4 Strategies For the Roller Coaster Ride of Small Business

 4 Business Principles

definition of Leadership is getting a predetermined objective accomplished
through the voluntary efforts of others.”

All business can be boiled down to four things:

  1. Profits… No profit, no business
  2. Products/Services… Your target market must have a problem that your Product/Service is        a solution for.  Without this problem-solution connection, you have nothing to sell.
  3. Process… understanding your process is your plan for measuring you KPI’s and continuous      improvement.
  4. People… If you hire the wrong people nothing works.  Your Profit, Products, and Process            strategies will not work.

All businesses must have a strategy for all four of these areas.

4 Business Strategies That Get Results

Profit Strategies… There are only three ways to make a profit:

  1. Improve your Sales … If you want to double your sales, double your Salesforce if you are in
    retail double your Locations.
  2. Increase your dollars per customer contact…” Would you like to add a desert to this
  3. Improve your Price … to what the market will bear.  “You can’t shrink your way to greatness”
  4. Reduce your expenses…There is no one line item on your P&L that will give you big saving.        Your real opportunity for big savings is to look for the cuts you can make on each line item…      The big dollars will add up.


  1. Define your Market and your Prospects
  2. Define the Prospect’s Problem
  3. Define your solutions to their problem

Process Strategies: Define your process…  What are the Key Performance Indicators that
drive your business?  What gets measured gets done.  Measuring your KPI’s will keep you on track.  Identify opportunities for improvement.  Define your base period performance and compare it to your present performance…this is your strategy for a culture of continuous improvement.

People Strategies:

Hire the right people… The best predictor of future performance is a person’s past
performance.  Hire the 5S’s.

  •  Stability, Because of buy outs and acquisition the average tenure is 3.8 years.  Ask them about why they moved of each job.
  • Skills (find people that already have the skills instead of you teaching them they learned on someone else’s dime.),
  • Success (successful people know have a career that takes on more and more responsibility.  They grow in job titles.)
  • Salary (People taking a step back in salary will only last until they solve this
  • Social/Culture fit equals people with like Values, Attitude and Character (You can’t teach Values, Attitude and Character you have to hire it.)

Create Systems so ordinary people can do their job and feel the emotion of success.  (Only 20% perform at the top.  You can’t hire all 20%ers.  Your most profitable group is the good steady producers…the 60% in the middle.  This group compared to the top will produce more production, or sales and profit…there is so many more of them. Create your systems for them.)  

Train people to do their job.  You have one window in time to get people to form the right habits.  It all starts on their first day, with how you on-board and train people.

Here is a training method that works:

  1. Explain / Tell them how to do the job…Explain how important the job is to the Corporate            goals and agenda. Let them get their mind around it.
  2. Example / Show them how to do the job. Let them watch you do the job mistakes and all.
  3. Examine / Practice… you watch them do the job mistakes and all. Stay with them until you        know they can do it.
  4. Expect / MBO (Management by Objectives) Now that you know they can do the job you have        earned the right to expect them to do their job.  Find the KPI’s (key performance indicators) for      their job and measure them. “What gets measured gets done.” 
  5. Empower / Catch People Doing Things Right and praise them for it.   Everybody on your            team has a need to be appreciated.  Unappreciated people are emotionally disengaged in          their work and are unhappy in their job.

Don’t try people out, develop them. Only fire for people for 3 reasons:

  1. They Lie, Cheat or Steal
  2. They are a disruption to the team (Even if they are the top performer…if they are harming other peoples careers, they can’t stay.)
  3. They won’t do their job … Here are the most common reasons why people won’t do their job:

  • They don’t know what their job is. (Confirm they have been trained?)
  • They don’t know how to do their job. (Unless you have properly trained,
    they have all the wrong habits.)
  • There is an Inside disruption (People don’t quit their company they
    quit their manager.) 
  • There is an outside disruption (divorce, bankruptcy, illness, death in the family).

Mike Duke

Mike Duke: President, Recruiting Practice Leader

Mike is a Certified Personnel Consultant and President of Professional Search for Career Development Partners.  Mike is a successful entrepreneur and people developer.

For over twenty years Mike has been bringing positive change to corporate leaders in the area of hiring, training, and developing people. 

Email: mike@cdpartnersinc.com

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Mike Duke

Mike is a Certified Personnel Consultant and President of Professional Search for Career Development Partners. Mike is a successful entrepreneur and people developer.

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