Bring Your Zombie Business to Life

Has Your Business Entered Zombie Land?

There are a number of movies and television shows today that deal with the issues of zombies, or the undead. While this is, of course, fantasy,Businessman manipulation there are unfortunately a large number of companies that operate daily in a zombie-like state.

Understanding the Situation: How did you become a Zombie Business?

These businesses are like the undead in that they continue to make sales and pay their bills, but they aren’t growing and barely get by each payday. Other signs of a walking dead operation include:

  • A lack of any effective marketing
  • Lack of growth goals
  • Few, if any, new customers
  • An outdated or broken website
  • Ignoring advice
  • A lack of adequate financials and accounting systems
  • Low employee morale and high turnover

The reality for many of these firms is that they will eventually run out of even the few customers they have and shut their doors. One of the saddest scenes you can see it to walk up to a formally vibrant business and find it closed, a sign on the door that it has closed and is no longer in operation.

Finding the Cure

If your business seems to have hit a wall, it’s time to take a hard look at the reasons you can’t seem to grow and are losing ground in your market. On the other hand, it is often difficult for the business owner to take that hard look in the mirror and understand how they got where they are. It is even difficult for many to recognize the seriousness of their situation.

Whether new competition has entered the market, the local demographics have changed, or any of a number of other factors arises to negatively impact your business, it often takes dramatic action to change your direction. Unfortunately, if you are still able to make even a moderate income, it is easy to just continue in that zombie mode, waiting until it is too late to make necessary changes.

When you find yourself in such a situation, it is often much wiser to take one of two steps. You might liquidate the business and Everything Must Go Boxes Overstock Inventory Store Closing Salespend your time at another job where you will make more money without the challenges and risks of continuing to run a dying business. On the other hand, you can wake up to the situation and decide to tackle the issue head on.

Many people find it extremely helpful to bring in fresh eyes and attitudes to help in a turnaround, providing an objective assessment of a business’s condition. For many, hiring a business coach is the first step to a new path of growth and profitability. When you take the time to work with someone who is committed to your survival and success, you receive the benefit of extensive knowledge and insights.Growth - Business Concept

If you feel your current situation is something like the plot of a late-nite show, wake up and turn to a coach who can help you bring new vitality and a bright future to your operations.Thom Torode is a NJ based Professional Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have plateaued getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally, Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.Coaching!
In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, Thom is also a Certified Franchise Business & Leadership Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients.

Coaching for Franchise Success

Franchise Success through Coaching

Franchise Success does not just happen! Even after choosing a good franchise business area, selecting the right franchise, and deciding on how to finance it – your work has just begun! You now need to run your franchise business efficiently and potentially expand to new units and make a profit. Similar to any small business, most successful owners will assemble a group of advisers to help insure their business is going in the right direction. Typically a small business owner needs advisers such as a CPA, a Marketing / Advertising pro, Attorney, Banker, and general business advisor such as a Coach. Having purchased a franchise you now have a successful business model to draw from but you still need to assemble your team to make sure you have the needed advise to increase your chances at a franchise success.

Looking for Franchise Success – Invest in you too.

While the benefits of a franchise are many a good business model alone does not ensure you will ultimately have a successful business. As a franchise coach, I assist franchise owners once operations begin to build a profitable enterprise. Specifically, I help franchise owners in leadership development, the marketing processes, and sales.

Franchise Success Coaching
As a mentor, I will share best practices that drill deep on franchise growth, unit economics, risk management, and new areas of growth along with the role you play as the leader of your company. My focus is to address real-time, bottom-line issues, so the payback is measurable. My mission is to help you achieve your goal of building a truly great franchise and small business.

You are running a Franchise and a Small Business.

Unfortunately, many new franchise owners make some common mistakes, including underestimating costs, underestimating the competition and underestimating the work involved. With my guidance, you’ll get the whole picture of operating costs, such as paying salaries, and rent for the building. As your mentor, I will put together detailed budget plans for both start-up and ongoing costs. Even if the service or product of your franchise is popular and in demand, there’s always competition. I will help you look for effective ways to outshine the competition for the upper edge and achieve Franchise success.

Even though a franchise is a turn-key business opportunity, there’s the same amount of work involved in running it as any other business. Everyday operations require overseeing and a significant amount of your time. You’ll have to be committed to putting in the time if you expect to see long-term success. Under my guidance, I’ll help you develop an everyday, efficient schedule for running the franchise on a day to day basis for financial and personal success. In addition, you’ll get plenty of support to keep your motivation high and your drive to business success in fast gear.

I can advise you prior to a Franchise Purchase

If you’re thinking about purchasing a franchise or have an existing one, be sure to contact me to ensure success. I can be help before you make a decision to purchase, giving you advise about what it will take to to achieve Franchise Success with specific franchise opportunities. I can also give you a great picture of what the challenges will be and what your day-to-day life will be like once you begin operations.

Thom helps business owners and franchise operators achieve success.

As the managing director of Sunrise Business Advisors, I have owned and operated a multitude of different businesses as well as holding senior management positions with a fortune 500 company. In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, I am also a Certified Franchise Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients. Let us help you become a Franchise Success story.

Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

How A Little Customer Appreciation Can Go A Long Way

Franchise Success through Customer Appreciation

When running a business, or operating a franchise, customer appreciation is generally not a subject at the front of a business owner’s mind. Few people realize how big of an impact the simple act of giving thanks can make on their bottom line. It’s important for any franchisee to remember that clients are the life-line of your business – and in order to be successful as a company, one must win over the hearts of their customers.

Ensuring your customers are happy and satisfied starts with interacting with each customer in a meaningful and impactful way. Every positive interaction with a customer is a step in the right direction, and will make customers think of your business before visiting your competition the next time they need your product or service. If you think back – when is the last time you felt truly valued as a customer, or were sincerely thanked for your patronage? If you are able to remember this, how did that make you feel about the business? It isn’t often that companies pay attention to this small but important element of business, and implementing a customer recognition plan is an obvious priority if you want to stand ahead of your competition.

Customer Appreciation Franchise Success Coaching

Showing customer appreciation is a powerfully effective strategy for retaining customers and increasing each individual customer’s life-time value. Like any marketing strategy, this should be a tactical plan you can implement into your current process.

Customer appreciation should begin with a good foundation, such as developing an authentic company culture which will also help your staff feel more empowered to go the extra mile and help solve customer’s issues. Your company culture should emphasize the importance of acknowledging, thanking and recognizing customers for their loyalty.

Ideas for a customer appreciation program include:

  • Training your staff in the importance of customer recognition. Reward your employees when they have satisfied a customer.
  • Consider personalized messages to your important customers. This can include hand-written notes, or exclusive gifts.
  • Consider loyalty cards – these will reward customers for repeatedly patronizing your business. Make these valuable enough to stand out from the rest. The average U.S. household is enrolled in more than 18 loyalty programs, but is only active in 8.4.
  • Free gifts with purchase are another effective mechanism for rewarding customers.
  • Holding events – the International Franchise Association has some great tips on event marketing to grow relationships with your customers.

You can also get input from your employees on what they would want as a customer. Including your employees in this process will help cement this strategy, and make them feel like they are a part of the company and the decision, which will help them perform better.

In the end, a little appreciation can go a long way in today’s world, where everyone is constantly connected to the internet, social media and technology. Small acts of appreciation and kindness can help set your business apart – but remember to be sincere and genuine! If customers get the idea that this strategy was only implemented to increase profits, well they will quickly turn their attention elsewhere. Figure out what is important to your customers band implement something for your specific customer base – you, or your customers will be thankful.

Thom helps business owners and franchise operators achieve success.

As the managing director of Sunrise Business Advisors, I have owned and operated a multitude of different businesses as well as holding senior management positions with a fortune 500 company. In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, I am also a Certified Franchise Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients. Let us help you become a Franchise Success story.

Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Prevent a Summer Sales Slump

Business managers and sales prospects alike are typically operating in summer mode, creating a summer sales slump

seizing the limited seasonal opportunities for warm weather activities with family and friends and vacation travel. But, of course, you still want your business to enjoy a profitable sales season. Often, suggestions offered for avoiding a summer sales slump are actually fundamental year-round business requirements. However, there are time-proven sales-boosting initiatives for businesses that typically experience reduced sales production during summer months.

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Summer Sales Slump

Create a summer surge

Mine your archives of unclosed sales prospects, and re-engage with these valuable leads.

So much of the sales work is already done. Follow up with these prospects offering an opportunity to wrap up their decision-making before they embark on personal summer plans.

Fourth quarter pre-selling

Summer is the naturally ideal period for setting up fourth quarter sales.

Use the opportunity to cold call, or otherwise create new leads, or work to nurture existing leads. Cultivating leads for closing by year-end is the smart way to avoid a summer sales slump. In utilizing slower summer months to build toward a larger yearly sales total, strong closers can often effectively inspire prospects to make the buying decision during the summer as a convenience. Prospective customers may prefer completing their business transactions with your company in third quarter if a hectic fourth quarter push toward their year-end deadlines is predictable.

Business socializing

Embrace the mood of summer culture by mixing business with seasonal pleasures.

Organize activities to entertain clients and develop mutually beneficial business relationships. These are ideal venues to promote repeat sales. Such strong business connections also generate referral business, which perpetually breeds referral business as each new client referred, in turn, provides referrals.

Manage distractions

Staying on track during vacation season is challenging.

Especially for business professionals with children at home from school for months, personal responsibilities might be much increased during this time of year. With so much going on, burn-out is a heightened risk. The most consistently well-performing business managers and sales professionals are characteristically those who understand the wisdom of relaxing to recharge the mind and body. So, take a vacation at some point during the year. If you don’t vacation during the summer, do take some time outdoors during these months to enjoy the nice weather.  It is prudent for you and your staff not to dismiss this important step. Decompressing periodically sharpens mental focus, contributes to physical health, and helps sustain motivation. These are essentials for maintaining high-intensity sales efforts over a long-term.

Internal contests

Shake up the routine with some outdoor meetings, if practical. Consider creating friendly competition for reaching seasonally applicable performance benchmarks in obtaining new leads, new sales, repeat sales, up-sells, referral leads, etc.

External messaging

Adjust the language of your marketing and sales messages to relate to the seasonal interests of your prospects. A presentation modified to make it refreshingly summerish will represent a new idea to your prospects and impress them with an image that seems energetic, imaginative, and forward-moving.

Use this tool: 10-Things-for-Your-Best-Summer-Ever

Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach.

He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Successful Franchise Leadership

What does it take to be successful in franchise leadership?

Despite your best efforts, your franchise may be struggling unsuccessfully to keep pace with others in the corporation. Insufficient sales performance, employee attrition, and organizational deficiencies can, of course, seriously impact growth and drive your operation to the bottom of the franchisees’ metrics chart.

Word cloud illustration franchise related

Franchise Coaching for Successful Franchise Leadership

Your corporation’s franchise development experts most likely approved your site selection due to comprehensive demographic data that indicates yours is a sound business environment. Therefore, you should probably start by assessing your franchise management method. Seek guidance from an outside management specialist, if necessary, to identify needed improvements and to most quickly develop your leadership skills to the level of your company’s most successful franchisees.

Quality

Presumably, your site receives products through a standard supply chain and/or other suppliers approved by the corporation. So, your product quality is likely consistent with that of the company’s other franchise units. If so, your consultant’s emphasis will probably center on potential issues in sales and customer service quality. An experienced consultant will evaluate your sales and service processes including lead nurturing systems, repairs and replacements, and customer satisfaction surveys, and will monitor your sales and service employees as they work with your customers to pinpoint issues impacting customer relationships.

Training

During the franchise discovery process, opportunities were probably arranged for you to interview some of the company’s experienced franchisees. If not, you should urgently call for these meetings and take full advantage of learning what others are doing well, especially in areas of operations in which you’ve identified weaknesses at your site. Of course, in extreme cases of low performance, advice from fellow franchisees or in-house franchisee training staff may only produce limited results. You and your team may need much more advanced support to achieve the strength of skills necessary to duplicate the success of your company’s best performing franchises.

Support

Your corporation’s franchise development staff probably spent abundant time with you and your new staff during the start-up phase providing franchise leadership training for you, your management staff, and your sales and service teams. A franchise management consultant will evaluate current performance by each team at your site and work with you to raise the value of these functions to your business.

Leadership

In a previous article I described what being a visionary leader is.

Demonstrate your purpose to build successful professional relationships with all who rely on the success of your business—customers, staff, your community, and your larger franchise organization. Your corporation has likely optimized your all-important web interface. So, focus on increasing external promotional efforts, and improve

Franchise Leadership

Franchise Leadership

systems for marketing to current customers. Make a positive working environment and commitment to excellence the priorities. After all, management’s attitudes tend to translate into customer service employees’ attitudes. Strive to inspire customers’ confidence and generate employees’ excitement about the business as your preferred method for building your brand! If you have determined that it’s time to turn to a business management expert specializing in working with franchises to coach you through to stable success, contact Sunrise Business Advisors for a complimentary Business Assessment Review (B-A-R).

Thom Torode is a NJ based Business & Franchise Coach.

He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.