Archive for September, 2012

Are You Really Rewarding Creativity?

Develop and promote incentives for employees who openly make you look better.

Offer rewards for people who are creative. Google has fostered a culture of innovation and creativity for many years. So has Southwest Airlines – the leader in airline customer service. New ideas and experiments are rewarded – not punished. You need to see your business through the eyes of the people who are already on your side and want you to succeed. Hire creative people and don’t tie their hands to hamper their natural instincts.

Don’t punish new, innovative ideas in meetings. Reward them publicly. Many people have great ideas but are silenced by a culture of negativity that comes from the top.

Make risk-taking a natural act that gets recognition and rewards instead of penalties and more work. Your staff will support you if you support them. Nothing is more frustrating than satisfying a returning customer and then get reprimanded by a territorial micro-manager.

Don’t forget the customers are the most important people in your business. So are your most creative staff.

Your importance lies in how you reward them for using their unfettered creativity.

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What You Learn While Standing In Line For An iPhone 5

Apple has gained a reputation for a culture of innovative designs and products. Innovation also defines their target community. Earlier this month, Apple unveiled the new iPhone in what was easily one of the year’s biggest buying frenzies, it seemed everyone WANTED, NEEDED, MUST get their hands on the latest gadget the very day it came out…before the price had a chance to drop to normal levels. Within days they had to push back the release and delivery due to a glut of orders.

Yeah, the price will drop, though. Why? Apple knows you want to beat the rush and are willing to pay the most, so they didn’t discount their latest and hottest product. They never do, instead using this phenomenon effectively to their advantage – and their bottom line profit!

The newest, hottest products are never discounted and they sell out because the perception is planted in everyone’s mind that they are valuable. Watch how inexpensively you were able to buy a Kindle a couple of months after the iPad was introduced.

Conversely, the more valuable the product, the less likely the discounted price. Can’t you just see the ads? “Pick up your new BMW today while the introductory prices are in force.” “Be the first to purchase a Yumi Katsura wedding gown during our special discount days program.” “Dr. Turner offers brain surgery for 50% off at his new practice!” Yeah, right. Line me up for that one.

Quit dropping your price and start adding value to what you do or produce.  People will line up and pay MORE for added value!

Have Some Employees Become Your “Dinosaur”?

There are people in your organization who are costing more to have them on your payroll than they are justifying the cost. They are either: chasing business away; crippling the business you have; or not attracting enough business to cover their salary. They have become your dinosaur.

That’s not my fault. You knew this before you read it.

I had a contract worker who was hired to turn prospects into clients. He only did that once in the 14 months he worked for me for a reduced fee (I found out later). I was paying for supplies and overhead to retain his services, in addition to constantly training him. It was costing me much more than his production was bringing into the business.

I began to get calls from other consultants  and authors whom he was targeting to work for as well. I found out he wasn’t working for me as much as she was trying to get more people like me on his list. It just couldn’t go on.

I had to make a decision… and I did. I called it off in a nice, professional manner. He was very understanding and felt it wasn’t working out, either. I secured more business within weeks by freeing myself up to do more efforts that had been neglected. It worked better for him,too now that I set him free.

What people are costing you more business than bringing in for you? Who is wasting more of your time to train, supply or manage than you could spend on more productive individuals?

There are people in your organization who are costing you more than their salaries, space and support. They are a dinosaur that needs to leave the museum. They need to freed up to pursue what they were intended to do.

Set them free and free yourself.

How Easy Can You Make It?

It’s All Greek to Me!

In college I was preparing for seminary.  The Old Testament is written primarily in Hebrew; the New Testament primarily in Greek.  So I took one class in basic Hebrew, followed by one in Greek.   It made sense as I was going into the ministry.

The first day of Hebrew class, the professor told us how Hebrew is read from right to left, the characters are different and there are really no vowels. But he said we would make it through the course and he would make it easy for us.  He did; it was fun and I aced the class.

Then I took ancient Greek. The first day, that teacher said, “Have any of you heard the phrase, ‘It’s all Greek to me?'”  He said that is because the ancient Greek language is very difficult and hard to read and understand.  He said it was even difficult for him to plan the lessons. He doubted most of us would pass.  I barely got by the next three months.

The first teacher explained the process, but in terms that made it easy to understand. The second one sold us on the difficulties we would endure and offered little help or hope.  Do you get the idea?

How hard is it to do business with you?  How are you selling the value, benefits and ease of your sales, service and products?  How are you compensating people who find the process hard and trying?

No Discounts? MORE Profits for You!

Elmer’s Restaurant President Jerry Scott shelved discount coupons in order to concentrate on value and service. The result is growth in a competitive industry where many have struggled to find a profit or niche.

Elmer’s could have specialized in pies, like Shari’s; discounts like Denny’s or one segment of the market, like Chili’s. They chose to specialize in great portions at great prices. Jerry says, “Discounting has been replaced with TV, radio, and community events.”

He said this strategy led Elmer’s to increase full price sales and define their image in the market. Sure, a lot of places bet on discount coupons to bring people in but Elmer’s put their money on the sure winner of creating a value people would pay more for. And they have.


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