Friday, December 08, 2006

The 3-Step Business Growth Formula
To reach your organization' s productivity, sales and
revenue goals, it is vital that you continually grow your

Are you currently meeting your revenue objectives? If so,
great! If not, you are not alone. The majority of
organizations are failing to reach their true revenue
potential and their leaders haven't yet realized exactly
what is holding them back; or they are in denial.

The underlining cause of poor productivity and sales is not
what you've been led to believe in other magazine and
journal articles. It's probably also not the issues you
and your executives have spent your time, efforts and
expenses on in attempts to improve revenues in the recent

Poor customer service, ineffective marketing, an unreliable
workforce, distribution errors, etc., are not the cause of
falling short on your productivity, sales and revenue
expectations. They are only the symptoms of a larger
underlying cause.

Market leaders do not struggle with these costly issues.
Five years of research on the most effective organizations
has found that they have all followed the same formula in
order to take their organizations to the next level of

Here is that "3-Step Business Growth Formula." Follow it
and you too will eliminate costly "revenue robbers" from
your organization forever.

1. Hire Only TOP Performers

The clichés of, "Your employees are your greatest asset"
and "You're only as great as your weakest employee" are not
simply clichés, they are facts. The truth is, the more
productive your employees are, the more profitable your
organization will be.

A TOP Performing employee really is the only asset in your
company that is guaranteed to make you money. They do so
month after month, and year after year.

Unfortunately, only 20 to 33 percent of the employees of
market survivors are TOP Performers. The rest of their
workforce is comprised of "Workplace Survivors" that do
just enough work to get by month after month or year after

Your TOP Performers naturally succeed. They do so without
external motivation, bonuses, contests, incentives or
ultimatums. They fit your culture, their team and their

It is critical that you learn the recruiting and employee
selection strategies of your market's leaders. They have
proved that by hiring a top performer the first time,
productivity, sales and revenues will begin to improve.

2. Develop Your Workplace Survivors into TOP Performers

Whereas a top performer makes you money, underachievers
always cost you money.

Along with their underperformance comes absenteeism,
tardiness, conflict, mistakes, apathy and ultimately
turnover. All of which are more detrimental to your bottom
line than anything else in business and the underlining
cause to larger problems.

It is imperative to create and follow a successful
performance boosting process. Your market's leaders insure
that every employee, from their executives to entry level,
are reviewed and developed at least twice a year. You need
to realize that if any employee is not reaching their
performance and productivity expectations, your
organization will also fall short on reaching its
productivity, sales and revenue goals.

Many market survivors act as if they believe not every
employee can be a top performer. Do you think market
leaders believe this? They don't and that is why they are
constantly developing their greatest asset to continually
reach expectations.

3. Take Initiative Before Your Competitors Do

To leave competitors in your dust, you can no longer settle
for underperformance. Standards and benchmarks must be set
on your best employees, not what it takes to survive.

If you are not reaching your revenue objectives and
actually believe your productivity and sales can improve,
take the initiative to eliminate your costly revenue
robbers. Many times, all it takes is a quick analysis of
your systems and simple adjustments to bring about profound
differences in the productivity of your organization.

Understand the barriers that are standing in the way of
peak performance do not disappear on their own. They only
get worse and end up costing you more of your time, energy
and resources in the long run.

When noticeable issues go unsolved, what kind of message
are you sending your managers, employees and clients?
Depending on the problem, to your managers it may look like
you don't believe in the competency of your leaders. Your
employees may begin to believe you don't have faith in your
product, service and the organization. Clients will
eventually assume you really don't care about them or their

This is why it is imperative to allow your belief in your
organization to lead to action. If one of your goals is to
grow your business this year, take the initiative to do so.
Just make sure you do it before your competitors does.

About the Author:

Grant D. Robinson is the President of People Values and the
Author of the Market Leadership System. To improve your
“Hiring Success Rate” of TOP Performing Employees, watch a
free, 5-minute, on-line video at:

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Getting Killed with Insufficient Funds or NSF Bank Fees?

Have you ever run in to tough times, been unable to pay your bills, run up a lot of Insufficient Funds bank charges? Most people have at one time or another been hit with overdraft fees, often times by depositing a check and writing a check against that account without giving enough time for the deposited check to clear.

After spending just a little bit of time working in a bank, it was east to see why checking accounts are the banks most profitable product.

The interest the banks make on your money is no longer where the banks may their money. If you don’t believe me, take a look at any number of public traded banks; their annual reports are usually available on their websites. Fees are where the real money is at for them. An average checking account is worth about $200 to a bank. NSF fees, the popular term used by most banks for insufficient funds, can run into the hundreds of dollars if you’re not paying attention. Often times, the people that can afford the fees the least, are the one that get hit the hardest.

Because checking accounts are so profitable, banks jump over each while trying to get new checking customers. Some banks now only offer their best CD rates to checking customers only, while others offer special offers to “new” money, new to the bank, that is.

If you ever had insufficient funds fees on your account, you can use this information to your advantage. Simply by asking a branch manager for a fee waiver, different banks will call it different things, but you get the point, you go down to the bank and explain your situation to them and get them to reverse at least some of the fees. 20% to 50% fee reduction is the norm. Believe me, they'll negotiate, especially if you hint at closing your account. They hate losing checking accounts, and will work with you. Washington Mutual goes as far as to promote one fee reversal per year in their marketing, so banks will be flexible if you stick to your guns.

A little known secret is that even if you don’t have an overdraft line of credit, banks give you about $300 credit over and above what’s available in your checking account. You can ask to opt-out, but then you’ll be hit with fees for bouncing checks from different sources.

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