Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Articles that Will Make You Think

Here are 2 articles to make you think. So you don't hurt yourself :) just read one today and read another in a couple of days. And implement just one idea!

The first is from Tim O'Rielly titled Work on Stuff that Matters: First Principles. He mentions ideas like Thinking Big, BHAG's, and Values - when was the last time you thought about those? Maybe when you were reading SELLECOM or Jim Collins.

"In many cases, the more you try to compete, the less competitive you actually are." Create more value than you capture.....It's particularly tough to stay focused on big issues in the face of an economic downturn, because getting paid looms large.... the things that ultimately made a bigger difference to our bottom line were commitments to the future..."

(Just ignore the comments after the article.)

The other is a blog on Phone+ about an agent's business that took a nose-dive. He asks some Great Question that you should be asking not just about your business, but you should share it with your top customers.

What is our business doing here?

1. What must businesses/consumers buy from us, even when they have the least amount of spending money?

2. Which business sector has money?

3. During this recession and future recessions, what products/services do we have that will save people/businesses money?

4. If people aren’t buying new technology systems, but they’re reinvesting in service and repair in their existing systems, how can we capture ALL of that business?

5. Do we only have “All Stars” and “Swiss Army Knives” working for our corporation? Are all employees working hard and smart, 40 hours per week?

What line items truly need to be in our budget?

1. If I could just get that snorkel out of my QuickBooks, and get my finances above water, we’d be doing much better.

2. Dry cleaning, bowling team, office supplies, work-related meals, travel expense auditing, utility auditing, insurance/benefits auditing, wireless phone bills ... you get the picture.

3. How low can our credit line interest rate go?

4. Am I collecting my accounts receivables in a proactive manner (Note: Stop mailing invoices, and start e-mailing invoices and then calling the customer to confirm they have received, and get a commitment date as to when you will receive payment).

5. And ONLY strategically advertise to our target audience.

How can we dominate our LOCAL geographic area and grow to different geographical areas during a recession? Do we need to consolidate one or more of our multiple physical locations?

1. In our LOCAL area, we should get involved in the local Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, but most importantly, win the sales war on the ground: Walk in doors with ammunition (reference sheet and a few products and services in which the timing is right).

2. We can travel to locations within three hours of our corporate headquarters and sell MOST of our products and services. Perhaps we won’t sell onesy and twosy on-site technical service calls as the drive time would be too great. But we can sell wireline and wireless service, and VoIP and video conferencing hardware anywhere in the 48 contiguous states, especially in our own region, because remote service after the sale is easy these days.

Great job by Roger Thomas, CEO, TeleComp on the Phone+ Peer-to-Peer blog.

Dan Caruso posted his goals for Zayo Group (holding company for 3 silos: fiber, managed services and VoIP service companies):

  1. Demonstrate Financial Excellence
  2. Become, in the eyes of Zayo Group employees, one of the best places to work in the telecom industry
  3. Ensure each of the three business units is a viable and valuable business entity in its own right
  4. Continue to be active as an industry consolidator

What are your goals?

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