Tips from the Top - August 2017


The Foundation or Great Employee Performance

“Our people are our greatest asset.” Most business leaders would agree with this statement. If your people aren’t performing well, your company won’t perform well. And if your competitors’ people are performing better than yours, you will struggle to compete, or even survive. Most leaders grumble about the performance of at least one of their employees. Yet, when an employee is told their performance is unsatisfactory, most of them genuinely had no idea that there was a problem. How can we fix this disconnect and lay the foundations for great performance? You might be surprised to hear that the answer is… 

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Pressure on Prices

Competitors forcing you to reduce your prices? Your own sales team constantly pushing you to offer bigger discounts? I hear this a lot on my TAB Boards and I question whether this is simply a slippery slope to the bottom and not actually the answer that customers are looking for.

On the high street where I live there are 2 independent butchers. I have been going to one of them, Roger, for years. About 6 months ago I went into the shop and found Roger altering all the prices on his chalkboard. I made a joke about him putting his prices up and got a very grumpy response that he was reducing his prices because Dave down the road had reduced his and he was worried that he would lose customers if he didn’t.

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Getting the Right Team

Last year I had a member who an issue growing his business where the field salesperson wasn’t generating enough.  He had to go.  The business couldn’t afford the market rate with what he was bringing in, but the business owner’s challenge was then “how does I grow the business without field sales?”

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Try the Bullet Journal method

Whether you prefer good old-fashioned pen and paper approach or enjoy the digital era, Bullet Journal could work for you.

The Bullet Journal is simply a method of recording and ordering tasks, intentions, priorities, goals, notes – in one simple notebook.

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Quick Tips

Planning to Exit Your Business?

We all will exit our business at some point. If you are intentional about getting your business ready for sale or succession, here are a few questions and a major activity for you.

Start by working towards taking off three consecutive weeks. This means zero activity with the business. No phone, email, nothing. In doing this, you will be able to see how well your team does without you.

  • Can they run the business day to day?
  • How about long-term?
  • Can they take the business to the next level?

The last question is entirely different as many leadership teams can run the company operationally but may not have the vision and/or experience to grow the company.

Can you take off three weeks? If not, what do you need to do to get there?


By : Mark Inboden, Utility Control and Equipment

You Don’t Have a Website?

Your website is the face of your company. The importance of a good website can’t be overemphasised.

If you think a website is not important to your business, you haven’t thought it through. Potential employees, investors, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders will all research your website before they contact you. You may not know what opportunities you are missing if you don’t have a website. 

By : Kim Christie, TAB Board

Dangers of Extended Payment Terms

Beware of customers requesting or demanding extended payment terms such as 60, 90 or 120 days. Not only are these longer stretches bad for your own net-30 payables, but if the amounts build up over time and any of these customers go out of business, you'll never see your money or, at best, pennies on the dollar (maybe, someday). Charging extra for extended terms may mitigate the risk if customers will agree to it. 

By : Steve Gilbertson, Electramatic


When striving to get an agreement with a prospective client, first ensure you are aligned before you go to the next step. Align to the verbal terms, for instance, before submitting a proposal.

When you are looking for confirmation or feedback, remember that the party which makes the offer first loses. Let your customer buy rather than focus on you selling. 

By : Dan Morris, High Point Financial

Re-Engaging Your Customers

When you are working with a client on a long-term relationship and they are not as engaged as they might have been, here are some steps to take to ensure they re-engage.

  • Arrange for a special discussion in a different venue than your normal meeting place.
  • Go back to their vision of success and why they want it.
  • Connect your activities to the desired head and heart outcomes.
  • Revisit the gap between where they want to be and where they are now.
  • Given all the activities that must take place, re-prioritise and or re-sequence the activities and get a new commitment to proceed.
  • Re-establish an agreement as to what you and they must do, and how you will manage a degradation of commitment.


By : Rick Arthur, TAB Member
Enigma Ltd t/a The Alternative Board (Guildford & Woking)
Registered no: 43510020