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Operational Excellence Through Competitive Analysis

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 0

A set of railroad tracks heading in opposite directionsWhether you’re already in the winner’s circle, on your way to profitability, or still struggling along the way, it is important to have an idea or plan for sustaining and accelerating high-performance results and profitability.

But as expected, at one time or another every company gets off track.

When this happens to successful companies, however, they recognize the problems and get back on track quickly.

Watch for these basic trouble signs when you’re working to achieve and sustain operational excellence:

  • Hazy understanding of your cost structure, including what drives expense in the business and who the owners are for each cost component on the P&L
  • No effective RCA/ICA process in place
  • No plan for automation to increase productivity and reduce costs by eliminating human error
  • Expenses and overhead that are out of control
  • Budget owners who can’t factually explain deviation from plan and who don’t proactively take action to realize the plan

What are the solutions for these operational trouble points that will help you accelerate profitability to new levels? Read more

Is Your Competitive Advantage Sustainable?

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 0

Dropper putting orange liquid in a test tubeIn order for your company to be profitable, you have to have clear objectives and a strategy on how to get there.

Many business leaders believe that once they have a good strategy in place their work is done. But it’s far from over.

If you think you have a good strategy in place, test it. Ask yourself many tough questions.

Begin by asking if you can achieve your profitability objectives. In other words, did you pick the right goals on which to concentrate your resources?

To determine this, you have to assess your competitive advantage.

Are you truly better than your competition?

Have you sufficiently differentiated your product or service to charge a premium? How do you know?

All products and services can be imitated.

Just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean it’s sustainable.

Whenever there is profit or a positive NPV in a market, any market, competition will enter.

This is a universal truth, so get ready for it:

Someone is going to come in and try to take some of what you’ve got.

Read more

Top 10 Critical Business Challenges – Survey Results

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 2

Last week I asked more than 1,000 small business leaders across the country to evaluate the importance of Top 10 critical business challengesand over 26% of the people responded! Take a few minutes to find out what leaders identified as their top eight challenges. Do you agree with them?

So what do you think? Did they miss any? Read more

Small Business Leadership Training

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 2

I’ve got something pretty cool for you today.

It’s an audio and video recording from a workshop I recently held where I hear directly from a room filled of small business owners, just like you, state the biggest challenges they’re facing in today’s world. To be precise, It’s an excerpt taken from my four hour small business leadership training program where I taught leaders how to rapidly increase profits. At the end of the day we reviewed the list and everyone agreed that the program addressed 12 of the 16 biggest challenges listed below.

Whether you are trying to survive in today’s tough economy or striving to reach new heights,  the mutual goal is to progress and making money.

As someone who subscribes to the old adage, “Go as far as you can go and when you get there you can see further,” I believe that there is always room for improvement.

Especially in 2010 and 2011.

Sure it’s more difficult but not impossible. The first step is to identify the hurdles — and that’s exactly what we did in this audio recording.

Just take a listen, and you’ll quickly hear the SAME exact problems, frustrations and concerns that you have for your business – are the same problems facing other business owners as well.

I also included all the challenges I got from the participants at the end of the post.

So what do YOU think? Did they, or I, miss any? Feel free to post your thoughts below.

Read more

Small Business Sales: Ever Wonder What Top Sales People Do Differently?

By Bob Prosen   |  Comments 1

You’ve probably noticed that great salespeople sell differently. What you might not know is how they do it. So here are a few of their secrets.

Sell what the company has I’ve managed hundreds of salespeople in Fortune size companies and small business only to discover that the less successful ones complain about price and needing more products or services in order to make their numbers. Instead of focusing on the value of what they have to sell, they focus on discounts and getting “more” products in their bag. Successful salespeople always find ways to sell what they have.

Sell more than your product Talking about your product without understanding the customer’s problem is a big mistake. If you’re selling software, people don’t want to buy software. They want to improve the quality of their billing systems and stop customers from getting inaccurate invoices. You need to understand how customers use your products. Approximately 75% of customers buy to solve a problem. The rest buy to try something new. The ones with problems have a higher sense of urgency to buy. Uncovering these problems quickly is what the best salespeople do. Read more