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, […]
I’ve been a Marriott customer for a long time. When I started my solo career as a consultant, my travel agent encouraged me to pick one chain and stick with it. At the time I chose Hilton, stayed mostly at Hampton Inns and was unimpressed. The hotels were often tired and the points system was not very generous.
Then I stayed at a Residence Inn somewhere I don’t recall, but I clearly remember walking in and seeing a message board that welcomed elite guests by name. At the front desk they were thanking guests for being an elite guest. Recognition.
Which would you rather have? A one million dollar new customer or ten one hundred thousand dollar new customers? Careful what you wish for.
Every small business has “the elephant in the room.” It might be you. Sure, you want to grow and make more money. At least make more money. I mean, growth is isn’t really a thing is it? You aren’t required to do that – there’s no rule. You never intended to have an empire, just a good living. Am I right?
Have you ever walked into a store and been immediately pressed by a salesperson or greeter with offers of help? It is a practice that generally yields quick results for the shoppers that want to expedite their search. “Can I help you?” the greeter asks. “Could you tell me where the coats are?” you reply. There was a time when “Just looking” wasn’t allowed.
The end of the year is a special time for me. It is time for reflection and I don’t do it often enough. Next week – the New Year – will be time for new directions, but the week between Christmas and New Year’s has always saved for thinking…and cleaning.
In this podcast Tom Stimson explains how to keep setbacks from lowering your goals.
Tom Stimson describes the makings of true success, and the difference between “abundance” and just “enough.”
Over the past decade I have learned a lot about what it means to own a business, how business owners think, and what is most important to them. I have narrowed this down to a list of five recurring themes in the order that they manifest most frequently. Not all owners want the same things in the same order, but the underlying issues seem to be somewhat universal. The five themes are Cash Flow, Profit, Growth, Satisfaction, and Harmony. Cash Flow Of all the themes, cash flow is the most critical. It is emotional and practical. Cash is oxygen and when in short supply, owners become light-headed, then despondent, then desperate. Cash represents success and lack of it, failure. This is the one theme that always goes home with the small business owner. You might leave all other issues behind when you depart the office, but not this one. Check out this Podcast: Seven Tips to Improve Cash Flow: Short Term Expect to get paid. Give customers multiple options to pay including credit cards. Get better terms from suppliers, landlords, and banks. A 90 day reprieve on loan repayments is probably there for the asking. Cut back on discretionary spending […]