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Success --- Difficult but NOT Complicated
by Dr. Rick Johnson
March 04, 2013

Darwin Says: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive; nor is it the smartest. It’s not replica watches the strongest or the smartest; it’s the ones that are the most responsive to change that survive.” In order to survive the many ups and downs of today’s difficult changing economic environment Online Outlet, Cheap Replica Watches UK Store, Swiss Replica Watches Sale, Free UK Shipping!!it requires sticking to the basic principles of running a well managed business. “Profits can cover many sins.” Market forces prior to 2009 were very kind to the majority of us. However, 2013 is a brand new year and even though the past few years have been very challenging to most of us at the very least – success is not complicated. Granted, attaining success is a little more difficult in today’s environment regardless of the industry you represent. Unemployment is still a major detriment along with many other issues that impact our ability to create success. Past successes and high profitability that may have camouflaged internal problems and annoyances should have been addressed and eliminated during our reassessment of the business and the steps taken to survive the past three years and maintain a growth trajectory. Effective leaders with good business acumen set specific goals to maintain acceptable levels of growth and profitability even during these difficult economic market conditions. So, let’s review some principles that helped maintain focus, improved the sense of urgency and introduced a culture of accountability throughout your successful organization. Principles such as: 1. Swiss replica watches for sale are the ones that can perform many different functions.
Going back to basics in managing your business 2. Understanding your role in the market place 3. Developing or refining your strategic plans 4. Creating branch and operational plans that are alignment with your strategies 5. Continuing to develop and train employees 6. Upgrading your sales force and all support services 7. A bigger focus on managing your inventory 8. Understanding and managing your cash to cash cycle 9. Insist upon sales territory plans that target accounts based on Audemars Piguet Globe Replica potential for growth 10. Creating change based on changes in your markets and your industry Basic Best Practices The successful leaders, those that are still growing in spite of economic turbulence took the time to review best practices as they applied to their business. They examined processes, procedures and policies with a simple concept at the forefront --- Do they reflect good management principles or do they become a little spongy due to past practices? The Company’s Role Did your role changed in the market place? This is a key question successful leaders struggled with. Are your business segments still the best match for your core competencies? What has changed and more importantly, what changes do you need to initiate? Many leaders started with an internal SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) with their management team and initiated a brainstorming or scenario planning session to reflect upon the company’s changing role as a distributor/manufacturer under current on-going market forces. Strategic Planning Strategic planning became a priority designed to not only deal with future expectations but with the reality of today. It became a priority investment. Those leaders that already had a strategic plan went through an extensive review of all their initiatives asking the following questions of their own management team. • Did they still make sense? • Has anything changed that made a significant difference on their focus? • Did they need to change the “End Game’ or Vision for the Future? Branch planning beyond the simple budget process with timelines and accountability became even more important with emphasis on being in alignment with strategic initiatives. Organizations with multiple branches insisted upon a branch planning process that goes beyond turning in a budget. Plans were documented with timelines and accountability. Most importantly, management made sure those branch plans were in alignment with strategic initiatives. Employees Development is Essential to Profitability Although it was easy to consider cutting training and development dollars, successful leaders continued to focus on people development but did so by prioritizing that development based on specific company needs. This process helped maintain employee respect, trust and created a culture that maximized employee efforts and willingness to do whatever it takes to create success. Upgrade – Upgrade While effective leaders realized that employee development is critical to success, they Replica Patek Philippe Gondolo became passionate about making sure they had the right employees performing the right functions. The opposite of the “Easy Profit” market forces that cover-up employee incompetence is the “Tough Profit” market that will highlight employee incompetence. “Tough Profit” market forces eliminate places for under performing employees to hide. Effective leaders just don’t let too much compassion for long tenure employees cloud their judgment. They make sure expectations are clear, employees are trained and have the proper resources but if they could not perform they act swiftly. Manage Your Inventory Inventory for the vast majority is generally the largest asset on the balance sheet and the easiest one to lose control of. Sales people like to say you can’t sell from an empty wagon but we all must realize that market forces will dictate what inventory levels are appropriate for individual success. We must have enough inventory to support our growth initiatives but you can not afford to have so much inventory on that wagon that you break the wheels. Focus on aged and dead inventory and individual high volume SKU turnover became a priority. Cycle counting became an effective tool and vendor partnerships received much more emphasis. Manage Your Cash to Cash Cycle Inventory is certainly part of the cash to cash cycle but managing payables and receivables is also extremely important to cash flow. Profits are not necessarily cash so paying attention to cash flow is a very basic principle of success. This is especially critical during tough economic times. Successful leaders recognize the importance of cash flow. Sales Effectiveness It’s really fun being a sales person in an “Easy Profit” market. It is not difficult to do well and sometimes we can be lulled into a sense of eternal success that doesn’t require a 100% effort. It can lead to a comfort zone that is not healthy for long term success. Those leaders that have continued to grow in spite of economic conditions made sure that their sales force practices a sales effectiveness discipline that requires documented action planning for specific targeted accounts that support individual territory plans. Of course, these plans must be in alignment with strategic initiatives as well. Process, focus, discipline and accountability became the “Mantra” for success. Create Change Although market forces alone and turbulent economic conditions can induce change into an organization, that change typically becomes what is called adaptive change. It means keeping your head above water, going into a survival mode or simply meeting competitive positioning. However, the most successful leaders don’t settle for adaptive change alone. The most successful leaders are constantly looking for induced change. Creating, instigating and managing change takes passion and courage. It’s not for the weak of heart. It is not for those who embrace simple traditional expectations. Effective leaders reach beyond these expectations. They become agents of change. Change is imperative in a “Tough Profit” market. Most companies will thrive on the concept of change, achievement, responsibility and accountability. Make it part of your culture in 2013 and you too will perform in the upper quartile of industry performance. m – Sign up to receive “The Howl” a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. – Straight talk about today’s issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, or a workshop to improve team effectiveness --E-mail rick@ceostrategist.com.

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