Ghosts, Goblins and the Boogey Man (Part 3)

I have been invited to give a keynote speech Positioning Your Business in This Crazy Business Market to a group of Las Vegas business owners. Here is a sneak preview of what you would hear if you were in this audience.

I would start off telling you that the business fruit you are now harvesting is the result of many years of cultivation or neglect and that there are no secrets to learn or magic potions to drink or fairy dust that can be sprinkled on you that will change that.

The tough reality is that the business of growing a business is a long hard up hill slog and the sooner you get busy doing the things that successful businesses do the sooner you will reap more abundant and delicious fruit.

You might be wondering where I would tell you to start.

I would tell you to focus on three key areas:

Business Strategy and Leadership Skills

I would tell you to analyze your self and be honest about your leadership skills, business strategy and acumen. If you have the courage and self honesty to confront and examine your leadership skills, business acumen and strategy and attitudes there is hope. If you are not willing to do that you might as well close the doors because your business is already dead.

Every business owner’s business is a reflection of the owner’s skills, attitudes, and competency. The health of a business is not a reflection of the economy or market conditions or industry trends. It is a personal reflection of the owner’s business skills. Period!

Successful business owners understand and accept this.

The World Inside Your Business

I would tell you to make sure your house is in order before you invite people to come visit. Having your house in order means more than having an attractive and clean physical plant. It means having policies and procedures that make it easy and fun for customers to do business with you; it means having friendly and helpful employees who have a servant attitude and truly enjoy their work.

I would tell you that you need to improve your employee selection and retention process by benchmarking each position and by investing the time, money and energy necessary to hire the best people available. I would tell you that you need to invest heavily in ongoing communication and sales and business development training of all of your staff. None of these things will be cheap, easy or quick. The alternative is to do nothing and hope for the best. Unfortunately, hope is not a good strategy.

The World Outside Your Business

I would tell you that you are not in the retail business or the automotive or computer or plumbing or florist or any other business you may think you are in but that you are in the marketing business and you need to learn how to become marketing experts. You would hear that you need to learn to become students of marketing and that you need to quit relying on so called marketing experts who are merely advertising sales people. You would hear that you need to determine what your Unique Selling Proposition is and then you need to craft effective copy to communicate that message. Lastly, and only when you have done the previous two things do you need to worry about which media you need to use to effectively communicate your message.

You would hear that you need to learn to become better direct response marketers and that you need to stay away from image building or marketing that you can’t measure or quantify.

You would hear that you need to become involved in your community and begin to volunteer your time and energy to a cause that you are passionate about.

All of these things will require that you invest more time, energy and money in your business. If you are unwillingly to do that then you need to either learn to be happy with your current results or you need to seriously consider doing something else.