After 3 Vistage meetings this week where Technology Strategic Planning speaker, Joe Beaulieu, spent at least 40 minutes discussing Cybersecurity, I came home to find a phishing email addressed to 2 of the meeting attendees from a third. I texted the supposed sender with a photo of the email and he immediately replied “phishing”. >
How often do you catch yourself looking for only those opinions that agree with your own? That, my friend, would be confirmation bias: only looking/listening to those who agree with you. While that seems to be a time honored tradition in politics, it is not good in business. >
Perhaps it is clear in your mind what winning looks like in your organization. Perhaps, you think your team is aligned around the same vision. Do you test your assumptions? Do you ask them what winning looks like for them? >
For most of the US, taxes were due last week. For most counties in California, all returns AND tax payments have been delayed until October. Yay for us, not so good for the tax preparers come September. So let’s give Finance some love now. >
When you have privilege it is just your normal. There is no friction, no fear, nothing that concerns you. Lacking privilege, you feel injustice, then you become numb to it until something provokes you again–friction, fear, concern. >
Have you ever set a goal year after year and not achieved it? Losing 10 pounds shows up for many people as sure as the sun comes up in the morning. Why is that? For most of us, we know what to do, we just don’t actually do it because it is really hard, it requires more thought and careful planning than we have allotted, or other habits trump this goal. >
Vistage Speaker Doug Butdorf from Boost Profits grabbed my groups’ total attention when he said “revenue is for vanity, profit is for sanity”. Then, he gave us strategy, and execution to be more profitable. Wow! How about this: do you have regularly scheduled meetings to discuss pricing? 2 hands went up. Do you have regular sales meetings? All hands went up. Regular operations meetings? All hands went up.
Let’s get serious here. Sales are starting to slow down for many producers especially for B2C products. (Business to consumer). We aren’t buying to decorate the home we are stuck in – we are going out to dinner or traveling. This may be your last opportunity to raise prices in this business cycle. Should you wait?
As tedious or difficult as it may seem if you have to do this manually, you should segment your customers. First sort could be gross margin versus volume. If you color code by sales person you might find that the low volume, low margin customers might all belong to one sales person.
And, what do you do with those low volume low margin customers? RAISE THEIR PRICES. They will either become profitable customers or fire themselves. Either way you win!!!
And, btw, are your sales people rewarded for increasing gross margin or are their commissions tied only to revenue? There is an old saying “you get what you measure.” It is important to align your incentives around your mission, values and goals. You may need to reassess your incentives as part of your quarterly pricing meetings.
When inflation was running along below 2% for more than a decade, many of us got lazy in our thinking about price. None of our competitors were raising theirs. That time is long gone.
This week get going. Review your pricing and make some profit decisions. You’ve got all the tools you need.
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Image courtesy of Doug Butdorf, Boost Profits, Inc.
In Vistage, we commonly use the start, stop, continue exercise for feedback – from our peers in the peer group meetings or with our teams as a way to gain awareness of behaviors that make us easier/harder to work with. >
At 5 am, the dog barks at the burros wandering down the street outside our hotel. Again, at 5:20, and every 20 minutes thereafter until we got up. Cindy, the owner of the Atomic Inn in Beatty, NV, (just outside Death Valley National Park) described the burros as a feral invasive species. I called them a very cute nuisance.
Reports a month ago that China was asking Russia not to invade Ukraine until after the Olympics seemed far fetched. And, the Ukrainians were telling us to stop making such a big deal out of Putin’s threats. Now, who knows how long and terrible this war will be? The loss of life and the destruction of Ukraine will undoubtedly continue as Putin seems to have no intention of backing down. Just as things were settling down from our long battle with COVID, the world is upside down again. >