If You Sell Chevy’s And Deliver Cadillac’s, It Will Cost You!

One of my clients wanted to know how to increase profits without raising prices. I asked if they had established SOPs in the various departments. The Boss said that would be impossible and way too costly and time-consuming. The Boss said if one of his managers wanted to set up SOPs with me that would be fine as long as it didn’t take away from his productivity. I found this statement to be curious as SOPs more often than not will enhance productivity and efficiencies. The service manager volunteered to work with me as his department was always lagging behind the other departments which were granted more resources. Our job was to observe the current procedures and then talk with the crew members about how we could improve their processes. During one morning break, I showed up with a Starbucks cardboard coffee carafe and a dozen donuts and we began to talk. In the fifteen minutes we had during their break period we came up with many procedures that, when implemented, had the potential to improve efficiencies. The manager and I took notes and the next day we came back with the first draft of our SOP’s. The crew members […]

Guident Newsletter – May 2017 – Issue 12

Lower prices are not always the answer! One of my first “official” jobs I held, not counting the paper route that I had for years, was a clerk at a local grocery store.   One of my first memories of working in the local store was when the owner, Mr. Prellwitz, came to me with a roll of scotch tape and several rolls of new pennies.  He told me to tape a penny, with Lincoln’s head facing up, on each of the loaves of bread which were on several racks lined up against the wall.  So I did exactly what Mr. Prellwitz asked of me but even as a sixteen-year-old high school kid I had to wonder why I was doing this. When I was done, and Mr. Prellwitz came to inspect my work, I asked him; “Why did you have me to do this?”  He said the other grocery store in town was running a promotion and giving bread away to everyone who shopped in their store that day and he was going to “do him one better” and pay his customers a penny to take his bread!  He said it with an aggressive tone and as I remember was […]

Guident Newsletter – February 2017 – Issue 9

I’m much smarter in a room full of people! As I work with small to mid-size businesses, I struggle to convince the business owner that he or she would be much better off with an advisory team.  As business owners we think we are pretty good.  We are!  That’s how we get to be business owners.  But that sense of confidence can also be a deterrent to business owners increasing the owner’s equity in their organizations. A client once said to me, “I can’t talk to my employees, I can’t talk to my spouse, I can’t talk to my banker, who can I talk to about my business challenges?”  This is a problem in a lot of smaller organizations and the answer is “your advisory board”. For most advisory boards of smaller companies the board members are volunteers.  For starters, I recommend inviting your banker, your lawyer, your CPA, and old sage (retired) business professional you know, maybe from your church or Rotary Club, etc.  In my experience an odd number of members is best for voting and I would keep it small to start, seven members at most.  These people may not know your business as intimately as you do, but […]