“New Discovery Reveals 50% Better Results”

5 Steps To Avoid KPI Failure

I can’t tell you I can measure how much passion I have towards what I do. It’s hard to say: “I have 70% passion”. It just doesn’t make sense. 

But it’s stupefying to see small businesses having no Key Performance Indicators (kpi). So, what are kpi and why does the Houston small business owner need them?

KPI help measure what affects business. It’s to define what makes the Houston small business owner successful. And know what doesn’t.

I’d like small business owners to ask: “What metrics would I like to see each day that tells me my business is on the right track.” 

Warning: KPI fail for these reasons.


1) Poor Definition

Make sure you can measure each KPI. And measure it one way.

If you’re measuring Leads, then make it clear how you define a Lead. 

It’s surprising to see how many businesses falter here. I define a Lead as one who has a chance to buy from me. 

And I have material from the Lead, which shows his interest in my service. For example, if someone filled out a survey, I know they’d want to go further.

2) Effect of KPI

If people know they produced X units per hour, it shows if they met their goals. If they did not meet their goal, they need to know how to make up for lost productivity. 

And show new results from effect of new production.

3) Wrong Periods

Use reports each day for businesses that produce goods. They could be making goods each hour.

Use reports each week for any business in service. For example, you could have a sales kpi: ‘appointments you conduct each week’.

People can lose eagerness if you make them report too often. So choose reporting periods carefully. 

And do it especially when more reports don’t add value.

4) Reporting For Non-Key Roles

Decide key roles that would report total kpi. 

Then decide who’d report the 2 or 3 critical kpi that drive results. 

It’s a team effort, so the right kpi from the right roles will drive business forward.

5) Not Communicating KPI To Team

Send email or use bulletin boards to show kpi. And do it every week or at least every month. 

If you don’t show kpi, it’s hard for people to know they’re making progress and moving forward.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want even faster results? Are you ready to learn? Call 281.410.5375 for strategic work sessions to grow your small business.

“Who Else Wants To Stop Sales Failure”

7 Reasons To Lose Sales.

Business owners have strong beliefs on how we should sell. Reality check: It’s not all one-sided. You have a customer, who has to be ready for your product or service. 

During a conversation, a Houson small business owner said: “Sales managers need to take action. If they don’t, they’re sure to lose the sale.” And I asked: “Is that all that they need to do?” I could sense silence on the other side.

That’s when I started looking deeper. I saw 7 reasons for sales failure. Insights can be priceless.


1) Poor Qualification

I’d say this is the most important reason sales fails. 

If you’re talking to people who aren’t in your service “sweet spot”, no sales skill can get over the hump. “I don’t need your service. Take me off your list” would be the typical response. 

Ideal clients want to talk to you about your service. 

They want to learn more. You develop a quality conversation. And rapport comes naturally. Answer 4 questions to qualify prospects.

  • Why do you think your prospect will become your client? Find a way to look at sweet spot, project, client funds, client credit status and urgency.
  • Why we can compete? Find out reasons we’re better than our competitors. Importantly, use metaphors to compare them quickly.
  • Why we can win? Check and explain how we reduce client’s pain. If there’s no pain, build a story with pain and show how someone got over it. And did it using your service or product
  • Why is winning worth the trouble? If your sweet spot is larger projects, it may not be good winning on a small project. Especially if it takes all your time.

2) Need

When I sell electricity, I know every business needs it. But do they need it now? That turns out to be important. If not now, when do they need it? That answer builds the best sales pipeline.

3) Authority

People lose sales when they talk to the wrong people. I’d like to talk to the heads of businesses. I’d like to talk to owners. I’d like to talk to people who decide to buy. But we have gatekeepers. That’s why we need scripts, which gets us past them.

4) Price

Every buyer thinks of saving money. Play price against other reasons to gain attention. Once you have it, try to close sale. Price is a reason for lost sales––specially in commodity sales. Try not to make yourself a commodity!

5) Feature

Features are extras. Buyers do compare and reject sale based on features. But skilled sales people always find benefits. They make it easy to see why it makes sense to buy from them.

6) Lost Momentum

Sales is about developing habits. It’s about determination. It’s about never giving up––ever. If you lose momentum in prospecting, sales suffers. It’s about numbers. So keep up good quality conversations. 

7) Other Reasons

Timing, competitors, market and combined reasons can make up lost sales. Discover the exact reason. Then use sales scripts to showcase benefits over others. You’ll find the answer to lost sales.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want even faster results? Are you ready to learn? Call 281.410.5375 for strategic work sessions to grow your small business.

“How Strategy Converts To Easy Actions”

One Sheet Plan.

Most business owners want to grow, increase profits using tactical methods. One such Houston small business owner said: “I have no time to make big plans. They take too much time.”

I understood such thinking. I know where it comes from. But having no plan to grow isn’t good either.

Any plan has to do with people and methods. People affect how we look at the business. Methods affect efficient work. 

One can break them into 7 parts. Some call it small business strategy. I’ll just call it plan. It makes it simple.


1) Develop Core Beliefs

Core beliefs define rules. It’s what the business should and shouldn’t do. It tells us how people inside the business decide and act on work. 

It identifies the business.

2) Explain Business Reason

The reason for small business to exist answers the question “why”. It shows how clients benefit. 

It shows people who work how they affect the business. 

For example, profit per client or target long-term results show such reasons.

3) Outline Mid-Term Goals

Mid-term goals affect business over 3 to 5 years. It shows where the business is going.

It records the chief abilities to grow sales, net profits and number of clients.

For example brand results KPIs or brand assurances add value to where the business travels.

4) Highlight 1-Year Goals

One-year goals answer the question “what”. Adding to growth, net profits and number of clients, it answers questions on gross margin, net cash, accounts receivable, products and sales per employee.

5) Mark The Actions

Actions show “how” the small business will improve productivity.

For example, define target number of first time demos or target closing ratio for sales.

6) Know The Business Theme

Theme supports core beliefs. Do it quarterly or yearly. 

Celebrate wins according to targets. Reward teams for results.

7) Make People Accountable

Accountability answers questions “who” and “when”. KPIs and quarterly priorities define work and actions. 

For example, define target employee turnover and target number of “A” players.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want even faster results? Call 281.410.5375 for strategic work sessions to grow your small business.

“5 Key Areas To Boost Cash Flow In 2 Weeks”

Finding Cash That Didn’t Exist

One Houston small business owner told me he managed his cash well. I was curious. “How do you do it?” I asked. And he said “I watch my net profits every month”. 

That’s when I learned we were talking “apples” and “oranges”. Managing cash isn’t the same as managing net profit.

For some business owners, that’s a discovery. 

I recommend measuring your cash position. 

One method is using an analytical tool. It calculates liquidity ratios. And it shows the ability of small business to repay debt on time.

A Cash Gap Plan improves liquidity. Look at five key areas.


1) Longer Terms With Sellers

Look at the analytical graphs. They reveal the whole story. 

Longer accounts payable than industry average means business is doing well. Negotiate 45, 60 or 90 days for paying sellers. 

Start higher so you have room to go to the middle. Stop getting into he comfort zone, which prevents negotiating.

Find sellers with whom you spend the most. These sellers would be the best to improve cash flow.

2) Shorter Terms With Customers

Check the list of customers doing the most business with you. Then look at terms they use to pay you. 

Are they lower than industry average? If not, it’s time to negotiate so they pay quicker. 

Rank customers according to volume or sales yearly. Look at their timeliness. Check referrals they give. See how pleasurable it is to serve them.

Test your customers. They’ll understand. Regularly, there’s a cost of doing business.

Keep the A’s and B's and let go the Cs and Ds.

3) Fast Collection Method.

Fast collection method uses a regular set of letters. Many businesses don’t have a formal method for collecting payments. 

Letters could be friendly, formal and then harsh.

Use them judiciously. It will work wonders.

4) Bonus AR staff OR Use Collection Agency

Use a script to collect. Place someone in accounts receivable to be responsible for letters and voice script. 

Give out a bonus to the accounts receivable staff in your firm. It’s based on the days they improve collection.

An alternate to use a professional collection agency.

5) Reduce Inventory (Using Lean Manufacturing)

Use Lean Manufacturing methods.

Check inventory days from analytical tools. Inventory days shows how quickly business cycles the stored raw materials. 

Lowering inventory days will improve cash position. It increases asset velocity, which equals sales divided by net assets.

Taking these steps will bring results. Most times as quick as 2 weeks 

Importantly, it will increase cash in the bank for the small business owner. And that’s not the same as net profit!

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want even faster results? Get the eBook: Discover Quick Cash Not Seen Before

Discover Quick Cash Not Seen Before: Cash Gap Plan

“What Will Secure Salary You Want?”

The Method That Boosts Cash.

Every Houston small business owner I know wants to earn his slice of the pie. 

At least the ones I know do. 

But many wouldn’t have a steady amount they’d like to withdraw from their business each month.

One small business owner said: “I write checks for myself when I need money for personal needs. I take what I need. It’s not a fixed salary.”

That’s when all hell breaks loose. 

Decide On Salary.

I suggest deciding your salary you want from your small business. It takes discipline. It takes planning. And it takes foresight.

Forecast accurately so you can secure your salary. Forecasting cash in small business is a science. Some call it an art. I call it planning. 

"Forecasting cash is supreme for small business survival."


Houston Business Coaching To Boost Cash In Small Business

Check Spending.

Control spending. Check fixed costs. They offer enough opportunity to step up efforts.

Marketing costs balloon out of size fast. Keep a tab on them. Measure marketing return on spending.

Boost Cash.

Check revenues and gross profit you need to make net profit. Next, check balance sheet items to get reasonable cash position.

Every investor wants to know: “How quickly can I get a return on invested capital from this small business?”

Using revenue and profit budget will tell you the story of your past efforts. It could also tell you the future story if you use forecasts.

Use one of 2 methods.

Cash Growth Method #1

Using Microsoft Excel, plan out month-by-month how you can breakeven. It’s the point where your profits exceed expenses. It’s the ratio of fixed costs and percent gross profit. Then drive forward for net cash position.

Cash Growth Method #2

Use a sensitivity analysis tool. Focus on income. Pick your sales growth rate. Pick your percent gross profit for the year. Pick your expense growth rate.

Next, focus on balance sheet. 

Select the number of days to collect money sell goods and pay bills. 

For end of year, pick current, fixed, intangible and other assets. Select current liabilities you expect. 

Using sensitivity projection, you could see your targets each month of the year. Change them as you see fit. They aren’t cast in stone. Use them to drive your business forward.

Take these steps. And you’ll see results, maybe faster than you thought possible. 

Importantly, it will secure the salary you want.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want faster results? You can get this Amazon EBook: Revenue And Profit Budget Reveals Steps To Boost Cash

Revenue And Profit Budget Reveals Steps To Boost Cash: Revenue And Profit Budget

“Create Sharp Profit From Selling Small Business.”

3 Steps That Guarantee Profitable Sale.

Every small business owner enters with the idea of making money. Once they’re in, time flies. Very few think about their lifestyle when they retire.

When asked, one Houston small business owner said: “I’ve never thought about how my life will change when I no longer have the business.”

It’s a problem. It’s not only the question of lifestyle. It’s the question of sale at profit. No business wants to sell at a loss.

So what should small business owners do to prepare for selling their businesses at profit? I’m glad you asked. It’s part of small business mentoring.

Take these 3 easy steps. You’ll be on your way to sell your business at profit.

A) Get Small Business Evaluation.

Few small business owners sit down and evaluate their own business. It’s about setting aside time so you get the most value. 

If you don’t, it may be too late to make changes and prepare the business for sale at the price you want. And when you want. 

So I created a small business evaluation. It offers high value to a small business owner. And for limited time, it’s available at a low price. 

It will take you through 100 questions. They will cover time, team and money in your small business. 


Houston Business Coaching To Sell Small Business At Profit

You’ll get a report and certificate, which shows how your business performs. 

It will help you see if you’ve reached the “Freedom” stage. It is the final stage where you get surplus cash with little work. 

You can get the evaluation here: Small Business Evaluation

B) Know Your Business Worth

Finding out what the small business is worth isn’t the last step. It could start any time. 

There are 3 different ways to find business worth. It could use cashflow, market or assets. 

Let me suggest the cashflow method. It’s the one to start now. Not just when you’re ready for sale. 

It’s similar to knowing your home value. And you want to know just to have an idea. 

You can start getting your small business worth here: Business Valuation

C) Act On Boosting Value

Here again, we have 2 ways to boost value. 

First method uses business valuation. Small business owners can take steps to improve their debt and profit ratios.

Second method uses the gaps from the small business evaluation. Small business owners work on leading signals to grow their business value.

Taking these 3 steps will prepare your business for sale at profit. It will give a small business owner the lifestyle he could look forward to.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want faster results? You can get this Amazon EBook: Target Value You Want Before Readying Business For Sale

Target Value You Want Before Readying Business For Sale: Comprehensive Exit Strategy

“How To Create Sharp Education So Employees Produce Results Instantly.”

Where Education Hides...

Where do you find the best employees for your small business? The ones who do their work perfectly? The ones who bring results––every time?

I asked a successful Houston small business owner. 

He told me he never spent a single $ on mishires. And he told me any small business owner could use his method. He didn’t know why so many of them didn’t do it already.

“Once you know a “perfect” employee doesn’t exist, your life becomes much easier.” he told me.

“You can start to use the method that works instead of spending on hiring agencies.”

“Knowing people aren’t perfect showed me the way.”

But how could a small business owner train employees for instant results? I probed more. I wanted to know. And he told me:

Write Detailed Job Descriptions.

Make each employee write the tasks he or she does each day––step-by-step. Create a manual. Let’s call it the “Education Manual”. 

In it, describe the work. Add videos or pictures. It will increase accuracy of work each employee does. We’ve tested this method. It works. It does increase accuracy.


Houston Business Coaching To Develop Operations And Training Manual

Understand Why To Use An Education Manual.

Having an Education Manual is like using “Google Maps” to drive somewhere. It can change every day. But you go to it so you find the fastest way to get there. 

Now, Google maps update based on traffic. 

Similarly, each employee has to update the manual. Without the update, it’ll take you where you don’t plan to go.

It’s important to keep it online. Then each employee could update it regularly. And many could do it simultaneously.

Many tasks small business owners do become unique.  

Having an education manual gives people the chance to take over when the business owner isn’t there. And when the business still needs to finish work for its clients.

Organize The Guide That Works.

Organizing every step allows the small business owner to delegate work. 

An Operations and Training Manual will make this possible. 

For consistent and efficient work, organizing will remove the need for more people. And still let the business owner finish work on time.

Such an education manual saves time, energy and money.

Use a task list, which has all work a small business does––management, research, sales, marketing, accounting, finance, legal, manufacturing, purchasing, shipping, accounts receivable and accounts payable.

Once the team writes the tasks, they rank them. Next, they enter them in the manual. 

For the business owner to delegate low ranking tasks, they must be in the manual.

It helps team members if they write down tasks. 

Creating a full manual could take weeks or months. Once the small business has one, it becomes easy to detach the business owner from daily tasks people do.

Do these 3 steps. And you’ll be creating employees who produce results instantly––every time!

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want faster results? You can get this Amazon EBook: Using Sharp Education Creates Sharp Employees

Using Sharp Education Creates Sharp Employees: The Operations And Training Manual

“How To Concentrate On Activities To Boost Revenues.”

The Secret To Convert Time To Money.

I worked on many tasks. And I was on fire. It happens everyday in business. 

I worked first on tasks that gave me the most joy. 

But I didn’t spend time to think if they also made me money. Immersing myself in them made me forget time. 

I got great results when I spent time on the work I loved.

I asked myself: “How can I do more of what I enjoy, yet make money doing it.”

That’s when I stumbled into the secret. It’s the best-kept secret. It helps convert time to money. It brings major value to small business owners quickly. 


Houston Business Coaching To Carry Out The Apprenticeship Plan

I call it “The Apprenticeship Plan”. 

At once, one would ask: “Who is an apprentice?”

The answer: An apprentice is someone who learns from the expert of a trade or skill.

See picture above. Remember the time you were a kid. Perhaps, your dad taught you to ride a bike. It was your first time. 

You were the apprentice then. Your father was the expert.

As a successful business owner, you are the expert in managing your business. I mean expert in the tasks in your business.

So how does a business owner carry out an Apprenticeship Plan?

Make a list of all tasks each hour of the day in your business. Next mark the tasks that are creating revenues. Third, check tasks that you enjoy, which also make the most money.

Now you’re ready to develop your team to take over tasks from you. 

I mean the tasks that don’t make money but are necessary for business.

Prepare an organization chart, if you don’t already have one. It will show the reporting layout. Then list your tasks on it––as the business owner.

Group your tasks by its fun and moneymaking value. Now, you choose the ones, which are fun and also make money. Rest is ready for transfer. 

See who is most suitable for the remaining tasks. Then assign each task to the right person. That person takes the role of “apprentice”.

Our coaching will take you and your apprentice through 4 stages of skill transfer. In the final stage, the apprentice does the task. You’ll watch him or her do it.

Follow these steps. And you will discover the secret to boosting your business revenues. And now you can do it much easier than before.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want faster results? You can get this Amazon EBook: Using Apprenticeship To Boost Revenues

Using Apprenticeship To Boost Revenues: Explosive Business Coaching Results

“How To Create Exactly The Solution Customer Wants...”

The 3 Steps To Lean Manufacturing.

I’m a Houston business owner for one good reason. I want to make money. 

Of course, who doesn’t want to? 

But I know every successful business survives for a reason. They figured out how to delight the customer. 

And they figured out how to create the exact solution. It solves the pressing problem the customer wants to solve. 

And the best way to create what the customer will love is to apply Lean Manufacturing

I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t Lean Manufacturing for auto makers? I’m a software business. I’m not TOYOTA.”

Or one would say, “I’m a service business. Lean methods won’t fit my line of work.”

If you fall in these patterns, it’s time to stop. I’m going to set the alarm. 


Houston Business Coaching To Implement Lean Manufacturing For Your Business

Lean Manufacturing works for any business. 

Easy? Maybe-depends on how ready you are for change. 

Because “Only change stays constant.”

Why Lean? Because it uses less compared with other methods––Half the space, half the tools, half the engineering hours to make goods in half the time. And you need far less inventory on site. It results in fewer defects, and more variety of goods.

There are just 3 steps to make Lean work for your business…

1) Finding Value

Understanding the customer is key. It’s this step, which marks the start. 

Let’s say you’re in the software business. Then you need to make sure you know what customer currently wants. 

Second, you’ll consider the work so customer approves design. 

Third, your tests and customer tests have to pass. Have your coders talk to customers. 

Coder knowledge, short code cycles and auto testing can drive this step. 

Now you can deliver in small chunks so customer can approve the final product. It will make sure your solution matches what the customer wants.

This is how Lean methods find value for the software business.

2) Removing Waste

Remove waste in small steps. Remove not just the symptom but the cause or waste. 

Continual improvement is central to Lean. 

Seven types of waste affect every business. You can also find them in service, software or any other business. 

They are: overproduction, inventory, extra processing, motion, defects, waiting and transport.

You could equate these to a software service and find seven wastes there. 

They would be equal to: extra features, needs, extra steps, finding data, defects not found by tests, waiting testers or customers and finally handoffs.

I’m sure you could find equals in a service business and apply Lean.

3) Creating Flow (of value to customer)

Flow includes methods, people and culture. Understanding “value stream” will corroborate we understand flow. 

Carry out Lean methods and you’ll have teams focused on flow of value and not on expertise in areas.

Focus on people who add value. Upgrade skills for team workers. Use apprenticeships. 

Form teams who design their own methods. Form teams who have tools to solve problems fully. 

It means management supports teams. And they don’t tell them what to do.

Add value quickly to avoid waste creeping in. 

Flow comes from customer demand or “pull”. Do nothing until the step downstream needs the work. 

Using this method, you make goods when customer asks for it, not before. So you delay commitment until you see the customer asking for the service.

Gain extra productivity by having your teams collaborate. Share knowledge, assets and people.

Make Lean Manufacturing work for your business...take 3 simple steps shown here and you’ll be right there.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Want faster results? You can get this Amazon Ebook: Remove Waste Promptly Using Lean Manufacturing

Remove Waste Promptly Using Lean Manufacturing: Explosive Business Coaching Results

"6 Easy Steps To Stop Rocky Cash Flow In 12 Weeks Guaranteed."

The One Plan That Guarantees Positive Cash Flow.

I’m a Houston business owner. And I know cash flow is “oxygen” for business. Then why don’t all Houston business owners focus on keeping it positive? 

It’s possible they’re focused on sales so much it leaves no time to check how much time they have before they run out of money. Or a different reason. I don’t know.

But both are necessary. I mean sales and cash. 

You need both to keep your Houston business moving forward. Remember you always need cash. But you may not need as much sales as you did before, if you manage cash well.


Houston Business Coaching To Create A Break-Even Plan And Get Steady Cash-Flow In 12 Weeks

Why business owners ignore cash may surprise you...

1. Understanding Break-Even

Working capital is the cash you need to keep the business running. It includes cash in your bank, which you plan for business. It could include credit cards or business loans. 

Gross profit is sales minus variable costs.

Break-even is the stretch you can go without fully using up your working capital. It’s the ratio of your fixed cost to gross profit percentage.

Many business owners don’t check their break-even plan, which could help them keep their cash flow positive. This is also the first step in coaching for someone short of cash flow.

2. Controlling Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are costs you can’t fully remove. That’s why they’re called fixed. You need them to run your business. They include phone, Internet, electric bills, rent and other services. Business owners sometimes don’t watch their full list of fixed costs.

Cut fixed cost 10% or more and you’ll break-even sooner. And you’ll need to sell less to get there. I follow this all-important step in coaching.

3. Lessening Variable Costs

Employee labor, which you can bill your customer for, is the key to your variable cost. Efficient employees will help decrease variable costs. These costs decrease in ratio to sales. So the right steps for efficient work will help your cash position. Set up lean steps to get things done.

4. Understanding Break-Even For Marketing Costs

Quick “go-no go” decisions help in curbing runaway marketing costs. If one marketing track doesn’t yield sales to recover the expense, you’ll need to stop investing in it. Stop before you spend. Stop before it’s late. Check the methods to forecast and see which leads converted to sales. Then repeat the methods, which yield results.

5. Increasing Prices

95% of the time increasing prices slightly won’t affect customers. They expect it. It’s treated as normal cost of living. Increasing prices just 10% can withstand fall in sales by 20%. That’s before it affects profits. It’s a powerful way for more cash-flow.

6. Converting Leads Into Sales

Measure the leads from each channel. Measure how many convert to sales. Then increase work, which brings more sales. This will increase profits, which in turn will lower the burden on cash flow.

Take these steps and your business will have positive cash flow in just 12 weeks.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Results For Houston Small Business”. Call 281.410.5375 today!

Here’s an Amazon ebook to start: New Discovery Reveals 12 Week Break-Even Plan

New Discovery Reveals 12 Week Break-Even Plan: Explosive Business Coaching Results
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