When I finally bit the bullet and closed my failing IT business, someone said“Just put it down to an Education received.”
Well, I did 5 years in Kevin Street, I did not get a grant, it cost my Mother a lot to keep me there, but nothing compared to what this episode cost me and others involved too!
Then I looked again, I agree. The lessons I have learnt are amazing.
- Know when you are beat:When I heard that story about revenue closing a courier company, I thought, they might be doing the owners a favour. Once you have a cash flow, it hides the fact that you are not making margin. You have e few bob to pay the most pressing bill.
- Show me the money: The Banks are not lending to small businesses. And this happened to me. I had an exceptional sales guy. He had a great order book, and you have heard that story before, we could not fund the sales. We had gone from a gross margin of 30% to 50%, but did not matter if we could not buy the stock. What I didn’t know was, that they hadn’t got the money either!
- Focus, Cameras, ACTION: I meet so many owner managers, I love them, I love their passion, I like their businesses, I love the fact that they can make decisions on the spot, I love the fact that most win most of the business where they get in front of the “MAN” (Money, Authority, Need). But it drives me mad when I see EnterpriseBoards offering web design training courses. Are they opening a web design business? No, so why give them another distraction? FOCUS!!! What do you do well and why aren’t you doing it?
- Time Gentlemen please. Another lesson on this line was from the last days of my last day job as a Sales Manager. I hated reporting and sales meetings with “superiors”. They were always antagonistic, emotional, judgemental. Then Deirdre Kelly came back for Maternity leave. A beautiful woman, she had run CARA Training, she had managed sales teams, she was so relaxed and comfortable, in any environment. And she used to just take a list of prospects. Next week, she would sit down for 5 minutes, what was the progress, up or down and out. We would end up with a simple list and liklihood of the money and when. Brilliant, factual, unemotional. Employees do not realise the importance o being able to predict the flow of business, how do they expect the company to have money in the bank to pay them anyway?
- Sales Strategy: My second sales job was with a wonderful bunch of people, the Matrix Group. The Sales Director was Peter Comerford, still plying his trade. Once a quarter, we had a company wide meting and at some stage we all gave an overhead projector presentation. He had three sentences on a slide, uncovering them one by one:
- Meet the people: he said, and outlined why. Then uncovered the next one:
- Meet the people, he said and gave us another reason, in time for his last step of the sales ladder:
- MEET THE PEOPLE!!!! And gave another reason WHY!
I am currently repackaging myself with the aid of VncentByrne.ie from what I have been doing:
Helping people get found on the Internet
and bringing the lessons above and many many more (I really want to tell you about
- not getting defensive and taking business issues personally, or
- how to sleep, with a conscience,
- but more of that in time!!
The repackaging is underway and I am already discussing with some of my friends about me having
A solution to getting you more sales, making you more profit
And I am excited again!