Don’t let those sales fool you. Bob is one of the most profitable owners in the peer group. He has no desire to grow for growth’s sake; he just wants to continue to make a good living in his small community—north of 30% owners comp—and “spend more Fridays during the summer on my boat.” During the meeting, Bob shared how he intended to hire an inside person to free up more time to do what he does best: marketing. Uh, check that. Members were emphatic that Bob’s real challenge is maxi mizing the productivity of existing employees. Hiring another would simply spread work among four people instead of three. After a hearty discourse, he accepted their recommendation to not add another salary. Instead, his peers recommended better managing current staff and redeploying their activities.
Member 5 (Open 15 years/$1.4 million sales in 2008)
Joe, with the group’s largest revenue, has an outside sales team of three people who are each responsible for more than $400,000 in annual revenue. His self-professed Achilles heel is a complete dislike for sales management. While he requires activity reports, Joe comes up short in engaging them as a leader to strive for greater success. His commitment from the last meeting is to do more than “just look at numbers” and to raise the bar of expectations. Oh, one more thing; a review of pricing by the group showed he’s undercharging in some areas, so he made upward adjustments, even in a down economy.
So there you have them…five approaches for improving your printing business operations right now: planning, selling, marketing, managing, and leading. It’s amazing how much you can do by simply taking time to analyze, strategize, and improvise.
David Handler is the founder of Success Handler, LLC; an executive coaching firm that helps clients explore possibilities for achieving what they desire. To create your own Success Plan, text 713/560-5601, tweet@davidhandler, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.successhandler.com.