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Reading the threads on this board there is a consistent message I see... gloom and doom! Blame everything and everybody for their profits margins dropping and business shortcomings. Well I am here to tell you that maybe it's time to look at what you are doing to make your business better. Quite often we can be our worst enemy.
Business and industries are constantly changing…here are some questions you might want to ask yourself. Stop crying about the way things used to be….
Do we have clearly defined goals?
Do we have a plan and budget in place to achieve them or are we just doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results?
How much money are we leaving on the table because of our current methods of marketing? Do we have a marketing budget?
Do we lack the knowledge and systems that make businesses successful like: marketing, management, sales, customer satisfaction, finance, recruiting, training, etc?
Have we created new profit centers and diversified our services? Do we price these services correctly to maximize profits?
Do we know our numbers? How many calls did we get yesterday? How many did we not close? Why? Did we call them back and ask them?
Are we getting professional sales training?
Are you working in your business or on your business? Do you run it or does it run you?
I could go on and on and on…
Finally; who do you know that have the right answers to these questions and are making their hopes and dreams come true… that have the quality of life that you desire as a result. Can you call them and seek guidance?
They are out there… I know a bunch of them personally. Why does it work for them and not you?? And don’t say, “Because my market is different”
I hope this gives food for thought to some of you… good luck.
Drewbake, - - - I wonder who you are and who you work for. I find it somewhat insulting that you would suggest to us, albeit in a very professional, if somewhat veiled manner, that we are unaware of basic business practices.
While there may be many 1 man work out of your van companies out there, the majority of the people responding to posts on this site are either employed by, or owners of mid-size & larger companies.
The frustration you are seeing comes from being told that in order to stay in business one must relinquish the freedom to choose
A) who they bill to
B) how much to charge
C) what products to use (and get paid for using)
D) how much their mark-up on special order parts should be
E) why they can't just get paid for services, rather than re-issue billing due to rounding up issues with computers.
F) knowing that in order to have jobs sent our way we must comply with rules & practices established for us, not by us
As you said "I could go on and on..."
You're right. We should not say "my market is different". Why? Because all business is essentially the same game. The players are taking steroids now. And THAT is not playing fair.
So, Drewbake, if you have not experienced the black-mail that has been going on in our industry, you are very, very fortunate indeed.
IAE, very well put. Thank you! We are a VERY small ma pa shop. Drew, after reading your post I could only think,,,, you have no clue! We have incorporated most of what you are saying from the day we opened our store to the present, but on a much smaller scale than you can imagine. We have marketed very creatively, consistantly, and diligently, only to have steering from tpa's totally undermine our efforts. There is no way, in our market, we can afford a sales staff etc. like I said you have no clue. With your methods stated, you wouldn't last a year in my shoes, so please don't insult me with your brainiac methodology. I don't see it as "GLOOM AND DOOM". But I do see if things don't change for the better, ma, pa shops like me, that service our little area, with real quality and customer service, will be gone forever. yes I too could go on and on,,,,,, Thanks Again IAE!
My comments were not meant to insult.. I talk to people in the glass business all day, every day about their business, their goals, where they were 5 years ago... where they want to be 5 years from now and how they are going to get there.
I would say I am an expert in your business. You know what I found after interviewing hundreds and hundreds of people in the glass business? Most...
1. They either do not know the "Basics" as you put it.
2. They know and do some things, but not others.
3. They know what needs to be done but do not know how to implement.
4. They think they know everything, yet their business isn't very good.
Which category do you fall in?
I submit to you that most on this board are not excelling in these areas.
When I played football, every year the coaches would go back to the basics... I wonder why they felt the need to teach fundamentals each year? We already knew them!!! hmmm...
I also know that it is very easy to play the blame game.
Are there issues out there?? Sure. My father used to tell me. Son, do not worry about things that are out of your control. What can you do today to make a difference in your business?
The only motive for my post is to maybe help someone out there. That's it.
There is no Glass Company on this board larger the one I work for.. I know people in this business that have the business of their dreams and do not share most of the frustrations that you listed.
IAE and Shope Owner...I can't agree with both of you more!
Drewbrake's post sounds just like a sales pitch!
"...who do you know that have the right answers to these questions and are making their hopes and dreams come true… that have the quality of life that you desire as a result. Can you call them and seek guidance?"
Yes, his points are good...maybe for a business who isn't in an "controlled market", or for someone just starting. Drewbrake, the "doom and gloom" you mentioned... People come to this forum, (as stated in previous posts)...to talk out their frustrations, about what they are experiencing daily, and to help one another. Maybe we could even call it, "moral support"! So, to someone who ISN'T "hands on" in this business, who isn't experiencing the frustration of being "dictated to"...it may sound like doom and gloom.
The "Blame Game" as your stating...Yeah, blame gets you no where...but WHO we are pointing our fingers at, IS the real cause of our loss, and only if you were...again "hands on", would you know/get that. ~Western Wishes~
Do I put in windshields? no. Do I know this business? yes. I know more people in this business than have probably ever viewed this website. I know people that spent years doing it "their way" before finding a better way to achieve their goals. Quite often it comes down to the basics.. and beyond..
I do this for a living... I have a passion for it.. I see people like you that think they know it all... "Won’t work in my market", they say... so occasionally I hop on this site and read some really sad and anger posts.
I thought if I can help someone refocus their energy then it maybe worth a few words.
One can take their “hands on” experience and there “blame gets you no where, BUT” comments right down the tubes with their business.
Western Wishes wrote,
“Yes, his points are good...maybe for a business who isn't in a "controlled market", or for someone just starting.”
I guess that you are not just starting out or in a controlled market. So my suggestions will not work for you.
Answer these for me.
How much money are you losing because you don’t know what your numbers are? Call ratios, close rates, how much you are really making on each job…etc.
How much are you leaving on the table because of your current methods of sales and marketing are not working? How many do you use?? 3 or 4…maybe wait around hoping the phone will start ringing?
Are you just doing Auto or have you added residential and other profit centers?
Are you pricing your services correctly to maximize your profits or are you entering into the price war game…which is a loser for everyone?
What are you doing to separate yourself from everyone else?? Quality service?? High level of image? Clean trucks?
Is your product glass or how the customer feels once the job is done?
Simple fact of business today is that you can enter any market and take as much market share as you want by constantly running the business the right way. Most do not have the knowledge and systems that make businesses successful. One can lead a horse to water but they can’t make him drink.
My wife was watching a cool workout system last year on the TV… It was great… cool looking machine, came with a complete diet information and work out routine.
Of course it is sitting in our garage today collecting dust…. Does that mean it wouldn’t work on her? It would probably work like a charm.. But first one must be committed.
Now she can blame bluebell ice-cream and the makers of chocolate for her weight, but that would be right. (by the way, my wife is not fat …in case she reads this)
I GUESS I LOOK AT THIS FORUM AS A PLACE FOR PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY TO UNLOAD. DO I EXPECT A CATHARTIC EXPERIENCE? NO. BUT POSSIBLY WE MAY EXPERIENCE SOME ENLIGHTENMENT. AND MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE INSPIRATION. IF YOU INTENDED TO INSPIRE THE PEOPLE WHO READ AND/OR CONTRIBUTE TO THIS FORUM, I THINK YOU MIGHT WANT TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF. IT WAS A LITTLE PRETENTIOUS.
YOU SAY YOUR INTENT IS NOT TO INSULT; YET YOUR TONE INDICATES OTHERWISE. YOU ARE VERY WELL SPOKEN. YOU ARE ALSO VERY ADEPT AT INTIMATION... NO, I DO NOT MEAN INTIMIDATION.
MAKE NO MISTAKE. THE COMPANY I WORK FOR IS NOT ON THE BRINK OF FAILURE. WE HAVE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL FOR MANY YEARS NOW. THAT FACT DOES NOT NEGATE THIS FACT; THIS BUSINESS HAS BECOME COMPETITIVE IN A WAY THAT NO ONE PARTICULARLY CARES FOR.
DON'T FAULT THOSE WHO CARE ENOUGH ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY THAT THEY WANT TO SOLVE IT'S PROBLEMS. WE NEED INPUT FROM ALL SIDES.
ALSO, LET ME SAY THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE RISK OF SPEAKING UP FOR, MAYBE, THE UNPOPULAR SIDE.
What your suggesting to this forum is sometimes confusing to some people, but you would be the perfect partner for someone with great dreams of changing the industrie. If you went on your own with someone who has been hands on with the installing & combined your knowledge together your ideas would florish to realms greater then what you could imagine. So perhaps you might want to start creating one of your own ideas and seek the people you would need to grow. Bill Gates is one person I look at, but not in adoration but with respect to how he created his empire regaurdless of how it came to be. An invention is just an improvement of something already in existence! No two company's are alike and you reap what you sow.
Drew has some very good points, and we should not assume that the comments he makes are pointed at 'all' who are reading them.
On the other hand, from some of your comments Drew, I also think that much of what you are interpreting as the blame game IS people focusing on EXACTLY what their problems are. THat's not blame, that's grabbing the bull by the horns. Some of the actions you embrace are totally undermined by third parties unless one first makes the very business compromises(partnerships/agreements) that the marketing and business practices are attempting to offset.
And you're right, sometimes it's difficult to understand the context words are intended in.