I was in my accountant, Kelly Ozem’s office, on November 25th reviewing my October 31st year-end financial statements. That’s 25 calendar days and 15 business days to finalize the year’s books!
Kelly, who is also my business partner in our firm Builders Group CPAs, told me last summer that he wanted to have my year-end completed before he left the province for warmer climates at the end of November. Although I enthusiastically supported his somewhat crazy goal, I was hoping that this could happen. And, it did, thanks to Kelly’s expertise and my great bookkeeper, Carla Davidson, who also bought into the goal and organized everything along the way.
The keys to speed are to expect speed, to want to go faster, and to like going faster.
Figure 145.1 Profit Speed
Too many businesses let their customers control what does and does not happen instead of proactively taking care of their best customers. Ultimately, the best customers end up subsidizing the lousy customers while enduring slower response times. Focus on providing your best customers with faster service.
- Are you focused on your best customers?
- How can you improve service speed to your best customers?
- What parts of your goods and services are most important to your best customers?
- What things are you doing that aren’t important to your customer and are actually slowing you down?
Lots of companies are very good at generating their products and services. That is, they’re methodology experts and have their process down to a science. That’s good for them. However, their products and services need to produce results for their customers. Your marketing will be more effective when you talk about the results that you create for your customers instead of the features and benefits of your widget.
- How do your customers measure their results?
- How do you contribute to your customers’ results?
If no one knows the results that you create, it’s difficult to brag about your value. Your value is in helping your customers and clients to generate consistent results now and in the future. In other words, you create an annuity of results. Your best customers should be generating a fantastic return on investment with you. Fortune 500 companies prefer to deal with strong and healthy mid-market companies as suppliers because of the confidence, trust and comfort that comes from stability. The confidence that your customers have in your business deserves a premium price.
- What is your long-term value for your best customers?
- What is your customers’ ROI in your services?
I know that some businesses don’t even have their October month-end reports completed by November 25th. They’ll never get their year-end done quickly either because they’re not focused on it. Your accounting department should be completing your month-end financial statements by the 10th of each month, at the latest. That gives them a full week. Then, they can spend the next three weeks on the present and future reporting, instead of spending the entire month reporting on the past.
Speed is very significant in any business. The faster that you can provide a product or service, the greater the distance between you and your competitors, the more you can produce and sell, and the more valuable you are to your customers.
What is your current speed of production? How much faster can you produce? If you doubled your speed, what would the impact be on customer happiness, loyalty, retention, referrals and overall revenues?
From the Vault
Full speed ahead!
Attention: Business Advisors
Phil will be speaking on Consulting to Small and Medium Enterprises at Alan Weiss’s Consulting Convention in Atlanta on March 11 – 13, 2015. This is one of the most cost effective events where you can spend three days with Alan, a group of his elite consultants, and special guest speaker Martin Seligman. Here is the link to Alan’s site: http://www.alanweiss.com/growth-experiences/million-dollar-consulting-convention/
More about the SME AdvisorSM services.
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The SME Advisor has two distinct programs: one for elite owners of privately-held businesses (and their boards), and one for advisors to SMEs including consultants, accountants, lawyers, bankers, financial planners, insurance advisors, family offices and wealth advisors.
For more information or a free SME Advisor assessment to evaluate your business, please contact me by email at [email protected]
For more information on how to maximize your abundance thinking and increase your wealth, explore our Wealth Builder® services or give me a call at 306-992-6177.
SME Business Wealth Builder Resources
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Have a profitable week!
Phil Symchych, C.P.A., M.B.A., is the president of SYMCO & CO., the founding partner of Builders Group Chartered Accountants, author of Phil’s Profit Points™ and co-author of the upcoming book, Business Wealth Builders, along with Alan Weiss.
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