Shared goals, approaches, philosophies and sense of humour all lead to positive relationships, and this is especially true in business.
One of the clearest paths to a successful client relationship is insuring that both parties share a common perspective and understand exactly with whom they’re doing business.
While this might sound maddeningly simple, it astonishes me how often this truth goes ignored. More often than not, a client will seek out a company that has done a good job for a competitor or for the newest “shiny penny” in the industry – regardless of the client’s own point-of-view, philosophy or needs. So it’s hardly surprising that these relationships often fail.
Below are three pieces of advice for increasing the odds that the clients you sit down with will want to sign on with you.
Don’t think of clients as ‘clients’
I make a concerted effort not to think of clients as “clients”; rather, I consider them partners with whom we are going to be in bed for a long time, people with whom we need to forge a positive working relationship and individuals with whom we can share time, opinions and healthy disagreements, all while working toward a common goal.
Be willing to give up some prospective clients
A square peg will never fit into a round hole. It’s essential to pre-filter potential clients so that both sides are transparent about their needs and abilities and fully understand the mission. Doing so helps to ensure success in working together, strong results and long-lasting partnerships.
At MODCo, we have a very specific point-of-view that simply will not suit every prospective client, and I’m okay with that. As a branding agency in the fashion and luxury space, we serve clients who come to us for our strong point-of-view in order to build brand identities and strategies that help separate them from competitors.
Our philosophy has always been that we are paid for our opinions, and it would be doing our clients a disservice if we did not share these opinions candidly.
That said, some clients simply don’t enjoy hearing the truth, or would rather follow the path taken by their competitors than blaze their own trail. These types of clients generally do not get past our website to request a meeting, as our approach is clear from the get-go.
Not every client will be a fit, and it’s important for business owners to embrace this truth. Be honest with yourself and the spoils will follow.
Make your approach known
A good client will have done his homework prior to a meeting and should already know a thing or two about your client roster, your skills and your corporate culture. That said, it’s your responsibility as a business owner to share this information openly, accurately and consistently across every potential client touchpoint.
The goal is for a prospective client to know who you are and how you conduct business from the get-go, which will ultimately increase your new business hit ratio immeasurably. New clients often come in for initial meetings and say to me, “I feel like I intimately know you and your team already.”
This isn’t because we’ve had multiple conversations; it’s because everything about us, from the language used on our website and social media channels to our office décor, blog content and (of course) the work that we do, paints a clear picture of who we are.
Your company’s voice in marketing copy, the case studies you highlight, the way in which your receptionist answers the phone and the language used in your proposals, in your invoices and even on your business cards – these are all essential components to promoting your company and attracting the right clients.
It should also come as no surprise that the philosophy you share with employees or even the method by which you let people go can lend to your corporate reputation and affect how potential clients will view you.
None of these considerations should ever be left to chance. They are details that define your company and should be decided upon and presented accordingly. If done with great tenacity, these details will effectively pre-filter potential clients to ensure that they are predisposed to working with you.
As a result, you will soon find yourself working with companies and individuals who value not only your work, but how you conceive of and execute that work. And this will ultimately lead to growth and increased profitability for your business.
Related: How To Turn Haters Into Raging Fans
A World Of Opportunity Awaits With Peli Peli
Business ownership has always been the entrepreneur’s way of shaping their future. If you’ve always wanted to experience life in the US, this is your chance.
Global media has been reporting that the chances of non-American citizens being granted access to move to the US are getting slimmer with the new administration. However, there is still one channel of access that allows people the opportunity to relocate that hasn’t been amended by the presidency.
The EB-5 Visa programme was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a programme initially enacted as a pilot in 1992, and regularly re-authorised since then, investors may also qualify for EB-5 classification by investing through regional centres designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
The question most commonly asked by foreign investors is where to start selecting a relatively low-risk company to invest their money into. One such entity that has been granted designation under the EB-5 programme is the restaurant group Peli Peli.
Peli Peli is a South African cuisine restaurant that has gained incredible traction in the competitive American restaurant industry. They currently have six successful branches opened in the Texas area. Peli Peli Vintage park, which opened in 2009, generated revenue of $5,3 million in 2016.
Peli Peli Galleria opened in 2015, and had $5,2 million revenue in 2016. Peli Peli Kitchen, their first fast casual concept, opened in October 2016 and reported revenue of $2 million in 2017. Peli Deli, a downtown fast food casual lunch concept and Peli Peli Cinco Ranch, which opened in February and July 2017, respectively, are both showing incredible growth to match their predecessors.
At least two more locations will be opening in 2018, and as all new Peli Peli locations have historically generated positive cash flow within the first year, the company expects to increase its revenue exponentially.
The power team behind the brand
The restaurant chain has garnered popularity, and won a multitude of awards, including Best Service & Best Atmosphere — Readers’ Choice Award (Houston Press) and 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winner for the Top 100 American Fare Restaurants in the United States (OpenTable). Peli Peli is also rated in the top ten in Houston, Texas (which boasts over 12 000 restaurants) on both Tripadvisor and Yelp.
The Peli Peli trio who own the business are Chef Paul Friedman, Thomas Nguyen and Aiki Tran. These three dynamic businessmen have their own share of accolades to speak of. Chef Paul, who is a born and bred Joburger, has been a contestant on Cutthroat Kitchen for multiple episodes on the Food Network. He won the People’s Choice Award and was placed third as a judge in the Gumbo Smackdown 2014. He received the 2013 Chef of Chef Awards in the 9th Annual Houston Wine and Food week, as well as being the 2013 Cadillac Culinary Master. He was also one of 60 Houston Chefs to be listed in the book Best Chefs America.
Thomas Nguyen, who is Chief of Marketing for Peli Peli, graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and was a former litigation attorney. He was the Houston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award recipient in 2015 and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Gulf Coast finalist in 2016 and 2017. He was Entrepreneur of the Year — Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce and is also a freelance writer for the Houston Press.
Peli Peli’s CEO, Aiki Tran, has over 12 years of experience in restaurant technology and won the 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year award — Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce. He was responsible for streamlining the technology infrastructure for franchises such as Popeyes and Wings, Pizza N Things. He also became the number one reseller of Aldelo and Dineware POS systems in Texas, with installations in over 200 restaurants.
Joining their ranks is South African Ryan Stewart. Having owned 16 restaurants throughout the country, he is also the CEO and co-founder of the Mozambik restaurant chain. Ryan has 17 years’ experience in the industry and is being brought on board by Peli Peli to assist in their revenue and store location growth.
Your path to the US
With the combined talent, brainpower and experience of these four businessmen, it’s no wonder Peli Peli is achieving success. The investment required to qualify for an EB-5 Visa through Peli Peli is an amount of $500 000 and is structured as an equity investment at risk. It entitles the foreign investor to permanent residency, and within two years of living in the United States, a green card for the investor and his/her dependents.
For more information on how
You can be a part of the EB-5 Visa programme through Peli Peli.
4 Ways To Find Your Own Business Style
The only way to develop a business style is step-by-step over time.
Finding a style in finance will define how you react to changes and how you approach new situations. It’s as important in business as it is in stock trading. Developing a business style and developing a stock trading system are extremely similar pursuits.
But I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to do. It will take time and you do have to be willing to work at it.
Here are my four ways of finding your own business style.
1. Get rid of your expectations
You can’t force anything to work. It’s necessary for you to be flexible when it comes to finding a business style. Begin by letting go of any expectations you have before trying a new style.
Prior to attempting a new style, you have to be willing to go into it with no expectations. You never know what you’re going to find.
2. Track your movements
Some things are going to work and some things aren’t going to work. I always tell my students in the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge that they should keep records of the things they’re doing. Keep these records as detailed as possible because attempting trial and error can quickly lead you in circles.
Don’t fall into the trap (as I did in the beginning) of trying the same thing multiple times because you never tracked the results.
I keep large spreadsheets with notes of the various styles and systems I’ve tried in business. Business mistakes can be costly, so you need to do everything you can to avoid making them.
3. Look at what others are doing
I refuse to believe that someone is doing something truly unique. The moment someone makes a breakthrough in business there are a hundred people replicating the same things. And that can be a powerful tool. Consider what others are doing and see whether you can learn something.
It’s why I also advocate finding a mentor to help you out. They’ll be able to help you out and you’ll benefit from their enhanced experiences in business.
Again, track what you’re taking from other people so you know whether something is working.
4. Refine what you do
Rarely will anything in business work the first time. However, your first attempts will give you a good benchmark as to what you need to do next.
You should never be satisfied with what you have, even if it’s working. Always work on improving your business style. I believe this is the most important thing because it also teaches you how to adapt to changing conditions over time.
Last Word – Constantly Growing
There’s no step-by-step guide for how to develop a business style. The only way to do it is to obey the fundamentals and then develop everything over time.
Even though the process is long, you’re guaranteed to learn a lot of lessons and gain from a huge number of experiences over time.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
6 Questions You Should Be Asking When Coaching
Top athletes have coaches because they’re winners. Business leaders should be the same.
Whether you’re a CEO looking for a mentor, coaching your management team, or structuring a coaching programme for your managers to implement, there are six questions that can help anyone get better at anything.
Dr Marshall Goldsmith is a best-selling author and world-renowned business educator and coach. He has coached top CEOs, including Alan Mulally, former President and CEO of Ford Motor Company.
The key to a successful coaching programme is simple dialogue and establishing responsibility. The person being coached must understand and agree that success lies in their hands. They must take responsibility for their actions.
Once every few months, have a direct coaching session. Ask (or answer for yourself) these six questions:
- Where are we going?
- Where are you going?
- What are you doing well?
- Do you have suggestions for my improvement?
- How can I help you?
- So you have suggestions for me?
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