Get a Running Start Today to Win Your Race for Revenue


At least half a company’s obstacles to revenue success are actually internally driven. Are you struggling to keep your focus on revenue growth? You’re not alone.

Successful businesspeople get in slumps and experience a lack of self confidence in their quests for revenue. You can regain your confidence by changing your approach in business.

Operating a business is like running a marathon. You need toned muscles, and to re-discover your skills.

 Man running marathon Free PhotoTake steps to get out of your comfort zone, routinely practice being assertive and document your successes.

Get better at your job by becoming fearless, and decide whether you want to be a leader or a mere care-taking manager.

Here’s a checklist:

1. Put aside your distractions. You’ve probably been putting out fires – reacting instead of acting. Stop what you’re doing. Put your phone and pen down. Move away from the computer.

Take deep breaths. Clear your proverbial table for the right mindset – so you can focus on what matters to dominate in your marketplace.

2. Record and analyze how you’re spending your time and energy. Are you being productive? Start evaluating your situation. Don’t let complacency kill your focus. Time management is a key.

Bosses usually fail because they let distractions manage them. And they’re the folks who usually complain the most about not having enough time. So get organized to reduce your stress and save money.

3. Stay positive. Look for things that are positive. Focus on the 90 percent that’s working well in your company, career and family. Don’t let the negative 10 percent dominate your thinking. Treat every obstacle as an opportunity for growth.

Don’t let stress prevent you from working happier for for top performance. If you think positively you’ll perform better. Practice smiling. People around you will smile more, too.

4. Contemplate the big picture. Get out your goals. Are they still relevant for your company’s situation? Review what you’ve done to be successful for your objectives. Determine what needs your attention for the short and long term.

Work on developing your vision for goal-setting.

Are you in a turn around predicament? If you need to turn your company around, it’s a stressful situation. So, be diligent in following the right step-by-step solutions.

5. Take baby steps. Chances are you’re feeling burned out. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t try to do it all at once. Block out some time – an hour or less for each project. Set deadlines for each. If expenses are too high, be careful – don’t rush into it.

If you must cut costs, avoid making reactionary decisions.

Take a break to celebrate after you’ve finished a project. Reward yourself in a small way. There are all kinds of ways. Take a walk (my favorite). Telephone your life’s partner. Grab a snack. Meditate.

6. List ways you can delegate. Avoid frustration. Not everything has to be handled by you. Develop your staff for the welfare of your organization.  Delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth.

Managers show a form of leadership, if they’re effective in employee delegation.

7. Consider opportunities to compromise. Learning to compromise without giving away your personal power will lower your stress. Give your associates a reason to smile. The ability to compromise is an important ingredient in successful negotiations.

8. Budget time to exercise your body and mind. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be in a better position to take care of your business. That’s because you’ll feel better with more energy.

Exercise doesn’t take up your time, as much as it makes more time for you.

9. Strengthen your business relationships. If you work for someone else, start with your boss. You’ll build a stronger career foundation, if you invest in your relationship. Better yet, learn to manage your boss.

Regarding employees, savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital – a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace.

So engage your workers for higher morale to propel profits.

Make it a regular habit to motivate your employees to give you profitable ideas.

As for sales, build long-term client relationships with with effective meetings. If you’re a retailer, make certain your supply chain meets the expected standards of customers.

If you need better service from your suppliers, take steps to fix your vendor relationships. 

10. Consider coaching or mentoring. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A great coach will help your confidence and will help you to perform better. Look for someone with qualities you want for yourself – it’s the best investment to sustain your career.

Oh yes, don’t forget your employees. Be prepared to coach them. Explain the principle behind every tip you give employees so they’ll be able to pass it on when they get the chance.

11. Engage in public speaking. What you say is often as important as how you say it. Public speaking is good for you – it leads to more skills in communication and confidence. Create opportunities as a guest speaker.

If it’s a weakness, work on improving communication with others.

12. Let others challenge you. Hire smart people to complement your vision. You and your business will get stronger, if you discuss ideas.

Keep the focus on principles and not personalities. Behind every successful businessperson is at least one savvy devil’s advocate.

13. Be due diligent, but don’t be afraid to take risks. Paralysis from too much analysis is the true risk. Unless an idea is unethical, if an instinct plants a seed in your mind, chances are you need to act. You don’t need to know every minute detail.

Just get busy. As for fear of making mistakes, don’t be afraid. A mistake doesn’t represent failure – if you learn from it.

14. Unleash your passion. All great achievements have been accomplished with hope and enthusiasm. Develop the “contagious” disease – enthusiasm is working catching. Make sure everyone catches it. The multiplier effect from passion leads to profits.

15. Keep it going. Just as you work out at the gym to keep toned, you have to exercise your business muscles on a daily basis. Good luck!

From the Coach’s Corner, more tips:

“The key to winning is poise under stress.”

-Paul Brown


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Step-by-Step Solutions for a Financial Turnaround



The economy is rocking, but if your business is struggling you know the myriad of entrepreneurial challenges. However, it is possible for businesses to successfully complete a financial turnaround.

First, you might have to put on a different set of glasses – see this economy as a marvelous opportunity.

ID-100258930 jscreationzsBut it’s not just a matter of increasing sales. There’s more to it.

Sometimes, I get inspiration from non-businesspeople like the most revered president in American history, Abraham Lincoln: “If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.”

To sharpen your axe, there are salient areas that need your focus in order to turn your business around, which include financial, marketing, and internal operations.

For space limitations in this column, let’s deal with finances.

Businesspeople are embarrassed by having to face the trauma of continuous collection calls.

They often don’t communicate effectively with creditors on managing cash flow issues. So tell creditors you’re working to correct the situation.

Cash flow

The first objective is to manage cash flow in three steps:

1. Increase the cash balance. Collect the outstanding accounts receivable and generate cash from any saleable assets.

2. Prioritize the cash disbursements. Focus the available cash toward the must-pay expenses first, including payroll and associated payroll taxes, and pay other vendors with your remaining balance.

3. Develop a cash forecast. Project realistic cash receipts by customer (preferably include the products or product lines) and disbursements by creditor on a weekly basis for the three months – and monthly thereafter for a year. This means reducing the revenue and collections in your projection by 10 to 30 percent to make certain the actual results are achievable and you do not run out of cash. Develop and implement plans to operate and keep you in business at the lower projections.

… you might have to put on a different set of glasses – see this economy as a marvelous opportunity.

Denial

Denial is usually the biggest consequence: Acknowledge your situation, develop a turnaround plan, and communicate with your bank, with vendors, and your employees.

Once you acknowledge the situation, consider your company’s mission statement, define the core business, including your target customers, and your company’s unique competencies in the marketplace. The bottom-line question – are your products or services responsive to the market demand?

Next, determine your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with a SWOT analysis.

Negotiations

If you owe money to banks or vendors, most would rather be repaid over time than take over your business or force your company into bankruptcy, provided you can show them how they will benefit by working with you.

For your lenders, provide your operational and financial turnaround plan exhibiting the company’s viability and outlining a repayment plan and timetable for the bank and explain how you intend to protect the bank’s collateral. You may have to show your lender how they will receive less money if they force you to liquidate to repay your line of credit if they don’t extend the repayment terms of your loan.

In dealing material suppliers, offer to pay them cash on delivery on future shipments so that they can continue to earn their gross margin on your purchases and suggest that you will also pay a small percentage toward their prior outstanding balance. Your vendor will keep you as a profitable customer and their outstanding receivables will be reduced over time.

Keep your commitments on making payments to re-establish credibility.

Identify your company’s key performance indicators, or critical success factors.

Key performance indicators

Continue to monitor your company’s financial health. Identify your company’s key performance indicators, or critical success factors. These indicators must be SMART, an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and track-able. They typically relate to sales to key customers, accounts receivable collections, cash balance, raw material deliveries, and sales backlog.

A flash report can be designed to monitor these indicators on a daily basis and to evaluate your actual performance against the turnaround plan. It should be shared with key players in your company so everyone understands and has a sense of ownership so that you have a team-approach in achieving your goals.

As for your receivables, here are resource links: Are Accounts Receivables a Problem? and How to Ease Debt-Collection Headaches.

The textbook I use in teaching finance to non-accountants is “Finance for Non-Financial Managers” by Gene Siciliano.

Use these tips and you’ll increase your odds for a good return on your marketing investments.

From the Coach’s Corner, here’s a quick tip on sharpening your axe for repeat business:

Use the Golden Rule. How many times have you said you’re tired of spending money at companies who have employees who take your money and say “Have a nice day,” but fail to smile and say “Thank you”?

Or they seem indifferent toward you? My research shows that consumers stop buying from a business about 70 percent of the time because they feel they feel taken for granted. Customers will go elsewhere and not bother to complain about the lack of respect. Incidentally, employees are consistent. If they are indifferent to customers, they treat their fellow workers the same way.

So if you have customer-service employees and your profits are down, you can bet your company needs to improve team morale and customer empathy.

Additional resource links:

You Can Creatively Manage Your Cash Flow 7 Ways — If you’re taking the pulse of your business, of course, the first thing to consider is your cash flow. If your cash flow is poor, you feel poor because you can’t pay the bills nor can you use money for what you’d like to do. Your image can also suffer with vendors or with customers, if you don’t manage your cash flow.

Accounting / Finance – Why and How to Determine Your Break-Even Point — Uncertainty can kill hope in business. Best practices in management mean having the right information to alleviate uncertainty in business. For that you need the right tools. One important tool – know your break-even point (BEP). A BEP analysis should be an integral part of your financial planning.

To Cope with Rising Costs, Review your Pricing Strategy — Increased costs weigh heavily on the bottom line. If you’re being pressured by costs, it’s probably time to review your pricing strategy.  You’re not alone. No business is immune from rising costs in fuel; rent or real estate; labor; health insurance and ObamaCare; marketing; and equipment. Lest not you forget all the taxes.

15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance — Studies show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. Employee dissatisfaction, of course, will adversely affect a company’s performance.

Secrets in Motivating Employees to Offer Profitable Ideas — Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale.

 You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Image courtesy of jscreationzs at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.