Author: Don Vanpool

How to Raise Prices Without Losing a Single Customer Or How to Dramatically Increase Revenue Over Night

Here’s the best way to execute this strategy. First, identify your competitors who provide the same or a similar product or service. Although this can be time consuming, it’s well worth spending that time up front. Here are several suggestions to help you get started.

First of all, look around you. Who do you compete with during the course of your normal workday? Most business owners have a good sense who their competitors are. Take notes. Write down their names, what they offer, any special deals they offer, their various marketing and advertising offers, collect their ads, sign on to their mailing lists, visit their stores, walk their aisles, ask them questions and make notes how their staff treats you and so on.

Then ask yourself the following questions. First, what prices do you charge for your primary products and services? Second, when was the last time you raised your prices? Third, how do your prices compare with your competitors? Fourth, how does your product or service compare to your competitors? Fifth, do you provide any value-added services that your customer perceives that makes your product more valuable?

Sixth, is it easy for clients to price shop when they buy what you sell? Seventh, do you know your competitors’ biggest weaknesses or failings? Eighth, do you, or can you, specifically compensate for that failing so that you gain vital market share? Ninth, what would you estimate the impact would be on your sales conversion rate if you raised your prices by just 3 percent? And tenth, what would be your increased profit if you raised prices 3 percent while maintaining your current sales conversion rate?

Obviously this is a lot of research, but if you’re about to launch a business, you would do well to understand this information before you open your doors. If you’re already in a business, then you have to do this research to get yourself in front of your competition. However, most business owners are already swamped with responsibility and have little time to invest. So, try this.

Tap into your local resources. Go to your local community college or business school and either hire a business student to do this research for you, or better yet, offer to host an internship for a qualified student. An internship can help you get this research done for free while providing a valuable opportunity for a business student to gain firsthand experience in an actual business setting. In either case, a business student will learn excellent research skills and if you have to hire them it will be for very little money.

Next, obtain the basic research. Give them your list of questions and have them research the answers for you. Ask them to submit their findings in a typed report or an Excel spreadsheet delivered to you by email.

Ask them to break it down into several categories or columns. Make sure it includes the following, names and addresses, a summary of all competing products or services, the prices they currently charge, their individual strengths and weaknesses and their marketing strategies and objectives.

If possible, obtain more in-depth research. Levels of customer support, cost of delivery, your competitor’s primary Market Dominating Position and how they communicate it, their payment terms or options that make it easier for a customer to buy, their risk-reversal strategies including guarantees or warranties and their marketing and advertising collateral.

The purpose of all of this is to help you decide which of these can help you best increase your probability of success. These will help you to better understand what the impact will be of a 3 percent or 5 percent price increase on your business.

Whoever ultimately does this research, here are the best sources for finding the answers. Start with the Internet. Become a mystery shopper and visit their stores or locations. Order from them. Talk to their customers. Analyze their ads. Attend their speeches or presentations. Go to their trade shows and visit their displays.

Effectively raising prices sends that prices increase directly to the bottom line as profit. And since most business owners have not raise prices in years, the impact can have a dramatic impact on the profitability of your business. This is a cost free strategy to increase revenue over night!

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Small Business by Identifying Your Target Market

Every small business owner wants to build a successful and lucrative business. To do this you must be able to clearly identify your target customer. Let me give you an example to illustrate the importance of knowing and understanding just exactly who your target customer is.

A U.S. based pharmacy chain is testing a new customer rewards program in four markets and according to its web site, promises to roll it out nationwide.

The card offers the typical benefits—it’s free to sign up, customers earn points and get percentages off of brand products, coupons will flow freely in the mail and so on. But one of the new so-called “benefits” involves earning points toward free health screenings.

Here’s the deal. When a cardholder racks up 500 points… or spends $500 on non-prescription products… since one point is worth one dollar… they will receive a certificate that can be used for free health screenings such as glucose and cholesterol readings.

The program also gives 25 points for each prescription filled, but doesn’t include prescriptions paid for in-whole or in-part by state or federal health care pro- grams like Medicare or Medicaid.

But wait a minute. Isn’t it safe to assume that people spending $500 at the pharmacy… or filling 20 prescriptions at the counter… are already screened? Who exactly is this “benefit” supposed to be benefiting?

With the American health care system in a state of disarray and pharmacies like Walgreens stepping up to fill the affordable health care void with inexpensive health care screenings and advice, what is this pharmacy getting at?

Shouldn’t first-step screenings that are so vitally important to customer health come more often than when $500 is spent on toilet paper and a Kit-Kat bar? Rewarding more affluent customers who can afford to spend $500 on non-prescription items… or are constantly filling prescriptions at the store… doesn’t seem like the best way to promote public health. Real innovation here would be free screenings for poverty-line customers… or at least a more realistic point offering.

This is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse as the old saying goes. Here is a major retailer that has failed miserably to even remotely analyze who their target customer is and what it is they want. After all, there’s NO magic to selling. Find out what your customers want… and then give it to them. This retail pharmacy has completely missed the boat here.

Knowing and understanding your target customer… and then mapping out their thought process are two critical fundamentals that must be executed properly if you want to build a successful and profitable business.

The first step in this process is to identify the physical characteristics of the entire universe of customers that could be in your target market. From there you will want to understand the emotional descriptions of segments in your target market and better understand what they want. For example, a consumer looking for child care could want low prices, or a nurturing environment or an educational setting. This would obviously depend on various physical characteristics of the market. Finally picking a niche in your market and the revising the physical description of your target market will complete the process.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me

 

 

 

 

How you can create dynamic content that will generate all the leads your business will ever need

There is a simple way to develop great content, and then use it to create a multitude of products and services that will add additional support and revenue for your business. Your first job is to write out a series of 20 questions, along with the answers to those questions.

I’ll bet that as a small business owner you constantly get asked the same questions over and over about what you do and about your product and/or service. Sit down and write out your list of the top ten most frequently asked questions you hear from your prospects and clients.

Next, write out the top ten questions that your prospects and clients “should” be asking. These are the questions that they don’t know they don’t know. These are the things that they need to know about your product or service, but don’t.

The reason for writing down these twenty questions simply comes down to the basics of effective marketing. Prospects will buy what they want, not what they need. They want an expert, someone who can help them accomplish their goals and objectives.

These twenty questions position you as the expert. The first ten questions answer all of the questions prospects have about what you do, and the next ten establish credibility, rapport and position you as the expert in their eyes. It’s very important that you take your time and create these questions accurately.

Here’s an example. Let’s assume you have a business helping other businesses attract more clients and close more sales. Here are the top ten most frequently asked questions in that type of business,

  1. How can I generate more leads/ customers?
  2. How can I make more money/profits?
  3. How can I get prospects to visit my website?
  4. How can I make money using my website?
  5. How can I be sure your process helps me build my business?
  6. How can I make my products or services business different from my com- petitors?
  7. How do I get my prospects to actually buy rather than look?
  8. Why isn’t my marketing working like it used to?
  9. What should I say when someone ask me “what I do?”
  10. How can I find the time to do everything I need to get done?

Now let’s examine the ten things people SHOULD ask,

  1. Who is my target client and why is it so important to find them?
  2. How does my target client make a decision to buy what I sell?
  3. How do I create a short message that practically compels prospects to buy what I sell?
  4. What is lifetime value and why is it important for me to know it?
  5. What is a sales process and how can I find out what it should be for my business?
  6. What is the “marketing equation” and where should it be used?
  7. What is the “sales equation” and why does it close so many sales?
  8. What’s the difference between a landing page and a website, and which one do I need in my business?
  9. Be sure you answer each of these 20 questions thoroughly and accurately. Once you do, you now have all the content you need to create additional products and services?
  10. How can social media help me grow my business?
  11. How can I get my clients to give me more referrals?

Be sure you answer each of these 20 questions thoroughly and accurately. Once you do, you now have all the content you need to create additional products and services. And you have great content to write great reports and start building an email list to market your products and services.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me

 

How to Streamline Your Sales Process

Here is a basic seven-step process that you can follow, or fine tune to suit your unique products and services.

This system will work for every business in every industry, from sales presentations to casual conversations in retail stores. Focus on cultivating your ability to master each step, as everyone builds on the first and is important in the overall process.

  1. Prepare yourself with enough knowledge about your product, customer, and industry.

Preparation is essential – for sales presentations, meetings or the sales floor – and it is the only part of the process you have complete control over. In addition to knowledge preparation, make sure that you, your place of business and your merchandise appears clean, well put together and professional. First impressions are everything, so do everything you can to support and prepare for your success, and it will pay off in closed sales.

Know your product or service.
Continuously build your product or service knowledge, and make sure you understand what you’re selling inside and out. This includes a knowledge of complementary products and services that you can offer as an up-sell, down-sell or cross-sell.

Know your customer.
Review what you learned about your target market, or do some research on the company or person you’ll be presenting to. Establish points of common ground and learn a bit about what they’re interested in to build meaningful relationships.

Know your industry.
Stay current on new developments and trends in your line of work or industry. Sharing this information at relevant points in the sales process will position you as an expert and build your credibility.

  1. Begin to build a long-term relationship based on trust.

The first few moments of interaction with a prospect will set the stage for the rest of your conversation. Focus on casual conversation that will relax your prospect, and begin to develop a relationship. Bring up points of mutual interest and understanding, and begin to establish your credibility.

  1. Discuss the problem, need, want or desire in detail.

Now that you’ve begun to build a relationship with your prospect, you can start to ask open-ended questions to establish what their needs and wants are. You could ask them what brought them into the store, or why they are looking for a particular product or service.

Once you are clear on what they are looking for, ask more open-ended questions to gain a better understanding of the features, price range, and complementary items that would be suit their objectives.

  • Listen to their statements, and repeat back what they’ve said to show you understand
  • Ask questions to clarify their statements, and to show you are listening
  • Ask open-ended questions to keep them talking. Learn as much as you can about their needs and unique purchase motivations.
  • If you are sure the customer will make the purchase, as specific questions about size, color, and price range.
  1. Offer the solution and focus on benefits.

When you have a good understanding of what your prospects needs and wants are, begin to offer the appropriate product or service.

  • Start with an explanation of how your product or service will deliver the results your prospect is looking for, or solve their specific problem
  • Paint a picture of your prospect after the purchase using hypothetical examples
  • Offer the mid-range product, and up-sell or down-sell as appropriate
  • Use anecdotes about other customers who had positive experiences with the same product, or showcase the awards or accolades the product or service has earned
  • Focus on benefits, and support with features and advantages
  • Take cues from your prospect’s body language, and ask qualifying questions as the need arises
  • Give the customer an opportunity to ask you questions or provide feedback about each product or service after you have described or explained it.
  • Ask closed-ended questions (yes or no answers) to gain agreement as you discuss the product or service
  1. Anticipate, then overcome objections with empathy.

While you are presenting your product or service, be aware of body language and the questions that your prospect is raising and use them as clues to potential objections. Try to anticipate objections, and then address them by asking open-ended questions (What do you think about…? What is important to you in…?) Objections will arise, so do your best to prepare for them.

When an objection arises:

  1. Repeat the issue back to the prospect to show you have heard what they said, and to ensure you understand them correctly.
  2. Empathize or show that you can relate to what they said, and then provide a response that resolves their concern.
  3. Repeat yourself to confirm that you have overcome their objection.
  4. Close with confidence and awareness.

This is a crucial part of the sales process, and the step that most people have difficulty with because it’s all about timing. You have to cultivate an ability to sense the appropriate time to ask for the sale. This can’t be scripted; it has to happen in the moment when the customer’s objections have been overcome, and when you feel they are ready to seal the deal.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you attempt to close the sale:

  • Has the prospect agreed that there is value in the offering?
  • Does the prospect fully understand the benefits of the offering?
  • Does the prospect have any more objections or questions?
  • Are there any other factors could influence the purchase decision?
  1. Make that customer a part of your customer retention program, and don’t forget to follow up.

When you’ve completed the sale, make sure to get your customer’s contact information and set up a follow-up schedule. Your goal is to establish a long-term relationship to help cultivate loyal, repeat and referral business.

You should also be sure to ask satisfied customers to be part of your referral program, or if they would mind providing you with a testimonial. Be sure to do this as soon as possible after the sale.

Integrate up-selling, down-selling and cross-selling into your business.

Up-sell to increase the value of your sale.

Cross-sell to boost your average dollar sale.

Down-sell to avoid losing the sale.

Sales is a system that can be created, improved, taught and perfected.

The important thing to remember here is that everyone needs to enhance and refine their sales skills on a regular basis. A routine review of sales 101 is helpful for even the most natural of salespeople.

Consider creating a poster of the sales process with tips under each step, and posting it in the staff room or on your staff communications board. Visual reminders and passive access to resources can have a lasting impact on your staff’s performance.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me

How to Always be Present and Make an Impact

This week marks the first anniversary of my last day in the “office”. On that day 1 year ago, I did not know it was my last day or that as I left I would never return. That everything in my office would be a time capsule for how I left that evening. Or that I would never see my work teams again in person; or in some cases never see them again. Mindfulness and being present are hot topics in our business communities and this event brings the concept into focus more than ever

 

This lesson has helped me in many ways in my day to day interactions with colleague, clients and family. Realizing that anything I do could be the last time keeps the importance of mindfulness in sharp focus.

 

This lesson can help an individual stay present in each moment with family or work colleagues. Are you really listening? Are you contributing to your full capacity? Are you really conveying a sense of commitment to the other person? We may not get a second change for any of these things. I don’t believe in regret however I would have acted much differently that day through this lens.

 

And translating this into a business context means giving meetings, coaching sessions and reviews your full attention. Put away the phone and truly listen to others. Contribute as if this is the last time you will have the opportunity to contribute to those in the room. This could mean providing recognition for even seemingly small contributions and coaching on the micro skills necessary to execute on business plans. Act as if this is the last time you will have the opportunity to help your team succeed.

 

Focus on the tangible outcomes as well. Can you add more to ensure goals are met or that people in the room feel appreciated? As you conduct reviews with your team, are you providing the feedback and support they need to hit business goals? As you review plans with your team, your full attention is necessary to give your full weight to the team and leverage your years of experience. You can also get a sense of what is not said and what needs to be said.

 

If you read my blog from last week, you will see notes on how to manage teams remotely. Take those lessons learned and by fully present with your team. And even in a remote, dispersed workforce you can create and execute a strategy that truly set your organization apart.

 

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me

 

 

5 Key Actions to Leading a Virtual Workforce

Given the potential both for a new normal and no real idea when we will return to the office, it is critically important to have a system for leading dispersed and virtual teams. Outcomes that are measurable with strategies to motivate and align will be more and more critical. The ability to lead without constant supervision and micromanaging will take on more importance in the coming years. There are 5 key actions to help you achieve this and drive excellence in your organization

 

Ensure you and your team are aligned

 

While strategy is important it really only accounts for 1% of performance. The other 99% will be an alignment between you and the teams you lead. To accomplish this, collaborating on your long-term vision and the actions over 3 years, 1 year and this quarter will ensure the big rocks are accounted for and moved along. These actions are measurable with clear and agreed on targets.

 

Agree on measures of success

 

These could by key process indicators (KPIs) or Objectives and key Results (OKRs). They should be measurable with clear improvement goals for the quarter and for the year. The big rocks should ensure the teams are hitting all goals for the year and if not, check whether the plan is on track or the plan isn’t working as designed.

 

Establish operating rhythms to drive accountability and provide support

 

Operating rhythms with a clear purpose and agenda will ensure progress is made efficiently as possible. Daily check ins to remove barriers, weekly team rhythms to discuss 1 or 2 big rocks and quarterly meetings to discuss strategy execution all play a key part in driving success. The goal is to provide support and encouragement to your teams.

 

Create a reward and recognition program

 

Ensure that the reward and recognition program is built into your strategic roadmap. What will you celebrate and how will you celebrate. And make it clear to your teams from the beginning of the year. By doing this you will not miss opportunities to motivate and recognize the success of your teams.

 

Establish communication channels

 

Finally, you should clearly define channels of communication and their purpose. Will your team use slack, email or some other digital tool? When will you use them and for what purpose? Should certain communication always be in person or is it ok to post on an internal slack channel? Combining this with clearly defined operating rhythms will alleviate frustration, improve performance and ensure problems are solved at the appropriate level.

 

To lead change in a virtual environment is simple but not easy. By following the 5 steps discussed and providing daily support, your teams can flourish without meeting consistently in person. And given the uncertainty of returning to an office environment, getting this right is critical to your success.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me

 

The Six Interconnected Steps to Digital Marketing Success

Before you can even venture into the digital marketing world, there are six essential steps you need for success. Once you complete them, you are ready to create a plan of action for digital marketing success and see the results happen without worrying about backtracking later in the process.

1.     Define Your Target Market

Ideally, you will have already completed this task. Knowing your target market is essential to saving you time and money in your marketing process. To help define who exactly your target market is, you need to take a look at who your past customers are, the area around your business, and the digital marketing possibilities for this market.

Once you have a list of who your current customers are, you can think of the reason why they are your customers. These reasons and the attributes of these customers will show you a target market and how to approach it.

2.     Write it Down

Take a few moments to write a paragraph or two about who you will be targeting with your digital marketing. Write down which emotional buying behavior triggers them to make a purchase. Also, conduct research and find out what consumers need and expect from your brand. This way, you can focus on the interests and needs of your customers.

3.     Identify Value Proposition

Why do your customers choose your business for the services you provide? This is an important question to answer! You need to know what makes you unique from your competition. Is it the services you offer? Your products? If you have a hard time identifying these factors, ask several customers. Offer a gift card for a brief five-minute survey and you’ll have the answers you need to identify what is working and what isn’t.

4.     Create Key Messages

Your key messages are the messages you convey when you put together a marketing strategy, online or offline. To put together your key messages, you need to make a list of the benefits you offer that your competitors do not. You can make this list with the information you already have and add in further research from your competitive landscape. Once you have this information, you will be able to use it to build your strategies in PPC (Pay Per Click), your blog, or other avenues of digital marketing.

5.     Scope Out the Competition

The more you know about your competition, the more you can put together a better marketing plan. The most obvious list includes what your competitors offer for services and products. You also need to know:

  • Where they advertise?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • How do you stack up against them?
  • In what ways do they market that you should?
  • In what areas do they lack that you could ethically take advantage of?

You may also take a look at the advertising platforms they use and in some cases, and with the right software, even see the details of their advertising campaigns the results they produce. Make a note of these resources to check them out later.

6.     Check Out Your Digital Market

Research can feel like a lot of work. Still, it’s essential to understand better marketing opportunities, your competitors, and how you need to put together a successful digital marketing campaign.

Use search engines with keywords for your business and observe the results. One great way to do this is to use the Google Keyword Tool and generate a list of keywords (with their usage numbers) to find what keywords are the most effective. This way, you’ll get information about the most popular search terms around the topic and how other businesses use them. Keywords are invaluable when putting together a digital marketing campaign.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

The Marketing Equation that Will Turn Advertising Dollars into a Revenue Windfall

At least 90% of marketing efforts by small business owners are completely wasted. The marketing pieces lack the hot buttons and attention grabbers to have any impact on the target market. And often the small business owner has not properly defined a target market and therefore does not know the hot buttons to begin with.

It is really quite simple … make your business unique, create an extraordinary offering and communicate effectively. And to communicate effectively the secret is to use the marketing conversion equation. Finding your core audience and getting their attention is simply following a proven set of principles. That formula is Interrupt, engage, educate and offer.

You MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospects. Or another way to look at it is to be able address the number one question on your prospects mind at just the right time. The conversation taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points … There’s a problem they have and they don’t want … There’s a result they want but don’t have.

Interrupt is your headline and is the problem they have and not want. Their hot button issues.

Engage is your sub headline and is the solution you provide that they are looking for.

Education is the information you provide either verbally or in writing that presents evidence to your prospect that you and your product or service are superior in every way to your competition.

The Offer MUST be so compelling and so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down.

This messaging must be in every piece of marketing material you use and targeted at the niche part of your larger market opportunity. Utilized properly you will have more leads than you can possible address and can often get these leads while you sleep. It really is a simple equation that will turn advertising dollars into revenue. Happy marketing and see you here next week

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

Where the CEO Should Focus Her Time

     The number one place for the CEO or founder to spend their time is with customers and strategy formulation. This should be the focus 80% of the time and unfortunately the opposite is usually the case. Most often the CEO is fighting fires or dealing with a poor hire. Or maybe the founder is trying to scale a business where processes were not properly developed. Most often this is work that should have been completed before the first $1mm in revenue was realized but now ensure the leader is working 70+ hours every week. So what are the top 5 things that will ensure this is remedied?

 

 

-Develop a capable staff and second in command

-Prioritize key process indicators and assign an owner

-Ensure a strategy is in place and operating rhythms are developed

-Create a process to listen to customers for feedback

-Create a strategy process

 

The primary order of business is to hire and develop key leaders well before you 11themployee. This involves psychometric profiling, developing a network of hiring partners and create a robust process. With this system in place the founder can on-board the most capable executives well before the business starts to scale. With those leaders in the business a developmental plan can be implemented to ensure these leaders are in place and ready to help grow the business and run the day to day operations.

 

From there it is important to ensure the prioritized key process indicators (KPI) and in place to drive the correct behavior and initiatives. It is equally as important to have a clear owner for each KPI. And of course, with a great hiring system in place, you will have the most capable of business leaders to make stellar progress. Your business will have a great sales manager in place owning lead generation, a marketing person that is driving conversion strategies and a manufacturing guru reducing cycle times to drive cash generation.

 

These leaders will consequently own operating rhythms to ensure progress is made on a daily and weekly basis. A quick one hour review daily or weekly, depending on the size of the business, will quickly resolve issues and drive cross-functional accountability. While it will take time for the KPI owner to conduct these reviews, countless hours will be saved by reducing emails, adhoc meetings, and countless voicemails looking for information. These operating meeting should have a clear agenda and a follow up list generated to drive accountability for actions.

 

Now that the CEO is free from the day to day details they can create a customer feedback process with sales, marketing and customer service. Focus either on key customers or work with NPS data to gather valuable product or service feedback and respond with solutions. This will show your customers you value their input and let them know you are continuously improving for their satisfaction. These efforts alone will drive customer affinity and loyalty. This activity should consume a great majority of the CEOs time and provide daily and valuable feedback for business improvement.

 

Finally, the CEO should reserve the balance of the time for strategy creation and execution. Weekly, quarterly and yearly mechanisms should be in the CEOs default calendar to review progress with various levels of leadership depending on the size and complexity of the organization. At least weekly the leader of the company should have an early breakfast meeting with other C leaders in the business to discuss strategy in a more informal manner. On a weekly or monthly basis the CEO can review departmental progress of key strategic initiatives to ensure progress and accountability. This can be combined with quarterly and yearly reviews with a larger portion of their organization to leverage ideas and drive clarity deeper in the organization.

 

The leader of any organization regardless of size must ensure the correct people, processes and tools exist to free them from the day to day grind of business operations. Their role is to work directly with customers and direct the strategy to grow their business to include revenues and gross margins. This infrastructure should be developed early in the life cycle of the company and most certainly before the organization has 50 employees or $1MM in revenues. With this in place the organization can scale and realize double digit growth year over year.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

 

 

 

Key Performance Indicators – The only way to properly delegate in your business

 

A Key Performance Indicator System is one of the most important strategies you can implement in your business if you desire to experience freedom from the operational responsibilities of your company. A Key Performance Indicator System measures and reports the key activities in your business so that everyone knows how their efforts are either making or breaking the business. Without this, it’s impossible for your team to know how the business is running, how they’re doing, and what they need to change.

 

Here’s how it works. Imagine that you have to spend the next few months alone on an island with your cell phone. You’re allowed to make just one 60-minute call per week to just a few people in your company to direct and coach their activity. What numbers (usually 5 to 10) would you like sent to your cell phone at the end of each day to give you a very clear idea of how the day went, how the team performed, and how the business is running? What numbers will give you the basis for coaching your team to run the business effectively in your absence?

 

Here’s a partial list of common KPIs used by most business owners, as organized by business function:

 

Marketing

    1. Leads generated
    2. Cost per lead

Sales

    1. Inbound calls
    2. Appointments set
    3. Appointments conducted
    4. New sales closed
    5. Average sale value
    6. Conversion rate
    7. Revenue generated
    8. Revenue growth rate

Operations

    1. Units produced per hour
    2. Gross profit per unit sold
    3. Product returns
    4. Inventory turns
    5. Average transaction value
    6. Billable hours per employee
    7. Average hourly rate
    8. Customer satisfaction
    9. Customer retention
    10. Revenue per customer

Finance

    1. Current Ratio
    2. Quick ratio
    3. Inventory Days
    4. Accounts Receivable Days
    5. Accounts Payable Days
    6. Gross Profit Margin
    7. Net Profit Margin
    8. Advertising to Sales
    9. Rent to Sales
    10. Payroll to Sales
    11. Interest Coverage Ratio
    12. Debt-to-Equity Ratio
    13. Debt Leverage Ratio
    14. Return on Equity
    15. Return on Assets
    16. Fixed Asset Turnover

Questions to consider as you’re crafting your KPI system:

 

1.  How often you want to review your KPIs? (Daily, weekly)

2.  What key positions and responsibilities do you want to measure? (Review your organizational chart and position descriptions)

3.  What KPIs are important to you? (Numbers, ratios, percentages)

4.  How do you want the information delivered? (Fax, email, text message)

5.  How often will you communicate the KPIs to your team? (Email, bulletin board)

6.  What indicates good performance in this position? What is the goal? How do you measure good performance?

From there the business owner assigns accountability and creates operating rhythms to coach team members. This is the only real way to delegate to your staff and ensure effort is allocated to the 20% of actions driving 80% of your desired outcomes. Consistent actions will drive extraordinary results … Guaranteed!

Don Vanpool

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.