Dynamic Management requires Leadership – Vision

Your management team can take your business to heights that you never even dreamed of or it can sink it faster than a rock. Some management teams just keep the ship afloat but it doesn’t ever seem to go anywhere? Has your business really changed in the last 5 years or is it just drifting without any real purpose or strategy except to stay in business?

Right now your business should be booming better than it has in the last 10 years, but so is everyone else. There are no bragging rights in this economy unless you are doing something truly remarkable. How did Ronald Reagan put it, “A rising tide, raises all boats”?

Do you think your business has the potential to achieve more than just the average of your past sales and profits? Dynamic management requires leadership practices as well and to be a leader you need vision. You have to be able to see the potential of what can take place.

It takes courage to be a leader and it takes special skills as well. These skills take time to develop and involve the motivating, influencing and encouraging of others. It is more than sharing a vision you must be able to get others to see and really want to reach their potential.

In order for your business to change you need to improve employee engagement and empowerment. Happy employees are more apt to make sure your customers can get the value and satisfaction they need from your product or service. Employee engagement will be vital to your future.

In order for your business to rise above the crowd, you need dynamic management, which includes excellent leadership skills and engaged employees. You want more than a smooth running ship you want a ship that employees can get excited about where their ship is going.

You don’t develop dynamic management and leadership by taking a class. But there are a number of things that you can do to move in that direction. Learn more about who you and your management team are and the various aspects of their behavior and what motivates them. Then you can learn to develop the skills you want to lead better.

We are always willing to have a conversation with you about how to impact the lives of others while also sharing with you how someone can impact your life. For your success, you need to develop leadership skills, “Because All Business IS Personal!”

Stan Broesder is a Business Consultant and Management Coach with Crossroads Consultants. They specialize in business performance and management development. If you would like to have a conversation about your situation contact Stan by email at Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com. Or call but leave a message 980-241-0189.


Do You Want More Customers? — Who are they and where do you find them?

As they say, if you want to catch fish, you need to go where the fish are. If you want more customers you have to go where they are as well. The first question is, what does your customer look like? How would you identify your ideal client? This will prevent you from wasting your time talking to the wrong prospect.

Your ideal client is the person that, if you were able to sit down with them and make your presentation, they would buy from you 100% of the time. Now that is ideal, and yes we agree, that it is very unlikely to identify that perfect prospect, but the closer you can come to it the better.

Identifying your ideal client will allow you to target your marketing and minimize your qualification process. While someone with a 50% match may also buy they are much less likely to purchase than the prospect who is a 90% match.

Once you have identified your ideal client, then you start to think about those who fit the profile with similar characteristics. This will help to reveal the best places to locate those prospects and the best methods to reach them.

What are their commonalities? Is it geographic or their hobbies and interests? Maybe they read similar books and magazines or they are at a particular stage in life. Once you can identify these similar characteristics it will give you some ideas on how to market to them with the best return on your investment.

Many business owners make the mistake of saying, “well we have always done well by doing this or that.” The problem is that market is always changing and marketing techniques are also changing. So you may be missing out on a potential customer group or your target group has changed how they want to be marketed to. I recommend you go through this exercise at least every two years and once a year would be better.

This exercise will enable you to improve your lead generation, improve the quality of your leads, improve your conversion rate and make you more money. It can be challenging once you decide to seriously give it a try and that is why most people don’t do it. This means if you do the exercise and your competitors don’t, you will have another advantage over them. If you have questions or would like some help in working through the process, let me know.

Stan Broesder, MBA, the “General Contractor” for Marketing and Business Development with My Marketing Crossroads. You can reach me at Stan@MyMarketingCrossroads.com

Customer Experience is Crown Jewel for Publix

Have you noticed recently the ads for Publix? The whole ad is based on (www.MyPublixStory.com) customers that had a great experience because of “little” things. These are not the normal, deep discounts, super specials or great variety, type of promotions. The whole thing that Publix is promoting is SERVICE. Not just the usual service you see companies promoting. They are promoting exceptional service from the perspective of the customer.

When you promote yourself as giving exceptional quality service, you better deliver. This ad not only is speaking to their customers and prospective customers, it is also talking to their employees. In this promotion it is creating that team feeling and pride. “I work for Publix and WE provide great service!”

Exceptional service is not about giving away the store or being all things to all people. Exceptional service is about understanding your ideal customer to the point that you feel what they feel, you think like they think, and you anticipate how you can make their purchasing experience exceptional.

Before you decide to jump onto the “exceptional service” bandwagon and ending up creating another fad that your employees put up with until you get on to the next brilliant idea, you need to think. Exceptional service does not happen overnight. It takes tremendous planning and work. But when prospects are not thinking about cheaper prices, it really helps the financial side of business.

Most businesses make the mistake of thinking they have great service. Here are a few questions for you to ask yourself.
1. Do think that your service is significantly better than your closest competitors?
2. Do you see your business as having exceptional amount of referrals?
3. Are you getting significantly more referrals than your competitors?

If you are seriously thinking about using an “Exceptional Service” strategy in your business, talk it out with others before making a decision. Of course, I believe we can help.

Stan Broesder is a business growth and marketing specialist with Crossroads Consultants. For over 25 years Stan has helped businesses to grow and to overcome obstacles. Today with digital online marketing Crossroads Consultants is made up of a team of strategic and tactical growth specialists. For more information on growing your business, Contact Stan@MyCrossroadsConsultants.com

Who Needs a Business Coach?

Not everyone needs a business coach to be an effective and efficient business person. There are five questions that if you can answer yes to all of them with complete honesty and accuracy, then you probably don’t need a coach.

1.      Do you know where you are?

“Wow! That is easy, sure I do!” Okay, but what about your business? Do you know if you are profitable or not? Having money in your bank is not the same thing? Do you know what your cash flow needs are? Do you have a cash flow statement? Do you know your competitive advantage is? Do you have a value proposition? Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?

Most business owners think they know where there business is but when specific questions are presented, reality has a way of showing itself. Knowing which products and customers are not profitable is critical to your success? Many guess wrong when it comes to strengths and competitive advantages, as well as least profitable products and customers.

2.      Do you know where you want to go?

Many business owners are just on cruise control. Hopefully, we can just keep humming along. The old joke, “I don’t know where we are going, but we are making good time” comes to mind. What position are you trying to put yourself and your business in? Is it really that important? Ask your spouse if it is important what your position is when you unexpectedly exit from the business. What is your exit strategy?  Everyone exits their business. Do you have real goals that are written down and solid? Do others know what you are trying to accomplish or is it “same stuff, different day” attitude? Where are you going?

3.      Do you know how are you going to get there?

In New Orleans, once you get on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway going north to Mandeville, you don’t really need to be watching for signs or worry about missing your turn. You have a 23 mile straight shot across the lake. Now if life were as simple as “no options” then this wouldn’t be an issue. But when Hurricane Katrina went through and no one could cross using that bridge it became a different story. Now you needed a map, and a lot of turns to get to your destination.

So, if you know where you are and where you want to go, do you know the way to get there? Usually what you did today won’t get you to where you want to be tomorrow. Unless you want the same result, which is stagnation, you are going to have to change something. Growth can be tricky because there are a lot of things that are changing all at the same time. Understanding the cause and effect of those changes will help to determine how you adapt and change to the situation. Are you really in control of the changes taking place in your business?

4.      Are you sure there won’t be any changes or detours to reaching your goal?

It is more than knowing how to get there; it is a matter of knowing how to navigate your business when the path is disrupted and plan “A” and plan “B” are no longer options. Knowing how to create opportunities and plans in the storms of change is critical. Some people are very good at it, most business owners are not. Usually they are too close to the situation to have a full and accurate perspective.

5.      Does your business allow you to be flexible, see opportunities and enjoy life?

Do you own your business, or does it own you? Many business owners have invested their lives to build a business but don’t seem to enjoy life. Some call it life-work balance. Others just call it learning to love life. It isn’t a question of working 40 hours, or making sure you stop and smell the roses. It is a question of knowing how to see the opportunities of life and business along the way and being able to take advantage of them. It is the idea that you sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees. You are so busy working in your business you never take the time to work on your business or your life.

Remember the saying, “No one lies on their death bed wishing they had spent more time at the office.” This is not about saying no, or not answering your cell phone while at the beach. It is about seeing and learning how to take advantage of the opportunities of life and business. If you can’t confidently say you know where your business is right now, where you really are going, know that you have an action plan that is working, able to handle unexpected change and allows you the freedom to grow, then maybe you do need a business coach. Otherwise maybe not!

Stan Broesder, is a Business Coach and Management Consultant and is living in Lincolnton, NC. He has worked with small businesses for almost 20 years. He has a Master is Business Administration degree and specializes in helping business owners to develop skills, systems and strategies to improve their business management productivity and control. His clients enjoy an increase in productivity and greater profitability. You can find out more about Stan on his website:  www.MYCrossroadsConsultants.com  or email him at:  Stan@MYCrossroadsConsultants.com

Who has time to get it all done?

When we are working at 100% now, who has the time to expand a business or increase marketing, sales, etc. We have plans for growing our business but who has the time to implement the ideas?

This is much more common than people realize. We have cut back expenses to the bare minimums, which means we as the business owner are going to carry as much of the load as possible and wonder when will we be able to invest just a little bit more time and money to help grow the business.

If we do invest a little bit to grow the business will it be enough to move forward and create the needed cash flow to keep that investment going? And can we sustain the pressure and weight of adding more to our plate on a daily basis. Even if we hire someone on a part-time or contract basis, we will need to manage that person and project.

So how do we get ahead? How do we get to the point that we can reduce the stress, increase the cash reserves, and free up just a little bit of time?

There are several profitable initiatives that can be implemented in almost every business to capture some elusive cash flow and profit. The question is do you know what they are and can you implement the initiative yourself or will you need help?

Your concern should be to find the quickest return on your investment so that you can continue to invest and find additional and bigger cash flow and profit gains.

A. Low or no profit Products and services

One place to start would be to search for low or no profit products and services and to eliminate them or make them more profitable. Anywhere from 20 to 40% of all products and services fall into this category. Often it is subsidized by other products and services and we don’t even know it.

 B. No or low profit customers

Another possibility would be to find the low or no profit customer and show them why the cost for keeping them as your customer is higher than others and then renegotiate your price with them. While this may not be possible every time, many times a customer will accept a change in what they are being charged if they understand that it needs to be a win-win for everyone.

 These are just two initiatives that a business owner can use. There are many more to consider. Once you can squeeze a some extra from your business you can continue to develop plans to really grow your profits. 

If you have any questions about how you can implement these cash flow and profit initiatives call Crossroads Consultants at: 980-241-0189.

Today is One of the Best Days to Start Your Annual Planning!

Today is one of the best days to start your annual planning, because you will shortly eliminate one major alternative. Up to now you had to play the “what if…” game.  You know, where you say “What if so and so wins?” Now it is full steam ahead with whatever is the outcome.

So where do you begin planning for the next 14 months? Decide what you would like to accomplish. Where do you really want to be by the end of 2013 and beyond? It is vital that you create a very clear description of where you want to be in your business at some realistic point in the future. Even if the results are delayed for days, you need to start here. The goal should be the same no matter the outcome. How you get there may change a little depending on the results. So go ahead and write out your goals.

The next part is the hardest and somewhat complex. You must determine, what is the impact of the election results on your business? Even though you are planning with the results in mind, there are still many unknowns about the political landscape to come. Try to make as many decisions as possible that are independent of what the government does. That is not to say that you should not take all of that into consideration, you should, but don’t keep waiting for someone else to do something before you act. You must act in today’s environment or get left behind with fewer clients and less profit.

A ten step outline of how to plan won’t do you any good if you don’t start with the first step. Describe your desired outcome based on a realistic time frame. Then determine the impact that this election will have on your customers. Put yourself in their shoes; include the winners and the losers (yes I said losers).  How do they feel? What are their concerns? What are their hopes? How does your offering impact their lives? Ask people who voted on both sides. Ask them for their thoughts now that it is over? Will they change their spending habits, etc.? Ask the questions. Once you have a solid handle on both sides of this issue then you can start to plan your next moves.

Let me know what you think should be the next move after these first two. Only after doing steps one and two should you think about moving to next step.

What Part of This Economy Do You Play?

Learn what business you are really in.

If you don’t own a business or if you do, you are in this economy and operating as a business.  You Inc.!  It is not a question of “IF” you are a business owner. It is a question of, what business are you in!

Yes you read that right. Everyone is in their own business. You have customers, suppliers, maybe employees, and some have profits and many right now have losses. Even if you work for someone else or are unemployed, you have your own business. But I am retired! You are still in your own business.

When we begin to understand the principles of business we will dramatically improve our lives and future. When we begin to understand the exchange of value in our everyday life you will begin to see business and life differently.

A retiree’s business is to manage their wealth for the long term. Mothers are in the maternal business being rewarded with love and other rewards we just might not be able to put a dollar amount to. School teachers need to decide who their customers are. Is it the Principal, parents, society, the School Board, or all of the above?

From money makers to home makers, everyone has an impact on this economy and we need to run our business efficiently and effectively. Learn how to plan your business, be organized, work with people and control your life. When we understand that the more value that we can provide the greater our rewards (“profits”), and we will start to affect the lives of others. That is the part you can play in this economy.