QuickBizBreak by david weaver

Take a quick break from your biz to ponder new ideas and strategies that will turbocharge your business.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Using the Power of Process to Increase Your Sales

Posted by QuickBizBreak on April 27, 2010

Complimentary Webinar for Business Owners and Managers:

Using The Power of Process to Increase Your Sales

Wednesday, May 5th, 11am-12pm

Tara Lamboley, Integrated MARCOM Inc.

* Maximize new leads, close more sales with this simple 3-step process
* Start marketing with the end in mind
* Capitalize on the secret that 90% of your competition doesn’t even know about!

David Weaver, Advicoach Business Advisor

* Do you know where you are you taking your company and the process to get it there?
* Navigate to success and the one tool you need to guide you!

Bruce Hoelzen, Sales Effectiveness Inc.

* Protect and grow your profits by improving your negotiation process
* Get the sales you need and build strong business relationships
* Use a strategy for negotiating..instead of just ‘winging it’!

Click here for more info:  Webinar-LI-5-5-10

Click here to register:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/737205427

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

What Atlanta Business Owners Are Saying

Posted by QuickBizBreak on April 23, 2010

I recently roamed the rooms at the North Fulton Business Expo here in north Atlanta, recording what business owners think is the number one issue for them today and how to address it.  What do you think was the number one issue mentioned?  Click here to find out!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Power of Process in Driving Sales Results

Posted by QuickBizBreak on April 21, 2010

What role does process play in planning and executing for success? I’ve been known to shoot from the hip at times and when I do, it tends to get me in trouble.  There is a lot to be said for having a defined process for much of your business.

We’re taking a much closer look at that topic in an upcoming webinar titled “Using the Power of Process to Increase Your Sales”.  While the subject is centered around sales it hits on several areas of process, including planning, marketing and negotiation.  What does negotiation have to do with increasing sales?  All it takes is to be on the ‘losing side’ of a negotiation with a client, a prospect or a vendor to understand the importance of negotiating skills.  Bruce Hoelzen with Sales Effectiveness, a negotiation and sales training specialist with a history of training IBM’s best, will give us some quick tips on following a process for winning negotiations at any level.

And what about marketing? There is a proven process and Tara Lamboley with Intergrated MARCOM will introduce us to the power of that process in managing campaigns and touch points. She will share a secret that 90% of your competitors don’t even know about that will blow you away!

No process will work without proper planning.  I’ve worked with many businesses that have good intentions but no defined plan, much less a process, to accomplish their goals. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a GPS where you could plug in your destination and then follow directions to your goals?  There is and I’ll show you where to find it and how to use it.

Join us on May 5th at 11am for this information-packed webinar – “Using the Power of Process to Increase Your Sales” – to find out how and when to utilize process to improve sales results. This one hour can change the way you do business!

Click here to register today.

To your success,

David Weaver

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Time for a Checkup!

Posted by QuickBizBreak on March 30, 2010

You received an audio message. Click here to play it.Each quarter, the experienced business owner reviews their annual strategic plan to see if they are on track towards achieving their annual goals.  The numbers (otherwise known as Key Performance Indicators) should actually be tracked daily and reviewed at least weekly and monthly. However, the quarterly check-up is a more extensive review against budgets and forecasts to see what may have changed significantly as it relates to overall strategy. Has there been a market shift? Has business changed significantly that might cause a strategy or direction to be revised?

Don’t get caught up in managing your business daily without a wider view of the past and future. If you see a trend, do what is necessary to change it if it is a negative trend or take advantage of it in some way if it’s a positive trend.

This is also a great time to bring the team into the know to help them gain focus on company direction and to get everyone on board towards achieving the next quarter’s goals.

Don’t know where to begin with strategic planning or review? Give me a call or email me for resource information.

David Weaver, Business Advisor, 678-620-3990

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The BBC is Coming to Atlanta!

Posted by QuickBizBreak on March 29, 2010

BBC

Ah yes, the BBC – home to Alistair Cooke, Doctor Who, and who could forget Monty Python?  Even post-Python, the comedy hasn’t stopped.  Along with beautiful documentaries such as BBC Earth, the network also produce a high-budget quirky show for gear-heads titled Top Gear. The crew may test a $1 million Bugatti and then drive a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool. Full of water.

Did you know the BBC is coming to Atlanta?  No, not that BBC. This one promises to be even more exciting!

Introducing Business Boot Camp Atlanta.

I hear over and over how business owners desperately want to grow their business and how they could use the proven methodologies and systems that a business coach can provide, not to mention the accountability towards achieving goals. For solopreneurs and micro-businesses, however, it may be difficult to make the transition in their mind from business expense to business investment for coaching services. Even with examples of revenue growth of 100+%, it may still be difficult to make the financial commitment for one-on-one coaching.

Business Boot Camp Atlanta provides a format for a limited number of participants,  to participate in group mentoring and coaching at a fraction of the cost of one-on-one coaching. Each session will be split between coaching from AdviCoach Business Advisor David Weaver, a leader in growing start-ups, on proven business methodologies and strategies along with peer-to-peer discussions with other business owners in the group. These discussions will allow us to review specific challenges within the group, discuss various approaches and how to apply the strategies that have been presented to drive success.

No more than 8 business owners/managers may participate in a single group and no business classification will be duplicated, so no need to fear that someone will ‘borrow’ your trade secrets. The boot camp is structured over a 12-week period and requires a two-hour meeting commitment per week. This is an intensive program that requires full participation. The results will be equally impressive for each participant!

Topics Covered in at Business Boot Camp Atlanta:

  • Are you a Small Business Owner or an Entrepreneur?
    • Determining what kind of business you are and really want to be
    • Setting your own personal goals as it relates to your business
    • How does that affect how you run your business?
  • Differentiating Your Products/Services in a Crowded Market
    • Commodity or Targeted
    • Pricing Options
  • Strategic Planning
    • Develop your Strategic Vision
    • Develop your Strategic Plan to take you through the year, quarter-by-quarter, based on your long-term vision
  • Time Management
    • How to prioritize your day and your business activity
    • Understanding yourself and your natural tendencies
  • Human Capital
    • When should I add an employee?
    • Employee, Contractor or Outsourcing?
    • What about back office work?
    • How do I find the right person?
    • How do I set the expectation and define the position to set up the employee for success?
  • Measuring and Monitoring for Success
    • What makes sense for me and my business?
    • Specific measurements and why they are important
    • Goal-setting and how to accomplish them
  • Understanding the Financials
    • What should I really be looking for?
    • Do I need a bookkeeper, an accountant, a CPA, or any of these?
    • An easy tracking system that will allow you a view of where you are and where you need to be
    • Where and how can I get operating capital?
  • Sales & Marketing
    • What’s the difference between the two?
    • Choosing marketing programs and tracking the results for success
    • Determining a marketing budget
    • How do I find time to sell?
    • How do I get customers to buy?
    • The difference between selling and buying
    • Sales Management Systems
    • Understanding the current market and how to tap into new revenue streams
    • Up-selling/cross-selling/raising the average selling price
    • Referral-based marketing
  • Operational Efficiencies
    • What you can learn from franchising
    • If you are a franchisee, what you can do that is different

And all at a fraction of the cost of one-on-one coaching.  Not $3,000 per month, not $2,000 per month, not $1,000 per month, not even $500 per month.  No, it’s only $375 per month!  And no open-ended agreements that might go on forever.  This is a 12-week boot camp that will bring you back to the basics of running a streamlined, focused business designed to energize you as well as your profits! To qualify for this boot camp, you must have  3 or less employees in your company. If you have more employees than that, let’s talk about what you really need to focus on for your business.

Boot Camps are forming in Roswell, Johns Creek and Cumming, Georgia.  If you live in another part of metro Atlanta and wish to participate, give me a call so we can judge the interest level in other areas.

We don’t have Bugatti’s or Rolls Royces and we don’t talk science or science fiction.  But we do talk business!

Find out more at an informational meeting to be held on Thursday, April 1st at 6pm, Doubletree Hotel-Roswell, 1075 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, Georgia, 30076.  To confirm attendance, please call 678-620-3990 or email dweaver@advicoach-atlanta.com today.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your Signature Dish

Posted by QuickBizBreak on February 16, 2010

Perhaps it’s memories of my young adulthood that are haunting me, but does locating a business in a ‘strip retail center’ sound like most of the walk-by traffic will be happening after midnight?  Of course the terminology has been around for ages, filling those strips of roadside land with retail leasing clients.

Some of those retail centers are looking quite ‘bare’ in the North Atlanta area and I’m sure all over the country.  Driving past one such retail strip on the way to my son’s school confirmed another dark storefront where once stood another quick-serve sandwich and pizza shop.  My wife mentioned she’d never eaten there, was never attracted to it and never heard anything about it from friends.

As obvious as it appears that there was a lack of marketing, that wasn’t all that was lacking.  The place was actually recommended to me by a food distributor friend so I stopped by for lunch a few months back.

The interior was plain, at best; nothing memorable.  I was hoping for a better experience with the food.  Although the quality of the meats was top-notch, there was nothing really outstanding about the way the food was prepared or served.  A young girl stood at the register, obviously filling a part-time position.  The owner didn’t appear to be around nor a manager nor anyone who wanted to engage me in conversation.  “How is your meal?”  “Is this your first time here?”  “How did you hear about us?”  “Can I tell you about the weekly specialties we run?”  “We’re really well-known for our special <home-made whatever> recipe…people love it!”

Nope, none of that.  And the food alone was, well, just average.  The more I thought about it, the places our family likes to visit for meals are the ones with:

  • A great atmosphere – not stuffy, but clean and friendly, a place you’d actually like to sit down and spend some time with friends
  • Great food – give me some signature dishes that make the meal special!
  • Friendly staff – our regular hangouts know us and we know them, we ask about each other’s kids and discuss sports teams, we feel like family
  • Value pricing – a place I’m comfortable eating at regularly without breaking the bank

Value means different things to different people, of course.  I may want a high-end meal to celebrate a special occasion.  But even there, present a signature dish or special paring that makes the evening special.

Another friend of mine is a local sub shop franchisee (Bruce at Lenny’s Subs).  His franchises have the potential of being average if he approached business like most other sub shop owners.  But he doesn’t.  While the food is definitely fresh and presents good value, I don’t believe that is what is driving his growth.

Bruce’s signature dish isn’t really about the food, good as it is.  It’s Bruce and his team networking throughout the community that really has driven his business – that is his ‘signature dish’ (OK the “Best of” awards don’t hurt).  It’s reaching out through community, business and sporting events, providing great food at great value, regardless of where the customer may be.  Bruce has gone well beyond the four bullet points listed above.

And what is your ‘signature dish’?  Is it a great company culture that ensures the customer is always taken care of, regardless of the situation?  Is it finding a new way to serve a market that makes you stand out as unique?  Is it providing a level expertise that is unsurpassed at no extra charge?

If you were to present a menu to every person who walked through your door (even if you are not a restaurant), what would you feature as your signature dish?  What would you want people to expect – not just expect but look forward to – from you and your business?

Answer that and we might just keep more businesses thriving and in the process, keep those strip centers from becoming bare…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Repost: Frightened, clueless or uninformed?

Posted by QuickBizBreak on February 8, 2010

I don’t re-post from other blogs very often but this one from Seth Godin caught my eye today. Granted, most anything from Godin is good, but this hits at the heart of understanding how open someone may be to improving themselves and their business through learning and coaching. Do you know someone who fits one of these descriptions?

Frightened, clueless or uninformed?

In the face of significant change and opportunity, people are often one of the three. If you’re going to be of assistance, it helps to know which one.

Uninformed people need information and insight in order to figure out what to do next. They are approaching the problem with optimism and calm, but they need to be taught. Uninformed is not a pejorative term, it’s a temporary state.

Clueless people don’t know what to do and they don’t know that they don’t know what to do. They don’t know the right questions to ask. Giving them instructions is insufficient. First, they need to be sold on what the platform even looks like.

And frightened people will resist any help you can give them, and they will blame you for the stress the change is causing. Scared people like to shoot the messenger. Duck.

The worst kind of frightened person is one with power. Someone in a mob of other frightened people, someone with a gun, someone who is the CEO. When confronted with a scared CEO, time to run. Before someone can change, they have to learn, and before they learn, they have to cease being scared.

One reason so many big ideas come from small organizations is that there is far less fear of change at the top. One mistake board members and shareholders make is that they reward the scared but hyper-confident CEO, instead of calling him on the carpet as he rages at change.

When I first encountered surfing, I was scared of it. It looks cool, but an old guy like me can get hurt. A patient instructor allayed my fears until I was willing to get started. When you first start out, the things you think are important are actually irrelevant, and it’s the stuff you don’t know is important that gets you thrown into the ocean. Finally, and only then, was I smart enough to actually learn.

I’m bad at surfing now, but at least I know why.

Comfort the frightened, coach the clueless and teach the uninformed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Commit to Connect

Posted by QuickBizBreak on February 1, 2010

I posted on LinkedIn recently about my commitment to reconnect this year with contacts, friends, and past associates whom I may not have stayed in touch with throughout the year, whether here in Atlanta or across the nation.

My commitment was based on the realization that if I didn’t continue to communicate in a personal manner (primarily by telephone and written notes) with people I know, then those people tended to fade from my everyday consciousness. And if I wasn’t thinking about them and communicating from time to time, I certainly wouldn’t tend to recommend them to my newer, current contacts whom I hadn’t quite had time to neglect.

Neglect is such a strong word. But think about it. How many people do you meet during the course of a year? Think about the organizations you belong to, the events you attend, the networking that you work so hard for, the individual meetings you have with ‘potential referral sources’. And what do you do with all those wonderful people that you meet? Stick their business card in a drawer? Add them to your Cardscan file before sticking the card in a drawer? If you are ambitious, perhaps you add them to your contact management system with a notation about where you met them. Maybe.

If you are a certified Type A success-oriented personality mixed with a good dose of methodical, tracking, ‘follow a system’ type of person (do those exist?), you enter the contact information and tag them for some great electronic campaign of emails, newsletters, blog feeds, Twitter, LinkedIn and Plaxo invites. Congratulations! You just accumulated more baggage, both for you and for them.

I admit to getting caught up in the social media blitz and in fact, am about to walk further towards the deep end. However, the more I see and can’t absorb, the more I’m blitzed and try to block, the more I zig while others zag, I find that I still do business with people. A friendly voice on the phone, not a name amidst millions on a computer screen. A personal note, not an unsolicited catalog or special offer. I do business with people who recognize that I am special, not just one of many they are trying to reach out and touch in some electronic, hazy manner.

So while I continue to test other waters, I’m trying to remember that there is nothing like a personal phone call. There is nothing like a personal note. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, like a personal relationship with someone you trust and can count on to take care of business, to take care of a friend, to take care of a past associate, to take care of a new contact or client. Those are the people I will refer.

The even clearer revelation for me was that if I’m not thinking about them, then they sure as heck aren’t thinking about me. And that’s not their fault…it’s mine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Do You Know the 2nd Verse?

Posted by QuickBizBreak on December 22, 2009

I receive a daily devotional that I read to start my day. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s serious. It’s usually practical.

Today, I saw a practicality both from a business and personal perspective and I’m republishing it here in part. It doesn’t matter what faith you are as the message should shine through, regardless:

The 2nd Verse
==============

We were singing Christmas songs in a staff meeting at our family business.  The current song was “Joy to the World.”

Everyone chimed in heartily as we sang the first verse. Then the second verse began.

Bright energetic voices changed into muffled and muted hums and babbling. My mother was standing beside me. Only her voice punched through the disharmonious ramblings of the crowd. She knew every word and sang it strong and clear. It is amazing how one person who truly knows punches through the confusion.

I didn’t know the second verse along with the rest of the crowd, but mother has always been different.

Most of us know the first verse. Few of us know beyond the surface and the general knowledge of the crowd. It is true with Joy to the World. It is true with true joy.

That which separates you from the crowd is always deeper than the surface.

From MountainWings.com

==============

What separates you from the crowd…in your business, in your life, in everything you do?

Don’t seek to be different for the sake of being different. Seek to be authentic, looking ‘deeper than the surface’.  What do you see? Hopefully, you see something different about yourself, about others, about your business, about what you want to contribute to others. When you find it, it will truly separate you from the rest of the crowd.

David Weaver                                                                                                                                                                                                             Business Advisory Services                                                                                                                                                                                             678-620-3990

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Are You Operating Differently On-Line vs. Off-Line?

Posted by QuickBizBreak on December 4, 2009

Does your online customer service and behavior reflect the service one would expect if they walked into your store or place of business?  Are you sure?

I’m not talking about how easy it may be to navigate pages or menus, whether on-line or on-phone (how’s that for  a new word?).  No, I’m talking simple policies and procedures.  Do you require something different of your customers and prospects online than you do in person?

My wife recently faced the task of replacing a missing button on a pair of our son’s favorite shorts.  Yes, he wears shorts well into winter.  He is, after all, a teenager.  As these shorts are of a particular popular brand with their logo on the button, she couldn’t replace it with any old generic style button.

First, she called the corporate office.  After explaining the situation, she was not offered a new button.  Oh no.  She was offered a new pair of shorts!  Wow, what great service, you may think!  And it is, except that my wife had not purchased the shorts online, she had purchased them from one of the corporate stores.  Oops!  “Sorry, we can’t replace items purchased in our stores, only those purchased online”, came the reply.

What?  Does that make sense?  Not to worry.  My wife drove to the store where she purchased the shorts, with the receipt, just for kicks.  “Sorry, we don’t replace clothing items.  You’ll have to call our corporate customer service”.  Oops again.

“But we don’t want another pair of shorts” my wife pleaded, “just a button!”  “Sorry, we don’t stock buttons.”  OK, you get the picture.

Why do large companies, or even some small ones, want to make it so difficult to get resolution to a problem?  Small businesses have the opportunity to offer personalized service.  That’s one of the hallmarks of dealing with a closely-held business.  Just don’t make the mistake of changing that great service attitude when you open your on-line store!

David Weaver
Small Business Advisory Services
678-620-3990

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »