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picframer
10-21-2009, 09:58 PM
And I know this probably makes a lot of readers cringe as my thinking usually involves a capital investment.....

Not this one....How well do you know your clients and what they do???, here is what happened.

I started a thread Start to Finish, I haven't been at the site since Friday and the owner is cool with that, this is a $30,000 job that others turned down, I like building relationships with clients, it makes our lives a lot easier.

Anyhow this client Chris owns a company that installs heat pumps and ventilation systems, he is small like most of us but does very good work, I checked him out.

I went to this private community we picked up a few weeks ago over grubs to get a tractor that I needed at another site, these people are are all wealthy but older, anyhow one guy Hugh seems to love talking to me and we talked about what I would do to his place in the apring as I don't have time this fall.

He said Andy, we have a moisture problem in the house and what do you think about installing a heat pump and how can I fix this mold inside the house??? I said Hugh I bet your exchanger is in the Attic (wrong location, should be in the basement) and if you want a heat pump, I know a client of mine, 15 min from here that does top quality work.

He said can he come over with you as I trust you and I want you to explain things, anyhow I called my client (Chris) with the pool job and we met with Hugh and his wife at 6.

Long conversation short, my client Chris signed a fourth grand install, he called me an hour ago and said Andy, I really appreciate the referral, I owe you and trust me I will top what you did for me.

As I was driving home tonight, I was thinking, we should do more of this, it's a win win situation.....just some food for thought guys...and gals

Steve
10-22-2009, 04:06 AM
That is a fantastic story.

I think it brings up a point that we may not discuss to often here.

How many of us actually live the role versus play the role? What I mean by that is, when you run a business, you can look at it as you are an actor on stage for the 8 hours you are working. Or you can look at it as an ambassadorship that you live 24 hours a day.

Now what's the difference? Well I think it is two fold. If you act the role for 8 hours, then you shut off and you are not involved with it further on your time off. This is how most everyone who is an employee feels about their job.

When you are an ambassador you are always trying to be the go to person that makes things happen. You have access to resources the average person may not have and you can put it to good use. You have contact the average person might not have either and you can make things happen.

People look to you as an authority figure of knowledge within a certain field and call upon you when they need assistance in it. If you can't figure something out, you can call in another who you feel can figure it out.

Not many people take on this role and live it because it takes quite a bit of commitment on the part of the person doing it.

Let's think of some real world people who did this. How about Dave Thomas of Wendy's? *****el Sanders of KFC? Henry Ford of Ford. Steve Jobs of Apple?

These are a few of the stars who stood out because they became ambassadors of their business. I think it is a rare quality in a person to take on this role but it can be very rewarding in what you are able to accomplish.

What's your view on this?

picframer
10-22-2009, 05:13 AM
Let's think of some real world people who did this. How about Dave Thomas of Wendy's? *****el Sanders of KFC? Henry Ford of Ford. Steve Jobs of Apple?

These are a few of the stars who stood out because they became ambassadors of their business. I think it is a rare quality in a person to take on this role but it can be very rewarding in what you are able to accomplish.

What's your view on this?

You are dead on and it's funny you should refer to a business owner as an Ambassador.

A very long time ago when I was first working at a job, I was the manager of a Brake and Muffler shop, the old guy that owned 9 of these reminds me of Dave Thomas in many ways, we used to have beers together on Friday nights after work, I was interested in his life story and how he became so rich, I will never forget his words, I am the Ambassador for my company.

I didn't want to ask what that meant and appear stupid in front of the other managers but it stuck in my head, it came to me later as I watched this guy and how he acted around people, he had other companies and many contacts, he lived and promoted his company 24/7.

I can think of many Canadians that have done this also, one of my favorite books is on Frank Sobey, local family, probably the richest in Canada today (the Company as Frank dies years ago), he started out by delivering groceries with a horse and wagon, during the depression he started a small movie theatre, he knew people did not have much money however they needed something to do, today Empire Theatres is the largest in Canada, this family is amazing, two of his sons are very close friends of mine as I was their banker, Look at the Irving Family or the Wilsons......they lived a dream and they did it 24/7. The McCain family is from my home town, very similar and I know them well, they are now the largest food processors in the world, the two brothers I will never forget when I was a kid, they were a true example of an Ambassador.

Steve
10-23-2009, 02:37 AM
I think the big question when it comes to all this is how does one rise above and become an ambassador of their own business? It's very difficult when you are the only one in it and you are doing everything.

When you reflect on your previous boss or even others that you know who were able to rise above and get to that level, how do you think they did it? Was it just simply they wanted to as their goal? Or was there more to it?

How do you feel even a one man show can attain this?

picframer
10-23-2009, 05:02 AM
I think the big question when it comes to all this is how does one rise above and become an ambassador of their own business? It's very difficult when you are the only one in it and you are doing everything.

When you reflect on your previous boss or even others that you know who were able to rise above and get to that level, how do you think they did it? Was it just simply they wanted to as their goal? Or was there more to it?

How do you feel even a one man show can attain this?

It's actually quite simple, of the success stories that I have looked at, the person looked outside the box, looked at what was on the market and the consumer needs, set a goal, a plan and went after it.

We all can do the same thing, what is your goal(s) for 2010 and what is your plan to get there and what have you done to assure yourself you can do it? What new offerings are you going to do, did you survey the consumer needs, is the equipment in place etc.

I did have a business plan just for our (Son & I) own reference, it's garbage for the most part as the company focus and success did not follow the plan, the plan changed four weeks into this business, financial wise however we are at the end of our first season of operations but almost at the end of year four on the financial side of the business plan we put together.

My plan is to double in size next year in every area, I have the plan in my head, I know the equipment required and research has already started, I know the capital investment, targaret area is the same area we do most of our work in, I know what new offerings we will have and I have a much better handle on pricing and the services that turn the biggest dollars and stuff to stay clear of.

Steve
10-24-2009, 05:07 AM
The thing that makes me wonder is this.

And I think it's always been something that I had a difficult time figuring out. When it comes to planning.

I'd like to bring up two quotes "A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan next week." General George S. Patton

To paraphrase General Dwight D. Eisenhower, A plan is perfect until the first shot is fired, then everything goes out the window.

Now when you have two top American Generals who both had similar views on planning, it makes you pause.

Part of me wants to say, plans are good to at least help you realize a goal. To get you to actually verbalize what you want to achieve.

Patton and Eisenhower might have sat together and said we are going to cross The English Channel and remove the Germans from France. Then they created a way they planned on doing it. As soon as it begun, it started to unravel, but I guess the basic idea of the plan still existed.

In business, you can create a plan and say we plan to offer this service, or sell this product, but how will you ever know if it can work until you experiment with it? Also how do you know how the market will respond to it until you introduce it.

It's like if I plan to go out fishing today, I have a plan to go out get my fishing pole and throw out a line, but I can't plan on how many fish I will catch.

Nor, it seems, can I plan how many customers I will be able to attract with certain services.

I think we all in general want to think we can take certain steps and we will get certain results but is that ever true? Or does it really come down to being flexible and putting yourself in play. Once you put yourself in play, you will then be able to investigate and jump on business opportunities that present themselves. Then try to take the opportunities that arise and run with them.

What's your view on all that?