Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are the Utilities Included in the Lease?

              A business owner commented the other day that the reason he left his old location was because he was responsible to pay for the utilities.  His old location, in a building about 100 years old, had cracks in it, poor insulation and was a fiscal resource drain every month when the utility bill came due!  The business owner said that he liked his building, the location, in an older part of the city in which he was located, however, could not afford to heat the building in the winter nor air condition it in the summer!  After he moved, he insured that each of his succeeding building had utilities paid for by the landlord, not him.
                This is an interesting twist of events.  Who pays your utilities in your building?  If you rent, is this expense included in the rent?  Do you pay for it?  Is the building well constructed and not require constant and continual maintenance?  These are all questions that one must consider when renting a new facility.  Sadly, this business owner learned the hard way about costs associated with utilities.  One only has to be stuck in a 5-7 year lease and pay these costs every month before he/she realizes what a mistake they have made!
                Who pays your utilities?  If you don't know, or are unsure, now is the time to ask the question!  If you are paying and the building is never cool or warm enough, now is also the time to have a discussion with the landlord, perhaps suggesting that an adjustment, downward in the rent is in order.  Remember, who pays your utilities?  This is a key question to ask and to know!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Solomon Bruce Consulting 2012 North Texas Wounded Warrior Golf Team

This is the 2012 North Texas Wounded Warrior Golf Team sponsored by Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC.  Joe Michels, our managing principal in the North Texas office is on the left, followed by Coach Robert Vaughn, Dr. Joe Roh, Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University and Brian Nephew of the Texas Rangers Baseball organization.
Mr. Nephew was an award winning baseball player for the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks where he played 3rd base. 
Our team did not finish first, we were very, very close, however, we had a great time and were happy to help the Wounded Warriors after the many sacrifices they have made in defense of our great country.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I am Only Going To Sell You What You Need!

        Having lunch the other day in a little cafe, one of our consultants heard this response that is our blog title today to a vendor having a business lunch with a prospective client.
         The prospective client had asked for some video monitoring equipment for his business.  As the vendor was beginning his presentation, the prospective client said, "I know that you are going to try and sell me everything that you have!"  The vendor calmly replied, "No, I am only going to sell you what you need!"
          Now, because the little cafe was real small, there was no way not to hear the conversation.  Here is what was interesting.  The prospective client was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that he was going to be "taken to the cleaners" by the vendor.  The vendor, possibly anticipating some client rejection, calmly pointed out that all he was going to sell was what the client needs really were.
          As professional business consultants, we were impressed with the response of the vendor.  "I am only going to sell you what you need!"  How many times do you give that response when a prospective client seems to object to a presentation?  We suspect not as many as you should!
           Remember, no matter what business we are in, we are all in sales.  In some form or fashion, we are all in sales.  This vendor clearly recognized that the client thought that he was going to "get hooked" on some deal.  Well, the vendor disarmed that position right away.  Interestingly, as our consultant finished his lunch, the prospective client paid close attention to the vendor and how he proposed to solve the clients' need.
          Interestingly, how do you respond  when a client appears to believe that you are going to "Sell me Everything that you have?"  Our consultants are trained to respond as this vendor did-- never allow the client to think that he/she is being taken advantage of in a sales situation. Often times, the client will end up buying more product than he normally anticipated.  Not because he was "pressured" by the vendor, but because he/she understood the products that the vendor was selling.  Think about this the next time you are in a tough sales environment.  The response "I am only going to sell you what you need" are critical words!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Treat Your Employees Like Children-- That is how they will Behave!

    Working with a client the other day, we had a discussion on employee comportment and demeanor.  The client pointed out, that with his rich staff, about 8 employees, that if they are treated like children, they act like children.  If they are treated like professionals, amazingly, their performance is like professionals.
     Now, this is not complicated science, however, our client figured this out because he has children in elementary and junior high school.  He learned, early and rapidly, if he treated them like 4th graders, their performance was emblematic of 4th graders.  Conversely, if he treated them like the adult professionals they were, their performance was corresponding.  Now, this particular client is in the retail industry.  He deals with a luxury item that is considered by many to be total discretionary spending. He has a store in the local community mall, as well as one in the downtown location.  The business has been established for several decades.  Staff turnover is marginal.  However, mistakes do occur-- after all, we are working with human beings!
      What this client has learned and we have consulted upon is the fact that no matter how old, how experienced, how knowledgeable an employee is, mistakes will and do occur.  It may be simple, forgetting to make a call, place an order or identify correctly what might need to be repaired.  It makes no difference what the error is, mistakes do occur.  The key here is how you handle the error with the employee.
       With today's millennial generation, hollering, screaming and swearing will only turn the employee off, possibly allowing he/she to walk out on you.  Now, you may think that is not all bad.  Well, it may not be, however, depending upon the contribution that they made to your team, it may be hard to replace them.
        Treating adults like adults is the only way to succeed in today's world.  Yes, we all make mistakes.  All of us.  Yes, sometimes they are significant mistakes that one wonders how it may have occurred.  However, occur it did.  Now, we have to fix the problem and press on.
         Treat your employees like you wish to be treated.  Nobody wants to be treated like a kid-- even a kid!!  We all make mistakes, address the root cause of the problem, fix it and press on.  That is the only way to have success in your organization.