help them increase both sales AND profits quickly.

More Sales + More Profits + More Free Time = a VERY HAPPY and RELAXED Business Owner.  This year, a client of mine was able to take a strategy we developed in the first month and close an opportunity worth several thousand dollars (This makes my help Free.   I’m not cheap, but I AM worth the investment).

Be ready to have your business TRANSFORMED to True Greatness. Click here and schedule a free 15 minute Strategy Call; where you will get at least 2 new ideas for your business, and we will see if you are ready for the next step.

Why Your Compassion is Bad For Your Business

As you probably know if you are a loyal reader, there is definitely a point behind the headline.  So keep reading…

One thing that I hear from client after client is that they are TIRED:

– Tired of working all day, every day for what seems like little reward (this may shock you, but some business owners are not even paying THEMSELVES);

– Tired of dealing with employees who seem “unmanageable,” as the employees do not do what they say they will do or follow instructions;

– And Tired of hiring what they THOUGHT were good employees, only to have these employees seem to be different people once they get hired.

Why does this happen?

Unfortunately, it often comes from what I call “misplaced compassion.”

Let me give you a simple example.

A client of mine had a Sales Manager whose performance was, to put it mildly, below expectations.    This person would often show up late, giving different excuses all of the time.  The Manager could not account for his time; and he had not sold anything on his own in months.  When we tried to put some accountability measures in place, the Manager would ignore deadlines and give incomplete reports.

When I pointed out the facts about this lack of production; the business owner said that he felt like he needed to be compassionate.  After all, this employee had a family, a lot of debt, and counted on the paycheck.

Here’s the problem:  the owner has others who depend on the business.  People like his family; other employees; some charities he supports.

So, by trying to be “compassionate” to this employee; he was actually being CALLOUS to so many others.  This is just one example of many similar stories we have handled (how many times have YOU had an employee or co-worker who seemed like it would be a common-sense move to fire; but kept working..often “poisoning” the environment of those who WERE trying to be a part of the team).

As a business leader, compassion is not you being “soft” and giving uncommitted employees chance after chance, even as they continue to ignore commitments.  REAL compassion is building a business that supports you and those who depend on you, while delivering to your prospects the product/service you have that they truly need.  To do this, you must:

– Put in place a structured process to make sure that you hire the RIGHT employees; a process which involves specific interviewing techniques AND behavioral/motivation profiling;

– Set and commit to performance standards and expectations from the beginning, and then pay people for meeting and exceeding those standards (not just for working);

– Be willing to make a change with employees who are not willing (or able) to contribute their fair share to the team’s performance.

Does this mean you never give people second chances?  Absolutely not.  Everyone makes mistakes.  But, when you find employees who are uncommitted, unmotivated, unwilling, or unable to be a part of your team; you must do at least one of the following SOONER rather than later:

1.  Retrain/mentor them, setting specific goals and deadlines to measure progress;

2.  Move them to a more suitable opportunity within the organization; which would more closely fit their skills and motivations;

3.  Request that they move to a more suitable opportunity OUTSIDE the organization.

THAT is how you show TRUE Compassion to people who depend on you.

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Besides helping business owners create a business that works on its own, without enormous time and stress from the owner; we work with clients to create unique strategies and tactics that help them profitably increase their share of their target market.

More Sales + More Profits + More Free Time = VERY HAPPY and RELAXED Business Owner.  Last year, for example, a client of mine was able to sell his house, move to his vacation home, and still increase his business by 40%+.

Be ready to have your business TRANSFORMED to True Greatness. Click here and schedule a free 15 minute Strategy Call; where you will get at least 2 new ideas for your business, and we will see if you are ready for the next step.

Why College Athletes are way ahead of most Business Owners…

It’s College Football Bowl Season.   Many of you will be sitting down (and some of us will be standing) to watch our favorite teams play in a Bowl Game (or the BCS Championship, if you like LSU or Alabama).

When you watch the game, these teams are competing hard to WIN.  Yes, they are excited to be a part of the experience; but they still want to come out on top.

How many of these teams do you think go into the games with a “let’s wing it” mentality?  After all, they do not know for CERTAIN what the other team will do; or what the weather will be like; or even if the referees will make good calls.   So, why not just wait until the game starts; and THEN figure out what to do?

THAT would not be very smart, would it?

But, how many business owners are going into 2012 with little to NO PLAN (except an idea in your heads to keep doing what you have been doing)?    Are you betting your financial future on a “we’ll figure it out” or “steady as she goes” strategy?

Are you taking risks with your business and everyone who depends on you that even an average college athlete would never take with just a Game?

Have you SPECIFICALLY WRITTEN DOWN and defined your:

1.  Target market – not a general one (I serve anyone who will pay me); but one that you serve BEST?

2.  Unique Selling Proposition TO your target market?

3.  30 day, 90 day, and annual goals, tactics, and accountabilities, IN DETAIL – both for your financials as well as for your organization?

4.  BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal:  the long term achievement that what would make you feel like you have created a lasting impact for yourself and for others?

5.  Plan to spend as much time as you want doing the FUN stuff; and minimal time doing things that other people enjoy more and can do better than you can? Perhaps this is building a Team; or maybe it is just outsourcing.  Do you know why you should do one vs. the other?

In addition to this:

Do you have a Marketing Strategy which clearly lays out how much you will spend on marketing; which marketing tactics or channels you will use; and what your specific “Success Criteria” are for each tactic?

Have you created one or two new or innovative ways to either serve your current customers or add different customers, so that you can justify your prices even in a down economy?

Do you have a defined Sales Plan; with goals, scripts (including rapport building questions and answers to common objections), and closing strategies?

If you want to do more than “enjoy the experience” of having a business; but instead, have a WINNING business that works by PLAN, call me at 281-937-7196 or email Roger@CoachRogerBoneno.com to schedule a complimentary consultation.  We’ll see what you can do, ON PURPOSE, to help you become Rich and Stress-Free.  Go into 2012 knowing clearly how you WILL succeed.  Book your session quickly before my calendar fills up with everyone who will have a “New Year’s Resolution” to improve their businesses in 2012.