Line of Choice

Welcome to the ActionCOACH of Elm Grove blog, Line of Choice. Here at ActionCOACH, we strive to professionally and personally take ownership, accountability and responsibility in all that we do. In this blog, we'll be writing about topics of interest to business owners and business leaders. You'll read about anything from sales, marketing, financials, team building, mindset and more. 

The Value in ROI

Posted by Tom Palzewicz, on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

One of the many things that I have learned over the 12 plus years of working with thousands of businesses is that most people underestimate what things cost. Whether we are discussing day-to-day expenses (gas, food, stuff) or looking at major purchases (houses, cars, stuff) our expectations usually fall short of reality. I have often wondered why we hold to the idea that life is more expensive than we would like it to be.

Part of that explanation, in my opinion, is that most prices are somewhat hard to find. Unlike gas, which is posted on many street corners across the country (and some other parts of the world), there is no consistent posting of prices for most of our main life purchases. This tends to lead people to ask friends, family, and neighbors before shopping and inevitably uncovers that one person that has found the most value at the cheapest price, laying the foundation of our overall expectations. We all love a good deal and are ready to believe that good deals can be had at a minimal cost.

Yet all of us understand that most likely we will need to pay more in order to get more value. This dynamic tension that exists in our consciousness creates a sometimes paralyzing approach to buying. This laser focus on cost most times keeps us from benefitting from value that can be life altering. What most people really want is a Return on Investment (ROI). The difficulty that comes with a focus on ROI is that it requires math. And nobody told us there would be math in our day-to-day lives (well they did, we just didn't want to believe them).

The businesses that we coach are required to use math. We make them use it from the day we meet them all the way through our relationship. We do this in order to help them understand the ROI of coaching, because left to their own devices, they will not do the math. By explaining the projected ROI before we take them on as a client to monthly meetings to compute the actual ROI, we help grow their businesses and themselves.

So next time you are making a buying decision, calculate your expected ROI. Take into account both money and time, along with how you feel after the purchase is complete. Share your expected ROI and see if there is a value match. Keep looking until there is. By using ROI for your purchasing experiences, you will be better able to find that value you are looking for and the business that can deliver.

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Why Did You Start Your Business?

Posted by Jackie Zach, on Thursday, May 4, 2017

Think back to when you decided you wanted to be a business owner. What made you decide to take the leap from working for someone else to becoming the owner of your own business? Was it for more control? Better hours? More money? Did you have a vision of how your business could impact the community or the world? Maybe you didn't have a vision for how you wanted it to be, maybe you just wanted to strike out on your own and see what would happen.

No matter the reason, here you are ... the owner of your own business. As a small business owner myself, I loved the idea of opening my shop each morning, greeting the people of the town and becoming a local merchant whose merchandise attracted people from far and wide (for those of you old enough, think The Andy Griffith Show's, Mayberry). However, as I soon discovered, that is not exactly how it happens. Don't get me wrong, each time I opened my shop and greeted customers, I felt a sense of pride knowing I was living the American dream.

 The thing I didn't know was how much work it really was to own and run my own business. I found myself working seven days a week, worrying about cash flow, not understanding a thing about marketing or sales, margins or hiring the right employees. What do you mean I can't just open the doors and the place would be filled with customers just waiting to buy my products? I even remember early on opening the back door to my store and putting a lawn chair out so I could soak up the sun while waiting for customers to appear. What was I thinking? Looking back now, I chuckle at how naive I really was in the beginning.

Fast forward nine years and many triumphs and challenges later, I am a business owner who works on her business instead of in it and who, as a business coach, teaches other business owners to do the same. It is my hope that through this blog I can pass on the lessons I've learned and continue to learn. I will share some practical tips you can use right away along with a bit of humor to help make your journey easier.

So back to the original question, why did you decide to open your business and become a business owner? It is the clarity of the answer that will help keep you going when it's midnight and you're still working on the books or finishing a job that is due first thing in the morning. It is also in the why that will help you reach for the stars.

A couple of tips when thinking about your why:

  1. Your why is much more impactful and meaningful if it involves someone else versus just you.
  2. Your why should be inspirational to you. It is in the inspiration that you will find motivation to go on when things are challenging.
  3. Your why will help you create a vision for your business. It is that vision that will help set the direction of your company.
  4. Your why will help you and your business reach farther than you ever thought possible.

I would love to hear your stories, feedback, and questions. Email me at jackiezach@actioncoach.com or call (262) 901-4253. 

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4 Things Your Business Needs To Start Doing When You're New To Social Media

Posted by Molly Barnes, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Social media can be time consuming and unrewarding at times, certainly for those who have used traditional outbound methods for years and are now struggling to convert across to the newer inbound methods that lots of businesses are turning to today.

Where should I start?

How much time do you invest?

How much money is expected for the return on investment?

What platforms should I use?

These are all great questions that you will need to answer in your marketing plan, but if time is stopping you from using social media on a daily basis, then you won't go wrong with this simple 4-point plan (in no particular order).

  1. Schedule - you need to keep your accounts 'live'. Take the opportunity to schedule in content that needs to be delivered throughout the day that you won't have the opportunity to do later. Scheduling helps you save time and be better organized online, so plan ahead for your week if you can. Scheduling posts on Facebook is free, and other services are available for other platforms. If you are a worldwide company, think about scheduling during the night too to help you conquer the time difference and keep your global fans engaged. Remember, posting something is better than nothing.
  2. Respond - the whole point of social media is to build up engagement and nurture relationships, and nothing does this better than online conversation. Respond to everything and everyone that mentions you. Research those who follow you or share your content. Take the time to learn about them and what they like to interact with online. Ask questions and try and find the opportunity that could be in that contact. The better you know your audience, the better off you will be.
  3. Listen - most platforms have search facilities so you can really drill down topics and conversations. Think outside the box and actively listen. Know what's going on in your community and what's trending. Get to know your neighboring businesses. Whatever your business is, your audience is out there, you just need to look around and listen before you speak.
  4. Test & Measure - taking the time to test and measure your social media is essential and something a large percentage of businesses fail to do. Testing various campaigns, times, headings and content will allow you to know exactly what you should be spending your precious time on in the future. Measure all of your marketing and repeat those that work and question those that haven't. Study the interactions and engagement to see what it is your audience likes (no pun intended).

The four points above will keep you focused on your accounts and your content. Like anything though, the more you invest in it the more you will get back. Take the time to see if you could fit more online marketing into your daily schedule and start conversing with a brand new audience.

Would you like to learn more? Contact us today to find out more about MarketingCLUB, our new service that teaches business owners how to grow their businesses online. Please call (262) 901-4247 or email us at aceg.marketing@actioncoach.com 

By: Stuart Baddiley 

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Mastery Needs a Community

Posted by Jim Palzewicz, on Monday, March 27, 2017

A few years ago, we started EClub, our EOS® Mastery quarterly half-day event specifically for EOS® Visionaries and Integrators. As we concluded our last meeting, it was gratifying to hear the attendees thanking our sponsors for underwriting the session. They so appreciated the opportunity to invest a half-day with other EOS® Visionaries and Integrators to learn, share and grow together in their mastery of EOS®. That's when it hit me - mastery needs a community.

Think about anyone who's serious about achieving a goal ... it could be a gold medal in the Olympics; a college degree, or mastering a hobby (homebrewing for me!) In each case, communities form to help support everyone in achieving their goal. There are Homebrew Clubs, where brewers gather to share equipment, knowledge, and camaraderie in pursuit of the perfect pint. College students form study groups where they tutor, motivate and encourage each other and all become strong in the subject. Olympians live in special communities where their schedule is regimented, and outside distractions eliminated. 

As we look at our clients, it's not surprising to note that in order to support their decision to move from a good to great business, they participate in a variety of communities. It may be a CEO Roundtable, where peer support and best practices are shared. Or a MasterMind group, where members read books together with a coach to help them implement what they've learned. Our most successful clients are part of an Industry Peer Group, consisting of competing businesses covering different geographies. By sharing their process and systems around industry-specific issues, they all elevate their game against their local competition.

The more specific the community, the more focus there is on mastery. College study groups trying to meet at the homebrew club wouldn't get much studying done! If you're serious about your EOS® journey, I encourage you to contact me for your invitation to attend EClub.

Jim Rohn said, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Who are you investing time with?

Yours in Abundance,

 

Jim Palzewicz 

Professional EOS® Implementer

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Don't Invent Your Own Business Management System - Discover EOS

Posted by Jim Palzewicz, on Thursday, January 19, 2017

 

As the world's #1 Business Accelerator firm, all of us at ActionCOACH of Elm Grove have had the privilege over the last 13 years of helping over 1,000 entrepreneurs to get everything they want from their business. More money, more time, a better team, achieving their personal life goals through their business - it's been a remarkable ride, and we thank you for allowing us to be your business growth partner. Looking back, it reaffirms a discovery we made which led to the creation of our firm. That discovery is this: there is indeed a system to grow any business, and when the leader commits and implements this system, profitable growth is the result.

The problem is, many entrepreneurs believe that they need to create their own system. So, in the midst of managing their business and firefighting the 136 things that are burning at any given time, they also try to invent a management system for their business. An idea from this book, another from that great webinar, a tool from that conference... no wonder the team is left wondering, "What's the new flavor-of-the-month?"

In 2010, the book Traction by Gino Wickman popped up on our radar. Recommended to me by a client, Traction impressed me with its simple yet powerful system called EOS - the Entrepreneurial Operating System. EOS® is designed as a complete management system to help an entrepreneurial leadership team grow a business to fulfill their purpose.

Since 2010, we have helped over 50 Wisconsin businesses to implement EOS with amazing results. As I look at our client list, I'm impressed that most of them are recognized as the leader in their markets, as well as in their industry. They are also open-minded, growth oriented, frustrated by complacency, have a big vision, and know they need help to get there.

They are also sharing Traction and EOS® with their peers. Traction has indeed gone viral (if you haven't been given a copy yet by a fellow CEO, contact me to get your free copy). As a Professional Implementer firm in Wisconsin for EOS®, we are committed to building a community of EOS-run companies to help you get everything you want from your business.

Our quarterly EClub is our EOS® users group. If you're the Visionary or Integrator of a company running EOS®, you're invited to attend this half-day session to connect with and learn from other EOS® Visionaries and Integrators and sharpen the saw with our EOS® Implementation team: Jim Palzewicz and Rick Appleby. If you're currently using EOS® in your business, contact Gary Peavler at garypeavler@actioncoach.com or (262) 901-4247 to get on the invite list. Participation is complimentary, as the day is sponsored by service providers who are using or appreciate EOS® as the simplest, most powerful business management system for entrepreneurial leadership teams.

Watch for our upcoming Wisconsin EOS® LinkedIn Group, where we can also participate as a community to help each other achieve our business vision and goals through EOS®.

Yours in Abundance,

 

Jim Palzewicz

Professional EOS® Implementer

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