Recipe for a Well-Run Business

Courtney David attended Lunch & Learn last August. Guest speaker Paul Rosanowski (business owner and mentor) shared his recipe for a well-run business.

Courtney said

"Paul was an excellent guest speaker, and I personally found him very approachable and captivating to listen to. Overall, the meeting was informative and enjoyable, and a good time was had by all"

Here is Courtney’s summary of Paul's presentation:

Vision

  • It is essential that you have the drive and vision in your business.
  • Start every decision and action with the end vision in mind.
  • See and convey the big picture.
  • Develop the culture of your business, because it’s all up to you.
  • Know your own strengths and weaknesses, and take advice if necessary.
  • Make sure the execution of your actions is disciplined.
  • Don’t be frightened to lead by changing things.

Have a plan

  • Have a written plan, and incorporate your vision. Once it’s written down and you share it with somebody, it becomes real.
  • Your written plan must include the questions: What will you do? How will it be achieved? When will you know you have achieved your goals?
  • Be sure to use a small step strategy when planning.

Customers

  • Know who your customers are: know what they bring, and what they look like.
  • Understand and cherish your customers, while fulfilling their needs, desires and expectations.
  • Gather their feedback and set targets based on that.
  • Talk to them and listen to what they have to say. People will buy on emotion and relationship, so make contact with them every 6 weeks.
  • Ask them for referrals, and tell them what to say when referring people to you.

What’s in it for the customer?

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Exceptional processes
  • Exceptional products and/or service

How to connect with a customer:

  • It’s okay to send an email or newsletter, but remember the amount of emails that people get, so restrict the number. One newsletter every six weeks is an ideal frequency.
  • Send them a handwritten Christmas card, rather than an e-card.
  • Ask them to participate in a survey, with a bottle of wine as a prize for the winner.
  • Invite them to an event.
  • Link into social media. ‘What’s happening in my business?’
  • Share a relevant article on social media.
  • Send them a thank you letter.
  • Send them a small, free gift of appreciation.

Systems

  • It’s so important to understand where your business is today; you’ve got to understand where you are financially, and you must have excellent systems for this.
  • Current information is essential.
  • Run your business efficiently because if you are not, you will lose money.
  • If you haven’t got a decent system, you won’t know whom you owe (Debtors, creditors, WIP, stock and cash).
  • This is a digital age. Do you have website and an app? Digitize your business:
  • Overhaul of business processes.
  • Real time: 24-hour availability.
  • Personalized treatment, with zero errors.

Staff

  • They must know what is expected of them, and they must be appreciated for their work.
  • A positive attitude and winning mindset towards the business is vital.
  • Lead by example with passion and positivity.
  • There must be an atmosphere of energy and urgency, where everyone is involved.
  • Measure, celebrate and reward your staff, and thus maintain their passion.

Cash

  • You need plenty, for Cash is King!
  • Working Capital: where will it come from? How long will it take to get? And how long will it take to then give it away?
  • Owners often underestimate the amount needed: it will be 2 or 3 times more than you expect.

Opportunities

  • Have an open mind to find opportunities, and have the flexibility to move quickly.
  • Your beliefs dictate your actions, so believe it is possible.
  • Change 30 things in your business as its environment changes, but only 1 thing at a time.

Prices

  • Set your price, being aware that in the long term people remember the service, not the price.
  • Include an efficient system and profit.
  • It’s not about what the market is charging, because you’re selling benefits and value as well.

Advisors

  • Talk to your accountant or a friendly banker, and set up an Advisory board.
  • There are three types of people; which type are you?
  • Those that make it happen
  • Those that watch it happen
  • Those that wonder what happened

Network

  • People do business with people, so network with people and businesses in your industry.
  • Stop doing and start thinking.
  • Treat customers how they want to be treated, not how you want to treat them.
  • Happiness is a positive cash flow.
  • Have fun!

The main points from Paul's presentation, as summarised by Courtney Davis.