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Maximize Your Resources – Part 3

Posted by adamvital

Maximize Your Resources – Part 3Maximize You Resources

In the last post, we talked about three more ways you can work on maximizing your current resources. They included:

  • Reveal your business’ soul
  • From breaking even to breaking the bank
  • Stand up and stand out

 

Today we’ll talk about the last three areas you can work on to maximize your current resources. They are:

  • An offer they can’t refuse
  • Would you like fries with that?
  • Stay away from the edge of the cliff

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

The secret to success is to stay ahead of your competitors- maintain the competitive edge. To do that you need to make it easier for your customers/clients to say “yes” rather than “no”. You do this by eliminating all the psychological, financial, physical, emotional and other roadblocks they may have.

You can take the risks for them by offering warranties and guarantees that make the customer feel more confident in you, your business and your products/services. You also must be serious about your offer and follow through if a situation does arise.

Would You Like Fries With That?

It’s the oldest trick in the book. I mean, really, how many times a week do you fall for it? Every time you sell a product or service, you need to offer an add-on, upgrade or back-end product to go with it. These products must be complementary to the original product being purchased and must create higher perceived value.

Avoid the Edge of the Cliff

Continuing to test and measure your systems, products, marketing methods and all other aspects of your business. This process allows you to see problems before they happen and therefore avoid falling off the edge of the cliff.

Here are a few specific areas you can test for potential improvements:

  • Marketing
  • Sales Copy
  • Customer Service
  • Sales Letters
  • Sales Presentations
  • Employee-Customer Interaction

Through testing these different areas you will find products/services where you can raise the price, maybe others where you can lower the price or offer that product as an incentive item, and find many others areas for improvement that will better utilize your current resources.

This wraps up our series on how to maximize your current resources. If you need help working through any of these or the previous areas, contact me at (281) 817-7391 or adam.vital@avbgs.com.


Maximize Your Resources – Part 1

Posted by adamvital

Maximize Your Resources – Part 1Maximize Your Resources

Over the next few articles, we’re going to talk about how to take a hard look at your current resources and get the most out of them. This can help your capital go further and increase your profit margin.

Today we’ll cover three different ways to maximize what you already have. These include:

  • Recognize the obvious
  • Unconventional breakthroughs
  • Face the facts

Recognize the Obvious

Sometimes when you are too close to something, you can’t make out the big picture. Just step back and really take a hard look at the resources you currently have in front of you. You may be surrounded by opportunities that can boost your career and help your business become more successful.

Unconventional Breakthroughs

Don’t sit around waiting for breakthroughs; you need to create them yourself. A breakthrough is merely a new or more efficient way of doing things for the same or better results. You should be having regular brainstorming sessions, encouraging your team to come forward with breakthroughs or ideas any time they have them.

Some great examples of breakthroughs are:

  • A health and beauty company discovers a side effect of a product that can be re-marketed and sold.
  • A company creates a roll-on deodorant inspired by the shape and size of a ballpoint pen.
  • The founder of Nike poured rubber onto a waffle iron and created the most innovative and successful running shoe ever.

When strategizing for a breakthrough there are some key objectives you need to keep in mind:

  1. Look for the hidden opportunity in every situation.
  2. Look for at least one cash windfall for your business every three months.
  3. The more value for your client, the better your breakthrough.
  4. Create multiple streams of ideas to find the best breakthroughs.
  5. Effective breakthroughs remove all risk or resistance.

Face the Facts

Before putting your breakthroughs to work you need to face the facts of the processes and systems that are not working for you and then either correct or get rid of them. System analysis is a good way to do this. Further, once you have a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, you need to compare those to the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

There are some questions you can present your team to get a handle on where your business is right now:

  1. Why did I first start this business? Why am I in this industry?
  2. What products/services did I offer then? Which were the most popular?
  3. Why are my customers/clients buying from me right now?
  4. How did I generate new customers/clients then?
  5. Which of my marketing efforts were bringing in the best results?

Once you’ve got some answers to these questions, you’ll know better how to maximize your strengths and address your weaknesses.

These three areas we just covered give you a starting point for how to utilize your current resources to their fullest potential. If you need any help with your strategic or systems analysis, contact me at (281) 817-7391  or adam.vital@avbgs.com.


5 Killer Mistakes – Part 2

Posted by adamvital

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 2Killer Mistakes

In the last post, we covered the first two of the 5 biggest mistakes you can make in dealing with large clients. Today we’ll cover the third and fourth ones: Taking on More Than You Can Handle.

When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up and therefore you can easily lose control of everything and find yourself barely functioning. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect great customer service and high-quality products/services; they don’t know or care about your behind the scenes operations to get those things done.

Look for these signs that you are taking on more than you can handle:

  • Clients’ needs aren’t being met.
  • Employee morale is low, clients are upset and you’re in a panic.
  • You have to react in emergency mode to save
  • Your current clients are suffering from trying to keep up with new business.
  • Profits are going down.
  • You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.
  • Your clients/customers leave.
  • Resources are being reallocated.

There is a plan that can help you react positively when you are facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will do the following:

  • Help increase sales in a short period of time.
  • Alter your products/services for the better.
  • Fulfill promises you made to your clients.

There are six steps to this plan:

  1. Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the client’s needs.
  2. Review your operational system.
  3. Anticipate future problems better.
  4. Communicate better.
  5. Include costs in your quotes.
  6. Always have a backup plan.

Furthermore, you cannot allow your company to become dependent on any one client. Eventually, there is going to be a slowing down period with your big client. In order to stay in the game, you need to diversify.

If you’ve ever mishandled an important client, you could drive away potential business as well. In order to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do. These include the following:

  • Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your large client’s company.
  • Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.
  • Stay exclusive.
  • Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.
  • Spread your contracts out.
  • Price your products/services correctly.

Finally, you must work to reduce your dependency on your large client. This can generally be measured in sales or profits.

These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can cause you to lose it all. If you need help with any of the information I have just shared, contact me (281) 817-7391  or adam.vital@avbgs.com


Are You In The 1%

Posted by adamvital

Are You In The 1%Are you in the 1%

The Rule of 1% is simply defined as adding to your customer service one percent at a time. Before you can do this you must have your consistency perfected or it will never work. This one percent may seem small, but if you approach the vision for your company with baby steps, you will find a huge increase over a solid chunk of time. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Avoid doing too much at one or you’ll set yourself up for failure. Think of the confidence you and your employees will have when you improve one percent each week. By the end of a year, you’ll have improved more than 50%!

While rules and standards are necessary for growth, always be flexible with your best customers. Most retailers only allow a set number of items into a dressing room to reduce the risk of shoplifting, but it generally restricts the large percentage of people who are not stealing from you. Flexibility is the key to what you deliver to your customers and consistency is the key to how you deliver it.

The bottom line is customers rely on you to deliver what you promise. If you spend too much on bulky advertising that promises more than you can deliver, even your best intentions will unravel quickly and you will fail.

Focus on your vision and baby steps to turn your satisfied customers into Raving Fans.

We can help you work through all of these areas and give your business a jumpstart that puts you ahead of your competition right from the start.  You can contact me by phone at (281) 817-7391 or by email at adam.vital@avbgs.com.


Completing the Corporate Puzzle

Posted by adamvital

Completing the Corporate Puzzle

In the last post, we talked about the first three of the seven specific areas you need to consider in your business. Here are all seven again:Corporate Puzzle

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

 

These seven areas will solidify your plan for the ultimate level of success. Today we are going to cover the last four.

Think of constructing your business model like planting a tree. At first, it’s so small and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. But, you keep watering, fertilizing and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk and each of these strategies will extend out as the branches of your now strong tree. Finding the perfect support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.

Management Strategy

The way you structure your management team is not only essential to your growth, but the happiness of your employees and, ultimately, your customers/clients. This strategy is results-oriented and doesn’t depend on the people, but the actual system that’s in place.

A management strategy is, in short, a set of standards that include goals, rules, a mission statement and other concrete things that tell your employees how to act, your management how to grow your business and your customers/clients what to expect.

These should all be in perfect alignment with your business goals.

Employee Appreciation

You need to put together a people strategy that shows your employees how you feel about their job performance and dedication to your business. They also need to understand “why” they are doing specific tasks. This helps them to personally connect to their job which in turn leads to better production and a happier workplace.

There are a number of strategies you can use to keep people engaged:

  • Performance Incentive Programs
  • Contests that reward high performance
  • Employee of the Month
  • Performance/Holiday Bonuses

These are just a few of the ideas you can use. One of the best ways to appreciate your employees is by calling a meeting and asking them how they would like to be rewarded. Think about it for awhile and put the best strategy into play. Keep it fresh and change up the strategy you use from time to time because once they get used to the prize, it’s time for a whole new approach.

You need to build a community within your company. There needs to be support, appreciation, trust, and respect. The more “at home” an employee feels, the better they will perform and the higher their level of loyalty.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is, of course, essential to the success of any business, but it also must work cohesively with the other strategies you’re using. There are two major pillars of a successful marketing strategy: the demographic and psychographic profiles of your customers.

The psychographic tells you what your customers are the most likely to buy and the demographics tell you who they are, which can help you learn why they buy specific items. Without this information, it simply doesn’t matter how good your business prototype is.

Systems Strategy

There are three types of systems in every business:

  • Hard Systems
  • Soft Systems
  • Information Systems

Hard systems refer to necessary inanimate entities and architecture required in the business. Soft systems are processes and procedures that involve people. Information systems comprise everything else, including customer data, product information, financial…anything with data and numbers.

The most important is the soft systems because these include the sales process and sales operations for your business. In this framework, the two keys to success are effective structure and quality substance.  The substance is what you sell and structure is how you sell it.

All three systems are essential to the success of your business, each having their own very specific roles, and yet they all must work together to get the job done.

In summary, there are seven specific areas you need to consider in your business. Here are all seven again:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

We can help you work through all of these areas and give your business a jumpstart that puts you ahead of your competition right from the start.  You can contact me by phone at (281) 817-7391 or by email at adam.vital@avbgs.com.