In show business, the job we are setting up today is more important that any work we can put off until tomorrow. Or so we think. It doesn’t take long until tomorrow’s work becomes next week’s, then next month’s. When you focus on problems instead of solutions, you end up with a crisis. Here are some of my tips for developing a more productive staffing culture in the production rental industry. Tip #1: Employees Should Work at Their Highest Level of Contribution If you don’t have enough work for a full-time audio engineer, why do you have one? Picture your Senior Audio Engineer driving a delivery truck just because he wasn’t scheduled on a billable project (and he’s one of the few employees who has a CDL). How long before he quits to take a job that respects his time and talent? You may believe that maximizing staff utilization is the model of efficiency, but the long-term result is poor morale, high turnover, chronic mistakes, and a non-stop culture of “we’re too busy”. Tip #2: Career Development Isn’t Always Advancement A common mistake I see is the practice of hiring warehouse help with the intention that they become show technicians or managers. […]
You may not be tired of excuses, but I am. Here’s what I am talking about: Business is up, but your margins are shrinking. Longtime clients are much less profitable than new clients. Major projects suck up all your resources but deliver very low margins. In general, you are afraid that if you change anything about pricing, clients will leave you. If I say, “You need to stop selling on price!” What is your response? Does it begin with, “But…” This week’s blog is will improve your margins just by osmosis. Imagine what you could do if you diligently applied these recommendations?
I remember the dinner well. We were in a restaurant on I-Drive in Orlando. It was InfoComm in June. My dinner companion was my counterpart at our new parent company. The acquisition had been complete for perhaps a month, and it was our first time together. I am pretty sure his job was to get a read on me for his boss, who was now my boss’s boss. We hit it off as two veteran operations guys often do. Then he leaned in, “Let me give you an important piece of advice.” He continued, “Our CEO can be pretty intimidating. He likes to ask hard questions – or at least questions he hopes are difficult. He is more interested in how you handle the question than the actual answer. So, here’s my tip:” Of course, I am leaning in now too. “When he asks a question, reply with two answers, two options, or two points of view. Never one. Always two.” I looked a little puzzled so he continued. “The first answer is one he already knew and he has sticky follow-up questions for that one. The second response will be something he hadn’t considered. It will throw him off. […]
What do you really know about a potential buyer? Does your qualification process only consider the types of projects and revenue? What happens if you fail to pick up on the customer’s buying style?
As a young manager, I made all the best mistakes.
It seemed perfectly natural to blame people who made errors or exercised poor judgment and ‘hold them accountable.’ It rarely worked. The mistakes kept happening.
Two weeks ago, I re-shared a popular blog calling out how snobbish we can be about sales opportunities. Someone then reminded me that there was a follow-up to that blog and asked would I share that?
When you operate a growing business, you quickly learn how important it is to hire really great people. In fact, next to cash flow, that is probably the most important job you have as an owner.
Where do you find awesome employees?
If you are like me, you want to hire the first person that presents themselves reasonably well and get back to work. The real “interview” is on-the-job.
Sustained marketing is hard. Not all of us can do it. We lack time, resources, or inclination. However, small efforts will pay off – and they are better than nothing. If you do nothing, well…nothing happens.
Except it’s worse than that.
Who’s your ideal client? If you plan on describing someone in the C-Suite of Fortune a 500 company, let me get out my calculator. This is going to get expensive. Almost every day I hear from owners that want to grow, work on big projects, and cut out the middleman. “We want to deal directly with the buyer – the Decision-Maker.” What’s your beef with the middleman? “They take too big of a cut. That’s money I could be making. Plus, it adds another gatekeeper. We need to communicate directly with the economic buyer in order to meet their needs.” Ah, now I understand. You don’t realize that middleman exists because your ideal buyer doesn’t want to pay you that “extra” money. They are buying insurance against – well, you. Now, you want to tell them that you are all the insurance they need, how wrong they are? Awkward. And I suspect that the middleman is keeping you at arm’s length precisely because you covet their customer. Basically, you are not trustworthy. You are not respecting the sales channel. But let’s look at this another way. The middleman is providing a valuable service to you. Agencies, Producers, General Contractors, Architects, Designers, […]