Which Business owner are you?

Last fall Alan Hauge, a 17 year St. Louis Vistage Master Group Chairman, spoke to our South Texas chair group and stated that 20% of the business owners, presidents and CEOs that he is in contact are trying to win and 80% are trying not to lose.

His talk has helped me increase my attention on what’s important vs. what’s urgent. My members are spending the majority of their time increasing revenue by having and restructuring a productive sales team with stretched yet attainable monthly, quarterly and annual goals; by developing a predictable sales and revenue pipeline and by holding your sales team accountable for results. Members that heard Gil Cargill http://www.gilcargill.com last year are spending more money, time and resources with getting new customers by holding their sales team to x# of 1st meetings every week and by restructuring their sales bonus/commission compensation to focus on incremental new business vs. business from existing customers.

Keeping profitable customers came from Franklin Hall, CEO of Lone Star Foodservice http://www.lonestarfood.com and is another important focus. When was the last time you looked at the lower 10% of your clients and considered raising your prices or better still firing those that did not meet your 2011 EOY profit results? I am seeing a greater attention toward creating a cohesive management team, individuals that are aligned with you, your purpose, culture and life balance with their attention being on the important vs. the urgent.

Over the past 3 years, my members feel they have done an above average job in eliminating costs. Some have added software and eliminated or minimized talent acquisition when their sales came back. Others turned over every rock and looked for waste in overtime, duplication of efforts, soft job descriptions on what’s essential vs. what’s preferred.

To me this suggests that those that aren’t able to focus on the above are probably being distracted with the day-to-day reactive tasks that pull us all back into “in the business” instead of “on the business” activity. Do you fixate on your own success and the curse of your success and sense your work/life balance is out of whack and needs attention? If yes to either and you live in Austin, I would like to get to know you better and maybe be of help.

In closing this blog – the president, business owner or CEO is the person in the organization who is ultimately responsible for identifying, selecting, pursuing and realizing opportunity. After 33 years with 3M and now 5 years as a chair with Vistage, I honestly believe a 15 to 18 member peer-to-peer advisory group, i.e.: with the collective wisdom of 200 hundred years of leadership; will enable you to reach and exceed your stated business and life/balance goals. I remain humbled that Austin based business owners benefit from our time together. You are all so busy, yet if you will make the time for our monthly coaching sessions, you will be rarely disappointed. Since we meet monthly as a group, imagine a safe place for you to “discuss the undiscussable” with like minded executives, knowing that you are being helped and are helping others in sharpening your saw to be a better leader and make better decisions.

If you are that 20% with 5 to 100 million in annual revenue, pencil in the morning of April 17th and email me at ed.stillman@vistage.com or call my cell 512.422.6232. I’m interviewing business owners for Austin’s next “Chief Exec” Advisory Group. Let’s connect for 10 minutes over the phone and explore your needs and wants to determine if we should meet for lunch in the 2nd half of March.

Ed Stillman spends the majority of his time working with business owners and CEOs who are focusing on growing their profitability greater than their competition. He is a central Texas business/life balance coach working with two dozen company executives that want to take themselves and their companies to the next level.

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