Are you being cheap? Think about what it is in your business that you use all the time. What is that thing you live on? What is that tool or equipment you use constantly? Now, have you bought the best? The most productive, the easiest to use, the thing that doesn’t frustrate you, the thing you don’t curse at all the time? As an example I live on a computer. I don’t use my cell phone much for phone calls, in fact it’s near impossible to get a hold of me on my cell phone but I have a cell phone for texting and emergencies and it’s an iPhone.
If I’m going to carry this thing in my pocket all the time even though I don’t use that much, I’m going to have the best phone. I happen to think it’s an iPhone. Everybody has a different opinion. I live on my computer more than anything else. I have a $2,200 Mac. I think that because I spend all my time on my computer I should the best computer. Now, there’s stuff that’s best, but that’s the fine. That’s the in between point where at $2,200 I get everything I possibly need and it’s what I want need.
If I was sitting on a lawn mower all day, I’d buy the best most productive lawn mower. If I was cleaning a house I would have the very best equipment chemicals, chemicals is probably the wrong word to use in cleaning, but I’d have the very best materials available to me to clean that house. If I’m in my truck all day long I would have a fantastic seat, a good interior. If I was in my truck I’d have a CD player to listen to audio books or I’d have an excellent iPhone or a mobile device that I can connect with a Bluetooth or plug in so I can listen to MP3s and audio books and such.
What are the things you’re doing everyday that use all the time that just drive you nuts, that are always having problems, that are always costing you waste and frustration or that just don’t make your life easy? Spend the money on those things. Those are the priorities that you should spend on money on. Spend a day and evaluate where all your frustration points are fix them. That’s money well spent.
The late Zig Ziglar had a saying that your car can be a mobile university. Basically that you can get a college education driving around in your car. For so many of us in the service industry that’s so true. You’re doing estimates, you’re doing sales maybe you’re going between jobs to actually perform the work. Whatever the case may be you spend so much time in your car. If you’re just listening to ESPN Radio, or Talk Radio that most of the time is just going to wear you out mentally because you’re convinced the world is going to end. Or whatever the case maybe, maybe even just listen to music which is great and which I like, you’re missing out on so much.
I highly recommend if you don’t have a subscription to audible which is 14 bucks a month or $24 a month, in fact there is a link on my Lawn Care Millionaire website on the right side that will get you a free month. If you’re not doing that or you’re not listening to podcast, there are so many smart people that now have a free podcast. If you’re not listening to that stuff all the time you’re really missing out on incredible education.
So many people don’t like to read. I don’t have time to read every book. I listen to a lot of books on audible. You can listen to them at double speed once you get used to it. If you don’t like to read and you’re a person that says, “I don’t read books. I would never read books I hate. I don’t have time to do it.” Get an audible account and you can just blow through books. If you start a book it’s cheap. If you start a book and it’s not very good, stop. Don’t read it. If it’s not resonating with you move on to the next book.
Use your time and I think it will just massively change your business. It will change your attitude. You’ll feel so much more positive. You’ll feel like you have so much more potential and possibility because like they say, knowledge is power.
Last year the president of a company that I’m partnering basically pranked me and sent me a text and said he needed to talk. I think as usual I didn’t respond right away because I’m slow about responding to text message and horror bound at responding to phone calls on my cell phone. He sents me this text, I don’t immediately respond so then he sends me this longer text if I’m getting all my facts right, and basically tells me he needs to talk. He’s grateful for the opportunities at the company. It’s been a fantastic ride, on and on and on but he’s just got to do some things for his family. A new opportunity has come up and basically he’s going to move on.
Now, I wouldn’t have thought that would happen and I thought it was joke because he’s good at that stuff, but I got to say my heart stopped. Here we are like a year and a half later and I was thinking about today’s topic and this thing popped in my head and it’s a great reminder. Today as you’re going through your day, this week as you’re going through your week, where are the weak spots in your company? Where are you at risk? Where do you have people with no backup plan?
What things are happening in your business that there is no backup plan? If a person leaves a piece of equipment breaks, a truck breaks down, a phone system stops working? We’ve had some problems with our phones at Service Autopilot and we’re on this really high-end phone system now. We’ve had some problems with our internet. Now we have a backup system in our company for our wireless internet. If one of our $500 routers goes down I have a $500 router that takes over.
In our software system that runs Service Autopilot we have ridiculous redundancy but that’s a no brainer. Where do I have redundancy in my company if somebody’s laptop crashes? Do I have another laptop I could pull out of the closet and give it to them so they can keep functioning because labor is expensive? Today in this week, think about where all your weak spots are. Just make a list. Just jot them all down, don’t worry about fixing them just make your list. It’s something to start working off as you continue working on your company. It will let you sleep a whole lot better at night when you get all of those things fixed.
I’m trying to figure out, okay, what am I going to record a video about today, I thought of something that happened a couple of months ago that I think it’s a great lesson. I doubt you would ever do this, but boy, it’s a great reminder and it’s especially important to pay attention to your team and make sure they’re not doing something this insane. When we moved into our office a while back we had to sign a contract with a company Time Warner to get fiber optic service into our office space.
We were going through the motions, we had the sales person and this sales person puts herself out there as a beauty queen whatever. You completely get the feeling that she is completely selling based on her looks and that’s the angle that she’s going to play. Everything about dealing with her although supposedly she’s one of their top sales people was pretty much a turnoff. I’m pretty frustrated with her. I’m not getting her to negotiate the way I want. I don’t like the terms on and on and on so I get another company involved to help me negotiate try to find somebody else that’s better. Try to find me basically a better deal.
I get an Email from her, after we haven’t had that great of a relationship and she sends me an Email and she says, “Will you please help me make my quarter. Today is my last day. If you will please do me this huge favor and sign the contract today I would really appreciate it. Can you do this for me?” It’s really worded almost exactly like that. Then she calls me as well and I ignore the phone call. That just pissed me off more. That’s the point of this video. Is what might it be that you and I and our teams say that’s phrased as benefits for us and not benefits for our client.
I didn’t give a flip about this girl. She was a terrible sales person and there was no way I cared to do anything to benefit her. What I wanted was her to give me $300 a month cheaper or whatever it was I wanted and better terms on our deal. I wanted something. I wanted anything. She came back to me with nothing. There was no benefit to me. There was nothing. What are we saying to our clients, our potential clients in a way that benefits us and is about us and matters to us versus saying it in a way that matters to them? It’s about them we’ll make their life better make them feel better.
We want to make sure that everything we’re saying and doing is phrased towards their benefit and not to ours. I hope that’s a helpful tip today. It sure was frustrating to me and I think phrasing things correctly to the client to benefit them is a huge, huge thing in this act of selling and in fantastic customer service.
This video won’t apply to everybody, but if you have cash and you have any desire to see that cash grow then you’re well aware that money market funds pay virtually nothing. If you happen to be in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Alabama and Florida, BBVA compass and you can find them online at compassbank.com, they’re offering one percent on your money in the form of a money market fund through the end of 2015. This applies to any amount deposited between 10,000 and two and a half million.
I highly recommend that if you’re in any money market funds or you have a lot of cash just sitting in your checking account that you take a look at this. I personally moved a fair amount of money because I had it sitting in Vanguard. I do think you need to keep money in a number of different places, but I highly recommend that if you have a bunch of cash at least 10,000 that you can deposit there is a great opportunity for you to get one percent on your money which is far better than most money market funds pay and then we evaluate it at the end of 2016. Hope that helps.