Category Archives: Small Business Planning

September 2017 Newsletter – Why So Many Companies’ Strategy Fail

Why So Many Companies’ Strategy Fail

I recently was reviewing two studies, one by McKinsey & Co. and the other by Harvard Business School that found 90% of organization’s strategies that fail do so because of lack of execution. What they discovered is that most of companies they examined had a practical and achievable strategy for their business, they just did not execute their game plan in a logical, systematic way.

The “Busyness” Method of Execution

From one standpoint, execution is easy; you just do it (whatever “it” is). However, there are two different types or methods of “execution.” The first is to just get busy doing various activities. I call this the “busyness” method. The activities engaged in the busyness method may or may not be productive activities. The thought pattern in this approach is that – activity equals progress. The underlying problem with the busyness method is most of its activities are tactical actions, that are not necessarily tied to the Strategic plan.

Just like the statement in Alice in Wonderland, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” the busyness method can lead to activity for the sake of activity. Its mantra is “just get busy doing something.”

In the absolute, the busyness execution approach can lead to operating in the envelope of the ill-fated “tyranny of the urgent”, where an organization spends so much of its time in crisis management that it loses sight of the big picture of what it should be trying to accomplish and thereby sees little or no progress toward its long-term goals. The business then starts to operate primarily in a reactive mode with the concept of planning being nothing more than the solution to today’s “crisis du jour.”

The bottom line of the busyness approach to execution is that it is an un-structured method that does not fully utilize systems intentionally tied to the company’ overall Strategic plan.

Structured Execution

The second approach to execution, is what I call “Structured Execution”. The key to Structured Execution is that it is an intentional method of executing systems in a disciplined manner. There are three key factors to Structured Execution:

  1. Intentionality – The execution does not take place haphazardly but there is a definite train of thought behind each action. The visible execution is a result of an overall game plan that has been laid out clearly behind the scenes.
  2. Systems –Structured Systems have been developed, implemented, and monitored so that correct actions take place on a consistent basis. Actions are not left up to the individual Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiato do as they see fit, but the steps that a person or team will take to accomplish a given task have been identified beforehand and optimized to get the desired outcome on a predictable basis.
  3. Discipline – A disciplined atmosphere exists throughout the company to ensure optimized systems are in place that are followed explicitly and adherence to the systems is rewarded, and deviation from the systems is penalized. The discipline to adhere to the systems in place is not mindless, but is an acknowledgment that the best systems are being used to produce the desired results. However, it is understood these systems are reviewed regularly with an eye to whether the systems can be improved.

The Five Steps of Structured Execution

There are 5 sequential steps to having a Structured Execution Plan that is intentional, systematic, and disciplined:

  1. Systems – Development of Systems that encompass both your overall plans and detailed processes which are blueprints for how you want to operate your business. No two Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiacompanies would have the exact same Systems because they are unique to each organization.
  2. Personnel – Determination of the people you will require to execute your Systems. This involves ensuring you have the correct personnel in place and they are properly trained.
  3. Metrics – These are measurements to determine whether your processes are working correctly or not. This step is necessary because if you do not measure something, there is no way to determine how well you are executing or managing it, nor what you can do to improve your systems.
  4. Quality Loops – These are mechanisms that ensure that if a system or process stops functioning properly the individual or team that is executing the process can self-correct without management needing to get involved. Quality Loops also involve process redefinition that can be used if something has changed in your business’ overall environment which necessitates a redesign of the entire process.
  5. Incentives – These are financial and non-financial rewards to the business owner, leader, employee, or supplier for adhering to the process and executing it correctly. Incentives are necessary to reinforce the performance that in the end leads to your company achieving its strategy.

Why is proper execution an absolute must in any organization? The same McKinsey & Co. and Harvard Business School studies showed on average 55% to 70% of a business’ success is tied directly to proper Execution.

If you would like assistance with executing your organization’s strategy in a structured, systematic way so that you achieve the goals for your company, please contact us using the below information.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

August 2017 Newsletter – How to Properly Retreat in Your Business

How to Properly Retreat in Your Business

Recently I was watching a TV Documentary on the United States Revolutionary War, and it discussed the fact that in a key battle the Colonists retreated from the initial fight, which in turn allowed them to re-group, attack again and win a key victory. Retreats can be part of an overall strategy that can lead to triumph. Just as great military leaders know how to properly use retreats, so can business and organization leaders.

I feel very strongly business owners and leaders need periodic planning retreat times for three reasons.

First, you need time to evaluate what is happening in your business, both at the macro and micro levels. This includes taking time to gauge how you are doing in achieving your goals and objectives, including evaluating how you are doing financially.

Second, you need these “tree” type evaluations to open your mind to big picture and “forest” type questions like “What is the Vision for my business?”, “Is my current Strategy appropriate?” and “What is the direction for my business?”

Third, these questions lead to global questions like, “What is the dream for my business?” “Where do I want to take my business?” “How can I improve my customer’s experience?” Clearly, these questions and many other questions like them should be considered. To reflect on these topics requires specific time spent away from your work location in contemplation of these issues and topics.

Planning Retreats

Leaders of larger companies realize that they need formal time for them and their “management team” to specifically work on planning for their business. However, if you have a Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAsmaller business you may be wondering if you really need this type of time for evaluating, assessing, and planning.

I have found that periodic planning retreat away from your business location is extremely important for both smaller and larger companies. The two things you want to accomplish in these retreats are:

  • Contemplate specifics related to your business. For instance, consider market factors, customer status, and your employee situation. Evaluate how your business is doing now and what should be done in the future in these areas.
  • Consider issues driven by what you want to do with your life–personal goals, what is important to you, what brings you pleasure and enjoyment, succession planning, your financial situation, etc. This requires the consideration of what you want to do with your life and how your business fits into your overall desires and plan for your life.

Group Business Management Team Retreats

Businesses are a team effort and if your business is of any size, you are going to require a team of people to achieve the Vision for your business – therefore getting your entire team on the same page and working together is paramount. This requires your management team to meet periodically for group retreats. Areas of focus during the retreats should include:

  • Consideration of market factors
  • The conditions of your customer universe
  • Marketing and sales results
  • Operations
  • Financial results
  • Issues involving your employee situation

The principal things that take place during these meetings are

  • An assessment of the current state of your business
  • Evaluation of various possible courses of action
  • Deciding on a go-forward game plan

Two additional things should take place during group business management retreats that do not necessarily take place during your individual planning retreats, which are:

  1. A celebration of the successes of your business since the previous group business management retreat. This is a key activity since one of your chief responsibilities as the leader is to rally and encourage your employees, and that starts with your management team!
  2. Plan some fun and relaxation time into each retreat. This may be a game of golf, a trip to an amusement park, a massage therapist coming in, or an upscale, relaxed dinner. Keep in mind that you should do things to make the event something that everyone looks forward to as compared to dreading the next grueling, 10-hour-days, stressful planning “retreat.”

Retreat Location

Small Business PlanningHaving had the benefit of peering inside many companies I feel a main ingredient of having a successful and rewarding group planning retreat is the meeting should take place away from your work location.

Whenever comprehensive planning sessions take place at your regular work location three problems occur:

  • The participants have a difficult time disconnecting from the urgent work that is just waiting for them on the other side of the wall
  • Interruptions occur because employees break into the meeting with “things that just could not wait”, which in turn causes the entire planning process to be less than optimal
  • The participants, for some mysterious reason, end up being limited in their thinking and they wind up not thinking “outside of the box”

Meeting Frequency

I recommend that twice a year, generally for two or three days, you as an owner and other key persons who are ultimately going to determine the destiny of your business go away for a group planning retreat. If you have a larger business it may take longer than two or three days and while having your individual planning retreat over a weekend may personally work well for you, your management team may consider it an incursion into their personal time so these planning events should take place during the normal work week.

Retreat Agenda

I recommend about a month before the planning retreat, the preparation of a detailed agenda. You want to do this beforehand to make sure you have not missed any items on the agenda and to mentally plan for issues and discussions that most likely will occur. When all the above ingredients are combined, you will obtain a refreshed, re-focused and re-energized management team that will in turn achieve the goals for your organization.

If you need assistance with properly using planning retreats to recharge you and your management team for realizing greater revenue and profits, please contact us using the below information so we can show you to “retreat” to move forward.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

July 2017 Newsletter – How to Multiply Your Profits

How to Multiply Your Profits

You may have seen the announcement last week that Amazon will start selling Sears Kenmore appliances. Not only that, they revealed Sears and Amazon will start working on fully integrating Amazon’s voice assistance, Alexa with Sear’s smart appliances.

This will allow people to control things like air conditioners with voice commands that will be synched with Alexa.

Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm GlobalData Retail said it’s a win for Sears, putting its products where customers are shopping. He went on to say because of Sears falling sales this is good step in finding “Other channels and routes to markets”.

This new relationship will provide Sears additional revenue because the service work and product warrantee services will be provided by Sears Home Services.

What is a Delivery Channel?Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GA

Sears and Amazon’s new venture is an example of a company developing additional Delivery Channels for its products/services. What is a Delivery Channel?

Delivery channels are the methods by which you deliver or distribute your product or service to your Customer. It is important to note there are several terms used for delivery channels. Sometimes these are called “sales channels,” “marketing channels”, or “distribution channels”. All these terms refer to how your product will be provided to your Customer; I will use the term “delivery channel.”

For instance, you could ship your product directly to a Customer, they could pick it up at your location, buy it from a retail store to whom you initially sold your product at wholesale prices, or, if applicable, they could download your product from your web site. Marketing-type delivery channels might involve doing direct sales to your Customer or developing, working with, and supporting a network of distributors.

Developing Multiple Delivery Channels

The more delivery channels you have, the more sales you can have by providing the same product to your Customers via multiple and alternative means.

For instance, the soft drink Coca-Cola® is delivered (sold) to their Customers in three basic ways:

  • Bottles, cans, or other containers purchased at stores
  • Fountain drinks purchased at restaurants, sporting events, or similar places
  • Bottles, cans, or other containers purchased via vending machines

Consequently, the Coca-Cola® bottling company can easily obtain additional revenue from the sale of one product, the Coca-Cola® soft drink, because it has multiple delivery channels. We have all seen this when a physical retail store chain establishes an online retail presence; it is just being delivered via a different channel.

Two Delivery Channel Decisions

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAThere are two decisions that involve this delivery channel area. First, which is the best and most appropriate delivery channel for your product? Second, which additional delivery channels justify their cost? Because there are additional costs to develop and maintain each delivery channel, you must compare your incremental revenue to your incremental costs to verify that the effort of creating additional delivery channels makes sense.

There is an added factor that must be considered when you explore additional delivery channels—will the marketplace be confused using the additional delivery channel so the overall message of your solution becomes distorted?

This issue of confusion is what Starbucks Coffee® faced when it introduced its VIA® product for making coffee at home compared to the product that was being delivered through its retail coffee establishments. That is, would VIA® be viewed as an alternative to going to a Starbucks Coffee® location and therefore cannibalize its sales, or be viewed as another delivery channel of the Starbucks Coffee® product and thereby grow overall sales?

Secondary Delivery Channels Benefits

Besides the additional revenue, there are two related secondary benefits that using multiple delivery channels can bring to your business. First, the same marketing efforts can be used to promote and drive multiple delivery channels. For instance, a television advertisement for a physical store can have a web site listed at the bottom and the words “shop online at” added at the end of the commercial.

Second, there is potential for a spillover effect when promoting one delivery channel when the same product can be purchased from a different delivery channel than the one being promoted in the advertising.

For instance, a soft drink advertisement shows the soft drink being served at a cool, relaxing, and pleasant pool party, which would encourage sales from a physical store delivery channel for take-home consumption. On a different occasion, the consumer passes a vending machine in the middle of a hot city, they remember the advertisement showing the pleasant pool party, and they purchase the same soft drink via a different delivery channel (the vending machine) because of the image that has been set in their mind.

Delivery Channel Assessment

To take advantage of new Delivery Channels an assessment is required of how you are providing your product to your Customer and whether you should expand your Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAdelivery channels.

The determination of the delivery channel(s) for your product and the possible use of multiple delivery channels are influenced by the following factors:

  • How your Customer has traditionally purchased your product
  • The physical attributes of your product
  • Technology involving the delivery of your product
  • The amount of risk involved in the purchase (e.g., buying potato chips, which could easily be sold via a vending machine, compared to an automobile purchase)
  • The demographics/culture/religion of the purchaser
  • How you are able to reach the decision maker
  • The motives of the purchaser
  • The purchaser’s perceptions about your product
  • The ability of and knowledge of the purchaser
  • The attitudes toward your product
  • The lifestyle of the purchaser
  • How opinion leaders shape your market
  • How people’s roles and family influences affect various delivery channels
  • The social class of the purchaser
  • The culture and subculture of the purchaser

The bottom line of completing the above analysis is to maximize your revenue. So, you want to consider and possibly choose all the delivery channels you have available to generate the largest sales volume.

If you need assistance in fully developing your Delivery Channels, please contact us using the below information so we can show you to multiply your revenue and profits.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

June 2017 Newsletter – How to Keep Your Key Employees

How to Keep Your Key Employees

People leave bosses, not companies! And that is true.

An employee’s relationship with their immediate manager is paramount because a Gallup study showed about 50% of employees leave their company as a result of the lack of rapport with their bosses.

Also, research by Accenture showed an 80% correlation between employee engagement and a person’s connection with their immediate manager. Indeed, an employee’s most important relationship at work is with their direct boss. A crucial factor in creating engaged employees is their relationship with their supervisor. People may join organizations, but a chief reason they stay is their manager.

This is a statement that almost every single one of us has heard at some point during our careers, in fact, it might even be something that we have said ourselves.

What Employees Are Looking For

Staff are motivated when they work for a manager they like and respect and who is engaged with them.Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia

By the way, when I use the term “managers,” I am referring to anyone in your company who supervises personnel – from the lowest level up to the top of your organization.

Effective and engaged supervisors are at the core of a successful organization. They facilitate and empower their staff, treat them with appreciation and respect, provide developmental opportunities, and reward them for their achievements.

Engaged managers provide clarity for what is expected from each of their staff, including feedback and coaching, while treating them as individuals. They also handle them fairly by not playing favorites, while showing concern for their personal well-being. It is also key that they design workflows that are organized efficiently and effectively for their personnel.

This relationship includes providing mental and emotional support while communicating the connection between what staff do on a day by day basis and the big picture of what the organization is all about. Thus, an emotionally intelligent manager can motivate their personnel and get them to work as a team to accomplish the goals at hand.

Things Managers Do That Drive Employees Away

  1. They don’t listen when their team members share their thoughts and opinions.
  2. They unnecessarily intrude in their employee’s personal time with emails and phone calls.
  3. They expect big results on important tasks or projects, but they nick-pick on minor things or errors.
  4. In customer disputes or departmental conflicts, they don’t stand up for their personnel, which undermines confidence in the manager.
  5. They are dishonest to their employees and try to manipulate them.
  6. They don’t offer enough congratulations and high-fives for jobs well done – so work is not fun.
  7. They have two standards, one for themselves and a higher one for their employees.

What an Effective Manager Looks Like

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAHaving effective managers is like preparing a dish using ordinary ingredients and then immersing those ingredients in a marinade that will transform them into something extraordinary. The results are even better if you start with great employees, you can create a world class work force. The bottom line is great bosses can motivate, lead, and manage their personnel so that they are able to achieve the company’s Vision.

Highly effective supervisors bring out the best in employees. Conversely, ineffective managers can retard the productivity, contentment, and the stability of your workforce. Some of us have worked for a great boss, someone for whom you would break through a concrete wall just to please. Many of us have also had bad bosses, ones for whom you wanted to do nothing at all because of how they made you angry. What is the benefit of having effective managers? You will be able to achieve the Vision for your organization – and that is huge!

Great Managers Know Their Personnel

A successful manager turns an employee’s talent into demonstrated performance. For a supervisor to achieve this, they must first find out the unique things about each of their employees and then capitalize on these attributes.

To be a great boss you must know your personnel and how they are wired. The use of various personnel tests can be very beneficial in trying to understand and properly oversee your personnel.

To be an effective manager you need to know each employee’s:

  1. Strengths and weaknesses
  2. Motivators
  3. Style of learning (analyzing, doing, or watching)
  4. Preference for receiving recognition (be honored by boss, be honored by fellow employees, honored by customers, awards, certificates).

Attributes of an Effective Manager

Even though effective managers are key to an organization possessing engaged employees who will carry the company forward, frequently there is a lack of training provided to Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAsupervisors to develop these attributes. Many companies just assume when a person is given the role of a manager they suddenly are endowed the skill set that makes them a great supervisor.

However, both initial and ongoing training needs to be provided to enable bosses to bring out the best in their team. To assist you with the development of your managers listed below are some of key attributes of an effective supervisor we have developed from working with many clients in the past. You can use this list as a quick checklist to see how your managers are doing:

An Effective Manager:

  1. Is loyal to the business, clearly communicates the business’ vision, management’s decisions, and goals of a task
  2. Is able to motivate employees
  3. Creates a team environment that is safe and free from politics
  4. Has sufficient knowledge of the area they manage
  5. Has earned respect of their employees and is respectful of others
  6. Demonstrates leadership to employees, is able to implement changes, and leads by example
  7. Manages in a positive and supportive manner
  8. Makes their employees feel appreciated and valued, recognizes employees for their contributions, and is a “cheerleader” for the personnel under their supervision
  9. Empathizes easily with others – by habit they can put themselves in the other person’s shoes
  10. Is decisive and makes clear-thinking personnel decisions
  11. Treats all employees in a fair and compassionate manner and does not let personnel problems persist
  12. Is a good listener, tries to understand what their employees are saying, and acts upon the input that they receive
  13. Can delegate activities to others
  14. Possesses good people skills and is approachable
  15. Is an effective communicator either by writing or verbally or both
  16. Is proactive, adaptable, and flexible
  17. Is results- and goal-oriented and delivers what they promise to deliver
  18. Is organized, reliable, and is a good time manager
  19. Provides opportunities for growth for their employees
  20. Displays high integrity
  21. Is a positive role model and mentors other people

If you need assistance in developing a program to create fully engaged and productive employees as a result of having effectual managers, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to truly turn your employees into your greatest asset.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

May 2017 Newsletter – Determining the Core Profitability of Your Company

Determining the Core Profitability of Your Company

Recently, several of our clients have been going through the process of either buying another business or selling their company. During the requisite work related to these actions there have been many discussions regarding how to analyze the profitability a company.

The profitability of a business is almost the sole determinant of whether it will succeed, making it the most important part of your business’ Financial area. Indeed, it is so important that the abundant profitability of a business can cure a number of “evils” throughout it. If you have a wildly profitable business, you can make a ton of mistakes in various areas of your business and still be successful because you have a large cushion for error.

When most people consider an organization’s profitability they think of the Net Income/Loss of the company. However, you should also consider another key tool you can use to measure and gain insight into a business, it’s Gross Profit. The significance of Gross Profit is that it is a “core” financial measurement, whereas Net Income/Loss has many factors that effect it and perhaps distort its value as an indicator of a company’s operations.

Gross Profit Analysis

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaThe formula for calculating an organization’s Gross Profit is:

Revenue – Cost of Sales = Gross Profit

In the above equation, your company’s Cost of Sales (sometimes called Cost of Goods Sold) are those expenses of your business that are directly related to the production of your Revenue as compared to overhead expenses. For example, if you were a home builder you would produce your revenue by building and selling houses and the costs that would go directly into producing a house (your product) would be:

  • The wages and salaries you pay your employees to build the house
  • Materials (lumber, drywall…) that would go directly into the house
  • Sub-contractor payments for areas that your business will not complete itself (e.g., plumbing, heating and air conditioning)
  • Supplies (you buy 500 lbs. of nails that you use on four different houses)
  • Rental of a bulldozer to clear the land and scaffolding to erect the house

All the above costs would be considered Cost of Sales because when you sell the house, these are the costs that were necessary to produce your product (a house). Once you subtract the direct expenses (your Cost of Sales) from the Revenue that you received from the sale of the house, you have the Gross Profit. What is the benefit of knowing your Gross Profit?

How Efficient is Your Business?

Your Gross Profit (also known as Gross Margin) shows how efficient your business is at producing its Revenue. This information is instrumental in enabling you to analyze your cost of Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiasales and thereby increase your profitability. Gross Profit analysis looks at the Cost of Sales of your business and compares that to your gross revenue in dollar terms and on a percentage basis. Additionally, you can compare your Gross Profit percentage to your competitor’s or industry averages to provide information to improve your profitability.

There are two main benefits of having a higher Gross Profit percentage. First, it means that your business is more “profitable” (i.e., more efficient) in its revenue generation than your competitors. This is key because if you have two similar companies in the same industry and one’s Gross Profit Percentage is 75% versus the other one’s 50%, that means the first organization is 50% more efficient in producing its Gross Profit than the second one.

Relatedly, you can gain even more insights by comparing both your overall Gross Profit and at a component level – Cost of Sales (Labor, Materials, Supplies, Contracted Services, etc.) on a percentage basis to industry averages. Knowing this information is the first step to improving a company’s operations.

Greater Gross Profit Yields More Flexibility

Second, your greater Gross Profit percentage provides you with more flexibility with regards to how you choose to operate your business. This potential flexibility affects every area of your company by providing you the freedom to make decisions and to choose options that otherwise you could not select because of having constrained finances.

A good analogy to use for this “flexibility” is to imagine you were looking at purchasing one of two different sponges; one which absorbed 1 cup of water and one which absorbed 2 cups of water. If each sponge was about the same price, you would purchase the second one, because its ability to absorb twice as much water as the first one.

Ability to Absorb Overhead Expenses

Think of a business’ Gross Profit as its ability to absorb overhead expenses. If you have a higher Gross Profit percentage than your competitors and your industry provides healthy Gross Profits, your business has a greater ability to absorb overhead expenses (i.e., spend money) than do your competitors.

This greater ability to absorb overhead expenses can provide you with many options, for instance you could:

  • Invest more in your Marketing and Sales area to generate additional revenue
  • Expand your business
  • Pay your employees more or provide more fringe benefits to them to increase their satisfaction and morale
  • Pay yourself more or increase your fringe benefits
  • Pay off business debts
  • Distribute more money to the owners of your business

With enough Gross Profit, you can do almost anything!

“This Does Not Apply to Me”

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GASome business owners may be thinking “this does not apply to me” because we are a consulting, health care, internet marketing, etc. company and not a manufacturing, retail, or distribution business. The Gross Profit Analysis tool applies to all companies because unless you can magically produce your product (I am using the term “product” in the loosest sense of the term) your organization will incur some costs to produce its product. By properly calculating your Cost of Sales and Gross Profit you will obtain great insights into the efficiency and true Profitability of your business.

The mechanics of doing the above are quite straightforward; the only problem is that many businesses do not include costs that are truly Cost of Sales in the Cost of Sales section of their Income Statement, but instead treat these expenses as overhead expenses. The result of doing this is that the true operational efficiency of the business is distorted because its production costs are not being reflected in the most insightful manner.

Performing a Correct Gross Profit Analysis

To have accurate financial statements with which to perform a correct Gross Profit analysis, go through your Chart of Accounts overhead expense section and reclassify any accounts that should be Cost of Sales accounts. Then re-produce your Income Statement and re-do your Gross Profit Analysis.

In summary, by using Gross Profit as an analysis tool you will gain insights how you can minimize your Cost of Sales, which thereby maximizes your Gross Profit. When this is coupled with keeping your overhead costs under control you will improve the profitability of your business, provide more flexibility and reduce your need for financing.

If you need assistance in using Gross Profit Analysis in your company to maximize your profitability please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to use this tool to take your business where you want it to go.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220

April 2017 Newsletter – The 5 Tools for Taking Your Company to the Next Level

The 5 Tools for Taking Your Company to the Next Level

Recently I met with a client who has a multi-million-dollar company, regarding the future of their business. Over the past few years they have tripled their revenue and they have big plans to take their organization to the next level.

As we discussed their plans, the close interrelationship between a company’s Marketing and Sales area and its Production area became very clear. In our Business and Innovation consulting firm, Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. we refer to this relationship as “talking a good game, versus playing a good game”. Furthermore, it must be recognized and understood is that there is a chicken-and-egg syndrome between your Marketing and Sales area and your Production area.

Seizing Economic Opportunities

Currently there is a lot economic opportunity in the world and this is reflected in a high degree of optimism for growth in the minds of many business owners. To avail Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiaoneself of these potential rewards, it is wise to consider whether a company is ready go to the next level.

The Structure of Success™ methodology and diagram that we use in working with organizations shows that the Vision and Leadership area of your organization leads to your Marketing and Sales area, and that in turn leads to your Production area – how you produce your product or service. A foundational component of both your Marketing and Sales and Production areas is determining and fully developing the attractiveness of your product or service in light of the opportunity that is presented to you via your target Marketing and Sales market.

Marketing and Sales/Production Chicken-and-Egg Syndrome

The above chicken-and-egg syndrome comes into play because – how do you know what you can bring to the marketplace with regards to the attractiveness of your product or service, (talking a good game) without first working on your Production area to determine how you plan to follow through and actually play a good game?

In reality, it is your expertise in delivering your product or service that should drive your Marketing and Sales area. This requires an organization to figure out how it will meet its greater customer’s expectations before it engages in the effort to create these increased demands via its expanded Marketing and Sales efforts.

Taking Your Company to the Next Level

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaWhile it is easy to say “oh yeah, we can take our company to the next level”, a prudent business owner and their management team should do a thorough assessment as to whether they have the systems in place to handle the anticipated growth. Using a baseball metaphor, does the company have the systems and personnel in place to move from “A” ball, to “AA”, to “AAA” and maybe on to the Major League? Can you realistically compete with the other teams (your competition) in the new league in which you want to play?

An evaluation of your Production area involves reviewing your capabilities so you can figure out a go-forward game plan. There are five areas that should be evaluated, namely:

  1. Your Product Cost/Price

Will scaling your business develop a production cost advantage that will enable you to sell your product or service at a lower price than your competition? If this part of your growth strategy, have you done customer surveys regarding pricing to determine whether it is a significant buying criteria?

 2. Your Product Quality

In taking your company to the next level, can you maintain or develop a superior quality product? Or is there a risk that the quality of your product or service may degrade as a result of growing your company?

3. Your Delivery Time or Convenience

The third factor to consider is whether your growth plans will improve your delivery time (via a faster production cycle) or make you more convenient than your Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiacompetition (more locations or closer to your customer)? Before embarking on a strategy to improve one or both of these areas, it is critical to have done customer surveys to determine whether getting your product or service more quickly or more conveniently is a significant buying criterion?

4. Your Customer Service

You need to assess how your customer service will be impacted by your growth plans. Do you have the systems in place to maintain your current level of customer service or could you provide even a higher level of customer service by improving your systems and personnel?

 5. Your Product/Service Uniqueness

The final question to ask is whether your plans to scale you company can produce some unique feature of your product or service? This uniqueness could manifest itself in several ways. Through increased R & D, could you develop products that have patent or copyright protection? Or, could you develop a design feature that makes your product or service different from your competition?

To assure yourself that your organization is ready for and capable of your desired growth, Production systems must be put in place that will either maintain or improve the above five areas. Otherwise, the organization’s reputation will be undermined as a result of expanding its marketing and sales efforts (“talking a good game) without first putting the necessary ingredients in place to “play a good game”.

If you need assistance with getting your company ready to go to the next level, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to create a strategic competitive advantage for your company as a result of properly evaluating the above five areas and then translating them to your Marketing and Sales efforts.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

March 2017 Newsletter – 5 Steps to Beating Your Competition Through Branding

5 Steps to Beating Your Competition Through Branding

Do you want to generate ever increasing profits in your business? Would you like to separate your business from its competition and eliminate comparison shopping? Wouldn’t it be great to have instant name recognition for your business?

You can obtain all of the above and more by developing a powerful and attractive brand for your business!

The Importance of Branding

The textbook definition of a brand is the name or symbol used to identify and distinguish a specific product or business. A brand is the overall image or Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiavalue statement you are trying to create in the market for your product or business.

But, why is having a brand image important?

Developing and communicating a brand reduces the perceived risk to your customer of making a purchase decision. With a strong brand identity, your customer feels that your product or business has a known identity, thereby reducing the uncertainty and risk they face compared to purchasing another product.

We see the substantiation of strong brands in the 2016 study by Brandz of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands. Some of the top brands were Google, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Facebook and VISA and as a result they are able to dominate their respective marketplaces and achieve the aforementioned results.

The Results of Branding

As companies focus on developing their brand identities one can see the results right in front of them, particularly when they incorporate an impactful and memorable tagline into their brand.

For instance, Arby’s restaurants has developed “We have the meats” into great name recognition. The Sandals Resorts brand of “luxury included” communicates that it provides serene blue water, white sand and casual fun in the sun. Lastly, regional fast-food chain Zaxby’s has developed the brand of a having fast-food experience that is cut above other fast-food chains with great food images in their commercials and the tagline that their food is “indescribably good”.

How would your life be different if you could charge a premium for your product (I will use the term “product” to include services in this article)? Additionally, people want to work for an organization that is going places so what would it be like to have employees jump at the opportunity to work for your business?

The Benefit of Successful Branding

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaYour brand (defined as “the name used to identify and distinguish a specific product or business”) starts with psychological connection to your market and continues on to the actual experience that a customer has with your product or business.

The psychological brand identification is created in the mind of your target audience by your marketing program; its intention is to create the expectations in your customer’s mind that your product’s quality surpasses or is better suited for their needs than that of your competitors’. The experiential aspect includes the combination of all interactions with your business or its product. This is what is known as their “brand experience.”

The Power of Branding

Having a recognized brand is one of the most beneficial and powerful elements in your marketing plan providing unique marketing opportunities to your business and your product.

The power of branding is that it sets an expectation in the mind of your customer of what they will experience with your product or business.

A brand is the overall image or value statement you are trying to create in the marketplace for your product or business. It is what you want to be known for. Your brand should be what you are famous for; such as having the best hamburger in town or phenomenal customer service.

If this expected experience becomes a known commodity in the marketplace you will be able to catapult your product or company ahead of your competition. The ultimate level in branding is that you are perceived as the only one that does what you do, thus eliminating all of your competition.

Branding is for Organizations of All Sizes

Bear in mind that you don’t have to be a big business to develop a brand. Branding is available to any business – it is just the size of brand area that Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiachanges. The scope of your brand could be your city, county, region, state, section of a country, the entire country, or worldwide.

Let me share three local brand success stories in the North Atlanta area where I live.

  • Alpine Bakery developed a reputation for exquisite desserts, expanded to a much larger location, and started a companion, co-located restaurant, while still supplying desserts to various other restaurants.
  • A local restaurant developed the image of an upscale diner with a very impressive menu, desserts to “die for,” and a unique logo to establish a string of diners – Diner at North Point, the Diner at Sugar Hill, etc.
  • Reliable Heating & Air used its great reputation, marketing savvy, and brand message to expand into plumbing, electrical and home performance, all branded with the “Reliable” name.

Five Steps to Developing Your Brand

There are five steps to fully developing a brand:

  1. Determine your intended brand identity
  2. Validate your brand identity by asking questions of your prospects and customers such as:
    1. What do they think when they hear about or see your business or product brand?
    2. How do they describe your business or product brand to others?
  3. Fully develop your branding by making changes to your brand based upon step 2.
  4. Determine how you want to communicate your brand to your target audience.
  5. Implement the marketing and promotion of your brand throughout all of your marketing materials and efforts.

Begin today to build your brand recognition by analyzing your business’ strengths and weaknesses and the message you are currently communicating to your market. Then make the necessary changes so that your target audience has a positive brand image of your business firmly etched in their mind.

In this way, you will create a business that can charge a premium for its products, grow its profits, differentiate itself from its competition, gain instant name recognition, and attract good employees. Who knows? You may grow your brand reach to your county, state, country or the world in a few short years.

If you need assistance with fully developing your Brand Image, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how beat your competition and separate your business from the rest of the pact via your Brand Strategy.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

February 2017 Newsletter – Creating Experiences Worth Repeating for Your Customer

Creating Experiences Worth Repeating for Your Customer

While at an event recently, I was talking with a Senior VP of Marketing of a Fortune 1000 company and the topic of keeping customers satisfied and happy came up. They went on to share their company was so committed to building long-lasting customer relationships that several years ago they hired a VP of Customer Relations to be the “voice of the customer” within their company.

Shortly thereafter, the actual VP of Customer Relations joined our conversation. As we chatted I shared that our firm has done a lot of work in the area of Customer Experience Improvement and that we described the objective that organizations should shoot for as – Creating Experiences Worth Repeating™. That is, you want to create experiences for your customer that are so good, they can’t wait to do them again. That is how repeat sales and customer referrals are generated.

In working with customers, the most important action is to meet or fulfill their perceived need. However, almost as crucial is the overall experience they have in interacting with your organization.

Satisfying Versus Unsatisfying Experiences

We have all had many experiences where our wants or needs were met, but the overall experience ranged from less than desirable to awful.

The fast food restaurant that was anything but fast, although we did eat. The car repair that cost us more than the car was worth, though the car now runs again. The home repair job that had to be repaired another time. The vacation experience that was anything but relaxing. The tool or appliance purchase that was a trying experience. The meal at a fine dining restaurant that was not a great experience – food but not much else.

Think back to the last time that on a 1 to 10 scale, you personally as a customer had a 10 or even an 11 experience. How did you feel? Did you tell others about the company? Did you become their advocate, not just their satisfied customer?

An Incredible Customer Experience

In working with one of our clients several years ago they shared an incredible example of Creating Experiences Worth Repeating™.

I live in Atlanta, Georgia and a couple of years ago we had a summer with a number of days over 100 degrees (which is very, very unusual for us). So people’s air conditioning was regularly breaking down.

One of our clients is a very large HVAC company and one of their sales people was out completing an order for a man in the hot sun one afternoon. As the sales person was finishing up the order, an elderly neighbor came running across the street saying something empathically – so the sales person thought “this is just what I don’t need.

As the neighbor approached them he said “you have to buy from who I got mine from”. As it turned out, the neighbor had bought their air conditioner from the same company – our client’s company. The sales person was greatly heartened.

Our client had created an Experience Worth Repeating for the elderly neighbor that was so good, that on a blazingly hot day he would run across the street to say – you have to buy from the company where I got mine from!

Five Ways to Improve your Customer’s Experience

Small Business Planning in AtlantaHow do you go about Creating Experiences Worth Repeating™ for your customer?

Your organization must build this in from the core of your offering. It must be engineered in. It cannot just be something that you add as a veneer or is an after-the-fact add in – to try to create a nicer customer experience.

Listed below are paths you can use to move your company towards Creating Experiences Worth Repeating™ for your customer:

  1. Ask your customers and then actively listen to what they say they want and how they want to receive it. Many times companies just don’t want to hear the reality of how they are doing.
  2. Be your own customer. Call into your company and pretend to be a prospect. What is your experience like? Purchase your own product and see what your overall experience is like. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
  3. Use focus groups, customer panels and research tools to try to get inside your customer’s mind as to what they want their overall experience to be.
  4. Ask your employees who directly interact with your customers what they think can be done to improve your customer’s experience. If you do this in a sincere and open way they will give you tons of ideas because they see what your customers want on a daily basis.
  5. Take a step back and ask yourself “how ought the world work with regard to my customer getting their need met?” That is, from their point of view, what would an ideal customer experience look like?

If you need assistance with Creating Experiences Worth Repeating™ for your customer please contact us using the below information so we can show you how create experiences for your customer that are so good, they can’t wait to do them again – resulting in repeat sales and customer referrals.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

January 2017 Newsletter – The 5 Essentials for Achieving the Goals for Your Company

The 5 Essentials for Achieving the Goals for Your Company

Recently I was talking with a company President and they shared that 2016 had been a record year for them in terms of Revenue and Profits and that things had really come together for them in 2016. But they went on to express their concern for breaking those numbers in 2017.

As I reflected on their concern I realized the more basic question is, what is the necessary ingredient in a company to cause leadership, management and staff to keep trudging up the hill to bigger and greater achievements year after year?

My experience is that this one ingredient is having a “compelling” Vision for where you want to take your company.

However, in some organizations developing or having a Vision, is just something to “check off the list”. It can just be a “yep we did that” thing versus developing and operating based upon having a “compelling” Vision that engages and motivates your entire company on a daily basis.

Definition of a “Compelling” Vision

Let’s break this concept of a compelling Vision into its two components. First the Vision portion:Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia

Vision is the direction or destination of where you want to take your organization. In other words, what does a successful and thriving business looks like to you? This is cannot be a pie-in-the-sky Vision, but a concrete, specific, and detailed description of what you want your company to look like.

Second, “compelling” means that your Vision is so attractive, captivating, and engaging that people are drawn to it.

For instance, Google’s overall Vision is to “organize the world’s information,” and the results of this it can be easily seen in the many game-changing products they have introduced. Likewise, because of their compelling Vision, Google is one of top businesses with regards to employee productivity, and it is one of the most desirable companies for which to work.

There are five audiences for your Vision. A “compelling” Vision for your organization should impact each of these audiences in the following ways. It should be:

  • Crucial to Customers
  • Essential to Employees
  • An Outstanding Opportunity to Owners and Investors
  • Significant to Suppliers
  • Supportive to Society

Crucial to Customers

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaYour customer must feel that by dealing with your business they will increase their likelihood of success. Your Vision statement must clearly and unequivocally state the “win” they will receive by dealing with you and by being your customer. They must see that not only are you useful to them, but also that:

  • Your product/service is better at meeting their perceived need then your competitor’s product/service
  • They can trust you to deal with them in a desirable manner
  • The value that they will pay you for your product/service is worth the resulting benefit

The words, word pictures, and images from your Vision Statement of how your business will fulfill a customer’s perceived needs is the most important part of any organizations’ Vision.

Most of us have heard that word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective form of advertising for any business. In order for a customer/client to be an advocate for your business they have to feel that they have entered into an ongoing “win/win” relationship with your organization.

A customer recommending you is much more powerful than you trying to sell yourself to the potential customer— because unlike you, your advocate has less to gain from the experience. You can only create customer-advocates by identifying their needs, exceeding their expectations, and in this process delivering something that they consider to be very good value – which should be part of your compelling Vision.

Essential to Employees

Because a company needs employees to survive and grow, and employees need a business by which to be employed, there is mutually beneficial relationship between your organization and your employees.

Your employees’ engagement in your organization manifests itself in two ways. First, your employee must feel that by working for your company they are a partner with you in serving your customers. Therefore, it is necessary to cast a compelling Vision to your employees so they feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves.

Second, employees want to know you are taking care of them, giving them a fair deal, and in essence providing a “win” employment experience for them. Employees want to feel valued and be a partner with the organization’s “management” in fulfilling its Vision.

Consequently, your Vision statement must plainly and explicitly communicate what the “win” is for your employees. They must see how you plan to take care of them and meet their needs. If both of the areas are properly addressed and included in your Vision statement, then your employees will go the second and third mile for you and your customers.

An Outstanding Opportunity to Owners and Investors

Your company may start with you as the only investor but at some point you may need additional capital. Your Vision and consequently your Vision Statement must Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiaentice people to invest.

Additionally, sometime down the road you may want to sell your company. Your Vision Statement should be compelling to potential future owners and investors.

Alternatively, if you are a publically traded company, your Vision should attract people and organizations to purchase your stock. Likewise, with a Not-for-Profit entity – its Vision needs to attract donors.

Keep in mind that part of the attraction of an investor to your organization is how Crucial to Customers and Essential to Employees is your Vision. So the first two ingredients of a compelling Vision have multiple roles.

Significant to Suppliers

An organization cannot exist without suppliers (vendors). Suppliers, in turn, need to have customers for their company to stay alive. Therefore, except in the case where a supplier is so large that you as their customer are insignificant to their revenue stream, there is a stakeholder relationship between your organization and its suppliers.

The goal is to engage your suppliers in such a way as to make them want to provide you with the best products/service and customer service.

I have found that when you communicate your organization’s compelling Vision to your key suppliers they will respond positively to big requests and sacrifices. This is because they can see how meeting your needs in more than just an average way will in turn enable them to achieve their goals.

Sharing your compelling Vision for how your company can allow them to achieve their goals will entice them to go the second mile for you because they can see how doing this will ultimately enable them to grow faster and be more profitable. Wal-Mart regularly does this with their suppliers and that is why its suppliers go the extra mile to meet Wal-Mart’s needs.

Supportive to Society

Small Business PlanningThe Vision for your organization should demonstrate how your company is now and will make the society in which it operates and the world in general a better place.

A company should not only want to achieve its internal goals, it must figure out and then execute the plan for how it will positively impact society. This includes determining and stating the tangible ways it will strengthen the society in which it exists.

Because of their size, the area of an organization being Supportive to Society is more important to larger companies because of their public profile and the need to be a “good corporate citizen”.

It is important to note that a significant part of being Supportive to Society is how well a company meets its customer’s needs and takes care of its employees. So the first two ingredients of a compelling Vision also have a key impact in this area.

If you need assistance with how to develop and implement a “compelling” Vision that addresses all five audiences of a Vision for your organization, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to make this a reality for your company.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

December 2016 Newsletter – The Three Keys to Building Your Team’s Morale

The Three Keys to Building Your Team’s Morale

According to a recent Gallup report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, almost two-thirds of millennial workers say they are not fully engaged with their employer’s mission. This sentiment is reflected the overall workforce as well.

A key to someone embracing a company’s overall purpose is the effective communication of an organization’s goals to team members and the related encouragement a person receives from management and leadership as they pursue the entity’s goals.

Penn State

Over the past three years and particularly during the 2016 College Football season I have been struck by how Penn State’s Head Coach, James Franklin modeled effective communication and encouragement to his team. Coach Franklin (BTW, I am not a Penn State Alumni and I am impartial regards to his team – but have only observed his remarkable leadership style) has had a dramatic impact on Penn State’s football program in that they just achieved a Big 10 Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl – in only the three years since he arrived.

What is particularly noticeable about his leadership is how focused and under control he is during interviews, but how enthusiastic and congratulatory he is with his players on the sideline when they do something admirable.

So how does this apply to your organization?

As you lead your company, keep in mind one of a leader’s chief roles is encourage their personnel and be the cheerleader who makes their employees feel good about their efforts to achieve the goals and Vision of their business. This results in building high company morale. I would like to look at thee aspects of this.

I. Celebrating Successes

One of the most important aspects of encouraging your personnel is recognizing the progress that is being made towards the business’ goals. This is because people Small Business Planning in Atlantaneed to feel that it is worth their while to keep plugging away at the goal in front of them.

Having one-on-one chats, group meetings, and companywide events where the mile markers on the road to your organization’s goals are celebrated is a key to keeping morale high. A wise business owner takes advantage of every opportunity to encourage their employees by celebrating their business’ achievements.

Give Verbal “High-Fives” and “Hugs”

If you see Coach Franklin on the sideline he is regularly “high-fiving” and hugging his players as they come off the field after making a great play – and you can tell his players LOVE this. While giving someone a physical high-five or hug is not appropriate in most companies, alternatively, when was the last verbal “high-five” or “hug” you gave to one of your employees after they did something really great? Regularly doing this will instill within them the importance of their overall effort in making a difference in your Customer’s lives and the world.

A business owner that does not regularly and sincerely encourage their employees is missing a great opportunity to build company morale. The danger of not encouraging your employees is that they will get burned out, jaded, and discouraged which can lead to them not giving their best efforts in pursuit of your business’ goals.

II. Empowering Your Personnel

When viewed in conjunction with the above process of leading and encouraging your employees, the concept of empowering your employees is a very important part of your overall goal to keep morale high. How do you empower your personnel (both employees and contractors)? There are three steps, namely:

  • Developing and sharing a compelling Vision for your company with your personnel
  • Creating the organization that includes the Systems that is required to achieve your Vision
  • Providing the resources (e.g., equipment, Information Technology, personnel…) that are required in order to achieve the Vision for your business

Coach Franklin’s players have reported that they have bought into his Vision for the team and that he is very organized in the execution of his overall program and his detailed game plan. This results in them feeling empowered to great things.

The Secret is Doing All Three Steps

Please be aware that unless you do all three of the above, “empowering” your personnel can backfire. For instance, if you share your Vision to your personnel and create the organization required in order to achieve your Vision, but do not provide the resources that are required in order to achieve your Vision for your business, you will thoroughly frustrate your personnel and debilitate their spirits.

However, if you have properly developed and conveyed a compelling Vision and the related company goals to your personnel and then empower them, you will be amazed how people will respond to various challenges.

III. Abounding Optimism

Small Business PlanningAn integral part of moving your organization toward its Vision is that you as a business owner or leader must be optimistic and must communicate that optimism to your personnel.

If you see an interview with Coach Franklin, you will very quickly notice his optimism. The quiet confidence that he knows where he wants to take his football team and how to get there is unmistakable. And his players positively respond to his approach.

Likewise, if you look at virtually any truly successful organization and the leaders of that company, you will see that great leaders are always optimists. Having started and operated 9 companies I know that being the leader of a company is a daunting task that at times may seem to be overwhelming. But the special thing you as leader of your company bring to the table is your Vision, your dreams and goals for your organization.

However, on a daily basis your employees are on the firing line in your operations and they see all of your business’ warts – up close and personal. This can dispirit them and get them down. Therefore, they are sorely in need of the optimism that comes from you knowing where you want to take your company and how to get there.

If you need assistance with how to put encouragement to work in a practical way in your organization to elevate your team’s morale and performance, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to make this new year the best ever for your company.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com