Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Metrics

More Metrics Penny wise and pound foolish? In business as well as life it is easy to "cost justify" mistakes that rob you (or worse, your business) of important cash... much needed cash. Take something as simple as paper for your printer as an example. A single ream of suitable general purpose copier paper is like $3.99 each. Which might last 30 or 40 days, maybe more. But a name brand office supply company is running a 50% off sale on cartons of copier paper for $18.99 for 10 reams. Which is the better deal? If you are a startup with limited cash and limited printing needs, it would be easy to say that not spending the extra $15.00 could not possibly make a difference. So you might be tempted to spend it and get the carton. You will need the paper, right? Wrong I have seen this scenario too many times... in numerous businesses in various industries. So, how do we stop wrongheaded thinking? By exposing the core issue: lack of systems thinking. I love the TV series Life about the cop that was framed and served twelve hard years before having the findings reversed. He discovered Zen while doing time, and picked up his life after release without any malice. Thank you Hulu dot com. Check it out, it is a refreshing experience. Both seasons are online for a while longer. But I digress... We must fight "cost world thinking" (aka local optima) with a Zen like love of exploration for the true ramifications. Like Charlie Crews of Life would. That $15.00 will quickly become ten times that before the week is over and that becomes over $600 a month. Which might make a big dent in some major expense, like rent! Consider the road trip. My favorite classroom. I have the Kings of Entrepreneurship and Business in the car with me on each and every trip. Right there on my iPod is Les Brown, Guy Kawasaki, and Jim Collins to name just three. Along side Dylan and Clapton, for sure! You probably know my name because of one such case: the road trip I made in November 2000 when I heard Eli Goldratt speak "live and in person" for the first time. Driving back to Hilton Head Island from Indianapolis into the night, I was tempted to stop and get a motel room for the night. As I recall, I drove up on a Wednesday after a leaving a client's office, driving through the night. Got to Naptown early in the morning and was able to check into my Thursday night room at 7am. I do that a lot. In other words, I did not have a hotel bill for Wednesday night. Attended the Necessary But Not Sufficient roll-out on Thursday and Friday until noon, then hit the road. Driving back into the night, I had recently purchased a Sony digital recorder, and captured a number of ideas that lead to my launching of TOCreview magazine... which gave way to "this, that and the other" and here we are now. Because I understood that a penny not spent today, was going to be worth two or three dollars tomorrow. Bottom line: watch the pennies and the dollars have a better chance of rolling in! Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah +1 330.SKI.0431 ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 27, 2010

SKI on cinchcast for Throughput

More Throughput Please

Throughput is just the beginning
Throughput is just the beginning...
The official Constraints Management definition:
Throughput is the rate at which the system
generates money through sales.
—from The Goal
Notice the emphasis on "sales" and not production. To further explain, we do not count labor. Only the truly variable costs. Yes, I know... this takes some getting "use" to... but when you get your mind around the three simple measurements required to make money now (and even more money in the future), you will thank me. Honest.
Consider the hotel that has 76 rooms to rent each night. Forget RevPAR (the measurement that most organizations in hotel management want you to maximize)! Throughput is key.
Say that you are running about 70% occupancy week in and week out. If I were to mentor you as an owner of a hotel, I would ask you to determine the amount of money it takes to get just one room ready to rent after it has been rented the night before.
Your bank notes require the same exact payment each month, regardless the number of rooms rented. Same with housekeeping: you will not add any additional personnel if you rented just one more room last night. You probably will find that it costs about $7.00 to "restore" a room in a chain like a Days Inn for rent tonight, if that room was rented last night.
Yep, seven bucks!
Do you understand the ramifications? I doubt it. Why? In college they most often teach two kinds of accounting: cost accounting and managerial (yes, this is grossly oversimplified... isn't that refreshing?).
If you get an Associate degree from most American institutions of higher learning, you probably won't get any exposure to managerial accounting. How sad. But I digress...
Forget "cost accounting" if you are trying to make money. Leave the concept to your CPA. Please! Ask her if you could please use "cash method" vs. the "accrual method" to run your business. That would be a giant leap towards understanding throughput. But I digress...
Bottom line: if it costs you just $7.00 to prepare a room for rent, why did you refuse to accept a discount at 11:27pm last night? Better yet, why do you refuse to "match" the online price offered by priceline dot com when you have empty rooms?
Do you know how many times I have cost you real money? When traveling, I look up the price for a room online then call the facility directly and offer the same money. In eight years, no one has ever accepted. So, I go back online and book the room.
Now, you get to pay the central reservation a fee for my room on top of the $7.00.
How stupid
You can make excuses or you can make money. The two are most often mutually exclusive.
Need help uncovering how throughput works in your business?
Call me.
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
+1 330.SKI.0431
P.S. Throughput is the first of three metrics for making money... stay tuned for the other two.
©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

CTS-V Coupe

Cadillac 2011 CTS-V Coupe
Cadillac 2011 CTS-V Coupe
I have been waiting to see the CTS 2 door Coupe show up (it was due in July?) at my local dealer... when this link for the "V" edition shows up:
$64K Seems a little high at the moment.
But it looks like it will be a blast to drive!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Goal (redux)

The Goal by Eli Goldratt The Goal by Eli Goldratt
It has been about a year or so since my last reading of this classic and so, I began skimming it a couple of days ago... only to start rereading it from the beginning today.
In my spare time I am also writing the much awaited (at least for me!) sequel to Purple Curve Effect: Ninety Day Wonders (a working title). Almost from the very beginning of Goldratt's book, the challenge in this business novel is painted in the form of a ninety day mission to save the manufacturing plant.
More than enough time
You probably cannot imagine the frustration I face every time I hear of prospects (or even suspects or mere leads) talk about plans over the next year or two to "turn around" their business. Not known for my restraint, it takes all my will power to keep from jumping up and down and shouting out, "How stupid!"
I plan to reveal 90 cases or where I personally have implemented miracles in just 90 days. Both in my personal affairs as well as business settings that will probably amaze too many folks.
Why do I say "too many" folks will be amazed?
Much like the failure of public education to address basic "goal setting" as a prerequisite for life, business programs have failed to properly frame problem solving. Let me give you a hint (from page 30 of my second revised copy of The Goal):
... your thinking is wrong
So, if you are facing challenges at work, Stop. Drop. Roll. Put out the fires of complacency and take up the mantle of throughput! Which I define simply as more money in your pocket now, and even more money in the future.
If you are in Northeast Ohio, give me a call. I can help.
However, I do bring one assumption to the table: that you are a SME (subject matter expert) in whatever business you have created. For example, if you build widgets, then I expect you to know a lot more than the average person about building of widgets in various sizes, colors, and configurations. As the expression goes, I am happy "to give you your due" in the matter of widgets.
The rest is simple (but not necessarily easy!)
Want to blow out the fourth Quarter of this year?
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

more on 90 Day wonders

Ninety days is move than enough time to turn your business around. Want proof? Call me.

Facebook or LinkedIn?

Please help me welcome guest blogger and Internet Marketing Coach & Consultant, Todd Jones Facebook or LinkedIn? Over the past year or so I have been privy to conversations between business owners, business coaches, and marketers regarding whether someone should be using Facebook or LinkedIn for generating interest in a product or service and building networks. The answer usually comes down to whether a person’s business is a B2C or B2B. Common wisdom says (or at least the people in these discussions have said) if you’re a B2C go for Facebook, and if you’re a B2B go for LinkedIn. This is logical and some people may be saying “Duh, no kidding.” But there’s a slip-up you could make. The key to this is, where social media is concerned, you need to be where your prospects’ prospects are. For example, a CPA uses LinkedIn because she wants to meet and network with other business owners. Some of her good prospects are B2B and some are B2C. Her prospects who are B2C will probably be on Facebook, so she needs to be on Facebook as well. So to effectively take advantage of social media, she really needs to be on Facebook and LinkedIn. A second example is of a tailor who custom makes suits for some pretty senior, wealthy business executives. These executives are a mix of B2B and B2C, so again, our tailor should be using Facebook and LinkedIn because that’s where his target market lives. Another thing to keep in mind is anyone who uses LinkedIn probably uses Facebook and vice-versa. We are talking about people after all, and just because someone is using LinkedIn for business doesn’t mean they’re not also building a network of other professionals on Facebook in the evenings. Bottom line is, use them both. It can’t hurt. And with social media sites’ abilities to cross pollinate your updates and content, you can efficiently use several simultaneously. Todd Jones Newpoint Marketing ©2010 Todd Jones. Permission granted to reprint.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ideas while you wait

Ideas by SKI while you wait How much would you pay for a breakthrough? The other day I was talking to a client about the sales process he uses to close deals. We talked about this issue the week before that one. And the week before that. When all of sudden the light bulb ignites and I have this flash of brilliance. Honest. Do you understand the concept of a leverage point? A challenge or issue (or some may say a problem) in one step of your sales process that most often derails the whole process? And more times than not, will actually cause you to lose the sale? Great! Honest, that is great news. Because that suggests the answer to blowing the roof off your sales projections just got ten times easier! How so? You already know, but I will tell you one more time. For free. When given lemons, make lemonade Too fast for you? Okay, let's step through the issue and the resulting breakthrough that should give my client at least a ten-fold bump in sales in the next 90 days. But I have to change the setting and industry to protect my client. Let's go back to one of my favorite environments: technology. Also, let's define the environment (or assumptions as I prefer to call all those details that most folks pay too little attention):
  • In this example, we use the "two call close"
  • The product is a physical item, but considered to be an intangible
  • To keep it short, we will skip the prospecting and qualification processes
So, there you have it. Short and sweet. Like looking through a magnifying glass at just the two sales calls that "should" result in "closing" the sale, as Zig Ziglar might say. On the first call the salesman (generic term for species of man engaged in the selling process) works their magic and simply "finds a need" that the prospect has, and it just so happens, the salesman's company can solve. For this scenario, lets suggest that the prospect is the IT/IS Manager for a manufacturing firm in a nearby town. The salesman represents a company that sells CAD software. Computer Aided Design software that potentially could save the prospect's company thousands of dollars each month from several "features" that help define the offering. Makes sense so far, right? Basically the salesman, let's call her Suzie, gathers the data on the prospect's company, let's call it WIIFM Inc. A play on the old adage, "What's In It For Me?" Suzie is a professional with years of experience. Knows the challenges WIIFM is facing and how the solution will absolutely save thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars each month. Gathers up all the details and heads back to her office to build the proposal. So far, so good, right? Here is the million dollar idea... wait for it... Suzie knows the reason for every sale she has lost the last five years. Do you? So I ask Suzie, where do the wheels come off the deal when you fail to get a signature on the dotted line when you make your final presentation? If you don't know this answer for your efforts, I cannot help you. But I digress... Suzie responds: All the deals that fail to close share one trait, the person that assured me they are the decision-maker for my solution says something like:
"Let me review this with fill_in_the_blank and get back to you."
See the problem? It does not matter if they say they need to review it with their boss or the Comptroller or even the President of the company, the results are the same. Mostly likely the deal is dead. Why? You have spent years learning how to effectively answer objections concerning your company's solution. You know the product inside and out. How well can your prospect represent it to her boss? Exactly. The million dollar solution: Do not make the second call and presentation without the prospect's fill_in_the_blank in attendance. Period. In other words, when you schedule the follow up where you present the solution, tell the prospect we need fill_in_the_blank in the room, and can they please confirm that person will attend? I know, sounds too simple, right? Please don't make selling any more difficult than it already is! In some circles, getting the prospect to commit to having their superior at the final presentation is called, "posture." Stand your ground firmly and make it clear that this is a requirement. Otherwise, 20% of the time you might close the sale, but 80% of them will get away. Need help moving your business to the promised land of financial success? The timing has never been better for "outcome" driven organizations to take charge and make it happen... with the right catalyst. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Need more Sales?

Link to register: Not sure if this webinar is for you? Let's talk. Complete this form on MainStreetCanton and I will follow up. ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

iTunes gets it wrong

iTunes gets it WRONG iTunes fine print: All sales and rentals of products are final. I have fifty-seven (57) iPhone apps for my iPod touch and have tried others (mostly free apps) then deleted them. I just got burnt! Bought a $0.99 "ssh" app that simply does not work. It is not the money, honest, I throw more than a buck away every day on stupid stuff. Plus, I must have my cup of coffee most every morning (which is a buck at my local McDs) and what I make at home just isn't the same. But I digress... The problem is Apple I cannot think of anything bad I have ever said about Apple since 1984 when I bought my first Mac (yes, I was on the waiting list in February 1984). I have owned at least three macs (maybe more!) and own three iPods including the iTouch and have given several more away as gifts over the years. Even (RED) ones. So, when Apple says that all iTunes purchases are final, I say WRONG. If you are unable to to verify each and every app, in each and every release, for each and every platform that enables the installation of the app, then you no longer have the right to make all sales final. IMNSHO Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

Friday, September 10, 2010

What a Thursday

Yesterday, I awoke at 4:00am I cannot say why. But is was an amazing adventure. Ups. Downs. Over hill and dale. Such is life, right? So what? Any day you start out by jumping on a motorcycle before sunrise is a great day! A little brisk, but overall a nice day for making tracks on a motorized open air vehicle. The Kaw Nomad never disappoints; even having just passed 66,000 miles. Before you ask, no, I did not buy it new. But in two years have put about 8,000 miles on it. Including a great trek through most of South Carolina last year. Or was it the year before? What ever... I digress. The older one gets, the more often we tend to slow down. Except I seem to be more excited and motivated than ever. Hard to explain, but easy to enjoy. Are you making a difference? If not, why not? Oh yea, remember to avoid the "Left Turns" that tempt... Try getting up early tomorrow and DO something! -ski P.S. Want to help put America back to work? Check out my latest adventure: ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

still time to register

The Solopreneur’s Sales & Marketing Advisory Board™ Don’t Go It Alone Any More! Register online: See you in the morning! -ski

Monday, September 06, 2010

Main Street Canton, Ohio

SKI presents MainStreetCanton dot com Main Street Canton, Ohio A new kind of business incubator, focusing on NEOhio and the entrepreneurs that call this part of America home. So, if you were waiting on an invitation, this is it: Stark county: This is your wake up call™ ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Ed McCullough for Mayor

Ed McCullough for Mayor of Hilton Head Island Ed McCullough for Mayor of Hilton Head Island, SC Be sure to join Ed's Official Facebook page. I am pleased to support in any way possible my friend's bid for Mayor. As some of you may recall, Ed wrote an amazing article on Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point for my business magazine, TOCreview back in 2001. However, we actually met in the Fast Trackers Toastmasters club on the island in 1997. That is a long time ago... and yet it seems like just yesterday. If you live on the island, I ask that you consider voting for Ed. If you are one of the few people that have yet to meet him in person (and that must be a small percentage!) please walk up to him and introduce yourself. Tell him, "SKI sent me!" Then, ask him to tell you how the Boys & Girls Club came to be located where it is today. And how the funding happened. The answer will amaze. It did me, and I knew him for years before he happened to tell me the story! Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reprint small portions of this post for the promotion of Ed McCullough for Mayor.

Let's talk stats

Twitter Stats Great twitter app... Ever thought about measuring your twitter account? Now you can.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Why do my Sales suck?

Why do my Sales suck? Telling ain't Selling... Ever heard the expression, "You don't know, what it is that you do not know"? Common sense, right? Not so fast. Everyone is quick to agree with the statement, "The rules have changed." But what changes have you made to your business, your Sales and Marketing efforts to be precise, in light of this wisdom? Probably like too many privately held firms, you cut back support staff. Probably asked the sales personnel to take on more administrative duties? Maybe even asked them to "manage" or direct the projects that they have sold. After all, who should know more about the terms of the agreement than the person who sold it? And then, you wonder why sales are falling month in and month out. Quarter after quarter. Notice a trend here? A not so good trend? So, when were you going to stop the merry-go-round and rethink the problem? Let me give you a hint: the best Sales process puts each sales person in front of four qualified and motivated leads each day, five days a week. Week in and week out. Month in and month out. Quarter by quarter. If you are ready to cry "uncle" and throw in the towel on your broken Sales process, join me on Wednesday, September 8th in Canton, Ohio at 7:45am for two hours that will simply we-wire your brain for results. What we call "outcomes" not benefits, or features, or advantages. Outcomes What a refreshing approach. Seating is limited, but free. Registration is required: Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah (330) 754-0431 P.S. Enjoy Labor Day, you have been working way too hard. Run your various Sales Reports on Tuesday. Bring them with you on Wednesday. It is that simple. Honest. The right people first—then flawless execution™ ©2010 Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.