Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Top 1 Percent

The Top 1% (one percent)  is not a  measurement and comparison of wealth or ability.  The Top 1% is a mindset.  The mindset  that you can and will achieve the goals you set for yourself.  This mindset includes a bias for action. Action taken to follow a clear roadmap. Clear goals, a bias for action and a Top 1%  mindset will result in you experiencing  success way  beyond what the general population or “the herd” can even imagine.

The idea of the Top 1%  is primarily discussed in reference to the development of business revenue and profits. If you pay attention to the Top 1%, you will see a balance in the areas health and relationships.  It may seem obvious, but if your health fails  monetary success is meaningless. Valuable  business coaching and self development programs  provide  guidance on balance.

Attributes of the Top 1%

There are no common traits. The Top 1% includes men, women, all nationalities, all age groups all professions.  The one common attribute is mindset.  The Top 1% has a dream and they take action in a rational way that brings the intended results.

I have worked with very large companies and smaller ones.  These experiences have given me the opportunity to evaluate the difference between eagles and ducks.  Of course eagles soar and ducks waddle and quack.  Eagles have a laser beam focus on those elements of their business that make the most difference.  They avoid flying into the side of a cliff.

The Top 1% invest in self development. J.T. Foxx, a successful entrepreneur, radio host in 18 markets, and author tells his audiences he invested $60,000 in business coaching and consulting  for himself in 2009.  He has budgeted  $100,000 in 2010 for business coaching and consulting.  He is also investing in  focused training and development program for his organization.

J.T. openly discusses his vision and goal of creating a $100 million coaching and consulting company.  I know he will and that goal is likely to be achieved within the  next 12-18 months.  Note the  mindset.  Less than five years ago J.T. was homeless and he  just turned 30.

Invest In Yourself

Join me, J.T. and many more at one of the upcoming Free Events.    Email Me and I will get you additional details.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

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727-587-7871

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About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

Customer Service: To The Point…Harvey Mackay and The Cab Driver

Thank you Debbie Demboski, Regional Director/Owner of Interiors by Decorating Den for sending me this great story. Contact Debbie for your own  franchise  or decorating services. Ph.800-866-9499  Decorating Den serves most markets in the US and Canada.
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No one can make you serve customers well. That’s because great service is a choice.

Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

Harvey was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up. The first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey .

He handed Harvey a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’

Harvery said, ‘I’d prefer a soft drink.’

Wally smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.’

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, ‘I’ll take a Diet Coke.’

Handing him his drink, Wally said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.’

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’ And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.

Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts…

Tell me, ‘have you always served customers like this?’

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It . Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.”

That hit me right between the eyes,’ said Wally. ‘Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly,and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’

‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ Harvey said.

‘It sure has,’ Wally replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.’

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty
cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us?

Smile, and the whole world smiles with you… The ball is in our hands!

A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do
not give up… let us do good to all people.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans!

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Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

Twitter

Facebook

Linked in

MySpace

727-587-7871

Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

Harry Truman by Matthew Algeo

Harry Truman: Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 32 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year..

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices.

Good old Harry Truman  observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!

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This is not posted for discussion. If you agree, forward the link . If you don’t, delete it. I don’t want to know one way or the other. By me posting it, you know how I feel.

Steve Pohlit

The Truth About Retail Sales Reporting

Retail sales during the  Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season are followed by the news media very closely.  This is because consumer spending is a key economic barometer and the annual holiday season accounts for a large  percentage of total annual retail sales. Some estimates are that the fourth quarter retail sales account for more than 30% of total retail sales reported by department stores, specialty stores and mass merchandisers. The percentages can vary widely. For example December sales for jewelry stores account for 23% of the total annual sales.

“This November, (same-store) sales are going to be incredibly important to gauge the state of consumer spending, and thus fourth-quarter earnings and stock trajectory, and it’s also an important statement about the economic recovery,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Dreher.

Comments like this from Bill and others may not be accurate.  I learned how to analyze retail performance from experts responsible for running multi-billion dollar international businesses.  These lessons helped me tremendously in operating my own retail business and in my business consulting work with other retail companies.  Consider the following:

Same Store Sales Can Be Very Misleading

Same store sales are when you compare the sales in one period, for example November, with the sales from that same location the previous year. Seems simple enough but it is not always straight forward. For example, consider one store.  What is your conclusion if the store just opened the first of  November last year or if a major competitor closed a location near you this year?  There are many variables that can affect same store sales and you have to be careful in knowing you have true comparability.

Consider 2009, the same store sales that will be reported this year are being compared to 2008 which is considered one of  the weakest retail sales periods ever. At the company level a moderate increase in same store sales this year may not be a reason to celebrate except that of course it is better than a decline.  Regardless of the results, retailers must go deeper than looking at the aggregate numbers.  They must keep “peeling back  the onion” until the lowest common denominator is evaluated and that is at the item level.

Same Store Sales Are Not A Direct Indicator of Profits

Many retailers promote heavily in the holiday season. This is part of the marketing funnel.  Hot items sold at or below cost  are used as lead generators.  The Internet has educated shoppers on finding the best deals.  This has resulted in  add on sales  dropping which means more of the sales being reported on a monthly basis have lower profit margins.

Keys To Successful Retailing In This Economy

First point is the foundation of  a profitable business in any industry is largely the same.  Companies make money when they offer what people want at a profitable price.  In retail, customers often want a shopping experience that goes beyond price. For example, a recent testimonial from a customers experience on Black Friday demonstrated the success of a much smaller retailer with this customer vs. the major competitor. While having a slightly lower price for the laptop offered, the major retailer did not have any “unallocated laptops”   at 5 in the morning even though the item was heavily promoted. On top of that the crowds there were not pleasant to navigate.  The competing smaller chain, had inventory available and a more pleasant shopping experience.  So you know who got the business and a repeat customer.

Off line, location is increasingly important as well as the overall appearance inside and outside.  Large retailers win the game store by store.  When demographics and traffic patterns change, and they always are, the store needs to change as well.

Customer shopping experience is major for building customer loyalty.  This is mostly how customers are treated by staff when shopping.  This is the one area where many retailers fail.  There are great examples of customer service but they are not the norm.  On line, ease of navigation, speed of checkout and access to customer service are key. Many retailers with web sites pay little attention to the customer service that is needed.  People have questions and at times returns or exchanges may be needed. How this is handled is key.

Have you noticed the most ridiculous new message you get when calling larger customer support lines?  It goes something like this: “Due to heavy call volume, your wait may be longer than normal. Many questions can be answered at our web site.”  I don’t know about you but when I hear that message, which I do with increasing frequency, I think …this company has problems.

At The End of The Day, Profit Must Be Made

As a business consultant and coach, I always look to the profit trends and what is the practical near term strategy for strengthening profits.  Every  business must earn a profit to survive and grow.   There is always an opportunity to improve business performance.  It requires defining the performance targets then establishing  a disciplined process for meeting or exceeding those targets.  That process always works when the process is worked.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.