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Racing for Results

August 27, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Racing for Results

As part of your annual business planning efforts, you need to be starting the process to looking at 2020 and sorting through the information to plan for the next cycle of business.  Yes, 2020 was in no way shape or form normal.  Planning for 2021 is going to require special attention and time.  The amount of change which took place so far in 2020 will have a carryover impact on 2021 so start your review and planning soon.

For some framework to help guide you in your evaluation of 2020, think in terms of a marathon and not a sprint. Both are sporting activity which are done by runners but typically they train very differently and get different outcomes.  Your business needs to look at the nature of which type of runner you and your industry play in.

Using the acronym RACE – you should look at the following elements of 2020.  R- Results, what results did you plan on having and what were the actual end results. A- Actions, what specific actions were taken (or not taken) to contribute to achieving those targeted results. C- Challenges, what were the challenges which presented themselves that either enable better results or derailed the progress toward achieving the results. As part of challenges, consider how fear of the unknown played into the actions taken and results achieved. Finally, E- Evaluate, looking at all the data points dig deeper than the obvious and understand what really took place.  What influence you had over the outcomes and which were the results of things completely out of your control.

For example, the COVID-19 pandemic shut the economy down which none of us had direct control over.  In some businesses this had a direct impact on lowering results.  Revenues were down and not all expenses were minimized.  Government support systems contributed but how did those impact the results. In other businesses, the support systems contributions along with being an essential business actually gave the business a direct economic boost not planned for in the prior year’s plan.  Those results would not have been achieved under the original planned conditions.

As you can see, each and every business was impacted uniquely. Therefore, each of us need to plan differently. Rolling over of the previous year activity and expecting more by pushing or doing more likely won’t be a strategy just more of a reaction. Yes, that is the planning process of some businesses. Taking prior year numbers and arbitrarily coming up with a desire percentage increase and letting the spreadsheet run a new set of numbers.  I would not be supportive of such a play on numbers for any business.

The planning for 2021 is not a 100 meter sprint nor a 26.3 mile marathon but somewhere in the middle depending on the nature of your business, the level of data you collect and the commitment you have to the process.

One thing is for certain, those businesses who had a detailed plan and solid economics coming into 2020 are faring out far better to those that came into 2020 flying by the seat of their pants.  We are all in restart mode. Even if you have never taken the time to plan out your business objective in the past. Now is a good time to start planning for 2021.

Need support for crafting your 2021 strategies and business plan? Want to engage a promise guide to help get your compass pointing in the right direction? Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to start the conversation.

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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Employee Engagement is Critical

August 20, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Employee Engagement is Critical

So what makes your employees tick?  What keeps them motivated to contribute to the company’s objectives?  What conditions are they looking for to enable them to grow and develop into their full potential?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions then you are not in touch with the needs of your team.

In the last century, the age of the industrial revolution from the days of agriculture, there were many really good contributions to our society.  The automobile and advanced manufacturing were part of that time. Medical practices and the advancement of drugs have reduced many life threatening illnesses. Quality improvements, systems and procedures for all kinds of daily work routines have been created.  Educational efforts expanded to allow for better understanding and knowledge to contribute to the success of both the business and the individual.

We are no longer living in that century.  With the age of technology and digital infrastructure, the needs and the demands of people have changed as greatly as from the transition from agriculture to factories. Vast improvements in creature comforts have allowed for greater time freedoms and more expression of personal interests. Leisure time has expanded exponentially allowing for more distractions to the basics of working the field all day to working in the factory all day to working from home some part of the day.

2020 has introduced a whole new view of things to come in most all sectors of our society and business.  Remote workforces and hybrid work teams are now part of many organizations’ operation plans for the future. Consumers have been introduced to more creature comforts of ordering online and either curbside pickup or delivery have now become integrated into the purchasing system.

As business leaders it is incumbent upon you to figure out how these changes are influencing both your customers and your employees. The employees which were furloughed or laid off may now be returning to roles which are different. Your customers’ expectations are different.  Your employees’ view of their way of working is different. The changes which our society and business have had to adopt will not be temporary in nature.  Many will become the new best practices of our business models.

As this continues to roll forward, having employee engagement will be the difference in many aspects of your business: retention of your best staff, retention of your customers and clients, revenue and profit production just to name a few. This week you should take the time to get in touch with your employees’ engagement needs going forward and determine how your business culture can support these new and evolving needs.

Need some insight tools to get directly into the understanding of each employee? JKL Associates has a suite of Employee Engagement assessments to bring understanding and appreciation for the how, what, and why a person engages the way they do. Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and let us show you how this investment will contribute to your future results.

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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Relationships Drive Revenue

August 13, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Relationships Drive Revenue

Rolodex’s have been replaced with CRM systems. Personalized letters have been replaced by email and text messages. What has not changed is the basics of human interaction and the need for relationships. It has always been true but with the events of the past few months it is more critical than every before. As the world came to a grinding halt over the pandemic, both individuals and business alike were forced to change the nature of their relationships.  No longer could sales reps go out on to the street and make face to face sales calls.  After hours social gathering stopped. The entire social energy of human kind was placed on pause.

Now that we are all in some phase of adaptation to these new and different business dynamics we are realizing how strong or weak our relationships really are. At the beginning of this business as usual interruption this blog made reference to the need to be reaching out proactively to your customers, clients, colleagues and reinforcing the integrity of your relationships. Yes, it was a time to spread common support but it was also a time to engage your consumers with authentic care for their well being.

It has proven to be true that those businesses with very strong client relationships have been weathering the economic changes far better than those organizations with weak or insignificant relationships with their customers.  The same is true internally in your business.  If you had weak relationships with your staff then during this time of adjustment the integrations were more stressful.  There are some trends where staff is not returning to work for a variety of reasons.  Some are economic in that subsidies are valued greater than pride of work.  In other cases, employees were given a time of reflection on what they want to do with their lives and for whom they want to work with.  This is causing many to seek out new or different employment opportunities.

If your relationship with your customers or your staff were weak to begin with it has impacted your financial opportunities. Just like your staff, your customers were also given a chance to rethink who they want to do business with going forward.  If you and your business are hard to work with then a change may have taken place.  On the other hand if your customer relationships were solid and growing then you may have actually incurred a revenue growth as your cleints shifted purchasing to a smaller vendor base.

This week, take some time to evaluate your relationships with your customers and your team.  Is there work to be done to rekindle the relationships and make them more substantial? It is not too late to engage your clients and employees in productive conversations about the future and how all can benefit from a productive relationship.

Relationship building and positive communication MUST be a priority moving forward.  Do you have solid practices to achieve both? If not, give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to investigate how “Promise Culture” can be a solid foundation on which to build your future.

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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The Business of Life

August 6, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

The Business of Life

(Due to a technical issues, this is published late)

Over the past few months, we have all had some additional time to think about our lives, our businesses, our jobs, our families, our relationships. Some of us have taken this time very seriously and put time, energy and quality thought into what the future is going to look like. Others simply took the time to engage in TV watching, video gaming, and all sorts of other distractions.  Both have their place in our lives.  We need a blend of strategic thinking and completely mindless enjoyment.

This story of COVID-19, world pandemic, economic shutdown, social dysfunction or whatever label you choose to place on the past months is far from over. No, I’m not directly referring to the virus reeking additional havoc on all of the above aspects.  That is greatly possible as long as people make conscious decisions not to respect themselves and to not respect others by following reasonable health guideline. I’m referring to the aftermath of where do we go from here as a society.  Normal, whatever it use to be, was a perception people had crafted in their own mind is gone. What does that mean for each of us in our lives and in the working world?

It boils down to using our talents and the freedom of choice and free will to investigate, explore and discover what is truly meaningful, purpose based, authentic and genuine for ourselves to be a contributor in the new world emerging from the ashes. WOW! That sounds kind of bleak. Unfortunately, it can be if we are idle in the use of our minds and talents.

During this time of rearrangements of priorities and future focus, we have a unique opportunity to reinvent ourselves and our businesses. A business and a life have very similar paths they take in time. Both have a birthing point – a starting point. Both have various events which shape how they model future actions and behaviors. Both have defined cycles of growth and maturity.  Some businesses and people lag in some areas and some accelerate in others. Both have a time of sunset or expiration that is inevitable for human life but can be extended in business by passing a business along to future generations to cultivate.

This week take a few minutes to look at your life and at your business.  What stage are you in and what stage is your business in?  What plans have you made for yourself and what plans need to be made for your business?

The largest benefit of COVID-19 is that it is giving all of us (business and people) a restart option.  Some businesses and people will use this to their advantage and will be criticized for it. The perception of taking advantage of a situation but the reality is all of us have the same option. Others will succumb to the economic virus (business fail) and yet others with weakened immune systems will succumb to the actual virus. Neither of these are pleasant to hear or speak about but are part of life.

As you look at your world around you, ask yourself which group you are going to be part of? Are you going to look at this time of 2020 and use it for good or evil?  Should you choose to go for good, give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and lets discuss how engaging a Promise Guide can be all the difference as to the outcome you desire.

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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