Here are some of the steps I've used to help companies increase profit and happiness by working smarter not harder. Each of the following is a brief statement of a larger topic.
Most of this information is found in my presentation, Maximum PIE - Winning in Business. Check it out here.
* Get the org chart right. This establishes structure and defines where the buck stops. Even with very small companies this is a critical step.
* True colors. Do you have the right people on your bus and the wrong ones off? I use a simple 1 - 3 rating scale to determine this.
* Understand the profit equation. You must understand the simple variables that cause profit before you can hope to affect them. How much profit sould you expect?
* Understand a little probability theory. What are the chances that any specific job will turn out right? What happens to those odds when the number of people and machines increases? How does this affect profit margin?
* Culture. I preach TQI Culture: Team, Quality, Integrity. A company without a robust culture is a dysfunctional company destined for lackluster performance or outright failure.
- Team: Team first. From top to bottom successful companies live and breathe this. People are any company's most valuable asset.
- Quality: Mistakes kill profit. A+ quality and serivce thrills customers. Happy customers gladly pay top dollar.
- Integrity: All purchasing decisions are based on trust. We earn trust by being honest. Integrity is thus the root criteria for people hiring and recommending us.
* Leadership. What is the main tenent of leadership? Here's mine: Motivate others to want to do the job. This is so simple and powerful, yet among managers, so rare.
* Marketing. In all things business, marketing is half. Marketing defined: Everything you do that brings in business. Here are six, zero-cost marketing strategies that will produce amazing results:
- Be likeable.
- Communicate well.
- Exceed expectations.
- Solve problems, don't create them.
- Produce A+ quality.
- Integrity, 24/7.
* Marketing^2. Advertising, an element of marketing, is expensive and may do more harm than good. Many times less is more. Focus on the low-cost, must-have items:
- Facebook Page.
- Repeat customer program. You're six times more likely to get business from repeat customers than from new ones.
- Freebies. In modern marketing you must give to get.
* Teaching. If management isn't spending a big chunk of their time teaching, they're not doing their job.
* Learning. Ownership and managemernt must embrace learning or the company is doomed. Running a business successfully is not intuitive.
* Profit sharing. There are many ways of profit sharing but only one actually results in motivation rather than entitlement.
* Templates and systems. Efficient systems and templates are key to maximum profit. From my 15+ year experience owning a software company, I bring guru-level Microsoft Excel expertise.
* Mind the beans. Management (not the bookeeper) must thoroughly understand the company's cash flow, and keep a continuous finger on its pulse.
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