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Philip Beyer

Systemic Success

By Philip Beyer

About Philip

A born entrepreneur, Philip realized his calling to business and leadership roles while still in his teens, then established his first business in his early twenties. He is the founder and president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products in Nashville, TN, a business systems consultant and analyst, author of “System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business,” and InterTech award-recipient for designing and developing System100 business process management software.
 

Mine Your Own Business

 
Marketing professionals know the value of a CLIENT list. In fact, they will insist it’s the most valuable asset in a business—a virtual GOLD MINE. That being the case, why would you search out NEW clients/customers, before you have thoroughly mined your existing client list (database)?

Before you go prospecting any further, I suggest you dig a little deeper to get the most out of your “gold mine,” rather than simply using it as an address book.

What steps should be taken to MINE your own business?

First, of course, all client data should be entered into some type of electronic database—i.e. an MIS system, Microsoft Outlook contacts, accounting software, etc.

The next step is to ensure the value of your PROSPECT database by making it a high priority to systematically secure, update and maintain it for maximum use.

How many times have you:
  • Sent an e-mail or made a phone call only to find the person’s contact info has changed?
  • Lost client data due to computer viruses, failure to backup data, or some other disaster?
  • Shipped an order to a customer only to discover the company has moved?
  • Mailed a promotion piece only to get it back stamped “Return to Sender?’

How do you ensure the integrity of your “gold mine?”

Any process that needs to be completed consistently and error-free should have a control checklist. It should not be left to a hit-or-miss, Russian Roulette approach. Inputting your data is a process that needs to be done consistently and without gaps.

Control checklists are systems!

Below are a few types of control checklists that will ensure—even guarantee—that your data is updated, secured and MINED regularly to add value to your business:

• Data Entry Checklist
When a customer service representative (CSR), sales person or estimator enters an order into production or does an estimate, the client/prospect information should be complete, not missing any data—(i.e. company name, address, e-mails, phone numbers, contacts for orders, invoicing and production issues, emergency numbers, etc.).

As you develop your Data Entry Checklist, you will quickly discover what other information would add value to your “gold mine”—(i.e. birthdates, hobbies, number of employees, size of company, products line, etc.).

• New Customer Set-up Checklist

This checklist should have prompts like the ones mentioned with the Data Entry Checklist for obtaining and entering all account information, as well as prompts for getting client credit information, business hours, delivery locations, key personnel, etc.

With this checklist, you will avoid repeatedly calling and annoying a new customer just to fill in missing information.
   
• Daily Routine Checklists (DRCs) for Key Personnel
This is a great tool, which can ensure you are marketing to your clients or prospects consistently—not waiting until someone has a sudden vision, because sales are down or the sales department needs a shot in the arm.

Examples:
  • Add a prompt on a DRC to make follow-up courtesy calls to clients a few days after they receive an order.
  • Add a prompt on a CSR’s DRC, to apply a label or add a flag to a job ticket that says NEW CUSTOMER, which will notify everyone in production to pay special attention this order.
  • Add a prompt on someone’s DRC to send an e-mail responder with a special coupon to all your customers and prospects on the first of every month.
  • There should be prompts on certain managers’ DRC’s to complete computer backups to ensure your data security.

We have extensively mined our own business by using Daily Routine Checklists, Quality Control Checklists, and Service Control Checklists throughout our companies to systemize our marketing, quality and service.

The possibilities are endless for bringing order and value to your business!

Did I mention—Great systems work?
 

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