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Articles written by Jon Robert Quinn
Expect Good Things
The saying goes you must give to receive. You must give respect to get respect. You must give love to get love. And you must give money if you want something in return. The same goes for your business. If you don’t give your business 100 percent, it won’t give it back. My advice to any business owner is to love your business like a child. It’s born, it lives, it thrives and it even makes you proud. It puts a smile on your face. It makes you cry. It’s a breathing, living, growing extension of you and someday, like everything in this world, it will die. But, like everything you do, if you love it, cherish it, raise it to be successful, it will love you back.
When your first child was born, what did you expect? You expected good things. You want your child to succeed. You want your child to fall in love. You want your child to someday make a child of their own, move out on their own and care for themselves. That is no different than a business. If the business is raised properly, it will outlive you. If raised properly, someday it will take care of you. If raised properly, it will branch out into other smaller businesses and someday grow into something as strong as it's daddy. So, when starting your first business, love it like a child, give it everything it needs and expect good things.
Increase Sales By Properly Training Your Sales People
I see too many sales organizations today pushing for more and more sales people rather than making their current sales people better. It is very expensive for a sales organization to hire new sales people to bring better results and then firing the weaker sales people only after a month or so of poor production. This is honestly like throwing your old TV away because there is nothing to watch, rather than switching cable providers.
There are plenty of sales training classes and seminars out there and from what I have found, these courses are teaching sales people to memorize scripts. This is NOT how you train sales people. Sales really is just thinking on your feet and being great at your craft of problem solving. You cannot teach people a script to solve common problems on the sales floor.
In addition, poor sales performance comes from lack of interest or just being crapped out. I believe that most sales people are really good at their craft but the organization itself is what is harming the sales and performance of the sales people. Poor pay, poor marketing and the organization not having the right focus in mind spins the sales person's mind, impairing their ability to sell.
Sales organizations put fear in sales people and with sales being a mental-based business, the sales person gets in their own head and literally paralyzes their ability to close the deal. Unfortunately, most sales organizations today lack in the uplifting and positive environments and are most focused on their bottom end resulting in cut backs.
Another huge mistake management takes today is overworking their sales people. I see sales people working 10, 12 or more hours each day to hit their quotas. This may seem productive because they are working more hours, but the mental fatigue ultimately is making a lot of those hours useless also causing them to resent their jobs. Management can properly train and encourage their sales teams to get the results they would expect, allowing the sales people to work less hours, enjoy their jobs, spend time with their families and giving the organization less turnover.
The solutions to these problems are out there. Why don't they just pay attention? I'll explain in another article.... but the answer is simple, times have changed, the game has changed and they want to play by the old rules.
Building a Business System
Like I mentioned before, your business is like a child. Now, what keeps your child healthy is mainly the systems. The system is the engine that powers and maintains everything.
The business system has many moving parts and each one of those parts must run in unison for the business to work properly. Every business should have it’s core systems in place and must be followed or the business will fail.
A simple example of a business system is McDonalds. They have simple product, a simple price and are very convenient. However, what’s behind the scenes of a McDonalds is one of the most complex business systems in the world. The reason why McDonalds works so well, is that each person has a task to follow. If at any point, the chain is broken, the system will stall. But even then, if each person follows procedure, the company will operate efficiently.
These rules apply to your business too. Most small business owners are the salesman, the landlord, the accountant, the janitor, stock the warehouse, unload the trucks, place orders, ship orders, etc. Essentially, they created one really big JOB for themselves, not a business. In order for your business to grow, you’ll need to hire people. That means giving up responsibility of some, if not the majority of the tasks. The problem you run into as a small business owner is that you have or will become a slave of your creation if it is not designed properly. You can do this by building a strong foundation. That foundation starts with getting the right people to handle each task appropriately.
In order for your new hires to do their jobs properly, you’ll need to formulate a system. As you hire more and more people, this system will get more and more complex. In order for your company to run efficiently and profitable, your employee’s responsibilities must be clear to be completed properly.
So, in relation to the body, every organ, every muscle, every cell, every part of our body serves an intricate purpose to ensure the machine runs exactly like it should. None of this would happen if it wasn’t for the systems in place.
In order for you company to be successful, you must be original. You must think differently and open your mind to change. Being original entails thinking of new creative ways to accomplish challenges and building structure.
Originality means taking your craziest and wildest ideas and finding ways to make them work using your skills and tools.
Justin Bieber was original when it came to his hairstyle. Baskin Robbins was original by offering 31 flavors. Dodge was original by offering the Hemi. How are you or can you be different? When designing your business model, set yourself apart from the competition.
Step One: Your product or service. Has anybody done it before you? If so, how can you make it better? If you cannot find a way to make it better, no matter how much you market the idea, it will always be second best. First, you need to find a want and need. If you have neither, then you have no market. Once you find the want and need, who is your targeted market? Try your product in other markets too. You’ll be surprised at what you may find. When Honda released the Element SUV and marketed it to teens and young adults, they found that it wasn’t the young adults buying and driving. Instead, it was the older crowd that found the Honda Element appealing.
Step Two: Your name. Is your name creative? Something memorable is key. Take your business name ideas and create a poll with some of your closest friends and family. Naming is important to the success of your brand or product, but remember, the decision is ultimately yours. If you don’t have an emotional connection to it, don’t use it.
Step Three: Marketing. Being original is very importable when marketing a product or service. Maybe take the product and make it into a song or endorse a local charity or celebrity or restaurant to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
One thing I have done to be creative is, when I come up with something crazy, that I feel is genius, I present the idea to family or customers. If they say, “Hmmm, that might work”, it’s usually not as good as it could be. When I present an idea and they laugh at how ridiculous it is, I know I am onto something. Remember one thing. When you’re onto something big, think bigger. I like to sit down and work out all of the kinks, numbers, plans and if it works on paper, I run with it.
Take your business or service and think of ways you can be original.
Be a Leader
When building a business, being a leader is most important, with the exception of finances of course. When you’re a leader, the employees and customers will respect you better than if you’re a cool guy. Whatever you do, do not be a push over. Being a leader doesn’t mean you have to boss people around, but you must be a boss. You must be there as a mentor for your employees as well as love and respect each customer. If you’re a micro manager, you will irritate your employees and lose respect. If you’re a bully, not only will you upset your employees but it will bleed on your customers, in turn tarnishing the culture your business brings and the company reputation.
So, how do you become a leader without being a jerk? It starts with being respectful to your employees and understanding their needs, but also having good policies in place. Give people the benefit of the doubt, but don't let them take advantage. Take interest in them. Get to know their families, their kids. For customers, giving a little freebee when it’s within a few days of their birthday may cut into your bottom end, but will do wonders to repeat business, keeping you in business and increasing word of mouth advertising. For your employees, on their birthday, giving a 50.00 gift card for a night out on the town and have them take the day off. This will do wonders to the loyalty they have for the company. When they return to work, they will actually enjoy the atmosphere and in turn will probably work a little harder. However, when they do wrong, show them what they did wrong and teach them the right way to get it done. If they keep making the same mistake over and over, maybe this isn’t the best place for them.
When they need help or have a question, sit down and talk them through it. Show them that their hard work is actually appreciated. The best advice I can give is this… Look at every boss you’ve worked for. Write down what you liked and didn’t like and make sure you provide your employees with what it was your past employers were lacking. Company growth starts from the top and rolls down hill. If you treat people right and set the expectation, that behavior follows all the way down the chain with the end result being the customer. Happier employees means happier customers.