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This is No April Fools Joke

March 26, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

This is No April Fools Joke

We would all like to wake up next Wednesday morning and have the COVID-19 virus to have been an April Fools joke. That the world pandemic is not real.  This is not the case.  By now we are all acknowledging the impact is very real. No, it is not Armageddon or the end of the world, but it is reshaping the future. Unlike more localized events in history such as boarder wars or civil rights movements, this world wide health challenge has both immediate and long lasting outcomes.

Right now you are maybe in the gasping for air mode. The information coming at you and your ability to sort through all of it may be taxing. In some cases you and your business were set up stable enough to take a pause, reflect and make strategic changes to move forward.  Others are in a state where the business and potentially the personal world were already in a out of balance state and now the scales have tipped even further.

Regardless of present state, now is not a time to push the pause button.  Yes the country has been asked to shelter in place to #flattenthecurve but that is not an invitation to take time off.  Yes, follow the directives of local, state and federal authorities for social distancing but work on your business with the most valuable resource – your time.

Now is a time to reset to the fundamentals of owning and operating your business.  The three base components are Sales, Profits and Operations.  All three of these are impacted by this pandemic.  Depending on your industry or business mix of products and/or services each of these will be affected differently.

Do a hard review of each of them and decide which of them you need to work on first.  For instance, sales – based on present backlog of contracts is the attraction of revenue a current issue?  If no, then look to using that backlog so that operationally you execute as precisely as possible to garner the greatest level of profit from those contracts.  This means you must focus on operational excellence. Are your processes and procedures delivering on your promises and commitments to deliver on budget and on schedule? How can you work on improving them so your organization can provide the best products and services.  If your sales are not supported by backlog then you must start there.  If you are gasping for air i.e. sales, the rest of the business is less important.  Here is where your creativity needs to be engaged.  Traditional belly to belly, face to face sales is under quarantine so what can your team do to be reaching out to existing customers and new accounts during this time.  Even though our external interactions are on pause, it by no means stops our opportunity to interact with our target market prospects.

This time of change is an opportunity to work on your business.  Do you have a detailed understanding of your pipeline of revenues?  Do you understand your cash flow burn rate for fixed costs?  What steps are you taking to elongate your cash on hand so that you can weather the longer unknown cycle? What business practices can you tighten up, train on, bring in new more efficient ways to execute during these drastic times.

Just know that we are going to emerge from this dramatic change in the world.  The question is – will you be stronger and better or will you concede to the pressure and fold?

Need a “Promise Guide” to talk with? Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida. We are here to ask better questions so you can make better decisions.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!

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 2020

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March Madness in full swing

March 19, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

March Madness in full swing

There is lots going on in the world these days with health, stocks, politics and the unusual absence of sports.  Each year when the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament would get underway, many people would be distracted from the bounty of other things which bombard us daily. This year, at least from our perspective, we had hoped the basketball tournament was going to be a positive distraction but that has quickly gone away.

Our world is filled with digital and electronic waves of information. You can almost not escape it.  It is like a hurricane of relentless buffeting of wind and rain. Whether it be our phone, out tablet, our PC, our radio, our TV, our ……. fill in your own blank, we can’t get away from the noise. This year in particular seems to be exceptionally loud.  With the COVID-19 virus, the global economy, the 2020 election etc., the noise through all of these challenges just keeps coming at us.  It brings a whole new meaning to March Madness in 2020.

At one time in my past, basketball was significantly important.  I played it, I coached it, I officiated it, I watched it, I was consumed in basketball.  As strange as it sounds, the first couple of weekends during the tournament, I would make sure my schedule was such that it provided ample time to watch as many games as possible from noon on Thursday to after midnight on Sunday. This was intentful distraction to watch basketball. The last few years I had since changed those distractions but still enjoyed watching the competitiveness of the teams in the tournament. This year is completely different for all of us.

As business owners we must now deal with distractions never previously encountered by any of us as part of the course of running our businesses. We all previously dealt with some distractions which allowed us to appreciate the various elements of our vast world. The challenge for each of us today is to hold ourselves accountable to the core promises we made prior to the numerous distractions.  No we don ‘t know the full impact or outcomes which are unfolding around us but that does not mean we forego commitments to our basic values of living.

One approach to helping to navigate such broad based distraction is to have defined targets, goals and objectives.  If you hopped in your vehicle and started driving you would end up somewhere. If you did not have a particular destination defined, you could very well be lost.  The challenge is, with out a defined destination, you likely end up somewhere you either should not be or even worse, in the complete opposite direction from where you need to be.

Targets, goals and objectives are directions or pointers on your guidance system or compass. By having your compass in hand you will always be making better choices on what direction you need to take next. With targets, goals and objectives you have a measuring stick. A system to gauge your distance to and from a target so that you can reorient when you drift away because of external noise or distraction.

Going back to my days of being completely immersed into basketball during March Madness, I never lost sight of the targets, goals and objectives I had promised to achieve prior to the distraction.  I made sure that the time away from the TV was most effective which in turn allowed me the opportunity to be distracted without forgoing my promises to achieve the goals set forth in front of me.

The distraction today and in the coming days are going to be numerous.  With no compass and simply guessing your way through, you will likely lead yourself into additional challenges.  This week narrow down the distractions and keep things simple.  Know the core values and personal/business aspects that need your attention and focus first on those prior to the various other things which are likely to fill your day.

Once this Madness levels out, choose to be free of unproductive distractions by giving JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and engaging a “Promise Guide” for your future success.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!

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 2020

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*** SPECIAL EDITION*** Small Business – Flatten the Curve

March 18, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

*** SPECIAL EDITION***

Small business – Flatten the Curve

We have all seen some rendition of the “Flatten the Curve” graphic.  They are all talking about how all of us need to be proactive about social distancing, shutting down non essential activities etc. to keep the virus surge from impacting and overwhelming our health system.

Small Business owners need to use this same plan for flattening the cash expense curve for their business.  Sales are in many cases slowing down and in some cases drying up. Each industry and service will happen at different levels and rates. In all cases the sales volume of recent months will not be the same moving forward. We are not sure for what period of time this will continue.

Today you need to flatten the curve of expenses.  Just as with the virus plan, to keep your business from exceeding the surge point (available cash to expenses) you will need to stretch out expenses.  Some recurring expenses you may have little immediate control over. You will need to consider conversations with landlord, vendors, suppliers etc. to allow for different terms and payments.

Many organizations are shutting down completely for two weeks while everyone else is shutting down.  Others are changing shift allocation, implementing rotating crews so that the lower demand is countered with the proper sizing of staff and rotating them. This allows for the community of employees to share in the limited cash flow pool for a longer period of time. How you manage your cash during these choices is critical.

Now is not a time to have panic and uncertainty rule.  Now is the time for small business to rise up and show the world how our ingenuity will overcome even the most significant obstacles.

Need a Promise Guide to talk to during these uncertain times? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to start a conversation about strategies to help your business navigate the coming changes.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!

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 2020

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Disciplined to be disciplined

March 12, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Disciplined to be disciplined

The inherent nature of being disciplined to do something or act someway starts with self accountability. It is easy to say that you will do this or that but the true test is in actually doing something.

As we move into the 3rd month of 2020, stop for a moment and consider those stroke of midnight New Year’s resolutions you made to yourself and maybe to others.  Have you been disciplined to hold yourself accountable to acting consistently on and toward them? How many of you started that ill-fated exercise routine only to still be paying the monthly fitness center fees and not spending any time going to them? How many of us started that ill-fated diet and then shortly into 2020 have fallen back into the holiday binges of snacks and goodies?

Being disciplined is hard work.  It takes commitment or as I like to frame it – a “PROMISE” to yourself and others.  You need to carve out specific time and energy to live up to your promises.  This in turn causes you to rearrange an already defined day into something new.  You can intellectually understand it and appreciate what it will do for you. Ultimately your willingness to make the changes necessary begin to become distracted and eventually fall away.

I’m not intending to make you feel guilty. For most of us we can all relate to the breakdown of not completely holding ourselves to a new routine or the discipline of making changes for our personal betterment. We can look at others and make judgements but not hold ourselves to the same standards. I’ll be the first person to not only admit this is a challenge for me but continuously need to remind myself that I can only expect of others what I expect of myself.

This week as you process through your work life and personal life, be conscious of the time you want to hold others to their discipline but falter on your own routines. Understand that we are bombarded by a multitude of distractions all calling for pieces of our time and energy.  If we do not hold ourselves to our own disciplines, then the universe of stuff being thrown at us will easily take hold of us and push us in directions we ultimately did not want to go.

For those of you who recognize and believe in higher levels of self, take this coming week to identify a single discipline you can adopt into your world.  Focus on it and completely embrace it into your life.  Make the PROMISE for the next 45 days to live without missing a beat of your new discipline.  Then in 46 days look back on how that change has contributed greatly to your future!

Need a “PROMISE Guide to help you along your journey? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to start on the path you have desired but not taken the first step.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!
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 2020

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Use the Business Hierarchy of Needs to Move Your Business Forward

March 5, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Use the Business Hierarchy of Needs to Move Your Business Forward

From a Guest contributor and colleague – By Mike Michalowicz, author of Fix This Next

What is the next problem you must address or opportunity you must meet in order to grow your business? Do you know the answer? And, can you be sure that you have the right answer, the one that will truly move your business forward?

In the past, I repeatedly fell into the trap of fixing whatever problem was in front of me. Whether I was saving the day, or just trying to get my company to the next level, I rushed to the apparent problems. You know, the obvious stuff and the squeaky wheels. At any given time there are always a boatload of problems that need your attention. So, trusting my gut instincts, I would just pick the one that felt like the most urgent and focus on that. In this process of addressing the apparent issues, I disregarded the most impactful one. What resulted was a continuous run of problem solving, and yet my business remained stuck.

The biggest problem business owners have is that we don’t know what our biggest problem is. We can’t be sure that we are focusing on the area of our business that, when addressed, will yield the best results.

To solve that problem, I developed a model based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which states that there are five categories of human need. From the most basic and essential needs for survival to the highest needs for happiness and fulfillment: physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. In order for us to attend to something higher on the list, we first need to make sure that our needs are met in the categories below it. So, for example, before you can focus on meeting your needs for love and belonging, you first need the basics: air to breathe, adequate hydration and nutrition, and a safe place to sleep. It’s pretty tough to deal with your self-actualization when you’re hangry and tired.

Looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I realized that it has a direct correlation to entrepreneurial progress: what drives your business, what keeps your company trapped, and how you fix the roadblocks along the way to achieve the highest levels of success as you, the entrepreneur, define it.

The key to climbing the hierarchy is simple: fully satisfy your business’s current level of needs, not by rushing to the apparent daily demands, not by addressing advanced needs before basic needs, and certainly not by trying to fix everything at once. To do this, we will use what I call the Business Hierarchy of Needs.

The Business Hierarchy of Needs levels breaks down like this:

Sales: At this foundational level, the business must focus on the creation of cash. Just as humans can’t survive without oxygen, food, and water, if you don’t have sales, your company will not be able to survive for long. Heck, without sales, you won’t have a business at all.
The five core needs at the sales level are:

• Lifestyle congruence
• Prospect attraction,
• Client conversion,
• Delivering on commitments
• Collecting on commitments

Profit: Here, the company’s focus shifts to the creation of stability. Here, our businesses’ needs line up pretty closely with our human needs for health, financial stability, and a secure and safe environment. Massive revenue doesn’t mean much when you have no profit, no cash reserves, and are drowning in debt.
The five core needs at the profit level are:

• Debt eradication
• Margin health
• Transaction frequency
• Profitable leverage
• Cash reserves.

Order: At this level, the focus is on the creation of efficiency, and the needs are related to ensuring that everything runs like clockwork. With all of its organizational efficiency needs met, your business can run—and yes, even grow—no matter who is on your team. It can even grow without you, the entrepreneur.
The five core needs at the order level are:

• Minimized wasted effort
• Role alignment
• Outcome delegation
• Linchpin redundancy
• Mastery reputation.

Impact: The focus now is on the creation of transformation. Many businesses never properly address the needs at this level, because they either don’t know this level exists, or misunderstand what it’s all about. When we think of impact, we think of how our business impacts the world. However, the needs that must be addressed at this level are related to client transformation, and how your company aligns with your staff, vendors, and your community, not to the wider world.
The five core needs at the impact level are:

• Transformation orientation
• Mission motivation
• Dream alignment
• Feedback integrity
• Complementary network

Legacy: At this highest level, the focus is on the creation of permanence. Ensuring that your business and the impact it delivers will live on after you move on requires that specific needs are met. If you want your business to continue to thrive for generations to come, you’ll have to consider the big questions, such as your long-term vision for your company is, and how your business will adapt to changes in your industry, in consumer demand, and in the world.
Here are the five core needs at the legacy level:

• Community continuance
• Intentional leadership turn
• Heart-based promoters
• Quarterly dynamics
• Ongoing adaptation

To be clear, the Business Hierarchy of Needs levels does not represent stages in business growth. They are levels of needs. Your business will not climb the hierarchy in a linear fashion, but move up and down levels as it progresses. Like building and renovating structures, you don’t just go up. You go back down to the foundation, shore it up, so you can build higher. So, for example, while you may be dealing with a need in the SALES level, that does not mean your company is still in the SALES stage. You are simply strengthening the foundation.

The Business Hierarchy of Needs gets you out of guessing mode and into fast, impactful, deliberate action. It took me the better part of three years to perfect it, testing it out in my own business and with other entrepreneurs through multiple iterations. Once I figured out how to pinpoint what to focus on next, my businesses grew faster and healthier. Since creating the tool, I’ve stopped relying on my instinct alone and have started using this system to listen and respond to my company’s true needs.

Now, when you get stuck, all you have to do is start at the bottom of the pyramid and address the core needs you have not yet met. It’s back to basics, baby. Basic needs, that is. The tool never stops working. You can always return to it to pinpoint your biggest challenge, fix it next, and then pinpoint the next one after that as you build your beautiful business.

Interested in a quick assessment of getting you out of “Guess Mode”?  Visit our Google Form and complete the 3-5 minute questionnaire.  No Commitment or obligation.

Fix This Next Form – https://forms.gle/N39ykQ3d5DgQgYr67

Business Hierarchy of Needs: Fix This Next Evaluation or Fix This Next Book Details: https://fixthisnext.com/

Fix This Next on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fix-This-Next-Cha…/…/ref=as_li_ss_tl…

Need a “PROMISE” Guide to help you Fix This Next? As a Certified Fix This Next Business Advisor we are here to assist you in discovering your next focus and priority. Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to get started to Fix This Next.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!
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 2020

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