One of the key differences between a ‘rich’ mentality vs a ‘poor’ one is how expenses are viewed.
Rich people look at how can they make something make money for them.
If a business owner is thinking about spending on the business, be it in terms of products or services, the key decision maker must be, “how is this going to make me money?”
Here’s a story to illustrate this point.
Shamen runs a clothing store, The Outlet. Her showroom looks nice and tidy. Posh looking.
She also has a few sales staff. Shamen does the procurement, inventory and accounts.
Sales is okay, but not where Shamen would like it to be.
A friend of Shamen’s suggested that she attend a management workshop so might be able to learn something new to help herself and the business.
Initially, Shamen was reluctant. After all, it cost Rs 10,000!
But her friend, who was a businessperson herself, told Shamen one valuable thing. “If you want to be successful, you need to look at this in terms of how much it’s going to make you. Not how much it’s going to cost you. ”
Shamen attended the workshop. Learnt a lot. And started looking at her business (and expenditures) in a whole new light!
She hired people for procurement, inventory, and accounts. Before, she sold her time, by doing the menial tasks in the business, herself. Now, she was buying time from others.
She began to have more time for herself. More time to plan and expand her business. More time to invest on herself. She began to develop her high income skills.
While the business was running, Shamen was doing other independent work that gave her a cool monthly earning of at least 200,000 rupees a month. And this number kept growing.
Her High Income Skills helped her earn more on her own. She began to conduct workshops, give talks, and coach others in business.
Now she was independent of her business. Any dips in sales were not going to hurt her.
As she began to invest in herself, and improve and expand her business, her disposable income began to increase.
She invested this in assets, not liabilities. For Shamen, assets meant something that earns her money when she slept. Real estate, and other businesses. She wanted the income from her assets to pay for any luxuries (liabilities) she wanted.
At the same time, her business was doing great. Sales was booming.
Before, her business was turning around 1 – 2 million in revenue a month. After the changes, her business was turning between 4 – 5 million rupees in revenue.
Shamen created a holding company, and brought all her businesses under it. Her own store, The Outlet, the others she invested/bought, and the real estate, were all under this holding company.
Shamen was now a Billionaire.
All because she had learnt to look at things, not in how much it was going to cost her, but in terms of how the returns were going to be.
Have a business that’s making you feel stuck? Not able to grow beyond a point? Are you doing the work that other people could be doing for you? Are you selling your time? Check out how we can help you if you said yes to any of these or contact us if you want what we have to offer. We’d love to help you create a business that runs on its own.
In a previous article, we looked at how customer experience can drive sales up (or down).
This post is going to look at how effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can also be leveraged to boost your sales and build a loyal customer base.
CRM systems are an easy-to-search database that helps you store and track customer information. It doesn’t need to be complex or tech-heavy.
Arun owns a delivery business in Colombo. He started out delivering dinner to customers, and now intends to expand to lunch orders as well.
While business has been fine, he’s facing competition from another food delivery business.
Arun has to overcome 2 obstacles. He must convince potential customers to use his delivery service over his competitor’s. And, he must create awareness about food deliveries to increase his target audience.
Arun’s competitor tells people that their prices are less than half of what Arun charges. They also have created an app to show customers the location of their drivers and answer customers’ questions during live chat.
The competitor gets more deliveries than Arun.
Arun decides to hire a consultant to help him boost sales.
The consultant observes that Arun hasn’t understood the target audience nor engages the customers beyond a sales pitch.
Arun doesn’t have a plan for how he’d like to promote his delivery services, either.
The consultant tells Arun that he needs to understand his target audience and understand the experience they have when looking for services like his.
Together, they create a spreadsheet to organize and catalogue buying behaviors of Arun’s customers.
This makes it easier to segment them by where they live, who placed an order with a particular restaurant, who ordered on a certain day and so on.
This helped Arun to find customer insights faster, and allowed him to personalize his marketing and sales strategy. It should lead to better relationships with customers and boost sales.
The consultant got Arun to run a survey to gather relevant customer data. Things like name, age, gender, email, phone number, purchase history, where they worked, job title, and so on.
Arun also recorded what channel customers found them through, and what stage they’re in: just looking, thinking about ordering, or ready to place an order from a delivery service.
Since Arun was planning to cater lunch orders, they decided to approach companies to gather data about the clients at those companies – in a non-creepy way, of course.
For example, they found out that one client had a new baby and doesn’t want calls during nap times, or that another client is really into a certain cuisine.
They got this information, so they can forge sustainable relationships with Arun’s customers that both parties will want and feel comfortable with.
The consultant then got Arun to invest in creating an app that allowed customers to place and track orders. The app was also built so that clients could receive personalized messages and promotions based on the data gathered.
After deliveries were complete, a receipt was emailed to customers thanking them and asking for feedback on how to improve the service. A discount was offered for that on future orders.
Arun also collaborated with certain restaurants in Colombo so that he could offer valuable combo deals to his client base.
Arun and his team were able to access, and update the customer data spreadsheet regularly with new data.
This, constantly updating, data allowed Arun to suggest future orders based on previous purchases, and his marketing team could create more targeted and relevant ads.
The consultant also showed Arun how to use the database to generate reports on which part of Colombo most orders came from, which restaurants were popular among his customers, what quantity and value of orders, total sales revenue, and so forth.
Within several months, Arun’s delivery service began to build more traction and outdid his competitors. His customers reported having a better relationship with his delivery service. His lunch deliveries were a big hit among the office crowd in Colombo.
We hope this story helped you understand how CRM is invaluable in driving sales up and building loyal customers.
If you’re running a business, and want to know how we can help you leverage CRM systems to improve your bottom line, check out how we can help you. Or contact us if you want what we have to offer.
Restaurants can either be a cash cow or a black hole. It all depends on how the business is being run.
Restaurants owners that do well, and have been running their business for at least 2 years, face two critical problems.
“How can I expand this to other places and maintain the same standards of quality at all of my outlets?”
“How do I solve the problem of that employee who’s too valuable to fire”
In a previous post we looked at problems faced by (Sri Lankan) restaurants and how to fix them.
This post is an extension of that. We look at 2 ways to maintain the mojo once the kinks have been worked out in the business.
A business is the repetition of a set of tasks and procedures. The best businesses out there does this exactly the same, each and every time.
Take any business coach/consultant worth his salt, and one thing you’d hear from all of them is this: Your business should be predictable and consistent.
Standardizing your business tasks and processes is how you achieve predictability and consistency.
From the time the restaurant (or any business for that matter) is opened and till it closes for the day, most of the work done in it are the same. Day in, day out.
Sweeping the floors. Cleaning the tables. Inspecting the ingredients, waiting on customers, going over the books, placing orders with suppliers, are all repeating tasks.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Now, if you’re like most small business owners, then things are pretty much done on habit. But the fruits of standardizing a business is in documenting each and every task and procedure that’s carried out in it. Don’t expect to do an all nighter and write down everything in one go.
Start small. For example, document how and when the cleaning should take place. Your janitor might have a pattern to their work that works best. Observe and document it in the cleaning SOP.
Then, you might want to create a sales SOP, detailing how to wait on the customers by writing a script. You can do some digging to find out which script works best and document it so that all the waiters follow that. Every time.
Gradually tackle the larger, complex procedures.
Using visual maps, like flowcharts, works best.
If you have the resources, you might consider hiring a consulting firm that does this sort of work and save you the time and effort.
Looking to get SOPs done for your own business? Find out more on documentation solutions for your business/restaurant.
Now that you’ve identified the tasks and procedures that make up your restaurant (or business), it’s time to systemize.
“the Entrepreneurial Model has less to do with what’s done in a business and more to do with how it’s done. The commodity isn’t what’s important—the way it’s delivered is.”
Michael Gerber, The E-Myth
Systems is to standardization like the skeleton is to the muscles of the body. You need both if you’re to get things done.
The biggest mistake business owners do is to create a situation where the restaurant is person-dependent as opposed to being systems-dependent.
Here’s a story to help illustrate this:
Dan is the owner of Foodie, a successful restaurant. He loves what he does and has a great team. It’s like a big family. Except for one employee, John.
If Dan is the father of the family, John’s the mother. Employee of the month for the past 6 months. The customers love him. He’s also able to whip the other employees into action. Very charismatic fellow, this John.
There’s one problem though. One a few occasions, John had blocked some of Dan’s ideas to implement in the restaurant.
Dan wanted to install fingerprint readers, so payroll could be streamlined. But John, pulling the strings of the rest of the team, vetoed it.
Another time, Dan wanted to restructure the shifts of the staff. That was shot down also.
The restaurant wasn’t as lively if John decided to take a day off.
Dan felt like he was at the mercy of John.
A few of Dan’s friends had suggested Michael, a consultant, as a solution to be free of John.
Michael was brought in to turn foodie into a systems-dependent restaurant (i.e., create an Operations Manual). And free Dan from John’s mercy.
So, Michael got to work. He observed and documented all the tasks and procedures of the restaurant.
Then he created the systems each of these tasks fit into.
After that, he created job roles and responsibilities and assigned the tasks and procedures to each role. This way, everyone was clear on Who does What, When, and How.
Finally, Michael created a company structure to give an idea of who reports to whom and who’s responsible for what.
Michael also trained Dan on how to use the Operations Manual and also showed Dan how to train his staff using this.
Dan then hired a new employee, Sam, and got to work on training the entire staff.
Little by little, John began losing his grip on the other employees, since everyone was being trained to a standard. Things would be the same, even if John threatened to leave, or take some of the employees with him.
A few months later, John was still there. But thanks to the Operations Manual Dan was able to get back control of his restaurant.
Dan can now, using his Operations Manual, make sure that the standards of his restaurant don’t drop should anyone decide to leave. He can also copy paste everything to a new outlet, running just like the original.
He could even sell (or franchise) the business, if he wishes.
“Create a system for your business that works so perfectly that other people want one just like it. Create it in such a way that when you sell it, it will provide you with the life you want.”
We help you solve the problems you have from that employee who’s too valuable to fire. Check out how we can help your business transition from being person-dependent to systems-dependent. Or contact us for if you want what we have to offer.