Tag Archives: profit

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progressive companies

Progressive Companies Live Within Their Means

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You have to spend money to make money. Is it true? Progressive companies may not be those who are plunging deeper in debt.

Ultimately, yes, seeking a big profit is the name of the game. Yes, even the progressive nonprofit is seeking to be in surplus.

It seems that many in the U.S. socioeconomic culture believe that debt (big debt) is a part of living large.

People drop ten dollars or more per day on coffee, drive cars with loan balances higher than what the car is worth, and take vacations spending thousands for the selfie and a memory.

Which is better, living within your means or being in debt?

Debt Ratio

Small businesses often struggle with similar problems. So called entrepreneurs announce they quit their job and started a business.

Next they go out and buy golf shirts with their logo. Why?

Image is important in many successful business endeavors but dropping money on non-essentials can grow into a big problem.

Going deeper into debt should mean you have a good path and are highly optimistic about your ability to pay it back.

Higher education is a great example. You pay tens of thousands of dollars (or much more) to achieve a degree that should solidify your chances for a higher paying job so you can pay back your debt.

Many small businesses fail because they cannot overcome their debt. It is amazing to me how many people mention to me, “Oh, in your business that is just a write-off.”

A so-called “write-off” still must be paid for, it is not free money.

Progressive Companies

Every day people and businesses have a choice.

It is easy for people (people operate businesses) to believe that living life in extreme debt is the way things are accomplished.

Certainly, there are risks to business endeavors, and yes, some don’t make it and debt accumulates during the process. And yes, there is such a thing as capital investment.

Companies take risks. No risk is completely safe.

Frivolous spending often ends badly.

Business or pleasure.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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maximizing service

Maximizing Service Means You Will Maximize Profit

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High performing organizations invest a lot. They make investments with people, with products, and most of all through the service they provide. Will maximizing service mean that you will maximize profit?

Organizational culture dictates what happens externally. Organizations that survive on protect and defend instead of give and prosper are noticeably different.

No Budget

Many times I’ve met with mid-level organizational leaders who insist they have no budget and no ability to put the necessary changes in place for improvement.

Surprisingly, if you have the same conversation with someone higher up in the organization hierarchy, the story changes. This is often because mid-level management have been directed to conserve. Protect and defend.

This mindset is about stabilizing and avoiding a decline, which is very different from a mindset of growth.

Culture Differentiation

Is your department or organization maximizing service? What is the mindset?

The fast food restaurant puts a napkin in the bag. When requested the hotel allows a late check-out time. Your on-line purchase arrived with some extra free stuff in the box.

This differs from asking for napkins, no late check-outs, and your shipment arrives in a chintzy brown-kraft envelope.

Protect and defend or give and prosper?

Maximizing Service

Maximizing service means giving more than what is expected. It represents great value. Great value is not always a tangible item, it is often the intangibles that make a difference. The moment of truth, the surprise, and the lasting impression.

Leadership sets the culture. Is it a culture of protect and defend? Keep every dollar, spend nothing, and give nothing. This is an option.

There is another path though. The path that doesn’t feel like the next free napkin will send the organization in a downward spiral of which they’ll never recover.

Culture is a choice. So is the business model.

There is an alienating feeling with protect and defend.

Maximize service. Maximize profit.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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ranking customers

Ranking Customers: 5 KPI’s Worth Measuring

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Who is your number one customer? What criterion determines top performing clients? Ranking customers may be important if you want to understand more about your marketing and brand effectiveness.

Many business metrics are measured by examining KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and sorting top performers by those indexes. Measuring and examining customer performance can consist of many variables and can become quite complex.

Five KPI’s

Let’s consider five basic indicators:

  • Sales Revenue: This one is likely the easiest on the list and one that nearly everyone quickly considers. Sales revenue matters but it likely should never stand-alone. Depending on your business, sales revenue may be quite different from profit.
  • Profit: Measuring by profit may make more sense as compared with sales revenue. When we think about profit, we also have to think about gross profit or net profit. What expenses are applied to your profit calculation? Cost of sales may be another indicator to consider.
  • Lifetime Value: Often represented as LTV or CLTV (Customer Life Time Value) this metric is often overlooked. Many businesses today become focused on the short term at the expense of missing opportunities that may help you weather the storm. Lifetime value can be calculated in many ways. It can also be historic or come from a predictive model.
  • Demographics Score: Typically, there is a sweet spot for every business. In B2B, it may be the number of employees, annual revenue, geographic location, and more. In B2C, it may be things like gender, age, number of children, or household income. The more you know and understand about your demographics the more targeted (and profitable) your efforts can become.
  • Social Presence: Yes, in our modern society social presence may be a performance indicator. While this typically requires some investigative work it may be important to recognize. Some businesses will investigate social presence and assign an estimated value. Depending on your business some customers may be helping (or hurting) your brand.

Highly customized performance indicators may matter for your business. Things like buying cycle or patterns, frequency, and how much you spend to market or advertise. What is your ROI (return on investment)?

Ranking Customers

Typically, the more you know or understand about your customers the better, but there is also a cost associated with ranking customers. Most experts would likely agree that some metrics and measurements are better than not having any.

One final note, remember that customers may also be ranking their vendors, which means you.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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repackaging hurts appreciative strategies

3 Reasons Why Repackaging Hurts

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Sometimes it is about a fresh look, other times it is about sustaining or improving profit margins. It might seem like a good idea, but have you considered how repackaging hurts?

I grew up eating breakfast. It was reinforced as the most important meal of the day. Today arguments exist whether breakfast is good or bad but I’m rolling with the concept that breakfast is a good idea.

Same Face But Different

Most days, for as long as I can remember, I indulged on traditional breakfast cereals. Sure, some of them had little marshmallows and were loaded with sugar. Sometimes as a kid, I added sugar. Yes, its true and I’m still alive.

Cereal is still on my diet, but what is up with the boxes? I’m not sure if it is applicable to all brands, but many have changed their packaging. The box looks the same from the front, but its thickness has diminished, and so has the product weight.

In retail markets, we often consider the product face. In this case, the product face remains basically unchanged. Its height and width take up just as much space. So the presentation is the same or very similar. The idea might be more profit, but the true cost might be unbearable.

Does the model work? It might, short term, but when the customer feels cheated will it still be okay?

Repackaging Hurts

Here are three reasons why repackaging hurts:

  1. Hurts Trust. Consumers often make purchases or stick with a brand because they trust it. This is true for nearly everything. It is true with cereal for kids (big kids too), consumer electronics, and automobiles.
  2. Hurts Brand. Not only is this particular product in jeopardy, but anything associated with the brand. When trust has been violated it will often spread to other products or labels produced by the same company.
  3. Loses Customer. With the trust and brand violated, the customer might make a different purchasing decision. This is potentially a lost customer, perhaps lost forever.

Consider cereal to be a metaphorical example. This is true with nearly any product. It might also be true with people.

When you don’t get what you expect or you feel fooled. It might be the beginning of something. Perhaps, the beginning of the end.

Repackaging hurts.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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design customer service dennis gilbert

3 Reasons Committees Shouldn’t Design Customer Service

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Today much of our customer service has a digital focus. We download, upload, and avoid the print out or hard copy. Digital services really aren’t the problem though. It might be more about the design. There are reasons why committees shouldn’t design customer service.

It is easy for the committee, the board of directors, and those in the ivory tower to get off track. They often design to protect profit while often not realizing that they are limiting the exact scenario they are trying to protect. Certainly, you can’t give it all away but you also need to have the correct focus.

Design Customer Service

Here are three reasons why committees shouldn’t design customer service:

  1. Operationally feasible. The committee usually (but not always) represents people across the operational framework. They design what works for operations while seeking solutions to resolve operational problems. Solutions for customers are often not their focus, even when they might suggest that they are.
  2. Top floor. We tend to understand our own framework. The front line is often very different from the top floor. Sure, you can see things from the top of the canyon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make the best choice to ride the white water in a raft at the bottom.
  3. Punishment. There is a delicate balance between helping the customer for more future profit and protecting the bottom line. Elevators and escalators are expensive but forcing your customers to take the stairs might be more punishment than they’ll accept. Literally or figuratively, committees often decide in favor of the stairs.

Design of the Committee

The argument might then become that the wrong people are on the committee. Certainly, that is a valid argument. That might lead us to consider how the committee formed.

Effort might not be the reason for failure.

It might be the design.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer ranking appreciative strategies

Customer Ranking: How Do You Rank Your Customers?

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We often pay attention to one of our best customers, or we sometimes take them for granted. Have you considered the impacts of customer ranking?

Ranking (see 5 KPI’s) seems like a great idea. It may cause us to pay attention to those transactions that seem more volatile. The customers with the highest ranks may be important, but are they more important than others?

Do You Know Your High Value Customers?

Ranking our customers does seem to have some value. Certainly, telling someone, “You’re our number-one customer” may have some value.

It may also cause him or her to ask for that special favor. Special favors aren’t really the challenge though.

The challenge with ranking our customers may come from the simple mistake of prioritizing how we view our level of service. The most basic value in determining the success of customer service is that the provider shouldn’t be the judge and the jury. Truly, the customer is the judge and jury.

Customer Ranking

Does the one-time small-purchase customer turn into your largest account? It may; it is certainly possible.

Have you considered the power of word of mouth? Do the customers who only purchase once in a while have larger connections socially? They may.

On the other hand, do the customers who buy less, say little, and seem to do nothing matter less? It is doubtful, and this might prove to be the slipperiest of all slopes.

Customer ranking appreciative strategies

Every customer counts; every customer matters. Some do more business, and some do less. If you make the decision to play only with your favorites, you may be missing out.

Do You Offload Problems to Your Customers?

Your best customers may be the ones who say less to you but tell everyone of their happiness in your business transactions. They may not throw their weight around by asking for special deals or expecting big bonus programs. Most importantly, they may not ask you to bend the rules because they are the best.

Rank Matters

How do you manage customer ranking? Are those with the largest sales, the ones who are the most profitable or have the most transactions, the best? They are all important, but being popular may not mean they are the best.

Remember that the most important rank may be the rank that the customers give to their vendor.

Be very careful how you rank.

– DEG

Understanding more about how we measure, engage, and transform the customer experience is exactly why I wrote this book:

Buy Now on Amazon

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

This article was originally published on June 5, 2017, last updated on December 10, 2019.


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