Tag Archives: Economy

This Restaurant Industry Headline Is No Surprise

“The Restaurant Industry suffered Its Worst Quarterly Decline In Customer Traffic In 28 years In the Second Quarter 2009″

I love the retail industry and I consider restaurants part of that overall industry. I recognize restaurants are distinguished in the financial press for reporting purposes.  I also recognize that if you are a restaurant then you should be studying how you are doing in comparison to others.

The business of retail is so much fun because there is a tremendous amount of valuable information available and generally with the volume of customer traffic, you can test just about anything and receive feedback quickly as to whether it is working or not.  In retail the most energy should be devoted to marketing and in all fairness it usually is.  No whether that marketing is effective or not is a topic of debate. My view is that it isn’t and the view of the people dong it is that it is.

That brings us back to the overall results reported for the Second Quarter of 2009.  I wrote that the decline is written in a headline like it is a surprise.  Many may be thinking my view was based on the state of the economy with unemployment still running high and consumer confidence still running low. But actually my view is based on dismal failure of restaurants to pay close attention to the details of what is important to customers.

To support my view, I look at the exceptions. Here is one reported on by Fare Magazine. That exception is Panera Bread. They  have not cut prices, they have not gone promotional and the company continues to grow profitably. Click Here for the complete article.

There is always value in studying what is working for others and, for that matter what isn’t. Look within your industry and outside of your industry.  I forget what bank was the first, but I remember the story of a bank president looking at the success of drive thru windows in the fast food industry.  He tried in banking and it rapidly became very successful.

In any economy there are always companies that do well and those that fail.  The ones that do well are those who consistently pay attention to the details important to their customers.  This is the value exchange principle.  The more value I give you the more you are willing to pay for it.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

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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 business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

Job Loss, 7-Eleven Layoffs, Incentive Compensation

Today another announcement regarding layoffs. This one in particular caught my attention for several reasons. First 7-Eleven’s press release disclosed it was cutting 10% of it’s non-store staff.  It also disclosed it was suspending certain benefit contributions and it’s incentive compensation program. 

Before continuing, please note I am not in any way associated with 7-Eleven. If I were the content would have been different. 

In general, anytime I read about infrastructure layoffs, the ones at the support level, or enterprise level as it it sometimes called, I question, how these positions were justified in the first place. Every support position should be essential for the business and in retail there is trememdous leverage. Consequently I wonder what management was thinking when they allowed staff to grow by 200 extra people.  

I wonder what percentage of the annual payroll cost was cut. That number is not necessarily and most likely not 10%. The operative question is what is 7-Eleven’s, or any company’s support structure cost target, as a percentage of projected related revenue?  The related question is how is that going to be calibrated given revenues that could very well be lower than projected?  At what point are support structure costs fixed given the size of the customer base? What is the strategy for increasing customer loyalty and revenue?

These and other related questions don’t seem to be answered in press releases or related public disclosures very well. They should be for public companies and any private companies where they are benefiting from community tax incentives while such insanity continues.

Now that I am warmed up, let’s look at the point on incentive compensation.  I don’t know how a company can take away a properly structured incentive compensation program. In fact, the reverse of this decision should be implemented. Nearly everyone in the business should be on a pay for perfomance program. Incentive compensaton should be the catalyst for …well profitable performance.  

In summary, the principle is you are in business to make a profit and and people who work in the business should be rewarded for their contribution to that profit performance. With some exceptions, everyone’s compensation can be tied to performance.  In my experience with hundreds of companies, this is a hot topic that gets nods of approval and gets dropped like a hot potato as soon as possible. Why is that? Everyone feels they want the guaranteed income. As we have seen… there are no guranatees.  

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit
www.StevePohlit.com
www.ManifestMastermind.com 

Network with me on Facebook: LinkedIn: Follow me on Twitter

Steve is the President of International Business Consulting Resources. His firm specializes in guiding companies to rapid increases in revenue and profits with a sustainable growth rate. Don’t miss my FREE Report: How To Make More Money With Your Business Now and Long Term

This report may be freely distributed without restrictions with the original content including this resource box remaining unchanged. Author: Steve Pohlit, Business Consulting Services, Executive Coaching, please visit www.stevepohlit.com

 

Business and Economic Mastermind Offers Solutions

I have been intently studying Mastermind Power as it is a major component of a business I launched recently. The following story seems to be about how a mastermind generated the ideas that brought the US out of the Depression in the 1930’s. It is far more than that story. See if you don’t agree.

I have read Think and Grow Rich and I am still reading it. I am paying more attention to it than ever. I didn’t know that Napoleon Hill was asked by the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt to help the country in crisis.

Is the United States and world economy in a crisis? I think the mood is negative and that is my concern. Notice Napoleon Hill says that he wrote Think and Grow Rich to keep is mind positive with chaos all around him.

History can have great lessons if we pay attention.  Key lesson, form you mastermind group. If you need a place to start you are welcome at Manifest Mastermind.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit
www.ManifestMastermind.com
www.StevePohlit.com

Network with me on Facebook: LinkedIn: Follow me on Twitter

Steve is the President of International Business Consulting Resources. His firm specializes in guiding companies to rapid increases in revenue and profits with a sustainable growth rate. Don’t miss my FREE Report: How To Make More Money With Your Business Now and Long Term

This report may be freely distributed without restrictions with the original content including this resource box remaining unchanged. Author: Steve Pohlit, Business Consulting Services, Executive Coaching, please visit www.stevepohlit.com

How Is Your Business: Read The Amazing Answers

During a trip to my hometown Johnstown, Pa I had the opportunity to ask quite a few people how they were doing economically.  I was anticipating more than a few doom and gloom stories.  

I learned about a company that makes specialized lighting systems for coal mines that has doubled in size from 40 employees to 80 in less than four years. Plus they are still hiring.  New lighting technology has created a new market: coal mines that have closed.  Really cool!

I met an engineer for bridge systems in the Pittsburgh market whose main concern was being so busy. He was actually hoping for to be able to take some time off soon.  Then there was the guy who couldn’t say much about his work. In fact he couldn’t say anything because he works under an oath of silence in a place near Washington D.C.

Nearly everyone I talked to was upbeat and busy with their jobs.  Consistently I meet business owners who tell me their business is bad. This trip was no exception. In every case except one, what is really bad is their mindset or attitude.  Each doom and gloom story is attached to a business that has huge opportunities for profitable growth. But the owners don’t think so. When the owners don’t think so the results reflect what the owners think. I encourage every business owner I meet to get started with easy to implement, economical marketing. My recommendation is a four step:

1. Install or update the business website with visitor contact capture on every page.
2. Activate a blog with relevant content fed to syndication sites. Each item of information has back links and contact information capture form tied to an auto responder.
3. Use video for topical content structured with benefits and a call to action. Syndicate the videos, add them to the blog and select ones to the web site.
4.Using email marketing, and other action steps, get closer to existing customers and develop relationships with prospects.

While my marketing module is comprehensive the above 4 steps are integral to the module and will result in noticeable improvements to your business. Implementing most of these four steps takes very little cash but does require some time. The choice is spend your time on rational marketing or you can sit around and complain. 

Sending all my readers the energy of wellness, peace and abundance

Steve Pohlit,
The Profit Expert 
www.StevePohlit.com

Network with me on Facebook: LinkedIn: Follow me on Twitter

Steve is the President of International Business Consulting Resources. His firm specializes in guiding companies to rapid increases in revenue and profits with a sustainable growth rate. Don’t miss my FREE Report: How To Make More Money With Your Business Now and Long Term I am building my practice and welcome new client inquiries. Call me for a fee consultation at 727-587-7871 

This report may be freely distributed without restrictions with the original content including this resource box remaining unchanged. Author: Steve Pohlit, Business Consulting Services, Executive Coaching, please visit www.stevepohlit.com

 

PS. My doors are open for new clients and referrals are well compensated. 

Is It A Recession? Is It A Depression? Doesn't Matter ….Stop Your Bitching and Moaning And Take Purposeful Action

The last thing my readers need is another economic analysis report or some suggestion that I or anyone else out there flapping their jaws really know all the facts about the reason for current climate.  Ladies and gentlemen. reading those headlines and spending time analyzing the crap in the news is a monumental waste of God given talent. Stop your bitching and moaning and take responsibility for what you have control over which is your life. All change starts with one person. Do you want to know who that person is?  Look in the mirror.

If your business is suffering, if you have lost your sources of cash flow, if you are feeling tired, down, stressed or in general not very good, recognize this: it is very true that the way you feel is absolutely a direct result of how you think.  Don’t believe it?  OK by me if you want to be a martyr.  For those of you that want to take responsibility here is a quick 5 Step Plan to move forward fast:

A Five Step Speed Action Course For Achieving Your Goals In Changing Economic Times:

1. Recognize that most people you meet and talk to are going to be bitching and moaning about something or multiple things. Don’t play in that sandbox.  There are a small group of people totally optomistic about the unlimited possibilities. These are the people you want to “hang out” with.  So you don’t know anyone like that?  I’ll tell you one source where I have met some wonderful people. Register for an account at www.Facebook.com  and www.twitter.com   You can begin by adding me (Steve Pohlit) as a friend and if you don’t think I am wonderful, you will soon find a large number of people who are.

2. Understand the dynamics of doing business are always changing. Since 1994 with the introduction of the Internet browser, the rate of advancement continues to accelerate. Do you remember a few years ago where Google Adwords was all the rage for on line marketing? Do you know the impact social networking is having on the Adwords market?  When you look at the financial results of Google the impact may not seem obvious because Google is still the 800 pound gorilla.  But if you become active in the social networking markets like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and nearly daily growing rate of others you will see changing trend lines. I recently activated a site www.youtubemastery.net  that begins to teach people how to use video to market their business and products on line. I can’t imagine recommending that even as recently as three years ago. I know at that point there were some progressive internet marketers using video but to encourage brick and morter businesses to use it would not have been very credible for me at that time. Now it would be irresponsible if I didn’t recommend it and teach it.

3. Nothing is the same forever…nothing.  I am very familiar and experienced with using eBay stores as an adjunct to selling physical products using internet sites and retail stores. Several years ago the eBay model seemed to be an unmovable foundation for the auction business. In the last two weeks I was asked for my expert evaluation of a global trading platform that is very popular in the Europe. The person who contacted me was considering making a commitment of money and time to this business that is scheduled to enter the US.  When I started studying this model I was amazed to discover that most of it was a completely new way of lookng at auctions and while I am not personally a person who has an interest spending time on landing an eBay deal,  I can see myself playing in this new areana.  Now since its origin is Europe, I had some difficulty understanding it. Once I thought I “got it” I developed an explanaton which you can see at www.dublian.com   The point is whether you are a multi-billion dollar business, an entrepreneur, or an employeed person with a company you feel is well established for the long term, don’t fall into the trap of complacency.  I’ll bet 6,500 people employed by Wachovia felt their position was secure until they discovered in the papers that their employer lost over $8 billion and was cutting their job. Nothing is permanent.  My strongest advise with every business is the same: be very aggressive in taking care of current customers and growing market share.  Do you think that advice would change under different economic conditions? It hasn’t and it won’t

4. If you are running a business with employees you should be very consistent on your expectatons for performance. It seems that when revenue and profits are under pressure, management starts taking a close look at employee performance. In some cases they don’t even care they just cut.  Just cutting is rarely justified and is analogeous to removing a body part if you want to lose weight. That approach is just plain stupid. There is no change in the guidance here: The formula is A-P=V  which stands for actual minus plan = variance.  There must be a person accountable for each key variance in your business. That is how their performance is measured. Is it a simple as that. Yes and no which is why companies engage my me and my firm for assistance.

5. If you are repsonsible for a business that is really feeling financial and cash flow stress, every day you wait to call for assistance is a waste of very precious time needed to define and execute a turnaround plan. I have written about this before and will write about it again because it is a fact. Please visit www.turnaround-consulting-firm.com or call me direct right now at 727-587-7871.

The blessing of a changing economy is that is results in an opportunity to re-evaulate how you are running your business and your life.  The people reading this either accept that they are responsible for what happens to them or blames everyone else. For a long time I had the mind-set it wasn’t me. Four years ago I concluded that mind-set was completely incorrect.

Accept The Responsibility and Take Action Starting Now!!

Sending all my readers the energy of wellness, peace and abundance.

Steve Pohlit
http://www.stevereports.com

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Steve is the President of International Business Consulting Resources. His firm specializes in guiding companies to rapid increases in revenue and profits with a sustainable growth rate. Don’t miss my FREE Report: How To Make More Money With Your Business Now and Long Term I am building my practice and welcome new client inquiries. Call me for a fee consultation at 727-587-7871 Remember many of my business building articles can be found at Steve Reports and my prosperity building tool (best tool ever for helping you manifest your goals and dreams) is The Prosperity Tool Chest and guiding articles posted very often at Prosperity Tip