Business owner Q&A
I have a great loan writer who looks after the majority of my clients, however, I feel as if I am losing personal contact with them. They don’t know who I am and if she leaves, she could very easily take some of my clients with her. How do I reconnect with clients without overstepping what my loan writer is doing?
It would seem that the current client loyalty is with the loan writer rather than the business. Therefore, your task is twofold: build customer loyalty to the business (rather than you personally – because that will inhibit your growth), and get everything that happens in the sales area onto paper in the form of a system.
It’s not so much that you need to reconnect with the clients, more that you need to connect the clients with the business so that they associate the service they are receiving with the business name not just the loan writer.
There are several ways in which you can reconnect and also offer them added value service. Set up a regular form of communication with them, such as a letter or email newsletter from you. Institute a bi-annual or annual review of their portfolios at which you can become involved together with your loan writer.
Develop a status report on the property market in your state and nationally for the past and future six months and discuss the ramifications for them of the near term trends. Offer seminars on similar subjects.
In this way, you are letting them know who you are, and affirming your credibility and that of your company, and giving them more reasons to stay with the business, not just the loan writer.
I know I need systems and I know that systems will improve my business, but I work 70 hours a week now. How am I ever going to find the time to devise and then implement systems on top of this workload?
Your challenge is that you are the only person who can make things change. It is your business and no-one else can make that change happen.
The questions to ask yourself are: What are the ramifications of you not implementing the systems you know you need? And, what will be the benefits of those systems once implemented?
The problem is not that you are doing too much work – you are simply doing the wrong kind of work.
Start by listing all of the things you do in a week and how much time you spend on them. Categorise them – client work, office administrative work, administrative support work, bookkeeping, etc.
Ask yourself what you would pay someone hourly to do each category of work. Chances are a lot of it will be $15 to $25-per-hour work.
Add up the hours. Consider what you value your time at as the owner of the business. Now work our how much are you costing the business by spending so much time working in the lowest paid sections of the business.
It is only when you can get a picture of what you are costing the business in this sense that you can come to terms with what needs to be done.
Start working on the systems in those areas and then get someone in on a part time basis to follow them, freeing up some of your valuable time.
When you have that extra time, don’t just throw yourself into more of the same. Remember why you did it – and use the time wisely to develop some more systems that will free up more of your time, which you can then spend on activities that have significantly more value to the business.
A business is going to take a very long time getting to its objective if the owner is its most expensive clerical worker.
We have a great team – 20 of us work really well together – but there is one fly in the ointment, who just doesn’t fit within our culture. Although he is experienced and very capable in his field, and from that perspective an asset, he will never take responsibility for any mistakes and always has an excuse or justification. How do we manage this?
You said it yourself: he is not a cultural fit. When a platoon is marching on parade and one is out of step, does everybody else change step to fall in with the one out of step?
Probably time for you to part company and recruit someone who is willing and excited about marching to the beat of your drum.
Published: Wednesday, November 17, 2010blog comments powered by Disqus