Monday, April 8, 2013

Understanding 4 Personality Styles to Improve Your Business

Cape Fear Community College ActionCOACH Monthly Business Coaching Clinic  "Understanding the 4 Personality Styles to Improve Your Business"

Click Here for seminar notes

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Business Planning: Make 2013 Your Best Year Ever

Annual Plan Checklist

Note to CFCC seminar attendees on 12/9 - Updates to files are not complete.  Will have finalized later today.  Coach Reggie

Friday, February 4, 2011

Focus on Marketing Fundamentals

I did a business diagnostic with a business this week that has been around for 25 years. From 1999 to 2007, they went from 3 million in revenue to 30 million in revenue. In the last few years the economy has killed their business, and in 2010 they did 13.5 million and bled a lot of red ink. They are facing a financial tragedy. If they don't turn the ship around quickly, they are going to lose their multi-generational family business.

As I went through a list of some very basic marketing strategies, they let me know that they weren't doing them. They knew that they should be doing these fundamentals, but they shared with me very frankly, "For years, we had more business then we could handle! Our business strategy sessions were all about how to keep our customers satisfied and how to systematize our business so that we could handle more volume. We never had to learn how to market; business just magically came through the door, and word of mouth was enough."

It is amazing to me how many basic fundamentals are missing in very mature businesses that were doing very well several years ago. But, now that the economy has changed, they have to fight their way back to prosperity. Here are some of basics that I am helping them put into place:
  1. Making the most of every lead - They have plenty of leads coming into the door and calling them on the phone, but they don't have a system that puts an iron gate around that prospect until they become a customer. Having great scripts, a sales plan, capturing their info, and having multiple touch points will increase conversion. Most importantly, management must make time to sit down with each member of the sales team and coach them through every lead. Taking time to review objections, role play, and provide direction is critical to helping make average sales people become above-average and helping above-average sales people become superstars.

  2. Maximizing every transaction - If there are less customers buying from you less often, then you need make the most of every one that is ready to make a purchase. Are your customers aware of every product that you sell? Has a customer ever said, "I didn't know you did that?" Do you have a plan to make sure that your customer is educated about everything that they need to complement their purchase? In most cases, a basic checklist can do the trick. It could look something like this, "Here is a list of the top 10 items that our customers purchase when they buy a ________. Is there anything on that list that you may be interested in as well?" If you can get an average of a 10% - 20% increase on your average sale, it will add up to massive results at the end of the year.

  3. Put an iron gate around your customer - It is your job to make sure that your customers remember you! It is your job to stay top of mind! Stay in touch with email newsletters, reward them for loyalty, have customer appreciation events, give them magic moments, let them know that you miss them and send them special offers that give them a reason to come back. Marketing to existing customers is 6 - 10 times more effective than marketing to new customers. So why, then, do companies budget tens of thousands to market to new customers but next to nothing to market to existing customers? A smart established business must have an aggressive plan to make sure they are staying in front of their existing customers

  4. Protecting margins - Good times allow for unnecessary expenses to creep in. Worse than that, receivables get neglected and as they age, get more difficult to collect. Remember that cash is king in tough times, and just because you could afford to be generous in extending liberal terms during good times doesn't mean that you can afford to do it today. Finally, avoid discounting at all cost. All discounts come right off the bottom line of profits for a business. Look for ways to add value instead; only offering discounts if your customers buy in bulk....and pay in advance!

  5. Coach your team and hold them accountable - As a business owner, it isn't your job to do everything; it's to make sure that you have provided your team with everything that they need to do everything. You are the conductor of the business, so don't try to play all the instruments. Help them set quarterly goals; have weekly one-on-one meetings to measure their progress; have them set priorities for the upcoming week; hold them accountable to achieving those goals; and help push employees through any road blocks they are facing. Everyone needs accountability to reach their full potential. Imagine where your business would go if each of your team members doubled their effectiveness. If they are not being aggressively coached, they are likely half as good as they could be.

  6. Go back to school - Growing a business has changed in the last few years. What got you to where you are isn't likely to carry you to where you want to go. Some 0f the best strategies to generate leads 5 years ago are no longer effective. Some mediums that didn't exist 5 years ago are today's best strategies. Look at what has happened to advertising in the yellow pages over the last few years. Search engines have all but replaced the phone book as a resource for looking up local businesses. Heck, even companies that market yellow pages are selling web marketing packages so that you'll continue to do business with them. The point is that to succeed in 'the new world' you need to invest in your education to learn strategies that are working in today's market place. The more knowledge you have, the better you'll be at attracting new business.

If you are an established and experienced business owner, finding that you have drifted away from the fundamentals, I hope this post has been a helpful push to get back on track. Remember that the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi started every training camp by getting his championship teams together and re-introducing them to a football. He would hold a football in his hand and actually say to them, "Gentleman, this is a football." From there he would refocus them on the basics...blocking & tackling.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's to look at your business and make sure that you are blocking and tackling with marketing fundamentals!

Make it a great day!!!

Coach Reggie

If you are a business owner that is ready to take your business to the next level, Coach Reggie would like to offer you a Free Business Coaching Session to identify untapped potential in your business, brainstorm strategies that will help you grow, & outline your next steps to success.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

28 Keys - #1 Attitude

28 Keys to Building a Business That BOOMS!!

#1 Attitude

The first key is attitude. If you are going to build a business that booms, then you must bring the right attitude. You can have the right business model, the right strategies & tactics, as well as the right business plan, but if the 8 inches between your ears isn’t right then you will struggle to build a booming business.

Your attitude towards success, failure, personal development, short & long term goals, customers, competition, seeking help from others, and the current economic climate will result in a business that BOOMS or one that just makes enough to pay the bills.

I experienced a great example of how attitude can be a limiting factor the other day when I went to a pack & ship business near my house to make a few photocopies. When I asked for instructions on how to use the self-serve copier, I noticed the person helping me was the owner (via his nametag). I asked him “How’s the packing & shipping business?” He replied, “It’s a real struggle to survive, just like every other small business.” STOP RIGHT THERE!!!!

There is a huge limiting belief that is a road block on his journey to success. He has bought into the excuse that all small businesses are struggling right now and that it is OK for him to do the same. The problem with having a justification for your lack of success, someone to blame, or just a darn good excuse, is that you become a victim convinced that there is nothing that you can do to change your circumstances. With the attitude of a victim, it is nearly impossible to have business that booms.

Unfortunately what he doesn’t realize is that his belief is absolutely false. All small business are not struggling. Although his might be, there are tons of small businesses that are succeeding in this environment. I had one of my clients share with me recently that they have grown from $5000 per month in revenue to $40,000 in revenue over the last 4 years. I had another client with a retail store increase her revenue 38% from 2009 to 2010. I have dozens of stories of business that are doing well right now.

What is the difference between them and the victimized business owner? ATTITUDE! They are not focused on why it’s OK to struggle. They are focused on finding a way to succeed. Now, attitude alone isn’t the only reason for their success. But, attitude fuels the fire and is the reason that they read books, go to seminars, attend industry conferences, put quarterly plans into place, make weekly goals, accomplish weekly goals, pick themselves up after they fall down, and find a way to improve their business week after week. With their attitude they make things happen instead of letting things happen or wondering: “What just happened?”

There is also the possibility that a great business owner could be operating the wrong business. The Pack & Ship business was an attractive business model a few years ago, but now that you can ship online via several different carriers from the comfort of your own home, which has lowered the dependency on a higher-priced retail shipping option. If that is the case, let me assure you that there are some other attractive businesses opportunities that exist out there. If you would like a great resource on how to buy the right business I would recommend reading Billionaire in Training by Bradley J. Sugars. Of his “7 Rules for Buying a Business” my favorite is to find a business that is successful in spite of itself. He looks for a business that is surviving despite the fact that the business has bad marketing, a bad sales process, bad service, and bad follow-up. That is a business that can quickly be improved by doing some very simple changes and is a great business to buy, build and sell.

So, to the business owners out there who feel like they are fighting to stay alive, remember this: You have one of two issues; you’re in the wrong business or you have the wrong attitude. Whichever the case, CHANGE IT!!!

If you would like to learn the other 27 Keys to Building a Business That BOOMS, contact Coach Reggie for the upcoming seminar schedule or schedule a complementary one on one business diagnostic.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coach Reggie Paid For My Shopping Spree

“Reggie Shropshire and I were members of the same business networking group. Each week, he talked about his seminars, but it took me several months to make room in my calendar to attend one. After all, I had already been running my business for five years; I wasn’t sure that he could teach me anything new…. I finally went to a 90-Day Business Planning Session, and I was sold! It wasn’t that Reggie presented earth-shattering material that I’d never heard, it was that he succeeded in getting me to spend an entire day in a setting where I was completely focused on evaluating my company’s current situation while setting goals and prioritizing action steps for the quarter to come. That planning session was so valuable for me and for the growth of my company, that I now attend this seminar regularly.

My husband, who runs his own small business, also attended the seminar. He encouraged me to start a one-on-one coaching program with Reggie, certain that we’d be a good fit for one another. At my husband’s insistence, I decided to give Reggie’s coaching program a try.

I’m a big believer in the old adage: “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”, and one of the first things Reggie did was work with me to hire help and delegate low-level administrative work so that I could spend my time earning more business for my company. I thought I only needed part-time help, but turns out I needed a full-time assistant in my business. Reggie worked with me using his unique hiring format to identify my needs and select potential candidates. He also helped me fine-tune my leadership skills for this kind of management. Having been the national President of a 250,000 member non-profit organization, I didn’t think that I needed any leadership coaching, but Reggie gently helped me to see that motivating an employee who thinks of ‘work’ as a 4-letter word is a lot different than organizing a large group of passionate, committed volunteers.

I also appreciated Reggie’s numbers-based approach to prioritizing business demands and motivating myself. I had been dragging my heels on pursuing a government contract, thinking I was too busy with day-to-day business demands to carve out the time for the mountain of paperwork the proposal required. Reggie said: “Just figure out how much that contract will be worth to you on an annual basis and write that number down.” That certainly lit a fire under me—when I looked at it as a revenue-generator instead of a time-killer, I knew that working on that proposal was a must!

Through similar techniques, Reggie taught me how to make more money while spending less time working, and he encouraged me to reward myself for reaching personal sales goals. Once, I set the goal of making enough extra sales to pay off some revolving business debt; another time I promised myself a Herman Miller desk chair if I met a lofty goal. The debt is paid and my chair was worth every penny!

I now tell other business owners: “Invest just one day and a little bit of money to attend the 90-Day Planning Session, and I guarantee you that it will pay for itself over and over again.” I know. I’ve got the Louis Vuitton briefcase to prove it!

In all seriousness, the material rewards I’ve reaped from meeting my own goals mean very little compared to the satisfaction of running a healthy, growing business and leading a balanced life. It’s like those credit card commercials: Herman Miller desk chair: $1,500. Louis Vuitton bag: $1,100. Happy business owner with growing profits: Priceless.” — R. RenĂ©e Jones, A Creative Touch, Incorporated, Promotional Products Division

Back to Blogging

As you can see I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging in 2010. I only posted twice in 2010, compared to 80 in 2009 & 97 in 2008. The break was intentional and with good reason as I focused on building other areas of my business coaching practice. I have been re-inspired and have recommitted to blogging on a regular basis in 2011. I hope that my thoughts, insights, experiences, and stories about the business I serve are helpful on your journey to reach your full potential.

Make it a great day!!!

Coach Reggie

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guerrilla Marketing Boot Camp Starts July 11th

We Want You!


ActionCOACH Reggie Shropshire and Sgt. Major
Charlene “The Bon Bon Queen” Dupray want you to join
their ranks for their powerful 3-month, 6-session Guerrilla
Marketing Boot Camp. This brief, yet intense program
has been specifically designed to strengthen your
marketing muscles and equip you to take on the challenges of
creatively marketing your business on a budget.

Each two hour training session will be conducted on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, July-September from 9 am – 11 am
with a focus on one (or two) specific guerrilla marketing weapons. Here’s a sampling of what’s included:

July 9th: Boosting Website and Marketing Materials
We’ll identify the 7 crucial elements that no website should be without and show you how to
transform your website from a glorified business card into a sales-generating powerhouse.
Time will be devoted to analyzing websites and marketing materials of willing class participants
and giving concrete suggestions on how to maximize your online real estate.

July 23rd: Creating Effective Newsletters and
We’ll break down all of the components of creating effective newsletters and c
ommunications pieces that work as powerful selling tools for your company. We’ll spend time
strategizing on specific ideas for your business and ensure that everyone leaves with strong
material for their next newsletter or direct mail piece to clients.
This powerful session alone is worth your boot camp investment!

August 13th: Making Social Media and Networking Work
for Your Business
We’ll teach you specific how-to shortcuts to save time on social media; we’ll reveal where you
should invest your energy and what social media and networking groups are not worth your
time; we’ll show you how to use networking to create meaningful (and original) strategic alliances;
and we’ll provide the details of real case studies of small business who have success in
this area, so you can model after them.

August 27th: Developing Incredible Events and
How can you drive customers to your door and generate buzz about your business?
How can you get the media to cover special events related to your business? How can you build
and sustain priceless word of mouth advertising? We’ll answer all of these questions and more
in this boot camp session, plus we’ll devote time to a creative
brainstorming session that leaves you with a list of exciting ideas for your next event
and/or promotion.

September 10th: Maximizing Customer Relationships
We all know that we should treat our customers well, but what does it take to turn them into
loyal, raving fans? How can your business create a ‘cult’ following like Apple, Harley-Davidson,
or Starbucks? In this session we’ll explore powerful strategies that will get you thinking out of
the box and have your customers eating out of the palm of your hand!

September 24th: Building Your Customized Battle Plan
Every business worrior knows the importance of having a strategic battle plan.
We’ll spend our last session together working on your own plan of action to take everything
you’ve learned and incorporate it into your business. You’ll leave with a
step-by-step guide on how to win the marketing war in your industry.

Tuition Options...
  • 3 monthly payments of $200
  • Pay in advance $550 (save $50)
  • Early Bird Special: Pay in full by July 1st and save $50! ($500 for complete program)
If you are interested in enrolling the Boot Camp Contact Coach Reggie at 910-471-2725