Hello My Friend. My name is Bill Fortner, aka “Pop’s”. I am very proud to say my last Career spanned 27 years with One Company. I spent about 20 of those years in a Leadership role. I had responsibility over Product, Service, and People. The last Leadership role with this particular company was as Vice President of one of their Divisions.
The Division started out with about 70 fine people and grew to over 150 people in my charge. These were great people who counted on me to take care of them and the business so they could prosper and take care of their lives and families. I was fortunate to have many good leaders along my path to guide me the right way and make that possible.
This last role with the company gave me total control over the P&L of the location. Managing every facet of the business. This included People, Marketing, Vendors, Materials sources, suppliers, and building to name the big ones. So, I know it will test your metal to have this kind of responsibility.
I was also fortunate to have leaders who reported to me to help manage the business and grow our people. If your a Small Business Owner, most of this rests on your shoulders. As you grow you will likely assign leaders yourself to help you grow the business.
There was someone else that should be “Recognized” that supported me so I could succeed at what I was doing. That would be my wife of over 30 years now. My support system that never failed me. I am truly blessed to have had this in my life and thank the Lord for that gift. You’ve heard it said, “Behind every good man is a good woman” or today it might be said “Behind every good person is a good significant other”. This is so true in my case.
Anyway, my career has given me a perspective on running a business that I would like to share with you. Hopefully, I can add value to your journey by what I have learned along the way. I am purposely not sharing the type of business because it really doesn’t matter all that much. It only matters how you approach your business and take care of it.
There are “The 2 Things” I believe that must exist for your business to prosper:
- Delivering a “World Class” experience to the clients you will serve.
- This is the most critical of the two in my humble opinion and will take the most work but net the best results.
- Having a good Quality Product or Service that people want and need.
I read a passage in a book about an advertising firm who was offered work from a company because sales were going down and better marketing must be needed to turn the company around. So they hired this new firm and fired the other. This new advertising firm visited the company discretely as patrons/customers (this was their normal practice when taking on a new account). They determined that the product was fine but the business was broken. Employees weren’t happy and customers were not being treasured and cared for. It was also very hard for clients to do business with this company. The pitch to this company was about changing the “Culture” of the company first. They felt that spending any more on marketing would not have the desired result.
I think Products and Services people need are fairly easy to come up with but being “World Class” on your delivery takes much more work. The fact is, you can have the “Same Hamburger” as the next business but yours tastes better because the client experience is “Awesome”. You wouldn’t want to spend time and money on tools to grow the business only to find out you are building onto a weak foundation.
Again, the type doesn’t matter. House cleaning, AC Service, Restaurant, Real Estate, Clothing Store, Specialty Store, Online Store, and you can imagine how many different types of business are out there. We can call them “widgets or widget service”.
So, for the next several chapters, I am going to breakdown the things I believe can help you grow your business based on my experience. Here is what I wish cover for you:
- Leadership – Be a Good Leader
- People – Your Team and Your Clients
- Product or Service
- (I will reserve this spot for more bullet points as I believe I will think of some more as I create these pages – I am having fun with this)
May the wind be at our backs…………….