We see marketing as necessary, we just don’t budget for it. And we don’t have a plan, no clue how to build one. We try stuff and hope it works. How much should we spend on marketing? How many things should we be trying? How do we figure out what to invest in for the future?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Marketing is complex and most owners lack a comprehensive approach. Taking wild guesses is a popular approach, but not the best way to proceed. Improve your chances of getting what you want by defining where it is you want to go. Test, test, test, then commit.
I have a partner who is in denial about our cash situation, which right now is tight and likely to get worse before it gets better. Unfortunately my partner’s not willing to make adjustments, even though I’ve tried to explain that we don’t have the money to pay ourselves as much as we used to. What should I do?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Your job as an owner is to protect the company’s well-being — for now and for the future. Figure out who can make the decisions, and under what conditions. Figure out your bottom line before you go into a negotiation. Know how tough you’re willing to be — and then double it.
We have a person who is helping us with sales. He’s opening a lot of doors, but not closing much. We like this person a lot and would like to see him succeed. What should we do?
Thoughts of the Day: Sales is a multi-disciplined job. Look for bad habits that are getting in the way. Consider if fears are holding your sales person back. Think about the kind of training you’re willing to invest in. Use a formula to figure out what to expect.
We’re hitting our numbers in terms of new sales, but we’re still off in overall revenue and profit forecast. We’re trying to figure out what’s working and what’s not working. Is it mix? If the mix is OK, maybe our forecast was off? What about the time it takes to ramp up and show results?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Delivering according to plan can be complicated. Coming up with a plan that makes sense can be just as challenging. Look at the puzzle from multiple points of view. Take a critical look at the timing of income and expenses.
Our shop guy needs help. His hands are on the machines because he doesn’t have the right people working for him. He doesn’t give out enough warnings, says he doesn’t have time to look for people to hire. He’d rather do the work than step back and manage. What should we do?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Managers are made, not born. You will have to help your shop guy make time to step back and assess. Recruiting is a specialized skill. Find someone in the shop who can be a great second in command.