Outdoor Power Equipment

March 2018

Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.

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22 MARCH 2018 OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT www.outdoorpowerequipment.com COACH'S CORNER their day. But there are interruptions that you can expect in your day, and then there are unscheduled interruptions. Expected interruptions in our day could include a coworker telling us about a recent vacation, a (good) vendor stopping by unannounced because they were in the area, family stopping for a visit, or even a repeat customer coming by for a visit, and, of course, prospective new customers. These interruptions are not the culprit, but rather just part of the day in a business. The real culprit of yellow noise — also called "distractive noise" — are those unscheduled interruptions. The number-one cause of distractive noise in your business is the lack of formal and continual training and education of your team. Just think about who comes to you during the day (unscheduled) and the questions they ask. Often, this is not the first time that they have come to you with this question. So, is asking questions the problem? Yes and no. You encourage them to ask questions, because if they don't, it could have costly consequences. However, the unscheduled interruption with these questions is a problem with their training and education, and does cause distractions in your day. The solution to this distractive noise is increased formal and continual team education. You must look at this as one of the essential investments in your business and team. The more you train and educate, the less distractive noise you will have. You must establish a formal training program for every job description and level. Then you need to develop a continual process of investing into your team. There are dozens of resources that can help you with this and help you make this distractive noise go away. Some examples of such resources include online courses, vendor training, industry training, and industry articles. #3: Red noise The final type of noise is what I call "red noise," which is also known as "destructive noise." Like the name, it can destroy the future of your business while eating away at your current productivity. Red noise, like yellow noise, has one main culprit and also a similar source: both types of noise land squarely on the shoulders of ownership and leadership of a business. As owners and leaders, you must coach your team to process and think similar to you. Please note I did not say "like you." The intent as you coach your team is to have them add value to the way you process and think, and make it better and their own. We have all seen businesses that have failed. Forensic reviews of the demise of such businesses most frequently points to the destructive noise of ownership and leadership not working with — and coming alongside of — their teams, but instead keeping everything to themselves. In his book "The E-myth," author Michael Gerber said, "The E-Myth says that most owners don't own a true business — most own a job… doing it, doing it, doing it…hoping like hell to get some time off, but never figuring out how to get their business to run without them" The culprit of red noise is owners and leaders who never stop being a technician, and continue to work in the business and not on the business. The reality is that, as an owner and leader, you have done a remarkable job of starting and growing your business. You have had amazing team members who have helped you get to where you are at today. But unless you start working on your business and less in your business, there may not be a business. You need to remove the red noise from your business, and you do this by coaching your team to process and think similar to you. To begin this, you must give your time to your key team members who are actively running your business. During this time, you need to coach them through the essential elements of a successful business including finance, sales, marketing, operations, vendor relationships, customer care and much more. The difference is not just covering these things in a staff meeting, but enriching these in one-on-one coaching meetings where depth, knowledge, insight and experience can be transferred. Coaching is not a one-time event, but an ongoing developmental process. As you transfer key information to your We have all seen businesses that have failed. Forensic reviews of the demise of such businesses most frequently points to the destructive noise of ownership and leadership not working with — and coming alongside of — their teams, but instead keeping everything to themselves.

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