The visit to Carson City was successful despite the ever-changing winds. A few from our delegation were not able to make it due to diverted flights. Along the highway from Reno to Carson City, a couple of tractor trailers were blown over. And many of the Republican legislators were trying to hold strong against the sheer force of Democratic pressure.
With about 1,250 BDRs submitted thus far, it will continue to be a whirlwind to keep up with all the proposals. Everything from regulating blockchain technology and commerce tax reporting, to drug testing and wage increases are likely to be heading our direction. Many of these will require more paperwork and indirect cost increases to comply.
Of the many possible changes, one simple modification in a single word or amount could blow through your company more than many realize. Assume the minimum wage is increased even slightly over a long period of time. Every other employee is likely going to seek more compensation, which leads to greater costs based on gross payroll such as workers’ compensation insurance costs, payroll taxes and state modified business taxes. More required costs can lead to lower profits if revenues cannot be increased, which leads to unstable businesses failing. This is just one example of the storms that could be heading your way.
Now is the time to ensure your business is on a stable foundation before the Big Bad Wolf blows your business down due to lack of preparation and planning.
“Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
What is Sales?
- The activity or business of selling products or services.
- An alternative term for sales revenue or sales volume.
When we begin working with a new client, there’s much foundational work to be laid. The client’s core leaders start by going through an assessment process that covers everything from financials to systems to internal succession planning. Once completed, we outline and provide a detailed plan — including tracking methods and achievable metrics — to improve the worth of your company.
Included in the plan are the principle value drivers that help your businesses thrive. Sales is one such key value driver. High value companies have the ability to deliver on the promises made to the marketplace and to do it in a systematic and a reliable process-driven manner. They consistently ask, and answer, challenging questions to ensure that their sales systems are performing at peak efficiency.
These questions include:
- Does your company have a consistent record of sales growth?
- Is too much revenue concentrated in the hands of a limited number of customers?
- Do you offer regularly-scheduled sales training programs?
- Are you too dependent on one sales superstar or the personal relationships with one party of the customer?
- Do you have a balanced mix of sales tactics to keep a steady stream of high-quality prospects in your sales funnel?
- Are you measuring the timing and close rate on your sales leads?
- Are your customers satisfied and a consistent source of repeat business?
- Do you measure and understand your customer turnover?
- Are your customers paying in a timely manner?
- Is your sales incentive program effectively creating your desired outcomes?
- Will your sales process continue to function successfully in your absence, whether due to illness, retirement, transfer of ownership or another life-changing event?
- Are your sales and sales projections sustainable and predictable?
Answering “no” to one or more of these questions can leave your business vulnerable and at the mercy of forces beyond your control. If you haven’t done so in a while, we urge you to take time to evaluate your current sales process. In this way, you will safeguard the revenue you need to achieve your short- and long-term goals.
There are many more questions that need to be considered to improve your sales. What do we sell? What does the customer buy? How relevant is your service or product? Who is the real customer? Who makes the purchase decision? How are you able to provide better service or product than your competitors? Are you selling to the correct customers? Do you have a written sales plan and strategy? Is it being followed and measured?
Big changes — especially in larger companies — don’t happen overnight. Our individualized approach to helping clients make big changes and sound business decisions is methodical and incremental, and keeps your long-term goal in mind at all times.
Step 3: Action
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
— Attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
At Eagle Corporate Advisors, we help you chart a course, cross bridges, avoid obstacles and stay on track to keep you and your business on the best path to your success. We call this roadmap “The Six A’s.”
In last month’s newsletter, we focused on “Advancement,” which is the second A. Advancement involves developing the proper action plan and timeline to help make your dreams a reality.
The third step is Action, the implementation of your plan. Typically, this involves 90-day cycles, where doing, observing, measuring, evaluating and adjusting take place before initiating a new cycle. Many business owners spend all their time planning and then wonder why nothing ever changes or was accomplished. It is because they failed to act. A common term for this is “paralysis by analysis.” Another term is “fear.” Or if they get started, they fail to hold themselves or their team accountable for following through with the assignment or task.
Planning is vitally important but at some point, we need to “pull the trigger.” Just as there’s never a perfect time to start a business venture in the first place (or get married or have a baby, for that matter), waiting is pointless because there’s no such thing as the perfect time.
That’s the reason we implement in 90-day cycles. Three months is enough time to see activity, to get a good read on the current plan, while ensuring that speedy adjustments can be made should things go sideways. At the same time, three months is not so long that the milestone is too far into the horizon and is forgotten in the daily scramble of life. These adjustments can range from simple tune-ups to major overhauls. Regardless, by taking action and addressing our fears (which are, after all, normal human emotions, especially for business owners), we can regain a feeling of control and head into the future with confidence. Often it helps to bring in an outside mentor to provide objectivity, support, accountability, and proven tactics to enable you to feel success in making an incremental step.
Welcome to a new feature we call, “Say What”? As business owners, we’ve all heard or read words of wisdom from thought leaders running the gamut from well-known to unknown. These kernels of truth often help keep us on track, pump us up when we’re feeling down and serve as timely reminders of why we do what we do. Here are a few favorites from business associates and colleagues (plus one of my own), along with brief explanations of why they strike a chord.
“It’s not about controlling your fear. It’s about broadening your comfort zone. You need to systematically expose yourself to something until it’s not scary.”
– Alex Honnold
Preston Sumner Commentary: “Entrepreneurs know the importance of getting outside their comfort zones. Honnold’s quote highlights the fact that continually stepping outside our comfort zone expands it. This is why risk takers grow.”
“If the game is designed for you to lose, don’t play that game. Play a different one.” – Seth Godin
Brian Rouff Commentary: “Godin’s observation raises awareness and forces us to re-examine our preconceived notions. In our industry, for example, the quest for large accounts often involves submitting a Request for Proposal (RFP). This doesn’t play to our strengths, so we don’t do it anymore.”
“A failure is not always a mistake; it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The mistake is to stop trying.” – B.F. Skinner
Chuck’s Commentary: “I have failed many times in life and business. I have become discouraged and frustrated that I did not win or achieve an aspired goal. It usually takes an outside party to help us realize that we did put forth an outstanding effort. Sometimes we just do not have adequate resources, which may be time, money or education needed to achieve the next level. Yet I continue to push forward and continuously encourage others to do the same. You will never make it to the top of the hill if you quit taking the next step.”
If you’d like your favorite saying featured in a future newsletter, please email it, along with a brief commentary, to ChuckM@EagleCorporateAdvisors.com .
Motivated by helping people achieve their dreams, Chuck Mohler has more than 25 years’ experience in business operations, financial consulting, real estate and trust deed investments. As founder of Eagle Corporate Advisors, he uses his vast experience to serve as advisor, coach and mentor for business professionals who realize they can’t always know it all and do it all.
Beyond his impressive list of credentials and understanding of business owner’s needs, Chuck is well-respected for his dedication and desire to serve his clients above and beyond their expectations.