Archives for October 2021

Six Power Habits

By Patrick Chapman, Grandy & Associates

There is a reason top-performing companies are successful. You would already be enjoying the profits you want for your company and experiencing the life you want for your family if just hearing good information was enough. As Jim Collins famously said, “the distance from Good to Great is not that far but it is a few strategic steps consistently taken that lead you where you want to go.” This article focuses on the six power habits of top performing companies.

Power Habit Number One:

Know your why. Simon Sinek has done a masterful job over the last few years helping people discover their why. Long before Simon however, the most successful companies went on this journey of discovery. When you know your why, everything changes. You begin to live out of purpose and become far more productive. Let’s do this exercise together.

First, what is your what?

The literal thing you do.

Second, what is your how?

What is your process or propriety advantage that sets you apart?

Third, what is your why? This the foundation. It supports everything else. What is your passion, motivation, inspiration? What is the difference you want to make in the life of your customers?

Discovering your why is a big step to unlocking your full potential and creating unity on your team.

Power Habit Number Two:

Establish a clear set of Key Performance Indicators that are critical for your company’s success. There are industry KPI’s for every sector of business. I encourage you to go beyond broad-based numbers and generalities. Make it personal to your company. The more your team sees the relevance of these Key Indicators the more buy-in you will experience with your team.

One tremendous benefit of tracking Key Performance Indicators is they will produce Key Training Opportunities. Training for many companies is a mile wide but only one inch deep. Training around the performance of your team’s execution of KPI’s will ensure you are training in specific areas of the company that need attention for you to succeed.

Power Habit Number Three:

Create an Interactive Buying Experience for your customers.  The best example I can give you on this point is a company we all know very well. Amazon has become the go-to shopping preference for millions of people. Think about what you experience when you shop on Amazon. You will see pictures, product descriptions, ratings, reviews, size and application assistance, etc. Everything you need to make a decision is right in front of you. That is completely by design. Amazon does not want you to leave their site and go to other places to make the purchase.

Conventional wisdom says a buyer has to get 3-4 bids before making a decision. Every wonder where that came from? Years ago, when customers would get a quote for a product or service, it was common for companies to provide only one bid. Since people need choices to make good decisions, they would have to go elsewhere to get additional bids before making a decision. That is not the case anymore. Interactive buying experiences provide the customer with everything they need to make a decision. How can you incorporate this strategy into the buying experience with your customers?

Power Habit Number Four:

Creating professional proposals to help your customers understand their choices and make good decisions. Let me share some hall of shame proposals with you that I have seen over the years. Coffee-stained napkins. Back of business cards written so small you couldn’t even read it. Crumpled up piece of paper from their truck. Sad but true, these actually happened.

There are several options to choose from as it relates to professional proposal software. Many of them are offered through your local distributor partner and will tie in directly to their inventory. Whichever solution you choose, make sure the software platform has the following: Scheduling tools for the CSR. Customizable options to include promotions, rebates, and financing.  Ability to capture digital signature and reviews through the platform.

Power Habit Number Five:

Leveraging the power of ratings and reviews. Reviews provide social proof that you deliver what you promise. You naturally are going to say you are the best choice in town. Who else can verify that is true? According to a Northwestern University Marketing Study, when multiple options are presented, the option with most reviews tends to win. The optimal number is 15-20 positive related reviews collected over time to show consistency. As a rule, customers look for 4.4 or higher out of 5 stars with 73% preferring a written review to stars only.  93% hesitate to buy if no reviews are available. Make it easy for customers to discover that others are saying about your company and include these across all your marketing platforms.

Power Habit Number Six:

Incorporate promotions, rebates, and financing into your proposal options. The goal of any promotion is to help solve the affordability issue for your customers.  66% of consumers consider promotions to be important and/or vital to the purchase. 58% have less than $1,000 in savings and 73% have less than $5,000 of available funds on hand. It has never been more important to offer promotions and financing to your customers. The more you help customers find ways to make the purchase affordable and stay within their budget numbers, the more sales you will close. 

At Grandy Associates, we have been helping business leaders for over three decades with one goal. Helping you be profitable in what you do. Please let us know how we may provide additional resources to you and your company by contacting me at:  [email protected]

Time to Hire a CPA?

By Dave Ramsey, CEO Ramsey Solutions

You’re running a small business and serving your customers well. In return, they’re rewarding you with the one thing every business needs to thrive—money. Maybe you’ve started making so much money, and your business is growing so fast, that it’s time to get someone to help keep track of that money. Maybe it’s time to hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

An accountant is a professional who takes care of all the detailed and essential math tasks that go along with running a business. They do bookkeeping, prepare financial documents like tax returns and profit-and-loss statements and do financial planning. A CPA is an accountant who also meets your state’s educational and experience requirements, and has passed the state’s Uniform CPA Exam.

In other words, all CPAs are accountants but not all accountants are CPAs. And while a CPA shouldn’t make business decisions for you, they can offer good advice and help you make the right decisions. In addition, they can handle other tasks:

Bookkeeping – Handling invoices and accounts receivable, making sure bills get paid on time and paying vendors.

Payroll administration – Making sure everyone gets paid on time, and all payroll withholdings are handled correctly.

Tax advice and planning – Helping your business save on taxes now and planning for future tax situations.

Audit and assurance – Finding problems with your tax returns before the IRS does.

Management and consulting – Serving as your chief financial officer (CFO), helping with budgeting, risk management and preparing financial statements for shareholders.

Forensic accounting – Digging into the books to help you prevent or discover fraud or embezzlement.

Questions to Ask

You’ll want to ask some questions about your potential CPA’s experience, size of the teams they’ve worked with, if they have a specialty and what that specialty is. Here are a few to get you started:

How long have you been a CPA? If you have a complicated accounting situation, you don’t want someone who just graduated from accounting school. Get a CPA with at least two solid years of experience.

Are you available year-round? If you just need a CPA for a one-time audit or to file your taxes once, this may not seem like a big deal. But if something comes up, you want to make sure this is their full-time job, not a side hustle they work only during tax season.

Can you represent me in front of the IRS? Many CPAs are also Enrolled Agents. This means if you get into trouble with the IRS, they can represent you at hearings and speak for your business. Getting audited by the IRS can feel like the Spanish Inquisition, so having someone in your corner is important.

Who will I be working with? It’s not uncommon for a CPA to have a staff that helps them. Find out how big their team is, what qualifications they have and how they prefer to communicate.

How much do you charge? It’s perfectly acceptable to ask about fees and how they bill. Some services may be a straight fee-for-service charged by the job, while others might bill hourly. Get an estimate in writing.

I don’t have to tell you that running a business is hard work. You live it every single day. Most small business owners spend 120 hours or more on bookkeeping alone every year. And that’s time you could spend serving your customers and growing your business!

 * Leadership and small business expert Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored numerous best-selling books, including EntreLeadership. The Ramsey Show is heard by 18 million listeners each week on more than 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms.

Appreciated People Will Always Do More Than Expected

By Tom Grandy, Founder

Most reading this article are or have been parents.  Let’s assume you are a parent and you have two children, Larry, who is 16 and Mary, who is 18.  When they were 10 and 12 respectively you have vivid memories of taking them with you to shop.  Their continuous nagging for you to purchase a toy, or perhaps a piece of candy was so frustrating you finally said yes.  To put a bit of icing on the frustrating cake, neither of them said thank you!  Your attitude as a parent was most likely something like “That’s the last time I am going to give in.  They didn’t even appreciate the toy and/or candy when they received it.”

Now fast forward to today.  You invite Larry to go on a weekend trip with you to attend a professional sporting event.  Larry is thrilled.  The trip goes great and Larry can’t thank you enough for taking him. 

Mary likes to shop and as a senior in high school there are very specific stores she loves to go to but the nearest one is two hours away.  Mary’s mom asks her if she would like to drive to that special mall with her on Saturday.  Mary, like Larry, is thrilled and the trip is a total success.  Mary can’t thank her mom enough.

When both trips have been completed mom and dad sit back and reflect on what just took place.  Both had gone out of their way to bless Larry and Mary and the best part was that they both really appreciated it and said so.  If you are a parent, the next thing that goes through your mind is, “What else can I do for or with the children that would bless them?”  Being sincerely appreciated makes a huge difference in any relationship.  A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.

Do your employees feel appreciated?  What have you done lately to make them feel like you care?  It doesn’t take a $250 bonus for that to happen.  Sometimes it’s just a sincere thank you for working overtime to complete a project.  Other times it’s stopping by the job site with a pizza.  Can you image the reaction of a spouse if they received a handwritten note from the boss telling them how much the company appreciates them with a $50.00 gift certificate to a local restaurant?

People who feel appreciated not only feel like family, they are also willing to do a bit more for the sake of the family.  It’s really not all that complicated.  It’s simply the golden rule, do unto others what you would have them do unto you.  Give it a try with your employees and watch their attitude improve.

We all know the key to growth and profitability is education.  If you are interested in learning from the top trainers in the industry, at your own pace, consider signing up for Contractor Academy.  The program currently includes over 50 hours of interactive online training with additional programs routinely added.  There is no contract or time commitment.  Individuals can sign up for $29/month or register five people for only $138/monthSign up today and start growing tomorrow!

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