Bobby Kerr’s Clever Business Tips

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Business Agony Uncle, Bobby Kerr is back with some more expert advice for SME employers and employees. This week Bobby gives advice on knowing when to bite your tongue in business and learning not to over commit when it comes to satisfying continuous customer demand.
 
Dealing with Disappointment – Taking the High Road 

First up this week is Frank in Lucan who has been working in a tyre and exhaust shop for the past eight years. The business recently advertised for a supervisor role, and Frank was encouraged to put himself forward for the position. Unfortunately, Frank did not get the job as his boss wanted fresh blood and outside expertise for the role. As a result, the new supervisor does not seem to care much about the company and may not be the best person for the role. Frank now feels totally demotivated and has thoughts about possibly leaving the company.
 
Bobby’s Advice
Firstly, this is a very difficult situation for anyone to be in. To be encouraged for a position and being overlooked by someone who may not be as well suited must be very frustrating for Frank. There are a number of things that Frank can do:
  1. If the new supervisor is clearly not up to the job, and does not seem to care about the company, then it’s only a matter of time before they are found out. Frank may just need to sit back and bite his tongue for a few weeks to see how things pan out.
  2. It never pays to be malicious. Frank obviously cares a lot about the company and although it is frustrating, Frank clearly has a great attitude and this will stand to him in the future.
  3. Potentially start looking elsewhere – If the situation continues to escalate then Frank should maybe start looking elsewhere for a company that would appreciate his attitude and loyalty and work ethic.
 
Just Say No – Finding the Right Work/Life Balance

Next up is Anthony in Louth who worked for a retail company for twenty-three years, sixteen of which he was purchasing manager. The company went under a number of years ago and so Anthony decided to set up his own business under the radar. Due to his excellent relationship with customers and suppliers, customers started to seek his services after the closure of the business and for the past few years Anthony has been inundated with business and new orders. Anthony is not sure he is able to cope with the amount of work coming in and is looking for some advice from Bobby on where to go from here.
 
Bobby’s Advice
This is a great problem for Anthony to have, and in a way it would seem that he is a victim of his own success. From the outset, it would seem that he is overcommitting to work and is worried that this model is not sustainable in the long run. Reading between the lines it may also seem likely that he is perhaps making the same mistakes that were made the first time around.

Anthony needs to sit down and review his business model from the bottom up. Whenever demand exceeds supply you need to take a look at who exactly the customers are and looking at the profitability of each individual product line and offset this with the number of customers he has.

Working with the most profitable product lines from the most profitable customers is the way forward for Anthony which ensures he is doing business with the most worthwhile business and contracts. This in itself will help streamline his revenue stream and enable him to choose the right orders without overloading or overcommitting to business which eventually becomes unrealistic over time.

Anthony is obviously extremely hardworking and values good customer service and loyalty, however he needs to make the difficult decision and change his tack to ensure his business remains viable and profitable without becoming a burden.
 
If you have a business or SME related query you would like answered - you can get in touch with Bobby each week by simply sending a short mail to [email protected]
 

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