How Valuable Are Your Customers?

Featured Image -- 197

Harvard Business Review:

Many companies use a calculation called customer lifetime value (CLV) to determine how much a customer is worth in comparison with others.

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Not all customers are created equal. If you’ve ever run a business (or even just been a customer yourself), then you know that some customers provide more revenue (and incur fewer costs) than others. Figuring out which to focus on and invest in is critical if you want to maximize your profit.

Many companies use a calculation called customer lifetime value (CLV) to determine how much a customer is worth in comparison with others. Even if you don’t have to calculate CLV yourself (there are lots of tools that will do the math for you), it’s important to understand the concept so you can decide whether to use it when making marketing and sales decisions.

So what exactly is CLV? Here’s a basic definition: The amount of profit your company can expect to generate from a customer, for the time the person (or company) remains a customer (e.g., x

View original 747 more words

ANZAC Day Participation

ANZAC Day Participation

My youngest son William (as College Captain – St. Aloysius College) had the honour of laying a wreath at the Kingston ANZAC Day Ceremony 25 April, 2014.

Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 during WW1, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. Australians & New Zealanders recognise 25 April (ANZAC Day) as an occasion of national remembrance, which takes two forms.

Commemorative services are held at dawn – the time of the original landing – across the nation.

Later in the day, ex-servicemen and women meet to take part in marches through the major cities and in many smaller centres. Commemorative ceremonies are more formal and are held at war memorials around the country. In these ways, Anzac Day is a time when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war.

Trip to Adamsfield – South West Wilderness Area near Lake Gordon, Tasmania.

Image

Adamsfield is a locality in Tasmania Australia where osmiridium was discovered in 1925. Alluvial mining resulted in one of the world’s largest sources of osmium and iridium metal. Florentine Post Office opened on 1 November 1925.

Today there is little left of this once booming town. Most of the buildings have been damaged by bushfires or reclaimed by the bush. Despite this, a visit to Adamsfield is well worthwhile.What remains gives a feeling for what once existed here and the surrounding landscape emphasises the remoteness of the settlement.

Image

Old shacks near river. The river has a footbridge crossing or 4WD required to cross to get to Adamsfield.

Image

Original Township is in there somewhere much of the area is overgrown with bracken. Image

The Mines

Image

Visitors to Adamsfield do not require a Parks pass.

There are barriers on the Saw Back Range track. Adamsfield track and the Clear Hill Road, all of which are permanently locked.  Therefore, all vehicle based visitors to Adamsfield, including those travelling by motorbike, four-wheel bike or mountain bike, require an authority and a key from Mt Field National Park Visitor Centre. A $300 refundable deposit is charged for the key.  The maximum number of vehicles in each group is six. To ensure access it is recommended that you book in advance given the limited number allowed in each day.

Chasing Pillows

cde1e5e56636adf94959abb44d1203dacbc8d13d-thumbWilliam Cooper is a student of everything that interests him. Although everything interesting doesn’t always interest him (we think it may be the hormones). He likes warm toast when he has been sick and intends to expand his novel Chasing Pillows with a “somewhat sequel” that explores the protagonist’s universe and may mention the protagonist himself once or twice. When he makes mistakes he almost always tries to spin them into an intended action and does this sometimes with success.

Have you ever lost yourself in another world—so much that you almost begin to forget the real one? Then you may see yourself in the writings of Opaulde. If not, the contents of this novel may simply confuse you and perhaps even appall you. Otherwise, if you are not repelled by the bizarre and chaotic, submerge yourself in Opaude’s world and see if you can answer the question, “Who is Opaulde?”

William Cooper’s book Chasing Pillows is available at Amazon.com (Paperback, Kindle) and at Smashwords.com (eBook formats)

Mistake 1, Part 4: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

ImageImage

Each business owner has their own style for implementing new initiatives, but there can be no better opportunity for a team effort than in identifying all the elements of the business. Once you have decided to go for your own systems, involve all personnel in this discussion and start with the business goals, breaking these down into a series of procedures and tasks, i.e.:

  • Set up a systems ‘office’. This can certainly be a virtual office to save costs, but there is also need for a central office or location.
  • List (or set) strategic goals.
  • Identify tasks necessary to achieve those goals.
  • Develop effective procedures for completing those tasks; that is, write the procedures manual that can be replicated from the prototype.
  • Build confidence; it’s important to get a systems design completed early to create momentum and confidence among management, staff and external stakeholders. Get some runs on the board from day one!
  • Identify transitional systems. More good luck than good management would get everything to go the systems way simultaneously across the organisation. There will usually need to be a staged transition to allow for slower segments to be implemented and for re-training to occur where necessary.
  • Create the desired turnkey environment. What worked in your pre-turnkey era may no longer work; there may be shifts, not only in job descriptions, but also for working hours, flexitime, meeting times, etc.
  • Explain this new strategy. All key employees and stakeholders need to be told what is happening and when, especially if they will be affected as above.

This process is about both simplification – finding a better way of doing things – but also creating new roles. This may require a training effort. The ultimate goal of imposing structure and instituting systems and procedures is, of course, predictability. A system is any method or procedure that simplifies or automates part of the business, making it easier for ordinary people to operate it. As one business owner said, “I’ve set systems in place – the policies and procedures – documented down to every task so that staff know exactly what they are to do and how they are to do it, and how they are accountable for doing it well.” She went one step further to ensure the business invested in training, because some tasks would be totally new tasks. “Then we train, and train them all over again.” Continued in Part 4. An extract from the book “The 7 Biggest Costly Mistakes Business Owners Make And How to Survive & Thrive” by Richard C. Cooper (c) 2011.

Mistake 1, Part 3: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

Originally posted on @richardcooperCH the blog:

Image

How do you build a business that works without you?

Every business has its own unique characteristics, but there is always a flow of work that makes up the overall concept.  Your task as the owner is to identify and build your own systems, detailed in a ‘procedures/tasks manual’ (sometimes called an ‘operations manual’). Every segment of your business must have definite procedures that make up the workflow. These procedures are totally consistent with your strategic goals in the business.

Just being armed with a business plan or a set of strategic goals does not mean that running your business will be easy. Work must be done to get the systems, procedures, and organisational structure right. Ray Kroc sweated over this for a considerable time before he was confident that a franchise operator could come in, switch on the register and lights and stovetop, and deliver the same high-quality hamburger…

View original 200 more words

Mistake 1, Part 2: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

Originally posted on @richardcooperCH the blog:

The turnkey solution

When you buy a new car, you don’t expect to have to open the bonnet and fiddle around with the bits under the hood. You should be able to just turn the key and start driving. That’s what ‘turnkey’ means. In business, it’s a system so perfectly crafted that it requires no debugging or fiddling with, or any sense that things won’t work from the outset; just turn the key, and start making money.

If your business is starting to feel more like a rut than a business, it is time to take a turnkey approach – that is, any method or procedure that simplifies or automates part of the business, making it easier for ordinary people to operate.

This is the essence of what author Michael Gerber calls the “prototype”. Gerber is an entrepreneur guru and author of ‘The E-Myth’. He often talks about how 80%…

View original 399 more words

Mistake 1, Part 1: Trying to Do Everything Yourself (or at least too much) ?

richardcooperch:

An important repeat.

Originally posted on @richardcooperCH the blog:

Trying to do everything (or at least too much) is one of the great, potentially fatal mistakes that early stage business owners make. It’s hardly surprising because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, does fall on the business owner’s plate. The challenge is, well, to challenge this commonality. Here we use McDonald’s to illustrate an idea accessible to all business owners, regardless of their industry or profession.

The McDonald’s Effect is a phenomenon made possible by the vision of Ray Kroc who saw that a well-oiled business, such as the one run by the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, California, could be expanded into a viable franchise with thousands of different owners. Kroc perfected every detail of the McDonald’s procedure in a prototype store. Taken to its ultimate conclusion, a perfect system and set of procedures has the ability to replicate itself thousands of times – exemplified by tens of thousands…

View original 233 more words

Simple is Difficult for Entrepreneurs

richardcooperch:

Not doing the basics well is a problem that I see every day for startups. Often a case of being more “keen” than “prepared”. If the inputs, people and processes aren’t right or ready then the outputs aren’t going to be.

Originally posted on David Cummings on Startups:

Many startups talk about keeping things simple, almost like a badge of honor. When trying to solve a problem, present a message, or interacting with a user, complexity is the natural response. Humans, especially engineers, enjoy providing comprehensive solutions that meet the needs of as many people as possible. Or do they? On average, making something simple and good is much harder than making something merely good.

Here are several areas where I’ve seen startups have difficulty with simple but good:

  • Elevator Pitch – More often than not, elevator pitches are too complicated and don’t leave the recipient with a decent understanding of the idea (see Offline Analogy to Describe a Startup)
  • Messaging – Quick, go to five startup sites and read their homepage or most recent press release. How clear is the message? How much jargon and corporate-speak is used? Overwhelmingly, startups struggle with clear messaging.
  • Metrics – Typically…

View original 116 more words