Tips from the Top®: Business Advice From Business Owners
It is Never Too Late to Think
I work with a business owner I’ll call "Al" who recently lost a star employee. Al was totally blindsided, and didn’t see the loss coming. The employee appeared happy, challenged, engaged and committed. Next thing Al knew, he was gone…Read more
What Hat Are You Wearing?
Have you ever heard your staff muttering, "I don't know where he is coming from!" This is very common– and the more roles the owner has in a company, the more opportunity there is for miscommunication to occur…Read more
Benchmarking through Association Memberships
Many business owners belong to industry associations and some even serve on the association executive team. As a member, you are in a position to ask your association for as much information about your industry as possible. You might even ask them to poll the membership for information that would be relevant and accessible to all who participate. One example is wage surveys. The association keeps the individual company information confidential and only releases the results in aggregate. Those who participate in the survey receive the information for free, while those who do not must pay to receive the survey results. Survey information can be very useful in benchmarking your company against your industry to make sure you are not paying too far under/or over industry average.
What Is Your Definition of Success?
At a recent board meeting, we debated the question, "How do you know when you’ve become a business success?" It was an interesting conversation, and opinions varied. One response, however, struck a chord with the group. One person shared, "I feel that I will have created a successful business when I can work 80 hours a week if I want to, or take a month off and nobody would miss me." Many business owners are workaholics. Work gives them fulfillment and they find it difficult to imagine life without some work involvement. However, do it in a way that builds an organization that does not depend upon you. Work yourself out of a job.
Points for the Post-sale Process
We never see our prospects leaving our sales process even when they become customers. During the post-sale, the customer experiences the intangibles – like great customer service and additional product features that are either intentionally left out of the initial sale or never communicated. So if we believe that it is cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire new ones, we should pay more attention and invest more in a positive, perpetual post-sale process.