Measure twice and cut once…but by all means cut!

Measuring is the easy part today.

How many times has someone visited your website?   You can find that easily, along with what time they visited, their geographic location, and what key words are performing best.

Which pages did they visit?  You can measure that and how long they were there.

How did they find your information, did they forward it, did they like you?  All quantifiable.

Who are your top performing employees?  Who are your most profitable clients?  What service or product gives you the best ROI?  It’s just a couple of clicks away.  If it can be imagined, it can be measured – relatively easily.   Hard, quantitative data can be provided and presented that leaves no ambiguity.

But the hard part has not changed:  What are you going to do about it?

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Ask

How much?

Why?

Why not?

Is this correct?

Will you?

What are you expecting?

And if I can?

What should I expect next?

What do you think?

Will you?

May I?

…or don’t and wonder.

It Won’t Work, So Get Started

Plan A almost never works.

Plan B only works in text books and movies.

Plan C – may be getting you closer…

…but it’s more likely modified Plan G based on tweaks from the field operations, that missing piece of data from finance, and the painful, albeit necessary, lessons from Plans A, B, C, D, & E

But it starts with Plan A. So get busy implementing the plan that likely won’t work, but is the only way to get to the plan that will work.

Zax, Onychophagy, and Owling

We are the best

We are the BEST!

WE ARE THE BEST!!

Tell somebody who cares…really.

If you have the best zax in the world, I don’t care; I’m not trimming roofing slate.

That you can help overcome onychophagy, is of no interest to me, I’ve never had a problem biting my nails.

Help me with my owling problem? Sorry I don’t own any sheep.

Your message is important…to somebody…

The truth is most people don’t give a tinker’s damn about your product or service.  That’s why you need to spend an inordinate amount of time finding those who not only give a damn, but are just waiting to hear from you right now. If you advertise, use an appropriate outlet. If you email or direct mail, don’t just develop a great list, constantly maintain this list.  Use social media? This hasn’t made marketing easier; it has only made marketing more accessible.

Say it loud, say it a lot, say it with wit and creativity, but say it to someone who cares.

Willy Nilly

We get so busy doing…business.  Looking for clients, doing the work, running payroll, getting more clients, doing more work so we can meet the next payroll…the treadmill keeps going and we stay on this treadmill failing to realize we are not getting anywhere.

I’m a pretty simple guy, and while there might be many nuisances, business planning boils down to

Vision: What you want the company to be.

Strategy: What are you going to do to achieve your dream or vision?

Tactics: How and when will you execute your strategy?

But what happens? We react. An opportunity comes in, we chase it.  Another opportunity comes in, and we change directions and chase that one.  And yet another opportunity comes in, and like a puppy with ADD our attention is quickly diverted.

Vision is lacking, strategy is thrown out the window, and as for tactics? We don’t need no stinking tactics.

Instead of chasing every opportunity, every mode of marketing and just running around willy-nilly with no clear direction and no opportunity for real growth, maybe it’s time to return business 101: Vision, strategy and tactics.

It’s not you, it’s me

Our client or employee gives us their reason for their discontentment – why they are leaving us. While we are disappointed to lose such a valuable client or employee, we reason, at least I know why and I can make adjustments…

So in our state of delusion, we make changes – we feel pretty good about our decisive action, we had market intelligence and we acted!

Come on, really?

How difficult is it to tell your long-time vendor that you are dropping them or for a long-time employee to “divorce” his employer. They want to let us down gently…tickle our ears and make us feel like everything is okay, it’s not your fault, it was just time for a change…

When we lose key clients or key employees it may be time to do some soul searching and dig deep. It may also be time to bring in a third party consultant that can help us truly discover what went wrong.

Put on your thickest skin, find out the real “whys,” and make real change that will help set a new and improved course for your company’s future.

 

Providence Requires Action

If you didn’t have the guts to make that contact five years ago, that first project would have never been a reality.

If you never had that first project, how would they know you can solve such complex problems?

If you never solved their problem, you wouldn’t have such an enthusiastic advocate.

If you didn’t have them as an advocate, how would your new client have found you?

If they had not found you, where would you be today?

Delay no more – make that call.

OBO

Advertisement: “$500 Or Best Offer”

Haven’t you already admitted defeat? Haven’t you already said to the potential buyers, “it’s not worth $500, offer me less”?  I think it’s safe to say you have less than lofty expectations.

What about your professional services, do you have an OBO mentality? Do you go into the transaction believing you must discount your services in order to get someone to buy? Do you assume that you have to start discounting as a sales strategy?

That’s not good.

Professional service providers work very hard and are paid for their experience, knowledge, tactics, and ability to help organizations run more efficiently and profitably.

Stop discounting yourself.

We are good. We will save you money. We will help you increase effectiveness and efficiency. Here is my fee…and that is the best offer!

Decide on Something

What’s worse than making a bad decision? Making no decision.

The idea sounds great! Heck, you are even gaga about the idea and ready to go with the exciting idea, until you hear an opposing view – and then you abandon the thought…sigh, you lose your excitement.  And then…you hear another view that supports your original idea, now you are gaga again!  Only to be brought down by…

Get off the roller coaster.

No plan is perfect, no idea is without its drawbacks, but in execution of the plan you will learn, adjust, and make even better decisions in the future.

Gather information, seek counsel, contemplate, pray and do what you have to do to come to a decision.  But whatever you do, be decisive, be bold, and be firm!

 

Three Questions

What is it that you or your company does really well?  I’m talking about that one thing that brings forth your absolute passion and where your God-given talents are obvious.

Next question: what do you or your company need to do to get more of that work?  If this is your passion and your calling in life, then you need to focus your energy on using this talent – more!

And the final question: what is it that you or your company needs to stop doing or chasing right now?

You have a limited budget, limited hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a year, and years in a lifetime.  Use them all wisely.