You know what’s wrong. So fix it!
Running a business is complicated, but that’s no excuse to let the little things slip. In fact, those small details can make all the difference between struggle and success:
A clean washroom. An inviting and orderly appearance, inside and out. Trained staff in store-branded uniforms. A cup of hot coffee. Expert knowledge of the products you sell. It’s not rocket surgery, but chances are you’re missing one or more of these things.
So when you ask yourself, “How can I fix my business?” the truth is that you probably already know most of the answers.
And when you need help, get some – a coach or a mentor to point out the things you can’t see, to provide a badly needed outside perspective.
Most importantly, never overlook the importance of your data. All those columns of numbers, order sheets and invoices, are telling you something and can help you measure success. You just need to know what to look for.
Just remember this formula:
Get a Coach/Mentor
Tiger Woods is quite possibly the greatest golfer in history. He also has a golf coach. (And in retrospect he probably could have used a life coach as well.)
NFL teams have coaches for quarterbacks and receivers, linemen and kickers. Baseball teams have pitching coaches and batting coaches. That’s because no matter how good you are, how much experience you might have, we all need someone to watch us and point out the things we’re doing wrong, the things we’re doing right, the areas we could improve and where we’re getting sloppy.
Where do you go for day-to-day advice? Staff? Friends? Family? While the advice you get is probably good, everyone you know personally is going to pull punches. To get expert advice, objective and honest (brutally so), you have to go to an expert – preferably someone who knows your industry and has proven success.
To get started, AVIDWORX offers some of that expert advice as part of our product and services packages, and through our SALESWORX program we can provide you and your staff with training from Del Ellis. Del has over two decades experience in car audio sales and is regarded as a foremost expert in the industry.
As well as taking a workshop, you’re going to want to get regular advice. One place to get it is online, from articles written by experts and forums you can join to discuss business. Here are a few of the online forums we like:
www.eo.org (Must have revenue over $1M)
www.yeo.org (Must have revenue over $10M)
www.ypo.org (Must have revenue over $100M)
The difference between your expectations and reality has a name, and that’s “gap” — your budget vs. your actuals. But while it’s primarily a financial measure, the same principles can be applied to every single aspect of your business.
For example, did the sale of one type of product meet your expectations? If so, what did you do to help it along? And if not, where did you go wrong?
Is the product in a little traveled area of your store where there’s a burned-out light that you haven’t gotten around to replacing? Is there a test model that your customers can see, hear and touch, or was it stuffed into a glass case? Did you leave the box out on the showroom floor where customers can scan it with their phones and buy it online for a few dollars less? Did you train your staff how to use it, teach them the benefits of the product and suggest how best to sell it to customers? Did you surround it with other cheaper products? Did you promote it with signs and ads, on your website and through your social network?
In the example above, you can use a financial measure – budget vs. actual sales – to measure your level of product support and the effectiveness of your approach to sales.
Products very rarely sell themselves without a little assistance, no matter how cool they are. If the iPad showed up in stores tomorrow without all the print, web and television ads, media coverage and positive advance reviews from hundreds of tech sites, how well do you think it would sell next to a competing tablet that had all of those things?
For more, read this post on how to find a coach. Coming soon: a post on how to create your measurement tools.