“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sales. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Short Tip Of The Week – Systems
Systems are your way of empowering your team to do large parts of your job just as if you were doing it personally. They can reduce your hours and stress by getting all the team to do a great job…sounds fantastic? Well it is easy once you know a couple of tricks…
• Only write systems that make money (or reduce a big risk)
We are not in the business of creating manuals so only create asystem if it simplifies a task, improves quality or speeds up a service. This will keep you focused.
Forget your big company or corporate experience of many volumes that mainly gather dust. The trick is to start small and let it grow with time.
• Work until it becomes simple
If the system is complex then keep working! When you really understand something and present it well, it will become simple and therefore effective. Written procedures can often be best presented as checklists or tables.
• Make sure your precious systems are being used!
As you create systems, build into them monitoring processes so that at a glance you can see if they are being used. Changing the culture of your company takes time and there will be failures. Even when the culture has changed it needs to
be maintained. Your monitoring systems will do a lot of this for you.
• Make sure your team members know the positions they play
Unfortunately, it is normal for most team members to disagree on what needs to be done while at the same time believing everyone knows their roles.
Clear written and agreed roles will remove the need for 75% of systems. So start there.
By now you truly understand the best systems look very unimpressive… the genius is getting them to look that way.
Oh – and get some help when you are building systems – the wheel has well and truly been re-invented enough!
Go sell something!
You already will have heard the statistics on business failure. The statistics vary, depending which source you are reading from. For simplicity, let’s just trust the data provided by Dunn & Bradstreet – who are business credit providers and who do “research” to keep their PR machines churning along.
According to D&B “Businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 37% chance of surviving 4 years (of business)
and only a 9% chance of surviving 10 years.”
“Of these failed businesses, only 10% of them close involuntarily due to bankruptcy and the remaining 90% close because the business was not successful, did not provide the level of income desired or was too much work for their efforts.”
Other general statistics that get thrown around include this gem [also from Dunn&B]:
“Nine out of ten business failures in the United States are caused by a lack of general business management skills and planning.”
D&B divide the failing groups in to two sets, labelled “catastrophic failure and general lack of success. Catastrophic failures are the primary result of economic factors. According to D&B, over 75% of those businesses that cite economic factors as a reason for failure, indicate that a lack of profits is the primary reason. Catastrophic failures also result from the death of a partner, fire, fraud, burglary and “acts of God”.
D&B say that statistically 88.7% of all business failures are due to management mistakes.
Here is a summary list of the 12 leading management mistakes that lead to business failures:
TOP 12 REASONS [From D&B]
1. Going into business for the wrong reasons
2. Advice from family and friends
3. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
4. Entrepreneur gets worn-out and/or underestimated the time requirements
5. Family pressure on time and money commitments
7. Lack of market awareness
8. The entrepreneur falls in love with the product/business
9. Lack of financial responsibility and awareness
10. Lack of a clear focus
11. Too much money
A Summary Table – Causes of Business Failure
1) Incompetence. 46% of failures. [Includes emotional pricing, living too high for the business, nonpayment of taxes, no knowledge of pricing, lack of planning, no knowledge of financing, no experience in
record-keeping or lack of understanding.]
2) Unbalanced Experience. 30% of failures. [Includes poor credit granting
or lack of managerial practices, experience excessive bad debts, expansion too rapid, inadequate borrowing practices.]
4) Lack of Experience. 11% of failures. [Includes carry inadequate inventory, line of goods or services, no knowledge of suppliers, wasted advertising budget.]
5) Neglect, fraud, disaster. 1% of failures.[Source: “Business Failures Rise in Nearly Every Industry Sector in First Half of 1997,” Dun & Bradstreet – News, Views and Trends.]
Business Success Is Not
You have just read the appalling stats on what happens in the majority of businesses.
There is another – more hopeful – statistic from D&B – a study showed that:
“over 90% of small businesses were still in business after five years IF they had the help of a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or other expert assistance.” [The SBDC is the US version of bodies like Dept of State Development here in QLD.]
Or Just Read One Decent Book!
There are other stats that say that if business owners attend even one business education seminar, or course – or even read some decent business books – that chance of survival massively improve.
Lack of Skills & Planning Equals Lack of Profits
Another clear point is of all the business failures – 75% were put down to lack of profits as the primary reason by the business owners.
The researchers then said that 90% of failures were due to lack of management skills and planning.
So which comes first? Lack of skills and planning or lack of profits? Does this remind you of the saying that “failing to plan is really planning to fail.”
If you have come to this site – you are certainly looking for something. I hope I can help you find it.
This site now will be home to tools and processes to help coach small and medium sized business owners get to where they want to go.
Seminar.com.au is owned and run by me – James Hooper from my base in Townsville. In a nutshell I have a very wide spread of interests from accelerated learning to respiratory health to business coaching.
This site is related specifically to business coaching, so the most relevant info is that I have been a top business coach with one of the world’s most successful business coaching franchises for 8 years. I recently moved away from that Business Coach organization to further pursue what I believe are the most efficient and rewarding parts of business.
Lots more information and tools will be placed here shortly – and I invite you to subscribe to my Townsville Business Builder Letter which is in the box below the video on the right of this page. This will keep informed of changes on the site plus notify you as we offer specific trainings and courses here in Townsville.
These will include Preparing for Yellow Pages, Sales Training Programs, Retail & other service training, Advanced Sales Programs for Commission or Incentivized Salespeople, Basic Operations Systems for Business, Advanced Systems, Marketing Systems [which is different to Operations], Marketing Plan Development Workshops, and more!
So join our Letter list – I promise no fluff. Probably first off the rank here in Townsville will be Yellow Pages Reviews. The YP reps are buzzing and the closing date is approaching. 95% of YP ads in the Townsville Yellow Pages are awful, and if they work at all – are under-optimized. Give me a call to arrange a review of your current and proposed Yellow adverts. 07 4721 0525. An hour invested with me could save you thousands wasted, and give you thousands more profit from the investment – and YP is still one of the best sources of business. I absolutely promise not to psss in your pocket. Investment is $295 inc GST, and a bit more if you have lots of ads. For most businesses it does not take many extra calls to cover that cost.
Thanks for visiting – remember to sign up for the Townsville Business Builder Letter, and also watch the video in the box on the right from the CEO of Google talking about Business Coaching and who needs it.