What a Global economy really means

3 01 2009

My brother along with probably many other people did something that was very disturbing to me as a business connoisseur. My brother told me that he used the mall to window shop for his presents for christmas and actually purchasing them walking around on his Iphone.  The only bad point about shopping online is that it is so specific that if don’t know exactly what you are looking for Amazon.com can’t help you find it. That why it is perfect to use the mall for random ideas. 
So my brother was walking around King of Prussia Mall and he was using it to for the experience of shopping yet he was using his Iphone to find the best pricing on everything that he saw in the mall. Using the mall for ideas then buying everything online. Here’s where the crisis comes in–malls because of the insane rent they have to pay can’t compete because Amazon doesn’t have the overhead and passes the savings on to the customers. So my brother did his shopping at the malls expense. He used the store for the random ideas and to touch things and then used the global economy to save money. The worst part of this is that you saw all the huge sales before christmas to save themselves and he STILL found cheaper prices online.
Wait until the next financial meltdown hit thats going to make the Auto bailout seem small in comparison. The retail bankruptcies whole mall are going to go bankrupt and it will be bigger than GM as far as job losses and bigger than Chryslers financial losses by probably more than a factor of two. Here are some are some of the biggest in bankruptcy right now KB Toys, Circuit City, Boscov’s, Hollywood Video and Sharper Image and we have barely gotten into 2009.

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TRUST the first thing you need to build RIGHT NOW!!!

17 12 2008

I grabbed a bite to eat the other day at a Mc Donald’s and something caught me eye. Now to start this isn’t just any McDonald’s this is one of the few that is NOT franchised but company owned and believe it is different. The food is higher quality (I know that sounds like an oxymoron) and the service is much more attentive and fast. There are many times doing my day for insight I will stop buy a business just to observe to see what makes it tick. It unbelievable what you see when you are completely independent and free of a situation. So as I sat down I realized something was different. There was this tension the sense of urgency among the employees. I was watching the employees run around this restaurant being busy like somebody important (aka manager, district supervisor was there) Having working in retail for several years myself I know that feeling its like second nature to me. I remember being in organization where when somebody important shows up your trying to impress them with something fake sense of “really caring about the business”. They call it putting your best foot foward when it’s more like this fear of them seeing what its really like for the hundreds of hours between visits.

Anyway I began to think to myself “What would it take to really get these employees to honestly care about the business?” Let’s say as much as that guy in the suit that just showed up wants them to?

Give them a piece of what he has— ownership in the business, stock and profit sharing

Why is it that the employees that have the greatest ability to make your business really shine or could bury it into the ground(so often what happens) have no big long term incentive? Why in the world are you giving stock options to the guy that doesn’t make your business grow if anything he keeps it glued together? to summarize there in not incentive for the people that control your very livelihood (those that have the MOST contact with the customers) but alot of incentive to those that only deal with a few customers or sometime none at ALL.

That paradigm is completely wrong.

Give the power to OWN a piece the business to the people that CONTROL the biggest piece of the happiness of your customers. Yes your customer service people, clerks, cashiers, warehouse employees and don’t forget you sales people. Give them the incentive they deserve and should have to care as much when your not around as you THINK they do when you are there. Those people need to feel the trust that somebody is helping their future for alot longer than their next paycheck. The difference in profits, sales, customer satisfaction will skyrocket because you have given them something to be proud of and something to lose. One of the best feeling you can give an employee is to show them in as MANY ways as possible that EVERYTHING they do at work makes a difference in many more lives than they realize. Just wait until I get to my rant on how ALL corporate employees should be required to work at the lowest level position at least 4 days a years so they never forget WHO and WHAT are the most important values in your organization. That’s in another post another day

Lesson — put the most long term incentive to those you NEED to trust the most and you’ll have a much better company than you could ever realize.