Management Basics Part 9- Use it or lose it

By Gary Hart

After a few months of your hard work and diligence, everything is now in place: marketing analysis, business plan, marketing plan and a better understanding of your business. At this point you should be able to see modest changes in your organization but don't be alarmed if you can't see it in the bottom-line.

While today's economy is adamant that success equals dollars and employees, success is also defined differently on an individual basis. For example, let's say that you have increased market share and have taken over a competitor's territory. While you have increased expenses in doing so, you are now the dominant player in your market and therefore that is a benchmark of success. Dramatic change doesn't happen overnight; patience is the key.

It is important that you take time each week to refer back to your various check-points and goals to see if your plans are on track. If something isn't working, examine it and make changes as necessary. Remember, all the planning you have completed is fluid and great care and understanding should be made to react to the prevailing conditions.

There are three key areas that you should focus on consistently:

1. Morale
2. Marketing
3. Money

As we discussed in previous parts, your employees are your front line and are the most important factor in the delivery of your services. Pay attention to what they have to say; react accordingly and in a positive manner.

As for marketing, make sure that you are not wasting your time on marketing campaigns that are not producing. Don't be afraid to change things and look for new and creative ways to market and sell you services; think outside the box.

Ah yes, money, the item that keeps our doors open. Whatever you do, make sure you dedicate someone in your organization to staying on top of your receivables. Use all the tools available to collect for your work including picking up the phone. Demand on-time payment from your vendors and remind them you perform an important service on behalf of them and their clients.

One of the tools available for your ongoing success is something that is right in front of you every day, your industry. Reach out to your peers and industry associations to discuss your market failures and successes. Find out what industry trends may affect your planning and react as needed. Think of this as a support group and participate often and openly.

As we all know, the AGRR industry is undergoing constant change and the more you know about your business, the better prepared you will be for the ups and downs.

Gary Hart is CEO of eDirectGlass.

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