PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE LETTING GO?

Family-Business-Succession
If you want to grow and have a sustainable business, you will need to let go. Just like teaching a child to ride a bike you must do the same in your business and take the training wheels off. Here is a problem that comes up all too often. A business owner or agency owner spends most of his or her time working IN the business and virtually no time working ON the business. Why is this problematic? When you start your business, you need to do everything, or it does not get done. Sometimes you have time management issues, but you must work through them. Your business grows, and you simply can't get it all done. Time to hire someone. Now you are at the pinnacle of a growing business. At this point you are now not only the owner but also a manager and the leader. When you hire...
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ARE YOU BUSY DOING THE RIGHT THINGS RIGHT?

Aligned-Team
Have you greeted certain people by asking them how they are doing? Then they respond, “very busy.” I had a recruiter who worked for me in HR and he was always running around but he was not recruiting! As a leader of yourself or others you must do the right things and you must do things right. Both behaviors are required to lead a team or manage a business. In Doing Things Right you establish detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, establish structure, monitor results, and execute specific plans. On the other hand, Doing the Right Things includes establishing direction, aligning people, and motivating and inspiring people. In short, management (Doing Things Right) is important but will not succeed without leadership (Doing the Right Things). In the case of an entrepreneurial leader this would be described as the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business....
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SUSTAINABLE MEANS THE BUSINESS WILL SURVIVE

Decisions
Staying in business is a big topic right now. We can call this sustainability. Sustainability means different things to different companies as well as industries. Sustainability really started with the whole concept of being green, becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability has become a viable business strategy which considers the economic considerations for business sustainability, governmental issues, and opinions from customers and stakeholders. Where did the term sustainability come from? The term sustainability emerged in the 1987 report by United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development. The report simply defined sustainability as follows: to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. No matter how a business defines sustainability or how they choose to implement the concepts, there is a commonality to sustainability that...
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TELL WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE NOT HOW TO DO IT

Team-Empowerment
George S. Patton said, “Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” As a manager or leader how to you communicate what needs to be done? Do you delegate with confidence or are you a micro manager? Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail, but you will lose sight of the big picture. This is problematic because if you hire a new employee but continue to try to do everything without delegating, you are defeating the whole purpose of hiring help. For example, the new employee may ask a question or offer take on a project. “Don't worry “, you say,...
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WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS SUSTAINABLE?

Family-Business-Succession
Sustainability!  That word has different meanings depending on your focus. If someone were to ask you if you have a sustainable business would you know how to answer? There is no clear answer to this question. Sustainability means different things to different companies as well as industries. Sustainability really started with the whole concept of being green, becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability has become a viable business strategy which considers the economic considerations for business sustainability, governmental issues, and opinions from customers and stakeholders.  Sustainability also answers this question. “What will happen with your business when you are on vacation or sick?  Or when you retire can you sell this business?” No matter how a business defines sustainability or how they choose to implement the concepts, there is a commonality to sustainability that runs...
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PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS FOR YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS

Entrepreneur

You already know what happened in the last quarter, but do you know what will happen in the current or next quarter. If you want to have positive results for your business will need to measure and control the things that matter. As a business leader you need to see the big picture. That includes tracking the pulse of your business. Watching a dashboard of controls tells you if your car is operating properly. Having a dashboard for your business will tell you if your business is on track to reaching your goals.

As a leader who is working ON your business you will need to track important trends which can quickly warn of problem areas that need attention. You should not waste time getting bogged down in the small details of working IN the business or you will miss the forest for the trees.

You should measure business success by measuring trends and directions not numbers. Looking at the numbers alone will not tell the entire story. You should be measuring the trends and the movement toward the critical goals of your business.

These are some things that are worth measuring.

Finances – revenues and sales, profits, cash flow

Inventory – unusual drops or increases

People (Employees) – productivity, turnover, employee engagement scores

People (Customers) – customer satisfaction, customer loyalty scores

This information is vitally important to the leader of the business.

Of all the measurements one measurement that is the most important because it is the biggest predictor of future success. It is NOT finance and profit. That may surprise you. Of course, profit is indeed very important but is a measure of what has already happened. It should come with the same warning put on mutual funds which is “This represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results.” That’s right. Just because you have had good sales and profits last year does not mean that you will have increased sales and profits this year. Sales and profits are TRAILING indicators.

Business Dashboard

A LEADING indicator which will predict future success is customer loyalty or the customer loyalty score. The most important measure of customer loyalty is the answer to this question. “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends?” You should survey your customers with this question along with other customer questions that will help you understand what you need to do to exceed your customers’ expectations. Whatever else you measure make sure that you track this. Rising scores will lead to more sales. In the same manner falling scores will predict decreased sales.

If you measure customer loyalty and see opportunities for improvement take action immediately. Taking the correct steps will help you create more sales, profits, and success.

Learn how to create predictive controls for more business success.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

or call 914-953-4458.

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ARE YOU FOCUSED ON THESE FIVE AREAS

Highly-Effective-Leaders
It is important to be focused on your business but even more imperative now. Most successful business owners cite laser focus on the right things as paramount to their success. Staying focused and staying sharp on the things necessary to grow and change is important. But sometimes business gets lazy and in a rut. The owner stops seeing the big picture. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Since the business is still making money and continuing to operate the reasoning is if it is not broke don’t fix it. But recently the business has experienced a decline in sales and profits. In short, there have been changes in the economy and the market. To remain successful, the business owner must refocus. How are you doing? Take this 5-area checkup: Make sure you know what business you are in. If you make cell phones do you provide smart...
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DO YOU NEED TO DO A BUSINESS REBOOT?

Getting-Started
It is time to reopen your business. Well maybe it is not that easy because what you left off with is not there anymore. It looks like it is going to take some extra effort. That makes sense because it is a simple law of physics. It takes more energy to start up than it does once you are moving along. First you must get back the momentum. But doing that reboot must first be done. Why not just do it? Well for one thing many do not want to do until they have thoroughly analyzed each step. That is called the paralysis of analysis. A coach colleague of mine has coined this habit “Getting ready to go to work”. I cannot start until I get my brochures, business cards, website, 2 number 2 pencils—you get the idea! I have heard that 80% of people who say they want to run...
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP – FAILURE AND SETBACKS ARE TEMPORARY

Entrepreneur
Many great entrepreneurs have something in common. At one point they failed in business but then they later became smashing successes.   Some of these entrepreneurs include Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Mary Kay, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. The difference between these entrepreneurs and other business failures is that these individuals learned from their failures and used those lessons to build successful enterprises. Education is a short cut to experience. Our present crisis reminds us of the risks of entrepreneurship. But an entrepreneur understands the risks. Failures occur and unexpected events do happen. How the entrepreneur reacts to these setbacks will determine future outcomes. Several years ago, three of my colleagues and I shared some lessons learned from the front. You can avoid some of the mistakes which will lead to failure by taking note. Q.When you develop a business plan why do you put it aside and forget it. A. Many...
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FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE AND WHY

On-Top
The greater the reward the higher probability that the goal will be achieved.   We call this desire or passion motivation and it comes from within. Motivation comes from within and that means that you cannot motivate another person. You can, however, help create a spark to ignite their inner fire. That inner fire will drive motivation. That inner fire or passion is your WHY. If you do not have the WHY then the HOW will not matter. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion? If you are not sure why not start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you...
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WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE FOR NEXT YEAR?

Mountaintop
A new year and a new decade is just around the corner. How is 2019? Are you finishing strong? Are there things that should change next year? Who should be working on their goals and plan for 2020? Maybe you have everything working perfectly and will continue doing what you are doing. If you see some opportunities why not review what is working and what isn’t working. I am currently working with businesses and executives in Westchester County New York on their annual goals review. Setting a goal is not like a New Year's resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn't going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there. When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10...
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INNOVATE TO CREATE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION

INNOVATE TO CREATE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
Having a unique value proposition will differentiate you from your competition. Most people are at a loss when it comes to articulating their unique value proposition. Many companies say that their service is what sets them apart from their competition. They will say, “Our Service is what sets us apart. We give great customer service.” If that is your answer, I would ask you to think about that. Doesn’t everyone claim to give great service? What is unique about yours? You really need to go a step above that by exceeding your customers’ expectations. One way to do that is create a product, a service or an experience that is innovative in your customers’ eyes. What would really wow your customers? Steve Jobs achieved that wow when he created the iPhone, an invention that was less of a phone than something holding most of our needs that we can carry anywhere....
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PREDICTIVE MEASUREMENTS CAN CREATE BUSINESS SUCCESS

PREDICTIVE MEASUREMENTS CAN CREATE BUSINESS SUCCESS
Measurements make a difference in the operation of your business. You may have heard the expression, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” Well, if you want to have a sustainable business you need to have a strategic plan, which includes those goals and objectives, and a way to measure your progress. Without these elements you are relying solely on luck. What you measure is just as important as having a plan and executing it. For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit. That, however, is a measure of what has happened in the past. It may not predict what will happen in the future. Predictive analytics is the best way to step in and create your business future. It is far better to rely on predictive measurements to make decisions than to rely...
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FRESH EYES FOR YOUR WESTCHESTER NY BUSINESS

FRESH EYES FOR YOUR WESTCHESTER NY BUSINESS
Do you see your Westchester County NY business the way that others do? You have been working in your business for a long time. Many times, when you see something every day you stop noticing. Does that make sense? For example, when you started your business you were focused on how you were going to get customers and what resources you would need to deliver the products and services to those customers. That might have been 2 years ago, 5 years ago or even 10 or more years ago. But you say, “I’m ok now because I have my routine set and it works without me thinking about it.” Here are two questions to ask yourself. Has a new team member joined and pointed out things you didn’t see? Have you had any suggestions or complaints by customers? Sometimes a person with a fresh set of eyes is needed to point...
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INVOLVE EMPLOYEES IN PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT

INVOLVE EMPLOYEES IN PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT
Westchester employers are asking how they can get productive employees who will stay. You can’t just hire them. You then need to develop your employees so that they can produce better results. Your employees really want opportunities to grow and develop. There is so much out there written about performance reviews. Many of these writings focus on procedure. Here is a more practical bottom line approach but one that uses solid human relations skills. Performance management includes performance development. It is not merely enough to tell an employee here is your job description and see me if you have any questions. Establish expectations from the start. Help orient your new employee by helping him or her to understand the big picture for your organization. Share the organization’s vision, values, and mission along with the organizational goals. You will have more success if you are as transparent as possible. In order to...
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WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM IN YOUR BUSINESS?

WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM IN YOUR BUSINESS?
You are noticing that something is not right, but you can’t figure out what it is. I receive calls like this from business owner and it’s my job as the business doctor to learn the symptoms and then diagnose the problem. During my consultation I ask questions, listen for answers, and then ask some more questions. As an example of symptoms, here are some statements that I hear from the owners. Our sales have begun to level off.We can’t get our employees motivated.We are getting more customer complaints.We have new competition. While these sound like normal business problems there is no simple answer for them. It is important to look at the whole picture rather than make a reactive fix. It is better to take a proactive look. It would be a mistake to treat the symptoms rather than cure the disease. Many reactive business leaders treat the symptoms and wonder...
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HOW DO YOU PREDICT FUTURE SUCCESS?

HOW DO YOU PREDICT FUTURE SUCCESS?
You have finished your strategic plan for next year and created your goals. Now you must implement but how do you know it you are on track for future success? You have had some strong business growth, but that performance is no guarantee of future results. Just because you were successful in the past does not mean you will be successful in the future. I work with business owners in Westchester County New York who define success through their vision, their values, and goals. In addition, they monitor and measure results. You may have heard the expression, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” To begin, you need to have a strategic plan, goals and objectives, and a way to measure your progress. Without these elements you are relying solely on luck. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it. For example, many...
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MEASURE THINGS THAT MATTER

MEASURE THINGS THAT MATTER
How can you tell if your business is growing? Very simple, you measure it. You may have heard the expression, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” In my consultation with my business owners in Westchester County we work on success through focusing on their vision, their values, and goals. Then they execute their goals and measure results. You need to have a strategic outlook on your business. Another way of saying this is that you look at the whole rather than the parts or you must work ON your business rather than IN your business. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it. For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit. That, however, is a measure of what has happened in the past. It may not predict...
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CAN MY BUSINESS SURVIVE WHEN I AM NOT THERE?

CAN MY BUSINESS SURVIVE WHEN I AM NOT THERE?
If your business will not survive when you are not around, then you do not have a business. You have a hobby. I recently had a client company mention to me that the owner had taken some time off and during that time sales dropped off substantially. A business is certainly not sustainable if it collapses as soon as the owner leaves. Such a business will never be able to get passed on or sold. Does this sound familiar? If it does here is the cause of the problem. The business owner wants to have growth and stability but does not trust his or her employees. The solution will lie in the owner becoming a leader who trains, develops, empowers, and delegates with confidence. It is important to have the right people doing the right jobs. Start by having job descriptions for everyone. Make sure that every staff member is qualified...
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MAKE 2018 THE BEST YEAR IN YOUR WESTCHESTER NEW YORK BUSINESS

MAKE 2018 THE BEST YEAR IN YOUR WESTCHESTER NEW YORK BUSINESS
We are working with business owners in Westchester County who are working on making their businesses more successful. These businesses define success through their vision, their values, and goals. Then to stay on top of their business they monitor and measure results. Once you set your goals you need to make sure you are on track. You would not take a cross country car trip without using your GPS to make sure you are on track. So similarly, if you want to have a sustainable business you need to have a strategic plan, goals and objectives, and a way to measure your progress. Without these elements you are relying solely on luck. What you measure is just as important as having and plan and executing it. For example, many business owners are familiar with the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), or more simply said profit. That, however,...
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