..................................."Promise Culture"................................... Purpose - Passion - Principles - Promise - People - Plan - Performance - Progress - Preservation

Style Switcher

Predefined Colors

Understanding your customer

June 28, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

 

Understanding your customer

You are in business to generate a profit.  Part of the business is having the best products or services which your sales team can sell to your customers. The question is – what makes “Best” products or services.  What you think your customer wants or what your customer needs?  Simple questions but not necessarily easy to accomplish.

Over the years a lot has been written, spoken about and delivered in various training activities about knowing your customer.  Marketing research to gather, decipher, analyze and craft a product or service plan are excellent to get a solid understanding of the customer needs. This moves a guess or hunch into a tangible fact-based definition of the products or services the particular marketplace requires to accomplish its objectives. It outlines what your company must deliver in order to solve a problem the customer can’t fix on their own.  If they can solve the problem on their own then making the sale is far more challenging.

Your customer buys from you for a variety of reasons.  Do you know what they are or are you assuming what they are?

Assuming is a risky business model. It places at risk your business asset for the sake of hoping you are correct.  Maybe you have lots of extra income you can just toss into the wind but most organizations take a more defined approach to understanding their customers. When we speak of understanding the customer we need to look beyond the apparently obvious.  If they dig holes for a living then they likely need a shovel.  The larger question is – what type of holes are they digging and what size shovel or even piece of heavy equipment do they need to be most productive.

To understand your customer you first need to understand the business they are in.  What are the problems they face on a daily basis?  What impact do the industry and regulations have on their ability to be productive? Are there other internal factors such as the culture of the organization? How might the age of the business or the age of the leadership impact the relationship?

If your business has been around for more than 5 years then you might be resting on your historical customer profile. This model could be eroding your profit model because the business your customers were in has also changed. Many of us more senior business people had heard the talk about the horse whip going away as a result of the advent of the automobile.  That change took place over multiple years.  Today, change is happening at a radically quicker pace.  Trends, problems and the products or services to fix them can be outdated in as short of time as 12 months.

This week take some time to evaluate if you genuinely understand your customer.  Their needs, wants, industry dynamics and culture. How is their business changing and how should yours change to stay current with their demands?

Curious about how your business stays current on customer demands?  Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to start some open dialogue.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

Read More

Empower Choices

June 21, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Empower Choices

As leaders, one of your most important jobs is to replace yourself with a resource which is not as good as you but better than you. To do this you must develop your replacement. It starts with giving your team the ability to make choices.

This can be a scary action when there may have been little focus on the process of making choices in a person’s life.  As young children, our guardians (parents etc.) make many choices for us.  From the food, we are exposed to and the clothes we wear to the places we live and the schools we attend.  We start being given small amounts of choice. As we mature and hopefully begin to demonstrate decision-making skills, the effort results in positive choices.

The reality is that for the past few decades, less and less positive choice development has been consciously provided to our youth. Guardians have abdicated their roles to third-party resources such as day care staff, school teachers, athletic coaches etc. These third-party resources do not have the same vested interest in the future outcome of the youth.  It is not that they intend to do them harm.  The issue is that at the end of the day, event, a cycle of time the youth moves on and the role to help in positive choice making falls back into a void. The fundamental learning process of spaced repetition is lost and thus the process of choice making is left to wither away.

With the absence of this process of positive rearing of the youth, the now young adult moves into the workplace. Employers are now faced with the need to invest in taking a partially formed attitude about making choices and craft a process which will enable the person to navigate the many options available to come to positive choices.

As leaders, it is our responsibility to take this challenge head-on.  Leadership comes with the responsibility to create a culture and environment where positive choice development can take place.  This means allowing for planned failure!  For it is through trying and failing that some of the best lessons are not just learned but cemented away in the minds of future leaders so they do not repeat again.

This week take the time to look back on your own choice development skills.  How was your decision-making process formulated?  Did your leaders allow you to try and fail only to pick you up, dust you off and let you learn from your choices? Evaluate your organizations’ culture.  Does the culture allow for people to take risks and be rewarded for positive decision making when the end result might not have turned out as originally planned?

Your future and the future of your business is dependent on you replacing yourself.  The time to develop choice skills is already in motion.  Take the time to make sure you are allowing for that development to take place in your company.

Are you leading by empowering? Time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 so you can move to providing a culture where positive choices are part of the environment.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

Read More

Investing in the future – Under Construction

June 14, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Investing in the future – Under Construction

As business builders, every day we wake up to new opportunities.  Some opportunities are constructive in nature while others are just time-consuming with less than ideal return.  We make decisions on where and what gets the time you have available that day. You set priorities to align with goals which hopefully support your passion and purpose.

We believe in holding true to “Promise Culture” and investing in the future. Therefore, JKL Associates is pleased to announce the expansion into the southeastern region of the US with our Kissimmee, Florida location. Primary operations will remain in Michigan. Through the use of focused priority setting, time management, technology and providing our customers with the best support either in person, on the telephone or via web-video conference, JKL Associates stands ready to assist you in building your business assets.

In addition to expanded geographical presence, we are also investing in our communications and customer contact systems. This year you have already seen the release of the brand new built from the ground up www.jklassociates.com website that each week has the 3-minute insights update.  You may have also seen the new www.promiseculture.com website to help bring life and presence to our beliefs and methodology for taking you and our clients to new levels of success.

On July 1, 2018, we are upgrading our weekly reminder/newsletter distribution system.  As with all technology, part of growing is staying current with tools and services which can more effectively help your clients and customers.  We make you aware of this so that if in the coming weeks you don’t receive the weekly reminder for the 3-minute insights, you should check your Spam or Junk folder and approve the email for future distributions.  You can always visit our website or like us on Facebook, link up on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter where the insights are posted each week.

Looking forward to additional ways and means of supporting you our clients and customers in the future, for at JKL Associates – we actually practice what we believe in – “Promise Culture.”

We know your time is precious and very valuable so we have ways to leverage your time while gaining access to insightful details to grow your business. Give us a call – JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

Read More

Financial Dashboard

June 7, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646


Financial Dashboard

In the simplest terms, you sell something (revenue or income).  You have expenses to provide those goods or services (expenses).  You have either money left over (profit) or you don’t (loss). Generally speaking, the objective is to have money left over so you can do something with it.

In slightly more detail each of these gets into more specific such as gross or net profits or losses. For the sake of this week’s insights we want you to focus on the three dashboard financial instruments to effectively run your business.  They are Income Statement (also referred to as Profit and Loss Statement, P&L), Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet.

The Income Statement identifies if the transactions of a cycle of time generated income greater than expenses or a loss which is expenses greater than income/revenue or basically sales.

Cash Flow Statement identifies dollars flowing thru your business.  In business – “Cash is King” so knowing your cash flow is critical to your success.  When you hop in your car prior to a long trip you typically will look at your gas gauge to determine if you can make it to the destination etc.  Cash flow in your business is just that – do you have enough cash to get you to your destination.

Balance Sheet identifies other additional critical aspects of the business financials such as loans, debts, liabilities, assets etc. and ultimately let you know if there is “Net Worth” to the business or what you as the business owner actually own outright without any encumbrances.

These three financial tools need to be part of your ongoing business management efforts. You may have talented staff working in your finance area doing the details, but you as the owner MUST have an intimate knowledge of your business dollars and cents. When you drift away from this discipline you leave yourself exposed to theft.  It might not come in the form of someone blatantly taking money out of the cash register.  More likely it is by checks written to vendors that magically appear and are supported by invoices and payments which when researched just don’t contribute to your company’s strategies.

Unfortunately, there are many business owners who have trusted employees to such a large degree that they took their eye off the financials and it was almost too late to recover the impact of the cash flow drain caused by these improprieties.

Another critical use of these tools is understanding your receivables and payables so that you can effectively manage the cash flow of the business.  Knowing when to tap into a line of credit and the cost of interest on that money while your customers/clients use your money to fund their business transactions.

Front-ending these tools is the management of your sales pipeline to identify the trends of sales and income to support the movement of money through the business.  This “Art” of forecasting is both scientific (the numbers) but also instinctive (the gut).  This makes the sales pipeline process something you need to be in regular touch with, so you can adjust your expectations based on your wisdom and knowledge of the industry and economic dynamics.

This week take some time to reacquaint yourself with your financial tools and dive deeper into their value for you and your business.  Engage your accountant/CPA to help you more fully understand the subtleties of the values so you can begin to make tweaks to your operations and see a greater contribution to your bottom line.

Struggling with focusing on the dashboard for running your business? It is time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to bring your business into the age of knowing the numbers and using them for your benefit.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

Read More