Life is a matter of inches. Here in America, we saw this tragically displayed this past week in the streets of Boston, the small town of West, Texas, and remotely in the Sichuan province of China where a deadly earthquake claimed the lives of 180 people and injured more than 5,700 others.
Al Pacino’s famous line from his half-time speech in the movie Any Given Sunday repeated over and over in my head as I sat glued to the news reports as last week’s events unfolded in real-time. “The inches we need are everywhere around us” was being played out on every news channel around the globe and in the lives of those affected by these tragic events.
Each day we see examples of how the inches around us can impact lives. A 4.82 second time in the 40 yard dash versus a 4.71 time at the NFL Combine can mean the difference between being selected #32 or #17 in the upcoming NFL draft. A few inches (or seconds) in your finish time in the Boston Marathon or travel time around West, Texas could make the difference between being in the blast zone or not – between life or death. Just ask Joe Berti.
All business owners are looking for ways to improve top-line revenues, reduce expenses and increase profits in order to grow their respective businesses. However, the troubling economy and other factors have forced many of these same business owners to replace the word “grow” with the word “survive”.
The business owner’s I have met with in the past 12-18 months all responded with the same answer when I have asked them, “what is the one thing that is critical to your business success”. The simple answer is “more customers”. More customers are the life-blood for any viable business. And every successful business has a universal checklist of things that are central to acquiring new customers, growth and yes, survival.
Here is my list of ten things that should be included on your Business Survival Checklist:
Business/Marketing/Financial Roadmap. What is your existing plan to deliver maximum ROI performance in the next 12 months, 1-5 years, 5-10 years and 10+ years? The roadmap for your business, at a minimum, should address the next two fiscal years. Don’t be too optimistic – it is much better to over-deliver on your projections than to fall short. Continue reading…
Traditional sales and selling techniques have changed dramatically over the years.
Fading fast are the door-to-door canvassers, dinner-hour telemarketers and transactional salespeople who appear to be interested in only making a quick sale and then moving on to the next one. The so-called “trickster” sales companies who rely upon sleight of hand selling approaches and gimmicks to entice you to buy are also dying out as consumers become better educated and informed about the products and services they choose to purchase.
One of my favorite stories from sales lore reflects the progress we have made over the years in changing the dynamics of the buyer-seller relationship. It’s the timeless story of a toothbrush salesman who consistently failed to meet his quota and was told by his boss at a trade show that if he did not achieve his sales goal for the event he would be fired. After delivering his stern ultimatum, the salesman’s boss left for a series of meetings, but told him he would return in a couple hours to check on his progress. Continue reading…
These are a few of the typical comments I hear during the initial discovery meetings with many of my new clients. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner is difficult, particularly in the first 1-3 years, and you can get frustrated when things aren’t going your way or there aren’t a lot of people around to turn to for advice and counsel. Continue reading…
Recently, I had the privilege to moderate a Focus Small Business Roundtable: Strategies to Achieve Business Success. The Focus Expert Roundtable members included Mirna Bard, Jill Konrath and John Spence who all offered their insights on a variety of relevant subjects that I have summarized into a single topic for the purposes of this 5+ minute video.
I sincerely hope that you find this video to be informative and useful in addressing some of the daily challenges you encounter in successfully growing your business or practice. If so, please feel free to share this information with others.