o you know people who say, “I could have told you that would happen?” Perhaps a parent, a coach, a former boss, or maybe even a co-worker? It drives me crazy when people do that – and I hope you don’t do that with your employees. Hindsight is useless unless used to improve predictable situations from reoccurring.
“I didn’t see that coming,” is an all too familiar business phrase these days. It applies to banking relationships, your bonding company relationship, employees quitting, a competitor taking away a large account, etc. Here’s the thing, in many cases you can see it coming if you have the right information, the right tools, and the right relationships.
Here’s why NSCA is so valuable to your business success, we don’t just tell you, “I knew that would happen,” we inform you based on the experiences we have and what we learn from others in our industry. As you become more engaged with a professional trade association, you begin to realize that others are experiencing the same things you are. Here are a few examples:
- A large customer informs you that the new competitor in your area has earned their business. You ask why and they say price. You tell your employees that we don’t compete on price and move on.
- A key employee comes in, shuts the door and says that they’re going to work for the competition. You ask why and they say more money.
- A large project is being bid and you come in 20% over budget. The GC calls and says you can have it if you get down to 80% of your proposed price. You value engineer, sharpen the pencil and reduce labor and get the job. The owner moves in and begins using the system. They didn’t get what they wanted. You ask why and they say it isn’t what the design person promised.
- A new vendor stops by with the most fantastic substitute product for one of your core technologies that practically sells itself. The offer is to take a demo unit and some inventory and you will become their exclusive dealer in your area. The relationship with your current vendor evaporates.
- Your integration business is operating at break-even, yet you hear of others who are growing and profitable in the same markets. You race to the conclusion that it must be a sales problem and implement an off-the-shelf sales tracking software package and get sales activity reports sent to you directly.
For all of these situations, what predictable outcome will happen next? The thing is, we see so many situations repeated by individual member companies that we have established best practices that really help to see these things coming. But if you don’t get in the loop and network with other industry professionals, it will seem like these situations only happen to you. Building a network of peers and trusted advisors such as you have with NSCA makes the membership dues looks pretty reasonable after all. – C