Tips from the Top®: Small Business Tips From Business Owners For Business Owners
A False Economy
How many of us business owners see the insurance premium for our buildings and contents cover as another cost that should be managed tightly? I hear often phrases like, "Do we really need such high cover?" or "If we reduced the level of cover we could save on the premiums…"Read more
Why Do People Really Buy?
At this moment, millions of salespeople are out promoting their products and services. They are shaking hands, pitching, demonstrating and presenting. They are also (hopefully) spending time asking questions, listening, learning and facilitating mutual discovery.
Interestingly, the majority of these salespeople (and the leadership of the companies they represent) operate under popular misconceptions about the true reasons people buy. They are consequently wasting tons of time and losing out on reams of sales, opportunities and profit. If a salesperson doesn’t understand why or how a person buys, and what motivates someone to buy from them instead of someone else, that salesperson’s chance of making a sale fall astronomically. Here are just a few of the most popular misconceptions…Read more
Escaping the Enabling
When an employee takes advantage of you by making his or her problem yours, be compassionate and supportive but leave the ownership and resolution of the problem in their court. Otherwise, you may create an expectation that you will become the solution (enabler) for the rest of their employment.
Build Your Unique Value
The long-term implications of selling on the basis of price is that you will likely lose your customers to a "dirty price cutter." You must provide value in another area; price cannot be the primary value for customers. There is only one exception to this rule, and that is if you happen to be the low-cost producer of a good or service. Even then, price competition can destroy a market over time. Determine another way to be of value to your customers and then strive to be the best in the world in that area.
Keep Your Bank in the Loop
Growth is great! However, when going through a growth spurt, cash flow is going to take a hit. When you see this situation building, be preemptive. Meet with your bank well in advance of the cash crunch and provide a professionally-organized presentation of what is occurring. Banks will normally provide you with more credit when things are going well.
Put your phone number on every page of your website. Never leave a future or current customer wondering how to get a hold of you.
Takeaways from “It Is Your Ship”
In our TAB Board Meeting, several of us listed the important messages from the book,“It Is Your Ship,” written by Michael Abrashoff:
- Listen aggressively;
- Never fail the Washington Post test (if what you did appeared in the Post, would you be proud of it?);
- Communicate meaning and purpose (clearly and often);
- Take command;
- Lead by example;
- Create a climate of trust;
- Look for results, not salutes (allow your team to speak up);
- Take calculated risks;
- Go beyond standard procedures (be innovative);
- Build up your people;
- Generate unity; and
- Improve your people’s quality of life.