No Secret Potion, Magic Beans or Fairy Dust

There is no secret potion, magic beans or fairy dust required to meet your 2014 goals.

Yes, it is getting close to that time of the year again – the dreaded fourth quarter. A time when many business owners review their financials and breathe a sigh of relief, or go into full-blown panic mode because the results are not there.

So, how is the end-of-year stacking up for your business? Are you feeling good about all you and your team have accomplished so far this year, or are you scrambling for a quick fix to try and salvage the final quarter?

If you are searching for a secret potion, magic beans or fairy dust to supernaturally improve things, then please stop! Review the May 13th and May 28th blog articles I posted titled, It’s Time to “Ante Up”! and Who Wants Customers For Life? You will find some great tips to help improve your top- and bottom-line results.

Magic Potion2

Next, if you are truly committed to building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business for the long haul, then invest more time, energy and resources into the following areas: Continue reading…

Building Your Sales Message

What would you say to a prospective buyer if you only had 30 seconds to make an interest creating remark to get that all important first meeting?

Well guess what … this is about all the time you have to make a positive first impression that will hopefully lead to future sales. In most networking and social interactions, 30 seconds or less is the standard to grab their attention. You see, we humans have rather short attention spans and are easily distracted.

Building Your Sales Message

So, what’s the secret to capturing a prospective buyer’s attention in a crowded room or a crowded marketplace bombarded by literally thousands of daily sales messages? Continue reading…

Make the Most of Yourself

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whether it’s your business, health or life, the ultimate goal is to make the most of yourself. Making the most of yourself begins with good health – body, mind and spirit. For this article, rather than talk about business, leadership and related topics, let’s shift the focus to ways to improve your health so you can be the BEST YOU.

The steps to better physical health are not rocket science. The formula is simple –20140816_111324 healthy diet, eat smaller portions, exercise regularly, sleep 7- 8 hours a night, drink lots of water, and take it easy on the desserts and adult beverages. However, committing to and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are the biggest obstacles for the vast majority of us.

Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m not a personal trainer, fitness guru, dietician or nutritionist. I’m a business and leadership coach who has become more attuned to my health and fitness levels as I’ve grown older (I’ll be 66 years young in October). From my own experience, I want to share some exercise and diet tips, particularly with all the “seniors” out there who want to continue to get better with age.

“If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” – Nancy Carson

As we get older, stuff happens. Our metabolism slows, we lose strength and muscle mass, the body starts to breakdown, and it becomes harder to maintain the activity and fitness levels we enjoyed in our 20’s. But that doesn’t mean we should just “veg-out”. Far too many adults (and children) in this country are overweight and out of shape due of poor diet, lack of exercise and lifestyles issues. It’s a $270 billion problem and a growing (no pun intended) human tragedy.

You don’t have to starve yourself or be a gym rat to get healthy, lose weight and stay in shape. All it takes is a little planning and intestinal fortitude on your part. Ready to get going? Here is an easy to follow workout program I designed for myself early this year to give you some ideas to get started and stay active. Continue reading…

Life is Like a Jukebox …

JukeboxLife is like a jukebox … let the music play on. And so it goes. Sadly, too often we don’t hear it, or it’s just background noise, because we are so ‘busy being busy’ with our daily routines.

It is not until we are awakened from our sleep walking by one of those life-altering defining moments (i.e. birth, death, illness, marriage, divorce, job change or loss, buying or selling a home, relocating, etc.) that we tune in to life and the world around us. It’s only then that we start to pay attention and hear the music loud and clear. Sound familiar?

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Given what my wife has been through these past 3+ months in battling cancer for the 2nd time, after being cancer-free for the past ten years, I’m not sure I subscribe to this notion any longer. Stuff happens, both good and bad, daily as life’s music plays in the background. And in this fast-paced world today, I’m starting to believe that life is a 50%/50% proposition. Continue reading…

Customer Experience: It’s a Journey

The customer experience truly is a journey. If your goal is to build customer relationships for life, then there are some logical steps to take to move those relationships forward in a positive way.

In the previous two articles we addressed ways to dramatically improve financial performance without major investments, and the importance of retaining profitable customers for life. Now let’s discuss how to establish those lifetime customer relationships.

Customer Experience

The life-cycle of any great business relationship begins with the initial contact and progresses forward from that point. However, the experience doesn’t have to be overly complex. At the end of the day we all want the same thing when it comes to the customer experience. Each of us wants to feel important.

How do we enrich the customer experience, and begin to establish those lifetime business relationships?

Continue reading…

Who Wants Customers For Life?

Más ventas y beneficios. Mehr Umsatz und Gewinn. Plures venditiones et expletia. Yes, in any language “more sales and profits” are the magic elixirs for a business. However, one of the most overlooked and misunderstood benchmarks for business success is the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a Customer.

In the May 13th blog article I provided a number of ways to help business owners improve their revenue and profit projections with minimal additional cash outlay. In this article, we will focus on the importance of retaining profitable customers for life.

Who wants customers for life?

The short answer is … every business owner who wants to remain in business for the long haul. The chart below illustrates why retaining 100% of those profitable customers should be a top priority for any growth business.

Profitable Customers

Profitable Customers

When you look at the landscape of the majority of businesses, a limited number of key customers often dominate the profits achieved. In a typical business situation 20% of the customers’ can account for as much as 75% – 80% of the profits. This principle is called Pareto’s Law. Continue reading…

It’s Time to “Up the Ante”!

Yes, it is almost that time again. Mid-year is just around the corner and you know what that means. The halfway point of the 2nd quarter is generally when muscles begin to tighten (you know which ones I’m talking about) for many business owners as they reflect on their year-to-date financial performance.

BIG QUESTION: How are you going to overcome the current budget shortfall with only 2.5 quarters remaining in the calendar year?

Time to Up the AnteIf you’re behind in your financial projections, it’s time to “up the ante”! No, I’m not suggesting that you just open up the check book and toss money at the problem. In fact, here are some recommended ways to dramatically increase revenues and profits with only minimal investments.

There are three basic ways to grow a business – increase prices, sell more to existing customers and sell to new customers. The primary goal for any business owner should be to get more customers to buy more, and more often. So, start with the basics and go from there to determine what actions are necessary to improve results. Continue reading…

Shrink the Learning Curve on Everything

In the fast-paced, ‘get it and go’ world we live in today, shrinking the learning curve on new things has become a virtual necessity, and one way to stay ahead of the competition. In most areas of life, there are tangible benefits to getting better, faster and accelerating our ability to acquire new competencies and skills.

In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell stated that it requires 10,000 hours of practice (10,000-Hour Rule) to master a specific task. Unless you plan to become a brain surgeon, most of us don’t have 10K hours to devote to the mastery of new competencies, skills, projects or tasks.

Learning Curve

So, what are some proven ways to shrink the learning curve and move from “you don’t know what you don’t know” to mastery without cutting corners or sacrificing quality?  Continue reading…

Competitive Advantage: A Fleeting Fancy

Competitive advantage is the favorable position an organization seeks in order to be more profitable than its competitors. It involves communicating a greater perceived value to a selected market(s) than the competition currently provides.

In effect, competitive advantage occurs when a company acquires or develops an attribute or attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors. Notice the words perceived value and currently have been underscored above to make a point. A competitive advantage can be short-lived because of three critical factors – market perception, innovation and time.

Competitive Advantage

Now, there are a plethora of ways to differentiate your product/service or company from competitors in order to gain a perceived competitive advantage. Some of the more common ways include: Continue reading…

Are You Final Four Worthy?

The Men’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament is the sporting event I most look forward to each year. March Madness has been in full swing for the past couple weeks with some of the very best match-ups in tournament history.

Although I will not be collecting $1 billion from Warren Buffett this year, I did enter my bracket selections like I do every year. It is really not about the prize money. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d graciously accept it if I won. However, for me it’s more about enjoying great basketball games and seeing how many of the teams I selected are able to reach the Final Four.

March Madness

What does it mean to be Final Four worthy? Continue reading…