Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


The Lifetime Value of a Customer, A Strategic Prospective

May 15, 2006 | By | One Comment

Business on the ball, outside the Ritz, Tyson’s Mall in Northern Virginia

This weekend Charmaine was managing logistics for a presentation at the Council for National Policy near Your Nation’s Capital. Her goal was to make her boss look good.

One of her concerns was the dependability of the hardware supporting a Powerpoint presentation.

We’ve all been there. Something always goes wrong. New surroundings. Strange equipment. In front of 1,000 critical sets of eyes.

But I told Charmaine not to worry. She’s at the Ritz.

Years ago, I sat at the feet of the General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton for at TQM presentation. (Total Quality Management — the management fads do come and go, no?)

The GM interviewed every hire in the hotel. In the hospitality business where turnover is a mess — he beat the problem by hiring the best staff. And motivating them with,

“We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”

When the Ritz pledges,

…to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests…

I believe them.

And it’s not because the Ritz group are nice guys. They are in it to make a buck. Each employee has a $2,000 authority limit, no-questions-asked refund policy for guests.

Why? Is the Ritz giving away the store?

The upscale chain has determined that the life time value of a customer is $300,000. Solving a 1,000 dollar complaint instantly, is small change for a $300K customer.

The presentation went off without a hitch.

So the boss did a flawless presentation. He was, however, interrupted twice. Not with equipment malfunctions.

With applause.

Exceeding expectations at the Ritz.


The Penta Posse



Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

This was an unpaid puff piece.

Man on a Mission reports that the Ritz has the best mission statement he’s ever seen.

The Carnival of Business is Up for 1 May

May 1, 2006 | By | No Comments

and open for business at Mighty Bargain Hunter.

And while there click through to Sports Biz as he takes a swing a golf in business: And an insight on why India and China do not yet play golf. And why that may be good.


Mighty Bargain Hunter is run by John who,

is a new father in his mid thirties and a scientist by trade. He loves talking about financial and money topics including frugal living, financial current events, personal finance, bargain hunting, garage sales, online and offline auctions, and business.

Visualize Management

April 28, 2006 | By | No Comments


The Manager managing three projects

Note that the manager pictured is not holding up his multiple sticks. He merely keeps the plates spinning. The sticks/staffs, re: his staff, actually do the heavy lifting.

And note that the manager is not sweating.


Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

Image from Mclellanmarketing.

25 Apr



The Manager as Sociopath: A 12 Step Program

April 25, 2006 | By | 2 Comments


by Hugh MacLeod Your Business Blogger advises a number of very competent business leaders and managers. Each looking to take their organizations to the next level.

But change is required. Brutal. Mean spirited. Humorless. Dark.

To become a spectacular success, there is only one solution:

Become a sociopath.

Or start thinking like one.


One in 25 is a sociopath;

that’s 24 you are not competing against

Need to fire someone?

Think like a sociopath.

Need to hire someone?

Think like a sociopath.

Need to close a manufacturing plant?

Think like a sociopath.

Need to increase sales?

Think like a sociopath.

Need to be on budget?

Think like a sociopath.

Need to step over fellow managers?

Think like a sociopath.

This takes training and practice and sacrifice. A sociopath’s kind of sacrifice. Start with these sacrificial lambs:

Dump your wife or spouse or other. Jack Welsh and Rush Limbaugh and Barney Frank come to mind.

Dump church or synagogue or mosque or coven.

No. Join a mosque.

Dump the kids.

Dump the relations. (Except for your rich Uncle Bingham.)

Dump the non-profit volunteering.

Dump the political parties. (But continue to donate to the Democratic National Convention.)

From the American Society of Sociopaths or AS… well, never mind.

(Twelve steps, modeled after AA, definitely without permission)

1. We admit that we are powerless over our character flaw – that our lives have become unmanageable — we like it that way.

2. We have come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity — but we don’t care.

3. We have made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God or Society, as we understand Him/Her/Them — if we trusted them more than we trusted our own judgment and responsibility.

4. We have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves — and have found nothing wrong.

5. We have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being(?) the exact nature of our wrongs — perfection.

6. We are entirely ready to have God remove all of these defects of character — (assuming he put them there in the first place?)

7. We humbly [sic] ask Him to remove our shortcomings — easy job, since there are few.

8. We have made a list of all persons we have harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all — by getting out of their lives.

9. We will make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others — (see number 8)

10. We will continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it — however, other people will surely take on this responsibility for us.

11. We have sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out — daddy replacement?

12. Having had this spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we will carry this message to other Sociopaths, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. (see also sex addicts anonymous)

Remember, an effective sociopath has no conscience and can do anything without feeling guilty. Normal people, who can be dismissed as pathetic empathetics, exist only to be ruled and managed.


Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

Also see Hypocrisy Today.

See Are Managers Sociopaths?

See Business Pundit with a terrific example.

Adam’s Blog has Open Trackbacks.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

Jo’s Cafe has Thursday Specials.

Your Business Blogger Interviewed by Small Business Trends

March 25, 2006 | By | No Comments

trendwire header

SMB Trendwire

We talk about the

Top 10 Mistakes Business Owners Make and What to Do About Them

Let me know what you think.


Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

Small Business Trends is hosted by Anita Campbell. Visit for the best business in small businesses.

Media Alert: Jack On Small Business Trends Radio

March 7, 2006 | By | No Comments


Small Business Trends

Forbes Winner Your Business Blogger will be discussing Top 10 Mistakes Small Business Owners Make with Their Employees.

Hit time is Tuesday, March 7th at 1pm EST.


Anita Campbell


Visit Small Business Trends and click through the microphone at top right.






The award winning Small Business Trends is hosted by Anita Campbell. Her collaborator is Steve Rucinski at Small Business CEO.


Small Business CEO, published since May 2004


Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

Small Business Trends is sponsored by Six Disciplines on Safe for workplace listening.

24 Feb



OPT-IN: Management of Other People's Time

February 24, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

Other People’s Money is the often maligned method to fund a venture. But to Get Things Done a leader must not only manage the money — the budget, but get things done through people: management.

What is the First Rule In Management?

The good manager does not manage his time. He does not manage his people.


Nothing should sit on your deskHe manages Other Peoples’ Time.

And Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling will follow.


Keep the ball rolling.

No paper should rest on your deskThe manager manages other peoples’ time — as well as other company assets — talent and treasure.

I would submit that managers worry less about managing their own time; their own “to do lists” and focus on the subordinate’s time.

So where does OPT-IN start?

The Manager’s Desk.

Piles of paper are decisions not made. You, Gentle Manager get paid only for your experience, wisdom and judgment. Start with your workspace.

Think of your desk as a pyramid with the apex pointing up. Paper does not rest on your desk, nor your boss’s desk.

Paper is never allowed in horizontal file piles.

Whenever a memo or an email attachment comes to you, it will slide off — back to whoever carried it in. It will have your signature on it, an action to be taken (by someone else), filed or destroyed (by someone else). You will not let it rest on your desk — even as you think about.

Do, Delegate or Destroy. Don’t put that memo on the corner of your desk.


Paper should breeze off your deskEmpty inbox. Not Paper; not electronic.

I would suggest the Biblical reminder that, Today has enough trouble of its own. Do not carry today’s worries — today’s paper — on your work space for tomorrow.

Managers: Do not let the sun set on a piece of paper on your desk. Or an email in your inbox.


Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

The Management would like to thank Baby-Boo and The Dancer for volunteering for this article.

See Management: 10 Tips.

Blogging from NRB: Calm Before the Storm

February 20, 2006 | By | No Comments

Cross Post at NRB from Charmaine.


I’m here in Dallas this weekend for the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters with an FRC team at the Gaylord. The exhibits open up at noon today and we spent yesterday getting set up — we are at Booth #317: if you are in Dallas, come by and see us!


11 Feb



10 Steps of Marketing With No Money — Then Sell Out

February 11, 2006 | By | 8 Comments


In the late 80’s Your Business Blogger was part of a medical device start-up. With no money.

We were launching new products, with new technology, teaching new surgical techniques, new medicine.

Conventional wisdom dictated hiring a half-dozen advanced-skill nurses to teach around the country. Our Board of Directors said no budget. This was a problem. Our product required extensive inservice training.

With a product that was 100 times the cost of its nearest competitive substitute.

So what’s a thinly capitalized company in trouble to do?

1) Throw a party.

My boss, John Harper, came up with the solution. Conduct training seminars. If we can’t go to the clinician; bring the clinician to us. (John Harper said something about mountains and Mohammed.) We would outsource the training to temping Nurse Consultants. We expanded his idea making the classes into events. Food, flowers, contests, framed certificates, lapel pins. More fun than a TupperWare party. Avon calling. Our mostly female nurses loved it.

…this list

of 10 steps provides a case study.

of brilliance in hindsight after the fact.

And desperation and frustrationbefore the fact…

This list of 10 steps provides a case study. Of brilliance in hindsight after the fact. And desperation and frustration before the fact.

2) Independent Contractors. Identify, recruit, train and motivate per diem consultants. 1099 not W-2. No fixed costs. Easy to hire. Easy to fire. I could make a lot of mistakes. And did.

3) Advertising. Small ad in local trade journals — ad buy was for multiple exposures, not size. Limited ad budget turned out to force creative thinking. I also learned that these thought and opinion leaders also were contributors to text books — and were looking for the latest technology — and wrote new chapters on advanced clinical techniques featuring our products.

4) Talent. Hired thought and opinion leaders who happened to be users. I simply hired my current customers. In setting up seminars the customers conducted the classes. Our instructors were typically ‘nurse of the year’ award winners for their organizations with advanced practice suffixes. These were smart women and everyone knew it. I hired 24 of the best.

5) Invitations. Snail-mailed and faxed personally-addressed invitations to thought and opinion leaders who were not customers. And phone calls. To attend our training seminars. A fax machine was hi-tech at the time. Hi-tech. Hi-touch. A personal invitation always sells.

6) Partners. Linked with local chapters of professional nurse organizations. Who were our key influencers and decision makers. Attended every industry trade show possible — I was less interested in the attendees as in the booth space buyers next to me — who were my channels of distribution.

7) Segment. Smallest, targeted market segment. We thought we would be selling to the 6,000 hospitals across the country. Nope. Not yet. It was the new home health care market. Which also was demanding performance over price. This tiny market segment was less price sensitive than hospitals.

8) Love. Appreciate the customer. Whenever a nurse passed (inserted) one of our catheters, I awarded her the coveted Landmark Nurse lapel pin. And a large framed certificate signed by the bosses. And corsages. Coming to our seminars was like going to the prom. I really loved my nurses. Still do.

9) Heeeeeree’s Johnny. Your Business Bogger acted as the Master of Ceremonies introducing the instructor and guided the logistics. There was no sales pitch. I openly disclosed that the Nurse Consultant was an instructor on the payroll. (At $500 a class — a lot of money at the time. Goodness, a lot of money anytime.) This Full Disclosure had an unanticipated consequence: Every nurse attending wanted to teach part time and would approach me later to get in on the $500 per gig action. Who knew?

10) Visit. Follow-up with a face-to-face visit. So here was my pitch: Buy the frightfully expensive product, I’ll train you, bring you roses, guarantee your happiness and patient outcomes. Or your money back.


The seminars were conducted at a fraction of the cost of hiring a team of clinicians full time. And we were able to bury the expense under the travel & entertainment budget. Which, as it happens, the seminars were. delectare et docere

So what?

I collected baubles for sales numbers.


And then what?

The company was sold to Johnson & Johnson. A profitable experience for the investors and stock holders.

johnson_and _johnson_logo.gif


Need to market with no money?

Throw a party.

Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

I had some terrific bosses at Menlo Care, Inc.: John Harper, Dave Maupin, Chuck Schreiber.

Read more on Menlo Care, Inc. after the jump.

Basil’s Blog has good content and links.

Read More

10 Jan



What Are the First Two Actions a New (Female) Manager Must Take?

January 10, 2006 | By | 5 Comments


Kay Coles James

Former Director

of OPMMen and women are different, inspite of what feminists preach. And women must manage differently. Here’s how to start.

Years ago I talked with Kay Coles James, who would eventually head the Office of Personnel Management for the Feds. I asked her about the challenges for new female managers.

I though she would recite the usual drivel of soft skills, empathy, sharing and caring. The girly stuff.

I was wrong. She hit me hard saying:


1) Fire Someone. And,

2) Cut Someone’s Budget.

This is not for the faint of heart. And only a small, self-selecting group of women can handle such brutality.

But it is the best way for most women to be effective.

And not as bad as Your Business Blogger, or Kay makes it out to be.


On assuming any new position of responsibility, there will be necessary changes in personnel and budget allocation. Make those changes immediately on your arrival.

That will be the easy part.

The challenge is to negotiate up-front with the new boss as a condition on taking the new job. The new female manager should tell her superior that 1) she will be making changes, and 2) she must have her bosses’ backing.

I always advise my clients that their new bosses know where the deadwood is and want improvements made. By the new guy — girl. Odds are that the new female manager will be doing what needed to be done — long before she was hired.

Kay is the woman’s best example on breaking the glass ceiling. By breaking some china.

But don’t do the firing at Christmas.

And call me to keep from becoming a sociopath.


Was this helpful?

Consider a free eMail subscription

Thank you (foot)notes:

Husband of Kay, Charles, swore me in as member of the Denis Thatcher Society. Contact me if you’d like to join. Or, rather, have your wife call.

Bob Pritchett has more advice. And check out his blog.

Full Disclosure: Charmaine used to work for Kay.

Visit Basil’s Blog for good reads.